Where Life Leads


Story Summary:
James Potter and Lily Evans have never gotten along despite their many similarities. But when they are chosen as Head Boy and Girl they are forced to work together. As a war begins in the Wizarding World James and Lily overcome their differences and discover the most important things in life.

Chapter 08 - Chapter 8

Chapter Summary:
A meeting, a prank, a schedule, and an entertaining school project.
Author's Note:
Hello! Here is the next chapter- it's one of my favs! More notes at the end per usual. Enjoy!

It was as though the school existed in its own little bubble, one that not even the war could permeate. Lily checked the Daily Prophet regularly for news of the war, but aside from brief notes about seemingly random disappearances of three Ministry officials there was not even a hint about it. But, despite the lack of news, Lily was certain that Voldemort and his Death Eaters were still wreaking havoc on the wizarding world, for Dumbledore was absent from the Great Hall during meal times more and more frequently.

Life at Hogwarts had settled into a monotonous routine of patrols, meetings, classes, homework and studying. Lily and James seemed to be the only ones on the brink of exhaustion, but then, they did have more responsibilities than the other students and patrolling every other night was beginning to take its toll.

They had just ended another Prefects' meeting and James was in the process of shooing the last few stragglers out of the Head's Room. Lily was sitting on the floor with the notes from the meeting spread out in front of her.

"I really hate these things," James sighed as he collapsed into an armchair by the fireplace.

Lily pushed her hair out of her eyes and leaned back on her arms, glancing up at him. "I know what you mean," she said. "The Prefects who leave right away are alright- they know what a nuisance these meetings are. But the ones who stay after and gab and ask questions we just answered minutes before... ugh!"

"That about sums it up," James agreed tiredly.

Lily turned her attention back to the parchment and made notes on several pages as she read them over. Dumbledore liked to see what was discussed at the meetings so Lily organized her notes to make them easier to read before she gave them to him the next morning. She bit her quill thoughtfully. "What do you think of the Saturday before Halloween as the first Hogsmeade visit? That's a little more than three weeks away. I figure by then everyone will be in need of a break. Plus, it will give the shops enough time to order more supplies if they need to."

When James didn't reply, Lily looked up at him again. He had leaned his head against the back of the armchair and closed his eyes. She had noticed earlier that his usually messy hair was limp and now she saw that he had dark circles under his eyes as well. Lily studied him worriedly, safe in the knowledge that he wouldn't see her doing it. Exhaustion radiated from every inch of his body.

"You alright, Potter?" she asked him. Once again, he didn't answer so Lily stood, walked over to him and shook his shoulder gently. "James?" He was fast asleep.

Lily smiled softly; he looked so innocent lying there. So unassuming. She levitated him to the sofa where he could sleep more comfortably and not wake up with a crick in his neck. She pulled his shoes off his feet before covering him with a blanket before sitting back down with her notes and quickly organizing them. Once the notes were neatly stacked, Lily pulled a half completed Charms essay out of her bag and opened her book in front of her. Every so often she unconsciously glanced up at James' sleeping form. The fourth time she caught herself watching him instead of writing her essay she heaved a frustrated sigh and went to sit at her desk instead of on the floor. At least that way she wouldn't be facing him. Why he more distracting asleep than awake, she didn't know.

It was a little past ten thirty when Lily finally finished, and James still hadn't stirred. Lily walked over to wake him before she left as it wouldn't be fair to leave him there, but when she reached his side he looked so peaceful that she didn't have the heart to disturb him. The hand she had stretched out to shake him instead moved to gently brush his hair out of his face, finding it thick and surprisingly soft. He murmured and moved his head to rest against her hand and she pulled back sharply as though burned.

Lily closed her eyes and shook her head. What on earth was she doing?

She walked over to the bay window and curled up on the window seat, staring into the night sky. She understood why James was so tired- the moon had been full last night and she had noticed that Remus had been absent from class the past two days. James, Sirius and Peter must have all stayed up the night before worrying about him. She would have done the same in their place. It was funny though- she hadn't really noticed it much before fifth year. Then again, she hadn't figured out about Remus until then, so she supposed it made sense.

Lily sat, lost in her thoughts until the clock striking eleven brought her back to earth. She stood up from the window seat and set an extra blanket next to James in case he needed it later on in the night. Then she grabbed her school bags and turned out the lights with a flick of her wand before heading off to bed- making a mental note to talk to James in the morning. The rest of the year would be much easier if he knew that she knew about Remus' 'furry little problem'.



Lily smirked and continued to read her book on Protection Charms, ignoring James' shout. Just because he had had a noble reason for being so tired yesterday didn't mean that she wasn't going to take advantage about it.

She had come to the Head's Room extra early this morning. Early enough to get there before James had got up. She had enjoyed taking a leisurely shower without interruption and when she had finished she had deviously cast a few spells guaranteed to wake James up- knowing that he would be tired enough to overlook anything out of the ordinary.

"Evans!" James came thundering out of the bathroom coated in green slime and wearing only a towel around his waist. "You did- the shower on and- you!" he sputtered.

Lily looked over at him and froze. She hadn't expected James to come storming out of the bathroom like...well, like that. Of course she had seen guys without shirts on before- she often went to the Muggle community pool her parents belonged to over the summer holiday, but Potter... well, Potter looked good- green slime and all. Lily could make out a spattering of hair on his chest which- even though he was on the thin side- was well defined, as were his arms. Lily supposed that must be from throwing the Quaffle around so much.

James crossed his arms, breaking her daze. He smirked and said dryly, "As much as I enjoy standing here letting you look your fill, it's a bit uncomfortable being covered in green slime."

Lily felt her cheeks burn and she glared at him. "What's your point?" she asked him, more calmly than she felt.

"Tell me how to change the slime back to water."

Lily tsked at him and grinned. "Not until you ask nicely."

"Would you please tell me how to make it water again," he asked through gritted teeth.

"Certainly. Just put your wand on the tap and say 'agua'."

James nodded briskly and walked back into the bathroom stiffly. It seemed as though the slime had started to dry... Lily stifled her laughter as he shut the door loudly behind him. Twenty minutes later James came back out of the bathroom again- this time he was slime free except for a few streaks of green running through his black hair. Lily frowned when she saw that.


"What," James asked her.

Lily scowled. "It didn't work," she told him. "You were supposed to be dyed green when the slime touched you. I guess you weren't under the spray long enough."

James fingered his streaked hair thoughtfully and gave Lily a look of respect. "Will you show me how you did that?"

Lily looked at him suspiciously. "If you think I'm going to show you how I did that just so you can use it against me, think again."

James shook his head and grinned at her. "Nah, even I'm not stupid enough to do that. I want to get Sirius. The look on his face will be priceless. I might even rig up a camera to get a picture of it."

"Hmm..." Lily thought aloud. "I'll show you, but only if you swear you won't use it on anyone except for Sirius for as long as you live. And swear not to tell anyone who you learned it from or how you did it."

James raised an eyebrow at her demands but put his right hand to his heart nonetheless. "I swear, on my honor as a Marauder, that I will only use the charm you are about to teach me on Sirius. Furthermore, I swear I will not divulge to anyone how I did it or who I learned it from."

Lily nodded, satisfied, and quickly taught him the charm before they went to breakfast.

The rest of the day went by fairly quickly. Lily and James were sitting at the table in the Head's Room during their free period before dinner going over the patrolling schedule James had written up for the next six weeks. Lily sighed. "I'm telling you, Potter- you don't want Callum and Elliot to patrol together."

Quidditch season had started and James had said that he would know better than her when the Prefects who played for their House team would need off from patrolling. The last week of September she and James had tried letting the Prefects choose who they patrolled with, but it had been a disaster. Only one set of Prefects had been willing to patrol with the Slytherins, who had steadfastly refused to patrol with anyone from Hufflepuff. James and Lily had decided it was easier for everyone if they wrote up the patrolling schedule themselves.

"Why not?" James asked her. "Just because they're Hufflepuff and Slytherin? They get along well in meetings, plus Ruby and Jade will be with them. And Callum's a pureblood- Elliot won't pick on him."

"They might look as though they get along in meetings but they really don't. And it's not Elliot I'm worried about."

"Callum? What's he got against Elliot?"

Lily groaned and put her head in her hands. "Don't make me explain it, Potter. Can't you just trust that I know what I'm talking about?"

James leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. "There's no obvious reason why they shouldn't patrol together."

Lily gave up and threw her hands in the air. "Fine. Have it your way. Don't say I didn't warn you."

James grinned triumphantly and jotted the Slytherin and Hufflepuff seventh years down for patrolling next Monday night. "Alright, was there anything else you had a problem with?"

"Nope. As long as you haven't scheduled Remus on the thirty- first."

James looked at her queerly. "And why would there have been a problem if I did?" he asked her slowly.

"It's a full moon," Lily told him with a knowing look.

"Oh." James didn't say anything more for a full minute. "You've figured it out then," he stated matter of factly. "How long have you known?"

"Since fifth year. He kept changing the nights we patrolled around and I was beginning to notice he got sick once a month. After a trip to the Library I put it all together."

James nodded. "I had wondered. Especially since you weren't as worked up about the nicknames as Marlene was. I suppose you guessed why we call him 'Moony'."

"Yeah," Lily agreed. "Though I often wonder how no one else has figured it out yet. His nickname is rather obvious."

"I know!" James grinned at her. "We were in the common room when we thought of it. Sirius was joking around about him howling at the moon and started calling him Moony. It sort of stuck after that. Come to think of it, Remus wasn't too happy about it."

Lily laughed at his story. She could easily picture them sitting around the Common Room joking about Remus' nickname. "If I asked how the rest of you got your nicknames I don't figure you would tell me, would you," Lily mused aloud.


"Ah, well." Lily stood to post the patrolling schedule on the notice boards so the Prefects would be able to read it in their Common Rooms, while James gathered the rest of their papers.

"What are you doing after dinner?" James asked Lily as they walked down to the Great Hall.

"Meeting Lizzie in the Library to work on our Potions essay," Lily answered, adjusting her bag on her shoulder. "Why do you ask?"

James shrugged. "No reason. See you later for patrolling." He parted ways with Lily and went to sit with his friends.

Lily glanced at him suspiciously as she sat down next to Linda.

"What's up? Janice asked.

"Nothing, really. Potter's just acting odd."

"And that's different how?"

Lily laughed. Janice always knew how to keep Potter from bothering her. She and her friends chatted amicably throughout the meal and afterwards she headed off to the Library with Lizzie. The potions essay didn't take them nearly as much time as they thought it would and Lily went to the Head's Room once they had finished for some down time before she had to patrol. She had read one and a half chapters of her Muggle mystery novel when James entered the room.

"I need a favor," he said as he dropped his bag on the floor and plopped down on the sofa next to her.

Lily looked at him skeptically. "You're joking."

James shook his head. "Nope."

Lily marked the page she was on and closed her book, turning to sit cross-legged facing him. "What's in it for me?"

"Several highly entertaining days."

Lily raised an eyebrow at him and James explained, "Professor Cooliham has assigned a project. Davy Gudgeon is exempt because he's Muggle-born but the rest of us, Janice, Richard and I, all have to do it. We each have to pair up with a different Muggle-born student. One of the stipulations is that the student has to be of age, and the other is that they have to be able to control a situation if it gets out of hand. It won't be bad. In fact you'll hardly have to do anything at all except-"

Lily put up a hand and interrupted, "But what's the project?"

"Oh, did I forget to tell you?" James smiled sheepishly at her. "We have to be a Muggle for five days. And of course," he added, "document the experience."

Lily stared at him in shock for a moment or two, and then burst out laughing. "Wha- when- how?" she managed to gasp out.

"We have to accompany a Muggle-born student home over either the Christmas or Easter Holiday and do everything the Muggle way. Like cook food on a stove, ride a biklewheel-"


"-bicycle, play with the elec-electric- is that right?" Lily smiled kindly at him and nodded. James grinned at her and continued, "-lights and the cleaning things, and anything else you can think of."

Lily shook her head at him. He sounded so thrilled about it- like a child at Christmas. "So what would I have to do?"

"Well, I wouldn't be allowed to use magic, so you would have to be on hand to, er, do damage control..."

Lily gulped. "Damage control?"

"Yeah, you know... in case I accidentally destroy something."

"Why me?"

"Why you what?"

"Why are you asking me? Why not one of your friends in one of the other houses?"

"Oh," James thought for a moment, trying to figure out which answer Lily would like best. "I guess I just figured you'd be the best person for it. The only other people at the house would be your parents and I figured they would enjoy showing me what's what. I mean your dad's a professor, right? He must like teaching people things. And from what I've heard you say of your mum, she won't get too upset if I screw something up in the kitchen. Besides-" he flashed her a cheesy grin. "-you wouldn't let me get away with anything just because you like me."

"I suppose..."

"And," he added just because he knew it would irk her, "I know you won't refuse since it's for school and all."

Lily groaned, "How is this all going to work then?"

"Umm... to tell you the truth I hadn't though that far ahead. I was worrying about getting you to agree to it first."

Lily rolled her eyes and stood up. She set her book on her desk and grabbed some parchment and a quill. She sat down in her chair and motioned for James to come over and join her. He pulled the chair from his desk next to her and sat down on it backwards.

"Alright, the first question is when should we do this?" Lily asked him.

"I figured over Christmas break. We have the most time then and it'll get it out of the way. Plus, during Easter break we'll be so focused on studying that this will be the last thing we'll want to worry about."

Lily nodded. "If you come over right off the train you'll have finished in time to go home and spend Christmas with your parents. And you'll be able to experience driving through London in a Muggle car as well."

James' face lit up. "Wicked! Do you think I'll be able to give driving a go? It can't be much harder than riding a broomstick."

Lily blanched. "Uh, I don't think that's such a good idea."

"Why not? It doesn't seem that hard. Muggles do it all the time."

"Yes, but they've have to practice a lot and then take a test to prove they can drive. Why don't you ask my mum or dad about it? They'll be able to explain it to you better than I can."

James shrugged his acceptance and once they had worked out all the details Lily said, "I have to owl my parents to make sure that it's alright, though I don't foresee a problem since it's for school and all." She grinned at James. "And I imagine they'll have as many questions for you as you will for them."

James grinned back at her. "If you write the letter now, we can stop at the Owlery on our patrol."

Lily agreed and pulled a piece of parchment towards her. When she finished writing, she sealed the letter with a spell and tucked it in her pocket along with her wand. Before they left, James paused to grab a folded piece of parchment that had been lying on top of his desk.

"What's that?" Lily asked him as they walked out of the Head's Room.

"Nothing important," he told her with a nonchalant shrug as he stuck the parchment in his robes.

They made their way to the West Tower, stopping a few students along the way to hurry them back to their Common Rooms since it was almost time for curfew. James opened the door for her when they reached the Owlery. If they had come during the day, most of the owls would have been asleep. But, since it was nighttime, the owls were flying in and out of the glassless windows, every so often carrying a small rodent when they returned. Lily crushed small skeletons under her feet as she walked into the circular room. James followed in behind her, letting out a low whistle. At once a spotted owl flew down to him from the rafters and landed on his shoulder where it ran its beak through his unruly hair affectionately. Lily laughed when the owl reached a tangle and hooted indignantly.

"See, Potter," she quipped. "Even your owl can't stand your hair."

"Nah. Comet's just upset because I haven't been up to visit more often. Here boy," he said to the owl, digging in his pocket for an owl treat. "Evans had a letter for you to deliver to her parents."

Comet hooted happily as Lily tied the letter to his leg. As soon as she finished, Comet nipped her finger and flew off.

James met Lily's gaze and gave her a half smile. "He likes you."

Lily smiled back. "Well, I like him too."

James smile turned to an all out grin and he bounded over to a window, laughing joyously.


"Nothing, Evans. Nothing at all." he replied innocently as he watched the owls sweeping through the night sky and sighed. "To be an owl. If I wasn't a-" he broke off quickly.

"What were you going to say? If you weren't a what?"

"Er..." James cleared his throat. "If I wasn't a person I would want to be an owl."

Lily shot him an annoyed look. "If you don't want to tell me, just say so. But don't lie to me."

James glanced at her sharply. "How'd you know I was lying?"

"Your left eyebrow twitches."

"What? No it doesn't!"

Lily smirked at him. "Trust me, Potter, it does."

James sighed. "So that's how McGonagall can always tell. And all these years I thought it was Peter giving us away."

Lily laughed and she and James left the Owlery to finish their patrol.


As soon as Lily sat down to breakfast with Janice and Linda- Marlene was sleeping in- on Tuesday morning, Lizzie bounded over from the Ravenclaw table and plopped down next to her.

"You have a free period after this don't you?" she asked.

Lily nodded through a mouthful of eggs.

Lizzie let out a breath of relief. "Thank Merlin! Will you help me study for the Potions exam tomorrow? I'm just not getting the gist of figuring out poison antidote with only two ingredients. I mean I can narrow it down to-"

"Lizzie!" Lily interrupted, knowing that once Lizzie got going she would be hard pressed to stop her. "I'll help you. I was planning on reviewing them anyway.

Lizzie smiled gratefully. "Thanks. Meet you in the Library after breakfast then?"

Lily nodded in agreement and Lizzie went back to the Ravenclaw table.

"She gets really antsy before exams," Linda commented.

"Yeah." Lily helped herself to some toast. "She always freezes up for five minutes before hand but during the exam she's fine. You should have seen her before O.W.L.s." Lily shook her head.

There was a faint flutter of wings, which grew steadily louder as the owl post arrived. Lily spotted Comet the second before he swooped down and deposited a letter in front of her. Before Lily could thank the owl, he darted off again, this time landing in front of James to beg a piece of bacon.

Lily picked up her parents' reply to her letter and opened it.

Lily darling,

Your father and I are so pleased that things are going well for you this year. We know you were worried about who the Head Boy would be and are thrilled to hear you are getting along so well with him. Now as for you question about Christmas. Of course you can have James over to visit and work on his class assignment! He seems like such a gentleman (Lily laughed at this) from what you've written and we'd be glad to help. Just warn him that your father and I are making a list of questions to ask him! There is one thing you will need to be aware of though. Petunia will be over for dinner on the twenty-second as she and Vernon will be spending Christmas with his family. Good luck with the rest of term and don't forget to write again soon!



PS: Your father says to tell you that he misses you. And remember, if there is anything special you or James would like to eat while you're here send us an owl.

Lily folded the letter and put it back in the envelope. James, seeing that she had finished reading walked over and sat down next to her. "Hi, Evans. Hey, Colmes." Linda nodded back at him and continued eating. "How's the arm, Thompson?" James asked Janice, who had twisted her elbow two days before during Quidditch practice.

"Hey, Potter," Janice greeted him. "My arm's as good as new. Lily brewed up a salve for me to put on it and it worked wonders. So, have you found anyone to help you with the Muggle Studies project yet?"

James grinned and pointed at Lily. Janice raised an eyebrow and asked incredulously, "She agreed?"

James nodded and said to Lily, "What did your parents have to say?"

"They said it was fine. Although, I have to warn you that Petunia and her husband, Vernon, are going to be over on the twenty-second for dinner."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"You haven't met her sister," Linda spoke up. "Lily had Marlene, Janice and me over two summers ago, before Petunia was married. I've never met anyone as set against magic as she is. Not to mention that she seems to think she's better than all of us, even though we could whip out our wands and turn her into a toad."

"No, not a toad," Janice said grinning. "A horse. It's easier to transfigure something when there's some resemblance."

The three girls burst out laughing as James watched them with amusement.

"Janice! That's horrible," Lily said, trying to catch her breath.

Janice snorted. "Even when it's true?"

"What are you all laughing at?" Marlene had arrived.

"Transfiguring Petunia into a horse," James answered.

Marlene choked on the toast she had just taken a bite of. Janice reached over and slapped her on the back. Marlene regained her composure. "I want a before and after picture if you do."

James stood up to leave. "So everything's all set then?" he asked Lily.

She nodded. "Yeah, you can come right off the train. My parents said they would pick us up instead of having us Apparate."

"Alright. See you in Defense."

Lily waved goodbye to him and turned back to her friends.

"James is going to your house?" Marlene inquired, taken aback. "When is this happening and why didn't you tell me?

"Over Christmas holiday. He has an assignment for Muggle Studies where he has to live as a Muggle for five days. He asked me if I'd help him."

"And you agreed?"

Lily laughed. "That's what Janice said. It's for school. Is it such a surprise that I couldn't refuse?"

"Well, when you put it that way, I suppose not. But even so, you're spending a lot of time with James Potter this year."

"We're Head Boy and Girl," Lily shrugged. "I couldn't avoid him even if I tried, so I might as well make an effort to get along."

Marlene raised an eyebrow and Lily had the feeling that there was something she wasn't saying. When Lily said as much, Marlene gave her an amused smile. "I just have a feeling that a lot is going to be changing very soon."

Marlene refused to say more than that and Lily pleaded with Janice and Linda when she noticed that they caught on to what Marlene was implying, but they just exchanged knowing glances with each other. Lily let out a frustrated sigh and finished her breakfast, all the while thinking that she must be being extremely thick about something.

And there is was. James' Muggle Studies project is an idea that is completely mine...and I have to say I am rather proud of it. :) Let me know what you thought. Adivice is, as always, appreciated and REVIEWS are love. The next chapter is a looooong one! Cheers!