Good News Often Comes With The Bad
James wasn't out for long. Seconds after Madam Pomfrey had laid him down in one of the hospital wing beds, his eyes were fluttering open. "Did I get it?"
"Yes Potter you got the snitch," Madam Pomfrey shook her head, laughing slightly. "Drink this."
"What is it?"
"Just a healing potion. You have several broken bones and a lot of bruising. You are lucky to be alive. That was a nasty fall."
"You were hit by a couple of bludgers," Pomfrey replied, "and you fell."
"I'll go write to your parents," Pomfrey said as she walked over to her office.
The door to the hospital wing was stood slightly a jar and James quickly realised that his friends were sat outside, "I thought he was dead," James thought he heard Lily say, no way is Lily waiting to see me… she wouldn't care if I died.
James tried to stretch his legs but they ached if he had been hit with an unforgivable curse several times. "I was terrified," Alice replied.
The door opened as Cynthia and the rest of the team walked into the hospital wing. "Pomfrey how is he?" She asked as she made her way over to his bed. The Gryffindor third years followed just behind her.
"I told you all to wait outside," Pomfrey replied angrily.
"Ah come on Poppy," Sirius complained. "We're worried about him."
"Very well – but keep the noise down. He has a way to go before he's back to his usual self."
They grouped around his bed and James groaned, "alright guys?"
"We're just grand but how are you?" Cynthia asked.
"Not bad… been worse," James replied honestly.
The marauders laughed at the truth in his words. "What happened?"
"Well you got hit by the bludgers and you fell off your broom. You were holding on by your fingers and then you just dropped," Cynthia explained.
"Easily fell fifty feet," Remus frowned.
Holly, the new second year keeper, grabbed his hand, "We thought you were dead." She was shaking slightly. She was in shock.
James looked around at all the people besides his bed. Alice's eyes were bloodshot and she was half hidden in Frank's arms. She resembled a small child. Kate had gone completely white as if she had seen a ghost. Marlene was in business mode. She was comforting her friends, having not allowed it to sink in herself. James caught her eye and a sob caught in her throat. "We were so scared," she told him. He nodded. Marlene had an arm around Mary who looked like she may have actually passed out. James almost laughed at the sight. Sirius for once looked serious. His boyish humour temporarily completely gone. Peter looked like he might have actually cried and Remus had a fatherly arm on his shoulder. His eyes finally fell on Lily – she had taken the seat closest to him and had wrapped her arms around her legs, pulling them up to her chest. Tears were falling down her face although she didn't make a sound. James looked at her for a few moments, feeling utterly confused before returning his attention to the Quidditch team.
He looked Cynthia in the eye, "did I get it?"
Renee was the one who answered. She held out her hand and gave him the snitch that he had caught, "you caught it." James sighed, feeling some of the tension literally falling from his shoulders.
"Did we win?" James asked, already knowing the answer but wanting the reassurance of it being said out loud.
"We did," Cynthia smiled, a look of pure happiness washed over her face. Although she was concerned about her seeker, she couldn't help but smile at the fact that they had won the match fantastically.
"280 to 60," Rob told him excitably.
"What are you guys doing here?" James laughed, "you should be in the common room celebrating!"
"Get out of here. Go give Gryffindor the party they're dying for," James laughed.
The team didn't need telling twice. They began to make their way towards the exit, "I'll come check on you tomorrow," Keeney said, "can't have my star seeker out of action for long."
James laughed before looking at Sirius, "What are you still doing here? Get going Mr Beater!"
"But James," Sirius began.
"No way – get going," James almost laughed as Sirius followed after the rest of the team. "Right guys you should go enjoy yourselves too. The hospital wing is a pretty dull place."
"We don't want to leave you alone," Alice said honestly.
"I'll be fine," James sighed.
"I could stay," Lily offered. "I don't feel like a party any way. You guys go and have fun."
They looked at her with shocked expressions, "are you sure Evans?" James asked.
"Yeah," Lily almost smiled. She had finally stopped crying but her face was incredibly blotchy.
Soon the two Gryffindors were left alone in the empty hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey was in her office paying them very little attention. They didn't speak. Neither one of them really knew what to say, "so…" James began.
"I'm so sorry," Lily began crying again.
"Why?" James asked, sitting up slightly in her bed.
"For everything… when I saw you fall…"
James sighed. He wanted to hug her and make her feel better but he knew he couldn't. "Evans – enough is enough. It's not your fault."
"Evans – I told you last time we were in here. I can't do this. I really can't do this."
"But James," Lily began.
"Evans – You say you're sorry but it doesn't change anything."
"What do you want from me Evans? I'm fine. Everything is fine. Nothing is going to change what happened and the worst thing is that it's not finished. We're going to war, Evans. You need to stop sitting on the fence," James whispered.
"I'm not sitting on the fence," Lily bit back.
"You kind of are," James sighed, "you're best friends with a death eater. You might not believe it but it's true. You might hate me for saying it but it's true. I can't lie to you."
Lily frowned, tears in her eyes, she looked away towards the doors, "there's no proof though. How do you actually know? Why do you expect me to believe you over my best friend? How can you expect me to believe the person who taunts him, who ridicules him, who is cruel to him?"
"That's why this conversation is a waste of time," James sighed. "You'll never believe any of us. You need to see it for yourself – but mark my words Lily," he gently stroked her face, "you will see it and when you do your heart will be even more broken because it took you so long."
Lily looked into his eyes unable to reply. "Evans, stop feeling guilty and just stand by your decision whatever it is. If you want to trust him then trust him. Right – I need to sleep – you can stay if you want but you look tired. The party has probably died down by now."
"Yeah right," Lily laughed, "A Gryffindor party die down before midnight? I don't think so!"
At that moment Madam Pomfrey stepped out of her office, "I'm guessing you are hungry Potter? That was a ridiculously long match. Ah Miss Evans… would you like a snack as well?"
"Er – I was…"
"Yeah, Evans will stay, won't you Lily?" James smiled, trying to reassure her that there were no hard feelings. Lily nodded her head gently, a slight smile playing at her mouth.
James spent the next few days in the hospital wing. He was sure that he didn't need to stay but Madam Pomfrey always seemed to keep him longer than he needed. James thought that perhaps she thought the longer she kept him the longer he would stay away before getting hurt again. Lily hadn't been back after James' first night. Not that he expected her to. He was pretty sure that their entire conversation had just been a result of her being in shock. The marauders spent most of their time with him. They spent the whole of Sunday with him and then all their free periods on Monday. They had worked on their homework together quietly. Madam Pomfrey had been confused by how calm they were – it was so unlike them.
Cynthia and Rob had been to visit twice. On Monday they brought him a copy of the prophet. "We've got some good news for you," Cynthia smiled.
"Cool. What is it?" He replied before looking at the paper.
"Astrix and Etta are getting married. They're engaged!" Cynthia squealed excitably.
James smiled, nodding his head in acknowledgement, "that is cool."
"Etta said that we're all invited… all the old team. Me, Rob, you, Sirius, and Renee."
"When is it?" James asked.
"New years eve," Cynthia sighed, "it's so romantic."
Rob and James exchanged a look before James diverted his attention to the paper. The headline read; Chudney Cannons Chaser's Muggle-Born Girl Friend Murdered!
James began to read the article beneath. Pilatus Weasley (Chudney Cannons Chaser)'s long term girlfriend was murdered last night. It is being treated as suspicious. A witness described how an unusual skull with a snake protruding from its mouth was visible in the sky seconds after Lucy Habbicut (Aged 22) screamed loud enough for the neighbours to hear. This is not the first time this mark has been seen. The most famous sighting being that of last summer when Hogwarts was attacked leaving auror, Holly Kilmont dead. Lucy Habbicut was said to be a friendly, sweet girl. Weasley has refused to comment although a Chudney Cannons official said that Lucy would be missed by everyone who had ever had the privilege of meeting her. Weasley and Habbicut had been dating since their fifth year at Hogwarts. Seven years on, one friend even said that there had been talk of marriage.
James sighed, "Poor Pilatus."
Cynthia nodded, "absolute shame."