Five Minutes

Chapter 18

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 Eighteen!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Eighteen

James and Lily were still sat on the sofa in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room. Both were secretly shooting furtive glances at the other but never at the same time. James had started to read the book Lily had reluctantly given him and Lily had gotten out another one of the books she always had concealed in her bag. James still had his arm across the back of the sofa and Lily couldn't help but be very aware of it.

'What is wrong with this picture?' Sirius said as he entered the common room and walked over to where James and Lily were sitting.

'Maybe the fact that you have flour in your hair.' James said, glancing up at him.

'WHAT!?' Sirius said throwing his head forward and shaking his hair out. White dust fell gently out of his silky black locks. 'Last time I try and bake my own cake!' he said as he threw his head back and allowed his hair to fall and frame his face. 'Back to my original statement. What is wrong with this picture?'

James looked around himself, his gaze hovering on Lily a fraction more than what would be acceptable for a friendship, and shrugged.

'I blame you.' Sirius said turning to Lily who wasn't actually paying attention.

She suddenly became aware of both boys staring at her. She looked up. 'Huh?' she said.

'I blame you for this.' he said motioning at James.

Lily looked at James and then back to Sirius. 'Don't blame me. Blame his parents.'

James chuckled.

'I knew you'd be a bad influence on him!' Sirius continued, still not giving many hints as to what he was actually talking about.

'Don't you think you've got that the wrong way round?' Lily asked him.

'Not at all.' Sirius replied defiantly, scowling at Lily. It wasn't an angry or serious scowl. It was more playful.

'Can you please tell us what you're actually on about?' Lily questioned Sirius with raised eyebrows.

'Him. Reading. Doing homework.' Sirius said in choppy tones.

'Well then I think you would call that a good influence,' Lily said, 'not a bad one.'

'Not in my book!' Sirius said before leaping over the back of the sofa and plonking himself down in the middle of where James and Lily were sitting.

'I didn't know you owned a book.' Lily said to Sirius, causing him to glare at her and James to burst into a wave of laughter.

'I do own a book actually.' Sirius said matter-of-factly.

'Really?' Lily asked sceptically. She highly expected this to just be a ploy to prove her wrong.

'Yes.' Sirius said defiantly before turning to James to back him up.

It took another minutes for James to actually stop laughing completely. He had never heard Lily say anything like that before and he just found it hilarious. Soon, Lily, who had been watching him laugh with a smile on her face and misty eyes, began to giggle along with him because he had an infectious laugh. Even Sirius found it hard to keep a straight face. But when James' laugh died out, he managed to say to Lily, 'He does actually own a book. One book, but still a book.'

'Really?' Lily said, shocked.

'Don't act so surprised!' Sirius said, leaning back on the sofa and folding his arms behind his head, relaxing, 'I'm a very intellectual human being and I read books which are important to life's philosophy.'

'Err, Padfoot?' James said with raising one eyebrow, 'Your book is a manual on how to build a motorbike.'

'And your point is…?' Sirius asked James, daring him to say that building a motorbike was not a main philosophy in life.

'You know what a motorbike is?' Lily asked the both of them, curious to know the answer seeing as the motorbike was a muggle invention and, as far as she knew, had no crossover with the wizarding world unlike cars, buses and trains.

'It's all he talks about.' James said with a sigh and a roll of his eyes, 'They fascinate him. He found out about them in muggle-studies when we were studying how they travel. So this Christmas, I suggested we buy him a manual on how to build a motorbike along with all the parts. Big mistake, he's been driving me crazy with it ever since.'

Lily smiled at James who smiled back, capturing her eyes and making her stomach turn. 'I should go, got some studying to do.'

'Ok.' James and Sirius said in unison. James went back to the book he had nicked from Lily, and Sirius was, for some strange unfounded reason, was looking at James' ear.

Lily was staring at James wishing she could find the Gryffindor courage and bravery inside her to tell him how she felt, but she couldn't seem to summon it. She began to walk but was stopped by pain hitting her shins and knees. She had banged into a chair.

'There's a chair there.' James said to her hardly looking up from the book he was pretending to read.

'I know.' Lily said indignantly.

'Why'd you walk into it then?' Sirius questioned looking away from James' ear.

'How'd you know it didn't walk into me?' Lily said as a long shot, not really thinking about what she was saying.

Sirius paused and looked at her. 'It's a chair.' he said slowly.

James chuckled under his breath and Lily suddenly became aware and worried that she had embarrassed herself in front of him. She didn't actually reply but just walked away from them and to the girls' staircase, staying long enough to hear Sirius say to James, 'You have small ears.'

The next day, James went back to classes for the first time since getting out of the hospital wing. His classmates were thrilled to have him back. His teachers didn't share their enthusiasm. Even though he had grown up a bit, he didn't torture the Slytherin's for entertainment any more, paid attention in class and did the work, (most of the time), the teachers found out that this did not always work in their favour. Because he paid attention in class, the instructions never had to be repeated to him meaning he would complete the task set for him very quickly and skilfully. As an effect of this, he had lots of spare time at the end of the lesson and got bored easily.

In Charms class, after he had accomplished the task, he would, if no-one else had finished within ten minutes, proceed to complete the charm for everyone else as well so they could move on quickly. In Transfiguration, when he finished changing his object into the requested animal or item, he would immediately carry on and transfigure anything he could into what he had been originally told too. In Defence Against the Dark Arts, usually paired with Sirius, they would finish their assignment and begin to duel, not with wands, but with quills which had been transfigured into swords. In Herbology, the normal result of his boredom after doing the task, he would try and create new plants. It was only in Potions when he didn't mess about or annoy people who were still working, because he was partnered with Lily. This meant that he would much rather hold a conversation with her, as it was an excuse to look at her, than attempt anything disruptive.

The professors at the school couldn't always begrudge his behaviour as he did always complete the lessons objective, usually within the first ten minutes. It would be the same with any naturally bright student. They would get bored easily as they would finish projects quicker. The problem was nothing was challenging him. Until Professor Slughorn came up with an idea.

'Today you are all, separately, going to be brewing the draught of the living death.' Slughorn said to the class as he strode into the room. 'You will find the sopophorous beans and the Sloth brain in the potion supplies cupboard, the wormwood, asphodel and valerian roots, you should have in your own kits and seeing as we have been going over the theory and steps to creating this potion, you should be acquainted enough with it to make it. Of you go.'

Everyone got up unenthusiastically and made their way over to the potions supply cupboard. Lily and James were amongst this crowd. They were chatting away when Professor Slughorn called both of them over to his desk.

'Now I hear you are becoming bored in your lessons Mr Potter.' He said turning to James who sighed and rolled his eyes.

'Professor, I've already gotten detention from all those other classes for reasons I don't understand-'

'I heard this morning you transfigured Professor McGonagall's glasses into a cricket and she was unable to retrieve them for half an hour because she couldn't see.' Professor Slughorn said to James with raised eyebrows.

'To be perfectly honest, as wizards, don't you think it's just a little bit embarrassing we can't cure impaired vision?' James began, pushing his own glasses up his nose and running a hand through his tousled hair.

'And when she finally caught the cricket you transfigured it into a mouse. A mouse which proceeded to bite her.'

'Well maybe that detention was justified.' James said thoughtfully, 'But the rest…I can't win. I don't do what they want and I get detention. I do what I'm told and I get detention. Now, I don't know about you, but I think you're sending me some mixed signals here.'

Lily giggled by his side and James felt rather proud that he had made her laugh. Professor Slughorn was also chuckling along.

'Well Mr Potter you can relax because I am not here to give you detention.' Professor Slughorn said deeply, his large belly rising with the deep breath he took.

'Are you sure because I had Wednesday free?' James said earning himself a strange look from Lily.

'Mr Potter. You and Miss Evans, as she is in all the same classes with you and is your potions partner, are going to be undertaking a special project.' Slughorn began, obviously very pleased with himself for thinking of a way to distract James and give him something to do, 'You two will be brewing the potion Felix Felicis.'

'But sir,' Lily began, 'If anything goes wrong with that potion, it could be disastrous.'

'I know Miss Evans.' Slughorn said with a nod of his head, 'It could be disastrous, however, I believe that you are both clever enough to make this potion. Miss Evans, you have the skill and patience to make this potion, I have no doubt about it, and Mr Potter, you have natural ability. You waste it mostly-'

James took that as a compliment and placed his hand on his heart with a fake sniff.

'-but I believe if you have a project to channel your skills on then you will succeed without a doubt. Now the instructions for this potion,' Slughorn said writing on a slip of parchment on his desk, 'Is in the restricted section of the library. You will need this,' he gave the slip of parchment to Lily, 'to retrieve it. Now go and get it and get started. Good luck.'

James and Lily looked at each other, both a little worried, before walking towards the door so that they could go and the book they needed to begin.

'Where are they going?' Sirius asked Remus as he sat down at their little desk, his arms laden with potion ingredients.

'Slughorn has given them a special assignment to do.' Remus said organising the ingredients on the table and opening his potions book to the correct page.

'And why haven't we been given a special project to do?' Sirius demanded.

'Because you'd probably blow up the school.' Remus said, reading the first ingredient for the draught of living death.

'That would be quite the achievement!' Sirius said nodding his head as he grabbed for a sopophorous bean and a knife to chop it with.

'You don't need that until later.' Remus said to Sirius who looked a little disappointed.

'But I want to do it now.' he whined, 'Besides, by the time you've chopped up all those roots you'll be ready for it. I'm not too great at cutting these things.'

'You can say that again.' Remus muttered under his breath as Sirius began to attempt cutting the bean which just kept sliding way under the pressure of the knife.

'Bet Prongs is happy.' Sirius said absent-mindedly.

'When is he not happy?' Remus asked, barely listening and concentrating on counting the stirs of his potion.

Sirius thought for a moment, 'When I read his mail before he does.'

'You do that to all of us.' Remus said resentfully.

'And do you like it?' Sirius asked, giving up on cutting the sopophorous bean for now.

'No.' Remus stated.

'Exactly.' Sirius replied joyfully at having proved his point.

'So why is James happy then?' Remus asked giving up on Sirius actually telling him and his curiosity levels rising.

'Because he gets to spend some alone time with dear Miss Lily Evans.' Sirius said waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

There was a clatter of metal and wood from behind them. Sirius and Remus turned around in time to see a light purple potion seeping towards them.

'Geez Snivellus! Watch what you're doing!' Sirius said as he and Remus tucked their feet up to avoid the potion. Sirius stared blackly at Severus who still hadn't realised what he had done. When he did, he quickly took out his wand, gave it a fluid flick and cleared up the mess he had made.

'Try to be more careful Mr Snape.' Slughorn said as he was grading some papers from a lower year.

'Sorry sir.' Severus said bitterly, as he walked over to the potions cupboard, trance-like, to get some fresh ingredients for his potion. He blamed Slughorn for this. Now, Lily would be working on a potion with James in private. He could see it in his head. Them getting closer than they already were, too close in his opinion. And then, as he now knew about her secret harboured feelings towards James Potter, she would soon tell him how she felt. This would only result in a relationship between them, killing Severus, not literately…maybe literally, in the process. Severus couldn't stand the thought of her with the person he despised and hated with all his soul. He couldn't imagine her with anyone, but he loathed the idea of James Potter getting what he had always wanted. What he had made blatantly obvious to the whole school for so long. For five whole years. What Severus didn't understand, is why this year, he had made no public displays to win her heart and hadn't asked her out at every available moment.

Severus sat down at the table he shared with Avery, sulking. He scattered the fresh ingredients he had just collected across the desk, placed his elbow onto the desk and sunk his head into his hand. He needed to do something. He knew Lily would never listen to him and that he would never talk her around and out of feeling the way she did. He just had to see how she was acting around James Potter though. That would be a key indicator of whether she had told her feelings to the one person they were for.

Severus looked to the side of him to see Avery struggling with his sopophorous bean. 'Crush that with the dull edge of the knife.' he said offhandedly as he walked to Slughorn's desk.

Avery watched him walk away before trying his method, finding out he was right.

'Sir?' Severus said and he reached the desk.

'Mr Snape.' Professor Slughorn said, not looking up from marking his papers, 'The potion takes longer to brew than this and you have to start again. What is it you're after?' Professor Slughorn finished, looking up at Severus.

'Can I go to the hospital wing?' Severus said abruptly.

'Are you ill?' Slughorn asked, unsure of whether to let Severus leave his classroom.

'Of course.' Severus snapped, impatient at not being able to leave straight away to…'observe' Lily's behaviour towards James, 'Why else would I ask to go to the hospital wing?' Severus finished, scowling at Slughorn.

'I don't care for your attitude Mr Snape,' Professor Slughorn said puffing out his large round belly, 'but you may go to the Hospital wing. Take your bags.'

Severus didn't thank Slughorn. Instead he just walked back to his table and began gathering up his stuff.

Avery watched him put all his stuff back in his bag, moody that Severus had known a trick to get more juice out of the sopophorous bean and he hadn't. 'How'd you know about that bean thing?' Avery asked him, his eyes narrowed evilly.

'Because I'm not an idiot.' Severus hissed as he picked up his bag and skulked out of the room.

Severus didn't know how far she would have gotten. He knew she was going to the library so he thought her would take the quickest route he could in the hope that she had done the same thing. He walked down the corridor and around the corner, the opposite direction to the hospital wing, where he had been approved to go. Severus ran his hand along the wall absentmindedly thinking about what he could possibly do if Lily had expressed her feelings. There was nothing. There was no real point in him actually going to find and spy on her as he had no input in her life anymore. He just had to know. For nothing but curiosity.

He found a door which loved pretending to be a wall. It was the shortest route to the Library. He walked through the door and up the spiral staircase which was hidden behind it. The staircase went up two floors, out of the dungeons until it finally came out at the grand entrance. Severus stepped out of a portrait, which was the exit, and looked outside. It was throwing it down with rain, causing the existing snow on the ground to turn to slush.

He was about to turn around to go up the stairs when he saw a flash of red from outside. He stepped into the shadows and watched as Lily and James, both talking animatedly, walked towards the entrance hall together. Lily stealing glances at James and James doing the same for Lily, each just missing eye contact by seconds.

'And inside we go!' James said looking at Lily with a wonky smile, 'See! Didn't I tell you the long way round was better.'

Lily laughed. 'I just don't get why we had to go outside.'

'It wouldn't have been the long way round otherwise.' James said innocently.

'You're right. It would have been the normal route.' Lily said, 'We just took a random detour in the rain.'

'Surprised you went out in the rain.' James said thoughtfully, 'Aren't you bothered about getting your hair wet?' he said looking at Lily's red hair, the colour deepened with moisture.

'I have a trick.' Lily said getting out her wand and tapping her head, her hair drying instantly before tapping her robes and doing the same to them.

From the corner, Severus smiled. She may not like him anymore, but he couldn't help but convince himself that the reason she was using that spell was because he was the one who had taught it to her and she subconsciously missed him. He knew it was wishful thinking. The real reason she used that spell, he was sure, was because it was a useful spell. It was, however, nice to believe the first suggestion.

He watched as Lily touched her wand down lightly onto James' head and then his arm. She avoided looking at him whilst he stared longingly at her. In his corner, it was hard for Severus not to rush forward and curse him for looking at her in that way. A way which he knew all too well. A way which he, himself reserved especially for Lily.

'Thank you.' James said warmly, smiling at Lily who looked up and blushed slightly at his intense gaze.

'We should go and get that book.' Lily said after a couple minutes.

'Or…we could go get some food?' James suggested.

'There only an hour left until dinner.' Lily said, 'Where would we get food?'

'I have my ways!' James said mysteriously.

Lily smiled and thought about this seriously. Maybe if they did go and get something to eat now, they wouldn't go to the whole school dinner and she would have more time to explain her feelings to him so they could come to a decision. She shook her head internally. She was treating this like a business arrangement instead of raw emotion. She just needed to tell him and find out if he felt the same way. That way, if he had moved on and didn't like her anymore, she could too. She was about to agree to go a get some food with James when a nagging voice at the back of her head reminded her about the book they were meant to be retrieving. It was her need to do well in school. She had already, against her better judgement, taken the detour outside in the rain. She couldn't prolong school work any longer. She couldn't help it. It was just her nature to care about her education and she truly believed the only way she could get any good out of it was trying her hardest and putting a lot of effort into it. Only on this occasion had she ever looked upon this instinct as a downfall.

In the shadows, Severus waited with bated breath for her decision, willing her to just go to the library and do what she had been told to in the first place.

James looked at Lily awaiting her decision. He believed he was pushing his luck. She had already taken the detour outside into the rain, something which he had been sure she wouldn't have wanted to do. He knew she would now want to get the book from the library with the recipe for the Felix Felicis potion in it. He didn't mind skipping the food at this point. Wanting to find the recipe for a school project was just something Lily would do. She loved school, he knew, and he wouldn't want to see her deter from what she would usually do because that was a reason why he had begun to like her in the first place. Everyone had believed he first became interested in Lily because she was the only girl in the school who wouldn't go out with him, but in truth, he found her different. And he liked that she hadn't conformed to how every other girl in the school was. She was the only girl he had ever asked out or taken an interest in. He wouldn't want her to change.

'Maybe we should just go and get that book.' James said looking at Lily who was about to say the same thing, 'It's what you want to do isn't it?' He looked straight at her and could see her answer written all over her face.

'Ok.' Lily said smiling at him, 'How'd you know I wanted to go get the book then?' Lily said as they started to walk.

'Because I know you. And you believe in school and trying your hardest.' James said with a smile.

Severus sneered from the shadows where he was still hidden. He wasn't sure what inspired him to follow them further through the school, but he did set off after them. After all, he still had no inclination of whether Lily had expressed her feelings yet.

'That theory is totally lost on me, I should tell you.' James laughed, 'I don't see the point in school a lot of the time. Most of the time they only teach you what you need to know to pass your exams and half the stuff we learn we'll probably never use in everyday life. But,' James sighed as they began to climb some steps, 'for you, on this project, I shall put some effort in.'

'Thank you for making that sacrifice.' Lily said sarcastically whilst James chuckled warmly.

Severus stopped listening to their conversation as he concentrated on not being seen. It became harder as they were going up the staircase as it was relatively well lit. There were no shadows to hide in and Severus' disillusionment charm left a lot to be desired. He decided it was his only option however. So he pulled out his wand and tapped his wand to his head, feeling the familiar sensation dawn his body which wasn't unlike an egg being smashed on his head and it dripping down slowly. Finally, the disillusionment charm was complete. He looked at his body. It hadn't worked properly. It never did. Instead of his body blending completely into his surroundings, as if he was invisible, he had become almost see through. Like a ghosts complexion. If only there was a potion which could do the same job, he would have no trouble and no one would be able to see the faintest trace of him right now.

He followed them up the stairs, ensuring that he was always five steps behind them. He crept silently, and once he had gotten his silent walk to a fine art, he began to listen out for their conversation, hoping for some nugget of information which would tell him if his world as about to suddenly collapse.

'So are you enjoying your return to school?' Lily asked James as they neared the library.

'Please tell me you're joking.' James said looking at her with one raised eyebrow. He ran is hand through his hair as they neared the library.

'I need to tell you something James.' Lily said suddenly, gathering up her courage turning to face James who had to backtrack a bit to stand opposite her.

Severus took a deep breath. This was it, he was sure. She was about to bring his world to a screeching halt with every word she was about to say. He didn't want it to happen. He had to stop it. Had to. But how?

'Have you forgotten which book we have to get?' James said, nodding his head sarcastically.

Lily was quickly distracted. 'Of course not. I wrote it down.' She patted her bag where a slip of yellow parchment was sticking out, almost falling out.

Severus then did something which he hadn't really thought through. Nevertheless, it did work. He whipped out his wand again, muttered, Accio, and summoned the piece of parchment towards him. He reached out and caught it, giving himself a paper cut in the process.

He wasn't great at catching, throwing. Any physical activity really. That's why, when he had tried out for Slytherin's Quidditch team in his second year, he was laughed off the pitch. It didn't help that the marauders had come to spy on the try-out, humiliating him even more. They didn't let his useless sporting skills drop for a year and tortured him with impressions of his failed attempts wherever he went. This was another reason why he hated them. Also, everyone believed that he was jealous of James Potter's awesome Quidditch skills, and as much as he tried to deny it, it was kind of true.

Severus snapped out of his self-pitying frame of mind and looked back to Lily. She was rummaging through her bag. He knew she was frustrated just by looking at her face as he could see the tiny little crease between her eyebrows whenever she did. He stared wistfully at her for a few minutes before his gazing was interrupted by a deep chuckle. He looked over to where he heard the chuckle from and saw James leant against the wall, arms folded, legs crossed and staring at Lily in her search for the piece of paper Severus had just stolen.

'You can't find it, can you?' James asked Lily with a laugh.

'Yes I can!' Lily snapped at James, becoming more and more agitated at the fact that she couldn't find the piece of parchment that she had written the book down on. She had checked through her bag once and was going over it again just to make sure she hadn't missed it in her panic. She hated losing things.

'You can't find it! You can't find it!' James chanted childishly, annoying Lily to the extreme. Her fiery temper suddenly flared up and what she had been in the process of telling him, about her feelings for him, just popped straight out of her head.

'You are such a child!' Lily yelled at him before turning around and starting to stride away.

James suddenly realised what he had done. His fifth year self had just suddenly burst out of the cage he had been tied up in, the cage which had been allowing him to talk and be friends with Lily, and had destroyed the progress made in seconds.

'Lily wait!' James said starting after her.

She turned around to look at him, hands on hips and her face had an expression which said don't push me.

At this point, Severus took his leave. He had found what he was looking for; Lily hadn't told the boy he despised the feelings she had for him. By the look on her face, she wasn't going to tell him today anyway. That was all Severus needed to know for now. He turned around and walked away, dropping the piece of parchment he had stolen from Lily's bag on the floor in the process. As he left, he heard James Potter attempting to apologise to Lily for being a child.

'I'm sorry.' James said, 'It's just sometimes… I dunno, I can't control my inner child.'

'That's because you are a child.' Lily snapped.

James chuckled, 'That's probably true.'

'Probably?' Lily laughed sarcastically shaking her head.

'Alright.' James said, levelling with Lily, 'I am a child. But I have tried to grow up because you told me too, and, I think I've done a good job. But, I can't completely mature overnight… or over the summer. I'm not gonna change the whole of my personality. I wouldn't be me if I did and if you don't like me for who I am then that's your problem. So… you're probably never going to go out with me, but I had hoped that we were true friends. And if we are true friends I just have to tell you, that you can't change who I am. Work with me yes, but change me…' he shook his head.

Lily stood there stunned. He was right. They were just friends. She had to accept him for who he was. Completely with no changes. And she had to deal with that.

'Alright.' she said with a sad smile, 'True friends and I won't try to change you.' There was an awkward pause. 'Let's go and find that piece of parchment.'

'All right.' James said as the both began to walk back the way they came. He began to regret the speech he had just given to Lily. He wondered if it would put her off the friendship.

There was now a horrible silence which hovered in the air. Neither one of them dared to speak and break the quiet. They kept walking until James spotted the piece of parchment which, unbeknownst to him, Severus had dropped. He pointed to it and, silently, Lily went forward to get it and returned to James' side. She looked at it, studied it, but said nothing.

James, unable to take the silence, said, 'What book do we need.'

'Book ex of Interesting Potions.' she replied in a mono-tone. She was now wishing she hadn't gotten cross at James just for being himself, because, in truth, his childish nature was something she liked about him. The way he could switch from serious to silly in an instant. It was fascinating. But now she had, once again, stopped herself from telling him how she felt. It was getting ridiculous, not to mention monotonous. The sheer repetition of similar situations was annoying. She made a resolve then that she would only try one more time. She now just needed to find the right time.

Whilst Lily was in her own world, thinking things which, if James knew, he would jump for joy, James was looking over her shoulder and peering at the piece of parchment she had just picked up.

'That's actually book ten of Interesting Potions.' he said thoughtfully, nodding his head slowly.

'What?' Lily said, snapping back into reality and squinting at the piece of parchment in her hands.

'That's ten. Not an ex.' James repeated.

Lily looked at the parchment again, long and hard, but only came to the same conclusion. 'No that's an ex. The letter X.'



'No it's not because it's a Roman.' James said with a shrug.

'Yes because it's wearing a toga.' Lily said sarcastically.

'What's a toga?' James asked, confused.

'Never mind.' Lily replied.

James shrugged again, 'Well, it's still ten.'

'Look.' Lily said, shoving the parchment right in James' face. 'That is the letter X. What else do you know that looks like that? That has that same exact shape?'

James paused before saying, 'The Roman numeral X. Ten.'

Realisation hit Lily's face. She had known that. She had known that. Why then, did she not think of it? All she could think of was that she was distracted by her thoughts. And now she had made a fool of herself in front of the boy she liked.

Later that evening, Lily was sat alone in her room. She had just finished writing a letter to her parents. She hadn't actually written to them since she'd come back from the Christmas holidays. They had no idea what had happened in Hogsmeade and that she had been injured and Lily wasn't going to tell them. Her theory was that it was in the past now, she was better and there was nothing they could do.

She was sealing the letter, in which she'd just written about how school was going and how she missed them, when Hestia came into the room. Now, earlier that day, Lily had told Hestia that she was going to talk to James. Hestia being who she was, was convinced that by the end of the day, James and Lily would be together. She believed it so whole heartedly that Lily almost didn't want to tell her she'd not told him, again, because she didn't want to disappoint her.

'LILY!' Hestia squealed when she saw Lily in the dormitory. She ran over to her and pulled her onto her bed to sit and have one of Hestia's special 'girl talks'. 'So?' she asked, hitting Lily's knee continuously and talking very fast, 'Did you tell him? What did he say? Are you together? Did you kiss? Are you going together to your birthday party?'

'Birthday party?' Lily asked, knowing that her party was meant to be a surprise and she wasn't meant to know.

'Forget I said that!' She said, still talking fast, 'What did he say?'

'Well…I…' Lily said looking at her hands and pausing.

Hestia slouched visibly with a sigh. 'You didn't tell him did you?'

'Well, I wouldn't say that-'

'Lily!' Hestia said, 'You told me you were going to tell him! He's not going to wait forever! Actually, this is James Potter and he's been after you since we first came to this school he probably would.'

'Do you really think so?' Lily asked, a shy smile spreading over her face.

'Definitely. You just need to let him know how you feel. After that, he'll be yours forever!' Hestia said decisively.

'All right.' Lily nodded, 'I'll stop putting it off and creating excuses. I'll tell him. But if you're wrong and I'm left feeling stupid…'

'You won't be!' Hestia said reassuringly.

'I just need to find the right time to tell him.' Lily said almost to herself.

'Ohh!' Hestia said putting her hand in the air as if she was answering a question in a lesson, 'I know, I know!'

'Yes Hestia?' Lily asked.

Hestia put her hand down as she answered Lily, 'At your Birthday party!'

Lily smiled a little and waited for Hestia to realise. It took a few seconds as she was so proud of the idea she had come up with.

'The birthday party which I'm not throwing you and…which isn't a surprise anymore.'

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