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The Flower and the Stag, Part 2

Lily had a terrible holiday, just as she had said she would. Petunia tortured her every moment, except when Lily threatened to use her magic. That got rid of her, but only for a few days. Holly came over in the holidays, and Petunia shut up for awhile. It was one thing to be mean to one witch, but what could happen with two?

When Holly left, Lily was lonely again for awhile. Her parents tried to cheer her up, but did not succeed, since Petunia followed Lily everywhere. She knew it was stupid to let her older sisters comments get to her, but sometimes she wondered if they were true.

On September the first, Lily was out of bed before the sun had risen and was packed before everyone else was even out of bed.

She made it to the station 5 minutes before Hogwarts express was due to leave, thanks to Petunia being a royal pain.

Lily dragged her stuff onto a carriage and searched for a compartment that was empty, or had people she knew. Holly was in one, but it was already full. Lily walked to the last compartment and opened the door.

James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew all stared at her.

Lily groaned inwardly. They were almost as bad as Petunia. Almost.

Sirius broke the silence. ‘What’s wrong with you?’

‘Huh?’

‘I said, what’s wrong with you? You looked like you sucked on a lemon.’

Oops, she thought.

‘Could I sit here? There aren’t any other free compartments.’

‘Don’t you have any friends?’ Sirius said with a grin.

‘Yes, I do.’

‘Where are they?’

‘They’ve got the measles,’ Lily snapped and turned to walk out.

‘Wait.’

Lily turned around again, and blinked to get rid of the tears from her eyes.

‘You can sit here.’ James Potter said, and gave her a little smile.

‘What?!’ Sirius looked over at James in disbelief.

James glared at Sirius for a moment, and then Lily sat down quietly.

Lily was silent for most of the trip, until Sirius asked her a question.

‘How were your holidays?’

‘Awful.’ She mumbled.

‘Oh. Sorry.’ And no one said anything else until they got to Hogwarts.

*****

James sat at the try-outs for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, blowing on his hands. He was freezing. He had no idea why it was so cold, usually at this time of year the weather was warm.

‘James Potter.’ Madame Hooch called, and he walked onto the pitch.

*****

Lily was walking to one of her classes when she heard a screech.

‘I made it, I made it!’ She peeked around the corner to find James Potter choking Sirius. (He was hugging him).

James saw her from over Sirius’s shoulder and raced over to her.

Her danced with her for a moment and then skipped of, no doubt to terrorise other unfortunate students.

Sirius sighed and said to Lily. ‘I always wondered when he’d crack. It’s been coming for years.’ He bent down to whisper something in her ear ‘By the way, the two of you make a very cute couple.’

Lily turned bright red, and Sirius grinned. ‘See ya later!’

*****

They had a new Charms teacher who let them choose their own seats. Lily sat in the middle row near Holly and James and his friends were behind them.

Lily heard giggles, and swung around.

James was red in the face from silent laughter, and Sirius wasn’t even bothering to hold it in.

‘What’s so funny?’

‘Nothing.’ He hiccupped and the rest of the class giggled.

‘Um, Lily?’ Holly asked timidly.

‘What?’

‘Your plait.’ She pointed to Lily’s plait, which hung down her back. She usually tied it up like this; it made life much easier.

Lily looked down at it, and saw the end half was purple. She looked up at James and then at his hands. They had purple ink all over them.

‘I am going to kill you.’ She whispered.

‘Why?’

‘Oh, I wonder. I’m going to have purple hair for the rest of the day!’

‘You might start a trend.’

‘I’m so sure.’

She turned back to her charms work.

After she’d spilt the rest of the ink all over James’s test.

*****

The two of them sat in Professor McGonagalls office, arguing with each other.

Their teacher walked in with a frown on her face.

‘I’m very disappointed in the two of you. This is not acceptable behaviour.’

‘She started it.’ James muttered.

‘I did not! You dipped my plait in the ink!’ She retorted.

‘Yeah, well you tipped ink all over my-‘

‘Enough!’ McGonagall snapped. ‘You both have detention this Friday night.’ She handed them a detention slip each. ‘Off you go. And I don’t want to hear that you have been fighting again this term.’

They got up and reached the door at the same time. James elbowed Lily and she elbowed him back.

‘I said, enough!’

‘I hate you.’

‘We’re not supposed to fight.’ James said in voice that sounded just like Professor McGonagalls.

Lily laughed. ‘I’m not fighting. I was telling you a fact.’

‘Okay, I’ll tell you a fact. You look like some one’s set your head on fire.’

‘You look like you haven’t brushed your hair for years.’

‘I can’t agree more, Cooper.’ An oily voice said sarcastically.

James and Lily turned around to see Severus Snape smiling and glaring at them at the same time. It wasn’t a pleasant sight.

‘You can’t agree more with what, Snape?’ Lily asked politely, but her eyes were bright. She didn’t like Severus any more than she liked James.

‘That James is a low-down creep, stuck-up jerk, moron, show-off who thinks he knows everything there is to know about everything.’

‘Did you rehearse that Snape?’ James asked dryly.

‘No, it just came naturally.’

‘I never said he was any of those things.’ Lily spoke up. The two boys stared at her.

‘I mean, sure, he’s a bit of a show-off, but he has lots of good qualities too.’

‘Such as?’

‘Um… He’s good at Transfiguration!’

‘Whoop dee doo da.’ Snape said.

‘He’s nice, kind, would never hurt anyone's feelings- besides mine- he's good at Quidditch, is nice to his friends, and I’m sure there are many more, but since we hate each other, I can’t name them.’

‘You sound more like you like him more than you hate him.’ Snape sneered.

‘I just happen to hate you more than I hate him. So there.’

Lily poked her tongue out them both and walked off.

The boys stared at each other for a moment or two, exchanged a few comments that were equally charming in their own disgusting way and then walked off.

*****

James, Sirius and Remus lay in bed trying to sleep. Peter was snoring.

Sirius said he sounded like a hippo with a head cold and Remus said he sounded like a lion with sinusitis. James said that he probably just had an ordinary human cold, and that they should stop being mean.

So the three of them lay in bed trying to block out the sounds of Peter snores.

Eventually, Sirius gave up and started talking. He couldn’t be bothered whispering; he didn’t care if he woke Peter up.

‘Hey James, did you see the way Lily looked at you?’

‘With hatred?’

‘Well, besides that.’

‘Disgust?’

‘NO. I think she likes you!’

James coughed. ‘Sirius, you are delirious.’

He walked out of the room saying over his shoulder, ‘I can’t sleep. I’m going to see if there’s anything to eat.’

When he’d left the room, Remus whispered to Sirius, ‘What are you talking about? The only way Lily looked at him, besides with hatred and disgust was possibly with loathing. She doesn’t like James in the least bit, and if she does she’s doing a pretty good job at hiding it.’ He took a deep breath to say even more, but Sirius beat him to it.

‘Remus, Remus, Remus.’

‘Don’t Remus, Remus, Remus me.’

‘My dear Remus.’ (Remus rolled his eyes). ‘I don’t think Lily likes him. But don’t they make a cute couple? I told that to Lily and she turned as red as her hair.’ He giggled. ‘It was hilarious.’

‘You are such an idiot sometimes.’

‘It’s one of my many talents.’ Sirius said, bowing.

‘It’s just about your only talent.’ Remus muttered.

He was about to say something else, when he noticed that there was more than one person in the room snoring.

Sirius had fallen asleep.

*****

The next morning, the Gryffindors had Charms. James was so tired from not being able to sleep; he was falling asleep during the lesson. Professor Flitwick had finally found a stool so that he could see over his desk, and he noticed that they actually weren’t getting any work done.

He put them in their seats. He saw James and Sirius were never going to get anything done while they were sitting next to each other, so James was now stuck next to Lily.

They were sitting as far apart as they possibly could; Lily was half under, half not under the table. Every time James fell asleep, Lily hit him over the head with her books, and he woke up with a shout.

The fifth time this happened, James hit her back and Lily fell off her chair with a crash.

The rest of the class turned around and Professor Flitwick rushed to their table.

‘What’s going on here?’ The Professor squeaked.

‘He/she started it!’ They said at the same time.

*****

The two of them sat glaring at each other in Professor McGonagalls study for the second time.

‘I thought I told you that this was not to happen again.’

They looked at the ground.

‘This is your last chance. I promise you if I get word of anything like this again, you will be in big trouble.’

‘Okay.’ They mumbled.

*****

That Friday night Lily sat in the common room waiting for James to come down. She was reading a book about animagi, and was halfway through a very interesting chapter when someone put their hands over her eyes.

‘Guess who?’ Someone said in a sing song voice.

‘Get lost Potter.’

Lily struggled away from his grip and started towards the portrait.

James followed her, and he was very quiet for once. They were to meet Filch, the caretaker in the front hall, but he wasn’t there yet.

James started to talk.

‘D’you think it’d be hard to become animagi?’

‘Yes. Someone got stuck as a tree once, I wouldn’t want to risk it.’

James looked thoughtful. ‘You’d make a very nice tree.’

‘Thanks, I think. Would you become an animagi if you could?’

‘Nah. Too difficult.’

‘Oh.’

Filch turned up then and said they had to clean the trophy room.

‘Without magic.’ He said with a sly grin.

As they tiptoed up the stairs to the trophy room, James whispered to Lily

‘He always makes us do this. He needs to come up with some new punishments. The trophy’s are so clean you can see your own reflection in them. Soon we’ll be rubbing away the brass and there won’t be any trophies left to polish.’

Lily giggled and was told off by Filch for being to loud.

It took ages to finish cleaning the trophies, they had to polish each one at least three times it seemed, before they were perfectly clean.

James tipped polish down the back of Lily’s robes when Filch was out the room, and she retaliated by pouring some into his hair. The caretaker came back in to find the two of them covered in polish. They stank.

‘Out, out! You’re disgraceful! Professor McGonagall will be hearing about this!’

James raced Lily to the Gryffindor tower, leaving footprints behind them.

*****

Lily had never seen their Transfiguration teacher so angry before.

‘This is NOT good enough! You were there for a punishment, not to have fun!’ Professor McGonagall was breathing deeply through her nose.

‘I will be writing to your parents about this.’

Lily tried not to laugh. She could just imagine Petunia’s face when an owl through in through the window.

‘Miss Cooper!’ McGonagall snapped. ‘This is not a laughing matter.’

James looked very pale. He obviously didn’t like the idea of the letter.

‘Please Professor, I’ll be good for the rest of the year-’ she snorted ‘please, please don’t write to parents, they’ll kill me!’ James pleaded with her, but she shook her head.

‘It’s your own fault Potter. I don’t want to see either of you for the rest of the term.’

They left the room silently and as soon as they were out of earshot, James groaned

‘I’m dead.’

‘You look fine to me.’

‘Ha ha. My dad is going to be sooo mad, I promised I wouldn’t get into any more trouble this year.’

‘Well, he can’t do anything to you here.’

James sighed. ‘He can. Anyway, why aren’t you upset?’

‘I don’t want my parents to be mad at me,’ Lily admitted. ‘But I thought about Petunia’s face when the owl arrives. When Holly came over in the holidays she just about fainted. She was as white as Nearly-headless-Nick.’

They had reached the common room, and left to go to bed.

*****

At breakfast the next morning James received a letter in a bright red envelope.

‘Uh oh.’ Sirius said, and hid under the table.

Lily was watching curiously. Remus had his hands over his ears for some reason, and Peter looked extremely pale.

James was busy stuffing napkins into his ears.

Then he tore the envelope open gently and flung it onto the table. He ducked as a mans voice bellowed out. It echoed through the hall and everyone turned around to see who had received the howler. Lily covered her ears as well; it was giving her a headache.

‘I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU’D BE GOOD THIS YEAR! IF I GET WORD OF ANYTHING LIKE THIS ONCE MORE YOUNG MAN, I’LL COME STRAIGHT UP TO THAT SCHOOL OF YOURS AND DRAG YOU HOME BY THE EARS! STOP PICKING ON THE POOR GIRL, OR I’M SURE SHE’LL GET YOU BACK IF I DON’T.’

The voice (which Lily supposed was James’ dad) went on to say that he's surprised that James wasn’t expelled.

After about five minutes, the letter burst into flames and everyone was silent for a moment. James reappeared a moment later, along with Sirius, who was rubbing his head.

James was bright red and tried to look busy picking bits of the napkin out of his ears.

Lily walked out of the hall past his chair and whispered in his ear

‘Yeah. Stop picking on the poor girl.’

She laughed and ran out before James could strangle her.

*****

The teachers seemed very nervous and apprehensive after Christmas. People said it was because of the dark wizard who seemed to be gaining power in London.

His name was Voldemort, but people were so afraid of him they called him ‘You-Know-Who.’

The kids weren’t very affected by this wizard, Dumbledore was an even more powerful wizard and they knew that they were safe.

One night, Lily had a nightmare. She didn’t usually even dream, so this was unusual for her.

There was a baby, and it started out happy, the baby lying in bed playing with a stuffed toy, and a woman singing him to sleep.

There was a crash on the door.

Then a mans voice. He called out her name.

‘Lily! Take Harry and go! It’s Him! Go! Run! I’ll hold him off-.’

She heard a cackle of high pitched laughter and then woke up, sweating.

She sat in bed terrified for a moment, and then looked at the clock. It was three in the morning.

She decided to go down into the common room to read for awhile. Lily tiptoed down the stairs, she didn’t usually but she was still frightened. The dream had seemed so real. The laughter was ringing in her ears, no matter what she did she couldn’t get rid of the sound.

She was just about to enter the common room when she heard voices.

‘Sirius, this isn’t going to work.’

‘Come on.’

‘We’re gonna get caught, I just know we are.’

‘James. Quit it. Since when were you a chicken?’

‘Shut up.’

‘So are you coming or going?’

‘Okay, okay. I’m coming.’

Lily tied to sneak into the common room, but tripped and fell in instead.

There were two pairs of feet by her head.

She looked up and met Sirius’s eyes. They were flashing angrily.

‘Is this your job or something? To spy on us?’

‘No.’

‘So why were you here this time, eh? Coming down for a midnight stroll in the common room?’

‘I could ask you the same thing.’

Sirius glared at her and then looked at James. ‘You coming or not?’ He said grumpily and moved towards the portrait.

James nodded but didn’t follow. ‘Why are you down here?’ He asked curiously.

‘Just because,’ she whispered.

James shrugged.

‘See ya.’

Then he ran out to find Sirius who had given up on him.

Lily sat down in an armchair and fell asleep.

*****

‘Lily. Lily. Hey Lily. Wake up.’

Someone was shaking her shoulder.

‘What time is it?’ She groaned rubbing her eyes. When she opened them, she found herself looking at James Potter.

‘It’s lunch time.’ He said with a grin.

‘WHAT?’ Lily jumped up in alarm.

‘I’m only kidding, but you just missed breakfast. I was looking for my homework and then I found you. But now I can’t find my homework.’

Lily felt a lump underneath her. She pulled it out from under her, and held up a crumpled piece of parchment.

‘Umm. James?’ he turned around. ‘I don’t suppose this is your homework?’

‘Yep.’ He took it and smoothed it out. ‘Now at least it looks like I’ve spent time on it.’ He grinned again at her and then climbed out the portrait hole.

She started after him and suddenly realised she was still in her pyjamas. I’m going to kill him, she thought crossly, and then ran upstairs to get changed.

*****

That day at lunch, Lily sat by herself. Her friends were off somewhere, probably watching the Ravenclaw ‘hunks’ at Quidditch practice.

She stirred her soup absently and gazed at the ceiling, where birds were flying around.

‘It’ll get cold,’ a voice said. She turned and almost bumped into James, he was so close to her.

‘Are you following me?’ she asked, exasperated.

‘Nope. But you’re good at charms and I’m not, so I have decided that you are going to help me study for the test.’

Lily snorted. ‘As if. I have to study, you have to study by yourself, pea brain.’

‘Pleeeeeease? I’ll do anything.’

‘No.’ Lily shook her head and started to get up, but James grabbed her arm.

‘Come on Lily, everyone else is busy.’ He looked up at her and pouted.

‘Fine. But only if you’ll stop bugging me.’

‘Yay!’ James pulled out his books and they spent the rest of their lunchtime trying to figure out how to charm hair.

*****

‘I’m not going out like this!’ Lily wailed.

James giggled. ‘It suits you. You should have green hair more often.’

‘If you don’t shut up I’ll turn your hair purple, your face green and give you more arms.’

‘Ha ha.’

Sirius came bounding into the common room then. ‘James, I’ve been looking everywhere for-’

He stopped dead at the sight of Lily’s bright green hair.

‘You have green hair.’ He said in shock.

‘Really?’ Lily said sarcastically. ‘I hadn’t noticed.’

Sirius grinned and nodded. ‘Suits you.’

‘Shut up.’ She snapped, and was about to walk out when she groaned and turned back.

‘Change it back,’ she whined.

‘Nope.’ James grinned.

‘Fine, that’s it.’ She pulled out her wand and muttered something under her breath.

James looked down at himself; he looked exactly the same. He started to say something, but hiccupped.

‘What was that? I didn’t quite catch it.’

He opened his mouth, but hiccupped again.

‘If you’ll change my hair back, I’ll let you talk again.’ Lily said.

Sirius pulled a face a Lily.

‘What?’

‘How can he change your hair back when he can’t talk?’

‘Oh yeah.’ Sirius rolled his eyes as Lily undid the spell on James.

*****

‘How did this happen?’ Professor McGonagall snapped.

‘It was an accident.’ Lily said, biting her nails.

Madame Pomfrey walked briskly into McGonagalls office, and frowned at Lily when she saw her.

‘How is Mr Potter, Poppy?’ The professor asked.

‘He’ll be fine. No thanks to Miss Cooper, I’m sure.’ Madame Pomfrey left just as quickly as she had entered.

McGonagall sighed. ‘So what happened exactly?’

Lily just stared at the floor.

‘I’m waiting.’

‘Well, I told James I’d help him study for the Charms test today, and he turned my hair green. He wouldn’t turn it back, so I put a spell on him.’

‘What spell?’ The professor interrupted.

‘Oh, just that one where they can only hiccup. Anyway, he changed me back when I took the spell off, and then I accidentally turned him into a beetle, I didn’t mean to, I swear. The spell just went wrong.’

McGonagall nodded ‘You and Mr Potter will both have detentions. Off you go.’

Lily raced out of the room. Their next lesson didn’t start for another half-hour and she’d missed most of Potions anyway. So she decided to visit James.

He was sitting in bed with a scowl on his face, which was still a brownish colour. Madame Pomfrey looked up as she entered.

‘Miss Cooper, I’m afraid I can’t let you come in. My patient is already in a very delicate condition.’

‘No, let her come in.’ James said.

Lily was surprised, but came in.

‘I just have one thing to say to you.’ He muttered.

‘Oh? And what’s that?’

‘When I get out of here, you had better watch out.’

‘I will. But you don’t want the rest of the school knowing you were a cockroach for a day, do you?’

James glared at her as she left the room.

*****

For the rest of the year, James and Lily were enemies. They had the same friends, which was a bit difficult, but their friends soon became accustomed to listening to them argue.

Remus did his best to make them friends, while Sirius egged them on shamelessly.

He kept a little book, which had a tally in it. Whenever they had an argument Sirius would put a little tick under the name of who won.

Lily had twelve, James had ten and Lily wouldn’t let him forget it.

They hadn’t hurt each other physically, but Madame Pomfrey got to know them both very well, as James was forever casting spells he didn’t know how to undo and vice-versa.

Holly and Sirius had a bet on; Sirius thought that Lily would get to fifty first, Holly thought she’d get sick of it.

Sirius won 5 galleons.

On the last day of school, they all sat together in the same compartment, Holly threatened to tape Lily’s mouth shut if she didn’t be quiet and Sirius glued James’s lips together.

Holly ran off to her parents and Sirius went to his. Lily looked around, but she couldn’t see her mum or dad anywhere. Then she saw them talking to another couple, the man had black hair, the woman blonde. And the man looked suspiciously like someone she knew.

Her worst fears were confirmed when James leapt into his fathers’ arms.

She walked slowly over, hugged her parents and then glared at James.

‘Hello sweetie! Do you know James Potter? He’s in the same year as you.’

‘Unfortunately.’ She muttered, looking at the ground.

James’s mother smiled at her. ‘You must be Lily. Are you in James’s class?’

‘Uh huh.’ Then she turned to her parents. ‘Can we go now?’

Her father frowned. ‘Lily, don’t be rude.’

Mr Potter laughed. ‘Off you go. We might see you another time, then?’

‘Of course.’ They all shook hands, and then left.

On the way home, James’s father asked him about Lily. ‘So, the two of you friends?’

‘No.’

‘Don’t tell me she was girl you were harassing.’ He said with a sigh.

‘She was the girl who was harassing me.’

‘Well, I hope you’ve worked out your differences. Your mother and I are going away for awhile, you’ll be staying with the Coopers for a week or two.’

James had been drifting to sleep, but now he was wide awake.

‘WHAT? I am not staying for a week with Lily Cooper. It’s bad enough I have to see her at school.’

‘Then you can play with her sister.’

‘Great.’ James moaned.