Chapter 1 : Happy New Year
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"James!" Lily shouted again, closer this time, anger bursting forth with each letter.
"Oh, hey Lily," James casually greeted the Muggle-born, turning around to face her, seeming completely at ease despite the raging red-head in front of him.
"Don't you 'Hey Lily' me," Lily fumed. "Why on Earth is there a party still taking place in here when it's already after curfew on New Year's Eve?!"
"Well you didn't expect us to have a New Years Eve party on any day other than New Years Eve, did you?" Sirius piped up, earning a death glare from Lily, before he added "Shutting up, now," and walked off to play Truth or Dare with the Ravenclaws Lily passed earlier, who had finally found a way to trick Sirius into taking off his shirt.
"Come on, Lily," James whined, drawing her attention away from Sirius and back to himself. "It's New Years Eve! Live a little! It's the last chance we'll ever have to hold a New Years Eve party in Hogwarts, at least let us have this!"
"That's what you said about the Halloween party, too," Lily pointed out, but James could tell she was being persuaded.
"And look at how well that party turned out!" James exclaimed.
"Half the students from fifth year up spent almost all the next day with a hangover from Hell, and 3 sixth year Hufflepuffs ended up in the Hospital Wing after they fell down the stairs trying to get back to their Common Room at the end of it," Lily stated, staring at the Marauder in disbelief.
"Yeah but no one was that badly hurt!" James insisted. "And no one got caught!"
"That is hardly the point," Lily declared pointedly.
"Come on, Lily! It's the last day of 1977, lets at least go out with a bang!" James reasoned, causing Lily to give him a piercing look.
"You wouldn't happen to be planning to set off any Filibuster Fireworks, would you?" She asked suspiciously, to which James just grinned.
"I guess you'll have to wait until midnight to find out," he answered cheekily, and Lily finally gave in.
"Fine, you can have your party, but anyone in fourth year or below has to leave now and there is to be NO ALCOHOL," Lily demanded, and James knew he was in the clear.
"You got it, Flower. I'll go tell Sirius he can't spike the punch this year, and we'll start getting rid of the little ones," he agreed, but Lily just waved him off.
"Get on with it. I guess there really is nothing you boys can't get away with," she sighed wistfully, but the slight smile on her face betrayed how she really felt.
"You know you love us really," James grinned, to which Lily just shoved him playfully.
"Just get on with it,"
"Yes, ma'am," James saluted her, running off.
Lily sighed as she poured herself a glass of Butterbeer, resigning herself to a night of keeping the party from getting too out of hand instead of reading the Potions book she had gotten for Christmas like she had originally planned.
"Whatever happened to the Lily that would have had everyone out of here and in bed, with the Marauders sporting nice new pink hair, before you could say 'Happy New Year'?" a voice reminisced from behind Lily, as one of her best friends, Alice "Al" Prewett, came to stand by her side.
"Well I think that Lily started to hang out with a certain hazel-eyed Marauder a bit more, and fell hopelessly in love with him. So in love, that the boy in question need only bat his eyelashes and she would give him whatever she wanted, no matter how many rules she broke," Lily's other best friend, Marlene "Marly" McKinnon, added, joining them to stand on Lily's other side. Alice gasped dramatically in response.
"For shame, Lily! Breaking rules! What would your mother say?" she scolded playfully.
"I suppose she would congratulate me for finally doing something bad, while my sister grumbled in the corner about how even when I'm bad I get praised, and I would laugh at her misfortunes," Lily deadpanned, entirely un amused by her friends teasing. "And I'm not in love with him, Marly; I just like him a tiny bit more than you would an ordinary friend,"
"Yeah, like you like puppies a tiny bit more than Severus Snape," Alice snorted, with Marlene shortly joining in.
"Or like how you like Christmas just a little bit more than Voldemort," Marlene added.
"Shut up," Lily replied, taking a large gulp from her drink.
"Seriously Lily, when are you finally going to tell him you like him? The poor boys been pining after you for years and when you finally realise you like him back you decide it would be better off kept a secret! Why won't you just tell him already?" Alice complained.
"Because, Alice, I don't like him! If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times; we're just friends!" Lily stressed, throwing her hands into the air, unintentionally causing some of her Butterbeer to fly out of her cup, so she warily placed the cup down on the table, and moved over to the empty sofa by the fire. "And anyway, even if I did like him, which I don't, it's hardly like he's still into me. He hasn't asked me out for almost a year, he's over me,"
"Why Lily, do I detect a hint of sadness in your voice?" Marlene teased.
"I don't like him," Lily insisted, but her two friends just shared a look and walked off laughing, leaving Lily sat in front of the fire, groaning at her friends and their behaviour as she started muttering to herself. "Bloody idiots. Think I like him-I obviously don't! When will they get over this? Probably never. Can't believe this is what I have to live with. Stupid, nosy gits. Why can't they mind their own business? Bloody insufferable twats-"
"Talking about us again, Lily Flower?" a cheeky voice asked from behind her. Turning around, Lily found James and Sirius standing behind her, and turned to Sirius to reply to his question.
"For once, no. Marly and Al are being stupid again, so I was just angrily mumbling about how annoying they are in the hope it would soothe my anger but it didn't work," Lily frowned, inwardly wondering how much they heard.
"What were they doing?" James asked, his deep voice a rumble in his throat.
"Just teasing me, being stupid, the usual," Lily tried to act casual, but when she was around James her heart sped up and her palms went all sweaty , and it was made even worse by the fact he might now know she liked him after possibly hearing her friends discussing it. Despite the fact Lily denied it so adamantly to her friends, all three of them knew she really did like him, and she did not want to blow it.
"Well you have to cut them some slack, Flower. Simple minded being such as themselves can't help being so stupid so often," James smirked, staring at something above and behind Lily's head. Turning around, Lily saw Alice and Marlene standing behind her with identical glares, and burst out laughing. Sirius soon joined in, and between Lily's giggles and Sirius' barks of laughter, the two girls eventually gave off reluctant smiles, while James just grinned.
"Actually, my little Tiger Lily, we came over here to ask if you wanted to play Never Have I Ever," Sirius said, wiping tears from his eyes. "And I suppose the simpletons could join us too," he added cheekily, to which Marlene replied with a swift kick to his shin.
"Alright, alright! Calm down! Now, are you coming or not?" Sirius asked, already impatient, and sending a quick wink to the Ravenclaws he was with earlier.
"I'm in, could be fun," Marlene replied, rubbing her hands together in anticipation.
"Well... I'm not sure..." Alice began, before Sirius cut in to tell her Frank Longbottom, the Hufflepuff Alice had a not-so-secret crush on, was playing.
"I'm in," she said quickly, avoiding all of their knowing gazes.
"Lily?" James prompted.
"No thanks, I don't feel much like playing," Lily answered, collapsing back onto the sofa.
"Aw, c'mon Lils!" Marlene whined. "Even Alice is playing!"
"Well I wouldn't want to look like even more of a wimp than Al," Lily joked, grinning at her friend's indignant look.
Walking over to the circle of people who had already arrived to play, Alice immediately grabbed a seat next to Frank, with Marlene sitting down on her other side after sharing a look with Lily at their friends chosen seating arrangements. Lily then sat down next to Marlene, before noticing that James was on her other side, and she blushed faintly before glaring at Alice and Marlene, who were smirking at her annoyed look.
"Do you like your seat, Lils?" Marlene muttered in her ear, and received another glare and a 'Shut up' in return, which made her laugh as the game began.
It looked as if all the seventh years had decided to play the game, except the Slytherins who had of course not been invited, and Lily grabbed a shot glass, waiting for James to come around and fill it with Firewhiskey.
"OK, you all know the rules," Sirius began. "We all say something we've never done, and you drink if you've done it. And don't even try to cheat; the glasses have compulsion charms on them so if you've done it you'll want to drink anyway. First to pass out loses,"
"Let the games begin," James grinned at Lily, who smiled back.
"Who wants to start?" Sirius asked.
"I will," Eddie McGahn, the male Hufflepuff prefect, volunteered. "Never have I ever... Kissed a boy,"
Almost all the girls took a drink, except a shy Ravenclaw called Hayley Boot, who blushed in embarrassment. Sirius also took a drink, as well as James and, surprisingly, Remus.
"What's going on with the three of you, then?" Frank asked the Marauders. James and Sirius just grinned shamelessly, but Remus ducked his head and mumbled something about a stupid onetime thing.
"I think I want to know, too," Lily added, staring at James in amusement.
"Well, we were all drunk back in fifth ear and we wanted to see what it would be like. You should have seen these two, though, they were snogging like there was no tomorrow," James laughed, nudging Sirius who surprisingly blushed a pale pink, while Remus turned bright red and refused to look at anyone.
"Well... That was certainly interesting," Marlene remarked. "But now it's my turn. Never have I ever... Gone skinny dipping,"
James, Sirius, 2 Hufflepuff girls, a Ravenclaw boy and 3 Ravenclaw girls all took a shot, but everyone turned to stare when Lily had a drink.
"What?" she demanded.
"I think we were all wondering when Lily Evans turned into such a badass," Sirius replied, extremely surprised and impressed.
"It was just one time," she blushed. "If you must know I had a bit of a 'summer romance' with a guy in Cornwall and I went out with him and some of his friends one night and we went skinny dipping. But we didn't do anything dirty,"
By now Lily was blushing almost as much as Remus had, as all around her people stared at her with shock, awe, and disbelief. She turned to James, almost afraid of what he thought of her, and found him holding his glass in a death grip, with an expression on his face Lily didn't quite recognise. He looked almost... Jealous? But Lily had no idea what he was jealous of; unless it was the fact she had gone skinny dipping with an unknown boy? Lily dared not allow herself to dream this might be the case, but couldn't help a small smile from escaping her lips.
The game continued in the same manner for a while, and some people were starting to get fairly tipsy, before Sirius decided to but in.
"My turn, my turn! And I have the perfect one," he smirked evilly at James, leaving said boy rather scared. "Never have I ever; fallen in love with my fellow head student,"
Lily swung her head to face Sirius in surprise, before looking at James who was glaring at Sirius. How could Sirius possibly have known how she felt about James? Lily could already feel the compulsion charm forcing her to take a drink, and her arm reached out for the glass. Lily saw James looking at her outstretched arm in surprise, and Lily just sighed in resignation and drank the Firewhiskey.
By now James was openly gaping at her, and it was only then that Lily noticed his glass was also empty, meaning he had also drank the shot. Lily's eyes widened as she stared at James who had an identical look of shock on his face, before he grabbed her arm and pulled her over to the stairs.
Behind her, Lily could see Sirius and Marlene hi-fiving each other, while Alice grinned happily, but she was in too much shock to fully register it.
"Lily," James' voice startled her out of her reverie, and she hesitantly turned her face towards his, certain she had been mistaken, and that James actually hadn't drunk anything, and therefore he didn't like her, but his gaze was as hesitant as hers.
"Did you mean it?" James blurted out. At Lily's confused look, he continued. "Are you really in love with me? Or is this some elaborate prank formed by you and Sirius to embarrass me? And if it is that really sucks and I can't believe you would play with my feelings like that, Lily. I thought we were finally friends, and it really sucks that you would do this to me. I-"
"James!" Lily shouted. "You're babbling,"
"Oh, right," he replied in embarrassment. "But it's still not cool of you to do that to me, Lily, How could-"
"Whoever said it was a prank, James," Lily smiled, interrupting him again.
"What-What do you mean?" James gulped, hardly daring to believe his ears.
"I mean, that I was just as surprised as you were; and, I never thought I would say this but I love you James Potter," Lily confessed, turning her eyes away from his in embarrassment.
"Do you really mean it?" James looked so hopeful that any doubts Lily had about him not really loving her vanished instantly and she smiled up at him, the love in her face evident to anyone who looked at her.
"I really do,"
And Lily hardly heard everyone counting down from ten around her, and hardly heard the fireworks go off as people wished their friends a Happy New Year. All she heard was her heart beating so loudly in her chest she was surprised James couldn't hear it; and his head came down to meet hers, and he kissed her.
Their kiss was uncertain at first, each unsure about how far they could go, but it slowly became more and more confident. Lily wrapped her hands around James' neck as his arms made their way around her waist, and he pulled her even closer to him than Lily thought possible. Lily felt herself relax against James; she has never felt anything more... Right. It was like their bodies were two jigsaw pieces finally joining together, and their lips moulded around each others like clay. James hesitantly opened his mouth, hoping to deepen the kiss but scared Lily might not want to go so fast. But his fears were unfounded as Lily responded eagerly.
When Lily felt like she was going to pass out from lack of air, she reluctantly broke off the kiss, and rested her forehead against James' as they stared lovingly into each other's eyes, each with a smile gracing their face. James lightly brushed his lips back against Lily's, before making his way down her neck, causing Lily to turn her head slightly and suddenly remember something.
"James," she muttered against his lips as his face came back up to meet his.
"Yes, Flower?" He muttered back, lightly brushing his lips against hers.
"Happy New Year," she answered, pulling him into another kiss; and Lily knew at that moment, that if this year was even half as good as it was right then... It was going to be a very good year.
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