Gryffindor common room was deserted. Empty butterbeer bottles and
candy wrappers littered the floor. There was a large banner hung
above the portrait hole that read ‘We Squashed the Snakes.’ The
only noise was the quiet crackle from the logs in the fireplace and the
light breathing of Hogwarts’ Head Boy, sleeping soundly on the
Suddenly, a door slammed somewhere upstairs; silence followed.
“OUCH! Sirius, you twat! That was my sodding foot!”
young man appeared, seemingly pushed out of thin air. He hurtled
down the remaining steps and came to rest, grinning, on the maroon
Sirius Black pushed his dark hair out of his eyes and crossed his arms. “You’re the one who suggested we walk down the stairs underneath the Invisibility Cloak, Moony,” he stated sourly.
“For heaven’s sake, Sirius!”
hissed Remus Lupin as he yanked the cloak off his shoulders. “If
you could walk in a straight line, we wouldn’t have a problem!”
The seventh-year boys’ dormitory door opened again; a pudgy, blond-haired young man bounded down the stairs.
“I found it! I found it!” cried Peter Pettigrew, waving around a large piece of neatly folded parchment.
Remus put his finger to his lips to try and shush him.
was it?” asked Sirius, plucking the Marauder’s map out of the chubby
boy’s fingers when he reached the bottom of the steps.
“On your dresser,” Peter answered smugly, obviously feeling extremely proud to have been the one to find it.
“Oh... whoops, didn’t look there.”
rolled his eyes dramatically. “Let's go before the Head Boy and
Girl decide to come back. They should be done with their rounds
Peter looked nervous. “What if James comes back upstairs and realizes we’re gone?”
It was Sirius’ turn to roll his eyes. “He’ll assume I was hungry and dragged the two of you down to the kitchens with me...”
don’t think we’ll have to worry about him coming upstairs anytime
soon,” Remus interrupted, pointing toward the large sofa near the
Sirius and Peter followed him around to the edge of the couch.
Potter was fast asleep, his hair was sticking up worse than usual and
his glasses had slipped off his face and were lying abandoned on the
floor. He was still in his Quidditch gear.
should wake him up?” Sirius asked, plucking his best friend’s glasses
off the floor and folding them up next to his sleeping form.
Remus seemed to consider it for a minute, “Nah, why deny Lily the chance to yell at him for skiving off on his Head duties?”
The three boys sniggered softly.
were just about to pick up the Cloak and leave the common room when the
portrait hole began to open. It was too late to run back up the
stairs, so instead, Remus, Peter, and Sirius haphazardly threw the
Invisibility Cloak over themselves and backed into the corner near the
fireplace. They held their breath as Lily Evans stepped into the
It was useful having the Head Boy as your friend; James
(had he been awake) wouldn’t have hesitated in joining them on a
nighttime stroll about the castle. The Head Girl, on the other
hand, was a completely different story. She would not
have been amused to find them sneaking out of bed to raid the kitchens
at midnight. This is why Sirius, Peter, and Remus stayed tucked
away under their cloak, waiting for her to leave.
her eyes sleepily and pushed her long, ginger hair behind her
ears. Slowly, she walked toward the fireplace to put out the
torches that burned above it. Halfway around the sofa, though,
she stopped dead in her tracks. For a moment, it looked like she
was going to leave James lying there. Then, she did something
that surprised the three boys crouched ten feet away.
quietly knelt down and unsnapped James’ wrist-guards, carefully, so as
not to wake him. Then, she moved to his legs and tugged the shin-guards
James stirred slightly.
Lily pulled a soft
maroon blanket over him and stood back up. Leaning over slightly,
she delicately tried to smooth down his hair.
James blinked his hazel eyes a few times, waking up slowly.
“Hi,” he whispered hoarsely.
“Sorry... I didn’t mean to wake you,”she whispered back.
rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand and fumbled for his
glasses. He thought for sure he had left them on the floor near
the couch, but decided Lily had probably moved them. Pushing them
up on his nose, he sat up slightly and leaned back against the
cushions. “What time is it?”
“Almost midnight.” Lily sat down on the edge of the couch, near his torso.
The three Marauders in the corner tried not to breathe.
James leaned his head back against a pillow and closed his eyes for a second. “I missed our rounds... I’m sorry.”
Lily smiled, “I let you sleep... you – played a good game today.” She entwined her fingers and glanced down at them.
back on the game, James reached up and rubbed his sore neck.
Flying on a broom for three hours (fun or not) wasn’t too
comfortable. “Mmm... you should thank Alwen, he caught the
Lily feigned a shocked look.
“What?” he asked, self-consciously running his hand along his jaw line.
grabbed his hand and pulled it away from his face.
“Nothing. It’s... you’ve—just changed quite a bit. This
year has been different than I expected.”
James smiled. “You thought I’d be a miserable Head Boy.”
had my doubts,” she said solemnly. “A year ago, you’d have taken
all the credit for Gryffindor’s win; James Potter was a one-man team.”
James rolled his eyes and scratched the back of his neck (all right, so he was about
to mess up his hair, but stopped himself at the last second). He
thought about making a witty remark, but decided against it, not
wanting to irritate Lily.
“I might’ve helped a little... scored a goal here and there,” he said casually.
smiled back. Quickly, she realized she was still holding onto his
hand. She made to let go, but noticed a piece of string knotted
around his wrist. Frowning, she fingered the tail, which ran from
his arm, and disappeared over the side of the couch.
“What’s this?” she asked.
held up his arm for a second before realization hit him. “I
didn’t want my Transfiguration book to get away,” he said, grinning.
Lily raised her eyebrows. “What?”
James tugged on the string.
watched as a large turtle was pulled out from underneath the
couch. The string was tied around its middle. It looked
like a normal snapping turtle, except its shell appeared to be made out
of James’ textbook; it read, ‘Advanced Transfiguration.’
Peter was having a bit of trouble with our Transfiguration homework...
I was going to let him change it back, but it’s late now... might need
it tomorrow.” He lifted the animal off the floor and tapped it
with his wand. Immediately, the turtle’s legs, arms, head, and
tail were sucked into the shell, which reverted back to book-form.
don’t know how you manage to do so well in that class without paying
attention,” Lily commented dryly. Without thinking, she rested
her hand on his chest. His breathing seemed to quicken and she
could feel his heartbeat under his Quidditch robe. She yanked her
hand back and set it in her lap, drumming her fingers slowly across her
James sensed her nervousness and stared into her
unfocused green eyes. He leaned forward a bit, “I’m glad I
surprise you.” His eyes were filled with sincerity. Every
hint of his former self, the arrogance and the insensitivity, were
absent in his voice.
Lily chewed on her lower lip. After
a second, she cleared her throat. “Me, too.” She was trying, with great
difficulty, to avoid his fixed stare. This moment had been
building for months. They had finally moved from enemies to
friends. And now? Lily felt afraid to acknowledge the fact
that she was falling (albeit it had been a slow process) for James Potter.
Her head shot up. “Am not.”
James smiled slightly. “Am I making you nervous?”
“No,” she answered, rather unconvincingly.
he said, leaning back again. Anyone that knew James could easily
see how much effort he was putting into acting nonchalant about the
Lily looked down at her hands again. She sighed, “Maybe... maybe a little.”
“Any reason?” he asked quietly. James sat up straighter.
locked eyes with him for a second, “I’m not sure, exactly.” She
took a calming breath and fiddled with the hem of her skirt.
“I–it’s just that...”
“Lily... do you–do you feel...
different?” he asked. “About me, I mean?” Reaching out with
a hand, he tenderly tucked a loose lock of hair behind her ear.
It seemed to take her hours to gingerly nod her head.
was James’ turn to take a deep breath. “Lily,” he breathed,
brushing his fingers against her warm cheek. “I... I’m going to
It wasn’t a question.
Lily was visibly shaking, “What... what if I’m horrible?” she whispered.
James shook his head and rested his forehead against hers. “That wouldn’t be possible.”
He leaned in slowly, meeting her lips softly, and giving her plenty of time to back off if she wanted to.
eyes fluttered closed as their lips touched. She placed one hand
on his thigh for support and grasped his shoulder with the other.
James moved his hand from her cheek, into her hair.
Lily let out a small gasp into his mouth.
Pulling back slowly, James took a moment to nuzzle her nose with his own.
In the corner, Remus was doing everything he could to muzzle Sirius, who was trying to let out a whoop of surprise.
Lily opened her eyes. “That was...” she cleared her throat and started again, “that felt nice.”
James ran a hand through her hair and stared into her eyes, “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to kiss you.”
smiled shyly, her cheeks were tinged with pink, but James wasn’t sure
if it was from embarrassment or from the rough stubble on his face.
James ran his hand down her cheek softly, “Lily,” he whispered.
Peter, Remus, and Sirius had to lean forward to hear what he was saying.
“When you look at me... I feel like I can’t breathe.”
Lily blushed and averted her eyes. “I should... probably get to bed. It’s late.”
James nodded and gave her a half smile as she stood up and smoothed her skirt.
“Goodnight,” she said quietly.
James cleared his throat, afraid his voice might fail him. “Night,” he managed throatily.
ascended the stairs slowly. When James heard the door shut firmly
behind her, he leaned his head back against the cushions and let out a
Sirius didn’t wait another second before ripping
the Invisibility Cloak off his head and leaping into the air.
“PRONGS!” he shouted.
James almost fell off the sofa in shock.
didn’t seem to notice. He crossed the distance between them in
two steps and leapt unconcernedly onto his best friend’s stomach.
James made a loud ‘UMPH’ sound.
“You didn’t tell me that you and Evans were starting to get along!” he said happily, mussing up James’ hair.
“More than getting along, I’d say,” Remus said as he pulled the Cloak off his and Peter’s shoulders.
rolled his eyes and tried to push Sirius off. “If I wasn’t
thoroughly elated right now, I’d kick your arse, Padfoot.”
for his part, held onto to James as he fell off the couch onto the
hearthrug. James tumbled with him and tried putting Sirius into a
Remus and Peter exchanged a look and sat down on the empty couch.
“So when did Lily switch from yelling to snogging?” Peter asked.
James, who was laughing as Sirius pinned his arms behind him, shrugged.
a door slammed open upstairs and Lily appeared at the top of the
steps. She was now dressed in her Gryffindor-colored pyjamas, an
annoyed expression plastered on her pretty features.
“JAMES! You should be setting an example! If the four of
you don’t get to bed right NOW, I’m going to take points away!”
Her face twitched for a second, as if she was going to smile, but
instead she turned on her heel and disappeared into the dormitory again
James and Sirius stood up and brushed themselves off.
“I reckon I should listen to her or she’ll never let me snog her again,” James announced, heading toward the staircase.
Sirius, Peter, and Remus followed suit, laughing madly and clapping James on the back.
“You’re one lucky man, James,” Remus said, as he pulled open the dormitory door.
“Yeah, I’d have given up long ago,” Peter added.
“And that, Wormtail, is why you’ve never kissed a girl,” Sirius sniggered.
“Sod off, all of you!” James said, rolling his eyes and leaping, face first, into his four poster.
“But it felt brilliant, yeah?” Sirius asked, rolling into his own bed.
lifted his head to look over at his best friend. He grinned. “Too
right it did! I won’t be able to sleep for days.”
“She’s quite a girl,” called Remus, from across the room.
thing you were able to snag Head Boy, Prongs,” added Peter while he
tugged on his maroon colored pyjamas. “Otherwise, she might still
“You’re a prat, Wormtail,” came Sirius’ voice.
James drifted slowly off to the sound of Sirius explaining the theory of tact to Peter. But James didn’t care how Lily had ended up liking him. He was positive, now more than ever before, that one day, she would be Lily Evans Potter.