Crashing Down Around Them
Of Transfiguration and Staying Awake
"Oh My God I'm never going to get this." Lily Evans moaned to the empty Common room. It was 1 o'clock in the morning and everyone else was in bed, which was exactly where she wanted to be. Instead she was up freezing her butt off in the cold common room trying to transfigure a guinea fowl into a Guinea pig unsuccessfully.
"Come on Evans." She mumbled to herself. "You're supposed to be the smartest girl in your year yet you can't do this, even Sirius Black can do this." At this thought angry tears sprang into her eyes, though she rubbed them away furiously.
She continued to try unsuccessfully for close to an hour before collapsing in defeat into the huge armchair by the fire. I'm just a stupid mudblood she thought to herself, I shouldn't even bother trying. The tears of despair started to fall again but she made no move to wipe them away this time. She just stared into the fire miserably.
James Potter couldn't sleep. He kept tossing and turning, kicking his sheets and punching his pillow, but nothing would work. He couldn't get comfortable at all.
"This is ridiculous." He mumbled to himself sitting up in bed.
"Yea it is Mate." Remus grumbled from the bed next to him, "Please stop wiggling around like a flubberworm."
"I'm Sorry Moony I can't sleep."
"Really I couldn't tell." came the sleepily sarcastic comeback from the lump in the bed next to him.
"Would you two please shut up." Peter grumbled from the far bed.
"Sorry." James whispered.
"Could you please just get up." Remus whispered harshly, "BEFORE you wake Sirius, you know how he gets when he doesn't sleep."
James felt a Pillow slam into his head from the bed to the left of him.
"To late." He whispered.
"James." Remus growled
"Okay, okay Moony, I'm going." James whispered. He grabbed his wand and glasses off his bed side table before successfully navigating the maze that was the 6th year boy's dormitory.
Lily was so absorbed in self-loathing and pity that she didn't see or hear the figure stumble down from the boy's staircase. Nor did she see or sense him as he walked across the room towards her. In fact she didn't realise she wasn't alone until he placed his hand on her shoulder.
James stumbled blindly down the staircase. In his haste to get out of a room full of angry roommates he had forgotten to put his glasses on. As he reached the 2nd last step he stumbled over it and caught himself on the wall, making a huge racket. He looked up and saw a figure staring into the fire. He quickly crammed his glassed onto his nose, before he realised it was a female. The girl had obviously not heard him and looked upset.
James took a couple of steps towards her and realised she was crying. A couple of steps later he started as he saw the bright glint as the fire reflected of her red hair. It was Lily. He took the last steps towards her and placed his hand on her shoulder hesitantly. "Evans?"
As he said her name she looked up at him, wiping her eyes. With a start James realised she looked miserable, he had only ever seen her this upset a couple of times. She didn't get upset over just anything.
Lily looked up startled at the pressure on her shoulder and frowned in recognition when she realised who it was.
"What do you want Potter." She sniffed; she was too tired and upset for his teasing.
"What's the matter Evans?" he asked her gently.
"Nothing." She sniffed.
"Evans, come on what's wrong?" he asked kneeling in front of her.
"Seriously it's nothing, it's stupid." She groaned.
"If it's made you so upset it's not nothing."
"It is nothing." She snapped before realising that most of the castle was asleep.
"I can't do the Transfiguration spell." She finally sighed. When she saw James' shocked expression she sighed. "I told you it was silly." She said quietly.
"No it's not silly; you can't always do everything perfectly the first time." He told her, rubbing circles on the back of her hand with his thumb.
"I hate transfiguration," She grumbled, though James could see she was visibly relaxing.
"It's not hard; it's just the right technique, and CONCENTRATION." He told her.
"Are you saying I don't concentrate?" she asked him offended.
"No," he sighed "I'm saying that you probably can't concentrate when your tired, grumpy and irritated."
"So what are you saying I should do?" she asked him, uncurling herself a little.
"I'm saying you should go to bed-"
"WHAT." She cut him off. "You want me to give up."
"No." he said a little irritated "I wasn't finished."
"Oh, okay, sorry." She said in a small voice.
"As I was saying." He smirked a little at her "Go to bed, we don't have transfiguration tomorrow so don't stress, you can practise more tomorrow night." He told her gently.
"It won't help, I don't understand the wand movement." She groaned, flopping back a little.
"Okay then fine, I understand it, would you like me to help you then," he offered a little exasperated, he never understood why she got so negative when she was stressed.
Lily bit her lip, thinking about it for a minute. She knew Potter could do the spell - he had been the first one in the class to get it – so she was pretty sure he wasn't boasting so he could spend time with her. He seemed sincere enough, and if he got all romantic on her she could just leave right?
"Okay then, you're on Potter." She smiled at him before beginning to collect her books.
She was at the staircase before she spoke again. "But know this; I really don't get this so it might take a while." She said whilst still smiling before turning on her heel and disappearing up the girl's dorm staircase.
James sat on the couch staring at the space she had just disappeared from. What on earth was he doing offering to help her, he was sure she would just take something he said and completely twist it, getting mad at him then proceeding to wake up the castle with a screaming match.
He shook his head. Oh well, if she started to get pissy at him he could just leave right? He wearily groaned as he lifted himself up from the armchair, he was exhausted now. He climbed the staircase with an age that surpassed his years, before collapsing into bed and falling straight asleep, not even bothering to take off his glasses.
"Why are you so tired?" Lily's best friend Liz asked her the next morning at breakfast after she had almost fallen asleep in her toast for the third time. Lily and Liz had been best friends since their first day at Hogwarts but were on the surface very different, Liz was so sure of herself and was crazy and quirky. Lily was conscious of other people's thoughts and very conservative.
"I'm not." Lily mumbled, sitting up and staring at her friend.
"Oh really?" Liz asked blue eyes piercing Lily, making her shift uncomfortably "Why do you keep falling asleep in your food?"
"Why are we talking about Sirius?" another voice laughed from behind them.
"We weren't Katy." Liz quipped, "Just because you're obsessed with him." She winked at Lily, throwing her black hair over her shoulder.
"Oh shut up." Katy groaned falling into the seat next to Liz. "Who would like that immature prat?" Katy was another one of Liz and Lily's friends. She was your average beauty, tall, blonde hair, blue eyes but never really payed much attention to boys, being the shy type around everyone but her friends.
"Back on topic, if we weren't talking about Sirius who were we talking about?"
"What do you mean Lily, she's a morning person."
"Not today." Liz said, pointing at Lily whose head had nodded forward yet again
"Lily, sweetie." Katy cooed "why are you so tired."
"I'm not bloody tired." Lily growled "What makes you say that."
"Um the fact that your falling asleep in your breakfast." Liz said.
"Yea, we can see you from the ravenclaw table." Another voice interrupted them.
"What is with you all popping out from nowhere?" Lily screeched.
"Wow someone's tetching today."
"Piss off Keira."
"Now I'm insulted Lily Darling." Keira smirked as she sat down next to her friend. "And if your not eating this then I'll have it." She said. As she reached over to grab Lily's scone a piece of her light brown hair fell into Lily's goblet.
"I really need to get this cut." She muttered, taking a nibble out of Lily's scone.
"Come on Lily, you still haven't answered our question." Katy poked Lily in the sides, ignoring her other friends.
"What question was that?" Lily grumbled not lifting her head from where it now lay on her arms.
"The one we've asked you about seventeen times, why are you so tired?"
"Ok fine, I'm tired because I stayed up last night trying to learn the blasted Transfiguration spell." She finally snapped. The other girls stared at her in shock, not sure what to say. They all new that Lily hated admitting that she wasn't perfect at everything.
"Did you get it?" Katy asked curiously
"Nope, not at all." Lily sighed, finally lifting her head up.
"You could have asked us for help," Katy pointed out a little hurt.
"I was fine." Lily snapped
"So do you still need help?" Liz asked trying to avoid an argument
"No, I think I have it settled." She said finally raising her head off her arms
"Thank God." Keira muttered. "What?" She asked when the other two girls glared at her "I suck at transfiguration, I mean I didn't even pass my OWLs."
"How you got into Ravenclaw I will never know," Liz muttered rolling her eyes
"Because I got O's in pretty much everything else Moron." Keira retorted, sticking her tongue out
"Real Mature guys." Katy sighed,
"So can you do it now?" Liz asked returning the group's focus to Lily
"Nope." Lily said getting up from the table.
"Wha-?" Liz asked her confused
"Sorry I'm in a rush; have to talk to professor Slughorn before class. Bye." Lily said before turning and walking away.
The three girls stared at Lily's retreating figure "Did she just blow us off?" Keira asked
"A-ha." Katy nodded.
"Something's up." Liz said, "I don't know about you but I sure want to find out what it is."
"Have fun doing that." Keira sighed, "But I have Charms next and Flitwick is giving us so much work it's not funny. I think he's trying to kill us or something"
"That's so you don't fail you NEWTS dimwit." Liz snickered
"You won't be laughing next year." Keira sighed before turning around with a flick of her hair.
"So what are we doing about Lily?" Liz asked Katy again.
"Nothing, you're going to potions before you're late." She grinned, laughing when Liz swore as she ran down the hall.
"James tell us what's up." Remus hissed as he slid into his seat next to James in Potions
"For the millionth time this morning nothing is up." James snapped. His friends could be so nosey sometimes
"Come on Prongs don't lie to us." Sirius said taking his seat on the other side of James
"We're not stupid." Peter piped up from next to Remus' elbow.
"Yea, sure could have fooled us Wormtail." Sirius snipped.
"Play nice Sirius." Remus half heartedly scolded while trying to keep a grin of his face.
"James, seriously what's up?" Remus asked.
"Yea. You can tell us." Sirius chimed in, not even making reference to the Sirius/serious joke opening.
"Why do you even think 'something's up'?" James asked
"Erh, because you disappeared from the dorm last night-"
"You wanted me out." He pointed out
"I'm not finished." Remus said, giving him a look. "Anyway, after you disappeared you returned and fell straight asleep."
"Wow, I fell asleep how mysterious." At the look Remus gave him James pretended to zip his lips, smirking mischievously.
"Yea you even had your glasses on this morning." Sirius added, snickering slightly. "Oof." He grunted as James elbowed him in the gut. "What?"
"Nothing." James smiled at him innocently
"I'm so going to get you back." Sirius shoved at James shoulder.
"Pfff, Yea right." James grinned, shoving his friend back, effectively dropping the subject.
"I'm going to go turn in, how bout you guys?" Katy said to her friends yawning.
"Yea, me to." Liz agreed as her and Katy stood up to leave.
"You coming Lily?" Liz asked when she realised that Lily had made no move to get up.
"Nah, I'm going to stay down here for a little while, maybe wait until dumb and dumber have fallen asleep." She grinned at her friends playfully.
"I resent that." Liz sniffed
"I never said I was talking about you." Lily winked back at her "But if the shoe fits."
"If you're sure." Katy said hesitantly before the two girls trouped up to their dorm.
James waited in the corner of the common room attempting his potions essay until the entire common room was cleared out except for Lily. He had waited till everyone was gone, as he had assumed that she didn't want to whole castle to know about their arrangement. He could understand that, he hadn't told his friends either. Not that he hadn't wanted to but it would be embarrassing if something had gone a little bit wrong.
He shut his book slowly before getting up and padding across the common room to her side. When he got to her she was staring into the fire. He quietly sat down next to her startling her.
"Hey." He smiled slightly at her
"Hey yourself." She smiled back. That sat quietly for a minute before she spoke again.
"I didn't think you were going to stay." She confessed quietly.
"I always keep my promises." He smiled at her solemnly "But I thought you were going to change your mind."
"Nope." She smiled slightly "Once I make a decision I stick to it no matter how hard it is."
The silence returned, this time James was the one to break it. "So, this spell."
"Finally." Lily sighed close to two hours later. She had finally managed to turn her Guinea fowl into a guinea pig.
"Very good." James said from the armchair he had fallen into half an hour ago. "Now let's see you try it again."
"What?" Lily half moaned half whined.
"I want to see it's not a fluke," he said waving his wand and turning it back into a guinea fowl.
She tried again, but didn't manage it "Ugh, this is so stupid." She sighed, flopping back into the chair
"Come on it was easy the first time, so it should be a piece of cake this time right?" he said encouragingly.
"Fine." Lily grumbled before tapping the Guinea Fowl and muttering the spell under her breath. It worked perfectly
"I did it." She sang jumping up and down.
"Very nice." James smiled at her as he flicked his wand and the guinea pig disappeared.
"Thank you." She breathed leaning over to hug him.
"What the hell." Sirius swore under his breath. He and Remus had just come down the stairs under James' invisibility cloak to see what James was up to, and had arrived just in time to see Lily hugging him.
"I have no clue." Remus said, shocked. They heard someone coming down the girl's stair case and quickly returned up their dorm– they had a lot to process
"Thank you so much for helping me James." Lily gushed; she was in a good mood after finally mastering the spell.
"Don't mention it." He smiled at her again.
"Is there anything I can do in return?" She asked him
"Come to think of it there is one thing." He grinned at her, and she felt her heart sink. He was going to ask her out again. "Can you answer something honestly for me?" He shocked her with his request.
"Of course." She managed to choke out.
"Why where you so upset yesterday?" He asked her. If she was shocked before she was even more so now. She opened her mouth to speak but he cut her off. "And don't say it was just because you couldn't do the spell, I've seen you frustrated at yourself for not getting a spell before, but never that upset." Lily stared at him opened mouthed, she though she hid her feelings well, but he could see right through her.
She felt a single tear trickle down her face and James' strong-arm wrapped around her shoulder. She subconsciously lent into it feeling slightly better.
"I try really hard, I honestly do." She said chocking up.
"You try what." James asked her
"To be strong, to block what they say out but it's so hard."
"Block what who says out." He asked her again, gently this time
"Everyone." She was sobbing now "What if they're right, what if I'm just a stupid Mudblood."
James stared in shock at the small girl crying into his arm. Lily had always seemed so self-assured and strong, never really giving off self-conscious or self-doubting vibes. Sure she had her negative days, but everyone did. James had never realised how much things people said to her hurt her. She probably hid it so well not even her friends knew.
"Hey, that's not true." He said rubbing her back in a soothing way.
"What makes you say that?" she asked him, still sobbing
"Because you're the smartest witch in our year." He said matter of factly.
"If that's true why couldn't I get the spell, even Sirius got the spell." She started to get more hysterical
"Hey, so Transfiguration isn't your best subject you can't be good at everything." He soothed, wrapping his other arm around her in a full hug. "And Sirius is actually really good at Transfiguration; almost as good as he is at DADA." He laughed "He just doesn't want anyone to know because he thinks it would ruin him, so you better take that to your grave Missy." Lily laughed weakly, looking up at him and he smiled back.
"Don't believe the Slytherin, they're just jealous. Even that Black bitch knows you're incredibly bright, they're just trying to make you feel bad, okay?"
Their truce ended that night, and the next day they were back at each other's throats, but it was different. James made sure never to pick on her self-esteem, and Lily made sure to hold back on her verbal punches. That night wasn't mentioned or thought about for another month, and when it was an unlikely series of events followed. This is the story of the secret meetings and stolen moments, the mountain of white lies, that had to come crashing down. Eventually.
A/N: And that is the Prologue. So what did you think, I really like this at the moment and I'm pretty sure I'll have another chapter in the next week. Is anyone willing to BETA this [and/or something Comfortable] for me. It would be so helpful if you could. So love it? Hate it? Want to hunt me down and murder me for the story. Please let me know your thoughts. Also there is some Info on My profile about models and what not for each chapter, so i hope you enjoyed. Oh and finally i tried a new formatting, does the spacing work or should i do it the way i usually do it. Feedback is lovely
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