A/N: This is a re-vamped version of a story I had started on her a few years ago which I deleted in order to fix up a bit. Lily/James, Angst'Romance.
Also, I realize that chronoligically, Andromeda Black was probably older than James and Lily, but for story purposes (and just plain fun) I messed with that. Eh.
Disclaimer: All belongs to the lovely J.K. Rowling-except for Susanna and Sasha.
Eleven o'clock sharp on September first and the deep scarlet Hogwarts Express was pulling out of King's Cross station, embarking on its annual task of ferrying young witches and wizards to school. The train slowly picked up speed, steam billowing from its smokestack. Outside of the glass compartments windows, one could see parents waving goodbye to their offspring, shouting last minute orders and reminders that were heartily ignored with a flippant wave from the student. Younger children ran alone the platform, chasing the train, laughing or crying as they watched their siblings disappear. In one of the many compartments that lined the halls of the grand train, a group of seventh year girls sat, laughing and chattering about the summer holidays.
"No—I had the worst summer of my life—it is NOT funny Sasha!—my bitch of a sister got married and all I hear all summer is-"
"Bellatrix got married?" Susanna Farris interrupted with a shriek, looking as if she would burst with laughter. Andromeda Black rolled her eyes and kicked her foot across the compartment at Susanna, mock annoyed a having been interrupted.
"No, you idiot, Narcissa—anyway, so all I hear from the entire bloody family is how lovely Narcissa is and what a positive delight it was to have her married so well and isn't it wonderful how she's made the family so proud…ugh, I'm sick of the whole bloody lot of them, Sirius was worse though, he tried to set her on fire—"
Lily Evans gave a derisive snort, but joined in the laughter all the same. She looked around at her friends, feeling lighthearted and happy to be back with people like her again. Home, away from Hogwarts, with her parents, was more to her like a novelty these days, a place to visit that she easily got bored of and quickly found herself longing for the world where she didn't feel so different. It wasn't her parents who made her feel outcast; no, they were utterly supportive and wanted to hear all the details of what they considered her glamorous other life, but around the other people…old friends, neighbor, Petunia. Petunia was the worst of it, with her prim, self-righteous attitude and her refusal to acknowledge Lily as a sister…much as she loved her parents, that place wasn't home anymore.
"Oh LILYYYYYY dearest come back to the real world!" Sasha Webber broke into her thoughts with her sing-song voice, waving her petite hand in Lily's face and smiling up at her from the floor of the compartment with sparkling blue eyes. Lily had no idea how she'd ended up on the floor, but there was Sasha for you, wild and excitable and probably one of the most friendly, carefree people on the planet. Her short brown ponytail bobbed in the air as she bounced onto the seat beside Lily and sprawled out with a giggle.
"Poor Andy, suffering through her perfect sissy's pureblood wedding and all the while dreaming of her secret romance with the muggle-born klutz—"
A shoe came hurtling across the compartment and both Lily and Sasha ducked, Sasha with another raucous shriek, avoiding Andromeda's dangerous heel.
"Ted is not a klutz!" defended Andromeda, barely able to keep an indignant face. Susanna snorted and rolled her eyes, reaching over to the seat beside her and picking up a chocolate frog.
"Andy, I know love is blind and all that mushy crap, but the boy trips over his own feet." Andromeda blushed and stuck her tongue out at Susanna, crossing her arms childishly and pouting.
"You're all just jealous of my handsome lover."
Sasha opened her mouth to fire back a witty retort but Lily slapped her hand over her friend's lips, suppressing a giggle. Sasha, in a fit of immaturity, licked the palm of Lily's hand and giggled madly when Lily jerked it away in disgust and shoved her off the seat back into the floor. Hmm, maybe stunts like this were why Sasha was always ending up in the floor…
Andromeda stuck her shoeless foot out and wiggled her toes in Sasha's face. Susanna shot Lily a pointed look over the chocolate frog card she was examining and rolled her eyes with a smile. Lily shrugged. She and Susanna were the less wild of the four, Susanna being the sarcastic yet completely trustworthy one and Lily being the intelligent, well, goody-two-shoes. They balanced out Andromeda; who was blunt without being mean and devious to the whimsical degree, and Sasha; who was just all around bubbly and warmhearted and completely naive. Lily spent most of her time with Sasha and Susanna, as Andromeda was a Ravenclaw and therefore hard to hang out with during most of the school year. This year was going to be a change, though, and she was kind of sad that she wouldn't be up in the dormitory with her two friends and the other girls she'd been in close quarters with for six years now. But, there were the perks that came with that shiny new Head Girl badge.
"Hey! Earth to Lily! What is the deal today?" yelled Andromeda suddenly, having finished her confrontation with Sasha and putting her shoe back on.
"What?" Lily asked, realizing someone must have said something and she hadn't responded.
"I asked when you have to go do your Head Girl bossy pants instructional thing." Andromeda said, rolling her eyes. They were all used to Lily zoning off sometimes.
"Probably right about now." Lily replied unaffectedly, pushing her hair back and running her fingers through it. Andromeda gasped mockingly and clasped her hands to her chest.
"And you're still sitting here?" she put the back of her hand to her forehead and pretended to swoon into Susanna's lap. Susanna looked down at her and raised her eyebrow. "Oh, I'm shocked! Lily's going to be LATE!" cried Andromeda, fanning herself. Sasha giggled, and Susanna couldn't help but laugh at the melodrama.
"I'm not going to be late," Lily defended primly, sticking her nose in the air playfully as she stood up. Andromeda was right, she really should be going. She walked towards the compartment door, choosing to change into school attire after the meeting, and looked over her shoulder with a snobbish air. "The head girl is never late! Everyone else is simply early!" she left the compartment, hearing Sasha's giggles and Andromeda's groan as she walked down the hall.
A couple of fifth years called hello to her as she passed their compartment and she gave them a quick wave, making her way through the few people in the hallway who were still unsettled to the compartment at the front of the rain where she was to meet the prefects and give them their instructions. She slid open the compartment door swiftly, giving the inside a cursory glance. Everyone was about there, but she didn't care much for the prefects, even the new ones. She was more interested to know who her male counterpart was. The Head Boy. Her roommate in the head's dorm for the next seven months of her life. Professor Dumbledore had failed to inform her as to the identity of this person. Personally, she was hoping it would be Remus Lupin. He was easy to work with and definitely deserved it, but with a class so large and virtually anyone a possibility, she just hoped it wasn't a Slytherin.
She was about to enter the compartment when she heard a loud whoop! Behind her and someone slammed into her, causing her to stumbled forward ungracefully into the compartment and squeal in surprise.
"Ooops, sorry—LILY-GOAT!" roared James Potter, recognizing the person he'd just nearly trampled and beaming, throwing his arms around her in an exaggerated bear hug. Lily grunted in annoyance and shoved him away from her, immediately crossing her arms across her chest and giving him a look to kill.
"Oy! Prongs!" Sirius Black when racing by the open door and then skidded to a stop, backing up when he caught sight of his friend. He swaggered into the compartment, his elegant hair falling into his eyes effortlessly, and clapped James on the back, his permanent mischievous smile gleaming on his face.
"Well, hello, Evans! Knew you'd be head tight-arse—you know, Jamesie here was just looking for you, see, he has a bit of a problem in his pants—"
James turned around and thumped him on the head, and Lily groaned as she caught sight of the last two prefects coming up behind them and stopping in disbelief when they found their way blocked by the seventh years tussling in front of them. The others already in the cabin were either suppressing giggles or staring at the scene with interest. Lily suddenly felt like knocking her head repetitively against the window.
"Potter, it would absolutely thrill me to give you the first detention of the year." She said sarcastically, with a satirical smirk on her face, glaring at them both. James shoved Sirius backwards forcefully and turned to Lily with a winning smile, his eyes gleaming.
"You can't give me detention." He said matter-of-factly, reaching into his jeans pocket suddenly. Lily rolled her eyes and dug her nails into her elbows, reminding herself mentally not to abuse her power, really not in the mood for whatever joke he was about to pull. Sirius started to snigger as he leaned against the compartment door. Lily gritted her teeth and was about to go off on him when he pulled his hand out of his pocket triumphantly and held it out to her. Sirius burst into peals of laughter at the look on her face when she saw the gleaming silver badge in his palm.
She absolutely did not believe her eyes. Skeptical and stunned, convinced someone was playing a truly horrific joke on her; she did the one thing that seemed natural in the situation. She accused Potter of theft.
"James Potter, who did you nick that badge from?" she demanded through gritted teeth, hoping with all her soul he'd stolen it. Even if it was from a Slytherin. James adopted an injured look and said indignantly:
"This badge was delivered to me by Hogwart's finest!" he informed her, trying to sound hurt. It didn't last long. He broke into a grin and waved the badge in front of her face, winking. "What d'ya say to that, Evans?" he asked, pushing past her and dropping down on a seat. He threw his arm around one of the fifth year girls, who immediately giggled and shot the other girls a gloating look. Lily continued to stare at the spot where he'd been. She marched forward, grabbed, Sirius Black by his collar, and shoved him out the door, slamming it in his face. She turned around to see James giving her an outraged look.
"Evans, that was immensely rude of you. If Padfoot loses his mental stability because you can't behave like a young lady, I'll just have to kiss you senseless." He said seriously.
She was going to murder him. She swallowed and again glared daggers at him before turning and facing the entire group. The sixth and seventh year prefects she knew from years before, and she had been acquainted with the two new Gryffindors, but the others were unknown to her.
"All right, I'll make this quick so you can get back to your friends and actually enjoy the ride, but just to inform you as to your official duties—"
"I love it when she talks bossy." James interrupted with a sickly sweet look on his face, glancing around at the other students to gauge their reaction. Count to ten. She turned slightly in his direction and succeeded in keeping her cool well, she thought.
"Will you pipe down you arrogant toerag?" she asked, in the same sweet voice he'd used.
"I like them feisty." He responded, reaching up to tousle his jet black hair. With all the will power in her, Lily turned back to the expectant prefects, her eyes glittering angrily.
"As prefects, you can't give detentions, but you are to report infractions to myself, a teacher or, unfortunately, the village idiot here." she said, gesturing to James, whose mouth dropped open in that familiar look of mock outrage. "Fifth years, you'll patrol the corridors until nine, sixth years until ten, and seventh years until eleven with Potter and I. When we get to the school, it is your job to round-up the first years and provide assistance for them as they find their ways to the dormitory. Does anyone have a question?"
James's hand immediately went up in the air, his face the picture of solemnity. Lily rolled her eyes and looked around at the others. One of the fifth year girls blew a bubble with her chewing gum and tossed her hair over her shoulder. A silver and green prefects badge glittered on her chest.
"Yeah, can we go?" she asked smartly, looking utterly bored and rather upset that she was taking orders from a Gryffindor—and a muggle born, no less.
"Excuse me, Miss Evans, I have a question!" yelled James as obnoxiously as possible. Lily felt herself almost snap, something she revealed in the volume of her answer.
"WHAT is it, POTTER?" she veritably yelled, turning on him ferociously. One of the more timid looking fifth year boys jumped.
"Will you go out with me?"
Lily glared at him for a split second before turning on her heel and storming out of the compartment, sliding the doors open just as forcefully as she'd closed them. Sirius was seated on the floor outside, and looked up in surprise as she stalked by.
The head's dorm. Seven months. James Potter. I'd rather swallow the giant squid. How was she supposed to keep from murdering him? How was she supposed to get any work done with the adorable little marauders in and out of the dorm all day? Sirius with his stupid girls and James making his jokes and ogling her while she tried to do her homework. She groaned out loud as she arrived at her compartment and stumbled in, flopping down on the nearest seat—which put her splayed across Sasha's lap.
"That's my personal space!" protested Sasha, poking Lily in the back of the head.
"What's wrong with you?" Susanna asked, looking up from a magazine she'd been looking at with Andromeda. Andromeda fixed her cool blue eyes on Lily as well, and Sasha continued poking her scalp. Lily heaved herself up and pushed her hair back again.
"James Potter is Head Boy." She waited for the effect to sink in.
Andromeda's jaw fell open; Sasha gave an outright gasp of shock and starred at Lily as though she'd told her there were two-headed elephants driving the train. Susanna gave voice to the universal thoughts of them all.
"Has McGonagall lost her fucking mind? James Potter? He's the—the school delinquent!"
"That is the understatement of the century!" moaned Lily, slumping down further. Andromeda clicked her tongue sympathetically; they all knew how far up the wall James drove Lily. Sasha glanced around at them all.
"Oh, come on, he's not that bad! Really! I mean, yeah he's kind of…big-headed and retarded and…" she fumbled for a second. "Well, still! He's harmless. I'm sure he won't be that awful to live with." Lily dropped her arm from her hair and gave her friend an incredulous look.
"Excuse me, but are we talking about the same person?" she asked snappishly. Sasha looked at her sheepishly and shrugged her shoulders.
"It doesn't make any sense. Why'd he get the badge? You know, there's only one explanation for this. Even The old bat's in love with him." Andromeda said with finality, shaking her head. Lily giggled against her will and Susanna rolled her eyes with a smirk at Andromeda's jest.
"Sasha's right, you know." Susanna started, looking at Lily pointedly. "You'll have to make the best of it." Lily gave Susanna a glare, really hating her practicality right now. Susanna shrugged sympathetically.
"So…am I the only one who finds this immensely suspicious?" Lily asked half-heartedly. Sasha held up her hands as if caught in a criminal act and smiled.
"Hey, we're just as shocked as you are, sister!" she cried.
"Maybe he killed someone." Andromeda suggested, her eyes glinting with laughter. Lily could definitely see traces of her cousin in her when she got these sorts of jokes in her head. Susanna wacked Andromeda over the head in a rare fit of playfulness. Lily sighed and slowly got up, reaching into the overhead storage and jerking her school uniform out.
"It's getting dark out there. We'd better get dressed." She said. The other girls followed suit, Susanna remembering to latch the door before they stripped off their muggle attire and pulled on their skirts and robes. Lily was lacing up her shoes when the train whistled and lurched to a stop; Sasha's backpack tumbled out of the storage area and bounced off her head. Rubbing the place absently, Lily got up and opened the compartment, letting her friends go out before her with their things to find a carriage for them while she made sure the first years found Hagrid all right.
For the most part, the other prefects did their job, and she was nothing more than a sentry occasionally splitting up some rowdy second or third years or pointing a first year in the right direction. When she was sure she couldn't see anymore of the younger ones running about, she headed back to the compartment to get her things. She tossed her duffle bag over her shoulder and made her way out to the carriage Susanna and the others had secured for them.
After the feast and the sorting, Lily sat in a chair in front of Professor McGonagall's wooden oak desk, leaning on the right arm rest to slant her body away from Potter, who had shamelessly scooted his chair over when he'd entered and sat down in front of the transfiguration teacher.
"It's an honor for both of the head's to be from my house, and I expect," she glanced severely at James when she said this, "the best behavior out of you. You set an example for the students of this school." Lily had to hold back the snort that threatened to come out of her. McGonagall looked piercingly at James, who flashed her a smile, for a moment longer before continuing.
"The head's dorm is on the fourth floor, behind the carved stone gargoyle with one eye. The password now is 'gillyflower', and it's to change weekly; you'll see me on Sundays to receive the new one. This dorm is a privilege that the heads have previously proved worthy of, and I don't doubt the both of you will uphold that mantle. There is to be no funny business. Understood?" again she was looking at James and not Lily when she said this, but Lily couldn't help raise an eyebrow when McGonagall uttered the words 'funny business'. James smiled charmingly.
"You know, Professor, its Evans you should worry about, I think she might actually murder me—I know its hard to believe, I'm so devilishly handsome, but really I'm afraid to sleep at night-"
"That's enough, Mr. Potter." McGonagall interrupted grimly, but Lily swore she detected a small upturned corner in the teacher's lips. Unbelievable. The teachers were in love with him.
"You'll find you things there when you arrive, and there's no need to worry about your duties tonight. The teachers are patrolling. You may go." She said, walking to the door and opening it for them.
"Thank you, Professor." Lily said, receiving a nod in return and leaving quickly, trying to escape James even if she knew it was impossible. It was. He was bounding up the closest staircase after her, looking like some kind of excited puppy.
"I guess I finally get to know what it's like to sleep with you." He commented slyly, lurching away in the next instant, avoiding the anticipated slap of some sort.
"In your dreams, Potter." She snapped, looking around on the threshold of the fourth floor, desperately trying to ignore his annoying bravado. He gasped in mock surprise.
"How did you know that!" she gave him a look of disgust and started walking aimlessly down the corridor, spotting the appointed gargoyle about halfway down near a giant portrait of some wizard conqueror.
"Gillyflower." She said clearly. The one-eyed gargoyle blinked at her and nodded discreetly; an unseen door in the column of its pedestal opened smoothly, and Lily entered the dorm that was to be her new home at Hogwarts. James followed suit, looking quite impressed.
The common room of the head's dorm was elegant and roomy, with a giant fire place in the center of the room against the wall, flames flickering invitingly inside of it. In fact, it looked much like the common room of Gryffindor tower, though not quite as big as it only had to make room for two people. There was a desk in the corner; the carpet was thick and soft. On one side of the room a short spiral staircase led up to a landing where a door stood, with a gold plate reading HEAD GIRL nailed on it. On the other side was a short hallway, ground level, where a door with a similar plate reading HEAD BOY was located. Lily's trunk and other things were laid neatly on the landing before the door; James's in front of his door.
"Whoa," James said looking up at the high ceiling. Lily didn't know if she'd ever heard him that inexpressive in the entirety of her knowing him. And, for once, she agreed with something that came out of his mouth. This was nice.
"Goodnight, Potter." Lily said abruptly, but civilly. He looked at her in surprise a she made her way over the adorable little staircase.
"Aww, Evans, no! C'mon…let's...celebrate or somethin'!" she turned around as she picked up her things and placed her hand on the door knob.
"Potter, I have to put up with you, I don't have to like you." She said with a sigh, and went into her room.
James stood dubiously at the bottom of the stairs, rather let down by that stick that was always up Evans's arse. The girl really was mind-boggling. Surely he couldn't be that repulsive to her. He wasn't repulsive to anyone. Not girls, at least. He was James Potter! With a groan he smacked himself in the forehead and collapsed on a sofa in front of the fire. What kind of girl would rather sleep than sneak down to the kitchens and get some party food to celebrate a room like this?
James propped himself up on his elbow and glanced up the staircase to Lily's firmly shut door. A slow grin spread over his face. There was no way she could keep giving him this frigid act. Not when she had to live with him. It just wouldn't work. This year could turn out to be one of the best.
Lily stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom that connected to her room, brushing her teeth. She pulled her hair back at the nape of her neck as she leaned forward to spit and rinsed her mouth out under the sink. She capped the tooth paste and swept her hair up in a pony tail, wanting to get in some reading before bed. She looked at her reflection for a moment, thinking about what Susannah had said. You'll have to make the best of it.
Susanna was right, she realized with an inward groan. There would have to be some kind of truce or something. She wasn't going to spend her final year at Hogwarts at odds with James Potter, spending all her energy in a war of wits with him. Not when she needed all her brainpower to pass final exams and qualify for healer training. This was her last year too. She was going to enjoy it. Potter as Head Boy was just an unexpected drawback.
A/N: Reviewers get virtual cookies!