Five Minutes

Chapter 17

Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.

Hello reader!

Here's chapter Seventeen!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Seventeen

After three weeks of being in the hospital wing, nearly the whole month of January, James Potter was fully healed and finally being released.

'Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go?' he kept saying over and over again excitedly to a worn out Madam Pomfrey.

'Mr Potter. I've told you twice and I'll not tell you again.' Madam Pomfrey said with her hands on her hips, 'I cannot let you out of my Hospital wing until nine o'clock. It's procedure!'

'Ok.' James said looking down at his hands in his lap, 'I'll shut up.' He was sat on the edge of the bed he had been occupying for almost a month and still had ten more minutes until he could leave. He began kicking his legs in boredom and ran a hand through his tousled hair. He wanted to do something. But what?

'Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go? Can I go?' he began again, annoying Madam Pomfrey to the hilt.

'Oh fine you can go!' Madam Pomfrey said at her wit's end with James. He had annoyed her so much in his time in the hospital wing. It had become worse when Lily Evans left. When she left, his antics had become more infuriating as there was no-one around him with a sensible mind to talk him out of things. The last thing he had done was stick one of the hospital beds to the ceiling by levitating it and casting a sticking charm on it. All from the comfort of his own bed. Madam Pomfrey was tired of him to say the least. She would be grateful to be shot of him.

'But Madam Pomfrey,' James said with a fake shocked face, 'that's against procedure!'

'At this precise moment, I don't care.' Madam Pomfrey said to James as she turned around and headed to her office.

'But I thought you liked me Madam Pomfrey!' James said with a cocky smile.

'Yes Mr Potter.' Madam Pomfrey said, 'I do like you. The thing I like about you the most though, is the back of your head as you leave my hospital wing.'

'Ohh, harsh!' James said as he stood up, 'Thanks for everything!' he said to Madam Pomfrey as he began to leave the hospital wing.

'Just be quiet when you leave Mr Potter.' Madam Pomfrey said to his retreating figure.

James lifted his hand in the air to signify the he had heard her. He then opened the door and took one step out of the hospital wing before yelling down the hall, 'FREEDOM!'

'MR POTTER!' Madam Pomfrey said, charging towards James just outside of the room, 'I said be quiet!'

'Sorry.' James said before whispering down the hall, 'Freedom!'

Madam Pomfrey tutted fondly at James before turning around and shutting the hospital wing doors behind her.

From the shadows, James heard a small laugh. He looked around to see who it was.

'Evans?' James asked as she stepped forward with an awkward smile on her face.

'Hi.' she said sheepishly.

'Hi?' James said a little confused as to why she was there.

'So you're all better?' Lily asked, trying to break the ice and start a conversation.

'Yes thanks.' James said with an appreciative smile.

Lily's heart began to beat fast. She was more aware of it now but had suspected things had been like this for a while. His smile was kind and genuine. A little bit crooked and pulled up to the left. His eyes were warm and sweet; a rich hazel colour. Lily found she rather liked looking into his eyes, but didn't realise she had been doing so for around a minute and a half.

'Are you alright?' James asked puzzled and worried.

'Yes.' Lily said quickly, snapping back to reality. This was what she was worried about, her behaviour changing around him. This is why she had decided to come and talk to him. She had made her mind up to tell him she liked him. Now she just needed to find a lead in, an opening, to bring the subject up. She started off by saying, 'I'm sorry I didn't visit you.'

'It's alright.' James said with a sweeping wave of his hand as he started to walk, Lily by his side, 'I didn't even notice.' he continued, trying to act fine with her desertion.

'Really?' Lily said, a little disappointed with his answer.

'No, I noticed.' James blurted out, changing his answer and, unbeknownst to him, lifting Lily's spirits immensely, 'So why didn't you visit me?' James said relaxing back into his and Lily's friendship.

Lily sensed that James had settled into how their friendship was before she had left the hospital wing. Before she had realised her feelings for him. She tried to do the same but was finding it hard. Maybe this was the opening she had been waiting for. All she had to say was, 'because I like you' and everything would be fine. She would tell him she liked him. He would reciprocate her feelings as he always had, and they would go from there.

'Lily?' James asked her. She had been lost in thought for a few minutes now. 'Are you sure you're all right?' he asked her again as they turned down the next corridor.

'Yes. Yes I'm fine.' she said before attempting to go in for the kill. 'The reason I didn't come and visit you was because…' she began, the rest of the words becoming caught in her throat. Four words were all she needed to finish her sentence. Four tiny words; because I like you. Come on Lily, she said sternly to herself, Say it! Because I like you! Because I like you! Because I like you! 'Because I felt guilty.' she finished out loud, surprising herself and realising, this was still true.

'Guilty about what?' James asked her.

Lily needed to get this off of her chest. Although she was pretty sure she liked James anyway, there was a small seed if doubt in her mind that her feelings had been born out of guilt. The guilt that she felt when she thought about the injuries he had now overcome, because, she felt it was her fault he was hit.

'Because I feel like it's my fault you were injured.' Lily said to him, not looking at him directly anymore.

'How so?' James questioned, 'When we were in the hospital wing you said you couldn't remember anything. How can you feel guilty about something you didn't see?'

'You were right.' Lily began, 'In the hospital wing when you said that a stinging jinx doesn't knock you out and that I should have seen everything. Well, I wasn't knocked out. And I did see everything. And it was my fault.'

'I still don't get how.' James said kindly to her as they began to walk down a staircase, 'Walk me through what happened.'

'Ok.' Lily said, taking a deep breath and preparing herself to tell James her story, 'When we were all duelling the death eaters in Hogsmeade, I sent out a stunning curse towards my death eater. Unfortunately she dodged it and it flew across and hit Black.'

James laughed. 'That's awesome.'

'Excuse me?' Lily said, shocked at James reaction, 'How on earth is your best friend being hit by a stunning charm awesome?'

'Because,' James began with a smile still tugging at his lips, 'he's been telling me this story that he was duelling four death eaters at once and jumped in front of a stunning spell to save three first years whose disillusionment charms were removed by Voldemort's forces.'

'That is funny.' Lily said with a thoughtful head tilt, 'But why would he tell you that?' she asked.

'I expect he was embarrassed. He didn't get hit in his battle, he got hit by a wayward spell which he didn't see coming.' James said with a shrug of the shoulders.

'Oh' Lily said looking down as they stepped around another corner, 'Anyway. My curse hit him and I was so shocked that-'

'You got hit by the stinging jinx.' James finished for her.

'Yes.' Lily said with a nod. This was her moment of truth. If, when she said the next part of the story, her feeling went away, this would mean they were born out of guilt. If she still felt the same way, her feelings would be legitimate and she was resolute on telling him how she felt. 'So,' she began with a deep breath, 'after I got hit, I saw you trying to come and see if I was alright. That's when you got hit. You lost your concentration, just as I had lost mine, and you had got hit. But, by chain reaction, two more death eaters, plus the one you were duelling, meant that three curses could be cast at once and they all hit you.' she finished off trying to measure his reaction as well as her own.

'I don't get how it's your fault.' James said with a searching smile as he looked at Lily, stopping their journey through the school.

'It's a chain reaction. A domino effect.' Lily tried to explain, but upon seeing James confused face at her expressions, she decided to elaborate, 'If I hadn't gotten distracted by cursing Black, I wouldn't have gotten hit, there wouldn't be as many death eaters to hit you and you wouldn't have tried to come and see if I was alright.'

'Oh.' James said with a shrug.

'You'd have done it for anyone though right?' Lily asked James knowing the answer she wanted to hear, 'Gone to see if they were alright.

James thought about this question for a moment. He would have done it for anyone, but for Lily especially. She may not feel about him the way he felt about her, but if I had ben anyone else, he probably would have at least stunned his death eater before going to see if they were all right. She did something to him. Made him forget all his common sense and do stupid things. When it came to Lily Evans something inside of him snapped. But, he didn't want her to know this. The only reason they were friends right now is because he had stopped asking her out every day. He was sure this was the reason she had given him a chance; because she thought he was over it. He didn't want to mess this up. So he just said, 'Yeah. I'd have done it for anyone.'

Lily's heart sank. She did like him, that she realised. It wasn't born out of guilt, it was a genuine feeling. She also realised, he obviously didn't feel the same way about her. So all the times he had asked her out in the past, every day, of every week, of every month, of every year, was just for the thrill of the chase. Now she was stuck with a dilemma. Should she bottle up her feelings, keep them to herself? Or should she still tell him so he had all the facts. Then he could decide if there was a chance he liked her deep down. He could attempt to find some feeling for her. After thinking about it for five minutes and a lot of James asking if she was alright, she decided to tell him. It was the only thing she could do to settle her curiosity. If he didn't reciprocate her feelings, at least she would know.

'James.' she began, 'I need to tell you something. I-'

'PRONGS!' came a yell from behind them. Suddenly, Sirius had jumped onto James' back with great force, (James hardly moved), not noticing Lily but interrupting her mid-sentence. 'We went to find you at the hospital wing but Pomfrey said she let you out early.'

'Yeah she did.' James laughed shoving Sirius off of his back, 'I persuaded her.'

Sirius landed elegantly on his feet as if he'd just hopped of a broom. 'How did you do that?' he asked James, referring to his early release.

'Yeah. How did you do that?' Remus said as he approached James with Peter trailing behind him.

'Ah.' James said with a wave of his hand, 'Usual way.'

'You bugged the hell out of her?' Remus asked James, raising one eyebrow.

'Yep, pretty much.' James laughed with a nod of his head.

'Should have known.' Remus said laughing also.

Sirius, Remus and Peter still hadn't noticed Lily stood somewhat awkwardly behind James. She knew that now she wouldn't have a chance to talk to James on his own and now she was wondering if there was a reason fate had sent the other three marauders in at that precise moment. Maybe she wasn't meant to tell James how she felt. There had to be a reason. She just had to find it. Right now though, she decided it was best if she left the four boys to themselves.

'I'm gonna go.' Lily said, only looking at James.

'Evans!' Sirius said, wagging his eyebrows suggestively, 'What's going on here then? You been trying to steal our Jimmy-boy?'

'Give it a rest Sirius!' Remus said pushing him to the side.

Sirius laughed, a natural smile covering his handsome face. 'No but seriously. What are you doing with our Jimmy-boy?'

'She's just been telling me that you're a wimp.' James said with a shrug and a teasing smile.

'Well we all know that!' Remus said playing along with James.

Sirius' face dropped and he had a stony expression as he looked at both James and Remus' happy ones. He started to sulk and Lily took that as her cue to leave.

'I'll see you later.' she said to the four boys before taking one last look at James who was laughing at Sirius.

She walked away and was halfway down the hall when she heard James shout goodbye to her down the corridor. It took her all her strength not to turn around or stop. However, when she heard him shout, 'See ya later Evans', she couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face.

James saw her turn the corner before looking back to Sirius who still had a stony face.

'Ah lighten up mate!' James said clapping Sirius on the shoulder, 'Just think of what we've got to look forward to!' James said with a devious smile before allowing it to falter and say, 'We do have something to look forward to right?'

'Yes!' Remus said as all four boys began to walk down the corridor to the great hall for breakfast. 'We went up last night tried it out on Pete.'

'Did it work?' James asked.

'Yeah.' Remus said, 'How did you know it would? Especially without causing harm?'

'It was in that unusual charms book that I got Evans for Christmas.' James said with a shrug.

'You mean the unusual charms book that we all got her for Christmas?' Sirius asked James with a smug expression.

In answer, James just pushed him to the side as the carried on walking down the corridor.

'So how did you find that charm in that book anyway?' Remus asked James, trying to sway the conversation back to his curiosities, 'Scratch that. First, how did you even get that book away from Evans? Every time we went to visit you she had her nose in it.'

'Ah Moony…' James began with a sigh and a shake of his head, 'It was a mixture of determination. Skill. And stealth.'

'You nicked it when she was sleeping didn't you?' Remus said as they came off of a stair case and into the entrance hall.

'So little faith dear Moony!' James said, feigning shock, 'But yeah.'

All four boys turned into the great hall and walked to take their seats at the Gryffindor table for breakfast. The hall was filled with a vast majority of all the students which attended Hogwarts. Up at the high table where the Professors ate, were the four heads of houses, Hagrid and four other Professors who were supervising the morning meal.

James was greeted by his fellow Gryffindor's, who had missed him whilst he was stuck in the hospital wing, as the four boys sat down. They all acted as normal and grabbed their breakfast. Sirius piled his plate high with a strange assortment of foods all fitting into a sandwich of sorts. At the bottom of his mound, surfacing the plate was a large slice of toast on which he had piled eggs, (fried, poached and scrambled), bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans. Then things started to get weird. On top of his condensed full English, he also put on cornflakes, porridge, yogurt, a crumbled muffin and dried apricots, topping the breakfast sandwich of with another slice of toast.

'You're seriously gonna eat that?' Remus asked Sirius, disgusted.

'Yep.' Sirius replied, smacking his lips in anticipation of his breakfast. Before he took it to his lips however he remembered something. 'Remind me to break up with Jade today.'

James and Remus shared a look. This was typical Sirius. He wasn't mean exactly, but he never had a girlfriend for more than a week. It was his aim to date everyone he could and, as he would say, give them all a fair shot at him. He also really enjoyed the free swag he got, most of the free food.

'She not perfect?' James asked him, not liking the way he discarded girls like tissues and not understanding how girls still wanted to go out with him. Then again, his situation was somewhat similar in some ways. He was constantly asked out by girls who he always turned down, but there were always many girls that insisted on giving it a go.

'Too clingy.' he said as he took his first bit of his breakfast sandwich.

'What did she do?' James asked Remus, knowing he was the only one who would give him an honest answer.

'Asked him how he was.' Remus said as he poured himself a goblet of pumpkin juice.

'Well you can't expect him to keep a girlfriend just because she cares for him can you?' James said sarcastically, taking the jug of pumpkin juice from Remus and pouring himself a drink.

Peter, who had been with them the whole time but following quietly and loyally like a dutiful pet, decided to voice a question that he had always wanted answered and, unbeknownst to him, his other two friends had also recently wondered.

'Why do girls always ask you out when they know you'll dump them in a week?' he asked Sirius meekly looking up at him.

'Easy.' Sirius said with his mouthful, some porridge mixed with yogurt seeping out of his breakfast sandwich and running down his chin, 'I'm every girl's dream.'

'Yeah.' Remus said with a nod of his head, 'The nightmare.'

James chuckled earning himself a thump on the arm from an annoyed Sirius.

'It's was funny!' James said to him, still chuckling and receiving a dark look.

'When will the mail be here?' Peter asked James from across the table.

'Patience grasshopper!' James said to a confused Peter but upon seeing his face just said, 'Don't worry about it. Mail's here.'

Nearly a hundred owl's flocked into the great hall, all carrying at least one letter. One by one they landed in front of their owners, either laying the letter on the table ready to be opened, or sticking out their legs so the letters could be untied by the recipient.

Students began to open their mail. People had received the Daily Prophet newspaper, treats from home and letters from their family. Suddenly, from the Hufflepuff table there was a small bang and a puff of wispy white cloud which covered the recipients face. Several more of the explosions began to take place across the great hall covering anyone who opened their mail to be enclosed in this white cloud. It seemed that everyone had received the same small gold envelope with the same circular wax seal, (with a 'M' in the middle of it), on the back.

Professor McGonagall seemed to notice this white cloud masking a large majority of the students faces. It was almost like a dense fog on some of the house tables. On others it was a little more like patchwork but still rather thick. She scanned the hall with four suspects in mind, spotting them at the far end of the Gryffindor table. They were all eating quietly as if nothing was happening around them at all. That is, three of them were eating as if nothing was happening around them. Small Peter Pettigrew was trying to stifle laughter.

Before she took action against them, she decided to see what the result of their latest prank was. Firstly because she could then decide fairly what their punishment should be. And secondly, because she was mildly curious. Even though the four boys pranks could be disruptive, childish and sometimes just annoying, (she was thinking of the time they filled her office with crystal balls and cups of tea leaves, knowing exactly how she felt about the subject of divination.), their pranks were always such a grand and extraordinary display of magic. So she always punished them but was also always amazed at their skill for such large magical gestures.

Soon the mist began to fade away and McGonagall diverted her attention away from the four Gryffindor's to see what shenanigans they had come up with this time. She looked across the Hufflepuff table which seemed to be the clearest to find that she was looking at a mass of boys. Not just any boys though. If she hadn't known where they were actually sat, she would have sworn she was looking at James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Twenty versions of each of these boys were sat along the Hufflepuff table all looking thoroughly confused at one another. She looked around the rest of the great hall to see that every student had taken a likeness resembling one of the four boys she knew to be responsible. On the Slytherin table were roughly twelve Peters, nineteen James', twenty-one Remus' and twenty-two Sirius. The numbers varied but this was pretty much the same story on every-table.

McGonagall looked over to where she knew the real marauders were sitting only to find them gone. The trouble was, she had no idea if they were still in the room without reversing the charm. This was something she didn't particularly want to do because it was an extraordinary display of magic. From what she could gather, (due the fact that this kafuffle had happened during the time when the post was delivered), they had used the rare mimic charm, placing several enchanted charmed photo likenesses inside the envelopes, (which she could see from a glance that every student had received via post), meaning when the letter was opened and the photo touched, the charm would be activated. This caused the person who touched the photo to mimic their look. It was an old charm which was rarely used due to the fact that the Polyjuice had taken over its function years ago, working out the charms main flaw; the fact it could be reversed by anyone unlike the polyjuice potion. It was however difficult to get right and she was rather impressed.

Professor Flitwick, who had been stood next to Professor McGonagall to watch the scene unfold, was also very impressed. In all his years as the Professor of Charms, he had never seen that particular spell completed on such a grand scale if at all. He never taught it, merely mentioned it once or twice in his N.E.W.T standard classes. He was astounded to say the least. However, as the Professor of charms, seeing as it was clear McGonagall was reluctant to remove it, it was down to him to undo the charm. He took out his wand and swished it gracefully in front of him, removing the charm easily and restoring everyone back to themselves.

McGonagall thanked Professor Flitwick who nodded at her with his small smile and walked back to the high table to finish his breakfast. McGonagall watched him before turning her attention back to the students to search for James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. They didn't seem to be there. This prank of theirs was rather clever. They were able to cause chaos and sneak out unsuspected due to their many look-a-likes. She had to hand it to them. They had skill.

Sitting in the almost empty Gryffindor common room, Lily Evans couldn't help but feel like she was a bit of a coward. Blaming fate for her backing out of telling a certain someone about her feelings towards him. She guessed she was just getting over the shock of her sudden change in emotion. But they always did say there's a thin line between love and hate.

Deep in thought, Lily didn't notice Alice run into the room in an excited fluster. She spotted Lily and hurried over to her, plopping herself down on the sofa where Lily was sitting.

'Why are you so happy?' Lily asked her curiously as her friend burst out in a euphoric smile.

'I took your advice.' Alice said barely containing her excitement and bouncing up and down in her seat.

'Well I am quite wisdomess.' Lily said un-modestly turning to face Alice and crossing her legs so she was sat completely on the sofa. 'What was my advice?'

'You told me, that next time Frank, as you put it, 'made a move', that I should do something about it.' Alice said so happily she should have been singing.

'So what happened?' Lily said curiously, hoping she could possibly apply Alice's story to her own situation. Probably not seeing as she had asked James to stop asking her out and, annoyingly, he had complied. How irritating of him! Lily thought as though he had planned this all along. As if he had planned for her to fall for him and have no-way of telling him because he decided to become a decent person and do as she asked. Typical James! she thought, before realising Alice had been talking the whole time she had been in her head. She snapped back and forced herself to listen to the rest of Alice's story.

'…so after I gave him the fish, I just turned to him and said, 'Do you want to go to Hogsmeade with me?' and he turned bright red, as did I, and said 'yes'. I said 'good' then ran up here to tell Emmeline. Only I couldn't find her so I told you instead.'

'Well it's nice to know I'm a good solid second.' Lily said. 'One problem with your story though.'

'What?' Alice asked, her face dropping instantly, 'Does he have a girlfriend? Am I too late?'

Lily laughed. 'No nothing like that. I'm sure you're the only one he's thinking of. It's just, all Hogsmeade visits were cancelled. Remember? Because of the death eater attack?'

Something clicked for Alice then. 'Oh.' she said disappointed, 'Well do you think that's why he agreed to go with me? Because he knew he would never have too?'

'No.' Lily said with a compassionate smile and a shake of her head, 'I think that maybe he was just really happy you asked him. He's probably realising this just like you are.'

'Well what do I do? What if he thinks I'm stupid now and doesn't want to go out with me anymore?' Alice said beginning to bite her nails anxiously.

'He won't think you're stupid.' Lily said.

'How do you know?' Alice said becoming more and more worried that thing wouldn't go as she wanted.

'Because he made the same error as you did. Did he remember that Hogsmeade trips were cancelled?' Lily asked Alice who shook her head, 'No. So he won't think you're stupid because he is just as stupid as you are.'

Alice's nervous expression and demeanour dropped. 'Thanks Lily.' she said sarcastically.

Lily laughed. 'I didn't mean you were stupid Alice.'

'I know.' Alice smiled, 'So what should I do?'

'Ask him to go somewhere else with you.' she said before her face lit up with an idea, 'Why don't you ask him to the Quidditch game next month?'

'Too long to wait.' Alice said dismissing this idea.

'Err ok.' Lily sighed trying to think of another idea, 'How about you…ask him to go to the valentine's dinner with you?'

'Still too far away.' Alice moaned.

'It's a week before the Quidditch game. And only two weeks away.' Lily pointed out.

'No.' Alice said in thought, 'I could just ask him to accompany me to your birthday party next week.' she remembered excitedly.

'Birthday party?'

'Surprise birthday party.' Alice said, clapping her hand to her forehead.

Lily moaned. She wasn't a great fan of huge parties. She would be alright for an hour or two depending on the occasion, but she would much rather spend her birthday hanging out with her closest friends. Go out for a meal or, if she was with muggles friends, go bowling or something similar. Just spend an important day with important people. But this year, apparently she wasn't allowed.

'How long has Hestia been planning this? How many people know about it?' Lily asked hoping that it was just decided recently.

'She told us first week back at school.' Alice said whilst Lily sighed with relief thinking there was still a chance to get out of this. Alice continued, 'Yep. She told us first week back at school…in September.'

Lily closed her eyes. There was no way of undoing this party. She had to plaster a smile on her face for one whole night and talk to people who she wouldn't usually spend a lot of time with and make nice with people who she couldn't stand. What a fun night. Now Lily wasn't a mean person. On the contrary, she was probably one if the nicest girls in Hogwarts and everyone liked her. But you can't like everyone and there are always a few people who you don't desire the company of. It's human nature. There were only a few people which Lily didn't particularly want to be around. A couple third years who always thought they were the bee's knees and were very rude. A group of three sixth year girls who were very fake and two-faced but seemed to like Lily. They were always asking her to take part in their makeover parties. And two seventh year lads who were slimy and inappropriate. And if this was a Hestia party, all these people would be invited.

Last year, the marauders would have made this list as well, but this year, they would have been on her list for an intimate birthday get together with her friends. Others on this list would have been Hestia, Alice and Emmeline. Last year Severus would have been on the list as well. In many ways, she was glad he wasn't now. For one, having him and the marauders in the same room for any length of time would be murderous. Then again, she probably wouldn't be friends with them if she and Severus were still friends. Also, he would have darkened the mood by talking about things polite company do not want to hear. No. She was glad that this year he wouldn't make the list. And she was also glad that James and his fellow marauders would have.

'There's no way to get out of this?' Lily asked Alice with raised eyebrows.

'I don't think Hestia would let you get out of this.' Alice said, 'It's a big deal, your seventeenth and it only happens once.'

'Fair point.' Lily said disgruntled.

'So do you think I should do that?' Alice said, trying to steer the conversation back to her problem.

'Do what?' Lily asked, snapping back to the present instead of thinking of her impending party.

'Ask him to the party you don't know anything about?' Alice said stressing the last part.

'Yeah I think that's a great idea.' Lily said with a forced small smile and a nod of her head.

'Thanks Lily!' Alice squealed leaning forward and hugging Lily before getting up, excitedly saying, 'I'm going to find Emmeline' and leaving the room.

Lily quickly reached into her bag and pulled out one of the books her mother gave her for Christmas. She'd wanted the book for ages but had never gotten it until recently. It was a book from the muggle world and even though Lily loved being a witch, the wizarding world's problems with Voldemort on the rise, was sometimes too much for her to deal with. With a muggle book, she could return to the world she grew up in. The simplicity of that life where the most she ever worried about was if her sister wouldn't play with her.

She opened the book, which she had already read twice since getting it. She took out the bookmark which had been keeping her place and began reading, her mind being enveloped into another world, blocking out the real one.

'What you reading?' a voice came from behind her, making her jump out of her skin and her book fall on the floor.

She looked around and saw the person who had scared her. Her stomach swooped. It was James. Alone. James alone.

'Err…it's a book.' she said as she fumbled around on the floor to get her book.

'I can see that!' James laughed as he walked around the sofa Lily was sat on, picked up her book and flopped himself down next to her, his arm along the back of the seat. 'The Go-Between.' James said as he read the title of the book. He placed the book in Lily's hands before saying, 'I've never heard of it.'

'It's a muggle book.' Lily said, extremely aware of James arm across the back of the sofa. If someone came into the common room at this moment and didn't look at the scene properly, it would seem as though he had his arm around her.

'What's it about?' James asked her looking into her vivid green eyes.

Lily stuttered and her mind went blank. She momentarily forgot what this book was about. She turned the book over and read the blurb, reminding herself of the story. She began to try and explain it to him, being careful not to actually look at him because she was worried of being distracted by him. 'It's about a boy who goes and stays with his friend for a while.'

'That's never good.' James said thinking of him and Sirius.

Lily laughed and continued, 'That's not all it's about. He has a crush on his friend's sister who is engaged to the local squire but is having an affair with a farm boy. So she uses the little boy to carry notes to the farm boy but he doesn't understand she's using him.'

'What a nice girl.' James said sarcastically, running a hand through his soft hair. 'I'm assuming that's not the whole story.'

'Nope.' Lily said, now daring to look at James.

'So what happens at the end?' James asked.

'You'll have to read it if you really want to find out.' Lily said, almost daring him to see if he would.

James thought about it for a moment before saying, 'alright', and taking the book off of her and opening it to the first page.

'I haven't finished reading that yet!' Lily said making a grab for her book but missing it as James lifted it up into the air and out of her reach.

'Haven't you already read it?' James said cheekily with a lopsided grin, still holding the book hostage and away from Lily.

'Yes but-'

'Well I haven't and I need to know how it ends!' James said bringing the book down to his lap and flicking through it to the end.

'You can't do that.' Lily said finally able to take the book back off of James, 'If you're gonna read this book you need to start at the beginning.'

She looked at James in the eyes and he the same with her. They looked into each other's eyes for one whole minute, both getting the same nervous feeling in their stomachs but not realising the other was feeling the same way.

James was the first one to break the eye-contact, worried about pushing his luck and overstepping boundaries. 'Fine.' he said softly with a crooked smile and taking the book back from her, 'I'll read it from the beginning.'

Lily smiled back at him. Seeing James opening the book, and wanting to carry on a conversation, Lily asked him a question which she couldn't say she hadn't been wondering about. 'Where's the rest of your little group then?'

'Well,' James said closing the book and turning back to look at Lily, 'After we slipped out of the great hall unnoticed this morning, after our prank, we decided that if we split up we'd be less likely to be punished.'

'How do you figure that?' Lily asked interested.

'Can't punish someone who you can't find.' James said with a wink.

Lily smiled at him and he smiled back, but all of a sudden his smile dropped.

Lily became worried that there was something in her teeth. She stopped smiling too and began to run her tongue over her teeth in her closed mouth. Simultaneously, she realised her teeth were clean and why James' smile dropped. McGonagall had entered the common room.

'Detention Mr Potter. Thursday evening. My office.' McGonagall said as she strode over to him.

James grimaced but turned it into a smile as he looked up to McGonagall. 'It's a date!' he said cheekily, 'You bring the fire whisky and I'll bring the food.'

Professor McGonagall had no reply. She just shook her head and left the room.

When she had gone James turned to Lily who was laughing. James smiled at her. He loved her laugh.

Thanks for reading

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