No matter how dolled up she got, she didn't feel worth it anymore.
He had tried so hard to get her to see him for who he really was and now that she had, she had lost him. Even in her dress, make-up, and her hair curled, she couldn't compare to who was currently on his arm. And it was all her fault.
"You're looking pretty tonight, Evans," her green eyes lifted from their current stare into her glass and looked up to see Sirius smiling at her.
"Thanks," she knew she sounded moody but she couldn't help it. "Where's your date?"
"Fixing her face or whatever you girls do when you escape to loo together. I honestly don't get the whole travel in packs thing; I'd hate to do that all the time."
Lily laughed a little, taking a drink of her butterbeer. "You travel in a pack constantly Sirius."
"You, James, Peter, and Remus? Constantly together."
"I guess you're right. But we never go to the loo together."
"Whatever you say."
His eyes crinkled slightly at the corners as he smiled, something she only started noticing lately. "Now, why are you in this dark corner of the room? That dress is made for dancing."
"I don't feel like it," she said honestly, one of her hands idly playing with her hair, "I'm not really in the mood."
"Not in the mood? You came to a party, Evans, you have to dance!"
"Is that a rule?"
"Yes, there are three main rules for a party. Party rule #1: One who attends a party must dance at said party."
She laughed, his happiness infectious, "Fine, but it's not as if I have a partner."
"Well milady," he bowed deep, offering his hand, "I'm yours for the song."
Rolling her eyes, she was actually quite thankful for the distraction. She knew she couldn't spend the whole night staring daggers into the back of Clara Fawcett, no matter how much she might like to. If he wanted the gorgeous blonde Ravenclaw, then that's what he wanted. She couldn't do anything about it now.
Setting down her glass and letting Sirius pull her out to the floor, she was happy that a slow song began to play. It wasn't that she wanted to be trapped in his arms, more like if she danced to a fast song she'd embarrass herself so badly she'd never be able to show her face again.
"I'm no trained dancer," she said as he wrapped one arm around her and took her hand in the other. "If I step on your toes, I'm sorry."
"I'm used to dancing it up with drunk girls. I've been puked on, stepped all over, and even drooled on. You are probably the most graceful dancer I will ever encounter."
"That's some high praise there."
"Just trying to loosen you up, Evans, you need to be more fun."
She looked up at him, a little confusion apparent on her face. "I need to be more fun?"
"Yeah, get away from those books sometimes and live it up. We're into the second month of our final year…don't you think it's time to relax?"
She let what he said sink in and she danced around the room with him, all her friends on the floor as well. She had never thought that she wasn't fun, but Sirius wasn't completely wrong. She did spend the last six years in the library but she still had lots of friends. And she had fun, she did, but maybe not as much as she may have wanted.
"So what are the other rules?"
She smiled as he cocked his head to the left, almost like a dog would when it was confused. "The other rules for a party. #1: One who attends a party must dance at said party, so what are the others?"
"Ah, right, the rules. #2: One who attends a party must dress for said party." He twirled her in a circle as her golden dress lifted a little. "You've got that part down pact Evans."
"And the third rule?"
"#3: One who attends a party, must have fun at said party. You have been staring at dear James all evening and pouting. That is not having fun."
"I was not staring –"
"You very obviously were." She blushed, trying to escape from him but he held on tightly. "Do you fancy James back? After the past two years of listening to him whine about you, I hope you do."
"I will never fancy that prat."
"You do! Oh, thank Merlin, God and The Beatles."
"What do The Beatles have to do with anything?"
"They are close enough to Jesus to be thanked. Now, why don't you get your tiny arse over there and tell him?"
"He's with Clara, I don't even compare."
"Who says what?"
"Who says you don't compare? Clara might be a pretty face and a fit body –"
"Not really helping Sirius."
"But, you are smart and James wants you. He doesn't want Clara, he's never wanted Clara."
"Then why didn't he ask me to this damned party?"
Sirius barked out a laugh as her eyes became fixed on Potter and Clara across the room. "He's asked you out a million times and you've always said no. Why do you think?"
"I've ruined it Sirius. I've yelled at him and hit him too many times. It's over."
"James like being hit around, you'll come to learn this. I bet he's a bit kinky in bed too."
Her cheeks burned bright red, "Sirius!"
"What? I'm giving you tips here Evans. Accept them and be grateful."
"I do not need to know about his bedroom habits." She grimaced slightly, trying not to think how many girls have ventured up in the Marauder's dorm. "Honestly."
"You, my fiery beauty, need to learn that James never stops caring. He never gives up on a person, no matter how bad they screw up."
The look on his face was so honest that she had no choice but to believe him. "Still, I'm no beauty queen like Clara."
At that moment Sirius let her go, her body not able to stop until she slammed directly into Potter. Looking up at him, green eyes met hazel and he was smiling at her. His arms had wrapped around her to stop her fall and she felt like there was no party. Just James, like so many times before. He was always there.
"I heard there are rules at these parties." She blurted, her mind had shut down as soon as she looked up at him.
"Rule #4," he said, as if he and Sirius had planned this entire thing out. "I always catch the golden snitch."
She snorted, her realization that he was no closer to perfect than she was coming back to her."Are you serious with these lines you're always saying?"
"I thought it was clever. You're wearing a gold dress, you're impossible to find most of the time, and you're Head Girl. You can now reward me 150 points."
"That's not going to happen Potter."
"Well, you flew at me pretty quickly there. Was there something you wanted Lily?"
Her heart was going a hundred miles an hour, her thoughts on what Sirius had said earlier. Wasn't there something she wanted? Wasn't that something him? Why did she have to be so stupid when it came to him? Taking a deep breath, she nodded slowly and looked back at the dance floor for a split second. Sirius gave her a huge thumbs up before going back to snogging some brunette.
"Do you want to dance?"
"No, with McGonagall –"
"Really? She's pretty fit for an older Scottish woman."
"Yes, do you want to dance with me?"
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever been asked."
Her heart fell, backing slightly out of his arms as he laughed. "What's so funny?"
"Do I want to dance with you? Lily, I've asked you a million and one things to do in the past and now you think I wouldn't want to dance with you?"
"Well, you came with Clara, I didn't –"
"Let's dance before you talk yourself into hating me again. I want to savor the moment."