Title: Diametrically Opposed
Rating: PG-13 for occasional bad words
Spoilers: Written before Ootp, HBP and DH, but contains some spoilers.
Summary: Lily Evans has always detested the very sight of James Potter and up until fifth year, James thought he felt the same way. But circumstances arise that begin to make James look twice at his so-called enemy & now he can't seem to get her out of his mind ...
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Midnight homework and new realisations
It was with a weary heart that Lily Evans, a fifth year Gryffindor prefect, dragged herself into the Astronomy tower. Night had fallen hours before as had curfew, but there was unfortunately an assignment due the very next day that she'd yet to start. For her, it was extremely unusual to not have her work finished a week before the due date, but the assignment was for Astronomy, one of her less favourable subjects. It was also one of her weakest, although she never liked to admit it. She'd just never been able to understand the importance of plotting all the trillions of stars in the sky, especially when it was coupled with Divination … And it was an understatement to say that Lily detested that class.
Lily grumbled to herself as she set about preparing her charts.
"Evans, what are you doing here?"
The voice unexpectedly brought her out of her sombre mood and she spun around. She gave a small smile in return to the person standing in the doorway, but wrinkled her nose when she gestured to her charts.
"I have to finish my charts by tomorrow. What are you doing here, Sirius? Surely you don't have to do any astronomy work tonight."
Sirius Black laughed. It was a known fact that Sirius was a natural at astronomy; his name was the first and most obvious clue. He grinned ruefully, raising a hand to casually point up at the sky.
"Just wanted to see my namesake," he joked, walking over to her and lowering himself to sit down beside her mass of charts. "Need some help?"
Lily was very close to declining his invitation. Truth be told they weren't really friends, and she never accepted help from anyone. But after glimpsing at her messy charts and the genuine look of sincerity on his face, which was unusual to say the least, she sighed and reluctantly accepted.
"Alright thanks, you've no idea how much I hate astronomy."
Sirius laughed again, his eyes twinkling before replying slyly, "Oh I think I have a slight idea. Remember I was there to witness your attempt to throw your telescope out the window last year."
Lily inwardly cringed, but couldn't help but smile fondly as a vision of Sionell Prewitt - one of her closest friends - grabbing the telescope from her hands, flashed past in her mind.
"It was lucky that Sionell was there to snatch it from my hands, otherwise there would have been one less telescope for astronomy," admitted Lily. "Although I wouldn't have cared much."
"This is a different Lily Evans than the one I know," Sirius noted, sneaking a glance to look at Lily.
Lily sighed. "Yeah well, I just don't like astronomy. I just can't for the life of me know where anything is up – there," she complained, jerking her arm up to point exasperatedly at the sky.
Sirius was thoughtful for a moment, looking at the charts before answering.
"Well, you seem to know all the names of stars and planets. What you have to do is formulate a plan. I cheat a little. See where my star is?" he asked, pointing again.
"Well I usually just-"
They spent the next two hours writing the chart, until Lily finally finished with locating the last star.
"There," said a much relieved Lily. She turned to Sirius smiling gratefully, and then thanked him profusely. "I don't know what I would have done without your help, Sirius."
"Probably busy throwing all the available telescopes out the window," Sirius smoothly responded, slowly standing up. He offered a hand to Lily, but she was too busy playfully glaring at him.
"And here I thought the Marauder in you had disappeared tonight," she huffed, referring to the name Sirius and his three friends, James Potter, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew had been branded with over the years at Hogwarts: The Marauders. They'd definitely lived up to their name, Lily thought wryly. Marauding was what they did best; their pranks and outrageous exploits were infamous amongst all the students. Not even the teachers knew every prank or stunt they'd been behind.
Sirius shook his head, grinning evilly. "Nah, don't worry, the Marauder's forever in me, and I can guarantee that you will never run out of reasons to use your prefect privileges on any of us."
Lily narrowed her eyes, and brushed off the dust from her skirt as she rose from the ground.
"Talking about the Marauders, where are the rest of your troublemaking group? I thought you and Potter were practically attached at the hip," she asked suspiciously, for an unpleasant thought of Potter wreaking havoc whilst Sirius distracted her popped into her mind.
"Hey don't look at me," insisted Sirius, raising his hands over his head in a gesture of surrender. "I haven't done anything."
"Right." Lily clearly didn't believe Sirius, but didn't let on as she gathered her belongings. "Well, I'll leave you to your marauding then, because I am going to bed. Thanks again for your help."
Sirius dismissed it with a wave.
"No problem, but maybe in the future you can do something for me?" he asked suggestively, wagging his eyebrows at her. He was answered by the slam of the astronomy tower door and a loud laugh as she walked down the corridor.
"Sure Sirius, in your dreams," Lily muttered under her breath, not knowing whether to be half-flattered or half-insulted at his attitude. "Flirt."
She cursed the Marauders under her breath as she remembered some of the pranks that they had all pulled in the last five years.
James Potter was the undisputed leader of the Marauders, and was also a fellow fifth year Gryffindor prefect like herself. His ruggedly handsome good looks earned him a place amongst the most popular students in Hogwarts and on the most wanted list by the vast majority of girls as well. Some wagered that it was his messy raven black hair that attracted the girls; others thought it was his trademark grin and his warm hazel eyes. Even the fact he wore glasses was seen as an indication of his overpowering intelligence, but Lily always personally thought it was just his blatant disrespect for all the rules that attracted everybody's attention, the same with Sirius.
Sirius Black was James Potter's best friend and had been ever since they were young. Both being pureblood wizards, they had met up at a party when they were only children and though their parents moved in different circles - an understatement- they had hit it off almost instantaneously. Sirius was alike James in many ways. Same height, same colour hair, and the same rule-breaking tendencies that separated them from the rest of the school. He was also just as popular as James. However Sirius wasn't a prefect, not to mention he was a much bigger flirt and immensely enjoyed the attention of the female population at Hogwarts. His eyes were also grey instead of brown, and his shaggy hair was a bit longer and much, much tamer than James.
If James was the tall, dark, handsome one and Sirius was the mischievous and flirty one, then Remus Lupin had to be the practical one. Remus always had an aura around him that nobody would dare mess with. He wasn't a prefect either, but only because of his continuous absences from school. Remus had light brown hair, with natural streaks of silver, and he had the most soulful blue eyes. He was quite different from Sirius and James in another respect as he also studied hard for his good grades. Lily often caught him reading an advanced Defence against the Dark arts textbook by the fireplace in the common room.
Out of the four Marauders, Lily liked and knew Remus the best. He was more quiet, and understanding. However, that isn't to say that he didn't fit in with the Marauders. Although less discreet than Sirius, he was often the mastermind behind the pranks that were planned out.
Lily shifted her thoughts to focus on the last member of the Marauders: Peter Pettigrew. Lily often wondered how Peter managed to fit in with the rest of them. Whilst James, Sirius and Remus were tall, Peter was short, and whilst James, Sirius and Remus were at the top of most of their classes, Peter was closer to the bottom. His beady eyes, and light blonde hair gave him the appearance of a small, wounded animal, and as Lily thought further, she realised that was how the other guys treated him. Sure they made fun of him, but they were also fiercely protective of him, and made sure to include him in most of their pranks. It was a nice gesture Lily had to admit as no one else had tried to befriend him when they had first started at Hogwarts.
Thinking about Sirius and the way that he helped out tonight, Lily realised he had proved her theory about the Marauders to be slightly flawed. He was in actual fact, rather smart, contradicting her thoughts that it was his looks and charm that got him everywhere. He was also more sensitive, and rather funny once she got past his that dirty mind.
Lily laughed aloud as she reached the portrait of the Fat Lady and gave the latest password 'Porskoff', no doubt one of James' creations. Tipping her head in greeting at some remaining Gryffindors, she brought her mind back to James.
In truth, Lily couldn't stand the Marauders mainly because of James Potter, and it was more than often that she referred to him by his last name. For some reason - actually to be more specific it was one past experience in first year - they had never hit it off, and Lily wasn't the least bit regretful for it. Personally, she thought he was too big-headed and cocky for her, and his grades were always achieved without any real, hard work, something she had always resented.
Lily sighed, and walked up the stairs to the 5th years dormitory. As she walked into her room, she was greeted by her two best friends, Arabella Figg and Sionell Prewitt.
"Where were you?" asked the always blunt Bella as she looked up from her bed.
Arabella Figg, or Bella, to put it simply was not shy. She had to be the most outrageous and outspoken girl in their year, and was on a first name basis with practically everyone. Her shoulder length black hair and dark brown eyes completely contradicted her sunny disposition and cheery attitudes that she displayed every day of the week. She was known as a player among the guys as she switched boyfriends every week, but still no one could resist her charms. She contrasted sharply to Lily's shy and gentle personality, and it was surprising that they even had anything in common. Where Bella was loud and boisterous, Lily was quiet and kept to herself. Lily was top of the class and studied all the time, whereas Bella tended to just do everything at the last minute. Most of the time, Bella treated Lily like a younger sister, and protected Lily from anyone (mostly the Slytherins') or anything which dared to hurt her.
Lily smiled affectionately at the sight of Bella, and dumped her things on her bedside table.
"Astronomy," Lily replied simply. Bella laughed, but was silenced by a pillow coming from Sionell's direction.
"So … are you done already?" Sionell interrupted, always the peacemaker between the two.
Sionell was slightly less outgoing than Bella, and she often came across to people as being more girly and in touch with her feminine side (as Bella loved to say). This was because in actual fact she looked it. She had short blonde hair, blue eyes, and a body to die for. However she was far from that as she was a diehard Quidditch fanatic (being a chaser on the Gryffindor house team), but nonetheless she enjoyed the extra attention that boys seemed to throw her way and just seemed to lap it up with flair. Like Lily, Sionell also cared about her studies, so whilst Arabella would be playing with the other Gryffindors or planning pranks, Sionell and Lily would spend their time together talking and finishing homework. Sionell was more sensitive than Arabella, and Lily found that no matter how hard things were in their lives, Sionell was always there for her, whether it was to make her laugh by playing pranks on people or just to sit and comfort her.
Lily looked up to smile sheepishly at the two curious girls as she replied, "Yeah … I had some help though."
This got Bella's full attention and her eyes lit up.
"Who helped you and why did you let them?" she demanded.
"The only person who can say that they are a star in the sky." Lily answered cryptically, choosing not to bother with the last part of the question.
"Sirius then?" guessed Sionell, after noticing that Bella was still processing what Lily had said. ("Ah, I get it now.")
"Yeah, it was weird," Lily stopped to brush her hair before continuing on. "He wasn't acting as …"
"Blonde?" Bella supplied, which landed her another pillow fiercely thrown in her direction. "Ow! Nell!"
"In case you haven't noticed these past five years I'm blonde, Miss Arabella Figg," Sionell tartly replied.
"You know I didn't mean you, it was just an automatic response, sorry," Bella apologised, then turned back to Lily. "Anyway, Lil continue on, I'm waiting for the sordid part to start. Oww!"
This time it was a brush that hit Bella and it wasn't from Sionell.
"No sordid parts Bella, I just needed help that's all, and he offered," Lily stated firmly, turning around as she was unable to brush her hair any longer - for obvious reasons. Bella reluctantly nodded, but gave an impish smile.
"Yeah, we all know how hopeless you are in astronomy."
"It's not Lily's fault that she isn't taken by astronomy," reprimanded Sionell, glaring at Bella whose eyes had taken on a mischievous look.
"Oh I don't doubt her inability for astronomy," Bella returned smoothly. "I'm just remembering how violent she can get in those lessons. Last week I caught her glaring at her charts homework as if she was contemplating to murder it or something. Not to mention the whole telescope incident last year," Bella teased.
Lily did the only mature thing she could think of in the spur of the moment. She poked her tongue out at Bella. Bella laughed as she rolled onto her stomach.
"That's real beautiful Lil. I'm sure most of the guys would die to see this side of Lily Evans."
Lily quickly retracted her tongue and tried to ignore the blush creeping up her cheeks.
In most people's eyes, Lily was considered to be the most beautiful of the three, what with her wavy, long, dark red hair, and her sparkling emerald eyes. She had an unconscious grace about her that no one could compare to and most people admired and liked her. However, Lily always brushed aside these comments when her friends repeated them and would merely add that she was no beauty compared to them. Truth be told, she felt like that deep inside (from past experiences), and no one could convince her otherwise.
As a result, she was the more studious of the two and most nights could be found studying in the library or simply just reading a book next to the fire in the Gryffindor common room. Although she was Muggle-born unlike Bella and Sionell, who were purebloods, she was at the top of most of her classes, and at the start of her fifth year at Hogwarts, she had been chosen as a school prefect, a very high honour for her.
"Oh stop it, Bella," Lily admonished playfully, swiftly changing into her pyjamas.
Sionell propped herself up on her elbows to look meaningfully at Lily.
"Honestly, don't you notice how the guys look at you?" asked Sionell, incredulously.
Lily shook her head in disbelief before answering cheekily, "No, usually I notice they're too busy staring at you two beauties."
Before Bella could speak up, which Lily could see she was about to do, Lily quickly switched off her light, and climbed into bed.
"And if you two want to be beautiful for tomorrow, you better get some beauty sleep. Night."
Bella mumbled a grumpy goodnight before lying back into bed.
"You're hopeless Lil," Sionell supplied for Bella, who was still mumbling incoherently in bed. They didn't receive an answer and they sighed, eventually proceeding to fall asleep as well.
A/N: This chapter has been redone slightly to follow some events in the books following the GoF. Of course, there are still many differences, including keeping James as a prefect. And there IS a specific reason for that as future chapters in my story depend on him being a prefect! I'm also not changing Arabella Figg. Yes I know she's a squib, yes I know she's old, but I've been writing her since BEFORE OotP, so I'm not perfect! Just pretend that the Figg living in Harry's street is her crazy squib of an Aunt!
So please do not feel anyone has to tell me about these things as I have also read OotP, HBP & DH, and am aware of the differences with that and my story.