Why Won't You Try?
May was a quiet month. Lily barely spent any time with her friends at all, choosing to spend most of her time either in the library studying or with Severus Snape. They practiced their potions together in Professor Slughorn's empty classroom. Slughorn had taken to watching them. Lily had recently become his favourite student. He would sit talking to them happily as they practised the different potions that he hinted might be coming up in their end of year exam. The Gryffindors missed Lily a lot but didn't really know how to approach the subject with her so they decided to just wait until she felt like spending time with them once more.
Gryffindors match against Slytherin was at the end of the month so Gryffindor Tower had become somewhat excitable. James and Sirius were even busier than they had been at the end of April. The teachers seemed to be giving them more homework every week. Divination was no longer fun as Lily was barely speaking to James. This made reading her palm incredibly difficult. He tried desperately to start a conversation but she would not respond to him without a huff or puff. He sighed angrily after trying several times. At the end of the lesson Lily tried to rush out of the room but James grabbed her arm, "Evans – was any of it real?"
"What?" She turned around to face him, confusion etched across his face.
"At my house you were so different; kind – we were friends…" he tried to articulate what he felt, "I thought perhaps – no I hoped… that perhaps we might stay that way but… well I'm beginning to wonder if you were merely being polite because you were in my home… you were my guest?"
"I… I wanted to… everyone made such a big deal about how I was being unfair to you… unkind to you… so I tried. I tried to be your friend but you are not what they think you are. You're cruel and unthoughtful… you… you… I was right about you when I first met you."
"Evans…" James tried.
"You – you were supposed to be the kind boy I met at your house… not this… not the arrogant jerk you are at Hogwarts. You… you made me like you… I almost thought we could be friends… I thought you were kind… but then you see Severus on the train and you change… suddenly you are cruel… suddenly you've got a look in your eyes…" she could feel tears on her cheek, "it's vindictive… you don't care do you? He's not so very different from you, you know. I can't be friends with anyone who hates my best friend."
"I'm sorry you feel that way," James replied before going to leave the room.
"You don't even offer to try!"
James turned to look at her once more, "try? You want me to try? You want me to change how I feel so that I might be your friend? What about compromise? It seems a bit one sided to me." James couldn't hide his anger.
"I – I am only asking that you try not to hate him. Is that really too much to ask?" Lily sighed. "I suppose it is…"
James sighed, "I'm sorry Evans but I can't… too much has happened for that. But it was real, wasn't it? You weren't just pretending…?"
"No James – I wasn't pretending. I promise."
James tried his best to forget his conversation with Lily Evans. It shouldn't have been too difficult considering that Lily was still not spending much time with the other Gryffindors but it seemed that James was unable to forget about her. Her words were constantly in his mind. James was thinking about her as he made his way out of the castle on Monday morning for his Care of Magical Creatures lesson. Professor Kettleburn was waiting for them just outside the forbidden forest. Once the students were all gathered together around their teacher, Professor Kettleburn began to speak; "today we are going to have a bit of excitement… we will be going into the forest… we will be trying to find a Clabbert. They somewhat resemble a cross between a monkey and a frog. They have smooth skin… a mottled green colour. They have short horns and wide grinning faces with razor sharp teeth. Pair up… Pair up… lets see… Mr Potter, Miss McKinnon… Mr Black, Miss Evans… Mr Pettigrew, Miss Flint… Mr Stebbins, Miss MacDonald…"
The pairs began to make their way into the forest. James smiled at Marlene; "We've not really spent time together ever since Easter," James commented.
"I know," Marlene frowned, "I've been with Richard…"
"How is Thole?" James made conversation as they searched for the small creature.
"He's ok," Marlene replied. "I don't really like him though…"
"Why are you…?"
"I don't really know to be honest," Marlene replied, knowing his question, "I think I was hoping Sirius might get jealous or something… foolish I know."
"No, not at all…" James sighed, "He was jealous you know."
"He was?" She tried not to express her delight at the idea of Sirius being jealous.
James nodded, "He likes you… but you have to remember its Sirius we're talking about."
"Of course… Mr Sirius Black, the most notorious player at Hogwarts… and he's only in his third year! He'll only get worse and you're no better Potter!"
James laughed at the idea of him being a player. James talked to Marlene about his conversation with Lily. He hadn't spoken to anyone about it. "James I'm so sorry – She's been completely ridiculous. You really mustn't take much from it…" Marlene tried to console him.
When they returned with their Clabbert, they realised that they had been much quicker than their classmates so they waited patiently. When the whole class were finally gathered together, Professor Kettleburn began to inform them of their homework. Sirius could be heard complaining about the idea of having more homework. "I don't want to do another bloody essay!"
"Your Chimaera essay will be due in next week," Professor Kettleburn glared at Sirius.
The students began to make their way back up to the castle. Peter and Mary weren't talking because Peter had accused Mary of flirting with her Hufflepuff partner, Thomas Stebbins. "I was not!" She all but screamed at him, "but even if I was what is it to you? We're not together! You haven't even told me you like me! I'm not yours!" She stormed off towards the castle, leaving a very confused Peter surrounded by their friends.
"I wasn't expecting that," Peter muttered.