James by HoneyDukesKid01 @tda!!
I'd always promised my grandmother that I would never slouch. It's bad for your spine, bad for your neck and bad for your posture. Proper ladies do not slouch- proper ladies hold their heads high. Only ugly people and boys slouch. At least that's what she used to tell me.
Sometimes I wondered if she was making it up just to scare me into sitting up straight.
"You'll get a hunched back!" she would croak, waving her cane at me. My eyes would widen as I imagined a sixty year old me wandering around the streets of London with a hunched back.
But then I became a witch and just assumed that if my back hunched I could zap it straight again. But, as I've come to learn, magic can not erase everything.
For example, it can not erase this parasite in the seat beside me.
If Potter fakes dead one more time, I swear to Merlin that I'm going to Avada him.
"Breathe, Lily," Liv instructed. "You're eye is twitching."
"Just go," I told her too calmly that it must have sounded fairly suspicious.
She looked from me to Potter- who was sprawled out on his chair with his head lolled to the side and mouth agape- and then back to me.
"Is that really a good idea?"
"Less witnesses, the better," I muttered, slouching further in my chair.
Sorry Nanna- slouching is necessary. It relieves stress and helps me calm down when I'm angry.
Liv shot us one last wary look before disappearing around the corner of the hallway. Potter 'woke up' from his fake-death and sat up straight, shoving his hands in his pockets and stretching his legs in front of him.
"So, why do you reckon they're so keen on us seeing a couples counselor?" he asked.
I stared at the wall, clenching my jaw.
"Careful, Evans. First of all, you trying to burn a hole in the wall? Secondly, you didn't answer my question."
I let out a long breath through my nose. "First of all, it's not a couple's counselor, it's just a general counselor; and secondly, shut the hell up before I shut you up."
Potter ruffled his hair. "You can shut me up any day you like, Red," he told me with a suggestive wink.
I made a noise of disgust in the back of my throat before turning back to stare at the wall. Anything to avoid looking at/talking to Potter right now. I was in one of those moods where I just wanted to hit him in the face, but I couldn't risk detention. Dumbledore would be so disappointed in me.
One brick… two bricks… five bricks… seven bricks… hello tiny crack in the wall… hello warp in the stone surface… hello inappropriate graffiti… hello-
"Potter, get out of the way!" I cried, shoving his face out of my line of sight.
"Geez, if you wanted to touch me, Evans, you could have just asked," he said with a grin. "What are you so focused on, anyway?" Potter peered at the wall too and I ignored him completely.
Now, where was I before his ugly head blocked my view? That's right...
Hello weird bug… hello spiderweb… hello window pane… hello forgotten textbook on the window pane… hello-
"You may come in now," a voice called.
I sighed and grudgingly entered the small office room, Potter trailing behind me. The room was fairly small and cozy, with a mahogany desk in the center, two chairs in front of it. Under the desk was a deep blue rug, over the top of wooden floorboards. All kinds of eclectic pictures decorated the walls.
I stared at the lady sitting at the desk and she stared at me. Didn't move, didn't speak, just stared. Potter took a seat and also turned to stare at me expectantly. This just got awkward.
Yep. There's a whole lot of staring going on right now. I shoved my hands in the pockets of my robe and rocked back and forth on my feet awkwardly.
Not uncomfortable at all
"Take a seat, Miss Evans," the woman said, "or would you rather I call you Lily?"
"Lily, please," I responded, sitting down. I was about to slide the chair as far way from Potter as I could but then I realized how childish that would look, and we can not have the psychiatrist thinking I'm the immature one.
"Lily it is then." She smiled before turning to Potter. "And would you prefer Mr Potter or James?"
"I think Lord Potter or Mighty Potter would suffice if-"
I sent him a harsh glare and he quickly changed his mind.
"-James will be fine."
There was a moment of silence where the woman at the desk raised an eyebrow at me, like I was a child who'd been caught misbehaving.
"You both may call me Claire. I am a behavioral counselor- Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall felt it necessary to call in someone from outside the school to help the two of you resolve your problems with each other. But before we begin, let me say that this is a safe place. What is said in this room does not leave these walls. We do not judge each other and there are no wrong answers."
I raised my hand, biting my lip.
"Lily, it isn't necessary to raise your hand to speak, we're not in the classroom."
I blushed, embarrassed. "How do I know for sure that what's said in here won't be repeated?"
Claire smiled and folded her hands on her desk. "I have spoken to the Headmaster and he has given me permission to cast a spell ensuring that anything revealed in here literally can not be spoken about without permission of all those involved. But it is only if you feel this is necessary," Claire said.
I nodded quickly. "I think you should cast the spell."
She turned to Potter. "And you, James? Do you agree to this?"
Potter shrugged and winked at me. I recoiled to the other side of my chair and he rolled his eyes, still smiling. "If Evans wants to do it, I'm up for it."
"Then it's settled," Claire said with a nod. According to her instructions, Potter and I had to join hands. I let my mind wander to it's happy place while she waved her wands over our joint hands and cast the spell. "All done, now let's start this session!"
She has too much excitement in her voice.
"Alright, I have a question for the both of you! Ladies first?" Claire said, clasping her hands together on her desk. "Do you know why Professor McGonagall organized these sessions for you? And remember; there are no wrong answers!"
I pretended to think about it for a minute. "Um… because Potter is an idiot and the world hates me?"
What happened to no wrong answers?! I raised an eyebrow at Claire, surprised at her bluntness.
"Is it because we can't seem to control our passion when we're together?" Potter suggested and I fought the urge to gag.
"Very good James," Claire said with a nod. I tried not to laugh at how messed up this whole situation was. Surely I was dreaming. "Lily appears to have much pent up aggression and hostility towards you James, which you don't seem to return. Am I correct?"
We both nodded.
"And as a result, the two of you seem to… clash, as they say?"
We nodded again.
I hope she doesn't keep asking us a lot or else my neck will begin to hurt.
"Lily, can you tell me when this anger towards James first appeared?"
Oh joy, this is my very favorite story to tell. (Yes I am, in fact, being sarcastic.) I absolutely hate when people ask me why Potter and I don't get along. As if it needs explaining! My friends enjoy frequently reminding me that 'he's not too bad if you take him in small doses
' and 'maybe you should give him a break. He has been pining after you for years!
' Well that right there is the problem.
"It all began at the end of first year when he had the nerve to ask me out in front of everyone in the Great Hall at dinner."
Claire raised an eyebrow and James cringed at the memory. "That doesn't seem too bad. Surely that wasn't all that has caused your feud?"
"She dumped a bowl of pudding on my head," James volunteered.
I turned to glare at him. "After you tried to kiss me without my permission!"
He shrugged as though it was no big deal. "I thought you would wanted to. I was hot."
"You were eleven!"
He ran a hand through his hair and turned to smirk at me. "What are you trying to say, Evans? Now that I'm sixteen you think I'm hot?"
"For the love of Merlin no!
Can I leave yet?" I asked, turning to Claire.
"Unfortunately no. However, I would like to hear about what happened after you dumped the pudding on James's head."
I sighed and slouched in my chair. Ahh, can always count on a good old slouch.
I sat bolt upright suddenly, wide eyes staring at the wall as I thought. What has gotten into me? Since when am I the childish, annoying, rude one? Usually Potter is the student giving the teacher grief and replying with stupid, sarcastic remarks and starting fights.
But look at me now; I'm snapping at authority figures, interrupting teachers, tying idiots to chairs and trying to hex them, getting detentions, telling my life story to a Merlindamn counseller, and I'm slouching.
Am I, Lily Evans, becoming a rebel
"I feel sick," I said to Claire.
Oh, and apparently I'm lying too. Let's add that to the list as well.
"Do you need to go to the hospital wing?" Claire asked.
"You seemed fine a minute ago," Potter pointed out suspiciously and I bit my tongue to stop myself from snapping at him.
"Yes please," I said in reply to Claire, ignoring Potter completely.
She nodded and stood up, heading to the door and placing her hand on the handle. "I suppose we can cut this session short for today. After all, you both have a detention to get to later tonight and I don't think Professor McGonagall would appreciate having to reschedule."
I nodded and stood up, wrapping my arms around my stomach for effect as Claire pulled the door open. "Thank you," I said to her with a nod.
There, that's more like the Lily Evans I know.
"Come on- you missed dinner! Don't tell me you're not hungry, either," Marly said, pulling me by the arm, despite my protests.
There is no way I was going to go with her and risk another detention. My record and reputation have already been tarnished by my detentions and counseling sessions with Potter; I refuse to destroy it even more by adding another offense to the list.
"But I'm not hungry," I lied. As if on cue, my stomach growled loudly. I sighed. That's always the way, I suppose.
Marly raised an eyebrow at me and I shrugged.
"Get over yourself and come with me!"
"Marly, if we were supposed to be in the kitchens, the professors would have told us how to get there!" I told her, finally giving in and looking both ways before walking with her. "Speaking of, how do you even know where that place is?"
She shrugged. "I'm friends with Remus, who is friends with James and Sirius."
That explains so much. Trust the Marauders to snoop out the hidden location of food preparation in this huge, enchanted castle.
I groaned, checking again to make sure we weren't being followed by any professors or fellow prefects.
"I'm gonna lose my prefect badge for sure, maybe even be sent to Azkaban if I break anymore rules," I muttered under my breath.
Marly rolled her eyes and stopped at the end of the corridor. "I give you," she announced, brandishing her arms wide, "the kitchens!"
I stared blankly at the wall in front of me, which was just that- a wall. Not even one of those enchanted one's like at Kings Cross. The only semi-special thing about this wall was the painting of a fruit bowl. And it wasn't even a very good painting.
"Um… is this some kind of joke?"
Marly sighed and shoved past me. She scratched at the pear in the painting until it suddenly became a three-dimensional handle. This handle allowed the painting to be pulled open like a door, revealing a warm, bustling room.
Okay, so maybe it wasn't just a wall, but I'm allowed to be wrong once in a while.
I followed Marly into the kitchen, closing the painting behind me. I raised my eyebrows, looking around. This place was huge- about the size of the great hall. There were long tables covered in trays of different kinds of food, cupboards lining the walls, and something that looked suspiciously like a huge wood-oven on the opposite end. The air was warm and thick and held a faint aroma of chocolate chip cookies.
"Hello Misses, how may Qwerty help you?"
Oh my Merlin, what is that thing?
I automatically stepped away from the house-elf. I mean, I obviously know what they are- I've read all about them- but until now, I'd never seen one in real life. In all the books I'd seen about them, there were this cute little illustrations of skinny creatures with big heads and doe eyes, wearing potato sacks or pillow cases.
This thing in front of me was not cute.
Qwerty, as it called itself, was scrawny with green-grey skin, bulging and watery eyes, a thin layer of slime or saliva around it's mouth, and sharp, vicious looking little fangs lining it's mouth.
I'm not usually one to judge, so I automatically felt bad for thinking this elf was so ugly and calling it an 'it' rather than 'he' or 'she'. But I guess it's kind of hard to tell the gender.
"Can we have some cookies?" Marly asked it.
Qwerty nodded excitedly. "We just baked a batch now, miss. You take a seats and Qwerty will bring you cookies." The elf pointed to a table nearby which was already occupied. The boys at the table looked up and waved when they recognized us.
Marly waved back but I just stood with my arms folded, staring at the floor.
"Marly, you have to see this," Remus said, holding up this morning's Prophet. "You too, Lily."
If any of the others had suggested it, I would have accused it of being a ploy to get us to sit with them, but Remus had a sort of seriousness in his tone.
The front page of the Prophet was covered in tiny print and moving pictures as usual, however today's headlines were much more important than the usual story about the minister.
MUGGLEBORN DEATH-TOLL RISES
I briefly skimmed the story, understanding that more Muggleborns had been found dead in their homes last week. There were not many details, only that the Ministry had reason to believe that You-Know-Who and his Death Eaters were behind it.
"He needs to be stopped," Sirius said, slamming his hand on the table.
James nodded in agreement. "If I were there, in that house with the Muggleborns or even on the street and he came to attack someone, I would fight him. I would send every single curse I knew at him and-"
"No, you wouldn't."
Everyone turned to stare at me.
"You say that now, that you would fight back, but you wouldn't. After all, you're just a boy in the school kitchens, talking big."
Potter crossed his arms. "And how do you
know that, Evans? I would fight him."
I laughed incredulously. "And then what? Let him kill you? Lie there on the floor, completely paralyzed and watch while they hurt your friends and family? Let him torture you until you're begging for death? Go ahead, take your pick Potter."
Remus, Peter and Marly were watching us intently, however you can always count on Sirius Black to add his two cents into every conversation.
"You know what, Evans? We would be willing to do that as long as it meant Voldemort would be defeated."
I cringed at the way he freely used his name.
"It's true," Potter said, looking directly at me. "After all, we're Gryffindors and Gryffindors are-"
"Yeah, brave; but not stupid.
And you'd be stupid to think you could even stand a chance against someone with so much power!"
We were silent for a moment, tension thick in the air. Sirius scrutinized my face, his eyebrows slightly raised. "You know what, Evans? I think you've been spending too much time around Snivellus."
Anger pulsed through me. How dare he? I fought the urge to hit him and instead turned to Marly, taking a deep breath. "I'm not hungry. I'm leaving."
Before anyone could say anything else, I turned on my heel and stalked out of the kitchen, careful to check that the coast was clear the whole way back to Gryffindor tower.
I swear Sirius Black is a A-Grade arse.