Valentines countdown, one week. Lily was going into Hogsmeade with Alex, who had broken up with Daniel and was single too; the pair of them had some things to talk about, naming James and Sirius.
Sirius had broken up with Alisha the day before after she had lied to him about sleeping with a Ravenclaw boy. Sirius hadn’t seemed to bothered about the break-up but Alisha was distraught she had stormed into the dormitory screaming at Alex, blaming it all on her.
Alex didn’t seem to bothered and ignored her accusations, and had simply waved her hand and walked out of the dormitory and did not return for a few hours.
Lily was sat alone in the dormitory, re-thinking her day. She had met a nice boy earlier, he was Ravenclaw seventh year, she didn’t know how she had never met him before, his name was Henry Goodford, they had talked for a while and he had mentioned Hogsmeade. But she wasn’t getting her hopes up.
Plus she was wondering whether she wanted to go with him or not, especially with her mind completely occupied on James at the moment. She sighed and turned the page in her book, wanting to distract her mind.
A was a small tap at the window, Lily looked up to see a non-familiar owl waiting for her at the window, she wondered if it belonged to Jasmine or Alisha, but opening up the window she extracted the letter and it clearly said her own name printed across in neat writing.
Tearing open the envelope she carefully unfolded the beautifully written letter. Scanning her eyes across the page as she read the message read;
I am not going to write a long letter and waste your time.
But I wanted to say that you are the sweetest loveliest girl I have had the pleasure of meeting.
And because of this, I would like to ask you on a date, on Valentine ’s Day.
Meet me outside the room of requirement at 1 o clock.
The single kiss, the compliment, the blank space where the name should be. It was all so confusing. Two people crossed her mind when she read this letter, one was Henry obviously, he had mentioned Valentines and ‘the pleasure of meeting’ could suggest someone she had just met or it could be James, James who had tried for years, who had given up and then tried again.
There was that chance. But no, James wouldn’t she had made it perfectly clear just to give her time. She let James slip from her mind as she returned to her homework, but the one thing that left her wondering, would she be disappointed if it wasn’t him?
She told her friends about the letter, none of them thought James would bring himself to be hurt again. But they were all excited at the prospects of a new boy.
“Al?” Lily asked when they were sat in the library, studying.
“Mmm” Alex said, not looking up from her book.
Lily closed her own book and faced her friend, “who are you going with to the Valentines ball?” she asked.
Alex flushed scarlet and looked up, “Who says im going with anybody?” she said hotly.
“Nobody say’s that Al, im just saying” Lily said coolly.
Alex sighed, “Sorry Lil, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while, I don’t want to go alone” she said sadly.
Lily gave her a sympathetic look, “Maybe you should talk to Sir-”
“No” Alex cut across sharply, “never, no way”
“Al, you ended things with Daniel, even though you swore you weren’t a quitter, something else must’ve affected that decision other than guilt” Lily said simply, Alex was quiet, “plus he broke up with Alisha, there’s nothing stopping you two now”
“Lily, I’ve made so many mistakes, too many, but I’ve learnt so much from them, sometimes I think it would be easier if I made some more” Alex sighed.
“What have you got to lose?” Lily said quietly, looking her best friend in the eye.
Alex raised her eyebrows, “Everything, Lil, everything, my dignity, my respect for him, my friendship with him, everything” she whispered, “he could cheat on me again, we could break up, for good, so much could go wrong.
“Maybe you need to stop thinking about what could go wrong, and start thinking about what could go write” Lily said solemnly.
Alex sniffed, “Maybe im trying to be realistic”
“And by doing so you’re making yourself unhappy Al” Lily said sharply.
“Who cares? Eventually I’ll be better again” she snapped.
“Maybe you won’t be, because he’ll move on one day, and what if you can’t? You’ll never be happy if you don’t do something about it”
“Maybe you need to take your own advice Lil, because maybe if you stopped holding onto the past too you could finally accept how you feel about James, I know you’re scared, so am I, but if it doesn’t happen for you two, then the rest of us haven’t got much chance either” Alex said bluntly, standing up.
“Just think about it Al” Lily said quietly, not meeting her friends eyes, Alex nodded and walked out of the dormitory, without a backwards glance.
“Prongs, Prongs, where the hell are we going?” Sirius hissed.
It was pitch black and he was leading Sirius through a part of Hogsmeade neither of them had been to before
They had just bought some firewhiskey off Madam Rosmerta and stocked up on their sweets from Honeydukes. Peter and Remus weren’t with them tonight, Remus had patrols with Lily and Peter had scampered off before they could even invite him.
“Calm down Paddy, it’s just a quick way to get to the shack” James reassured his best friend.
He heard Sirius sigh, “why are we going to the shack?” he asked sounding impatient.
“Because Padfoot, I think we’d be pushing our luck to go through Honeydukes again, so just shut up and follow me” James hissed.
He heard Sirius huff impatiently as they made their way behind the shops, James was one hundred percent sure on where he was going. But he wasn’t bothered, that’s what made it fun. The crisp February evening was chilly but the boys were wrapped in jackets and had put a spell on themselves to keep them warm.
James was about to turn around and ask Sirius if he had the map when a loud, clear voice broke the crisp silence.
“Shut up, somebody might hear us” the voice snarled.
James turned around to face Sirius as they crouched behind a wall, he put a finger to his lips and Sirius nodded sharply, before they turned their attention back to the voices.
“Who’s going to hear us in Hogsmeade this time of night?” came Snape’s greasy voice.
“Snivellus” James heard Sirius say through his teeth, barely audible.
“How did you get out of the school undetected?” said the other voice.
“Potter and Black” Snape said coldly, James raised his eyebrows, “I’ve seen them jetting down the whomping willow and coming back with Hogsmeade supplies, who ever thought those two would come in handy” he sneered.
“That’s the two Gryffindor blood traitors right?” the voice asked, there was a pause where James could only assume Snape nodded, “the dark lord is very interested in having them on our side, heard rumours on them being very valiant fighters, whether they’ll join or not is the question”
Snape sniffed angrily, “What did you want to see me about?”
“The attack, in a few months and the one in a few weeks” the voice said sternly, “we need all hands on deck, so let the others know, the dark lord trusts you Snape, don’t let him down”
“Does it look like im going too” Snape hissed.
There was a long silence before, boots could be heard crunching in the gravel and walking away. James turned to face Sirius and gestured him forwards.
The pair of them jogged until they finally reached the shrieking shack. Slipping down the passage way on the way to Hogwarts, that’s when they felt safe to really talk.
“Snivellus” Sirius snarled.
“What the hell are they plotting?” James said curiously.
Sirius clucked his tongue impatiently, “I think it’s an attack Prongs”
“Thanks Mr Obvious” James said his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Do we tell Dumbledore?” Sirius asked ignoring his jibe.
“Tell him what? We snuck out of the grounds to buy firewhisky, heard Snape talking to someone we didn’t know about an attack which we have no details for” James said dryly.
“Alright, Merlin, someone’s on edge” Sirius sighed.
“We’ll just have to keep an eye out Padfoot” James said.
“Evans, Evans wait up a second” Lily spun around.
To her surprise Hannah Parkinson was running towards her, Lily frowned slightly but waited anyway. Hannah reached her and smiled slightly.
“I wanted to talk to you” she said, Lily nodded but didn’t move.
“Well?” she said impatiently.
“I wanted to apologize, im sorry I threatened you and acted like a total bitch towards you, it’s partly my fault you and James grew apart and im sorry for that, I drove him away from you, but you have to understand that in my defence I was threatened by you, I knew how he felt about you and I was still with him. I didn’t do it out of cruelty I did it because I was scared to lose him” she said sadly.
“And now you have” Lily said bluntly.
“I was so scared to lose him I ended up pushing him away” she sighed, she paused, “are you two together?” she asked.
Lily shook her head, “he asked, but im running out of reasons to trust him”
“He’s crazy about you” she pointed out.
Lily shrugged, “I know, and I think I feel the same, but it’s hard you know”
“But Lily, one day you’ll find you’ve ran out of excuses on why you should say no” Hannah told her, before smiling and walking away.
Lily sighed and headed back to the common room. Her thoughts on James and then Valentines. She stormed up to her dormitory where to her luck her friends were all sat, talking.
No sign of Alisha or Jasmine, which was good.
“I need your help” Lily snapped as she flung her bag down.
Alex lead back on her pillow, “what about?” she asked coolly.
“Valentines” Lily sighed.
“What about Valentines?” Louise asked.
“James, Henry, I don’t know who I like and its confusing me, I thought I liked James but do I want James can I trust James? And then there is Henry who was really nice but hasn’t said a word to me since, and when I think about going on a date with him I then feel instantly guilty about James” Lily ranted.
“I have an idea” Louise grinned, diving for her trunk.
She eventually came to surface and pulled out a small dice. The others frowned at it in confusion, but Lily merely raised an eyebrow.
“What the hell is that?” Rosie asked impatiently.
“It’s called a dice, it has numbers on it you use it for muggle board games” Louise pointed out.
“Why do you have one?” Alex asked.
Louise sighed, “for situations like this” she told them, “ok Lily, 1,2,3 you go with James, 4,5,6 you go with Henry. It’s simple” she said.
Lily’s heart skipped a beat, her happiness depended on one role of the dice, “ok” she swallowed nervously.
Louise shook the dice for what seemed the longest time ever, eventually she threw the dice onto the bed. It seemed to roll forever but eventually landed on a clear 5. Lily didn’t know why but she felt her stomach drop.
“How do you feel?” Louise asked turning to her.
Lily shrugged, “that’s fine” she lied smoothly.
“How did it feel?” Louise asked, “You’re disappointed aren’t you?” she smiled.
Lily nodded, “why are you smiling?” she asked annoyed.
“Because that’s the point you don’t really have to go by the dice, if you’re disappointed with the result you pick the other option it’s simple, it lets you know the result you really wanted in the first place” Louise said smartly.
“That is extremely clever” Rosie said from her magazine.
“You can’t run from your feelings anymore Lil” Alex said softly.
Lily gave a simple nod before retreating to her bed.
“Hey Sirius” she called, she saw him turn around and frown slightly, but he still stood there and waited for her.
“Al” he greeted coolly.
“I wanted to talk to you” she breathed, clutching her side. She had ran all the way from the dungeons to catch up with him.
He raised his eyebrows, “About?”
“Me, and you. Us” she said quietly.
She had butterflies. Alex wasn’t the type to get nervous; only around Sirius was when this really happened.
“What about us?” he sighed.
“I want to start over” she said bravely, “I want to be friends again, I miss it. How it used to be, when everything was simple. If Lily and James can do it, why can’t we?”
He stared at her for a moment or two, a fixed expression on his face, as if considering her options. Then to her surprise his face broke out into a grin, “course we can Al” he grinned at her.
“R-Really?” she said shocked at his optimism.
“I missed it too” he said quietly, she beamed at him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He returned her hug.
Somehow she didn’t realise when he said I miss it, he meant you.