Five Minutes

Chapter 16

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.

Hello reader! Sorry for the late update. I know it's a lot later than I said I'd post but I had my first Uni Assesment so I was too egrossed by that. Sorry again.

To vampire-luver101. Thank you for your review! Made my day! :)

Here's chapter Sixteen!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Sixteen

Lily shook her head as if to wake herself up from a daze. She took a step backwards and shook her head again before turning around and heading towards the great hall. Severus shouted after her but Lily didn't turn around. She was confused. Her feelings weren't exactly clear to her but she did realise that something had changed. She needed to talk to someone about it. And she knew exactly who that someone was.

'Hestia!' Lily said as she walked up to Hestia, who was eating breakfast, in the great hall, 'Can I talk to you?'

'Lily!' Hestia said, putting down the muffin that was in her hand and standing up to hug Lily, 'You're out of the hospital wing!'

'Yeah.' Lily said hugging Hestia back briefly before pulling away from her, 'Can I talk to you please?'

'Yeah sure!' Hestia said sitting back down and offering Lily the space next to her, 'What's up?'

'Err…' Lily said, looking around at all the students sitting within ear-range of what Lily was sure to be an uncomfortable conversation for her with Hestia shouting 'I told you so' a thousand times. 'Can we go talk somewhere else? Please?' Lily asked, almost begging Hestia to agree.


'You can bring the muffin.' Lily said impatiently.

Hestia looked at her muffin hungrily then back at Lily, 'Well I wasn't going to say that, but if you insist!' She grabbed her muffin and followed Lily out of the great hall.

Lily sped down several corridors before they came to the only staircase which had decided to stay where it was that morning. They climbed up it in silence, Lily racing ahead determinedly and Hestia trying to catch up with her whilst stuffing bits of muffin into her mouth.

'Err…' Hestia said as they reached the next floor and turned down another corridor, 'Not that I don't love running randomly down corridors and everything but, do you want to tell me where we're going?'

'Dormitory.' was the single word that left Lily's lips.

'And you don't want to give me any kind of hint as to why we're silently rampaging the corridors?' Hestia asked getting a little bit breathless from trying to keep up with the steamroller that was Lily.

Lily didn't answer. She was trying to sort through her feelings and make them clear to herself before she asked Hestia what she should do. She tried to remember if she had ignored any signs that her feelings had changed, but everything she could think of, every shiver or every emotion, had other reasons for being there.

When Gwenog Jones and James had been talking and smiling at each other after the last Quidditch match against Hufflepuff, she had wanted to interrupt them. But she was cold, she wanted to get back to the castle and the group wouldn't leave without James. When they were walking back to the castle, James had given her his scarf and she had shivered at the touch of his hands wrapping the scarf around her neck. But he did have warm hands and it was a cold day. And in the hospital wing, when her hands would suddenly become clammy whilst in the middle of a conversation with James. But she was always holding something and it was very humid in the hospital wing. There was always an excuse. But nothing explained why her heart always began to beat loudly when James smiled at her. When they looked directly into each other's eyes. Why she always felt comforted, relaxed and happy when she was with him. She needed serious help. Help only Hestia could give.

They finally reached the portrait of the Fat Lady on the seventh floor. Lily was racing to get back to her dormitory so she could release her emotions to Hestia who was busy finishing the last crumbs of her muffin as she attempted to follow Lily through the portrait hole.

The two girls made a beeline for the spiral staircase which led to their dormitory. They raced up the steep steps until they reached the door which opened out into the room they had shared with three other girls for the past five and a half years.

When both Hestia and Lily were safely in the room, Lily shut the door and locked it with her wand to make sure no-one would enter the dormitory and overhear what she believed would be an awkward conversation.

'So.' Hestia said, throwing herself down on to the end of her bed, crossing her legs and looking at Lily who had mimicked Hestia's pose but on her own bed, 'You gonna tell me what this is all about?' she continued looking across to Lily who seemed to be deep in thought.

'Have you ever liked someone?' Lily finally asked Hestia after she had let them both sit in an awkward silence for five minutes, 'Like liked them?' she clarified.

'Yes.' Hestia said, 'It was awful. He didn't actually - Hey!' she suddenly stopped looking excitedly at Lily, 'Do you like someone? Ooh! Tell me who! Do I know him?'

'I don't actually know if I definitely like him yet!' Lily said quickly, getting up from her own bed and flinging herself down next to Hestia so they were now both sitting crossed-legged and face to face on Hestia's bed, 'That's why I wanted to talk to you. Were there any, erm…obvious signs that you liked them? Anything feelings…or reactions that tipped you off?' she said slowly.

'I don't really know.' Hestia said looking up in thought, 'I know that I always felt happy when I spent time with him. Smiled when I thought about him or when I said his name. Ooh! Also, I would get this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach when I knew I was going to see him or when I saw him for the first time.' her face was glowing as she reminisced. She grabbed her pillow from the head of her bed and hugged it to her before continuing. 'My heart would beat faster and I would always feel a shiver when he accidentally touched me…or, pushed me over as the case may be.' she finished looking at Lily with a smile. Lily however was looking a bit confused.

'Pushed you over?' she asked sceptically.

'Yeah.' Hestia said dreamily before explaining, 'I was eight. He was my next door neighbour. He was also a muggle. He always pushed me over when I went to talk to him in the park across the street. The last time I saw him was after he, again, had pushed me over. I got a bit annoyed and performed my first bit of magic. I made all his clothes shrink until they burst off of him and he was left in his underwear. I embarrassed him in front of all his friends and he never pushed me over again.'

'OK.' Lily said looking at her reminiscent friend as if she was a little bit insane.

'Anyway,' Hestia said, shaking her head to get rid of her mental daydream, 'So who is it you like?' she continued excitedly, bouncing up and down on her bed like a hyperactive three year old.'

Lily thought about what Hestia said. And, although she was only eight when she believed she liked someone, a lot of the things she said did make a lot of sense. The smiling when his name was said. Thinking about him. Butterflies in her stomach. Her heart beating faster and shivering when they touched. And, even though Hestia hadn't mentioned it in her particular story, Lily was sure that her hands becoming clammy were also a sign of her inner feelings.

'I don't want to tell you who I like.' Lily murmured looking down at her hands a little embarrassed.

'Why not?' Hestia said, 'When did you realise you liked this person anyway.'

'Well, Severus -'

'SNAPE!' Hestia yelled in disbelief, 'IT'S SNAPE THAT YOU LIKE! Geez Lily! I thought that you would at least have some taste when it came to-'

'I don't like Snape!' Lily said with a repulsed look, 'That's disgusting!'

'Oh thank Merlin!' Hestia said in relief, 'So if he's not the one you like then what does he have to do with this?'

'Well when I left the hospital wing, he was waiting for me to see how I was.' Lily began.

'Still not seeing why he's-'

'Let me finish!' Lily snapped through gritted teeth. She then took a deep and carried on with her story, 'He said he was going to visit me but couldn't because someone else was there. When I said his name, I felt…happy. I was smiling and felt like I wanted to go back into the hospital wing and see him.' Lily was smiling as she told this story. She was looking down and twirling her thumbs meaning she didn't notice was Hestia's excited smile having figured out her crush. Lily continued, 'He noticed. And told me that the way I was acting made it seem like I had more than friendly feelings towards this person. I couldn't deny it.' Lily finished with a sigh. She looked up at Hestia who was smiling broadly at her best friend and looked fit to burst.

'What?' Lily said cautiously, looking at her friend suspiciously but also a little bit worried that she may have figured it out.

Hestia grinned and gave a little triumphant laugh before saying, 'You like James Potter!'

'Yes.' Lily said with a smile, 'I think I do! But what I don't get is that I spent five years hating his guts! Then I'm friends with him for around three and a half months and all of a sudden I like him? How?'

'Simple.' Hestia said with a deep breath, 'Because you had made up your mind to hate him, you only saw the bad stuff. Now you've decided to give him a chance, you can see all the good stuff. And you've fallen for him. You've fallen for James Potter.'

Apparation lessons were going to start on Sunday the ninth of January. Students had to pay ten galleons to take the course this year. (It was rumoured the price would be rising in the next couple of years). Only sixth years would be allowed to take the course and they were all excited to learn how to apparate. All sixth years were meant to gather in the main hall for their first lesson that morning at eleven o'clock.

It was currently forty-five minutes past ten, fifteen minutes until they were due in the main hall, and Remus, Sirius and Peter were listening to James complain again about not being able to take part in the first apparation lesson.

'It's just not fair.' James said folding his arms across his chest which was almost fully healed, 'Couldn't they just postpone the lesson until I was better? It's not my fault I'm not well enough to take part and-'

'Well as much fun as it's been to listen to you complain for half an hour,' Remus said, interrupting James rant and standing up, 'we have to go.'

'Don't worry though mate,' Sirius said, also standing up but placing a supportive hand on James shoulder, 'You'll be able to join us next lesson.'

Remus, Sirius and Peter then began to walk towards the hospital wing doors leaving James sulking in his bed.

'Thanks a lot guys!' he shouted at their retreating figures.

Remus held up a hand to James, Peter imitated him and Sirius shouted back, 'It's all right mate!'

They walked out the doors and immediately bumped into Lily who was attempting to peer around the hospital wing at James unnoticed. What she didn't count on, was not noticing other people around her.

'Evans?' Sirius asked as he, Remus and Peter exited the hospital wing.

'Yeah?' Lily said not really paying attention to who was asking.

'What are you looking at?' Remus said as he tried to follow Lily's eye line.

Luckily for Lily, she realised what she was doing and who she was doing it in front of and quickly stood up to look at the three boy who were staring at her like she'd started to do back flips.

'I was…I was…Looking for you!' she said quickly trying to cover herself.

'Who?' Sirius said looking side to side at Remus and Peter.

Lily paused. 'You.' she said to Sirius who looked a bit surprised but not as surprised as Lily herself was for saying it.

'Me?' Sirius asked, 'Why?'

'For…He-Hestia.' Lily stuttered, almost asking a question.

'Ahh.' Sirius said nodding his head like it was obvious, 'Finally admits she wants me. Got to say, I'm not surprised. Always did think she had a thing for me. But,' he sighed, 'unfortunately, I have a girlfriend this week but-'

'You do?' Remus asked, 'Who?'

'One of the girls James turned down for a date when she came to visit him in the hospital wing last week.' Sirius explained to Remus before turning back to Lily who was trying to hold back a smile at the news that James had turned down a date with another girl. Sirius didn't seem to notice and continued, 'Anyways. Can't do this week but if you tell Jones that I'm free next week then I-'

'She doesn't like you.' Lily said shaking her head. She felt happier now and knew exactly what she was going to say before running off to tell Hestia that she was supposed to be mad at Sirius. She was sure she wouldn't mind. She didn't particularly like him anyway. Lily continued, 'She thinks you've taken her last exploding snap cards.'

'How did she find out?' Sirius whispered loudly to Remus who shrugged.

'She'd like them back.' Lily said turning on her heel and walking quickly away from the three boys who began to follow her slowly.

She couldn't believe that the story she had made up on the spot had proved to be true. All she needed now was to tell Hestia the cover story for why she was outside the hospital wing. Lily turned the corner and came to the top of a fixed staircase and descended down it careful to miss the seventh step which was a sinking step. After two more sets of stairs, Lily came face to face with Hestia.

'Lily!' Hestia said, taking Lily's arm and guiding her into the great hall which was teaming with the vast majority of sixth year Hogwarts students, 'Where have you been?'

'You're mad at Sirius.' Lily said quickly.

'Ok.' Hestia said plainly.

'Wait,' Lily said, 'don't you want to know why?'

'Err…' Hestia thought, taking too long in her response.

'Well I was at the hospital wing and-' Lily began before being interrupted by Hestia.

'Whoa, whoa, whoa!' she said, stopping abruptly and turning Lily. Her voice then turned to a whisper, 'You didn't tell Potter that you…think you might like him. Did you?'

'Why?' Lily asked her exasperatedly, sure that some weird rule of hers would apply here.

'You never, ever, tell a guy you like him!' she said in a terse whisper.

'Why not?' Lily questioned, her voice lowering automatically to Hestia's level.

'It's an unwritten rule!' Hestia whispered as if it were obvious.

'Well…' Lily said, 'Maybe it needs to be re-written.'

'You can't re-write an unwritten rule it's unwritten!' Hestia said annoyed.

'Fine.' Lily said rolling her eyes. 'I didn't tell him anyway. I went there because I said I'd visit him. But…' she paused, 'I couldn't go in. I mean, what if I start to act differently now that I think I like him? Anyway, I was peeking round the door at him,'

'Aww!' Hestia cooed.

'Shut up!' Lily said before carrying on, 'So, I was peering around the door at him and I didn't notice Lupin, Black and Pettigrew coming out of the door. They saw what I was doing, so, to cover, I told them that you sent me to look for Sirius because you thought he stole your pack of exploding snap cards. Then he admitted that he did steal them, so, can you help me out?' she finished, hoping that Hestia of all people, her best friend, would understand her rant and come through for her.

'Ok.' Hestia said, nodding in understanding before turning around and looking into the crowds. Finally she found who she was looking for. 'Oi! Black!' she yelled across to him, 'Give me my cards back!' She then turned and grinned to Lily who was smiling back gratefully, before walking across to the three marauders. Lily followed.

They walked through the hordes of students teeming in the hall and made their way over to Sirius, Remus and Peter.

'Well, well, well!' Sirius said folding his arms and leaning against the wall, 'Couldn't resist me could you Jones?'

'You got my cards?' Hestia asked with an irritated expression.

'We'll give you them after this lesson which,' Remus said pointing over her head, 'is about to start.'

The five students turned around to see a tiny little wizard stood at the far end of the hall. He was stood on a large box, raising him a little higher that the students in the room. Professor Flitwick, also a smaller wizard, was stood next to the wizard on a slightly smaller box. He gave a small cough and began to address the students.

'Attention please!' he squeaked, his tiny voice capturing the halls attention, 'May I introduce, Wilkie Twycross.' He began to clap for the small wizard who bobbed up and down on his heels at his introduction.

There was a spattering of applause which rippled through the students in the great hall as Wilkie Twycross stepped forwards. He looked about fifty years old. His hair was starting to become see-through but you could still see his natural hair colour at the ends of his hair. He was pale and his eyebrows looked as though they would fall off at any moment.

'Hello sixth year students of Hogwarts!' Wilkie Twycross croaked in his tiny little voice which made the student stifle silent laughter, 'Today we will be learning about the three D's of apparation.' he finished.

There was a murmur through the crowd of the students attempting to figure out what the three D's are. Sirius and Remus were trying to as well.

'Dull, dreary and depressing.' Sirius whispered to Remus.

'Dismal, drab and despondent.' Remus whispered back with a laugh.

'You really think that's what they are?' Peter asked whilst Remus and Sirius laughed at him.

'The three D's,' Wilkie Twycross began again, silencing the hall once more, 'are destination. Determination. And deliberation.'

'I'd never have guessed that!' Sirius whispered to Remus who chuckled.

Wilkie Twycross waved his wand and around sixty wooden hoops appeared spaced out on the floor. 'Get yourself behind a hoop and we will begin.' he said.

There was a momentary silence and then a flurry of movement as sixty students fought to get near a hoop which wasn't covered in splinters.

During the chaos of trying to find a decent hoop, Lily bumped into a few people. She was apologising profusely to Amelia Bones in Hufflepuff when she felt a presence behind her. She turned around to Find Severus looming over her.

'Anything to say to me?' he asked her hoping that she remembered and that even though they weren't friends anymore, she wouldn't ignore this day. She was a nice girl.

Lily took a deep breath, steeling herself before saying, 'Yes I do. Leave me alone.' and she walked away leaving Severus standing there with a stony expression impressed on his face.

Nobody had remembered this day. He wasn't surprised. For years and years no-one had honoured this day. His so called 'friends' in Slytherin never did, neither did his parents, (or now just his mother). But Lily. Lily had always, always remembered and celebrated, no matter what. Until today. She hadn't honoured his birthday.

James rolled over and looked at the large clock hung on the wall in the hospital wing. It was a large blurry mess and he couldn't make out the time. He rubbed his eyes to make sure that it wasn't just because he had just woken up, and realised that he wasn't wearing his glasses. He swung out his hand and felt around on his bedside table for them. His hand finally felt the cold round rims. He put them on and looked at the clock again. It was ten minutes past two in the afternoon. James sat up and yawned whilst running a hand through his scruffy hair messing it up even more.

He looked around and saw no visitors waiting for him. He sighed. Maybe he'd missed any visitors because he had been asleep. But then again, maybe that was just wishful thinking. He began to tap his hand on his bed sheets making a dull clapping sound. He had been in the hospital wing for two and a half weeks. Three more days and he would be free from his bed prison. He tapped his hand louder.

He was suddenly aware of Madam Pomfrey stood by his bedside with her arms folded and an irked expression covering her face.

'Mr Potter' she began, 'If you continue to annoy me by tapping your hands on your bed, I shall have no choice but to break your hands and refuse to heal them.' She waited for a reply.

James was looking at her with a curious look. 'How long have you been standing there?' he asked a little bit scared of the answer.

'Stop tapping your hands Mr Potter.' Madam Pomfrey sighed and turned away.

'Wait.' James said causing Madam Pomfrey to turn back around, 'Did I have any visitors whilst I was asleep?' he asked hoping that he had.

'No Mr Potter you didn't. But don't worry, I'm sure Mr Lupin, Mr Black and Mr Pettigrew will be along shortly. Even if they are skipping their lessons. I would report them but I'm sure they'd just find another way to come and see you.' Madam Pomfrey said before turning away and walking into her office.

It was all very well. James knew his fellow marauders would here soon to keep him company. They had been doing ever since he had been put into the hospital wing. But Lily hadn't been to visit him. She had been out of the hospital wing for a week and a half and not once had she been to see him. Before she left she had promised him that she would. Obviously she had only said that to shut him up. Just when James had thought they were friends.

'So you still haven't been to see him?' Hestia asked Lily. They were once again sat on Hestia's bed crossed legged and hugging pillows. The only difference this time was that it was eight thirty at night, it was dark and the fact that they were both in their pyjamas. Hestia was in a set of bright pink button down pyjamas with a flying pig pattern. Lily was in a royal blue set of button down pyjamas with silver stars embroidered on them.

'I just can't bring myself to go in!' Lily whimpered, 'I'm just worried I'll act differently around him and he'll know something's up. I feel really bad though because when I left the hospital wing I promised I'd visit.'

'I'm sure he's forgotten that you did!' Hestia said reassuringly.

'Really?' Lily asked hopefully.

'No. But I had to say something.' Hestia said with a shrug.

'Thanks Hestia!' Lily said hitting her with the pillow she'd been hugging.

'Are you at least positive that you like him now?' Hestia asked her with raised eyebrows and an exasperated expression.

'Yes.' Lily said trying to keep a smile off of her face. Her voice then turned to a whisper, 'I've started having dreams about him.'

'Eww!' Hestia said leaning back with a disgusted look on her face, 'I don't want to hear this!'

'Gross!' Lily said, 'Not like that! Just general stuff. Holding his hand. Walking around with him as his girlfriend.'

'Aww!' Hestia cooed, her expression softening, 'That's…kinda sad Lily. Just tell him you like him!'

'You told me I wasn't allowed!' Lily said in disbelief, 'You said it was some weird unwritten rule!'

'Which I re-wrote!' Hestia said proudly.

'But you said you couldn't rewrite an unwritten rule because it was unwritten!' Lily spluttered at her best friend who was shaking her head sympathetically.

'Lily, Lily, Lily!' Hestia said with a tut, 'I said you couldn't rewrite the rule. I never said I couldn't!'

Lily shook her head, started to laugh, infecting Hestia also, and was about to reply when Alice and Emmeline entered the room.

'What's so funny?' Alice asked as she went over to Hestia's bed and hugged one of the four posters with one arm.

'Lily likes James Potter!' Hestia said during her laughter. She then realised what she had said and stopped laughing. She looked at Lily who looked like murder.

'Why did you tell them?' she hissed at her best friend, trying to comprehend why she would tell Lily's newest but deepest secret.

'It just slipped out?' Hestia shrugged as if she was asking a question.

Lily shook her head and gave her friend a stony look.

'You like James? James Potter?' Alice asked Lily kindly sitting down on the bed next to her and smiling, 'I'd have never guessed!'

'Of course you wouldn't! You don't know when anyone likes anyone! You can't even tell that Frank Longbottom has a huge crush on you!' Lily snapped, still angry at Hestia for telling two of their room-mates her secret.

Alice looked shocked. Her eyes were so wide they looked as though they were about to pop out of her head. Her eyebrows had disappeared underneath her light brown fringe. Her jaw had dropped and her nostrils had flared. She had the epitome of a shocked face. 'He does?' she asked with a small smile creeping across her face.

'Yes.' Lily said exasperatedly with a gesture of her hand.

'How do you know?' Hestia asked her.

Lily turned her head to look at her best friend and gave her a truly evil look which, in turn, caused Hestia to drop her head in apology.

'Black told me on the train ride home for Christmas.' Lily said finally turning to Alice, who had been waiting patiently for this piece of information whilst Lily stared down Hestia.

'Oh.' Alice said almost shaking, 'Why doesn't Frank just ask me out then?' she asked Lily, hoping that maybe Sirius Black had told her some more inside information on this subject.

'Well,' Lily began, 'we never talked about that but, I would think it's because you seem to show no interest in him and you don't particularly notice when he is, erm,' she said considering her words carefully, 'making a move.'

Alice looked confused. 'What moves?' she asked tilting her head to the side with a questioning look.

'Well, the other day when we were walking to Herbology. You said you were cold and he offered you his jacket. At lunch yesterday, you complained that Hestia had taken the last slice of pumpkin pie so Frank offered you the piece from his plate. In transfiguration last week you transfigured your hat into a one-eyed ferret and, even though it was seriously freaky, he said it was cute. When you turned around, he said, 'like you', (which wasn't cheesy at all!). You just ignored him and started talking to Emmeline.' Lily finished with a defiant nod of her head.

Alice considered this information and realised that she had been brushing of all of Frank's so called 'moves'. Unintentionally of course. But she had. 'What should I do?' she asked Lily.

'Next time he makes a move,' Lily began, 'Just play along.' She smiled at Alice thankful that she could give a friend some advice.

'It is unusual,' Emmeline said in a wispy voice, 'how you can give advice on how to start a relationship, but are unable to start one you so desperately want.' Emmeline tipped her head to the side and smiled at an irked Lily. Emmeline shrugged her shoulders and climbed into her bed, fully clothed. She grabbed her witch weekly magazine and began to read the horoscope section, leaving Lily, Hestia and Alice in a conversation about boys.

The next evening, all of the Hogwarts students, (minus James, who was still in the hospital wing), were gathered in the great hall for dinner. They didn't usually all sit down and eat dinner together as a school unless it was a special occasion or a holiday. But today, they were all told that they were to dine as a school because Dumbledore had an announcement.

Only a few places were left empty. They were dotted around in various spots, but it was more likely that the first years would be the ones needed to fill them. It was like this on every table. Even though the first years had been at the school for four months now, they had still not learnt the quickest routes to their destinations. This was owing to the fact that Hogwarts castle was a huge place which often liked to change itself when it felt like it. This evening, twenty of the numerous stair cases had decided to move themselves. There had been many other changes in the castle too which would have probably also contributed to the first years being late. Four doors had decided they were bored and had taken on disguises as walls. Peeves was blocking one corridor by throwing in pellets at anyone who attempted to pass through. Finally, Moaning Myrtle, in a fit of rage at a second year using her cubicle, had flooded the corridor.

Soon, two of the four tables were completely full; Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. You could always count on them to be on time. There were hardly any students at the Slytherin table as they always tried to put off any whole school feasts or events as long as possible. They usually held up things by about twenty minutes. The only time they would arrive at the correct time, would be if they were the ones being celebrated. If they had a Quidditch game, they would be there. And if they had won the house cup, they would be there. Otherwise, the Slytherin's couldn't care less.

The Gryffindor table was filling up steadily. Nearly all the girls were there, most of the boys and even the first years had found their way in time. Three seats were still empty at this point, but they were about to be filled by the marauders, Sirius, Remus and Peter.

Sirius sat opposite Remus and Peter sat next to Sirius. Sirius had requested Peter to do this and Peter was more than delighted to do as had Sirius wanted. Unfortunately for Peter, he didn't realise that the only reason Sirius wanted him sat to the side of him, was because, as Sirius had told Remus, was so that he didn't have to stare at Peters face whilst he was eating. Sirius regularly complained that Peter's rat face put him off of his food.

They were getting bored. Remus had whipped out a book which he carried around in the pocket in the inside of his robes, along with his wand, which he was using to turn the pages. Peter was sat staring at the girls on the Hufflepuff table, all of which he had no chance with. And Sirius was dropping his head every five seconds so his chin touched his chest.

Remus noticed this and looked up at Sirius with raised eyebrows. 'What are you doing?' he asked his peculiar friend.

Sirius didn't actually answer Remus' question. Instead, he came out with the statement, 'I wonder how heavy my head is?'

To this, Remus didn't justify an answer. Instead he just shook his head and went back to reading his book.

Five minutes later, stragglers were still making their way into the great hall. They were holding everything up and everyone was becoming restless. They had been gathered in the great hall, waiting for Dumbledore to make his announcement for fifteen minutes. He wouldn't begin the feast until every available staff member and student was seated and ready to listen.

It took another ten minutes for the great hall to completely fill. McGonagall tapped her goblet and called for attention allowing Dumbledore to stand up in the lull.

'Thank you for being so patient.' Dumbledore said smiling around at the great hall. 'I just have a few announcements. These are important so I must ask you to listen carefully and to not take them lightly.' he continued, his eyes twinkling over in the marauders direction. 'First of all, due to the chaotic outcome of the last Hogsmeade visit, I have been forced to cancel all further Hogsmeade visit's this year.'

There was a cry of outrage through the hall. Students were shouting their disgust at this action at each other and at Dumbledore. People had begun to stand up in protest. Nobody noticed the three students who hadn't particularly battered an eyelid at this. Sirius, Remus and Peter knew this was not the end of their Hogsmeade visits. Instead of blending in and protesting the banning of the trips to the village, Remus still read his book, (turning the pages with his wand), Peter still stared at the Hufflepuff girls (who were way out of his league), and Sirius was still trying to figure out the weight of his head.

To stop this commotion, Dumbledore simply raised a hand and the hall silenced. 'I am sorry but I have had no choice but to take this action. I would appreciate it if everyone, would please, abide by this new ruling.' Dumbledore said to a begrudged audience. Dumbledore looked around for a few seconds to ensure that the students weren't going to go into another uproar before continuing. 'Part of the reason I am regrettably cancelling these delightful trips to Hogsmeade, is due to the fact that Lord Voldemort's forces have become stronger and more open. The ministry refuses to state this but I believe you all have a right to know.'

There were now whispers through the great hall. People weren't surprised by this move by the Ministry. If the Prophet was anything to go by any kidnappings, tortures and murders had gone unreported every day. Things were getting worse and everyone knew it but the ministry refused to take action. This know-how was the reason for the now tangible silence which had suddenly filled the atmosphere. The only thing to break this silence was Dumbledore's voice.

'I warn everyone to take great care and caution in these dark times.' Dumbledore said finally with a penetrating stare. 'But enough of this depression. I do believe we are all hungry and would enjoy our delightful feast, so, dig in!'

And with that, a marvellous feast appeared before everyone's eyes. Unfortunately, Dumbledore's announcement had put a damper on people's appetites. It had been easy to ignore the fact that they were in a war when Dumbledore hadn't acknowledged it. But now he had warned them to be cautious, it seemed more real.

Remus had put down his book. Peter had stopped staring at the Hufflepuff girls. Sirius had stopped trying to measure how heavy his head was. They all looked at each other. They knew in their guts that this was inevitable, but they had never actually considered what they would do when the inevitability came to light. They knew that Voldemort would attempt to recruit them all, Remus especially, considering he was a werewolf. They also had to worry about their families. Peter's mum was on her own and susceptible to an attack. Remus' parents would be captured or killed in an attempt to sway Remus onto the other side. James' mum was what Voldemort considered a blood traitor so she would have a bounty placed on her head. Sirius didn't have to worry about his family as they were all estranged. He did, however, worry about the victims who would fall at his family's feet.

'We need to tell James.' Sirius said, 'He'll want to send his mum a letter to make sure she's ok.'

'But will she write back.' Remus said, 'She only ever writes to him if it's necessary.'

'Things are different now though. Ever since his dad died.' Sirius whispered, 'Christmas holiday just gone, she spent every moment she could with him. I got a bit jealous to be honest. Then she baked another pie and I forgave her.'

Remus chuckled. 'Trust you to turn a serious conversation into one about pie.'

'Ohh. Talking of pie!' Sirius said, looking around at the bountiful of food which was laid out in front of him. 'Let's have a pie themed dinner!' he said to Remus who looked a bit confused.

'What do you mean?' Remus asked with a sigh.

'Well, we'll start with a fish pie. Then some cottage pie, some Sheppard's pie, some chicken pie, some pork pie, some steak and kidney pie-'

'I get it!' Remus said in a futile attempt to shut Sirius up. It didn't work.

'Then for dessert we'll have apple pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, coconut pie…' Sirius continued going into, what James would have called, a pie coma.

He was only snapped out of it when Remus brought him into a deep conversation about the next full moon. He had a sneaking suspicion he would need his friends with him for all of his next few transformations. If Dumbledore's announcement had been any hint, Remus would need all the help he could get to resist the call.

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