Five Minutes

Chapter 46

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!

Thanks for everyone's lovely reviews and I am glad that everyone is enjoying my take on James and Lily's story. :)

Here's chapter Forty-Six!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Forty-Six

After the Friday prefects meeting, when all the prefects, (bar Remus who had never even turned up, having his excuses made by James), had disappeared, James and Lily were left alone in the transfiguration room. Lily was sat on a chair at the group of tables they had put together for the meeting, reworking on the prefects rota for the week, and James was sat next to her with his feet up on the table playing, as he had the week before, with his snitch.

He had been doing this all meeting, playing with his snitch. Whilst Lily had been running over how everyone's patrols had gone the previous week and giving out the rota dates for the week they were now in, James sat with his legs up on the table paying no attention. He had sat letting the snitch he had stolen from the Quidditch stores get away from him for a few seconds before catching it again quickly with his lightning fast reflexes. It really didn't help the process of the meeting as he was distracting the prefect girls and the Quidditch enthusiasts.

'Why are you a chaser?' the girl who James had given the name Hufflepuff prefect number two last meeting had asked. She was the one who, in the last prefects meeting, had bantered with James about his Quidditch skills after he had fallen off of his chair. Now she was blatantly complimenting him on them. 'You'd make an excellent seeker.'

'Why thank you Hufflepuff prefect number two. Yes I would have.' James had replied taking the compliment immodestly, showing off his arrogant nature once again.

James never answered her question though. He had been asked that question many, many times and he was never able to give them an answer. All he was ever able to say was that he loved being a chaser, being in the thick of the game, but that was never a proper reply to the question. After years of being on the Quidditch team, he just stopped answering them. And now, he had just done the same thing again. Not answering the Hufflepuff girl and just motioning forwards for Lily to continue the meeting which she did gladly, wanting to get it over with as she had a charms essay to write.

The meeting, after James had ignored all comments that came his way about Quidditch and him playing with his snitch, (including Lily asking him politely to stop to which he just stuck his tongue out at her in reply), moved on swiftly. Lily was able to listen to the concerns their prefects had about homework levels, use of classrooms and Hogsmeade visits and take in the dates which they couldn't do for the next rota James and Lily were to compile after they left. When they had gotten through all of this, Lily had been able to tell them to go which they all did gladly, leaving the two head students alone to rework the prefects patrol rota.

As soon as they were alone and all the prefects had gone, James glanced over at Lily and smiled cheekily. 'Hey Evans.' he said, using her last name as he used to do when he used to ask her out every day, 'Will you go out with me?' he asked her.

Lily put down the quill she had just picked up to write the rota with and looked at James. 'We are going out.' she replied confused as to why James was returning to his old methods. Strangely, it felt comforting and familiar. She wouldn't have thought she'd have missed his incessant questioning but oddly, she had. It was strange.

'We've been on one date.' James pointed out, taking his feet off of the desk and leaning forwards so that he was just inches from Lily and staring into her emerald green eyes, 'I'm asking you out on a second date. So, will you go out with me Evans?'

Lily laughed quietly and bit her lip. This was rather odd to her. Yes they had been out on a date and she had already said yes to going out with him but the way he phrased it last time was different. This time, he was asking her in the way he had when they were in fifth year when she had always declined him, usually with a harsh insult. It was odd because she was actually going to say yes to that question this time with no hesitation. 'Ok.' she said with a smile, 'When?'

'One o'clock tomorrow?' James suggested, with a shrug of his shoulders as if he had only just thought of it. That wasn't true though. He had been thinking about what to do for their second date since he had climbed the stairs to his dormitory after their first date. He would never be able to top it but he thought he could keep the same level of intimacy, mystery and amazement going. After all, those three things were what created the excited buzz of dating weren't they?

'A.m. or p.m.?' Lily questioned, wishing it was the latter. She did want to go on the date with James but they were so tired last time and she made silly mistakes and almost let it slip. Something she didn't want to do just yet. She still wanted to see how things went before telling anyone. And by anyone she specifically meant Hestia. She didn't know why but after going on a successful first date with James she was even more nervous to tell Hestia. She thought it was perhaps she was excited and happy and she didn't want Hestia to tear all of that down, especially as Hestia was being so cynical and depressive lately. She wanted to wait until Hestia had returned to her happy-go-lucky usual self.

'Does it matter?' James questioned with raised eyebrows, interrupting Lily's train of thought.

'Well,' Lily started, not wanting to reach a point where James just said 'forget it' even though she knew that that was extremely unlikely to happen as he had liked her for over six years, 'we were just so tired last time and it might be easier to go out in the afternoon. In the p.m.'

'Ok.' James said, a smile spreading slowly over his face, 'How about eleven fifty-nine p.m. then?'

'You are a pain.' Lily said fondly with a little laugh, shaking her head at him and rolling her eyes at his pedantic behaviour.

'I'd get used to it if I were you.' James smiled, raising his eyebrows once in a mischievous way.

Lily sighed, still shaking her head fondly. She returned to the prefect's rota and began to write names in the boxes, with no help from James, her quill scratching along the parchment full of ink. She was fully aware that James was watching her and semi-aware that he was waiting for an answer on their date, but still, Lily continued to write. She was letting him stew for a while. She wasn't sure why she was doing it but she was actually finding his unwavering gaze on her oddly rather fun. She liked the attention he was giving her.

James continued to stare at her waiting for an answer. He knew that she would say yes to him because, theoretically, she already had. At the end of their last date when he asked if they were going to do it again she had said they should. But he couldn't alleviate the doubts that occurred to his mind when she stalled in her answer. They frustrated him to the point that he had to demand a reply. Not in a cruel or harsh way, just demanding.

'You're killing me here Lily.' James said, taking the quill out of Lily's hand and holding it out of her reach.

'Can I have that back please?' Lily asked trying to hide the smile from her face. She knew that something like this would be the eventual result of her stalling and she kind of liked it. In fact she was rather enjoying it.

'You have to answer me first.' James smirked putting the quill down on the table and covering with his hand so that she couldn't grab it. He looked into her eyes and she was holding back a smile, he could tell.

'Eleven fifty-nine p.m. on Saturday then?' Lily asked.

'Perfect!' James replied softly, his happiness uncontained. He leant forwards and quickly placed a soft kiss on her cheek.

Lily was very aware that when James pulled away from her, smiling broadly, that her cheek had flushed at the contact of his lips. Trying desperately to recover with a bit of dignity, Lily simply said, 'What patrol did you want to do? Who do you want to be paired with this week?'

James smirked, pleased he had this effect on her. It took him a few seconds to look away from her flushing cheeks and down to the rota. He glanced over the prefects names she had already put in for patrol. He didn't recognise any of them. There were names on that piece of parchment which he couldn't associate with any faces. He supposed he needed to learn some of them and get to know them. After all, he would be working with them for the whole year and even he wasn't so stubborn as to not learn their names and keep referring to them as Ravenclaw Prefect number three and so on and so forth. However, he knew he wouldn't be able to learn them all at once. Not because he was bad at remembering names or anything like that, just because he didn't want too. It would be boring and tedious and he believed he had much more important things to focus his attention on. He thought he might start with Hufflepuff prefect number two. They had a bit of a rapport going. Her name should be easy enough to learn.

'Which is that Hufflepuff prefect?' James asked Lily, looking over the timetable still but unsure as to why he was doing it. He didn't know what he was looking for. 'The girl who plays Quidditch?'

'Err…that's Megan.' Lily replied a little stiltedly.

'Yeah ok.' James said happily. Megan. He'd remember that…maybe. 'I'll be paired with her.' he continued on, leaning back in his chair.

'You want to be paired with the Hufflepuff Quidditch player.' Lily stated, her jaw slightly tense.

'If that's ok.' James replied looking over to her. He noticed her expression and the corner of his mouth pulled up in a smile. 'You wouldn't be jealous of that would you?' he asked her.

'No.' Lily denied, 'Of course not.'

'There's no need to be jealous.' James smirked, enjoying this. If Lily was jealous it was just another way to prove to him that she actually liked him, something he couldn't quite altogether believe as it was.

'I'm not jealous.' Lily said turning to look into James' glinting hazel eyes. She tried to sound as honest as possible.

'You're totally jealous!' James laughed. This was fun.

'James I will stab you with this quill if you don't shut up about this.' Lily threatened, poking the quill in James' direction. Her eyebrows were raised and she looked deadly serious.

James was still laughing to himself but he saw her expression and gave in. 'Ok fine.' he smiled, 'My lips are sealed.' he carried on to say, miming taking a key out of his pocket, locking his lips and throwing it away.

Lily shook her head and rolled her eyes, a motion which was becoming all too familiar to her when it came to James. She carried on writing the rota, putting James' name next to Megan's for patrol duty for two nights. The other night of James' patrol, she couldn't help but write in with herself. Maybe it was jealousy. She didn't know why it was there, the irrational emotion. She couldn't understand it at all. After all, they had only been on one date and jealousy was an emotion usually reserved for people in a committed, long-term relationship. But she couldn't help it. She supposed it was just a natural human emotion, (that or something else that came with being a red-head like a fiery temper or a stubborn attitude). Well, whatever it was, she didn't like feeling that way. And it really didn't help with James chanting under his breath joyously, 'You're jealous, you're jealous!'. No. That didn't help at all!

Peter and Sirius were sat in their dormitory waiting for James to return from the prefects meeting. They had all agreed to meet there before sneaking out to the grounds to join Remus for his full moon transformation into Moony. They had been waiting for twenty minutes for him, ten minutes after he said he would be there. Peter was sat on James' bed rolling the Quaffle that James kept by his bed back and forth across the sheets. Sirius was on his own bed, hanging upside down off of the side playing with his beaters bat and James' second Quaffle. He was using the bat to roll the odd shaped Quaffle back and forth on the floor. It was quite a considerable feat considering he was doing it upside down.

When the door opened, Sirius looked up to see who it was and the Quaffle he had been batting around, rolled towards the open door. From where he was, he saw a black shoe stop the ball before it bowled out of the door. Out of his diminished range of vision, due to his upsidedownedness, he saw James bend down and pick up his Quaffle, a great smile on his face as he walked further into the room, carrying the Quidditch ball.

Sirius sat up and motioned for James to throw the ball over to him. James lazily tossed it into Sirius' waiting hands and Sirius caught it with ease, a bored look on his face as he did so.

'Where you been?' Sirius asked James as he stood up and walked over to James' bedside table, putting the Quaffle down on it but keeping his hand atop it. 'We were meant to meet Moony ten minutes ago.'

'Meeting ran long.' James said simply, not expanding on details as, if he did, he would be telling them things Lily didn't want anyone to know just yet.

'Why are you so happy about that?' Sirius asked half suspicious and half annoyed that James' head boy duties had cut into their marauder time. Yes he was very proud that his best friend forwards slash brother had been given the honour of head boy. He was also very confused as to how James had actually been made head boy when his grand total of detentions had surpassed his own. But it did annoy him that he and the marauders seemed to be taking a backseat to what James' new position commanded of him. Earlier that day he had tried to convince him to skip the meeting like Remus had to but James wouldn't hear of it.

'I'm not.' James replied, turning Peter who was sat on his bed and taking his second Quaffle from him.

'You could have fooled me.' Sirius muttered under his breath to which James just rolled his eyes.

Not saying another word Sirius marched out of the room expecting James and Peter to follow him which they did after a prompt by James.

'Come on Wormy.' James said pulling Peter up off of his bed and shoving the Quaffle he still had in his hands under his bed along with the one on his bedside table.

The two boys walked down into the now deserted common room and through the Fat Lady's portrait to where Sirius was waiting impatiently. He didn't like being late to things he enjoyed. Hogsmeade trips, full moons and kitchen visits were at the top of his list of thing he hated to be late for. Classes, tests and homework assignments he couldn't care less about. They weren't even on the list.

'Calm down Sirius!' James sighed as they started to walk at a moderate speed down the corridors as if they owned them, 'He's a werewolf it's not like he had a watch on.'

Sirius didn't answer James and so they walked through the castles corridors in silence. Peter was stood timidly between James and Sirius, glancing back and forth quickly and nervously between them both. They weren't talking to each other. James strolled casually along, his hands shoved deep into his pockets. Sirius walked next to him, his hands also in his pockets but he seemed less relaxed than James was. He seemed rather tense and ticked off, especially at the fact that James seemed to think they had all the time in the world to reach Moony. They didn't the sun would be rising soon. It didn't stay down forever.

After a silent walk through the cold and empty school, the three boys reached the grounds and made their way over to the whomping willow. The tree was flailing its limbs around violently looking, as it always did, as if it would be able to decapitate someone in seconds. It probably could. When they reached it all three of them looked around to ensure that no prying eyes were watching. As soon as they were sure that no one was and that they were alone, Peter and Sirius transformed into their animagus selves; Rat and dog respectively. Wormtail and Padfoot. James wouldn't be able to transform until half way through the tunnel as his animagus form, a stag, was too big to fit through the tiny gap. It was the antlers that did it.

Wormtail, as a small brow rat with tremendously scruffy fur like a shoe brush which he was sure his mother wouldn't approve of, scurried forwards and pressed a knot in the tree trunk at the roots. Immediately the vicious branches of the whomping willow stopped waving and it was completely still. When it was unmoving like this, it was almost possible that it could pass for a normal tree. After the tree had frozen, Wormtail hurried into the passage way that had opened up followed by Padfoot and then James.

Usually, as they went through the tunnel, James crouching behind Padfoot and Wormtail, Padfoot would turn and whimper at James almost begging him to turn into a stag. It was so there was no threat to James' safety if Moony, as a werewolf, caught a whiff of them. Today, he didn't. He was still annoyed with James for making them wait to make the excursion for the full moon. Deep down he knew he shouldn't be mad at his best friend for trying to fulfil the role her had been given by Dumbledore and he would most likely, if not definitely, forgive him when the four animals went outside. At the minute though, he wasn't in the mood to. Also, he couldn't help but feel that the fact that now both James and Remus had responsible positions made him feel a bit left out at time. Sure he had Peter but in his opinion, that was hardly anything to rave about. Peter was dull.

They reached a wider expanse of the hidden tunnel and, almost without effort, James transformed into a magnificent stag. His antlers rose out of his head and touched the roof of the crumbling muddy passage way. They carried on forwards as if nothing had happened but secretly, Padfoot was pleased that Prongs had finally transformed. He could stop worrying that a fully grown and blood-lusty werewolf would come bounding down to try and attack them.

Soon, they were coming out in the Shrieking Shack. It was a dusty wooden building with cobwebs and spiders everywhere. A few rats scurried about, all curious about Wormtail, rushing up to sniff him then rushing away again when they realised what he really was. The wooden panelling of the Shrieking Shack's walls had claw marks trailing down them. Splinters were falling down and, on some panels, large chunks of the mould ridden wood were now hanging off. Several chairs lay around broken, the legs torn off violently each with its own array of bite marks and scratches in them. Trailing along the floor were feathers and pieces of fluff which presumably came from the shredded pillow that now lay devoid of filling near the door into the bedroom. The surroundings of this derelict building were all too familiar to Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs and, knowing what would happen next, the three Animagi stood still and waited.

Charging out of the bedroom door bounded a fully grown werewolf. It was a long and thinning being with a tufted tail, crumpled snout and glaring yellow eyes which flashed about constantly. There were fresh scratches along its back and a deep bite which was bleeding furiously on its right forepaw. Moony had been attacking himself again. It stopped in front of the three animals across the broken hall and barred its teeth in a growl, stood ready for a fight. However, it was not attacking and not retreating. It was just unsure. They seemed familiar.

It took in the three animals and their forms to determine whether or not they were a threat to him. First he looked at the large stag with gleaming hooves and trusting hazel eyes. His antlers grew majestically out of its head. Then he looked over at the smaller but still quite large black scruffy furred dog with silver grey eyes which glinted playfully. Lastly he glanced at the small rat with its tufted brown fur, long pink tail and nervous pinprick eyes which shined like tiny beetles. The werewolf stood opposite the three animals for a few minutes, slowly gaining recognition. When Moony finally understood that the three animals meant no harm to him and that they were really his three best friends, he sat down and relaxed, his teeth no longer barred and his yellow eyes no longer flashing. He was, for all intents and purposes, sedated.

When it was clear that Moony wasn't going to attack them, Padfoot bounded over to him and wagged his tail happily, leaping up and tugging at his ear playfully. Moony swatted him away with a long clawed paw, careful to keep his touch soft so that he didn't hurt his friend. Wormtail scurried around Moony's and Padfoot's feet as they good-humouredly played around. Prongs watched them for a moment and scuffed his hooves in amusement. He watched his friend's antics with amusement and after a few seconds walked gallantly over to the loose panel at the back of the shack. Using his antlers, he shifted it joltedly to the side to show a gap to the outside world which was just big enough for them to go through.

The four animals exited the shrieking shack and walked away from the town, Padfoot and Prongs making sure that Moony was between them both the whole time out of a precautionary measure. They climbed up the caved rock face which was the backdrop to the small town and a common sight in Scotland. They climbed slowly, for the rocks were uneven and, at times, slippery with the dew of the night, until they reached the top. From there they could see everything. They could see the Hogsmeade village down below; some lights were lit around the outskirts where people were settling down for the night but the main stretch of the wizarding village was black. They could see the black lake; its icy surface still as a glacier and reflecting the bright light of the full moon. And they could see Hogwarts; the turrets and towers of the grand castle jutted out from the landscape like thorns. Just like Hogsmeade village, some lights were visible in the windows where the candles had yet to be blown out. From the top of that cliff, everything looked beautiful and picturesque.

Moony howled at the large full moon, that old werewolf cliché. Padfoot and Prongs let him, standing by undisturbed by the loud salute to the moon that Moony was giving. Wormtail was less natural about Moony's howl and he scurried behind Prongs' hooves to hide. He would have hid behind Padfoot's paws, which would have made more sense to do as he was closer to him, but last time he did that Padfoot had kicked his tiny little rat body a small way across the rock face. Afterwards, when they were in human form, James had asked Sirius why he had done that but he simply replied that it was an accident. James had accepted this but Peter always suspected that that wasn't the case. Nevertheless, he was a more cautious afterwards.

After Moony had finished howling, as soon as the bright full moon disappeared behind a mist of clouds, Padfoot and Prongs led him down over the other side of the rocky mountain and into the expanse of forest that covered the ground below. Wormtail followed them as they passed the caves and crevices and walked into the woods. He was always behind them as he scurried along, following them across the undergrowth and through the heavily dense trees. He enjoyed following them but sometimes, he couldn't help but wish he was a bigger animal like Padfoot or Prongs so that he was more involved in transporting Moony safely from the shrieking shack to the woods. He guessed that would never happen though.

As soon as they were in the thick of the forest the four animals dashed about and played. Wormtail soon lost Moony, Padfoot and Prongs as they ran off excitedly into the woods and so stayed in the bushes where he was sure they would come back by when they were all to return to the shrieking shack. Padfoot, who had forgiven Prongs by now, raced him through the trees, both of them diverting themselves around trees and jumping over roots. Moony raced off ahead of them and, creating yet another obstacle, turned back and weaved in-between the pair of them. They were having a lot of fun darting about and loving the freedom that being an animal gave them. It was a freedom which couldn't be explained. It needed to be experienced.

Quickly, Moony and Padfoot were ahead of Prongs by a long way, such a way that he slowed down giving up on all attempts of catching them up. They would turn back and come and find him soon, probably only when the sun was rising and it was time to go back to the shrieking shack but soon enough. He stopped and turned around catching a smell in the air. It was an enveloping smell that all creatures respected. It was intoxicating. Prongs walked around the tree, certain that the source of the smell would be around somewhere. Sure enough, after walking past and around a couple of giant fat oak trees he came face to face with the brilliant creature.

James lowered his head so that his antlers were pointing forwards in a bow and his stag body mimicked the gesture as well. When he came out of the bow, from the look in the other creatures eyes and he knew that his gesture was well-received. He knew he was accepted. He trotted forwards to meet the beautiful beast in the middle of the clearing and they circled each other twice before it grazed its head gently along the side of Prongs' face, careful to avoid his antlers. Together, the two easily communicated to each other and, under the suggestion from Prongs, ran a little ways together. They were both majestic in their strides and, to anyone looking, they would have to agree that there was nothing so beautiful as a stag and a unicorn galloping off into a sun-rising lightened woods.

The next evening, you could find Lily sat with her two closest friends in a heated debate with Alice's boyfriend.

'That's true though.' Frank Longbottom said to Lily. He was sat on the sofa leaning forwards on his knees and talking to Lily across the small table that was between the old red sofa and the fireplace.

She was sat on the floor leaning on this table shaking her head. 'No it's not.' Lily replied stubbornly, 'And even if it is, why would a muggle need to take those tests anyway.'

'Maybe they just want to learn about magic.' Alice suggested with a shrug of her shoulders. She was sat on the arm of the sofa next to her boyfriend. Her arm was around the back of the couch.

'But they'd have to know about magic first to actually take the test.' Lily pointed out, knowing that she had them cornered then.

They had been discussing W.O.M.B.A.T's; Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test. They were written tests used by the Ministry of Magic which tested whether the person sitting it was able to exist safely in the wizarding world. They were mainly used when someone was interviewing to go into a chosen career such as an auror but there had been the odd occasion where someone elected to take the test themselves. There were also known instances when the test was used to rehabilitate a petty criminal who had stolen a book or something from a small shop. These tests were taken by wizards and witches. This information was known by everyone in the wizarding world which was why Lily had found it ridiculous that Frank had been arguing that muggles could also take this test.

'Maybe the test is taken by squibs.' Hestia put in casually. She wasn't really interested in this conversation at all. She was sat out of it in fact, sat a little way out of the group. She was in a large poufy armchair placed at a right-angle from the couch, with her feet up on the coffee table, painting her nails in a bright glittery pink. She was always painting her nails.

'But squibs aren't muggles.' Lily said, knowing, once again, that she was right, 'They know about the wizarding world because they're a part of it already. They don't need to take the test. It makes no sense for a muggle to take the test because…well…how would they find out about it anyway?'

'Well,' Frank began, thinking his response through quickly, 'maybe the muggles have a relative in the wizarding world and want to be a part of it too. Like your parents. They could take the test. There's no magic involved because it's a written exam so technically, that would be an example of a muggle taking the test for a specific and logical reason.'

Lily paused, not liking the fact that she had been defeated. She knew she had lost and she didn't like losing. She ran through her thoughts for a retort but could only come up with, 'Well my parents would never take that test.'

'That doesn't change the fact that muggles can take that exam.' Frank replied, leaning back so that his head rested on Alice's' arm.

'I think he's got you beat there Lily.' Hestia commented offhandedly in a monotonous tone. She blew on her nails and didn't look up to Lily who was now glaring at her through narrowed eyes not liking the fact that her best friend had pointed out her loss.

'That I do.' Frank smiled triumphantly.

'Ha!' Alice laughed once, also smiling triumphantly that her boyfriend had talked down Lily Evans.

'Don't laugh at me!' Lily said, shaking her head at Alice in a mock whine.

Alice simply smiled at Lily and slid off from the arm of the sofa and into Franks lap. She put her right arm around him so that it was resting along the back of the sofa and Frank put his left arm around her waist.

Even though Lily was still a bit miffed that she hadn't won the argument, she had to admit it; they made a cute couple. She watched them just sitting and talking together, for they were now in their own conversation, and couldn't help but let her mind wander. Maybe, soon, she and James could be like that. She didn't want it to happen straight away. She wasn't ready for that. After all, they had only been on one date and their second one was tonight. Plus she still didn't want to tell Hestia or anyone else for that matter because she was nervous of being judged etcetera. It was silly really. She was a Gryffindor, the house known for bravery and she was scared to tell her best friend about something which, thus far, had been making her happy and giddy with excitement.

Lily shook the thoughts out of her head and glanced up at the portrait hole which had just swung open. In walked Mary MacDonald with Emmeline Vance. As soon as she saw their dorm mates Lily whispered Alice's name to capture her attention. Once she had it, she motioned her head in Emmeline's direction and suddenly, Alice's face became nervous.

She stood up from Frank's lap and he watched her go with a little confusion. She hadn't told him that she had planned to apologise to Emmeline today. She had been stealing her nerves all day waiting for this moment. It was nerve-racking for her and she wasn't sure why. Still, she went through with it.

'Emmeline?' Alice said in a questioning tone as she stepped in front of Emmeline and Mary, 'Can I talk to you please?'

Emmeline looked at Mary who shrugged. She looked back to Alice in an extremely serene way, her expression calm releasing a small smile. She said nothing.

Alice took this as a good sign and continued. She didn't let Mary's continued presence put her off. Instead, she powered through. 'Emmeline I wanted to apologise for this fight we've been in. I know it has gone on far too long and I wanted to say that I am sorry.'

There was an awkward silence. Alice waited for a reply and nothing came. Emmeline stared tranquilly at Alice giving no clue as to whether she was accepting her apology or not. Frank still looked confusedly at his girlfriend, wondering why she was the one apologising because, from the story she had told him, he believed it should be the other way around. Mary was staring at Alice with pursed lips, blinking slowly in annoyance every so often. Lily was looking at the three girls in the middle of the common room with nervous anticipation. Hestia was still painting her nails. She wasn't paying attention. Obviously painting her nails was more interesting to her.

After a minute of nothingness, Alice felt the need to continue. 'I really am sorry Emmeline and, I know that we probably won't be as close as we were before because, let's face it, we're teenagers and our opinions, tastes and things change so quickly we probably don't know each other that well anymore, but I would still really like to be friends with you.'

Still there was no reply. Alice was just stood there extremely uncomfortable. She looked over to Lily, who had helped her earlier that day giving her suggestions of what to say and calming her nerves, asking her silently what to do. Lily replying expression was really of no help to her as she also had no idea what to do. Any scenario she had picture had had Emmeline using words. So Alice just ploughed on.

'I should have…I don't know actually. I don't know what I could have done. I know how much you believe…how much…I know that you really value divination and I should have at least…' Alice drifted off not really sure what to say next. She didn't think she should have done anything different than what she did. After all it was proven that Emmeline's prediction from Alice's tea leaves was false and pertained to Hestia instead. Alice had nothing more to say so she just reiterated her original apology. 'I'm sorry about this fight and how long it's gone on for. I'm really sorry.'

Finally, Emmeline said something. She tilted her head slightly to the side and smiled. 'Thank you.' she said softly in a serene manner. This was all she said before she and Mary walked around Alice and up to their dormitory.

Alice stood still, unsure as to whether Emmeline's acceptance of her apology meant that they would now be friends again. She turned to look at Lily for opinion but it seemed that she didn't know either as all she did was shrug. With nothing else to do Alice walked back around to the sofa and flopped down depressively next to Frank who put his arm around her comfortingly.

'That went well.' Hestia said, still painting her nails. As she hadn't paid any attention to the one-sided conversation held by Alice and Emmeline, she fully believed her statement was true.

Alice turned to glare at her, as did Lily. Frank was trying to smother a smile.

Hestia suddenly felt the eyes on her and, for the first time since she had sat down and had begun to manicure her nails. She looked around at her friends slowly and confusedly. 'What?' she asked.

Thanks for reading!

Galindaba

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