A/N: …because I'm attempting to make up for my bad behavior. And also I think every good Harry Potter fanfic should have Thestrals in it. ;)
Disclaimer: So I was watching Harry Potter the other day (Sorcerer's Stone) and when they're serving detention in the forest, you know how there's that dead unicorn? Yeah, when they leave, there's a closeup of the unicorn's face. It has fangs. No joke. What the hell kind of unicorn has fangs?!
Lily Flower's turn!
"James," I groaned, stumbling over a tree root. "Where are we going?"
He held the bandanna that was wrapped over my eyes more securely. Said bandana was making me a little nervous. "I told you, Lils. It's a surprise." I thought the bandanna was a little excessive, considering it was pretty much pitch black outside, with the exception of the moon, but James has always had a feel for drama.
I growled, but it wasn't quite as impressive as I had hoped it might be. "If you're taking me on another 'romantic' moonlit broom ride, I will personally tear off your head with my bare hands and then mount it above the fireplace in our Common Room." If he thought I was joking, he was sorely mistaken. After that lovely experience, I couldn't look down from more than a few steps off the ground without getting queasy.
"Would I ever do that to you again and face your wrath?" he wanted to know. "I promise, it has nothing to do with broomsticks."
I walked in captive silence for a few moments. "You know Chip and Black are, like, have a free-for-all shag fest in our rooms right now, don't you?"
"Shh, Lily," he said in a hushed voice. Uh-oh. Anything that calls for a hushed voice has got to be dangerous, and I've come to find that dangerous things do not react well around the two of us. McGonagall, for instance.
Then he pulled the blindfold off, and I was met with… nothing. I rolled my eyes. "James, what the hell is wro—" he clapped his hand over my mouth and pointed to a carcass on the ground. Oh, real romantic, James. Just great… oh. Oh. Hunks of meat were being torn away from the carcass and disappearing into thin air. That could only mean one thing. "Thestrals," I breathed. "Can you see them?"
He shook his head. "Of course not."
I thought about it for a minute. "So… why did you bring me out here?"
His teeth flashed in a wicked grin. "Well, if you don't like broom rides, how about a Thestral ride?"
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR BLOODY MIND!?"
"Shh," he hissed, glaring. "It'll be great. Like horseback riding."
"Horseback riding?" I asked flatly. James nodded. "You are out of your bloody mind."
He just made a face at me, grabbed me by the waist, and swung me through the air… to land on the invisible back of a Thestral. I swallowed a scream. Sort of. You know, I'm pretty sure he meant to jump on behind me, but the Thestral screeched and launched itself into the air. I did scream, then. I heard James swear, and judging by another inhuman screech, threw himself onto the back of another Thestral.
"Just like horseback riding, eh?" I called hysterically over my shoulder.
"Um, I've never ridden a horse," he admitted, his voice several octaves higher than usual.
"Me neither!" James' Thestral winged in beside mine, and I gave him the Evil Eye. "Just so you know, I'm going to KILL you if I ever get my feet back on the ground."
He laughed nervously. "Now Lily, be reasonable."
"THIS IS ME BEING REASONABLE!" I clung to the invisible creature's neck. "And if we both die, I'm going to make sure you get sent to HELL!"
"Come on, Lils, don't be like that," he soothed. Unfortunately for him, I was in no mood to be placated. Just then, the Thestrals folded their wings and dove sharply and we went careening in a spiral of death towards earth. You'd better believe I screamed bloody murder. They both pulled out their wings just before we were pasted into half-invisible smears on the ground. Just then, I saw Chip and Black snogging wildly under a tree.
"CHIP!" I screamed as loud as I could. Remember the Flying Potato incident? Yeah, that loud. I saw her pick her head up and look around. "HELP!"
"WHAT THE HELL, LILY?"
She and Black pulled a pair of broomsticks out of—literally—nowhere and jumped on them, chasing after Potter and me. Which, apparently, the Thestrals didn't like. Those ruddy invisible bastards kicked it into high gear. Yes, more screaming. A glance backward showed Chip and Black flat-out on their brooms, chasing us and laughing. Of course they were laughing.
"James, don't you have your wand?" I demanded.
"No!" he shouted back. "Don't you have yours?"
"This is supposed to be a date! I didn't exactly expect to be dragged into a potentially life-threatening experience!"
He rolled his eyes at me. "Lils, you should know by now that anything that I plan is potentially life-threatening."
He has a point, there. Stupid boy. "Chip! What's the plan?" I looked behind us and my jaw dropped. "CHIPPER POSEIDON, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!"
The mad hatters grinned at each other. "We're going to rope the Thestrals!" True to tale, Chip and Sirius were swinging lengths of rope over their heads, like cowboys about to rope calves. One of them had already made cowboy hats. Stetsons, by the look of them. Sirius' broom had a fake horse head and reins, but fortunately Chip has more dignity than that. Oh, nope, I lied. There she goes—her broom just whinnied.
I traded a desperate look with James. "We're surrounded by idiots!" I whined.
He was about to reply, but two looped lariats sailed past us. I stared as they slid over the Thestrals' invisible heads. James' Thestral reared, tossing him off its back before he could grab for its head. Fortunately, he managed to snatch hold of its tail. The Thestral screamed, annoyed, and swished said tail. James swayed, scowling.
"You do not even want to know what this tail feels like. Hey, what—" Sirius had roped his foot. "No, Sirius, DON'T!" Black yanked on the rope, pulling James free from the Thestral. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
I watched, less than amused, as my boyfriend swung upside down from his friend's grasp. "Black, you tosser! What's wrong with you?" Just then, my Thestral seemed to realize that it, too, had been roped. It barrel-rolled and I let go of the bloody thing. God, I wasn't even going to try to stay on it. Those things are bloody insane. It was just natural reaction to let it go. Unfortunately, we were a couple hundred feet up in the air.
Which I really should have thought about beforehand, you know?
"Padfoot, you prat, let me go!" I heard James snap. "Lily!"
"Fine," Black said, laughter in his voice.
"SIRIUS, I WASN'T BEING LITERAL!" he shouted, and moments later, James was beside me in the air, scowling something fierce. The rope was still around his foot.
"Oh look, my knight in shining armor," I teased, straight-faced.
"CHIPPER POSEIDON, YOU'D BETTER SAVE MY ASS THIS INSTANT!"
"All right, all right," Chip growled. "Keep your shirt on, woman!"
Seconds later, Chip scooped me up on her broom. I rolled my eyes. "James, too, if it's not too much trouble."
"Oi, Black! Get your ruddy arse down here and save your best friend!"
"Fine," Black grumbled, landing James on his broom. "You owe me, Prongs."
James' eyebrows were raised. "You almost killed me!"
"I told you it was a bad idea to take Evans on a Thestral-themed date!"
He opened his mouth to reply, but seemed to think better of it. Really, there was absolutely nothing he could say to that. "He's right, Potter," Chip mused. "That's pretty much the stupidest thing you've ever done, and you've done some pretty damn stupid things. Actually, there's probably some award you could get for this."
"Darwin Award," I agreed. "I would send this in, in fact, if it wouldn't scar the muggles for life."
"Natural selection," Sirius snickered. "I mean, think about how embarrassing this is for you. Chip and I had to save you."
"The same people, mind you, who almost fell off of the roof just so they could say they'd shagged everywhere in Hogwarts," I reminded him, in no mood to forgive tonight's experience.
"Hey, in my defense, Sirius is the one who almost fell off," Chip disclaimed instantly.
"Either way, it makes you retarded." We landed on the ground, and I stumbled off of Chip's broom. "Okay, well I'm done risking my life for the evening. I believe I'll go take a nice hot bath. And no, James," I said as he opened his mouth. "You will not be allowed to join, as always. With that, I turned and headed inside.
Oh my God, back to James! Poor boy feels neglected!
Actually, I've enjoyed keeping my thoughts to myself, believe it or not.
Anyway, I watched Lily walk back up to the castle, her shoulders pulled back stiffly. I snickered to myself. God, I love her when she's mad. Chip followed quickly, and I leaned over to Sirius.
"How did it go?" I whispered conspiratorially.
"Boys:736, Girls: 743 now implemented. Our girls will wake up with miniskirts and microtops."
I smirked. "Oldest trick in the book, Mr. Padfoot."
He returned the smirk. "That it is, Mr. Prongs. Why is it we never thought of it before?"
I thought about this. "I'm not sure. But I believe that the two lovely ladies have blossomed. It would have been a shame to take advantage of this one prematurely, you know?"
"That I do, good sir, that I do."
Four days later, I woke up, sleepy-eyed, from an amusedly reminiscent dream of our latest prank on the girls. I seemed more tired than usual, but didn't put anything to it. As I stumbled sleepily through the halls, I ran into Sirius, who was also blinking rapidly, seeming a little dazed.
We didn't even realize that we were wearing sequined pink robes until we stepped into the Great Hall and music from Flashdance started up. Lily and Chip were practically falling off of their bench laughing so hard. Sirius just made a face and walked out of the Hall, searching for his wand. Chip got up and skipped at him, a disturbingly determined look on her face.
Lily's amused eyes were focused on mine, and I grinned, bowing in submission before winking and leaving the Hall with a swirl of that sequined cloak. She met me up in our Common Room a few minutes later. "How did you keep us from noticing?" I yawned, sprawled out over our couch and tying on my shoes. The first thing I'd done was change.
She held up a little bottle, smirking. "Just a couple drops of potion, is all."
I blinked. "So you gave us the equivalent of date rape drugs?"
Lily stared at me for a moment with wide eyes. "Well, um, technically…" Then she just burst into laughter. "Oh my god, we did! That's so funny!"
I raised my eyebrows, exasperated. What was I going to do with her? Then I grinned. I could certainly think of a few things, actually. In fact, we still had about half an hour before class…