Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Harry Potter. The lovely JKR is the genius behind all of that.

Chapter One: Kiss and Tell

He was an excellent kisser. There was simply no denying it. Lily Evans was pinned between his firm body and the rough stone wall and she felt like the luckiest girl in the world. His hands massaged her hips and she moaned helplessly into his hot mouth. Why had she waited so long to go out with this glorious boy? Why hadn't she realized what she was missing? He growled low in his throat and his kisses trailed down the side of her neck, heating up her body in the most beautiful way. Lily released his collar and wove her fingers into his dark hair, revelling in the fires that were spreading all the way to her toes.

"Do that again, Richard."

He chuckled softly and proceeded to suckle her earlobe before returning to her neck. "Do you have to go to that stupid meeting?" Richard mumbled into her skin.

"Mmm." Lily's mind was too detached to answer right off. She dragged her fingers over the top of his shoulder, her brain struggling back to proper consciousness.

"If you stay," he added, "I promise to make it worth your while."

"I'm sure." She would prefer to stay in his temping arms forever. "But I have to go."

"No you don't." His tongue teased the skin of her shoulder, goose bumps flitting over her arm in response.

"Can you imagine if I left James Potter to run the meeting by himself? It would be a total fiasco." Lily tried to straighten up, but Richard let his head fall onto her shoulder as he snuggled her against his chest.

"Can we at least take up tomorrow where we left off?"

This was always where they seemed to leave off…or at least in some reasonably similar situation. Richard Bowman had never made any secret about his affections for Lily, and had pursued her openly throughout their sixth year. He was Ravenclaw's great Quidditch star and maintained a level of popularity that rather enhanced his looks and style. Lily fielded a fair number of dirty looks from Ravenclaw's female population (as well as from Gryffindor's Quidditch team) when she finally succumbed to his entreaties for a date during the previous spring. The first kiss sealed the deal; their lips were positively made for each other, and it would be cruel to keep them apart.

But life is cruel at times, and Lily needed to get to her meeting.

Richard volunteered to walk Lily upstairs, and he managed to find several detours along the way that involved dark corners, heated whispers, and lots of toe tingling. By the time Lily managed to slip into the correct classroom, she found it full of bored Prefects who all turned in unison to look at the late-comer. James was drumming his fingers on the table at the font. As casually as she could affect, Lily strolled up to the front of the room. She noticed James' pointed look at her chest and glanced down. She slapped a hand over the open button and discreetly fastened it before she turned to face the room. If she didn't know better, her face was as red as her hair and her voice was going to squeak with embarrassment if she didn't calm down.

"Sorry I'm late," she whispered to James.

He swallowed hard and nodded before he looked back at the Prefects. "So. Halloween."

James picked up where he'd left off discussing Halloween decorations, and Lily took a deep breath as she scanned the room. Several Prefects were still smirking in her direction. Lily caught the eye of her dorm mate, Sara Danson who shook a lock of her own hair at Lily. Lily blushed again as she realised that, considering Richard's affinity for her hair, she must look a mess. She smoothed her hair back behind her ears while James took down the names of the people volunteering to help Professor Flitwick with decorating the Great Hall.

"What else did McGonagall want us to cover?"

Lily twitched in surprise when James addressed her. "Oh. Um…Hang on." She pulled a crumpled piece of parchment from her pocket and smoothed it out on the table. "Point deductions and quiet times in the common rooms," she read aloud. "Plus this museum thing."

"We've already talked about the quiet times. You want to take the museum and point deductions?" he asked.

"Sure." Lily scanned the notes that she'd scrawled after her chat with McGonagall earlier that week. "Museum… right. Well…um…let's see. Dumbledore has arranged for the Myrtle Maeve Museum of Magical Materials to present a special showing of artefacts in Hogsmeade in the Spring." Very few of the Prefects looked even remotely interested. Lily carried on resolutely. "They will be showing a bunch of old stuff including the Map of Perdita, Hadrian's Hammer, and the Brand of Aidan."

Lily looked back to her audience just to in time to see Severus Snape snap to attention.

"They're going to have the actual artefacts?" he asked.

"That's my understanding." She looked at James for confirmation, but he was too busy eying Snape suspiciously.

Alan Guard, Gryffindor's sixth-year Prefect, leaned out of his seat to get a good look at Snape. "You don't want to miss the exhibit, Snape," he called out, "I've heard they've got a set of your pants on display – the dirtiest ever known to Wizard kind."

The Prefects erupted in giggles and laughs, including a few of the Slytherins, while Snape gestured rudely towards Alan. When James saw Lily's expression, he made every effort to hide his amusement.

"Anyway," Lily said, "the exhibit means an extra Hogsmeade day for everyone who wants to go, so I guess most of you will be there too. What we need is someone to volunteer to make up some notices about it for the boards."

The prospect of extra time in Hogsmeade was sufficient to produce a few volunteers and James marked their names down with his list of Halloween decorators.

Lily re-examined her list from McGonagall. "Moving on to points. Yes. Apparently there's been a lot of confusion about who's allowed to deduct points and from whom, so Professor McGonagall wanted us to review all of the rules and clear up any questions you might have. Basically, Prefects can deduct points from other students, but every point deduction must be logged with your Head of House by the end of the week for approval, or the points will be credited back to the house they were taken from. You can't take points from other Prefects…"

"Or from the Head Students," James added.

"But if you think that a Prefect, or even the Head Boy," here Lily looked directly at James, who winked at her, "is acting inappropriately, you can report it to their Head of House. Questions?"

Lily pointed to a stuffy looking girl in the first row. "Go ahead, Sonya."

"Last week half of the point deductions I made were credited back, even though I logged them all correctly. How are we supposed to have any influence on the student body if the Professors are just going to credit back all of the points we take off?"

"Excellent question." Lily knew, based on confidential revelations from McGonagall, that Sonya Dearborn had been taking her new role a bit too seriously, deducting points from students for things like eating dinner with their elbows on the table, or for ascending the stairs without holding the hand rails.

"First," Lily explained, "it's important to make sure that you're only deducting points for actual misbehaviour – breaking of school rules. There are lots of things that I'm not allowed to do at home, for example; my Dad won't allow me to talk on the telephone past 10 pm, or even wear lipstick – he thinks it makes girls look cheap." Lily noticed after she'd spoken that Sonya was wearing a great deal of light pink lipstick. "But," she continued, "that doesn't automatically mean that those things are against the rules at Hogwarts. For anyone who is finding that their deductions keep getting credited back, I would recommend taking a copy of your log sheet and comparing all of the reasons for your deductions to the school rules. The Prefect's Pocket Companion has a good, easy to read, summarisation of the rules, but the full listing is available from Filch."

Lily motioned to a wiry Slytherin boy with his hand up. "I think the Gryffindor Prefects have been taking too many points off of the Slytherins lately for no good reason."

"That's a matter of opinion, isn't it?" James said. "Intimidating other students and insulting their heritage is hardly good behaviour."

"That would cease to be an issue," said Snape, "if the Muggle-lovers were finally cleared out of the castle."

A few people snickered, but James stood quickly, leaned over the table, and pointed his wand at Snape. "You'll shut your mouth if you know what's good for you. And that goes for the rest of you as well." He glared at the Prefects who'd enjoyed Snape's comment, and they averted their eyes.

Lily tugged on James' sleeve and drew him back into his chair. He wasn't going to convince anybody to forget their prejudices by shouting at them.

"Look. Gryffindors take a lot of points off of Slytherin, and Slytherins do exactly the same to Gryffindors. The professors have been crediting back a lot of those points every week." And McGonagall had been giving the Head Student a lot of grief over it, too. "I really shouldn't tell you this," Lily said carefully, "but Prefects used to be able to add points, once upon a time, but they didn't handle that very responsibly so the privilege got taken away."

"They got to add points?" someone exclaimed.

"It isn't widely known, but Prefects used to give their friends points for things like having good hair days and finding creative ways to cheat in class. But if we were to have a really good crop of Prefects, they might change it back, so that's a good incentive to make sure all of your deductions are valid. They would never let us add points if we can't even take them off properly."

At that point there was a great deal of excited chatter about The Prefect's Pocket Companion and plans for partners to test each other on the finer points of the rules.

"Adding points?" James leaned over to whisper to Lily. "Where did you come up with that?"

Lily grinned wickedly. "Didn't you know?"

"They're going to kill you when they find out you just made that up."

"So what? If it gets McGonagall off of our backs, I think I can handle a few Prefects."

James considered that carefully for a moment before he smiled and nodded his approval.

"Can you think of anything I've missed?" Lily asked James softly.

"Nah. I think we're done. Most of us have been here for almost an hour, you know."

"Thank you for that fine observation. Would you please get them to all shut up?"

James grinned and stood from his seat. "Oi!" Twenty-four pairs of eyes snapped up to James. "Our lovely Head Girl wants your attention."

The twenty-four pairs of eyes turned to Lily while James sat down. "Well…" She wanted to shrink down under the table in front of all of that unwavering attention. "Does anybody have any questions that are more important than getting out of here?"

Nobody spoke, but most everyone grinned.

"Go on. Get out, then!" James waved his arms at the door and the rush to leave ensued.

While the stampede pushed through the doorway, James and Lily straightened the desks and threw away a few scraps the Prefects had left behind. The corridor was quite empty by the time they started off towards Gryffindor Tower.

"So nice of you to join us tonight, by the way. I was beginning to think we wouldn't have the honour," James told her.

"Glad to know you appreciate the gift of my presence."

"You know what?" James crossed his arms over his chest and frowned. "You'd better take this job seriously, Evans. I have worked too hard to get here to have you ruin it all by messing about and setting a bad example."

Lily rolled her eyes. He was repeating, almost word for word, the idiotic speech she'd blasted him with on the first day of school.

"And," he wagged his finger, "you'd better believe me when I tell you that if you don't pull your act together and behave yourself the way a Head Student should, then I will have no problem bringing it up with McGonagall every chance I get." James gave her a very stern look, but the smile twitching at his mouth rather ruined the effect.

Lily deserved the ribbing, and she knew it. At least he'd waited until they were alone to start, though. "So what if I was a little late to one Prefect meeting? It's not like you weren't handling it capably."

"Flattery will get you nowhere, my dear – at least not tonight, anyway. Not when you walked in thirty minutes late looking like you've just had your brains snogged out behind the pumpkin patch."

"Behind the pumpkin patch? Ick. It's all dirty out there."

"What? And snogging Bowman isn't dirty?"

"Well, it would be if you tried it."

James froze in the middle of the corridor with a horrified look on his face. He clutched his stomach and doubled over with loud retching noises that seemed to come all the way from his toes.

"Are you done yet?" Lily tapped her foot.

He looked up, grimacing through the thick black hair that had fallen into his face. "I had to purge that image from my system."

"He's really good, you know. You've no idea what you're missing."

The retching commenced again; James was on his knees when he finally stopped. "I'm sorry," he croaked out, "but you've really got to stop talking about that."

"If you don't want to hear about Richard's phenomenal kissing skills, then I guess I can save it for the girls." Lily shrugged with an air of indifference and strolled on down the corridor.

He gave final shudder and wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand. "Please do."

As James adjusted his glasses and jogged up beside her, Lily wiped the amused smile from her face.

After a moment, James spoke quietly. "Hey, I wanted to tell you," he said, "I'm sorry about that junk Snape was saying back there in the meeting...about Muggle-borns and all that."

"It's alright. It's not like he said anything I haven't heard before." She'd heard it many times before, as a matter of fact, and it never seemed to be less hurtful.

"That doesn't make it alright," he insisted.

"Thanks." Lily felt suddenly awkward, and avoided looking at James as they entered a hidden stairway leading towards the seventh floor. "I don't know what's with Snape this year," she said. "He's always been sort of icky and rude to me, but now he's just more, I don't know…"


"Yeah. I don't know if you ever noticed this, but he always used to work near me in Potions, and we'd talk about the assignments sometimes. But he never does that anymore, and he insults me every chance he gets."

"I've noticed." Frowning, James pulled a tapestry aside for Lily to pass underneath. "I've noticed a lot of other things, too," he added. "I think something happened to him over the summer."

"Something bad?"

James shrugged. "I'm still working on it."

"Are you, now? Well, have fun. I've got enough work of my own to do without worrying about Severus Snape."

"Tell me about it." Sighing loudly, he rubbed his fingers through his hair. "At least you don't have three detentions to do as well."

"If you weren't always late to class," Lily said, smug, "you wouldn't have those detentions either."

"Oh, and who was late to the meeting tonight? Hmmm?"

Lily pursed her mouth. "You don't think McGonagall will find out I was late, do you?"

"She will if I tell her."

"Like you would do that." If James was anything at all, Lily knew he wasn't a snitch.

"Maybe not," he added slowly, "but I can't speak for the Prefects. You know you'll be a gossip point over breakfast."

"Yes, well, they'll get over it. Besides, I wasn't that obvious, was I?"

James raised his eyebrows and said nothing. He wouldn't meet her eye. Heat crept into Lily's ears. It had been completely obvious what she had been up to. She was never going to live this down. The Prefects would never respect her, and McGonagall was sure to hear about it. Nothing but walking into class starkers could top such utter mortification.

James spoke the password and held the portrait of the Fat Lady open for Lily to enter the common room first.

"I'll see you later, James." Lily hurried towards the girls' dormitory. On the way, she grabbed Georgina Craft by the back of the robes and hauled her to her feet, half-dragging her up the dormitory stairs.

Beginning with the Welcoming Feast back in their first year at Hogwarts, Georgina Craft and Lily Evans had been the best of friends. To look at them, the girls were as opposite as could be; Lily was fair and freckled with straight-as-a-stick red hair, while curly haired Georgina carried her Indian mother's rich, dark colouring. At eleven years old, Lily entered Hogwarts small and shrinking, while Georgina was loud and commanding. Both girls were born to Muggle parents, however, and both longed with all their hearts to be welcomed into the world of magic. Through the years the girls tempered one another's personal traits - the pushy became more constrained, and the timid more assertive – while their affection for one another grew. And so it was, quite naturally, that when feeling distressed, Lily sought out her most sympathetic confidante.

"Alright. What's the deal?" Georgina grunted and trudged into the room, setting her hands on her hips and wagging her head demandingly. "I'd just about talked that bookish little fifth-year into researching my Transfiguration essay for me. Now I'm going to have to start all over."

Lily groaned and threw herself onto Georgina's bed, burying her face into the pillow. She rolled over and stared into the red canopy. "George," she said calmly, "I'm going to kill myself. You can have all of my clothes. Just let Sara have those green shoes she likes, and please write a nice letter of condolence to my father."

Georgina rolled her eyes. "He would kill you for leaving him alone with Petunia, so suicide really isn't an option for you." She turned away from Lily and picked up a comb, attempting to unscramble the mass of dark curls trailing over her shoulder. "If it would make you feel better to give me that suede mini skirt, though, be my guest. I'll take that ruffled silk blouse too, while you're at it."

"I just made a complete fool of myself in front of the Prefects."

"Oh, well, that's nothing new, is it? You do that all the time. I mean, they've completely forgotten all about that time you sneezed and got your quill stuck up your nose, haven't they?"

"I went to see Richard before the meeting. He made me late and I walked into the room without looking myself over first."

"Oh, really?" Georgina's smirking reflection was visible in the mirror. "What happened?" she asked. "You didn't go in with lipstick on your collar, did you?"

"My blouse was a little unbuttoned and my hair was tangled up."

Georgina snorted and covered her face.

"Don't laugh!" said Lily. "It was horrible. They all kept smirking at me. And James kept staring at my chest. Even after I got it buttoned up."

Georgina snorted again, and began to shake. "You didn't totally flash them your bra did you?"

"My shirt wasn't that far undone. Although James might have seen something when I walked up – he would have had the best view, and he looked a little bit startled."

"I'll bet he loved that. Look, I'll do some damage control if you want." She turned away from the mirror and waved her comb at Lily. "What kind of spin should I put on it? I could say that during your off time you're a wild sex goddess. That should give you a good boost on the popularity meter. At least with the boys anyhow." She must have noticed the horror spreading over Lily's face, as she changed tactics rather abruptly. "Or we could suggest that you were ruffled up a bit while defending some first years from Peeves."

"Hey. Yeah! That would be good."

"And I suppose we should say he threw a big stick at you and gave you that nasty bruise on your neck."

"Bruise?" Lily crawled off the bed and leaned into the mirror. "Oh, no." A rather obvious hickey coloured the side of her neck. "We can hide this, can't we? A little make-up… or maybe a concealment charm?"

"Calm down." Georgina was back to combing her hair. "You know Sara's the glamour wiz. She'll fix you up in the morning before breakfast."

Lily plopped back down onto the bed and rubbed her hand over the spot on her neck. "And this afternoon started out so good."

"It's not the end of the world having people know that you snogged your boyfriend."

"It's still embarrassing."

"You just have to decide if Richard Bowman is worth it."

Rubbing her eyes, Lily fell backwards onto the bed and sighed. Her mind drifted back to that empty classroom, lingering over the way his lips felt on hers, the way his voice melted her will, and the way his gentle caresses lit up her nerves like there was no tomorrow. Oh, to be back in his arms again. "He's definitely worth it." And she couldn't wait to take up where they'd left off.

Author's Note: Thanks so much for reading.Pleasereview to let me know what you think! Feel free to visit my Live Journal or private message me to discuss anything you'd like.