The Art Of Divination
In the weeks that followed Dorcas Meadowes' attack James spent most of his time checking the map for any sign that the Slytherins were attacking yet another muggle-born. James had felt personally guilty for not helping her. His friends had laughed at him, telling him that he wasn't responsible for the welfare of every student in the school. They had joked that he had a hero complex but James had a feeling that they weren't really joking. He was constantly checking the map but he never noticed anything untoward. That was until he was sat in Divination. He had the map open, hidden inside his textbook. He saw several Slytherin dots stood in a corridor just outside the girls' toilets. James saw Doreen Jackson, Nancy's sister leave her class. She was making her way towards the toilet, towards the Slytherins. James didn't think about it. He jumped to his feet and ran from the room, leaving the whole class staring at the door in confusion.
He ran through the corridors until he could hear voices. "So mud-blood what will we do with you?" Snape asked.
"Crucio," Avery shouted. The curse hit her. She started screaming. The sound hit James, he held his wand up and turned the corner.
"Expelliamus," James disarmed Avery before pulling Doreen into his arms. His wand still raised, he glowered at Snape. "What the hell are you doing? She's just a kid."
"She's a mud-blood!" Snape replied.
"Like Lily?" James asked.
"Don't you dare talk to me about her," Snape said angrily.
"You are such a hypocrite. I wonder what Evans would think if she knew you were attacking innocent first years."
"It's got nothing to do with her," Snape spat back.
"You're right – it doesn't matter that she thinks you're a good person."
They heard a noise from down the corridor, "what's going on here?"
James turned around to see Professor McGonagall looking at them all. "Professor – they were attacking Doreen."
"I see. Well good job you were here Potter. Avery, Snape – my office now!" McGonagall told them, "Potter – why aren't you in class?"
"I - I needed a walk," James lied.
"You needed a walk?" McGonagall asked, astounded.
"The… the heat in my divination classroom was exhausting," James lied.
"You can't just leave class Potter. Did you ask permission?"
"I'll have to give you detention James. Detention with Professor Lifflilee straight after dinner." McGonagall sighed, "can you take Doreen to the hospital wing, please?"
"Yes Professor," James nodded.
James made his way to Professor Lifflilee's classroom for his detention. He knocked on the door. Professor Lifflilee opened it, "ah Potter. Come in… for your detention I thought you could clean the crystal balls."
"Yes professor," James replied.
Professor Lifflilee handed him a cloth before going to sit at her desk. She began marking fourth years homework. James starting dusting the orbs that were on the shelves that lined the walls. There was silence in the room. The only noise the sound of Professor Lifflilee's quill on parchment. An hour or so later he had finished and was putting down the cloth, "Professor, I've finished."
"Very good, Potter. You can go," Professor Lifflilee replied.
James turned away and made his way towards the door. His hand was on the handle when he heard, "YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE."
"Excuse me?" James asked as he turned back around to face his teacher. Her voice was harsher and louder than normal. Professor Lifflilee was sat rigid in her armchair. Her eyes were unfocused. She didn't seem to hear James. Harry was stood next to his father. He remembered what it had been like in his own third year to hear Professor Trelawney's prophecy.
"TONIGHT THEY WILL ATTACK. INSTEAD OF ATTACKING THE NAMELESS MANY, THEY WILL ATTACK THE LEADER! INSTEAD OF ATTACKING THE NAMELESS MUGGLES THEY WILL ATTACK GOVERNEMENT, PARLIAMENT, THE LEADER OF THE MUGGLE PEOPLE… BUT THEY WILL ALSO ATTACK THE SCHOOL… THE BOUNDARIES WILL BE BROKEN AND THE STUDENTS WILL BE THREATENED… YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE… WILL YOU SAVE ONE OR WILL YOU SAVE MANY… TONIGHT THEY WILL ATTACK… WHO WILL YOU SAVE?"
Professor Lifflilee's head fell forward onto her chest. She made a grunting sort of noise. James stood there in complete shock. Suddenly Professor Lifflilee's head snapped up. "I'm so sorry, Mr Potter," she smiled, "I think I drifted off for the moment."
James just stared at her.
"Are you alright dear?"
"You… you just told me that the school would be attacked tonight," James practically whispered.
"I hardly think I'd say something like that," Professor Liifflilee laughed. "Unless it was a prediction but how unlikely."
Five minutes later James was rushing into Gryffindor Tower to tell the other marauders.
"Professor Lifflilee just made a prophecy – or at least I think it was a prophecy."
"What do you mean?" Remus asked.
"Well she said that I have a choice to make. She said that the death eaters are going to attack the muggle… what's it called… their minister for magic."
"The Prime Minister?" Remus offered.
"Yeah, him," James nodded.
"What's this choice you have to make?" Sirius asked.
"I have to choose between saving the prime minister and saving the school. The dementors are going to break the borders tonight. They are going to attack the school."
Remus' eyes grew as Sirius swore under his breath. Peter squeaked. "What are we going to do?"
"I – I don't know," James replied.
"We need to tell Professor Dumbledore and your dad," Remus nodded.
James nodded. He went over to the fire. He threw some floo powder into the fire and leant on his knees, placing his head head in the green flames. "The Potter residence."
James could see Milly cleaning the room, "Milly!"
The house-elf jumped at the sight of James in the fire, "Master Potter!"
"Milly – is father home?"
"Sorry Master James, he is at the ministry."
"She's visiting Mrs Mckinnon. Mrs McKinnon has been unwell this week."
"Oh. Can you send a message to my father?"
"Of course Master," Milly bowed.
"Tell him that I think the death eaters are going to attack the muggle prime minister and that I think the dementors are going to attack the school."
"Yes master," Milly nodded.
"Tell him that I heard a prophecy," James explained.
James returned from the fire and frowned. "Milly says he'll pass the message onto my father. We better tell Dumbledore." James stood up and led his three best friends out of the common room towards Professor Dumbledore's study.