The next morning, right before Charms, James found Lilly and pulled her into an empty classroom.
"Lilly, I am really sorry for walking in on you the other day. I am really sorry for interrupting you, I am sorry for seeing what I saw and I really don't want you to be mad at me." He said so sincerely that it caught Lilly off guard.
"Why can't I be mad at you, I've been mad at you for the past 7 years. I think you can handle it." She said sternly.
Distraught, James asked one last question before heading out of the room. "Are you mad because you think it means something? Because if it does that isn't my fault, you Are the one that cast the patronous."
Lilly knew it wasn't his fault, and she really wasn't sure what it meant at all, so she followed him out of the room and was preoccupied all through charms thinking about what James had said. She couldn't even get her rabbit to dance a waltz like she was supposed to so she ended up with more homework.
Sirius and James were still not on speaking terms, and James was getting sick of it, it was like being 10 year old girls.
After their last class James caught up to Sirius in the hallway, not quite sure what he was going to say, he blurted out. "Lilly hates me. And it would take a lot more than getting her drunk to have her fall for me."
Sirius paused and replied. "Well, you are damn right about that one." Then he kept walking.
"Come on dude, this is ridiculous." James replied.
"Ridiculous is it? Well, I am pretty sure it isn't as ridiculous as you are." Then Sirius punched him in the jaw.
"Wow, shit, that didn't feel nearly as satisfying as I thought." Sirius said.
"Huh, it wasn't that picturesque on this end either." James said.
"Oh right, sorry."
"It's okay, it sucks when the girl you like doesn't like you back." James said.
"Well in your case she knows you like her, but she hates your guts, and in my case she has no clue but we are best friends."
"So we are both pretty much screwed." James commented.
"Or just the opposite." Sirius joked.
6th year was a little more than half way through, and Lilly wasn't going to let any thoughts about James Potter let her be distracted from her studies. She was working on her Charms homework when a little first year student came up to her with a note. It was from Professor Slughorn and he was having a party in a couple nights, and they could bring a date.
For some reason Lilly just couldn't get James Potter out of her head. But I HATE James Potter. I can't even think about that. He is arrogant and big headed, and annoying, and best friends with Sirius, and, and, and, Lilly tried to think of other negatives about James but all of a sudden part of her head, maybe her heart, was saying, "He's tall, handsome, actually nice when he is caught off guard, he is a great Quidditch player" When she realized she was thinking that she promptly tried to convince herself otherwise. Arrogant, annoying, you hate him. What would people think, and it would be letting him win.
Lilly went to Flare to talk about it all. Flare had also been invited to the party, so she had the same dilemma. "Any ideas about what we should do about this date thing?" Lilly asked.
"We could come out of the closet and go together." Flare joked.
"I will definitely keep that in mind." Lilly said.
"Well, at least you could go with James if nobody else would go, I have no idea who would go with me."
"We are both better than this, come on, we are like the smartest girls in our year, somebody must be open to going with us." Lilly tried to convince herself just as much as she was trying to convince Flare.
"Hey, there is that 7th year that looks like he has the hots for you. What's his name?" Flare pried.
"Um, wait, you mean Christopher? He is like the cutest guy in this school. There is no way he likes me, or would ever go with me."
"You underestimate yourself, I bet if you went up to him at breakfast tomorrow he would say yes." Flare said.
"I am so not doing that at breakfast. I'll ask him at lunch I guess. What about you, you could ask that Robbins kid on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. You always seem to run into him during games." Lilly teased.
"I do not!" Flare replied indignantly, "Maybe I'll ask him tomorrow, you never know."
The next morning James heard that there was a party coming up in the Slug-Club and was trying to get a way for Lilly to ask him.
"Lupin, what if I just hang around, make it known to her that I will always be there. Or, I could find out who she is going to ask and have him say no. Then get her to go with me. Or, I could just ask her."
Lupin replied, "James, just try not to think about it and don't try to go with her. That will be much more effective than any other way of getting her. When you are begging, she just isn't interested."
"How did you become the expert?" James asked, deflated.
"Since I actually have a girlfriend." Lupin countered.
"Touché. What should we do to get my mind off of the fact that Lilly is going to be on a date with another guy in just a few days?"
"Tomorrow night is the full moon. Remember?"
"Oh right," James thought, "'Hey, I have an idea."
At lunch Lilly went up to Christopher, with his other friends around him. He was a tall blond, really good student, basically everything that James wasn't, and Lilly liked this.
"Hey," Lilly said quietly. She liked to think that she was invincible, but this was hard, if he turned her down then her reputation was ruined. He had a lot of power with the girls in Hogwarts, so if they knew that he turned her down all she would get would be the sympathy vote in every situation. If she did however get a date with him, then she was in charge, she would have the coolest guy in school, other than James and Sirius.
"Oh, hey Lilly." Christopher said. She was the smartest, nicest and Hottest 6th year, and he really needed to score her for his reputation to be kept up. He was a lot more like Sirius than the girls in the school thought, which was perfect for his way of getting girls, they thought he was a goody two shoes, then they went after him, not realizing that every girl in his eyes was just a check box of all the 6th and 7th years in the school.
"So, there is this party in two days and I was hoping you would go with me. It is one of Slughorn's things." She blurted out.
He pretended to think a little, watching her squirm, then replied. "Sounds pretty cool, so I will meet you in the common room at Eight?"
"Seven thirty would be better." Lilly said casually, trying to hide the relief she felt.
Later in the afternoon Flare walked up to Collin Robbins, worried out of her mind that he didn't even know who she was.
"Um, hey Collin?" She said.
"Hey, Flare is it?" He said calmly. Oh shit. Flare, like the toughest girl in this school. Hot as Hell. And she is about to ask me out. Shit, if only I could say yes. I mean how cool would that be. To go out with Flare would be legendary. But Sirius basically puts her off limits. Sucks for her, he gets to go out- or just screw every girl that he wants, and she can't even go out on a date, not since that 7th year. Totally wish I could say yes.
"Yeah, so I was wondering if you would go to this party with me on Friday. It's one of those Slughorn things." Well, at least he knew my name, that's a start, and by the looks of him he doesn't look Not into me.
"Um, I'm sorry but I am busy Friday, you know." Shit, I knew she was going to ask me out, and I don't even have an excuse, next match against Gryffindor is going to be Hell.
"Oh. Well, have fun then." I just got turned down by a mediocre looking guy who isn't even that good at Quidditch. What is wrong with me?
Flare turned away, upset and annoyed. Now who would go with her to that stupid party, maybe she wouldn't go. After all, she could probably come up with an excuse to Slughorn in two days better than Collin could on the spot.
That night at dinner Lilly walked in with her head held high. She had done it, gotten a date with the hottest guy in school, well according to her. Other girls would say that she has turned down the hottest guy in school every other day for the past two years, either way, she had achieved what every girl wanted.
Flare on the other hand was distraught, she didn't know what to do, and was embarrassed that the, now 'stupid' quidditch player Robbins had turned her down.
"Hey Flare, so guess who has a date Friday? I am so relieved because I was so worried, I mean think about what would happen if he turned me down, then I would end up with Potter or something." She made a face towards the end of the table, not forgiving James for walking in on her patronous the other day. She had basically decided that it was easier to blame her anger on him, be mad at him, then to realize that she was angry that what had happened might mean something, and instead have to figure out her feelings towards him.
Flare on the other hand didn't really want to tell Lilly about not having a date, so she said, "Oh good, I bet you'll have fun with Christopher."
Lilly was Flare's best friend, so she realized what was going on right away. "Hey, you should ask Jordan, he seems really nice. He is just down the table, do it now!"
"I don't feel like being rejected twice in one day." Flare said, but she was thinking about it.
"Come on," Lilly said as she pulled Flare out of her seat, realizing that she did kind of want to go because Lilly could actually make her budge. If Flare didn't want to do it, then Lilly would have gotten nowhere. "You are about to ask Jordan, be calm, act casual, sit down so you don't seem so damn tall." Lilly tried to coax her into going.
"Okay, I can do this." Flare said, heading off down the table. "Hey Jordan. So you know there is this Slughorn party on Friday, and I was wondering if you would go with me?" She spilled out as fast as she could.
Jordan looked up at her. She realized that she was standing and tried to sit down quickly next to him, almost falling on the floor as she did so. She was nervous, and it wasn't necessarily that she liked him a lot, it was that she didn't want to, well, couldn't, be turned down twice in a day.
"I'm sorry Flare; I have some plans with my friend Watson Friday night. I hope you have fun though!" He said, hoping that she didn't notice that Watson had been in the hospital wing for the last couple days for a really bad sickness, and wasn't going to be out for at least a week.
The students around him were trying to look anywhere but at Flare, so she quickly walked back to Lilly. Then she whispered in Lilly's ear and they walked out together, Lilly trying to make sure that Jordan and the kids around him didn't notice Flare leaving.
When they got a couple staircases up Flare broke down. She sat down next to a Knight statue and covered her face. "My life sucks. What is wrong with me? Do I have a sign on me that says 'I am ugly and don't want to go out with you really' on me?"
Lilly tried to calm her down, "No, not that, but maybe a sign that says 'I am tough and tall and if you cross me I will beat you up. Oh, and then Sirius and the Marauders will beat you up to because they care about me."
"You are crazy. Boys don't actually NOT go out with me because they are scared if they mess up that the Marauders will go after them; they don't go out with me because they don't want to." Flare whined.
"I promise you Flare, there is somebody in this school that will go out with you. I bet a lot of boys would. And yes, boys are wimpy enough not to go out with you just because of the Marauders."
"And this is said by a girl with one of the best guys in school as her date." Flare teased.
"So you are feeling better then. Let's go find Gracie and do our Potions homework, it will take a while because you both hate it." Lilly said.