For shayalonnie


Setting: Spring, 1977, Hogwarts Grounds near the Forbidden Forest.

Lily is taking a break during her revising for end of term exams. The weather is oddly perfect that day, and she wondered if, maybe, a certain Gryffindor Quidditch player might be flying in the clear skies...

A big dog wanders up and Lily settles next to it on the grass.

Lily: Oh, wow. What a gorgeous boy you are. You are a boy, right? (she rubs the big black dog with both hands, nuzzling its head and checking surreptitiously below to see if the animal was male or female) Ah, yes. Well, aren't you handsome? (she scratches his back and he licks her face repeatedly) Hey, hey, handsome! Stop that!

(A commotion arises deeper in the Forbidden Forest and a stag peeks out from the shadows, blowing air through its nose.)

Lily: Magic is amazing. Nice rack there, sir. Bambi? Bambi's father, maybe? Are you the prince of the wood or the king, I wonder? (she rises slowly to her feet and the stag takes two tentative steps toward her) I promise, I'm not a hunter, Bambi. Won't do a thing. You're another handsome fellow, you know. (soft, embarrassed laugh) Listen to me, sitting here chatting up a couple of animals.

(A rat scurries by, sniffs at her curiously, but she only kicks it away quickly.)

Lily: Ew. No. (makes gentling gestures toward the dog and the stag) Sorry, lads. Gentlemen? Can a dog even be a gentleman? I won't kick you, I promise.

Remus: (valiantly maintaining a straight face) Lily? What are you on about out here so close to the Forbidden Forest? Aren't you supposed to keep your nose clean? Head Girl could be you, next year, you know.

Lily: Hush, Remus. Look. A dog and stag came out of the forest. Aren't they handsome? And so tame and well behaved. The dog let me rub him all over and everything. Never once did anything but lick me.

Remus: (chokes, tries not to laugh, fails when the dog barks happily and rolls about on the grass whilst the stag snorts and gouges at the ground with his hooves) Sorry. But. Lily. They're—

Lily: Magic! I know. I am learning, Remus Lupin, even though I'm Muggle-born.

Remus: No, I mean, yes they are but, Prongs, no!

(The shout is ineffective as the stag lunges toward the dog, who yelps and runs as the stag charges, antlers down.)

Lily: Bambi! No! Stop! (she jumps in front of the dog, trying to protect it with her body and the stag pulls up short, morphing into James Potter as the dog turns back into Sirius Black)

Remus: (has fallen down, he's laughing so hard, tears pouring from his eyes) I . . . don't . . . have . . . Merlin! (wheezes, laughs, coughs) Lily, are you all right?

Sirius: Scratch my back any time, Evans. (smirks and blows a kiss at her)

James: You will keep your tongue off of her for the rest of your life, Padfoot!

Lily: (speechless, stands gaping at the boys)

James: Evans? You all right? (he approaches her, hand out as if to assure her he was harmless) Animagi, Evans. All of us, really.

Lily: A dog, Black? Honestly. That is so . . . typical! And what the hell, Potter? Those antlers . . . you're such a show-off! (brushes herself off and tosses her hair) Remus?

Remus: (gets all serious) Not today, Evans.

Sirius: Just don't . . . (grimaces and meets James's eyes) don't tell anyone, right?

James: We'd be in so much trouble.

Lily: (sniffs) As if I should care? (she wipes at her face before conjuring a flannel and bringing forth water from her wand) Ugh! (she studies the young men and, at length, sighs) Fine. I won't tell. But never, ever, kiss me again, Sirius Black!

(James attacks Sirius again, and this time Lily doesn't interrupt them. Instead, she flounces back to the castle. After taking about twenty steps, though, she turns around and Banishes the boys' clothes into the forest. They shout and swear.

Her grin as she enters the castle is vastly smug.)

Peter: (running out from the Forest) Oi! Did you see what she did? She kicked me! Cor! Why are you all bare-arsed?