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the preparations

"COME TO MY BIRTHDAY PARTY IN THE GRYFFINDOR COMMON ROOM AT EIGHT ON FRIDAY!" Sirius shoved a leaflet at a random Ravenclaw in the corridor. James chuckled as he watched his friend basically force the leaflets onto people.

"We don't want the common room overflowing Padfoot."

"It's supposed to overflow, it's my birthday for Merlin's sake!" Sirius exclaimed as he threw a few leaflets at some fifth years. "It's supposed to be extravagant!"

"I'm sure it will be Padfoot, but we don't want McGonagall catching on and shutting it down."

"Too late." The woman appeared out of thin air making the shaggy haired boy shriek and jump up.

"Minnie you scared the shi-" Sirius stopped himself at her stern look. "-hell out of me."

"I won't shut down the party." McGonagall said begrudgingly. "But the music can't be too loud and it mustn't be overflowing with students. And no alcohol! You are underaged."

"Of course not Minnie." James said smoothly with a charming smile. "It will be totally calm."

The older woman pursed her lips before striding off.

"It's not actually going to be calm right?" Sirius asked as he watched the woman walk off.

"No of course not." James snorted.

"Are you coming to Sirius' birthday party on Friday?" James tapped his quill on the table as he stared at the girl opposite him.

Clarisse looked up at the boy with an inquisitive stare. "Do you want me to? I don't think I've been invited."

"Well now you have." James announced. "And yeah of course I want you there."

The odd duo were sat in the library on Tuesday during their tutoring session. James was halfway through explaining how to change a teacup into a frog when he popped his question that had been bugging him for the past week.

"Well then yes I will come." Clarisse answered, quickly going back to writing theory on Transfiguration.

"Good." James finalised with a small smile peeking out on his face.

Clarisse's face softened slightly as she saw him in her peripheral vision. She had been looking at the boy in a somewhat different light than usual and it was a little odd for her.

James caught her dreamy like eyes and smiled like a puppy, tilting his head. "What?"

"Nothing." The girl shrugged, a small blush forming on her cheeks as she quickly stared back at her piece of paper. "So what's your plan for the next time you ask Evans out?"

James cleared his throat abruptly, his eyes flicking lightly. "I'm not sure."

"You're not sure?" Clarisse asked with a shocked look. "Don't tell me James Potter doesn't know how to ask out the love of his life?"

"Shut up." He rolled his eyes playfully.

"Are you ill?" Clarisse faked concern, shoving her hand onto his forehead before her eyebrows furrowed lightly. "Wait you have a temperature.

"Really?" James furrowed his eyebrows. "I don't feel ill."

"You should go back to your dorms." Clarisse decided as she started to pack up both of their things. "Go rest so that you don't get sick."

"I'm perfectly fine-"

"Rest or I'm not coming to the party."

"Aye aye m'lady." He jumped up with a salute making the girl roll her eyes and smack his arm, shoving books into his heads. "See you later."

She nodded softly before pushing the boy out, ignoring his claims that she was 'abnormally strong.'

What the duo didn't notice was a certain red head staring at them the entire study session with a soft smile.

"You're Clarisse Russo right?"

Dinner had just ended at the brown haired girl had barely stepped out of the hall before she was bombarded by a red haired girl.

"Yes I am." Clarisse confirmed. "You're Lily Evans."

"Yeah." Lily nodded.

"I hear a lot about you." Clarisse offered as they began to walk down the hallway, the brown haired girl giving the ginger a curious look as to why she was talking to her. "From-"

"James, yes I know." Lily interrupted with twinkling eyes. "You've been toning down his flirting, haven't you?"

"I just suggested he pursue a calmer approach." Clarisse offered with a smile. "He took my suggestion and rolled with it, I guess."

"Well I wanted to say thanks." Lily mentioned as they stopped outside of the Slytherin common room, the ginger girl gaining a few looks of distain by oncoming green tied students. "He is less unbearable now."

Clarisse felt a burning feeling in her chest. "You know, he isn't a bad person. You shouldn't say things like that. Calling someone unbearable is rude."

Lily looked at the girl taken aback by her passionate voice and bold words. "Yeah you're right." She admitted. "Sorry about that."

"You shouldn't apologise to me." The brown haired girl murmured. "Listen, can you do me a favour?"

The girl nodded lightly.

"Next time if you're going to reject him, can you do it gently? He's always so crushed after it happens and-"

"Yeah, I will." Lily stopped her rambling with a genuine smile. "I think I've probably been a little harsh."

"Maybe a little." The girl pinched her fingers together as a measure. "Thanks."

Lily shrugged lightly before giving her a smile, strangely glancing downwards with a weird look. "I'll be going now. I just wanted to say thanks."

After saying goodbye to the girl, Clarisse walked into the Slytherin common room with a small dreamy smile painted onto her face.

"Clari, where are your shoes?" Regulus asked with a sigh.

The girl looked down and her eyes widened. She hadn't even noticed she wasn't wearing shoes. Maybe that's why Lily kept looking down often with a weird look in her eyes.

"They got stolen I suppose."

"By who?"

The brown haired girl shrugged, her caramel eyes lighting up in the dark common room. "Probably nargles. Pandora says that they can be pests when it comes to shoes."

Regulus clenched his fists lightly knowing that it most definitely wasn't nargles. Some people found it funny to bully Clarisse and steal her things because she was different to others - and he didn't like it.


"I think I'm going to go to bed now."

Regulus sighed lightly before standing up, towering over the girl. He pressed a light kiss to her forehead. "Goodnight Clari."

"Night Reg."

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