"Class dismissed." McGonagall sighed and shooed us all out of the door. I gratefully leapt to my feet, shoving my books into my bag.
"Whoa! Lily, you got somewhere to go?" My friend Mary Macdonald looked up from her desk, grinning.
"No, I just want to get out of here before Potter can ambush me." I threw my bag over my shoulder.
Mary rolled her eyes and sighed knowingly. "Well, if you want to get out, then come on!" She swept her things into her bag swiftly, and we started walking towards the door.
"Evans! There you are!" I groaned.
"What do you want, Potter?" I tried to shove past him, but one of his cronies, Sirius Black, stopped me.
"I just want you to go out with me, that's all." James ginned and wiggled his eyebrows, leaning up against the doorframe.
"Well, guess what my answer is? No." I glared at him. "Now move so that I can get to my next class." Mary and I shoved past him, succeeding this time.
"Aw, Lily, please?" I heard James call desperately behind me.
"No." I yelled back over my shoulder. "Now go away!" I sighed and turned to Mary. "He's so arrogant! I bet I'm the only one in this whole school who would even think to turn him down."
"Well, he's gotten better than last year." Mary pointed out.
It was true- James had gotten a bit more mature over the summer. But still, I couldn't stand the way he acted most of the time. "Not by much." I grumbled, not wanting to admit my thoughts.
"Come on Lily, let's stop thinking about Potter- no use in wasting our brain power over him." Mary shifted the position of her bag on her shoulder.
I smiled gratefully at her as we walked down to our next class.
I slowly stood up from the chair in the common room, stretching. I had been trying to do my homework, but James had come over multiple times to ask me out, and it was getting on my nerves. I was gathering my things to do the rest of my work in the dorm when a piece of parchment fluttered down to the ground out of my lap. I bent down to pick it up, thinking that it was just something that someone had forgotten in a library book, only to see that it was a note.
"Meet me outside by the lake at midnight for a surprise." I read it softly to myself. Curious, I turned it over, looking for a name, a clue to who might have dropped this in my lap, but there was nothing. If I had looked up, however, I might have seen the cluster of four seventh-year boys sitting across from me, the one with the dark hair and glasses looking smug and happy as I walked upstairs, clutching the note in my hand.
I was woken at 11:30 by my Muggle watch alarm beeping in my ear. I sat up breathless with fear, blinking awake. This whole thing suddenly seemed like a very bad idea. What if it was a teacher waiting for me to see how good of a student I was, or I got caught, or, or, or, the possibilities were endless.
I took a deep breath and steeled myself. If anything went wrong, I could defiantly talk my way out of it. I shuddered to think what would happen if I had to, but the pull of wanting to know who gave me the note was to strong. I rolled out of bed and quickly dressed in the warmest things I could find, as it was lightly snowing outside and snow already covered most of the grounds.
I slowly snuck down into the common room, my heart jumping to my throat. This was the riskiest thing I had done in all of my seven years at Hogwarts. I pulled open the Fat Lady, my hands shaking. When I got out into the hallway, I found a parcel wrapped in brown parchment at my feet. Picking it up, I flipped it over, looking for a tag. There was none.
I was sorely tempted to leave it there, but the wrapping was the same parchment as the note had been written on. Checking to make sure no one was coming down the hallway; I opened it as softly as I could. What fell out was a shimmering cloak made of silver fabric that seemed to move. As I picked it up, my hand disappeared under it. Gasping, I realized what this was. It was an invisibility cloak. I smiled as I threw it over my shoulders and flipped up the hood.
I smiled as I looked down and saw nothing where my feet should have been. Picking up the parchment as to not leave a trace, I set off again. It took me a while to find the front doors, as I was terribly jumpy and would duck into a random corridor as soon as I heard a noise. Once I was there, I walked up to the large doors in front of me and pulled at the large bronze handle. The door didn't budge. I tried harder, but was not rewarded. I pulled out my wand and muttered "Alohomora" to no avail. I was stuck.
I was trying one more time when brown shape poking out from the hinges caught my eye. I replaced my wand and walked over to it, yanking out the piece of parchment. As I did, the door slowly swung open, stopping to let me through. I ran out into the crisp winter air as the door shut quietly behind me. I slowly took the cloak off as I wandered down to the lake. The moon was nothing but a small sliver in the sky and the wind moved slowly over the piles of snow.
Once I was at the lake, I sat down in front of a large tree that was by the shore, watching as the water slowly lapped at the shore. Some small parts of the lake were frozen, and bits of ice were tossed around on the waves.
"Thank you for coming." A voice seemed to float over to me on the wind. "Please, stand up and turn around." I did as the voice told, terrified. "Do not be scared," The voice seemed to hear my thoughts. "Just walk into that grove of trees there." I looked ahead and sure enough, a small grove of trees sat in front of me. I had never seen this little pine forest before, but it was beautiful, the needles covered in a light dusting of snow, the trees themselves tall and glorious.
Suddenly, I stumbled out into a clearing and gasped. The trees were in a perfect circle around a small, frozen pond and were strung with fairy lights that caused shadows to leap across the cold surface of the ice. "Wow." I breathed, spinning in a slow circle to take it all in.
"I'm glad you like it." I whirled around to come face to face with none other than James Potter.
"Potter! Did you do all of this?" I gestured to my surroundings.
"Yeah, I did. I planted the trees and everything." He smiled at me.
I smiled back despite myself. "Thank you, Po-James."
"You're welcome, Lily." He then took his hands out from behind his back. "Do you know how to skate?" In his hands were two pairs of ice skates.
"Of course I do!" I smiled nervously. I actually didn't, but I wasn't about to let James know that. I quickly put on the pair of white ice skates that he had placed in front of me and stood on the ice a little shakily. James slid past me, the fairy lights lighting up his face, and turned to face me.
"Come on," He taunted, grinning. "Are you coming?"
"Of course!" I slowly inched my feet forward, biting my lip nervously. I slowly made my way across the ice, inch by inch. I was halfway to James when I lost my balance, landing on my back.
James swiftly skated over and helped me up, grinning. "You liar." He looked at me. "You really can't skate!"
"Fine, I never learned out to skate." I admitted grumpily.
"If you want me to, I'll teach you." James offered.
I looked at him, unsure. James had never offered to help anyone. Ever. And now he was offering to teach me to skate? Looking into his eyes, I saw nothing but honesty and a childlike glee. I smiled and extended my hand. "Teach me, oh great master." I mock bowed to him.
James laughed and took my hand. "As you wish." He slowly led me around the pond, balancing me. When we had made it once around, he let go of my hand. "Now it's your turn." He brushed a stray piece of hair from my face, and I felt an odd electric tingle where he had touched me. "I'll be right next to you and I promise I'll catch you if you fall."
I smiled gratefully at him and slowly began to skate around the edges of the pond. I was doing great, my face flushed with excitement, when the tip of my skate hit a chip in the ice. My arms flailing, I started to fall backwards.
Gasping, I felt James' strong arms on my back. Looking up, I saw his smiling face looking down at me. "See? I told you I would catch you!" He gently pushed me back onto my feet. I smiled gratefully at him and gently slipped over to the edge of the pond, sitting down in the snow. James skated gently in front of me for a while and then sat down next to me. We sat there for a while in silence, not looking at each other. I played with a small strand of fairy lights that had slipped of a tree, watching as a light snowfall started up.
Slowly, I stood up and dusted snow off of my robes. "We need to start heading back." I murmured.
James smiled at my rush to return. "Do you still have the cloak?"
"The cloak?" I looked at him oddly until I remembered the silver invisibility cloak that I had found outside of the dorm. "Is it yours?" I picked it up from where I had dropped it in the snow.
"Actually, it's my dads, but he gave it to me for school." James took it from my hands and threw it over us. Once we were out of the rove, he turned around and waved his wand, muttering spells under his breath until the entire grove was gone, including the pond and the fairy lights. We walked slowly back to the Gryffindor common room, neither of us saying a word until we were at the Fat Lady. James spoke the password, and we walked in. He threw off the cloak and folded it up gently, throwing it over his shoulder. I was walking up to the girls' dorms when he called out to me. "Lily! Will you go to Hogsmeade with me?"
I turned around and faced him, thinking about what he had done for me that night. "Sure!" I replied, laughing at the stunned look on his face. "I'll come to Hogsmeade with you." I turned back and slipped into the dorm, looking forward to Hogsmeade already.