Title: Too Far Gone
Summary: It's Lily and James's seventh year… what awaits them?
Rating: R (for sensitive topics and character deaths)
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling. I am not making any money from this; it is just something I enjoy to do. The plot is MINE and mine alone, contrary to what other writers may believe.
Too Far Gone
CH: 1- Grown-Up
Lily was going back to Hogwarts, her home, and her life. She couldn't wait to see who would be Head Boy to her Head Girl. This would be the person she would work with constantly for the entire year; they would spend all their time together and even live together. She was so excited that she could burst.
In her opinion it had to be Brandon Lawrence, a Ravenclaw, or Remus Lupin, a fellow Gryffindor. They were the only two male prefects that she thought could handle the position. She walked down the crowded hallway of the train, making her way back to the Head's compartment. The only person that she hoped it wasn't was…
"James Potter," she groaned as she opened the door.
James was sitting in a comfortable looking armchair with his transfiguration book in his lap. He looked up at her and then grinned widely. She avoided eye contact and tried to calm her temper so she wouldn't say anything rude. He didn't deserve to be yelled at after what he had done for her in June, but she couldn't look him in the eye either. Instead Lily quietly surveyed the compartment, trying to avoid any conversation with him. The compartment had two large cushiony chairs and solid mahogany walls. It all exuded warmth, comfort and the prestige of their station.
"I knew you would be Head Girl," he said, breaking the silence. Lily said nothing as she put her luggage in the rack above the unoccupied chair across from James. Then she turned on him, no longer being able to reign in her temper.
"Let's get a few things straight Potter," she said softly, "This arrangement doesn't mean that I have to like you. Just because we share a dorm and have to live with each other for the next few months, it doesn't mean I will fall for your charms as I have in the past." But even as she said these words she couldn't help but notice how handsome he was. Yes, she thought, handsome and arrogant. He had used all of those things against her in the past several years and she was adamant in her decision that he wouldn't sway her again. Not after the events last June, she couldn't afford to be lied to again, not by James.
"All right Evans," he agreed and then went back to his book without a fuss.
Lily was startled; she had expected him to either complain or flirt with her or even try to kiss her like he usually did, but to agree with her and then dismiss her was something completely new and she didn't know how to handle it. It was if the James Potter she knew had died and something had taken his place, something that was polite and… devoid of that spark of light and humor that made him so wonderfully easy to hate and like all at the same time. He was someone new entirely and she wasn't sure if it was a relief or not.
"By the way Evans," James said putting his book back in his lap, "Dumbledore has sent a list of things that we need to do this year. We can work on them now or later if you like."
Lord she was beautiful. The way the sun caught her hair and turn it to liquid fire brought a groan from deep inside him. And her eyes… boy did she have the most beautiful eyes. They were emerald green and so deep that he wanted to lose himself in them. He had lost himself in them the moment that he had first met her. Her eyes had captivated him, and stolen his heart forever, even if she wouldn't admit it. His heart ached for what he had lost last year, all because he couldn't keep his damn mouth shut. He sighed and picked up the list since she wasn't making any move to do so.
"Where are the other Marauders?" Lily asked, trying to sound casual as she looked over the list. If they were around she had better find out soon, so she was prepared when they made their invasion. The marauders weren't like other boys, they were more… she couldn't seem to find a word to describe the marauders. They were exciting, fun-loving and very, very arrogant. Lily couldn't believe how little they cared for rules, as they seemed to break them on a daily basis. They must have held the Hogwarts record for most detentions. James said something then that Lily didn't quite catch.
"Sorry, what did you say?" Lily asked, almost embarrassed that she had zoned out.
"They have disowned me for becoming Head Boy," he repeated with a grin. Lily's eyes went wide as though she took him seriously. To her it seemed like something they would do. After all breaking the rules was their creed… apart from Remus that was.
"Really?" she asked. James couldn't help it he began to laugh.
"Of course not, Moony thinks that Dumbledore has put me in this position so that I will grow up, but what they don't realize is that I did quite a lot of growing up over the summer holidays," he confided and then winked at her. Lily's face flushed and she grinned in spite of herself.
Yes, he had grown up quite a bit. But how much was the question. Had he learned his lesson from the previous year? Would he finally learn that she wasn't just a play toy or that she had feelings just like he did? She sighed, of course he wouldn't. Just then the door opened and Severus Snape stood in the doorway. "Well, if it isn't Potter and the Mud-blood. Head Boy and Girl? This school has gone to hell," he announced.
James just sat in his seat, his hand clenched tight around his wand, knowing that if he said anything about Lily, James would hex him in a second. Instead of saying something rude Snape stared at Lily as if he had just seen her for the first time. His eyes rolled over her in appreciation, lingering in certain areas that James didn't approve of. He smiled coldly at them both as he began to leave.
"You are growing up nicely Evans, keep up the good work." Then he left.
James was holding his wand so tightly it could have snapped any second. He turned to Lily, to see if she had understood what was implied. She had understood very clearly, or so it seemed. Her arms were wrapped tightly around herself and she looked as if she were going to be sick. James wanted to throw up himself, as a matter of fact, but her welfare was more important than his own.
"Lily?" he asked softly. Her head jerked up. He hadn't called her by her first name since June. It had been when she had come to see him in the hospital wing, she had been so uncomfortable after it, that she had ignored him for the remaining month of term and she hadn't answered any of his owls. Before last year though, he had only used her name jokingly, when he was being his most charming self, it was uncomfortable now to be reminded of the past. He seemed to have realized what he had done and he sat up straight.
Of course, he thought wryly, he was back to being Potter again. He had saved her life, proclaimed his love and had scared her out of her wits. She didn't want his unconditional love, she hadn't been ready for it and he had scared her off, probably forever. He decided to play it cool for now, until she was ready to talk about what had happened three months ago.
"How are you Evans? Are you all right?"
Lily nodded and then took a deep breath. Snape made her sick to her stomach. The way he had looked at her and then smirked in that knowing way, as if he knew what was under her clothing made her shiver. What had happened to all those years ago when they had been friends? Had Tabitha's death really changed him that much?
"I'm fine Potter, just fine." She flinched after she said it. It wasn't James's fault that Snape had made her feel uncomfortable and dirty, he hadn't looked at her as if he could see under her clothing. She just felt better snapping at him, for some strange reason she gained control of her feelings when she put James down. It made her feel terrible, but she wouldn't tell him that.
James backed off, knowing that he wasn't going to be of any help. The door opened again, but this time it was Alice Turner and Frank Longbottom in the doorway.
"Did you guys want to come join us in the other compartment? You should be nearly done with your duties right?" Frank asked. James looked to Lily; she didn't look in the mood to go visit anyone quite yet.
"Give us a little more time, we still have a few things to discuss," James said and Alice stepped in for a moment.
"Lily, we have butterbeer and Honeyduke's chocolate. When you guys are done you really should come join us, Erin is flirting up a storm with Remus and he is turning colors I've never seen before!" Alice joked and then hugged her friend tightly. Lily smiled at her best friend and then nodded. Alice always made her relax because she had such an open friendliness that you couldn't help but love her.
"We'll be there in a few minutes." Alice and Frank left hand in hand and Lily smiled at James.
"They have liked each other for such a long time, I don't know why it took them so long," she sighed then and looked at her hands. She remembered the feel of her own arms wrapped around James, but she pushed the thought out of her mind, it was too painful.
"What else do we need to go over?"
James picked up the list again and read through it quickly. "These are all thing we can do tonight in our dorm. Let's go join the festivities," he said and stood up, waiting for her to stand as well. She followed him out the door looking forward to the butterbeer and chocolate. She smiled to herself a bit, women always craved chocolate when they were depressed, must be the endorphins. With the thought of happy vitamins to look forward to Lily managed to give forth a real smile.
As they got into the marauders compartment Lily realized how much she had missed all of her friends over the summer holidays. With only Petunia to speak to, things got really lonely really fast. What had hurt even more was the way Levi had treated her, but she had to deal with that, because she knew that it would have been wrong to stay with him. Not after what had happened between her and James the previous year. It would have been too painful to try to work things out when she hadn't been faithful to him. Levi couldn't understand her bizarre relationship with James, but neither could she. It seemed as though the more she tried to hate him the more attracted to him she was.
Lily was nearly knocked to the floor a second later as a mass of black hair attacked her. Erin was a very petite girl with long waist length black hair and dazzling blue eyes. She was also the prettiest girl Lily had ever seen outside of a magazine. Erin seemed to ooze sex appeal and mystery with every glance, and she wielded it as a weapon. It made Lily and Alice feel sorry for the boys she dated, but they couldn't help but love the wild child that she was.
"Lily!" Erin shrieked and hugged her friend tightly. Lily returned the hug and smiled at everyone. The air in the room was so jovial and friendly that anyone walking by would have wanted to stop in. In fact, many students passing by did stop in to say hello to the marauders. For all their faults they were well liked by the student body, apart from the Slytherin's.
Sirius grabbed a bunch of cold butterbeers and passed them out to everyone. Lily took one hesitantly, not sure if he had done anything to it, she wouldn't put is past him. She had never liked him much, mostly because he was too much like James, arrogant conceited and a playboy. But if James could grow up maybe Sirius could too… yeah, and a pig was flying around their compartment.
"Quiet everyone; I want to propose a toast!" Sirius proclaimed. Everyone turned to him, his impromptu toasts usually ended with a dirty limerick or a kiss to the female closest to him. Erin moved away from him quickly in that eventuality. "To the new Head Boy and Girl of Hogwarts and the sneakiest son of a bitch I know! Here's to you James and your last shot at winning Evan's heart," Sirius said and everyone laughed and drank except Lily. Her heated gaze could have kindled a fire.
"Winning my heart? Is this a game to you Sirius?" Lily asked furiously. She didn't even notice that James looked as if he could kill his best friend and fellow marauder. Sirius looked from James to Lily and then shrugged his shoulders and tossed back the rest of his drink.
"Guess not," he replied and then walked over to talk to Remus.
"I'm really sorry about that Evans. I had no idea that he would do that and embarrass you," James said apologetically. Lily turned on him.
"What are you saying he didn't embarrass you?" she flung at him. She didn't seem to see that the entire group of people was slowly shutting up to listen to their fight. It was such a common thing to see between them, and yet no one ever got tired of their heated debates. They always seemed to put on a show bigger than the last, although those who had seen the last real "show" between them in Hogsmeade last June knew that nothing could really top it. Her impromptu entrance and the sparks that had flown afterwards had been intense.
"No, but it doesn't matter to me. Sirius has been embarrassing me for years. You are a different matter," he replied cautiously.
"Why am I a different matter?" she demanded. James looked around and saw that now everyone was paying attention to them and it was very disconcerting.
"Because... because..." damn he couldn't say it with everyone watching. He wasn't quite as good at showing his real emotions in public as she was.
"Why is she different Prongs?" Peter called from the back. James glared at him in an "I'll-get-you-later" kind of look. He pulled Lily out into the hallway much to the dismay of all those in the room. As he closed the door Lily realized that they were suddenly alone and it made her uncomfortable. The only thing that ever helped her to relax was to yell at James, and so she began.
"Let go of me!" she demanded and wrenched her arm free.
"It is a different matter because you aren't just a conquest to me, or some girl who I wanted to go with but rejected me. It's you Lily, it always has been and it always will be," he said softly. Well, he thought, at least he hadn't said he loved her.
Lily's eyes shone with tears and she looked down. This was what had destroyed them last year, his intense feelings for her and her inability to let her guard down. NO, it wasn't her fault; she told herself angrily and then turned her eyes back up to his.
"You still have a lot of growing up to do James," she whispered and she walked down to the Head's compartment with her head down and tears spilling down her cheeks.