Chapter 3 : Dreams to Make One Think
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A/N: Thanks to Cariel for being the wonderful beta she is. If you are a reader of Pages Yet to Be Written--this chapter should look vaguely familiar--the beginning anyways. Enjoy.
"Why do you hate me, Lily?"
Lily stood wide-eyed at James, her mouth hanging slightly open as words fumbled on her tongue. She flushed ever so slightly as he stared at her with those very same desperate, questioning eyes that haunted her dreams. The sun blazed down upon her; tiny beads of perspiration lingered on the hairs that clung to her neck.
But where had the sun come from? Weren't they just standing in the cool, dark interior of the Astronomy Tower after hours? Yet, here she and James stood, beside the lake in the snow. Despite the snow and bone-chilling weather, Lily was hot and feverish as though she were put under a huge pressure.
James looked at her anxiously, shivering slightly from the cold.
Lily assumed that he didn't feel the sun burning on his face as she did. She watched as he ran his fingers through his hair. Lily could tell that he had just gotten finished with a snowball fight because his fingers were wet and his hair froze in a mess. He shivered unconsciously again and Lily wasn't sure if she was even really there since she felt nothing close to cold. She was warm and wanted to take her cloak off at that very moment. But as she struggled with the clasp that held her cloak around her shoulders, she was thrown into a different scenario.
The same question echoed in her ears as though they were bouncing off the cold, stones of the distant dungeons of Hogwarts.
"Why do you hate me, Lily?"
Lily looked around, semi-frightened and still considerably hot. She was in a dark hallway that led to a large, oak door, but Lily could not remember this hallway for the life of her. She ran as fast as she could towards the door but the harder she tried to run faster, the slower she went. The door now seemed millions of miles away and that she would never reach it no matter how desperate she was to throw it open. Then, in a split second, she was there as though no time had lapsed at all. She pushed the oak door open and gasped as the cold, bitter air bit her cheeks and fragile fingers. Though it was cold, it was welcoming after the suffocating, stuffy hot air. She reached for the railway that enclosed the balcony and looked over to see a black mass of shadows. In the distance, she could see the outline of the Forbidden Forest looking even more haunting and unwelcome.
"Where am I?” Lily strained to scream, it came out as a long, hollow wail.
The wind whipped her hair into her face and the trees of the forest bent with the weight of a thousand worlds. The trees moaned and creaked as some unforeseen shadow bent them at its will and Lily could feel as though the shadows beneath the balcony were moving slowly up toward her. She looked to the Forbidden Forest as a blur came rushing towards her. She couldn't tell whom or what it was until it was nearly at the base of balcony, clutching his stomach and gasping for air.
"Lily, come on Lily! I need to get you to safety. Please, just come with me. Trust me," James pleaded with her. His eyes stared up at her with such despair and terrible sadness that Lily almost collapsed and had to grasp the railway for support. She wanted to go to him; to feel his arms wrap around her and encompass her with a passionate warmth that she had never felt before.
Lily tried to pull herself over the railway to somehow get closer to that warmth that radiated around him through the bitter cold, but she couldn’t do it. No matter how hard she tried to push herself up, it seemed that gravity wanted to hold her down. Lily looked down in horror to see that her feet were sinking into the seemingly solid concrete of the balcony. No wonder she couldn’t move; she was becoming plastered.
James cried to her to reach him, but never made the attempt to reach her instead.
Lily looked to James in a paralysing fear and screamed his name, “James! James!”
Lily sat up gasping for air. Sweat trickled down her face, and her hair clung to her face. She looked around the dormitory, taking in the familiarities and trying to calm her racing nerves.
“Stop screaming and go to sleep,” one of her roommates mumbled sleepily into her pillow without even bothering to look up to see who had screamed.
So she had screamed out for James with her real voice and it was her voice, not some awful, inconceivable wail. She sighed heavily and pulled herself from her sweat-soaked sheets. Instantly, she was met with a blast of cold air coming from an open window and greeted it welcomingly. She felt cool now that the sweat was evaporating from her neck and face. She closed her eyes, wishing that she would never have to experience that suffocating warmth again. Her feet padded across the cold, stone floor and she pulled open the dormitory door with a creak. Lily turned back to check that her roommates were still asleep, shut the door behind her, and made her way to the common room.
The fires that roared within the common room still crackled loudly in the early hours of the morning. Apparently, the House-Elves had recently come and gone. Lily collapsed into the nearest armchair and yawned. She never noticed how draining her dreams could be. She wondered why it was James Potter of all people that haunted her dreams. Was it was a sign that maybe he wasn’t so bad? After all, he had tried to save her from those lurking shadows and his eyes--they were so desperate for something…but Lily couldn’t figure out what it was. It was those eyes that plagued her dreams and confused her for they lacked the fire that always burned whenever James was around her in real life. His eyes were so empty and pleading, hoping only for a moment’s glance into hers; a chance that she often tried to deprive of him. She hated when their eyes met because it was always awkward. Was this how James felt at the same exact moment?
Lily was confused. James was an arrogant, self-centred twit and he enjoyed making her angry. But in her dreams, he was desperate, pleading; not at all like the cool-composed James that followed her every waking moment. Maybe there was a side of James that she had never given him the chance to show.
Lily shook her head at her own thoughts. After six years of pranks, rude comments, and the silent treatment, Lily thought she knew all there was to know about James. Maybe she was wrong. But after six years, she couldn’t just give up the routine of constantly pulling him from the pedestal that everyone else hoisted him up on. Today’s performance after dinner showed her that he still wasn’t ready for the responsibility given as Head Boy. She was sure that Dumbledore overestimated James’ abilities. Sure, he was a role model; boys looked up to him, girls fawned over him but was James mature enough to handle responsibility? He had jobs to do. He couldn’t just stand there and look good. No, he still hadn’t changed. He was as immature as the day he set foot in Hogwarts.
“Lily?” a confused voice called to her from the stairway that led up to the dormitories.
She turned around to see the bedraggled hair and tired, ashen face of Remus.
“What are you doing up this early?” Lily asked him as she turned back around to watch the fire burn.
Remus took a seat on the armchair across from her and looked into her own tired eyes before answering. “Bad dream,” he muttered as he tried to hide a yawn.
“Me too,” Lily replied.
“Tell me about it?”
Lily smiled wearily at him, “You’re probably the only person in this entire school who could sit in the common room at three a.m. with me and ask about my dreams.”
“James would die to be sitting with you at three a.m.,” Remus said nonchalantly.
Lily gaped at him in disbelief and spluttered out incoherent words.
“It’s true, you know.”
“I know,” said Lily, giving up. “He confuses me.”
Remus laughed gently. “Yes, that is James, a terribly confusing young man. But you’ve got to know him to understand his intentions.”
“But,” Lily sighed in frustration, “that’s it. What are his intentions? He’s Potter. But who is James Potter really? Is he the egotistical git who likes to infuriate me? Or someone I haven’t even given a second glance?”
Remus looked at her curiously. “Is that what you were thinking about?”
Lily nodded. “I’m so confused, Remus.”
“Give it time, Lily. Maybe you should give James a chance, granted that he doesn’t make a prat out of himself. And if he does, just give him a good kick in the shins; it’ll knock some sense into him.”
“Or maybe a nice book to the head…” murmured Lily.
“I find that Potions books are heavy enough to cause slight damage,” said Remus, laughing lightly.
“Remus? Why does Potter like me?” asked Lily suddenly. “I never really understood it. What does he see in me?”
Remus shrugged. “I’m not James. He’s never told me. He talks about you non-stop, but it’s nothing about what could hint to us why he likes about you.”
“I hope I’m not some kind of conquest for him,” she said bitterly.
“James wouldn’t do that. He cares too much about you to make you out to be a conquest. I believe his intentions are pure. He really does like you, Lily.”
“That’s what confuses me! He asks me out and then acts like a git. He simply infuriates me to no end. I can’t stand being near his big ego!”
“Is that what you hate about him? His ego is large?”
“Large? For Merlin’s sake, Remus! His ego is humongous. I’m surprised he can fit his head through the door to your dormitory!”
“James’ ego isn’t that large. And he doesn’t mean to gloat; it’s just something he does unconsciously. He doesn’t mean to irritate you. He was brought up in a wealthy family. He knows what he wants.” Lily glowered and Remus knew he wasn’t going to get any farther at trying to get James on Lily’s good side. So he attempted another approach.
“You’re going to be working together a lot this year with all your responsibilities as Head Boy and Girl. You’ve both got to stop being immature. I’m not usually one to make arguments for my friends, but James has tried and you’ve got to let go of your past. James isn’t that insolent, haughty boy that you once knew. He’s grown up and so should you,” Remus finished and then looked at Lily expectantly.
“Well, what do you expect me to say? Okay, sure, I’ll give him a chance and maybe we’ll become the best of friends?! It isn’t that easy, Remus. Changes are gradual and after six years of arguing and throwing objects, it’s hard to picture a scenario of James and me together peacefully.”
“I know that, Lily,” said Remus, becoming agitated. “But at least give him a chance to prove that he isn’t as arrogant as he used to be. iIt won’t do this school any good if the Head Boy and Girl don’t get along.”
Lily sighed in contempt but did not say a word. She watched the embers as they burned out into lifeless ash.
Remus’ countenance lightened as he watched the beautiful young woman in front of him fight against reason. “Tell me about your dream now.”
Lily looked up. Her brilliant emerald eyes looked troubled as she frowned slightly. Her brow furrowed as she struggled to remember the contents of her latest dream, but like the one before, the vivid images were fleeing her mind.
“I don’t remember,” she said softly. “Do you forget yours often?”
“Sometimes, but usually they’re the ones that mean the most to me…perhaps you should head back to bed,” said Remus softly as Lily leaned her head against the armchair and yawned.
“Perhaps…but I highly doubt that I will fall asleep again. Now that I’m awake, I’m afraid to close my eyes.”
“If you don’t remember what the dream was about, do you remember who was in it?”
Lily laughed quietly, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
Remus raised his eyebrows in curiosity. “James?”
“Hmm…yes, Remus, it’s James. I don’t just dream of him…he haunts my dreams. He haunts my waking moments. I can’t live without seeing him.”
“Is that a good thing or bad thing?”
Lily sighed in frustration and threw a pillow at Remus’ head.
He threw his hands up in surrender. “Forget I said anything! But, Lily, we’re making progress. You said James not Potter,” said Remus with a grin.
Lily groaned in response and buried her head into her palms.
They sat there in a comfortable silence, just enjoying the unspoken company of one another. It was how they spent a lot of late nights when both were awakened by a bad dream or just couldn’t sleep.
“I’m going to try and get some more sleep,” Lily finally whispered. “Goodnight, Remus. Thank you for talking with me.” She got up and yawned.
Remus smiled at her.
“I’m always willing to talk to you, no matter the time of day.”
“I know. That’s what makes you an amazing friend.”
“Goodnight, Lily. I hope you have a dreamless sleep.”
“You too,” she said sincerely as she made her way up the dormitory stairs.
Remus stared at that fleeting figure that silently made its way up the stairs. He sighed heavily and closed his eyes as if he were trying to restrain the conversation from fleeing him like Lily’s dreams has.
The stars dissolved into the cold, gunmetal-coloured sky. At dawn, the sun broke through the boundary of horizon, cutting a burning fracture in the sky. The early risers wiped the cobwebs of sleep from their eyes and stumbled to get themselves ready while those who’d rather sleep in mumbled their ‘five more minutes, Mum’ to the bustle of an awakening castle.
Lily opened her eyes as the sunlight streamed in. Her other roommates were stirring slightly but showed no sign of getting up anytime soon. Lily crawled out of bed and shuffled her way towards the nearest bathroom. Twenty minutes later, she emerged feeling refreshed. Lily performed a simple drying spell on her hair and entered her dorm to get ready for the first day of classes. Not surprisingly, her roommates were still resting in bed, trying, in a vain attempt, to keep the sunlight from disturbing them.
After dressing quickly, she looked into the mirror and criticized her appearance. She stood with her books in a small bag around her shoulder with her grey, pleated uniform skirt smooth and fitting comfortably and her tie around the collar of her white button-down blouse. Her Gryffindor-emblazoned cloak hung over her shoulders, clasped in the front with her Head Girl badge pinned over her breast. Overall, her appearance was neat and pleasing; the ideal image of a Head Girl. She smiled to herself and walked down the stairway that led to the common room, ready to face a new day of classes in her last year at Hogwarts.
The Great Hall was situated to the side of the Entrance Hall and it always seemed so different from the night of the arrival of the students. There wasn’t the hustle and bustle of students trying to find seats at their House table. Most of the first years hadn’t gotten over the shock of this amazing school until the first day of classes and still, even then, they were greatly surprised at the classes and everything that they had to learn. Lily remembered how overwhelmed she felt when she had first arrived. She had thought that as a Muggle-born, she would know the least of everyone. She had been frightened that she would get lost and be late for a class or answer a question wrong and be punished. After the first several weeks, her fears subsided and she realized how comfortable the environment was. Hogwarts was home away from home and for some, this was and is the only true home they had ever known.
The Hall was not even close to being full nor was it completely empty. There were some early risers eating toast or eggs and conversing with their Housemates about the upcoming course schedules or the new Quidditch season. Some of the Gryffindor first-years looked around, terrified at the vast hall before them.
Lily walked up to them and smiled warmly.
“Hello, I’m Lily Evans. I’m the Head Girl of Hogwarts. I’m Gryffindor as well. How are you doing?”
The small first years gaped up at her and toast hung from one of their mouths. There was an awkward silence before a young girl spoke up.
“I’m terrified. What if I get lost? Will the professors get mad?” she asked tearfully.
“Well, you might want to try and get to your class on time. I heard that Professor McGonagall doesn’t take to late-arrivals very well. But not to worry, as your Head Girl, I’ll be sure to point you in the right direction. And whatever you do,” Lily told them, staring precariously over at the nearby Slytherin table, “do not trust anything that the Slytherins tell you. They’re a bad lot. They’ll be more than grateful to lead you in the wrong direction.”
The girl nodded and looked fearfully at the Slytherin table just as some of the students sneered viciously at her. She yelped and hid her face behind her hands.
Lily patted the girl on her shoulder before making her way towards the older students belonging to the Gryffindor House.
Some random “Hello, Lily’s” and “Congratulations on making Head Girl!” followed her as she sat down at an empty plate. She pulled a piece of toast from the pile that was set before her and nibbled on a corner as the doors of the Great Hall opened to allow some more students in. Lily instantly picked up her Transfiguration book and began reading as if to hide from non-existent glances.
The Marauders walked in and girls squealed from their seats as they rushed to whisper to their nearby friends.
James looked around at the girls and smiled before running his fingers through his hair, like always, giving his hair the look as if he had just gotten off a broomstick.
Lily always hated when he did that, it made him even more egotistical than ever, just because he was some ‘Quidditch God.’
Lily scoffed whenever he did this and it made James somewhat upset. She did not think of him as some Quidditch God and James was certain that Lily had never even been to a Quidditch match before.
Some rather attractive sixth-year Gryffindors called the Marauders over to sit with them for the first breakfast of the year and Sirius more than dragged them all over.
James shot a furtive glance at Lily, who was too absorbed in a Transfiguration book to probably even notice that they had arrived.
“Miss Evans,” Professor McGonagall walked briskly up to her and glanced approvingly at her. “A fine choice for Head Girl, I must say.”
Lily smiled graciously and thanked the Professor.
“Mr. Potter, if you would,” she called over the James, who hurriedly got up and made his way towards the Professor and Lily. “Professor Dumbledore requests a meeting with you at 8 o’clock tonight. Do not be late.”
“Will do Professor McGonagall,” said James with a charming smile.
“Oh and here are your timetables,” she said, handing them to Lily and James before she moved on to giving them to the rest of the table.
“Good morning, Evans!” said James after McGonagall had left them.
“Potter.” Lily nodded in response and then made her way back towards her seat.
James fell into place beside Remus and instantly tuned out the conversation around him. At least he got some response from her.
James watched every move that Lily made. He was intent on memorizing her movement and hoped that he could remember it to perfection so that even when she was nowhere near him, he could clearly see her face and the way her arms moved to brush her hair from her eyes. He could hear his heart beating loudly in his chest, drumming against his ribcage so hard that he thought it might break. The drumming rhythm of his heart was deafening but the voices and the clattering of kitchenware was dim and almost inaudible.
Lily looked up from her Transfiguration book as she felt somewhere staring at her and James blushed crimson before looking down at his plate.
“Oy-Prongs, you alright there, mate?” Sirius questioned with half a sausage in his mouth.
James nodded and licked his lips. His mouth was dry and he found that even if he had any words to speak, he would never be able to produce a sound. He coughed dryly and took a sip of his orange juice. It was as if Lily was there at that moment asking him a question that he knew the answer to; Lily just did that to him. She instantly made him forget what he was going to say and he found it hard to concentrate when she was around. It was as if his senses had completely tuned out everything because they were so desperate to reach her and smell her, touch her, see her, that he barely had the sense to do or think of anything else. Lily Evans made James absolutely mad with desire.
“Desire is death,” Remus whispered into James’ ear as if he could read his thoughts.
“Did you come up with that yourself?” James asked Remus curiously.
“Of course I did! No, not really. It comes from a sonnet.”
“What the bloody hell is a saw…net?”
Remus rolled his eyes. “A sonnet is a fourteen line poem that has a defined rhyme scheme and is written in iambic pentameter with the thirteenth and fourteenth line being a couplet.”
James’s eyes went wide. “Written in what? What’s a couplet?”
Remus sighed in frustration. “Never mind. You wouldn’t understand poetry.”
“Why is it so confusing?” enquired James.
“Of course you wouldn’t understand poetry considering you’ve probably never read a poem in your life!” Remus exclaimed, glad to get James’ attention off of Lily for a few moments anyway.
“Oh, so what is this sonnet about anyway?” asked James, biting the end off a piece of bacon.
“Basically that the experience of love is extremely difficult if it goes against reason and can drive a person mad,” replied Remus.
“It is quite a good sonnet though. Perhaps I should lend you one of my literature books and have you read some of this man’s sonnets; they’re mainly about love.”
“Maybe I could send one to Lily, yeah? Would she be impressed?” James asked excitedly. “Who is this poet anyway, what’s his name?”
“She might be. She would probably be surprised that you even knew who he was. His name is William Shakespeare and he’s a 16th century English poet and playwright. He’s long since dead, but his poetry and plays are famous worldwide.”
“Wow,” James said, impressed. “He must have been really good.”
“Oh yes, one of the best. Now come on, if we don’t stop dawdling, we’ll be late for Potions!” said Remus as he ushered the Marauders out of the Great Hall, pulling Sirius away from his conversation with the sixth-year girls.
Many of the other students were now beginning to file out of the Great Hall and made their way towards their first class.
Lily pointed the frightened young first-years in the direction of their first class, History of Magic, and headed down to the dungeons behind the other seventh-year Gryffindors.
“Who could enjoy Potions first thing in the morning?” muttered Peter as they emerged from the dark and dingy dungeons over an hour later. “I’m terrible at Potions and he’s already assigned a two foot essay!”
“Why do we always have to have Potions with those bloody Slytherins?” James protested loudly. “As if we want to spend more time with them other than mealtimes.”
“Once is enough,” agreed Sirius as he tugged on his bag to ensure its safety on his shoulders.
The other seventh-year Gryffindors followed behind them as they headed towards Herbology with the Ravenclaws.
The rest of the day passed by quickly, to the relief of all the students, as they sat down in the Great Hall for dinner before heading back to the common room for homework. The fifth through seventh-year students were already piled high with homework in preparation for O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts The seventh-years had essays for all of the classes they had today and they groaned wearily as they exited the Great Hall from dinner. The common room was crowded with students some doing homework, others not.
“Procrastinators,” muttered Lily.
The more notable procrastinators were none other than the Marauders, with the exception of Remus who always did his homework as soon as it was given it.
“I don’t understand why you don’t do your homework now, Peter,” Remus scolded, “Especially if you’re worried that you might fall behind.”
Peter squeaked as he always did, which reminded Lily of a rat, and nodded fervently as he grabbed his Potions book and pulled out a scroll of parchment. He peered over at Remus’ foot-and-half paged essay with greedy eyes and hurriedly began to scribble out his own essay.
James and Sirius took Remus and Peter’s lead and began their essays to give them more time to romp around on the weekend.
Lily looked up at the clock after working on her essays for quite some time. It was almost 8 o’clock! Her eyes searched the common room for James, who was sitting on the large couch with Sirius in front of the fire. She got up quickly and leaned over the sofa back, looking down at James—he was fast asleep. She looked over at Sirius, who was engrossed in his Herbology essay and did not notice her there. She leaned over further so that she could wake up James and poked him in the chest.
“Potter, wake up!”
James shifted but did not wake.
Sirius now looked up from his essay and glanced at Lily curiously.
“Potter…” Lily sighed in frustration. “Potter, there’s some Ravenclaw girl outside the common room waiting for you…topless,” she said quickly.
Sirius snorted into a pillow and tried to stifle his laughter.
James bolted awake so fast that Lily barely had time to register that he had even opened his eyes and his head painfully collided with hers.
Lily toppled backwards and quickly grasped her head, groaning in pain.
James muttered some obscenities while Sirius laughed hysterically, the pillow that he had used to stifle his laughter before, now clutched to his stomach.
Remus rushed over to Lily and helped her to her feet, though he was laughing as well. “You alright, Lily?”
“I’m fine, just fine. Merlin, Potter,” she said eyeing him with distaste, and still rubbing her head gently. “Can your head get any harder?”
Sirius broke out into hysterics once more and James hit him with a pillow.
“There isn’t really a topless Ravenclaw out there, is there?” he asked.
Lily rolled her eyes. “No, Potter, but I had to think of something to wake you up. We need to be at our meeting with Professor Dumbledore in…THREE MINUTES?! Bloody hell!” she cried in panic and she bolted towards the portrait hole.
James slowly rose to his feet, stumbled a bit before the full effects of sleep wore away, and followed her.
“Chocolate frogs,” Lily gasped as she halted in front of the gargoyle that led to Professor Dumbledore’s office. With James right behind her, Lily ascended the stairway and tentatively knocked on his door.
They heard a “come in,” and walked into the office.
Professor Dumbledore’s office was magnificent. Lily loved to come here just to look at all the odds and ends he collected. There were portraits of old Headmasters lining the wall, as well as bookshelves full of books and other oddments.
Their Headmaster was currently standing by a perch to the right of his desk, stroking the breast of a beautiful phoenix that he had dubbed, Fawkes.
“Ms. Evans and Mr. Potter, it is wonderful to see you. Please, sit down,” he said as he moved away from Fawkes and sat down at his desk. Lily and James took seats before him and waited in silence. “Lemon drop?” he asked them.
They both took one graciously and thanked their Headmaster before sticking the sour candy into their mouths.
Professor Dumbledore unstuck one and popped it into his mouth as well.
“Now, back to the business that I called you here for. As Head Boy and Girl, I assume that you know that your responsibilities are much more demanding than that of Prefects. Of course, you, Ms. Evans know all about being a Prefect. Mr. Potter, I’m sure you’ll learn quickly from Ms. Evans. Now, Mr. Potter,” said Dumbledore, eyeing James, “I assume that you’ll put as much responsibility into your Head duties as you do with your pranks.”
“Absolutely, sir!” James exclaimed.
Dumbledore smiled at him.
“Very good. Some items of business; I ask of you to be able to plan Hogsmeade weekends and any Prefect meetings.”
“Yes, sir,” James and Lily replied simultaneously.
“Any school functions you might also desire, please inform me and I will try to ensure that it happens, but I cannot promise anything.”
“I also want to make sure that you do treat everyone fairly, especially the Slytherins.” He said this more or less directly towards James.
“But I’m sure that you will both be responsible and not abuse your position. Take points when needed, give detentions when deemed necessary. I wish you both a wonderful year. You may go.”
“Good-bye Professor,” James said, as he got up.
Lily lingered behind.
“Professor, I don’t mean to judge your decision, but why did you pick him as Head Boy?” she questioned.
Professor Dumbledore smiled at her. “I know that you and Mr. Potter don’t particularly get along—"
“But you both have the qualities I’m looking for in Head Boy and Girl. James has the courage and leadership qualities that make him perfect for Head Boy. People look up to him, they admire him, and he tries his hardest to please everyone. He also has patience. Have you ever seen him tutor Mr. Pettigrew? Some people would have given up on him, but not James.
And you--you have the calm, soothing nature that I greatly admire—"
“You are friendly and you do not judge quickly. You both are determined…and stubborn. You make a perfect team, even if you do not see it yet. I hope by the end of the year, though, that you will indeed see just how well you both work together. If that is all, Ms. Evans…”
“Yes, thank you, sir. Good night.”
Lily left quickly and made her way back towards the Gryffindor common room. She sat back down where she had been working on her essay before the meeting.
By half past ten, the common room was almost deserted and the only remaining students, the Marauders, were almost finished with their last essay.
Lily sat at a table on the far side of the common room where she could concentrate on her homework peacefully. She closed her book wearily and rolled up her last scroll of parchment. She replaced the cover on her inkbottle and stuffed her essays, books, ink, and quill into her bag. She looked around and glanced around the room, eyeing the group of fifth years suspiciously.
She quickly got up and stood behind who looked like the lead boy. “What are you boys up to?” Lily asked.
“N-n-nothing,” a boy to her left stuttered, smiling crookedly. “Just talking about classes, that’s all.”
“If you were ‘just talking about classes,’” Lily started, “you would not be talking in secret, whispers in a dark corner.”
The boys looked at Lily disdainfully and broke up their group, all of them heading up towards their dormitory.
“Good job, Lily, keeping those boys in line,” said Sirius.
“Someone has to,” she said, shooting an angry glare at James and frowning. “You have responsibilities too, Potter. You can’t just loaf around and act as though you can’t see anyone doing anything out of bounds.”
“I didn’t see them doing anything wrong!” James defended.
“Because you’re just like them, Potter!” Lily replied exasperated. “You’re those guys sitting in a dark corner whispering with your friends, planning another plot against the Slytherins. You’re the students who stay up late and go sneaking around the school in your invisibility cloak and come in at indecent hours. You turn a blind-eye towards these students because you yourself would have hated to have been told off.
“But you’ve got to start learning that as Head-Boy it isn’t all fun and games. You can’t just get away with everything you’ve been getting away with for the past six years. You’ve got to be the discipliner instead of the disciplined and it’s hard, I know, but it’s your responsibility. You accepted the position as Head-Boy and you’ve got to restrain yourself from stepping out of bounds.”
“Yes, well you need to loosen up, Evans!"
"Loosen up? At least I follow the rules!" Lily felt her blood boiling. He just knew how to get right underneath her skin.
"Maybe people would listen to you better, would like you better if you weren't so stuck up," James shot back.
"Prongs, that went too far," Remus said suddenly, looking between the two angry Head students. James growled angrily and slammed his quill down on the table.
"Damn it, Moony. Stay out of it."
"Remus didn't do anything wrong!" argued Lily. "Don't yell at him. He's just..."
"Trying to defend you? Thought you didn't need anyone to defend you, Evans? Thought you could handle situations perfectly well. Or was it that you didn't want me to defend you? I just don't get you..."
"You wouldn't," snarled Lily angrily before stalking off towards the girls' dormitory without a second glance.
"Prongs..." warned Remus.
"Don't start on me, Moony," said James, suddenly very tired.
“Well, you’ve sure got your work cut out for you, Prongs,” Sirius said as he propped his elbows on the table and rested his head wearily in his cupped hands. “I can’t believe she didn’t end up chucking an inkbottle at your head or something—would’ve been a great way to start off the year,” he smiled to himself at the thought of James covered in ink. “Anyway, I’m exhausted. I can’t believe we did all our homework and it’s not even Sunday yet!”
“How come we haven’t done our start of year prank?” asked Peter suddenly, looking up as he wrote the last sentence of his essay.
“Tomorrow, Wormtail…tomorrow. We’ve got everything done, right?” Sirius questioned.
James and Remus nodded.
“Are you sure you want to do this?" questioned Sirius. "I mean, you're Head Boy now, Prongs..."
"So?" snapped James.
Sirius laughed and mimicked Lily. "You've got to show some responsibility."
"Evans should just sod off," replied James. "We're doing the prank tomorrow and that's that. Now let's get to bed."
Sirius nodded happily. If there was anything he liked more than food, it was sleep. He helped his friends clean up the table of ink and parchment. Then they headed towards their own dormitory and collapsed tiredly onto their four-poster beds before drifting off to sleep.
But across the Gryffindor tower, in the girls’ dormitory, someone was having quite a difficult time trying to fall asleep because either she was too angry or she was afraid of dreaming of a certain black-haired boy...
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