He has spent just as long worshiping her. This is the same story that was over on Checkmated, but I completed it here. Prequel to Heroes for Ghosts. Warning: this story is a strong M rating.

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He has spent just as long worshiping her. This is the same story that was over on Checkmated, but I completed it here. Prequel to Heroes for Ghosts. Warning: this story is a strong M rating. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made. Foreword to the FFnet edition: Yes, this is the same story that was found on Checkmated and it is complete here.

I loved posting over there, but Checkmated has gone away for good, it looks like. I had to move it if I was going to post the final two chapters. Writing this story was largely a labor of love, however it frequently vexed me. And I am aware of how long it took me to finish the damned thing. Part of that is that my natural writing speed equates to a sloth driving a Zamboni through a traffic jam, and part of that was simply that this project ended up being much more involved and difficult than I ever dreamed.

So why did I even start? Well the real answer is that I love Marauder era fan fiction, but I was always restlessly searching for the story that would hit all the bases and talk about all the things I found interesting. So why did I even finish? Not gonna lie, a sane person would have abandoned this thing years ago. So here it is. I am also aware that things I did on purpose rubbed some people the wrong way.

This story is not without controversy. More or less, this is my vision of the Marauders and their contemporaries; it may not be yours. I can only tell you that every decision I made was done with purpose, and with any luck that purpose became apparent as the story unfolded.

That said, I am largely happy with how this thing turned out, and I learned more while writing it than any other project I have undertaken. I thank my long-term readers for their years of support and for following me from Checkmated here. For those discovering the story for the first time, congratulations! You get to read the story without having to wait a year and half between updates I exaggerate!

But not, you know, by a lot. I hope you enjoy the story you are about to read. Chapter The Chocolate Frog Exchange The Hogwarts Express barreled along its track, the people inside swaying ever so slightly with the motion.

The compartments were full of raucous students on their way to school, for now without parent or teacher supervision. Lily Evans was weaving at top speed through the flailing bodies, trying to reach the front of the train. As the newly appointed Head Girl, she had to address the prefects. Unfortunately, she had woken up extremely late and had only just arrived to the platform before the train began to move. After searching for the compartment housing her friends and stowing her luggage, she had begun her journey to the meeting she was supposed to lead with her new partner.

Her arms were full. Darting past a group of second years playing Exploding Snap, she winged her knee on the corner of a doorway. One of the boys looked as though he was going to laugh at her, perhaps even correct her profanity, and Lily took off. The last thing she needed this morning was to be mocked by a twelve year old, and if he did curse, she would have to mete out punishment.

That would make for a miserable year. She was approaching the compartment now, relief sweeping through her. It had been a long morning, and she was more than ready for it to end. Balancing her armload carefully, she opened the compartment door.

Leaning against the far window, two rows of prefects seated in benches on either side of him, was James Potter. A polished Head Boy badge gleamed from where it was pinned to his robes. Sweet Merlin…. He was speaking to a group of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff prefects, but looked up when she walked in. His eyes went a little wide and then settled, a smile splitting his face. Not only was she a good ten minutes late and holding a Galleon worth of sweets, but she was also the only one there to have not yet changed into her robes.

Potter was advancing on her. Lily made a grab for her stolen sweet, losing her grip on the other items in her arms. She quickly changed purposes, trying desperately to keep her meal from falling. Unfortunately, all that glossy wrapping worked against her and, in the span of a moment, it lay at her feet. A Licorice Wand caught awkwardly between two fingers was her only save. She spared a moment to blink at the pile, then glared up at the cause.

Potter had bitten the head off his Chocolate Frog. Her body sagged. She raked her hands through her hair and sighed. Looking up, she froze. Across from her sat Severus Snape, moving in and out of her line of sight as people shuffled in front of her while grabbing and squabbling for their favorite sweet. A copy of An Anthology of Eighteenth Century Charms was occupying his full attention as he sat placidly unfazed and disinterested by the chaos in the car.

It was silly that she should be startled to see him—she had known he would be at this meeting, but there was something about Severus that seemed to jump out at her even when she was looking directly at him.

She pulled her eyes from Severus to see Remus Lupin gesturing to her right knee, which was indeed bleeding. He looked at it with her, frowning thoughtfully.

As Remus cast the spell, she looked up, catching Severus staring at her now. Her nerves took a second hit, jumping beneath her skin when Potter sat next to her. Somehow she doubted it. Then he grinned. Then you can give them all cushy early evening rounds. His eyes widened in alarm and irascibility. The irony of it made her laugh. His face displayed different stages of comprehension plainly.

Lily enjoyed the discomfiture and shame—until they melted into a taunting smile. She would have eaten maybe half of it before finding herself too full to take another bite. But, for some reason, it seemed unacceptable to show Potter any sign that she was less than certain or controlled in any aspect of her life.

He was too comfortable: his hand frequently tousling his untidy hair in gesture he seemed to think was flirtatious, and his arm was creeping behind her on the crest of her seat. There was a clenching in her belly at that thought. Her pulse raced as she saw he was looking, in that surreptitiously-obvious way boys had, at her chest.

Quickly and without warning, she stood up to leave. Thank you for taking care of the agenda. Then, with a barely visible wave, she bolted from the compartment so quickly she was lucky not to have injured herself a second time. Severus Snape pushed through the crowded train with little patience or consideration.

His teeth were gritting dangerously. Dumbledore had made that ingrate, that degenerate ingot-brain, Head Boy. The injustice of it had his lips curling into a snarl that caused many a lowerclassman to leap out of his way. Behind him he could hear the two fifth-year Slytherin prefects, Regulus Black and Jillian Pucey, following in his cleared path.

Jill was trouble, but more than that, she was irritating. Severus had often fantasized about spiking her morning pumpkin juice with something interesting, like a Tooth Dissolving Draught. Reaching his compartment, he opened the door with more force than was necessary. As he entered, he felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning his head he snapped, "Yes? Regulus seemed to be waiting for his permission to leave, which only served to provoke Severus further.

With antipathy, he slammed the door shut behind him, leaving Regulus nonplused on the other side of the glass. Evan Rosier and Rabastan Lestrange looked up from their respective distractions as he entered. Severus never used it. The crack about his poverty was an old one, his association with the youngest Black, however, was fairly recent.

He had taken Regulus under his wing, much to the consternation of the other two young men in the compartment, and they liked to prod and push him about it. In truth, Severus rather regularly had no idea where Regulus was or what he was doing. He might pay more attention to his charge if he actually cared, of course. That it annoyed Sirius Black was just an added incentive. He tried to focus on his book, but his arm was throbbing insistently. The pain was an inexorable reminder of the newly branded Dark Mark lurking beneath a tight bandage under his left sleeve.



You rtansmogrify to read the story without having to wait a year and half between updates I exaggerate! To love someone and yet be so thoroughly horrified by their choices, their actions—that had to cause a fair amount of dissonance. Her eyes darted to the grandfather clock against a nearby wall. So why did I even start?


He has spent just as long worshiping her. This is the same story that was over on Checkmated, but I completed it here. Prequel to Heroes for Ghosts. Warning: this story is a strong M rating.


James had tossed him a rude gesture in return. Keagan Cornfoot gestured toward the castle. All his mixed feelings about Lily were roiling together, warring. Lily had watched him, unable to decide if she was disgusted or amused at the sincerity with which he hung the banners and smiled at the teachers who praised their efforts. Instead of branches and leaves, however, there was a single gigantic pink flower blooming at the top. Balancing her armload carefully, she opened the compartment door. He stared at them for a moment before sighing and taking them from her.



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