Sitting inside McGonagall's office, I realized what a fool I was. How could it be that I, Lily Evans, could be so thick? If only I hadn't been so eager to get away from James Potter, I wouldn't be sitting here, with a permanent blush painted on my cheeks, being punished for something that was entirely NOT my fault.
Confused? Yeah, so was I. Up until I entered this office did I understand what happened. Let's just say that I am going to kill James Potter and Sirius Black.
"Why? Why must he always do that, Hailey?" I had asked my best friend whilst pacing an empty classroom.
I had just been informed by a terrified third year that the signs on the bathrooms had been reversed. So, little girls and boys had been entering the opposite sexes bathroom only to be terribly confused as to why there were urinals, or missing urinals on the walls. And as Head Girl, I was responsible for finding out who could have done this.
Fortunately for me, I didn't even need to do any research. I knew exactly who was behind it. Who else but the one, the only, James BLOODY Potter, Head BLOODY Boy.
"Pranks define James Potter, Lily. You can't change that," replied Hailey. She was sitting on a desk and filing her fingernails.
I scoffed. Why couldn't I change that, huh? Why couldn't I change James Potter to be the non-pranking Head Boy that he was supposed to be? Why?!
"But, I thought he changed, you know? I can even admit that he'd grown up in the summer. His head has even deflated a bit. I mean, why can't he just lay off the pranks?" It had taken a lot of me to admit that James Potter had grown up. Even if it was just a little, I still recognized it. It was a welcome change to not be asked out everyday by the greatest prick alive.
"Lily, I think you're overreacting. You're right, James did grow up. But, you can't take away everything that is James Potter, or he would no longer be the James Potter that everyone loves," Hailey replied. She was still filing her nails and seemed like she didn't give a care in the world about my problems.
"That's not true. I don't love him. And why can't he find something better to do with his time?"
At that comment, Hailey finally looked up at me. "Look at it this way, Lily. This is the first prank they've pulled since the beginning of the school year. Give 'em a break. Boys will be boys."
Boys will be boys. That didn't explain the pranking. Not all blokes pranked. Some were respectable, hard-working, intelligent blokes that any girl could fall for without the aid of entertaining pranks. Did Potter actually think he'd win my heart by pranking innocent third years?
I sighed heavily. James Potter can be extremely tiring. It was like trying to control a two year old; impossible and irritating. "I guess you're right." Maybe I was overreacting, just a little? Sitting in this stuffy office, I realize that I had EVERY right to be overreacting.
"That a girl. We can go to the Kitchens and get a sundae if you want. On me," Hailey said. She got off the desk and stuffed her rainbow nail file into her book bag.
"The Kitchens are free, you dolt."
"Right. What I meant by that was that I would order them for us," she said. Hailey gave me one her strange smiles; the ones where she made sure that every single one of her pearly whites was showing and that her eyes were crinkled closed. This wasn't her natural smile of course, just the one she put on most of the time.
I rolled my eyes and followed my crazy friend out of the room. For some odd reason, Hailey had the ability to make you feel so much better if you were upset or whatever. She definitely wasn't the best listener, but she had a way of distracting you so that you're problems just went away. And at times, she gave very good advice. Right then, I guess I forgot all about James Potter. Up until…
"Hey! Wait up!" Some bloke started calling after us. I knew after the first syllable spoken from his mouth exactly who it was.
"Hey, Potter, Black. Where you headed to?" asked Hailey as I groaned. James Potter was the last person I wanted to see right now. I had also failed to notice that Black was with him as well. Oh, joy.
"Wherever you ladies are going," Sirius answered. He put a heavy, bulky arm around my shoulder and the other around Hailey's.
I shrugged it off and grabbed Hailey's hand. I really couldn't deal with them right then. "Actually, we were just going off to the loo. See you later!" Conveniently, there was a girls' bathroom right ahead of us. It seemed almost too convenient.
I must say, as I look back at the moment, I realize that this is where my first mistake had been made. If I had realized that this was a set up, I would never be sitting her, listening to McGonagall scold us.
I felt Hailey resisting and heard Potter shouting at me not to go in that bathroom. I turned my head and gave him a questioning look before entering anyways.
As I walked in, I knew something was off. Merlin, the smell was horrible. My nose wrinkled just thinking about it. I would never, ever smell something so horrible for the rest of my existence. I remember thinking that I had to speak to Filch about that, because no normal female bathroom should smell like that. Hailey was coughing slightly beside me.
I looked around, scanning for familiar signs. Mirror, sink, stall, urinal, rubbish bin…wait, WHAT? Urinal? What the HELL was a urinal doing in the girls' bathroom? Then, the realization struck me almost as bad as the smell.
"Oh, bugger," said Hailey from my side.
We were in the boys' bathroom.
My face flushed and I ran out of there with Hailey close behind me.
We walked out of the bathroom, trying to look as casual as possible. Potter was shaking his head slightly while Sirius was struggling to keep his laughter in and he put something into his robe pocket. I noticed that Peter Pettigrew had also joined them.
The sight of all three of them together made me so angry, which was my second mistake. I should have controlled it better, but what can I say? Redheads are known for their fiery tempers.
"I am going to KILL you, Black," I snarled. He looked at me and stopped laughing. I had thought that I had scared him into muteness and was satisfied for the moment. Again, big mistake.
"Ms. Evans! Ms. Rodgers!" said a voice from behind me. That voice sent shivers down my spine and goose bumps running down my arms. My back instinctively stiffened and Hailey and I turned slowly on the spot.
There, Professor McGonagall stood, with a shocked and disappointed expression on her face. I blushed harder, hoping to Merlin that she did not see what I thought she saw.
Oh, wait. The sign on the door said it was a girls' bathroom, so I was safe, right? She couldn't possibly know it was a boys' bathroom, right?
"Did I just hear you threaten Black with his life?" I was busy thinking of an excuse for why I was in the boys' bathroom that I almost thought I heard wrong.
"Er. Yes, ma'am, I did," I found myself answering.
"Ms. Evans, I am disappointed. I expected better from you as Head Girl."
I hung my head shamefully at her disappointment. I had never let any teacher down before. Ever.
Well, at least she didn't see us coming out of the male bathroom.
"And am I correct that you and Ms. Rodgers just exited the male restroom?"
I spoke too soon. All my hopes that she didn't see us were destroyed in those five seconds. But, how could she possibly know? The door had the girls' bathroom sign on the door, didn't it?
Panicked and embarrassed, I looked at the bathroom door. There was a picture of a wizard, symbolizing the male bathroom. I was so utterly confused; I just stood there with my mouth hanging open, looking to the bathroom, to McGonagall and back again.
"Well?" she asked with her terribly stern face. She was so intimidating.
"I—er. The bathroom? No—male? I don't know," I said, the heat slowly returning to my cheeks. I saw Black sniggering out of the corner of my eye and Potter looking positively miserable. I couldn't make out the expression on Hailey's face. It might have been a mix of pain and amusement? I didn't know how she could possibly be amused at a time like this.
"Ms. Evans, did you or did you not exit the male restroom?" she asked again, the sternness in her voice making my mind go blank.
"I—well, you see, Professor—,"
"It was my fault, Professor, Lily didn't know—," started Potter.
"I don't want to hear it, Potter. Evans, answer the question, please," she said, holding her hand up to stop Potter from talking.
I looked down at the floor so she couldn't see my face. "Yes, ma'am," I said in a quiet, embarrassed voice.
She didn't answer for a while and I wondered if she had left. I assumed she was still there because no one moved. I didn't dare look up.
Finally, after an eternity, she spoke. "Ms. Evans, Ms. Rodgers, please come with me. Potter, Black, Pettigrew, get to your next class."
What?! Those damn blokes were the ones who started this mess and they got a 'get to your next class'? HOW IS THAT FAIR! Wasn't being humiliated punishment enough? I had never been to McGonagall's office before unless it was for congratulations and career meetings! As Hailey started pulling me along, I started thinking up the best ways that Black and Potter should die.
When I walked through McGonagall's office, I realized something. I almost slapped myself at how stupid I had been. And I was supposed to be Head Girl, top student in the class. Geez.
When Hailey and I walked out of the bathroom, Black had been putting something in his pocket. His wand. He must have changed the sign back to the original while we were in there. That bastard.
So, if there is news that James Potter and Sirius Black were attacked by a crazed madwoman, you'd know why. They have messed with me one too many times.
So, now I'm sitting here in this extremely uncomfortable seat, eating a stale biscuit, getting lectured by my Head of House, with my best friend beside me, plotting murder.
Oh, Hailey's standing up. I guess she's dismissed us?
"Thank you, Professor," I said, just out of courtesy.
She let us leave the office and Hailey let out a breath of relief once we were out of there.
"Good thing she let us off the hook, eh?" said Hailey.
"I said, it was good that we were let off the hook," she repeated.
"Oh, right. Lucky."
"Were you even paying any attention to McGonagall?"
"Sure I was," I said, in a way that I thought sounded convincing.
Apparently, it wasn't.
"I don't believe you."
"Okay, fine. I didn't hear a single word she said."
"I knew it. You were daydreaming," she said.
"Yeah. You caught me."
"I bet I know what you were daydreaming about," she said with a teasing voice.
"How could you possibly know what I was daydreaming about?" I asked her.
"I know you better than you know yourself; you'd be surprised."
"That's impossible. You couldn't possibly."
"Try me," she challenged.
How could Hailey know more about me than I know myself? Did that make any sort of sense what so ever? I didn't think so, but I decided to challenge her anyways.
"What's my favourite colour?" I asked as a starter question.
"Come on, Lily. Am I that bad of a friend? Purple, of course," she replied easily.
"Fine. What's my favourite meal?" This one would be tough.
"I've been living with you for seven years now. Shepherd's pie."
"Uh, what's my favourite song?"
"Sweep Me Through the Air, by The Warlocks."
Haha, she'd never get this one…
"Those hideous turquoise ones. I don't even know if you could call them shoes."
"They're comfortable!" I protested.
"And frightful," she added.
"URGH. Nevermind. Why do I even try?" I said. I was completely baffled that she'd known that! I don't even wear them around her!
"Because you always have to be right, and when you're not, you're unsatisfied and paranoid that someone knew something you didn't. Also, you have this strange personality thing where you have to be perfect, everything has to be planned out and organized."
What the hell?
"That was a rhetorical question," I said. I was very curious to why and how she knew so much about me.
"I know, but since I know you best, I was able to answer it," said Hailey proudly.
"You're either really observant, or a creeper," I stated.
"Probably a little bit of both. Now, getting back to our original point. You have a thing for James Potter," she said, sticking her chin in the air with confidence.
WHOA. BACKUP. Where the HELL did that come from?!
"Lily, close your mouth. It's unattractive and bugs will fly in," she said, pushing my chin up to close my mouth that I hadn't even realized was open.
"Sorry, what did you say?"
"Close your mouth?"
"No, no. Before that."
"You have a thing for James Potter."
WHOA. BACKUP. Where the HELL did that come from?!
"Lily. I told you to close your mouth."
"Are you talking about James Potter? The James Potter that I had just threatened to kill? The James Potter that I have hated since first year? That James Potter?"
"The very same. The one and only James Potter."
I stopped walking. I was going into shock. There was NO way in HELL that I would EVER be attracted to JAMES POTTER. I felt like I had to say it aloud, so I did.
"There is NO way in HELL that I would EVER be attracted to JAMES POTTER." I said staring straight into Hailey's amused eyes.
She smiled a wry smile and gave me an all knowing look. "Denial is the first step, m'dear," she said.
I shook my head and started to laugh. Eventually, I was laughing so hard, tears started to form in the corners of my eyes. I had an oncoming stitch in my side and I had to lean against the wall for support. I couldn't believe that she, Hailey Rodgers, who claimed to know me better than myself, would accuse me, Lily Evans, for having a thing for James-toerag-Potter. It was just unbelievable.
When my laughing fit was dying down, I looked up at Hailey, because somehow, I had ended up on the floor. She looked bored and a little bit annoyed. She pulled me up and continued walking.
"So anyways. I think you should at least give him a chance. I mean, he's a really nice guy. He just acts like an arse around you. Come to Quidditch practice with me one day and see," said Hailey.
I let out a little giggle. I couldn't help it. It was just too funny. Me and James Potter? Ahahaha. He's been asking me out since third year, always to the answer no. Why would it change now?
"But why would I want to be with a guy who acts like an arse around me?" I asked, getting over the idea of me and James dating.
"He doesn't do it on purpose. That's just what happens when he's around someone he likes. It's only natural. Remember that guy? What was his name again? It sounded like a dog's name. Was it Toby?"
"Shhh. And yes, it was Toby." I answered. He moved in on my street the summer before fourth year. I had liked him so much that I couldn't form any kind of sentence around him and developed a nervous twitch. Now, every time he sees me, I can see him whisper 'spaz' under his breath. Arse.
"Exactly. So you know how he feels. Except, I have a feeling that he's got it far worse. I think he's hooked on you," she said, nudging my arm.
I rolled my eyes at her hinting. She was insinuating that there was no getting rid of James Potter and that I would end up going out with him eventually. Psh. Not likely.
"The day that I go out with James Potter is the day that the Marauders are civil to Snape," I said, convinced that that day would NEVER come.
"Hmm. Interesting. I'll take you up on that. The day the Marauders are civil to Snape is the day that you will accept a date from James Potter."
I hadn't expected her to agree with me and a small flicker of foreboding lighted in my chest. I was tempting fate. By saying it, I was almost ensuring that it would happen. Oh, damn.
"Shake on it?" she said, holding her hand out to me.
I didn't want to show that I had my doubts, so I shook her hand. She had a smug look on her face that scared me. Would that day actually come? The left side of my brain was telling me no, but the right was insisting that it was a possibility. I didn't know which side to believe.
"But, you can't go talking to the Marauders about this. It's confidential," I said, trying to ensure that it would NOT happen.
"Agreed. I won't say a word." She ran two fingers across her lips signifying her 'zipping' her lips closed. Her brown eyes were twinkling with amusement and she started skipping.
How is it possible for a seventeen year old to have so much energy? Usually, as one gets older, the lazier they become. Generally, more sleep is required, doing nothing is a hobby, and tiredness is the general chronic state. But for some reason, Hailey seemed to have a never-ending supply of energy. She was always smiling, laughing, jumping, moving, something. It was almost unbearable at times.
"Should we get to class?" she asked, skipping ahead of me.
I sighed. We had Potions. I normally liked Potions, but today I did not want to go. Today, everything seemed so bothersome. I didn't have the drive to do anything but sleep.
A little boy passed us and walked into the male bathroom down the hall. Five seconds later, he ran out looking like he'd seen a creepy ghost who lived in the loos. That would have been a sight.
"What floor are we on, Hailey?" I asked, hoping that it wasn't the answer I knew it was.
"Er, the first. Why?" she asked, furrowing her eyebrows at me.
"I am going to kill them," I said.
The idiots! That was just plain cruel. Changing the sign of the haunted girls' bathroom to read the boys' bathroom? Not even the girls went in there. It was just plain awful trying to use the toilet with a chronically depressed ghost wailing about no one liking her and what not. Just plain awful.
"Er, who are you planning to kill, and why?" asked Hailey.
"That's Myrtle's bathroom," I said, pointing to the bathroom that read as the male's bathroom.
Hailey's mouth shaped into an 'O' in understanding. To my surprise, she started laughing.
"Poor bloke," she said chortling.
"It's not funny, Hailey," I said glaring at her. Too bad she wasn't affected by my glares. I angrily changed the sign of the wizard to a witch with a flick of my wand. "Have you ever tried using the loos with her hanging around?" I asked her.
"Who hasn't? Actually, it's quite amusing. She's actually quite nice as long as you act depressed and all," she said, laughing again.
I shook my head at her. She was always finding something funny in every situation. I guess that was a gift of some sort. Every situation can have some kind of humour to it, funny or not. I guess it was people like her that made the world a happier place.
We walked up the staircases to Potions class. Again, I was dreading going in there because I was afraid that I would actually kill Black and Potter if I saw them. No matter how much I hated them, I didn't want to be sent to Azkaban. No one's life was worth more than being locked up and having the happiness sucked out of you. I shivered just thinking about it.
"Lily, stop dragging your feet," said Hailey.
I reluctantly lifted my feet off the floor as I walked. My shoulders were slouched and I was looking down at the floor. I had really terrible posture. I really didn't want to go to Potions. But, what type of example would I be setting as Head Girl by skiving class? Not a very good one. So, I slumped forward and entered the class.