"Shit," was the only word that Lily seemed capable of saying. She sat there, frozen, because God, she was going to be in so much trouble. And how the bloody hell, did Alice manage to find her anyway? And Merlin's pants she was only wearing James's shirt and she had no idea where the hell her clothes were and what if they weren't dry? She barely noticed James sliding off the bed and fumbling around the room, looking for something.

"Here," the feeling of cloth smacking against her skin snapped her out of her panicked daze. "Put it on."


"Your shorts." James was staring at her like she'd sprouted another head. "Put them on before Alice decides to barge in here."

"Right, shorts, right," In a rush, Lily's brain started working again. She pulled on the shorts, thankful that they were dry.

"LILY AND JAMES, WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU." The words seemed to reverberate through the whole house and Alice's voice was practically a screech. "I AM GOING TO KILL YOU LILY. I AM, REALLY."

Whatever semblance of sanity that had been returned to her was now lost and she was panicking again, heart beating all too fast, and breaths coming in quick pants.

"Breathe, Lily, breathe." James, (the bloody bastard) was smiling. "Alice won't hurt you."

"Are you sure?" she choked out, but took his advice and sucked in a lungful of air. "Because it sounds like she wants to chop me up into tiny pieces and feed them to dragons." He was laughing now, only a quiet snigger that he tried to hide behind a cough. The sound reminded her that she had to calm down. She relaxed a little; tried to, rather, because it was only matter of time before Alice found her. The only thing her overactive brain could think to do was to neurotically planning out her every move; what to say, what to do when Alice inevitably found her.

The sound of pounding footsteps up the staircase caused Lily to whimper slightly. She was nervous, though she really oughtn't to have been, she told herself. Alice wasn't scary, not really.

"They're in James' room, in case you were wondering." Sirius spoke, cutting the stomping short. "You're welcome." He called out when Alice didn't reply. She was rather preoccupied with throwing out a stream of threats and didn't quite have the time to thank him.

"My parents were worried sick about you. Your parents called. Do you know how mortified and terrified I was? You could've died. But nooo you were spending your time in James sodding Potter's house and didn't have the decency to let me know. If it hadn't been raining so hard and if my bratty cousin hadn't come over and distracted my parents, there would've been a fucking search party for you."

Lily was panicking again, heart thudding in her chest, mouth dry, hands clenching involuntarily. It was always frightening when Alice got mad, mostly because it was such a shock to see that a kind, mousy girl capable of such violence. She barely noticed James getting up, sliding off the bed and padding quietly to the door. But she did hear the slight creak the door made as it opened, heard how Alice's footsteps got louder and stopped abruptly. She heard James say,

"Alice, nice of you to stop by. I was just shagging your best friend. Want to come in?" He sounded casual, amused almost and Lily wanted to kill him. Her face felt like it was on fire. Did he actually just say that to her? The thought was cut short by the sight of Alice, trying to fill the doorway with her slight figure, and somehow managing to appear more menacing that anything Lily had ever seen.

"Hi," Lily lifted a hand, giving her a shy wave. Alice was not amused.

"I am mad at you." She began, the volume of her voice rising slowly. "I cannot believe – why the hell are you wearing his jersey?" There was a pause, a moment of complete silence as Alice stood and gawked at her. "Are you—are the two of you—MERLIN'S PANTS, YOU ARE." She seemed to need a moment to process. She stepped back, leaning against the wall. Suddenly, she didn't look quite so scary; it seemed like she shrank back into normal, kind, sweet Alice, albeit a bit bewildered and dumbstruck.

"You didn't tell me you'd shagged her." Sirius pipped up, he'd walked into the room now and stood there grinning, hands tucked into his pockets. "Why do you always get the hot, smart birds?"

"I haven't shagged her, you prat." James attempted to clobber Sirius with his fist, but Sirius artfully ducked out of the way. "And I don't recall you ever having trouble getting a girl."

"I don't. Sometimes, I just think I ought to get the brainy ones too, not just the fit ones." At this, James let out a derisive snort, but before he could open his mouth, Alice cut him off. He was rather glad, actually, he wasn't quite sure what he'd planned on saying, but he was almost certain it wouldn't have been without a cuss.

"Is no one going to talk about how James and Lily are dating now? Because that was kind of a shocker," Alice wrapped Lily in a hug as she said the words and Lily breathed a sigh of relief at seeing Alice back the way she used to be. She never did like angry-Alice.

"Not really," James commented with a smirk, "I always knew I was irresistible."