End of Summer Holidays, Potter Manor
Sirius Black was seated comfortably on his best friend, James Potter's bed, smirking as he read through James' letter to Lily Evans, who, according to James, was only the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world. Sirius' grin widened as he read,
I know this is the fifty-sixth time I have asked you out and that you will probably turn me down again, but I still hope that one day you will be able to accept my feelings because you are the ice beneath my skates, you are the air I breate and your beauty is reflected by the moon. I love you and I will do anything to get you to return my feelings. So…will you go out with me?
The whole letter sounded way too sheepish to Sirius. In Sirius' opinion, it needed a little what he called "spicing up".
Grinning evilly, he picked up a quill and began scriblling hastily. By the time he'd finished with James' letter, it was a good bit longer than before. The letter now went like this:
Greetings from your dearest admirer and I would like to ask you out for the fifty-sixth time. Hopefully you will realize this time how much you love me and accpet my love because you are the ice beneath my skates, cherry of my Black Forest cake, you're the water of my toilet bowl (it was essential, right?), the cheese of my cheese cake, the inspiration behind my good looks, the polish of my brromstick, the lens of my glasses, the wings of my Golden Snitch , the carvings on my Galleons and the sparkle of our futrue engagement ring. Your beauty is reflected by the moon. I love you and I will do anything for you. Will you give me that chance?
Sirius had just sealed the envelope when the door opened and James walked into the room.
"Have you corrected it? Was it lousy? What do you think she'll think about it?" he asked anxiously.
"Trust me, mate," said Sirius, "this is definetely a letter she'll remember."
Number Four, Pivet Drive
Lily sat in her room, her nose in her Transfiguration textbook, trying hard to memorize the wand movements pictured in page twenty-three. Her desk was piled high with books and her right hand gripped a quill, poised above a piece of parchment, ready to write down notes.
Sharp tapping sounds on her window shattered her concentration. Annoyed, she glanced up at the large grey owl pecking on the glass pane. However, her annoyance vanished once she recognized the owl. Unknown to her, James had borrowed Sirius' owl to send the letter, so she happily assumed the letter was from Sirius.
Lily had had a secret crush on Sirius Black since fourth year, not that she had ever admitted, or even shown, her feelings. But if Sirius was actually sending her love letters, there was no reason to refuse, was there?
Her sparkling green eyes lit up with excitement as she read the letter, and befroe she reacehd the end she was already singing with joy. She picked up her quill, and, homework forgotten, began to write a letter to Sirius in reply.
Severus Snape skulked down the street, eyes fixed on a window of Number Four, Pivet Drive. He could have taken the shortcut home, or even travel by Floo. But he preferred to walk this way. He could pass Lily's house on the way, and occasionally he could spot Lily sitting by her window, usually reading some book or other.
Today he was lucky again. Lily was at her window, a smile slowly spreading across her face as she read a letter that had probably just been sent by the grey owl perched on her windowsill.
Wait…grey owl? He was fairly sure all Lily's girl friends had white snowy owls. He squinted up at Lily's window again. Her expression was unmistakbly one of extreme excitement. She clapped a hand to her heart and gazed dreamily out of the window. Severus was worried. This did not look good.
When the grey owl left with Lily's reply, for some reason Severus followed it. It took him well out of his way, back to Diagon Alley, where he had just come from, and soared westwards over Gringotts. It was a clear day and dimly silhouetted in the very far distance, was a single white turret with red and gold posts, a flag with the Potter family crest flapping in the breeze. Snape scowled. Potter.
Sirius was tired. No, he wasn't tired; he was totally exhuasted. Persuading James to get off his broom, Sirius decided, had to be one of the hardest tasks in the world.
Sirius looked up. His owl tapped impatiently again. "Okay, okay, I'm coming!" Sirius growled. Why was it that he could never have a moment of peace? Sirius untied the letter. As expected, the letter was from Lily. What was unexpected, however, was that the letter was addressed to him, not James.
Tentatively, Sirius ripped open the letter. Written clearly in Lily's neat handwriting was:
Thank you so much for your charming letter! I want you to know that I feel the same way about you and I will gladly be the ice beneath your skates, cherry of your Black Forest cake, water of your toilet bowl, cheese of your cheese cake, inspiration of your good looks, polish of your brromstick, lens of your glasses, wings of your Golden Snitch, the carvins on your Galleons and the sparkle of our future engagement ring. I belive you already have my answer to your last question. Look forward to seeing you.
Sirius gulped. Lily liked him. Him, Sirius Black. Oh no. Oh no no no no no. James was going to kill him once he found out. In fact, James would be coming in anytime now… Sirius thrust the letter into the fire at the same moment James burst into the room.
James was having the time of his life. There was nothing, absolutely nothing better than being hundreds of miles up in the air, alone except for his broomstick. All his worries were forgotten once he put his leg over his Nimbus One Thousand. Sirius had gone in half an hour earlier, complaining loudly about how James was overworking him. James was incredulous. Sirius was giving up a whole hour of daylight playing Quidditch, the best game in the world, because he was tired?! And he dared claim he like the sport!
The sun set early that day and James was forced to put away his broomstick when there was no longer enough daylight to see by. And naturally, the first thing he did upon entering the house was to grab something to eat, and rush straight up to Sirius' room. He paused outside and peeked through the keyhole instead, just in time to see Sirius throw a piece of parchment into the fire.
Moving ten times faster than his usual speed, James burst through the door, crossed the room in one long stride and snatched the parchment out of the fire.
"What's this?" inquired James.
"Um…" Sirius sighed resignedly. "Lily's reply."
"Lily's reply!" exclaimed James. He was suddenly very nervous. His hands were covered in cold sweat. With trembling hands, he opened the letter. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Sirius looking at him furtively.
Except for the address and the greeting, the letter was relatively intact. With bated breath, he began reading the letter.
…I want you to know that I feel the same way about you… James couldn't believe his eyes. Lily returned his feelings! They liked each other! …Charming letter…James leapt up and hugged Sirius, then started dancing him around the room. "Thank you Sirius, thank you, I love you!" he sang off-tune at the top of his voice.
James was too happy to notice the puzzed, less-than-enthusiastic expression on Sirius' face as he stared at James unsurely. He was floating on clouds of happiness.
"You're a genius, Sirius, she loves the letter!" Sirius mumbled something that sounded like, "No problem" but James didn't really hear it. "You HAVE to help me write a romantic reply!"
"Um…maybe it wouldn't be such a good idea…"
James stopped. "Why?"
To Sirius surprise, James suddenly agreed. "You're right! Holidays end tomorrow, the letter won't reach in time anyway…" Sirius breathed a sigh of relief. "But I'll arrange a big surprise for her at the train station that'll totally blow off her feet!"
Uh-oh. Potential Disaster. "NO! Uh, I mean…"
"Uh, don't you think it would be …too flashy? I think you shouldn't …don't rush things…Lily doesn't like showing off…you might frighten her away…" Sirius babbled quickly, offering all the reasons he could think of for not doing it except the truth. He just could not bring himself to break it to James and burst his bubble. For now he could only cross his fingers and hope for the best.