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The Cauldron

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Shortest Road Home Pt7 [Sep. 6th, 2006|10:10 pm]
The Cauldron

sw_fic

[siriuslyweird]
[Tags|, , , ]

Title: Shortest Road Home Chpt 14, 15, 16 & 17
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Lily/James
Secondary Pairing: OC/Sirius
Rating: Teen
Beta: ohshocking, Fran and Hannah
Summary: It's Lily and James' 6th year at Hogwarts, and they can't stand each other. What happens when a prank doesn't go as planned? Lily is adamant and James is fighting his feelings every step of the way
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling, not me. Title of Chapter 16 belongs to Terry Pratchett

Part 1,Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6



14. Temper, temper

James almost fell off his broom when he saw Fee, Bella and Lily coming down on to the Quidditch field. Bella waved spiritedly at James, grinning widely. Lily’s just coming to watch Fee practice, he forcefully reminded himself, unable to stop the hope rising within him. She is not here to see me. She probably wants to watch the mayhem that is Fee and Sirius, he reminded himself, the thought of his two manic beaters returned his attention to the task at hand: Quidditch practice.

~*~*~*~*~

James let out a frustrated sigh. Quidditch practice was not going well. “Padfoot, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Sirius landed on the pitch beside James. “What did I do now?” Sirius tried to keep the anger out of his voice. Logically he knew it wasn’t James’ fault that Fee and himself were having a crap practice but his own irritation at the fact that they were ignoring each other was seeping through into his voice.

“We have a match in four days Sirius, and if you and Fee play like you are doing, then Ravenclaw are going to walk all over us… not to mention the fact that half our team will be at risk from Bludger attacks!”

Sirius rubbed his hand over the back of his neck. “Sorry, I forgot how important my job was,” he said with a small smile.

James formed a half grin in reassurance. “Alright…” he said, trailing off as he looked around for Fee, he wanted a word with both Beaters together, “Fee,” he hollered across the pitch, where the missing beater was standing talking with Bella and Lily.

Fee heard James’ yell, *dammit* she thought. “Lily come with me?” she pleaded suddenly.

Her face marred with confusion, Lily replied in bewilderment, “Why?”

A grin tugging at the corner of her mouth, Fee retorted, “James won’t yell at me so much if…. Other people are there,” she finished, winking at Bella, over Lily’s shoulder.

“Fine,” Lily grumbled, getting up off the seat and joining Fee in her trek across the pitch towards James.

James heard Fee approach, as he was berating Sirius about tactics that he should have been employing. He turned to continue his diatribe and stopped one hand in the air, his mouth open when he realised he was staring straight at Lily. Lily blinked slowly at the look of complete shock on James’ face then she started to grin at the picture he was making.

Sirius and Fee exchanged amused looks. Padfoot coughed discreetly in order to regain James’ attention. James quickly closed his mouth, as a mortified flush spread over his face. Trying desperately to ignore the flip-flop of his stomach, he fought for something coherent to say. Before complete and utter mortification could take over he settled on yelling at Fee.

Sirius watched James’ standard lecture spiral into a full-on confrontation between him and Fee.

“Look, I’m having a bad day okay? I know all your sodding tactics, I’m just not getting them right. I don’t need you drilling them into my head!” Fee practically screamed at him, practice had been a nightmare and she so did not need this.

Sirius and Lily jumped immediately between the arguing pair. Lily put her hand on James’ chest trying to push him away from Fee, not an easy task considering James had been playing Quidditch for years and Lily did no sport whatsoever.

“James,” she started, trying to sound threatening. “Give Fee a break” she pleaded. It’s a good job we decided on a truce, Lily thought, otherwise Fee and I would have been flattened with hexes by now. James felt his anger drain away at Lily’s words.

“Sorry,” he muttered, rubbing his hands over his face, he suddenly felt very tired. He smiled half-heartedly at Lily. “It’s just…” he trailed off.

“The game’s soon and you can’t afford any screw-ups,” Lily interjected, smiling understandingly.

“Match,” James corrected, a grin tugging at the corner of his mouth. Mock-glaring at him Lily slapped him on the arm, unable to stop her smile spreading across her face.

Sirius stared straight at Fee, his gaze unwavering. “You done?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. The horror of what she’d just done registered.

“Oh God,” she groaned. “Tell me I didn’t just bawl out the captain of the Quidditch team,” she pleaded.

“Erm…” Sirius replied, as Fee’s head fell forward to rest on his chest.

“I loathe myself,” she muttered.

Bella heard the raised voices and, deciding she was missing out on all the fun, ambled over. Seeing James and Lily grinning goofily at each other, and Fee leaning on Sirius, she announced her presence with, “So we are all with the coupleyness, then?” She beamed maniacally as four pairs of eyes swung towards her, two glaring, two shocked.

~*~*~*~*~

“I cannot believe you said ‘coupleyness’,” Lily demanded, outraged, once they were back in the girl’s dormitory.

“Yeah, I know,” Bella agreed. “I don’t think it’s even a word,” she grinned.

“So not what I meant,” Lily replied, exasperated.

“Come on, are you telling us you don’t even find James Potter the slightest bit attractive?” Fee enquired.

“No!” Lily said loudly. “I mean look at his unruly black hair… and his penetrating hazel eyes…” she trailed off. “I mean no!” she repeated, practically yelling, causing Fee and Bella to giggle.

“Just zoned out there for a minute, didn’t ya?” Bella said laughingly.

“Oh, shut up!” Lily replied, throwing a cushion at her.

Escalating into a full-grown pillow fight, it continued for several minutes until Fee suddenly froze, a cushion held above her head,

“Oh my God!” she exclaimed, horrified.

“What?” Bella and Lily replied, confused.

Hopping down off the bed, Fee stared at them wildly, “I never apologised to James. He’s going to kick me off the team! You don’t insult and yell at the Quidditch captain, especially when he’s actually being the Quidditch captain. I’m never going to play Beater again, I’m…” her rant was interrupted by Lily, grabbing her, trying to gain her attention,

“Breathe,” Lily commanded. Two deep reassuring breathes later, Fee finally stopped babbling.

“Fee, it’ll be fine. James can’t kick you off the team, they need you,” Lily said trying to comfort, the shaken girl.

“But, but,” Fee stuttered. “After the way I played today and then with the yelling,” she was cut off again, this time by Bella.

“Hey!” Bella shouted, waving her arms in front of Fee’s face. “Why don’t we just go and apologise now then?” she asked reasonably.

Fee’s face split into a wide grin. “Brilliant!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around Bella and Lily. “Come on let’s go!” she said, pulling them all out of the room.

~*~*~*~*~

“What happened to you two?” Peter asked as James and Sirius dragged themselves through the doorway to their dormitory.

“I take it Quidditch practice didn’t go well,” Remus said, peering at them over the towers of books perched on his bed.

“Well, how can I put this?” James pondered, causing Sirius to glare at him. “My two Beaters have never played worse in their lives. They weren’t paying attention to each other let alone working as a team,”

“Hey!” Sirius said. “We weren’t that bad,” he complained.

Ignoring Padfoot’s interruption, James continued. “And then I got into a verbal slanging match with Fee and I can’t even bloody well remember why.” James sighed heavily sinking down onto his bed.

“You’re not going to throw her off the team are you?” Sirius blurted out, looking horrified.

“No, James you can’t!” exclaimed Remus, looking mock-dismayed, “That would seriously cut down on Padfoot’s staring time,” he grinned.

Sirius glared at him, trying to ignore the blush rising up his neck.

“At least if he’d been looking at her he'd have known what the hell she was doing,” James complained. “They were just completely ignoring each other.”

“Hey, she’s been ignoring me, I was just returning the favour,” Sirius defended himself.

“Can’t you two stop fighting for once? We need to beat Ravenclaw on Saturday, to even have a chance at winning the cup, otherwise neither of you will play.”

“Er, James?” Remus interjected. “Do you remember? They’re not fighting,” he added. "That's the problem."

“Yeah,” Peter added with a grin. “They’re in luuurrrve.”

“Shut up!” Sirius commanded, looking mortified.

“Is this still about that kiss thing?” James asked.

“‘Is this still…?’” Sirius repeated, looking shocked. “Oh I’m sorry,” he yelled. “But maybe you’ve forgotten that I need an escort everywhere I go in case I see her and lose the ability to speak!” he shouted. “No wait,” he added. “That’s you!”

The two of them glared at each other in silence, while Peter and Remus exchanged worried looks. Suddenly Sirius sat down heavily on his bed.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, “I didn’t mean that… well okay maybe I did, but I didn’t mean to yell it at you.”

Sighing heavily, James grinned wryly, rubbing his ear. “‘m sorry too,” he added.

“Awwwww, isn’t this sweet?” Peter said smirking. “Group hug,” he commanded, spreading his arms apart. He was heckled with snorts of laughter and cries of,

“Shut up, Pete.”

~*~*~*~*~

Bella, Lily and Fee walked quietly up the stairs to the boys’ dormitory. Fee was wrapped in thought about how to apologise to James. Lily ran a hand through her hair, after what Bella had said out on the pitch, her and Fee had practically run off. She was just hoping neither James nor Sirius had heard Bella’s comment. Bella linked her arm with Fee supportingly; she figured she might as well be the supportive friend now because she had matchmaking plans for as soon as they entered the dormitory. James and Lily in the same room; who could resist dropping hints?

~*~*~*~*~

“So when are you going to tell her?” Remus asked seriously.

“Tell who what?” James asked innocently. Sirius, Remus and Peter just stared at him.

“Alright so I do know what you’re on about,” he mumbled, getting up and starting to pace around the room. Thinking about Lily always filled him with energy. Every time he was with her he felt like he was being pulled in a million directions at once and damn it was exhilarating. She was just so unpredictable, and… His thoughts were rudely interrupted by ‘discreet’ coughing from everyone else in the room.

“What am I meant to do?” he asked exasperated. “Just walk up to her and go ‘Lily I like you, a lot, I can’t stop thinking about you, is there any chance you like me too?’ She’d laugh at me, or hit me. Plus could I sound more ridiculous?” he exclaimed, running his hands through his hair.

It was then that they heard the gasped “Oh my God!” from outside their door. Everyone in the room froze, James stood stock-still his eyes wide in horror; he’d recognise that voice anywhere.

~*~*~*~*~

Bella, Lily and Fee were staring at the door in shock. They hadn’t been listening long but they’d heard the boys talking and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to eavesdrop.

“Oh my God!” Lily gasped, her hand flying up to cover her mouth, when she realised she had spoken aloud. Suddenly the door swung open and James was standing right in front of them.

Staring straight at her, “Lily?” he asked hoarsely. She turned and fled.

~*~*~*~*~

“Now’s probably not the best time to apologise for yelling at you is it?” Fee asked, anything to break the silence that surrounded them. A bang from inside the dormitory as Sirius fell off the bed awoke James from his stupor.

“Run after her then!” Bella commanded gesturing towards the stairs. James’ legs seem to obey the command before his brain even had a chance to process it.

Sirius stood at the doorway. “How long have you lot been listening?” he asked nervously, shifting his weight from one foot to the other restlessly.

“We just heard James that was it,” Bella replied puzzled. “Why?” she asked suspiciously, as Sirius seemed to sag against the doorpost in relief.

“No reason,” he replied.

15. Admittance

“You didn’t catch up with her then?” Sirius asked, as James entered their dormitory, viciously kicking open the door.

“No,” James sighed heavily, running his hands through his hair in frustration. “And now she’s probably going to avoid me for the rest of eternity,” he added flopping onto his bed.

~*~*~*~*~

“I bet she’s in the library,” James said, throwing the red ball repeatedly at the wall above Sirius’ head.

“Who?” Remus asked offhandedly, flipping through the pages of the book opened on his lap, he looked up and then realising that it was James who had spoken added a muttered “never mind.”

“James it’s been three days, go and speak to her for Christ's sake!” Sirius said, standing up and grabbing the ball out of mid-flight. “And would you stop with this?” he demanded.

“She’s avoiding me and probably in the library studying for the mock-NEWTS we have coming up.” James muttered miserably.

Sirius threw the ball at James’ head in disgust. “One, the mocks are a month away, two, the exams aren’t till next year, three, go talk to her before I do something drastic!”

“Ow!” James exclaimed, rubbing his head. “Okay, one,” he said mockingly. “Remus is working,” nodding to the head just visible between the piles of notes on Remus’ bed.

“Remus is always working,” Sirius retorted, waving his hand dismissively. Only tp have to duck three seconds later as a book came flying towards his head.

“Oookay,” James drawled, shaking his head at his friend's antics. “Two, I don’t want to go talk to Lily and three I think I’m over her, I mean it’s Lily, what was I thinking?” He ignored the snorts of laughter from his three room mates.

~*~*~*~*~

“Are you going to avoid James forever?” Arabella asked, dropping a pile of books onto the table they were working at in the library.

“Yes,” Lily said simply, flicking through a copy of ‘Plant and Fungi: A magical aide’.

After waiting five minutes for any sort of extrapolation on that, Bella added, “You know I hate to say it,”

“Then don’t,” Lily said, cutting her off.

“Hey, I deserve to, I was right,” Bella argued.

“No, you said we would make a good couple and we’re not a couple,”

Bella cut her off, saying, “I told you so!”

“Were you even listening to me?” Lily demanded. “James and I are not a couple,” she said, enunciating each word carefully.

“But he likes you, and you’d make a good couple,” Bella retorted grinning.

“Delusional.” Lily muttered returning back to her work.

~*~*~*~*~

Fee was sitting by herself at the Gryffindor table when the Marauders came in.

“There’s some free seats,” Peter pointed to the seats surrounding Fee, who seemed to be purveying an air of aloofness. All of them turned to look at Sirius.

“What?” he demanded. “I’d rather sit somewhere else but do you ever listen to me?” he concluded huffily.

“No,” they all replied happily, and continued to walk over to Fee.

“Hello,” Remus said, smiling at Fee,. “Can we sit?”

“Sure…” Fee said, with out glancing up, she turned a page of the book she was reading.

“‘Pride and Prejudice’?” Sirius asked, leaning over her shoulder, as he took the only vacant seat left, next to Fee.

“What’s wrong with my choice in reading material?” Fee snapped, turning to face Sirius, who held his hands up in defeat.

“Hey, I was just making conversation… where are Lily and Bella, anyway? You three have a fight?” he asked, grinning.

Slamming her book down Fee glared at him. “Lily and Bella are working in the library, I didn’t feel like it, okay? Anyway,” she added, “Bella has a plan… it mainly involves telling Lily ‘hah, I told you so’ but you know… it’s still a plan.” Fee grinned disarmingly at James, who banged his head against the table.

“He’s over her,” Remus interjected.

“What?” Fee asked, confusion marring her face.

“Yes… James no longer likes Lily.” Sirus explained sarcastically.

“God!” Fee snapped. “One minute you’re practically declaring you’re undying love for her and the next you're ignoring her. Boys!” she exclaimed, standing up and grabbing her book off the table. Suddenly an odd look flashed across Sirius’ face.

“What?” Fee demanded, as a half smile tugged at the corner of his mouth and he tilted his head to the side, with a look of comprehension. “Erm…” Fee stuttered. “I have to go,” she finished, fiddling nervously with her hair. She bolted for the door as a full-blown grin spread across Sirius’ face.

~*~*~*~*~

Lily, having finally escaped from Bella’s questioning at the library, was snuggled under her covers, with the curtains drawn around her bed, hiding from the world. Sighing she rested her head on the pillows. Her thoughts immediately turned to James. Restlessly, she sat upright again.

How come I’m always thinking of him? she wondered. It’s his fault... Stupid crystal, she thought morosely. Running her hands through her hair, she sighed again. It’s not his fault, the rational part of her mind argued. It’s just easier to blame him, and not think about…him… what he said, what happened in the cave…all of it! Massaging her temples, Lily swallowed back her tears. God, I’ve been awful to him, she thought glumly. Why does he even like me? she wondered, wallowing in confusion. We hate each other…maybe he was joking around, she reflected, dismissing the idea as quickly as it had come. She’d seen the look in his eyes, he really liked her. But, I’ve been horrible to him, she thought helplessly. How I mean… why on earth would he choose me, after everything I’ve done. A little niggling thought in the back of her head suggested that maybe he didn’t choose her, maybe he just ‘fell’ for her. This is stupid, she contemplated. I don’t believe in fate… and fate, we’re in school for Christ’s sake! Pulling at a loose thread on her blanket, she stared blankly down at its tartan pattern. Maybe I do like him… just a little bit. At this thought, Lily let a small smile grace her lips. Contentedly she pulled her knees up to her chest.

She was interrupted by Fee running into the room, slamming the door shut and throwing herself onto her bed before bursting into tears. Lily twitched one of the curtains aside. “Fee?” she asked uncertainly.

~*~*~*~*~

“He’s over you,” Fee sobbed, cradling her head in her arms.

Trying desperately to ignore the stab of pain, and the horrendous twist in her stomach at Fee’s words, Lily asked, “Who? Fee, what are you talking about?”

Fee raised her red-rimmed eyes, and sniffed. “Sorry, no… I’m pretty sure he was being sarcastic. I think James still loves you,” she said the last bit half to herself.

Lily frowned… did Fee like James? Was that why she was so upset?

“Fee, is there something you’re not telling me?” Lily asked, dreading the answer. If Fee liked James, Lily couldn’t be with him; she couldn’t do that to her friend.

Fee’s head shot up, shock covering her features, “He kissed me! I didn’t even think of him like that before, I mean, why would he do that?” She stood up, and started to pace the room in agitation.

Lily sat down on the edge of her bed in shock. “He kissed you?” she whispered, pain washing over her.

Fee blushed several shades of red, “Oh God, Lily I was going to tell you, but it was while you and James were stuck in the cave and getting you out of there was more important, and then… I just decided to pretend it didn’t happen.” Sitting on Bella’s bed, so she was facing Lily, she sighed heavily. “Great idea that turned out to be.”

“Wait…” Lily said, frowning. “How did James kiss you if he was in the cave with me?”

“James?” Fee asked, confused. “Why are we talking about James?”

“You said he kissed you,” Lily said perplexed.

“James!?” Fee exclaimed. “God no! I was talking about Sirius.”

A smile broke out over Lily’s face. “I thought you meant James.” She breathed, she couldn’t stop grinning as her relief at that fact made itself known. “Hang on,” Lily said suddenly. “Sirius kissed you!” she exclaimed in shock, the realisation suddenly hitting her.

16. The truth shall make ye fret

“Sirius!” James hissed standing up, angrily. “Why the hell did you tell her that? Did you see how upset she got? What if she tells Lily?”

“I thought you were over her.” Peter said innocently.

“Well yeah... I mean... kind of… alright no,” James admitted, sitting back down heavily. “She was ignoring me, what was I meant to do?” James asked defensively.

Remus eyed James sceptically. “Talk to her?” he suggested.

“Hey, how was I supposed to know what?…” James started, but was cut off by Bella,

“Great, I’m meant to be meeting Fee here and all I find are you idiots,” she complained, taking the seat Fee had recently vacated.

“Hey!” the boys exclaimed.

“You insult us and expect to be allowed to sit down?” James asked.

“So have you seen her?” Bella asked brightly, ignoring James’ question.

~*~*~*~*~

“Erm…” Fee stuttered, blushing scarlet. “Yes?” she asked timidly.

“Oh my God!” Lily exclaimed, a huge grin on her face.

“Hey,” Fee said suddenly, jumping up and pointing a finger accusingly. “You thought I was talking about James,” she said joyfully. “You,” she paused to enunciate each word with her finger, “were worried.” She grinned: “Bella was right! You like him.” Lily looked horrified for a split second, but secretly rejoicing that Fee at least seemed to have cheered up. Then, Lily’s features twisted into a mischievous smile,

“Bella didn’t guess about you and Sirius though, did she?” Lily asked innocently.

“Lily,” Fee said warningly.

“Someone really should tell her.” Lily flashed Fee a grin and bolted for the door.

“Lily!” Fee called after her, watching helplessly as the door shut. “Oh dear God,” she groaned, sinking to the floor, grinning maniacally.

~*~*~*~*~

“Bella?” Lily called as she burst through the doors to the Great Hall. It was practically empty, as dinner was nearly over. Spotting her friend over at the end of the Gryffindor table, she ran over.

“Oh my God, you’ll never guess!” she exclaimed gleefully, grabbing Bella’s shoulder. Bella jumped, in her seat. Turning to face an exuberant Lily, she gasped:

“Lily! You almost gave me a heart attack!”

Grinning, Lily bounced from one foot to another. She was about to speak when she noticed who Bella was sitting with, and froze…

“Hey,” she squeaked. Grabbing Bella’s arm, Lily started to drag her towards the door.

“Lily!?” Bella exclaimed, gasping for breath. Pulling herself free from Lily’s vice-like grip, Bella tried to speak, only to be encumbered by her dire need for breath. “Okay,” Bella said slowly. “What the hell is going on?”

Lily opened her mouth to speak, when she noticed the Marauders standing by the entrance way trying to look inconspicuous. Lily scowled at them, realising they must have run after her. “Bad!” she admonished, waving her index finger at them and hauling Bella towards their dormitory.

~*~*~*~*~

Sirius stared down the corridor, pointing after Lily. “Is that girl always that mental?” he asked in disbelief.

“Not usually,” Peter said. “What are they doing?” he asked, receiving only shrugs in return.

“What do you think she so desperately needed to tell Bella?” Remus inquired with curiosity.

“Want to find out?” James asked, gesturing down the hall.

~*~*~*~*~

“Yodel,” Lily said breathlessly.

“Yes dear,” The Fat Lady replied, allowing her portrait to swing open and reveal the Gryffindor common room.

Glancing around the room, Lily was relieved to see it was deserted. Pulling Bella onto one of the couches by the fireplace, she explained the conversation she’d had earlier with Fee.

~*~*~*~*~

As the Marauders entered the common the heard a suspiciously familiar voice cry out: “Oh my God!” Bella stood up, her mouth opening and closing like a fish. “Are you serious?” she asked. Lily couldn’t help the laughter that escaped at her friend’s choice of words.

“What’s so funny?” Peter asked, making their presence known to the giggling girls.

Fee heard Bella’s shriek from their dormitory so she bolted down the stairs only to find Lily and Bella collapsed with laughter on the couch. “Lily,” she screeched. “How could you?!” she yelled, gesturing to the Marauders standing across the common room.

“She said…” Lily gasped in between giggles. “Are you… serious?” Fee stared at them for a minute before their laughter became infectious and she gave up the ghost and joined in their hysterics.

“What the bloody hell is going on?” Sirius demanded, stalking over to the girls. Pulling herself up right, still grinning inanely. “I told them, what you… before…” Fee said, gesturing aimlessly trying to convey her meaning without actually saying the words.

“And you thought this was funny!?” Sirius exclaimed, blushing deep red.

Lily grinned at him, patting him consolingly on the shoulder. “She was very nervous about telling us,” Lily added. “If that makes you feel better?”

Fee’s eyes narrowed dangerously… “You thought I’d kissed James,” she said, smirking.

“Fee!” Lily yelped in horror.

“And you were very upset about it!” Fee continued, still staring straight at Lily

“Really?” Bella and James asked at the same time. James was unable to keep the note of hope from his voice.

Lily turned on him as she heard his voice, only to find him standing directly in front of her. “You said you were over me!” she accused, glowering fiercely.

“No I didn’t; he did!” James exclaimed, pointing to Sirius. Sirius pulled Fee in front of him as a shield, causing Fee to grin idiotically.

“Are you?” Lily asked in a whisper.

James gulped, the five eagerly watching people surrounding him and Lily, forgotten.

“No” he said hoarsely.

17. Shortest Road Home

“Yes!” Bella shouted, punching the air with her fist, as the rest of the group surrounding the couple grinned widely. Any further discourse was prevented by the Gryffindor common room being flooded by chattering third years that stopped immediately on seeing the illustrious Lily and James in the midst of what they presumed to be another of their spats, surrounded by all their friends.

Lily blushed furiously and took several rapid steps back from James. “So … erm…” she stuttered, desperately trying to think of something to say, “thanks for the transfiguration help,” before turning and bolting up the stairs. The third years on realising there was nothing interesting about to happen, dispersed and proceeded to spread around the common room, settling themselves into the various comfy armchairs.

“Do you think she realised she ran up the stairs to the boy’s dormitories?” Fee whispered to Sirius.

“Not a chance,” he replied, smirking.

~*~*~*~*~

“So I’m just going to go to our room now,” James said nonchalantly, trying to repress a grin.

“Sure,” Remus replied, smiling. “We’ll all just stay here and… guard the common room.” Beaming widely, James ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

“Dammit!” Lily exclaimed furiously, looking around feverishly as she came to the horrifying conclusion that she was in fact outside the 6th year boys dormitory and not her own. Sinking down on to the steps, she put her head into her hands, fervently wishing for the ground to swallow her up before the inevitable happened.

~*~*~*~*~

James spotted Lily sitting on the stairs, and slowed his ascent. He casually leant against the wall of the stairwell, “Hey,” he greeted. Lily replied with what sounded like a very distressed little squeak, James just grinned. Incredibly embarrassed, Lily ran her hands through her hair and forced herself to meet his gaze,

“Hello” she said, managing to keep her voice from wavering, though the effect was ruined by the scarlet flush staining her cheeks.

“You ran out of there rather quickly,” James started, trying to sound like it didn’t matter to him at all.

“And up the wrong staircase,” Lily moaned, mortified. Grinning widely at this James swung himself off the wall and sat down next to her.

“And how many years have you been here, Miss Evans? Surely you should know where to go by now,” James said in a passable imitation of Prof. Glibert, causing Lily to smile.

“Were you really worried when you thought I’d kissed Fee?” he asked, staring at his boot laces.

“Not worried,” Lily responded, turning to look at James, who muttered a pitiful,

“Oh,” in return. That was when Lily noticed the tips of his ears were red. He was embarrassed, she realised, suddenly thinking how her answer must have sounded to him.

“I was hurt,” she added quickly, trying to reassure him.

“Really?” he asked looking up at her.

“You know, you sound rather pleased about that,” Lily said glaring at him.

“I… I…” James stuttered, trying to think of a way to dig himself out of the hole he’d just jumped into.

“I was kidding,” Lily said, smiling at him. She ducked her gaze in confusion, as he stared back at her, wide eyed.

“You were teasing me,” James whispered incredulously.

Grinning, Lily retorted, “Yes, but don’t tell anyone else. It’ll ruin the belief that we can’t have a conversation without fighting.”

James beamed at her, she was right. This could quite possibly be the first conversation they’d ever had without slinging hexes at each other.

They were interrupted by a fifth year bounding up the stairs. He stopped and gaped noiselessly at them. To him it appeared that mortal enemies Lily and James were sitting very close together on the steps to the boys’ dormitories and smiling goofily at each other. Terrified, he turned on his heel and bolted back down the stairs to the common room.

“Oh god,” Lily whimpered. “Just imagine the rumours. By the time we get down there, it’ll be ‘Lily and James were snogging outside the boys’ dormitories’”. James raised his eyebrows and Lily flushed red.

“Well…” said James thoughtfully, “I always think it’s a horrible shame to be accused of something you haven’t done. If you’re going to suffer the consequences,” he grinned before continuing, “it might as well be for something.”

~*~*~*~*~

Sirius was trying to surreptitiously hold Fee’s hand, he’d decided to do this without anyone else noticing, or Fee noticing for that matter, just in case she turned around and slapped him. He was pretty sure she wouldn’t, she was smiling at him a lot more and she’d practically admitted she liked him, he thought anxiously… Sirius was abruptly awoken from his musings by Fee entwining her hand with his. He grinned widely.

Remus turned around when he heard someone pounding down the stairs, his mouth dropped open in shock as Michael Gestor, panting, announced that “Lily and James were snogging outside the boys’ dormitories!”

THE END
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