Disclaimer: HP is so not mine.

Beta'd by the fantificul dress-without-sleeves. And this is all ZP's fault.

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"Brains."

Lily Evans sank down into the deepest, softest armchair in the Gryffindor common room and buried her head in her hands.

"BRAINS!"

She was really starting to loathe Halloween. What on earth had made Dumbledore think a costume party would be a good idea?

"BRAINS!"

"Shut up, Potter!" she snapped, but her voice was too muffled by her hands to be heard over the clamor.

And why, why, why had James Potter chosen to be a zombie?

"Hungry. NEED BRAINS."

Lily sighed and looked up to see if he had stopped grabbing random Gryffindors' heads yet. He hadn't. In fact, he currently had Sirius Black in a headlock and seemed to be trying to gnaw off his forehead.

Sirius, dressed as a Muggle rockstar, was retaliating by smacking James' shins with a cardboard guitar.

"My God," she muttered with a low groan of utter despair. She shook her head in consternation; unfortunately, the movement caught Potter's attention - something she'd managed to avoid so far, despite the fact that her evil best friend had blackmailed her into wearing a Playboy bunny costume.

"Evans!" he cried jovially, abruptly letting his best friend go. Sirius staggered back, shook himself, and whacked Potter hard on the back of the head with his rather battered fake instrument, which promptly bent completely in half.

"Potter," she said dourly.

"Evans!"

"Potter?"

"Evans!"

"WHAT!" she roared, and the common room went completely silent.

"Tsk," Sirius sighed, shaking his head. "Such a temper."

Lily seethed, her hands curling into fists.

"Potter," she gritted out through clenched teeth, "what do you want?"

James smiled cheerfully, which was rather disturbing, given his temporarily gray skin and yellowed teeth. "Brains!"

She stared at him for a long, tension-frought moment. Finally, she took a deep breath and said, very quietly, "Potter. If you don't stop with this 'brains' nonsense, I will forcibly remove your own and shove it down your gullet."

"You wound me!" Potter gasped, clutching at his chest through the ragged clothes he'd chosen to wear as part of his costume.

"Was it as good for you as it was for me?"

Potter blinked, then slowly grinned again. "How about this: you go to the dance as my date, and I won't try to eat your brain."

"You utter pig," she spat.

"Zombie."

"Pig."

"Zombie."

"Fine, zombie pig," she growled impatiently, standing. "The point is, I loathe you and the day I go out with you is the day Dumbledore makes you Head Boy, you irresponsible, incorrigible nuisance."

"Look, Evans," Potter said, sounding unusually sincere. "The thing is...I love you."

She stared at him in disbelief.

"And brains," he added.

Lily's face went an angry, mottled crimson. She sputtered wordlessly for a few moments, then threw up her hands in defeat and stormed out of the common room, bunny ears flapping on her head.

Right before the portrait slammed shut behind her, she heard one last feeble, "...brains?"