so take a chance
and don't ever look back- Teenage Dream, Katy Perry
Greetings, world. Lily Luna Potter. Fifteen, Slytherin, bored.
And currently stuffed into a tiger costume, but that is totally not my fault. It has all to do with a bet (as usual in this family) between myself and Dominique and Roxanne.
The bet: Professor Binns won't notice if we have a tea-party in the middle of his lesson.
The forfeit for the loser: spend the next two days dressed up as an animal of the winner's choice.
Roxanne thought he'd notice. Dom and I were convinced he wouldn't.
He noticed. (Although he didn't tell us off or anything, just kept teaching. We tried to argue that it didn't count, but Roxanne was firm. Seriously, for such a nice girl, she can be mean.)
Hence the fact that we are now sitting at the back of transfiguration, waiting for Professor Norton to arrive, in furry animal onesies.
I wanted to go as a snake, but Roxanne said it was too predictable. So now I'm a tiger – complete with be-eared hat – and Dom is a poodle. The poodle was my idea. Dom's furious, but I think she looks super adorable.
So, anyway, here we are sitting in Transfig with Roxanne sniggering away next to us and the other members of the class giving us weird looks while we sit and sweat – because the costumes are so bloody hot, not because we're embarrassed – and wait for Professor Norton.
I'm not going to lie, I'm actually kind of looking forward to this. Teachers are so unpredictable. Some will laugh and some will get angry. Brown might even cry.
So we sit there and, as the door opens, Dom and I at exactly the same time reach up and raise our animal hoods. I think the ears are a nice touch, actually. They make the costumes completely unmissable.
It takes Professor Norton about two minutes to notice.
"Potter, Weasley," he says, and four heads turn in his direction. "Dominique Weasley," he clarifies, and Roxanne and Fred exchange a look and chuckle. The rest of the class is silent as Dom and I sit up straighter and put on our best 'serious and confused' faces.
"Yes sir?" Dom asks angelically, grey eyes bright and inquisitive under the curly, furry white hat. "Is there a problem, sir?"
He folds his arms and just looks at us. I take this moment to admire his biceps. For a teacher, y'know, he's actually quite hot.
"You're dressed as animals," he comments eventually, and we beam simultaneously.
"Yes sir!" I reply in a very chipper fashion, looking as though he has made my day by informing us of this. "We know sir! We put our costumes on this morning, sir!"
I feel a bit like a House Elf – all the "sir!"s might be overdoing it slightly – but, hey, if a things worth doing it's worth doing well.
"Lily's a tiger, sir," Dom joins in from beside me, still beaming broadly. "I think she looks really cute, sir."
I put on my most innocent face (it is an overused expression). "And Dominique's a poodle, sir. She's adorable, isn't she, sir?"
"Enough!" he shouts, and our grins fade exactly on cue, our faces schooled into remorseful expressions while we high-five under the table.
"Sorry, sir," I mutter, and Dominique gulps, her eyes watering with extremely impressive crocodile tears.
"We didn't mean to misbehave, sir," she concurs, a single tear slipping down her cheek. I think that is a very nice touch. "We just thought you liked our costumes, sir."
"You will go change immediately," he informs us, scowling mightily as the rest of the class tries to contain their laughter. "This is not optional."
"But sir," Dominique interrupts, her bottom lip now wobbling. "We made an Unbreakable Vow, sir. We can't change, sir."
"I don't want to die, sir," I say in a very small voice, Dom and I sinking further into our chairs at the exact same rate. "I'm too young to die, sir."
He puts his head into his hands and looks like he might cry. This is going even better than I had hoped.
"Who made this vow with you?"
Dom and I turn to Roxanne at the exact same time, and point with massive smiles at her.
"Miss Weasley," Professor Norton says, looking disappointed. I hate it when teachers do that, they're so much more fun when they're angry. "I wouldn't have expected this of you."
Dominique and I are briefly taken aback. I mean, Roxanne's a Weasley – what does he expect of her?
"Sorry sir," Roxanne replies, looking contrite. "But it's Lily and Dom – there's no other way to get them to actually do something apart from making an Unbreakable Vow."
Professor Norton divides his gaze between the three of us, and then evidently reaches a decision.
"Five points from Gryffindor and five from Slytherin for your general stupidity," he informs me and Dom, and then turns to Roxanne. "And three points to Gryffindor for managing to get them into those ridiculous costumes."
Mine and Dom's jaws drop, and we are temporarily speechless. (This is not a regular occurrence.)
But he's wearing his fiercest face, and I really don't fancy detention this Friday - I've got plans to gatecrash Rose and Malfoy's date - so we sink lower into our chairs and shut up for the rest of the lesson.
Lessons are great fun for the rest of the morning – Professor Brown does cry, for anybody who's wondering – and I'm grateful not for the first time that Dom and I have elected to take all the same OWL classes.
We finally get to Care of Magical Creatures, and Dom and I are having a fabulous time on all fours on the ground pretending to be a real tiger and a poodle – for the record, Dom is the queen of lifelike barks – and when Hagrid arrives he doesn't notice us. I guess we're too far from his eyes.
"Righ', class, let's get righ' into it," he begins, and then pauses and shades his eyes. "Where's Lily Potter and Dominique Weasley?"
"Technically," I say, standing up and casually brushing myself off, "That should be where are Lily and Dominique."
"Yeah," Dom adds as I give her a hand up. "Because we're plural and you use "is" for a singular thing."
"This is Care of Magical Creatures, not 'how to speak English'," Hagrid replies, not looking too bothered – Dom and I have been correcting his grammar since we started the class in Third Year, he's pretty used to it now. "What were you doing on the floor?"
"Pretending to be a tiger, sir," I say at the exact same time as Dominique replies, "Pretending to be a poodle, sir."
He gives us a long look, and then shakes his fringe out of his eyes and evidently decides to ignore us, not even questioning the outfits.
"Righ', kids, we're going to be continuing our study of Jarveys today," he announces proudly, and Dom and I groan simultaneously.
"Do you have a problem with that, ladies?" Hagrid inquires dangerously, and we exchange a look and then shake our heads.
"No, sir," I say, and then add under my breath, "I just love being verbally abused for two hours straight by talking ferrets."
We head into the paddock where Hagrid has the stupid creatures in cages, already glaring at us, the odd few beginning to swear and call us names already.
In the crowd, I lose Dom, and find myself standing next to Lorcan Scamander, an old pal of mine.
"Scamander," I say brightly, smiling up at him and using my tiger tail to hit Fred where he's standing in front of me.
"Go away, Potter," he replies with slight irritation, so I move closer to him because I know how much he hates it.
(Perhaps I should clarify – when I say "old pals", I mean that we have known and mutually disliked each other since we were one, and regularly end up in detention together because of our fighting. This tends to be slightly awkward since his twin Lysander is probably my best friend in the whole world, and he regularly bets me that I can't go a week without pissing Lorcan off in some way or another. I have one victory thus far, and I have now known Lorcan for about 752 weeks altogether. It's worth it, though.)
"Seriously, Potter," he says, and I link my arm into his, pulling my tiger hat further up on my head with my free hand.
"You know, you're sort of sexy when you do that," I inform him cheerily, starting to swing my tail in a circle. "All tall and brooding like."
"Piss off," he retorts irritably, trying to detach himself, and I beam and snuggle closer.
"Love you, Lor."
"Potter, detach yourself from my arm before I make you," he commands dangerously, and I am gathering myself for a witty retort when suddenly Dominique bursts out of nowhere, barking like mad, and bowls me over. Instantly I release Lorcan, completely distracted, and chase after her, roaring quite impressively. I've been practising all day, and I'm a lot more believable now.
It takes Hagrid ten minutes to stop us chasing each other around, and then between us a further ten minutes to scourgify all the mud off each other.
Seriously, could this day get any better?
That evening I am feeling reflective (and hungry), so around eleven I am struck with a sudden fancy for a walk and some toast. The rules say I should be in bed by now, but naturally I have been disregarding these since my second week of First Year. (Mum says it's an inherited trait.)
I do not currently have the invisibility cloak, because I stole it off Al a couple of weeks ago and he promptly stole it back about eight days later. (This is prompt, for him. It usually takes at least three weeks.)
It's this lovely little game we play, you see. He pretends to get furious, but I know he loves it really.
So I am wandering up the corridors from the Slytherin common room, still in my tiger outfit, trying to fight my hair into some semblance of normality, when I turn a corner and plow right into someone.
Rather, into someone's chest, because the someone is tall.
"Potter," a familiar voice groans, and I recognise it instantly.
"Lorcan!" I cry with delight, throwing my arms around him and squeezing him tightly. "How spiffing to see you, old chap!"
"Tonight really is my lucky night, isn't it?" he asks, and I beam.
"Yes, it is."
"Rhetorical question, Potter," he retorts instantly, but my smile does not diminish.
"Fancy a snack?" I inquire, expression delightfully hopeful, hands clutched imploringly to my chest.
"With you?" he asks, and I level a hard 'don't-be-an-idiot' look at him.
"No, with my imaginary friend Roger," I reply, and he frowns. Suddenly, though, his expression clears and he looks thoughtful for a moment.
"Why not?" he answers eventually, and I am opening my mouth to speak when he affectionately (I'm sure) puts a hand over my mouth. "Rhetorical question, Potter."
I lick his hand in a friendly manner and grin broadly as he retracts it, complaining in a truly disgusted manner.
"Come on then!" I demand, hooking my arm into his and beginning to tug him down the corridor. "Snack time."
We arrive in the kitchen and I don't even have to ask before a House Elf sets two cups of coffee and two plates of toast with chocolate spread in front of us. These Elves really know me well now.
So we sit and munch in silence, and I'm studying Lorcan's forehead – he's looking at the table – and think that he really does have a very attractive forehead. And, y'know, nice hair. All dark and curly. It looks soft. I bet it's soft.
"Like what you see, Potter?" he inquires, and I snap out of my contemplative moment and return his gaze.
"Oh, come on, Scamander, don't pretend you don't fancy the pants off me," I reply with an eye roll, casually scooching on the bench round the table to him. "You just can't control yourself. It's so obvious."
"In your dreams, Potter," he says firmly, and I laugh in what I hope is a seductive way – I think it sounds more like a strangled cat (hey, cat, tiger, costume reference! I'm on fire today), but that is beside the point.
"No, no, Lorcan," I murmur suggestively, trying to control my laughter, "in your dreams."
He looks very torn, suddenly, and I am just reaching to push my furry hood back when suddenly he's looming towards me and crashing his mouth to mine.
I am briefly taken aback.
But, you know, he's quite a good kisser and he smells really nice so I just sort of start kissing him back (yeah, I'm a sucker for good-looking boys, sue me) and move even closer.
We break apart, and there is an awkward silence while I try to think of something to say and he just sits there, rubbing the back of his neck.
"Oh my Merlin," a loud voice says suddenly, and our heads snap to the right to find Dominique in her poodle outfit, surrounded by house-elves, looking like all her Christmases have come early. "Lily Luna Potter, you devil."
"Shut up," I reply instantly, clambering right over the table to get to her. "You say anything right now and you die."
She takes a deep breath – my family knows that I take threats seriously – and then appears to battle all her internal instincts to poke fun right down.
Eventually, she lets out what could be either a cough, giggle, or general splutter, and then pulls her poodle hood up.
"Well, I'd hate to disturb you," she says airily, already heading back to the door. "I'll see you two tomorrow."
I try to hex her while her back is turned, but sadly she is expecting this, and blocks it nicely.
"Good shield charm," I compliment, putting my wand away. "Have you been practising?"
"Yeah," she replies, grinning over her shoulder. "And you've been practising that hex – it almost got me this time."
"Good work," I tell her, and she repeats the same thing back and then disappears.
"What was that?" Lorcan inquires, and I jump and turn around. It's surprisingly easy to forget he's there. Or maybe I'm just easily distracted. Probably the former, though.
"What was what?" I ask, going back over to the table and hopping up onto the bench opposite him.
"That," he says, and I glare at him. "You and Dom, I mean. One minute you're fighting and the next you're… exchanging magic advice?"
"I'm sensing," I say slowly, "that you are trying to avoid the subject."
"What subject?" he tries hopefully, so I pander to him and don't just announce it immediately.
"The tense subject, the elephant in the room, the taboo topic," I clarify, and then point to my lips. "You kissing me. I thought you hated me."
"I'm starting to," he informs me darkly, and it is easy to tell how truly astonished I am at this turn of events by the fact I don't tease him even slightly about his broodiness.
"So you don't hate me?"
There is another silence after this, and I am getting uncomfortably hot in my tiger outfit.
"So," I say finally, standing. "I've got to run. Early morning tomorrow and all. See you later."
And then I get the hell out of there like I'm being chased by Rose after I told Uncle Ron about her and Malfoy.
Summary of events: Lorcan situation turned on its head. Dominique in the know. Rose still angry about me telling Uncle Ron. Furry animals onesies really too hot to be practical.
A pretty good day, in the end.