Hey guys! I apologize for my disappearance from fanfiction for the past month (has it really been that long? Goodness!) I'm almost done with the next chapter of TMATSS so hang in there! It'll be up this weekend in all probability so stay tuned!

I remember I did promise oneshots or mini-stories if I fail at updating, so here you go (:

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. JK Rowling supplies the characters, I just meddle with them.

1. Add the scales

2. Stir clockwise

3. Potion should turn red

4. Let it simmer

5. Potion should turn plum

6. Chop up the roots and add

7. Let it simmer

8. Potion should turn brown

9. Stir clockwise for five minutes

10. Potion should turn hazel

11. Stir anti clockwise abruptly

12.Potion should turn green

"Partners!" Slughorn yelled. Lily looked up from reading the steps, her eyes narrowed just a little bit. Against her better judgment, her eyes flickered over to her former best friend, and their eyes met. He opened his mouth and she turned away quickly. Message delivered.

Scanning the room, she felt an exasperated sigh leave her lips. The N.E.W.T. Potions class was puny, considering not many careers required it. The class was full of potential Healers and Aurors...and Snape. Considering those careers required the most work after Hogwarts, not many particularly fancied them. The class' size was good, Lily had always loved small classes, but that also limited her partner choice.

All of her friends had dropped Potions after their O.W.L.S. Her friend Gwenog Jones was aiming to be a Quidditch Player, and already had a few offers, and only took the classes she liked since her N.E.W.T. classes wouldn't matter for her Quidditch career. Dorcas Meadows wanted to work at the Prophet, and was currently at Divination, a choice Lily could not fathom. Mary MacDonald, on the other hand, wanted to work at Gringotts.

Lily's other close friends, Alice Prewitt and Hestia Jones, had already graduated from Hogwarts.
So this left Lily lonely in her Potions class. Before, at least, she could've gone and joined Se-Snape, but that had been effectively ruled out when he had called her a you-know-what in their Fifth Year.

The only other Gryffindors in the class were James Potter, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. There were two Ravenclaws, Benjy Fenwick and Jess Marks, who, rumour had it, were together.
She sighed again, knowing that she'd either be with one of those Marauders, Snape, or she'd be working by herself. She kept her fingers crossed, hoping for Remus as a partner, as Slughorn looked around the room.

"Fenwick and Marks," he said, and Lily saw the two wink at each other, "Black and…Lupin," he said after a moment's hesitation, deciding that Black and Potter would not be a good combination. Lily groaned quietly. No matter what he did now, it would result in disaster.

Potter and Snape; absolutely disastrous.

Herself and Snape; absolutely not.

Herself and Potter: Merlin, help her.

"Lily!" he said happily, and she pasted an award-winning smile on her face, "Lovely first day of term isn't it?" He said happily, and Lily smiled, "I hope your summer was enjoyable?" he said, phrasing his statement as a question, and Lily stiffened.

"No," she said, smiling slightly, and saw Snape look at her. He knew, of course, that her father had died this summer in a car crash. There'd been a big production of it in their small muggle suburb, next to which was Spinners End where Snape lived. She'd spent the better part of the previous week in tears. Slughorn chortled happily.

"Ah Lily, what would I do without your cheek?" He asked, and Lily grimaced. Of course Slughorn would think she'd been joking, "lovely day for potion making, isn't it?" he said happily, and she had to stifle an eye roll.

"Not often we get such a lovely day," she agreed, "although, I'd much rather be enjoying it by the lake," she added, winking for his benefit, and Slughorns belly jiggled as he chortled madly

"Too right you are, Lily. How about, if a potion comes out particularly spectacular, I'll let you out to enjoy the sun!" he said cheerfully, patting his large belly as everyone sat up straighter, "now, whom shall we pair you up with?" He mused, looking between Snape and Potter, both of which shot him hopeful looks, "I haven't seen you work with Severus in a long time," he said.

Lily shook her head violently, and she saw that Snape's shoulders drooped, but stomped on her guilty feelings. There was no way in hell she was working with him.

"Oh, alright," Slughorn said, looking between Lily and Snape, "well then I suppose we'll have to pair the Head Students up together," he said, clapping his hands. She heard a shuffling and assumed Potter was going to come sit at her table and placed her head in her hands, covering her eyes with her palms, as if pressing her hands to them could stop the tears she felt threatening to overflow. There was a screech as the stool beside her was pulled apart, and she heard the thump of Potter's things landing on the table, "Begin!" Taking a deep breath, Lily straightened up and turned to see Potter regarding her with an odd expression.

"What?" she asked tiredly, and he only shook his head, before opening his book, his legs swinging childishly.

"I'll get the things then?" Potter suggested, and before she could say anything he hopped off the stool and walked over to the supplies cupboard in the corner where half the class was crowded. Lily frowned to herself as she bent over to light a fire underneath her cauldron, "If you don't watch it, you'll light your hair on fire," Potter said, suddenly beside her. Lily jumped and saw a smirk form on Potter's face.

"Right," she said, reaching back and gathering her hair, tying it into a messy knot. Potter watched her, and when she shot him a look, clearly telling him to get a move on, he smirked again and turned to the cauldron. Lily rolled her eyes.

"So," Potter said, pulling her Potions book towards him, much to her irritation, considering his was right next to him, "We have to add scales," he said, and Lily nodded. Potter skillfully threw a few scales into the cauldron, and Lily took that as her cue to stir.

"Clockwise?" she asked, and Potter nodded.

"Until it turns red," he said, peering into the cauldron. They stood in that position for a few minutes, in silence, Potter watching the potion and Lily stirring, regarding him. They hadn't talked since she had told him to 'jump up his own arse and die' at the end of their sixth year. He had grown a lot since then, now towering over her, "It's red," he announced, and Lily stopped stirring, sitting down on her stool, "So," Potter said awkwardly, sitting down.

"Yes?" Lily said after a few moments of silence, and Potter's lips pulled up into a small smile.

"You're Head Girl," he said, and Lily nodded, frowning slightly, "And I'm Head Boy," he said, and Lily sighed, anticipating the predictable suggestion that they should go out, "Should be fun, eh?" he said, taking her completely off guard. Lily blinked, confused.

Where was the innuendo?

Why wasn't he asking her out?

Where was the statement assuming that their pairings as Heads seemed fateful?

Potter waved his hand in front of her face and Lily jumped, shaking herself out of her confusion, "Er, yeah," she said, "It should be…interesting," she said, and he grinned.

"Are you implying that spending time with me is not fun?" he gasped, and Lily somehow found herself fighting a smile.

"Yes, I am," she said, and Potter pouted.

"How long do we let it simmer?" he asked, and Lily looked down at the book

"Until it turns plum," she said.

"It turns into a plum?" Potter joked, and Lily rolled her eyes, her lips pulling up into a smile, "You're smiling!" Potter commented, smirking slightly, and Lily turned to look at him.

"And?" she said stiffly, and he grinned.

"You've never smiled at me before," he said, and Lily shrugged, attempting nonchalance, when in reality she was flabbergasted. Why was she suddenly smiling?

"There was never any reason to," she said, after realizing Potter was waiting for her answer, and he snorted.

"So there's a reason now?" he asked, and Lily smirked.

"Well, you are Head Boy, I might as well attempt to form a civil relationship with you," she said, and she saw his lips pull up in a smirk.

"We're in a relationship?" he gasped, and Lily narrowed her eyes at him as he grinned at her, "Oh, unknot your knickers," he chuckled, "It was a joke."

"I don't like jokes," Lily sniffed, and he snorted


"Guilty," Lily said, and Potter laughed.

"It's almost plum," he said, and Lily smirked

"It's almost a plum?" she found herself asking, and Potter grinned.

"Yes, it is," he said solemnly, and Lily bit her lip to block a laugh, "So Evans," he said, resting his head on his hands, looking at the cauldron, "What's bothering you?"

"What is bothering me?" she asked warily.

"Something happened over the summer," he said, and Lily frowned, her heart clenching.

"How do you know?" she asked, and she saw his eyes regard her out of the corner of his eyes.

"Your face when Slughorn asked," he said, and Lily winced. She should've known to control her expression. If anyone could look at her and know she was not okay, it was- shockingly- Potter. How he could read her so well, she'd never know. At least, she'd never taken the time to bother figuring it out. She didn't tend to bother much when Potter was concerned…unless it was to yell at him.

"It's plum," she said, standing up. Potter didn't move, except his eyes followed her, as she stood up, focused on her face. He sighed hugely and pulled the Potions book towards him.

"Chop up the roots," he said, and Lily nodded. She reached for the knife and roots but Potter got there first, and began to swiftly chop the roots.

"I can do that," she said, and he shrugged, almost done

"I'm faster"

"I'm precise," she shot back.

"I'm cutting them perfectly, thanks," he said, smiling slightly to himself.

"They're not even!"

"They're going to disintegrate anyway," he pointed out, "What does it matter?"

"That's not the point!"

"Then what is?" he asked, amused.

"It's the principle of the matter!" she hissed, trying to control her volume as a few people looked over at them, waiting for the traditional argument, watching as he purposely cut one really puny and the next one really large.

"I wasn't aware principle was involved in root chopping," he said, and Lily huffed, crossing her arms. She saw Potter grin.

"You're an arse," she muttered, and he laughed.

"That's boring," he said, "What happened to incorrigible?" he asked, and Lily's mouth twitched, "I rather enjoyed the originality behind that insult."

"That's why I'm being 'boring'," she said, framing the word with her fingers, and James chuckled.

"You wound me," he said sarcastically, and Lily shrugged.

"You deserve it," she said, and he gasped dramatically, clutching his chest as he threw the badly chopped roots into the cauldron.

"You're breaking my heart here," he said, and Lily rolled her eyes

"What heart?"

"The one in your hands," he said, and Lily snorted, causing him to laugh.

"That's poetic Potter, well done," she said sarcastically, and Potter winked

"Simmer," he said, and Lily quirked an eyebrow at him, "Not you, let the potion simmer," he said, and Lily nodded in understanding, sitting down, "What? You thought I was telling you to simmer?"

"Well you never know," she mumbled, extremely aware of the fact that her face was heating up, and Potter laughed.

"So Evans, may I please know what was so wrong with your summer?" he asked, and Lily closed her eyes, before shaking her head. She opened her eyes again to see Potter, facing her, leaning in slightly, regarding her with a curious expression on his face.

"What?" she asked, leaning back, and he grinned

"You'll tell me later," he shrugged, and Lily snorted

"Not likely"

'Yes you will"

"What makes you think I'm going to talk to you later?"

"Ah, you wound me," he said, "We have patrols together! How could you forget about spending time with me?"

"Easily," she muttered, "I block it out."

"Ouch Evans," he said, and Lily rolled her eyes, "Ah well, we will discuss this further during patrols."

"I don't want to," she said.


"Jerk," she muttered, and he smirked

"Witty," he said sarcastically

"I try," she said, and he laughed, causing her to smile slightly, "So how long do we let it simmer?" she asked, and he sighed, turning around to consider the book.

"Until it turns brown," he said, and then looked, "Which is now, hurry up!" he squeaked, and Lily snorted, standing up calmly.

"Stir clockwise for five minutes," she said, and rolled her sleeves up.

"I'll take over for you when you get tired," Potter said, smirking, and sitting down. Lily glared at him.

"I will not get tired," she said, and began to stir the potion slowly.

"Of course you wont," he said.

"I wont!"

"Okay," he said, and Lily scowled. Determined not to get tired, she didn't allow her facial expression to display the agony in her upper arms, "Tired yet?" he asked after two minutes, and Lily glared at him.

"No," she said stubbornly, and he grinned

"Always stubborn, aren't we?" he asked, and she narrowed her eyes at him, causing him to chuckle, "I'll take that as a yes," he said, and pulled her potions book towards him, flipping through the pages.

"What are you doing?" she hissed, watching as his fingers, stained from the roots, flipped through the crisp, clean pages of her Potions book.

"Looking," he said, flipping a page rather violently. Lily flinched

"Flip through your own book!"

"No thanks," he said, grinning at her, "It's much more enjoyable to watch you flinch every time I touch it," he said, and then, holding her gaze, pressed a finger to the page.

"Potter!" she hissed, and he grinned mischievously, "Potter, seriously, stop it," she said, and he sighed, turning to look at her, resting his entire hand, palm down, on the middle of her page. She glared at him, "I am going to hex you so hard," she muttered, and he grinned, eyes twinkling.

"That what?" he asked, and Lily glared at him.

"You wont be able to sit on a broom properly," she said, and he snickered.

"Thinking about that part of me? And I thought you said we weren't in a relationship," he said, and Lily rolled her eyes irritably.

"We aren't," she said, "And we never will be."

"We'll see," he said happily, turning the page, and holding that one page in between his two palms. She could see the stains on the pages. He began to play with the corner of the page and Lily growled.

"I hate you," she muttered, and he winked at her.

"Do you really?"

"Yes," she said angrily, eying the greasy page of her book. She hadn't made it through her first day and her book was already stained!

"How are the arms?" he asked, and only then did Lily notice the excruciating pain in her shoulders. She bit the inside of her cheek as Potters' eyes glinted mischievously. It was as if he knew she was fighting the pain; probably because her arms had begun shaking.

"They're fine," she said stubbornly, and he fought of a smile, "How much longer?" she asked, attempting to hold the pleading note out of her voice.

"Until it turns hazel," he said, and Lily huffed.

"I don't know what hazel looks like," she muttered, and he turned to her.

"My eyes are hazel," he said, "here, I'll give you a better look."

Before she could stop him, he was alarmingly close, and she was forced to look into his eyes. They were rather magnificent. Her breath caught in her throat, and he smirked, before sitting back down. She looked down at the cauldron, and saw that it was hazel.

"It's done," she said, and he grinned

"See Evans? Looking in my eyes even helps you in class!"

"Bugger off," she said, and looked over at her book. Understanding, he looked back at the book and then squeaked.

"Stir anti clockwise immediately," he said, and Lily started stirring the other way. The abrupt change of direction caused a little to splash out of the boiling cauldron, and, just as was her luck, it landed on her hand.

"Bloody ow!" she squeaked, eyes watering, as the bit of potion on her hand burned her. Potter's eyes widened and he grabbed her shoulders, pushing her onto the stool, the stirrer of the potion abandoned, as a few tears seeped down her cheeks, tears she wiped away quickly with the back of her hand.

"Are you okay?" he asked, grabbing her hand off her lap.

"The potion!" she squeaked, and he rolled his eyes

"It can go to hell, how's your hand?" he asked, and Lily narrowed her eyes at him.

"I am not failing a potion because you-"

"Swot," he muttered, pulling his wand out and pointing it at the stirrer, causing it to stir automatically, "Are you okay?" he asked again, turning around to face her as she watched the stirrer, feeling foolish. Why hadn't she thought of that?

"I'm fine," she said, but he only ignored her, reaching out to grab her hand. She snatched it away instantly, earning herself an annoyed glance and a more forceful hand grabbing. She watched as Potter held her hand firmly in one of his, palm down, as he examined the burn.

"That looks rather nasty," he grimaced, tracing his finger lightly over her knuckle. His eyes flew up to hers as he did so, and Lily found her breath hitched in her throat.

"Er, yeah, I'm going to go wash the Potion off my hand," she said, her throat clogged, and hurried off to the sinks in the corner of the room before Potter could touch her again or say another word. She quickly switched the water on and, due to the force behind it, the water splashed out and drenched the entire front of her robes, "Damn it!" she hissed, and reduced the force of the water, shoving her hand under it. The ice-cold water felt nice against her burnt hand, and once the Potion had washed away, she saw a large burn right underneath the knuckle of her thumb.

"Looks nasty," a voice said, and she turned quickly to see Remus standing next to her, looking down at the burn, "How'd that happen?"

"Had to change stirring directions and the Potion decided to attack my hand," she said, and Remus grinned.

"Sirius thought it would be absolutely hilarious to stir violently," he said, and gestured to the front of his robes, where a splotch of Potion was, "At least I didn't get burnt, eh?" he joked, and Lily rolled her eyes fondly

"Sounds bloody hilarious," she said, "Don't forget to congratulate Black on his marvelously hilarious joke," she said, and Remus laughed.

"I'll try not to," he said, rolling his eyes, and Lily giggled, "James driven you crazy yet?" he asked, and Lily snorted, "And you get to spend the entireyear with him," he teased, and she shot him a glare, which only caused him to grin.

"I can't believe hegot Head Boy," she said, standing next to Remus as he washed the Potion off the front of his robes, "I thought you'd get it!"

"It's a bloody brilliant idea, though, if you ask me," Remus said, and she quirked an eyebrow at him, "I mean, if you cant control him, make him Head Boy," he said, and Lily laughed, "Plus, he's the only one who can control Sirius," he said, and Lily shrugged.

"That does make sense," she said.

"Not to mention the fact that people bloody kiss his feet at this school," he added, and Lily snorted

"No wonder his ego is so huge, do you say these things around him?" she asked, and he laughed. He turned to her and then smirked.

"Did the Potion attack your robes as well?" he asked, gesturing to her completely drenched stomach area.

"No, the sink did that," she sniffed, and walked away, Remus' laughs following her.

"What happened to you?" Potter smirked, now stirring the potion manually, all previous tension gone, and she huffed, crossing her arms.

"The sink and I had a duel," she said, and he laughed.

"And the sink won, I presume?" he asked, and she shook her head.

"No, I did," she said, "you should see the sink, it's soaking," she said, and Potter burst out laughing.

"Funny," he laughed, and Lily shrugged

"It comes and goes."

"How's the hand?" he asked, and Lily grimaced, "Show me."

"Why?" she asked, hiding her hand behind her back, quirking an eyebrow at him, "It's my hand."

"Yes, but I'm your partner in crime, I should know," he said, and she rolled her eyes

"Why, pray tell, should you know?"

"Well, in case I'm tried in front of the Wizengamot for Potion crimes I should know what happened so I can be an effective witness to your case," he said, and Lily snorted.

"Because that's really going to happen," she said, and he winked.

"You never know."

"When's the thing going to be done?" she asked, changing the topic so he wouldn't touch her hand again, and he smirked

"The thing?"

"Answer the bloody question," she muttered, and he chuckled, looking back down at the book.

"When it turns green," he said, and Lily nodded.

"I presume you know what green looks like?" she asked innocently, and he smirked

"'Course I do," he said, "It's the colour of your eyes."

"Er, right," she said awkwardly, craning her neck to look into the Potion, "it's green!"

"Not green enough," he said, "Your eyes are a more emerald sort."

"Potter! Stop bloody stirring! It's green!" she hissed, standing up, and he shrugged, "Potter!"

"There!" he said, and she looked down at the deeper shade of green the Potion had turned into whilst she had been yelling at Potter.

"Oh," she said simply, and he smirked.

"Horace?" he called, and Lily looked at him incredulously. Calling a teacher by their first name, the nerve!

"Mr. Potter," Slughorn chortled, waddling over, "Finished already?" he asked, and Potter nodded. Slughorn peered into the Potion and gasped, "Brilliant!" he said happily, and Potter turned to smirk at Lily, who rolled her eyes at him, "Lily," he said, "one lesson as your partner and Mr. Potter is already an expert Potion maker!" he said happily, and Lily smirked as Potters' jaw dropped. He noticed Lily's smirk and she saw the unmistakable mischievous twinkle light his eye.

"She really has made me better, sir," he said, "Perhaps we should work together more often," he added, and this time it was Lily's turn for her jaw to drop.

"An excellent idea!" Slughorn chortled happily, "I haven't seen a Potion produced of such brilliance since Lily and Severus were working together," he said, and Lily saw Snape scowl behind Slughorns back, "You two do make a wonderful pair," he said.

"That we do," Potter said, grinning crookedly, winking down at Lily, who turned away from him irritably. Slughorn chortled happily and walked away to look at Remus' and Blacks potion, leaving her with Potter, "See that Evans? I'm not the only one who thinks we make an excellent pair," he said happily, and Lily huffed.

"If you'll excuse me, Potter, I'm leaving," she said, and, grabbing her Potions book, she swung her bag over her shoulder and walked out of the room without another word.

She laughed as the wind abused her hair, causing it to flap around madly. She laughed harder as her father's nose scrunched as her long red hair obstructed his vision, tickling his face madly, as he attempted to drive. They'd gone down to the grocery store to buy some milk, and Lily had coerced her father into leaving the windows down so she could feel the wind. He smiled as she laughed, and drove faster, much to her appreciation. They parked in the driveway and her father helped her carry the groceries into the house. When the two of them went grocery shopping together, they'd always come home with more food than strictly necessary, just because they'd seen something they liked in the store. Her mother placed her hands on her hips, fighting a smile, as she usually did when they came home with far too much food. Petunia snorted at the ridiculous amounts of junk food that seeped out of the plastic grocery bags. Her father walked over to her mother and wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing her forehead, before walking out of the kitchen to get ready for work. He bid them all farewell, kissing all of his girls in turn, swinging Lily around since she was the only one standing, and waved to them all as he walked out of the kitchen, followed by the sounds of their laughter.

He never came back.

Lily wiped away the tear on her cheek as she made her way up to Gryffindor Tower from the library, on her way to collect James Potter for patrols. Those last few moments she had with her father were ones she'd forever cherish, the memory playing through her head all the time. His laughter, his scrunched nose, his cheeky smile saved only for her mother, the way he'd wave as soon as he walked out of the house, casting them all a backwards glance and an easy smile, his chocolate eyes sparkling and his sandy hair ruffling from the light breeze in the garage.

She burst through the Portrait hole to see Potter and his marauding lot sitting in their favorite place by the fire, and made her way over to them. As he saw her approaching, he stood up and with a wave to his friends, made his way over to her. She turned around quickly and walked of the Common Room, subtly wiping the redness of her eyes away.

"So what do we do?" Potter asked, walking next to her with an easy grace, hands shoved in his pockets.

"Patrol," she said stiffly, and saw him smirk.

"I'm well aware of that, Evans," he said, "But what exactly does one do and patrol?" he asked, and Lily sighed.

"I forgot this was your first ever patrol," she said

"That's right. I'm a patrol virgin," he said, and Lily snorted at his word choice.

"That's great Potter," she said, "I bet that's the only sort of virgin you are, so at least you still have something," she added, and he laughed good naturedly.

"So, do we just walk around?" he asked, and Lily nodded, "And do what?"

"Look for people hanging around after hours," she said, and he smirked.

"So we check broom closets then?" he asked, and the corners of Lily's mouth turned up slightly.

"What else would we be checking?" she asked, and he sniggered. They walked around in silence for a little bit, before he let out a dramatic sigh.

"I'm bored," he said, and Lily snorted.

"We've been walking for ten minutes"

"Yes, and I'm bored"

"Well what am I supposed to do about it?"

"How much longer?" he whined, and Lily rolled her eyes.

"We have to patrol for two hours," she said, and his jaw dropped.

"That's- that's- that's- that's inhumane!" he gasped, and Lily smiled.

"But there's nothing we can do about it," she said, and he sighed, before his eyes widened and a grin spread across his face.

"Actually, there is," he said, and promptly sat himself down, leaning against a wall.

"If you're suggesting we just sit here…" she said, and he shook his head, pulling a tattered bit of parchment out of his pocket.

"Sit down, dear Evans, and you'll see," he said, and Lily crossed her arms, "Just sit! Don't you trust me?" he asked, and Lily shook her head.

"Not at all," she said, but sat herself down anyway. He pulled his wand out and she quirked an eyebrow at him.

"I am going to show you something now, that nobody except myself and my friends have ever seen," he said, his tone completely serious, and despite everything, Lily found herself intrigued, "You have to promise you will never utter a word about this to a single soul."

"What are you doing?" she asked curiously, and James smiled slightly, taking her curious expression as an agreement.

"I solemnly swear I am up to no good," he said, and Lily snorted

"I don't find that hard to believe," she said, and he smirked.

"Have you looked down Evans?" he asked, and Lily looked down, and gasped.

"What isthis?" she asked, looking at it in awe.

"Marauders Map, courtesy of Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs," he said, and Lily's jaw dropped.

"You made this?" she asked, and he grinned.


"Surprisingly," she muttered, and he beamed. A set of footsteps caught her eye and she squeaked, "Wait, is that really-"

"McGonagall? Yes," he said.

"So you're telling me that she's really-"

"On her way back from the Teachers Lounge? Yes," he said, and Lily let out a strangled noise.

"Is everyone on this?" she asked, and he nodded.

"Every soul at Hogwarts, every room at Hogwarts, everything," he said proudly.

"Wow," she breathed, her eyes searching the paper hungrily.

"I know," he said, and she turned to look at him, eyes wide.

"This is- it's- words can't describe it," she said, smiling slightly. He grinned back. She looked back down at the map, "We don't even need to patrol!" she gasped, and he laughed.

"That was my idea, Evans."

"But we'll still have to move if someone is snogging," she said, and his eyes twinkled.

"Well Evans, if you're so keen on snogging I'll be more than happy to offer my services," he said, winking at her.

"You're never going to change, are you?" she asked exasperatedly, and he grinned.

"I should hope not," he said, and she smiled slightly, "Where'd your smile go?" he asked suddenly, and she looked at him, frowning slightly.

"Where did my smile go?" she asked, her eyes turning back to the map, searching the second floor corridors. He continued to look at her, noticing the way she was biting her lip, obviously not telling him something. Lily Evans never bit her lip, unless she was backed into a corner; this, James Potter knew for sure.

"You don't smile anymore," he said simply.

"It's the first day."

"And you're not smiling."

"I smile."

"No you don't."

"Yes, Potter, I do."

"I haven't seen you smile in a long time, Evans," he said

"Because we were on summer break, Potter," she shot back, wincing slightly at the reference to summer. He noticed, but decided to push her on that particular topic later.

"Long before today," he said, and she frowned at him.

"But today's only the-"

"First day of term, I know, but you didn't smile last year either," he said, and she rolled her eyes

"I smile, Potter, just because it's not around you," she muttered, and he snorted.

"Tell me one person that has seen you sm-"

"Broom closet," she said, cutting him off, and standing up abruptly.

"Where?" he asked, looking down.

"Third floor," she said, already walking away from him. He jumped up and, shoving the map back into his robes, caught up to her, falling into step beside her.

"So, what was I saying?"

"Nothing," she said sternly, and he smirked.

"I was telling you to tell me one person who has seen you sm-"

"Potter! Just drop it will you?" she asked, and he shook his head.

"Something's wrong, and you're not telling me," he said, and she scowled.

"I don't need to tell you anything Potter."

"You do now."

"And why, pray tell, is that?"

"Because I care."


"Badmouth," he gasped, and saw her roll her eyes, "But honestly Evans, why wont you sm-"

"You want to know why I didn't smile last year?" she hissed, stopping in front of him, and he crossed his arms, "I didn't smile because I lost my best friend," she said, and he flinched slightly.

"That's understandable," he muttered, and she nodded sternly, before turning around, "But that doesn't explain what's wrong now," he said, and she turned around to glare at him.

"That is none of your business," she said, walking away. He sighed and jogged to catch up to her. They were on the third floor now, and he could clearly see the broom closet that they were heading for. He looked down at his companion to see her eyes shining with, he realized with horror, tears.

"You sure there are people in there?" he asked, changing the subject, and she nodded, still looking resolutely ahead, "So what do we do when we bust them out of there?" he asked, and she stopped in her tracks, smiling slightly.

"I don't know, actually," she said, and he laughed, "I've never caught someone in a broom closet before," she said, and he snorted

"You're telling me, that two years of patrols, and you never caught someone in a broom closet?" he asked, and she shook her head.

"Remus and I were always scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays," she said, "And the snoggers usually, well, snog, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays," she said, and he grinned.

"It's Wednesday today," he said, and she shrugged

"It's also the first day of term," she pointed out, and he sighed.

"Double standards," he said dramatically, and Lily shook her head fondly, "So what should we do?" he asked as they stopped a few feet from the broom closet. He knew for sure there were people in there, and if those noises coming out of it were any give away, he knew they weren't just talking.

"Stop that before anything more happens, I suppose," Lily said, flushing furiously as a guttural moan sounded.

"Er, so do we dock points? Hand out detentions?" he asked, and she nodded.

"Five points each, and one detention," she said, and he gasped.

"Isn't that a bit harsh?"

"No, that's always been the standard," she said, and he nodded, coughing as another moan sounded, "Are you going to open the door, or should I?" she asked, her voice shaking slightly, and he coughed.

"Er, I'll do it, you talk," he said, and before she could argue with him, he pulled the door open to reveal two Ravenclaw sixth years. They broke apart as the light shone in their eyes, and Lily cleared her throat

"You two should return to your Common Rooms, it's after curfew," she said. The Ravenclaws gathered their stuff, grinning slyly at each other, and got out of the broom cupboard, "That's ten points from Ravenclaw," she said, and the two nodded before taking each other's hands and walking away, nudging each other playfully.

"You forgot about the detention," he said, and she closed her eyes, shaking her head.

"Slipped my mind there," she said, and he chuckled. He looked down at her and wondered if all it would take to get her was to grab her by her hand and pull her in, "Make sure they're actually going back to their Common Room," she said, eyes still closed, and he nodded, pulling the map out in time to see the two walk into the Ravenclaw Common Room.

"They're there," he said, and she nodded, "hopefully patrols are always this interesting," he said cheerfully, and Lily rolled her eyes amusedly.

"They're not," she said, "you're lucky your first time was so entertaining," she said sarcastically, and he laughed.

"Wasn't that your first time catching broom closet snoggers as well?" he asked, and she nodded, "So basically, you just lost your broom-closet-snogger-catching virginity!" he announced happily, and she turned to look at him exasperatedly.

"No need to phrase it so awkwardly," she said, and he grinned.

"So how do you feel?" he teased, and she shook her head.

"Like a natural woman," she said sarcastically, and he burst out laughing, the corners of her mouth pulling up into a smile.

Lily got back up to her dormitory and opened her Potions book to answer the questions Slughorn had set them about the potion they'd been brewing in class that day. She flipped to the right page and scowled down at the grease marks from Potters finger, before flipping the pages to inspect the damage. She found the page, which had his complete palm prints on both sides, and huffed angrily. Slamming the book shut, deciding she'd finish her questions after she completed her Transfiguration essay, she never realized what Potion had been on the page the grease marks had been on.


"We're going to be brewing the Draught of Peace today," Slughorn announced, "Same pairings as last time, off you go!" he said, and Lily rolled her eyes as Potter parked his behind on the stool next to her.

"Don't you look smashingly lovely today," he said happily, and she turned her head to throw him a sardonic look. He only grinned and pulled her book over to him and flipped to the right page.

"What's wrong with your book?" she asked, and he quirked a brow at her.

"What is wrong with my book?"

"You're using mine," she pointed out, and he smirked

"Your book is better," he said, and she rolled her eyes

"They're the same."

"Yes, but this ones not mine," he said, "There's more thrill in using other peoples things."

"You're a prat," she said, and he grinned.

"Thanks love, you're a prat too," he said, and strode off the get the materials needed for the potion. Muttering under her breath, Lily lit the fire and pulled her book towards her to read the instructions, "Here you go," he said happily, scattering the things all over the table. She scowled and organized them in a neat pile, amusing Potter to no end, and looked down at the procedure.

"We need to chop up the roots," she said, and he reached for the knife, but she was faster, "You're no longer allowed to cut up roots," she said, and he snorted as she cut the roots up, each piece perfectly proportionate to the next. She threw them in expertly and looked over at him, to see him lounging lazily, back leaning against the table. She cleared her throat and he turned to her.

"Oh, done?" he asked, "Merlin I'm a thousand years old," he said, and Lily scowled as he read the instructions, "Now we're going to cut up a bean," he said, and she sighed, "And since you take centuries to cut, I shall cut this time," he said, snatching the knife out of her hand, and attempting to cut the bean up. It kept flying away from him, and Lily looked over at Snape to see him crushing the bean with the flat side of the blade.

"Snape's crushing it," she said, and he quirked an eyebrow at her.

"The instructions say to cut," he said, and then shrugged, "Fine, let's crush, who am I to follow instructions anyway?" he asked, and crushed the bean, releasing a lot more juice than Lily thought a bean could possibly hold, "Well, looks like he got something right, for once," he said, and squeezed the bean over the cauldron.

"That's mean," she said, and he shrugged.

"Don't care," he retorted, and she rolled her eyes

"You're so irritating!" she hissed, and he grinned at her.

"I know," he said, and grabbed the stirrer, stirring it clockwise, "So how's the hand?" he asked, and she frowned at him.

"It's fine," she said, and he nodded.

"So it's supposed to be blue?" he asked, and she looked down at her hand in shock to see that it was, in fact, blue.

"Oh Merlin!" she squeaked, and he burst out laughing, "What?" she asked, and he turned around to wink at Black, who winked at Lily, "What?" she asked in a slightly more dangerous tone, and he shrugged, "Potter, did you tell your friend to turn my hand blue?" she squawked, and Potter nodded, "Potter you absolute prat!" she shrieked.

"My, my," Slughorn said, waddling over, "What have we here?"

"Potter turned my hand blue, sir," she said, holding up her hand as proof.

"It looks perfectly fine to me," Slughorn said, and she turned, open-mouthed, to see that her hand was, in fact, normal, "Perhaps you should go to the Hospital Wing?" he said uncertainly, and Lily scowled as Potter shook violently with what resembled laughter.

"That won't be necessary," Lily mumbled, and Slughorn regarded her uncertainly for a moment as if questioning his sanity, which he probably was, before smiling and walking away to inspect Snape's potion.

"You sure you shouldn't go to the Hospital Wing?" Potter asked innocently, "Maybe get your eyes checked?"

"Potter you absolute arse," she muttered, and he winked at her as she huffed and crossed her arms. He only grinned and continued to brew the potion. After a few moments of silence, he sighed.

"Honestly Lily, it was a joke," he said, and Lily glared at him.

"Evans," she said, and he rolled his eyes, otherwise ignoring her statement.

"Honestly, I don't see what the big deal was," he said, chuckling, "A joke's a joke, no need to be so tight wound."

"I'm not tight wound," she said, hugging her arms around herself as she sat down, glaring at him.

"I respectfully disagree," he said, winking at her, "Don't worry though love, I still love you just the way you are."

"You disgust me," she said, and he chuckled.

"So are you ever going to tell me what happened over the summer?" he asked, keeping his eyes glued on the potion, waiting for it to turn silver.

"No," she said bluntly, and he sighed.

"I'll get it out of you sooner or later."

"We'll see about that," she said quietly, and he smirked.

"Is that a challenge?"

"Why? Do you accept?" she retorted, and he laughed.

"When have I not?"

"We see each other far too much," Lily muttered irritably as Potter walked over to her in the Common Room that evening to collect her for rounds.

"Don't worry Evans, rounds will be easy today," he winked, patting his pocket, and Lily's eyes sparkled at the prospect of seeing the map again.

"I win!" James announced happily, pounding the floor with his fist, his voice reverbeting off the cold stone walls of the corridor the two were sitting in. On the floor in front of them was the Marauders Map.

"That's not fair! You have more practice with it," she sniffed, and James smirked.

"That's not my fault," he said nonchalantly, "At the rate we're going I could win a date off you Evans."

"Don't even try it," she said, and he chuckled, "Alright then, let's find…"

"Someone vile," he said, and Lily snorted.

"Why would you ever want to find someone vile?"

"So you know they're nowhere near you," he answered automatically, eliciting a giggle from Lily, causing him to smile, "My, my, Evans. I haven't heard you laugh in ages!"

"We've been over this Potter. That's because we just got back from summer vacation," she pointed out, leaning to her right so her head was resting against the wall.

"And we've been over this Evans, it's not just summer vacation that I'm talking about," he said, smiling cheekily at her. She shook her head fondly, smiling slightly

"Decided on anyone yet?" she asked, gesturing towards the map, and he sighed magnificently

"Whom do you detest?" he asked, and she smirked


"Well, I don't know how we'll ever find him on here," he said, shaking his head in mock seriousness, examining the map, and Lily smiled, "Seriously though."

"I was being serious," she said, and James snorted.

"Didn't do a great job. Don't have the hair," he said, and Lily groaned as he burst out laughing.

"That's the fourth Sirius joke tonight," she said, shaking her head, her ponytail swaying from side to side, "Honestly, the amount you talk about him, it's like the two of you are in love."

"Is that why you never said yes? Didn't want to interfere in our relationship?" he prodded, and Lily laughed, causing him to grin.

"You caught me," she said, holding her hands up in mock surrender.

"I hate Avery," he said, and Lily nodded.

"I do too," she said, and he smirked.

"Ready?" he asked, and Lily sat up straight, a small anticipating smile on her face.



Lily's eyes scanned the map hurriedly, looking for the Slytherin Common Room on the blasted map. The amount of flaps on there, she didn't know how the boys knew where anything was. As Potter unfolded a part of the parchment, Lily looked over quickly, assuming he knew where to look, and lo' and behold, underneath was the Slytherin Common Room. Her eyes flew towards the boys dormitories and scanned the names in the Seventh Year-

"There!" Potter yelled, jamming his finger on Avery's name, and Lily groaned.

"That's not fair! I was so close!" she whined, and he smirked.

"All is fair in love and war," he said, and she snorted.

"This is neither."

"Or it could be both," he said dramatically, and she shook her head fondly.

"You're a lot nicer this year," she mused, and he looked up at her, eyes open in shock.

"'Scuse me? Did I hear you correctly? Am I going deaf? Did I imagine that?" he asked, and Lily laughed.

"Surprisingly no," she said, and he smirked

"Well that's a pleasant surprise," he said, smiling as he looked back down at the map, "At least I'm doing something right, eh?"

"For once," she teased, and he gasped.

"How could you suggest such a thing?"


"Evans, you wound me."

"Long time no see," he announced, dropping his Potions book on the desktop beside the cauldron, "Miss me?"

"Tons," she deadpanned, continuing to write on the spare bit of parchment she had in her bag.

"What you doing?" he asked, and she snorted.

"Brilliant grammar there."

"Thanks," he said, flashing her a smile, before leaning towards her, attempting to catch a peek of what she was doing. When he got close enough to see, however, the parchment vanished.

"No," she said bluntly, and he pouted.

"But I want to see the secret parchment!" he whined, and Lily's mouth quirked slightly

"No secret parchment for you."

"You're wounding me again!"

"What's that?" Sirius asked, as James pulled a crumpled piece of parchment out of his pocket.

"Nicked it," James shrugged, smoothening the parchment out

"From who?"


"Well done!" Sirius laughed, leaning over, but James folded the parchment, "oi!"

"She didn't want me to see," James shrugged, "It's only fair that I don't let others see."

"Swot," Sirius muttered, and James grinned at him. As Sirius shuffled moodily over to his own bed, why he was on James' in the first place, James wouldn't know, James unfolded the parchment and started to read.

Dear Dad, I miss you. It's not the same without you. I want to tell you about everything. About school. About how home was without you. About my friends, or lack thereof. The girls are still nice, I just don't find myself enjoying time with them anymore dad. At least before I could write to you about everything. You know how mum doesn't understand me and my situation here at Hogwarts, and Petunia's a dead end. Usually I'd tell you not to deny it, but you cant. I still cant believe you're gone Daddy-

James re-crumpled the parchment hurriedly, feeling intrusive and guilty. Lily's father had died? He cleared his throat to rid himself of all the emotion huddled in there, and carefully placed the parchment inside his Potions book.

"Oh, it's you," Lily said, mustering up a faux nasty expression, which he only brushed off with a smile that looked rather forced.

"I can see you missed me tremendously," he said, sitting down on the floor where they'd been the night before, where they'd decided to meet from now on.

"Have you seen my parchment?" she asked suddenly, and he felt his throat go dry.

"What parchment?"

"The one you tried to peek at this morning," she said, and he shook his head.

"No, sorry," he said, pulling the Marauders Map out of his pocket, and Lily sighed, pulling her knees under her chin.

"It was a letter," she said, and his eyes flew up to hers, shocked by the vulnerability pouring out in her voice, "I wrote it to my dad," she whispered, her eyes glistening slightly. He found himself unable to look away from the sadness in her eyes. Unsure of what to say, he looked down at the map, searching it, "He died this summer," she said, and James coughed.

"You don't have to tell me," he said gently, and she shook her head

She looked up at him, and smiled slightly, "I want to tell you."

"I wont be at patrols tonight," he said, sitting down at the table, and Lily turned to frown at him.

"Why?" she asked, and he rubbed the back of his neck, his eyes flickering briefly towards Remus and Sirius, both of whom were looking at him.

"I have stuff to do," he said, and she bit her lip, looking off at the other wall, "Is that alright with you?" he asked, and she jumped, her eyes widening.

"Of course! Why wouldn't it be?" she asked, and he shook his head. As she turned away, she missed the flash of disappointment that crossed his features.

"Just checking."

"Right," she said, smiling slightly, "It's fine."

"Why am I so lonely?" she asked herself as she walked the empty hallways of Hogwarts by herself, hands buried in her pockets, "It's not like I need him to be here, I used to do this all the time," she continued, looking around, "The school wasn't this eerie before though…odd." She sighed, turning the corner, deciding to call it a night and head back towards Gryffindor Tower. On her way, she heard noises, and turned quickly, the eeriness of the school putting her on edge, only to realize the noises were coming out of a broom closet. Irritably realizing it was Friday, she shuffled over to the closet and knocked on the door, before pulling the doors open, revealing two sixth years, a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw.

They didn't seem to notice the interruption. As she stood there, the boys' hand traveled from the girls' hip up to tangle itself in her hair, holding her in place as he forced her jaw open. His hand latched onto her hip and pulled her so she was flush against him, and as Lily stood there, the girl giggled against his lips and wrapped her arms securely around his neck. Lily cleared her throat, and the two broke apart, blinking, disoriented, as they turned towards the source of the noise. As they realized they'd been caught, she watched as the guilty looks took over their faces

"Sorry guys, but that's detention and five points each," she said, and the two nodded, arms still wrapped around each other. Lily took a few steps back, and watched as the two looked at each other, their faces a couple inches apart, and grinned, before letting go of each other carefully, grabbing for the others' hand.

"Sorry about that," the boys said, smiling at Lily, before dragging the girl off. Her giggle sounded down the corridor.

"Ridiculous," Lily said, shaking her head amusedly.

"We should do that!" he laughed, and Lily shook her head, smirking.

"That's wrong," she said, and he smirked.

"That's what's fun about it," he said, and before she could do anything, he had grabbed her hips and pulled her up against him, his mouth crashing down on hers. She smiled against his lips, thinking it was about time, as she kissed him back, feeling his soft lips curve up into a smile. His hand traveled up from her hip and she felt it rest at the back of her head, holding her tenderly, as his tongue gently asked for her permission to enter her mouth, permission she granted. His hand latched onto her hip pulled her so she was flush against him, and she broke away for a second to smile, before wrapping her arms around his neck as he swallowed her giggles, reciprocating them with a husky chuckle of his own.

She sat up quickly, blinking, disoriented, to find herself lying in her dormitory. She leaned over quickly for her wand, "Lumos," she whispered, blinking rapidly as the light blinded her. She frowned slightly, remembering her dream, and gulped fearfully as the images of James Potters smiling face inches away from her own floated to the surface of her mind, "Oh no."

"Why aren't you looking at me?" he asked, nudging her shoulder during Potions the next morning.

"Because you're hideous," she responded, and he snorted

"Once again, why aren't you looking at me?"

"I'm looking at you," she said to the book on the table, and he snorted.

"Yes Lily, I've suddenly become very wordy," he said dryly, "Why wont you look at me?"

"Because your face haunts me," she said honestly, just forgetting to mention that the face haunting her was the one she had snogged in a dream, as opposed to the normal smirking face of James Potter, "and since when is it Lily?" she asked, and he smirked.

"I feel we're at that point in our relationship where we should use each others first names," he said, and she snorted.

"Whatever gave you that idea?"

"Well, most people do," he said, and Lily sighed, "Right Lily?"

She bit her lip for a second, reveling in the feel of her name tumbling off his soft luscious lips, before lifting her head to look into his eyes, "Right James."

"So did you miss me yesterday?" he asked, and Lily laughed.

"You missed it. I caught snoggers," she said, and he swore loudly, "Oi!"

"Oi what?" he whined, "I missed snoggers, Lily!"

"Poor baby," she sneered, and he snorted.

"I'm anything but a baby."

"I respectfully disagree," she teased, and he chuckled, throwing his arm around her shoulder playfully, causing her body to erupt in goosebumps. How had everything changed so drastically in a day?

They passed by the broom closet she had caught those two in yesterday, and Lily bit her lip, trying very hard not to look at the broom closet or at James.

"What's on your mind Lily?" he asked, and she shrugged, feigning nonchalance.

"I found them in that," she said, nodding towards the cupboard, and James sniggered.

"This one?" he asked, and she nodded, "This is my cupboard," he said, and Lily coughed awkwardly

"Excuse me?"

"This is my snog cupboard," he laughed, "Look at these children following in my brilliant footsteps."

"Your bloody large footsteps," she muttered awkwardly, and he winked at her.

"You know what they say about big feet, Evans?" he said in a suggestive tone, and Lily groaned, "Yes, that is the noise it elicits."

"JAMES!" she squawked, flushing profusely as he sniggered like a child.

"Let's go see if it's still intact," he said, and Lily groaned, not wanting to go near that broom closet, let alone with James, ever.

"It's fine," she said, and he snorted.

"I can't have someone damaging this," he gasped, turning around to grin at her, "What happens when I need to use it?"

"Like you're going to in the near future," she said dryly as she followed him. He opened the door and stepped inside, inspecting the small cupboard.

"I'm planning on it," he said, and Lily felt her stomach drop.

"I see."

"Come on," he said, grabbing her hand and shoving her inside.

"James! What are you doing?" she squeaked, her heard pounding much faster than was normal, or healthy.

"Using my broom closet," he said, shutting the doors. The space was cramped, and Lily found herself pressed up against James, "Bit small isn't it?" he mused, seemingly unaffected by the extremely close proximity and the fact that Lily's heart was probably denting him thanks to its' erratic beating, "grab some floor," he said, sinking so he was resting against one wall, and Lily sighed, sliding down.

The disappointment was irrational, and she knew it.

"It's wonderful in here," she deadpanned, and he winked.

"Oh I know," he said, and she shook her head fondly. Lily looked up from her hands to see James looking at her, an odd expression on his face.

"What?" she asked, receiving no response. Instead, James stood up slowly, pulling her up with him, "James, what? What are you doing? James?"

"Shh," he whispered, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, and Lily gulped.

"What are you going to do?" she asked, and he smiled gently

"Well, I was thinking about kissing you, but I don't think you'd appreciate that, so let's go," he said, pushing the doors open quickly, leaving Lily standing there, flabbergasted.

"What are you doing?" she squeaked, and James frowned.

"What am I doing?"

"Get your bloody arse back in here!" she said, and he quirked an eyebrow, an amused smile spreading across his face.

"Don't tell me you want me to snog you Evans."

"I wont," she muttered, and his eyebrows flew up.

"Lily?" he asked, and she sighed, shaking her head and stepping out of the closet.

"Never mind."

"Stop," he said, and she turned around.


"Come here," he said, grabbing her hips and pulling her flush against him, smiling down at her, "It's about bloody time," he said, and Lily flushed.

"I don't know what you're talking about," she said, and he grinned crookedly down at her.

"Of course you don't," he said, smiling, and Lily found herself smiling back, "So what swayed you, Evans? Was it my charm and good looks? Was it my brilliance, as I impressed you with it through the map? Did my absence make you aware of the fact that you need me around?"

"I don't know whether I should be insulted or not," Lily laughed, shaking her head, and James smirked

"Not," he responded automatically, carefully pulling her rubber band out of her hair, "always not."

"Incorrigible," she muttered, shaking her hair out to avoid the post-hair-tied-up headache, and he beamed, "And for your information, it was the bleeding snoggers from last night," she said, and he guffawed.

"Well, remind me to thank them," he said, grinning, "What did they do?"

"Gave me dreams," she said, and his grin widened.

"Now I'm intrigued," he said, wagging his brows, and Lily laughed, attempting to step away from him, but his strong hold kept her in place, "What exactly did this dream constitute of?"

"This," she said, getting up on her toes and pressing her lips to his. She felt a moment of panic as he didn't respond at first. Oh Merlin! What if he didn't want her that way? What if she was a horrible snog? What if she was taking it too fast? Oh Merlin, what if she had bad breath? Her panic vanished, though, when his arms suddenly wrapped more securely around her lower back and he kissed her back, the feel causing tingles to spread throughout her body.

"I think I like this dream," he murmured against her lips, and Lily giggled, wrapping her arms more securely around his neck as he lavished her.

"At least you're good at something," she giggled, leaning back away from James' face, and he gasped, his eyes focused on her swollen pink lips.

"Excuse me, but I don't have a burn on my hand," he said, and Lily glared at him.

"You're a terrible b-person," she said, and his eyes twinkled.

"You were going to say boyfriend, weren't you?"

"No," she said, and he smirked.

"Of course you weren't, g-person," he said, and Lily rolled her eyes as he laughed, leaning in and pressing his lips to hers again, "You know," he said, and she quirked a brow at him, "I think I'm going to enjoy rounds after all."