Chapter 2 : A Love
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She took no notice of his slip and asked, curiosity evident, "What did he do?"
James fought to hide his confusion at her attitude. Lily Evans was not usually patient with him regarding Severus Snape. Most of the time she was fiercely defending him.
He took a piece of parchment and a quill out as Professor McGonagall walked into the room and began teaching.
"Today we will be starting human Transfiguration. This type of Transfiguration is very difficult, and I predict that all of you will make at least one mistake before the end of the period. That is entirely to be expected. Especially if you did not do your homework I assigned on Monday, or if you are playing Exploding Snap in the back of my classroom. Right, Mr. Black?"
Right behind him, James heard Sirius's quiet, embarrassed, "Yes, Professor," followed by the sound of the Exploding Snap cards being dropped into a bag.
"Now, then," McGonagall said. "I want you to partner up with the person you're sitting beside-" James stole a glance at Lily, who was staring at McGonagall. He would've thought she was ignoring him completely, except for the occasional looks she was giving him out of the corner of her eye. "-You are going to start by Transfiguring your leg into an object of your choice. As long as it is roughly in the shape of a leg and is classroom appropriate it is acceptable." She stood at the front of the room, hands on her hips, surveying the class. "You may begin."
"So," James began awkardly, looking at Lily, "who's going first?
"You can," she said, shrugging. She had a this-should-be-interesting attitude about her as James drew his wand.
Trying to ignore Lily standing there, James focused on what he wanted: a wooden leg. He pointed his wand at his leg and muttered the incantation.
His leg, instead of turning into a wooden leg, had lit itself on fire.
"Potter," Lily said, pretending to be severe as she tried in vain to hide a smile, "what did you visualize, a fire log?"
"No," James said, abashed and slightly embarrassed as he doused his leg in water. "You go, then!" he added, raising his eyebrows expectantly.
"Okay," she said, pushing herself off the table she had been leaning against.
Much to James's disappointment, she did not light herself on fire.
"See," she said, staring down at her own wooden leg, "that's what you're supposed to do."
"I know what I'm supposed to do!" James protested. "And how to do it!"
"Then how come you can't?" Lily pressed him.
"Because-" James stopped there. Because he wasn't focusing entirely on the spell; he was focusing partly on her. Because he didn't want to make himself look like a fool in front of her and consequently he was making himself look like a fool in front of her. "I don't know," he said.
"I bet you don't," she replied, waggling her eyebrows.
James felt himself turn bright red, much to his discomfort. "Well, since I don't," he said, trying to prevent himself from stuttering, "how about you help me with this after class?"
"Sure," Lily said, smiling as she added, "If it'll prevent you from setting yourself on fire again."
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