A/N JULY 4TH, 2012: I've re-written Chapters 4 and 5 because they didn't feel authentic to me. I hope that the characters now feel as genuine to you as they now do to me. I took out some parts, I added some parts, I changed things around. Generally, the plot stays pretty much the same, but I didn't like how the climax of Chapter 5 (and you'll know what I mean when you get there) comes to be, so I changed that. Anyway, happy 4th of July to all my American readers; if you're not American, happy Un-Birthday, for that is a holiday that can be celebrated by anyone 364 days out of the year. But now I'm getting sidetracked. I hope you enjoy the newly edited Chapters 4 and 5!
Opposites attract, or so the old adage says. Many a romantic comedy movie is based upon this saying. Songs, books, television shows, they all borrow heavily from this adage.
But true opposites repel each other. When opposites attract and when they work, it's because there is a common ground, something that links the two souls together to create one voice, one spirit. The flaws in one are the strengths in the other and vice versa, but there must be some similarities between the two.
This is the case of Lily and James. She deemed him an arrogant, bullying toerag and he thought she was snobby, uptight and naïve. But through their hatred of one another, they discovered friendship and eventually, love.
This is the story of how Lily and James became spirit, one soul, connected and separate, joined but independent. This is the story of how Lily and James made the choice to become one voice.
Making your way through King's Cross with a hooting owl in a cage and two trunks on a cart, along with your personal bag, isn't as easy as one might think. Lily huffed, her breath temporarily moved her red curl out of her eyes, but the stubborn strand returned moments later. Her cheeks flushed from the heat and from the effort it took for the 48-kilogram teenager to push a cart that probably weighed half of what she did, shown in the wrinkles in her white top and jean shorts.
She stopped to catch her breath in front of the barrier to Platform 9 ¾, her torso rising in spurts as she regulated her breathing. Shutting her eyes as she did every year (there was always some small part of her that feared every time of crashing into the brick wall to discover that yes, it really was a brick wall and not the gateway to the magical world she loved so much), Lily Evans sprinted toward the wall. When she opened them, she found herself on Platform 9 ¾, surrounded by countless parents giving hurried instructions to their children, last minute kisses and hugs, loud and joyful reunions among friends and tears goodbye from scared parents.
Lily watched a particular family as the mother triple-checked the young child's clothing and trunk, the father stood by with a small, bemused smile on his face, and the boy's face flushed with embarrassment. She raked her eyes over the parents longingly, the knot in her throat grow larger by each second that ticked away on the large clock that sat on the wall, the burning behind her eyes threatening to expose her feelings.
The wound was still fresh; it had only been eight weeks since her parents had died. Lily had been curled up in a ball on her bed under her duvet, cramps making it impossible to move, when she pleaded her mother to go out and get her chocolate and movies to watch. Her mum, at first, didn't want to, but her dad eventually persuaded Mrs. Evans to leave with the promise of accompanying her. They'd been on their way back from the store when a drunk driver had struck their car, killing Lily's dad instantly and hospitalizing Mrs. Evans. The following days had been the hardest, Lily watching her mum turn from bad to worse, her aged skin turning yellow, her drifting out of consciousness and eventually, her last breath.
Lily felt the sharp jab of pain to her back jolt her out of her memories, jerking her forward and sprawling onto the cold concrete of the platform. Her cart spun to the left, spilling her trunk and owl out. Her palms and kneecaps stung with the assault as Lily lifted herself up gingerly and spun around to yell at whomever it was who'd knocked her over, her cheeks flushed with anger this time.
"Watch where you're-Remus?" The redhead yelled and then letting her voice fall back to a normal volume when she recognized her friend Remus Lupin, a fellow prefect and seventh year at Hogwarts.
The lanky boy in front of her smiled kindly, wiping his dusty hands on his jeans before pulling Lily into a hug.
"Hey Lils!" He muttered in her ear as they embraced, a smile on his face that was echoed on hers. "How was your summer?"
He hadn't known, of course, and that was the way that Lily fully intended to keep it. Of course Professor Dumbledore had to know, and Professor McGonagall as her Head of House and her teachers, but none of her friends would know of the death of Lily's parents. So Lily swallowed the ever-growing knot and plastered a fake smile on her face, replying,
"Fantastic! How about yours?" The pair bent down, retrieving their belongings and moving out of the way for other students to get through.
Remus grimaced and shrugged. "It was okay. You know how parents can get, nagging you about every little thing." At that moment, Lily privately wished desperately to have that nagging back. "But I guess it was okay. James and Sirius and Peter and I played a fair bit of Quidditch, so that was nice."
"Are you thinking of trying out for the House team?" Lily asked as they heaved their trunks onto the designated shelves in the crevice of the train.
"Nah, I think I'll leave the showing off to James and Sirius," Remus joked with a smirk on his face, and Lily let out a chuckle, turning to face her friend. "And congratulations on getting Head Girl! Not that it was much of a surprise to see the badge on your shirt, but still, congratulations!" He pointed to the shiny bronze badge that was pinned to Lily's shirt. She beamed at him.
"Thanks, Remus! Honestly, I was expecting you to get Head Boy," she said as they boarded the train and strolled through the small walkway. "Do you know who did?"
Remus scratched the back of his neck and shifted his weight from foot to foot, but before he could answer the question, Sirius Black had crept up on the pair.
"Hey there, Lils!" Sirius boomed in his deep baritone, scooping her into a bear hug and setting her down roughly after a few moments. "Hey Moony," he said, grinning at Remus before hugging him tightly.
"How was your summer, Sirius?" Lily inquired. The handsome boy put on the famous Marauder smirk that were so identical among the four members that Lily swore they must have practiced in the mirror.
"Obviously not as brilliant without my favorite rule-abiding, redheaded prefect!" He sighed dramatically. "But somehow, Prongs, Moony and Wormtail managed to entertain me for a few seconds here and there."
Lily smiled and shook her head slightly at the boy's exaggerated reply.
The trio wandered about the train, towering over the miniscule first years and the slightly taller second and third years, until they finally found an empty compartment.
Sirius flopped down onto the bench, stretching his lanky body out until he covered the entire seat meant for five people. Lily chuckled as she and Remus sat down across from him.
"Now, Red, I know that you being Head Girl and all, you're going to want to take away a lot of house points for our elaborate, entertaining, extraordinary-"
"Childish pranks?" Lily interrupted, an eyebrow cocked, arms folded and a bemused smile rested on her lips that mimicked her father's.
"They're not childish!" Sirius proclaimed, reminding Lily of a child stomping its foot, wanting chocolate. "But yes, our pranks. And I should remind you that Gryffindor is your house too-"
"Because y'know Sirius, after six years, I'm suddenly a case of amnesia and forgetting everything," Lily joked drily.
"Amn-what?" Sirius replied.
"Anyway, Gryffindor is your House too and if it's your fault that we lose to Slytherin in the House Cup our last year at Hogwarts, then our entire House is going to be against you."
"Gee, thanks for the warning. I'm glad that my responsible attitude is met with such enthusiasm."
"The majority of the student body doesn't think it's a 'responsible attitude' and more like a 'I've-got-a-stick-up-my-arse' attitude." Lily smacked Sirius on the arm, hard.
Settling against the cushion that supported her back, she shook her head. Why she put up with these idiots, she had no idea.
"Where's Peter?" she questioned. And let us not forget the one with the ego the size of a country, Potter.
"He and Prongs are getting their backs onto the train right now, they got here late," Sirius explained.
"I heard my name! Were you talking about me?" James Potter proclaimed loudly as he wrenched the sliding door open.
"There you are. Yeah, we were," Sirius said.
"No doubt you and Evans were talking about how brilliant I am," James teased, grinning widely. Lily rolled her eyes.
"Actually, I was asking where Peter was and Sirius mentioned your name," Lily responded.
"Couldn't resist, eh, mate?"
"You know how I can barely stand it when you leave me, even for a few seconds!" Sirius cried dramatically, clutching his chest.
"Shut it, Sirius, you know how people already think we're gay," James replied, laughing even as he berated his friend.
"Even with your reputation of shagging everything in a skirt, Sirius?" Lily challenged her friend, the same bemused smile on her face.
"Especially because of that, Lils," Sirius replied, winking at her. Lily rolled her eyes and uncrossed her long legs, standing up.
"If you two are done stroking each other's egos-assuming that's the only part of each other that you stroke," Lily teased, causing all four boys to burst out in laughter, "-I'm going to go to the prefect's compartment for the meeting."
Shaking her head but with a smile on her stunning face, she left the compartment.
The only thought that went through Lily's mind as she carefully set out the materials for the first prefect meeting of the year was her curiosity as to who the Head Boy was. Not only did she have to work closely with him, but they would be sharing the private Heads Dorm and going on rounds together, so it was pretty important that it was someone that she could get along with.
Maybe it's Reg Cattermole from Hufflepuff, he was always smart and nice, Lily thought. Or Benjy Fenwick. Lily smiled softly when she thought of the handsome and charismatic Benjy. I wouldn't mind it if was Benjy. It has to be someone from one of the other houses, because Remus was picked and-
Her thoughts were abruptly interrupted by the click sound of the door opening. She spun around and saw James Potter standing there, his hands shoved into his front jean pockets, shoulders slightly hunched. His hair seemed even messier than before, if that was possible, and he stared at her through his round-rimmed glasses. This was the first time that Lily had properly seen James since the end of last year, when she'd hexed him after catching him trying out the newest spell on a first year.
"What are you doing here, Potter?" Lily asked, frowning. "This is the prefects compartment."
"I know," James replied. A flurry of movement caught Lily's eye and she found herself looking at James' jeans, straining a little too long on a certain part of his anatomy, and watched as he pulled something out of his pocket, his fingers remaining in a tight fist. He unclenched his fingers and revealed a small bronze badge that matched Lily's.
Lily's jaw dropped. "Y-you're Head Boy?"
James chuckled. "Believe me, I was just as shocked this summer when I got the letter as you are right now."
"The old man's gone mad," Lily said in disbelief. "He has to have gone mad." James frowned slightly and stepped closer to Lily so that he was right in front of her, his gaze locked in hers, emerald on hazel. Lily found herself unable to draw her eyes away.
"Lily, I know that I haven't been the biggest rule follower in the past, but this year is different. I'm different. I-I really want to do this well," he said, stumbling on the last bit as he struggled to put words to his feelings. Lily noticed that she hadn't been breathing the last few seconds and her chest was aching in protest. He'd called her Lily. What was that about?
"Potter, I know that we-" Lily's attempt to understand James was suddenly cut short as the prefects from Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw began filing in.
I may not know much. I may not know how to do a French plait or the intricacies of chess or how to understand the behaviour of a boy in the slightest, but I do know that this is going to be one hell of a year.
Hope you guys liked it! Please leave me your comments on what you think of the first chapter.