The Gilded Lily
DISCLAIMER: This idea is
based upon a book, called the Gilded Lily. I will not complete it, as a
reassurance not to commit plagiarism. I hope not to make this too clichéd, but
if I do, I apologize ahead of time. This hopefully will be much different from
my usual L/J fics.
Lily held her head high as she walked through the crowd heading
toward the Gryffindor Common Room. Her entourage was boring her as usual. Her
protégée, a third year that must have been at least two years younger than her,
followed her example. Among the large group trailing Lily Evans, Jackie
Kensington was the only girl. From the lowly second year Jonathan Potter to the
Head Boy Rafael Hernandez, there was quite a diversity in the group that
The stranger was dark. He stood next to Sirius Black and Remus
Lupin, the only two of Lily's male friends that had not a single interest in
her. They were waiting for somebody at the portrait hole. Lily was instantly
studying the stranger. His hair was dark, his eyes filled with hidden pain and
disdain, and he looked up to see Lily Evans looking him up and down. As her
entourage disbanded, many weren't Gryffindors, her beauty became more and more apparent.
He was a Gryffindor, she could tell by the way he held himself and the way he
cocked one eyebrow up at her, nodding in her direction to find out who she was.
He bent his head to whisper a comment to Sirius. His clothes were sleek and
dark, just like his messy hair. It added to the mysterious charm.
Remus flashed her his mischief grin, which sent both chills and
thrills through Lily. They had dated once, as a joke in first year. After
fifteen minutes they announced to the Common Room that they were bored and
broke up. Lily remembered the deep laugh of her idol, Molly Jackson, a fifth
year. All that remained of the entourage (as the fellow Gryffindors had already
filed into the portrait hole) was Jackie Kensington, who was eyeing her mentor
with great interest; and Jonathan Potter, who knew who the stranger was.
"See this," Lily whispered to Jackie, "This is the perfect time
for you to learn how a lady acts. You see that I do not approach the strange
gentleman, but I wait for my friends to introduce me." Lily instructed. Sirius
must have caught her drift, because he stepped forward from the place he was
leaning. Lily straightened and Jackie stifled a giggle.
"Madame Evans, hope you have had a wonderful day." He said as she
offered her hand. He took the small hand in both of his large ones, then kissed
the top of it.
"Am I being pursued by the very gentleman who said that I was as
interesting as Sir Snape discussing which grease he uses on special occasions?"
Lily asked teasingly and flirtatiously, hoping that Jackie was taking notes.
"Alas, not today. I have to introduce you to someone. In a way,
you know him. Because of sudden, er, deaths in his family, he has been away
from Hogwarts for two years, completing his lessons at his estate. Ms. Evans,
may I introduce you to James Potter?"
Lily smiled coyly. Another one for her list. Another for her
entourage. Not the private one, consisting simply of Jonathan (he was useful
for simply fetching things), Jackie, Remus, Sirius and possibly Peter, if Jonathan
was in classes. That was the entourage she held for pleasure of company, not
simply pleasure. This Potter would be useful for the upcoming Harvest Festival
in Hogsmeade. She had yet to find an escort and a fresh one would be better
than perhaps, oh, William Davies.
"Lady Lillian, I presume? The fantastic Lily that Sirius and
Remus cannot stop chattering away about ever since my arrival? The very Lily
that covers for Sirius's potion explosions? The very Lily that has simply
replaced me?" James asked as he walked closer. He winked at Jonathan, who was
in awe of his cousin. He took her hand as Sirius had. Less pleasure flowed
through her as he kissed her hand. She sensed trouble, but today she had a wild
streak. When he offered his arm, she accepted with an even wider smile. She was
the Hogwarts queen, and it was certainly nice to have something fresh to cling
to. Sirius and Remus tooted their imaginary bugles, as if announcing that the
royal couple was coming through. Jonathan said the password and swept an
imaginary red carpet out for them, and Jackie slowly brushed aside.
"May I proudly introduce the King of Hogwarts, Crown Prince of
Gryffindor, President of the Marauders, Prime Minister of Womanizing, and
all-around good guy, James Orion Potter!!! And his lovely escort, Queen of
Hogwarts, Crown Princess of Gryffindor, Owner of the Stage, Sparkle of the
Kingdom, the Most Elegant, Charming, Intelligent Female on the premises, Miss
Lillian Isabelle Evans!!!" Sirius boomed to the Common Room. Many hadn't heard
from or seen James in the two years he had been gone, and only third years and
up could even scarcely remember him. But he seemed noble, dark, and if Lily
Evans could take his arm, he was surely admirable.
Lily Evans was an heiress. A Muggle heiress she may have been,
but nonetheless an heiress. She had an intense beauty, of course, and though
quiet, was friendly and intelligent. Quiet wasn't quite the word, she wasn't
quiet. She was more, how do you put it, reserved. If everyone at Hogwarts were
royal, Lily was a lower princess who kept a low profile, and Jackie would be
the lowly baroness assigned to stay by her side.
Lily had her rules, of course. As for dating, she wouldn't date
a gentleman more than a year younger than she, and if they were too old to
attend Hogwarts, they were simply too old. She had a grand scarlet velvet armchair
with golden accents reserved for her facing one of the many floor-to-ceiling
windows, and one side of the chair faced outwards toward the wall with the
portrait hole. The ottoman was in a coordinating style, and that was reserved
for Jackie. The most that could be said to her while she was sitting there was
a greeting or salutation of some kind.
Lily had already changed from her usual uniform, and from the
after-school outfit that kept her warm during the cool weather. She had
unpinned her hair from its normal complicated up-do, and left her curls loose,
which was a rare sight. This Friday night, she selected a long-sleeved, white,
button-up silk pajama shirt, and long, matching silk pants. Both were trimmed
in a solid bolt of silk in a shiny sort of pale silvery gray. She had her bare
feet and lower legs tucked beneath her as she read her book, and eventually
even Jackie left her side as the lower grades went up to bed. The seventh years
had a test early in the morning, and the sixth years were tired of lingering.
Most of the fifth year girls had gone up to bed, until all that remained in the
room was Sirius and Remus playing a game of chess, James watching, Peter
struggling alone with his Herbology homework, and Lily just twenty feet away
from them in her usual chair, reading her book. She had turned her chair to
face their game, perchance her book got boring.
James sat with his legs wide apart, his elbows resting on his
thighs, his chin resting on the palms of his hands. Sirius and Remus were both
unbeatable, and knowing them, the match would go all night. As Sirius's cries
echoed through the room (his pawn was the first throughout the entire game to
be captured), James heard a light, feminine chuckle. His eyes strayed from the game
and onto the white-clad figure reading by the moonlight. The moonlight
illuminated her face, and there was a silvery glow around her.
Lily looked up again, this time Remus had lost his most loyal knight.
She didn't go back to her book immediately, though, the stranger, Remember,
it's James. You know him, he was the boy who.. Was watching her with a knowing
smirk slowly taking over his face. She went back to her book, shaking her head
with a sort of odd smile on her face.
James stood up, knowing his friends wouldn't notice if he left.
("ARGH!! MY QUEEN!!!") He slowly strode over to the ottoman, knowing Lily
wouldn't look up. He sat down like he had been sitting earlier, and began to
watch her read. Her eyes flickered upwards for a moment, but obediently went
back to her book.
"Shakespeare is such a fool." Lily said after a bit of silence.
"Whatever do you mean?" James asked quietly.
"Have you ever read Shakespeare?" She asked, closing her book.
"Most of his plays, a few of his sonnets." James answered like
he had before. He was watching the outside activity, either that or staring off
"None of his romances are ever like real love. Like Twelfth Night,
for instance. Everybody is so giddy and full of love that they skip logic
entirely. Not everyone is like that. Romeo and Juliet, the lovers were so
devoted to one another that they died for each other, nobody would do
that. And the characters that fought, all skipping any chance of peace talks
and going straight to violence. Shakespeare is a fool." She said, opening her
book again and going back to reading.
"Do you believe in love as strong as the love Shakespeare writes
about?" James asked with great interest.
"I have no belief in love. Do remember that I live in a society
where love is wanted but never acquired." She said, still not looking up.
"Then tell me, I do not understand, why do you socialize with
strictly potential suitors? Why do you not forget the society you are used to
and bring yourself down to Hogwarts, earth, even?" He asked with a little disdain
dripping from his voice. "I am also in high society and my parents are deeply
"Potential suitors are simply for amusement. My parents will
select my husband, and the society I am used to would never allow me beyond the
boundaries that I have already stretched by coming here. And if you have to
ask, my family was once of nobility, but not high nobility. They had no choices
under the Queen or King's will, and they have not changed since. I am spending
my trust fund on Hogwarts rather than being silly and frivolous and attending
some French charm school. Tell me, Mister Potter, do you not know that asking
too many questions is rude?" She asked in the same cool voice.
"Of course I know it. I am simply interested in you. Do you not
know, Madame Evans, that snapping, no matter how well concealed, reveals problems
with one's personality?" He asked in a teasing voice that finally seemed to
"Are you well-traveled, Mister Potter?" Lily asked, still
supposedly reading her book.
"My relatives have been dieing all over North America and Europe,
if that answers your question." He said, moving closer to the arm of her chair.
"Damn." She swore, putting down her book in frustration.
"Lady Lillian, did I hear
your delicate lips form such an apalling word?" James asked in fake surprise.
"Yes." She spat, still holding her head high.
"Why, Lady Lillian?" He asked, moving closer to her. He stroked
her hand with one of his index fingers.
"You fit the profile. Arrogant, rich, intelligent, and a pet
peeve of mine." She said, jerking her hand away and opened her book furiously.
"The profile of what, may I ask?" He said. He had been moving so
close that as he buried his nose in her hair, she could feel his warm, pleasant
breath on the back of her neck.
"Somebody my parents would make me marry." She said, slamming her
book finally. She stood up with a jerk.
"Thank you, Mister Potter, for your unwanted, annoying company. I
do hope we can have a civil conversation in the future." She said coolly. She
turned on the heel of her foot and headed to the bottom of the stairs leading
to her dormitory.
"Lady Lillian, I have been quite civil, friendly even." James
called after her.
She turned to face him. "Do
not call me Lady Lillian. Ever." She said in an icy voice. She turned again,
her curls bouncing furiously after her.
"Jesus, James. What did you do?" Remus said, not looking up from
"I shook up Lady Lillian's perfect life. I believe I'm going to
enjoy this year." He said, as he went to sit where he had been before he went
to speak to Lily. "Who's winning?"