When: Late afternoon
What: Talking aobut jobs, and Lily tells James her cover story.
James was sitting outside, frowning at the lake. Only 5 more days of Hogwarts, then it was out into the real world. Glancing at his watch, he sighed. It was almost time for dinner but for the first time ever, he didn't feel like eating.
Lily walked outside, hoping she could get some time to think before dinner. She had a lot going on and it was hard to get any peace and quiet any more... Spotting James down by the lake, she was caught in between giddiness and apprehension, however, regardless of her feelings, she found herself walking down to meet him. "Hey," she said, kneeling down and hugging him from behind. "What's got you so pensive?"
James turned around, and the frown faded away. "Just...thinking how I've only got five more days of this. It's incredible. I've been planning my days out of school since I got here and now I don't want to leave." He shrugged.
"I'm sure it won't be so bad once we're actually out," she said, sounding certain of herself, a trait she had seemingly been born with. "The nostalgia is just hard because you're here and you're forced to think about it."
James smiled at her. "Yeah, I'm sure it will be fine. Anyway, we're all moving in together soon, it'll be great. Sirius and me and Auror training...you and Marlene at Healer training, then all of us at night. " His smile widened into a grin just thinking about it.
Lily frowned immediately when James brought up the Healer training. "Actually..." she said, a tad nervously, "I, ah... I'm not going to Healer training. I didn't get accepted." The last part was a lie. Major lie. There were lies all over. Of course she'd been accepted, and they had been enthusiastic at having her...but she couldn't tell him she turned it down. That wouldn't sound like her.
James oogled at her. "You...didn't get accepted? Are you sure? There must be a mistake." It just didn't seem possible that St Mungos didn't want her. She'd be a brilliant Healer.
"Um, yeah," she said, nervously. "I'm sure...but that's okay. I got a job offer from the Ministry in the same day...actually, in the same owl."
"But you really wanted to do it. That's incredible. Can't you write to them and protest, or something? If they saw your N.E.W.T score, when you get it back, I'm sure they'd change their minds!" He felt a tad angry. It didn't seem fair. "So..what job did they offer you instead?"
Lily shook her head. "Oh, no, it's alright," she said, forcing a smile. "I don't really mind. Who knows? They can probably tell who'd be rubbish at it better than we can... Anyway, they asked me to train as an Obliviator, because of my Charms scores and whatnot."
"An Obliviator?" James said disbelievingly. "Are you serious? Are they insane? Have they lost their minds? Hell, you'd make a better Auror than me, and they're asking you to be an Obliviator? You haven't accepted this...this...crap, have you?" James was running his hands through his hair, geniunly upset. An Obliviator? Ridiculous. She could go so far.
Lily smiled sheepishly. God, couldn't they have given her a better cover-up than that? "Well, I've accepted it, so there's no going back now," she said. "About the Auror bit, I highly doubt that. I don't think I did as well as I wanted to on my Defence NEWTs."
"You've accepted it? Lily!" James looked outraged, and a deep frown was set on his face. "I don't believe it. They could not of possibly offered you that job. You could run the bloody Ministry. I don't believe it. There must be a mistake."
"No, there's no mistake," she said, firmly, wishing to get off the topic but knowing he wouldn't let it be. "Like I said, there's no mistake and there's nothing I can really do to change it. Yes, I imagined something better, but I'll live."
James' frown wouldn't go away. "This is crazy. Are you sure?" He couldn't let it go. There must of been some sort of mistake. A wrong letter, perhaps? "I refuse to believe it. Write to them, or something. Marlene will be disappointed, she said she was looking forward to having a friendly face at training."
"I asked Dumbledore and he said there wasn't a mistake. Trust me, I thought the same thing," she said, putting on a very good serious face. "I was looking forward to being at training with Marlene as well, but I won't be able to now, so she'll have to survive without me."
James shot her a suspicious look. "Yeah, of course. As long as you're happy, I suppose. Anyway, what does the training involve? I'm sure Dad mentioned something about it, it actually sounds quite interesting." He sounded doubtful, but shrugged.
"How would your Dad know about Obliviator training?" she asked, genuinely confused, but also trying to buy time to think of what they might do in Obliviator training. Remus had said James' father was an Unspeakable. "I mean, I always thought he did something else."
"Yeah, he does. He's an Auror. Like father, like son, eh? Dad knows a lot about everything. Got friends all over the place, from Obliviators to Secretaries to Unspeakables. I think he mentioned something about Obliviator training in his last owl to me, I think his friend's son is starting it at the same time as you, or something." James shrugged. You could tell that he was quite proud of his father.
"I see," Lily said, unsure. Had Remus been lieing, or was that a cover-up as well? "I'm not sure what it has to do with, really, but I do know it has a lot of field training from right off the bat. "Well, either way, I guess I'll fin dout soon enough."
James raised an eyebrow at her. "Watch out for that field-training. Dad once told me a very funny story about-...actually, it's not that funny. It's pretty sick, actually." James laughed.
"Well, then I don't want to know," she said, forcing a smile. "I don't want to ruin it before I even get there, you know." Sighing, she looked down at her hands. "Did you get accepted to Auror training?"
James smiled, and nodded. "Mmm, I just got it this morning. I haven't spoken to Sirius yet, but I'm sure he got his too. It's going to be a riot. I'll see Dad at work, how nuts is that?"
Lily smiled genuinely this time. "Wow, I'm happy for you. Not that I doubted you'd get it or anything," she added quickly. "You're going to a an amazing Auror, James. You're made out for the job."
James grinned back. "Dad'll be really proud. I sent an owl back home as soon as I got the news but no doubt he already knew. He's two steps ahead at all times."
Lily laughed. "Your Dad sounds like a great person, from what you say," she said. "I'd like to meet him someday." She almost smacked herself immediately after she said that. That insinuated that she was hoping to go further with James and although it was the truth, she hadn't meant to say it.
James took it all into his stride, but there was no doubting his grin widened. "And I'm sure Dad would love to get to know you, too. Although tred carefully around Mum, she'll feed you enough cake to make you the size of a balloon."
"I'll be sure to take note of that," she said with a grin. "She sounds like my mum, in all honesty, except a bit sweeter. Mum can be extremely strict at times. I'm a Daddy's girl; can always get what I want if I go to him."
James laughed. "I'll be on my best behaviour, then, when I finally meet them."
Lily blushed, despite herself. "I'm nearly 18 and my Dad would still freak out if he found out I had a boyfriend, so making a good impression is key," she said with a wink.
"...so your parents don't know about me?" James raised an eyebrow. Not that he was about to admit that his parents were probably sick of reading her name in his owls home.
"Mum does," she said. "She's kept it from Dad for both our sakes, though, at least until he can't impose a no-dating rule, which should be in about two months or so."
James' grin faded away slowly. "He's not going to...hate me, or anything, is he?"
Lily shook her head. "No, he's just a bit overprotective," she told him truthfully, but still reassuringly. "Give him a couple days to get used to you and it'll be smooth sailing from then on. Trust me, James, you're not an easily hated person."
His face regained it's grin, and he looked relieved. "Oh, good. That's a relief. Are they happy about the Obliviator job?"
She frowned. Trying to hide it didn't work. "Well, I'm not thrilled, but I'm not miserable either. Who knows, I might end up liking it."
James shook his head. "It's incredible, isn't it? You're taking it really well. If it were me, I'd be staging a one-man protest outside the Ministry as we speak." He wrapped his arm around her sympathetically.
Sighing, she leaned her head on his shoulder. "Well, that's why I'm not you," she said. "Maybe a couple years ago I'd have been a bit more upset, but I figure that what comes, comes and I'll deal with it as it does."
"Mmm. Maybe you're right." James couldn't keep the doubt out of his voice. He was still in shock that the Ministry hadn't offered her something much, much better. He couldn't believe it.
Lily was infinitely relieved that he was buying her story, but still felt horrible about lying to him all over again. She was going to break at this rate. "You know I am," she said.
"Anyway, at least we'll be in the same building, right? I'm thinking romantic lunches in the cafeteria, surprise visits...might be a real laugh." He kissed her ear lobe lightly.
Lily laughed, but was a little nervous as the 'surprise visits' bit. If he came into the Obliviator's department and she wasn't there, what would happen? "Romantic lunches, indeed," she said, verbally paying no heed to the other part of what he had said.
"Well, they won't have candles and roses, but I'm sure we can make do." He glanced down at his wrist watch. "I better go find Sirius, see if it's good news or bad news. Hell, I hope it's good. Too many disappointments for one day, I think."
"I know you're disappointd, but do you have to say it like that?" she asked with a frown, standing up and brushing herself off. With a sigh, she shook her head, knowing she was being stupid. It wasn't even her real job. "I'm sorry...well, tell Sirius congrats for me."
"Sorry, sorry." James stood up as well. Was it his imaginatin or was he more upset than she was? Ah, he was being stupid. She'd had more time to think about it. "Sure will." He kissed her quickly. "See you at dinner." He walked off in the direction of the castle.