Five Minutes

Chapter 53

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! Sorry about the long gap between my last update and this one. Had uni assessments to do but they are now out of the way as I have finished my first year of uni! Yay! (ish)

Anyway, here's chapter Fifty-Three!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Fifty-Three

Lily was pushed roughly against the wall, her back pressed against it. Her right wrist was being clamped against the brick behind her by someone else's hand and, almost immediately, a hand made contact with her left cheek, pushing her hair back brusquely out of her face. Her head was tipped up and her lips were hungrily covered by someone else's in a fiercely passionate kiss. Her mouth was forced open as the person who was kissing her slid his tongue inside. He emitted a low, soft moan in the back of his throat as he filled his urgent desire for her.

Lily knew who it was. The smell of beech wood had made sure of that. He had never kissed her like this before though. Their kisses were always passionate but this reached a new level of intensity as his craving for her took hold of them both. Lily moved her free hand, the one that James wasn't pinning to the wall assertively, into his messy black hair and gripped it tight pulling him closer towards her, something which he didn't refuse.

Through nothing but a need for air, they broke apart, a fierce intensity in James' eyes that Lily had never seen before. She brought her hand down from where it was tangled in his hair to grip loosely onto his shirt near his waist. She was breathing deeply, still pressed against the wall, James' hand still on her face, the other still holding her wrist. He was breathing deeply too, his forehead resting on hers as he tried to compose himself from his moment of weakness.

He freed her wrist from where he had fixed it against the wall and let it drop to her side. His breathing was starting to regulate itself now and, after taking in her scent one more time, he released her from where he had imprisoned her against the wall. He looked into her eyes and apologised for his loss of control. 'Sorry.' he said to her.

Lily laughed. 'Feel better for that?' she asked him, knowing this was the only way they would move forwards with this situation.

James laughed also and shook his head slightly. He then entwined his hand in hers and pulled her into a slow walk next to him.

'So what's with the intense kiss?' Lily asked him immediately as they strolled down the side street. She had no idea where he was leading her but she didn't care particularly.

'Am I not allowed to kiss you?' James questioned, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

'What would you do if I said no?' Lily said, turning her head to look at him.

James stopped and pretended to think for a moment. 'Probably ignore you.' he replied with a definite nod of his head.

Lily shook her head in return as they started to walk again. She knew, or at least, she had an inkling, behind James' sudden strong passion for her. He was jealous. He would never admit it, she knew that, but she believed that he had forcibly pulled her into the side alley and trapped her against a wall as a way to show the world that he could. It was a way to show that he was the one who was dating her and not Joshua Hunt. Joshua Hunt wouldn't have been allowed to be quite as rough and demanding with her and get away with it. James could. He was the only person who could be and he knew it. And the fact that he had chosen to demonstrate this ability right after he had been forced to see her with someone else, in Lily's eyes at least, showed his jealousy. Lily smiled.

As James brought her out of the side alley into a street lined with odd shaped houses owned by various wizarding families, he noticed her smile. 'Why are you smiling like that?' he asked her suspiciously.

'Because you're jealous.' Lily replied simply, her smile growing on her face. She had never made anyone jealous before, (at least not that she knew of), and quite liked the feeling it gave her. She felt…almost powerful.

'I'm not jealous.' James denied shaking his head again and taking her down a small passage way that was between two of the houses on that street.

'Yes you are.' Lily pressed on, teasing him about it. She knew he'd deny it. He had denied it earlier on in The Three Broomsticks. There was no reason for him to admit it now.

'No I'm not and why are you so happy about it?' James questioned her.

'Because it means you're not perfect.' Lily shrugged.

'Thanks.' James responded, acting as if he was insulted. He guided her around a bin that had fallen over in the passage way they were walking through. The passage way was shadowed over by the tall houses either side of it so James didn't see Lily roll her eyes.

'I mean that you're human like me.' she clarified.

'That's a relief. I thought I was a troll.' James retorted sarcastically.

'Well…' Lily began, teasing him once more.

'Shut up.' he said, pulling her closer towards him and covering her mouth with his free hand in a bid to stop her mocking him.

She laughed and pulled his hand down away from her face, again to clarify what she meant. 'I just mean that you have likes and dislikes like everybody else. You don't like everything and everyone like you claim to.' she said.

'That's not true. I openly despise some people.' James retaliated as they finally exited the passage way that they had been slowly making their way out of. 'Slytherins.' he stated.

As they were out of the dark and shadowed passage way now, James could see Lily's face. She had a stern expression upon it. She didn't particularly like that side of him. It reminded her of the boy that used to bully her ex-best friend. James could tell.

'Sorry.' he apologised.

'It's just good to know that you have fears like me.' Lily continued on, determined to be undeterred by that little slip up.

Now James was a proud person. He had never admitted to being scared of anything not even to Sirius who was practically his brother. Sirius was the person James was closest to and even he didn't know any of James fears. James had a simple explanation for this. 'I don't have any fears.' he told Lily.

'Me going on a date with someone else.' Lily suggested.

'That's jealousy. Not a fear.' James said quickly.

'Ha!' Lily said stopping them both and pointing a finger at him and smiling in triumph. 'So you admit it! You are jealous!'

James rolled his eyes. 'I will leave.' he said making no attempt to move. He didn't like to admit he was jealous either but he guessed that that can of worms was open now. Lily could use that one against him. She could most likely get him to do anything now that she had that little gem stored away for safe keeping.

'No you won't.' Lily replied, brushing James' empty threat to the side to continue with her line of questioning. 'Come on.' she said, 'Tell me something you're scared of.'

'Tell me something you're scared of.' James retaliated.

'Not till you do.' Lily said.

'Ditto.' James said.

They stood staring at each other in challenge. Lily had narrowed her eyes slightly in a small frown and James and raised his eyebrows in a testing expression. Lily gave in first.

'Fine.' she sighed, 'Bats.'

'As in beaters bats?' James queried as they started to walk again. He had now brought her out into a place that she recognised. It was another street lined with odd shaped houses except, this time, they were surrounding a small portion of land. It had lush green grass and one large leaf filled oak tree. Underneath the oak tree was a wooden bench big enough for two. It was the place James had taken her to when she had been crying over her sister letter on New Year's Day. It was the place that she had realised she had severely misjudged him for it was the place that he demonstrated his caring and compassion. It was where they had been when the Hogsmeade attacks had broken out.

'As in the animal.' Lily went on to explain before adding under her breath, '(If they can even be called that).'

'So vampires are off limits too then.' James asked with a smirk.

'You're hilarious.' Lily said sarcastically.

'I know.' James replied. They were now strolling casually onto the grassy portion of land which the houses surrounded, the grass feeling soft beneath their feet, even in shoes.

'Now tell me your fears.' Lily demanded, wanting to know what in the world made James Potter scared. After all, he had never shown any fears that she knew of. He had never shown any at all.

'I don't have any.' James said quickly, once again, his pride coming through.

'Fine.' Lily sighed, deciding to use her new found weapon. She let go of his hand and turned around saying, 'I'll go see if Joshua has any-'

'All right fine.' James said quickly, grabbing her wrist and pulling her back. He pulled her round to face him and, to make sure she didn't try to leave again, he wrapped his arms around her waist and gripped her to him. 'Let's see…err…toads.' he came up with on the spot, looking down into her eyes, 'I don't like toads.'

'You're scared of toads?' Lily asked with raised eyebrows, a teasing expression forming on her face again. All she seemed to do was tease him. 'Does that include frogs?'

'I'm not scared of them.' James cleared up, 'It's not like I run away from them screaming-'

'Ha!' Lily laughed in interruption

'-shut it.' James said, tightening his grip around her for a split second in a friendly warning, 'I just don't like them.'

'All right.' Lily said, placing her hands on his chest and looking at them, 'So what are you scared of?'

'Nothing.' James answered straight away, his pride ever present. There was only one way he would spill the beans and, unfortunately for him, Lily now knew what buttons to push.

'Ok.' she said, using where her hands were on his chest to push away from him and free herself from his grip, 'I'll go finish my date with-'

'All right fine!' James said, catching her hand as she tried to walk away again and pulling her back to face him. He was finally giving in. He was about to tell someone something that scared him. 'Don't laugh at me though.' he instructed of her. He didn't want people to laugh at him. People always laughed with him. He controlled the laughter. He was the ring leader and that was the way he liked it.

'I promise.' Lily said with a pleased smile, glad she had finally gotten her way. She liked getting her own way just as she liked presents, being right and being in control.

'I'm scared of thunder storms.' James conceded, not looking at her directly but instead looking at their hands.

'Really?' Lily asked, not laughing at him at all. It was a common fear. A lot of the children at her primary school didn't like thunder storms. It was the biggest fear in her year group. Well that and spiders but who likes spiders? She was confused about something though. 'You who likes to go for walks in the rain to, and I quote, 'do some serious thinking' is scared of thunder storms?' she questioned him curiously.

'Yeah.' James nodded, 'I used to hide under the table when I was little. No one would be able to get me out for a couple of hours after.'

'Do you still do that?' Lily said.

'No. But mostly because I'm too big to fit under there now.' he replied, looking at her finally and grinning at his own joke.

'Aw.' Lily cooed.

James laughed at her and led her across the final stretch of grass to go and sit on the bench underneath the oak tree. He sat with his arm along the back of the bench where she was leaning, her legs crossed. He looked at her, into her emerald green eyes deeply. Lily could feel herself going a bit red at his penetrating gaze.

'Why are you staring at me like that?' she asked him finally.

'I'm trying to read your mind.' James said simply.

'You can't read my mind.' Lily brushed off simply, shaking her head slightly.

'Doesn't mean I can't try.' James smirked.

Lily took a deep breath. 'Go on then. What am I thinking?'

James leaned in to her a little bit, placing his hand just above her knee, a serious look on his face. 'You're thinking, 'gee James looks dashing today and man I wish he'd kiss me'.' he said.

'Actually I was thinking that you're scared of toads.' Lily said trying to hold back a smile and the blush which she was sure was creeping into her cheeks at his hand on her knee. Her stomach was swooping.

James leant in closer to her, his eyes flickering to her lips. 'I'm not scared of toads.' he defended.

'Ribbit.' Lily teased, her smiled now fully formed on her face.

James was now extremely close to her, his eyes still moving from her eyes to her lips quickly. 'Shut up.' he managed to say to her before he captured her lips in his, his hand grazing up her thigh.

Lily smiled against his lips and moved her right hand to the side of his face, the tips of her fingers brushing against the cool side of his glasses. She kissed him back for only a few seconds before…


Simultaneously, Lily and James pulled away from each other slowly to see what the source of the noise was. As soon as Lily saw who it was, she sprang up, James' hand dropping from her thigh by her sudden move, and started to try and stutter an explanation. 'Hestia! Err…hi! Erm…we were just…well…erm…' she began, getting nowhere at all. James was good at this making things up on the spot thing. She turned to him for help. 'Help?' she asked.

'Hey you're on your own.' James replied, leaning back into the bench to watch the events unfold in front of him.

'You suck!' whispered at him with narrowed eyes.

'Thank you.' James smiled.

'Why are you snogging James Potter?' Hestia asked, Lily, bringing her attention back to her. She was stood a good few feet away from her best friend with an extremely shocked expression upon her face. She was carrying Lily's shopping bags, the ones she had left in The Three Broomsticks.

'Because James Bond was taken?' Lily suggested, trying to unwind the situation with a joke. The only problem was, coming from the muggle world, she was the only one who knew who James Bond actually was.

'Who?' Hestia questioned, confusion now mingling with her shock.

'Doesn't matter.' Lily said, shaking her head quickly and brushing her comment away.

'You do realise you've given no good excuse for kissing him right?' Hestia said, still wanting an explanation for her best friend's behaviour. How could she had gone from being on a date with Joshua Hunt and being mad at James Potter one minute to snogging him under an oak tree in a secluded location the next. It made no sense to Hestia.

'Well…' Lily began, biting her lip. She could still taste James lingering on her tongue and lips. 'What if it was just a really good kiss?' she asked Hestia.

'Thanks!' James smiled proudly.

'Shut up!' she snapped at him. If he wasn't going to help her then the least he could do was stay quiet.

'Sorry.' he apologised, looking above him to the branches of the oak tree.

'Lily what's going on?' Hestia said to Lily, a reproachful tone in her voice. She just wanted to know what was happening. What Lily hadn't told her and why.

Lily didn't answer Hestia. She had no idea what to tell her really. Obviously there was no hiding the fact that she was with James. That fact was plainly obvious. But she didn't know how to explain to Hestia, her best friend, why she had hid it. Why she was the reason she had hid it. Why she didn't want to tell her. In the end, she didn't need to.

'Alright Jones, here's the deal.' James said with a sigh as he stood up and walked to stand next to Lily.

'What are you doing?' Lily asked him, wondering why he had suddenly decided to help her after he had told her not two minutes ago that she was 'on her own'.

'Well I'm not gonna sit back and watch you flap about this.' James shrugged.

'I do not flap!' Lily retorted, hitting him on the arm to which he just laughed at.

'Yeah you do.' James said to her quickly with a smirk before turning back to Hestia to explain everything. He explained to her how he and Lily had been secretly dating since the fourth of September, almost six weeks ago now. He told her how Lily had made him promise to keep it a secret because of everything she had said to her before they broke up from school for the summer holiday. He then went on to explain the situation over Joshua Hunt. How what Hestia, Joshua Hunt, Sean McEvoy and the whole school had seen to be a real date had really, through the eyes of Lily and James, been fake and a way to avert suspicion.

Whilst James was telling Hestia all of this, Lily watched her face and reactions nervously. She didn't know how she expected her to react really. She could be upset that Lily had gone against her advice, even if that advice was given in a fit of anger from her own failed relationship. She could be angry that Lily had ruined her plans for more double dates with the two lads from Ravenclaw. Or she could feel betrayed that Lily had chosen not to confide in her. Lily couldn't tell. Hestia's face was an expressionless mask but whatever Lily was expecting, she didn't think she could ever have predicted the conversation that followed.

Hestia spoke to James. 'You let me have a go at you in The Three Broomsticks.' she said.

'She had a go at you?' Lily asked James.

Both girls were looking at him. He ran a hand through his hair, a subconscious reflex. 'Yeah.' James nodded at Lily before turning to Hestia. 'That was fun. We should do that again!' he said with a joking crooked smile.

'Why did you let me have a go at you?' Hestia questioned James with a slight tilt of her head.

James shrugged.

'Why did you have a go at him?' Lily asked Hestia, becoming rather paranoid about why she hadn't actually spoken to her yet.

Hestia looked at Lily and looked slightly abashed. 'Well I thought that…I thought he was trying to ruin your date…I didn't know that…I thought you'd moved on…you told me…' Hestia said in bits but Lily got the message, 'I just didn't want you to be hurt like I was Lily.'

Lily exhaled the breath of air she didn't know she was holding and looked at James once before walking over to stand in front of Hestia. 'I know that.' she said to her honestly, 'But James isn't Matthew Davies and my situation and circumstances are a lot different to yours. But what you said did make a lot of sense. I can't handle people staring at me and being mean just because we're together. You were right about that. But not about everything and I guess I was just worried that you'd be disappointed that I didn't listen to your advice.'

Hestia smiled at Lily. 'I don't care.' she said with a small shake of her head, 'As long as you're happy. As your best friend that's all I want for you.' she continued before leaning around Lily to talk to James. 'But if you hurt her I will kill you!' she warned.

James looked confused. 'Isn't that supposed to be the line from the parents?' he asked.

Lily laughed whilst Hestia said, 'I'm sure they'd kill you too. It's not nice to die three times you know so be warned!'

The three of them stood in a small quiet for a couple of seconds before Lily broke it. 'Are those my shopping bags?' she asked Hestia.

'Yeah.' Hestia said in recall, handing them to Lily who held them out for James to take, something he did dutifully without complaint. He walked forwards to stand by Lily's side again to hold her bags.

'Guess I'd better get back to The Three Broomsticks.' Hestia said, remembering that she had left Sean and Joshua in there whilst she trailed after Lily. 'Explain to Joshua what's going on and why you won't be dating him again.'

'Actually…' Lily began, her heart beginning to pound. She didn't want them to know, anyone to know. Hestia knew and, for now at least, that was enough.

James noticed her hesitation. He saw the look in her eyes and deduced that even though she had gotten over the hurdle of telling Hestia, successfully too, she still wasn't ready for the world to know. From the look in her eyes, he saw that she was scared. He didn't want her to be scared. He wanted her to be comfortable and, until that happened, he didn't want anything forced upon her. So he turned to Hestia and said, 'Don't tell him about me and Lily. Don't tell anyone.'

'Why not?' Hestia asked him.

James looked down at Lily again. 'If Lily doesn't feel ready to tell anyone yet then I don't want to force her to. We'll tell people about us in our own time.' he said, receiving a thankful smile from Lily before adding, 'Besides, Sirius would kill me if John Hunt-'

'Joshua Hunt.'

'Whatever.' James said waving Hestia's correction away, 'Anyway, he'd kill me if that git knew before I told him.'

'Well,' Hestia said, turning to Lily, 'guess I'm gonna have to find another excuse as to why you don't want to date him. And I'm gonna have to come up with another reason why you interrupted their date.' she continued, motioning to James, 'Can't use the excuse of your jealousy now.'

Lily shook her head at Hestia quickly in warning, symbolising with her hands for her to stay away from that topic. It didn't work.

'I'm not jealous.' James defended again. He was tired of this now. Why didn't people believe that he wasn't jealous? Lily thought he was, Hestia thought he was and he knew that, when they had walked into The Three Broomsticks and had seen Lily with Joshua, Remus, Peter and Sirius had thought he was too. It was getting annoying now. Surely he knew what he was feeling more than others did.

'Ok.' Hestia said placating, not believing him at all. He was definitely emitting all the signs of jealousy. For one he kept referring to Joshua Hunt as 'git', 'Joseph', 'Joel' or 'John'. Anything but his actual name.

'I'm not!' he denied once more, turning to Lily for back up, 'Tell her I'm not jealous.'

'But that would be lying.' Lily said, 'You admitted it to me not ten minutes ago…kind of.'

James narrowed his eyes at her and lowered his voice to try and make it so that only she could hear him. 'But you're different.' he said, 'I can't tell Jones that I'm jealous. I can tell you that because…well…because…'

'Because you're his girlfriend.' Hestia filled in for him, his attempts to block her out of the conversation obviously failing miserably.

James and Lily looked at her slowly, both rather surprised at that sudden bold statement about their relationship. They looked at each other again and then back to Hestia. It was Lily to speak first.

'We haven't actually talked about that yet.' she said uncomfortably.

'Oh.' Hestia smiled, 'Well, I guess I've given you something to talk about then.' she said before turning around, walking away, shouting 'bye' over her shoulder and leaving James and Lily to talk about their relationship and what the status between them actually was.

Strangely, Hestia knowing Lily and James' secret was the best thing for them. She helped them sneak around and made excuses for them where possible. They were both very surprised because it was common knowledge around the school that Hestia Jones couldn't keep a secret. She kept this one though. She zipped her lips and kept it all to herself. She made a plausible excuse to Joshua Hunt about why Lily was no longer interested in dating him, something which he didn't take too well, but Hestia was happy to do it. Lily was happier than she'd seen her before. The beginnings of relationships can have that effect on a person. Everything is exciting; every touch, every kiss. Plus Lily had the added excitement of the secret. It was safe to say that Lily's budding romance with James Potter started to restore the romantic in Hestia.

The other person who was doing their best to help James and Lily out was Remus Lupin. Only Lily and James didn't know this. They didn't know that he knew about them. They were completely oblivious to the fact that he had seen their hands entwined under the table in The Three Broomsticks and, from James telling a story about one of his patrols, replacing Remus with Lily, he had deduced the secret they were keeping. Also, they were unaware that, since that Hogsmeade trip, Remus had woken up on several occasions to find James' bed empty at half one in the morning only to have him magically reappear back in the dorm room a couple of hours later. If they'd have known, they would have been extremely grateful that he had kept it to himself. Then again, if they had known, they would have thanked him profusely for trying to keep Sirius at bay.

One morning, at breakfast, some invitations went out to a select few people. They arrived via small brown school owls in putrid orange envelopes. Some of the people to receive these invitations were Amelia Bones and Adrian Goward in Hufflepuff, Barnabus Cuff and Dahlia Fleur-Peri from Ravenclaw, Severus Snape and Regulus Black from Slytherin and Dirk Creswell, Lily Evans and James Potter from Gryffindor. They were all in various years in their Hogwarts careers but nevertheless, they were all invited to come together at Professor Slughorn's annual Halloween party which he held for his Slug Club. It was a club which consisted of his favourite students; those which showed talent and promise or ambition. Before this year, James had never considered going, even though he always received the invitation. But now, because he knew Lily would be there, he was seriously thinking about it.

'You'd have really thought that he'd have got the message by now!' Sirius said as he slurped his milk up out of his cereal bowl, some of the white liquid running down his chin.

'Yeah.' James replied, putting the invitation to the side where Peter picked it up to read it.

'What I want to know is why does he only invite you?' Sirius went on to say, 'I beat you in looks and brains.'

'And the award for modesty goes to…' Remus muttered under his breath, earning himself a chuckle from James and a nervous titter from Peter.

'Who needs to be modest when you look this great?' Sirius boasted, smoothing his sleek black hair down with his hand.

'Eat your breakfast.' James said with a laugh, chucking a muffin directly in Sirius' face.

'Hey!' Sirius said in outrage that his best friend was throwing stuff at him. Then he saw the muffin. 'Thanks!'

James shook his head at Sirius' usual behaviour and went back to his own breakfast for a split second before he was spoken to again.

'Are you gonna go this year Prongs?' Peter asked him from the side of where he was sat, holding the Halloween invitation in his pudgy hand.

'Please!' Sirius answered for James, 'Prongs ain't gonna go to that thing. We have plans to dress up like Nearly Headless Nick this year. It's gonna be great!'

'Well-' James began, his eyes flickering over momentarily to where Lily was sat a few seats down, something which Remus did not miss.

'Prongs!' Sirius whined, 'You gotta be kidding me!'

Remus saw James look away in annoyance at Sirius' whinging. He could tell that James was struggling internally with this decision, a decision which he usually wouldn't have had to make. Before, there would have been no question about it. James would be right there next to Sirius all too eager to pull whatever kind of Halloween stunt took their fancy. These stunts ranged from the cruel, like when they created gravestones with the dates they were going to die on for all the people in Slytherin that they didn't like in their second year at Hogwarts and placed them strategically around the school, (something which they got three months detentions for), to the strange but spectacular, such as the time they spent weeks creating a very believable giant squid replica in their fourth year and had charmed it to float up to the enchanted ceiling in the great hall and randomly tickle people's heads throughout dinner, (again, a detention worthy prank). And this year it seemed like they had already had something planned, something that, if Remus was right in thinking, had something to do with decapitation. But this year, there was also a question about what James should do because, as much as Remus knew he would want to pull a prank with Sirius, Remus also knew that Slughorn's party meant Lily. Ultimately, it came down to who James would prefer to spend time with; Sirius or Lily. His decision wasn't made any easier by the fact that he was concealing his relationship with Lily from Sirius, something Remus still wasn't entirely sure about the reason behind. Still, he tried to make it easier on him.

'You know,' he began, 'as it's your last year at the school you might want to put Slughorn out of his misery and finally go to one of his things.'

James looked at Remus with a slight frown at his suggestion but he took it all the same, not thinking about what it could actually mean or if there were any underlying reasons. 'That's true.' he said nodding his head.

'But Prongs!' Sirius moaned again, picking pieces off of his muffin and throwing them at him, 'We've already planned everything! It'll be awesome! You can't walk away from that.'

'Technically I'm sat.' James muttered, trying to make a joke.

'No.' Sirius said, slamming his fist down on the table in a sudden burst of anger, capturing the attention of some people around him, 'Slughorn can stay in misery. You can't break our tradition!'

Sirius tried to stare James, who was looking back at him unimpressed, down. He tried to convince him to see his way of things through his unwavering stare for a few minutes before his expression changed. Suddenly, he went from a narrow-eyed stare to a look of mischievous realisation. 'Ah!' he said with a nod of his head as if he had suddenly just been keyed in on the plan, 'I get it.'

Remus saw James wasn't answering and saw him gulp in worry that he had been caught out. So Remus decided to clarify if this was the case. 'What do you get?' he whispered to Sirius, knowing that by lowering his voice Sirius would automatically mimic him.

'You've got something planned for Slughorn's party haven't you?' Sirius questioned James knowingly for he believed this was the only reason James would possibly want to cancel their already made Halloween plans and do something else instead. 'What is it?' he went on to ask, 'We spiking the drink? Stealing the decorations? Locking them all in the room?'

'No.' James answered honestly, 'I just want to go to the party.'

'But you're taking me right?' Sirius badgered him, 'We gonna do some crazy stuff right? Try and eat someone's brains? Actually eat someone's brains?'

'I don't think he can take anyone.' Remus put in quickly.

'So we'll crash the party!' Sirius went on happily, a glint coming out in his eye as he thought of all the tricks they could play on the swots who actually attended Slughorn's do's. Like Severus Snape. They hadn't done anything to him in a while. Halloween might be the perfect opportunity.

'Do we really want to crash the party though?' Remus said, trying to talk Sirius out of it. He was having no luck though.

'Yeah!' he went on to say, 'We could do our Nearly Headless Nick thing there! You know what else we could do?'

'Accept that I want to go to the party and not pull anything?' James suggested.

'No.' Sirius said, waving his comment away as if he hadn't heard anything, 'We could go get a load of spiders and-'

'No.' James said.

'Come on!' Sirius whined again, 'You don't even know what I'm gonna say!'

'I know it's some sort of prank.' James replied.

'And that's what we're best at!' Sirius pointed out, baffled by James' ridiculous idea of doing nothing. He didn't understand it. They always pulled something on Halloween, even if it was just a lame dress up like last year they always pulled something. Why was James changing his mind? 'What are you hiding?' Sirius asked him suspiciously.

'Nothing.' James defended quickly, perhaps a little too quickly.

'So you are hiding something?' Sirius interrogated.

'No.' James said.

'Just drop it Padfoot.' Remus instructed.

'Are you in on it too?' he questioned, turning on Remus.

'In on what?' Remus replied, very convincingly, 'There's nothing to be in on.'

'Then why don't you want to pull our Halloween prank Prongs?' Sirius demanded, rounding on him now.

'I never said-'

'Yes you did!'

'Fine!' James said standing up and speaking loud enough for certain ears to hear him, 'I do the damn Halloween gag with you if it'll shut you up!' he then turned to Peter who still had hold of his invitation. 'Reply no to that won't you?' he asked of him before walking out of the hall, Remus noticing that a few minutes later, Lily followed him, concern on her face.

He turned to Sirius and shook his head at him in slight disappointment. He couldn't blame him too much though because he had no idea what James' real reasons for wanting to go to that party were. If he had, he probably wouldn't have made such a fuss to get his own way. But he had and he did get his own way.

A few days later, all jokes and smiles, James and Sirius had arrived at the Halloween feast dressed, as they said they would be, like Nearly Headless Nick. Halfway through the dinner an old fashioned guillotine axe had swung down onto Gryffindor's table, almost beheading half of its occupants, actually beheading James and Sirius to the extent of Nearly Headless Nick. There were screams in the hall as they saw two of the most popular people in school practically lose their heads. They sat at the table with their heads hanging limply off of their necks, held on by one tiny flap of skin. To everyone in the hall they had seemed dead as doornails for at least five minutes where they didn't move a muscle and where the hall was silenced in fright. Then they had pushed their heads back on to their necks and finished their dinner as if nothing had happened. Afterwards they were called up to the high table to talk to Dumbledore where he congratulated them on their extraordinary magic. He knew how they had done it of course but no one else in the school had the faintest idea how they had managed to pull it off and live to tell the tale. Still, he gave them twenty house points each for creativity and a month's worth of detentions for pulling such a dangerous and worrying stunt before sending them on their way.

So whilst Sirius had gotten his way, James pulling their elaborately planned Halloween prank with him, Lily had been at Slughorn's party which should have been bearable this year thanks to James' added company. But it wasn't. She had spent the whole party avoiding Severus, who had kept trying to talk to her, and listening to Slughorn ramble on about his connections at St Mungo's, connections which could help her in her ambition to become a Healer. It wasn't what either of them had wanted for that first Halloween together. But it was what they got.

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