I'll Fly With You

Night had fallen over the Hogwarts castle, and most of the students had taken to their respective common rooms. It was for this reason that Lily Evans could be found in the library, with a tall stack of spellbooks on the small table beside her cushy armchair. She was quite content sitting there, reading and thinking in silence, other than the occasional beep of a student checking out a book. Lily was not antisocial, not in the least, but lately she had found that she was happiest in the library, in her armchair, with her books and her thoughts as her only company. That evening, she had read about thousands of magical spells, many of which she intended to try for herself sometime soon. She was a very bright witch, ahead of almost every other Sixth Year, with an impressive knack for Charms. She wasn't usually competitive, but it did bother her that some people could get good grades doing barely any work. Like that Potter boy...

Her thoughts had wandered to James several times throughout the day for some unknown reason. It bothered her, because he was one of those boys whom she had always avoided. He was immature, lazy, always antagonizing some poor bloke or another... and he always had this mysterious, mischievous look in his eyes... oh, those eyes... she had always had a bit of an eye fetish. And a thing for athletes, and wouldn't you know, James happened to be a star of the Quidditch team...

Lily had had enough. It was late, and she had Transfiguration class early the next morning—which James incidentally happened to be in—and she didn't want to show up for class with huge dark circles around her eyes. She stood and reached or the first four of the stack of books, which she had already finished, and put them on a rack for the library aide to reshelve. Then she turned to go, with the remaining three books, and took them to the check-out desk.

"Good evening, Miss Evans," greeted the library aide, a pleasant young woman with dark rimmed glasses and shimmery green robes.

"Good evening," Lily responded politely, flashing the woman a pretty smile.

"A bit of bedtime reading, eh?" she joked jovially, somewhat teasing Lily's habit of taking out 2 to 3 different books a night.

"You could say that," Lily answered, with a giggle. A moment later, Lily emerged from the library into a long hall leading to her dormitory in Gryffindor tower. She passed through the common room on her way to her room, in somewhat of a daze, not really absorbing anything around her. Out of nowhere, something small and pointy hit her head with a thump. Startled, she went to examine the object, when all of a sudden a hand on her arm caused her to jump about a mile out of her skin.

"Aaargh!" she shrieked.

"Sorry," said a disturbingly familiar voice all but dripping in sarcasm.

James Potter. Typical. Fantastic. Lily turned around slowly.

"What... was... THAT?" she asked in a shaky voice which sounded dangerously close to a yell.

"Oh, me and my pal Sirius here just invented a game called Shooting Stars. Haven't quite got all the kinks out of it, yet. Really tricky magic, you know, aiming those buggers with just your wand. Wanna have a go, then?"

It was all Lilly could do not to hit him right there. She stood stock still for a moment, eyes closed, cheeks as red as her hair, as she composed herself. Finally she looked at James, and said to him, "When are you going to grow up? Ugh!"

With that, she turned on her heel and walked away, leaving a slightly astonished James staring after her in the common room with a couple of snickering onlookers.

Back in the dormitory, Lily was relating the story to her friend Emma, who was listening quietly, looking deep in thought.

"Lily," Emma said carefully, not wanting to upset her even more, "why, may I ask, do you get so angry when it comes to James? Why does it bother you so much? Could it just be that he's a boy, being a boy--"

"--no, Emma, no! That's not it at all! It's almost as if... it just looks to me as thoug... as though whenever I'm around, he gets ten times worse. More immature. More cocky. Almost as if he likes to make me angry, like I'm some sort of challenge! Like he's... testing me or something!"

"Lily, do you want to know what I think?"


"I think that you are overreacting. Because you are angry---"

"--Obviously I'm angry, Emma. Honestly," Lily interrupted snappishly.

"Let me finish! I was going to say, because you are angry that maybe he's acting this way because he likes you, and maybe you are even angrier because you like him too and you can't handle that."

Lily was shaking. Whether it was from anger at that her friend had suggested, anger with herself for even thinking about it, or fear that perhaps Emma was right, she did not know. She had just opened her mouth to respond when Emma cut her off.

"Lily, I know you too well to think that you don't know I'm right. You're too smart not to. Now shut up about it. It's late and we all want to sleep."

In her preoccupation, Lily hadn't even realized their other two dorm-mates standing quietly in the doorway, practically waiting to be told to come into their own room. Both girls were wide-eyed, and instantly looked to Lily for an explanation of what had looked like quite the intense discussion. Lily couldn't be bothered to talk about it anymore, so she hoped that they'd taken the hint when she squeezed her eyes shut in mock sleep until it seemed as though they had all changed and gotten into bed. Not until the room was dark and silent did Lily open her eyes and quietly slip from her bed to change.

Later, when Lily had gotten back into bed, she lay awake for a long time. She thought about what Emma had said, and about what she herself felt about the whole thing. She decided that, if James fancied her at all, it was nothing serious. Then she thought about the way she felt about him... and there, in the darkness of her dormitory in Gryffindor tower, Lily resolved that she would stop thinking about him. Then and there, she decided that Lily Evans and James Potter would never be—as long as she could help it.