Disclaimer: As you (probably) know, I do not own Harry Potter, It belongs solely to J.K.R. However, if (and it'll happen) an OC shows up, it belongs to me.
A/N: Hey:) So, this is my second fic for now, and I must say, I do love Lily/James :D Anyway, I will hopefully be updating every one-two weeks. Last but not least, the GREATEST thanks to my wonderful betas, Jazz E. Roisin and SorchaSaoirse. Enjoy and please review!
Oh, plot-wise, this takes place shortly after the Snape/James/Lily encounter beside the lake after the DADA O.W.L, as described to us in the memory Harry witnesses in Snape's Pensieve in Order of the Phoenix.
Lily turned around, recognizing the irritatingly obnoxious voice of James Potter.
'What?' she replied aggressively.
'You dropped your quill.' James said, pointing at the floor.
Lily looked down and picked it up. 'Thanks.' she snarled, starting to walk down the corridor again.
'Hey, Evans! Wait up!' James called, catching up with her.
She slowed down a little, but continued walking with her chin held up determinately.
'We have Potions together now, so I'll walk with you.' James said, rather than offered as he fell into step with her. She didn't respond.
'Oh, loosen up!' James said, annoyed. 'What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment anyway?'
Lily stopped abruptly and turned around, meeting his hazel eyes with a glare of her own brilliantly green ones.
'What have you done?! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!' she repeated, losing her calm. 'Because strutting around and jinxing everyone that you don't agree with, making people's lives miserable for no reason-'
'If you mean that slimy git Snivellus-'
'Being an obnoxious dunderhead with an oversized ego for a brain-'
'You don't know my side of things! Like he doesn't jinx me at every-'
'So what? Why do you and your stupid little friends have to-'
'He called you a you-know-what! How can you still side with him?!'
'This isn't about him! It's about you, the way you think you own the place-'
'How can you be so sure you know what I think?! You don't even know me...'
'I don't have to!' She bellowed, fuming, 'It's obvious just by watching you-'
'Oh, so you watch me, uh Evans?' James interrupted, smirking teasingly.
'Don't change the subject, Potter!' She shouted, blushing and trying to ignore his winning smile.
'Look, Evans...' James said, regaining his calm first. 'I'm sorry if I offended you, I was just trying to teach that dumb-ass ball of slime-'
'You see?!' Lily said, raising her voice again, 'You try to apologize, and in the same sentence manage to do the exact thing I'm mad at you for!'
'What?!' James said indignantly, 'I'm apologizing to you, not to him!'
'And anyway, trying to teach him a lesson for what?! I didn't see him do anything before you attacked him two on one!'
'That's because you were next to the lake-'
'Oh, been looking at me, have you Potter?' Lily said with a smirk, imitating him.
'Oh, very funny Evans.' James said sarcastically. 'Really hilarious.'
'Shut up Potter, will you?' Lily said, starting to walk quickly again, satisfied at having gotten the last word. 'We're going to be late for Potions.'
'Oh, so sorry. I forgot Miss Prefect can never be late for class…'
Lily ignored him and sped up until she reached the classroom, managing to slip in with everyone. James arrived a minute later, and went to sit with Sirius, Remus and Peter.
She went to sit down next to Loreen, her best friend.
'Where've you been?' Loreen asked.
'Potter caught up with me and decided to apologize.'
'Ooh…' Loreen said, smiling. 'And what did you say?'
'We ended up rowing, as usual.' Lily said quietly, trying to sound indifferent.
'You mean you started calling him names and he tried to get on your good side' Loreen whispered, grinning. Lily rolled her eyes but smiled.
Professor Slughorn entered the classroom, his large belly expanding the buttons on his bottle green velvet suit to bursting point as usual. He clapped his hands twice, and smiled as the class fell quiet.
'Good afternoon class!' He said jovially, looking around. 'You must all be relieved to have your O. over with!'
Everyone mumbled 'yes', still bearing the traces of after-exam stress.
'Well, today we will be starting a new potion! Since I'm sure you're all still dwelling on your exams, I've decided a simple, light brewage ought to do the trick! It is named the Draught of No Worries, and it is a fun little concoction. Now, as this does not appear in the usual textbook, I wrote it down for you.' He flicked his wand and the colorful instructions appeared on the board. 'You have the entire lesson to your disposition. Enjoy!'
There was a loud scraping of benches and rustling of bags as everyone got out their ingredients.
Lily got to work at once, and all bitter-sweet thoughts were pushed out of her head immediately. Potions class was easily her best subject, and she was, as Slughorn often said, a natural. As soon as she started brewing, she would enter a kind of semi-trance, which would put an invisible barrier between her and the rest of the world, making her oblivious to outside on-goings. Having entered one of those trances now, her head was spilt into two parts: one of them concentrated on the ingredients and instructions for brewing, while the other part was left free to dwell on no specific subject.
At that particular moment however, an annoyingly familiar face kept popping into Lily's head at random intervals, its crinkled hazel eyes and mischievous smile as winning as ever.
'Stop it!' Lily told herself firmly. 'He's just an arrogant git who doesn't deserve a place in your head.' Nevertheless, she found it unusually difficult to push out the unwanted image, and a little part of her was tempted to look around to where James sat. She did so eventually, only to find him looking at her too. Their eyes met briefly, and her heart did a bizarre sort of back flip in her chest. She immediately pretended to glare at him (while blushing furiously), and turned back to her cauldron quickly.
She managed to concentrate on her potion fully till the end of the lesson, her mind occasionally wandering elsewhere. Her potion earned her the usual praise from Slughorn, who then proceeded to give a small flask of it to each student, instructing them to drink half of it on the spot and save the other half for the next morning. Most of the class did so, and
feeling particularly cheerful and light-minded, they left the classroom and headed down for dinner.
As Lily and Loreen passed their fellow fifth-year Gryffindors Tom Kirke and Rupert Edgecombe on the way down to dinner, they heard them bellowing to anyone who would listen: 'End of exam party in the common room after dinner!' The news was greeted with whoops of joy, and the girls started chattering excitedly.
Loreen, who had been sporting a crush for Sirius for quite a time, was counting on the atmosphere of the party for the development of "things". As for Lily, although she was very popular and potential boyfriends were practically queuing up for her, none of them seemed to fit. 'Almost none of them', a little voice in her head reminded her, but she ignored it.
After dinner, the fifth years headed happily up to Gryffindor tower, expecting a relaxing evening after the months of accumulated stress.
Lily and Loreen climbed through the portrait hole, and were immediately bombed with confetti by the boys. Laughing, they all settled in the common room, which had been decorated for the occasion.
After a while, the rest of the fifth years arrived, along with the snacks and butterbeers that had been snuck from the kitchens.
Lily and Loreen were soon joined by a couple more girls and they started enjoying themselves for the first time in weeks, chatting and gossiping happily about everything and nothing at all.
James looked around, searching for a certain pretty red-head. He spotted Lily on the other side of the room, talking and laughing with a few girlfriends. He looked away quickly before she could spot him looking at her. All around the room, people were chatting, catching up on the latest news through gulps of warm Butterbeer. The fifth year Gryffindors were the only ones there, so the common room wasn't too packed.
A short time later, someone turned on the music, and little groups of twos and threes started moving onto the space that had cleared in the middle of the circular common room.
James took a gulp of Butterbeer and stole another glance at Lily, who was dancing. She's so pretty… he thought, surveying her glossy red hair and twinkling emerald eyes.
He heard a snort behind him and looked around. Sirius was watching him, smirking.
'Give up mate,' he said, jerking his head towards Lily.
'What are you talking about?' James asked, deciding to play the I-don't-know-what-you're-talking-about act.
Sirius snorted again. 'You can't fool me, Prongs,' he said with a knowing look. 'You're dead whipped for Evans.'
'Shut up, will you!' James said, looking around in alarm. 'And stop snorting will you, it makes you look like a badly-transfigured pig.'
Before Sirius could respond however, Remus appeared, clutching a bottle and looking quite cheerful.
'What's up?' he asked, looking from Sirius to James.
'Nothing,' James muttered, throwing the still-smirking Sirius a glare and turning away.
Remus gave him a hurt look, and James regretted his coldness at once. After all, Sirius was the cause of his annoyance, not Remus. 'Sorry Moony,' he said apologetically. 'I'm not in the best of moods.'
'Yeah, I noticed.' Remus said, his features softening. 'Cheer up Prongs!' he added. 'Exams are over! It's a party for Merlin's sake! Enjoy yourself!'
'Yeah…' James replied after a moment's reflection. 'You know what? I think I will.' Looking much happier, he threw them one of his famous grins, and headed towards the refreshments table.
'I don't know how you do that, Moony,' he heard Sirius saying to Remus from behind. 'You always manage to cheer him up. Better than old Sluggy's "Draught of No Worries" anyway…'
To which Remus replied cuttingly: 'Well, you see my dear Padfoot, I find positiveness a far better remedy to mild depression than excessive teasing, smirking and snorting for instance.'
Chuckling, James grabbed a Butterbeer from the table. Barely a minute later, Rose Brown, a pretty and very outgoing girl from his year appeared at his side. Honey colored hair swinging and thick eyelashes batting seductively over her violet eyes, she flashed him a dazzling smile.
'Hi,' she said sweetly, her hips swinging to the music.
'Hello,' James replied slowly, surveying her through his twinkling hazel eyes.
'Wanna dance?' Rose asked charmingly, not waiting for an answer and grabbing his hand to drag him onto the dance floor.
'Hm… I don't really have a choice, do I?' James replied teasingly, following her. After all, he thought, enjoying himself as Remus had suggested wouldn't hurt, would it? Besides, Lily was dancing not far away.
'No, you don't,' Rose replied, arching her eyebrows suggestively and inching closer to him while dancing.
James didn't object, and saw Sirius throwing him a wink from his spot not far off, he too dancing with a pretty fifth-year.
He continued dancing with Rose (who was slowly minimizing the space between them) for the next couple of songs, and thought he saw Lily glance his way a couple of times, but decided he might have been imagining things he wanted to happen, and could not be sure because of the crowd and the dimmed lighting.
At the end of the next song, he made Rose a mock bow, and went off to find his friends, feeling far better.
Lily, meanwhile, was dancing with Becca, Collette and Loreen and was enjoying herself immensely, until Loreen nudged her discretely and nodded towards James Potter, who had just been assaulted by Rose Brown and was now dancing with her.
Lily feigned indifference, but felt a jolt of jealousy. 'That slut,' she muttered to Loreen, 'toys around with every guy she sets her eyes on.'
Lily smiled and dragged her by the arm to a calmer corner. 'Look,' she whispered, 'I know you fancy James Potter. There's no point denying it,' she added when Lily opened her mouth to object. 'I know you too well. You might think he's an "arrogant toe-rag"' she quoted, 'but you still fall under his charm. Less than most girls, granted, but still. Now, you can sulk around for the rest of the evening, or do something about that,' she nodded again to the dancing couple, 'and go find someone to dance with. I guarantee you the candidates won't be missing.'
Lily wanted to disagree, but she had to admit Loreen had a point. By dancing with someone else, she would not only enjoy herself, but also have a chance of making James jealous. It was a win-win situation, and even though the big-headed prat got on her nerves more often than not, she couldn't deny she felt different around him.
She grinned at Loreen, put on her most charming smile, and headed to the refreshments table, swinging her hips exaggeratedly for a few steps just to hear Loreen snort behind her, before changing to her usual perky walk.
To her joy, she found Sean Fawcett and Dan Marks, two handsome boys from her year, standing nearby. Shaking back her sleek hair would-be indifferently, she took her time pouring herself a drink while watching Sean, who it was rumored, fancied her, out of the corner of her eye.
A surprisingly short time later, she felt a hand tap her gently on the shoulder and she turned around, sweeping back the curtain of hair that had been hanging before her face.
Sean was smiling at her. 'Would you care for a dance?' he asked, grinning and offering her his hand.
'Not at all,' she responded in a lady-like voice and took his hand with a smile.
Sean led her onto the dance floor, where a slow number was being played. He turned towards her and swiftly slid his arms around her waist, his grey eyes twinkling at her. Lily felt a shiver pass through her body when his hands came to rest on either side of her waist. After all, even if he wasn't the object of her attention, he was still a boy, and a good-looking one too.
Feeling uncharacteristically self-conscious, she placed her hands on his shoulders and gave him a small smile.
Though Lily felt a bit awkward, she pretended to be enjoying herself immensely, but was careful not to give Sean a reason to think she was interested in him. She was not the type of girl who usually stroked a guy's ego and then slapped them in the face, and therefore regretted having chosen a slow song to make her move.
Eye-contact avoidance and quickly crushed small talk didn't help the matter much, and therefore they were both quite grateful when the song ended and they spent an enjoyable few minutes dancing to a much quicker tune.
She then departed to find Loreen after giving Sean a smile and a 'see you later'.
'So?' Loreen asked as soon as Lily was within ear-shot.
'Argh…' Lily replied, sighing loudly and leaning against the wall. 'Very awkward. I hate play-acting like that…'
'Well, the good news is that Potter kept shooting looks at you when he thought nobody was looking.' Loreen told her, smirking. 'Looks at you, glares at Fawcett that is,' she added.
Lily smiled to herself. It really was easy to get a boy's attention. Nothing very complex was needed. She was about to answer Loreen when suddenly the music stopped and a voice called loudly over all the noise: 'Let's play Truth or Dare!'
Mixed emotions greeted these words. While most of the boys accepted the game enthusiastically, quite a few of the girls didn't like being forced to admit intimate feelings or do embarrassing things against their will.
Lily groaned, but Loreen greeted the idea happily and dragged her to the center of the room, where people had started settling in a large circle on the floor. She took a seat between Becca and Loreen grumpily, and saw that a few more girls had the same expression of apprehension on their face.
Once everyone had settled in a large circle, Tom Kirke, the person who had proposed the game, stood up on his knees, wand in hand. 'Okay,' he called loudly, gaining the audience's attention. 'If anyone doesn't know how the game goes, it's this way. I say the incantation which makes my wand turn on the spot quickly in the center of the circle and it will eventually stop. The two people who are in front of the wand ends will be linked, and the person who gets the wand tip is the Questioner. He asks the "victim", if you would, "Truth or dare?" and the person has to pick one and do the dare or answer the question respectively. Got it?' He looked around. A few people nodded.
'Ok then!' Tom said, placing his wand in the center of the circle, keeping a finger on it. 'veritas-audeo-ludus!' he said, uttering the incantation that had been invented by a group of students a few centuries previously.
His wand emitted a few silver sparks before starting to spin very quickly on the spot. There was an outbreak of muttering as the adolescents waited for the verdict to fall.
The wand finally slowed down and stopped. A burst of white light emitted from either end of the wand, speeding towards Rupert Edgecombe and Dan Marks.
'Ha!' Dan exclaimed triumphantly as the wand tip stopped in front of him and he was linked to Rupert by a strand of white light.
'Truth or Dare?' He asked Rupert, grinning.
Rupert hesitated. 'Dare,' he said finally.
The people sitting next to Dan immediately put their heads together, offering dares and tips.
'Poor bloke,' James muttered to Sirius. 'Marks is probably going to give him something bad. He's had a grudge against Edgecombe ever since he made him impersonate a duck in front of his girlfriend last year.'
Sirius chuckled. 'That was good that was. Marks will probably give him something extremely humiliating or involving Collette,' he said, referring to the cute brunette Rupert fancied.
'Or both,' James added as Dan emerged from the sea of heads, a wide and foreboding gin on his face.
'Let the show begin,' Remus said jokingly beside them.
'Alright!' Dan called loudly over the noise. 'Edgecombe, old and evil pal, I dare you to…' someone did a drum-roll and there was an outbreak of laughter. 'To go into the supply closet with Collette for 5 minutes!'
Squeals and laughs greeted his words and Rupert and Collette, after having locked eyes briefly, were pushed up by their smirking or giggling friends, blushing furiously. They stumbled awkwardly across the sea of feet towards the supply closet on the other end of the room.
Most of the boys were snickering at Rupert, who had lost much of his usual self-confidence. Collette meanwhile, who was even normally quite shy, was beet-red as she crossed the room through all the looks and grins.
When both of them had finally made it to the closet, Dan pushed them inside and locked the door with a flick of his wand, grinning.
'Allow me to correct myself,' James said to Sirius. 'I meant lucky bloke!'
'Poor thing,' Loreen stated happily, watching their friend disappear behind the door of the supply closet.
Lily grinned. 'Yeah right. As if you wouldn't love to be in there with Black.'
Loreen grinned back. 'Who said I wouldn't?'
'Well, I guarantee you that if I get my chance; you'll be in there in no time.'
'Don't you dare!' Lily exclaimed, smacking her friend on the arm.
'Yeah, as if. With the prospect of you cruelly murdering me as soon as you get out? I think I'll pass.'
'Don't look so satisfied Miss,' Loreen said, wiggling her finger at her, 'I bet you someone else has got that idea too.'
'Shush,' Lily flapped her hands at her friend, 'They're getting out.'
Dan, having looked at his watch, went over to the supply closet and banged on the door. 'You can come out now!' he yelled, smirking.
A few people snickered. 'Don't make me come in there!' Dan said in a very good imitation of professor McGonagall. 'I don't want to be scarred for the rest of my life.'
The handle of the supply closet turned, and out came Collette, very red in the face, her hair ruffled and her skirt lopsided. Rupert came after her, he too looking embarrassed but pleased. A few people wolf-whistled.
Lily and Loreen grinned at each other. 'How did it go?' Lily mouthed at Collette, motioning her towards them.
Collette gave a shy smile with a brief thumbs-up.
After having exchanged some details with Collette, they fell quiet again as Tom placed his wand in the middle once again. This time the wand linked Lily and Sirius, and Lily gave Loreen a wide grin.
'Truth or Dare?' she asked Sirius, who was looking as carelessly handsome as ever.
'Dare,' he answered after a brief pause.
Lily smiled and conversed with Becca and Collette, who were eager to offer their help. 'We have to find something original,' Lily whispered, 'we can't just give them the same thing you guys got,' she said, nodding to Collette.
They thought for a moment. 'A walk on the grounds?' Becca suggested half-heartedly.
'Nah, if they get caught it would mean the end of the evening,' Collette said.
'Hmm…' Lily said, racking her brains. 'Well, I don't know,' she said, annoyed. 'Let's just send them into the…'
'I have an idea!' Becca exclaimed suddenly. 'You know that secret little room we found next to the girl's dormitories?'
'Oh!' Lily brightened up. 'Good idea! And Sirius wouldn't even need to go up the stairs!'
'Yes,' Collette agreed, 'I think it's good.'
'Okay then.' Lily said loudly, facing Sirius. 'I dare you to close your eyes and let us take you somewhere with Loreen.'
Loreen blushed a bit, but Sirius got up at once. 'Deal,' he said. He went over to where Lily and Loreen were, and closed his eyes. Lily grabbed Loreen by the hand and pulled Sirius and her to the corner where the girl's staircase was. She leaned against the wall and whispered 'Open up.'
A small circle formed on the wall, and it grew larger and larger till it was big enough for normal-sized people to enter.
People 'Oohed' and 'Aahed' all around the room and a few boys exclaimed indignantly about not having been told. Lily looked into the small room, which measured roughly 3 square meters and had a small sofa and little lamps in it. She pushed Loreen and Sirius into it, and grinning at Loreen, muttered 'Close,' making the circle disappear.
Feeling pleased, Lily swept her legs under her and sat back down.
A/N: So? What did you think? You're thinking something, so please take a few seconds and put it down in writing. In other words, review. (You know you want to…)