I wrote a story along these lines about three years ago and now, with some inspiration, I want to redo the story and give it a new life. So here's hoping I can do it justice, unlike last time.

I don't own any of this world but I shall leave you with a Chuck Palahniuk quote about it:

"The unreal is more powerful than the real, because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles, wood rots, people, well, they die but things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on." – Chuck Palahniuk

They're the Noble Wizarding Families, high society and all pureblood. For centuries there have been wars between the Families, alliances and grudges made, especially between the Evans and Potter Families, where one of the largest grudges lay. Times are changing, however, and it's time for the Families to decide whether to unite or separate to fight with or against Lord Voldemort.


La Douleur Exquise: The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can't have.

Two Weeks Before Fifth Year

"Thought you'd never." He smirked as he placed a hand at the small of her back and guided her around the room in a waltz. Her silk lilac princess cut gown brushed against the floor as they moved while the bodice suffocated her.

"Please, I am by no means here on my own free will." Lily Evans rolled her eyes and continued to look past her dance partner's shoulder. It was true; she was only dancing with him for the sake of keeping the peace between Families, though she should have known that peace was never achievable but it was a good excuse nevertheless. She knew she was to avoid Potter, she did at school and there should have been no difference now. She had learned about how James would never be good news. How he would one day be a major influence on the Noble Families and how his family opposed hers along with their beliefs. She had heard through high teas with the ladies in her family circle that he would turn out to be a charmer like his father had once been before he married Lady Potter. She knew all this and yet was still dancing with him. All eye contact must be avoided, she told herself but he had become so handsome. Wearing perfectly fitted robes along with all the insignia attached that comes with being part of a Noble family he looked somewhat mature.

"Well, I'll just have to pretend that you are here because you want to be, as this is truly the best part of this insufferable night." He was a good dancer and Lily could feel how strong his body was. She brushed the thought out of her mind, what was she thinking after all? This was James Potter… though different.

"Are you trying to say something about my family's party?" Her emerald eyes narrowed.

"Every one of these parties, as you so called them, is insufferable. I know you are bored, you can't believe this is fun. Or do you?" He looked down and met her eyes before she quickly looked away.

"They are an obligatory part of our lives," Lily quoted her mother.

"Doesn't answer my question."

"Why should I answer any question of yours, Potter?" Lily dared to look him in the eyes again. A mistake, the soft hazel behind the thick lashes drew her in making her forget anything she had just said. James seemed to have picked up on this and half smiled.

"We could always just leave."

"What?" Lily blinked and decided to look straight forward at James' deep red sash that ran across his chest and was held together with his family crest pin.

"I said –"

"No, Potter! Who do you think you are?" She whispered harshly, only too aware they had an audience. James breathed in to start but Lily cut him off again. "You know what? Just shut up and this horror should be over in no time." She glared at him for a moment before having to redirect her eyes back to the sash. Red sash… He had suggested something… Red, Gryffindor, school… Why did it feel like she wanted it?... Red, Gryffindor, school, two more weeks, fifth year… Her bedroom was two floors up… Hogwarts, fifth year, exams… She had never had a boy in her room before, not even Severus… Red, Gryffindor, Quidditch… James Potter. Lily cursed her mind for straying into forbidden territories over and over.

"You can go back to Snivellus now."

She looked up at him, "Excuse me?"

"It's over." Quickly she looked around to find that he was correct. Embarrassed, she let go of his hands and fled the scene eager to take off her long white gloves. Suddenly it had just become very hot.

An hour passed and Lily wished her friends were part of this high society Noble family nonsense then at least she wouldn't be bored. Successfully she had avoided Potter since their dance and also Severus. It didn't feel right to be around Snape while her mind was infuriatingly stuck on Potter. She passed through the crowd and caught a glimpse of the red sash she had so intently studied prior. Her heart jumped and she cursed it. A second of eye contact was made. He smiled, she blushed and in the smallest of moments a message had been sent, delivered and understood. Lily lapped her parents' ballroom then turned down an over decorated corridor. Lifting her gown, she started to walk up the stairs to the second floor.

"Lily?" It was Severus.

"Yes?" She turned around smiling her best friend and disappointment flooded her.

"Are you headed for bed already?" He asked, confused.

"I think so. It is just these parties, you know? They're so… insufferable." Lily shrugged hopefully while inwardly wondering what the hell was wrong with her.

"These nights are an obligatory part of our lives. Our roles in society…" Severus began to walk up the stairs one at a time.

"Yes, yes but tonight I'm just… tired." It sounded more like a question, a guess really, and Lily hoped Severus would just stop walking up the damn stairs.

"Well maybe I'll retreat as well," he paused on a step waiting for Lily's reply.

"That's not necessary Sev, go back to the party and tell mother that I'm feeling a little under the weather, will you?" She sent a pleading look and Severus obliged wishing her goodnight.

Sighing with relief Lily continued to climb the stairs and began to walk down yet another corridor. She had no idea what led her. She had had some champagne and downed her last glass very quickly as she made the decision to do this. With that thought Lily came to the excuse that it was solely the alcohol in her body that made her want this and that made her want James Potter. She turned a corner and was harshly pulled into a room by a hand on her forearm. Before she had the chance to find her voice the door was shut and she was trapped between it and the red sash. Her stomach lurched as she glanced up to meet James' eyes. This time she couldn't see their colour as the only light in the room was provided by the moon shining through the large arch windows. It was then Lily realised that they were in one of the guest rooms.

"Thought you weren't going to come," he tested. She could feel his breath on her forehead. She had never been this close to him before. Even when they had to dance they kept some distance between them. Now he was so close that she could not only feel his breath but the heat radiating from his body as well.

"I was held up." Suddenly she didn't know where to look but James soon fixed that. With a quick smile to her response he closed the space between them. His lips were warm and it had only taken Lily a second to reciprocate. Her hands moved around his neck and his found her lower back again and pulled her closer. They parted for a second and looked at each other but only for a second. Together they became desperate for one another. Lily swiftly discarded the red sash as did he to her white one. All while kissing eagerly she pushed off his coat which fell loudly on the floor due to the decorations attached. Her dress was removed just as efficiently and was soon joined by his shirt on the floor. James pulled her arms down to her sides and slid her white gloves off. Lily was excited by the new amount of skin contact between them. She honestly hadn't given Potter's body much thought before but it was everything she would have imagined, slightly toned, from Quidditch no doubt, but just the perfect amount. They began to move across the room finding the bed. She fell onto her back and his hands were travelling up her thighs to what was at first a comfortable spot but Lily began wanting more and for him to go further. James' kisses moved from her lips down to a sensitive spot on her neck causing her to sigh. She closed her eyes and tried to block out the thoughts that were trying to infiltrate her mind. She just wanted to feel. She forgot what James was doing for a moment till he kissed the inside of her upper thigh causing her to slightly jerk. Quickly he came back up to her neck.

"Are you okay?" His voice was husky making Lily crave him more. She didn't respond at first but then he stopped everything and hovered over her body holding himself up by his elbows. "Lily?" She didn't want to voice the words that just came into her mind because then it would end.

"I –"

"Lily!" A distant but familiar voice that wasn't James' called.

James bowed his head and sighed heavily. The tips of his hair tickled Lily's face before he rolled off her and began collecting his clothes. Her body suddenly felt cold as his once so close one moved away.

"James…" He looked at her and she could see the regret that things were going to end this way in his moonlit face .

"Lily!" The voice called again. James ran one hand through his already messy hair and buttoned up his shirt to a point making Lily just want to take it off again. She went to talk again but he got in first.

"Snape's looking for you." And with those obvious words he grabbed some floo powder from on top of the fireplace and walked into it.

"No, no, James. Just stay, he'll walk past." She rushed her words and went to get off the bed to hold James back but within seconds he was gone. Lily continued to move off the bed and found her wand. With a tap to the door she locked it and didn't answer when Severus knocked. How had the moment slipped away so quickly? She threw her wand at the wall then herself back onto the bed and didn't plan on moving anytime soon for she had just been so close to James damn Potter and now he was out of reach.

Lily sat up with a start. Her clock told her it was 2am, again. She fell back down onto the 2000 thread count pillow sighing. It was that dream again, reminding her of what had happened between her and Potter two years ago. Weren't dreams supposed to be of events that had never happened? Or could they also be of events you regret? Either way, Lily couldn't believe how stupid she had been back then, giving herself up for Potter. She was so young and naïve and yet she had felt so mature at the time. Begrudgingly, she had Severus to thank for preventing her from going all the way, not that he ever knew it. She had told no one of that night. Merlin, what if her family were to find out? The Potter's were not favourable in the Evans house. Perhaps two years ago things were getting better for once but that had all past quickly and now things between them were as bad as ever. Lily didn't particularly agree with her family on most accounts these days but she did agree with them when it came to James Potter and that he was a boy to be avoided. Maybe it was just in her blood to hate him. The Evans' always held something of grudge with the Potter's and vice versa.

Now with the war breaking out it was time for the Noble Families to decide whose side to be on. Lily hated the fact that her family had been fence sitting for an extended period of time. Though she had always believed that even though they hated the Potter's that they would still pick their side. Not Voldemort's. Money can do some amazing things, she thought and it could be argued that it was just as powerful as magic itself. And that's what the Noble Families came down to in the end, untainted magic and too much money. They were bred with an air of elegance and aristocratism. It was about power, loyalty and most of all family, but not necessarily in the warm and fuzzy way that you would imagine. The family name must be carried on and down the line in a proud way and this is where Lord Evans found a slight hitch, but more on that later.

Unable to sleep after her dream Lily lit some candles in her oversized room. The walls were lilac with white decorative skirting boards and a large cream rug covered majority of the hardwood floors. Gold embroidered curtains covered her tall French windows that reached for the high ceilings and opened out looking onto the lush green grounds of Great Chalfield Manor. Everything she had collected from the age of ten was neatly organised on shelves and small tables. She had trinkets from faraway places and a small old oak box full of letters from every summer since Hogwarts began, some love letters and others just updates from friends. Photos of family and friends adorned the surfaces of the dressers amongst the smaller things. Lily began to open the rosewood drawers and pick out clothes to pack for her last year at Hogwarts. Looking around, she felt that she had everything a girl could want. She had all the designer clothes, shoes and jewellery from the most creative witches of their time. Anything she wanted she could have and it took Lily's two closest school friends to keep her grounded. However one day, not so long ago, Lily realised that all this wasn't what she needed in life and she had been unhappy ever since then. Still, she continued to pretend that new gowns made her happy as well as the gifts from random suitors. But Lily wanted to be loved and love wasn't displayed through gifts it was displayed through actions and Merlin knew her parents didn't know this. She had vied for their attention in her earlier years at Hogwarts which just left her terribly sick. Luckily, her lowest point was in the holidays so no one at Hogwarts knew her stupidity and as far as she knew Severus had kept her secret.

Severus, Lily sighed, they had been so close. She remembered the days they would spend outdoors somewhere on her family's estate. Sometimes next to the ancient fountain her mother had restored from Roman Rule, other times in the forest or out on the lake in the old rowboat. He had been her first kiss which happened in a clearing in the forest where you could see dust particles and insects floating in the air, highlighted from the sun breaking through. She thought that day would be the most special day of her life. It wasn't. In fact the kiss wasn't even very good but she guessed that no one's first kiss was. The next one, out on the lake, was better and the few after but then things began to change. Over the past two years he had become so wrapped up in Voldemort's actions. Why? Lily would never know. They were killing innocent people and it made her unbelievably angry. The worst part was Lily actually knew, for a fact, that her father had murdered. She even made the recent discovery, accidently of course, that her father had killed someone very in particular. The thought made her sick and seeing that person's family suffer was unbearable. Severus said the man deserved it but Lily wasn't convinced. These days she couldn't face Sev let alone her family. Frustrated, she wiped away the wetness in her eyes. Everything had become so fucked up. Why couldn't she be like her best friends? Who had no part in the bloody Noble Families or the war and had families that loved them. Lily threw in a couple more coats and scarves, preparing for the colder months, and slammed her trunk shut. Before she forgot, she put her Head Girl badge in her purse and climbed back into bed. It was now 3am and in six hours she would be at Kings Cross.


"James Potter and Sirius Black!" That was the final call from Lady Potter, who tapped her foot impatiently at the bottom of the grand staircase. The boys looked at each other quickly then hurried back to their business. Anyone else would have been beside themselves with the screech the Lady Potter produced but the boys were only too used the noise.

"Cloak?" James continued down the list.



"Got 'em."

"And finally the Map?"

"Always," Sirius smiled. "Well, I am ninety nine point nine nine nine percent sure that that is all."

"I agree. Oh, wait a sec'." James picked up various items of clothing off the floor and threw them elsewhere before finding an envelope. "Bloody badge." Sirius smirked at the unfortunate event of James becoming Head Boy.

"I wonder who –" Sirius began with a mischievous look but James hadn't needed to see it to know where this was headed.

"Padfoot, if you have any idea what is good for you…" James sent his friend a pointed look which silenced him, "Let's go before Mum comes up and see's this mess before the house elves get to it." James led the way out and Sirius had one more glance at the room that had become his own through the summer. It felt more like home than his room at the Black manor ever did. This one was rich with character. Boards travelled halfway up the wall and were met with a deep red that matched the dark cream carpet. It was a simple space with only a four poster bed and some drawers but it was his. The room, like the whole house, had the faintest smell of pine and everywhere you went you just felt at home. Something the Black house never achieved.

"We're here, Mum!" Sirius greeted Lady Potter as he and James walked down the grand staircase. The Potter's manor, formally known has Montacute House, was grand all over to be truthful. The manor held an essence of old England and pride and even though Lady Potter was the clear head of house the interior had a more handsome look rather than feminine. Dark woods and rich colours were used throughout the home making it feel warm and cosy in winter. The estate on which the manor sat was extensive, with a full sized Quidditch pitch, manicured lawns and gardens as well as a forest with all hunting land one could want. Lord Potter had become rather fond of the Muggle sport in his youth and had enjoyed it ever since. However, if you were to ask James he would say that he prefered Avebury Manor, their usual summer residence. This year they didn't go and the boys suspected that it would be too much on Lady Potter, given the circumstances. Avebury wasn't as large nor magnificent as Montacute but for some reason it felt more like home to James. It too had a Quidditch pitch but also a river on which he learnt how to row with his muggle friend, Henry. Just like his father was taken by hunting, James was taken by rowing. There was something releasing about rowing and the fact that it had no magic element whatsoever made it appear like a challenge to him.

"About time, you two will miss the train and James that would not make a very good impression on your first day as head boy!" She looked sternly at him and he simply nodded in return.

"Are you going to be okay?" James asked his mother seriously. He had never stopped worrying about her since his father's death late last year. Lady Potter had taken her husband's place at Noble Family meetings but made little contribution. You could say that the Potter family was on hold until James finished Hogwarts. Then he, with Sirius as his side man, would take over and represent the Potter name. It was not something James looked forward to by any means.

Lady Potter swatted her sons arm with a tsk, "I'll be more than okay. Have you seen how wild that garden has become out there? It'll take me until the first snowfall to get it decent again. Now, let's go."


It's a bit of an affair boarding the Hogwarts Express. Parents farewelling the young and unknowing first years and older students giving a quick peck and an I love you to their parents before any of their friends became present. Rumus Lupin came to resent this day. His parents no longer travelled into the city to see him off and he didn't blame them. He hated the smell of the station on the warmer than usual end of summer day. Every year the Muggles seemed to have made the place dirtier and dirtier and they too became more annoying. Once on the other side of the wall friends reunited and recounted their summers. They flocked into groups making it hard to walk to the train making it feel like a feat once you reached the line at the steps. Remus didn't have much to report about his summer, a couple of transformations and hot days here and there, nothing special. The tall Gryffindor spotted his friends board the train at a lower compartment which meant he'd have to fight through the corridors to get to them. Thank Merlin this was going to be the last time he'd have to deal with this chaos. He finally made it up the steps and into the tiny corridor on the train and was now put to the challenge of finding the compartment.

"Remus!" He heard the door behind him open and saw Lily Evans' head sticking out of a room. "Come in here for a bit."

With a glance further up the corridor Remus obliged with the thought that he'll pass the time with Evans till the crowd died down. She shut the door behind and sat opposite him. It didn't take Remus long to realise that Lily had changed somewhat over summer. She now had the quintessence of a woman. Her thick long red hair flowed over her shoulders from her heart shaped face which featured dimples from her smile. Remus also couldn't help noticing Lily's navy summer dress which sat around the middle of her thighs when she sat. He smiled to himself at the thought of his friend, James couldn't resist a Lily in blue.

"So, how was your summer?" She began conversation.

"Plain, yours?" Remus replied.

"It was okay, I guess. Oh hey, I got Head Girl! Did you get Head Boy?" Her eyes were wide with expectation.

"Er, no. No I didn't," He watched Lily's face drop.

"Well, then…" Lily looked down at the hem of her dress in thought.

"I think I should get to the boys," Remus didn't want to be the one to tell her. Where the hell were her friends?

"Remus…" She looked at him with that look. He winced, they had become quite good friends since becoming Prefects in fifth year and he knew what that look meant.

"Lily, wouldn't you rather the Head Boy tell you himself?"

"You know who it is," she stated.


"Tell me."

"I should find the boys."

"Remus," she demanded as he stood to leave.

He sighed, "James." And with that one word he opened the door and made a rather quick exit without looking back.

It had taken him another five minutes until he had found the Marauders.

"Moony! Where have you been?" James asked taking his feet off the seat so Remus could sit.

"Talking to your head girl," James noted that Remus didn't make it sound like this was a pleasant experience.

"Oh, so it is…"

"Of course it is!" Sirius laughed, "This is going to be a very, very good year. Finally some excitement is on the menu."

The train began to move and James stared out the window. This was not going to be fun.

Mary MacDonald and Evelyn Bell were Lily Evans' closest friends. Neither were members of the Noble Families and Lily loved that about them and they were her escape. They found Lily at the same time and again, at the same time, wanted to leave her.

"You know," Evelyn placed herself down next to the window opposite Lily and now Mary.

"I know," Lily narrowed her eyes and looked at the stunning brunette across from her.

"How?" Mary asked, suddenly not sure if she had chosen the right spot to sit.

"Remus told me then ran off," Lily seethed. "How! How, how, how does this happen?" she stressed. "Why would Dumbledore do such a thing? He knows, damn it, he knows." The girls knew what Lily was referring to. Ever since fifth year Potter and Lily had been enemies, practically following in their families footsteps. At first it was simple, they played the silent treatment game and no one paid attention. Then when they decided to resume talking it was aggressive. Students quickly came to learn that when Lily Evans and James Potter started interacting it was time to leave. No one knew what had happened in the very first place and Lily could never forgive James for what he did.

"Maybe it won't be so bad," Mary suggested, "have you seen Potter yet?" Lily missed Evelyn quickly raise her eyebrows at this statement.

"Mary, I love you but seriously, it's Potter. I see him differently, he's trouble, a pain and his family…"

"Disagrees with yours as much as you do," Evelyn tilted her head, testing Lily.

"It's different."

"No it's not, really.

"It is, so let's drop it. I don't want to talk about my family." With this the girls changed subjects and talked in anticipation about their final year of school.


"You're late."

"I don't think so, Potter." Mary had meant something.

"You're not even in your school robes yet." Navy.

"Thank you for reminding me."


"Maybe you should step down, Potter. Merlin knows you don't want this position."

"Ha! And what would little Lady Evans know about me?"

"I know enough."

"Well, this is your year to learn more because I'm not going anywhere," He smirked and sat down. It was now fully dark outside and the castle was in sight. It sat as a beacon on top of the hill that grew out of the forest, a light guiding the summer tired students home.

Lily sat down too. The last thing she felt like doing was running through Head Student business. She let her eyes look James over for a quick moment. He really looked so much more mature. Suddenly that night before fifth year ran through her mind. He would be different now underneath his robes.

James was silent as well as he was lost in thought about Lily, about their situation and about his own situation. He realised that he no longer knew anything about her. Behind the fighting and plain ignorance of each other they had both grown and both had become their own person knowing nothing of the other.

"Evans..." He started and she looked up startled.

"Yes," she didn't mean to be so cold.

James paused as he realised he actually had nothing to say to her. What was there to say?

"There's no point going through things. I think you should change, we'll be there in five minutes." James made to leave and so did Lily both getting caught at the small doorway. He was a head taller than her now. One could argue that there was a moment but only that, a small, small moment.

James stepped back and without a word Lily continued out with her head held high.

The feast was uneventful and getting Prefects organised was just stressful but finally Lily found herself in her Head Dormitory. She had ignored James in the small round common area and walked straight for her room where she collapsed onto her king four poster bed. The room, as she suspected it would be, was decorated Victorian style in the Gryffindor colours with her own private desk and wardrobe. Her trunk was already waiting to be unpacked at the end of the bed but Lily couldn't be bothered to even stand up again. A few minutes later, once she had just closed her eyes, there was a knock on her door.

"What?" She groaned with annoyance pulling herself up to open the door. James was standing there looking just as unimpressed as she was.

"Snape is outside," he said in the most monotone voice one could imagine.

"So, why did you come to tell me that?" Lily could have gone without this information. Her hair was flaying in all directions, her makeup had worn off and even though she didn't care about these boys she would have preferred not to talk to either at the present time.

"Do you not like Snape?" James raised his eyebrows. Lily was amazed that James hadn't picked up on this.

"It's fine, I'll go out," she pushed herself past him brushing his arm slightly.

"What do you want?" James heard Lily address Severus before he entered his own room. She surprised him, had he really been paying so little attention to Lily's private life?

"I came to see you," Severus replied with confidence. "Are you going to let me in?"

"Why should I?" Lily was confused, since when did they talk again?

"I think we should become friends again." There was a pause as Lily thought about it. She glanced back into the Head's common room making sure James wasn't there.

"Fine, but talk quietly," she didn't know why she cared.

Severus followed her in and they sat on the couch before the fireplace.

"I missed you over summer, Lily," He confessed. Lily noted that Snape too had grown over the months away but still, he was far too interested in the Dark Arts.

"Oh," was all she had to say to him.

"I'm pleased that your family has chosen to side with us officially. You'll definitely be safer with us."

"My father made the decision long ago and I'm ashamed that he's actually followed through with Voldemort's requests." Lily's face was twisted with disgust at her father.

"But the Dark Lord is rising, Lily and it's important to stay on the stronger side."

"You're pathetic," a new voice spat but said Lily's exact thoughts. Severus and Lily turned to see James leaning against the door frame to the small hallway where the bedrooms were situated. He had his arms crossed and held an expression Lily had never seen before, a mix of anger and pride. "Meekly following who you believe is the strongest so you won't get hurt. Coward."

Snape jumped up and withdrew his wand. Lily noted that James didn't even have his, though he seemed unfazed. "How dare you! You have nothing to gain on your side of this war! You will have the same fate as your lousy father." A vicious smile grew on Snape's face.

James remained silent and Lily became slightly impressed by his patience.

"That's right," continued Snape, "poor little daddy –"

"Shut up! Just shut up," Lily jumped up from the couch. This was all getting too close to home and soon something regretful would be said. The two boys stared at her in disbelief and she stared back at both of them in return. Two Gryffindor's who hated each other and a Slytherin, needless to say the tension in the room was overflowing.

"Be careful Lily, Potter is not someone I trust and nor should you. You're always welcome to the Slytherin common room."

"Why –"

"Oh, I believe we'll be seeing much more of each other. Goodnight, Lily." Snape turned and walked out satisfied that he had disturbed the peace in the head dorm.

Lily sighed as the door shut then turned to James, "Potter, I'm –"

"No, you don't have to stand up for me," James glared, confusing Lily. "I don't need help, especially yours." Another door was shut and Lily was left alone staring at where James had stood. Who did he think he was?

"Are you okay?" His voice was husky making Lily crave him more. She didn't respond at first but then he stopped everything and hovered over her body holding himself up by his elbows. "Lily?" She didn't want to voice the words that just came into her mind because then it would end.

"I –" Lily paused. Everything remained silent. "I'm fine." She pulled James closer and started to kiss him with more meaning. Slowly her body started moving to their rhythm and James pushed himself against her. Lily felt the effect this was having on him, she arched her back and moaned. She wanted to finish this now. She removed his glasses and gasped slightly at the change. She felt him smile at her small noise then all her senses went off as he began to pull down her lace underwear.

"Lily…" she arched her back again. "Lily."

"Lily!" She awoke flushed. Quickly she remembered where she was and the dream replayed in her mind at lightning speed. They'd gone further this time, they were older too but in the same place at the same time. She jumped at the loud bangs on her door.

"EVANS!" She collected herself and opened the door. Immediately she began squinting it was so bright. "Oh."

"What do you want?" Lily blushed slightly as the person in her not so innocent dream was standing right in front of her.

"I thought you'd be ready to go down to breakfast." James looked down at Lily's cream silk nightie, its black lace hem and her bare legs then back up to her face and bed hair. It had been a week but this was the first time he'd seen her straight out of bed. Lily started to rub her eyes as they hadn't adjusted yet so she didn't see his eyes move up and down her body. "But clearly you're not ready."

"Clearly not."

"See you later then," and he was off. Lily shut the door and retreated back into her dark room. Suddenly it bothered her, it really, really bothered her and she wished it didn't.

Sirius Black watched as his best friend entered the Great Hall. James had always had this air about him but since starting school it was absent. Summer with James had been different too. It was the first summer without Lord Potter and Sirius knew that greatly affected James. He couldn't do anything about though and just hoped his friend would get back on his feet before the summer was out. It didn't help that he was made head boy along with Lily Evans either. Sirius knew what happened between the two that night years ago, of course he did. Sirius also knew that James still harboured feelings for the redhead. Perhaps that was taking its toll on James as well. He was so close to her once but they were too young and now they couldn't be together even if they wanted. Someone would be killed if James and Lily started a relationship.

"Prongs! I was thinking we could head out to the pitch today," Sirius tried to excite his mate.

"Hmm," James sat down and grabbed some toast.

"Say, don't you need a new Seeker this year?" Peter piped up. For the past week, since school commenced, Peter had been strangely quiet.

"Yes, we do."

"So when's try outs?" Remus asked trying to keep the conversation going. It was all getting a bit pathetic with James, he thought and he hoped Sirius would act on it soon.

"We don't need to have tryouts," James looked at Sirius, "Fabius Watkins." He said the name as if it explained everything.

"Who is that?"

"Oh come on, did you not see the boy at Sorting last week? He's perfect."

"Sorting? So he's a first year?" Remus knew Quidditch was constantly on James's mind but not so much so that he examined first years during Sorting for future players. "James, you know the first year rule."

"Stuff it. I'm Head Boy and Quidditch Captain so Watkins will be on my team," James said arrogantly.

Yes, something was wrong with Sirius' best friend. Breakfast eventually ended and Sirius directed James outside onto the grounds. The boys walked towards the forest with their white sleeves rolled up to their elbows and red and gold ties done up loosely at their necks where a few more buttons than permitted were undone. The untidy black hair on both of them moved in the slight northern breeze which cooled the air but the sun was still strong enough to make it a warm day. They walked in silence with their hands tucked in their pockets. From a distance they would almost look identical except for Sirius being the slightest bit taller. James hadn't protested about coming out, he knew Sirius wouldn't have it, but once they reached the edge of the forest he decided it was time to break the silence.

"I know why you brought me out here," James began.

"Good," Sirius replied sharply, kicking an acorn away like a football.

"And I'm sorry."

"Good," Sirius wasn't as sharp but he knew James had more to say.

"It's…" James sighed audibly and ran his hand through his hair. "It's hard and I guess I still haven't gotten over it." The boys continued to walk along the edge of the forest with no particular destination. "He was murdered, Sirius. Murdered! I mean, what is that and why? Mum refuses to talk about it and I know she knows more than she's letting on." Sirius smiled sadly and nodded. He knew more than he was letting on as well but Lady Potter had sworn him to secrecy. Sirius felt stupid keeping a secret from James but he believed that if he were James he would rather not know the truth. That was the only thing that made it easier.

"And soon we'll be out of here and things will get serious. This bloody war, it's so pitiful. I hate nobility," Sirius didn't know how many time's he'd heard this from James or himself. "If I had no nobility, no pureblood, I wouldn't have to spend the rest of my life socialising with useless gits and making decisions with them." James was quiet for a while then stopped walking abruptly just as Sirius opened his mouth to speak. "And then there is her." Sirius could see the anger in James' eyes now. Now they had reached the epicentre of everything, of James' life. "That girl, I swear! She walks around in only a little night dress which is practically lingerie and thinks she owns the bloody castle. I have no idea where her head is at now. On our first night here she tried to stand up for me against Snivellus, what is that? I don't need her help. Whatever happened to ignoring each other? It made things easy," James's voice died off at the end.

"Well, you never really ignored her," Sirius finally spoke.

"All the same, it was just easier when she ignored me but now I don't know what's going on. And I think I did start ignoring her, you know? Every day I find out something new. I know nothing about her private life now."

"But you know…"

"Yes, I know. Another thing about nobility, you can have a relationship with anyone you want except for the one you love."

They started back towards the castle and Sirius could feel the old James coming back after his little vent. "So Fabius Watkins, hey?" Sirius moved on to James' favourite subject.

James smiled for the first time all week.

"He'll be perfect."

I hope you enjoyed the first chapter and it made a least a little bit of sense. I'm excited about this so if you want to keep on reading just tell me, otherwise I'll retreat back to universtiy assignments, fun.

X Miss Pomadour