Chapter 4 : Corridor Affairs
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Welcome to the new Chapter 4
Disclaimer: Usual. Everything you don't recognise got made here *taps head*
Thanks for coming by after all this time. If you enoy it do kindly let me know.
Stop obsessing over it, Lily.
I was done wasting my entire summer over that ridiculous apology, Potter’s self-righteous response and in general the pathetic excuse of a holiday I had.
I resolved to face the year anew. It was my NEWT year too!
I wheeled my trunk along Platform 9 ¾ through the throng of students and parents saying their goodbyes before they left for Hogwarts. I waved at people I knew and passed by a compartment with three mismatched girls in it, looking out the window.
“Hurry up and move your arse, Evans!” called the wire-haired blonde. I rolled my eyes, headed over to the nearest entrance door and got on the train following a few other students.
It took me a while to get to the right compartment with all the students cramped in the corridors looking for their friends and classmates and a place to settle into for the ride to school.
“Finally!” I huffed throwing the right compartment door open and pulling my trunk into it.
None of them paid any attention to me as they were all busy looking out the window giggling away.
I heaved my trunk onto the rack and stowed my owl cage carefully next to Inky, the deep blue Puffskein. Noot hooted softly as I fed her a few owl treats through the cage. Then I turned to the girls.
“What are we looking at?” I whispered curiously crouching next to them.
“It’s them,” Mary, the wire-haired blonde giggled again, “the troublesome foursome,”
“Oh Merlin!” I rolled my eyes again and wandered back to my seat pulling out a copy of Do-it-yourself Easy Fix Charms from my bag.
I watched over the top of my book as Potter and his three best friends passed by our compartment. Sirius, with his usual carefree charm that came so easily to him, an almost regal look plastered on his face as he surveyed the platform. Potter walked beside his best mate with a matching smirk, his school-robes slung over his shoulder, tie hanging loose around his neck looking very devil-may-care, Remus a little paler than usual his hair sticking out rather oddly, tagged along Potter’s right and Peter the somewhat larger of the boys, looking dishevelled but casually so with a dazed look on his face, followed them a step behind busy checking his many pockets.
It’s a mystery why they were so popular. Every single student at Hogwarts (yes, including me) had been a victim of their pranks. Everyone knew they were behind it all and yet they were loved, and adored among the students, their crimes easily forgotten over the general ‘entertainment’ they provided. Their self-proclaimed wit and charm never ceased to get them the attention they craved.
I did not understand it!
Yes, alright, they may have miraculously inherited some favourable genes and may be marginally more attractive than the rest of the male population. But really, was everyone in school that shallow?
Mary, Edith and Caitlyn gave a unified gleeful hoot and succumbed to another fit of giggles.
“You know when James does that double-take?” Mary sighed, “I believe he’s made it a signature move of his. Helps that he’s fit too!” She said leaning into her perched hand.
Mary McDonald; borderline-insane, scatter-brained and generally overly-talkative. She loves marshmallows and painting her nails all manner of odd vibrant colours. Today another classic: black and lime-green stripes!
Cait laughed at her. Caitlyn Sommers was exactly like a puppy. She had big brown eyes the exact shade of her hair and a huge dimpled smile. You could never say ‘No’ to that face!
“Isn’t Remus quite tidy though… a bit… charming?” Caitlyn said in a quiet voice, wincing as if she didn’t want to admit it.
Also, she was pathologically shy.
“You’re so good with synonyms!” Edith said making Cait blush.
“Peter’s kind of adorable too, but I think James takes the cake! He’s pretty much the fittest bloke in school,” Mary defended her obsession.
“Come on! There are many more lush boys than James Alcaturus Potter!”
“That’s not even his name!”
“Oi! You have to factor in personality as well! And in that regard he’s a minus fifty!” Mary reminded the directives of how to properly assess the desirability of boys.
I shook my head dismally.
“So by those standards, I reiterate, James Potter takes the cake!”
“Yeah he does! Until Sirius comes along with that fit body of his that peeks though woollen sweaters and suddenly no one else exists in the world anymore!” Edith said wiggling her eyebrows. Cait and Mary giggled at her.
Edith Banks, fluent in English and Sarcasm, uses her blue eyes to stare into your very soul if she’s convinced you’re lying to her. Loves plimsolls, hates rain. Has had an affection for long-time friend Remus but will sooner eat dragon dung than admit it.
Usually a good friend to depend on for boy-bashing but she seemed to have thoroughly ignored the fact that Potter had been a pig to me lately.
Alright! We’re done with that Lily! Move on!
“Why am I mates with you bird-brains?” I asked seriously and was promptly ignored.
“Let’s see, who votes for Potter and who votes Sirius?” Edith shot her hand up and declared herself loyal to Sirius. Mary unsurprisingly affirmed her vote was with Potter and Cait after much deliberation and blushing chose to go with Sirius.
Mary rather crossly turned to me.
“I’d rather rinse my brain out with Firewhiskey!” I admitted.
“Oh don’t be such a prude Lily!” Mary said dramatically waving a hand as she saw me reading another book.
Edith pushed herself onto the seat beside me and her blue eyes peeked at the book over my shoulder. “3-step Lipstick-stain Removing Charm!” she announced to the compartment as I shut my book with a snap, “James is so lucky you’ve got that covered!” she grinned.
“Don’t make me vomit, Banks.” I said in a disgusted voice.
“Oh please, we all know you secretly want James!” Edith leaned into me with the perfect personification of yearning while Cait and Mary laughed at us.
What did I do? I swatted her in the head with my book.
“Ow! Psychotic bint!” she yelled rubbing her head.
“Bloody hell! You lot were supposed to join me and verbally bash Potter!” I said looking about the compartment miffed by their lack of response for my three-parchment-roll letter to each of them describing the humiliating apology over summer.
Yes, I have issues letting go.
Mary dramatically rolled her eyes. Edith sighed thoughtfully, pushing her chestnut hair back and looking out the window again.
“Yeah I know, but it’s just so hard to take your side when you’re always Little Miss Cranky-Pants and he’s…” she gestured out the window, “Well… gorgeous!”
“OW!” Edith clutched her arm as Mary and Cait laughed again, “Bloody hell Evans! That really hurt!”
“That one was deserved,” Mary commented quietly earning a scathing look from Edith.
The whistle blasted at long last and the scattered students on the platform quickly jumped on board. And we were off. I was finally heading home.
As the train picked up speed leaving grim London behind us, the compartment door slid open once more.
“Well, there you are!” said an unenthusiastic voice.
“Quinn?” asked Cait unsurely.
“QUINN?” the rest of us asked with evident disbelief.
“No! It’s bloody Santa Claus!” she huffed pulling the door closed and pushing her trunk roughly onto the already cramped rack. Noot hooted indignantly.
All four of us stared at her as she flopped down on the seat next to the door opposite me. Her usually long blonde hair had been cut brutally short and now hung prickling around her shoulders, dyed abstractly black. Thick streaks of black framed her light eyes that seemed to have lost their buoyant cheerful charm.
“What in the name Merlin’s sodding pants happened to you?” Mary asked not bothering to tame her words.
Quinn said nothing dismissively fidgeting through her purse. She then shocked all of us by pulling out a cigarette and lighting it up with her wand.
“QUINN!” I pulled the foul thing out of her mouth before she could even take a single drag. “What’s gotten into you?"
“Relax mother!” she pulled a face and kicked her bag to the floor. Something was definitely wrong.
“What the hell is wrong with you, Quinn? What is this about?” I repeated hotly.
“None of your business Prefect, stay out of it!”
“Lily, just drop it. It’s just another of her bitch-moods,” said Mary rolling her eyes and taking a seat next to Cait.
“Shut it you minger, no one asked you!” Quinn snarled crossing her arms petulantly.
“Quinn!” Edith warned sharply and Quinn fell silent.
I shook my head and exchanged seats with Cait, sitting next to the strange being in Quinn’s body.
“What’s going on, Quinn. Talk to us!” I asked softly.
“Oh now you care!?” she asked incredulously, her eyes burning as she turned to look at me. I instinctively backed away a bit.
“All summer I’ve been listening to you whine about home and Severus and Potter being a prat and you!” she shot suddenly at Edith “You with your ‘Oh my brother is being so immature’ and ‘Oh my cat ran away again!’ and you Mary! Ranting on and on about your latest, and might I say worst, hair-colour EVER! And You! (Cait flinched visibly) whining about having no inspiration to write songs anymore! WELL BOO HOO!”
Quinn stood up and she was almost in tears.
“Did anyone ever wonder how I was doing? NO! None of you bloody gave a rat’s arse!” she finished her eyes unbelievably wide and her voice contemptuous.
We were silent. It was all true. I hadn’t bothered to ask Quinn how she was doing, I didn’t really notice that she hadn’t written back to my letter. I got so absorbed in my pathetic internal turmoil that I wasn’t there for my friend.
“Well…” Edith said calmly forcing Quinn to look up at her, “Yeah, maybe we have been preoccupied. And we’re sorry Quinn. But shouting at us isn’t right. So, why don’t you tell us? We’re listening now, Quinn.”
I thought this might trigger another rant on Quinn’s part but she seemed to be done with yelling. She folded her arms and sank back into the seat with a deep sigh.
“What happened?” I tried again.
“We broke up!” she cried with a hollow laugh, tears welling up in her eyes.
“What?” Mary and Cait both asked together.
It was quite a shock. The two of them had been almost inseparable the week after OWLs. It just couldn’t have ended so soon.
He liked her very much, it was obvious.
“Quinn! I’m…” I simply hugged her.
Surprisingly Quinn didn’t shrug me off or yell at me. She sniffed leaning her head against my shoulder.
“Urgh stupid bell-end!” Edith said shaking her head, “You know he’ll be back, he always comes back.”
“Yeah, you two break-up and make-up all the time,” Cait consoled softly.
“Yeah,” Mary said agreeing.
Quinn shook her head sniffing again, “This feels different… It feels… it’s really over,” she paused to blot her eyes and smudge her runny mascara, “Worst is, I think we can’t be friends anymore either.”
We all looked uncomfortably at each other while Quinn sobbed into a handkerchief.
Then I decided I’d had enough. I may not have been there for her all summer but I was there then and I resolved to kick his sodding arse all the way to next week!
I got up suddenly.
“Wh-Where are you going?” Quinn asked looking up at me. Fresh tear tracks making a horrible mess of her overwhelming amount of eyeliner. Poor doll.
“Yeah… err where are you going?” Edith asked watching the wand I’d just pulled out of my pocket warily.
“E, please help her clean up.” Edith nodded and scooted over to Quinn with handkerchief in hand.
I looked at Quinn.
“I’m going to show your ex-boyfriend the proper technique of pulling one’s head out of one’s own arse. You sit tight.”
I opened compartment door before the others could protest, “Someone’s about to get schooled!”
I’d always wanted to say that and leave a room dramatically.
I stumbled out onto the crowded corridor. Oh well.
“Oi! Prongs!” a hand clapped on my shoulder bringing me sharply to reality. I turned to see Sirius standing by me in the middle of Kings Cross station showing me the dial on his wrist watch, “Five minutes to eleven, we’ve got to go. Come on!”
I nodded and followed him joining Remus and Peter as we pushed our trolleys through the barrier and entered Platform 9 ¾.
This, is a moment to enjoy.
Of course Sirius does hog most of the attention, but there is still something so surreal about immerging out of the barrier and walking through the smoke filling the platform each year and seeing the students you grew up with turn around do a double-take and smile, grin, wink, wave or even give a nod that makes you feel... like you were part of something exciting.
We are the Marauders.
The cocky, arrogant, rule-breaking boys of Gryffindor who lived for the next big thrill and of course to make an entertaining mess of the average bystander’s day. It is beyond arrogant to admit it yes, but we were the height of cool. Ask anyone.
I flung my robes over my shoulder carelessly and pushed my trolley forward alongside the train. Remus flanked my other side. He was feeding bits of bacon to Archie the ferret on his shoulder who was making excited squeaks as if to approve. I laughed at the pair of them. They completely understood one another.
Steam belched out of the engine as the Hogwarts Express came to life. Students were now detaching themselves from their parents and hurriedly boarding the train.
“Hey fellas!” the McGilles sisters walked by us with a casual wave over their shoulder. Pretty, fit, rotten attitude.
Sirius gave them an acknowledging nod, and in response many hopeful girls waved back at him, some eagerly, some unsurely. I hid my smile turning to check on Peter who was hurriedly double checking everything. Peter usually (always) left something behind at home.
“Prongs mate, what were you thinking of earlier?” Sirius turned to me suddenly full of interest, “you had the funniest look on your face!”
I smiled and his expression suddenly turned into regret.
“Please don’t tell me it’s Evans? You’ve been talking about that bloody heart-to-heart you had all summer! If I have to hear one more time how lovely she was when she scrunched her nose or how her eyes were shinning when she said she’s ‘so very sorry’ ” Sirius batted his eyelashes mockingly, before deadpanning at me, “I will barf!” he threatened.
I laughed and shoved him in the ribs, “No! Actually I was thinking about the first time we were all heading on this train to Hogwarts.”
“You had a terrible hair-cut, Padfoot” reminded Remus.
“Ahem. Says he, who sprouts hair every month!” said Sirius in an undertone so only the four of us could hear.
“Well said!” Peter and I said together.
“Touché” Remus agreed with a grin feeding another small bit of bacon to Archie. Being best friends, the knowledge of Remus’ secret and the fact that we welcomed it made Remus relax completely even allowing to a bit of banter about it.
I often called it his ‘furry little problem’. He thought I was being patronizing.
“Can’t believe we hexed someone on our first day!” said Peter in awe.
“Oi, self-defence isn’t hexing!” Sirius insisted, as we boarded the train following a few other students, “It’s not like we gave them warts after they passed out...” he said waving his wand and levitating all our luggage onto the train.
“Oh wait…” Sirius grinned and all of us laughed, quickly jumping aboard the train as the whistle blasted.
Inside we were greeted by many of our classmates, housemates and Quidditch team players as we proceeded along the crowded corridors to find our compartment.
There was already a drinking dare well under way between several seventh-years, two Hufflepuffs, a Ravenclaw and a Slytherin, in one of the compartments. I had to pull Sirius back as he began to step excitedly towards them.
“Don’t even think about it!” Peter shook his head at Sirius, “Last time you were drunk on the ride to Hogwarts you drooled all over me, Padfoot!”
“Right… I guess I have to keep my wits about me tonight”
Sirius led the way down the corridors to our ‘usual’ compartment towards the end of the train. The trunks levitated above our heads as Sirius directed them. We tried to manoeuvre through the crowd which seemed simply content to stand about in the cramped corridors.
Halfway there we came to meet two of the Gryffindor team members who enthusiastically greeted us. Wade McGonagall then started chanting the infamous Gryffindor Quidditch war-cry of sorts which every Gryffindor in the vicinity soon joined in on.
“Red, Red, Red and Gold,
We brave the rain and the cold
Rise like fire, move like wind
Gryffindors will always win!”
Celebrating the start of term with confectionaries and butterbeer we greeted most of our year in our search for our compartment. Everyone seemed excited to head back after their summer away from school and looked forward to the first Quidditch match, where Gryffindors would play Hufflepuffs. There seemed to be a general consensus that Gryffindor will flatten their opposition despite the fact that we hadn’t even replaced the leavers on our team and try-outs were about a week away.
I’ll just have to live up to it I guess.
“Eurgh!” Sirius made a face at the couple snogging each other smack in the middle of the corridor. With a flick of his wand the two separated from each other and were flattened against each side of the corridor. I hurriedly took over the task of levitating the trunks as Sirius seemed to have momentarily forgotten.
“Thank you!” Sirius hissed at the younger girl with a little too much venom than necessary.
“Well that was harsh,” I said following him past the couple, but they were being inconsiderate.
“She was shamelessly chatting upto me last weekend at the Leaky Cauldron! She shouldn’t get over me so soon,” Sirius said carelessly.
I rolled my eyes, “Heaven forbid!”
He turned and shot me a glare, “It could have been meaningful, Prongs!”
When he’d turned around he’d unwittingly found himself face-to- well, tits. Camilla Cokeworth, she was a tall leggy brunette with a fit body, the kind of girl that made boys wish they’d pleaded to be housed under Hufflepuff too. She knew it and did her best to emphasise it too.
At that moment, her perky tits were dangerously close to my oaf of a mate’s nose so I kicked Sirius discreetly hoping he wouldn’t face-plant himself on said strawberry creams. Camilla blushed furiously and excused herself sliding past us. Blushing was like a reflex for them when confronted with Sirius.
And he's grinning, the idiot.
I gave him a flat look, “You were saying?”
Remus laughed at us.
“Well that’s me, isn’t it?” Sirius said reaching our familiar compartment that was already occupied by two small boys inside. Unsorted first-years-to-be by the look of it.
“Your logic is impeccable, Padfoot!” Remus swatted the back of his head and entered the compartment greeting the younger boys cordially.
Sirius grinned standing at the doorway.
“Hi” the clearly nervous first years replied timidly.
“Which house you planning on joining then?”
“Ravenclaw” said the boy on the left nodding importantly
“Umm… Hufflepuff?” the other boy said, it sounded more like a question.
Sirius smiled and rubbed his hands together.
“Well, that’s fantastic,” he stood aside clearing the doorway, “Now get out!”
The boys stared wide-eyed at him for a short second and then scrambled out as fast as they could.
“Must you be such a git?” Remus asked casually picking Archie up from his shoulder and settling down next to the window.
“Oh shut up, Motherhen” Sirius said levitating all our bags onto the luggage racks and throwing a small bar of chocolate at Remus.
“Oi, Wormtail, you coming?”
Peter hastily shook the hand of the girl he was chatting to and hauled himself over to us, waving at her once more before getting in.
Sirius and I turned to find another curvy girl leaning stepping up to the doorway, this time a Gryffindor, a year above us.
She looked at Sirius her amber eyes glowing as she bobbed on the balls of her feat. I find this particularly entertaining to watch so I settled down opposite Remus breaking off a large chunk of the chocolate he offered.
“Hey…” Sirius said stretching the word to its limit.
Haha. He doesn’t know her name.
And it’s funny.
Still nothing. Sirius smiling like an idiot.
Enjoying myself? Absolutely.
I coughed loudly and muttered “Lauren” in between.
“How are you, Lauren?” Sirius asked smoothly while I tired (and failed) to hide my grin.
“Heard you were single again!” she raised her eyebrows at him cutting straight to the point.
“How d’you hear?” he asked leaning against the doorway too. The boy is one smooth-talker I’ll give him that.
“Good news travels fast” she flipped her ginger hair smiling wider.
“Anyway I thought I might catch up with you after the feast… I might be tired too…” their voices kept dropping to almost a whisper that I was involuntarily leaning to hear more till Remus subtly kicked me in the shin. “The Prefect’s bathroom is the perfect way to have a swim and relax. Care to join?”
Mind you, this happens purely with Sirius. Nobody bothers extending such extravagant invitations to the rest of us while this sod is still alive.
Sirius looked down with a soft chuckle and peeked up at her through his hair with a lop-sided grin.
A note to the unwitting and unseasoned, this was his signature move to get a girl. With an almost unfailing success rate.
“I’m not a prefect” Sirius feigned a sigh.
“Never stopped you before,” she winked and walked away.
“I love my life,” Sirius said with a satisfied smirk that made both Remus and Peter roll their eyes.
“Really?” I asked with a nod in her direction.
“Waste not…” Sirius replied simply dropping into the empty space beside Remus.
“And what about Quinn?”
The smile slid off Sirius’s face and he frowned at me, almost as if to say I should have known better than to bring it up.
“That’s not exactly my fault is it?”
I watched him carefully. There were very few things that deeply affected Sirius; he didn’t let too many things bother him. He liked to be carefree and did his best to steer clear of worry. But I could tell this was one of them that had reached past the wall he put up.
As the train sped north the city vanishing rapidly to be replaced by stretches of countryside, we entertained more visitors and passer-bys.
The rest of our fellow Gryffindor Quidditch team mates joined us for sandwiches and after some raucous debate about the favourites to win the Quidditch World Cup in Brazil, they took their leave.
We received a few favours of thanks from fellow students Remus and I had tutored during the past year including more chocolates, a collection of Dr Fillibuster’s fireworks (always greatly appreciated) and a new set of Gobstones.
It’s sort of strange that I enjoyed teaching Transfiguration. It was my pet subject, sure, but tutoring was more Remus’s hobby, I never really had the patience for it. But I’d found that using funny examples to make others understand the complex themes behind the subject was entertaining.
“You’re brilliant James, we got you these!” said Olga and Elena Vlassov or Ollie and Ellie as they liked to be called. They pulled out a box of chocolate frogs.
“You shouldn’t have!”
Yes, you should.
Well…if you insist.
“Thanks!” I smiled. The petit Hufflepuff twins skipped off together.
“Do you ever wonder if they are share one brain?” I asked Sirius leaning against the compartment door as we watched them walk away hand in hand.
“Prongs, they’re handsome birds,” Sirius replied prodding at the box of chocolate frogs, “You’d be wise not to question beyond that. But anyway how come they bring you chocolates and if ever I help someone out of a tight spot all I get it ‘Cheers, Black!’?”
“Life isn’t fair is it?”
Sirius shook his head with a pout.
“Speaking of fair,” Sirius threw a meaningful glance behind me and I followed his gaze, “Thy fair maiden approaches.”
A clearly vexed Lily Evans stepped out of her compartment somewhat down the long corridor, wand held in one hand and looking up and down over the heads of the passing students.
I swallowed automatically. I’d been planning what to say to her the next time we met for the last two weeks. But I knew with absolute certainty that when I opened my mouth to speak to her I would completely fuck up. I always do.
Win for James Potter!
“Mate, she looks like she’s out for blood!” Sirius commented.
Mate, not helping.
“Good luck!” Sirius pulled the box of chocolates out of my hands and pushed me forward locking the compartment door behind me.
“He’s gone to chat-up Future Mrs Prongs,”
“Merlin have mercy on his soul…”
I have such supportive mates.
With a deep breath and an attitude that would prepare me for an incoming earth-shattering evil curse, I walked over to the already seemingly exasperated Lily Evans.
My hand slid nervously though my hair and then I remembered she hated that.
Fuck. This is definitely a recipe for disaster.
So Legs, I ask you, why are you still walking towards her?
The students scattered and the corridor she was marching up emptied somewhat. It was just me and her. Her eyes widened as she spotted me. So far so good.
Right, James. Speak.
The corridor I was walking along now was still full of students who were chatting about meeting with friends. In my extremely irate state I almost wanted to use my Prefect powers to yell at them to move their arses out of the corridors. But I shall refrain, because I’m such a good person!
Ow! Someone stepped on my toe.
Ok. Forget this.
“OI! Prefect coming though!” I yelled, “Anyone left fannying about in this corridor in the next five seconds will cost their house points! And I’m taking names!”
Immediately the mob dispersed and the corridor emptied.
Holy Poo! Is that Potter?
Brilliant. This is why you should never abuse Prefect powers, it immediately comes back to bite you in the arse!
Dammit he’s coming this way. Right.
I held my wand tighter and tried to make myself look taller (although if he comes up to me I’d look like a midget trying to sniff at something!)
He came over to me and opened his mouth to talk.
I swear if he’s here to rub it in my face he’ll-
No need for homicidal plans. The train gave a powerful lurch and both of us were thrown off balance. I instinctively reached for the rails on either side of the compartments and pushed my feet apart bracing myself (I say instinct, but really my body has learned after falling so many times on this bloody train.)
James- I mean- Potter wasn’t quick enough and he was thrown against the compartment beside him with his face hitting the board pushing his glasses askew and successfully shutting him up.
I wished it wasn’t considered indecent to laugh openly at times like these.
He straightened up and pulled his glasses into place just as I managed to bite down my grin.
“Great legs,” he said looking at my limbs with my feet still planted a good three feet apart.
“What?” I asked in a flat voice.
“Oh no, no!” Potter backtracked hurriedly shaking his head looking mortified, “I didn’t mean it like that. I meant great for balance… you know sturdy!”
Sturdy. What am I, a horse?
“Right.” I said absently.
“Not that they aren’t great looking, they are!” He insisted making my eyes grow, “They’re really great.” James continued to shove the rest of his foot into his mouth.
Bleeding hell! I don’t think I can take it anymore!
“I’m going stop talking now!” he said his face turning a bright red.
“I think that’s for the best!”
He didn’t meet my eyes but looked down as I detangled myself from the railing and straightened my uniform.
“Looking for someone?” he asked with a cocky grin returning to his mouth as he eyed my wand, though he was still pink in the face.
Apparently he shakes things off pretty fast. If I were him I’d live under a rock for a week!
“You, actually!” I said.
“Oh?” His eyes shot back to mine looking afraid.
“Where is your so called best-friend?” I asked gritting my teeth as my sense of purpose returned.
“Oh Merlin!” he closed his eyes pinching the bridge of his nose, “What’s he gone and done now?”
“He’s hurt my friend, that’s what! He’s an incompetent arse and a soon-to-be dead-arse at that! Where is he!?” I thundered.
James stared at me for a long moment as if I was possessed. I might have looked the part.
“Umm… she split with him.” He said slowly.
“You didn’t know that?”
Well, this is awkward! Quinn is so very dead!
“No… umm... I wasn’t aware of that part,” I mumbled to my shoes.
“Right,” he sounded amused. Urrgh.
So that’s twice I feel like an idiot in front of Potter. Fantastic start to the year, I must say.
Silence. He was staring at me, I was staring at my shoes. The awkwardness dragged on.
“Right... well, I should go!” I blurted abruptly.
“Was that it?”
“Was it what?”
“Was that all you wanted…from me?” he asked. His eyes were shining again. It did not bode well for me, those contraptions messed with my bearings.
They were darker today than when I was staring into them like a mesmerized fool in Diagon Alley, but still… they shone, the colour of good Cognac even as he faced away from the light.
I then came to the immediate realisation that this train of thought needed an abrupt and permanent end so I looked away.
“Of course it is!” I snapped somewhat viciously and stalked past him towards the back of the train.
I’d taken exactly six steps in that direction when I realised that my compartment was further up the train.
I stopped, huffed quietly and whipped around choosing to ignore Potter’s entertained smirk as I marched past him. Just as I did however, I stopped.
He shouldn’t be allowed to get away so easy.
No sir. He does not get to act like a prick and then behave like he was victimised.
‘Was that all you wanted from me Lily?’
Well up yours, Potter.
“No, you know what? No! That’s not it!” I turned around again. I felt a bit light-headed from all the spinning about.
Potter however recoiled from me in fear.
“W-what’s wrong?” he asked trying to regain his composure.
“I’m sorry Lily, we can’t friends. I don’t want to forgive you,” I imitated him in a heaving deep voice that made me sound like an asthmatic gorilla, “What are you three, Potter?” I asked scornfully.
He relaxed instantly and leaned casually against the wall of the compartment folding his arms over his chest. His smirk grew making his eyes twinkle.
“Oh… That,” he said acknowledging with a nod.
Damn you and your bloody smirk.
“Well it’s not like you meant it” he shrugged casually.
I spluttered, “What? Didn’t mean it? Why would I- ? You think I enjoy handing out apologies? Of course I meant it!”
In retrospect though, at that moment I really didn’t sound like I was trying to convince him I was sorry.
His smirk broke into a grin.
“Really?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Why did you apologise? You’ve called me a lot of worse things before, why apologise now…?”
Alright, did not see that coming.
Definitely not prepared for this.
“You know what? Just let it be, this is utterly useless” I made to move past him but he leaned away from the compartment wall and blocked my path.
My eyes snapped up to his. He was staring resolutely into mine. I glared back.
“I really want to know,” he said softly. We were close enough for me to hear it even over the rumbling of the train.
Before I could even think of what to say or how to say it, my mouth had opened and the confession begun.
“I say things carelessly sometimes. It’s because you aggravate me and we both know I don’t mean half of it. But I was upset that day, and not with you. What I said, I said out of contempt,” – gulp- “but I meant it…” my breath came out in a soft gasp as the realisation of what I just said hit me…
He looked pained suddenly as if it surprised him to hear it as much as it did for me to say it. As if it actually affected him.
“I… I mean I meant it at the time, but I don’t anymore…” I amended hurriedly looking up at him hoping that he’d see it in me and believe it.
I don’t just say mean things to people. Sure I think it sometimes (but I don’t mean it) and someone would argue that it’s just as bad, but I was not a bad person. This wouldn’t be making me feel so sick if I was.
James said nothing, but simply stared back at me with an unreadable expression, something close to… curiosity?
Not a single muscle twitched on his seemingly perfect young face as he watched me in silence. Silence which pulled me into a reverie…
My dream had been remarkably accurate, the same straight nose, the gentle curve of his lower lip, the sharp angle of his jaw… the eyes, eyes I’d never much observed before. They were warm honey-coloured at the centre spreading softly to the chestnut-brown edge. It was almost like- …
Hold the phone. What am I doing?
Shit. Shit. Shit!
I blinked. It seemed to break both our hold on each other. He blinked too but still continued to stare at me.
“I don’t wish you didn’t exist!” I reiterated.
Really Lily, just shut up already!
“I just said that because at that time I wanted to believe that you were the reason… Sev- Snape… became who he is.” I swallowed, “You’re not… No one is. No one except him.”
Now all you need to do is to tell him how amazing you think his eyes are and your work here is done. Idiot.
He still said nothing. Awkward.
I waited, hoping he’d smile, hoping that cocky grin would come back, hoping he’d say that it was ok… that he forgave me.
The train gave another horrible rattle and this time I lost my balance and was thrown forward. You remember what was forward right?
Several things registered in my brain in lighting fast succession.
My knees hit his as mine buckled.
His warm breath gushed into my face in surprise as I collided into him.
Strong hands held my waist securely pulling me up against him.
I felt his belt buckle gnaw into my stomach through my shirt.
My elbow rested in the crook of his arm.
I had a fistful of his shirt clenched in my hand.
My eyes never left his…
And there it was. The smile I’d been waiting for to grant me relief.
I gulped nervously. There had to be a line I was crossing here. This wasn’t right…
He pulled me closer to him. I let out a pathetic whimper that only made his smile stretch. He leaned forward…
Oooooh no… No.
It was like my eyes were glued to his. I couldn’t look away. He brushed past my cheek and chuckled quietly in my ear.
“You’ve convinced me. I believe you.”
Both of us turned sharply. What could be worse than this, you may wonder.
It’s a third year who stepped out of her compartment and saw all of it!
I shoved James- umm- Potter roughly off me with a mighty push as the third-year gave a squeal and disappeared back into her compartment.
“Fantastic!” I gestured in her general direction. This would be trouble.
My head was still swirling. Possibly, the adrenaline gush from the almost-fall. I pulled on my shirt and straightened my skirt with my back to him.
When I turned around he was smirking.
The idiot was smirking at me.
I shook my head loathingly my whole face darkening in anger and decided he wasn’t even worth my time.
“Don’t!” I threatened as he made to open his mouth and walked right past him, stomping murderously down the corridor.
“Oh come on, Evans!” He laughed openly. “I think we just had a moment!”
“Piss off, Potter!” I snarled as I reached my compartment, shoving the door open roughly and walked in.
And so it begins.
A/N: So Lily… You may have noticed she has a bit of a potty-mouth. I like this side of her because I was a bit tired of Goody-two-shoes Lilys. My imagining of her is different. I think she had her wits about her and a glossary of bad language to back her threats.
As always reviews are highly appreciated and worth ten times their weight in goblin gold.
Like it? Hate it? How do you feel about ' the moment'?
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