Absolutely gorgeous chapter image by HoneyDukesKid01 @TDA
"Oh, Merlin, your sister is really horrible!" I don't know how I end up joking around with Lily Evans. We finish with the homework rather quickly - Lily is amazing at Charms and she is equally amazing at explaining things. I understand everything she tells me from the first time and write my essay in a record speed. For me, anyway.
"I know!" Lily says and throws the letter from her sister on the table. "She used to be really nice, and I suppose she still is, just not to me." She looks kind of sad but she obviously doesn't want to dwell much on it. "Still, I hoped she'd get over this silly grudge."
I sigh. "She doesn't sound like that kind of person. And from what you've told me, I think she has a serious case of jealousy."
Lily purses her lips, knowing I'm right. "Well, at least she invited me to her wedding." She says, deciding to look on the bright side. "that's something."
Lily sighs and stretches out on the couch. "I'm so tired." She moans. "And I have to patrol after dinner as well. Being a Head Girl is not all it's cracked up to be."
"You seem to be fairing well enough with all the reponsibility. Merlin knows I would have cracked by now." I shake my head. The thought of me ever being the Head Girl is just laughable.
"Believe me, sometimes I do want to return the badge to Professor Dumbledore and give up. But I've never been a fan of the easy way out, so I never really do it. Besides, I might complain from time to time but handling all this responsibility has helped me mature a lot. It's very character-building experience."
I smirk slightly. "And by maturing a lot, do you mean finally opening your eyes and seeing what's right in front of you? You and James do seem very.. friendly
with each other lately."
Lily's cheeks flush red and I jump excitedly. "So you do like him! Admit it!"
Lily glances at the door to our right and shakes her head. "Not here." She murmures. She stands up and starts shoving books in her bag. "Let's go in my room."
"Okay." The entrance opens slightly and the room fills with boisterous male laughter. The Marauders have arrived. Lily grabs the two remaining books and runs towards her room. She throws the door open and disappears inside and I follow her quickly.
I stop once I'm inside and look around. The walls are forest green and the large four poster bed has velvet, olive green hangings matching the quilt. There's a desk covered with books, parchment and magazines and above it, there is a bulletin board covered with moving and non-moving pictures of friends and family. There's a dresser next to the desk, two bedside tables at either side of the bed, a tall full-height mirror close to the large window, and a large bookcase taking most of the left wall.
"It's very beautiful." I breathe. I'll like to be a Head just to get to sleep in a room like this.
Lily grins widely as she jumps on her bed. "I totally lied about all the reponsibility. The only reason I'm still a Head Girl is because I get this room all for myself."
I laugh startedly at Lily's joke and shake my head. There is more to Lily Evans then I orignally thought. I drop my bag on Lily's desk and look curiously at the pictures on the bulletin board. I blink in surprise when I see that I'm on one of them. It's in first year, before we devided into groups. We are seating on the couches around the fire in the common room, smiling widely. I'm lying on the laps of Lily, Alice and Nina, while Marlene and Mary are curled up together on the squashy sofa opposite of us. Catalina Lancastar is sitting indian style on the only armchair, two fingers raised in the air with her signature cheery smile on her face
I frown slightly, remembering the cheerful girl. She's been dead for about two years now. She and her family were one of the first ones to be killed by Voldemort when he went officially public with his intentions of wiping out everyone who isn't a pureblood.
She never really picked a side and she was friends with everyone. We all loved her because she brought such peace to everybody with her loving nature. We were all understandably devastated when we learned about her death.
"I miss her too." Lily says, suddenly appearing next to me. I nod and swallow back the lump in my throat. Catalina is on a few other pictures and there's even two where she's alone. One is just after we finished with our OWLs, I know because Catalina dyed her hair magenta in celebration, while the other is taken before she even started Hogwarts because she looks around seven or eight. "Her grandmother gave me that one." She says with a sad smile. "A really nice woman."
"I bet." I look away and walk over to Lily's bed. I plop on the top of it, kick off my shoes and cross my legs much in the same way Cathy used to. Lily joins me a moment later and we stay silent for a couple of minutes.
"So, you were going to tell me about Potter." I enjoy the way her cheeks flush red again and lean against the headboard comfortably. "Do tell, Lily."
Lily mumbles something and grabs a cushion, shoving it in front of her face. I laugh loudly and kick her thigh lightly. "Come on, I'm not going to tell, I swear."
Lily looks carefully at me, and I can see the internal battle she's having inside of her.I can't blame her for being so cautious but at same time, I want to patch things up between us. I really like spending time with her and she's something of a breath of fresh air. I mean, if you've been best friends with Nina Roberts for six years, someone like Lily Evans is certainly a welcome change.
"It's not that I like him.." She says finally, lowering the cushion. She rests her head on it and sighs (somewhat dreamily, might I add). I give her a look which plainly says 'who are you trying to fool here, woman? Me or yourself?' and she caves in. "Fine, I might, kind of, sort of like him a little bit. But just a little bit."
"Suuure." I nod mock-seriously. Lily chucks her cushion at me but with my trained Quidditch reflexes I catch it and put it behind my head to make myself more comfortable. "So, did he kiss you?"
Lily shakes her head, actually looking kind of disappointed. "Nope, nothing of that sort. He's been kind of.. restrained this year, actually. He has asked me out only once and he was just teasing, if anything. But he's been remarkably nice and mature and although he does slip to his past arrogant attitude sometimes, now I think of it only as endearing rather than annoying. I don't know what's happening to me!" She says the last sentence in a whiny voice, looking pleadingly up at me.
"Well, I think you just swam out of the deep pool of denial." I say sagely, tapping a finger to my chin. "and I also think you want to jump James Potter's bones, amogst other things."
Lily slaps my thigh and I let out an 'ouch' inbetween my laughter. Lily's face is redder then her hair, nearly reaching the colour of my own hair, and her green eyes are filled with indignation and embarrassment.
"You have such a pure mind." I coo. "It's about time someone corrupts you, dear."
"And it just has to be you." She says, rolling her eyes playfully.
"Well, who else? I promise that the process of corruption of one's mind is always enjoyable. Everything is funnier when you have dirty mind. You might go through some mental scarring but nothing too life-changing. It is an excellent character-building experience." She sticks her tongue out at me when I repeat her own words but grins anyway.
"Fine." She flips over so she is now lying on her back and checks the time on her beautiful silver wristwatch. "Dinner starts in ten minutes."
I groan and slouch completely against the headboard. "Can we not go?"
Lily opens her mouth to protest, most likely, but then she closes it and nods thoughtfully. "I think we can. I'll just call a house-elf and ask our dinner to be brought here. I've seen James do it before."
"Do you know how to call a house-elf here?" I ask with a frown.
Lily mirrors my frown and after a moment of silence, shakes her head. "Nope. I think you just call a name or something and the house-elf appears."
I nod. "That would happen if you're the master of the house-elf, but we aren't their masters, are we? You know what, I'm going to ask James."
"No, wait!" Lily nearly shouts.
I pause, my legs dangling awkwardly over the side of the bed. I look over at her. "What?"
She bites on her lip and climbs off the bed. "I'll ask him."
I feel the corners of my mouth twitching in a smirk and Lily glares at me. "Shut up." She growls.
"I haven't said anything." I say with an innocent smile. Lily only shakes her head and stomps over to the door. I throw my legs back on the bed and slide down until I am lying fully on it. Wow, it's so comfortable and much bigger then ours. That's so not fair!
Lily appears a minute later, pink-cheeked and smiling in a pleased sort of way. "Our dinner's coming." She announces and takes her previous place on the bed.
I waggle my eyebrows at her but she just waves dismissively and changes the subject.
"Marlene and Alice will be wondering where I am." She murmurs. That reminds me of Nina, who's off doing Merlin-knows-what with Merlin-knows-who. I shake my head and sigh. Nina won't ever be like Marlene and Alice. "What about Nina? You guys are inseparable! Won't she notice your absence? And more importantly, won't she get angry if she knows you're with me?"
It's not secret that Nina is the one with the actual grudge towards Lily. I was mean to her just for the sake of being mean, which, I think, it's even worse. I have no idea what's Nina's problem with Lily, I suspect it's jealousy, but I'm pretty sure her hatred can rival the one James feels towards Severus Snape and vice versa.
"Don't worry about Nina. She's out and won't be back until later tonight. Besides, she can't tell me with who I can be friends with." I shrug and smile at Lily's somewhat surprised expression. "I guess I'm done letting her influnce me."
"I'm glad." Lily says with a sincere smile. "Maybe we will all finally get to know you now that you're not under Nina's fierce protection."
"Fierce protection?" I ask in both amusement and wonder.
Lily nods. "She's very protective of you, you know. There have been times when she straight out snaps at people when they ask about you or when they want to talk with you about something. I think she's the main reason why people don't really approach you and want to be friends with you."
I blink. I'm very surprised. What the hell is Nina's problem, again? She has no problem being a center of attention and mingling in large crowds, in fact she loves it when people walk up to her, just to ask her a simple, pointless question. I'll just have to ask her, I guess. If she's not still annoyed at me.
"That's interesting." I say outloud. "I had no idea."
"Really?" Lily says, looking surprised. "Nina always said that you don't like being bothered by strangers. We all got the impression that beside being a raging bitch-" She gives me a half-apologetic look and a shrug. "you're also kind of anti-social. You never really gave any of us a chance to get to know you and to prove us wrong.."
I narrow my eyes slightly. I do remember Nina saying something about overhearing our dormmates talking about me last year. Something about me being an absolute nuisance to deal with. I remember being very angry and acting extra bitchy towards all of them. I even went as far as hexing off Marlene's hair just five minutes before she had to leave for her big, long-awaited date with Berlin Bennington.
I definitely need to talk to Nina about this.
"Hm, I see. Well, we have all the time in the world now." I say, deciding to look on the bright side of things. I'll deal with Nina later, for now, I can enjoy my time with my newest friend.
"Yeah." Lily looks at me, an odd look in her eyes.
"What is it?" I ask impatiently when I see she's not going to say anything.
Lily shrugs. "Nothing, you're just not what I expected, that's all. It's nice thing." She says hastily when I raise my eyebrows questioningly. "It's definitely a good thing."
"Well, you have to note that a lot of things changed during this summer. About me, I mean. If we had, by some kind of miracle, managed to befriend each other last year, then I wouldn't be nearly as pleasant as I am now. I just realized that I can't leave my life like that. I'm in school now, so I can get away with it but what about after? No one is going to stand my prissy attitude." I've thought a lot about this. During one of my brooding sessions this summer, I sat down and thought about my future for the first time. I mean, I thought seriously about it, as in, what I am going to do with myself once I'm out of Hogwarts. Things don't look all the optimistic for me.
Nina doesn't have to work once she finishes Hogwarts - her family is so bloody rich that they can support her, her children, the children of her children and the children of her children's children.. basically, they are rolling in money and they won't be running out of them in the near future. Nina's father owns a bloody International Quidditch team while her mother owns the most expenssive, high-end clothing store in England. Nina's grandfather is a famous Magizoologist and alchemist and her grandmother is Fifi Lafolle, a famous romance novel authoress. Her brother is the star seeker of Puddlemere United, who has won the League Cup two years in a row since he got on the team.
They are a family of celebrities if I've ever seen one.
"Well, as you said, better later then never." Lily says. A loud pop cuts through the silence that follows Lily's statement and we both jump startedly. Two house-elves dressed in pretty Hogwarts uniforms are standing in the middle of the room, holding silver trays with food. My mouth fills with saliva when I sniff the delicious smell coming from the trays and I jump on my feet. I am soon followed by Lily and we both grab our trays from the tiny house-elves. They squeak in protest but I ignore them and put my tray on the bedside table, uncertain as to where are we going to eat.
Lily gets rid of the house-elves and turns to me. "Let's go in the common room. The Marauders should be gone by now."
I nod and grab my tray. I follow Lily and sure enough, there's no sign of the Marauders in the common room. We walk over to the table next to the window, remove the chess board and settle our plates. I plop down on the chair and grab my fork, jamming it in the mashed potatoes. Lily starts on her dinner with the same enthusiasm and we are both quiet for awhile, simply enjoying the delicious dinner.
Just as I scoop the last pieces of beans from my plate, a house-elf appears holding another tray, this time with desserts. I glance at Lily and see that she is eyeing the food just as hungrily as I am. Missy, the house-elf, takes our empty plates and insist on serving us our desserts. After she's over, she makes sure to tell us that if we ever need anything, we can always call Missy and she'll help with whatever she can. What nice creatures those house-elves are.
Lily glances at her watch and groans. "I have to go." She says and stands up quickly. "You can stay here, if you want. The walk back to the Gryffindor Tower is long."
"You mean, like, sleep here?" I ask, understandably surprised.
Lily nods. "Yeah, sure. Alice and Marlene sleep over all the time. You can call Missy and tell her to bring the things you'll need for tomorrow. I have spare pillows and blankets in my room."
"You're golden." I say and lean back against the chair. I'm stuffed and the mere thought of walking back to the Tower, which is admittedly very far away, makes me want to curl up and hide under the table.
"Well, I am a Gryffindor." She says with a wink. "See you later."
"See you." I say and watch her go. What a strange, trusting girl. We've been on friendly terms for only a few hours and she leaves me alone in her common room, pratically giving me premission to invade her privacy.
Some might call her stupid, and I'll be inclined to agree, but I think that particular quality is what draws people to her.
I gather the empty plates and put them in an organized pile, then I try calling Missy. To my surprise, she appears just after my second call. She bows deeply and immediately grabs the plates in her hands. She asks me eagerly if I want something and I tell her to go to my dorm and grab the textbooks I'll need and some clothes and my pajamas. She seems simply ecstatic that she gets to do something for me and I can't help but smile.
Even though I've grown up having house-elves in the house, I'm still somewhat surprised at their eagerness to please people, especially their masters.
I go back into Lily's room and go through her book collection, trying to find something interesting. I raise an eyebrow when I take out the second book of the Enchanted Encounters book series written by none other then Fifi Lafolle. I raise an eyebrow and turn over the book to read the summary. Even though I'm best friends with the woman's granddaughter, I've never read any of her books. Nina is not into romance novels and more often then not, she scorns and makes fun of her grandmother's successful series. Everybody else seems to like them, though, so I ignore the painfully predictable and cliched plot and jump on Lily's bed.
New mission in life: Find a boyfriend as perfect as Casper Hunk. It can't be all that hard, can it?
Author's note: And chapter 2 is up and much longer! Lily might seem a bit.. forgiving in a Mary-sueish way but, you know, Remus did say she has the uncanny ability to see the best in people when they can't see it themselves. Besides, he did say she's one of the nicest people ever to walk on Earth - of course he might've been a bit biased, but I trust his word. If you can't trust Remus, then who can you trust?
So, hope you like it. Leave a review once you're finished - I'd love to see what you have to say. I'm pretty new at this so I appreciate any kind of critism (as long as you're not being straight out mean and vicious).