Settling the Score
Summary: After one ex-girlfriend too many, James Potter is at the top of the hit list of a group of vengeful girls. So how does Lily finding herself the newest arm candy to Hogwarts' hottest heartthrob fit into the equation? LJ
Disclaimer: The name change hasn't been legalised yet, so until then, I'm not JK Rowling. This fic was inspired by the movie 'John Tucker Must Die.' And just to mix things up a little, this story is set in James and Lily's sixth year.
Ch 1: One Step Too Far
Not a single girl to have passed through Hogwarts' during years of attendance didn't know that name. Not always for his dashing good looks, irresistible charm, superior wit, incredible intellect, enviable quidditch skills and down right sex appeal mind you. But unforgettable nonetheless. Not even words could do him justice.
He wasn't just a trendsetter, the height of cool, God's gift to mankind, an Apollo. James was who every girl wanted to date, who every guy secretly wanted to be. Even the people that hated him, despised his very being and everything he stood for loved him, adored him, followed him, admired him as much as they were turned green with jealousy at his very sight.
Some people just walk in the limelight. James Potter was engulfed in it. He simply was the limelight. James Potter was a legend. There was just no other way of putting it.
James had a reputation no guy could ever hope to compete with. The line of girls waiting for their chance to date him, even knowing they'd have their hearts smashed to pieces, never shortened. No girl would turn down a date with James Potter.
Except Lily Evans.
The day their fifth year OWLs finished Lily Evans could be found stomping through the cool, quiet corridors of Hogwarts, a deep frown on her pretty face.
"Stupid arrogant Potter." She fumed softly to herself, marching heavily up a staircase and imagining each step was his smirking face.
"Jerk… snot rag… built like a bean pole… such a disgrace… want to beat him repeatedly with a heavy pole…" Her muttered ramblings were hardly coherent as she continued on her way, cursing under her breath as she went.
"You know," Said a casual, if slightly amused voice from where she had just stormed past. "That's not usually the reaction he gets from girls."
Turning around Lily was met with the smiling face of a slightly older, yet dashingly handsome young man. Caradoc Dearborn.
Lily felt her own lips curve into a small smile. "Conceited jackass isn't really my type."
His grin broadened, a low rumbling chuckle escaping him. "You're trying to tell me that you are the only girl in this school resistant to Potter's charm?" Caradoc challenged with eyebrows raised in scepticism. Lily set her face defiantly.
"That's exactly what I'm saying."
Caradoc laughed again but this time there was a hint of admiration, and perhaps and bit of patronising as if he knew something she didn't, evident in his deep voice. "You're quite some girl Lily Evans." He smiled with a shake of his head. "One day that boy is going to meet his match and some strange inkling tells me that you might just be it."
Lily beamed proudly. "Damn right." Was all she said.
One day that James Potter was just going to go too far. Cross her one too many times that her violent urges towards him would cease to be only fantasies. And when he did, she'd teach him a lesson.
James approached his sixth year the same way he had for the previous five. His arrogant yet charming smirk set comfortably in its usual place, his hair as obscenely yet endearingly messy as always and his swagger no less obvious. It never occurred to him that this year might be different.
It started off the same. He ruled the school as he always had, girls simpered as they passed him and snuck pieces of parchment into his back pocket with a time to meet them in a secluded broom closet and he still aced his classes with minimal effort. He dated, he dumped and life went on. Yet something, or someone, was about to change all that.
"I hate him!" The hard slam of the door made Lily flinch slightly at the anger that seemed to radiate through the small room.
"How could he do this to me?" Lily shrugged helplessly as she watched her friend terrorise the room, her loud stomps making the floor shake.
"He is going to pay for this." She continued furiously. "I tell you right now, no one messes with me and gets away with it." She drew a great shuddering breath and spat out her final words with venom.
"James Potter is going down."
It was amazing, in Lily's opinion, how many times this same sentence had been uttered. How after a mere few hours, days or even weeks the previously besotted and elated girl in question could sing such a drastically different tune. How one minute it was all misty eyed gazes and adoringly whispered praises and then bitter and vengeful tirades of hate and revenge the next.
Not even Lily, the only girl who seemed not to fall into a pile of giggling, swooning, blushing mush at James Potter's feet could produce such hatred towards him. Sure, she didn't like him all that much. He annoyed her, there was no doubt about that. He could make her so mad that she longed to throw a book… no, a brick at his head.
They'd certainly had their blow ups when he'd been astounded at her disinterest towards him. His short lived obsession had been quickly killed at any further potential damage to his reputation. Something for which Lily was eternally grateful for.
Lily turned back to her recently and brutally, yet still expectedly dumped friend who was suddenly eying her scarily, all traces of tears and evidence of newly squashed pride gone.
"Lily, we're going to bring James Potter down. Crush him." Emma said a little unnervingly in Lily's opinion, a mad glint shining in her almost black eyes.
"Wh-what?" Lily was a little confused. She felt for Emma, she really did. No one deserved to be treated the way James Potter treated, well everyone. But when had the 'we' come into it?
"You and me Lil. We're smart enough. We could do it, what every scorned girl has never had the guts to do. We could be legends." Her face was shining excitedly but Lily couldn't help but think this was beyond rational. James was a jerk. Unquestionably. And sure, Lily had always secretly fantasised about bringing him down but they were just fantasies. She wasn't the kind of person to outwardly sabotage another just for the fun of it. That would make her no better than Potter himself. Or the Slytherins.
"I don't want to be a legend." Lily said flatly. Emma's animated expression didn't falter.
"Lily, think about it. What he's done to so many girls. How many people's he's hurt. Don't you think he deserves a taste of his own medicine?" She persisted. Lily shook her head firmly. This could only end in tears. This was James Potter. He was indestructible.
Lily squeezed Emma's hand gently and gave her an encouraging smile. But no amount of reassurance and comfort seemed to make a difference. Every argument she put forward, Emma simply turned around until they were going around in circles, while Emma's smile grew wider and Lily's frown grew deeper.
"Come on Lily. You said it last year. That you would teach James a lesson." Emma urged.
Shaking her head, Lily knew that was true in essence but who didn't say that when they were angry at someone? Who didn't plot numerous tactics of utter humiliation, expulsion or in drastic cases, death in enraged states of mind? But they started at and forever stayed nothing more than evil, livid fantasies.
"I'm sorry Em. You can plan whatever sabotage you like but I won't be part of it." Lily said at last, her voice flat. And that was that.
Unfortunately, Emmeline Vance was not renowned for taking no for an answer.
"I'll buy you a whole block of honeydukes chocolate? What about that scarf you wanted?"
"It's for a good cause. Pretty please?"
But no amount of pestering would change Lily Evans' stubborn mind. Nevertheless, occasionally when she was lying in bed or trying not to fall asleep in history of magic or even lazily stirring her cauldron during potions Emma's voice would ring in her ears and her resolution would waver ever so slightly. Her mother had always told her that two wrongs didn't make a right but what if they really would be helping the entire female population of the school? Maybe a little sabotage was for the greater good.
An inch from caving, James Potter helped to affirm to Lily that he deserved everything coming to him. That she could and would single-handedly, well not single-handedly since it was Emma's idea but it sounded a little more dramatic that way, bring James Potter down.
Juggling her books while trying to sling her bag over her shoulder, the voices of James Potter and Sirius Black caught Lily's attention, making her interest mount at their cocky voices carrying down the now deserted corridor. James' head was held high and Lily felt certain that it must take a lot of concentration for that swagger of his that it was not doubtful that her presence went unnoticed.
"Man it's good to be me." James said smugly his smirk just about taking over his face. Not uncommonly a group of tittering girls had not long since past shooting him admiring and shamelessly flirtatious looks. Lily felt the also not so uncommon urge to hurl dragon dung at his pompous face.
"What, 'cause you've slept with just about every female in fifth year and above?" Sirius smirked appreciatively and Lily felt disgusted. What a lot of pigs!
Their continuous footsteps down the corridor far from drowned out their loud obnoxious guffaws.
"Except the trolls." Commented James with a grimace of distaste followed by more chuckles.
"And Evans." Laughter dying on his lips, James' head shot up at Sirius' comment. A disgruntled look passed across his face making him look like a bratty petulant child.
"Evans is a boring prude." Said James flatly, a hint of bitterness leaking into his tone. Lily felt her blood boil with rage and it took all her self restraint not to hex him into oblivion right then and there.
"But just think of how much your rep would soar if you nailed her." Sirius continued slyly, his controlled excitement just evident in his voice.
James shook his head forcefully. "Nup. Don't even think about it Sirius. I'm not trying that again. That girl still had the gall to turn me down after I asked her out not once but twice, two more times than I've ever asked out any other girl." His face showed signs of bitterness and a small frown creased his brow. Lily couldn't help her own slightly arrogant smirk grace her lips.
"Maybe I'll tap than. She's pretty hot." Sirius said offhandedly, waiting for his words to sink in and a reaction to emit. And he wasn't disappointed for a second or two later –
"You really think it'd be worth it?" James asked. For the first time in her existence Lily noticed a hint of unsureness in his voice and for a second her heart softened before realisation struck again that they were talking about who could shag her first.
"Hell yeah." Sirius nodded enthusiastically. "No one would ever doubt you again. You'd be a hero. A legend. Well, more than you already are. You'd be the guy who finally deflowered Lily Evans."
If she wasn't livid enough before Lily felt an anger so strong pumping through her at that moment. It seemed to fill every space and her narrowed eyes noticed the slight tremor in her lithe fingers as she readjusted her bag. She'd heard enough. Silently, she turned on her heel and strode out, one thing repeating over and over in her head.
Blood pounded in her ears and white hot anger bubbled viciously through her veins ready to burst out. Her jaw was clenched in fury and her footsteps banged loudly as she quickly ascended the stairs to the girls' dormitory. The door slammed open a little harder than was intentional but her enraged mind barely gave it a thought. Instead she strode purposefully to Emma who looked at her in surprise as infuriated words flew from her mouth.
"We're going to bring James Potter down. Wipe that egotistical smirk so far off his face that its vengeful backlash will confound him so severely that his obese head will be rendered unrecognisable. James Potter is going to wish he was never born."
A/N Any comments or constructive criticisms? I kind of wrote this on a whim so I'd love your reviews and tell me what you think pretty please with a cherry on top? Is it worth continuing or straight to the garbage with it? You guys decide.
And a million apologies to the readers of my other fics. I've been incredibly slack in updating but I promise I will very soon. Please hang in there, the next chapter of Just Too Simple should be up in a few days! And happy Easter to everyone. Hope you all get tons of chocolate :-)