Lily Evans settled herself tentatively into her favorite seat--front and center--steadfastly ignoring the mindless chatter of her classmates as they began to file into the rapidly filling classroom. Idiots. Lily thought somewhat uncharitably as she meticulously arranged her materials in preparation for class. The impending class, Muggle Studies, was extremely popular amoungst the less-than-studious amoung her yearmates, mostly due to the fact that the lack of respect given the subject by the students was only surpassed by the lack of respect afforded it by the professor. It also didn't hurt that it that class convened immediately following lunch, giving many of her fellows the opportunity to catch up on gossip or take a well-earned nap. As long as the students didn't get too out of hand, Professor Hans cared very little about what his students actually did in class.
Hans, a tiny, pureblood,elderly wizard who should have sough retirement long ago, knew no more about Muggles than the students he taught. The resulting lectures were nothing short of humorous to a Muggle-born like Lily. It had taken all of her will-power not to fall from her chair laughing when he described a telephone as 'a Muggle device used for the storage and transportation of voices.' Inspite of the obvious drawbacks, it was one of Lily's favorite classes, allowing her to feel connected, if only in a small way, to her family at home. It also allowed her to correct some of the worst Wizarding conceptions regarding Muggles.
The current area of concentration was Muggle literature, starting with Shakespeare and working through many of the great Muggle classics over the space of a few weeks. The current literary work, Pride and Prejudice, was one of Lily's all-time favorites. Her supplies arranged to her satisfaction, Lily drew her dog-eared copy from her bag and settled into her chair, pointedly disregarding the chuckles now punctuating the conversation around her and allowing the words of Jane Austen to take her away.
It was hard to remain imperevious to her classmates for long, though Lily did her damndest to give the appearance that she was. Another round of raucous laughter had her cringing behind her book. She peeked around the edges. It was those moronic Mauraders led by the insufferable James Potter.
"They should call it 'Care of Muggles' and hold it out with Care of Magical creatures!" James was saying, earning him another round of laughter from his dedicated groupies. He ran his hands through his dark hair, rumpling it. "I mean, is there anything more ridiculous or pathetic than a Muggle?"
"Snivellous." Sirius Black said immediately.
"True, Pads, true. But then Snivellous is several steps below even Muggles."
By this point Lily was nearly shaking with fury, willing herself to continue staring at the pages of her book. I will not hex him into oblivion. I will not hex him into oblivion. The thought became a mantra she repeated over and over.
Lily looked up again.
"What Moony? I suppose you're going to scold us again about Snivellous?" Black's voice was laced with annoyance.
"Actually...no. But...it's hardly kind to say such things about Muggles. They may not have Magic, but they are rather innovative, in their own way." Remus fixed a hard look at Potter. "Aside from that, Evans is the best in our year, and she's Muggle-born. So watch what you say, Prongs."
Lily felt a rush of something a kin to gratitude towards Lupin, tempered only by the fact that he was one of them. If he wasn't a Marauder, Lily felt she could almost like Lupin, which was high praise indeed from Lily.
Potter had the good grace to look embarassed.
"Geez. I..uh..wasn't thinking I guess."
10 to 1 he's musing his hair again. Lily wagered with herself. A quick peek confirmed that he was, in fact, running his hands through his hair.
"You seldom do, Prongs." Lupin teased.
"It's one of his better qualities!" Put in Black.
But Potter didn't reply and Lily suddenly felt her skin crawling from the suspicion that he was staring at her.
"I don't suppose she heard?" He sound duly chagrined. "Maybe I should apologise?"
Black snorted. "Don't bother Prongs. She's got her nose shoved so far up that book she probably wouldn't hear the Quidditich World Cup if it was going on around her. As usual." He added contemptously.
Lily gripped her book so tightly her knuckles turned white.
"Even so." Potter said, sounding regretful. "I'd better apologise. Evans is scary when she's mad."
Damn,damn, damn! Thought Lily. She watched out of the corner of her eye as Potter made his way, with a great show of remourse, of course, through the rows of seats to the front of the class. He grabbed the seat right next to her, flinging himself into it with a practiced disregard, and casually propping his feet on the desk in front of him. Lily tried not to have a coniption.
"Evans." He said his voice laced with a melodramatic despair. Lily ignored him and turned the page.
"Evans..." He tried again, more dramatically than before. Lily didn't even offer him a flicker of acknowledgement.
"Evans!" He was getting loud. Just keep ignoring it and it'll go away, Lily told herself optimisticly. Experience told her a different tale. Potter was such an annoying child. Once something had his attention he pursued it relentlessly--a fact Snape could well attest to.
"Accio Book!" The book flew from her hands and into his. "What's so fascinating about this anyway, Evans, that you would totally ignore such desparate pleas for your attention?"
Lily turned on him instantly, her eyes blazing with barely supressed rage.
"Give it back, Potter."
Her voice, however, while cold enough to produce a frost, gave nothing of her anger away. If there was one thing her Muggle mother had taught her, it was to carefully control anger. Emotion gave enemies power, she would put no such tools in Potter's hands.
"In a minute Evans, in a minute." He was turning the book over in his hands. "Here, Padfoot, catch!" Potter tossed the book carelessly at Black, who caught it with ease. "Maybe you and Moony and figure out what is so desparately fascinating about it."
"Pads..." Lupin warned as Black turned the book over as well, mimicking Potter's feigned puzzlement.
"Not a clue, Prongs, not a clue. But I have a place for it!" With a careless flick of his wrist, the book went sailing across the room, landing with a crash in the trash.
Lily's cheek twitched. She took active control of her expression, schooling her features into a careful mask of contempt. Potter looked back at her.
"Sorry, Evans, Pads isn't much for extensive thought."
She arched a brow. "Well, you certainly have a knack for pointing out the blatently obvious."
"Ah, now, Evans, don't be like that! Really, we're very sorry! For everything."
She rolled her eyes, stood, walked to the trash to collect her book, and returned to her seat, fully expecting him to be gone when she returned. Her hope was in vain. Potter was kneeling on the floor in front of her. Boldly grabbing her hand, he moaned in feigned dispair. "Please Evans, you must forgive us!" By this point, the entire class was laughing, and Black was nearly rolling on the floor from laughing too hard. Of course, Hans picked just that moment to make his appearance.
"Alright, students, alright." He stopped and stared at Lily and Potter. "Take our seats now."
Lily jerked her hand out of Potter's grasp and wiped it contemptously on her robes, as though to remove the taint. He leaned forward. "Forgive me?" He whispered.
"Hardly, Potter." She hissed. "You're not worth the effort."
He smiled winningly at her. "Then I guess I'll sit here until you do."
He flung himself casually into the chair, tilting it back till it balanced on two legs.
Hans, oblivious to the somewhat quieter chatter going on around him, began to drone on in a bored tone about Muggle customs in Pride and Prejudice.
Lily lifted her quill and began to scratch out notes.
"Evans." Potter whispered. She turned pointedly away from him.
"Evans." He tried again, somewhat louder. Upon getting no response, he wadded up a piece of parchment. It hit Lily's head with a dull thunk before falling to the floor.
"What?" She hissed, fixing him with a contemptuous glare.
"You're not seriously taking notes are you?"
"No." She said sarcasticaly. "Not at all. I'm just scratching the parchment for my own amusement."
He grinned, impervious to the obvious frost in her tone.
"Good. Then you won't need this." He snatched up her parchment and quill, scratching out a quick note, which he tossed to Black. Black unfurled it and grinned, passing it to Lupin. Lupin rolled his eyes and waded up the paper, but a slight smile worked its way across his lips.
Potter turned back to her. "I told them I think you like me." Her dumbstruck expression must have been obvious, for Potter noticed and grinned even more broadly. "I see you're speechless. That's a first, Evans. But then my obvious charms have struck many woman into awe before you." He put his hands behind his head arrogantly, leaning further backward on his precarious perch.
Lily's eyes narrowed with sudden inspiration. She stretched casually, curling her legs backward as she did so. With a slight kick of her foot so subtle it could have been accidental, she sent Potter's chair, and him in it, crashing backward onto his inflated head.
The class went completely silent following the immense crash. Lily rose to her feet in mock horror. Clutching her hands to her chest in mock concern she peered down at him.
"Miss Evans! Mr Potter! What happened?" Hans was clearly distressed.
"It appears for a Quidditich star, Potter has amazingly poor reflexes and balance Professor." Lily declared.
Potter stared up at her from his sprawl on the floor blinking and staring at her as though he had never really seen her before. Black was on his feet as well.
"Ya ok, Prongs?"
Potter didn't spare a glance for his friend, instead fixing Lily with the oddest look.
"Are you ok, Potter?" Lily repeated, her green eyes dancing wickedly in amusement.
Potter put a hand to his head but made no attempt to disentangle himself from the chair.
"You...you're bloody..." He stammered
She waited for the angry insult.
"You're bloody beautiful!" He said in awe, as though realizing an amazing fact for the first time.
Lily rolled her eyes.
"He's delirous!" She declared, turning to Professor Han and earning a laugh from the class.
"I'll say!" Black muttered in agreement.
"You are!" He insisted, continuing to stare up at her with a creepy, sappy expression on his face.
"Oh, my." Han stammered. "Mr. Potter I think you'd better go to Madame Pomfrey."
"I'm fine!" He protested, trying to rise to his feet. He stumbled and nearly fell. Lily reached out and steadied him without thinking.
"Oh, my! You really must see Madame Pomfrey! Miss Evans. Please escort Mr Potter to Madame Pomfrey."
Lily turned, suddenly aware that her hands were all over Potter, a protest forming on her lips. She stopped when she saw the glare Han was fixing them with.
"Come on, Potter." she said tugging him towards the door.
"It's James." He muttered, staggering along beside her.
They cleared the doorway with some difficulty and awkwardness. Potter staggered into the hallway, clutching at Lily as he did so, forcing her to tighten her grip on his waist. With her hands pressed against his abs as they were, she couldn't help thinking that he was quite toned. Bad girl. Bad. This is Potter. Potter the ruddy Git! She flushed, acutely aware of his arm drapped rather intimately across her shoulders. She snuck a glance at him and found he was staring at her.
"You going to be ok there Potter?"
"Hmm?" he said distractedly, and Lily had the distinct impression that, had he been able, he would be rumpling his hair. "Oh. Yeah. Fine. And its James."
After walking for several moments in silence, Lily felt an odd tugging on her hair. She turned to Potter, to find him running the fingers of his free hand through a stay lock of her hair.
"Bloody gorgeous." He breathed into her ear.
Lily rolled her eyes.
"Yes, yes. You keep saying that. How hard did you hit your head?"
She pulled him forward, reminding herself that she had no one to blame but herself for her predicament. How was I to know that blow to the head would addle his few wits?
"You are you know, Lily. Gorgeous. Wonder how I never noticed before..."
"It's Evans, Potter, and you probably have a concussion. Hopefully you'll return to your few senses and we can forget this ever happened."
Potter made no reply, but clutched at her shoulders slightly, drawing their bodies closer together. Lily suppressed a sigh. A few more paces and he would be Pomfrey's problem.
"Madame Pomfrey!" Lily called, her voice echoing through the nearly empty ward. "Madame Pomfrey!"
Madame Pomfrey came rushing to meet them. "Miss Evans! Mr. Potter! What is it?"
"Potter." Lily replied settling Potter onto the closest empty bed. "Fell and hit his head."
"Oh dear. Quidditch accident?"
"No. He fell out of a chair."
Pomfrey leaned inward, examining Potter closely. "Just a nasty bump." She pronounced. Potter started to rise. "No, no Mr. Potter. Stay seated. You should rest here for a couple of hours at least."
"But I feel fine!" he protested.
"Nonsense. Miss Evans?" Madame Pomfrey turned towards Lily, who had been quietly edging her way to the door, in hopes of slipping away undetected.
"Yes, Madame Pomfrey?" Lily replied, suppressing a sigh.
"Stay here with, Mr. Potter. Make sure he doesn't do anything..."
"Stupid?" Lily suplied.
"Mmm. Yes." Madame Pomfrey replied, forcing Potter to lay down and covering him with a blanket. "Right. See to it that he stays put."
"Yes, Madame Pomfrey."
Lily settled herself into a chair to wait. To her vast relief, he made no further attempts at conversation. He did, however, continue to stare at her with such intensity that she began to blush.
"Must you do that?" She said finally.
"Sorry, Lily. Can't help it..."
"It's Evans." she replied automatically. "And your driving me ruddy--" But she didn't finish, for at that moment Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew burst into the ward.
"Hey Prongs!" Black said cheerfully. "Ruddy good show mate! Hans was beside himself the rest of the period. Couldn't hardly speak a coherent sentence."
"Yeah but when can he ever?" Potter laughed.
"He makes a valid point." Moony smiled.
"So hows the head, Prongs?" Asked Pettigrew.
"Aches bloody awful." Potter replied, rubbing it.
Black turned to Lily. "So what's your problem Evans?"
"Don't have one now that you lot are here." Lily started towards the door.
"Lily wait!" Potter called after her. "Lay off Evans, Padfoot." Lily stopped in the doorway and turned back towards him.
Black was glaring at Potter. "Now why the ruddy hell would I want to do that Prongs? She knocked you on your bloody arse! Are you just going to let her get away with that?"
"It wasn't...I mean..." Potter stammered, running his hands through his hair.
"Later, Potter." Lily said, making good her escape.