The Astronomy Tower

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on January 28th 2012, 3:35 am

James laughed warmly, twitching his eyebrows upward. "Oh, yes, that's perfectly alright with me." He looked at her, the way she had withdrawn into herself with her knees up and arms around them as if it could shut out the world. "I was just curious where the throwing mallets at my head ended and the liking me started. Unless," he added, looking surprised and worried, "it hasn't ended? Should I be worried? I know how your aim is, Evans. It gets better every time."

He figured she already knew the truth of how he felt. He'd sort of told her often enough, though never in a strictly serious setting. He was crazy about her, and just wanted to be with her, wanted to take her on dates and make her smile and, well, spoil her with everything he could give her. He was mad for her, beyond any reconsideration. He was still curious why she had denied the meaningfulness of the kiss so quickly after it had happened, but figured it was pointless to ask about it now. She looked so shy and unsure of herself - something so strange to see in her expression - that he managed to mostly piece it together himself. The change had scared her as much as it had surprised him, and something that drastic, well, sometimes you just don't know what to do about it. "If I'm in danger, I should be warned at least."
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on January 28th 2012, 3:51 am

Lily laughed. How could she help it? That answer was so very James, so very perfect, cracking through her little self-preservation barrier with the casual ease of his quick wit and general good humour. Relieved that he'd not pressed the conversation further just now, Lily felt the tension begin to ease from her. "James, James, James," she sighed, accentuating her mock disappointment with a little click of her tongue. "Don't you know?"

She unfurled, stretching her legs out in front of her and finally shifting about to lay on her side facing him. It was nicely intimate; a few inches separating them, but close enough that if Lily stretched her leg out she would be touching James' foot -well, more likely shin given the height difference- with her own, still wrapped in the protective bubble of warmth and music that made up their own little world, safe from the blizzard surrounding them. From here, she could see the little flecks of colour that brightened up his hazel eyes and it made her want to spend the rest of the night counting and cataloguing them all so she would know them forever. "The two are most definitely not mutually exclusive," she warned, grinning, experience telling her that sometimes she would probably still feel like throwing a mallet at his head even if she was now more likely to also want to kiss him better afterwards.

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on January 28th 2012, 4:16 am

He liked the way she said his name. Not Potter, but James. Three times, even. He liked the way her lips formed the letters together, the way the 'a' sort of made her smile when she said that bit, the way the 's' slipped through her teeth. He quirked his eyebrows at her, as if asking what it was that he apparently didn't know. To his surprise, she was rearranging, now lying down next to him, facing him, only a small distance away. He liked that too. The closeness. The way he could see all the shades of red in her hair, the hues of green in her eyes, the freckles that were sprinkled across her cheeks, and the nice curve of her nose.

"I'll keep that in mind," he replied softly, letting the music take over once again as he fell quiet. They were singing about time, you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking, racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death. Well that seemed a little sad, but true, he thought. Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time, plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines, hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way. The time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say. The singer's voice was gone again, the guitar picking out a lazy tune. He started singing again, but James didn't hear what the words said. He was looking about Lily and thinking about the song's words. Time running out, plans and years getting away before they realized it... he reached over without really thinking about it, gingerly picking up a strand of her hair between his fingers, letting it run through them and fall back down to the rest of her hair. He reached again, examining its softness, fluidity and the way it would flow out of his fingers.
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on January 28th 2012, 5:18 am

Lily's face softened. Her lips dropped out of the grin until they were straight-lined but she was still smiling, it was all in the crinkle of her nose and the way the skin at the corners of her eyes creased the tiniest little bit. James had fallen back under the spell of the music, even as Lily watched his face took on that dreamy distance of someone having a private conversation with a song and she stayed quiet. It was enough for her to have the chance to simply look at him while he drank in the words, gave them meaning, and seemed to relate to them and apply them to his own life. The corners of Lily's mouth turned thoughtfully down. They were seventeen, they were still kids whatever Wizarding law said about coming of age. But even before Lily could ask herself what any of them could possibly know about time's fickle and fleeting nature, she realised she already knew the answer.

It was a matter of months, now. Weeks, even. Only a single semester stood between them and the adult world. Their childhood was in its death throes, and in more ways than Lily wanted to admit it was long since dead and buried. Hadn't their Professors been drilling it into them since the beginning of fifth year? Pick your classes, plan your careers, consider your future. Choose your path, this is the rest of your life you're deciding on. Everything they were taught at Hogwarts was all to prepare them for the real world that lay beyond the safehold of the castle. But hadn't the real world already stolen past the gates and penetrated the stone walls? It dictated that Remus had to keep himself secret for fear of what people would do to him if they knew he was a werewolf. It plagued Lily with the fear that her record of brilliance and all the Outstanding NEWTs she could earn wouldn't be enough to get her into the Healer Program because she was Muggleborn. It was the destruction her friendship with someone she had once cared for and valued more than anyone in the world in Severus being to enamoured of the Dark Arts to let go. It was the way nobody talked about it, but sometimes someone wouldn't show up for breakfast and then you read in the Daily Prophet that someone in their family had been murdered. It was the reason Sirius didn't have a blood family anymore, and James had a brother. It was as terrifying as it was inescapable.

Lily swallowed, still watching James as he reached for her, still in a near trance-like state. His hand lightly picked up a strand of her hair, letting it slip through his fingers and escape. He reached again and Lily closed her eyes. The movement was subconscious, but she angled her head slightly towards James, leaning into and encouraging the light contact. There was something about it that grounded her. Yes, the world was bigger than them all, and yes, her life seemed much smaller and more fragile, and the more she knew of the world the more she was dissatisfied with it. But right now, she was with James, and everything was alright.

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on January 28th 2012, 6:21 am

He lost himself in her hair, in the gold shine it had when the light hit it properly, deep crimson in the shadows, so many colors for something people just called 'red'. He twisted a bit around his finger and glanced up to her eyes, finding them closed. She looked so peaceful, but also worried in a way, her eyebrows had angled themselves and the way her lips curved down... James tugged her hair softly. "What'cha thinking about?" he asked her very softly. He often wondered what was going on in her mind when she got quiet, and never really had a chance to ask. Either they weren't properly talking to each other and it would have seemed too random, or she would have told him to just sod off anyway. But right now it was just the two of them, lost in their little isolated world up here, and he finally got to ask and could only hope she would oblige and divulge.
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on January 28th 2012, 6:59 am

Moments like this convinced Lily she might have been a cat in a previous life. Not just because she would scratch someone's face off if she thought they deserved it, either. It was more the unfathomable amount of joy she took in this gentle human contact, almost like James was petting her hair with the way he ran his fingers lightly through it, picking up strands to examine them before releasing them and starting all over. The glow of light and warmth, the soft rug beneath her, it was all a simple joy that made Lily appreciate the perfection of the moment. And then, still light but most definitely enough to get her attention, James tugged her hair. Her eyelids fluttered in protest before they opened properly and she looked at him once more. She was about to throw in a line about boys never changing, and it being quite a while since one had tried actually pulling on her pigtails to get her attention, but his question derailed the comment before she could speak.

She lifted her top shoulder, the one not connected to the arm supporting her weight against the rug, into a little half shrug. "The fate of the world. The meaning of life. Nothing important," she quipped, and smiled quickly with the irony. "I was just realising again how close we are to being out of Hogwarts for good, and wondering what it will be like when we don't have this castle to hide in and pretend life can't touch us. Maybe it's just me, though - maybe I'm the only one who was ever naive enough to think that being here meant that we were safe from everything and all the bad things in the world couldn't bleed in. Or is it the other way around?" she mused after a moment. "Am I the only one in school who is cold and cynical enough to not believe in Hogwarts as an impenetrable fortress?" Lily bit her lip when she had finished letting her thoughts spill out, fighting the urge to look down in embarrassment; usually she kept these kinds of thoughts buried, dismissing them as childish and naive and useless, she had not expected to admit them so freely in front of anyone, let alone the most self-assured person she knew.

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on January 28th 2012, 7:35 pm

I think most girls were cats in their previous lives. There isn't really a better feeling than having your hair played with, or your back rubbed/scratched, and curling up in warm hidden places... or if others don't actually agree with that, which is positively unfathomable to me, at least Lily and I were cats in our previous lives. Which is quite grand and I kind of wish I could just be a cat instead of a human, because they've got it so much easier. I'm with Evanna Lynch on this one, when I grow up, I want to be a cat.

James's mouth stretched into a little smile as she dismissed heavy thoughts as nothing important. Listening to her go on though, his smile faded - if only slightly - and he knew she was absolutely right. Their time at Hogwarts was waning, and the real world was waiting for them, along with all the evil and difficulty it had to offer outside of these castle walls. He thought for a little while, turning her words over in his mind, before he answered her. "You're right in not fooling yourself into thinking we're untouchable here. It happens every day, you know as much as I do. Someone misses a few days of class, because their family is mourning, or another student decides they want that brand on their arm. The real world's leaking in, but we've all still got each other, and that's all we can really hope for, that the friendships here will remain friendships out there, and we can watch each other's backs, and we'll be alright." He pushed her hair out of her face and gave her a reassuring smile. "We'll be ready when it's our turn to be grown up, I think, even if it doesn't feel like it. Something will click into place in our brains. And anyway, none of us will have to do it alone if we don't want to."

James watched the worry in her face, the way she had tried not to look away from him. He ran his hand over her arm silently, as if to tell her it really was going to be okay, a gesture he wouldn't have dreamed of being able to do a month or even a week ago. He rolled onto his back again, putting his hands back behind his head and looking slightly up at her. The old familiar goofy grin crossed his expression, and he nudged her with his knee. "You'll kick ass in the real world with that big brain of yours."
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on January 28th 2012, 8:08 pm

I was going to say that I'd love to be a cat with opposable thumbs so I could still do things but then I realised cats don't need them. They have people to do their bidding. Yep, definitely ok with being a cat.

Lily watched, curious, as the little smile on James' face faded. It looked as if he was turning her words over in his mind, the lights behind his eyes firing constantly, flickering in a lovely pattern as he processed his thoughts. Lily still found it a bit strange, this James she had gotten to know, who thought things through before speaking instead of leaping in thoughtless and both feet first, which usually led to at least one foot ending up in his mouth. But she liked it, there was as much honesty in his weighed and measured words as there was in his offhand comments and having something she might be able to believe in if she would allow herself to was like having a lifeline. She could tell he honestly believed what he was telling her because it had never been any different for him; he was sure he would make it because he could be sure in his friends. A rush of gratitude to God, Merlin, the universe, she wasn't quite sure which, but who or whatever amongst all those possibilities had brought James this far with that simple faith still intact, surged through Lily. She was comforted by the knowledge that he still had that innocent faith to hold onto.

She didn't say anything at first, just silently held onto the belief in James' belief and took the comfort he offered in both his words and the light touches. Slowly, Lily smiled. James touched her in the lightest of ways, like someone wholly aware that being allowed to take such liberties with another human being was a privilege, like someone who didn't want to overstep his bounds. Lily shifted, barely conscious of the movement, following James as he withdrew until she lay on her back too, her shoulder brushing his.

"D'you really think it's that simple?" she wondered, putting aside the sombre thoughts for the time being. Tonight wasn't the night to let them reign. Lily smirked and turned her head so that she was facing James, looking at his cheek and the way his nose poked into the air while he looked towards the sky above. "Because there's a pretty terrifying thought right there; you being a grown up."

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on January 30th 2012, 4:00 am

James chuckled, absolutely grinning at the idea of himself as a 'grown up'. He had to admit it did seem a little bit of a far off idea for now, but he didn't worry about it. He would figure it out as it came along, flying by the seat of his pants through life like he was known to do. "Have you no faith in me at all, Evans?" he asked her in a fake pompous voice, the smile impossible to conceal no matter how he tried. "No, I really do think it's that simple, if you want it to be. People complicate things that don't need to be complicated all the time, and I don't know why, but I think it'll be easy, growing up. I mean, not easy in the sense of figuring out our places in the world or whatever, that's a lifetime thing, but easy in the sense of things falling into place on their own and good friends there with you and great memories from Hogwarts, and I mean, what could be bad about any of that?"

He turned his head to the side, coming face to face once again with Lily. He whispered to her, as if disclosing a great secret or a hint of some kind. "I've just disagreed with you. You said growing up was scary, and now I've said it's easy. This is the part where you're meant to throw something at me or attempt to hit me with your angry little fists. Should I back away yet? I don't want the tea pot to get disturbed in our ruckus, it has some very good tea in it still."
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on January 30th 2012, 4:52 am

Lily didn't say anything at first. James didn't seem to quite grasp the fact that life simply falling into place might be a lot easier for someone with all his privileges than it might be for someone like her, but she still didn't want to debate the point tonight. Tonight was for them, and for fun, and for letting this surprising way their personalities had begun to mesh together take shape in its own strange, beautiful way. Over the past term, hadn't Lily found herself enjoying life in the greatest way when she relaxed and went with the flow of James' personality? It felt good, she felt free, so why not let herself go for just a little longer?

"You remind me of a cat," she told James, smirking a little to herself because it was a change from a few minutes ago when Lily herself had felt like a cat. "You know, so sure of yourself that you're dead certain if someone tossed you head first out the window, you'd only land on your feet anyway."

She blinked as James turned his face towards her once more and found herself leaning in, a subconscious movement to his lowered voice. Lily told herself it was only because she didn't want to miss a word of what he had said. "Hey," she said, with a light snort that was somehow feminine while being not at all girly. She held her hand up in the space between them, stretching her fingers out as if spreading them will make her admittedly slender hand seem larger. "My fists aren't little. They're powerful and furious and the perfect size for wielding unlikely weapons. Mallets, for example," she quipped and poked his shoulder with her index finger.

-poker face as I reply with my screen in full view of too many people to count-
XD

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on January 30th 2012, 4:18 pm

James gave her a confused look when she told him he reminded her of a cat. He wasn't sure what about him was particularly feline, but then as she explained, he realized he got the best part of being a cat. The 'the world is my servant and I am the master of all and bend the will of my environment and companions to my desires so that I may survive and flourish' bit of being a cat. The cat mentality, if you will. "Quick reflexes. Comes with the Quidditch," he explained with a wink.

His heart made a mighty pound as she moved her face in toward his, but he relaxed once again when her hand was spreading out between them. "Alright, alright, I know all about the mallets so I'm not about to argue with that statement. They are little though." He grabbed her hand from where her finger had dug into his shoulder, wrapping his enormous hand around it. "See what I mean?" He laughed, releasing her hand from his grip but spreading his fingers out and pushing hers along with the tips of his to do the same, pressing their palms together to compare the size differences. "If we're talking cats, you'd be an orange tabby and I'd be a tiger or a lion or maybe I'd just pass the cat thing overall and go straight for gryffin status. What do you think?" He burst out laughing, clearly not meaning it seriously at all. He looked past their hands at her face again, deep into her eyes, appreciating the depth of green he found there, the calculating nature and slight mischief that was always hidden just a little below the surface. Behind all the goody-goody and rule-obeying stuff, Lily just needed a little encouragement to loosen up.
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on January 30th 2012, 5:24 pm

Lily smiled, something both innocent and wicked about it all at once. "Well you'd think all that time dodging bludgers would come in handy for dodging mallets, but there you go," she said lightly, her eyes moving lazily between their touching hands and James' face. He had such quirks and nuances to him, his expression could flick through several gears within the space of a single sentence and Lily was certain there was a code to it. If she could only watch close enough for long enough, she would solve the puzzle.

Chuckling at the considerable difference between his hand and her own, Lily let James manipulate their fingers, first engulfing her whole hand in his and then flattening their palms together to prove his point. Their hands looked nice together. Realizing that, Lily dropped all plans to joke about James' hands being so big because they'd started to mutate into Quidditch gloves, like Edward Scissorhands only with Quidditch gloves instead of scissors for hands, obviously. Also I think that was the 80s or 90s but whatever. Near enough. The size difference didn't much hinder anything, either, Lily mused. When she shifted her fingers a little bit to the side, slotting them in between James' fingers and folding them over, her grip locked comfortably with his.

Her attention left the very fascinating combination of both their hands fitting together, refocusing on James' face just in time for him to burst out in laughter at the train of thought he'd just explained. Lily found herself laughing along with him, no less sincere even though she wasn't one to put her whole being into showing her mirth the way James seemed to. She waited out the loudest laughs before she spoke again. "Please," she scoffed, "I don't think so! You can call yourself a gryffin if it makes you feel better, but we both know I'm no orange tabby. I'm a cheetah, there's no catching up to me unless I want you to." Lily blinked, but otherwise gave no outward betrayer of her surprise at herself. It was a rare thing for her to be quite so unreserved in her quips and commentary, but the words had come from her entirely without hesitation.

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on January 30th 2012, 10:02 pm

As she slipped her small fingers in between his, James lowered his fingers as well, effectively intertwining their hands. A softer sort of smile crossed his face as he did so. "A cheetah," he mused, pretending to really contemplate the idea. "So you're that fast, are you? I don't know how much I believe that. Are we talking physical speed, Miss Evans, or are we talking mentally? Because people who are that fast mentally are usually classified as crazy people, far too lost in their lack of attention on much of anything because it's all getting processed so quickly... I don't know." He grinned at her. "You could be a crazy person for all I know. Maybe it's a red hair thing. I had a friend at this place we used to vacation when I was little. We called him Hops and he was a ginger. He was all over the place, wicked fun to be around, but he was absolutely bonkers."

James laughed, remembering some of their antics. "Once, he told us he had a pet cat. We didn't believe him, but he kept saying it was true, it was true. He went home to bring it back and show me but when he came back, he was dragging the biggest, fattest, kneazle you've ever seen in your life. He had it on a rope, like a dog, but it wasn't having any of that, and it had gone all stiff bracing its legs and mewling the whole way as if its life was just the hardest thing in the world. I think it finally escaped later that week, I reckon it got angry when we tried to bring it into the ocean with us. Cats really do hate the water no matter what sort of cats they are." He paused, realizing he was very off topic now. "What were we talking about? You being crazy?"
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on January 31st 2012, 1:20 pm

Lily could feel her facial muscles pulling in different directions, her eyebrows climbing towards her hairline and the corners of her mouth not quite able to decide if they were turning upwards or downwards. Torn between wanting to laugh and wanting to smack James to bring him back to reality, she made a funny little noise in the back of her throat and simply waited him out.

"You know you're mental, right?" she said happily, when finally an opportunity to speak arose. She neatly avoided his question about whether she was physically or mentally quicker, deciding he could riddle that one out for himself and that if he could not, he would have his answer by default. Her hand dropped back towards the picnic rug, pulling James' hand with her own because she did not want to let go just yet. Not while their fingers were slotting together in a way that appealed to Lily's innate love of things that were warm, and things that fit neatly together. "Completely barking. D'you even listen to yourself while you're talking, or do you just sort of drift in and out?"

She shook her head and her hair jumped about her shoulders in an odd sort of way thanks to the angle of her head, and the laugh finally broke through to the surface. James was obviously completely nuts, equal parts impulse and imagination, with a large side of logic rejection, but what did that say about Lily? She liked it, after all. Was she meant to think it was brilliant? "I must be crazy, too," she concluded, not at all concerned by the realization. "Clearly I was either dropped on my head as a child, or I've accidentally gotten into some off potions. You sure that was just wine?" she wondered, glancing towards her empty wine glass with sudden suspicion.

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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  James Potter on February 3rd 2012, 6:46 am

Going. Out. Of. My. Mind. More art history reading than I realized. Need to have 20 portfolio pieces ready by the end of this month (I currently have like... 4? ready, and not even photographed, oh god don't get me started) and two letters of intent and omg grad school why so complicated deadlines why so soon I don't know if I can handle this ughhhh.

"Mental? Maybe, but it's definitely more fun this way, you can't even deny that. Just look at that smile on your face, you're having fun whether you like it or not, and whether you realize it or not, and whether you're trying to fight it or not. You crazy person." He grinned at her, squeezing his fingers lightly on her hand for a moment. "But there's no need to listen to myself talking. I figure that's what other people are doing, so there's not really any point in me doing it too, you know? I talk, they listen, and everyone gets something out of it in some way or another I suppose, even if all someone gets out of it is the chance to listen to my rather fantastic voice. Maybe I should listen, but I don't know, you can't hear your own voice properly can you, you always sound different when it plays back to you and you'd hardly know it was your own voice except you remember saying what's being played back to you and it's a very strange experience hearing yourself speak from somewhere other than inside your head. And I don't think the wine is spiked by the way. Er, not spiked with anything additional, though I do believe there is a bit of the natural things in it to make you a little woozy, but that's to be expected with wine, isn't it?"

James was happy to ramble all day long with Lily here listening to him. Truth was, he liked talking, but not to hear himself talk. He just liked talking because he liked throwing thoughts around haphazardly to see where they would take him or to see if someone had ever happened across the same idea once upon a time. You would be surprised how common that strange thoughts seem to me. Surely no one else has thought this is usually wrong, because once spoken aloud, lots of other people agree or relate or connect, and it's always a fun process to watch. Truth be told, he hoped that by spilling out everything he could think of, Lily would find more ways they could connect. He liked connecting with her. It just felt right.
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Re: The Astronomy Tower

Post  Lily Evans on February 4th 2012, 4:26 am

If I hadn't seen you on facebook + tumblr, I would have thought you died! Sad And that is a seriously sucky workload btw.

"Can't look at the smile on my face, I'm busy looking at yours," Lily pointed out cheekily. She wasn't trying to avoid or deny having fun anyway, and she was definitely well aware that she was having a great time. Even just lounging about, snowstorm unnoticed, food forgotten, the music melted pleasantly into the background, talking and laughing with James was proving to be a way of spending an evening that Lily could get used to very quickly. She grinned back when he squeezed her hand. "Well, having fun was rather the plan I had in mind you know."

"Right, you're just providing a public service with your voice, is that it? Take a seat Frank Sinatra, James Potter's going to ramble at us all," Lily joked with a playful roll of her eyes. She nodded at his ramble, understanding the flow of his thoughts with surprising clarity. "My Mum went off her head when we got an answering machine a few years back - she was so excited that she had to go and record the message straight away and then when she played it back she went mental at us for never telling her that was how her voice sounded. Like we were meant to know she didn't know how she sounded?" Lily laughed, shrugging it off. "I still don't know what she thinks she heard, but to me and Tuney she just sounded like Mum, and I like my Mum's voice. Well, not so much that time she found the scorch marks in the brand new carpet from a teeny tiny mishap with a Potions experiment," she added, reconsidering. Really, what else was an underage witch meant to do? The whole summer was a long time to live without magic, and Sev had told her Potions didn't register with the Trace so there was no cause to worry about the Ministry getting bent out of shape and sending warning owls. The thoughts bled into other thoughts, as they so often do, bringing questions to Lily's mind. Sometimes she would keep silent when her mind took one of those odd little turns that everyone seems to think happened only to them, she would test the waters and wait, filing her curiosity away for a more appropriate time. But there was none of that with James; if he could let his mouth run away with him, she could let her curiosity run away with her.

"Hey, explain how this works to me?" she said, chewing her lip and fixing her eyes on his with a little bit of intensity in her concentration. "So you live in a completely magical household, right? So you'd have your parents using magic too, and then there would be things that actually work with magic and wouldn't work otherwise, yeah? So how does the Ministry know if you're doing underage magic, or do they not even bother?"

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