The rest of their first day went well. Lily had been a little worried about her skills as a witch after her abysmal first transfiguration lesson, but was reassured when she mastered wingardium leviosa only minutes after James' feather was flitting about. And when potions finally came around she was delighted to discover that James Potter's skills were not all encompassing, but that he was, in fact, terrible at potions. It was to her great disappointment, however, that the professor didn't seem to care about Potter's potion-making skills but, rather, his familial situation. That isn't to say that the professor disliked Lily for her lack of connections, though. Professor Slughorn seemed to have taken a liking to her after she had made the best potion in the class.
"How did you do that?" asked a rather awestruck Alice as the class cleaned their cauldrons and left the room.
"What do you mean? It's easy, isn't it? It's just like cooking," Lily said with a shrug.
"What are you talking about? Cooking is just a bunch of wand work. This potions stuff is all 'three stirs this way, six another, add a slice of this, boil for exactly three minutes and thirty two seconds.' It's all mush to me. I was lost after the newt eyes; I think I added an extra one. It was all down hill from there," Alice said with a sigh.
"Haven't you ever followed a recipe before?" Lily asked. "It's just like baking. I figure if you can make a soufflé, you can make a potion."
"She wouldn't have seen a recipe before," Kay said. "It's a bit different in the wizarding world, cooking is. My dad always got a kick out of it. Cucumber's flying about and peeling themselves, and whatnot," she said with a laugh. "He always said it was nice to just sit a watch everything happen without lifting a finger. Needless to say, mum did most of the cooking. Can you really make a soufflé, though?" Kay asked. "My mum made my dad cook something the 'muggle' way just for laughs. He tried to make a soufflé to show off, said it was really difficult. It didn't turn out well."
Lily blushed a little bit and muttered something about her mother being able to bake, as they walked off in the direction of the stairs. The girls weaved their way through the crowd of students headed to the great hall for supper and were able to find seats halfway down the Gryffindor table. Lily helped herself to chicken and mashed potatoes. When she looked up to ask Alice for the broccoli she noticed that James, Peter and Remus were sitting nearby. She was annoyed to see that Remus seemed to be enjoying himself immensely, and was laughing at something that Peter had said. She was even more annoyed to see that James was not paying any attention to the other boys, but instead had his nose stuck in an all too familiar book. She sent a scowl in his direction.
"Hey Lily!" Remus said when he noticed Lily looking in their direction. He didn't seem to notice the look that she was throwing in his general direction, but was instead smiling widely, still amused by Peter's comment. Lily hadn't noticed it before, but laughing and smiling really suited Remus Lupin. For some reason she got the feeling that he didn't have too many friends to joke around with. For that reason, and that reason only, Lily was glad that Remus seemed to be getting on with James and the other boys.
James, meanwhile, seemed shocked that Lily had entered into the conversation and hastily stowed Pride & Prejudice. He certainly didn't want Lily to notice that he had been reading it so avidly. He didn't want her to think that he liked it or anything, because he didn't… Lily had noticed when James put the book away that he had made quite a lot of progress in it, taking note that he was at least a quarter of the way through it. This fact, however did not make her opinion of him rise, but only made her more angry, knowing that he was only doing it to torment her.
A few minutes later, as Lily was getting ready to leave she heard James shout towards her.
"Oy! What's so great about this Darcy twat, anyway? Seems to me he's got one too many sticks up his arse." Lily turned towards him, completely livid.
"Fitzwilliam Darcy is twelve times the man you will ever hope of being, James Potter." With that she turned and stalked out of the Great Hall. She only made it a few paces before she was stopped by someone grabbing her arm.
"What was that about, Evans?" Potter asked angrily. "I was just giving you my opinion about the book. I'm entitled to that aren't I?" Lily did not respond. "I mean all he does is stand in the corner and look like a snob."
"Sound like anyone we know?" Lily asked, turning away from James.
"Oh, we're going to talk about me again, are we? Goody!" James said in a falsely upbeat tone of voice.
"So you're going to try and deny that you are a stuck up, spoiled brat?" Lily shouted, barely noticing that she and James were merely inches apart and that the door to the Great Hall still stood ajar. She was completely oblivious to the pairs of eyes that were watching her every move.
"You don't know anything about me, Evans!" He shouted back.
"I know that you plan on using the Potter name to get away with everything. You have the professors eating out of your palms and treat people like garbage just because you can. And that, James Potter, is all I need to know!"
"What are you talking about? Slughorn couldn't go a minute without complimenting you!" James shouted indignantly.
"Maybe that's because I made a good potion, Potter. Heaven forbid I actually be good at his class! He likes you because of your parents. And the way you talk to Professor McGonagall—"
"I've known McGonagall all my life, she's practically a part of the family—"
"I don't care Potter! We're in school, you should respect her as a professor now, not act like you are old friends!"
James was about to respond when a lanky boy with long greasy hair came up from the dungeons. James was going to ignore him and continue, but the boy seemed to be intentionally taking his time.
"Who are you?" James asked angrily. Lily was taken aback by the tone, shocked that he would be so rude to someone he had never met.
"Severus Snape," the boy said shortly. Then, adding with a superior tone, "My mother was a Prince." James gave a short ill-mannered laugh.
"Aren't you a bit confused? It has been my experience that only men can be princes," James said to the boy.
"Clearly you don't know everything," Snape said quietly. James noticed Snape's arm twitch towards the pocket in his robes, almost as if he were going to grab the wand that James could just see peeking out of the folds.
"Going to duel me, Snape? That sounds like an awfully good idea," James said gripping his wand tighter.
"I'm not that foolish, Potter. I know how you are such a favorite around here. But someday…" With that Snape turned and walked off towards the open doors of the Great Hall.
"Oooh, I'm shivering in my boots," James called after him. "What was that all about?" James turned to ask Lily, but she was nowhere to be seen. "Bollocks!" he shouted to the empty room. He started running towards Gryffindor Tower, hoping to catch Lily before she went up to her dorm.
James caught up to Lily just as she was about to tell the fat lady the password to the common room. "Hey! Evans!" he shouted between breaths. She stopped and turned but didn't say anything. "Why do you keep running off like that?" James asked, somewhat annoyed.
"Because, Potter, I have no interest in feeding your ego by giving you the misconception that I actually care about what you say."
"Oh, okay. You're going to be like that, are you? Setting yourself against me after one thing I said on the train?"
"It wasn't just that, and you know it! It's how you are with the professors and how you are with other kids. There was no reason to be rude to that boy in the entrance hall. You don't even know him!"
"Don't pretend like you like him. You saw him, he's not exactly the kind of kid you'd want hanging around." Lily did not immediately respond. Secretly, she agreed with James; Snape did not seem like the kind of boy that would be one of Lily's friends.
"You had no right…" was Lily's feeble attempt at a response.
"Face it, Evans. You were against me from the start and are just too stubborn to change your mind. Hmmm, come to think of it, doesn't that sound like someone we know?"
"What are you talking about?" Lily asked, livid that James would make any kind of assumption about her.
"Elizabeth Bennet. You are just like her." For a second Lily couldn't respond. She was confused. Was he trying to compliment her? Lily had always admired Elizabeth Bennet and for the life of her could not see where James was going with this. A second later he continued. "She jumps to conclusions about Darcy, just like you are doing with me. And she's too stubborn to see that she is just as bad as him. Everyone hates Darcy because he is too proud. Well, Elizabeth Bennet is even worse! One little comment about her looks and she hates him forever. How fair is that?"
"This has nothing to do with Pride and Prejudice, Potter! You just can't handle that I don't immediately grovel at your feet like the rest of the people here!"
"Hey, I never asked for that! You know, too bad I don't know how the story ends yet, maybe it'll give me some clue about you," James said with a glint in his eye and the tiniest of smiles. Lily let out a scream of frustration, mostly because she did know how the story ended and did not care to think how James would act once he knew as well.
"Snape was right about one thing, Potter, you don't know everything!" She angrily turned away and nearly ran into the canvas of the fat lady's portrait. She let out another frustrated noise as she wracked her brain for the password. Meanwhile the fat lady was looking down at the pair with a distinctly nostalgic look to her eyes.
"Ahhh," sighed the painted woman, "young love." This only made Lily more angry than before.
"Mandragora!" Lily shouted at the woman. "And we are NOT in love!" Lily disappeared behind the portrait and slammed it shut before James could follow. By the time he entered she was already at the stairs leading to the girls' dormitories.
Resigned, James walked up to his room and tried to get some sleep. When none came he decided to pull out Pride and Prejudice, which was sure to put him to sleep.
It was several hours later and Lily found herself completely restless. She had been tossing and turning for the past hour and now had the spots on the ceiling memorized for lack of anything else to do. She did not want to disturb her roommates so she got out of bed and slipped on her slippers and robe and walked quietly to the door. When she reached the common room the light from the fire was barely a dim flicker and was casting eerie shadows on the walls. She was nearly to the chairs by the fire when she heard a faint crack. Thinking she was not alone, she called out, but there was no answer. Lily let her body fall into the chair nearest the fire and pulled her feet under her.
As Lily stared into the dying flames her mind wandered. James Potter occupied only a part of her thoughts. She entertained the idea that she was wrong about him for only a second before disregarding it altogether. She thought about her roommates currently sleeping up in the dorm. They all knew that they were supposed to be here. What if all this was just a big mistake? What if she really wasn't meant to be here? Lily shook these thoughts from her head when she remembered James' annoyed look and Remus' smile when she performed the charm correctly earlier in class. She was meant to be here, just as much as James Potter was!
Not for the first time, Lily wished that she could talk to Petunia. Even though the girls had not been getting along very well lately Petunia was still the one that knew exactly what to say when Lily was feeling down. But Lily couldn't talk to her; she didn't even know how she could send her a letter. When she thought about how she wasn't going to see her family until Christmas she began to cry. Lily never thought that she would be the type to be homesick, but here she was, crying her eyes out in the middle of the night.
Lily's body jerked from surprise as she felt a hand touch her shoulder. Wiping her eyes, she looked up and saw that it was Sirius Black. Inwardly, she groaned, knowing that she looked terrible and that he had been the one that had made the noise when she walked down. Apparently he had witnessed the whole scene. Lily began to open her mouth and say something rude, but when she looked up at his face she saw that he didn't have his usual smirk on his face, but instead looked concerned.
"Do you want to tell me about it?" he asked sincerely. Lily shook her head; there was a lump in her throat that made it impossible to speak. Sirius continued, "this must all be pretty scary for you, huh? You can't have known about magic for all that long. About a month?" She nodded. "I'm sure it must be a big change. You saw me and my cousin at the sorting yesterday, so obviously missing my family isn't an issue, but I imagine you must be a little bit homesick." She nodded again, a tear rolling down her cheek.
"I just wish," Lily began, swallowing her sobs, "that I could talk to my sister."
"Well, I don't know about talking, but you can certainly write her a letter." Lily's eyes snapped up to Sirius' to see if he was being sincere.
"Come on, I'll take you," Sirius said with a shrug.
"But we'll get caught," Lily said, not entirely keen to be breaking any rules. Sirius just shrugged, asking without words if she thought it was worth it. "Let me go get some parchment and a quill," Lily said. She ran up to her room grabbed what she needed and was back down in the common room within minutes. She hastily scrawled out a short letter to her sister and told Sirius that she was ready to go.
The two left he common room through the portrait hall. When they reached the main hall Sirius took a left and Lily followed. Within a few minutes she was completely lost.
"How do you know where you are going, Sirius?" she asked, slightly worried that he was as lost as she was. He certainly seemed to know where he was going, though.
"Where do you think I was all afternoon? I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I like my meals. I wouldn't miss dinner for no reason. I was wandering around," he said with a shrug. "I found a couple of cool places, including the Owlery."
"Owlery?" Lily asked confused. Why would she want to know where the Owlery was?
"Yeah, it's where all the post owl's sleep." Lily was still confused. "How did you get your school letter?" Sirius asked her.
"It came in the post. Why?" she asked. "How'd you get yours?"
"In the wizarding world we send our letters by Owl," Sirius explained. "That's where we're going now so that you can send your letter." Lily thought it was odd that they would use owls, but continued to follow Sirius until they reached a set of winding stairs that led to a high room littered with bird droppings. Lily looked up in wonder as she saw that nearly a dozen owls were perched among the rafters.
"There are so many of them! I don't think I've ever even seen one owl before, let alone a dozen."
"A dozen?" Sirius said with a laugh. "This is nothing! Most of them are probably out hunting. We're going to need one of the school ones to send your letter, though," he said looking around. He gave a sharp whistle and a big brown barn owl came soaring down to them. It landed gracefully on the window ledge and stuck out its foot which had a leather strap fastened to it. Lily carefully wrote Petunia's name on the scroll and began to write out their address but Sirius said that it wouldn't be necessary. She tied the letter to the owl's foot and he took off out the window into the star-filled sky.
The two kids walked silently back to the Gryffindor common room. Lily walked to the fire to gather her things and Sirius headed towards the staircase to the boys' dormitories.
"Thanks," Lily said as reached the foot of the stairs. Sirius turned back for a second and gave her a small nod. He then started up the stairs. Lily sat down in the chair by the fire, meaning to only sit for a second. Soon, however, she couldn't keep her eyes from closing, and quickly fell into a deep slumber.
"Lily…Lily," Remus said, tapping her on the shoulder. It was morning and Lily was slumped over in a chair by the fireplace which, by this time, had nothing but ash on the bottom of its grate.
"Lily," he said one more time. She began to stir.
"Hmm…" Lily muttered. Slowly, her eyes flicked open. "Oh," she said groggily. "I must have fallen asleep. What time is it?"
"About seven," Remus told her. "What are you down here for?"
"I umm… I was sending a letter. I came back to gather my things," she said, pointing to the quill and parchment that had fallen to the ground during the night. "I guess I must have fallen asleep. What are you doing up so early on a Saturday?" she asked him.
"I've always been a late riser," Remus said. "Can I talk to you about something?" he asked her seriously. She sat up straighter in the chair.
"Sure. Anything," she told him.
"It's about James Potter," Remus said cautiously. Lily groaned but did not protest any further. "I know you don't like him very much, but I really think that he isn't all bad. He might joke around, but he knows what's important. I don' think he would ever give up a confidence, and if he's anything like his mother there could be no one more devoted and loyal."
"How do you know his mother?" Lily asked, rather intrigued. Remus flushed a little bit and took a second to answer.
"She and my mother went to school together," Remus said shortly. Lily was not entirely convinced by this explanation, but decided to let it slide. "I really think you should give him a chance." Lily rose an eyebrow conveying her skepticism. "I'm not saying you have to be friends with him," Remus said cautiously. "Just maybe call a truce or something. There's no reason the entire student body needs to be privy to your shouting matches." Lily's cheeks flushed as she recalled her open outburst of the previous night.
"I think about it," she said. As soon as she finished speaking a noise came from the boys' stairs and a familiar head of jet black hair became visible at the foot of them. "Speak of the devil," she muttered under her breath.
James noticed the pair and buoyantly made his way over to them.
"Aren't we three jus the cheeriest morning people in the whole castle?" James asked with a cheesy grin.
"I've got to go get some proper clothes on," Remus said leaving Lily and James to their own devices. He gave Lily a pointed glance before leaving; she rolled her eyes.
"Look, Potter. Remus suggested, and I agree with him, that you and I should come to some sort of agreement. It really isn't appropriate of us to get into shouting matches every time we see each other, especially since it is going to be so often from now on. I really think… What are you smiling at, Potter?" she asked angrily after noticing that throughout her whole speech James had been smirking at her. "I'm being serious!"
"We were both right, you know," James stated.
"I'm not following," Lily said, irritated that James would assume she had any idea what he was talking about.
"About Pride & Prejudice. We were both right. You are just like Elizabeth Bennet, and I," he began with a large grin, "I am as good as Darcy's twin." Lily scoffed at him. James Potter was not nearly as good looking as she imagined Darcy to be.
"I guess you don't see it," James said. "But then again, Darcy was the first to change."
"Potter, you are insane."
"Come now, I thought we were supposed to be friendly. What happened to the truce?"
"I've always had a policy to not be on friendly terms with the insane," Lily informed him.
"Well, that's not very fair, is it?"
"How could I ever have imagined being friends with you?"
"That's a start, isn't it? You've imagined it. And don't forget," he said, moving closer to Lily as he spoke, "Elizabeth Bennet falls in love with Mr. Darcy in the end." With that he turned and left Lily standing alone in the common room.
How dare he have the nerve to turn her own favorite book against her! Lily was livid, but as hard as she tried, she could not deny the similarities between her favorite story and her own situation. Lily walked up to her dorm and decided to get a couple more hours of sleep, she only hoped she had no dreams of the boy who seemed to take pleasure in tormenting her.
A/N: So it has really been forever since an update, and I am very sorry for that. I hope you liked this chapter. For those of you who don't know the story behind Pride & Prejudice, I would strongly recommend reading it or seeing one of the film versions. It is my favorite book, and I couldn't help but see the similarities between the main characters and Lily and James. Anyway, have no fear, after this there will not be very many more references to P&P. Thanks for reading. Any feedback you want to give me would be greatly appreciated!