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Chapter 1 : The Head Boy
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“And this is how change happens. One gesture, one person, one moment at a time.” - Libba Bray
The Day Lily Saw James
His heart was pounding against his chest and he felt like he could be sick. He had been standing outside that compartment door for what seemed like hours, though if the students that kept coming aboard the train were any indication; it was not even eleven o’clock yet. With a shaky hand, he lifted his sleeve and checked the watch that hugged his sleeve and the little hands told him there were still thirty-five minutes until eleven. Somewhere in the back of his head a voice told him that Sirius would never let him live this down, being early for something like this. As much as James loved his friend, in a manly way of course, times like these made him thank his lucky stars that the boy had moved out just two short weeks ago, courtesy of an inheritance he received from his late uncle Alphard. Even though Mrs. Potter had insisted, Sirius could wait until his graduation to move out; her protests were ignored, a situation that proved, in the long run, as in right now, for the better. He had no desire for Sirius to witness whatever was to come.
However, it was not the reaction of one Sirius Black that James Potter currently dreaded, but the reaction of another, which would find him behind those doors in just a few moments and that reaction was not something he looked forward to in particular. It would be that girl, he had no doubt about it, although some small and selfish part of him wished it wouldn’t be, that somebody else had taken that particular prize away. He dismissed the idea as quickly as it came. That kind of attitude was what led him to become a sweaty mess in front of a door. Yet he had decided before he boarded the train that his attitude needed to change, he wanted to leave his old ways behind and focus on what was to come, because the times were getting darker and there would be no room for selfishness or arrogance in that world. His parents had explained to him that a war was brewing at the gates of their world, a dark wizard was gathering an army and the time would eventually come when they would need to call upon the youth to take up arms and defend their safety. The age of innocence was ending and adulthood was rearing its ugly head, with fears, uncertainty and responsibilities.
Taking the first step in his resolution for bravery, he slid open the compartment door and to his surprise, somebody was already inside, reading a book.
“Potter.” the person greeted coldly. “You must be lost so I suggest you move along now.” Of course, he said to himself, of course it would be here. There was nobody better suited for this job.
“Lily,” James returned the greeting. “I’m not lost, I’m here to meet with the Prefects, as instructed by the letter I received from Professor McGonagall.”
“Why would the Professor instruct you to meet with them?” she asked a little too harshly. “That is something for the Head Boy and Girl to do.”
He merely shrugged her words off and casually reached into the pocket of his robe, taking something out and presenting it to her in the palm of his hand.
“Potter! That is not funny! Give that back, you know taking things away from another person is really frowned upon! You could get into so much trouble!” she half shouted, looking mortified at the small badge.
“Lily, I did not steal the badge. It is mine, it came in my mail and I am the Head Boy!” James replied slowly, making sure she caught his every word. Finally, after a few moments of looking from him to the badge and back, she finally seemed to decide on a suitable reply.
“Was Lupin upset?” she asked, her eyes fixing on his face, looking for any sign of mischief.
“No, not really. He said it would’ve been too much to handle, with NEWTs and classes, on top of his furry condition…” the last few words fell between them and their meaning was known to the girl so she just nodded.
“So, I guess it’s you and me, Potter!” she finally acknowledged with a sigh and turned away, looking out the window. “Have you read the tasks yet?”
“Yes, Lily. I read the instructions, I know what our duties are. I especially enjoyed the part about our own private dormitories.” James replied, looking at her face with a small grin. Sure enough, she snapped her head back in his direction.
“What rooms? There was nothing in there about rooms… Oh, you’re joking.” she finally realized and made a face at him. “Private dormitories? You should be so lucky.” she told him but managed a small smile.
“Look, before the Prefects come, I just want you to know that I won’t be doing anything too stupid this year. I am taking this very seriously. You have read the papers, you have seen the news. We have to be ready for what’s out there.”
“It’s none of my business, Potter.” she replied and took out a piece of parchment and a quill.
“What I’m trying to say is that I’m done with the childish games. I’m done with asking you out and trying to annoy you. We’ll just be colleagues, classmates. It’s time we call a truce.”
Her lips tightened by just a few millimeters at his words and her eyes searched his face for a moment, hidden behind long lashes. Finally, she nodded.
“Then a truce it is… James.”
He spent the rest of the time before the meeting looking out the window, from the seat in front of her and turning the badge in his hand. He never once looked at her. If he had looked, he would’ve seen how her eyes shot up every so often, looking for something in his face. If he had looked, then he would’ve known that that was the day Lily Evans started seeing him. In her eyes, James Potter was becoming a man.
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