Flobberworms and Tea Leaves
James' second week back at Hogwarts was as mundane as the last. He went from class to class trying desperately to avoid Lily. They hadn't spoken since their fight in potions and James was hoping that the silence was going to be permanent. The Gryffindors were competing to see whose Flobberworm would live the longest; not only for the grade in class but for a box of chocolate frogs. Frank and Alice found the other Gryffindors' competition ridiculous and couldn't help but laugh at them any chance they got. Peter's had been the first to die. He had forgotten to keep the mud in Wormy's box damp and so by Tuesday Wormy the Flobberworm had shrivelled up. Mary's Flobberworm wasn't much better. She was constantly feeding it lettuce. On Wednesday morning she went to feed it before breakfast but unfortunately it had exploded. After that the other Gryffindors were extra careful not to feed their Flobberworms too much. Remus had done extra research in the library in an attempt to win the competition but there wasn't much that could be said about Flobberworms. In class Professor Kettleburn asked them to take it in turns to tell the class about their Flobberworm care routine. It was incredibly tedious and boring.
Mr Potter had threatened James with a new auror over the summer but James had complained that no one would do the job half as well as Holly Kilmont had. Mr Potter came to the decision that since the school would be taking extra precautions this year it would be acceptable for James to go without a personal auror for a bodyguard. He had said, however, that if James had any intentions to go to Hogsmeade then he would have to be escorted by an auror. James remembered his summer conversation with his father and frowned. He was sat in the common room, having just finished his essay on electricity for muggle studies. He quickly began to write a letter to his father.
There is a Hogsmeade weekend coming up. It's the first weekend in October.
He jumped out of his seat and made his way to the owlery to send his note. He passed several Slytherins and just couldn't resist the urge to hex them. He slyly pointed his wand at the fourth year Slytherins and muttered the incantation under his breath for a toe-nail growing hex. It was one of the spells he had heard Snape try on him during one of their many duels. He had reason to believe that the slimy git had actually made the spell up himself. They weren't due to learn how to make their own spells until sixth year.
Thursday was James' busiest day of the week. He had a total of six lessons. He woke early as he always did and went out into the grounds for a quick fly around. It was raining hard and the winds were remarkably strong. When James finally came back down to the ground he landed in a large mud puddle. He grimaced as the mud splattered his jeans and t-shirt. Some of it even reached his face. He wiped it off with his sleeve before beginning the trek up to the castle. He had been out slightly longer than normal and so the sun was already beginning to rise as he entered the common room.
He briefly looked around the room. It was almost empty except for Lily Evans who was sat reading a book in James' favourite armchair. He didn't know whether to just ignore her or to try and make polite conversation. He stood on the spot trying to make up his mind.
"Alright Potter?" Lily asked, suddenly looking up from her book.
"You're up early," James commented.
"Just wanted to get a bit of light reading in before breakfast," Lily replied. She closed he book sharply, suddenly remembering who she was talking to. "You've got dirt on your nose," Lily remarked with a slight air to her voice, "did you know?" She pointed to her nose, "right here." She then stood up and walked up the stairs to the girls' dorm.
James laughed, "I'm covered in mud Evans!" He called after her.
After breakfast the Remus and Frank made their way to the library whilst the rest of the Gryffindors began their long walk to the divination tower. James and Lily sat together reading each others' tea leaves. "I really don't hold much by this subject," Lily suddenly complained.
James was incredibly surprised, "Miss Evans! I never thought I'd hear you speak badly about your magical education!"
Lily laughed, "You can't be suggesting that you think this subject is legit?"
"I think it can be. You know for people with the gift," James replied honestly.
"The gift?" Lily asked, her eyebrow raised.
"The gift… You know seers. I think they're real. My dad told me about a place in the ministry… in the department of mysteries… there's supposed to be this kind of hall of prophesies. If it wasn't real then there'd be no prophecies."
"I guess," Lily nodded, "but do you think Lifflilee has the gift?"
James laughed, "probably not! I think it's pretty rare."
James sighed. Ignoring Lily was hard enough when they were arguing and not getting on but it was practically impossible when they had moments like this where she treated him like a normal human being.
After divination the Gryffindors had transfiguration with Professor McGonagall. They were doing a lot of theory in transfiguration and so James and Sirius were even more distracting than normal. They were still learning about animagi but James and Sirius already knew everything McGonagall was telling them. She was very careful not to give too much of the process away. They were merely making notes from their textbooks. This gave the marauders a chance to arrange when they would next practice their transfiguration spells. James had read the books from the room of requirements and was aching to start practising the new spells. Not being allowed to do magic at home was a nightmare. Mr Potter had allowed James to break the rules a few times in his first year when he had returned at Christmas to learn defensive spells but without asking his father for permission James would never be able to practice the spells without getting in trouble with the ministry. Having a father high up in the ministry had its benefits but since James was aiming to break the law he couldn't risk asking his father for help.
When transfiguration was finally over the Gryffindors set off for potions. James barely paid any attention throughout the lesson. Instead he watched Lily and Snape. Lily could feel his eyes on her back and she turned around a few times giving him her best glare. She couldn't understand why he was staring at her. "Mr Potter!" Slughorn called from the front of the classroom, "Mr Potter could you please pay attention. I just asked you a question!"
"Sorry sir," James sighed finally turning away from the red haired girl and giving his full attention to Professor Slughorn. The potions master continued talking loudly about how to brew some particularly difficult potion. "Of course wizards have spells for near enough everything but potions often provide longer lasting effects…"
James began doodling on his piece of parchment. He drew a pretty girl with long flowing hair and big eyes. He looked up briefly at Lily and then scratched out the picture harshly.