DISCLAIMER: This is the part where I say something clever
about not owning any of these characters/places because I don’t want to be
sued. So…there it goes. The world and (most) of the characters are not mine,
the idea and (some) characters belong to me.
Many thanks to my beta reader Lone Astronomer for making me
believe that my little fan fiction attempts may not have been a complete waste
of time after all!
Chapter One: The
The first few
weeks of school had drifted by slowly for seventh year students at Hogwarts.
The lazy days of summer had given way to the steady drudgery of hard work in
preparation for exams that were still months away. The early hours of the
evening found the library filled with a good portion of seventh years and a few
scattered fifth and sixth years hard at work. Late into the night, only the
most committed remained.
Lily Evans was one
of the few committed who continued work on the weekends. She was teased and
tortured by her friends for taking her studies seriously so early on in the
year, but she remained undeterred. It had been made clear to her years ago
that the other girls in her year had their ‘priorities’ on the weekends, and
socializing was near the top. Cold nights like this one made studying
difficult, however, and after a few hours of steady work, Lily found herself
Before she had a
chance to fall asleep, she felt a large hand grasp her shoulder. Jolting
unpleasantly out of her daze, she found herself gazing fuzzily at one of her
least favorite people in the entire world: James Potter.
“Good morning, fire
head,” he said fondly, a sickly smile teasing his lips. “Library’s closing for
the night. Madame Pince will do her nut if you don’t get out of here.”
Lily said nothing. She
rubbed her eyes and then looked at her watch.
“I wouldn’t do that if
I were you. Your hands are covered in ink from your essay.”
She stopped mid rub.
“Thank you,” she croaked, muttering a spell under her breath to dry the
glistening ink on her parchment. She couldn’t have slept for very long…yet it
had felt like ages.
“You missed a spot,” he
pointed to a place above her right eyebrow, but did not touch her.
Lily glared at him.
Would he insist on torturing her all the way back to Gryffindor Tower? Where was a diversion, or a last minute class or club to escape to when she needed
one? As it was, it was ten o’clock, (Madame Pince had allowed her to stay an
extra two hours on the weekends in exchange for her help in mending damaged
books), and well past any meeting time for a club she had any excuse to
attend. She rubbed at the spot on her forehead and hastily gathered up her
books and crammed them into her bag.
James snatched the bag
from Lily and started poking through it. “Advanced Potions, Advanced
Arithmancy, Advanced Defense…Charms…do you do anything but study? How in the
name of Merlin do you manage all those classes?”
concentration…” she grunted, taking the bag back from him. She heaved it over
her shoulder and started walking awkwardly towards the door.
“Whatever happened to
having fun? I mean…you’re only young once right?” James hurried after her.
“You should get out more.”
“I don’t have time for
fun,” she muttered.
“What do you need all
these classes for anyways?” James asked. He seemed determined to keep the
“Well…you know. We
have our N.E.W.T.s coming up. Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick both
suggested that I do a bit of extra reading.” Lily glanced over at James. He
was at least a foot taller than her. His features weren’t exactly startling,
but something about the keen look of interest in his eyes took her for a turn.
She hadn’t noticed it before. “Being a Muggle-born doesn’t help much either.
It’s harder to get jobs now because of all the attacks. I want to have all my
bases covered so I can get a job.”
James said, his face going red. “You show the Ministry your recommendations
and you’ll be able to get any job you want.”
Lily sighed, exasperated,
and stopped to face him. “Read the papers, James. There aren’t many in the Ministry
that would hire me after all the attacks. It doesn’t matter how smart I am or
how good I am. I’m too dangerous to have around. I’ll be lucky to get a job
as a groundskeeper.” Lily turned a bit pink and continued down the hall and up
a set of deserted stairs.
James stood in shock
for a few moments, and then started after her again. “I’d bet my dad would
“I don’t want handouts.
I’ll figure something out,” Lily said, rubbing her forehead.
“Of course you will,” he
replied with confidence. “You should find some time for fun though,
Lily. We’ve put in our fair share of bookwork over the years. We both deserve
“…And all of that
bookwork of yours was strictly school related?” Lily glanced at him
James’ eyes widened as
he pretended to look highly affronted. “What in the name of Merlin would make
you think that I would do anything that wasn’t for my profit and learning?”
“Don’t go twisting my
words, Potter. For your profit? What would extra study in Defense do for a
Gryffindor Quidditch hero…?”
“You think I’m a
Quidditch hero?” James perked up instantly.
“You’re changing the
subject.” Lily ignored his question. “Fess up. What did you do? It’s bound
to lead to some kind of mischief or mayhem that only gives me grief.”
“I don’t give you
grief!” His excitement deflated as he rose to his own defense.
Lily raised an eyebrow
at him in irritation. “Two weeks ago you changed the text inside of my
Arithmancy book so it read ‘Hey, Evans, get your nose out of the book and go
out with me’.”
“Bloody thing didn’t
work though. I spent hours charming…”
“Last week you broke
into the Head Girl’s bathroom and stole all of my towels. The painting in there
told me you wouldn’t give them back until I decided to go to Hogsmeade with you
over Halloween. I had to conjure up my own towel.”
“How could I forget how
good you are at Transfiguration? Damn. It was supposed to be funny.” He
seemed rather pleased with himself.
continued loftily, her voice rose. “You managed somehow to get into my
bedroom and fill the whole thing with singing daffodils. It took me three
hours to get rid of them. I don’t even want to know how you managed to thwart
a rule that’s been in place for centuries and break in…”
“But didn’t you hear
what they were singing?” James cut her off. “It took me about three weeks to
charm all of them into it. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to convince a
load of daffodils to sing in harmony. Not to mention breaking a century old
spell to get in to your room in the first place. I like it. It’s clean.”
James had been chasing after Lily for nearly three years, she wasn’t about to
drag him down now. Lily laughed slightly in spite of herself at his comments,
impressed by his effort.
“You worked on that for
three weeks?” She adjusted her bag awkwardly in order to give herself an
excuse to look away.
James flushed with
excitement, a small glint of triumph entering his eyes at the look on her
face. “Well, I had a bit of help from Sirius in breaking in, but I’m glad you
“I didn’t say I liked
them, Potter. I don’t want your…”
“Give it a rest,
Lily.” James rolled his eyes dramatically and stopped in his tracks in front
of her, forcing her to look at him. “You should have guessed by now that I’m
not going to stop chasing after you until you get tired of running. And
believe me,” he leaned in closer to her, eyes intense. “I’m a very good
Lily said pulling away from him. “I’m not interested, James. I never have
been; I never will be.”
“Still intent on that
kid from Ravenclaw, are you?” James asked, trying valiantly to mask his
“No.” Lily said a
slight edge to her voice. “As a matter of fact, I’m not. I’m not interested
in dating at all.” She sidestepped him and continued down the hall.
“Whatever you say,
Evans.” James smiled lopsidedly, following her.
“What’s that supposed
to mean?” Lily stopped in her tracks.
“What it means, is that
he’s a git. A smarmy, two faced, nose in the books prat who wants to use
you.” James stepped in front of her again, a small glint in his eyes that Lily
hadn’t noticed before. It was protective and serious.
She dropped her
defensiveness and frowned. “What?”
“Gem just wants to use
you to get to Isolde. I heard him talking about it the other day after the
Lily blinked a few
times and then frowned, starting to walk away from him again. Isolde was known
around Hogwarts for always being up on the latest gossip. Lily had never been
very attached to her. “That’s not true,” she said, somewhat panicked.
James followed after
her. “Come on, Lily, you have to trust me. I know you don’t want to. Maybe
you never will…but…just try it this once.” He caught her arm with his hand.
“I don’t want you to get hurt by some twit like Gem. You deserve better that
Lily paused in her
steps to examine the flagstone floor and readjust the hold she had on her books.
“Why are you doing this, James? What do you care about my job, or my social
She had used his name.
James looked like he was fighting back a smile. He let go of her arm and
stared down at her. “Because I care about you and I care about what happens to
you. You’re the best witch I know.”
It took Lily several
moments to recover from this. There was an element of sincerity to his face
that she had rarely seen there before. Whenever they had met with the Prefects,
or discussed duties as Head Boy and Girl of Hogwarts thus far, he had always
had a small gleam of mischief in his eyes, yet now they were genuine. She
stared back at him in silence before continuing down the hall, masking her
surprise with irritation. “If this is about that last meeting we had with the
Prefects my answer to your motion about lowering curfew restrictions in the
dormitories is still no.”
“Merlin, Lily! This
has nothing to do with that! I knew you’d say no to that, it was a joke!” James
ran his hand over his hair with a frown on his face.
“Then why do you care
so much?” Lily turned on him, thankful that the corridors were empty. Some of
the subjects in the portraits had taken interest in their conversation and were
trekking from painting to painting, listening to the proceedings intently.
“Does there need to be
a reason?” James stared down at her with irritation. He sighed and ran his
hands over his hair again in frustration. “What do I have to do to get you to
believe me? I want to take you out because I like you. What else can I say?”
“What else can I
say to get you to believe that I am simply not interested?” Lily returned,
raising an eye. She turned and started down the hall again, but not before
James had caught her arm.
“One date. That’s all
I ask. I take you to Hogsmeade for Halloween next weekend and if you like it,
great. If not, I’ll never bring up the subject again, I swear. I’ll never
even breathe when I’m around you again if that’s what you want. I’ll give up
my duties as Head Boy and go into hiding so you never have to see me. Just
give me a chance.” There was something in the earnestness of his voice that
prompted Lily to consider his proposal. One date and he’d leave her alone?
“What’s in it for you?”
she asked, suspicious of his motives.
“Nothing more than an
afternoon with you.” James released her arm, sure that she wasn’t going to
bolt on him now. “That’s all I want.”
Lily hesitated. This
would raise more than one question among her friends who found James’ pursuit
of her highly entertaining. “I don’t know…”
“Lily, if you take this
offer, the Quaffle is in your possession. You have total control. If not…” A
small spark returned to his eyes and a shadow of a smile touched his lips. “Then
I continue to find ways to give you singing flowers and enchanted textbooks.”
James’ smile was
contagious, and Lily’s eyes gave a small spark of their own. His proposition
made sense, and the prospect of having him leave her alone after years of constant
nagging for a date was a favorable one. Two or three hours of time alone with
James followed by an entire term of silence? She would be able to study for
her exams in peace. “Alright, I accept.”
James gave a small
start. “You do?” His face burst into a grin. “I’ll…uh…meet you in the common
room next Saturday at 1:00 then?”
“Fine.” Lily nodded in
agreement. “I’ll be there.”
Lily woke early the
next morning to try and get a bit of studying done on her own. She had
considered going down to the common room where it was still quiet in the wee
hours of the day, but decided against it. Sooner or later, and it was bound to
be sooner, Hogwarts school at large would find out about Lily accepting James’
invitation to Hogsmeade. The attempts James had made over the past few years
had not gone unnoticed by the gossip loving crowds of Hogwarts, and several
students had been making bets on when Lily would give in to James’ teasing.
‘Oh well’, she thought. ‘It’s going to get out eventually. Give them
something to talk about. After next week it will be old news, and I’ll be
This pleasant thought
in mind, Lily opened her textbooks and began studying easily, her mind at
rest. The peace in the room was short lived, however. Five minutes later a
fully dressed Isolde bounded into the dorm without bothering to knock.
“Where have you been?”
Lily asked, not looking up from her books.
“I could ask you the
same question.” Isolde tossed her dark sheet of hair with a grin. “I’ve been
with Gem Rothemier, and the splendid fellow gave me a bit of information about
you…” She perched herself on Lily’s desk, and put a hand on top of one of the
books, blocking Lily’s concentration. “Since when have you and James Potter
Lily looked up.
“What? We’re not together!” Her temper flared.
“Aren’t you going to
Hogsmeade with him next weekend?” Isolde raised a critical eye at Lily.
“Well,” Lily blushed,
“Yes. But how did you find that out?”
“You know the portraits
of Hogwarts, Lily, come on. Don’t be so thick…” Isolde leaned against the
wall, highly amused. “It’s all they were talking about this morning.
Apparently you two made quite a scene last night…”
“Oh good grief…” Lily
rubbed her forehead in irritation. “I only said yes because he promised to
leave me alone if I agreed. We’re not together together. It’s just one
afternoon.” She slammed her book shut.
“Whoa…calm down Lily.
I’m just warning you. Not mentioning, of course, that I’ve been warning you
for the past three years. Everyone in Hogwarts knows that James worships the
ground you walk on. Everyone but you, apparently.” Isolde stepped away from
the table, somewhat wary of the number of large textbooks in Lily’s reach.
“Drop it, Isolde,” Lily
said, not bothering to keep her voice down. “It’s just an afternoon.”
Isolde flopped down on
her bed with a small smirk of satisfaction on her face. “Whatever you say,
Lily grit her teeth
together and stormed out of the room, intending to nick some breakfast and eat
outside where she could be alone. She wasn’t in the mood to be teased about
James. Her plans were cut short, however, when she saw a rather sick looking
Remus Lupin studying in front of the fireplace. She watched him for a moment,
examined the scars lining his arms and face and the quiet, earnest
concentration in his eyes. “Good morning, Remus,” she said quietly, smiling.
He looked up and
returned the smile. Lily looked around the empty common room for a moment
before going to join him by the fireplace. “It was full moon two nights ago,
wasn’t it?” Remus nodded. Lily frowned slightly. “Are you alright?”
Being a prefect along
with Remus their fifth and sixth years, Lily had, of course, known of his
condition. Rather than dispel her admiration of him, however, it only
encouraged it. She had always felt a unique kind of kinship for him, largely
because they were both set apart from Hogwarts as a whole. They shared a bond
of friendship not unlike brother and sister. “I will be after I finish taking
my Arithmancy test today,” he said with a small smile, pushing one of his books
out of the way so she could sit. “Don’t worry, Lily. I’m alright,” he said
quietly. “Really. It just takes a few days.”
“Do you want any help
studying for the test? I covered most of it last night. I think I’ve got it
all pretty well.”
“No, that’s alright. I
don’t think it’s helping any more. If I don’t know it by now it won’t make a
difference. I’m keenly interested in getting something to eat, though.” He smiled,
starting to put his books away.
Once again amazed at
his positive attitude, Lily helped him with his books. “I’ll join you. I’m
“From what I
understand…” Remus began tentatively, “you’ve made a certain messy-haired mate
of mine rather happy in the last few hours…”
Lily rolled her eyes
but she wasn’t offended. If there was one person in all of Hogwarts that she
trusted, it was Remus. “Yes, well…” Lily sighed and pushed a bit of hair out
of her face. “If it will get him to stop bothering me, it’s worth it.”
“What don’t you like
about him, Lily?” Remus asked, voice gentle and unassuming.
Lily hesitated for a
moment. She knew that James and Remus were good friends, of course. And, now
that she thought of it, she wasn’t quite sure she knew why she didn’t like
James. It was more a habit to dislike him than anything else. In the past it
had been because of his arrogance, his bullying, and his fan club. “Because he
knows how great he is,” Lily replied eventually, without any real conviction.
“He’s a good guy,
Lily.” Remus said casually. “He has his faults, but he’s a good guy.” He
paused, and then continued. “You should give him a chance.”