A/N: All of my thanks go to my excellent beta, KC (DailyProphetReporting), who has toiled laboriously until the wee hours in the morning for this story over the past eight months (yes, eight!). I hope you enjoy it – please review!
Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.
-D. H. Lawrence
Chrissie Evans turned around from her spot at the sink and raised her eyebrows as her youngest daughter came pelting into the kitchen. Her eyes were wild with excitement and her dark red hair was escaping its confines in the knot at the back of her head. Usually Lily was immaculate; Mrs. Evans was instantly curious to find out what it was that excited her so much to not pull her hair back properly. She looked down and spotted a thick, heavy piece of paper – parchment, really – clutched in her daughter's fist, and began to smile.
Lily waved the parchment in front of her face. "I did it! I'm it! I'm Head Girl!" she gasped.
"Oh, darling, that's wonderful!" Mrs. Evans exclaimed, face lighting. She pushed the letter aside and squeezed Lily tightly. "I'm so proud of you, darling! Dad's going to be terribly excited!" The truth was, Mrs. Evans had had a strong feeling Lily would be appointed Head Girl. It was the highest honor for a female student at Hogwarts, and she, along with the Head Boy, would be the voice of the students for the whole of the school year.
"And look! Look at my badge!" Lily cried, stepping out of her mother's embrace and opening her palm. A shiny gold badge proclaimed her title in bold letters.
"I've got to keep it on at all times – well, at least until everyone knows I'm Head Girl, you know – and I get to attend some faculty meetings and keep track of House points and preside over meetings with the prefects – oh, Mum, this is the best day of my life!"
Lily said all this very fast and in one breath, and while Mrs. Evans hugged her yet again, she had to process her words. "Meetings with faculty, eh? That's going to be quite interesting, I'd say."
"Can I call daddy?" Lily asked, looking at the phone on the counter eagerly.
"Of course, and we'll have to tell Petty. But, Lily – isn't there also supposed to be a Head Boy?"
Lily paused next to the telephone, her smile wilting slightly. "Yes, but it doesn't say who it is." She looked down at the much-wrinkled letter in her hand, rereading it, as if hoping to find the answer. But she didn't care very much so long as she knew who it wouldn't be, and that was one of the Marauders. She told her mother as much, and Mrs. Evans smiled. She had heard much about the four boys who liked to terrorize the school with their pranks and practical jokes, and had ever since first year. Lily despised every one of them, even though one, Remus Lupin, had been made a prefect.
"But how do you know?"
Lily picked up the receiver and turned the dial. She cradled the phone in between her cheek and shoulder, and looked down at the papers again. "None of them make good enough grades," she said, shrugging as if it were obvious. "No, I have quite a good idea as to who it is – a Ravenclaw chap named Christopher Mi – Daddy!"
Mrs. Evans smiled, shaking her head, and turned back to washing out her paintbrushes in the sink, listening with one ear as Lily talked a mile a minute to her father. She stole a glance at her daughter. Her cheeks were flushed, and the huge smile was back in place. Mrs. Evans returned to the sink, some of the happiness ebbing out of her as it was replaced with concern for her daughter. Lily never smiled enough – it was always schoolwork, schoolwork, schoolwork, never enough time for anything else. She had friends – one of the girls in her dorm had been friends with her since they met on their first day six years ago. Lily smiled around Gwen Watson, but never as much as a seventeen-year-old should. Mrs. Evans was more grateful for the raven-haired witch than she could ever attempt to explain. If it weren't for Gwen, Lily would stay in her room or the library all day studying, and Mrs. Evans knew that-
"Mum, I'm going to Floo Gwen!" Lily called, flying out of the room. "Dad wants to speak to you!"
The receiver was lying on the counter, and Mrs. Evans picked it up with a slight sigh and a smile. "Hello, dear."
Lily tossed the green powder into the gas fireplace in the living room of her house. She called, "Number 300, Huckleberry Lane!" into the flames and promptly stuck her head in.
It was a lot like traveling by Floo Powder (in which case one would step completely into the fireplace and be transported completely to a destination, instead of just one's head): the dizziness, seeing all the other fireplaces on the network and glimpses of the rooms they were in. Luckily, it only lasted about ten seconds, and soon she was looking out into the very familiar front room in Gwen's large home. "Gwen! Are you at home?" she called, catching someone just passing by the doorway. It was Mrs. Watson, Gwen's mother, and she smiled warmly when she recognized Lily.
"Lily, darling! Gwen was just about to Floo you as well, I think. She wanted to know for sure if you've been named Head Girl. The Head Boy just got his letter today." She winked. Lily was about to ask about the Head Boy, but just then Gwen pushed past her mother and flung herself in front of the fire.
"Lils!" she squealed, her lovely face lighting up. She leaned in as close as she could. "Have you made it? Do you know yet?"
"Yes! I just found out this afternoon – I'm Head Girl, Gwen!"
"Aaaaah!" Gwen cried, wringing her hands in excitement as she always did. "I wish I could hug you – I knew it, I absolutely knew you'd make it, your grades are alarmingly perfect, you know-"
Before she could continue babbling (which she often did for long periods of time), Lily cut her best friend off. "And your mum mentioned something about the Head Boy – it's Christopher Miller, isn't it?"
But the smile on Gwen's face was fading. She turned around to see if her mother was still in the doorway, and upon seeing her still there, she said, "Mum, do you have something you could be doing just now?"
Mrs. Watson rolled her eyes good-naturedly. "Fine, fine, I can take a hint. Congratulations again, Lily. Perhaps you can come spend the night this weekend? I'd be glad to take you and Gwen to Diagon Alley on Saturday."
"Yes, yes, we'll sort it out later – goodbye, Mother," Gwen said impatiently, turning her back on her. Mrs. Watson smiled and waved to Lily, who grinned back, and left the doorway. "Good, she's gone."
"Why did you want her gone?"
"Because she's friends with the Potters."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Gwen swallowed audibly and suddenly became very interested in the rug beneath her. She then said, in a voice so low Lily almost missed it, "Because James Potter is Head Boy."
Lily felt the blood drain out of her head, and she fought the urge to fall backwards onto the floor in her living room. "He's what?"
"Head Boy, Lily," Gwen said quietly, now meeting her eyes. "His grades were loads better than everyone else's, apparently. Even Christopher Miller's-"
The shock was suddenly gone, burned out by the irrepressible anger that welled up within Lily. "I'm going to kill him."
"Who, James? I don't think that's-"
Gwen raised a shocked black eyebrow. "Erm. Well. Go right ahead, then, be my guest. I'll cry at your funeral."
Lily wasn't paying attention to her best friend at all. Her blood pressure was steadily rising; she could feel it. Her temper rarely got the best of her, but when it did, she couldn't control it at all. "How could he do such a thing? Make James Potter Head Boy! He's a lazy, inane, trouble-making, cocky, egotistical, immature bloody bastard!"
Gwen moved away from the ranting head in the fire with alacrity. "Lily? Breathe, okay? It's not going to be so bad."
Lily glared at her, her eyes smoldering. "Do you remember what he did to me in third year? How he embarrassed me? And then how he didn't even feel bad for it? And still he goes after me, expecting me to leap into his arms like everyone else? He thinks he's Jesus Christ, for God's sake! And I have to have weekly meetings with him! Forced to sit with him at prefect meetings! He's not going to let me get a word in edgewise!"
"Lily! Stop, okay? I know how you feel about James," Gwen reminded her forcefully. "I was there, remember?"
Lily swallowed hard. She looked down and breathed deeply. "I'm sorry," she muttered. "It's silly for me to let him upset me like this." Get a grip on yourself, Evans! He's just a boy!
"It's okay, Lils," Gwen said gently, her heart going out for her friend. "I just saw him today, that's how I know. We had lunch together with our families. Sirius was there too; you know, he lives with them now." The note of disgust in her tone with unmistakable.
Lily frowned and looked up, distracted for a moment. "Wait – literally?"
Gwen looked a bit uncomfortable. "Yeah, his parents tossed him out last year or something. But don't tell, okay? I don't know if anyone's supposed to know."
"That's – that's horrible," Lily said, wondering what had happened to make his parent's disown him. Probably blew up one too many cauldrons, she thought to herself, and didn't consider the matter again. "But so, what did James say?"
Gwen shrugged. She and James had an odd relationship – they weren't friends, but were very comfortable with each other as they had been forced to play together since before they could walk. James's parents and Gwen's parents had been friends at Hogwarts, and both families were very influential in the wizarding world. "J