Summary: "I think you're an arrogant, selfish pig, and I think you'd be doing both of us a favor if you just left me alone!" Potter stared at me for a moment, an unreadable expression in his hazel eyes, before uttering a single word: "Okay."

A/N: I know, I've already done an L/J story. And am currently in the middle of a sequel to that story. Speaking of which, STAC readers can rest assured that this story will take second priority to STAC: The Sequel. Also speaking of sequels, I'm not in any way shape or form planning one for this story, nor will I be convinced to create one. I actually did this weird thing where I planned out a majority of the story before I started writing. *el gasp!* So, I've got a pretty good idea where I'm heading, and it will definitely end with . . . er . . . the end. Yes, eloquent, I know. Ahem, anyway, since I have already done an L/J, I'll try to make this one as little like STAC as possible. There will be certain similar scenes, but I'll try to give them only a passing resemblance to my other story. Lily and James are just too fun to write to only do one story!

Additional disclaimer: Writing STAC I discovered that I like writing L/J hating each other and as friends A LOT more than when they're an item. So, look for a longer stretch of both those things in this story, and much less on the dating side. Not to say there won't be L/J moments, of course, because those are fun to write as well ;)


"I don't need help from fithly little Mudbloods like her!"

"Fine," I said coolly. "I won't bother in future."

"I really am sorry, Lily! What do you want me to do?"

I whirled around—he'd finally pushed me too far. "Nothing! There's nothing you can do, Severus! Why can't you realize that what you did—said—was unacceptable, and that I will never ever forgive you for it!"

Severus had been following me around for the entire day, ambushing me the minute class ended, cornering me after lunch, and now tailing after me as I made my way back to Gryffindor tower after dinner.

"Never?" he asked incredulously. "Don't you think you're overreacting a little?" He seemed to realize instantly that that was the wrong thing to say, or perhaps he'd noticed the way my hands had clenched into fists at his words, because he quickly added, "I mean, I thought we were supposed to be friends?"

"So did I," I returned bitingly. We had reached the portrait that covered the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. "Fizzing Whizbees," I announced to the Fat Lady. As she swung open to admit me, I turned back to Sev. "You know this isn't the only reason we can't be friends anymore," I told him evenly. When he opened his mouth to protest, I cut him off. "You've chosen your way, and I've chosen mine. And that's all there is to it. Goodbye, Severus."

Despite my anger, I still had to blink back tears as I made my way across the common room towards the girls' staircase. Though part of me hated him for the choice he'd made, I couldn't help but feel sadness at the loss of his friendship. He'd been the first wizard I'd met, the one who'd introduced me to the secret world of magic where I belonged. But the shame I felt about ultimately being wrong about him, foolish for thinking he'd ever change, tainted the good memories.

Just before I reached the staircase, someone blocked my path. Looking up, I felt my hands curl into fists again. "What do you want, Potter?" I snapped, glaring up at the messy-haired boy before me.

He returned my gaze, an uncharacteristically serious look on his face. "I just wanted to apol—" he started.

I made a noise halfway between a growl and a sigh. "Ugh, not you too!" I said, throwing up my hands in frustration. "I don't want to hear it," I said, pushing past him.

Potter grabbed my wrist, pulling me around to face him again. I suddenly realized that several people were staring at us, but I didn't care. "Come on, at least hear me out, Evans," he said.

I didn't answer. Yanking my wrist from his grasp, I turned once more towards the stairs to my dormitory.

"You're lucky I'm actually trying to apologize, instead of just saying 'I told you so,'" Potter called out angrily from behind me.

I froze with my foot on the first stair. Slowly, I turned back to face him. "What?" I asked, my voice dangerously quiet.

Potter, always undeterred by the threat of my fiery temper, continued, "Honestly, anyone could have seen this coming. I'll bet even you did, deep down. So it can't have come as that much of a surprise, really."

My fingers twitched towards my wand, itching to whip it out and hex James Potter and his bloody arrogance into the next century. How dare he? How dare he assume he knows anything about it? The worst part was, I couldn't help but admit he was right. I had been expecting this, though that didn't make it any less painful. Of course, this only made me angrier with Potter. "God, this is all just a big game to you, isn't it?" I shouted at him. Potter winced, and I took vindictive pleasure in the fact that I'd struck a nerve. "I suppose you think you've won, finally getting him to crack and show his true colors? Well, congratulations, Potter, you did it—Snape and I are no longer friends."

Potter's eyebrows rose slightly at my use of Severus's surname, but he didn't comment on it. Instead, he said quietly, "So, that's what you really think?"

The clear hurt in his voice caught me off guard. I'd yelled at him countless times, called him every foul name under the sun, but this was the first time he'd actually shown . . . well, anything, in response to my words. Merlin, James Potter actually has feelings, I thought scathingly. Well, he wasn't going to get any sympathy from me. I knew I was being unfair, that it hadn't really been Potter's fault Sev had said what he did, but I didn't care. I needed someone to blame, and he was the easiest target.

"Yes, that's what I think," I replied cruelly. "I think you're an arrogant, selfish pig, and I think you'd be doing both of us a favor if you just left me alone!"

A ringing silence followed this pronouncement; everyone in the common room had by now stopped what they were doing to watch our exchange. Potter stared at me for a moment, an unreadable expression in his hazel eyes, before uttering a single word: "Okay."

A/N: I'm posting the first chapter along with this prologue, as it's pretty short. Next part will be the beginning of sixth year.