Chapter 14, Suspicions

‘I think James is either a complete genius or completely mental.’ Dorcas gasped, dropping into an armchair by the fire, ‘Seven hours we were out there today, seven, and the season doesn’t begin until October; we don’t even know when the first match is yet.’

She had just got out of the shower and was still drying her hair with her wand.

‘God, I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to sit on a broom again…’ Tommy Ransom said, shuffling painfully past, ‘Pulling out of a dive like that really catches you in the-’

‘Don’t need to know, Tommy!’ Dorcas called, before turning to back to Laura and Lily, ‘I think we might be able to get the cup this year!’ she whispered excitedly, ‘James has about a hundred moves for us to learn, Sirius and Hannah are going to be incredible, George can even stop James scoring one on one, and Tommy… well, I swear he’s going to kill himself, but I’ve never seen anyone like it!’

Lily watched the honest excitement on Dorcas’ face and couldn’t help but giggle; her opinion on Tommy being in the team had reversed so quickly that you would have thought she had been arguing with James for Tommy to be on the team.

‘What?’ Dorcas said, perplexed.

‘It’s just…. You’re so… enthused by the whole thing; it’s just a game, Dorcas!’ Lily said, still stifling giggles.

Dorcas frowned and Lily knew she’d said the wrong thing and started backpedalling, ‘Oh, look, I’m really sorry! I know you really enjoy it, but you can’t just fly around all day every day. You’ll end up not being able to do any work.’

Dorcas’ frown only deepened, ‘You know what, Lily, I’m not sure why I bother to talking about this kind of stuff with you; you obviously don’t care.’

Lily gaped at her, and the sudden change of mood.

‘Is it because of me spending time with Potter? Seriously Lily, you need to get a grip; you’re not in Second Year any more, he doesn’t go around dumping goo in girls’ hair anymore! He’s a guy like any other, probably a lot better than most and you have this twisted little opinion that somehow Slytherins are better than us! You know what? I’m fed up with it!’

With that, Dorcas got up and walked away, going to sit beside Tommy Ransom and Sarah Huntly, both Fifth Years but they were on the Quidditch Team.

‘Wow, tactful Lily,’ Mary said as she sat down in the vacated armchair.

‘H… What did I say?’ Lily said, confused and hurt by Dorcas’ sudden outburst.

‘God, Lily; she gets back from, what was it? Seven hours of Quidditch practise. She’s probably stiff, sore and exhausted, but she’s got Potions and Arithmancy to hand in tomorrow and all you do is tell her that she’s not doing enough work.’

Lily was affronted, ‘I didn’t scold her! I just-’

‘And it’s her, you know, Lily…’ Mary finished, looking around to see if anyone was listening, before mouthing, ‘Time of the month.’

‘I know! But that’s no need for her to-’

I didn’t know you were on your period, Lily!’ Black said loudly for the whole Common Room to hear, as he dropped over the arm of the sofa Laura and her were sitting on. He missed Lily, and landed spread out, his head in Laura’s previously book filled lap, ‘Alright, darlin’,’ he said winking up at her.

Laura grinned, but Lily caught Dorcas’ baleful glare from across the other side of the Common Room; she had obviously just heard Black’s comment and assumed they were talking about her.

Lily blushed as people stared at her and pushed Black’s legs off her, snapping, ‘Shove off, Black! Go and ruin someone else’s life!’

It was Sirius’ turn to look offended, ‘Alright, Evans, no need to get shirty about it. Seems you’re getting in enough arguments lately without Prongs or Snivellus’ help.’

Lily’s hackles rose, ‘Just sod off, Black and go play with your little friends!’

He stood up, eyeing her strangely and picked up Laura’s abandoned book for her, before walking away to join Potter and Pettigrew who seemed to be crouched over something in the corner by the window.

Lily huffed angrily; what was everyone’s problem today?

Sirius sat down beside James and Peter, ‘Merlin, Evans is in a good mood,’ he said sarcastically, ‘I wouldn’t bother trying to go near her tonight, Prongs, she’ll probably bite your head off.’

‘What’s up with her?’ James asked, looking across.

‘No idea; first she has a go at Dorcas for playing Quidditch, then she has a go at me for sitting near them; like I’ve ever done anything to her!’

‘Sitting on her,’ Peter said quietly.

‘Whatever,’ Sirius replied dismissively, ‘Anyway, I wouldn’t waste your time tonight. Pete? Did you find anything in the library?’

‘Yeah, I did actually!’ Peter squeaked excitedly, then he blushed and cleared his throat before continuing in a slightly more normal voice, ‘I found this; it’s got loads of stuff about Pensieves in it.’

James showed Sirius the cover of the book, it read, Memory Dissection: Pensieve Manipulation and Runic Values.

‘Merlin, I forgot there were runes involved; we’re going to have to do some learning, should’ve have done runes for O.W.Ls.’ Sirius muttered.

Lily watched as Sirius flopped down beside the other Marauders; they all looked across at her and Black waved a hand dismissively in her direction before they all started looking at something. Lily stood up; she wasn’t going to be talked about behind her back, especially by Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew, who were probably planning some prank right now as well.

She walked across and said, ‘Hand it over,’ sticking out her hand to receive whatever they had hidden away between them. She was suddenly very aware of a feeling of déjà vu, ‘Yes, Black, you know I’m a Prefect.’ She said before he could give some idiotic excuse.

James looked up at her, ‘Lily, it’s just Charms work,’ he said quietly.

‘Let’s see it.’ She demanded and surprisingly they all sat back out of the way, to reveal an old book on Pensieves; apparently they were doing Charms work. She didn’t put it past the Marauders to have bewitched it or something though, so she picked it up, tapped it with her wand and said, ‘Reveal yourself,’ in a commanding voice.

Peter stared at her wide-eyed, Black snorted and Potter looked away, shaking his head so she couldn’t see his expression. Nothing happened to the book though, it just sat heavy in her hand. The Marauders couldn’t actually be doing homework, could they?

She felt herself blush, realising that she just looked stupid and the whole Common Room was now watching what was about to happen next. Potter turned round to look at her and said, ‘Evans, we’re not always trying to pull stunts; we do work sometimes.’

‘Oh, so you do actually work then?’ she snarled, ‘You don’t just play Quidditch, hex people and mess up your ridiculous hair.’

‘That’s unfair, Lily.’ He replied softly.

‘Where’s Remus?’ she demanded.

James watched as she stormed away, he hadn’t even done anything and she had still had a go at him. There was something incredibly beautiful about her even when she was angry, but whatever emotion it had been that was shining out of her eyes had been unpleasant at best.

Merlin, he wished he could walk after her, pull her back and simply hold her in his arms.

Peter brought him back to the present though, ‘When are you guys going to talk to Remus?’

An ugly look flashed across Sirius’ face, ‘When he decides it’s time to apologise.’

‘And if he doesn’t?’ Peter asked bravely.

‘We’ll… we’ll sort something out.’ James muttered, not sure if he was talking to them or reassuring himself.

Sirius was angry; Evans had just pulled the whole ‘I’m such a Prefect martyr’, she couldn’t find Remus who was supposed to be on duty with her later apparently. Then she hadn’t believed them when they said they didn’t know where he was; accusing them of wasting her time.

Women could be so infuriating; he wasn’t sure how James could like her so much.

He had an idea, but he wasn’t entirely sure. Yes, she was pretty. Yes, she had a fit body. Yes, she was a lovely girl most of the time. On the other hand though, she could be downright neurotic sometimes, and she far too rule-abiding for Sirius’ taste.

Townley, however, she wasn’t a Prefect and Sirius was thinking about meeting her later, not that she knew that. She would be in the library; Peter had overheard her telling a friend she needed to finish some Transfiguration questions.

He thought he might drop into the library and accidently find her.

‘Guys, I’m going to go and see if I can find a girl,’ He announced.

‘Cool,’ muttered James, obviously not really listening.

Peter muttered something too, but Sirius was already up and heading for the Portrait Hole.

A few minutes later he was nearing the library when he saw Remus step out and walk away down the corridor, seconds later Snape followed him, looking for all the world like he was stalking Remus. Sirius frowned, staying out of sight of his mate and the Slytherin.

Snape took the same corridor Remus did. Sirius followed.

Just as Snape was reaching into his robes, as though he was going to curse Remus from behind, Sirius called, ‘Alright Snivelly?’ as Remus disappeared around another corner. No Slytherin was going to hex his mate, whether he was pissed off with him or not.

Snape spun round, saw him and seemed to go slightly pale, ‘Black,’ he spat, ‘following your little friend? A bit predatory isn’t it?’

Sirius wasn’t sure if he had heard emphasis on the way Snivellus said “predatory”, but something suddenly worried him. Why would Snape be following Remus?

He was interrupted as Snivelly whipped out his wand and shot a spell at him, it missed his face by inches.

‘You little bastard!’ he growled, drawing his own wand.

The next spell hit his shoulder though, tearing through his jumper and causing a large gash to appear just beside his collarbone. He roared in pain, blood spattering across the corridor wall, but Snape was already running; Snivelly never hesitated in making a quick exit.

Sirius’ trip jinx caught him as he went round the corner and he crashed into the wall in a welter of flying robes. Sirius tried to follow, but his shoulder was bleeding badly, ‘Next time, Snivelly!’ he threatened as the boy scrambled to his feet and was gone. He gritted his teeth against the pain and headed back towards the library, pressing a hand over the cut. It wasn’t that bad; Snape’s curse had only just clipped him.

He walked into the library, staying away from the usual places Madam Pince could be found and started looking around the tables Ravenclaws generally used. A few minutes later he spotted her; she was with a friend and a small stack of books.

He smoothed his hair back, pressed his hand over his still bleeding shoulder and went in for the kill.

‘Alright, girls?’

‘Oh my God! You’re bleeding!’

Snape stopped running; it had been typical of Black to appear where he wasn’t wanted and his anger had got the better of him. He thought he had an idea about Lupin; there was something off about him and the signs pointed towards something bigger. But everything he had on the Gryffindor Prefect could be explained away by fairly natural excuses.

Tiredness; from hanging about with the Marauders the whole time, day and night.

Disappearances every four or five weeks; apparently his mother was ill.

Looking ill himself when he reappeared; stress from seeing his mother and travelling.

But Snape had an idea, and he wanted to see if it was anywhere near the truth. He was prepared to wait though, and when the time was right, he would be able to put that arrogant Potter and his sneering sidekick back where they belonged. If he was right…

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