Lily sat down in her lab seat with a dramatic sigh. She should shove her phone into her bag and ignore her friends for the next two hours. She should pull out her notebook and look over her notes from last class. She should, quite possibly, get new friends all together and just call it with Mary. They’d had a good ten years of friendship, but all good things come to an end eventually, and maybe this was the anthill that they couldn’t get over.
But instead, she pulled out her phone and continued to feed the troll.
Mary: You never do anything I tell you. It’s not fair.
Marlene: It’s like you don’t trust her, Lily
Lily: Marlene, stay out of this, you’re not helping
Mary: I feel like you don’t TRUST ME
Lily: See what you did?
Marlene: She just wants you to meet the bloke. What’s the worst that could happen?
Marlene: Pretend I didn’t say that
Mary: Why would you say that??? Men are the worst, literally anything could happen at any time!
Lily: Men are the worst. So why do you want me to go out with one of them?
Lily: One that I’ve never met before?
Mary: yes, I understand your very valid points, but! I have met him, and he is hilarious and charming and dorky and sweet and exactly the kind of guy that you’d like
Lily: This conversation is making me itchy
Marlene: Come on, Mary. You know Lily is allergic to dating, lay off a bit
Mary: Who’s side are you on, Marlene?
Marlene: idk and idC
Lily: Alright, class is starting. You can harass me later
Mary: Just agree to meeting him! I can be there! It doesn’t have to be a date!
Lily shut off her phone and pushed it to the far corner of her desk. Once it was no longer in her hands, she went about getting ready for class.
“Lo, Evans,” She turned and smiled at the boy who took a seat next to her. The boy who was probably the real reason that she didn’t really want anything to do with Mary’s hilarious and charming boy.
“Afternoon, Potter,” He smiled back at her and pushed his hair back, away from his forehead and then ruffled it up. He was always doing that, but Lily, who had spent much time inspecting his hair during the course of their shared class, thought that it would probably have been just as unruly if he hadn’t. She thought it looked soft too.
And one time, he’d dropped his pencil and she leaned over to get it for him just a second after he had, and she got a face full of his hair. It smelled amazing. She couldn’t identify the smell, but whatever it was, she wanted to smell it again.
“You ready for lecture?” He asked, putting his notebook on an angle so he was facing her as much as he was facing the board. He’d been doing that lately. Lily ducked her head and smiled to herself as she dug through her bag for a pen.
“Ready as I’ll ever be.” She said. This wasn’t anyone’s favorite lecture, and it was a long one. But at some point in the last couple of weeks, this had been the class that Lily was most looking forward to.
Her phone started buzzing again and Lily closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head.
“What’s going on there?” James asked, glancing at her phone and then going back to doodling. “Sounds like someone really wants to talk to you.”
“Yeah, it’s my friend Mary. And probably Marlene too. They’re harassing me.”
“Ah,” He smiled, adding more lines to his doodle. “And what are they harassing you about?”
Lily felt herself flush a little and she started tapping her pen on the table. “Mary wants to set me up on a blind date.” She blurted out.
“A blind date? I didn’t know people still did those.”
“Right?” Lily relaxed now that he seemed to be agreeing with her. “And she won’t let it go. But I don’t want to go out with someone that I don’t even know. That sounds terrible.”
“It does sound terrible.” James put his pencil down and ran a hand through his hair. “So she’s not listening to you then? I mean, I assume you’ve told her that you don’t want to do it.”
Her phone buzzed again.
“Of course she’s not listening!” Lily pulled her phone over to her again.
Mary: He and his mates are throwing a party this weekend
Marlene: I like parties
Mary: I was invited and you could come with me and Reggie! That would be a super lowkey way to meet him
Mary: Marlene, I was talking to Lily, not you.
Marlene: Sometimes I feel like you don’t love me
Mary: there’s no need to be dramatic
Marlene: Really? I thought that was kind of our MO
Mary: Okay, but our MO is like fight club. We don’t talk about it
Marlene: Why do you want Lily to date this boy so much?
Mary: I don’t even know! I normally am a strong advocate for everyone staying single as long as they can, otherwise you end up like me, married and boringly monogamous at a ridiculously young age, but I just feel like they’re supposed to know each other
Mary: Does that make sense?
Marlene: I guess
Marlene: You def got married to young
Mary: Yeah, why did you let me do that
Marlene: Because you and Reggie are soulmates and it made your taxes cheaper
Mary: Right, I forgot about the monetary advantages
Mary: LILY! YOURE BACK! I CAN SEE YOU
Marlene: not for long if you keep yelling at her!
Lily: I’m in class. I’m going to mute you both if you don’t stop.
Marlene: Don’t be jealous, Lily. Mary and I can talk without you if we want
Mary: Yeah, and we can talk about you if we want
Lily: I’m busy this weekend. I’m not going to any party with you
Mary: What are you doing this weekend? I live with you. I know you don’t do shit.
Lily: I DO LOTS OF THINGS
She clicked off the screen and pushed it away again with another huff.
James chuckled. “She’s still not letting up?”
“No,” Lily whispered, as their professor had now started the lecture. “Now she wants me to go to a party he’s throwing with his friends this weekend. I don’t know him or his friends, why do I want to go to their party?”
“I wouldn’t want to go to a party where I don’t know anyone,” James once again, agreed with her and she sat up straighter.
“Exactly! See, why can’t Mary agree with me like you do!”
“She’s probably not trying to get in your good graces.” He said this a bit quieter and Lily bit her tongue.
“And what makes you think you’re not already in my good graces?”
James let out a breathy laugh and pretended as though he was paying attention to the professor. “Alright, but her position in your good graces is probably a lot more secure than mine. If I started needling you to go to a party this weekend and meet new people, then you might just stop talking to me. Our history only goes back a couple weeks.”
“Well before you came in, I was mentally tallying the pros and cons of never speaking to Mary again so, you’re probably right.” She cleared her throat to keep from laughing and then leaned a bit closer to him so she wouldn’t have to talk as loud. “I’m not a stick in the mud or anything, normally I like going out and making new friends, but she’s just being… I don’t know. She never acts like this- I mean she’s always very loud and in your face- but she never wants me to date people!” She shook her head and glared at her phone again.
“Can I ask you something?”
Lily frowned at him, but nodded.
“Do you, uh, have feelings for this girl? For Mary, I mean?”
Lily smiled, pressing her lips together. “I get asked that quite often, actually.” She shook her head. “And I suppose that would be one explanation for why I’m so upset about this. But no, I just don’t like her being pushy. I mean if I did have feelings for her, I’d probably be much more upset about the fact that she’s married than her trying to set me up with someone I don’t know.”
“Married? Okay, I have one more question now.” He brow was knit together. “Is her name Mary MacDonald?”
Lily frowned at him and blinked a few times before she nodded her head. “You know Mary?”
“I play football with Reggie.” His furrowed brow relaxed, and he started smiling. “You know, my mates and I are throwing a party this weekend.”
Lily was still frowning.
“Do you think…” She started but then shook her head because that would be impossibly and ridiculous. “No.” She kept shaking her head. “Maybe,” She looked back at him and bit the tip of her tongue.
“She hasn’t been trying to set me up with anyone,” James put his hands up, “So she might be trying to introduce you to Remus. I doubt it’d be Sirius or Peter. She’s always arguing with Sirius and Peter is a little frightened of her, so they don’t talk much. But she has a couple classes with Remus. Could be him.”
Lily’s frown was still in place and her heart was beating too quickly. “Is Remus hilarious and charming and dorky and sweet?” Her voice was too quiet, but he heard her, and he was smirking.
“Well see, that sounds like me.” But then his hand was in his hair. “But yeah, I suppose Remus is pretty great too.”
“Hold on,” Lily reached out and pulled her phone close, keeping it on the desk so it wasn’t too obvious to any TA who might be looking that she was on her phone.
There were more texts between Mary and Marlene about how difficult Lily could be and how she was such a jealous girl when it came to their friendship and Lily rolled her eyes.
Lily: Hey, quick quesh
Lily: I’m in my lab, sitting next to James Potter and he told me that he plays football with Reggie and that you, Mary, know him and his friends, who are throwing a party this weekend
Lily: Could this mystery guy you’ve been trying to get me to go out with be my lab partner???????
Mary: YOU’RE SITTING NEXT TO HIM! RIGHT NOW!
Lily: YES! WTF MARY? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Mary: Does he know that I’m trying to set the two of you up? I haven’t told him yet, I knew that you would be more difficult to convince
Marlene: Wait, what is going on?
Marlene: Lab boy is the boy Mary wants you to date?
Marlene: How perfect!
Marlene: Yeah, Lily’s been crushing on lab boy for weeks now
Mary: you fancied someone and you didn’t tell me??
Lily: I don’t fancy him
Lily: I didn’t tell Marlene that I fancy him
Lily: I just sit next to him
Marlene: And stare at his hair
Lily: He’s got really nice hair!
Mary: I KNOW THIS! I WAS TRYING TO SET YOU TWO UP AND NOW I AM VINDICATED BECAUSE YOU’VE ALREADY MET HIM AND YOU FANCY HIM! I WAS RIGHT AND YOU SHOULD ALWAYS LISTEN TO ME.
Lily: Why must you be like this. I’ll talk to you later
Marlene: Yeah! Get it girl!!!
Mary: twirl that hair, flutter those lashes
Lily: LEAVE ME ALONE
She clicked off her screen again and clicked her tongue before turning back to James. “So yeah, she was trying to set me up with you.”
He was looking up at the board, a smirk on his lips.
The both of them took a few minutes to write down some of the notes that they’d missed of the last fifteen minutes or so.
Then he cleared his throat. “So?”
She turned toward her.
“Any interest in coming to the party now?” He was still smiling, and his smile was a bit contagious, so she found herself smiling too.
She shifted in her seat. “You know, I might be interested. I mean, you’re not a stranger anymore so I don’t have that excuse anymore.”
“I’m not. And I’m in your good graces.”
“For now.” He agreed and she laughed.
“I can’t believe this.”
“It is quite the coincidence.” James nodded. He laughed quietly and shook his head. “You know, I was going to invite you to the party before you started saying how much you didn’t like going to parties where you didn’t know people.”
“I don’t like being Mary and Reggie’s third wheel- Though Marlene wants to come… wait, you were?”
James nodded, turned back toward her. “Yeah,” He smiled. “Actually, I wanted to start with dinner.”
“I like food.” Lily grinned.
“You do?” James chuckled. “Well were you planning on eating any after class?”
She snorted. “I think so.”
“You think I can take you out? Even though Mary’s been harassing you about me?”
“Fuck Mary.” Lily waved her hand and James laughed. “I’d really like to go out with you.”
She could already hear Mary singing a song about how she was right and now Lily would have to listen to everything she ever said.