Five Minutes

Chapter 19

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!

Here's chapter Nineteen!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Nineteen

Defence Against the Dark Arts wasn't Remus' favourite subject although he was excellent at it. He didn't mind performing the spells and duelling with his friends; triumphing over Peter continuously, having a sixty forty chance at winning against Sirius, (they were almost evenly matched, Remus just a little better), but never winning against James. Then again, James never won against Remus. Neither of them did. It was always a draw, no matter what.

However much Remus loved these parts of the lessons however, he could never enjoy the subject as he was always worried that somehow, someway, people would figure out his secret. What made it worse was the way that werewolves were demonised in all the Defence Against the Dark Arts text books. He tried to be detached but it actually hurt Remus to hear about the way werewolves were illustrated to the general public and the fact that everyone believed the stereotype, all the rumours that were always circulating, hurt him even more. This week though, it was particularly hard to be detached. The full moon was coming around and his anger was starting to flare. Plus, on the day which they were meant to be studying werewolves, Wednesday, he would be recovering from the last day of the full moon. Paranoia would consume him on that day that people would figure him out and start to treat him differently.

Thankfully, the full moon started tomorrow, on Monday night meaning that he would be able to leave the hospital wing Thursday evening and go to dinner. This meant that he would be able to go to the surprise party Hestia Jones had insisted on throwing for Lily Evans. He wouldn't have usually gone because of the full moons proximity to the day of the party, (Today, Sunday), but James wanted to go and so did Sirius but not for the same reason. James wanted to go for the reason the party was being thrown in the first place; Lily. Sirius wanted to go for the girls who would be there to wish Lily a happy birthday. Another reason which Remus agreed to go was because the party was to take place in the Gryffindor common room and he wouldn't be able to sleep or even study with the noise which was bound to boom out.

Another good thing about the fall of the full moon this month was that he wouldn't miss the second apparation lesson which was set to take place on the Sunday week after next, and because the full moon would be over two weeks before, he would be fully recovered for the lesson.

But that was all in the near future and because he had been thinking of that and not what he was meant to be doing, Peter had managed to disarm him.

'Moony mate! What are you doing?' Sirius laughed as he and James sat in the corner of the room with their socks on their hands, playing sock puppets.

As quickly as he was snapped out of his thoughts, Remus' anger struck like a match, 'Don't call me by that name in this room!' he hissed at them.

James and Sirius looked at each other and then back at Remus warily. They put down their sock puppets.

'Sorry mate.' James said.

'Yeah.' Sirius said, 'I didn't think-'

'You never think!' Remus snapped.

The pair stared at each other for a few minutes. Sirius with a reproachful puppy-dog face and Remus with a dark foreboding look. Eventually, Remus' face did soften as he had realised that he had just become aggressive towards one of his best friends over a nickname which he had approved over a year ago. He had become aggressive to two of the few people who knew of his infliction, his lycanthropy and accepted him for it. Not only did they accept him for it by they didn't pretend it wasn't there. They wanted to help him, put up with his mood swings and even became Animagi just to keep him company during those lonely nights when he transformed. They were the best friends he could have hoped for. And he just snapped at them.

'Sorry guys.' he said with an almighty sigh and he bent down to pick us his wand which was rolling near his feet.

'It's all right.' Sirius said waving his sock puppet at Remus.

'Yeah.' James said, agreeing with Sirius, 'We know you can't control your furry little problem.' he whispered.

Remus laughed. James always called his lycanthropy that. He had started when James, Sirius and Peter had initially found out about Remus' condition. They had been trying to make friends with him ever since they found out he was their roommate. Usually that would have happened straight away, the night of the welcome feast in first year. But Remus was very illusive and wasn't seen in the dormitory for two weeks. He was the first one up in the morning and was gone before the other three got up. He was the last one to bed and the other three were always asleep when he crept into the dormitory.

In the end, they managed to catch a glimpse of Remus two weeks after they had started Hogwarts. He had been counting his calendar and didn't notice James, Sirius and Peter enter the room…

'I'm telling you,' Sirius was saying to James as they climbed up the boys' staircase to their dormitory, 'The other dude in our room is a ghost. What other explanation is there for never seeing him.'

'Hey dimwit, we can actually see ghosts.' James said as they neared their dormitory door.

'Oh yeah…' Sirius said, 'Oh man! I'd been working on that theory all week and with one sentence - one sentence! - you ruin all my hard work and you just-'

'Shhhh!' James said as he peered around the dormitory door. Sirius also put his head around the door and then Peter followed suit because he didn't at to be left out.

The three stared at Remus who was sat on his bed hunched over a calendar. He was flipping through it, counting on his fingers and occasionally putting a cross in the odd square.

James smirked to himself and ran a hand through his hair. He had also been working on a theory about their curious roommate, and this just gave him further evidence. Without conferring with Sirius or Peter, James strolled into the room and began to talk to Sirius, motioning him to follow and play along.

'So I was thinking that we should pull a prank in two weeks.' he said as he strode arrogantly into the room.

'Sure.' Sirius said playing along with James as he too strode arrogantly into the room, 'What did you have in mind?'

'I dunno.' James said, turning to Peter, 'What do you think Pete?'

Peter stared at James in awe and shock. He couldn't believe that James was talking to him, so much so, all he could say was, 'Ulmnhabaa…'

'Exactly what I thought!' James said, cutting Peter off halfway through his mumblings, 'We shall draw a moustache on the Fat Lady!'

There was a scoff from Remus. He thought it was stupid, childish and impossible. The Fat Lady would never allow it.

'You think you've got something better?' James said raising his eyebrows.

'I said nothing.' Remus said going back to his calendar.

James silently cursed to himself. He was sure that would get Remus involved. He just had to think bigger. Entice him a bit more. Since the welcome feast, James was sure that Remus had a mischievous glint in his eyes, a prankster gene. Something along those lines. And James was determined to get it to show. He knew though, he had known for a week that there would be something holding Remus back from even becoming their friend. He just had to get him talking and then to admit it.

'How about drawing moustaches on all the suits of armour in the school?' Sirius said, contributing to James' plan of which he was not fully aware off. He didn't really care. He just wanted to pull a prank.

'Good. We're thinking bigger.' James said before glimpsing at Remus, who was rolling his eyes, and then to Peter, 'Do you have a permanent quill-marker Pete?'

'Geez!' Remus said exasperatedly.

'Yes?' James asked, pushing Remus to cracking point.

'Are you seriously asking for a permanent quill-marker?' Remus said, pulling his focus away from his calendar, 'Firstly, a permanent quill-marker is just a rip off of a muggle invention; the permanent marker. Secondly…no. It doesn't matter.'

'Come on!' James said, excited that he had just gotten Remus talking and that he was going to put some input into a prank idea. James was sure that was the secondly.

'No.' Remus said, folding his calendar up and putting it in the draw next to his bed.

'Dude...' Sirius said holding his hand out ready to talk with huge dramatic gestures, '…I've lost my train of thought.' he finished eventually after pausing for a few seconds and waving his hand non-committedly.

'What he is trying to say is you can't leave us hanging.' James said for Sirius, whilst he pointed his finger at James enthusiastically and nodded his head, saying 'yes' loudly in agreement.

Remus looked at the two boys in front of him with their pleading but serious faces. He weighed all the pros and cons out in his head. Just giving them an idea for a prank wouldn't necessarily mean that they would figure out his secret. He gave in eventually, telling them, 'You are wizards. And although we've only been at school for just over a week and a half doesn't mean we haven't learnt something that could help make your prank better and larger in scale.'

'What were you thinking?' James asked mischievously.

Remus sighed and shook his head, reluctant to answer at first but eventually succumbing to the voice in his mind which wanted him to help make mischief. 'Slughorn's first potion lesson. He told us of all the books we could find on potions in the Library, including one called 'Useful but Annoying Potions'.'

'What's your point?' Sirius asked, intrigued but thinking that James might have been wrong about Remus at the same time. He had told Sirius that he was certain Remus had potential to be a troublemaker too, but all Sirius saw when he looked at Remus was a nerdy swot who loved school.

'My point is,' Remus began, 'I went to have a look in that particular book and found a section on disguises.'

He was still not getting the response he had hoped. These were smart boys, he knew that from watching them in the first Transfiguration lesson. James had changed his match into a needle within ten minutes and Sirius had taken only double the amount of time it took James. Only Peter didn't succeed in changing his match; he wasn't as smart as the other two and Remus wondered why they had made friends with him in the first place. The only others in the class to successfully change their matches were Remus and a red headed girl. They had both completed the task only a few seconds before Sirius.

Remus looked back to the boys in front of him, snapping out of his memory and realising they were actually waiting for him to continue. 'There is a potion for facial hair. If you find the kitchens-'

'Found them after the welcome feast' Sirius said matter of factly.

Remus looked at him in admiration, but with a clear questioning look too.

'Sirius gets really hungry.' James said with a nod of his head

'Yeah.' Peter said, feeling left out.

Remus nodded, understanding, and continued once more, 'If you find the kitchens and distract the house elves by pretending you've hurt yourself or something similar, they'll all rush to your aid because nothing is more important to a house elf than a masters health and wellbeing. When they are distracted, one of you slips the potion into the food and when it is consumed, the person eating it will grow facial hair.'

'That's excellent!' James said enthusiastically, clapping Remus on the back.

'Yeah it is.' Sirius said, shocked that smartness could help create mischief. That was something he hadn't counted on.

'Mmm' Peter murmured.

'You gonna help us with it then?' James asked, hoping to entice Remus so as to uncover the information he desired and to prove his theory right.

Remus hesitated. He really did want to join in with this prank. For one thing, it would put all he'd learnt into practice. He wouldn't be just another nerd who cared about school and nothing else. A boy who had no friends and no life. Also, he was lonely. He knew that he couldn't tell anyone about his condition because of all the pre-conceptions and stereotypical nonsense that was attached to the word werewolf. No-one would want to get to know him. They would all just assume he was a vicious beast and never talk to him again. It was a cruel reality, but it was just the way things were.

He sighed a deep sigh. Then going against what his mind told him, against what he would call his better judgement, he agreed to help them orchestrate their prank.

The four boys sat down and mapped out their plan. It was soon decided that Sirius, being the most dramatic, would cause the distraction. James would call the attention of the house elves and then give Remus the signal to start putting the potion into the food on the Slytherin's table. When James thought the house elves were sufficiently distracted, he would help Remus finish dosing the food. Peter would keep watch outside the entrance. It was all finished and planned. All they needed to do now was make the potion. But before they got started on the practical element of their plan, Remus had one question.

'When are we gonna pull this prank then?' he asked, nervously awaiting the atmosphere.

James smiled a crooked, all knowing smile before saying, 'In a week and a half's time. On the 29th of this month.' he then waited to see if Remus would react the way he expected him too. If he did, his theory would be correct and he would push him until he confessed. If not, he needed to start working on a new theory.

'Oh…' Remus paused, a little unsure of how to proceed. The 29th would be the full moon. The last day of the full moon. He wouldn't be able to do it.

James raised his eyebrows at Remus who suddenly realised that he hadn't spoken in two minutes and they were waiting for him to explain his 'Oh…'

Remus thought quickly. 'I can't do that day. My Aunt is in St Mungo's and she's coming out on the 27th so I'm going to go visit her for a few days.' he nodded in defiance before he strode out of the room, confident he had fooled them.

He thought this for the rest of the month. His view was quickly altered however when, on the 30th of September, the day after the full moon and the night after their planned prank, he exited the hospital wing to find James leaning against the wall with his legs crossed and his arms folded. Sirius was next to him, (eating a cupcake), and Peter was on his other side, attempting to copy James' stance.

Remus stopped suddenly at the sight of them. 'What are you guy's doing here?' he asked, trying to sound casual.

James pushed himself off of the wall with his shoulders and ran a hand through his tousled hair. 'Well, we need you to help us with our prank.' he smiled a cheeky grin.

'I thought that was yesterday.' Remus said.

'It was going to be but…' James sighed dramatically, 'We wouldn't do it without you.'

'You should have just gone ahead with it.' Remus said sadly before regaining composure and beginning, 'I mean… I was visiting my Aunt and it looks as if I'm going to be doing so for a while and-'

'Oh give it a rest!' James said exasperatedly.

'Excuse me?' Remus said, a little shocked at James' turn in mood.

'Look mate, we know' James said.

'And we even brought you a cupcake to let you know were fine with it!' Sirius said happily before looking down at the empty cake case in his hand and allowing his face to drop, 'I think I ate it though…'

James shook his head.

'What exactly do you think you know?' Remus said nervously hoping that they had gotten the wrong end of the stick but secretly wishing they hadn't.

'You know…' Sirius said, screwing up the cake case and putting it into Peters hand to hold. He couldn't finish his sentence so James did it for him.

'…about your furry little problem.' James said with a smirk at what he obviously viewed as a brilliant way of describing Remus' lycanthropy.

Sirius, who had been nodding supportably when James had started to talk, suddenly looked at him like he was mental. 'What?' he said with a shocked laugh, 'That makes it sound as if he's got some sort of deranged rabbit or something!'

'Is that not what he has?' Peter said stupidly.

'No you idiot!' Sirius snapped.

'Excuse me but…what is it you think you know?' Remus asked, becoming impatient with the delayed response.

'You're a werewolf.' James said, a little bluntly in Remus' opinion.

Remus' eyes widened and he took a step towards them to make sure only they could hear him. 'How do you know?'

'Worked it out.' James said arrogantly, demonstrating his intelligence. 'First of all, the night of the welcome feast was the start of the full moon and you were AWOL for three days. You had a temper in the days leading up to this month's full moon as Peter here found out when he accidentally spilt ink over your charms essay a few days ago. You were all up for the prank until you found out what day it was on and made up some lame excuse to get out of it. But, the big giveaway was you marking X's on the days of the full moon.'

Remus looked down with a sigh. 'I didn't know if I was being too obvious or not. Don't worry though. I'll move out of the room tonight. Find somewhere else to sleep.'

'Why?' Sirius asked.

'Well,' Remus continued, 'you're not going to want a werewolf in your room are you.'

'Course we do!' James said, clapping him on the back, 'We're all mates. Even though you have tried desperately hard not to be. But when I see someone who I want to be friends with, they always become my friend. And you are my friend. Who cares if you're a werewolf! I certainly don't! Sirius doesn't! Peter might be a bit scared of you at first but I wouldn't worry about that. He's scared of his pillow. What a wimp, hey?'

Remus and Sirius chuckled whilst Peter protested with little shouts of 'Hey!'

'Anyway. We're not going to tell anyone if you don't want us to and we'll be there to help you through and whatever. We don't mind getting shouted at sometimes if you get angry. All you have to do is let us help…and pull the occasional prank.'

'Speaking of pranks!' Sirius began, 'We made the potion and tried it out on Peter.'

'We needed a dummy.' James said with an arrogant smirk before continuing, 'We tried to find Snivellus to try it out on him. Got as far as knocking the poor git out before that annoying red head rounded on us.'

'She scares the pants off Pete here!' Sirius laughed, pushing Peter roughly to the side as he made fun of him.

'Anyway,' James went on, 'we couldn't test it out on the slime ball when she arrived so we decided to go for the second biggest dummy in this place.'

'Not to mention the second biggest wimp.' Sirius continued. Neither he nor James seemed to care that they were making fun of one of their friends, never mind the fact that he was in front of him whilst they were doing it. 'It works.' Sirius carried on, 'All we've got to do is put it in the food!'

'Well what are we waiting for?' Remus said to his new friends as they went through a secret passage way down to the kitchens. From then on they were all friends.

Remus was brutally snapped out of his daydream of the past. Their Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was looming over him, an irritated expression on his face.

'Mr Lupin. For the past ten minutes you have been as lifeless as a flobberworm. Do not feel the need to pay attention in my class? Are you so smart that you don't need to learn anything and feel comfortable to just daydream my class away?' the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher asked rhetorically.

'Well actually Professor-' Remus began before being cut off rudely by the professor.

'Do not talk back to me Mr Lupin.' the professor snapped. 'Detention. Class dismissed.'

Remus stood up and went to receive the details for his detention whilst James, Sirius and Peter waited for him in the corner of the room. James and Sirius had taken it upon themselves to amuse each other. James began by transfiguring Peter's bag into a chicken which started clucking loudly and nipping at Peter's hand. Sirius then decided that one of the text books he was holding would make a nice hat for the chicken James had created and went ahead in transfiguring it. It didn't work completely as the words Defence Against the Dark Arts around the rim. James quickly fixed it and then he and Sirius began to attempt in putting the hat on the chicken.

'Mr Potter. Mr Black.' The Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher sighed as they started to run amuck in his room, 'You will join Mr Lupin in detention. He will give you the details. Now will you kindly leave my classroom and take your chicken with you.'

The four boys exited the classroom, laughing wholeheartedly and warmly as they went. (Peter was carrying the chicken.)

'What do we have next then?' Remus asked, going down the stairs to the third floor.

Sirius stopped halfway down the staircase, staring at Remus, aghast at what he had just said. 'How can you not know?' he began dramatically, 'What's next is our greatest lesson of the day-'

'Lunch isn't a lesson.' James said, cutting across Sirius who had now begun to ramble on about lunch.

'It's the only skill we need in life; to eat. I mean, imagine a life without food? Where would we be? Not here, that's for sure.'

'You're right.' James said, 'We wouldn't be here listening to a lecture on food because it wouldn't exist.'

'You do realise this conversation can't be won, don't you?' Remus asked as they turned into the great hall which was teeming with students.

From the Gryffindor table, Lily saw James and his friends walk in. Her stomach filled with butterflies. It was her birthday today and her party tonight. The party which she wasn't supposed to know about for a start, and the party where Hestia had convinced Lily to express her feelings to James. The party which Lily was now dreading. She wondered how she could be a true Gryffindor when she couldn't tell someone who she used to hate that she was wrong and now wanted to be more than friends.

Hestia saw Lily staring at the doorway and soon realised that James was heading towards the table. She had been coping with a nervous Lily all day. She could always tell when Lily was nervous. She became a bit of a hazard to herself and others, becoming clumsy.

Lily reached for her drink so she could calm herself down. She wasn't however looking at what she was doing and ended up spilling her pumpkin juice all over the table.

Quickly, to save Lily from embarrassment, Hestia whipped out her wand and dried the liquid up in an instant.

Lily turned to Hestia, a panicked look on her face. 'I can't do this Hestia. I can't tell him. What if he doesn't feel the same? Maybe if I leave it my feelings will fade away. I just can't tell him at my party.' Lily rambled quickly.

'You'll be fine.' Hestia said reassuringly, 'Everyone'll be distracted by the music, food, drink etcetera and you will be free to talk to him on your own. Plus, it's your birthday so he can't turn you down!'

Lily smiled disbelievingly, 'You sure about that?'

'Positive.' Hestia grinned, 'Food will distract the marauders. Without a doubt.'

Lily nodded her head and sighed. 'Yeah. I can't tell him at the party.'

'Then tell him now.' Hestia said quickly, 'Hey guys.'

The marauders had made it to the table. Lily's eyes went wide. She hadn't turned to face them yet and she couldn't bring herself to do it.

'Hey Jones. Hey Evans. Happy birthday by the way.' James said as he sat in the empty seat next to Lily.

Hestia smiled at James but Lily didn't turn to face him. She just sat facing Hestia mouthing again and again that Hestia was dead meat, that she couldn't tell James how she felt and could Hestia tell him for her.

Hestia just shook her head and mouthed back to Lily to just get it over with.

Lily shook her head in return causing Hestia to sigh, turn to James and give Lily an opening to talk to him.

'Lily has something to tell you.' she said quickly before turning back to her food and beginning to eat.

'Ok' James said, turning to Lily, 'What's up?'

'Err…' Lily started, completely stuck on what to say. She looked into his hazel eyes and saw gentle, kind curiosity. It struck her still. She didn't want to tell him again. It was becoming ridiculous in her own mind, let alone in Hestia's and what she must think of her. But she couldn't bear having those eyes turn from warm kindness to cold rejection. It would be brutal for her to see and too much for her to handle. 'I was wondering how collecting the potion ingredients was going?' she asked, hearing Hestia sighing behind her.

'Yeah it's good.' James said nodding, 'Just gotta go and get a couple of things from Herbology and we should be ready to start soon.'

'Great.' Lily said with a smile to James. When he turned away she turned to Hestia with a sad shrug of her shoulders.

Hestia shook her head a motion which gave Lily another push to attempt to talk to James. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes tight before blurting out, 'That's not what I wanted to say James.'

James turned back to look at her, raising his eyebrows and running a hand through his hair. 'Ok.' he said, 'What did you want to say?'

'I wanted to say,' she took another deep breath, steeling her confidence, 'that I li-'

'Prongs.' Sirius cut across Lily dramatically, 'We have an emergency.' he was looking around the table anxiously.

Lily rolled her eyes and turned to Hestia with a look of 'what should I do now' on her face.

Hestia just made a motion for her to continue.

Lily sighed and once more turned back to James only to find that he had stood up. 'Where are you going?' Lily asked realising at once that she sounded a little needy to a guy who she wasn't actually going out with.

'The kitchens.' James said, not noticing the tone in Lily's voice, 'We have an emergency.'

'Well, wh-what is it?' Lily asked trying to sound nonchalant.

'There's no jelly.' James said seriously whilst Sirius nodded his head gravely.

'What?' Lily asked, not believing what she had just heard.

'There's no jelly.' James repeated.

Lily just stared at James. This was their big emergency? There was no jelly?

'And what are you gonna do about it.' Lily asked, realising that she was keeping James back from his friends who had already wondered off god-knows where. Part of her liked the fact that he had stayed back to talk to her. It almost convinced her that he liked her back. There was however, as always, that small seed of doubt in the back of her mind saying that he was only still stood there talking to her because he didn't want to be rude and just leave.

'Were going to go get some.' he said as if it were obvious.

'Where from?' Lily asked curiously.

'The kitchens.' James replied, 'Do you wanna come too?'

Lily's heart leapt. He was inviting her to come with him to the kitchens. A marauders hang out. He wouldn't invite just anyone. Would he? She couldn't be sure. 'Ok. Can Hestia come too?' Lily said suddenly, shocking Hestia so much that she dropped her spoon.

'Sure.' James said, 'Come on then.' And with that he turned and began to walk out of the great hall.

When he was out of earshot Hestia hit Lily on the arm. 'What'd you invite me for you idiot?' she said, 'You have some time to get him alone and tell him you like him. Why'd you want me tagging along with you?'

'I just panicked. I need you with me to…I dunno…give me a sign to say he's gonna be…receptive to what I have to say. You've known him longer than I have.' she said, a quiver of anxiety in her voice.

'We've known him the same amount of time.' Hestia said, knowing that her best friend was now just coming up with reasons to avoid telling James her feelings.

'Well you know him better because you both play Quidditch.' Lily said.

'He likes Quidditch a lot.' Hestia said in a monotone, 'There, now you know as much about him as I do. Now go and tell him you like him, you wuss.'

'But…I need you with me!' Lily whined, 'You know how I got just when he walked into the hall. I spilt my drink. I don't want to look like a complete idiot and start…walking into walls do I?'

Hestia sighed. She was right. One look from James whilst she was bearing her feelings and Lily was going to get distracted and most likely fall down a hole or something ridiculous like that. She shook her head. 'Fine. I'll come with you. But only to stop you falling over.' she said standing up and beginning to walk out of the hall with Lily.

'Thank you, thank you, and thank you!' Lily said quickly, 'I owe you one!'

'Too right you do.' Hestia mumbled under her breath.

'Look he waited for us.' Lily said her heart racing at the prospect of what she was about to do.

'You mean he waited for you.' Hestia said, nervous for Lily. If by any small minute chance James had moved on, (and that was unlikely as he had been obsessed with Lily for nearly five or six years), it would make it slightly awkward or her to be on the Quidditch team with James.

'You think so?' Lily asked in a whisper as they approached James.

'Well let's find out.' Hestia whispered back before speaking at a normal volume to James. 'You waited for Lily.' she said as a statement.

'Yeah.' James said smiling at Lily who was attempting not to blush. Realising what Hestia had said however, he hastily added, 'And you, of course.'

Hestia nodded knowingly, 'Of course.' she replied with a wink at James who just looked at her confused as he had not been clued in on Hestia and Lily's previous conversation.

'And why did you wait for Lily?' Hestia continued, purposely stopping before obviously adding, 'I mean us.'

'Because you don't know where the kitchens are.' James said plainly, running a hand through his hair.

Hestia's face dropped, as did Lily's. James however didn't notice as he was trying to look away from this awkward conversation.

'Oh.' 'Hestia said trying to regain composure as she and Lily began to follow James on the path to the kitchens.

Behind James, Hestia and Lily had a silent debate about who would tell James how Lily felt. Hestia believed that, as they were her feelings, Lily should talk to James. Lily however, thought it would be best for Hestia to talk to James so that, if James didn't feel the same way, she could save face and they could still be friends. Lily eventually won but only on the condition that if things didn't go to plan now, Lily would tell James at her surprise birthday party as originally agreed.

'So,' Hestia began, trying to be smooth and cool, 'You and Lily.'

'Well done. I'm James, this is Lily,' he began indicating to himself and Lily, who was walking next to him, 'and your name is Hestia. Say it with me. Hes-ti-a.'

'All right smart arse!' Hestia said shoving James to the side and allowing Lily to curb her giggles, 'Anyway,' she continued, 'What are you two going to do?'

James looked at her confused as he led the girls through a portrait and down a narrow flight of spiral stairs. 'About what?' he said eventually after the portrait door had closed and he had lit his wand to illuminate the darkness.

'You know.' Hestia said, 'The tension-'

'Of making our potion.' Lily butted in quickly.

Hestia paused. She saw the look on Lily's face. She saw that she had changed her mind and either, didn't want Hestia to continue talking to James about this delicate subject, or just didn't want to be present when she did. She saw this but, Hestia being Hestia, ignored it and decided to try this topic again.

'So what are you going to do about the tension,' Hestia said, pausing obviously before adding, 'of making your potion.'

'I don't get what you mean.' James said as they reached the bottom of the spiral staircase and he led them into a well-lit corridor.

'I thought you were meant to be smart?' Hestia said with a raised eyebrow.

'That's just a vicious rumour.' James replied with a cheeky grin and a wink at Lily who smiled shyly back.

'Alright, scrap that question. What will you and Lily be doing during your project sessions?' Hestia asked.

'Hopefully brewing a potion.' James said as the approached a painting of a fruit bowl.

'Again. Being a smart arse.' Hestia said as James reached out and tickled the pear on the painting.

'What are you doing?' Lily asked James as the pear giggled.

'Opening the kitchens.' James said flashing her a crooked smile which made her heart speed up.

The portrait of the fruit bowl opened and the kitchens were revealed to Lily and Hestia for the first time. They were greeted by a storm of house elves offering them an assortment of food.

'Jelly Master James.' one of the house elves said as they planted a great big bowl of jelly into James arms.

'Thanks Jinxy.' James said as he grabbed a spoon from the table.

'They know you by name?' Lily asked with a disbelieving laugh, 'You come down here that often?'

'They know everyone by name.' James said, 'But yeah. Were down here as often as possible. It's awesome.' and with that he walked over to where Sirius, Remus and Peter were each devouring their very own giant bowls of jelly.

Lily smiled as she watched James walk away. She carried on smiling until she turned to see Hestia looking at her with a mixed expression which said, I'm sorry I was unsuccessful and I told you so all at the same time.

'You know what this means don't you.' Hestia said.

'Do I have to?' Lily replied.

'Yes. It'll be fine though.' Hestia said giving her a one armed hug, 'Do it quick. Like ripping off one of those plisse-'


'-thingy's that muggles wear when you cut your finger.' Hestia finished.

'You're right.' Lily sighed. 'I'll tell him tonight. At my surprise party.'

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