"Are you seeing Gideon Prewitt?" he asked. She looked up from her essay into the furious eyes of James Potter.
"Really Potter, I don't think it's any of your business, but if you must know, then yes, I've agreed to go to Hogsmeade with him next weekend." She had no idea that he would be so upset, not that he had any right to be.
"I don't think you should see him," he said, and she looked at him incredulously.
She scoffed. "That's terribly fascinating, I'm sure, but as you or your thoughts have no influence over my life, I really don't see why I would listen to you."
Believing that to be the end of the conversation, she looked back down at her parchment.
"He's not…" She looked back up at him, as he seemed to struggle for the words. In the six years she had known him, she had never seen James Potter unable to spew forth a grandiloquent phrase completely at the drop of a hat. "…good for you."
She raised an eyebrow, and her voice was like ice. "Simply because he isn't you, doesn't mean he isn't good for me," she bit out.
He glared. "I'm serious," he said.
"Oh I don't doubt that you are, but you must admit there is a bit of a conflict of interest when you give me relationship advice," she said scathingly.
"Listen, I know you think I'm doing this because I just don't want to see you with somebody else, but I'm not," he said hotly. Her face clearly said she didn't believe him.
"Then why are you telling me this?"
"He's not good for you," he repeated.
"You've already explained that," she said frustrated.
"He doesn't make you laugh and he doesn't tell you how beautiful you are and he doesn't make you angry!" he said, his hard voice getting louder and louder with each word.
"He does make me laugh, and he doesn't have to tell me I'm beautiful and I was rather sure that not making me angry was a good thing!" she said, her voice climbing in volume to meet his.
The voices from the other people in the common room began to drop as theirs rose. Those in the lower years who had not been as exposed to their spats looked on in fear, while those in the upper years pulled out bags of popcorn and began taking bets. Sirius leaned over to Remus and Peter.
"I'll give you two to one odds that Evans is the one who storms out," he whispered.
"I'll take it," Remus said, after a second of debating.
"And I'll give you three to one odds she breaks up with Prewitt at the end of the date secretly," he whispered. Remus shook his head.
"I'll give you six to one odds that she dates Prewitt to the end of the year and breaks up with him on the train ride home, just to spite James," Remus whispered back.
Sirius took a moment to consider. There was a little more than a month and a half left before the end of the year, and only one Hogsmeade weekend left. "I'll take it," Sirius whispered.
"Me too," said Peter.
Sirius grinned. "Bet you anything you want James puts his foot in his mouth in the next five seconds."
Peter opened his mouth, but Remus laughed over him. "No idiot would take that bet," Remus said. Peter quickly shut his mouth.
"Potter! I can't believe you! You have no right to tell me who or who I cannot date!" She stood up, letting her essay drop.
"I'm just concerned, all right?"
"No! It's not all right! Any concern you have for me is completely self-serving. I didn't ask for your advice or your opinion, and you just come along like a few words from you is going to be some kind of decree that I have to obey! Well I'm not one of your little fan club and I don't find it remotely amusing that you think you can just command people to do what you want!"
"What is that suppose to mean?" he said, taken completely off-guard.
"Are you not listening, or are you really that stupid? Simply because you think you can lord over everyone, doesn't mean that—"
"I don't think I lord over everyone! Unlike you, I have friends that enjoy my company and don't hang around me simply because I'm domineering!" Both Lily and James were struck speechless for a moment.
The boys winced. "Told you," Remus whispered.
"You insufferable prat!" Heads that had been fixedly flying between the pair suddenly shifted to a third voice. "It's because you make idiotic comments like that, that show you obviously know nothing about Lily, that makes her repulsed by you!"
James looked away from Lily's friend Marlene McKinnon and back to Lily. "I'm sorry, that was out of line. I shouldn't have said that."
"You shouldn't have said anything. This whole conversation was inappropriate," she said, her voice low, her tone hard.
"I'm just concerned," he said, his voice just as low and just as hard.
"You needn't be," she said. They continued glaring at each other for a moment, before James let out a frustrated growl, turned on his heel, and left the room, the portrait hole slamming shut behind him. Sirius handed Remus his money.
Lily let out a frustrated groan herself, before flopping back down into her seat and picking up her paper. Her friends walked over, slinging themselves around her in seats and the normal common room noise returned. "You know, the thing that bothers me the most isn't that he always has to say something completely out of line, but that he always has to make a big scene."
"Exactly," Marlene agreed, tossing Lily a chocolate frog out of her bag to help calm her down. She passed the others ones as well.
"You know he doesn't mean for it to get like that, it's just that he cares about you. He always has. I'm sure it's just as frustrating for him," Alice reasoned.
"I don't understand why he supposedly likes me if he thinks I'm so overbearing and domineering. Honestly, I could understand if he said I was stubborn or that I have strong opinions, but domineering? You all don't think I'm domineering, do you?"
"Of course we don't," Marlene said immediately.
"Well, you are a little head-strong, but you're a Gryffindor, not to mention our fearless leader," Dorcas said reasonably, causing Lily to smile. "You like things your way, but that doesn't mean you're inflexible. We're your friends because we like you, just as you are."
"Right," Marlene said, as though deciding that was the end of the conversation. She looked over at Lily, about to ask her a question on the essay she was writing, when she saw the look on her face. "What is it?"
Lily looked up, and her face was pensive. "It's only…I know that he was only saying that because he thinks he fancies me, but do you think he may have been right? About Gideon not being good for me? I mean, I don't really know him all that well, do I?"
"But what you do know about him you like," Marlene said.
Lily nodded. "He's very bright. I know that I can always have an intelligent conversation with him, and that he'll always have a perspective I never thought of before. He's very engaging and witty, and he is rather attractive…"
"But?" Alice prompted. Lily wasn't sure what she was trying to say, precisely because it was the same thing James was trying to say, but couldn't. They just didn't have…a spark. Sparks weren't everything, she told herself sternly. They were often times the cause of fires and not fireworks.
He was a great guy and she liked him. That was why she had said yes. She winced. And because she knew that if James tried to intimidate him, he probably wouldn't back down out of fear. She shook the thoughts from her head.
"I guess I won't know if he's good for me until I try, will I?" she said, causing Marlene and Dorcas to grin. Alice still looked perturbed. "Anyway, have you all started the Charms essay yet?"
Alice let the subject drop, telling herself she'd talk to Lily about it in private later.
Next weekend came with slight apprehension for Lily. She and James had not spoken since their last argument, and she had tried hard to push it out of her mind. Gideon smiled as he met her in front of the Great Hall, and she smiled as well, though not quite as brightly.
"Hullo love," he greeted.
"Hello," she replied, not sure what to say. He frowned.
"You aren't having second thoughts, are you? I would understand – I don't want you to think that I'm pressuring you –" he said, his face slightly worried.
"No! I'm not. Why are you?" she said quickly. He grinned and his hand slid in hers.
"Lily, you're too incredible for any boy to have second thoughts." She blushed.
"Why did you ask then?" she said, as they turned to stand in the check-in line.
"I heard about the argument that you and James had, and I just wanted to be sure," he said.
"What he thinks doesn't affect what I do. Potter was just acting immature," she reassured him. "Like he always does."
"That's what I told him." Gideon said. She nodded, and then stopped.
"Well, he came to see me about it. He wanted to see what my intentions were with you and all that," Gideon said in a rather amused tone.
"I'm really sorry," she said. He shrugged, smiling.
"Don't worry about it," he said. "I can understand why he did it. He's James Potter, and you're Lily Evans."
They were walking towards Hogsmeade now. "What is that suppose to mean?" she asked, completely unsure how that was a reason.
"You know that James is taken with you Lily. You're a bright girl," Gideon said.
"Potter has unfortunately always made that abundantly clear, regardless of my level of intelligence," she said rather bitterly. Gideon grinned.
"Why does it bother you so much? I'd be flattered if it was me." She raised an eyebrow at him.
"I'll be sure to inform him," she said.
"You know what I mean." Gideon persevered. "He's James Potter. He's the top of our class, he's the Quidditch Captain and responsible for your winning the cup every year since he's been playing (not that I'm at all bitter about that), he comes from a respectable family, he's well off—"
"He'll take any opportunity he can to make sure everyone knows all of this," she cut in dryly. Gideon smiled.
"You think he's arrogant then? That's why you always turn him down when he asks you out?" Gideon asked.
"Why I turn him down is based on more than just one reason," she replied diplomatically. She didn't like talking about how she felt about James Potter with most people because they just didn't understand. "Is that what this is about?"
"Kind of. I guess I was surprised when you said yes to me. At first I thought, if she's been turning down James for years, what chance do I have?" They strolled into the Three Broomsticks to have a drink and sat at a table for two against the wall. They ordered drinks before turning back to the conversation.
"So why did you ask then?" she asked. He winced as though he had hoped she had forgotten.
"Lost a bet with Fabian. Please don't be mad," he said. She shook her head.
"How is your brother?" she asked, knowing how close the two were.
Gideon smiled. "Going crazy with studying for his OWLS. He's been pretty unbearable, but I figure I was probably just as bad last year."
Lily nodded. They talked for a long time, about classes, books they had read or were reading, about it almost being seventh year and who would likely be head boy and girl, about what they saw themselves doing in the future, and all manner of things.
After a time, they got up to go to the bookshop, both now interested in finding some that the other had mentioned, when she saw him.
Potter and his friends were sitting at a booth a few tables away, laughing uproariously with Madam Rosmerta. Only James wasn't. He had been staring at her. When he caught her eye, he quickly looked towards the group and laughed, as though he had been paying attention the entire time.
She frowned as they walked out. She remembered what Potter had said about Gideon not making her laugh. She thought about their day so far, about all they had talked about, about how nice it was to have an intelligent debate about her thoughts on things. She couldn't really call it a conversation as they did not agree on most things, but they were trivial anyway, and she liked the way they engaged one another. But she hadn't laughed. His humor wasn't a laugh out loud kind. It was sharp and subtle and very amusing. It made her smile, but it did not make her laugh.
She thought back to what Gideon had said about how no boy could have second thoughts about wanting to date her. He hadn't called her beautiful, but he had implied something to that affect, hadn't he? She shook her head, clearing the thoughts away. It didn't matter what Potter thought. He didn't know her well. He just didn't want to see her with someone else because he thought that he had some kind of claim on her. It was totally barbaric the way he acted.
"Knut for your thoughts?" Gideon asked. She looked up at him.
"Nothing important," she said.
AN: I have taken careful pains to make sure that all of the characters were real and the happenings are completely plausible based on all of the books, with special reference to OoPT, though the plotline is completely fabricated (since that is the point of fanfiction).
I hope you enjoyed, and I greatly appreciate reviews! It helps me to update faster!
(And the third HP movie is completely faboo! Check it out!)