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Underneath it All by forsakenphoenix
Chapter 4 : The Tragic Ending to a Comedy
Rating: 12+Chapter Reviews: 14

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Chapter Three: The Tragic Ending to a Comedy

The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.-Charlee Jacob

Lily stared at her crimson canopy in silence. She could hear the slow, heavy breathing of her sleeping roommates. The silence was shattered by the occasional snort or groan. She had awakened, yet again, in the middle of the night to find herself trying to recall her latest dream and failing miserably. It was as if her dreams taunted her and then recoiled from sight and memory so that she could only remember the emotions she had felt: fear, love, anger, and despair. But why was she feeling those things? Surely, she could not feel love when she dreamt of James…the insufferable git who haunted every minute of her life. Of course not, she reassured herself. Still, she could not help but feel that there was something about James Potter that she just wasn’t seeing; the side of James that Remus saw. Would she ever see this side of James or would she not give him a chance to prove that he really did care?

Lily spent the rest of the morning before breakfast reading her N.E.W.T level Transfiguration book. They would have their first Transfiguration lesson of the year that morning and, as always, Lily wanted to make sure she was somewhat ahead.

Breakfast was somewhat of a dull event. There was the morning mail (with nothing for Lily of course), food, and Peter tripping over his shoelaces, falling face-first into the nearest bench.

Peter was naturally a bit subdued on the way to Transfiguration in fear that he might humiliate himself even more.

“We’re even humiliated to be seen with you,” joked Sirius, nudging Peter playfully.

Peter did not see the humour in the situation and glared coldly at him before glancing back down at the floor.

Lily felt bad for Peter and knew that Sirius, although joking, had hurt Peter’s feelings.

Transfiguration began with Professor McGonagall making a speech about how difficult the N.E.W.Ts were and that this was the year students had to prove themselves. This speech had been given from all their other professors, but Professor McGonagall was able to hold their entire classroom’s attention. After the speech on N.E.W.Ts, Professor McGonagall moved on to lecture about the topics they would cover over the course of the year.

Lily took detailed notes on the subjects that Professor McGonagall described.

“Now, for the remainder of the period, open your books to page 5—” Professor McGonagall began describing human transfiguration.

Students rustled through their bags to pull out parchment and quills and took rapid notes. Even the Marauders, Lily noticed, were listening with rapt attention to the Professor.

The morning passed rather uneventfully as did the afternoon. Soon it was dinnertime and the Marauders were getting quite antsy. They had been planning this prank since the summer and couldn’t wait to see the Slytherins reactions.

Lily sat with the other girls in her dorm at dinner, deeply engrossed in a conversation about Charms class.

“Lily, would you mind showing me the wand movements again after dinner? I keep on forgetting and you’re the best Charms student in our year,” blushed one of her roommates.

Lily smiled gratefully. “Sure.” She was always willing to help another student. Did that add to defining her as perfect? She frowned slightly and looked down at the food on her plate as the conversation next to her became just an annoying buzz in her ear.

A bang resounded and the next thing Lily knew, chaos ensued in the Great Hall. There were giant chocolate frogs leaping throughout the Hall, the Slytherins were dressed in pink dresses, and chocolate cake was being randomly thrown at peoples’ faces by some invisible force of magic.
Lily groaned and knew that there were no other groups who could have pulled a stunt like this.

Sure enough, a very livid Professor McGonagall came stomping down the Gryffindor table, pulling students off the benches from where they stood, as they tried to hide from the giant frogs. Her face was covered in a rich chocolate cake and her lips were barely seen as they pursed into a very straight line.

“Black, Potter, Lupin, Pettigrew,” she said sharply.

Remus tried his best to look innocent, but James was holding onto Sirius in mirth, barely able to breathe since he was laughing so hard.

“Did you see Snivellus’ face?” James exclaimed.

Professor McGonagall did not look too happy at being interrupted.

“Twenty points from Gryffindor and a detention tomorrow night, my office, eight o’clock.”

Sirius looked at Professor McGonagall in amazement and nudged James in the ribs. “Prongs, hear that? Detention--tomorrow night. Do you know what this means?” he shook James excitedly. Remus and Peter looked at the two boys in confusion. Professor McGonagall merely raised an eyebrow at the exchange.

James’ laughter slowly downed and as his breath evened out, his eyes went wide, and his mouth formed a perfect ‘o’. Sirius nodded his head enthusiastically.

“What in Merlin’s name are you two on about?” asked Professor McGonagall as she tried to look stern but failed; the chocolate cake just didn’t help.

“After detention tomorrow night, you’re looking at the new record holders of the most detentions held by one person or more at Hogwarts,” said Sirius proudly.

James laughed gleefully and Remus smirked.

Peter looked as if he were in a daze. Finally, he would be recognized for something! Although holding the most detentions isn’t exactly someone wants to be remembered for, the pranks they’d pulled resulting in the detentions were perfect for remembrance.

McGonagall looked at them slightly torn between amusement and berating them. She decided on neither as she shuffled towards the Slytherin table in order to help calm the chaos. She quickly cleaned her face and helped the Slytherin Head of House escort the Slytherins back to their common rooms to change back into their Hogwarts robes.

Lily left dinner early and headed to the common room. Everyone was at dinner, so she was left with silence to help relieve her anger. Sure the prank was funny, but honestly, when would they grow up? And James was Head Boy! Some responsibility he was showing to the younger students even after he promised that he would really try this year!

The portrait hole opened and let in a few students. They took one look at Lily and bolted to a corner to hide. They had seen Lily angry and knew to stay out of her way. The common room slowly filled up as more and more students returned from dinner.

The Marauders were amongst the last to enter and James knew he was in trouble once he saw Lily’s flashing emerald eyes.

“Like the show, Evans?” he asked, smirking.

Lily growled in frustration. She had little patience for James and his stupid pranks. She grabbed him by the front of his robes, ignoring the look of shock on his face and pulled him outside the portrait hole. “You are an insufferable git,” spat Lily, poking James’ chest for emphasis.

“What’s wrong with a little prank? The Slytherins looked hilarious in chocolate cake and pink dresses,” he argued, laughing at the image. Then he sobered slightly before glaring at her. “You’re no fun at all, Evans. No wonder you’re a prude.” Instantly, James knew that he had definitely said the wrong thing.

Lily didn’t say a word, but she didn’t have to. Her eyes showed that she was extremely angry. “How dare you…even…think of saying that to me!” she finally spluttered out.

“What’s wrong, Evans?” taunted James. “Afraid to admit it, eh? Evans is a bloody prude! And of course she is. She has to maintain that ‘Perfect Head Girl image.’”

“I am not a prude,” snarled Lily. “And I refuse to be…” she faltered and did not understand why. She looked up at James and saw that he did not look angry like she did, but annoyed. She always had to have the last word--always had to insult him for his lack of maturity and it seemed to bother him. “My personal life is none of your business, Potter.”

“What personal life?” snapped James. “You have no life outside school and homework. I don’t see you with friends. Do you even have friends?”

“Remus is my friend.” Suddenly, Lily felt very strong. These accusations of James’ were cruel and heartless and hit far too close to home. “…and Sirius,” she added as an afterthought. It was true. Lily had known that the Marauders became Animagi for Remus—Remus told her himself, knowing that she was too clever for her own good and would have noticed the three of the other Marauders disappeared every full moon as well. She would have become suspicious and asked how they stayed with him—might as well quell her curiosity, he had said. The other Marauders were very upset with Remus for spilling such a dangerous secret and the row that followed lasted quite a few weeks.

After that incident, the Marauders took to almost stalking Lily to ensure that their secret was in fact, a secret. James loved the idea of following around the girl he had been chasing for years, and it was during that time that he discovered a lot more about Lily that made him absolutely adore her. “You happen to be friends with my friends.”

It took little more than a week for Lily to finally get frustrated with having the Marauders tag along everywhere she went before she exploded. Having them follow her into a girls’ lavatory to ensure that she did not tell any of the girls in the school was quite far enough. Since then, she became good friends with Sirius. His joking nature made it easy to cheer up the saddest person and sometimes Lily just needed some cheering up. Of course, she wasn’t as close to Sirius as she was with Remus. Her relationship with Peter was…odd, to say the least. They were on friendly terms and she only spoke to him when he needed help with a question or two about schoolwork and that was it. And everyone knew about her strained relationship with James.

“They’re my friends, as well. You never claimed them!”

James growled in frustration. He just didn’t understand this girl. He was head-over-heels for her, but she was just so damn frustrating! The next thing James said surprised him just as much as it surprised Lily.

“I don’t know why I bother anymore, Evans. You’re not worth it. You aren’t worth wasting time for.” He didn’t know why he had just said it, but that he could not stop himself from voicing his frustrations.

Lily frowned. That was very un-Potter like. “You have been wasting your time, Potter, six years worth of your time. It’s highly unbelievable that you’re giving up now. Of course, I don’t care if you give up on me—it would be a relief. It’s just odd.”

He just can’t do that.

Of course he can. It’s not as if I gave him the time of day.

You don’t want him to give up. You want to give him a chance. You’re just too scared.

Why would I give him a chance after six years of not giving him a chance?

People change.

Lily really thought she was going mental. She was now having arguments with herself!

“Why do you hate me, Evans? Honestly, what is that I did to you? I just don’t understand how you can hate me when you don’t even know me! You know Remus…probably just as well as I do. You know Sirius…to an extent. But you know absolutely nothing about me. And when I first met you, I thought you were the one person who would not judge me because of my looks or my name. You didn’t, which I am thankful for, which makes you different from all the other girls. But it also made you hate me. I just don’t understand…” James was confused more than ever and about to rip all his hair off his head.

Lily quickly grabbed his hands in her own and gently pulled them away from his hair. “Girls wouldn’t like it much if you went bald,” she murmured, releasing his hands just as quickly as she had grabbed them.

“See, there you go again! I don’t understand you!” he cried in irritation. “Are you…jealous or something?”

“No. I…I don’t know. Don’t do this, Potter. Don’t…accuse me of things like that.”

“Why the bloody hell not? You’re ALWAYS accusing me of things.” He was right and he knew it.

She had been unfair to him and all he wanted was a chance, a chance she had denied him since first year. “Potter…”

“Lily!” one of her roommates interrupted their conversation as she walked towards the portrait hole. “Oh, I’m sorry, did I interrupt something?” she questioned.

“No!” Lily said quickly. “Do you still need my help with that wand movement, Anne?” she asked.

The girl nodded, muttered the password, and as the portrait opened, she was followed by both Lily and James. The two girls departed from James swiftly and made their way to a corner of the common room where the other seventh-year girls sat.

“What in Merlin’s name was that about?” Remus asked when James finally sat himself on the couch beside Sirius.

“Nothing,” said James, “nothing at all.”

Remus looked at him curiously but did not push the subject.

The next day of classes was uneventful, unless you count the Potions incident in which Sirius blew up Severus’ caldron and earned another day of detention on Monday. Thankfully they had the afternoon off and it was Friday. Saturday was almost here. The Marauders had a detention with McGonagall at eight o’clock in which they had finally beaten the old school record with 1,024 detentions. The Marauders knew that by the end of the year, they would have beaten the old record by a lot.

While the Marauders were serving their detention, Lily sat at a table in the common room, thinking about James Potter. It was just so irritating how he knew how to get right under her skin as if he knew her weaknesses. She thought about how arrogantly he carried himself, always a swagger in his step.

It isn’t arrogance. It’s confidence.

She thought of the way he ruffled his hair, making it look even more a mess than it normally was. She wondered if he had ever even used a comb before…

You have to admit that his hair is kind of cute…

She thought of how he had singled-out Severus Snape and ruined the Slytherin’s life. No one should hex someone just because they don’t like them.

You hex James just because you don’t like him…

But it doesn’t mean that he can torture him just because he exists, argued another voice in her head.

Snivellus deserves it.

“Shut up,” Lily said to the voices in her head.

The boy sitting at the table across from her looked at her strangely before moving to another table. He kept shooting Lily odd glances to make sure that she was perfectly all right.

She gave him an annoyed look and he stopped. She spent over an hour thinking about what she hated about James and was only countered with a thought about the good part of those traits or how she was judging him unfairly. She was frustrated to say that least. To get her mind off of James, she attempted to write her an essay for Transfiguration that was due on Wednesday.

At 9:10, the Marauders ambled into the common room. They made their way over to their favourite couch by the fire which was currently occupied by a group of 3rd year girls. When they saw James and Sirius, they rushed toward their dormitories in a fit of giggles.

Remus sat on another sofa by himself while Peter took an armchair closer to the fire. He pulled out a book.

James and Sirius both sat on opposite sides of the couch. The two of them discussing the latest Quidditch news while Peter listened intently.

The same sixth-year girl who followed James around constantly fell between the two of them and instantly started a conversation with him.

James put a pained smile on his face and nodded absently at whatever she was saying.

Sirius looked irritated that the conversation he was having with his best friend was interrupted. Although Sirius liked girls very much--it was right up there with food and sleep--he did not like his conversations interrupted.

Remus looked up from his book and saw Lily watching James and the girl’s interaction. He caught her eye and motioned her over.

Lily sighed, pushed aside the essay that she had started, and walked over to where the Marauders were. She plopped down on the couch beside Remus and looked at him, clearly bored.

He smiled weakly at her, jerked his head towards James and the girl, and pretended to gag.

Without James to talk to, Sirius was bored. “Lily!” he exclaimed happily.

“Evans?” James was not addressing her but questioning her as to why she was there.

“Just thought I’d talk a bit with Remus,” she replied, shrugging slightly.

Sirius frowned.

“…and with Sirius.”

I was talking with Sirius,” said James.

“Yes, you were, you aren’t now,” pointed our Sirius. “So Lily decided to be the good friend that she is and talk with Remus and me while you chatted with this lovely lady here. I mean, we don’t want to intrude on such an engaging conversation.” Sirius smiled as James shot him a look of irritation.

The girl next James began pouting because he wasn’t paying any attention to her. “Jamie…” she whined.

“Melinda, go bother someone else,” said Sirius offhandedly.

The girl huffed, “My name is Melanie.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Sirius waved his hand in annoyance. “Melanie…Melinda… What’s the difference?”

The girl glared dangerously at Sirius before leaving to join her friends and bursting into tears.

“I thought her name was Melissa,” said James suddenly.

Sirius chuckled and threw an arm around James.

“You really aren’t Prince Charming, you know that, Prongs?”

“Yeah, yeah. I also know that I’m a pig-headed jerk. Isn’t that right, Evans? Since you are obviously very well-educated about my finer traits...”

“I prefer to continue calling you an insufferable git, if you don’t mind. But if you prefer I could call you arrogant or a bullying toe-rag, or…”

“Yes, yes,” said James impatiently. “I’ve heard this all before. Despite what you think, Evans, I can actually remember what you’ve said to me.”

Lily shrugged. “You could have fooled me, you know, with you constantly asking me out and all. I thought I hadn’t gotten the message across to you.”

“Ha ha, you’re a funny one,” said James dryly.

“I try. Anyway, I should finish my homework…” she muttered to herself.

James looked at her in shock. “You really need to loosen up, Evans. Homework on a Friday? It’s unheard of!”

“James is right, Lily, it is Friday night. Have some fun. Relax! Stay and chat,” said Remus. “We haven’t talked much since a few days ago,” he started. “How are classes going?”

“Good—homework is getting more difficult, but that’s expected now that it’s N.E.W.T year. How are you all getting along?”

“I’m struggling still,” said Peter, a bit embarrassed.

“It’s alright, Peter. Remus, maybe we could start that study group again this year. You could join us Peter,” Lily said, smiling encouragingly at him.

James smiled as well. One thing that he absolutely loved about Lily was that she so kind to everyone.

“Could I really?” he squeaked.

“If that’s alright with you, Remus,” said Lily quickly.

“Oh, definitely, Peter. I’m surprised you didn’t join us last year.”

“I would have!” exclaimed Peter. “But I joined another study group…they didn’t help much though. Didn’t have enough patience with me I guess.”

“Don’t worry, Peter. We’ll help you,” said Lily, confident that with enough help and encouragement, Peter would turn out to be quite a hard worker. It wasn’t that he was dumb; it was more that he didn’t put enough effort or thought into what he did. He tried to act just like James and Sirius, who did not put much effort into their schoolwork.

“Thanks, Lily,” mumbled Peter.

Lily smiled and James’ breath got caught in his throat. He loved it when she smiled; it was so beautiful. He then remembered that he was supposed to be getting over her. That smile just made it all the more difficult. He could lie to her and to his friends but he couldn’t lie to himself. His friends would probably see through his lies anyway, that’s why they were his best friends.

“Prongs, you know what would be interesting?” questioned Remus. He just had to see James’ reaction to this…


“You should create a list of Lily’s attractive traits.”

James looked as though he was going to bite Remus’ head off and Lily felt a tinge of blush creep up her cheeks.

“No, thank you,” mumbled James.

“Why not? We’re all dying to know why you fancy our darling Lily so much,” joked Sirius.

“Well, I don’t fancy her anymore,” snapped James.

Sirius raised an eyebrow. “I highly doubt that, mate. You can’t get over her in like…a day. It’s impossible. Now do it! Who knows. Maybe if you find all the traits you like about her, she really will seem repulsive.”

“Hey!” Lily exclaimed indignantly.

“Ah, just kidding, love. Who could find you repulsive?”

Peter decided that he hadn’t added much to the conversation, so he decided to throw in his thoughts. “I think that it’s a great idea. C’mon Prongs, what hurt will it do?”

What hurt will it do? thought James darkly. Thinking of all her attractive qualities won’t make me get over her. It will only increase my feelings for her. How do my friends always know when to say the wrong things?

But in the end, James decided that he might as well. He assured himself that it was only to please Remus and Sirius who were almost on their knees, begging him to do it.

Why do they care so much anyway?

“Ah, get it over with, Prongs. We’d love to see what you have to say about lovely Lily,” said Sirius.

“Who said I was letting you read it? I’d never hear the end of it, Padfoot.”

Sirius looked offended. “You break my heart, Prongs. Don’t you want ol’ Padfoot’s opinion?”

“No, not really,” James replied, pulling out a piece of parchment, ink, and a quill. “Things I Like About Lily,” he stated while writing it out on the top of the parchment.

“Lovely title, Prongs, very original,” said Sirius wryly. “How long did it take you think of it?”

Sirius pulled out a bunch of candy boxes from his pockets and dumped them on the table, motioning for them all to take as much candy as they wanted. He took a Licorice Wand and watched in amusement as James bit the tip of his quill in thought before scratching down everything he could think of.

Lily stared at the parchment in amazement—he could just keep on going!

Remus put a restraining hand on James’ shoulder.

“Prongs, you’re going to scare her away…” James frowned and looked to Lily who smirked, amused.

She’s going to know I was lying when I said that she wasn’t worth it. She’s going to know it. Merlin, I never knew unrequited love could hurt so badly.

“Alright, Potter, let’s see it then.”

James looked at the parchment in his hands and then back up at Lily. It was obvious that he was a bit reluctant to hand Lily all the reasons why he had chased after her for years. “Well, I—”

“Why’d you think we asked you to do it, Prongs? So you could write it down and keep it hidden under you bed?” asked Remus.

“Yes, well it feels much better to get it off my chest. I’d rather she didn’t read it. I mean, these are reasons why I fancy her—”

“Ah-ha! So you do still like me then!” Lily cried out in triumph. She knew he couldn’t have possibly given up on her yet, but that did not ease her troubled mind. She rather enjoyed the prospect of not having Potter asking her out every day. Come to think of it, he had yet to ask her out this year.

James ignored her last statement. “—it’s much more difficult to give someone you like a list of all the reasons why you like them!”

Lily looked a bit taken back. James had never cared what anyone thought about him. Now, he’s suddenly worried what she will think about him once she knows why he’s chased after her for so many years?
James finally conceded and handed the list over to Lily, his cheeks tinged with blush.

Lily grinned. “Ah, is James Potter actually blushing?”

James muttered something that resembled “Only you…” and dropped his head into his hands.

Sirius got off the couch and squished himself between Remus and Lily just so he could read the list.

Lily tried to look the list over which proved to be difficult because she had to keep pushing Sirius’ head away.

“I want to read it!” whined Sirius.

“As it’s written about me, I think I have the right to read it first and then decide whether or not you deserve to read it.”

Sirius pretended to wipe away a tear. “You and James are both cruel to me…not wanting poor Padfoot’s opinion. You fit well together, you know? Both hot-tempered and independent…must be a great quality to have when you--”

Lily smacked him upside the head.

“Ow,” he murmured as he rubbed his head.

“Sirius! Stop!”

Sirius had gone back to trying to read the list and Lily had only gotten through the first two things.

She pushed Sirius’ head back again but this time he bit her finger. “Sirius!” screeched Lily.

Sirius grinned sheepishly.

“Great, just great,” muttered Lily. “…probably going to get some kind of Sirius disease.”

“I’m not diseased. I only have fleas!” he pouted.

“Oh, that’s even better.”

“Bad boy,” admonished Lily, examining her bitten finger.

“I’m sorry, Lily. I get excited, sometimes, you know.”

Lily smiled. “Yes, yes, we do know. But it’s alright.”

“I knew you’d have it in your heart to forgive me!” He got up and did a little jig. “Now…let me read that list…”

“Sirius, I haven’t even read the list yet, let me read it for Potter’s sake. The poor bloke’s about to die from embarrassment.”

It was true. James was still sitting with his head resting in his hands but from what could be seen—he was as red as a tomato. Lily and Sirius arguing over the list was torture. He just wanted Lily to read the list, laugh, and tell him how stupid he was. Just to get it over with.

Sirius sat down calmly on the couch once more and watched Lily’s expression change from amusement to shock to embarrassment and different shades in between. It was highly amusing.

Things I Like About Lily

1. Her emerald eyes
2. Her flaming red hair and the way it shines in the firelight
3. She's cute when she's angry
4. The way she treats others with respect and dignity (even slimy Slytherins)
5. The way she walks
6. She's always willing to help someone in need
7. She's intelligent
8. She sees the beauty in everyone
9. She's a wonderful listener
10. She cares about everyone
11. She's confident about herself and her abilities
12. Her voice
13. She's entrancing
14. She's stubborn
15. She's an outstanding friend
16. She's gifted at Charms
17. She has a beautiful smile
18. She loves to make people laugh
19. She doesn't like me just because I'm "James Potter"--actually, she doesn't like me, period
20. She's not like other girls, in a good way, of course
21. She's unique
22. She has a dynamic personality
23. She's secretive--she doesn't wear her heart on her sleeve
24. She's brave and generous
25. She's determined
26. She's highly motivated
27. She's trustworthy
28. She's brutally honest (even Padfoot isn't that honest!)
29. She's unpredictable

Lily opened her mouth to say something but the words could not come out.

Sirius snatched the list from her hand, but this time she did not object. She was staring at James so intently; almost willing him to lift his head so that she could in his eyes if everything he wrote was true.

Of course, it’s true—he wouldn’t have written it if it wasn’t, a nagging voice reminded her.

He said he was over me! He said I wasn’t worth the time. Writing this obviously proved he isn’t over me, not yet. Can’t he make up his bloody mind?

Lily sighed. It was as if there were two of her. One wanted her to see the real James--the James she refused to give a chance to shine. The other thought it was a waste of time and James would always be arrogant, bullying, pig-headed James.

Sirius let out a derisive snort, “No, my mate is definitely not obsessed with you Lily.”

“Well, they were rather flattering remarks,” Lily said slowly.

James looked up suddenly, his glasses were askew and his hair was sticking up everywhere—the result of his indecision and insecurity the last few minutes. “You think so?” he croaked.

“Yes, well besides the fact that you watch me enough to notice all that.”

James shot her an angry look and shrugged. “Remus could probably make up a list just like that and he doesn’t watch you all the time.”

“Prongs, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem,” Remus said. “And you have a problem, many actually, but the one I’m referring to includes our lovely friend, Ms. Evans, and your overzealous attempts to win her affections. Now these attempts do include stalking her to the point of her having a mental breakdown, remember that?”

James grimaced. Of course, he remembered that.

She had been very angry and he had been on the receiving end of her anger, once again.

I never knew there was so much you could say about a person, Lily thought as she glanced at the list that was clutched tightly in Sirius’ hand.

“Now, Lily,” Sirius started. “All you’ve got to do is make a list about all the stuff you love about James!”

“Why do I need to do that?”

“It’s only fair. He isn’t all bad! I’m sure you could find his good qualities. I mean, unless you create a list as to why you hate him. That’d be more useful for Prongs; he’d know what it was about him that irritates you. I’m sure Prongs would love to create a list of all reasons why he hates you. But he doesn’t hate you and you’re perfect—nothing that he could hate anyways,” Sirius said, kissing her sloppily on the cheek.

Lily rolled her eyes but frowned. There was that word again. Perfect. Who could ever think she was perfect when all she was composed of were flaws? How could no one see that inside, she was just as bruised and torn as everyone else was? How could no one just see that she was human; she made mistakes, she cried, and she hurt? There could not possibly be a human being that was perfect. But no one seemed to understand this concept but her.

“Come on, it’ll be fun,” encouraged Sirius.

Lily shrugged.

“You’re absolutely no fun at all, Lily Evans!” exclaimed Sirius.

“Yes, and you’re impossible, Sirius Black.”

“Not impossible to get into bed,” he replied with a wink.

“And the corrupt Sirius Black returns…” said James.

“Aw, c’mon Prongs. Don’t tell me that you’ve never…” Sirius’ eyes grew wide in realization. “YOU HAVEN’T?!”

James looked up in shock, motioning for Sirius to be quiet. He looked around the room to see if anyone had noticed. “You never asked. Anyways, if I had, I would’ve told you, wouldn’t I?” James questioned, though he ruffled his hair nervously.

“James, you’ve never—” Peter started but was cut off as James threw a pillow at his head.

“Moony, did you know about this?” Sirius asked in disbelief.

Remus shrugged. “I had my suspicions…”

The rest of what Remus was saying was lost to James as he tuned out the barrage of embarrassing comments about his sex life. To say that James was utterly embarrassed almost seemed an understatement. He had already buried his head into his arms to avoid the eyes of the other Marauders’.

“Leave him alone,” said Lily suddenly.

Sirius fell off the couch and looked at Lily in amazement. Lily was defending James? What was this world coming to? His mouth was hanging open and he just looked at her in shock. “You just…defended him!”

“And you didn’t let me finish my sentence. I was going to say ‘Leave him alone, it’s not his fault he doesn’t get much action. Blame it on the giant squid.’ But you rudely interrupted me.”

Sirius tried to control his laughter but every time he looked at James’ face, he broke out into hysterics.

“Yes, yes because we all know that the girls love the giant squid more than Prongsie-boy.”

“I’ve always found the giant squid to be quite more…endearing than Potter.”

“Alright, I think we’ve had enough of making fun of Prongs,” said Remus.

“Yes, I quite agree,” snapped James, looking at Lily with even more dislike.

That was definitely uncalled for.

“Easy there, mate, it’s all in good fun,” Sirius said, pulling himself back onto the couch and grabbing the last chocolate frog from the table.

“Yeah, well how about we discuss how Professor McGonagall almost walked in on…”

Sirius had begun choking on a piece of his chocolate frog. “Let’s not,” Sirius said hastily after he coughed up a leg.

Lily admired the relationship that James and Sirius had. They were inseparable and held no secrets from one another. It was something that she had wanted all her life. After Adam’s death, she had given up on trusting people or she thought she had.

It had taken two years for Remus to fully gain her trust but it was worth it in the end. Lily was an amazing friend to have. “Lily? Lils? LILY!” Sirius exclaimed, tugging on her hair gently.

“Let go,” groaned Lily.

“You weren’t paying attention to me! I had to make you pay attention!”

“Since when did my world revolve around you?”

“It always has, love.”

“Oh yes, how could I have forgotten? Silly me.”

James frowned. How could she get along with Remus, Sirius, and Peter, but not him? What made him so different from them?

“What’s the problem tonight, Prongs and Lily?” asked Peter. “You keep spacing out.”

“Nothing,” Lily and James murmured in unison.

Remus shook his head. “You are way too alike and you haven’t even realized it yet.”

“How so?” questioned Lily.

Remus smirked. “Well, for one, you both hide your true thoughts until you’re all alone with poor Moony as your little confidant.”

Poor Moony? No, no, Moony enjoys listening to us complain and being a good friend,” replied James.

“The Marauders wouldn’t have been able to accomplish half the pranks we pulled without you and your brilliant brain, Moony,” added Sirius, catching Remus in a headlock and dragging him to the ground.

Lily smiled at them playfully fighting on the ground. Again, her thoughts of their friendship were dragged to the forefront of her mind. It was then that she first caught a glimpse of the James she had never noticed before. He was staring intently at his friends, a smile on his face, and his eyes alight with a fire she had never seen before. It was one of contentment and happiness—one he only wore around his friends because it was only with them that he was truly happy.

She wondered what it was that was bothering him lately. His snide remarks and vile personality made him hardly the person she’d want to converse with.

Why are you thinking of James Potter again?

Nothing wrong with thinking about him, he is good looking after all.

You must stop thinking about James Potter.

Of course, you mustn’t. He’s changed. He hasn’t even asked you out yet this year!

These voices were really irritating.

Lily bit her lip in thought and wondered how long these two arguing voices were going to go on.

Probably until I prove one of them wrong, she thought bitterly.

Sirius finally let go of Remus’ neck and Remus let go of Sirius’ leg. Both sat up at the same time, panting for breath, but grinning madly at one another.

“You two are goofs,” said Lily, kicking them playfully.

Sirius eyed Remus, a mischievous glint in his eyes. Remus nodded and before Lily could say another word, Remus and Sirius grabbed both her legs and pulled her to the floor with them.

She landed with an “oomph!” on top of Remus.

“Hello, Lily,” said Remus.

“Care to join us down here, Prongs?” asked Sirius.

“No thanks. I prefer to watch from the sidelines, you know, in case things get too cosy.” He ducked just in time to avoid three couch cushions that were thrown at his head.

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