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Chapter 6 : The Ball
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Finally it was the long anticipated night. James and I as well as the other helpers had finally finished setting up for the ball with half an hour to spare.
“Thanks so much for your help everyone! Now off you all go! Get ready and most importantly have fun tonight!!!” I yelled out as everyone left the great hall, beaming at their handy work.
“Good job Lils” James said winking at me.
“Good job yourself” I replied smiling “This place looks amazing!”
“Meh it was your idea, I just hung a few streamers... and candles.... and lanterns.... and you know just set up plates and stuff for nearly every Hogwarts student ha ha”
“You should be getting ready too; you’ve got half an hour to wash that hair of yours!” I said sticking out my tongue. He grabbed his hair in fake shock.
“Noooo!!! I’m turning into Severus the slime ball!!!” He croaked. I laughed.
“Go on I’ll meet you down here later, see if you can find me!” I laughed running from the hall.
I looked at myself in the full length mirror. It had been a while since I’d wore my dress; I’d worn it to my friend Jessica’s sister’s wedding. I smiled to myself. You look good. I told myself. I was so far fashionably late to my own ball, but for once I didn’t mind in the slightest.
“James? You still here?” I called down the staircase. No answer. Brilliant he’d left already. I snuck my way down to the great hall and stood off to the side of the doors and peaked inside. The ball was in full swing, people were dancing and laughing and there were even a few couples snogging.
Well Lily here’s your time to shine I guess.
I boldly took a step around the corner and made my way into the hall. A few people looked up at me and then glanced back down. I scanned my audience for James and the other marauders. I spotted them almost instantly. I also almost broke out into laughter. Each of them had an animal mask, Remus a wolf, Peter some kind of rodent, Sirius a black dog and last but not least James as a deer.
I wandered over to them and snuck up behind Remus.
“I know the secret to behind the mask....” I whispered in his ear. He jumped sky high.
“Lily! Fucking hell you scared the crap out of me!” He yelped.
“Sorry Remus, I couldn’t help it” I laughed. Sirius’s eyes grew wide.
“Evans?!” He stuttered.
“Yes Black?” I asked amused.
“You look bloody fantastic! Like... Hot!”
“Ha ha well that was what I was trying to get at”
“He’s right Lils you look amazing” James smiled behind his mask.
“Thanks” I blushed. Why am I bloody blushing just because he compliments me?? Thank Merlin for this mask.
Just when I was starting to really enjoy my night low and behold over came Severus. He wasn’t even wearing a mask, or dress robes for that matter.
“Lily!” He shouted.
“What do you want now Sev?” I asked choking back tears. I felt James hand move to the small of my back.
“How many times do I have to say I’m sorry until you forgive me? I’m sick and tired of this!” He hissed.
“You can say it as many times as you want Severus. I’ve already ‘forgiven’ you. That doesn’t mean I can just forget about it and things go back to the way they were. It doesn’t work like that! You made a choice and I made mine.” I replied standing my ground.
“And your choice was to start hanging with this bunch of Muppets?! I remember you avoiding them once upon a time! Or have you managed to forget that one? You’ll start dating Potter next!” He spat.
“Yes I have actually. That was back when I was just as blind as you, sorry for finally coming to my senses unlike you. I have true friends that care about me. What have you got Sev? And if I feel like dating James, or Sirius or Remus or even Peter then I will! It’s none of your business. Now I strongly suggest you take you greasy head back to your dorm before I have someone escort you out. Seeing as you have not risen to the occasion and got involved in wearing dress robes or a mask.”
He just stood there in absolute stunned silence. It was now that I realised most of the hall was looking at us and that’d I’d been shouting. Suddenly some random student began to clap, then another and another; until the whole hall was a sea of applause.
“May I have this dance?” Remus asked over my shoulder.
“Of course” I said, taking his hand and letting him lead me to the dance floor. Where we began my first dance of defiance.
“That was very well done” He whispered as the other students returned to their own celebrations.
“Thanks, I thought I wasn’t going to get it all out for a moment there.” I admitted.
“Well I think you did fantastically, apparently so did everyone else.” He smiled and I smiled back.
“Mind If I steal her Moony?” Said Sirius bounding over.
“Do you mind Lily? I shook my head and gladly went into Sirius’s arms and he tried to slow dance me around the room.
“Da da de de dum, dum dum dum, da da dad a dum” He sang as he swung me around. I laughed.
“You’re a little off there Sirius!” I laughed.
“And? Who cares?” He replied continuing his song and dance. He only stopped for food; when dinner magically appeared on the tables thanks to the house elves.
Next it was Peter’s turn to dance with me, he too stopped when he heard professor Dumbledore's voice ring out.
“First years, second years and third years... I’m afraid your time is almost over as it is five minutes to ten. You have one last dance with your partners. But as by request of Miss Evans and Mr Potter: you must now reveal your selves by taking off your masks. That is only the first to third years. I hope you’ve had a wonderful evening. Now let’s give Miss Evans and Mister Potter a tremendous applause for this night” He beamed as the younger students revealed themselves and began to clap.
I sat on the side for a while, watching them dance then depart. A few other students asked me to dance but I declined. I was content watching the rest of the hall for a while. Plus my feet hurt. The headmaster said the same again at five minutes to eleven for the fourth to sixth years; to remove their masks for their final dance. After the last of them left he spoke again.
“Well my dear seventh years you are alone at last. Literally. The other professors and I will be leaving you to it. So I ask only that you behave and listen to your hosts Miss Evans and Mr Potter. I hope that you have had a pleasant evening. Good night, sleep well.” And with that he and the other members of staff departed, the lights dimming as they did so.
“I never knew they were going to do that.”I said as James sat beside me.
“I did, I asked them after you left the hall earlier, I thought us older students could do with some more ‘privacy’ and ‘trust as we are now expected to behave like adults” He smiled.
“Nice” I replied smiling, leaning my head against his shoulder.
“Feet sore?” He asked. I nodded.
“A little, I haven’t worn heals for a while” I admitted rubbing my feet.
“Do you think you could spare me a dance if you took them off?” He asked calmly.
“Me? Dance in bare feet?!” I asked.
“Yup, come on I can dance in my socks.” And with that he stripped of his shoes and held out his hand. I slipped out of my heels and graciously took it.
“So? Is this your final dance of defiance for Severus?” He asked as we began to sway.
“What’d you mean?”
“He’s been sulking all night sitting on the staircase outside the hall. A couple of prefects escorted him out earlier but he refused to move from there. I think Slughorn even had to go out to deal with him.
“Oh bollocks” I sighed. He chuckled.
“Don’t let old Severus get you down, relax and have fun. This is your night Lils.”
“Our” I replied, he raised his eyebrows.
“It’s our night James. Yours and mine. We created this thing, together.” He grinned.
“Yea I guess you’re right”
I took in his appearance; he wore long black dress robes and a black dress shirt. I had to admit he did look rather nice. I dropped my head onto his shoulder and closed my eyes as we continued to sway. I felt the rise and fall of his breathing and the beating of his heart. It was so calming I swore I could have just fallen asleep. That is if he hadn’t started whispering in my ear after a while.
“Lils?” He whispered softly. I hummed.
“We’re friends right? Like good friends?” I hummed again.
“Well... do you ever wonder what would of happened if I hadn’t of pulled my head in? If I was still a complete and utter arse?” I smiled.
“I believe I mostly called you toe rag. Well sometimes, but now that I look back I think I still like the old James Potter as much as I like this one. And I like this one a lot.” I smiled up at him and noticed there were small droplets of water falling from his mask. Tears.
“You really think that?” He sniffed.
“Of course” I replied catching the droplets with my thumb and wiping his eyes.
“Well then, seeing as it’s almost midnight... Can I ask you something?”
“Well I was wondering... now that I’m not such a toe rag, or arrogant, or bigheaded or all those other things and we’re friends... could we start trying to be well... more... than just friends?”
I felt heat travel all through my body as I watched the last of his words escape his mouth. Butterflies began to work themselves up in my stomach. It was at that moment that I finally realised and let myself believe... I wanted to be more than friends with James Potter. The same James Potter that had badgered me to go out with him every day for years. The same James Potter that had run me ragged and irritated the life out of me. The same James Potter that was always there to comfort me and hold me when I cried. No matter how harsh I had been with him. The same James Potter who accepted me for who I was.
I took of my mask that I had spent so much time on and let it drop to the floor. Then I did the same to his. I cupped my palm around his face and whispered softly.
“What do you think?”
He slid one hand into my hair and left the other at the small of my back. His hazel eyes gleamed as he leaned in and closed them, capturing my lips in a soft kiss.
I kissed back softly, the butterflies in my stomach raged and I felt all the heat rush to my heart. He pulled away and smiled.
“I take that as a yes?”
“Yes James.” I said kissing him again as the clock struck midnight. I was vaguely aware of people watching us but I didn’t care. I heard Sirius somewhere wolf whistle and James pulled me in closer then tipped me back dramatically, the remaining seventh years burst into another round of applause as we broke apart.
If I hadn’t been blushing before I certainly was now. I cleared my throat and addressed them.
“Well ladies and gentleman as you know it is now midnight and the ball is over. Please make your way to your appropriate dorms. For all those who volunteered clean up of the hall begins at 9am, there will be a late breakfast so don’t worry you’ll still get to sleep in. Other than that good night and we hope you had fun!” They cheered and clapped again as they left the hall.
“Once again nicely done Lily” Remus smiled giving me a hug.
“You bloody snogged Evans!” Sirius yelled pouncing on James as they both fell backward.
“Haven’t you heard Padfoot? I’m his girlfriend now!”
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