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Underneath it All by forsakenphoenix
Chapter 2 : The Beginning of An End
Rating: 12+Chapter Reviews: 21

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Chapter One: The Beginning of an End

Our dreams are where we hide the darkest shades of fear.

Lily Evans woke up as sunlight streamed in through her window. She squinted wearily around her room, waiting for the blurriness to disappear. She wasn’t at all a morning person. Lily stretched and stared at the ceiling, trying to remember the dream she’d been having, but the details were slipping and the images were becoming vague shadows with no distinct shape. The only thing she could recall was the voice of James Potter. She wondered why it was his voice that reigned in her dreams and why the emotions she felt during these dreams were so pure and honest. Pure and honest disgust and irritation, that is.

She looked dishevelled in the early hours of morning and even her normally tidy room was strewn with various clothes and books. She swung her legs off her bed and dug her toes into the soft rug beneath her feet, yawning as she picked herself up and made her way to the shower. She emerged twenty minutes later, more awake and alert than she was when she first woke up, and made her way towards the kitchen. Her mother was awake, making coffee and eggs for the family.

“I’m not very hungry, just going to take a piece of toast, Mum,” said Lily, as she grabbed a slice. “I’ve got to finish packing. Where’s Dad?”

Her mother smiled at her. “Your father is upstairs getting dressed. Now, don’t forget anything and make sure you don’t dawdle. You don’t want to miss your train. As Head Girl, you want to set a good example.”

Lily rolled her eyes. “It’s six-thirty, Mum. I’m sure I won’t take that long. I wasn’t late last year either. And of course I’ll set a good example! I did while I was Prefect,” retorted Lily.

“But you could always do better, dear.”

Lily sighed in frustration and walked into her room. She picked up the nearest book, The Standard Book of Spells Grade 7, and put it inside her trunk on a neat pile of books next to her folded school uniform and robes.

She finished packing her wand, books, and clothing, and scanned the room for anything she might have missed. Satisfied that she had packed everything, she closed her trunk. Lily ran her hand along the deep oak-coloured trunk and traced the Hogwarts emblem that was engraved on top. Her initials were engraved in perfect calligraphy just below the insignia. She smiled to herself at the thought of her school—the blazing fires, throngs of students, new and exciting classes, delicious feasts, and the balls—it was the perfect school and Lily never wanted to go anywhere else. She thought of how she would have missed out on all that Hogwarts offered if she hadn’t been a witch.

She sighed as she took in her surroundings. She wouldn’t see this room for another nine months. Lily was spending Christmas at Hogwarts—her first Christmas without her parents. Her mother and father had decided to go skiing in France and Lily wasn’t all that interested in skiing. Lily’s sister, Petunia, however, had seized the opportunity in a heartbeat.

Petunia managed to stay out of Lily’s way and Lily out of hers, but Lily couldn’t help feeling lonesome at times during the summer when all she had for company were her books and an owl. Lily had friends at Hogwarts, but they were little more than acquaintances. She had few friends that she spoke to of things aside from school. She had one friend, only one, with whom she shared almost everything. She found out at an early age that the more people that know your secrets, the worse off you are because someone is bound to let something slip. She rarely divulged her secrets to anyone, afraid of their reactions when they realized that Prefect-turned-Head-Girl Lily Evans wasn’t so perfect after all. She also had no one to answer her questions about the new rising fear in the wizarding world; the dark wizard known as Lord Voldemort, who killed Muggles and Muggle-born wizards like Lily. It was a lonely life for Lily at home, but it didn’t matter at Hogwarts, because Lily was caught up in all her schoolwork, tutoring others, making sure she did all that was asked of her, and being chased after by James Potter.

Now that her seventh year was upon her, Lily hoped that the schoolwork would be piled on even more in preparation for the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests that they would take at the end of the year. She wanted to be too exhausted to even dream at night.

If there was anything that Lily hated more than having unexplained and indistinct dreams, it would be James, who was so often the subject of those dreams. It frustrated her to no end that she had no idea why James would be in her dreams, talking to her calmly and smoothly, when all she ever did was ignore him or snap at him. Why should she ever give him a chance to even be that close to her?

Lily sighed again as her mother called for her from downstairs.

“Lily, it’s time to get moving!”

Lily grabbed her trunk and dragged it down the stairs. She briefly glanced into the kitchen to see her father and Petunia sitting at the kitchen table, holding a conversation over breakfast.

“Good morning, my precious Lily,” her father greeted her as she walked into the kitchen.

She smiled and hugged her father as he kissed her forehead.

“Are you ready?”

Lily nodded and looked at Petunia expectantly.

“Well…goodbye, freak,” said Petunia, a bit too stiffly for Lily’s liking. Christmas without Lily. Petunia thought it was the most brilliant idea ever.

Ever since Lily had been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Petunia had made a point to tear Lily down or, if she could manage, make her cry. The fact that her sister was a witch made Petunia cringe with disgust and that her parents accepted a freak like Lily was beyond Petunia’s comprehension. She bore the burden of keeping her sister’s “unnaturalness” a secret from everyone’s prying eyes and strained ears. In all honesty, Petunia was more afraid and jealous of Lily than loathsome; she just masked the fear with hatred and disgust.

Petunia was afraid that Lily would blow something up, turn her into something unnatural, or that someone would find out what Lily was—and that was her biggest fear: having someone discover that she was related to a freak. She couldn’t understand how her parents were so proud. Petunia would never admit that she missed Lily during the school year, but she would readily admit that she missed bringing Lily down. It wasn't the nicest thing to be glad of but, then again, Petunia wasn't really all that nice.

“You’re not going to be seeing your sister until next summer. Be nice,” her mother scolded.

Petunia rolled her eyes and left the kitchen.

“I take it she’s not coming to see me off one last time,” Lily said, somewhat disappointed. She had nothing against Petunia, even if Petunia disliked her. This was probably one of the last times she would see Petunia and she desperately wanted to hear some kind words from her sister’s mouth. But Lily knew she would be asking too much from Petunia and decided that being told off by her sister wasn’t exactly how she wanted to start her first day back at Hogwarts. Lily looked at her mother with hope in her eyes, but six years of broken hope had made her believe that anything she hoped for would soon end.

Her mother smiled gently at her and tried to nudge her out the door.

“You know how your sister is,” her father said softly, as they walked out the door, “Don’t worry about it, Lily. It’s not the end of the world. I wish that she would have at least given you a proper goodbye as well, but wishing isn’t something that we need to base our lives on.”

Her father always said that and somehow that made Lily want to wish even more for things that were impossible; but that’s where her dreams came in. Dreams allow us all to become safely and quietly insane every night of our lives and it’s all we’ve ever hoped and wished for—that we know will always be just hopes and wishes and never truth.

The Evans lived in a quaint little home on the corner of Mulberry Drive. The houses were identically aligned on every street, each with an identical well-kept front lawn that ended with an identical small garden wall.

“Good morning!” called their next-door neighbour, Mr. Cole.

Lily turned to see Mr. Cole watering his front lawn. She smiled and waved to him.

Mr. Cole had a nephew named Adam, who had been Lily’s best friend when they were younger. But during Lily’s first year at Hogwarts, Adam had committed suicide. It had shocked her that someone so young would want to take his own life, but the warning signs had been there and she had just ignored them, thinking they were a phase--something he was going through as he was getting over the death of his parents. Lily‘s father pulled her from her reverie as he called goodbye to Mr. Cole.

With the help of her father, Lily heaved her trunk into the car and once they were all settled--with Lily’s owl hooting dolefully in his cage on her lap--her mother began the forty-five minute drive to King’s Cross Station.

The ride was uneventful and Lily’s father helped her get a trolley for her trunk and owl cage. She hugged her tearful mother and father goodbye, promising to owl them soon.

“Make us proud, as you already have,” her father said, smiling proudly at her. “Your final year and Head Girl…time sure has passed quickly.” He shook his head in disbelief, smiling.

“Have a happy Christmas,” Lily replied. “Don’t forget to tell me all about the ski trip, alright?”

Her parents nodded and hugged her one more time.

She then made her way through the barrier to Platform 9 ¾.

Her mother wiped away the tears and Lily thought she heard her mumble, "My perfect little girl is so grown up."

Perfect. The word hit her like a ton of bricks. Did her parents think she was perfect? Was she supposed to be perfect? Flawless? Lily was hardly flawless. It seemed that whenever Lily looked into the mirror, everything she saw was flawed. Everyone else only seemed to see the perfect Lily and not the Lily that she knew. All Lily wanted was for someone else to see her as she did; just one person who could understand her.

Lily spent the next ten minutes huffing as she pulled her trunk onto the train and found herself an empty compartment. She quickly pulled on her school uniform and pinned her Head Girl badge to her robes. She then sat down and indulged herself in the Charms book getting a head start on this year’s lessons. She sighed contentedly when the train began to depart from the station, leaving parents far behind as they waved goodbye to their children. Lily wished her sister had come to see her off.

She didn’t brood on that for long, feeling a sudden rush of gratitude that her sister didn’t come. Lily was now leaving her obnoxious sister’s presence for almost a whole year and she was on her way to a place she had come to call her home. Her eyes flickered up from the page she was reading as she heard her compartment door slide open. She groaned inwardly as she saw the tall, lean figure of the one person she least wanted to see. James Potter. He was flanked by his best friend, Sirius Black, and their two other close friends, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Together they were known as the infamous Marauders: daring pranksters, intelligent students, and the most sought-after boys at Hogwarts. Lily hated almost everything about them. She envied the friendship they had and the trust they had for one another. Remus and Sirius were both good friends of Lily’s, but she wasn’t one to open up too easily, even though she always did fall apart too fast. Lily needed a backbone, someone who could stitch her back together when she fell apart because she was too weak to hold herself together. The Marauders were each other’s support and a friendship like theirs was all Lily wanted in life.

“Evans! Have a nice summer?” asked James, as he ran his fingers through his hair. It was a habit of his; he thought that the girls liked it when his hair was messy, but Lily wasn’t exactly like other girls and that’s why James wanted to pursue her. All the other girls at Hogwarts bowed down at his feet while Lily would have rather drowned than find herself on her knees before James Potter. The girls cooed and shrieked as James walked by while Lily scoffed. It was the mere fact that Lily did not fall for him like other girls that made her even more desirable. The more desirable she was to James, the more she disliked him.

“Yes, I did actually,” Lily responded. “It was quite pleasant without having to see you for three entire months, Potter. Pity summer doesn’t last longer.”

Sirius smirked. “She sure is honest, Prongs. It must be such a shame that I’m never that forward with you.”

James’ usual grin turned into a frown. He looked crest-fallen.

Inwardly, Lily felt as though perhaps she had been a bit harsh on him, but James never knew when to quit. Despite being let down numerous times, he continued to chase her. It irritated her to no end, but secretly, it meant a lot to her that he didn’t give up. It meant that someone actually cared about her…or wanted to at least even though she pushed him away. In all honesty, Lily would rather spend an entire year with James than with her sister. If he deflated his ego a bit, he wouldn’t be all that bad.

“That was pretty harsh,” James said. Glancing at the badge gleaming on her robes, he added, “Congratulations on making Head Girl.”

“Which reminds me, I’ve got to go to the Prefects’ compartment anyway,” Lily said quickly as she got up.

James stood to follow her.

“And where do you think you’re going?”

“Well…I…I’m the new Head Boy,” said James, fumbling through his robes pocket before pulling out a shiny, glimmering pin.

“You’re what?!” Lily screeched. She looked to Remus for reassurance and he nodded. “Oh, no. NO! Please tell me this is a dream. I am not sharing Head duties with the likes of you! You can’t be serious!”

“Of course he’s not Sirius, I am!” Sirius joked.

James rolled his eyes at the overused pun.

“C’mon Evans, if we’re going to be Head Boy and Girl, we’ve at least got to pretend…pretend to get along.”

“How did you get to be Head Boy?”

“I am intelligent, you know. I’m not just good-looking,” said James.

Lily growled in frustration and hurriedly made her way towards the front compartment to give the new Prefects their orders. She heard James’ heavy footsteps following behind her.

“Evans! Evans, wait up!”

“Just sod off, Potter! Let me do my duties and you can do yours. We’ll come together when necessary but nothing more,” she retorted.

“Evans, wait,” James cried as he grabbed her arm tightly, causing her to turn and face him. “Why do you hate me so much?” His eyes were desperate for an answer, and Lily almost felt sorry for him.

She wrenched her arm from his grasp and pulled the Prefect compartment door open to face the Prefects.

James followed behind her and slammed the door shut. “Evans…”

Lily’s eyes were now dangerous. “Potter, do not speak to me,” she hissed.

The Prefects looked up at them curiously and Lily’s countenance softened.

“Sorry about that. I am your new Head Girl, Lily Evans, and this is your Head Boy.” Lily jerked her head in his direction.

“I’m James Potter,” he cut in and glared angrily at the snickering Slytherins. “Anything funny?” he questioned them.

“No,” they said quickly.

“But who would make a mudblood Head Girl?” one muttered under his breath, thinking the two Heads wouldn’t hear them.

Lily looked shocked for a moment, having overheard the mumbling of the Slytherin prefect, but recovered herself quickly. “Since the school year hasn’t started, be lucky that I cannot take points away from your House. But I swear that if I have any problems with you in the future, I will revoke your position as Prefect,” she said sternly.

James seethed, but kept his tongue, for he knew another outburst would not be appropriate around Lily.

Lily was surprised that James hadn’t stood up for her like he had so many times before. It was almost as if he’d grown up somewhat. Lily went into a long discussion with the Prefects about duties and meetings and gave them schedules as to when they were to roam the halls at night to check for wandering students. “You should all be taking turns walking down the corridor of this train to make sure that certain behaviours don’t go unpunished. Here are the passwords for your Common Rooms. You are dismissed,” Lily finished, collapsing wearily onto one of the empty seats.

James looked at Lily and smiled warmly. If only he could have her, he wouldn’t feel so empty inside. Despite all her accusations and assumptions that he enjoyed being sought after, it was completely the opposite. The fact that all the other girls but her wanted him left him aching for something more, something that only Lily could provide.

Lily looked up to see James staring at her with a glazed look in his eyes and wondered what he could possibly be thinking.

Noticing the direction of her gaze, he blushed slightly and quickly re-focused.

Lily opened her mouth to make another sharp remark, but fell silent at the anxious look on James’s face. She’d never noticed until now how tired and worried he looked whenever he was around her.

“Good luck this year, Evans,” James said as he walked out of the Prefect compartment.

Lily looked at the closed door and sighed heavily. Did she honestly hate Potter? No, the feeling was more like extreme irritation. She walked back towards her compartment that was now occupied by the troublesome Marauders. She found a seat next to Remus while James sat down on the other side of the compartment with Sirius. She enjoyed Remus’ company. She often studied with him in the library or spent rainy Saturday afternoons talking to him. He was her confidant of sorts, considering she didn’t trust too many people.

“Congratulations,” Remus said, smiling at her warmly.

“Thanks! I’m disappointed that you didn’t make Head Boy this year,” she replied, frowning slightly.

Remus shrugged. “If Dumbledore thinks James will make a better Head Boy than me, I respect his decision.”

“That’s very mature of you,” said Lily.

“Lily, can I talk to you about James?” Lily’s eyes narrowed, but she didn’t say anything

Remus took this as a sign to continue talking. “He isn’t as bad as you make him out to be. Give him a chance.”

“Remus, I think I can make my own opinion of Potter. I don’t need you to put in a good word for him,” Lily said irritably.

Remus shrugged and smiled lightly. “At least I can tell him I tried.”

Lily hit him playfully, but smiled nonetheless.

James saw their interaction and grimaced.

“What’s wrong, Prongs?” Sirius asked.

“How can she be so nice to him and treat me like the very dirt on her shoe?” he groaned miserably.

“There are some things about girls you’ve just got to understand.”

“What does that have to do with this?”

“Easy,” Sirius said, as he grinned cheekily and clapped James on the back. “Moony doesn’t ask her out a dozen times a day.”

“I do not ask her out a dozen times a day!” James exclaimed indignantly but quietly, so that Remus and Lily couldn’t overhear their conversation. “Only once or twice.”

All conversations were interrupted when the witch with the food cart arrived at their compartment. Sirius and James, forgetting their conversation, jumped from their seats and rushed over to the witch, buying half the cart from her.

“Hungry?” Lily asked, amused.

“Starving,” Sirius said, as he shoved a Cauldron Cake in his mouth. He offered a Pumpkin Pasty to Remus, who took it gratefully, and some Licorice Wands to Lily, who politely declined.

The rest of the train ride consisted of the Marauders eating everything they could fit into their mouths and insulting the Slytherins. The boys also occasionally joked about Peter and his fear of girls because he’d hardly spoken since entering Lily’s compartment. The sky outside was an inky darkness when the train pulled to a stop in front of the Hogsmeade Station. The disembarking students were plunged into shadows.

The familiar call for first years rang over the heads of the students. The frightened first-years shuffled their way towards the horseless carriages awaiting them. The carriages only carried four students at a time, so Lily went in search of an empty carriage or one that was nearly empty. She found one with a few sixth-year Ravenclaw girls and sat inside. The girls congratulated Lily on becoming Head Girl and their conversation soon turned towards the coursework they would encounter that year.

The darkness of night was shattered as the carriages turned the corner towards Hogwarts. The castle was illuminated by the brilliant fires burning within every room. Lily wished that the carriages would go a bit faster so that she could get inside the castle. Until she got off the train, she hadn’t noticed how hungry she was. The pasties that Sirius and James had bought now seemed quite tantalizing.

She sighed heavily as the carriage came to a stop in front of the large, oak doors and quickly stepped out. The throng of students getting off their carriages pushed their way towards the entrance. The torch-lit hallways and Great Hall looked extremely welcoming from outside. Lily made her way through the crowd of students and into the Great Hall where she sat down at the long Gryffindor table.

The Marauders sat down at the opposite end of the table where they were quickly surrounded by worshipping girls.

Lily sighed. Some things never changed. The girls were still insistent chatterers, and just as giggly as the year before. The looks on their faces made Lily feel like this was going to one extremely long year. Her attention was then directed towards the doors of the Great Hall as they opened and the new first year students entered Hogwarts for their very first time.

The feast was long and boring. Gryffindor received a handful of new students that looked around anxiously at the large castle they were now to call home. Lily remembered how frightened she had felt. She also remembered that James had been the first person to introduce himself to her and she hadn’t hated him then. But as the years progressed and hormones kicked in, everything changed. She didn’t hate James Potter; she just had an intense dislike for the presumptuous person he had become. Suddenly, in the middle of the feast, Lily realized that this dislike for Potter had grown out of jealousy from the attention he received from other girls.

Glancing over at him, she noticed he had in fact changed over the summer. It was only the slightest change, but noticeable. He didn’t seem as arrogant as before, but the ego was still there though slightly deflated. He was holding a conversation with a giggly fifth-year sitting beside him. The girl looked as though she barely even comprehended a word James was saying.

Lily rolled her eyes. It was quite sickening to see how the girls hung off them like peasants idolizing their king though sometimes when Lily lay awake at night, she wondered what it felt like to be intimate with a boy--to be close enough to hear his heart beating and feel his breath on her neck. She would never admit that to anyone, of course, because it was well-known knowledge that Lily didn’t date. After being hurt in fourth year by her very first boyfriend, Lily had never wanted anything to do with boys, especially with a certain James Potter because it was a well-established fact that he would go for any girl in a heartbeat and drop her just as quickly. But he had never gone unattached to a girl for so long before.

She turned her gaze towards Remus. He had grown since last year, both in maturity and height. Of course, he would always have the same sense of humour as the other Marauders, but at least he didn’t gloat about the pranks they pulled or the girls he met. His sandy brown hair fell gracefully into his amber eyes that betrayed every emotion he felt. Looking into Remus’ eyes was like looking into his soul, despite how cliché it sounded. From what she heard from other girls, Remus was very romantic, but like the other Marauders, he couldn’t commit to a relationship. They said that he seemed to be hiding a secret that kept him from becoming steady with a girl, though he always seemed willing to try a long-term relationship.

Lily knew the secret they were talking about. She had discovered it in January of their first year. She couldn’t help but notice that he disappeared once a month, making up excuses that he needed to visit his ill mum. She had believed him at first, but when he kept coming back to Hogwarts looking just as sick as his mum probably was, she became suspicious. Then, by coincidence, while doing a moon chart for Astronomy…it hit her. Remus was a werewolf. She had confronted him and after a few hours of coaxing, he finally, though shamefully, agreed. This confession made Remus and Lily even closer friends.

He was so serious and understanding, making him the perfect person to tell secrets too. Lily did tell Remus her secrets. She told him about Adam and how she thought that he’d only killed himself because he wanted to meet his parents in Heaven, But she did not tell Remus everything. She was sure that he probably didn’t tell her all his secrets either, so she didn’t feel guilty. But Remus was the only person who knew the real Lily—the Lily that she saw every time she looked in the mirror—the Lily who was full of flaws.

She looked up from her deep thoughts when the Great Hall quieted and Professor Dumbledore stood up to address the students.

“Another year has come,” he began. “And hopefully this will be full of memories that we will never forget. First-year students are reminded that the Forbidden Forest is just that, forbidden, though I’m sure that some of our older students should be remembering this as well,” he said, eyeing the Marauders, his crystal blue eyes twinkling brilliantly in the candlelight. “Quidditch tryouts will be held during the second week of term. Anyone interested in playing for their House team should seek contact with their Head of House. I would also like to congratulate Gryffindor for producing our fine Heads this year, Mr. James Potter and Ms. Lily Evans. That is all for now, goodnight to you all and sleep well, for tomorrow is the first day of classes.”

The clattering of forks and knives and the scraping of benches on the cobblestone floor suddenly filled the Hall as students got up to leave. Lily quickly made her way over to the first-years to escort them to the common room. She looked for James, who should have been helping her, but could not find him anywhere. Frustrated and irritated, she led the ‘ickle firsties,’ (as Peeves the Poltergeist called them) towards the common room.

The group had reached the portrait of the Fat Lady and Lily spoke the password, ‘Quidditch.’ The portrait swung open and allowed access to the crimson and gold common room. She then showed the first years to their dormitories (boys on the left, girls on the right) and herded them up the stairs for bed. Lily sighed as she glanced around the common room. So this was home, a place she had missed desperately during her waking hours at Mulberry Drive. But Lily knew that once she was up the stairs and in her four-poster bed, the night surrounding her would suffocate her with nightmares.

“Glad to be back?” one of her roommates asked once the common room had quieted down as the students headed up to their dormitories for the night.

“It’s always good to be home.” Lily looked around, remembering moments from years before, and smiled. The common room was quiet tonight and Lily soon realized why. The Marauders were missing. “Where are the Marauders?”

“No idea. Hey, I’m heading to bed. Goodnight, Lily. Congratulations on making Head Girl.”

“Thanks. Goodnight.” Lily looked around the common room. Curfew was in two minutes. If the Marauders were late…

The portrait covering the common room entrance swung open and the Marauders tumbled in. They were flushed and talking fast and excitedly. That usually meant they were up to something.

“Where were you, Potter?” Lily asked angrily.

James smirked at her. “Why should you care? We’re not late. Curfew isn’t for another minute.”

Lily breathed heavily, trying to hold her anger down, but it was hard around James; he knew just the right buttons to push. “I don’t care where you just were. I meant right after dinner. You were supposed to help me bring the first-years up to the common room. Did you? No, because I couldn’t find you anywhere! What kind of responsibility is that? You’re Head Boy, for Merlin’s sake—act your part!”

“You handled the situation perfectly well, didn’t you?” he responded coolly.

Lily growled and moved towards James in a threatening manner, toying with her wand.

He eyed her warily, but before she could even mutter a curse, Remus stepped in front of her and, with a last glance at James, grabbed her by the shoulders, led her to the nearby couch, and sat her down.

“Calm down, Lily,” said Remus.

“Calm down? How can I calm down when that irritating, foul, loathsome--”

“He isn’t that bad,” Remus interjected.

“Not that bad? Not that bad?! He’s the only one who can possibly make me this angry! That’s not the worst of it either, oh no. The worst of it is that he enjoys making me this angry! He likes to provoke me!”

Remus smiled knowingly at her. “That’s James for you.”

“I don’t understand why Dumbledore had to make him Head Boy…didn’t even help me with the first-years…almost came in late…” Lily continued to mutter to herself for some time before she turned on Remus. “And you…you should have reminded him. You should know better, Remus, since you were a Prefect. You’re the only serious one in that group; you need to keep them in control. As Head Boy, Potter needs to keep you guys in control.”

“I keep them in line as much as I can.”

“Really,” Lily scoffed. “You really handled the situation well after O.W.L.s and that situation with Severus. You didn’t do anything! You know that scuffles like that are against the rules.”

“I didn’t notice anything going on, I was reading,” replied Remus.

“Bollocks! I know you’re intelligent, Remus, but I highly doubt even you know how to read a book upside down.”

Remus blushed but didn’t say a word.

“Potter better get his act together,” she growled angrily, “or I refuse to work with him.”

“Don’t worry, Lily, I’ll give James a little talking-to,” Remus assured her.

“Potter should know what his responsibilities are. He shouldn’t need his friends to remind him.”

“Sometimes we all need reminders,” said Remus.

Lily huffed angrily.

“Why don’t you go to sleep? Classes start tomorrow and you wouldn’t want to be falling asleep in them, would you? What kind of example would you be setting if you fell asleep in class?” Remus teased her.

“You’re right,” Lily said resignedly. “Remind Potter that he’d better set a good example, as well.”

“Don’t worry about James. He will make a good Head Boy. People admire him, look up to him...”

Lily grumbled some more, but got up and headed towards the girls’ dormitory.

“Goodnight, Lily!” Remus called after her.

Lily just waved her hand impatiently and stumbled into the seventh-year girls’ dorm, falling into the welcoming arms of sleep.

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