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16 April 2007 @ 12:32 pm
Butterfly Seasons Chapter Seven - Friendly Poking and Prodding  
Title: Butterfly Seasons
Author: Laliath (aka dancinggoldfish/Irelynne/Anya)
Rating: T/M (language, thematic elements later on)
Timeframe: MWPP
Summary: Lily Evans is a prefect who happens to have a lot on her plate: her sister's getting married to a jerk, James Potter won't leave her alone, and there are way too many rumors going around. Just one of those would be bad enough, two would be hell, but three is unimaginable torture. Good thing she's capable of holding her own, and perhaps things will turn out to not be as bad as she thinks.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters, objects, spells, places, etc. belong to JKR. I just happen to be playing in her sandbox.
Notes: Multi-chapter fic.

My apologies for the delay in getting this section up. I expect to post chapter eight either on Monday 4/23 or 4/30.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6
Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12
Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | TBA

*~*~*~*


Two weeks after the bonfire on All Hallow’s Eve, the Quidditch pitch was back to its normally pristine condition. The two teams – Slytherin and Gryffindor – zoomed around it, preparing for the upcoming game. If there was the occasional jostling between members of the two teams, that was customary, given their long history, expected and ignored.

Fifteen minutes before the game was supposed to begin, the teams headed back to the locker rooms, leaving the people in the rapidly filling stands with nothing to peruse but the light gray sky. There was nary a cloud in sight, just a flat, thin grayness. The wind dropped the temperature down to chilly, causing students to rub their mittens together and burrow into their woolen outerwear. Most wore the black standard issue cloak of the school, but some, particularly Muggleborns and their sympathizers, courted rebellion in embracing Muggle fashions.

Lily was one of those “rebels.” She was warm in denim trousers, a bright colored sweater, and a navy blue woolen peacoat. She flew her Gryffindor colors with her house scarf around her neck and bright red gloves and a matching hat.

The group she was with was similarly attired, even Black, despite his pureblood snobbishness. She was about to reach around Meg to tease him about it, but there was a shout, and the teams were zooming into the arena. The excited roar that greeted them would have drowned her out if she had wished to continue, but it was no matter, for she was screaming herself hoarse along with everyone else.

The cheers hadn’t even begun to die when Madam Hooch blew the whistle and the game started off. The balls were released into the air, and the Chasers immediately darted after the Quaffle, red and green streaks gleaming brightly against the dully colored sky. The Slytherins got to it first, and sped towards the Gryffindor keeper, tossing it rapidly amongst themselves. But Potter intercepted a long forward pass with a quick snap of his broom, and the movement of the Quaffle was reversed towards the Slytherin hoops.

The Gryffindors scored, of course, and the Quaffle switched hands several times as each team sought to score once more. But Lily found herself losing interest in the games. The players moved too quickly on their brooms for the eye to focus on them, and the Seekers did nothing but float idly above all the excitement. The game whipped back and forth between the two sides of the pitch so fast she feared that she was going to have whiplash.

Easier as it was to not pay attention to the game, she turned to Meg and said, “What say you? Will Slytherin or Gryffindor get to the snitch first?”

“It’s heresy to even mention the other team’s name in conjuncture with the possibility of winning, Lily!” Meg stage-whispered back. “Don’t even joke about such a thing or you might be dragged out of the box and hung!”

“Yes, it’s practically treason,” Black put in, on the other side of her friend. “The Gryffindor team is far superior to anything those snakes can put on the field.”

Lily raised an eyebrow. “Treason, you say? Or how about mere honesty? You cannot discount the other team’s skill and speed simply for House pride. That is foolhardy and closed minded.”

“Speed bought on the donations of fast brooms from people who just happened to be the parents of the players themselves,” Black muttered darkly.

“You sound almost as if you are jealous,” Lily commented dryly. “You don’t wish to be on their team, flying in the splendor that great wealth can buy?”

Meg elbowed her in the ribs with a hissed, “Lily! Stop prodding!”

Black, however, scowled, dark eyebrows drawing together as he grew furious. “I would not wish to be anywhere near those – those self-righteous arrogant prigs for all the money in the world. They can all go hang in hell for all I care – they’re certainly headed along that path, and good riddance for it.”

She could feel her own eyebrows furrowing at his words. “Didn’t your own mother speak out on the matter, saying that Voldemort had it right, he was just too bloodthirsty for true breeding and old lineage to uphold?”

“I don’t speak to that bitch any longer,” he spat out between clenched teeth, and Lily felt herself sinking back in her seat at his words. It wasn’t just anger on his face, but pain, and remembered humiliation that crossed it, and she, surprisingly enough, at least to her, was sorry for reminding him of it.

“So you believe that our noble Gryffindor team is the only one with the slightest chance of winning this match?” she inquired, raising an eyebrow in a challenge she knew he couldn’t back down from.

“Truly!” he replied, the displeasure and discomfort she’d glimpsed before gone, banished in the wave of sparked excitement. “We are also going to win House Cup this year! No team fielded by any House could match our own this year! They are the best!”

“No bias there, of course?” she teased.

He grinned back at her, ducking his head. “Of course not.”

Lupin chimed in on Lily’s other side. “Sirius practically picked the team.”

“Really? I thought that was the captain’s job for some reason,” Lily commented, resting her elbow on her knee and her chin on her closed hand.

“Yeah, but James is – and always has been – a little distracted by – ” Only then did he seem to realize just who he was talking to: the very “chit” that had distracted his friend for years, and he had hated her for it. “By something,” he finished lamely.

Lily grinned. “And you’re not going to let us in on the secret of what – or who – it is?”

He shifted in his seat, turning bright red as he stuttered through his words, “Um – well – you see – if you don’t mind – I’d really – ”

Dorcas came to his rescue at that very moment, leaping to her feet and swearing. “That’s cheating, you low-lying, creepy scumbag!” She turned to the rest of the people seated along the bench. “Did you see that? That bastard was blagging Towler! He yanked on his broom!”

“Did Hooch call it?” Lupin asked, also on his feet and craning his neck to see what was going on.

“No,” Dorcas huffed as she sat back into her seat. As the offending Slytherin player flew by – a burly third year, from what Lily could tell – she shook her fist at him, then continued darkly, “I think their beaters were blocking her view, the bloody arses.”

Black patted her shoulder companionably. “Not to worry, Dorcas. Our lads will still thrash them easily.”

“But it’s just so unfair,” Dorcas fumed, squirming in her seat. “They always cheat, and they get away with it. And everyone knows they do it, but nothing is done!”

“That is because the Slytherins are too practiced at cheating to be caught. What they do is right at the boundaries of what is acceptable and within the rules, but not a step over. Therefore, it is difficult to censure them,” Lupin explained.

Black nodded, adding, “The earlier they begin to cheat in a game, generally the more desperate they feel. The team they’re fielding this year isn’t very good, for all the excellent brooms their parents can buy them.”

“Why do you think that is?” Meg asked. While not Quidditch-mad like many of the purebloods and halfbloods around the school, she still was curious enough to want to pick the brains of the former, much to Lily’s everlasting surprise.

“The Slytherin team is based around a philosophy of strength and size, rather than skill. The smallest player on their team is the Seeker, but the next smallest player is at least twice his size. It’s amazing that he can sit comfortably on the broom,” Black answered, gesturing to the one he meant.

Lily looked over the player he’d indicated. “He does look like he’s built like a battering ram,” she agreed.

“He’s practically the size of a barn,” Meg added, laughing.

“Now that is hardly kind,” Marlene pointed out. “I believe that he is merely the size of an automobile.”

“Because that is a far enviable size to be, rather than a barn,” Lily teased.

“But of course. Although, I doubt it’s more comfortable, all that mass on top of a stick,” Meg commented, looking distastefully at the brooms.

At this, Black threw back his head and laughed. “I can’t believe you don’t know that there are cushioning charms on the brooms, for it would be uncomfortable if it was just a skinny stick keeping you from falling to your death.”

Meg flushed red, clearly mortified. Lily directed a glare at Black, but hastened to change the direction of the conversation. “I’m sure that certain daredevils wouldn’t mind a lack of cushioning charms.”

“Not James,” Black answered immediately. “He likes his own comfort too much to sacrifice it for some stupid stunt. He only sacrifices it to help others.”

The sudden change in Black’s attitude to her had been startling, to say the least, but the fact that he was actively complimenting Potter – as if to encourage a relationship between the two of them – was discomforting. She found herself saying sharply, “That is all very good for him, but we weren’t speaking of him.”

She could see Black roll his eyes in response, and before she could conjecture on what that meant, he said, “I find you, Lily Evans, quite ridiculous sometimes.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?” she asked, drawing herself up.

He didn’t answer, just shook his head and smiled, before turning to Dorcas and asking her something. Lily couldn’t hear what it was, and she shook her head mentally at how she was acting, like a nosy shrew. She looked up behind her, at Pettigrew. She rarely spoke to him, for he was firmly attached to his friends, and it was only occasionally that she found him by himself. Although, now, given the way Black and Lupin were treating her – no longer as someone they distrusted and abhorred – perhaps his opinion of her had changed as well, and she could engage him in conversation. But he was enthralled with the Quidditch match, his eyes so closely following the players and balls that she worried that he would fall out of his seat with a sudden movement.

So instead, she turned to Lupin, with a quiet question over a recent exam they’d taken in History of Magic. Her attention remained in that quarter until everyone, including Lupin, leapt to their feet in a mighty roar. She couldn’t even ask what was going on, it was so loud, but she did manage to catch sight of the Gryffindor Seeker holding something aloft that glinted in the light. “Bravo Gryffindor!” the box around her yelled, and she found herself joining in, although perhaps not as wholeheartedly as the others.

After the game, the entire group delayed long enough that the players had left the locker rooms and Potter could join them. He grinned at the congratulations of his friends and hers, and she continued her conversation from before with Lupin, resolving to congratulate him later. “ – doesn’t mean that Perksure’s theory is incorrect. Do you think Binns will take off points for it?”

He shrugged, glancing over at his friend before saying, “I don’t really know. He could, but he might also give you credit for digging it up. It could go either way really.”

“Go ahead and congratulate Potter,” she encouraged him, having seen the look. “It’s hardly fair of me to keep me away from him and talking about boring things like exams in History of Magic.”

He shrugged, flushing slightly. “There are some who might say that that’s all I’m interested in talking about, and truly I don’t mind. Besides, he’s busy enough at the moment.”

She immediately took umbrage. “Who is saying such dastardly things about you? You’re hardly a boring person, Lupin, you’re interested in loads of things. Who is it? Just tell me and I’ll correct them in the matter.”

His flush deepened, but so did his smile. “There isn’t a need – I’m afraid that Black and Potter have already beaten you to the task on several occasions.” He was quiet for a minute, then he changed the subject, “Do you know of any recent news from the Ministry?”

Lily shook her head, frowning as she thought back to what she had heard over the recent weeks. “News has been surprisingly silent from the Ministry. You would think that Hopkirk would be eager to talk out on something like Voldemort. Even just last spring, hardly a day went by when the paper wasn’t full of some new proclamation he had made.”

Lupin’s smile had disappeared at this point. “Right now, the government is facing accusations of being incapable of doing something about the situation. They are passing laws left and right, but more to be able to point to them and say that they’re doing something, rather than actually fighting Voldemort.”

The redhead shook her head in disgust. “Politicians,” she spat.

“You find them as useless as I do then?” the brown-haired boy asked, smiling once more.

She was glad to see it, she decided, looking over at him. He didn’t smile nearly enough, especially with Black and Potter as his friends. Pettigrew was always grinning. “I find them beyond useless. It seems that their only purpose is to remove the useless people from those who actually do something.”

He laughed. “A doer rather than a thinker, Lily?” he teased.

She was about to reply hastily, then thought better of it. “I like to think that I do both, preferably thinking before doing, but hopefully the former doesn’t prevent the latter.”

“And me? Do I measure up to your expectations?”

Lily found herself wondering what was going on with that particular group of lads. Black and Lupin, two who had never been exceedingly friendly to her, the former especially strident in his disgust of her, had been incredibly amiable in conversations with her. She hesitated to describe their behavior, on either part, as flirtatious, but that element was certainly there, and she couldn’t help but wonder why. “Well, I would say you are more of a thinker than a doer,” she said honestly, “but you have never let thinking too much trip you up when it really mattered. So, I think, you make a very nice mesh of the two.”

“Nice mesh of what two?” Potter asked as he interrupted their conversation, joining them next to Lily, on the other side from Lupin.

“Two characteristics – thinking and doing,” Lily explained when it appeared that Lupin would say nothing.

Finally, the brown-haired boy spoke up. “Congratulations on the match, James,” he said quietly.

“Thanks, Remus,” James said, a grin spreading across his face. He turned to Lily. “Are you not going to offer you congratulations as well?” he asked.

She flushed without knowing why, and in a manner even quieter than Lupin’s a moment ago, said, “I’m afraid I didn’t pay enough attention to give them with honesty. You were quite good in the beginning, stealing the Quaffle back from the Slytherins.”

Lily could tell he was disappointed, but he said nothing of it, only demanding with an injured air, “Only quite good? Oi! Sirius! Come over here and tell Lily how brilliant I was! The silly girl seems to have dozed off mid-match!”

Her blush spread everywhere, and darkened, as everyone turned to look at her. “I did not fall asleep!” she protested. “I was distracted because I was talking with people!”

Potter just grinned with her, and was quickly joined by Black, who had an equally annoying grin on his face. “Honestly, Evans, as a prefect you are practically required to pay attention to the game! How else can you stir up the appropriate House support?”

“I leave such matters to you and your boundless, obnoxious enthusiasm,” she returned easily. “Besides, how would you know what prefect duties entail? You are hardly one with respect for authority.”

“That may be, my darling Evans, but I’ve certainly gotten in trouble with enough of them to hazard a guess,” he answered carelessly, brushing hair out of his eyes.

She had to concede to him on that point, but that didn’t mean she liked it. “You need a haircut,” she retorted sourly.

“Aw, come on Evans. Just because you missed a chance to see James show off doesn’t mean you have to be all out of sorts,” Black teased.

This time, both Lily and Potter turned bright red, and sputtering, Potter at loss for words from shock apparently, and Lily fully indignant. “We’re friends, you pompous arse, and I don’t even like Quidditch,” she retorted, thumping him on the chest, before flouncing off ahead of them.

Potter quickly caught up with her, his hand on her arm tugging her enough to slow her pace to something more comfortable. “I’m sorry about Sirius,” he said, apologetically. His blush was still there, spread across his cheeks to the tips of both his ears and down his neck to under the robes he’d put on after his shower in the locker rooms.

“You say that a lot,” she observed. She knew she was being unfair; it wasn’t Potter who’d cracked the comment.

“Sirius needs to be thumped upside the head every now and then,” he admitted, more than a bit sheepishly.

“One would think that if purebloods were as bloody superior as they claim to be, they would have bothered with something like manners,” she muttered crossly. When Potter didn’t answer, she looked over at him. His face was blank, obviously deliberately so. “What?” she finally demanded, even more irritated by his lack of answer than she would have thought.

“Sirius takes delight in going against his family’s wishes in every manner,” Potter finally said, his voice cold and unfriendly. “He’s hardly the best example of pureblood manners.”

Now Lily’s mind was spinning with confusion. “Why don’t you just spit it out?” she asked. “It’s obvious you’re tiptoeing around something. Just say it and have it be done.”

“I can’t,” he answered. “It’s really not my place to tell.”

“You can’t tell me even part of it?”

“I’m just as pureblood as Sirius, according to the old lines. There’s your part of it,” he said before turning back. Wolf whistles and cat calls answered his turn, necessitating more blushes on Lily’s cheeks. He said nothing else to her; instead he chose to join the other group and make conversation there.

The redhead waited until they reached the main staircase, then mumbled some excuse and fled back to her room. A quick wave of her wand snapped the curtains around her bed shut and she curled up on her bed, holding a pillow within her embrace and yanking the covers over her head.

“Lily Evans,” she said aloud, “you are certainly one of the stupidest girls you have ever met.” Her lips quirked at the incongruity of talking to herself, but she was alone, and there was hardly anyone she could think of that she wished to know her stupidity. “Damn and blast and all those stupid, bloody words.”

Apparently stupid was one of her favorite words at the moment.

Rolling over onto her back and throwing her arm over her eyes, she castigated herself. “What the hell is wrong with you, Lily?”

”You are predisposed to think ill of anyone who doesn’t immediately fawn over you,” a calm voice answered from the foot of her bed.

She could recognize her friend’s voice, but she didn’t immediately answer as if she knew it. “Are you my conscience?” she asked.

“Apparently,” Alice retorted. The bed shifted, as if a weight had settled upon it, and then her friend was pulling her arm off her eyes. “We need to talk.”

“I don’t want to,” Lily quickly answered, knowing she sounded like a whiny toddler.

“Too bad. You’ve managed to make Potter mad, which I would have thought impossible, since he is so in love with you – ”

The redhead sat up immediately. “He is not in love with me, and I wish people would stop telling me that and telling me what a great guy he is and how sweet it would be if we were together!”

The brunette just looked at her friend for a minute, then sighed. “Fine, be as bullheaded as you want, but we are still going to talk about it. What happened?”

“I said something stupid and offensive,” Lily answered as she lay down and closed her eyes.

“It’s not just that,” Alice retorted. “Or you wouldn’t be upstairs talking to yourself like a loony and Potter wouldn’t be downstairs angry at you.” When no more answers were forthcoming, she asked, “Lily, are we not friends?”

That got Lily’s eyes to snap open. “Of course we are! Why would you ask a stupid question like that?”

Alice rolled her eyes. “Maybe because you spend all of your time with Potter and his friends, or in the library with Severus Snape, or off being a neurotic chit? You don’t spend time with any of us anymore.”

Horrified, Lily immediately opened her mouth to protest, but then her mind raced ahead, and she realized she had difficulty thinking of time spent with her roommates over the last couple of weeks. “Oh, damn it, Alice, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to, I swear.”

The brunette reached over and gave her friend a hug. “I’m not mad at you. I just – well, I know that you’re about to go crazy over this whole thing, between Voldemort and Potter – and were you kissing Severus Snape in the library on Thursday?”

The redhead’s jaw dropped at the last bit, quickly thrown in there with her friend’s hopes of startling the truth out of her. “Me? Severus Snape? Are you off your bloody rocker woman?”

“He likes you,” Alice answered. Ignoring the redhead’s snort, she continued, “And I definitely saw someone getting some action on Thursday.”

“Well, good riddance to them, because it certainly wasn’t me,” Lily retorted.

“Are you a snob, Lily Evans? Are you saying that you are too good for Snape’s affections?” Alice teased.

Lily shoved her friend in the shoulder. “Please do not put the words Snape and affections in the same sentence.” She paused, her eyes narrowing. “Are you saying you find him attractive?”

Alice squeaked, and immediately reached for a pillow, thumping her friend over the head with it. “No! I happen to like blokes who aren’t constantly ill-tempered. I just thought he admired you, that’s all.”

“Well, seeing as how you are also the one who believes that Potter is in love with me, so forgive me if I don’t trust your judgment,” Lily retorted with a grin.

“Okay, fine, don’t believe me that Potter and Snape are in love with you,” Alice said, pouting. “I just – ”

Lily cut her off with a raised hand. “Hold it. You said Snape liked me, and admired me. You said nothing about him being in love with me. Bloody hell, Alice, are you completely off your rocker?” she demanded incredulously.

Alice pouted again. “Someone’s being picky about words.”

“When you’re throwing around words like in love, I think I have the right to be,” Lily protested, her voice raised. “Fuck, Alice.” The last was said resignedly as she dropped back onto the bed, her eyes glued to the red canopy above her.

The two girls were silent for a while, before Alice scooted closer to the center of the bed. “Budge over,” she insisted. Lily rolled a bit, and the two of them lay side by side, both staring up at the same canopy.

They said nothing for a long time. Lily didn’t know what she could say without sounding like a blathering idiot, and besides, Alice was the one who had opened the conversation. She had been perfectly content to ramble and lambaste herself, without anyone’s assistance.

“Okay, fine, so Snape isn’t in love with you,” Alice finally said. “But what about Potter? Will you at least admit that he likes you?”

“We’re friends,” Lily said, shrugging her shoulders in a small up-down movement. “I should hope that there is at least a little bit of liking there.”

Alice snorted. “Lily,” she warned.

“He used to like me,” the redhead conceded. “I don’t know about now.”

“Do you want him to like you now?”

“Like, as in more than friends?”

“You’re dodging the question. Should I take that to mean a yes?”

“No! Yes, oh, bloody hell, I don’t know,” Lily groaned, closing her eyes and rolling over onto her side.

Alice leaned up. “Which is it, Lily? Yes, or no?”

Lily fixed her with a dark glare. “You are a bloody pain in the arse.”

“So you take delight in telling me often. Just answer the question.”

“I don’t know,” the redhead answered, her voice muffled.

“Do you like him?”

“What the bloody hell is that supposed to mean, Alice?” Lily demanded, rolling back to face her friend.

“Don’t play stupid, Lily,” Alice chided. “You know what I meant.”

“Why not? I’m certainly stupid enough to pass it off, don’t you think?” Lily retorted, deliberately ignoring the second part of her friend’s statement.

Alice let out once of the most long-suffering sighs Lily had ever heard. “Obviously, you’re determined to make me spell it out. For the past five years, you have despised Potter – and his friends – with every fiber of your being. He, in turn, has liked you for at least two years and been asking you to go to Hosgemeade with him every chance he’s gotten. You, of course, never gave him the time of day, unless it was to put him down and insult him.”

“You can’t disagree that he deserved it!” Lily burst out.

“He was, in your words, an insufferable prat in the beginning, I’ll agree with you there. He bullied others, and was an arrogant prig who thought he owned the school. But that’s different now. Snape and he will never get along, but I think it has more to do with their personalities that Potter’s habits,” Alice continued. “Now, you two are friends. It appears that you’ve forgiven him and esteem him.”

Esteem him?” Lily laughed. “Good lord, Alice, have you been reading Pride and Prejudice a bit much lately?”

Alice was obviously put out. “No, and that’s not the point. Do you or do you not like him?”

Lily rolled her eyes. “Yes, I like him. Are you happy?”

“Like as in friends like, as in other human being like, as in want to go snog like?” the brunette pressed.

“I don’t know,” Lily finally answered quietly.

Alice was about to harangue her friend for more, but a glance at Lily’s face revealed how serious the redhead was. “About time you started being honest with me,” she answered just as quietly. “How do you feel about him?”

There was another long pause, then Lily said, “I really don’t know. I still flinch when he touches me, because before I always assumed that he was going to pull some prank on me or doing something horrible to me. I’m constantly reminding myself that we’re friends, that’s he’s not a jerk. That hardly sounds like someone who likes him as more, does it?”

“But?” Alice prompted when the redhead fell silent.

“But he’s been wonderful.” The words slipped off her tongue without her meaning to say them out loud, but it was too late to snatch them back, and she decided to go full ahead with the confession. Alice was her friend – there was no cause to be so reticent when she was just trying to help. “I have fun with him, and it’s like there was this whole side to him that I had never seen before. He’s not a bully now, like you said. He helps people, and he’s not a jerk about it. I was wrong about him – at least, I was wrong about him being a jerk now.”

Alice waited patiently; in the years that she had known Lily, she had discovered that the girl took a while to get to a point, often rambling around it until finally reaching it. Sometimes, of course, she needed a little help – like now.

“So what do you feel? Do you like him?” she interrupted. The redhead hesitated. “It’s a yes or no question, Lily,” Alice said, more than just a bit impatiently.

“No, it’s not!” Lily protested. “I could like him.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Lily! You could like him? You either do or you don’t?”

“What if I don’t want to like him?” the redhead countered.

This made Alice laughed. “And is that the case? Do you not want to like James Potter?”

At this, Lily sat up, and looked down at her lap, playing with the material of her sweater. “Maybe,” she mumbled.

“You are ridiculous,” her friend declared. “Maybe? Make up your mind!”

“I’m adjusting!” Lily protested. “It’s hard not to think of him as ‘that dratted Potter’ – I don’t even think of him by his first name!” There was a pause where Alice didn’t dare say anything, and Lily was busy finding her words. Finally: “It’s moving too fast. It’s just too fast.”

“So what do you want to do?” Alice asked after a long silence.

“Why do you assume that I have all the answers?” Lily asked irritably.

“Because I’m trying to help you figure out what you want to do?” the brunette suggested, ignoring her friend’s sudden bad mood.

“I don’t know what I want to do!” Lily wailed before flipping over and burying her face in her pillow. She mumbled something else, but it was impossible to distinguish the words.

“What was that?” Alice asked, her hand on Lily’s shoulder and moving it violently back and forth.

“I said,” Lily replied, pulling her head out of the pillow long enough to say, “I’m just a stupid chit.”

“Not true,” Alice protested. “You’re gorgeous, and brilliant, and you have all the blokes at Hogwarts panting after you – ”

“Alice!” Lily protested, her skin matching her hair temporarily as she blushed.

“What? You know it’s true!” Alice protested. “You get their interest and you keep it, until you ignore them for too long, and they go somewhere else.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Alice?” the redhead demanded, sitting up and pushing off the bed to pace.

“Forget it,” Alice muttered, flushing bright red and turning away.

“Aw, come on, spill it,” Lily whined.

“I can’t believe you’ve never heard this before,” Alice said, still muttering balefully.

“Obviously, I haven’t, so spill,” her friend teased, a grin beginning to spread across her face.

“Fine. At one point or another, probably every single bloke in this school has had a crush on you,” Alice said.

“I think that’s exaggerating at least a little bit,” Lily said. “Every bloke? Are you sure it’s not more along the lines of one or two?”

This startled a laugh out of Alice. “You are ridiculous, Lily! If it’s not every bloke, it’s pretty damned close. Will you just shut up and let me finish?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Lily replied with false meekness.

Alice eyed her with suspicion, obviously not believing her act for a second. “Thank you,” she said, her polite manner as equally fake. Then she dropped the act, and softly said, “You got blokes all over the school who would die to go out with you. You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re funny – ”

“I get it, I get it, I’m wonderful,” Lily interrupted. “You can stop trying to make me feel better.”

“It’s not just that,” Alice retorted. “Did you ever wonder why Potter fell head over heels for you, when he could get any girl in this school?”

“Because he’s crazy and delusional, and his head is in his heels?” Lily shot back. “I don’t know; why don’t you enlighten me?”

“Because you’re amazing, and you don’t fall for shallow stupidity, like so many of the other girls at our school. You were the only one who kept giving him a hard time, even after his voice stopped cracking and he started becoming “the bloke” to go to Hogsmeade with,” Alice answer firmly.

The redhead stared at her friend. She’d been expecting joking statement, not an honest sermon. “What, you read his mind now?”

“Don’t be a pain, Lily,” Alice retorted, giving her friend the evil eye. “I didn’t think he was evil incarnate during fifth year.”

“You mean, you fell for him during fifth year,” Lily corrected easily.

Alice blushed. “So? Everyone else did too.”

“Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean I can’t tease you until the end of your days about it,” her friend retorted.

The brunette glared. “One day, you’re going to fall for him, and I’m going to laugh my socks off.”

“Nothing like friendly solidarity, huh?” Lily quipped.

Alice’s answer was to thump her over the head with a pillow.

*~*~*~*


Please read and review. Comments of any sort (especially constructive or questions!) make me happy.
 
 
Feeling: annoyedannoyed
 
 
 
aroniwen on April 17th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Hmmm, you don't let us forget that they're 17 and therefore capable of creating more hormone driven angst out of truely minor insults than seems possible to anyone who isn't 17. I like that, I'm tired of reading fics where they all act like mature 30 year olds.

Still, the dialogue seemed a bit... off. It's formal and overly explanatory, like they're talking to the readers instead of interacting with eachother.

Good job though, very entertaining! Keep up the good work.
Anya: HP Neville Longbottomdancinggoldfish on August 29th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks, for both the compliment and the comment. I have noticed that problem, always after the fact of course ;p Anyway, thank you so much for your comment (and sorry about the delay in replying). I'm going to try and have a new chapter up soon :D
(Anonymous) on April 26th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
I agree with aroniwen's comment about the converstaion a bit too formal. I don't think a lot of teenagers use formality too much, in fact they just use "normal" words to conversate. But other than that i really like this story. It's different than the other stories since you could really see the struggle and the vocabulary makes it much interesting. Great job!
Anya: Bones Booth Brennandancinggoldfish on August 29th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your comment! I appreciated how well-thought out it was, made me think to. You're right - teenagers use "normal" words to converse. Of course this was back in the 70s, and in the more formal wizarding world, but it is something I'm working on making better. I'm trying to update soon, so check back! :D
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