Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.
Here's chapter fourteen!
Hope you enjoy it!
On the thirty-first of December, those who had left for the Christmas holiday and still hadn't returned to the school already, were boarding the Hogwarts express as it was the last day the train would make the journey across to Hogsmeade station.
James Potter and Sirius Black stood with Jane Potter saying their goodbyes.
'I'll see you at the end of school then dear.' Jane Potter said hugging her son tightly, not wanting to let him go. He was all she had left.
'Mum! I need air!' James laughed. Jane let him go reluctantly. He ran a hand through his ruffled hair and pushed his glasses back up his nose whilst Jane had begun to crush Sirius in a hug.
When she had let Sirius go, she looked at both the boys and then around the station. 'I can't remember the last time I was here!' she said with a sad smile.
'The end of my second year.' James said without a solid expression, 'You and Dad. You both came to pick me up. It was when I started my third year you stopped dropping me off. Picking me up'
Jane had a little hurt and guilty look on her face. 'I'm so sorry James.' Jane sniffed, 'We focused all our attention on protecting the rest of the world and we didn't focus hardly any on you. I am sorry James. Things will be different now. I'm just sorry your Dad had to die for me to realise that things need to change.'
'It's alright Mum!' James said smiling at her. He looked over at Sirius who was looking at the high ceiling, bobbing his head like a pigeon.
'Anyway mum, we better go before Sirius starts to show any more bird-like features!' James said, hugging his mum one more time.
Sirius looked at James confused. James just shook his head with a laugh.
'Come on! Let's get you on the train!' James said pushing Sirius towards the gleaming scarlet steam train, 'Bye Mum!' he yelled back at Jane Potter.
'See ya Mrs P!' Sirius yelled back just before James dragged him onto the train.
Jane Potter saw her boys disappear onto the Hogwarts express and sighed. She now had to go back to a huge, empty mansion by herself.
She took a step back to turn around and leave but she bumped into someone.
'I'm so sorry.' she said to the man before walking away.
'No problem!' he shouted after her.
'What's no problem?' Heather Evans said approaching her husband and her daughter who was busy stowing her trunk on the train.
'Nothing dear.' Richard replied putting his arm around his wife's waist as she turned to face their daughter.
'Now have you got everything?' Heather asked Lily who exhaled a large breath after finishing heaving her trunk on the train.
'Yes!' She replied glumly.
'Cheer up sweet heart!' Richard said with a smile, 'She'll come around!'
'No she won't.' Lily said sadly shaking her head, 'This was it. She'll never forgive me now.'
Her parents couldn't reply to Lily's statement so they just hugged her goodbye and assisted her onto the train.
Lily watched her parents walk towards the entrance to the muggle world. She saw them disappear through the barrier before turning around to walk down the now moving train to find a compartment. Halfway down, she found her path blocked. She had been looking at her feet as she was walking and now she saw two black shoes stood in front of hers. She looked up and found herself staring into the eyes of Severus Snape.
She took a deep steadying breath. 'Excuse me.' she said tonelessly.
Severus slowly stepped to the side and let her passed. He watched her wistfully down the train. His staring was interrupted by some laughing in the compartment he was stood with his back too. He turned around with a sneer to see James Potter, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew racing chocolate frogs across a make-shift race box. Severus rolled his eyes and walked away leaving the marauders shouting in their compartment.
'I win!' Sirius said happily, picking up his chocolate frog and biting off its head.
'Yours didn't even finish the race!' James laughed, 'You picked it up and ate it!'
'So?' Sirius said with his mouth full, 'It finished the race to my mouth!'
'That doesn't count!' James said also picking up his leaping chocolate frog and biting its leg.
Sirius and James ate their chocolate frogs whilst they watched Peter try and catch his jumping chocolate frog for ten minutes.
Peter finally caught his frog and exhaustedly, flopped down on the seat next to Sirius.
'How was your Christmas then Pete?' James asked him.
'All right.' Peter said with a shrug of his shoulders.
'Did you get anything nice?' James continued.
'A scarf.' Peter said in a bored fashion, 'Mum said the other one was tatty and could scratch my neck. What about you?'
'Err…books, money, an owl,' he indicted to the cage next to him. Inside, a Rufus Legged owl was sleeping, 'sweets and, best of all, a Nimbus 1500!' James said happily going into an in-depth analysis on the speed and aero-dynamics his new racing broom could exhibit.
After twenty minutes of hearing about how James broom could go from naught to one-hundred in fifteen seconds. Peter decided to change the subject.
'I heard there was a huge raid a couple of days ago.' Peter stuttered, a little scared that the attention was now on him but enjoying it none-the-less. 'All the top auror's were there. Was your dad there Prongs?'
James' smile dropped. Sirius thumped Peter on the arm angrily.
'OW!' Peter yelped, 'What was that for?'
James took a deep breath and stood up. He turned to Sirius and said, 'Fill him in. I'm gonna go and find the trolley.' before opening the sliding door and leaving the compartment.
He heard Sirius shouting at Peter and telling him he was being insensitive as he walked away from their compartment. He didn't have any idea where the trolley would be at the moment, so he just decided to wander up and down the train for a bit. He looked into the other compartments as he went, just nosing into how the other Hogwarts students spent their train journeys. Some were playing wizard's chess, some were reading and some were just talking. He then bypassed an almost empty compartment. He would have just gone straight past if he hadn't have recognised the deep red hair. Even though her face wasn't turned towards him and she was just looking out of the window, James knew it was one Lily Evans.
He opened the compartment quietly and walked forwards. He reached out his hand to tap her on the shoulder when she turned around.
'Oh my god!' Lily said, startled by someone else in her compartment.
'Sorry Evans!' James said, trying not to laugh, 'Didn't mean to make you jump!'
'It's all right.' Lily said looking straight at James, her heart beating ten to the dozen, 'I just didn't hear you come in! You scared me!'
'Sorry!' James said a small chuckle escaping him finally, 'I didn't mean to honestly. Just wondered if you were alright?'
Lily looked into James' kind, crooked smile. 'I'm all right.' Lily said, returning the smile.
'Good, good. Well it's good to see you!' James said about to leave the compartment.
'It's good to see you too.' Lily said, surprised at how true the statement actually was.
James stopped in his tracks and decided to go for it. 'Do you want to come and sit with us in our compartment?' James asked her.
'Err…' Lily said, a little caught off guard. She thought for a moment about his offer. It would be nice to sit with others on the train journey. She did sit with them on the way home and that was fun. And she had missed them over the Christmas holidays. Surprisingly. Plus, being in a compartment with the marauders did have its perks. For one, Severus would stop walking past her compartment and leering in at her. Also, she could always count on having a laugh and a good time when she was with them. She always had fun when they hung out in the only free periods when her friends weren't there. (They were in Divination)
'Sure.' Lily said standing up and reaching for her trunk.
'I'll get that!' James said leaning over Lily's head and grabbing her trunk for her.
'Thanks!' Lily smiled, moving out of James' way.
They both walked out of Lily's compartment and down the train to where Sirius had finished yelling at Peter.
Lily opened the door for James who was carrying her heavy trunk without issue. She was kind of impressed at his strength.
'Hey! Look who I found!' James said as he entered the compartment. Peter was now shrunken in the corner and Sirius was sprawled out on the opposite seat.
'Hey Evans!' Sirius said with a yawn, 'D'ya get me any chocolate frogs then Prongs?'
'Not yet.' James said heaving Lily's trunk into the overhead holder.
'You're useless.' Sirius said with a tut.
'I'll go get some now.' James said walking back towards the compartment door, 'Anybody else want anything?' he asked the compartment at large.
'No thank you.' Lily said smiling at James. He smiled back as the train jolted suddenly. Lily's heart leapt.
'What 'bout you Pete? Anything?' James asked turning his attention to Peter who was still looking at his feet, curled up in the corner. He shook his head.
'Okay.' James said pulling open the compartment door once again. 'See you in a bit.'
James, Sirius, Peter and Lily walked into the Gryffindor common room later that night to find Remus, Hestia, Alice and Emmeline sat around the fireplace. Remus was reading one of the books James gave him for Christmas, Emmeline was reading a book on translating dreams and Hestia was painting Alice's nails.
When James, Sirius, Peter and Lily headed for the other four Hestia was changing the colour of Alice's nail polish with her wand. She stopped when she saw Lily.
'LILY!' she yelled, throwing her wand down so hard red and gold sparks flew from it. She clambered over the back of the couch Remus was sitting on, knocking over the tower of cards he'd built earlier so they exploded, in the process of trying to reach her best friend. When she got to her, Hestia squashed Lily in an enthusiastic hug.
'I missed you!' she said in a baby's voice jumping up and down whilst she was still hugging Lily.
'I can tell!' Lily laughed.
'Where's my welcome Remus?' Sirius asked, jumping over the sofa Hestia had just also jumped over, and plonking himself directly next to Remus. He was so close to him he might as well have been in his lap. 'Didn't you miss me?' Sirius continued.
'Nope.' Remus said without tone or expression as he continued to read his book.
Sirius turned to James. 'I feel the love!' he said with a nod of his head.
James chuckled. 'Anything new happen here?' he asked Remus as he walked around the sofa and sat on the floor, crossed legged, in front of the fire place.
'Apparation lessons start next week.' Remus said closing his book to look at James.
'Sure. You close your book to look at him!' Sirius said nodding his head. 'Don't worry. I won't take it personal-OW! What was that for?'
Remus had flicked Sirius on the nose. Sirius shut up and was looking confused and a little upset at Remus. Remus just smiled and raised his eyebrows. He had learnt that in the how to train your dog book James had got him for Christmas.
'Come on Lily!' Hestia said who had been squeezing the life out of her best friend since she entered the room, 'Let's go plan our shopping day tomorrow!'
'Oh great!' Lily said sarcastically.
Early the next morning, Lily was stood in the cold entrance hall, shivering. Hestia had dragged her up at the break of dawn so they could have the entire day shopping. Then, when Hestia had realised that she had woken up Alice and Emmeline, she forced them to get dressed too and come out for the day with Lily and herself. So now, Lily, Hestia, Alice and Emmeline were all stood in the entrance hall waiting for Filch to check their names off of the checklist.
Hestia had enough energy for all four of them. She was literally bouncing off of the walls. She had always been a morning person, unlike Lily who was yawning and shivering in the cold along with Alice. Emmeline was swaying softly and seemed unaffected by the weather.
Hestia bounced over to Filch to ask him if they could go yet. He apparently said yes as she then bounded back to Lily, Alice and Emmeline and dragged them out of the entrance hall into the thick snow which was settled on the ground.
It took them less than ten minutes to reach to the gate which led from Hogwarts to the road to Hogsmeade and the outside world. A journey which would usually take around fifteen minutes or more at a normal pace but Hestia was in a rush to get to the New Year's Day sales, giveaways, deals and celebrations. There was no slowing her down.
They soon reached Hogsmeade and, because of how early it was, the shops were only just opening and setting up for the New Year's Day event.
'Isn't this great!?' Hestia asked Lily, who she had linked arms with and had practically dragged into the village. Emmeline and Alice were trailing along behind them, about twenty feet away.
'Great isn't particularly the word I'd use.' Lily said grumpily, (she wasn't a morning person) 'Early, perhaps. But not great!'
'Oh stop being such a mope Lily! Enjoy yourself! Look around!' Hestia said, walking with Lily further into the village.
'There's nothing to look at yet!' Lily said in high disbelief at Hestia's suggestion, 'They've only just started to set up! Can't we just sit down for a bit?'
'You wimp!' Hestia grumbled, 'Fine! We can go sit by the shrieking shack! I heard that the alleged 'ghoul's' were making a huge racket a few nights ago!'
'Oh joy! Just what we need!' Lily mumbled, 'Angry ghouls!'
Hestia laughed at her best friend. Alice and Emmeline had caught up with them at this point and were told of their plan to go and sit near the haunted building. They were more than happy to go along so all four of them set off further down the main village lane until they came to a small sloping hill covered with trees. They walked halfway up the small slope until they came to a bench which was placed in front of a rickety wooden fence which surrounded the shrieking shack and its grounds.
Relieved all four girls sat down on the cold bench and looked up at the broken building.
'It's beautiful isn't it?' Emmeline said dreamily.
Lily, Hestia and Alice turned their heads slowly to look at Emmeline and her expression of awe.
'Are we looking at the same building?' Hestia whispered to Lily through the corner of her mouth.
Lily elbowed Hestia in the ribs to shut her up before saying to Emmeline, 'How do you mean?'
'Even though it is broken, there is beauty in all the cracks.' Emmeline philosophised.
The girls started talking about what they were going to do that term at Hogwarts. None of them could wait for apparation lessons so that they could retrieve their licences and travel all over the world. They talked for an hour and a half uninterrupted. Then, Hestia saw the time and realised how much shopping time they had missed out on. She soon rallied the other three reluctant girls into moving and heading back into the village.
They were almost at the Hogshead Pub on the edge of Hogsmeade, when a giant tawny owl flew down and landed in front of Lily. Lily held her arm out for the owl to land on. When it did, she untied the letter from the owls outstretched foot, slipped three Knut's into the money pouch around its neck an let it fly away.
Lily looked at the letter. It was in a muggle envelope and there was a stamp in the corner. Obviously there were wizards in the muggle post office, monitoring the post and sending it on to the witches and wizards it was addressed too. The writing on the letter was familiar to Lily, but she hadn't seen it in a very long time.
Lily hadn't realised she had stopped walking but was told of the fact when Hestia shouted back to her to get a move on.
'Err…' Lily yelled to her three friends, 'I'll… catch up with you a bit later. I need to read this…' She turned around and walked back in the direction she had just come from.
'Where are you going?' Hestia shouted at Lily's retreating figure.
'Back to the shrieking shack!' Lily yelled, turning the letter over in her hands, 'I'll see you later.'
She headed back to the bench and sat down facing the shrieking shack.
It couldn't be… she thought to herself.
Lily opened the envelope and took out the two small sheets of thin paper. She read the letter, becoming more and more irate as she read further. Finally she reached the end and was out of words to describe how she was feeling. She didn't know whether to scream or cry. She just sat there. Stunned.
All Hogwarts students who had permission, the third years and up, were now Hogsmeade for the New year's day celebrations, (even Sirius who was technically banned from the events due to his unfortunate prank on Severus Snape). The celebrations were now in full swing and seemed to be going really well. This was only the second year the village and local businesses had done this. The Three Broomsticks was giving everyone a free butterbeer and Honeydukes were giving out free samples of their new, new year's chocolates. But Zonko's was where you could find most of the Hogwarts students, including James, Sirius, Remus and Peter. Zonko's had slashed all of their prices to less than ten percent. People were coming out of the store with their arms full and James, Sirius, Remus and Peter were four of those people.
'I think I bought the entire shop!' Sirius said happily.
'And then some.' muttered Remus as James laughed and Peter tittered.
The three boys walked along the street, heading for the Three Broomsticks pub to grab a butterbeer. As they were walking James began counting all of his bags. He had a fair few, but still discovered one missing.
'Ah great.' James sighed causing his fellow marauders to look up questioningly. 'I left one of my bags back in Zonko's.'
'Idiot!' Sirius said smacking James over the back of his head making his already messy hair even messier.
'Sure!' James said in a sarcastic fashion, 'Cause in your life you've never forgotten anything have you?'
'NEVER!' Sirius yelled causing Remus and James to chuckle and Peter to titter slightly.
'Yesterday we were just outside the mansion, all ready for Mum to apparate us to Kings Cross, and what had you forgotten to pack?' James asked Sirius, 'You're underwear.'
Remus burst into loud laughter and Sirius looked slightly abashed, a novelty for him.
'Go get your bag!' Sirius said through jokingly narrowed eyes
'I'll be right back.' James said smiling to his friends as they walked into the three broomsticks. He turned on his heel and walked casually back to Zonko's Joke shop ignoring the admiring looks he was pulling from the various girls who were walking through Hogsmeade. James shook his head and rolled his eyes, looking at the ground.
He reached Zonko's joke shop and was about to open the door when a small figure bumped into him and fell backwards.
James bent over and stretched out a hand to help the person up. 'I'm so sorry!' he said sincerely.
'No, no it's my fault.' sniffed the person.
James had no idea who had bumped into him as she wouldn't look up. He had a few clues though. She was obviously a Hogwarts student as her woolly winter hat had the schools emblem emblazoned on it, centre front. All her hair was tucked into it so he couldn't see the colour. She also had a scarf on. It was red and gold, a Gryffindor scarf. In the corner were two initials; J.P.
James felt his scarf-less neck before realising who the girl was. 'Evans?' he asked.
Lily looked up slowly, sniffing. Her face was tear stained and her large emerald eyes had such sadness and hurt in them.
James was worried. 'Evans are you ok?' he asked her again.
Lily burst into a fresh wave of tears. She was attracting stares from passers-by and James could see she was uncomfortable crying in public. She just couldn't seem to stop herself.
'Come on.' James said, leading Lily gently away from Zonko's. He turned down a small side street, still guiding Lily by the small of her back.
'Where are we going?' Lily sniffed, as they walked down the small back lane where the side entrances to the shops were located.
'Out of the way.' James said as they sped up. They came out onto a street lined with odd shaped houses which wizard families lived in. There was a small passage way between two of the houses which James took Lily down. It came out onto another street with odd shaped wizarding houses, except this time, they were surrounding a small portion of land. It was covered with snow but tufts of grass were poking out from underneath. There was one large leafless, snow soaked oak tree to the right of the ground and a bench loaded with snow underneath it.
Still crying, Lily was led over to the bench by James. Before she sat down, James took out his wand, waved it and all the snow, which was covering it, disappeared.
'Heat charm.' James said as he and Lily sat on the now, slightly warm bench. 'So what wrong Evans?' he asked her concerned.
Lily ignored his question and sniffed quietly. She had almost stopped crying but a few silent tears were still running down her cheeks. 'How did you know it was me?' Lily questioned James. 'I was looking down so you couldn't see my face. My hair is tied up and tucked into my hat and-'
'It was the scarf.' James smiled. Both of them looked at the scarf around Lily's neck.
James pointed at the corner of the scarf where the initials 'J.P' were stitched on. 'I gave you my scarf at the last Quidditch match.' he said.
'Oh…' Lily replied. She hadn't realised that she still had James' scarf. She had never noticed the initials in the corner and had forgotten how she had come to possess the scarf. All she knew was that it was now her favourite scarf and it smelt really good. Like beech wood. She looked up into James' eyes breathing deeply.
'So what's wrong?' James asked, his eyes filling with worry.
Lily sighed and swallowed, trying her hardest not to cry as she said, 'I've lost my sister.'
James sighed in understanding so Lily went on, 'I've known for ages that I was losing her, but, I tried to deny it. Then about, twenty minutes or so ago, I got this letter.'
She showed his the piece of paper which was scrunched up in her hand. James didn't take it as he didn't want to intrude in her privacy.
'When did she… when did you lose her?' James asked.
'Christmas day.' Lily sniffed.
'That's harsh.' James said sadly, and Lily was surprised to see his eyes were also rather hurt. Lily was touched but a little confused. Why was he showing such emotion over her problem?
'I lost my dad a few days before Christmas.' James confided in Lily.
'What?' Lily said taken aback. She was starting to realise that he had gotten the wrong idea.
'Dragon pox.' he said blinking, no tears escaping him, 'How did you lose your sister?' he asked her.
'Err…' Lily said, 'I'm sorry for your loss.'
'Thanks.' James smiled sadly.
'I, err… this is kind of humiliating, but, I…my sister hasn't… passed away.' Lily said slowly, trying to be delicate at the situation.
'Okay…' James said a little confused. Then a lot confused. 'So…you know what, you're gonna have to start from the very beginning, cause I'm very confused right now.' James then gave a single breathless laugh.
Lily smiled a little and took a deep breath, not really believing that she was about to tell the boy who she had sworn to hate forever, the one thing which really tore her up inside. But something in the way he was looking at her, the compassion in his eyes, urged her too. It was a compassion which Severus had never shown her on this topic.
'When…' she began, trying to summon the words and courage to tell this part of her life, 'When my sister, Petunia, and I were little, we were…inseparable. Then I got my Hogwarts letter and she…well…I found a letter which she had written to Dumbledore asking to come to Hogwarts too. Of course, she isn't a witch, so he wrote a very kind letter back explaining why she couldn't come too.' Lily had started to cry again. 'Ever since, she hasn't talked to me unless it was to, call me a freak or insult me. Tell me not to do something.'
James was looking a little bit shocked that Lily's sister had blamed Lily for her not-being a witch.
'I never gave up though. I was convinced…I convinced myself that things would change. I tried showing her some cool things from this world. Any presents I got her were magical, which, in hindsight, probably wasn't the smartest idea.' She choked a laugh, as did James in response to hers.
Lily looked up into James' eyes again and continued, 'This year, at Christmas, my sister warned me not to do, or talk about any magic as her boyfriend was coming over for Christmas dinner, and she had told him I attended a school for girls with behaviour problems. He didn't know I was a witch. So I tried to keep my promise but I had forgotten that I had given my family magical presents which I had bought from Hogsmeade. I didn't realise till later.'
'So what happened?' James asked speaking for the first time in Lily's story.
'Her boyfriend proposed. Horribly. But he did propose. She said yes and everything seemed fine. Then we all opened all of our presents and, of course, Petunia had a bit of explaining to do after he saw the shop labels. He ended up walking out of the house he was so shocked, and appalled. Petunia chased him down the street. She yelled at me so bad when she got back. Then she told me she wished I was dead. That I wasn't her sister anymore. That I was a freak. And she hasn't spoken to me since. That was until I got this letter.'
She held the crumpled letter out in her hand. James tentatively took it and read;
Thanks to you, my relationship with Vernon was almost torn to shreds. I can't believe you were so selfish and stupid to give me that garbage from your freak school. Luckily, Vernon is a very decent and kind man and has generously decided not to hold your abnormality against me. He said it wasn't my fault you were a freak.
I don't actually know if this letter will get to you, and I don't care, because I sent it the normal and RIGHT way. Not with your filthy bird. If it has I want you to know that you are dead to me. I hate you and you are not invited to my wedding. Yes. Despite your attempts to ruin it by being a freak, I am still having a wedding to marry my sweet Vernon.
I HATE YOU!
James finished reading the letter. He gave it back to Lily and sat there a little bit angry. How could anyone think Lily, the sweetest person he knew, would be vindictive enough to ruin her sister's relationship?
'It's not your fault.' James said to Lily who was still staring at him. She had been watching his expression whilst he read her letter.
'It wasn't your fault. You're the sweetest person I know. That letter was probably written in the heat of the moment. Don't worry about it. I'm sure that one day she'll realise it's not your fault that she's not a witch. That you didn't mean any harm by finding that letter from Dumbledore. And you giving her gifts from the wizarding world wasn't to spite her or to rub her face in the fact that you're a witch and she's not. She'll realise that it was just…a way of you inviting her into your world. A way to bring you closer together. She may not realise it at this moment. But she will. And you'll be invited to her wedding. You'll become as close as you were when you were ten. She'll come around. You'll just have to be patient.' James said in a hopeful, peaceful, but positive tone which would be enough to make anyone feel better and optimistic about a situation.
Lily's face softened. How? How had she misjudged this boy so much? This sweet, sweet boy who didn't have to listen to her worries. Who could have walked away and thought her pathetic. Who had his own worries to deal with which were far greater than hers. How? How had she misjudged this boy so much? She was about to thank him for his kindness but was interrupted by an unexpected loud bang.
James looked up fully alert. Lily looked at James.
'Shhhh!' He said placing his finger to Lily's lips which opened slightly. Lily's heart started to beat faster.
The silence was tense. Suddenly, screams filled the air and you could see flashes from curses in the distance over the tops of the buildings.
James sprang up and pulled out his wand.
'What are you doing?' Lily asked standing up as well and grabbing James arm as he tried to walk away.
James looked down at his arm where Lily's hand was, then back into her eyes. 'You have to go back to the castle.' James said speaking fast. 'Go straight down this road then turn left and you will be out on the road that leads back to Hogwarts. This is a death eater attack and they will be after muggleborns. I want you safe.'
'No.' Lily said pulling out her wand as well. 'I'm not running from this. That's how they'll win.'
'Lily!' James said using her real name for the first time, pain in his eyes as he pleaded with her to go back to the castle.
Lily noticed that he used her given name and she tried not to smile at hearing him say it. 'You can try all you like James,' she began, also using his given name for the first time, 'but I'm going to fight.'
James sighed and reluctantly said, 'Fine. But only if you stay behind me!'
Lily nodded reluctantly and the both began to run. Lily had a problem keeping up with James as he was a very fast runner. They came to the end of the side street which opened into main Hogsmeade. James threw his arm out to stop Lily going out into the street.
It was chaotic; around twenty death eaters were shooting curses at the shop owners. All the Hogwarts students were in the shops as they took cover from the attack. Curses were flying left right and centre and there were mad cackles of laughter from a few of the more excited death eaters.
James looked across into the three broomsticks and saw Sirius' and Remus' faces in the window. He started to root around in his jeans pocket.
'What are you doing?' Lily asked in scared whisper.
'Invisibility cloak.' James whispered back, finding it and throwing it over them both, 'Never go anywhere without it. We need to get to the three broomsticks. Keep up with me. We need to stay together or this won't work. Do you trust me?'
Lily hesitated but nodded her head. James gulped and grabbed her hand to which Lily did not pull back from. It was to keep them close together.
They dodged and ducked curses which were flying at their invisible selves from all angles. James managed to cast a few protection charms at people who had curses fired at them from behind.
Lily opened the door to the three broomsticks slightly with her free hand and James cast one more protection charm before she dragged him in.
They pulled the invisibility cloak off of themselves surprising those students hiding in the pub.
'Well, well, well!' Sirius said with bobbing eyebrows, looking at James and Lily's entwined hands, 'What's going on here then?' he said.
Remus slapped Sirius round the back of the head. 'Now is not the time!' he said through gritted teeth. Whilst his was happening James dropped Lily's hand. Remus turned to James, 'What do we do?' he asked him.
Lily was surprised that everyone turned to him, James, for help. She turned to him too, waiting with baited breath to see what plan he would, or could, come up with. She had never pictured him as the type to take charge. More of the one to cause the trouble.
James sprang into action. 'Okay. Peter. Take the cloak; go down the side street and that way back to the castle. Get Dumbledore. Be careful!' he warned.
Peter nodded and caught the invisibility cloak James threw at him. He put it on and disappeared. A moment later the door opened and closed.
James spoke again, 'Right. Err…' he said looking around, 'Frank!' he said spotting Frank Longbottom sat in the corner booth looking worried, 'You and Remus need to cast disillusionment charms on yourselves. Then go into the other shops and cast charms on those people too. Take them down the side street and back round to Hogwarts. We need to get as many people out as possible and you two are the best at those charms.'
'Bar you.' Remus said standing up with a smile.
James laughed. 'Thanks!' he said, 'Anyone who wants to fight is welcome but it is dangerous.'
'Ah shut it Prongs!' Sirius said, 'Let's just go kick their butts!' he enthused.
James smiled and breathed out. 'Here we go.' he said. Everyone stood up and either cast a disillusionment charm on themselves or got their wands out ready to fight.
Lily was looking at James in awe. She was so impressed with his plan. James looked at her and for the first time, Lily saw a fleeting look of pain and panic.
'Please go back to the castle.' James pleaded to her.
'No.' Lily said defiantly.
'Ugh!' James said angrily. He was shouting at her. 'Why are you so stubborn?'
'Because I'm a red head!' Lily said with a smile and a glint in her eyes.
James didn't smile back. His face still looked angry.
'Come on James!' Sirius shouted from the door, 'Let's go whoop some death eater arse!' he said.
James looked at Lily one last time, wishing she would listen to him, before going to join Sirius in waiting by the door. Lily followed.
'We open the door on three.' James said to the visible crowd. 'Wands ready?' he asked being shown nearly twenty wands, 'One, two…THREE!'
The door was flung open and the crowd from the three broomsticks swarmed out onto the street. Straight away, curses were shot at them as they cast blocking and shield charms to deflect the curses.
Sirius had begun to battle a the death eater in front of Zonko's to distract him whilst Remus and Frank ducked in to help the people trapped in the shop to get out.
Hestia and Alice, who had also been in the three broomsticks, were duelling with one large death eater in front of the post office and Lily was attacking the death eater outside of Honeydukes.
James was duelling with two death eaters at once, having taken over Emmeline's opponent after she had been knocked out almost straight away.
It was chaotic. Everyone was trying to focus on their own battle but was worried about their friends. They were all a bit distracted.
During this disarray of fighting, doors from the shops had been opening and closing and students, cloaked with the disillusionment charms Remus and Frank had performed were escaping down the side street and back to Hogwarts.
Lily's opponent was strong, but Lily was quick and was able to block the curses that were sent her way. Soon, she managed to send out a stunning charm but the death eater dodged it. The charm flew across the street hitting Sirius in the back causing him to fall down, and leaving his death eater free. Lily was so distracted that she had hit someone she knew, that her death eater took full advantage and sent a curse at Lily. At the same time, James had just immobilised one of the death eaters he was fighting when he saw Lily get hit. His stomach dropped and he tried to get over to her.
Everything then happened all at once. Sirius was on the ground due to Lily's spell. Lily was on the ground due to her death eaters curse. James had immobilised one of his death eaters. The death eater Sirius had been fighting shot a curse at James' back. At the same time, James second opponent shot one at his chest as did the death eater Lily was fighting when he saw James heading towards him. They all hit James simultaneously with a loud bang. The loudest one yet. You could hear the crack of his ribs as the pressure of three different curses squashed and crushed his chest tight together. Then it was James' turn to fall to the floor. Motionless.
Thanks for Reading
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