I don't own any of the poems used in this chapter nor most of the characters, otherwise I would be much richer than I am now. The next chapter is in sight. Hamlet's little tale is next. Now remember, hit the little blue button down at the bottom and remind me I have a story.


Chapter 5 – Lily

5, 4, 3, 2, 1. The bell rings. I watch as James and Sirius dive into their seats, giggling madly. You'd think they were twins the way they acted. I swear they share a brain and a small one at that. Possibly the two most popular guys in the school, between rugby, good looks, and decent grades (fine, good grades) they have the school charmed. It doesn't matter that they are in detention every other day; they can still get away with anything. Before Mrs. McGonagall left, they called her Minnie and they enter Principal Khan declaring that he can't prove a thing. I think they are the reason he put secrecy cameras in the school.

"Good afternoon, class," Mr. Sutherland said pleasantly. "Before we start reciting our poems, I would like to remind you that your note cards are due in exactly one week. There will be no extensions or excuses, since you've had nearly a month to do this. Each day late will loose you ten points off your end grade. Any questions?"

There was some grumbling, but overall, the class was quiet. I am almost done, just two more cards left to do. Sirius and James, James and Sirius, I wonder if I could just write one card for the both of them and get it over with. I just don't know what to write. It feels like every time I try I just scratch the surface. So I did some digging and found out more than I ever wanted to know about both of them. Originally, I though Sirius was just another arrogant asshole who has dated every girl in the school. Though I have seen him act serious (pun completely unintended) like Tony slipped in that puddle and cracked his head open on the corner of a desk. He managed to stay calm while we all panic and/or screamed like a little girl at the sight of blood, coughJamescough. I also noticed that he hides his pain behind a quick joke and a smile, like when he got tackled at that one rugby game I saw (yes, I did see one). His arm was clearly at the wrong angle, and I mean wrong angle. It was all bent backwards and everything and he just laughed and flirted with the female EMT as she splinted him. And another thing, I realized as he finches whenever anyone besides James comes too close to him without his permission. I know he lives with the Potters (I feel sorry for the poor parents, having to deal with James and Sirius all the time) and has for a while. I don't know where he was before that and I'm not sure I want to. Sirius is a mystery. Maybe that is what I should write on my card in big capital letters. SIRIUS IS A MYSTERY.

James, on the other hand, I know more about that I want, too. I miss freshman year when he was just a one-side prick whose only goal was to ask me out in more and more embarrassing ways. I do not want (well, need) three hundred boxes of chocolate nor a marriage propel over the loudspeaker. Lately, he's backed off. He hasn't asked me out since Mr. Sutherland's first day. I fear he's planning something big. I've actually been thinking about accepting the next one, if it's tasteful enough. I mean, it's senior year. I might as well. He's been really sweet lately to other people. I saw him helping Peter with his homework the other day and he hasn't been bothering Severus as much. I could do worse; Tony, for instance.

"No, good. Now for are presentations. Who wants to go first?" Mr. Sutherland continued.

"Didn't we sign up for this ages ago?" Tony cried in distress. The rest of the class murmured their agreement. Public speaking is not everyone's favorite thing.

"Yeah, we did," Shawn persisted. "Remus was first."

"Thanks for throwing me to the wolves, Shawn," Remus said with a smile. James and Sirius giggled insanely, again.

Mr. Sutherland finds our sign up sheet in the mess he calls a desk. "Yes, Remus was first followed by Iqra. Remus, if you would?"

Remus stands in front of the room. ""If" by Rudyard Kipling:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!"

James and Sirius give his a standing ovation, sparking a scattering of applause around the room. He did a good job. That was a long poem.

"Good job. That was a bit longer than I expected," Mr. Sutherland looked back down at his paper. "Iqra, you're up. Kate is on deck."

I flash her a smile as she gets up. She grins back as she turns to face the class. ""Ballade to Romance" by David Russell.

They say that you no longer fly

Across the land in twilight's glow,

That you no longer wander by

The lotus pools that dimly show

Below the whispering trees. and Oh!

They say you never haunt the streams

And woodlands1 But they do not know

The world is wrapped in saffron dreams.

They say you have gone where I

Can never follow, that your foe

Has crushed you, that you die.

But they never stood below

Tall cypress trees that whisper low

Unto the breeze their joy that seems

To tell of loves that sing and know

The world is wrapped in saffron dreams.

They have not seen the waves leap high

Where silver tipped currents flow,

They have not felt the star-gemmed sky

Across which misty vapors blow

And crumpled clouds float to and fro

Resplendent with a thousand beams

So that they knew this to be so:

The world is wrapped in saffron dreams.

Oh Romance, let us ever go

To fields where your love-banner beams;

Our living shall be sweet – for lo,

The world is wrapped in saffron dreams.

"Good job, good job. Nice tone. Kate, you ready?" She nods. "Good you're up. Sirius, you're next."

Kate stands in the front of the class, shoulders back and chin high. "Emily Dickinson:

I have no life but this,

To lead it here;

Nor any death, but lest

Dispelled from there;

Nor tie to earths to come,

Nor action new,

Except through this extent,

The realm of you.

"A nice short poem, thank you. I am a big fan of Emily Dickinson. Sirius, you're up. Hamlet, after this."

Sirius gets up and flashes a grin at James. "Tired of Trying by Silence Dogood:

im tired of tryin
Sick of cryin
Yeah im smilin
But inside im
Dying

I dont know whats worth fighting for
or why I have to scream
But now i have some clarity
To tell you what I mean.
You went and broke whats already broken
I try to take a breath but im already chocking
I cant seem to get my heart over you.
Cause you creep into everything i do.
I never thought that you could break me apart
I keep an inisint smile and a hold on my heart.

And im tired of tryin
Sick of cryin
Yeah im smilin
But inside Im
Dying
This is my december
These are my snow covered trees
This is me pretending
This is all I need
Taken far from my safety
The picture is there
The memory wont escape me
But why should I care?

because im Tired of trying
Sick of crying
Yeah im smiling
But inside im dying

If you had class you'd throw down with me.
Drown in your fake personality
I kept the snapshots of reality
Burnt pictures and bad memories.
Will it ever be the same.
Will you ever say my name.
In card and flowers on your window
I plead for you to stay
Sometimes beginings arent so simple
Sometimes goodbyes the only way

Cause im tired of trying
Sick of crying
Yeah Im smiling
But inside im
Dying.

You have no heart you got no shame.
You take true love and give the blame.
You took me and shook me.
Tore me apart.
And left me with a broken heart.
I cannot take this anymore
Saying everything i've said before
I'll paint it on the walls
Cause im the one at fault
I'll never fight again
And this is how it ends

im tired of trying
So sick of cryin
yeah im smilin

But inside im dying
and even though im smilin
doesnt mean its true
Because inside im dying
All because of you"

The class was oddly silent. I don't think anyone expected that. It was serious (again no pun intended).

"Uh, good job," Mr. Sutherland stuttered. "A very moving poem. Hamlet, you're up. Lily, you're next."

"I'm not sure I'll top that poem, but here goes nothing," Hamlet began. "Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe:

"It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea. It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in asepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea."

"Excellent," Mr. Sutherland replied. "Lily, your turn. James is next."

I get up slowly. It's not that I hate public speaking, it's just not my favorite thing. I just hate the butterflies.

"I also did Edgar Allen Poe. "Road to Eldorado:

GAILY bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search ofEldorado.

But he grew old --
This knight so bold --
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked likeEldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow --
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be --
This land ofEldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied, --
"If you seek for Eldorado!""

"A very nice poem, Lily. Our final poem of the day, James if you will," Mr. Sutherland breathed. I think he hates poetry. He's been rushing us though this entire unit. Most of the other classes are still of TP-CASTT, which I have to say am glad we are done with.

James moves to the front of the room with his lean athletic grace. Pausing in the center of the board, his eyes find mine. "This is for Lily," he said gravely, getting down on one knee. He better no propose marriage, again. "How Do I Love Thee? Elizabeth Bennet Browning.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day's

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

"Will you go out with me, Lily?" Only James could pull off a public love poem and not get called out. I should reject him just because of tradition. But why not accept? I'm already in college and there isn't anything left to do. It's senior year.

"Yes," I replied quietly. It was so quiet in the classroom. 5…4…3…2…1…

"All right, Prongs!" Sirius screamed, tackling James. They scuffled for a few seconds before James ends up in a headlock.

"Get off me," James whimpered, his hand trashing madly at Sirius' face. Sirius dodges easily, relishing in the fact that he is a good two inches taller than James.

"Nope," he replied evenly as he tightened his hold. James stopped struggling. "Now, Evans is a keeper and you are going to keep her. You have waited four long years for this and I'm not going to let you screw up." Would that be considered a threat? "She's a nice girl. Respect her every wish or you'll answer to me." James seems about to protest, so Sirius shakes him a few times. "I don't care if she makes you go buy tampons. Pain is good for the soul. Understand?" James tries to nod. He's beginning to turn a little blue. Sirius seems to notice and lets go.

"Boys, no roughhousing in the classroom, please," Mr. Sutherland said as he came out of his stupor. I think we scare him… a lot. I mean Sirius might have just caused James serious (no pun intended) damage and he didn't do anything about it. If I was to randomly start choking pretty much anyone except maybe James (which I'm sure is completely understandable), I would be in detention faster than I could blink. But the two of them can pretty much blow up the school without getting a warning. I hate double standards. "All right, since the bell is going to ring in a few minutes anyway, you can talk among yourselves for the remainder of the period." Like we were going to do work anyway. Immediately, most of the girls in the class swarmed over to me, while the usual guys joined Sirius and James in the front of the room. I could heat them placing bets on how long James and I would remain a couple. Sadly or maybe predictably, Sirius was the only one who thought we would make it past graduation and he was getting excellent odds. Remus didn't even give us a week.

"Finally," Iqra said, smiling at me.

"Agreed," replied Juliet.

"What are you going to do on your first date?" asked Regan.

"You should go to the movies," M.E. announced.

"No, you should go out for a quiet dinner at some expensive restaurant," exclaimed Goneril. She was always a gold-digger.

"Not for a first date. Movies are way better for first dates," M.E. shot back.

"Fancy dinner."

"Movies."

"Dinner."

"Movies."

"Actually, I was thinking about doing both, if Lily didn't mind," James said from behind me. I didn't hear him come over. "And I was thinking a double, so it wouldn't be too awkward. If you'd excuse us ladies, we'd like to talk." Everyone scattered.

"You'll have to teach me how to do that," I said quietly.

He grinned. "It's a gift. Sirius gets them to come over and I get them to run away. Now, about our date. Sirius wants to come to make sure I don't screw things up with you. He wants to make sure I'm serious." I can't help it. I giggle. "What!?"

"No, it's just that…" I start laughing harder. "I just didn't know you were serious."

"Of course, I'm serious," he said a good deal louder than he meant to.

Sirius bounds over. "You can't be Sirius, I am."

James growls. "That pun needs to die."

"Hey, it wasn't me how said it." James looked like he was about to kill Sirius so I interrupted their bromance. I swear the two of them have the weirdest, but closest, bromance ever, except for J.D. and Turk, but I'm still pretty sure they're gay.

"Anyway, about our date?" I asked.

"You have corrupted the entire school. I heard Principal Khan say it when one of the parents asked he was you-know-what. It's an epidemic," James shouted outraged.

"Date, James, date," I tried again.

"James, sweetie, you're ignoring your date," Sirius pointed out. James was still ranting. Remus caught my eye. He had obviously been listening in. Grinning, he mouthed 'They do this a lot. Get used to it.'

"Boys! Date?"

"Sorry. Anyway, Sirius is going with us. He wishes to tell you that he will allow you to choose his date for the evening."

"Choose his date?"

"Well, I figure we will probably end up arguing for half the time so I decided that you can choose your companion," Sirius said with a little bow.

"Anyone?"

"Sure why not. I'll even tell you one embarrassing story about James if I loose." He cupped his hand to his mouth. "I've known him since he was potty training. I've got plenty of stories."

"Kate." How could I resist?

"Cool be back in a few." He walked off and sat down next to Kate. After a few seconds, she was laughing at something.

"He has a gift," James said enviously. I have to agree. I don't think anyone has ever said no. "We do this for fun sometimes. Once Remus choice a guy and he did it. He's straight and I am pretty sure that guy was too." Sirius wandered back over, grinning. "Where's Kate?"

"Finishing up her math homework. I picking her up at three to go to an Emily Dickenson poetry reading, then we will swing by and pick you too love birds up at seven for dinner followed by an eight-thirty showing of whatever movie you wish, Lily."

James sniggered and I glared at him. "Fine."

"James, Sirius, get over here," Peter called. James gets up reluctantly and wanders over. Sirius pauses for a moment.

"If he is ever too obnoxious, just tell me and I'll fix him," he mutters before bowing and scampering away. I wander over to Kate.

"Sirius, really?" I ask.

"He's taking me to the poetry festival, so it should be good," she responds. The bell rings. Kate packs up as if nothing has changed. Everything has changed for me at least. Everything has changed.