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22 October 2008 @ 08:19 am
Butterfly Seasons Chapter Ten - From Good to Bad  
I'm sorry this is a couple of days late. I got laid low with a particularly nasty cold, and have basically spent the last couple of days in bed. I was too tired to even put the sheets on my bed after I did laundry - so I've just been sleeping on a mattress the last two nights. But I am now feeling 50% human so I'm posting this. Please leave lots of comments so that I can feel even better!

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.

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

*~*~*~*


As a result of Yaxley’s idiocy and bullheadedness, Lily found herself stuck in extra meetings that covered the appropriate reaction to those sort of situations – do what she did, and find a professor – and doing extra patrols along with all the other prefects. So she did not see Potter until the end of the week, and it was not until their meeting had gone on for nearly an hour that she remembered the very interesting information he had let fall last time.

“So tell me Potter, how did your date go?” she teased as she pushed aside the parchment for what she thought was a well-earned study break.

Potter looked up from his note scribbling. “Beg pardon?” he asked, looking utterly confused.

“You know, that date that was so important that you go on Tuesday, the eighteenth?” she asked. “What, was she so unmemorable?”

“The date?” he asked, before flushing bright red, nearly the color of the scratch along his cheek. “Oh, that. Yeah, it went fine, a bit boring really. Why are you so interested?”

“I’m not allowed to be interested in a friend’s love life?” she asked, waving her hand, “especially when it involves dramatic gestures like sneaking off school grounds to go see her? I still can’t believe you even told me that.”

He laughed a bit nervously. “I’m actually a bit surprised you didn’t give me detention for it, or haul me in front of McGonagall.”

She frowned. “I’m not that much of a swot, thank you very much.”

“Of course not, Evans. Anyway, it’s a moot point, you’re the one who assumed that I was sneaking off when I said you didn’t know her,” he said, ducking his head.

“So none of the drama of sneaking off school grounds?” she asked, grinning as she added, “Or none of the drama of an actual girl? Potter, are you dating yourself?”

He looked a bit defensive as he drew back and pushed the books and parchment between them. “What the hell? Evans, what are you going on about?”

She raised her eyebrows. “I was just giving you a hard time. Can’t you take a joke?”

He slammed his quill down, snapping the nib off. “Look, just because you can’t imagine dating me doesn’t mean that other girls can’t either, alright? So just let it alone, alright?” He pulled his quill and parchment back to him, only to swear when he discovered the broken nib. “Of all the motherloving crap – I don’t think we’re going to cover much more tonight. I’m going to head to bed.” And without giving her a chance to protest or even explain herself, he swept his things together and disappeared up the stairs to his dormitory.

Lily’s mouth hung open. “What the hell was that?” she demanded of the empty common room. “That wasn’t what I meant, you stupid wanker.” Pissed off herself, she slammed her books together and stomped upstairs.

*~*~*~*


Perhaps Lily’s temper would have gone the normal route and burned itself up quickly if Potter had not acted so strangely during the following three days. Whenever she saw him – which was not often, since she was still drowning under the brutal schedule of extra meetings and patrol hours – he was doing his utter best to avoid her. That, in turn, only served to put her temper on a slow burn.

So when Potter finally deigned to notice her existence by dropping into the seat across from hers, she was not in a mood to notice his. Instead, she kept flipping pages in the book before, trying to find out more information for her history essay on the witch burnings of the seventeenth century.

He tapped his fingers several times on the table.

She ignored him.

He pulled his books and parchment noisily out of his bag.

She ignored him.

He pulled a piece of her parchment over to him, and scribbled something on it before pushing it back towards her.

She ignored it, and him.

Finally, “Alright, I’m sorry, okay?” he exclaimed.

“We’re in a library. Keep your voice down,” she retorted. After a couple of moments of silence, she added, “And what do you have to be sorry for?”

He stayed silent for several minutes, then said, “I guess I overreacted a bit when you asked if I was dating myself – but come on, Evans. It’s hard for a bloke not to be touchy when you’ve turned him down for years.”

“So this is my fault?” she retorted coolly.

“No, that’s not what I’m saying! Look, I’m sorry, alright?” he demanded.

She turned several more pages of her book, before saying frigidly, “Don’t worry about it. I’m not mad about you blowing up at me over a joke anymore.”

He hesitated, then asked, “Is everything alright?”

“Why wouldn’t it be?” she retorted. “Oh, look at the time. I promised Alice I would meet her to study Herbology together in five minutes. I’d better be going.”

“We could study together,” he offered.

She finished packing her books and parchment away, then stood and raised her eyebrows as she looked down at him. “Am I now required to bring you along whenever I hang out with my other friends, Potter?”

He hesitated again, eyes moving over her face, before saying, “No, that’s not what I meant. I just meant that we haven’t hung out very much recently.”

She wanted to scream at him that it was his fault, and it was hardly her fault if she decided she liked her other friends a bit better when he was off throwing temper tantrums. Instead, she coolly stated, “Maybe we can hang out later then. See you around.”

He stood as well. “Shouldn’t we talk about this? I mean – ”

“Don’t be such a girl, Potter,” she tossed over her shoulder as she walked away.

*~*~*~*


All Alice said when Lily plopped down next to her in the common room was, “Fighting with Potter again?”

“Who says I have to be fighting with Potter to hang out with you?” Lily retorted defensively.

Alice gave her a Look. “Um, the facts? Lily, I never see you unless Potter has Quidditch practice or you two are fighting.”

“Not true!”

“Alright, fine, I also see you when Potter is busy with those obnoxious friends of his,” Alice said. “Look, I don’t want to fight with you. I’m just pointing out that you kind of jumped full throttle into this being Potter’s friend thing, and I don’t see you nearly as often.”

“I don’t want to fight with you either, and I’m sorry,” Lily said. “And I’m not fighting with Potter, I’m just mad at him.”

“Isn’t that the same thing?” Alice asked.

“No, if we’re fighting, then he’s mad at me too,” Lily retorted. “I’m the only one who’s mad here.”

“Well, if you want to talk about it,” Alice said, “you know where to find me.”

“Thanks,” Lily said, grinning as she reached over to give her friend a hug. “And I’m sorry for ditching you for Potter.”

Alice laughed. “You know, you probably could have phrased that a bit better, but I won’t be offended.”

Lily giggled as well. “I suppose I do have a way of putting my foot in my mouth.”

“Just a bit,” Alice teased. “So do you want to raid the kitchen in celebration of your return to the bonds of sisterhood?”

“I’m not sure that the kitchens would have anything worthy of such a celebration unless it was firewhiskey and hard cider and butterbeer,” Lily retorted.

“Ooh, Lily the Prefect is taking a walk on the wild side,” Alice said, grinning from ear to ear. “We could probably sneak out to Hogsmeade to get some, or see if the boys have any stashed away.” There was a short pause. “Except that might be a bit awkward, if you’re avoiding Potter.”

“I’m not avoiding him,” Lily protested. “I’m simply choosing not to spend all of my time with him, or be completely and totally readily available for him to hang out with him whenever he’s free. I was like one of those awful girls who ditched her friends whenever she got a boyfriend.”

“You were, weren’t you?” Alice mused. “Except Potter wasn’t your boyfriend, unless there was something going on that you aren’t telling me.”

Lily made a face. “Hell, no, thank you very much. I think I’d rather pull my own fingernails out than date him.”

“Why?” Alice asked curiously. “I mean, you are one of the few girls, yours truly included, who doesn’t fawn over him or go into raptures at the prospect of a date with him. Plus you hang out – or hung out – with him all the time.”

“Well, why don’t you fawn over him?” Lily retorted.

“Um, probably because itching powder in my shoes six times during first year, twice during second year, switched all of my quills with sugar quills during third year, put gum in my hair and my shoes during fourth year, vanished my ten foot essay for Potions during fifth year, and drenched me with green ink when one of their stupid pranks went wrong?” Alice listed.

“I’d forgotten about him vanishing your essay – you nearly murdered him! It was certainly the end of your crush on him,” Lily said, grinning. “And now you don’t fawn over him because you think he’s an obnoxious prankster. What a coincidence, I think he’s obnoxious too! So, about that Hogsmeade trip, do you think we can pull it off without their help?”

“Of course we can, and by the way, classy way to change the subject,” Alice teased. “We’re not done talking about this.”

“I thought that if I felt like discussing Potter I knew where to go. I didn’t realize that you meant to have a deep, girly discussion whenever you felt like it,” the redhead mused.

“Lily, Lily, Lily,” the brunette said, rolling her eyes. “You’ve known me for how many years now, and you’re still surprised at things like this. I’m beginning to think you don’t know me at all. Maybe Meg was right and you are hanging around Potter too much. You’ve certainly taking on his characteristic cluelessness when it comes to girls.”

“He can’t be that clueless or all the girls at Hogwarts wouldn’t be panting after him,” Lily pointed out.

Alice rolled her eyes again. “Alright, I amend my previous statement. You’ve taken on Potter’s characteristic cluelessness when it comes to certain Gryffindor girls.”

“Well, I swear that I shall do my best to overcome the difficulties that I face,” the redhead promised solemnly.

“I suppose I shall have to be content with that. But Lily, if I see you tossing a Quaffle around, I will hit you as hard as I can,” Alice warned.



“Fair enough. So, Hogsmeade?”

“Hogsmeade it is,” the brunette confirmed.

But Hogsmeade didn’t happen. Instead, a nervous first year crawled through the portrait hole and told Lily, “There’s a Slytherin outside waiting for you.”

“What?” the redhead barely managed to sputter. “Who’s waiting outside?”

“A Slytherin. The one who everyone says is really good at potions?” the little first year said. “I don’t know his name.”

“That’s alright, don’t worry about it, Sarah. Thanks for telling me,” Lily finally said after exchanging a long look with Alice.

The first year scampered off, and Alice demanded heatedly, “What the hell do you think Snape wants?”

“Who the hell knows?” Lily said as she shrugged philosophically.

“You’re remarkably calm, considering the circumstances,” the brunette pointed out.

“What would be the point of getting my knickers in a twist over this? He probably wants some of the potions books he lent me last year back,” the redhead retorted. “I’m going to go find out.”

Alice scrambled off the couch. “Not without me, you aren’t,” she insisted.

“Alice, I don’t need a bodyguard. This is Snape we’re talking about,” Lily protested. “We were friends for years.”

“Exactly,” the brunette said determinedly. “And now he’s probably part of a madman’s crazed quest for power – and feels strongly enough about it to toss years of friendship out the window. Who knows what he’s got planned? And I don’t think he just wants his old books back.”

“I’d like to point out that you were the one who thought he was in love with me a month ago,” Lily retorted.

“And since then he’s acted as if you don’t exist, which I would hardly characterize as the behavior of a man in love. I don’t trust him, Lily,” Alice shot back.

“Oh, come on, Alice – ”

“You aren’t going to change my mind, Lily. Now let’s get this stupid thing over with,” the brunette retorted as she led the way to the portrait hole, leaving Lily no choice but to follow.

Annoyance flickered over Snape’s face as he watched the two girls climb out of the portrait hole. “I’m hardly going to attack you,” he snapped.

Even though she disagreed with Alice’s demand, she wasn’t going to let Snape off easy. “Last time I checked, calling someone a mudblood could be construed as a verbal attack,” she retorted as she crossed her arms over her chest. “Anyway, what do you want?”

“I wanted to talk to you,” he said simply. “Alone.”

“What could you possibly have to say to me that you can’t say in front of Alice?” Lily retorted coldly. “Quite frankly, I don’t want to hear a tirade about how awful mudbloods are and how we should be wiped off the planet – and considering the fact that you spent the entire summer avoiding and ignoring me, I realized I really don’t know you or what you’re up to these days.”

The annoyance was back for several seconds before he crossed his own arms and leaned back against the wall opposite the Fat Lady’s portrait. “Fine,” he said crossly. “Crockford stays, if that’s what you want.”

“It is,” Lily confirmed.

“Fine.” There was a long pause as he studied the paving stones beneath his feet for several minutes, and Lily was wondering just how long they were going to stand there awkwardly in silence, waiting. Finally, he said, “I wanted to apologize.”

The mild word stung at Lily’s already primed temper. “Apologize?” she bit out between gritted teeth. “For what exactly? For espousing the rhetoric of a madman who wants to see me and everyone like me dead? For treating me like crap last year and then spending the entire summer avoiding me? You didn’t seem to think you needed to apologize when this year began until you decided to stop talking to me. And what were you doing this summer anyway? Going on his precious little raids?”

Snape whitened. “No! Well, yes, I wanted to apologize for that, for all of that – I’m so sorry, Lily,” he said quickly. “I just – ”

“What were you doing this summer?” she interrupted coldly.

His face closed up. “Nothing important, Lily. Look, I want us to be friends agai – ”

“What the fuck are you doing here?” a voiced suddenly demanded, followed seconds later by Snape’s feet shooting out from under him, dragging him across the floor. Lily barely had time to shout a cushioning spell as she turned to face the assailant.

It was Potter, with Black behind him.

“I told you to stay the hell away from her, Snape,” he growled as he leaned over the other dark-haired boy.

The Slytherin sneered. “Go to hell, Potter.” His wand was out in a second and all of a sudden, red was dripping from Potter’s fingers, from under his sleeve.

Accio Snape, Potter, and Black’s wands!” Lily yelled out. Only once she had the three wands in her hand did she lower her own. “What the hell did you think you were doing?” she shouted at Potter, glaring fiercely at him.

Potter just shrugged. “He was bothering you and – ”

Lily cut him off. “Let me make something very clear, Potter. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. Further, Snape was neither threatening or truly bothering me, and it was only upon your attack that he even drew his wand. What the fuck were you thinking?”

“I – ”

“And you!” she exclaimed as she turned on Snape. “What the hell were you thinking? Those sort of spells are not only dangerous but they can be deadly! Are you out of your fucking mind?”

“He attacked me. I was merely defending myself,” the Slytherin said sullenly as he got to his feet and wiped off the front of his robes.

“There is a difference between actual defense and the attack that you carried out,” she said coldly. “I should report both of you for your complete stupidity!”

“Oh, come on, Evans,” Black interrupted. “Calm down. Everyone knows that Snape’s a creep. I would have done the same thing as James if I’d been a second faster.”

The redhead’s hand clenched. “You know, everyone has been telling me how you have changed – how you’re not that bully you were before,” she told Potter coldly. “Clearly, all you managed to do was pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Get inside the tower. I’ll give you your wands back in a bit.”

“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, Lily – ”

“Get inside before I break them into a million little bits,” she snapped, glaring fiercely at the two Gryffindor boys.

“But what about Snape? I’m not going to leave you alone with him!” Potter protested.

“Get your worthless arse inside, Potter, before I hex you and show you just how helpless I am,” she retorted. He glared at her, as did Black, but there were no more protests as they climbed inside the portrait hole. Alice followed them a moment later without comment.

Lily could see the look of triumph in Snape’s eyes as she turned back to him. “Why the hell are you so happy?” she demanded. “What is wrong with you?”

The triumphant look vanished. “Just happy to see Potter and Black get what they deserve for once,” he drawled.

She glared at him. “I don’t know what the hell you were doing this summer, and I don’t want to know. All I know is I don’t want to be friends with someone who tosses Dark spells around like that – ”

“It wasn’t a Dark spell!” he immediately protested.

“You’re lucky you didn’t hit a major artery!” she retorted. “Would you have liked to be in Azkaban for attempted murder?”

“Oh, come on, Potter and Black get away with everything! I can’t believe you’re acting like this,” he argued.

“That is because, Potter and Black, as stupid and immature as they are, limit their stupidity to things that won’t get people killed! They don’t use Dark magic! You do – and did!” she shot back.

“For the last time, it wasn’t Dark Magic!” he exclaimed.

“Then what the hell was it?” she demanded. For that, he had no answer ready. She just stared at him, waiting. “Well, what was it if it wasn’t a Dark spell?”

“It was a spell I invented,” he said quietly.

“A spell you invented?” she said incredulously. “A spell you invented? So now you’re not only using Dark spells, but you’re inventing them too? What the fuck is wrong with you, Snape? Are you trying to get carted off to Azkaban?”

“It’s not a Dark spell!”

She gifted him with a furious glare. “Do you not pay any attention in Defense Against the Dark Arts?” she retorted. “Do you not remember what Professor Morrison said? Dark spells are those that cause physical damage to those things it hits besides just the magical effect, especially when intent is considered!”

He scoffed. “Don’t tell me that you buy into their narrow definition of things, Lily – ”

“Don’t call me Lily!” she cut him off angrily. “And yes, I do. At least where damage and intent are concerned. And you can’t tell me that you wanted to use that spell to give Potter pleasant dreams.”

“Well, no – ”

“Just shut up, Snape,” she interrupted. She took several deep breaths, her temper finally cooling down a bit as she realized the futility of arguing with him over it. “I appreciate your apology, I really do. But I don’t know you. You’re not the boy I was friends with before Hogwarts, or even during the first four years here. You’ve changed into someone I don’t recognize, and I don’t like.” She looked away. “Just because we were friends before isn’t enough for us to be friends now, considering everything that’s changed.”

“But nothing has to change!” he exclaimed. “Lily, we can still be friends – ”

“Friends?” she scoffed. “Friends? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a war coming, and my side was picked for me, simply because of the family I was born into. And you’ve apparently picked your side, and it sure as hell isn’t the same one as mine.”

“You talk as if I’ve suddenly become some reprehensible monster,” he said fiercely. “I’m not. Lily, if only you understood – ”

“What I understand,” she said fiercely, “is that you have no compunction about joining a cause whose goal is to destroy me merely for existing. We can’t be friends, Snape. Not when you make choices like that.” He reflexively caught his wand when she tossed it to him. “Goodbye Snape.”

“Lily – ”

But she turned and muttered the password and entered the Gryffindor common room, and all sound was cut off as the portrait closed behind her.

Potter and Black were waiting for her, arms crossed, black scowls upon their faces. “Can we have them back now?” Black demanded angrily. Potter didn’t say anything, he just glared.

The redhead tossed their wands at them, watching as their Quidditch skills kicked in and they both plucked them out of the air, and she walked past them without saying a word. Only after she made it upstairs to her room and thrown herself across her bed, spelling the bed curtains closed, did she let the tears fall.

“Lily?” Alice asked gently as she eased down gently beside the redhead. “Are you alright? Snape didn’t hurt you, did he?”

Lily shook her head against the pillow, but did not say anything. She could not say anything. How could she explain the whole mess that everything had become? Snape had gone from being her best friend to an enemy, Potter had reverted to his previous awful self, Black hated her again, and all she wanted to do was cry.

*~*~*~*


When the redhead woke up the next morning, it was still brutally early, with the sky still gray as the sun worked to rise above the horizon. She wanted nothing more than the cleansing feel of a hot shower, even more than she wanted to stay in bed in the luxurious feeling warmth, so she silently rose and gathered her shower things.

Alice was up and dressed when Lily reappeared from the bathroom. The brunette didn’t say anything; she simply pulled Lily into a hug, dark hair mixing with wet red locks. Finally, she mumbled, “I would have though you’d have learned a decent drying charm by now.”

Lily laughed weakly, as she knew her friend had intended she should. “I have no intention of turning my hair into a frizzy mess and I’m out of Sleekeazy,” she answered quietly.

“Well, let’s at least get this mess pulled away from your face,” Alice retorted as she cast several charms on Lily’s hair. “There we go, a French braid does the job nicely.” The redhead didn’t question Alice’s judgment; the girl was amazing at hair charms. “Do you want to grab breakfast or go for a walk or something?” the brunette asked.

“Food sounds good,” Lily said.

“Wonderful,” Alice said as she linked arms with her friend and drew her quietly out of the sixth year girls’ dormitory. They had the Great Hall almost entirely to themselves at that early hour, minus a third year Ravenclaw who had a stack of books next to him and another propped up against his cereal bowl.

“How are you feeling this morning?” Alice asked gently after passing Lily a platter of toast.

“I’m fine,” Lily responded. “Just a bit tired.”

“You didn’t even twitch when Marlene and Dorcas came tumbling in last night,” Alice commented. “So I knew you must have been exhausted.”

“They are pretty loud usually,” Lily said, smiling a bit.

“Like a herd of hungry elephants,” Alice said, smiling back. There was another several minutes’ pause, then she asked, “Do you want to talk about last night at all?”

“Not particularly,” the redhead said definitively.

“You probably should talk about it. I read that if you repress feelings of hostility or anxiety, they end up manifesting in other ways, such as nightmares or inability to sleep,” Alice told her.

“Alice,” Lily said in a warning voice that told her friend to drop it. So Alice did, knowing that Lily wouldn’t be able to help herself, and sooner or later, rants would be pouring forth.

They ate in silence for close to fifteen minutes, then Lily could contain herself no longer. “What the hell is wrong with Potter?” the redhead demanded suddenly, thumping her silverware down on the table. “I’m not some stupid helpless chit that needs to be rescued, and I didn’t need to be rescued from Snape of all people!”

“Okay, Lily, you can’t expect him to see Snape as a beacon of shining light,” Alice interrupted. “Potter and Snape have been fighting for the past six years, and I’m pretty sure that each thinks that the other is the devil incarnate. Of course Potter is going to assume that Snape is doing something awful if he sees him near you.”

“But Potter should have enough brains in that cavern he calls a skull to remember that Snape and I were friends – best friends – for years and – ”

“And then Snape called you that awful word in front of practically the entire school and treating you like the dirt under his shoe,” Alice interjected firmly. “If you want Potter to be the least bit reasonable, then you need to be reasonable yourself.”

Lily had to concede the point, but she still had another one to make. “He needs to stop that sort of kneejerk reaction when it comes to Snape. They’re almost adults, and they need to act like it. They could end up killing each other!”

“Could?” Alice retorted, giving Lily a look that told her not to be stupid. “If Snape keeps on pulling out spells like that, there is no could about it. It’s practically a given.”

“Good morning, ladies,” a cheery voice interrupted as Frank slid into the seat next to Lily.

“Go away, Longbottom,” Alice retorted immediately. “We’re discussing very important, top secret girl things and you’ll just be in the way.”

“I’ll be on my way as soon as I grab some toast and talk to Lily,” Frank answered calmly, grinning at the redhead’s irate friend. Alice rolled her eyes and shoved the platter of toast in his direction. “Anyway, Lily,” he started as he began to butter his toast, “what’s this I hear about another blowup between you and Potter?”

“It wasn’t her fault,” Alice immediately jumped in. “Snape and Lily were talking and Potter saw and had a seizure and hexed Snape and Snape hexed him back, and Lily stopped them and yelled at them.”

“Pass the strawberry jam please, Alice,” Frank responded. “And I think it was a bit more than that considering the fact that both Potter and Black were both busy last night bitching about Snape and how you need to have your head examined.”

Lily’s mouth dropped open. “Potter was saying that I need to have my head examined?” she demanded.

Frank looked up from the red jam he was spreading on a second piece of toast. “Well, it was more along the lines that you had gone batshit crazy, but yeah.”

“What the hell did he expect me to do when he hexed Snape? Stand idly by and applaud when he was done?” she exclaimed. “He’s the one that needs to get his head examined. I’m a prefect for fuck’s sake.”

“Lily, calm down,” Frank ordered. “Are you going to tell me what happened or not?”

“Snape was attempting to apologize for the past year, Potter saw him, hexed him, Snape hexed him back, I took all of their wands and yelled at them for being complete fuckups,” she reported succinctly.

“I checked with McGonagall. She said that neither of them were reported for last night,” Frank said. “Why not?”

Lily stared down at her own piece of toast before saying, “Because I can’t help but feel that it was sort of my fault that Potter hexed Snape and the whole thing snowballed.”

“What!” Alice exclaimed. “Lily, that’s bull – ”

Frank held up a hand cutting her off and leaving the brunette silently fuming as he demanded, “Explain.”

“Well, Snape and I were friends for years, until after exams last year, and since then we haven’t really hung out – so Potter didn’t know why – and wouldn’t understand why – Snape was anywhere near me or right outside the Gryffindor Tower,” Lily said.

“And how the hell does that make it your fault?”

That was even harder to explain, almost inexcusably arrogant and self-centered. Finally, she muttered, “I think that they were sort of fighting over me too.” Frank raised his eyebrows but didn’t say anything.

“That actually sort of – in a very twisted way – makes sense,” Alice commented. Frank turned to her, still not saying anything. “No, think about it. Potter probably thought that he was protecting Lily – and it’s no secret that Potter was mad about her for years, and that he hates Snape- and Snape wants Lily to be his friend – at the very least – and she can’t be his friend if she’s friends with Potter.”

“So even if they weren’t actually fighting over her, her presence only made things worse,” Frank said. “Very very convoluted, and quite frankly, Lily, I think you need to stop projecting yourself into their conflicts. Both Snape and Potter are nearly adults and should be acting as such, whatever the provocation.”

“But still – ”

“I’m not going to make you report them to McGonagall this time, but the next time this happens, if you don’t report them, I will, and I’ll report you too,” he warned her.

Her mouth dropped. “What?”

“Lily, if you can’t handle the job without your own personal issues getting in the way, then you shouldn’t be prefect,” he said.

“That’s hardly fair!” she protested.

“Look, Lily, I consider you a friend of mine,” he said quietly, “but I can’t sort out your issues with Snape and Potter for you; that’s something that you need to figure out for yourself. And there’s another problem.”

“What?” she asked.

“Maloney’s not exactly your biggest fan. So long as you do your job and do it well, she won’t care, but if you start screwing up, she won’t hesitate to go to McGonagall and ask for you to be removed,” he told her. “I don’t want that to happen. Your issues with Snape and Potter aside, you’re a pretty awesome prefect and you’re a brilliant friend.”

She blushed. “So I’m wonderful so long as Potter and Snape aren’t in the picture. Wonderful. This is going to be difficult since based on past behavior, I don’t think they’ll leave me alone.”

“I wouldn’t worry so much about Potter,” Frank advised her. “Like I said before, he was pretty steamed. I’m pretty sure he won’t come anywhere near you for a while if he can help it. If there’s anything I’ve noticed over the years, Potter tends to avoid or ignore what makes him uncomfortable for as long as he can. And Snape won’t be able to get anywhere near you if Potter has anything to say about it.”

“Wonderful,” Lily groaned. “You know, somehow that doesn’t make me feel any – oh, shit.”

“What?” Frank asked, twisting around to face the doors to the Great Hall, which she was staring at. “Shit,” he echoed. Potter, Lupin, Black, and Pettigrew had just come through them and were headed for the Gryffindor table.

But the crisis was averted when they walked right past the trio, ignoring them completely and settled down at the end of the table closest to where the professors sat. “Whew,” Lily muttered under her breath before rising. “I’m going to get out of here. See you later.”

“I’ll come with you,” Alice said hastily, tossing her napkin on the table and rising quickly.

Lily gave her an odd look as they walked out of the Great Hall. “I didn’t realize you were so desperate to leave,” she commented.

“Just didn’t want to leave you by yourself,” Alice said breezily. “After all, you suffered the implosion of two friendships – one lasting for almost half your life – yesterday, and got reamed out by Longbottom. I just want to make sure you have a shoulder to cry on.”

“I’m not going to break down sobbing, Alice,” the redhead retorted shortly. “If you wanted an excuse to leave the Great Hall, you don’t have to make one up like that.”

“Well, I’m also very concerned about you,” Alice shot back. “Things haven’t been so awesome for you, even without Potter and Snape screwing around. How are you not freaking out about your parents and your sister? I know I would be if I was in your shoes.”

“Which is why it is a good thing that you’re not in my shoes,” Lily said. “I try not to think about it for the most part, I guess. It’s the worst when the Prophet arrives and it is full of some story about how another Muggle family was murdered.”

Alice’s arm wrapped around Lily’s shoulders briefly. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Lily turned to her friend, a pensive look on her face. “Yeah, actually there is. Will you come to Petunia’s wedding with me? And help me with the wards on my parents’ house? I put them up the summer after fourth year – after the first attack happened – but I want to do what I can to strengthen them.”

“What about the Statute on Underage Magic?” Alice asked. “You live in a Muggle neighborhood right?”

“I talked to Dumbledore and he managed to get me an exception – but only for warding magic,” Lily explained. “But you could help me test the wards. You’re turning seventeen on December 21st, right? You won’t be underage – Petunia’s wedding is the 29th.”

“Alright, I’ll be happy to help. Just owl me with the details and I’ll be there,” Alice said, grinning.

“I’m glad you said,” Lily confessed after a minute. “I don’t know what I would have done. I should warn you – Petunia’s wedding is going to be hell.”

“I know, you’ve told me enough about her that I can guess her reaction to your bringing a witch friend to her wedding. I’m just excited to see her blow her top,” the brunette teased.

“Maybe we can get her to blow her top more than once?” Lily mused, and the two girls burst out into laughter.

*~*~*~*


All comments welcomed!
 
 
Feeling: sicksick
 
 
 
autumngumdrops on February 26th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
updates?
I've been reading this, although its been a while now. So I can't give specific compliments, but I do generally remember this being really good. Anyway, I was wondering if you're still writing this? Updates would be greatly appreciated.