Quidditch Captains and Passwords
Although Lily joined in with the gossip for the rest of the train ride, she found herself drifting away every so often. Jade was currently debating who her next target would be. She was lying on her back on the seats, her long blonde hair flowing around her, gesturing wildly with her hands as she spoke. Anna was trying her hardest to pretend she was paying attention, but was sneaking glances down at her copy of Witch Weekly whenever she thought Jade wasn’t looking. Thankfully, Jade was too happy to talk regardless of whether or not she had an audience, so Lily was free to think about other things.
There was something about the way that James had dealt with the prefects that made her hope he had indeed finally grown up. He hadn’t been his usual arrogant self, but had politely explained what was expected of the prefects and what support the heads would give them in return.
She had long hated him, and knew her friends were sometimes a little less than supportive of their vendetta. Jade was sometimes overly dramatic, but she did complain Lily was dragging this feud out a little too long. Well, thought Lily, he has always deserved it. It wasn’t Jade that James repeatedly bugged, it wasn’t Jade that James had asked out on a weekly basis. He would normally have asked her out as a ‘welcome back to school’ present, but instead had treated her indifferently. Lily did not understand.
The train pulled to a halt in Hogsmeade station, and Lily performed her head girl duties on auto pilot, escorting people up to the castle and the like. It was whilst she was sitting in the horseless carriage that she realised how irresponsible she was being – this was a role which required her full attention. She inwardly cursed James for distracting her.
Dinner was the usual start of year spectacular feast, and after delivering the newly sorted Gryffindors to their tower, she made her way to the head dormitory. Outside the portrait guarding the entrance to the dormitory she paused.
“Dillygrout,” she whispered to the little old man seated in it. The portrait swung forward to admit her. Inside she found herself in a cosy little common room. The décor was the same as the Gryffindor tower; red and gold drapes with big, red sofas and there was a blazing fire burning in the grate. As was often seen in the Gryffindor common room, four boys were huddled round the fire whispering excitedly.
Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black were James Potter’s fellow seventh year boys. It was rare that one Marauder was seen without the other three, except of course, for when they were in separate detentions. Lily hesitated for a moment then stepped forward and seated herself on the floor next to Remus, who she figured was the safest of the four.
For a moment, no one spoke. Then Peter did, “I’m going to bed,” he squeaked nervously. At the portrait hole he paused, letting Jade and Anna enter.
James raised his eyebrows, “Is the head girl giving out the password?” he inquired.
Lily glared at him, before asking Sirius if James had told him the password.
Sirius shifted uncomfortably, before admitting that all four of the Marauders knew the password. For some reason this did not bother Lily as much as it would have. James seemed to realise this too, for he grinned and glanced at Sirius who was also grinning.
Remus, who had been quiet until now said, “Come on, Prongs,” with a warning glance at James.
Anna wisely changed the subject then, “So James, I hear you got captain too.”
Sirius and James were part of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, along with Jade. Anna enjoyed Quidditch, although she had no desire to be on the team, preferring instead to watch from the stands with Lily.
“Good job,” said Lily, and turning to Anna and Jade, added, “Did you hear Ian Richards got Ravenclaw captain?”
They both nodded and pretended to swoon, fanning their faces. James, who had gone silent during this exchange, rolled his eyes, and said to Sirius and Remus, “Good for Richards, Liu Chang got Hufflepuff captain. Now that
is worth writing home about!”
Now it was Remus’ turn to roll his eyes, while Sirius exclaimed, “Damn!” They joked crudely about taking her for a ride on their broomsticks before realising that the girls had stood up and Jade and Anna were making their way out of the room.
Lily was in her room, contemplating having a shower before bed rather than unpacking when there was a knock at the door. “Come in,” she called.
James entered, looking rather nervous, which was in quite a contrast to his usual cocky self. He perched on her desk chair and turned to look at her, “Lily, I know this is the last thing you want, me being head boy, but I have matured a lot lately. I am going to work really hard not to mess this up because I believe I can be a good head boy.”
Lily was unsure of how to respond to this speech, sat on the side of her bed before deciding on, “So why the big change, James?”
James opened his mouth to say something, but then abruptly stood up and left. At the door he paused, his hand lingering on the frame. Without looking back at her, he quietly said, “Goodnight, Lily.”
Lily stayed sat on the edge of her bed for a few moments longer, before deciding on a quick shower before bed. She stripped off and stepped under the warm water. As it washed over her, she pondered on what James was so reluctant to tell her. For a brief second she entertained the idea that he was no longer interested in her. She made a mental note to ask Jade and Anna about it when she saw them at breakfast.
After her shower, she dutifully went through her cleansing routine and took a few minutes to brush out her gleaming red hair. As she did so, she idly wondered how she would wear it tomorrow. She knew it looked best left loose and as she had just dried it, it would need some management in the morning after being slept on.
The house elves had opened a window so there was a cool silence drifting in as she lay in bed. There was always a certain anxiety before the first day of lessons she found, which made it harder to sleep. A short while later, she heard a door close gently and realised James had only just gone to bed. Somewhere between wondering what he had been doing and what she wanted for breakfast, she fell asleep.