I'm posting again. I'm reworking a bit of this fic in the process of reuploading it, hopefully changes made for the better. The majority of the older chapters I wrote so long ago it's sort of... bad, to be honest. I don't like the shorter chapters anymore, and for that reason I've combined what used to be chapters 2 and 3 into one chapter, which will now serve as chapter 2. Now, at least, it's ten pages long, instead of 6 and 4. I may do this every so often to the smaller chapters, to make them have more substance and, hopefully, to improve them.
I also intend to edit the chapters as I upload them, if I have the time.
Chapter 2 - Romeo and Juliet
A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a streetlight, steps out of the shade
Says something like, "you and me, babe, how 'bout it?"
-Romeo and Juliet, Dire Straits
“Of course I’ll write, Mum! I’ll be fine, Dad, really! Goodbye! I love you! Good—Mum, really, stop! Goodbye! Goodbye!”
As she finally pried herself from her parents' grip, Lily heaved a sigh of relief. As much as she loved her family --or her parents, at any rate -- she could never help but be thankful when she managed to escape to Hogwarts. Hogwarts, as much as she loved her home, had captivated her since she was eleven, and the fascination had never faded. The power, the mystique, the magic of Hogwarts was something that her normal, Muggle life could not compete with. Besides that, it gave her some fresh air. Typically teenager, Lily was glad to be free of her parents at times ...and exponentially happier to be free of her sister.
When she pushed her cart on to Platform 9 3/4, she realized it would be the last time. It was, after all, her last year at Hogwarts. It was funny, really; it seemed like yesterday it’d been her first time on the in between platform and she’d been wide eyed. Now, she'd seen it all before. There was nothing unusual about the simple sense of seniority that radiated off of the seventh years, the growing sense of comfort coming from the third years and forth years, or the amazed, wide-eyed appearance of the first years.
She was well aware had been one of them.
It had certainly been a most unusual thing, that day, when a large owl had promptly
dropped off the letter. She was sure that was what had spawned Petunia’s fear of birds -- and she was sure that was the reason Petunia had refused to go on her class field trip to the local bird sanctuary a month later.
Brushing a strand of her mahogany hair behind her ears, she cast a quick glance around for one of her friends. She was hoping they would show up… and she was hoping they would show up before a certain someone else.
With the sudden appearance of an arm on her shoulder, it would seem her wish was granted.
“Hello, Lily!” chirped the now-familiar voice of Anna Scully once more. “I was going to say, it’d be a horrible impression if the Head Girl missed the train. They might have had to steal the badge from you and give it to Augurey Auburn or something, and we all know what a great loss that would have been.”
“Hello, Anna,” Lily replied with a smile. “Now I ask you, in seven years have I ever missed the train?”
“Well, no... but-“
“Oi, Lily! Anna!”
And there was Melanie Mastronardi. The thin girl reached out a hand to grab both Lily and Anna’s wrists, dragging the pair of them towards the train.
The train was magnificent. Lily had always thought so. It was like her sole link to the magical world, really -- though, on second thought, that would change. It would have to. She was seventeen, after all, and would be graduating - which was yet another unwelcome thought.
“C’mon!” Melanie urged. “We have to get a good seat.”
Removing her wrist from Melanie’s grasp Lily sighed.
“Can’t this year, girls,” she explained. “I already have a seat at the back of the train.”
“The back of the train?” Anna proclaimed, eyebrows shooting up.
“Yes. The back of the train. Is there something wrong with that?”
“Ew, Lily, do you know how many people have had sex in the last compartment?”
“Oh, it’s true! Haven’t you ever read what people write on the stalls in the bathrooms –“
“That is disgusting, Anna,” Melanie chimed.
“The last compartment,” informed Lily in a matter of fact tone with a roll of her eyes, “is where the Head Boy and Girl sit, for your information.”
Anna merely blinked. “Oh, well, that explains it.” She was silent for a second before: “Oh no, Lily!” She giggled. “Will we have to confiscate your virginal cherry pin?”
An irritated huff was all that Lily replied with.
The three girls stowed away their luggage and quite eagerly boarded the train. Hogwarts wasn’t quite like other schools, in the sense that it’s students often eagerly awaited the start of term. The girls spent ten or fifteen minutes eagerly relaying their aspirations for the school year – largely what boys’ hearts they were going to win over. Naturally, with that discussion came:
“So who’s Head Boy this year, Lily?”
The redhead shrugged. She’d been mildly surprised when the letter had failed to say. What, did Dumbledore enjoy keeping her in suspense? Oh, well. She hadn’t worried about it much. True, the thought had crossed her mind, but she’d shrugged it off. As long as it was someone responsible and respectable it didn’t matter. So she truthfully told them she didn’t know.
“What, aren’t you curious?”
“Ooh, maybe it’s that Ewan boy from Hufflepuff…”
“Ew, what if it was Snape?”
“I hope it’s not one of my ex’s. They’re all assholes.”
And neither Melanie nor Anna seemed to notice Lily roll her eyes and slip out of the conversation to the last compartment. Honestly. She’d find out when she found out, which would hopefully be soon. The Head Boy was supposed to meet her in the compartment.
So where was he?
“So it’s not a Slytherin – thank God.”
“Not a Hufflepuff! I just asked Ewan.”
“And that Lexi girl said she asked everyone in Ravenclaw already…”
And a look of dawning comprehension passed over Melanie and Anna’s faces before the two of them scurried off to the compartment hosting the infamous quartet.
“And then if we put the frogs in the punch—“
“No one will ever see the exploding mistletoe coming –“
“Do frogs like pumpkins?”
“I mean, the guy’s just about to get some and then bam!”
“I mean, it would suck if the frogs were allergic to the pumpkins.”
“Hey guys? What if we put exploding frogs in people’s juice?”
“Are the three of you completely mental?”
Melanie and Anna were greeted by the typical cacophony that resulted when, after two months of horrid separation, the most well-known boys in Hogwarts were reunited. Mouths ajar the girls sent each other a side glance before watching in awe for a few more seconds the wonders that were James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin.
And one of them was Head Boy…?
“Excuse me?” Anna began, tapping her foot to gain the attention of the boys whom, at this point, were into the dramatic arm gestures stage.
Amazingly, the four of them shut up quite promptly…for a moment.
“Why, Sirius, would you look at that…” commented the messy haired boy, arching an eyebrow.
“Could it be?” Sirius replied, rising to his feet with a grin to match that of James’. “Two poor defenseless fawns wandering into our grasps without meaning to?” The young man circled the two girls before pulling a most dramatic pose. “…What luck!”
Melanie gave him a rather blank look, whilst Anna stifled giggles behind her hands. Peter was sniggering in the corner whilst Remus rolled his eyes.
“What nice racks they have, too,” added James.
At this Anna stopped giggling and Remus’ eyebrows shot up though he, too, had to snicker. Melanie folded her arms across her chest and rolled her eyes.
“I shudder to think that the four of you are capable of reproduction.”
“Nah, only three of us,” Sirius amended with an all-too-serious nod, “James is sterile.”
“Shut up, Padfoot. We had you neutered over the summer, don’t deny it.”
“Did not, Prongs… or should I say lack there of?”
“You’re just jealous of my manly-hood.”
“Oh, yeah, and that rock-hard ass, too.”
The girls simply stared.
“Are you two quite finished?” Melanie inquired, arching an eyebrow. And to think these were the heartthrobs of Hogwarts. Still grinning Sirius and James exchanged glances before their appearance suddenly turned formal and they nodded.
“Yes,” chimed Sirius.
“No,” chimed James.
Having long since learned it was impossible to reason with the boys Melanie simply asked: “So which one of you is Head Boy?”
The four exchanged glances. The one thing that could be said about them was they could be damn secretive if they wanted to. One might thing a group as loud and boisterous as they often were wouldn’t be able to hold their tongues – but they could, it was obvious. There was an unspoken pact, a kind of mutual understanding of what left the quartet and what did not.
“Why, miss Mastronardi, I don’t think I should tell you,” noted James with a very solemn look.
“Well whoever it is in trouble with Lily if they don’t get their act together and get to the compartment,” Melanie replied before pivoting on her heel to leave.
“Redheads never were known for their patience… although stereotypical hair-color personalities are not accurate.”
Anna pivoted on her heel to follow after Melanie before walking headfirst into the doorway. With a groan the blonde raised a hand to her head before trailing out the door. Catching up to the other girl Anna snickered.
“Oi, men,” Melanie agreed with a grin over her shoulder. “Excuse me, I’m going to go change into my robes so I won’t have to later with the rush of first years.”
And so Melanie made her way down the corridor. Anna nodded and brought hand through her hair. She still needed a compartment… hmm. That was on her mind when she was suddenly jolted back to reality by a tap on her shoulder.
“Hello, Scully? You there?”
It was James Potter. Well, well, well, that earned an eyebrow raise. Anna was used to the typical questions regarding Lily – largely ‘d’you think I have a chance with her?’ The answer had always been no but it never seemed to discourage the boy. Anna had to hand him that – he was very determined. Hell, she herself had told Lily on more than one occasion she might as well give him a shot so he would shut up.
But that seemed to not be how Lily Evans worked. Lily insisted relationships could wait until after graduation, thank you kindly, and even at that point in time they would most certainly not be with arrogant pricks, namely James Potter. Well, he is an arrogant prick, Anna had to admit with a small smile.
“Where, may I ask, did you say Evans was?”
Not surprising. That was all he ever asked – not that Anna minded, particularly. Arrogant prick though he may be, she’d never joined the ranks of his groupies or absolutely abhorred him. Besides, you had to give him credit for trying.
“Last compartment – but it’s for Head Boy and Girl, so unless you want her hating you even more I suggest you stay out.”
“Head compartment, right, I’ll make a note of that. Thank you, oh gracious one!” And with a melodramatic bow he turned to walk in the direction of the last compartment. Shaking her head, Anna rolled her eyes. And then, much to her surprise, James turned on his heel.
“Oh, and Scully?”
And then the boy held up an object in his hand.
Oh my Merlin, Dumbledore is insane.
And so she giggled behind her hand once more.
That was the long and the short of it.
It had to be about fifteen minutes into the train ride already – where was the Head Boy? Where? Not to mention, who? How could she be expected to help run a school when her male counterpart didn’t bother showing up?
Lily Evans was not a patient girl.
She had been expecting someone responsible. Someone who would rule with an iron fist, so to speak, someone intelligent and forceful and law-abiding and well respected and hey, maybe even someone cute.
She had not been expecting someone who dare not show up.
The nerve, keeping her waiting! Who were they, anyway? Did they think it was funny? Was it one of the Slytherins? Did they not want to be seen in the company of a mudblood or something? What was it?
Wait… was that…? Had she seen someone outside the door? Her vivid green gaze was fixed on the window. If it was a first year playing some cheap form of ding-dong-ditch it was not funny and she was going to give them a piece of her mind—
…Oh, no. It was worse than a first year.
“What light by yonder window breaks? It is the east – and Juliet is the sun.”
At the word Juliet the person’s hand extended to point to Lily with a most stage-worthy smoothness. Juliet’s eyes, mind you, were already narrowing, for she knew that voice far better than she would have liked.
A leg joined the arm inside the compartment and in a second there, in the doorway, was a grinning-too-widely James Potter.
And on his chest was a Head Boy badge.
“Oh my lord no…”
“She speaks! O, speak again, bright angel!”
Lily smirked. The last thing she needed was an irritating boy reciting Shakespeare. Shakespeare and James Potter never belonged in the same sentence, except perhaps when used in that context. Why did he even know Shakespeare? Had he researched it only to use on her? If so, that was pathetic -- less than pathetic, really, and certainly not flattering or whatever he had intended it to be.
“What do you want, Potter?”
“The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine!”
Damn it. Why did he know this stuff? Of all the people to fawn over her it had to be someone with enough well-hidden brain power to spout off literary wonders at whim. Had he studied this or something?
Well, fine. Two can play that game.
“The love I bear thee can afford no better than this,” she replied with a smirk, “thou art a villain.”
“I do protest – I never injured thee,” James replied without skipping a beat, leaning now against the frame of the door and grinning broadly. “But love thee better than thou canst devise.”
Damn you, Potter, Lily thought irritably as she failed to find an accurate retort. Honestly. From any other man it may have been sweet – even romantic, if not winning. But from James Potter it was no better than ‘is there a mirror in your pants? Cause I see myself in them.’
“Stuff it, Potter.” Her eyes found the Head Boy badge once more and widened. “Who’d you steal that from?”
“Shakespeare…? I doubt he’ll mind, being dead and all-“
“I meant the badge, dolt.”
At this James glanced down and gasped in feigned surprise. Lily often wondered how he managed to ace all his tests. He was like the male equivalent of an air-head, really. With his irritating groupies and talent for public ostracizing, the girl couldn’t help but wonder how much of a bitch he’d have been if he were female. Then again, he was bad enough a male.
“Oh, this thing?” Grinning goofily up at her once more he replied. “Why, no one!”
“You don’t expect me to believe that you, of all the guys in our year, were appointed Head Boy.”
“Well, no,” he admitted, “but I assure you it is true whether or not you believe it.”
“I am not. When I lie I look people in the eye.”
Lily raised an eyebrow. “How stupid do you think I am?”
James had helped himself to a seat. Sending him a look that stated plainly he wasn’t welcome, Lily raised an eyebrow. Honestly, he really didn’t get it, did he? If he thought that, somehow, pretending to be Head Boy would impress her he was sorely mistaken. And it wasn’t like Dumbledore would make that big-headed egotistical jerk any authority figure…
“Not stupid at all, of course. If you can lie well it’s best to look the person in the eye. They think you can’t lie and look them in the eye. People tend to give themselves too much credit.”
Oh, lord. The last thing she needed was one of his elaborate ‘theories’.
“I don’t care, Potter. Point is you are not Head Boy.”
“I am. Would you like to see the letter?”
Wait, letter? He’d forged a letter? How desperate was this boy for affection? Truthfully there were tones of fan girls lurking around the school who happily would’ve slept with him or something – why her? Why, after all these years, was he so determined for a date?
Was he really that thick?
Rhetorical question – of course he was.
“That would be much appreciated, Potter, so I can make you look like the ass you are when I prove you’re lying,” Lily snapped back, almond eyes narrowing for a moment.
And then he produced a letter on the identical stationery to what hers had been on.
Dear Mister James Potter, the letter read.
Your marks throughout the six years which you have attended Hogwarts have consistently stayed at the very top of the class. You received the highest overall average on your OWLs and you display knowledge and talent far beyond the expected level of a student your age. Congratulations.
Demonstrating great maturity and commendable bravery towards the end of your sixth year, the Headmaster has decided to deem you this year’s Head Boy. Congratulations on that title as well, Mr. Potter, although I am asked to remind you that this gives you the right to enforce the law – not put yourself or your friends above it.
Enclosed is your badge and list of school supplies for your final year at Hogwarts. Also attached is a list of your responsibilities as Head Boy, which you share with the current acting Head Girl.
Oh, and Mr. Potter? Please try and use the bit of grey matter between your ears. Your marks make it clear it is there.
Lily stared at the paper, dumbfounded.
James Potter? Head Boy? Had Dumbledore lost it? Great maturity? The seventeen year old was a walking shrine to the male mentality! He was horrible! He had no respect for authority! He broke every rule in the book! He had detention constantly! He… he…
He was grinning like an idiot.
“Well, Evans, looks like we’re going to be getting to know each other.”
The last thing Lily Evans could have asked for could have been getting to know James Potter. She knew everything she wanted to know. He was cocky, he was a bully, and his goddamned hair wouldn’t lie flat. He never tried to hide from the world what he was thinking and Lily had no problem saying he was a very one-dimensional character.
Which was why, she’d decided years ago, he was so insistent on getting her of all people. She was the one girl in the school who could resist his so-called charm, and if she fell for him then he’d have all the more reason to think he was God’s gift to women and probably some of the men.
“Why the hell would Dumbledore give you Head Boy?” she roared suddenly, staring at James with something of disgust as if it had been all his fault in the first place.
“You think I know? I was with Sirius when I got the letter in the first place – you should’ve seen us laughing,” and he was still grinning.
Why? Why are you so happy all the time? What is there to grin about? I’m stuck with you as my ‘co-worker’ for the rest of the year for Christ’s sake! That is nothing to grin about you stupid..
“Oh, I’m glad to see you’re taking this seriously,” Lily snapped, eyes narrowing once more. “You’ll be the most corrupted Head Boy ever!”
With a flick of his hand James waved it aside, as he had habit of doing. He waved everything aside. Homework, responsibility, common sense… what on Earth was Dumbledore smoking?
“The next Stalin I am not, I promise.” And he winked. “Besides, I’m sure you’ll keep my leash pretty short. Maybe with a nice shock collar.” Eyebrow slinking up he added: “Mmm… or handcuffs…”
Whack! And the side of Lily’s hand met his cheek.
“Shut it, Potter,” she snapped venomously.
And he was still grinning.
“Ooh, kinky, are we?”
There was a hiss of frustration from Lily and, strangely enough, she threw herself at James. If there was one person who could get under the redhead’s collar it was that boy, and in a flash Lily had tackled him. That is to say as well as one can tackle a person sitting down. The whole time James was laughing, mind you, despite the fierce glare fixated on Lily’s features.
“Wow, I suppose the rumors on the bathroom walls were right, then.”
Both their heads jerked to the doorway to find a fifth year Ravenclaw prefect staring at the two of them with widened eyes. Lily let out a shriek of disgust as the statement dawned on her and shoved herself off of James – landing on the floor squarely between his legs.
“Hello!” James greeted, clearly oblivious to or ignoring the potentially mortifying situation.
The prefect raised an eyebrow, glancing from Lily to James before shaking her head.
“Now I know why they call it the Head compartment.”
And she turned to leave, with a most aggravated Lily and amused James in her wake.
“Well I think our first act as the Head-“ snicker “Boy and Girl of Hogwarts went splendid,” James commented.
With a growl Lily rose to her feet, dusted herself off and plopped into a seat. She folded her arms across her chest and stared out the window huffily.
This is going to be a long train ride.