The Flower and the Stag, part 1
Now she knew she was going crazy. First she fell through a barrier. Now she was eating radish flavoured jelly-beans. Or, of course, it could just be that everyone else was crazy…or maybe this was normal, after all, the magical world couldn't be exactly like the- what was it again? Muggle? Yeah, the magical world couldn't be exactly like the muggle world. There was just too many differences.
Like…Well, the muggle world had no idiots that came and sat down next to you while you were trying to solve something very important. Or grin at you because you had jelly bean stuck between your teeth.
'You a first year?' The first boy said, his smile widening.
'Yeah. You?' She looked at him warily, but (if possibly) he smile grew bigger, and he muttered something she didn't understand to his friend.
'Well then, what's your name?' The second boy spoke up, but he was a bit more polite than his friend. Not that that was really saying much.
'Lily Cooper. What's yours?'
'Sirius Black,' the first boy said, holding out his hand.
'James Potter,' the other muttered, because he was busily trying to undo a knot in the parcel his owl had brought him.
Lily was curious. 'Does your owl bring you everything?'
'No. Just letters and stuff. Didn't you know that? I thought everyone did'
She shrugged, turning a bit pink. 'I didn't know about magic.' She answered, not wanting to share this information with a stranger.
'Oh, well.' Said Sirius, still grinning idiotically. 'Heaps of people don't know. My dad said that there was a muggle born wizard who tried to get his toad to fly. But when it splattered he got real angry…'
Lily felt slightly sick, and the other boy, James, rolled his eyes to the ceiling. 'Sirius?'
'Yeah?' Sirius was still giggling silently about the poor (now splattered) toad.
'I really don't think we needed to know that.'
Sirius shrugged, and turned to Lily. 'Sorry. James here gets a bit sick when I talk about that kind of thing. Weak stomach. You two'd hit right off, discussing various ways that make you feel ill…I'll give a hand, if you want.'
Lily stared at him for a moment, and then looked at James, who looked a bit green. 'Is he a bit insane? Like, on medication or something?'
'Nah.' James grinned. 'His mother just needed a break, so she sent him here.'
'Well it's true.'
James Potter sat in the Gryffindor common room, talking to his new friends, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. It was only their second night at Hogwarts and already Sirius was in trouble.
‘It was an accident,’ Sirius had said with an innocent expression on his face. Professor McGonagall told him he’d make a pathetic actor and made him clean the classroom after the class was over.
‘Without magic.’ She warned him.
Sirius was a bit of a dope and used magic, of course.
He showed James and Remus his detention slip proudly. ‘I’m planning on breaking the world record,’ he said with a grin on his face.
Remus rolled his eyes. ‘You’ll get expelled.’
‘Nah. That’s only if we do something really, really, really bad. We’re just going to be really, really bad.’
‘Just?’ James said, raising his eyebrows.
‘We?’ Remus said.
‘Well you can’t expect me to do it all myself, can you?’
James laughed. ‘You’re the weirdest person I’ve ever met.’
A few weeks after, a notice was pinned up on the board in the common room.
Sirius was taller than everyone else was, so he read the sign to James and Remus and Peter Pettigrew, a first year who was terribly shy.
‘We have flying lessons with the Ravenclaws, starting Thursday.’ Sirius grinned. ‘Goody. We’ll show those brains who’s the best at flying!’
‘Oh, come on Sirius. They’re not that smart. The sorting hat said they’re wise and clever. I think. Anyway, they might be good at flying, we might not.’ Remus said logically.
‘You always look on the bright side of life, don’t you buddy? Think happy!’
Sirius bounced off to play chess with a second year.
‘D’you think he’s always like this?’ Remus asked, rubbing his head.
‘Probably.’ James said, and the two of them sat down to finish their astronomy homework that Sirius had entirely forgotten about.
The Gryffindor first years and the Ravenclaw first years hurried to the Quidditch pitch, where their first flying lesson would be held. Lots of them had flown before and were eager to show their friends what they could do, the muggle borns were looking forward to flying, and some were just plain terrified at the thought of taking their feet off the ground.
James looked around at his classmates. On one side of him was Sirius, just about bursting from excitement, Peter was crying and Remus was trying to calm him down. Lily, the girl he'd met on the train, was on his other side.
She turned around and looked at him, her face very white and excited.
'Do brooms crash?' She asked nervously, biting her fingernails.
'Only sometimes. You probably won't,' he reassured her, thought it didn't seem to do much good, as by the time they mounted their brooms Lily had a very small amount of fingernail left.
James had flown lots of times at home and was easily the best Gryffindor there. Lily was good as well, which surprised James, seeing that she couldn’t have flown before being muggle born.
Sirius chased after all the people that could barely stay on their brooms, and Madame Hooch had to fly up and rescue poor Peter, who was hanging in the air just managing to hold onto his broomstick. The lesson ended early, thanks to Sirius.
They landed- some crashed (Remus had never flown before and landed in a rose bush), Lily landed gracefully, as if she’d been doing it all her life.
She followed James to the broom shed to put their brooms away.
‘You’re good at flying,’ she said, as they placed the brooms on the shelves.
‘Yeah, I flew a lot at home. Have you flown before?’
She laughed. ‘No. I used to play with my sister, we pretended we were witches and pretended to fly around on brooms. We only had one though, so I always ended up with the mop.’ She looked sad, but then smiled quickly.
Lily changed the subject, suddenly realising she’d told this stranger all about the sister she had promised herself she’d forget about.
'Anyway…what's your favourite subject?'
He looked at her curiously, but decided not to press the matter.
She nodded, then grinned. 'Mine's Charms. See you around.'
Then she left, and James watched her go, looking thoughtful.
James only ever saw Lily in their classes; they never hung around together.
One day, Lily was in the library studying for a transfiguration test they had soon. She heard some people whispering to each other, and could tell they were arguing. She tried to ignore the sound of their hushed argument, until she heard the word ‘girls’. She put her book down and listened, trying not to make a sound.
‘Don’t be such a wimp!’ Someone hissed.
‘Sirius, he isn’t a wimp!’ someone else whispered angrily.
‘Then why won’t he do it? We won’t get caught! I’ve got it all planned, trust me.’
‘That’s one of the problems, we don’t.’ A third voice said.
‘Gee, thanks. I thought I was your friend.’
‘You are. But don’t drag Peter into this, we’ll come, at least, I will, but don’t make people do things that don’t want to.’
Do what? Lily wondered, and she tried to creep closer to hear what they were saying. She didn’t notice a pile of books by her feet and tripped over them, falling down and banging into the bookshelf the boys were hiding behind.
They raced out to find Lily sitting on the ground rubbing her knee and groaning.
‘Owww. I think I’ve broken my leg.’
The four boys stared at each other, their eyes wide with fear. What if she’d heard something?
‘What were doing?’ Sirius asked sharply.
‘Oh, thanks.’ Lily said through gritted teeth. ‘I might have broken my leg, and all you care about is what I was doing.’
‘What do you think I was doing? I was trying to study and then you all started whispering like elephants. I was coming to tell you to shut up!’
So it wasn’t exactly the truth, but she didn’t really care at that moment. All she could think about was the pain in her leg, and she didn’t care what lies she told.
‘Oh,’ Remus said. ‘Do you want us to get a teacher?’
‘No, actually I was planning on walking up to the infirmary, of course I want you to get a teacher!’ She snapped crossly.
Remus hurried away while the three Gryffindor boys left stood watching her.
‘What’s eating you?’ Sirius demanded. ‘You were pretty mean to Remus.’
‘Sorry.’ Lily said, not sounding sorry at all. ‘It’s just when you’re in a lot of pain you don’t really think straight, and when people ask you pathetic questions it’s even worse.’
‘Look, we’re sorry you hurt yourself, but you don’t need to take it out on us.’ James said to her.
Lily bit her lip to stop herself from swearing at him.
Professor McGonagall came rushing into the library to find Lily Cooper yelling at James Potter, and him yelling back.
‘What is going on here?’ She asked loudly, if she’d spoken in a normal voice no one would have been able to hear her.
‘She fell down.’ James said, pointing to Lily.
Professor McGonagall bent down over Lily and examined her leg.
‘Yes, it’s broken, I’m afraid’ She conjured up a stretcher and walked out of the room with Lily floating at her side.
‘What a dragon.’ Sirius said as the door started to close.
‘I heard that!’ Lily called back.
Lily lay in a hospital bed, listening to Madame Pomfrey hum to herself. Lily winced. She had a horrible voice. She looked around the bare room. There wasn’t much to see. Lots of beds, a window that was curtained… There was a knock on the door. Madame Pomfrey rushed out to see who it was. ‘You have some visitors, Miss Cooper.’
Lily was surprised. Her friends had already been to see her, and so had Hagrid, the gamekeeper at Hogwarts. They had become friends when Lily was on an errand for Professor Dumbledore one time.
James Potter and Sirius Black walked in.
Sirius glared at her, and James was holding something in his hand.
‘We thought you might like this, since it was sort of our fault you fell,’ James said.
‘Thanks,’ Lily said as James handed her a home - made card.
She opened it up and was squirted with water.
‘You jerks!’ Lily shrieked.
James and Sirius couldn’t answer; they were laughing too hard. Madame Pomfrey came rushing out of her office to see what all the noise was about.
‘What is going on in here?’ She asked sternly when she found Lily soaking wet and Sirius crying. ‘What has happened?’ She said to Lily, while trying to comfort Sirius. Then she noticed he was smiling; he had been laughing, not crying.
‘You two, out, come on. Lily needs rest.’ She shooed them out of the room and found Lily a towel.
The first years were settled in very quickly and soon the castle was like a second home. One day, Lily was walking down a staircase after a transfiguration lesson (which she hated) and ran into James Potter. They hadn’t seen each other since Lily had been hurt; she’d been avoiding them
‘Oh look, it’s green eyes.’ Sirius said with a grin. ‘How’s your leg?’
‘It’s fine.’ She walked past them.
A Slytherin in their herbology class pushed past her, and as she turned a corner she heard him yelling at James and Sirius.
‘I know it was you! Who else would do a thing like that to me?’
‘I can think of a few,’ Sirius said between giggles.
‘I can get you expelled for this!’ The Slytherin shrieked.
‘How? You can’t even prove that we did it.’ James said with a smile playing across his lips.
‘I KNOW YOU DID IT! YOU’RE GOING TO PAY FOR THIS!’
‘Severus.’ James said calmly. ‘It could have been anyone. After all, all the Gryffindors hate you.’
‘And who could blame them?’ Sirius said, now that he had finally calmed down.
Lily walked away with a frown on her face. She didn’t like Severus, he was a show-off who thought he knew everything, but James and Sirius were troublemakers. She planned to get a bit of revenge on some certain people, and they would think it was Severus! She grinned to herself. She didn’t usually play jokes on people, but James and Sirius deserved it.
James sat at lunch talking merrily with his friends.
‘You should have seen the look on his face! I thought he was going to explode right before our eyes.’ He said with glee.
Lily watched him from her seat and giggled.
‘What’s so funny?’ Her friend Holly asked.
‘Can I ask you something?’ Lily said.
Lily leaned over and whispered something in Holly’s ear. She laughed.
‘That’ll work perfectly!’ She said.
After lunch, the two girls ran straight to their dorm. They made sure no one else was in there and then closed the door.
Lily rummaged in her bag and pulled out a little bottle.
‘Quick, drink it! It only lasts for one hour.’
They sipped the green liquid and turned invisible.
‘Where’d you get this stuff?’ Holly asked in amazement.
‘I found the recipe for it in a potions book. Come on, we don’t have much time.’ Lily hissed.
They ran down the girls’ staircase and stopped next to the boys. Then they crept up the stairs; careful to stay near the edge so they wouldn’t bump into anybody.
The two of them sneaked up until they reached the door that said ‘1st year boys.’ Lily pushed it open and peered inside. It was empty. James and Sirius must have been in the common room.
‘They found James’s trunk and Sirius’s and pulled them open. Lily got a big quill out of her pocket and dipped it in some bright purple ink that shone different colours in the light. It disappeared as soon as the ink touched the fabric of James’ robes.
‘What are you writing?’ Holly asked curiously.
‘You’ll see,’ Lily said with a grin, although you couldn’t see it.
Holly looked up at the clock on the wall next to one of the beds.
‘Lily! Our times almost up!’
Holly watched as the robes were folded by someone invisible and put neatly away.
They heard footsteps outside the door.
‘Gryffindor will beat Slytherin by miles, Peter, don’t be such a worrywart.’
‘I’m not.’ The smaller boy whined.
Lily and Holly watched from under the beds of two boys. To their horror, they could see each other. The spell had worn off.
The boys sat around for what seemed like hours, and the only interesting thing they said was
‘Hey James, you the girl in our class, the one that fell over?’
‘You mean Lily? Yeah?’
‘I have an idea.’
‘Well, I found this book on potions the other day, it’s got a spell where you make it, give it to someone to drink, and their face turns green and their hair turns purple, and they grow extra arms!’
James laughed. ‘But wouldn’t that be painful?’
‘Nah. It just tingles a bit. We could offer it to her, say we really are sorry about the card thing, and she’ll turn into a hideous monster in front of the entire school!’
‘You’re crazy. She’ll know it was us, and so will all the teachers.’
‘So? It’ll be worth it just seeing the look on her face when she realises she had more then one arm, and instead of having red hair, it’ll be purple!’
‘I don’t know. She hasn’t really done anything to us.’ James said slowly. ‘Why don’t we just give it to Snape or something?’ He added with a laugh. ‘He’ll kill us, but it will be just as funny.’
‘I have another idea for Snape altogether. It will look better on Lily, her hair is longer, and it’ll show up more. Pleeeeease, pleeeeease, pretty, pretty, pretty please? With a great big cherry on top?’
James laughed at his friend’s insanity. ‘Okay, okay. If she doesn’t take it, don’t throw it away, give it to Snape.’
‘Right.’ Sirius agreed. ‘Now, I have to go and beat Thomas in that Chess Championship. I will prove that first years are just as good as third years. If not better!’
He skipped out the room and James followed, shaking his head. Peter scrambled after them, trying to catch up.
Lily crawled out from under a bed and helped Holly up. Their eyes were wide with panic.
‘What are we going to do?’ Holly asked, sounding hysterical.
‘You mean, after I kill Sirius Black and James Potter?’ Lily asked her friend with her fists clenched.
‘Forget about them for now. Kill them tomorrow. We need to get out of here! If we get caught, we’ll probably be on detention for the rest of our lives, or we’ll be expelled and I can’t decide which ones worse.’
‘Okay, don’t panic, don’t panic.’ Lily said, it looked like she was trying to convince herself more than Holly.
‘Maybe they have something in here that will get us out.’ Holly said logically, while Lily took deep breaths.
‘Brooms? We could fly out the window.’
Lily rolled her eyes. ‘Why would they have brooms? We aren’t allowed them, remember?’
‘We could disguise ourselves! If we borrow their cloaks’- Lily started to say excitedly.
‘But you wrote that stuff on them.’
‘Damn. Let’s just look in their trunks to see if they’ve got something.’
Lily pulled open James trunk, while Holly looked through Sirius’s stuff.
‘Nothing in here.’ Holly said, disappointed.
Lily’s eyes widened.
‘Oh my God. Look!’
She held up a piece of material that was silvery and seemed to be made out of cloth.
‘It’s an invisibility cloak.’ Holly breathed.
The two girls grinned at each other.
They pulled it on and looked into the mirror. It covered them up nicely, they were both fairly slim, and the cloak was enormous, so you couldn’t see anything.
They tiptoed out of the room, trying not to step on each other toes. They walked silently into the common room, and then raced up to their own dorm, bumping into a fifth year on the way. After she had finished screaming (you wouldn’t want to bump into something invisible), they slammed their door shut.
‘How are we going to get this back to them?’ Lily asked when she had her breath back.
‘Why don’t we just keep it?’ Holly said, laughing at the idea.
‘We can’t. It isn’t ours.’
‘So? You heard what they’re going to try to do to you. They deserve it.’
‘Yeah, but we’re getting them back anyway. We can’t keep it.’
‘All right, all right. You are such a goody two shoes sometimes.’
Lily poked her tongue out at her.
At breakfast the next day, Lily and Holly were eating their toast, watching the entrance to the hall. When James and Sirius walked in, they looked down, laughing into their plates.
James went up to get his toast, but he couldn’t figure out why everyone was laughing at him. Then a sixth year Hufflepuff kicked him in the shins.
‘Hey!’ James shouted. ‘What’d you do that for?’
The Hufflepuff laughed. ‘It says to on the back of your robes, didn’t you know?’
James looked over to Severus who was laughing his head off. James stalked back to the
Gryffindor table with a scowl on his face. The people walking past him gave his chair a kick.
The owls flew in about halfway through the meal, and one was carrying a large parcel. It dropped it on James’ table.
Someone had written on it DO NOT OPEN AT BREAKFAST. Sirius looked over, and the two of them left the table, with people kicking them on their way out.
They raced back to their dorm, taking care to avoid Peeves. He would probably kick them until there was nothing left to kick.
Sirius led the way up the stairs, ranting on about revenge, while James tried to hurry, but still had a pain in his shins.
Sirius sat on his bed, and waiting expectantly for James to open it. He did so, and both boys gasped in surprise.
The invisibility cloak slid gracefully out onto the blankets.
There was a note pinned to it, in a writing neither had seen before.
Thanks very much for the cloak- it came in handy.
The two boys stared at the cloak for awhile and then looked up at each other.
‘Severus.’ They said in unison.
Nothing interesting happened for weeks, although life at Hogwarts was never dull. James and Sirius spent much of their time in Library, much to Lily’s amazement. Both boys were incredibly bright, but they didn’t seem the sort to spend their weeks studying.
One morning at breakfast Sirius approached her, holding at a glass.
‘Good morning Rosie!’ He said cheerfully.
‘Whatever. Anyway, I’m really sorry about that card we gave you. We just don’t like people being mean to our friends. I thought you might like this.’ He held out the glass with a big smile.
‘Oh, I couldn’t possibly. You must have some too.’
Sirius started to laugh, but straightened his face.
‘I insist. James has had some already, he loved it.’
Lily giggled, and was soon laughing uncontrollably.
‘What’s so funny?’ Sirius asked, trying hard not to laugh himself.
‘Where is he?’ Lily said breathlessly.
‘Why do you want to know?’ Sirius asked, now suspicious.
‘I’ve always wanted to see someone with more than two arms.’ Lily was laughing too hard too realise that she’d just given away who had stolen the invisibility cloak and written on the back of James’s robes ‘kick me’.
Sirius giggled now, and walked out of the Great Hall, beckoning for her to follow him.
He walked up to the infirmary where they found Madame Pomfrey telling off a very grumpy James Potter.
‘How did you do this to yourself?’ She asked, tutting.
‘I drank something,’ James mumbled.
‘Oh Jameseeee!’ Sirius called.
‘What do you want?’ James said, hiding himself under the sheets.
‘You have a guest!’
‘Get lost Sirius. It’s all your fault.’
‘I was just testing it to see if it would work. Don’t you want to see who’s here?’
He bounced over (Sirius bounced a lot) and pulled the covers off his best friends’ head.
Lily shrieked with laughter. James glared first at Sirius, then at her.
‘What is she doing here?’ He asked Sirius and under the green his face turned a reddish colour.
‘She heard about the potion, so she wouldn’t take it when I tried to give it to her.’
‘How’d she know about it?’ James said, tugging the sheets up over his head again.
‘Actually’- Sirius turned to Lily, who was still speechless with laughter. ‘I’m not really sure.’
Lily stopped laughing.
‘I don’t think you really want to know.’ She stifled a giggle. ‘I’ve seen what I wanted to see, anyway, you look very –green- I mean, busy at the moment, so I’d better be off now.’
She started to leave, but James grabbed her robes with one of his many arms.
‘Ow! Let go of me!’ She yelled, and Madame Pomfrey came running.
‘What is going on in here?’ She demanded.
James let go, and Lily tried to escape again, but this time Sirius pulled her back.
‘Oh no you don’t.’ Then he looked back up at Madame Pomfrey ‘We just need to talk about something.’ Madame Pomfrey stayed where she was. ‘Alone.’ He added.
The nurse frowned. ‘No yelling, no hitting, no loud noises’-
‘Would we do something like that?’ Sirius asked, looking hurt.
‘Yes.’ She said flatly, and then retreated to her office.
‘How did you know about the potion?’ James asked angrily.
‘I was the one you were going to turn into a, a’- she pointed to James and started laughing again.
‘But how did you know? We only talked about it once, except when we were making it, and we made it in our dorm. And that’s the only place we ever talked about it. You couldn’t have made into our room without anyone noticing you.’
‘Your invisibility cloak was useful.’
‘But- we thought that was Snape.’
Lily sighed. ‘As if that dope could come up with something as ingenious as some Gryffindors could.’
‘We’ll get you for this.’ James glared at her with his dark brown eyes until he realised that he was still green and had multiple arms. He pulled the covers up and mumbled something.
Lily stuck her head under the white cloth. ‘What was that? I didn’t quite catch it.’
‘You are the most annoying person I have ever met.’
‘How true. I really must be off now, unlike some, I’m still a normal colour.’
Lily smiled charmingly at James and walked out the room.
Madame Pomfrey came back into the room when she heard the doors close.
‘Is everything okay in here? No ones dead?’ She asked anxiously.
‘Not yet.’ James said through gritted teeth.
Lily avoided James for the rest of the year, as the last time she’d seen him, he had looked positively murderous. And green. It still gave her the giggles every time she thought of it, which was often.
In a flying lesson towards the end of school, they had played a practice Quidditch game. Lily and James were both quite good, and ended up playing on opposite teams. Lily was a Beater and James the Seeker.
Lily took every opportunity she had to whack a bludger at James’ head. He caught the snitch before the other team, and their team won.
They walked back into the castle together.
‘What is your problem?’
‘What is my problem? What’s yours?’
‘I don’t have one, thankyou very much.’
They glared at each other and walked off.
Slytherin won the house cup. Lily was leaving the Great Hall after the feast and found Severus Snape gloating to James and Sirius about how great Slytherin house was. Lily watched for a moment until Holly dragged her away.
James and Sirius sat with Remus and Peter on the ride home. Peter was whining about everything from leaving Hogwarts to not looking forward to going home, to hating Transfiguration, to loving herbology.
James was listening patiently, trying to stay awake. Sirius was ignoring Peter completely. He was writing a list.
James finally managed to shut Peter up, and looked over Sirius’s shoulder.
‘Oh really?’ James said sarcastically. ‘What’s on it?’
‘What we’re going to do next year.’
Remus woke up from a nap suddenly. He was often very tired.
‘Ooh. What are we going to do?’
Sirius grinned and took a deep breath.
‘Dungbombs in the Great Hall, dungbombs in the common rooms (besides ours), Howlers to Snape, Howlers to Professor McGonagall, -’
‘What?’ The other three boys said with shock.
‘She’ll never know it was us. Howler to Lily, more Howlers to Snape, we’re going to find some secret passages and we are going use plenty of illegal spells!’
‘You’re full of it.’ Remus said.
‘There was, like, one good idea in that entire bunch.’
‘I thought that they were all good ideas, but I’m open to suggestions.’
‘The secret passages.’
‘Yeah, I liked that one too. But what about howlers to Lily? I thought you’d love that one.’
‘She’d know it was us. I think we’re the only people in the whole school that don’t like her.’
‘Nah. Snape hates her as well. She beat him in a test.’
‘Oh. That explains it.’
Hogwarts express pulled into Kings Cross Station later that day, and James found himself going through the barrier with Lily.
‘Good riddance.’ She said sweetly.
‘I hope you have a terribly holiday,’ he shot back, and was surprised to see that this seemed to hurt her a bit. Her face hardened quickly though.
‘Don’t worry, I will.’
She walked off towards what James supposed were her parents, and a sour faced girl who glared at Lily when she approached them.
He walked off towards his own parents, and went home with them.
Petunia sneered at her younger sister as she walked up to them.
‘Who was that, your boyfriend?’
‘No. But if I wanted one, I’m sure I could get one, unlike some people.’ Lily answered coldly.
‘Girls, girls.’ Their mother said, shaking her head. ‘Be nice.’
Then she hugged her little girl, and they drove home in the opposite direction to the Potters.