A/N I'm keeping my promise to go back and edit. Hopefully I ought to get rid of all the little mistakes and generally make the story more believable. Whether I did that or didn't, and whether or not you've read this before, I hope you enjoy it. I'll be posting a chapter a day every day that I can... some days will be impossible, because I'll be going away, so expect this story to span over three weeks. Please leave a review!
Summary: This is a Lily/James fic. It is love/hate, and it's pre-OOTP, as well. I wrote it three years ago, and it's fixed up, edited, and hopefully a lot better for all that work.
Disclaimer: I own nothing in this story except the plot. Most recognisable characters belong to J K Rowling, and anything else that isn't hers could very possibly have accidentally been stolen from somebody else. If it's yours, I apologise... let me know and I'll credit you with it. The plot's mostly mine (I can't avoid all the cliches, and I don't want to claim them), so ask permission before borrowing parts of it. One thing I certainly didn't intend to borrow was the name 'Trinity.' Apparently, there's a character in The Matrix with the same name... and as I've never watched more than five consecutive minutes of the movie, I had no idea. I won't change her name now, because it's a part of who she is, but don't think Trinity-from-the-movie when you read about her.
The girl glared ferociously at the boy. He glared right back, his stare just as fierce, just as angry. Lily Evans had long red hair, and large, attractive green eyes. The boy was just as handsome as she was pretty, his untidy black hair adding rather than detracting to his strong face. But neither was taking any notice of the other's good looks at that moment. Both were too furious for that.
"I said, what were you doing? Explain this instant, or you will both have another detention on top of the one you have already received!" That was Professor McGonagall. Great. Now Lily had to come up with another excuse. She hated getting anyone in trouble, even someone as annoying as James. Well, she was a model student. Hopefully this wouldn't mar her record too badly.
"Well, you see, James and I..." she trailed off. What could she say? James had three pairs of ears and a very long beard. Lily didn't want to know what she looked like. Probably worse. James wasn't very good with curses, but that was to her disadvantage this time. His curses usually went wrong, which meant that Lily ended up a lot worse.
"We don't really get on, Professor. And I..." she stopped again. It was partly her fault, but she didn't want to say that she had started it. She had an inspiration.
"What happened Professor, was that I was trying to Transfigure my fern into the Spanish moss plant, only when I stood I accidentally tripped on my shoelace and I ended up pointing my wand at James. He thought I'd done it on purpose, and acted in self defense... and of course I reacted when I realised somebody was shooting spells at me... it was accident and instinct, Professor."
Now, I just hope that James doesn't think to contradict me. If the truth got out, then we'd both be in a lot more trouble.
"Very well." McGonagall said in a stern voice. "Don't do it again. Ten points from Gryffindor each, and you have a detention tomorrow." She looked at Lily. "You will both meet the caretaker outside his office at ten o'clock tomorrow night. You may go."
Lily nodded, accepting the punishment. It was slightly amusing. McGonagall had turned to Lily to specify where they would go tomorrow, she knew that Lily had never received a detention in the three years that she had been here. This was Lily and James's fourth year. James nodded too. They both turned and left for Gryffindor common room.
"That didn't happen, and you know it." James said as soon as they were out of earshot.
"Oh, and you'd prefer I'd tell her the truth and we'd both be in much more trouble? We can go back now if you'd like." Lily couldn't stand James. The first time he'd met her he'd pulled a prank on her. True, he did that to everyone, but no one did that to Lily Evans and got away with it. Revenge had been on both of their minds ever since.
"You are just impossible." James snarled at her.
"Just because you couldn't think of an excuse! You, who must have been in detention at least fifty time in the past three years!" With that, Lily stormed off. It was a bit of an exaggeration. James had only been in detention twenty-six times, that she knew of. Lily reached her dormitory and flung herself onto her bed. Immediately, seven faces appeared, and demanded to know what had really happened. Sighing, she began recounting the story. A short way away, James was doing the same in his own dorm.
"I was reaching around Lily to curse Snape, but Lily moved and came straight in line with my wand. It was too late, and she got the curse. She got bright green freckles. She cursed me with the ears, so I retaliated." James said to his three friends, Remus, Sirius, and Peter.
"What did you do?" Sirius asked eagerly. James pulled a face.
"I tried to turn her hair green. It didn't work, but it didn't backfire, either. Her hair stood straight up in the air. Then she gave me the beard, and I was about to do something else when McGonagall came back in and dismissed you lot. She gave us detention, and Lily made up some story about the whole thing being an accident. I don't know if she bought it, but she didn't question us again. We just ended up minus twenty points and with a detention each."
Sirius and Peter both laughed, but Remus just shook his head.
"One day James, you'll get in real trouble. And Professor Dumbledore won't be able to get you out of it," He warned, although he had a small smile on his face. "Oh, and if I were you, I'd go to the hospital wing to get rid of the ears and beard." James blushed; he had forgotten about his extra body parts.
"I'll go." As James was walking into the common room, he saw Lily coming out of her dorm. He ignored her until she followed him out of the portrait hole.
"What are you doing?" James asked irritably.
"I'm getting rid of these stupid freckles," she replied angrily. James saw that her hair had been smoothed, but the freckles remained. She didn't speak to him again, and they both marched up to the hospital wing in silence.
The next day, James was still angry with Lily. Okay, so he had cursed her, but she should have realised he was aiming at Snape. She'd had it in for him ever since he first saw her. It wasn't his fault Sirius thought it would be funny to colour her hair in red and green stripes for Christmas. James had tried to dissuade Sirius, but he hadn't listened. James sighed. Just then, the bell rang, and James and the rest of the class (unfortunately including Lily) left the Transfiguration classroom. James liked Transfiguration; it was one of the things he could do naturally. Henoticed, with some amusement, that Lily wasn't so good. She wasn't the worst in the class (that fell to Crabbe, Goyle, and a Gryffindor boy called Fred Travis), but she wasn't exactly brilliant. James left for the Quidditch pitch. They trained once a week, on Friday nights - tonight.
James did his Quidditch practice, ate dinner in the Great Hall, and then went up to the common room to do his homework. He had most of it finished when Remus tapped him on the shoulder.
"Almost time for your detention," he said, grinning. James looked at his watch. It was three minutes to ten. He glared at Remus, and ran all the way to the caretaker's office. Lily was already there, as was Filch. James was just in time. Filch seemed upset that he had missed a chance to give James another detention for being late.
"Hmph. Well, you two have to address letters that are being sent out to all of the students next year. You'll do it in the office next to Professor Dumbledore's. Let's go." James pulled a face at Filch's back. Of all the things he hated doing, addressing letters was the worst. He could've sworn he saw Lily smile at the face he pulled. But it flickered back instantly as she remembered that the boy she was smiling at was her sworn enemy. James put on a long, exaggerated sigh, loud enough for Lily to hear, but not for Filch.
"Great. Of all the detentions I like, addressing letters has to be the best," he muttered. Lily ignored him. Well, what had he expected? She and her friends were the only girls who didn't hang onto his every word, and she was the only girl who gave as good as she got in insults and practical jokes. Since she was a lot better than he in Charms, that sometimes proved to be a problem.
The rest of the school year sped by. The enmity between Lily and James rose to peaks never before discovered, although the teachers rarely found out. Both James's and Lily's friends grew expert in removing curses that each had placed on the other. By the end of the school year, both Lily and James received three more detentions each. Lily thought it amazing that the teachers didn't catch on more often, but James was expert at coming up with excuses, and avoiding the teaches' wrath.
The next few years passed much in that way for both Lily and James. They were both made prefects, much to their surprise. Although James pulled pranks all the time, and Lily never failed to retaliate, neither had ever done anything really serious, and both had top marks in all of their classes. They both came first in the academics, because Lily's Transfiguration wasn't 'all that great' as she put it, and James's Charms definitely needed work. Despite this, both passed all their exams with flying colours. Despite the fact that she had been made a prefect, it came as a great shock to Lily when she found out that she had been made Head Girl.
She would never forget the day she stood at Hogwarts platform 9 ¾, and the look on her friends' faces as they came running up to her. Kate ran up to hug her, but stopped a few feet away.
"Head Girl!" she shrieked. "Lily's Head Girl!"
Mia paused in her steps, and looked at Lily's robes, where the shiny badge was pinned.
"Head Girl." She whispered, almost reverently. "Oh Lily, you're so lucky!" Her other friends reacted in much the same way. Once everyone had finished congratulating her, she asked casually,
"So, do you know who the Head Boy is?" Everyone was quiet.
Finally, Mia said, "It's James, Lily. James Potter." Lily went white. The people who she didn't know so well drifted away, leaving only her closest friends. Mia, Kate, Lisa, and Trinity were left.
"Come on, it'll be okay. You've lived with him for six years, it's only one more," Lisa said comfortingly.
"I know. But... James!"
"Did somebody say my name?" Came a loud voice from behind the group. All turned, and James himself came into view. "Hiya, girls. Oh, Lily." He took in the shiny badge on her robe, exactly the same shape and size as his own.
"Ah. Congratulations, Lily." He said after a while, once he had got his voice back. Lily replied, equally formally.
"Thank you. Congratulations to you too."
He gave a twisted smile, and walked off, back to his friends. As soon as he had gone, Lily swore. She rarely did that.
"Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn! How the hell can I work with him? I can barely speak to him without insulting him! How will I manage?" she wailed. The five of them walked to the train, consoling Lily as they went. They found an empty compartment, and got in. Lily's feelings were a huge mix.
She was really happy that she was Head Girl. She was anxious that James was Head Boy, and she was excited about the upcoming school year, her last year at Hogwarts. Well, whatever happened would happen, and she was pretty powerless to stop it. I'll just have to learn to be near James without continually insulting him, she thought with a sigh.
James and his friends were in the compartment behind the girls, although neither group knew it. James sat quietly as his friends joked, laughed and chatted, thinking much the same thoughts as Lily.
Lily and James were both unusually quiet that year during the start of term feast and the sorting. They both cheered as new Gryffindors were sorted, but without as much enthusiasm as they usually put into that activity at the beginning of each year. As they were completely preoccupied, neither even noticed that Dumbledore was looking at both with a mixture of amusement and concern in his eyes. After the feast, both of the head students rose to lead the new Gryffindors to the common room, but Dumbledore stopped them.
"Head students, if you would please come to my office I would be grateful. I daresay the prefects will be capable of leading the Gryffindors to the common room." Lily and James both nodded acquiescence, and they followed Dumbledore up to his office. They sat stiffly in the chairs that were offered as they followed Dumbledore inside.
"I am aware that neither of you gets on particularly well with each other, but you have been made head boy and head girl. That means that you will be working, together, on important matters. Which means that you two will have to get along. I know you dislike each other, but this has to be this way. You two are the best students for the job. You have the academic achievements, you both have a sense of responsibility and a sense of honesty. You have to set an example, which means that cursing each other is not allowed. I can see that you won't get along, but if news of your... disagreements... is brought to my attention, and it is obvious who the culprit is, there will be trouble." Lily realised what Dumbledore was saying. He meant every word- he wanted James and Lily to behave. But he admitted that this would be unlikely, so he was settling for lack of open hostility. Basically, as long as no teacher noticed one cursing the other, then everything would be fine. Lily gave a small smile.
"Well, you two are dismissed. Oh, before I forget, I want you to arrange something for me. There was last year, as you know, a Christmas ball for the students in fourth year and above. It was such a success that I think another one this year would go down well with the students. I would like you to organise this, please. Could you get most of the plans done by the end of November? Sort it out between you, and show me your ideas by then, please. Very well, off you go."
Lily and James left the office together. They walked in silence to the Gryffindor common room, but outside the portrait hole both stopped. Dumbledore had not given them the password. Lily looked at James, and he looked at her. They could go all the way back... but Lily didn't know the password to get up to Dumbledore's office. Well, she would have to talk to James sometime.
"Do you know the password" she asked him.
"No." There was silence for a bit. Then James spoke again. "Should we go back to Dumbledore?"
"Do you know the password to get up to his office?"
"No." James admitted.
"'Well then?' So what do you suggest we do, wait here all night?" James snapped.
"Look, someone will come in sooner or later. All we have to do is wait."
"Hmph." They both stood on opposite sides of the hall to each other, waiting for someone to come. Nobody came. It looked like they would be there a long time.
After about half an hour, Lily had had enough. Still, James hadn't spoken, and she was determined not to do so before he did. At last, Lily started to speak James's name, at the same time he said hers. They both stopped.
"What?" she asked.
Lily gave him a withering look, and said, "I was just about to suggest that we look for a teacher, and then ask them for the password. Got a better idea, Potter?"
"Ooh, Potter now, is it?" Lily just glared at him. "Actually, that was what I was about to suggest," James continued. "Evans." Lily rolled her eyes, and went off in the direction of the Great Hall. But James stopped her.
"There won't be any in the Great Hall at this time, idiot. We'll go to McGonagall's office. She'll be bound to be up, trying to get together as much homework as possible for us tomorrow."
Lily smiled slightly, but stopped immediately when she realised this was James who was talking. His ego didn't need to get any bigger. James didn't seem to notice that she'd smiled; he was already walking of in the direction of McGonagall's office. They arrived at her office, and knocked on the door. McGonagall's voice called out for them to come in, and she continued on to whoever was in there.
"-really need to do something about those two. They have absolutely no-" she stopped as she saw James walk in, followed by Lily. Dumbledore was in the office with McGonagall, and he was smiling slightly.
"Did you want something?" Professor McGonagall asked James, as he'd walked in first. This annoyed Lily, for some reason.
"Yes. We don't know the Gryffindor password. We've been waiting outside for about an hour, but no-one's come or gone." The Professor looked startled.
"You managed to survive in each other's company for an hour without cursing each other blind?" she said with poorly hidden amazement.
"I just ignored him." Lily answered before James could make up any lies about her. She was too tired to argue then and there.
McGonagall's eyebrows raised. She had a sceptical look on her face when she answered, "The password is 'Snakes suck,' I believe." Lily and James both fought down smiles, and upon seeing their lips twitch, McGonagall added, "I don't know who made it up." Lily nodded gravely.
"Thank you Professor."
"Goodnight Miss Evans, Mr. Potter."
Both said goodnight to the two teachers there, and then left to the common room, and to their dorms. They didn't speak to each other on the way back. Lily rolled into her bed, and fell asleep almost immediately.
She woke up the next day and went down to breakfast deep in thought. Despite what Dumbledore had said yesterday, she knew James wouldn't hesitate to pull some kind of prank on her. Which meant that she had to beat him to it. Lily never let James Potter best her if she could help it. Besides, she liked pulling pranks on him. The only problem was, she had to make sure that none of the teachers would know for sure who played the prank. Lily knew that was simply a matter of not being seen, and denying that she had anything to do with it. James would know it was her. It usually was.
So, as James turned up to breakfast (with his hair even messier than usual), Lily was prepared. As James drank his pumpkin juice, a long, green moustache sprouted from his upper lip. He didn't notice until it starting curling up at the sides. James touched it with disbelief, and then his eyes suddenly narrowed, and he glared at Lily. Lily just smiled sweetly up at him and continued on with her breakfast. The worst was yet to come. As he was glaring at Lily, his chin started growing hair, too. Pretty soon, he had a pink beard, and it kept growing until it was the length of Dumbledore's. Nobody had seemed to notice yet, but as Sirius turned to look at him, he let out a great shout of laughter, and pretty soon the whole school was howling with laughter.
When Sirius started laughing, James glanced up at him, and in the few seconds that his eyes were diverted, Lily muttered something under her breath. The moustache and the beard started glowing, and the pink and green turned fluorescent. Lily laughed along with the rest of the school, but she leaned over (he was sitting opposite her) and told him in quite a calm voice that he'd better shave.
"Just you wait, Lily. I know it was you. Maybe I can't prove it short of stealing your wand, but I can get revenge. That you won't be able to prove, either."
Lily grinned at him as he stalked out, and then used her wand to sweep up her long hair into a neat plait. Now, no one would be able to find out that she had put the charm on James. She had to thank him though, because she wouldn't have remembered the prior incantatem spell, and she wouldn't put it past James to 'borrow' her wand to prove that she did it.
Lily and her friends left the hall, to go to their dorms and collect their books for Transfiguration.
"God, Lily, that was great!" Mia said enthusiastically.
"What makes you think I did it?" Lily asked blandly.
Trinity snorted. "Who else would've done it? 'Sides, we all know you have to pull a prank on him first, before he gets a chance to!"
"Dumbledore told me that he didn't want to catch us charming or cursing each other this year, because we're head students."
"Ah. That explains it." Trinity said. "Getting caught is too much of a risk, isn't it?"
Her friends all laughed.
"So, Lily," Kate asked teasingly, "gonna let James beat you in Transfiguration this year?" Lily glowered.
"It's not my fault he's so good at it! I mean, he sucks at everything else; he has to be good at something!"
"Lily. Just because you can either beat him or match him in everything else doesn't mean he sucks." Lisa said. "Pity his attitude doesn't match his school work." Lily tried to frown, but ended up grinning anyway.
"His ego's swollen. It's what he gets from having so many girls fawning over him."
By then they had reached the dormitory, and were searching through their trunks for their books. At that point, Lisa looked up. "You know something? Despite all the fan clubs and giggling girls and stuff, you know, he doesn't really go out with so many? There are barely any heart-broken girls crying because he dumped them."
"Not compared to the number crying over Sirius, anyway," added Kate, looking thoughtful. "And, although I hate to say it, James is actually more good-looking."
"Speaking of Sirius, I'm going to make him feel some of what those girls've been feeling. I'm going to make him fall for me, and refuse to go out with him. After he's begged me for about two weeks, I will go out with him, and then I'll dump him within a week." Trinity informed them. Lily smiled.
"Good luck! Go for it!" Trinity grinned, and they all departed to Transfiguration.
Trinity was true to her word. Everywhere she went, she made sure that she looked good, and she did a good job of it, too, Lily privately thought. Within two weeks of the start of school, Trinity had had seven boys ask her out, although not including Sirius. Needless to say, she refused them all. She wouldn't accept until she knew she had Sirius's attention.
About a month after school started, Lily and her friends were working in the common room. Lily had a history of magic essay due in the next day, and it was so dull. And then ink started streaming out of her quill. She quickly put it into a tissue, and used an un-blotting spell on her parchment. Thank God it hadn't been ruined! Lily knew why the quill had suddenly started pouring out ink. There was only one reason. James Potter.
She threw the inky tissue at James, and it hit him squarely in the nose. Then she refilled her quill and continued on writing, grinning to herself. She used permanent ink in her pen, and James would have a blue mark on his nose for a long time. The blotting spell only worked on parchment, and water and soap would never work on wizarding ink. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled, and she whirled around, looking to see who was there. It was James. He was glaring at her.
"Well, that should teach you to ruin my homework," Lily said calmly, and she turned back to her work.
"What was that for?" He asked her, glaring with thunder in his eyes. Lily rolled her own eyes, and sigh exasperatedly.
"'What was that for?'" she mimicked. "Hmm. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I've been writing this essay for two hours, starting at eight, and it is now nearly TEN O'CLOCK. I AM TIRED!!! AND IF YOU HAD MADE ME RE-WRITE THAT WHOLE BLOODY ESSAY, THEN YOU WOULD GET A LOT MORE THAN A BLUE NOSE!" Seeing as the entire common room was staring at her, she lowered her voice and continued on ranting at him. "You're supposed to be Head Boy. And, with all the trouble you get into, you should know how Binns is when homework isn't finished on time."
James's mouth twitched. Boy, did he know. But there was no excuse for her to jump to conclusions like that. "For your information," he said coolly, "it wasn't me who inked your paper, but Peter. He's been trying to get that charm to work for ages, and he finally sorted it. If it was me, I would have done something like this..."
James waved his wand, and the parchment turned into a tiny owl, and flew onto James's head. Before Lily could explode again, he changed it back, and handed it to her.
"As you have been doing that for a long time, I will settle for doing this..." James waved his wand again, and Lily's quill turned yellow. He walked quickly away before she could figure out what else he had done to her quill. She glared daggers at him, and then uttered a spell that stuck Peter to the seat he was sitting on. Then she turned back to her essay.
As soon as she had touched the quill, a squeaky voice started singing "The song that never ends." And it didn't stop singing. It was very off-key. In fact, it sounded like someone completely tone-deaf was trying to sing it through a nosebleed. Lily threw the quill down, and the song stopped immediately. Cautiously, she picked it back up. It resumed singing. Quite a few people turned to glare at her. But she had only one thought on her mind. Her eyes glinting with fury, Lily stormed up the stairs after James. He would pay.