Okay, here's the next one! If I get five more reviews, I'll have the next one up by the end of the day.
The moonlight danced across the flagstones of the corridor, slowing sliding to rest on two figures outside the portrait of the Fat Lady.
"I'm sorry," spoke the taller one, a boy with rather greasy black hair and a large nose.
His companion scoffed. "I'm not interested."
The boy desperately tried again, but could only repeat more feelingly, "I'm sorry!"
"Save your breath."
With that the witch crossed her dressing gown-clad arms, obviously highly displeased with the boy's apology. He attempted to plead with her, but she spoke first. "I only came out because Mary told me you were threatening to sleep here."
He seized his chance to speak. "I was. I would have done. I never meant to call you Mudblood, it just—"
"Slipped out?" Lily's voice revealed no pity. "It's too late. I've made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends. You see, you don't even deny it! You don't even deny that's what you're all aiming to be! You can't wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?"
The wizard could only open and close his mouth silently, unwilling to confirm or deny her accusation.
She shook her head sadly. "I can't pretend anymore. You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
His eyes widened in shock and he tried to backtrack. "No…listen, I didn't mean—"
She finished the sentence for him with a look of disgust. "—to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
Severus Snape struggled in silence, but Lily turned on her heel and reentered her common room before the sallow boy could string together another pathetic excuse. As the Fat Lady swung shut and shot the wizard a nasty glance, Severus shrugged in defeat and slouched off in the direction of the dungeons.
Inside the Gryffindor common room, Lily weaved her way through gold and crimson chairs over to the girls' staircase. Just before climbing the stairs, however, she turned. Her green eyes scanned over the busy room and found a lanky figure lounging in an armchair. In front of him, Remus and Sirius faced off in a game of wizard's chess, and Peter contented himself with throwing out completely unhelpful encouragements to whoever appeared to have the upper hand.
The freckled witch hesitated, contemplating going over to James, but decided against it. He looked quite sullen, obviously sulking from the earlier incident. And, she reasoned, she hadn't done anything particularly mean. Regardless of what had occurred between her and Severus, she would have said no.
It wasn't the first time James had asked Lily out. It was only the most recent in a long series of hideously embarrassing incidents, made especially awkward because the date requests were really the only interaction between the two Gryffindors. After the opening feast of first year, James and Lily had found quite separate groups of close friends—mostly due to the childish tendency to gravitate towards people of one's own gender—and though the two groups were certainly friendly, conflicts between certain members prevented any prolonged close contact.
Lily had settled on apologizing to James tomorrow when she finally pivoted and ascended the staircase, still contemplating her response down by the lake. She supposed she was rather close with Remus—couldn't help it, of course, with his being such a dear. And she even admitted to herself that Sirius Black and herself got on pretty well. Peter was rather quiet and whiney, but she certainly didn't dislike the boy. It all seemed to come back to Potter.
The auburn brows settled into a frown when she thought of the messy-haired, obnoxious Gryffindor chaser. There was no denying that he was rather attractive, and of course extremely intelligent and talented. But she couldn't stand his ego or the way he managed to compete with her without trying. And the problem was that he was quite aware of how attractive, intelligent, and talented he was.
So every time he approached her for a date or she caught him pulling yet another immature, even cruel, prank, the result was a extraordinarily loud and heated argument, usually in front of an audience of students. The two quite simply couldn't work together.
But the teachers did try. James and Lily were always being partnered together, because with the sheer amount of talent and drive each embodied, there was always some hope that the arguments would cease and the two would attain their full potential.
It never happened. Without fail, James would say obnoxious or inappropriate, and Lily would retaliate with her fiery temper and quick wit. Though the results typically ended up rather better than anyone else's, it was not without heated debates, impromptu duels, spilt potions, or James being sent to the Hospital Wing with a rather strategic kick from Lily.
So though they were forced together in class, there was too much conflict to encourage much contact outside of class. In fact, Lily only spoke to James if he had just hexed someone and she felt the need to reprimand the wayward boy.
As Lily opened the door and entered her dormitory, all unpleasant thoughts of James Potter ceased. It never occurred to her that Sirius and occasionally Remus participated in the same behavior, or that she only ever flew into a rage when James had pulled the prank. No, Lily Evans was quite oblivious to the focus she centered on James Potter.
That didn't mean everyone else was.
Not much going on in this chapter, but I'm just trying to introduce the situation before the James/Lily interaction that's going to happen next chapter. Obviously the Snape/Lily moment is in line with what JK wrote in Snape's Worst Memory. Remember, review and the next part goes up!