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The Problem With Potter by We Are Padfoot and Prongs
Chapter 2 : Chapter 2: The Nightmare and The Date
 
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Uuuum... hi.  So I'm putting up a chapter.  Yay?  GAH!  NO ONE EXCEPT Bella Bug (thank you dearie) REVIEWED LAST CHAPTER!!!! I FEEL SO UNLOVED!!!!  *sniff*  Make me feel better and leave a review?  PLEASE?!?!

 

“Lily, we have to go.  Something’s happened.”  The panicked face of my father appeared over me.

“What?  What’s happened?”

He didn’t answer, just pulled me away from where I was looking at books at the local library.  I can still remember being vaguely annoyed, even through the fear, that I’d dropped my stack of books.  We grabbed Petunia from where she was sulking at the front of the library and got in the car.

“Dad?  What’s happening?” I tried again.  “Tell me what’s wrong!”  I was starting to panic.

“It’s your mother,” he said tightly.  The conversation stopped there because Dad looked like he was trying not to cry, Petunia looked like someone had punched her in the gut, and I began hyperventilating.

We passed by a car accident on the highway.  Two cars had hit each other head on.  One of them looked familiar, but my brain shut down and refused to believe it was my mother’s car.  It wasn’t.  It couldn’t be.

We sped down the highway, well over the speed limit, but I didn’t care.  I watched the cars flashing by and tried to come up with a good reason why we’d be speeding down a road towards a problem with my mother.  I couldn’t think of anything good.

We screeched up to the hospital entrance, not even bother to park.  We ran up to the front desk, startling the receptionist.  “Katherine Evans.”

“Down the hall and to the left, three doors in.”  We ran.

I sprinted far ahead of my family easily.  I whipped into the room and saw my mother lying on a bed covered in red paint.  It was paint wasn’t it?  I had to be.  It couldn’t be blood.  Because she had to live and no one could lose that much blood and survive.

My brain was ahead of my heart.  It knew what had happened.  I just refused to accept it.  I fell to my knees, crying.

“NO!”  Petunia’s anguished voice came from behind me.  She sat down hard beside me.  Dad stepped around us and went to hold her hand.  We watched her sleeping face as the heart monitor beeped, slower and slower. 

Doctors passed in and out, giving medicine, checking monitors.  And the heart monitor beeped slower and slower.

The beeping slowed even farther.  Her heart was barely beating now.  It beeped… it beeped… it wasn’t beeping.  Why wasn’t it beeping?  It must be broken.  That was it.  They needed new monitors.

A doctor walked in.  I don’t even know what his name was.  He frowned and looked at the monitor.  He checked her pulse.  “I’m sorry.  Katherine is gone.”

What was he talking about?  Mum wasn’t gone, she was right here, on the bed.  Without even thinking about it, I rose.

“Lily?”  My dad looked at me.  I could feel tears streaming down my face.  I whirled and sprinted away.  Running was my escape.  I bolted through the hospital doors.  When I was running, I couldn’t think about anything except to keep going.  Some Gryffindor I was; I always ran.  I realized that I was screaming as I ran.  I don’t even know what I was saying.  I was just pouring out every little bit of frustration and anger and grief in my body, letting it flow out behind me.  Letting it reach back to that cold, white hospital room where my mother had let go of life.

I woke up screaming.  Potter burst through the door, wand out, looking for the threat.  “Lily, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing.  Nightmare.  I’m fine Potter, you can go.”  I managed to hold back the shuddering sobs that were racking my body until he left, but then they broke through my fragile defenses.  I sat up, hugging my knees, and buried my face in my legs.  I was never going to let Potter see me weak, but when I was alone, I was going to cry until I was wrung dry.  I couldn’t help it.  Even the strongest could be weak in private.  But this was the last time.  I would not let myself be vulnerable again.

*

My exhausted body finally took over and I fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.  I woke a few hours later to see that it was 6 in the morning.  I felt strangely awake, seeing how I was never a morning person, but I got out of bed and put on jeans and a t-shirt.  I crept past Potter’s room and out the portrait hole.  I swung through the Great Hall and picked up a couple pieces of toast, a blueberry muffin, some bacon, and a few apples.

I exited through the main doors, careful not to let Filch see me.  I ran lightly to the Forbidden Forest and into the first few trees.  I whistled.  “Cicatrix!”  A few thestrals swooped down from the sky.  I spotted the one with the scar and walked over, hand out.  She nuzzled my hand and nosed my bag.  I pulled out an apple and offered it to her.  She snorted and shook her head.  I wondered what else she could want.  I offered the toast and muffin.  Both were rejected.  I pulled out the bacon, not really expecting, but Cicatrix whinnied and crunched it up.

I stroked her nose, smiling a little.  “Weird thestrals.”

“They prefer raw meat you know.”  I whirled at the unexpected voice behind me.  There was Potter, holding a chunk of raw beef.  The thestrals crowded around him and he fed several before offering Cicatrix part of the food.  She ate it eagerly.

“Did you follow me Potter?” I demanded angrily.

“Yep,” he said happily.  “I wondered where you were going this early in the morning.  Normally, you’re not up until you absolutely have to be.”

“Well now you know, so you can leave.”

“Leave the most beautiful girl in the castle alone in the Forbidden Forest?  I’m offended at your assumption of unchivalrous behavior!”

I need a wall to bang my head against.  Or even better, to bang Potter’s head against.  If I hear one more bad pick up line, I swear I’m feeding Potter to the Giant Squid.

I sighed deeply.  “Fine.  But I’m going back to the castle.”  I swung up onto Cicatrix’s back easily.  “Can you drop me on top of Gryffindor tower Cicatrix?  Girl’s side please.”  Cicatrix whinnied and took off, spiraling through the trees with ease.  She flew with astonishing speed and I spread my arms wide, whooping eagerly at the exhilaration.  All too soon, Cicatrix landed lightly on the roof of Gryffindor tower and I hopped off.  “Thanks girl.”  She nickered gently and flew off to the Forest again.

I walked around until I found the mark Marly had made for the four of us.  Ever the adventurous one, Marly had found that if you swung your body a certain way from our top floor window you could get on the roof.  She’d made a mark in black Sharpie so we could be sure we’d go back in the window near our beds and not by our dorm mates or in the boy’s side.  I grinned in anticipation of their reactions as I gripped the side of the tower and swung feet first inside the window.

I landed catlike with a soft thump.  Alice, the lightest sleeper (and also the one I’d landed right next to) sat straight up with a shriek.  I quickly stuffed my hand over her mouth, still grinning ridiculously.

“Shh Alice!  It’s only me, Lily!”

She pushed my hand away as Marly and Mary sat up sleepily.  “Merlin Lils, don’t DO that!  You nearly gave me a heart attack!”

I grinned sheepishly.  “Sorry.”

Mary yawned and stretched.  “So, what brings you into our room, through the window, at 7 in the morning?”

“Oh Godric, is it that late already?  I’ve got to be getting back or I’ll be late!  See you at breakfast!”

Alice glared at me as I skipped towards the door.  “Lily Marie Evans, you can’t come into our dorm through the window at 7 in the morning and just leave!  Don’t you dare-“ I shut the door.

*

Suffice to say I made it back to the dorm without getting caught and quickly changed into my school uniform.  I grabbed my books and skipped merrily to the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.  My friends pestered me and eventually I relented and told them about the thestrals and Potter.  Then Alice grumbled some more about being scared half to death and McGonagall handed out our schedules.  I had Advanced Potions first, while all of my friends had Divination (an entirely useless and stupid class).  I waved goodbye as we went our separate ways.

When I walked into Slughorn’s classroom, I was surprised to see only a few students.  There was an awkward Gryffindor boy I recognized as Eugene Fitz, two Ravenclaw girls I vaguely remembered were on the Quidditch team, a Ravenclaw boy I didn’t recognize, and Amos Diggory, Hufflepuff heartthrob.  The seat next to Amos was the only one open, so I slid into it as we all waited for Slughorn.

“I recognize you.  You’re Lily Evans, the girl James Potter has been trying to date since first year.”

I could feel myself blushing.  “And you’re Amos Diggory, the boy every girl in Hufflepuff, and quite a few from Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin, has been swooning over since third year.”

He grinned charmingly.  “And are you one of those girls?”

I blushed harder.  In fact I did have a minor crush on him, but there was no way I was going to tell him that.  “How about if you figure that out for yourself?” I said softly.  I was saved from the rest of a potentially embarrassing conversation by Slughorn bustling into the room.  I turned to the front and pulled out a quill and parchment, taking avid notes on his brief lecture about the preparation of Felix Felicis.

When he instructed us to begin making it in pairs, promising a prize to the best potion, I jumped up eagerly and went to the supply closet.  I rummaged around, finding all the ingredients quickly and carrying them back to where Amos was boiling the water.  We brewed our potion quickly, working together well.  I used a few instinctual corrections to the book’s formula and taught them to Amos.  In the end our potion was the best and we each got small vials of professionally brewed Liquid Luck.

As we exited the classroom, Amos brushed his hand lightly against mine and said, “Hey, there’s a Hogsmeade weekend coming up.  And I was wondering if, um, you might want to go with me?”

My grin probably lit up the entire school.  “I would love to go to Hogsmeade with you!”

He grinned.  “Brilliant!  I’ll pick you up at 10:00 on Saturday in the Entrance Hall?”

“That would be great.  I’ll see you tomorrow Amos.”  I walked away, my grin stretching so far it was starting hurt my face.

*

The week went quickly, a routine of classes, homework, and friends settling easily.  Potter continued to be pratty, but the look on his face when I told him I was going to Hogsmeade with Amos was priceless.

When I gave Mary the password to the Head’s Tower, I honestly don’t know what I was thinking.  I should have known the girls would make me dress up for my date.

At 8:00 on a Saturday, I was rudely awoken by Alice throwing my bedroom door open and screaming “KARMA!”

I was so startled that I yelped, jumped, and fell out of bed taking half my covers with me.  I glared up at her smiling face from my nest of covers on the floor, rolled over and fell back asleep just to spite her.  I should have known better.  Next thing I knew, I was drenched and shivering and Mary was holding an empty bucket.

“I hate you all,” I announced, then got up and walked into the bathroom, ignoring them completely.  I took a long hot shower, steaming up the windows and the mirror.  I finally got out and dried off, slipping into my royal blue bathrobe; I brushed my teeth and hair and steeled myself to walk back out.  I opened the door to my room to find every article of clothing I owned strewn throughout the room and in the process of being judged my friends.

“Too casual.  Too dressy.  Too reserved.   Hey, that’s mine!  No, no, no, n- OOH!”  Marlene held up a deep green, short sleeved blouse, a little low cut for my tastes (it was a gift, so I couldn’t get rid of it) and examined it.  “This could work!”

I snorted.  “I don’t suppose I have a choice?”

The three looked at each other, then chorused “Nope!”

I sighed and began charming shirts back into my closet Marly and Alice looked through my skirts and pants and Mary looked through my makeup and accessories.  Finally Alice found my long black skirt with slits up to my thighs and decided it would work.  This was thrown at me, along with my blouse, and I was instructed to change.  I did so quickly, knowing that I wouldn’t win, and then allowed myself to be made up by Mary.  Gold eyeshadow was dusted over my lids, mascara coated my lashes, and bright red lipstick was rubbed onto my lips.  I also got a light layer of concealer and blush.  Alice, in the meantime had found my high heeled stilettos charmed so they could be any color you wanted.  She made them the same emerald green as my blouse and I stepped into them.

When I was finally deemed “kick arse gorgeous” by Marly, I was allowed to eat something from my small kitchen and descend into the Entrance Hall.  At 10 exactly I walked down the stairs to see Amos waiting for me with a single white and pink lily.  I smiled shyly at him and he grinned back.

He offered me the lily when I reached him.  “Here’s a lily for my Lily.  And may I say that you look gorgeous today, as always?”

I blushed and accepted the flower, even though I didn’t much care for lilies (carnations were my favorite) because I thought it was sweet of him, though a bit cliché.  He offered me his hand and I took it, feeling little butterflies in my stomach at his touch.  I smiled wider.  We set off for Hogsmeade.

We walked happily from Scrivenshaft’s, where I got a new quill (from a variable goshawk, my favorite bird), Honeydukes, where Amos bought me several chocolate frogs (despite my protesting), and up to the Three Broomsticks where we bought butterbeer and settled into a secluded corner booth.  Chatting about school, friends, and life we drifted closer and closer.  I vaguely noticed the door open out of the corner of my eye, when Amos suddenly leaned forward and kissed me.

My eyes opened wide and I was extremely startled, but it was over as fast as it started.  He leaned back and looked at me apprehensively.  “That was ok, right?  I don’t want to offend you or anything.”

I touched my lips dazedly with my fingertips.  “No, it was fine.  I was just surprised.  I’m ok with it.”

He grinned.  “Excellent.”  He leaned over and kissed me again.  I looked over his shoulder and saw James Potter glaring at us, then turning on his heel and slamming out the front of the pub.  I felt a slight guilty pang, but ignored it and let myself be kissed by Amos.  He pulled away slightly.  “Be my girlfriend?”

I was startled.  Amos Diggory, easily third most wanted guy at Hogwarts (after Potter and Black.  Blech), was asking me, plain little bookworm Lily Evans to be his girlfriend.  I grinned widely.  “Of course.”  He kissed me again.

One hour later, I was squealing about it with my girlfriends in my dorm.  Everyone was so happy for me.  I finally had a boyfriend, after years of saying no to all the guys that asked me that just didn’t seem right.  Amos seemed right to me.

After the girls left, I lay back on my bed with my hair rippling above me and smiled, just thinking about my day.

Someone cleared their throat and I propped myself up on my elbows to raise one eyebrow at Potter.  “What do you want?”

“I came to give you my congratulations.”

 My eyebrow went higher.  “You’re just giving up?”

He grinned.  “Oh hell no.  I’m insanely jealous that he got you, lucky bastard, and he doesn’t even know what a prize you are.  I’m going to fight twice as hard for you Lily, because you’re worth it.”

I groaned and flopped back.  “Of course it wouldn’t be that easy.”

He moved over and sat gently on the edge of my bed.  “I also wanted to warn you.  Have you ever looked at the other girls he’s dated, then dumped?  That’s what he does for his sick twisted fun.  He breaks girls’ hearts.”

I glared at him.  “You don’t know anything.  He’s a perfectly lovely person and you’re just jealous.”

He stood up and moved towards the door.  “Just remember what I said and be careful.  Don’t get your heart broken.  And if you ever need me, I’ll be here for you.  Always.”

He walked out and I closed my eyes, my day thoroughly ruined.
 


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