With an angry sigh Lily Evans set her school bag onto her table in the library, dropping into a seat across from it.
She was positive, well almost positive, that the Marauders had no idea what a library was; let alone where it was in their school, with perhaps the exception of Remus Lupin.
Lily wasn't sorry they lost over two hundred points, nor was she sorry that Potter would be missing over a month's worth of Quidditch practices due to detention. Potter had deserved it, strutting around the school as if he owned it; he needed to pay for his insolence. Stealing from Slughorn's stores, having the Gamekeeper lie for them, and tricking Snape into taking the fall for something he hadn't done.
If she believed any of that then why did she feel so guilty?
What did it matter that Snape had called her a busy body for interfering and had told her to keep her irritatingly skinny nose out?
Even if James did deserve it, why was her stomach doing flips of guilt from what she had done? Lily could still feel tears prickling at the corner of her eyes and James' angry use of "hussy" ringing in her ears.
Taking a deep breath, Lily pulled a Transfiguration book towards herself trying to get lost in the written world and blocking out the events of the afternoon.
She and James had been fighting since they had first bumped into each other on the Hogwarts Express. Every time she said no to a date, or pointed out when he was being a jerk, another fight would start.
Fishing her wand from out of her robes she tapped a section in her book rather harshly. A pink hue appeared around the words highlighting the paragraph for her to come and look at again later.
Minutes later though, her aggressive studying was put to a halt as a shadow loomed up above her blocking out the torch light. A second later the shadow lowered itself into a chair across from her and Lily looked up into the calm face of Remus Lupin; the only marauder she really liked.
"You and James are becoming too predictable Lils." Remus said as he settled into the hard backed library chair.
"What do you mean?" Lily asked setting her wand down onto the table and frowning.
"Whenever you two fight, which is often," Remus added, grinning when Lily made another face, "You come in here and abuse some books and James goes off to fly laps. Only this time he has to find something else to amuse himself with as he is banned from the field."
"I am not going to say sorry Remus. He had no right to do what he did!" Lily said, slamming her book shut and giving Remus a withering look. She could feel her anger boiling just below the surface setting her teeth on edge.
"I wasn't asking you to Lily, I only came in to see if you were okay and to make a suggestion, if you're willing to hear it. I can go away if you'd rather." Remus said sounding amused with her.
In all the years she had known him, Remus was always calm had always found a way to make a situation more amusing. His deep calm did not seem to have any sway or control over his mates, it just gave him a certain edge when disapproving of one of their many pranks.
"What do you suggest?" Lily asked fiddling with her wand.
"Make a treaty of sorts," Remus said.
"How do you suggest us doing that with him- with him-"
"Being such an arrogant pompous prick?" Remus supplied the words for her, Lily nodded her agreement.
"Yeah, all of that." Lily said.
"Write a contract of things James can and cannot do, and then have him sign it. Simple as that." Remus shrugged standing up and stretching, "And if not that then something! Talk to him, agree to a civil date. Anything! Us Prefects are really getting tired of cleaning up James' and your messes." Then with a cheery wave which told Lily he was not as frustrated as he acted, he turned and walked off leaving Lily alone and more confused than ever.
In theory what Remus had just suggested was simple.
To make a treaty with James Potter and finish out their final two years at Hogwarts as friends.
Lily could not help but snort at that idea, there were three absolutely true facts which Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry knew for certain.
The first being that you never, ever skip down the hallway singing, "So We're Off To see The Wizard"; when sent to the Headmaster's office. Sirius Black did this once after Lily had explained in full detail to him him who and what the Wizard of Oz was, and ended up in detention for a week.
The second being that Professor Minerva McGonagall was not a witch to be trifled with under any circumstances, whatsoever. McGonagall was also fondly known as Minnie to her most frequent detention attendees, the Mauraders. A nick name that none of them dared to utter around McGonagall less they become victims of her wrath. For someone so young, Minnie was rather stern.
The third and final fact was drilled into the mind of every student who had ever witnessed one of the truly frightening fights between the Redheaded Witch and The Jet Black Haired Wizard, a truth that was unshakable. James and Lily did not like each other and the two of them being in the same room was to be avoided whenever possible. These three facts were set in stone, as the Marauders had engraved them on the boys' bathroom wall one day in third year.
It was simple logic really; James Potter was the absolute bane of her existence.
Though you had to have strong feelings for a person to hate them... did that mean she felt more than just hate for James Potter?
"They had to love each other deeply to hate each other with such passion." Her mother's favorite quote floated into her mind.
Lily snorted, dismissing the thought as soon as it had crossed her mind.
Love? Potter? What a riot! James Potter was everything she wasn't, pig-headed, mean, vindictive, and a bully.
Lily had spent a significant amount of her time since entering Hogwarts trying her damnedest to not be like him and she was pretty sure she was succeeding in doing so.
Taking a deep breath she reopened her book trying to shove the words which Remus had spoken out of her mind along with the confusion which was battling to take over her heart and drive her insane.
Within moments she was shutting the book; drumming her fingers against the table in front of her.
A few seconds later she slumped, her head falling with a slight bump against the table. 'Stupid James, this is entirely your ruddy fault,' she thought glaring up through a slit in her crossed arms.
Muttering a quick curse that would make her mother box her ears, Lily jumped up grabbing her bag and stomped out of the library. Even in her sanctuary, a place James Potter probably had never been in, she couldn't get him out of her mind.
Grumbling about Potter and all the things he messed up, Lily slammed the library door shut and headed off towards the dorms.
The hallways were deserted; students were off at dinner, gorging themselves on whatever delicious food that the house elves had prepared.
Halfway to her dorm she spun on her heel and went back the direction she came from; she might as well burn some of this frustration off walking laps around the lake. Maybe then she'd be able to get some homework done and sleep peacefully tonight.
Outside, the half moon had risen covered by grey clouds. Walking across the lawn towards the lake Lily took a large gulp of air, spun on the ground and dropped backwards enjoying the hefty fragrance let out by the grass as she settled onto her back.
Just beyond her feet the inky blackness of the Great Lake glittered.
'The nerve of James Potter and his arrogant pig headed ways!' Lily thought glaring up at the sky. Her best friend Alice Powers was no help, she had somehow let it slip about Lily's strange, recent dreams of one James Potter. Now of course James wouldn't let it rest, he brought them up at every chance, strutting around with his chest puffed out as if he were the most amazing man to ever walk this earth. The problem with that was, he probably was.
He was probably the most handsome, pig-headed, kind-hearted young fool she had ever met. Which would never have been a problem if he didn't know it and use it to his full advantage; he was, after all, a teenage boy.
How many girlfriends had he had this year alone and they weren't even in their second month of school! He also held the largest amount of detentions ever earned in the first three weeks of school than anyone else. Something he was undoubtedly proud of!
Sighing, Lily shut her eyes allowing the cool evening air to wash over her and the grass to tickle her face.
If she could believe the iron clad truths of Hogwarts then she and James detested each other and always would. If that was the fact though why did her stomach clench so painfully whenever she thought about James?
Opening her eyes she rolled onto her stomach pulling a piece of parchment out from her school bag as she did so.
A list of things that James Potter wasn't allowed to do, a list she would never show him because the moment she did then he would do every one of those things and more. Or more to the point, it was a list of every fantasy she had ever had. Every romantic notion, every silly child's dream and each one of them centering around an inky-black haired boy.
"Alright there Prongs? You weren't at dinner; the map said you'd be out here." Remus Lupin's voice drifted out over the lawn. Lily tensed holding her breath as she watched them pass by just a few inches in front of her face. Lily moved lower into the tall grass of the Hogwarts grounds feeling them tickling her face. If she was lucky they would do laps around the Great Lake allowing her ample time to escape back into Hogwarts.
Luck though, was not in her favor, Remus settled a few feet away from her. Turning her head, Lily wondered how she'd missed James who had sat mere feet from her spot moments before. He was holding a stolen snitch in his hand, letting it escape further and further each time before snatching it back up again.
"Did you speak to her then?" James asked not bothering to answer the question that Remus had just asked.
Lily frowned letting her breath out softly and then drawing in another. Had Remus only come to speak with her in the library because James had asked him to?
"Yes and since it's Evans she is going to do what I suggested, she likes a challenge…Remind me again why I'm doing this?" Remus asked sounding vaguely amused.
Lily slunk a little lower to the ground crouching down until she was in a small crawl. She had to get out of here, either that or yell at Remus! He was helping James! A feeling of hurt crawled its way up from inside of her stomach which she immediately squashed down. Of course Remus would offer to help James, James was his best mate after all.
"So you think she'll-"
"Accept the idea of trying to be your friend? Yes. But James if you mess up again, I don't think you're going to get any other chances. I'm not even sure this plan of yours is going to work, Evans isn't going to be putty in your hands like all the other girls." Remus said.
Lifting her head from its bent position Lily peered around at the two boys. They were sitting side by side and James was holding his wand spinning it around and around a bemused expression on his face. He almost looked like a teacher helping his favorite student with a project. Remus's eye lifted from his friend's wand and glanced around as though he felt himself being watched. Lily quickly dropped back down holding her breath again.
"I know, I know." James said as if he'd been saying the same words for the past few months. "I just hope the plan goes well. Since you came up with it, I have more faith in it than in one of my own plans."
Remus snorted, Lily could hear a slight scuffle ensue and the bark-like laugh of Sirius Black joining in. "You just got wiped by Moony, Prongs. You're slipping." Sirius bragged, as he marched across the lawn and dropped down next to them. Lily lifted her head again watching them. A smile tugged at the corner of her lips at the scene in front of her; James had knocked Remus over onto his back; both of them were eyeing Sirius for a moment as he settled then they jumped together onto Sirius. They tumbled sideways within inches from where Lily was concealed in the grasses. For just a moment Lily felt a pair of eyes fix on her before they were laughing, rolling away as they tussled.
Holding her breath once more, Lily listened hard as the sound of fighting ended and the three of them settled down again.
"Why do you even care what happens with Evans?" Sirius asked and Lily made a face.
She and Sirius had never really gotten along; then again she enjoyed their rows. They could go on for hours auguring and bickering before one of them would bother asking what the original topic was that they had disagreed on. They were like brother and sister, never quite getting along but never enemies.
"That my dear Padfoot," James proclaimed in a booming laughing voice, "Is why, even I, can call you a git."
Lily snorted into her hand crawling like a baby would towards the Forbidden Forest where she quickly slipped underneath its sheltering branches. Reaching up, Lily smoothed her hair down onto her head before shaking the grass from her white blouse and emerging several feet away from her original spot. She moved at a slow jog, acting as if she were only just out for a nighttime stroll.
As she walked Lily could hear the laughter of the marauders and their jesting as they began to stand and fall into step back towards the castle.
Swallowing hard, Lily took the steps two at a time, staying far ahead of them and slipping in through the double oak doors. She then ducked down hiding behind the house points glasses.
A moment later she watched as the three of them entered the school, Remus turning to shut the door.
A piece of parchment was resting in Black's hands; Lily watched as he read trying to keep her breath slow and quiet even as it came in pants. She hated jogging as it made a girl bounce to the point of pain and left them panting and out of breath. A slow smile stretched across Black's face as his eyes flittered to the end of the parchment, "Well, well, well, look what I've found."
"A brain?" Remus jested, grinning as he walked over.
Sirius snorted, "Good one Wolf pup, no." He held up the parchment and Lily felt her heart stop, "101 Things James Potter is Not Allowed To Do!"
She had forgotten her list outside. Her heart hammered hard against her chest, Lily was sure the boys would be able to hear it.
From her vantage point behind the tall hour glasses that held the common room points, Lily could see the boys standing in the entrance hall. She watched as a grin spread across Potter's face as he moved forward to take the list from Black's hand. "Well, well something to help with our plan then." James' grin widened, operation 'Get His Evans' was going along swimmingly, this list, only improved his chances.
Lily was still groaning softly into her hands long after the boys had made their way back to the Gryffindor common room. What was she going to do? James Potter had her list of romantic fantasies at his disposal and could use them to his advantage however and whenever he decided to.
Feeling very bleak indeed, Lily made her slow way back towards the common room, letting her shoe scrap against the stone floor. Her mind ran circles around itself trying to remember what all she had put on the list; maybe then she would not be so embarrassed when Potter pulled it on her. Yet the harder she thought about it the more her thoughts became jumbled up and she was unable to pull a single coherent idea from them.
Her only comforting thought, as she snuggled into bed that night, was that maybe she could guilt Remus into giving her the list back.
A deep flowery scent surrounded Lily; each breath was filled with its pleasing smell. Her right hand was buried beneath something soft and slightly damp, and despite the deep cold in her room, she felt warm.
Whatever was assaulting her sense with that delicate smell was also warming her bed chasing the chilly air away.
"Lily, it's time to wake up and greet the world!" Alice announced outside of her bed curtains her voice chipper as it was every morning. This had been Alice's ritual every day since they had started school together and she had first learned that Lily hated mornings with a passion.
"No," Lily muttered, hiding her face deeper into the flowery scent and trying to block out the obnoxious laughter of her fellow year-mates. This too was a part of their ritual.
"Lily, get up and greet the day!" Alice ordered ripping open her bed hangings. Lily cursed and curled into a tight ball, waiting for when Alice would bounce onto her bed as she did every time Lily refused to drag her sorry butt out of bed.
Ye the bounce never came, Lily cracked an eye open to see what Alice was doing, closing it when her head gave a particularly hard throb. It seemed her feelings about this day being the worse day so far in sixth year were turning out to be true. Lily had one of the worst headaches of her entire, young adult life.
"Who sent them?" Alice squealed suddenly pouncing on the bed and making the whole frame shake.
Lily cursed incoherently grabbing at her aching head as she sat up to glare at her overly-hyper best friend.
"Who sent what?" she asked grouchily, still swathed in the scent of roses.
"The flowers, you silly goose!" Alice proclaimed grabbing up a handful of red rose petals and tossing them up around Lily's head. Confused Lily lifted her right hand which had been covered in the soft red petals and turned it sideways to let the petals drift softly back onto her bed.
Each small petal was cloaked in warmth, bathing her body in a gentle heat. Lily's brow creased in thought; she had thought it was a dream the heady smell of flowers. The deep warmth she had assumed came from the five blankets she was buried under.
"I don't know..." She stuttered in response, her face a mask of confusion. Who would send something like this to her? 'Potter.' Her mind pondered, throwing the name out of nowhere, igniting one thought after another. James Potter would definitely have the skills and resources to figure out how to do something like this especially with the help of Remus Lupin. It was apparent Remus was willing to give James all the help he needed to snare her. 'Well, it appears James isn't as big a prat as I thought he was.'
"The list," Lily said.
"You mean the list of things James is not allowed to do? But who would have that?" Alice asked frowning.
"Yeah, that list. I went for a walk last night instead of going to dinner and was reading the list again. James and his cronies came out and where talking about me. I was in such a hurry to get away I didn't realize I'd left the list outside. At least not until Black had already found it.
Alice snorted, "And you say he's a prat." She scooped up a handful of petals and tossed them in Lily's direction. Lily rolled her eyes as the petals drifted down in front of her eyes like the rice people throw at weddings. "Now," Alice said jumping up and tossing some more petals at her, "Get your lazy arse out of this bed and down to breakfast pronto!"
Lily laughed but jumped up before sitting back down quickly when her head gave a hard throb. Moving more slowly, she shut the bed hangings before stripping her nightgown off and dressing in her school uniform. Running a brush through her hair was like beating it against a wall and was to be avoided at all costs. Lily threw her gingery locks up into a untidy bun and waved glumly at her good mood as it passed her by. With another longing look at her bed she turned and walked out of the dorm room, nearly tripping on her shoelaces. Grumbling a curse she squatted down tying them in two angry knots before hurtling down the steps and out the portrait hole.
A moment later she was sent flying, her head banging hard into the wall opposite her. Swearing furiously again, Lily's mouth at times rivaled the most creative of sailors, she turned around. Remus Lupin was picking himself up off the floor with a small trail of blood running down his chin; he'd bitten right through his lip.
"Note to self, don't stop in front of the portrait hole to tie your shoe," Remus said looking up at Lily with, what could only be called, a marauder's grin, "'You okay, Lily?"
"Peachy." She snapped rubbing her head where she'd hit the wall. The lights were fading back into the normal colors that graced the hallway of the Gryffindor corridor. Remus no longer appeared as blurry as he had moments before. "Minus… the mother of all migraines." She added her voice softer when she noted the hurt look in Remus eyes.
He hadn't meant for her to get hurt; he'd just stopped to tie his shoes – in a really stupid place she might add, but it wasn't completely his fault, after all. She was the one who hadn't seen him and had barreled right into him. "I woke up with that, though, so other than a bump to match it nothing has changed." She added rubbing her forehead. She was going to have a rather nasty bruise but since she was so fair skinned that was to be expected.
"Here," Remus said pulling out his wand before walking over to her and tapping her head gently. A cooling, trickling sensation drifted from where his wand rested throughout her body. The ache in her head lessoned until it was gone. "Better?"
"Loads," Lily said returning Remus's smile and falling into step with him. If Remus was helping James in 'catching' her, then two could play at that game. She felt slightly guilty using Remus in such a way but she wasn't about to become a catch without first figuring out what James was about. Who better to help with that than Remus, one of his best mates? "You know, the strangest thing happened when I woke up." Lily commented after a few moments of silence.
Silence with Remus wasn't awkward; they could sit for hours in each other's company without having to say a word. In a lot of ways Remus was Lily's best frien or at less her best male friend.
Alice had once asked her why she had never tried anything further with Remus. Lily could hardly stop laughing long enough to explain that kissing Remus would be like kissing her own brother. He was a good friend to have; he just wasn't someone Lily wanted to be snogging senseless like half the girls in their house wanted to.
"Really? Did you wake up and trip over your own feet again? Because honestly that's not strange Lily that's just normal for you."
"Hey!" Lily laughed shoving Remus in the arm as he grinned at her. "No, I did not trip until I tripped over you! I woke up and my bed was covered in rose petals! Romantic, isn't it? I only wish I knew who sent them, because I'd really love to thank whoever it was..." Lily pretended to think, watching Remus's every facial twitch. His face was turned up in a slight smile but he didn't betray anything other than amusement, "You know, maybe it was Amos Diggory." She said coyly, sitting down at an empty seat at the Gryffindor table and still watching Remus from the corner of her eye.
"Could be," Remus said, his voice neutral as he sat down beside her pouring himself a cup of coffee before pouring some for Lily. "Want some eggs?" He asked holding the plate out to her after he set the kettle back down. Lily took it sticking her tongue out at him as she did so. Remus knew her too well to fall into the trick of giving anything away.
"Morning, Lils!" Alice greeted cheerfully settling into place beside Lily. "Morning, Remus." She added noticing the boy who had joined their normal group of two.
"Morning, Alice," Remus greeted kindly pouring her a cup of coffee before handing it down to her. His eyes flickered from her face to her lips were her lip gloss seemed to have gotten smeared somehow.
"Have some eggs you two." Lily said dumping some onto both their plates.
"What happened to your head Lils?" Alice asked carefully touching the places where Lily had hit the wall.
Lily laughed, her annoyance from moments earlier gone, she reached out grabbing and buttering a piece of toast as she began to explain what had happened.
The rest of the day passed as it normally did, shuffling from one class to another, lunch and then back to the final classes of the day.
To Lily the day seemed to fly by. One moment she was sitting down in Transfiguration and the next she was crossing the grounds for Care of Magical Creatures class, which was not only one of her favorite but would be the end to her day.
They were in green house six that day working with some of the more rare and dangerous creatures. "A bloody sucker," Professor Styles explained, "Has six rows of extremely sharp teeth as well as a thick layer of skin which can release a poison into your skin. They can also expand to the average size of a young dragon. So let's be careful, and not grab blindly shall we? You'll be milking them for what we have here are nurse maids. Their milk makes a wonderful cure for broken bones. "Begin." Styles said after making sure they all knew where the tits where.
Milking bloody suckers was a lot easier then Lily would have imagined she just had to be sensitive of its extremely sharp teeth. It was rather mindless work and before long her thoughts turned to a certain black haired boy. She was determined to know for sure that it was him who had sent rose petals raining down on her while she slept. Lily had to know if the boy she'd claimed to hate for years had really changed because she wasn't going to be another girl for hime to tack onto his lists of conquest.
"Lily!" Alice hissed a second before a scalding hot pain ran the length of her arm. With a yelp Lily reached down grabbing whatever had bitten her and trying to dislodge it.
A moment too late she remembered what Professor Styles had said: never blindly grab at a blood sucker. They'll only expand; their small bodies could cover the entire abdomen of a six foot tall male within seconds. You had to throw brown rice on them; something in the rice acted as a burning agent and got the little leech-like things to let go.
"That was rather stupid was it not Ms. Evans?" Professor Styles appeared at her elbow easily dislodging the small creature. Lily sighed in relief as her hand went numb as soon as the stupid thing had fallen off. "Off to Madam Pomfrey with you." Styles dismissed her.
Nodding, Lily swung her bag up onto her shoulder taking care not to touch her numb hand and walked out of the classroom. This day was turning into one of the worst days she had ever suffered while at Hogwarts and it was all because of James Potter. If he wasn't driving her to distraction then she'd have been paying attention when working with those stupid little bloody suckers!
Therein lie the problem; James Potter was pretty much irresistible now. Somewhere in the last seven years she had gone from loathing that blow-head jerk, to liking him. There was just something about James that got under her skin and once there he wouldn't let go.
From around the edge of the Hogwarts building Lily could hear giggling, the high pitched laughter of a female and the annoyed voice of a male. Pausing, she listened, her teeth gritting together when she recognized the male voice as James.
Glancing at her hand she grimaced, tucking it out of sight before rounding the side of the building and staying in the shadows. James Potter, the reason for all her recent air-headedness, was leaning against the castle wall with a slightly smaller form leaning against him. It was this person's trilling laughter Lily had heard. Her hands were placed on his hips and her lips were hovering just inches from his. James's face was in the shadow and all that was visible were his eyes, which were hooded.
'So he's changed has he? Yeah right.' Lily's mind sneered as she ducked back the way she came. As was typical when she was trying to sneak away quietly, she blew her own cover. Her nose itched and a moment later she sneezed loudly into her hand. Whether James heard or not nagged on her mind as she hurried into the castle her heels tapping against the marble floor as she moved.
James Potter, the 'playboy', changed? What had she been thinking, allowing herself to even listen to the words that Remus Lupin was speaking? James would always be the same old playboy he used to be and Lily might as well forget about him. He was no good for her anyway, Lily thought, hurrying towards the hospital wing.
She could hear footsteps behind her, slow and steady as if the person had all the time in the world. Turning the corner she paused and then sighed in relief when she saw not James Potter, but Amos Diggory. His face had three long scratches down it and though his walk was slow he seemed to be hurrying, a handkerchief clutched over his face. 'At least I'm not the only one with problems.' Lily thought, turning around on the staircase, "Hey Amos. What happened?" She asked, waiting until he caught up to her before moving on down the hallway next to him. Her hand was throbbing again which explained the slight moisture in her eyes perfectly. She absolutely wasn't crying about her little fantasy she'd endured all day about James being crushed in a few brief moments.
"I made the mistake of partnering with Black in Herbology. Although he looks about ten times worse than I do. When I left the teacher was still trying to get him to go to the hospital wing, imploring the help of his friends."
Lily laughed pulling the door open with her unhurt hand and allowing Amos to walk in first. If the teacher was still trying to get Black to come she'd be trying for the rest of her life.
Sirius Black was terribly afraid of the hospital wing; not that he would admit it to anyone. She only knew this because he'd admitted it one night to Remus after a particularly bad fist fight and he needed Remus's help with a healing spell and Lily had happened to be eaves dropping from the girls dorm steps.
"What happened to you?" Amos asked, glancing around the empty Hospital Wing. Madam Pomfrey seemed to be out for the moment. Lily took a seat on a bed and Amos sat across from her.
"I wasn't paying attention in Care of Magical Creatures. We were working with Blood Suckers today. Alice warned me a little too late that my hand was in the little beast's mouth."
As Amos and she sat there waiting for Madam Pomfrey her mind wandered once again back to James. He was like a bug that had somehow gotten under her skin and now there, was refusing to leave.
There were some things she just couldn't figure out about him. He claimed he wanted her, but then he goes and has a nice heated snogging session with some hussy out for a good time. Then when said girl gets attached she suddenly becomes yesterday's news and she's on the highway to Dumped town: Population, half-the-girls-at-Hogwarts.
His best mate claimed that he had changed over the summer but she remained unconvinced, especially after the little episode she had seen outside on the school grounds.
'Best to just forget him, Lily.' She thought, laughing at something that Amos said even if she was only half-listening. It was hard paying attention to another guy when James Potter still held center stage in her mind.
Forgetting James would be the ideal solution, except for one major problem: He had her list, the 101 Things that James Potter was Not Allowed to do Under Any Circumstances.
With a sigh Lily leaned back on the bed, commenting that her hand was starting to hurt more than just a few minutes ago.
"Not shocking," Amos supplied, "It's turning purple."
Lily blinked and refused the temptation to lift her hands up and look at them. She wanted her lunch and breakfast to stay where they were – in her stomach.
'101 Things that James Potter Cannot Do' had been just a silly little activity she and Alice had been writing on the train ride to school. Lily had been meaning to set it on fire and watch it burn to make sure no one could ever see it but now that James had it she had a huge problem. How was she supposed to keep away from James when he would be using that list to make every romantic dream she ever had about him come true? What would he do if he succeeded?
Dump her in a New York minute she was sure, just like all the rest.
Madam Pomfrey entered, looking a little pink cheeked as she hurried over to Amos, "Sorry Diggory, Evans. Some first-years decide to set a classroom on fire, never seen such horrible burns." She commented shaking her head as she did so.
"It's alright Madam Pomfrey, but I think you should deal with Lily first, her hands…" Amos said.
"Miss Evans is not bleeding all over herself and while I am sure the pain is a bit overwhelming she can wait the five minutes it will take me to clean this wound and heal it." Madam Pomfrey said cutting Amos off.
Lily smiled kindly at Amos. He was always the gentleman and would rather wait while bleeding everywhere than let a girl sit in pain. Why couldn't James be like that?
'Did I really just compare Amos to James? I'm mental, completely and utterly mental! And while I'm going mental talking to myself, how do I get back at James? He's broken more hearts than I can count and now he's coming after mine. Well he has been coming after mine for years, that isn't the problem; the problem would be that now he has the help of, not only Remus, but my list too.' Lily muttered a curse under her breath glancing at Madam Pomfrey to make sure she had not heard her. She was certain the teachers would be thunder struck if they ever heard her swear.
Before she had thought James had changed. Become more of the man than he had been claiming to be for the past several years. Now, though, she had a very different idea as to what he was and what he could do with his romantic notions.
'I could try and beat him at his own game.' Lily thought waving with her good hand at Amos who was deemed just fine to head off to dinner. As the door closed Madam Pomfrey bustled over to her clicking her tongue against her teeth as she looked at Lily's hand. 'Or I could just try and ignore him…' Lily focused on a spot on the ceiling biting down on her lip at the stinging pain Madam Pomfrey's careful probing was producing.
"There," Madam Pomfrey said in a shorter amount of time than Lily thought it had been. "All the thing did was bite you right?" Madam Pomfrey asked peering closely at her hand. Lily nodded her head yes. "Well then your hand should be alright then. It will hurt for a few days to a week but nothing to fret about or keep you from your studies." Madam Pomfrey had whole-heartedly supported Lily's decision to become a Medi-Witch and was always asking about Lily's studies.
Lily let her mind wander down less pleasant avenues than the bite of the bloody sucker; such as her issue with James.
He seemed to be taking up a lot of time and space in her mind as of late. Of course he made it rather hard for her to forget about him as he tended to spring up again and again like a weed. A weed that she kept uprooting and tossing into the dung heap but still the weed popped up back in her garden.
"Ow." Lily groaned moving to stand and glancing down. Madam Pomfrey was still wrapping a thin cloth bandage onto her hand.
"Well, it's not going to feel great for the next several days but it will heal." Madam Pomfrey said gently, letting go of her hand and stepping back from her.
"Thank you," Lily said as the door to the hospital wing opened and then shut with a slight click. Lily looked up from her hand, surprise flitting across her face.
Alastor Moody was standing awkwardly by the door with a frown across his lopsided lips. What he was doing on Hogwarts grounds or visiting Madam Pomfrey was beyond Lily.
Madam Pomfrey glanced up at him smiling, "Right then, off you trot Evans." She said bustling about cleaning up the room.
Looking at her, Lily could see a healthy blush across both of her cheeks. "Thank you, Madam Pomfrey. Good evening Mr. Moody." Lily said nodding to both of them, grabbing her bag and then trotting off out of the door.
"Evans." Moody said nodding his head in return as she walked past him.
Lily looked at Moody, noting a small blush across his face much like the one Madame Promfrey had been sporting seconds ago.
Her mind filled with the blooming romance that seemed to be budding between Moody and Pomfrey. Lily wandered off towards the Common Room her boots clicking as she went.
Lily's mind impatiently pushed against the road block of thoughts about James with the budding romance between Pomfrey and Moody. Not that she really wanted to know anything about what could or could not be going on between the two, it was bad enough knowing her parents did the deed. Lily did not want to imagine the scar she would have if she let herself think about teachers doing the deed. Thoughts of books she had read over the years filtered in with thoughts of her teachers doing things that she had never wanted to think about. Normally they always ended with the guy getting the girl. Unless of course she was reading a tragedy novel in which someone almost always died, generally the female.
Lily snorted at that thought almost choking on the piece of fudge she had fished from her bag and eaten. She had no plans of dying and doubted very much that James did. Besides, Lily knew that Remus would be around to keep him from the really dangerous pranks that might strike James and Sirius' fancies.
Shaking her head Lily focused her mind onto the homework that she had yet to do for Monday's classes. While many of her fellow students found plenty of opportunity to spend their time joking around until the last minute she liked to be prepared. Plus, the sooner she was finished with her homework the sooner she was able to do something, anything else.
Of late that something else had to do with Potter.
"Lily?" Alice said rather loudly, knocking Lily on the shoulder. Lily jumped dropping her quill and looked up.
"Oh. Hi." She said lamely trying to clear the fog out of her mind that now hovered there. "Been there long?" She asked feeling like a silly, stupid, little girl who had had her first crush. It was not as though she had not dated before or been infatuated with a boy. Yet there was just something about James that made her mind go on a merry go round of emotions.
"Not long," Alice said reaching out and picking up her parchment before snorting, tossing it back down while shaking her head. "Coming for dinner?" She asked.
"Oh, yeah, right away." Lily said shoving her things into her messenger bag. Her eyes flittered to the corner of the parchment she had been working on feeling the heat rise up in her face.
Mrs. Lily Evans Potter.
Shaking her head, Lily shoved the parchment away and stuck her tongue out at Alice who rolled her eyes.
"Love the name change." Alice commented as she skipped out in front of Lily who grimaced as she followed her.
"Shove it." She muttered.
The rest of her evening seemed to past without anything more of interest. Patrol passed in peaceful silence undisturbed by James's attempts to get her to agree to a date. Mostly because Potter was oddly absent during patrol that night.
Lily's mind felt too filled with thoughts of James to really enjoy the fact he was absent.
A creature of habit, Lily began at the bottom half of her patrol route slowly making her way up from the Charms corridor back towards Gryffindor. She was used to her routine, it was grounding in the turmoil of her seventh year. It was not only the end of the first month and already James had managed to turn her life upside down.
Then again she always did say no whenever James asked her out so maybe she could still read the feminist manifesto without feeling like an utter failure. While her mind completed how much of a failure she was as a modern woman she rounded the corner back to the common room.
Lily came up short just before the common room door in the middle of swearing off all thoughts about James Potter except in vague friendly terms.
Suddenly rose petals fell down around her, their soft scent teasing her nose. Lily leaned her head back letting the soft petals fall onto her face. She noticed a small white stag was sitting in front of the common room door so reaching down, Lily picked it up. The toy was soft plush, as soft as silk against her skin. A pair of deep hazel eyes peered out of the white stag's face piercing her heart with a direct look.
Lily glanced around herself before grinning and then spinning around in a fast circle holding her hands out as the petals fell.
"Butterbeer!" She told the Fat Lady once she had stopped spinning around. The Fat Lady gave her a grin before flipping open and letting Lily clamber through.
Once inside, she cuddled the soft toy to her chest and walked across the Common Room towards bed. Most everyone seemed to have gone to sleep as they were all looking forward to the Quidditch match tomorrow. A rumor was spreading around that McGonagall had made a exception on the ban which would allow Potter to play. All the students had gone to bed earlier they were so eager for the show down between Slytherin and Gryffindor.
Lily had never understood the rival, one of her best friends was in Slytherin house; Severus Snape. He was pretty decent, a nice guy who did not seem to want to harm anyone. Yet James sang a different tune about him, claiming that he had alterative motives for wanting to be her friend. The last time Potter or even Alice had suggested that Lily had not spoken to them for over a week.
Then again Lily had seen what Slytherins could and liked to do on a regular basis. She herself had suffered some nasty spats with several Slytherin girls. Even so she could not see her friend doing anything harmful towards another soul.
Her face heated along that line of thought. Lily shook her head glancing at the common room fire. She could have sworn she had heard someone cough and snort. Her heart slammed hard into her chest for there was James Potter leaning against the wall by the fireplace. "Hey, Evans."
"Potter." Lily said icily, feeling a fierce protectiveness for not only her Slytherin friend but also for the plush toy she was holding.
Potter gave a grimace placing a hand on his heart. "You wound me." He said and Lily rolled her eyes at him.
"Did you want something Potter?" She asked forcing her tone to be more kind towards him. It was not his fault that she had been obsessing about him all evening. Neither was it his fault that she was making herself upset thinking about what he had said last year. "Sorry to sound snappy," She said feeling she owed him an explanation. For all she knew he was just going to wish her a good night, "Long day." She stated.
"I understand," Potter said giving her a smile, "Just had a question for you before you went off to bed."
"Oh? What is that?" Lily asked noticing the rather satisfied smirk he had when his eyes landed on the plush toy she was holding.
"Would you go out with me?" He said it almost as though he already knew the answer to the question and he was only asking because he wanted to hold with tradition. Maybe she was thinking too far into it.
"Pass." Lily said quickly before her mouth could say the word her mind was screaming.
"Okay then." James said giving her a grin and wink before turning around and walking off towards the boys' dorm. Lily looked at his retreating back her mouth agape wondering if that had really just happened. James turned around again as he reached the bottom of the dorm stairs. "Oh, and Evans?" James said pausing at the foot of the boys' dorm stairs. "Sweet dreams." He chuckled at Lily walking up the stairs and leaving Lily in the common room.
It was only after Lily was laying in her bed, curtains pulled shut, that Lily realized why James had been so cat-like and satisfied about the stag. Reaching out Lily pulled the stag up off of her nightstand looking at it and then setting it back down. "I really am in huge trouble." She muttered shaking her head and rolling away from the stuffed deer.A/UHello all, so this story is already complete on another fan fiction site. One of my readers suggested I come here and post it as well, so here I am. As mentioned this story is complete on the other fan fiction site, so I will be updating often until it is all caught up. I am currently writing a sequel to it, that I will also post on here up to the current chapter. Enjoy! Mischief Managaed