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 Twenty-Five!
Hope you enjoy it!
The next morning, everyone was still reeling from the post-valentine's day high. There were still lots of loved up couples sat in pairs around the great hall at breakfast the next day. People were still sharing kisses and chocolates and sweet wistful glances at their valentines. To some people, the continued valentine's emotion which had been carried through to the next day would be wonderfully romantic. For others though, it just reminded them of what they didn't have. Like Peter.
He had never had a girlfriend, just as James or Remus hadn't. The difference was Remus and James had actually had the opportunity to be in a relationship. They constantly had someone or another traipsing around after them and asking them out. Peter didn't. Nobody even gave him a second thought. Anytime he walked up to a girl they just walked away in the opposite direction as if they hadn't seen him. It's what most people did to Peter. He might as well have been wearing James' invisibility cloak all the time. To everyone in Hogwarts, Peter wouldn't even be known if it wasn't for James, Sirius and Remus. They all saw just saw him as the boy who James and Remus took pity on, (Everyone could see Sirius' dislike towards Peter. He never tried to conceal it).
Peter looked at his friends now. They were laughing together, Remus and James taking it in turns to throw cornflakes at Sirius to see if he could catch them in his mouth. Peter wasn't particularly included. His mother would blame him for not joining in himself. When he had told her that he had made friends in his first year she was overjoyed. She had been worried that he would just spend his seven years at Hogwarts on his own. She was always worried about him. It was apparent to anyone who met her or even heard about her that she over worried about her son. She might as well of wrapped him up in spellotape until he was seventeen just to curb the tip off of her paranoia. But knowing that her son was friends with three of the most popular boys in school…well is still didn't stop her worrying.
When Peter had introduced his mother to his three friends on platform nine and quarters after his first year at Hogwarts, he could tell that she instantly liked them. Everybody did but it was a bit much when you could tell your mother liked your friends better that you. She even liked Sirius better that her own son. The boy who had clearly never liked Peter and was always harsh towards him and Peter's mum liked him better than her own son. Peter glared at Sirius who had just received a cornflake in the eye.
'Woah Pete!' James laughed, 'What's with the evil eye?'
Peter looked up at James, caught out. He had no idea what to say. Sometimes he just stayed silent for lack of things to say. Like now. He lowered his head to avoid saying anything.
'Leave him alone Prongs!' Sirius said munching a cornflake that Remus had just thrown into his mouth, 'Who knows or even cares what goes on in that strange little head of his.'
James shook his head but didn't reprimand Sirius for what he had just said about Peter. Instead, he picked up a cornflake and threw it at Sirius. He again caught it in his mouth and Remus, Sirius and James celebrated with a cheer.
Remus' cheer however, was short lived as he had just spotted Hestia Jones and Lily Evans heading their way. The only spots left open on the Gryffindor table for breakfast were opposite the marauders and after Remus' outburst at Lily the night before, he was reluctant to sit near her.
Lily and Hestia reached the empty seats. Hestia sat down straight away and reached for a muffin whereas Lily took a little bit longer to accept the seating arrangement. She sat down eventually but it was clear she didn't want to be there.
'Let's go guys.' Remus said to James, Sirius and Peter, who hadn't noticed that Lily and Hestia had sat down until now. 'We can go and chuck cornflakes at Sirius in the kitchens because it might be viewed as childish behaviour out here.' he finished with a pointed look at Lily who looked down at her plate in avoidance just as Peter had done a few moments before.
James looked at Lily and then back at Remus. Whilst Lily looked a little bit abashed, Remus had a look of stone etched on his face, annoyance and a tiny bit of anger coming out in his eyes. James breathed in deep and leant over to Remus to whisper, 'I understand you're a little bit miffed but is this really necessary? I mean they only sat down for breakfast. Maybe we could try to-'
'I just don't want to lose my cool.' Remus said through the corner of his mouth, 'Especially around this time of the month.'
James nodded. He understood where Remus was coming from. As far as he knew Lily didn't want to be their friend anymore because she believed that they were all too childish and at this time of the month Remus' mood was touch and go. Sometimes he, like he believed Lily did, thought that James and Sirius were too childish and would snap at them. The difference between him and Lily though, and why Remus would argue that they were different, was that Remus would never use James and Sirius' childlike behaviour as a reason not to be friends with them. Other times however, he just wanted to let loose and be stupid with them and he didn't like being told that he wasn't allowed to be childish or even feel as if it was unaccepted to behave the way he felt. So the only way he felt he could stay calm was to leave Lily and Hestia's presence and continue in his silly mood.
Remus, Sirius and Peter got up and left the table. They walked down to the large double doors at the end of the great hall, not realising that James wasn't with them. He was still sat at the Gryffindor table opposite Lily who was now solemnly eating a slice of toast.
James was arguing with himself. He had promised Hestia the previous night that he would never tell Lily what Hestia had told him in the potions room. But there was something inside of him that questioned the agreement that they had made last night. It was all based on the fact that Lily would be horribly humiliated if James' girlfriend knew that she liked him. The only problem was James didn't have a girlfriend and didn't Lily have a right to know? Wouldn't this piece of crucial information change the situation for the better? James had to let her know. Maybe, finally, he would ask her out and she would say yes. Something he had been dreaming about since she had first turned him down. He had to try.
'Look, Lily,' he began.
Lily looked up, startled at the mention of her name for she had thought that all of the marauders had left. She saw James looking at her with an intense seriousness. She tried to rein in the unwanted and uncontrollable blush which powdered her cheeks under his stare.
James, not noticing this and just wanting to get the next piece of information out, unable to contain it any longer, continued. 'Last night Hestia told me that you- OW!' he yelped suddenly.
He looked at Hestia who was giving him a stern glance which said, 'don't you dare'.
James, knowing that Hestia would kick him again if he carried on, changed what he was about to say to avoid any more abuse. 'She told me you were ill and just wanted to make sure you felt better?' he said extremely quickly, a questioning tone underlying in his words.
Lily nodded, not saying anything, not trusting herself due to her lying spree the night before.
'Good.' James said kindly before saying through gritted teeth, 'Jones can I talk to you outside about Quidditch practice.' He stood up, said goodbye to Lily and walked out of the great hall.
'I'll be back in a minute.' Hestia said to Lily before getting up and following James out of the hall.
She reached the entrance hall where James was waiting for. He was stood with one hand holding up one of his trouser legs.
'You drew blood!' James said in a high pitched voice when he saw Hestia coming towards him. He pointed to his leg where some of his skin was shrivelled up towards the top of the cut, a bit of blood trickling down his leg. 'How could you have drawn blood with a kick?' he asked astonished.
'I'm wearing heels!' Hestia said simply.
James looked down at her feet. It was true. She was wearing some black shoes with a small heel but that was all he could really say about her shoes.
'Back to you.' Hestia said shrewdly, 'What on earth do you think you're doing? I told you last night you weren't to tell Lily what I told you!'
James sighed and tried to explain, 'I know but-'
'No.' Hestia cut him off sharply, 'No. No buts. I told you not to tell her, you promised me you wouldn't and you were about to go back on that promise right in front of me!'
James stepped forwards and attempted yet again to explain why he felt he had to tell Lily, 'Yes but I have a good reason though! You see-'
'I don't care if you have a good reason!' Hestia hissed, 'I don't care if the minister of magic himself told you to go back on your word. You can't tell Lily that I told you! She'll hate me! Do you really want my best friend to hate me?'
James breathed in deep, exhaled and looked down. He was now faced with a closed answer question. There was only one thing to say which would mean, as long as Hestia and Lily were best friends, (and he was pretty sure that that would be for a long time), he wouldn't be able to tell Lily the one fact which would pave the way for them to get together. He would have to keep his mouth shut for now and just hope that somehow, the fact that he didn't have a girlfriend would reach her and she would have the courage to tell him herself how she felt and they could be together. James answered Hestia's question truthfully but in defeat for he knew it was the final nail in the coffin or so to speak.
'No.' he said.
'Good.' Hestia replied, 'Now I'm going to go and finish my breakfast but if I find that you've told Lily what I told you, I'll do a lot more than kick you! Clear?' she finished before turning around, her hair flying out behind her and walking back into the great hall to sit with Lily.
James watched her go, along with his hopes of a relationship with Lily. He put his hands in his pockets and headed off to meet his friends in the kitchens.
That day, Lily only had three lessons; Transfiguration second period, and double Herbology after that in which their essay which she had been working on for three days was due in.
Transfiguration went by quickly. It seemed to be over in minutes rather that the hour that they had actually spent in that lesson. Professor McGonagall seemed to be in an oddly good mood, even singing to the class for ten minutes. Due to her inexplicably happiness she had only given them a short task to do, (transforming their partners rose into a pigs snout and back again), and then she let them continue to talk until the lesson was over. It wasn't until the end of the speedy lesson that the class found out that the marauders had slipped an elixir to induce euphoria into the tea that she always drank at the start of the lesson. When the effects of the potion had worn off, Professor McGonagall deduced who had slipped her the potion and gave all four of the marauders a detention. At the end of the lesson, she set the whole class a six foot long essay on the Inanimate Conjures spell. If anybody else had been the cause of the excessive homework, the whole class would be furious, but as it was the marauders, no-one much cared.
Lily left that lesson with Hestia and headed off to Herbology. They were to be in greenhouse four to learn about the properties of the venomous tentacula plant. The pair walked outside into the grounds of Hogwarts. It was still very cold but any snow that had fallen during the height of winter had disappeared. The wind was fierce. Lily hated this time of year. The weather was just so unpredictable. It wasn't quite winter anymore but spring hadn't arrived either so their walk down to Herbology was neither fun, (throwing snowballs at each other and playing in the snow), or pleasant (with a blossom blowing around in the spring breeze). Instead it was plain and dull with everybody hoisting their robes to cover their noses from the harsh, cold wind.
When they had reached the greenhouse, Lily and Hestia rushed inside the marginally warmer room to thaw out. They strolled over to their places next to Emmeline and Alice.
'Did you talk to him then?' Lily whispered to Alice when she stopped beside her.
'No.' Alice replied, glancing over to Frank Longbottom, with whom she had been dating for a couple of weeks, at the other end of the greenhouse. He was staring at her intensely as if he was thinking extremely hard.
'Are you going too?' Lily asked as she got out her Herbology homework, dragon hide gloves and her wand in preparation for the upcoming lesson.
'Well I kind of have too don't I?' Alice said, doing the same as Lily and taking out her equipment for the lesson, 'You can't really let something like that go by without talking about it can you?'
'I suppose not, no.' Lily sighed.
'Oh no!' Hestia said looking at the items Lily had just removed from her bag. Her eyes zeroed in on the rolled up scroll next to the dragon hide gloves.
'What?' Lily asked, following Hestia's eye line to her Herbology homework, 'Have you forgotten you're homework?'
'Kind of?' Hestia shrugged with a questioning tone coming through in her voice. She looked at Lily, biting her lower lip as if she'd made a mistake.
Lily, knowing Hestia inside-out and back-to-front, realised what this look meant. Her shoulders visibly deflated. Hestia did this constantly, but this time Lily had actually thought by sitting down with her and doing it at the same time that this wouldn't happen this time. 'Ugh!' she moaned hanging her head, 'How? We sat down together and made a start on this essay together! What happened?'
'Well you never said I had to finish it!' Hestia whispered in a high pitched voice.
Lily paused. 'Yes. I did!' she replied.
'Well…' Hestia spluttered, unable to think of a valid response.
'Well you better think of a good excuse because Professor Sprout has just walked in.' Lily said, motioning to the greenhouse door which had just swung shut.
In front on the door, putting on a pair of dragon hide gloves, was Professor Sprout. She was a plump, squat woman with permanently flushed cheeks from working in the sun her whole career. She had short, grey fly away hair which was partly covered by a small hat that was caked in mud. Her robes were a little bit tatty due to working with magical plants all day, but she had a motherly essence around her. She walked over to the front of the short vertical table that stretched down the entire length of the green house. Straight down the middle of this table, was a long line of Venomous Tentacula plants; they were green and spiky with waving stems which were attempting to reach out and grab the student which were gathered around the table. Around the edges of the table, nearer to the students, the table was lined with many different separate pots of mooncalf fertiliser, dragon dung and dragon dung compost.
Professor Sprout cleared her throat for attention. In about a minute she got it and all heads were looking in her direction. 'First things first I would like you're essays please.'
The unprepared people in the class who had left their essays in their bags began to dig them out. Hestia looked around the table. Everybody had done theirs, even the marauders, and they had all brought it with them. Her eyes widened in panic and she looked to Lily for help. Unfortunately for Hestia, Lily wasn't really in a very helpful mood and instead of helping her find a valid and reasonable excuse to give to Professor Sprout, instead gave her a disappointed look which also said 'I told you so'.
At this point Professor Sprout was squeezing around the edges of the greenhouse going round and collecting the homework. She was nearing Hestia and, if it was at all possible Hestia was beginning to panic more. She was trying desperately hard to think of a decent excuse to give Professor Sprout but everything she came up with in her head just sounded stupid.
'Homework Miss Jones?' Professor Sprout asked, her hand held out ready for Hestia to place her essay in.
Hestia's eyes widened and she suddenly spluttered out, 'My dog died.'
From the other side of the table and greenhouse, Sirius gave a small yelp. Many people turned in his direction and he shrank in his seat.
James elbowed Sirius in the chest and just said aloud to the class, 'He really likes dogs.'
Professor Sprout blinked a couple of times and then shook her head. She turned back to Hestia and said, 'Is this news relevant to this precise moment?' she asked.
'Yes' Hestia said simply with hopes that this would do and Professor Sprout would move onto Lily.
'I'm assuming you don't have your homework then?' Professor Sprout questioned, tilting her head slightly to the side.
'No.' Hestia said, hanging her head as if it had suddenly just become increasingly heavy, 'You see,' she sniffed, trying to make the sad story she was about to tell more authentic, 'I was halfway through my homework when an owl delivered a letter from my mum. It said that my dog, who I have had from a puppy and was bought when I was tw-three, had died. It was very upsetting!' She sniffed again.
'And this was the reason you didn't complete your homework?' Professor Sprout said.
'Yes.' Hestia said, making her voice crack so that Professor Sprout might think that she was crying.
'What's your dog's name?' Professor Sprout asked.
Hestia paused. She didn't know. She didn't have a dog. It was official. She was going to die in Herbology. But she had to say something. 'Herb?' she said in a high voice.
Professor Sprout sighed. She wasn't a mean teacher though. 'Have it on my desk by the end of the day, please.' She said before moving onto Lily and around the rest of the class.
When she had collected everybody's homework in, bar Hestia's, Professor Sprout turned to address the class and tell them what they were to be doing for the next two hours. 'Today you will be working with venomous tentacula plants. Now remember that these plants are highly dangerous so wear your gloves. Their bite is highly poisonous and the spikes are dangerous. If anything does happen, let me know immediately.' Professor Sprout said seriously, warning the class about the very risky plants that they were about to work with. She continued, 'Firstly you will be re-potting the tentacula as they have finished teething. Mix the mooncalf fertiliser, dragon dung and dragon dung compost together in a fresh planting pot, seize the tentacula from around the base of the stem like so,' She pulled of the venomous tentacula plants wards her and demonstrated the grasp, 'get a good firm hold, and as quickly as possible, pull it out and place it in the fresh plant pot you have ready.' Again, Professor Sprout demonstrated. She yanked the snapping plant out of its pot and placed it into a new one very swiftly. 'After you have done that,' Professor Sprout went on, clapping her hands together in an attempt to get rid of some of the mud she had just gotten on her gloves, 'I would like you to write a short answer on the uses of the venomous tentacula juice and its effects. Will you be able to finish that Miss Jones?' Professor Sprout said to Hestia.
Hestia blushed and the class laughed courteously at Professor Sprouts little joke.
'When you have finished your answer,' Professor Sprout carried on, 'come and give it to me and I will give you the equipment to procure the tentacula juice with. You will take as much as you can by the end of the lesson and the person who takes the most will receive a box of coconut ices from me. Off you go!'
Putting on their dragon hide gloves, Hufflepuff's and Gryffindor's alike set to mixing the compost and fertilisers in a new plant pot. Even though this was the easiest part of the lesson that day, the students still had to be on the lookout in case one of the venomous tentacula plants decided to reach out and strangle them. Professor Sprout wouldn't be best pleased if some of her students were strangled into a state of unconsciousness without first procuring the sap of the plant that was trying to murder them. At least Professor Sprout would let them swear loudly if at any point during the lesson the venomous tentacula did try to kill them.
'You really don't think things through before you say them do you?' Lily laughed at Hestia who was barely touching the dragon dung fertiliser. She did have her gloves on she just didn't like touching dirt. Or just touching anything dirty which was a real shock considering how messy her side of the dormitory was.
'Well I try not too!' Hestia said, wrinkling her nose at the mooncalf fertiliser, 'It just hurts my head when I think too much!'
'Well I'd have thought you could've come up with a better name than Herb! I mean, I know we're in Herbology, but still!' Lily chuckled, taking slight joy in Hestia's silly choice of dog names.
Hestia looked at Lily solemnly. 'It's not funny if you explain it.'
Lily shook her head with a smile on her face. 'You know, I think she might have believed you if you hadn't have said that!' Lily said with a small giggle.
'Wait,' Hestia said, 'She didn't believe me? How insensitive! My dog has just died!'
'You don't have a dog!' Lily pointed out.
'Oh yeah…' Hestia mumbled.
Suddenly, from the opposite side of the table, there was a cry for help. Lily looked over to see who was in trouble when she saw James with what looked like his whole arm inside the venomous tentacula plant.
'Oh my god!' Lily gasped, her stomach dropping to the floor.
There was a flurry of movement as Professor Sprout tried to make her way over to James through the crowd of students which was starting to gather around him. She finally made it through the crowd, panic written across her face, when she reached James. Upon seeing him however, her face dropped and lost all signs of the panic it had had only seconds before.
'Really Mr Potter.' she said, shaking her head, 'Detention. And that goes for you three as well!' she said motioning to the other three marauders. 'All right class, back to work. Nothing to see here.' she said, sweeping the rest of the class away and back to their seats to continue with the lesson.
It turned out that James was not being eaten by a venomous tentacula plant after all. In the end, what had happened was James, Sirius, Remus and Peter had collectively carved out a small whole in the table, directly in front of the venomous tentacula, and had cast the diffindo spell on the plant to stun its arms. Then James had stuck his arm through the whole and Remus, Sirius and Peter, to make it look as if the venomous tentacula plant was still mobile, were controlling the plants arms with their wands. It was just a childish prank.
Lily shook her head but couldn't resist, for some unknown reason to her as she did think that this prank was stupid and childish, not to mention, reckless and dangerous, giving a small fond smile.
For the rest of the lesson, nothing exciting happened. The class got on with their work. Professor Sprout had sixteen essay answers by the end of the lesson, (because that's how many pupils were in the class), and the marauders, even though they had pulled a stupid prank at the beginning of the lesson, walked away at the end of it with the box of coconut ices for procuring the most venomous tentacula juice. At first Professor Sprout was reluctant to give them the treat due to their behaviour at the beginning of the lesson but ultimately, after being sweet talked, persuaded and promised that she could have the first one, gave them the sweets.
The class piled out of the greenhouse and made their way back up to the school. For many of them, including the marauders and Lily, but not Hestia, Emmeline or Alice, as they now had divination, it was the end of their school day. Usually, at this point, Lily would go and hang out with James and the marauders but now, she was back to how she had spent her free periods at the beginning of the year; alone and reading a book. She just wished that she had never changed the situation with her developing feelings for James and the recent web of lies that she had told. She liked reading, but it was nicer spending her free periods with friends.
When she, Hestia, Emmeline and Alice parted ways at the Gryffindor tower about ten minutes later, Hestia, Emmeline and Alice going up to divination and her going up to her dormitory, Lily was trying to decide which book to read this time. She had read all of her books again and again. Every book she owned, and that was a lot of them, had been read three or four times each. She needed something new. There was nothing in the school library worth reading that she hadn't already read. And besides, most of the books in the library were reference books. What she wanted, what she really needed, was a good old fashioned fiction book from back home.
She climbed the stairs to her dormitory trying to think of what she wanted. She wasn't really in a serious mood or even a mood for the classics, so books like Jane Eyre, The Great Gatsby and Wuthering Heights were out of the question. With the mood she was in, a bit depressed that James had a girlfriend and didn't like her, annoyed with herself for spinning a web of overlapping lies to avoid him and more depressed still that her sister wasn't speaking to her, (she had been hearing from her mother how far along Petunia's wedding plans were), what she really wanted to read was her favourite book of all time. It coincidentally happened to also be her favourite movie of all time as someone had created a video adaptation of the book. Unfortunately, she didn't have it with her so she'd have to write to her mum to send it to Hogwarts to her. It wasn't the type of book that she would bring to Hogwarts and it was the type of book that her mum wouldn't approve of her reading at her age. It was, after all, supposed to be a children's book and her mother would say that she was now too old to read it. Lily didn't care though. She wanted to escape into Roald Dahl's world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
She reached her dormitory door and entered her room. She walked over to the desk next to her bed, opened one of the drawers and took out a piece of parchment, some ink and a quill. Lily thought of how to write the letter to her mum without making herself sound childish and immature at wanting to read a children's book, even though that's exactly what she was doing. Her quill tip somehow made its way into her mouth as she thoughtfully tried to think of a way to word her letter. Suddenly inspiration struck her and she began writing fast and furiously.
How are you? How's Dad? How's Tuney? How's the wedding planning going? Am I invited yet? Of course not.
(She wrote, getting the pleasantries and necessary conversation subjects out of the way quickly so she could word her request.)
You know, the other day I was talking with a group of friends and we were talking about childhood memories, so on and so forth, and I told them about my favourite childhood book. They were so excited that one of them wanted to read it. So could you send it over please?
P.S. In case you've forgotten, the book I'm talking about is Charlie and the chocolate factory.
She put her quill back into the ink and sealed the letter. Eager to send it, she ran out of her dormitory, down the stairs into the common room, past James and Sirius standing on their heads whilst Remus timed how long they could stay like that for, and out of the portrait hole. She then made her way up to the Owlery, found a school owl and attached her letter to its foot.
'Now make sure this goes quickly please?' she asked the owl who nipped her in response.
When her letter was tied she took the bird over to the window and let it fly away. She watched it go, hoping for a speedy return with her book and, maybe some chocolate?
The great hall was filling up quickly for the evening dinner. It wasn't a whole school feast like they had on special occasions, most recently the day before on Valentine's Day. No. Today, and every other normal day of the year, the great hall had food on the tables from five till seven and the students were allowed to wander in and have their dinner when they wanted within these times. Most students chose to have dinner at five so that they could get first pick of the desserts that were on range. Some, however, did have their dinner in the later time of the dinner period. Most of these students were Slytherin's though. Just to be awkward they always turned up at five to seven to eat so that the tables couldn't be cleared until they were finished, making more work for the house elves.
At six-thirty, when most of the sensible students had finished eating, Lily and Hestia, along with Emmeline and Alice were still in a discussion about Alice's conversation with Frank which had started an hour ago when they had started dinner, and had ended only minutes ago.
'So are you two ok?' Lily asked Alice curiously, 'Are you still together?'
'Yeah.' Alice sighed, a sickly, gooey, romantic, starry eyed look in her eyes which caused Hestia and Lily to turn to each other and crinkle their noses in disgust.
Emmeline saw this. She suspected that the only reason for them to do this was that they had never experienced it themselves.
'We talked.' Alice continued stirring her drink with her wand and unintentionally turning her orange pumpkin juice pink, 'I told him that it was really soon for me to start thinking about…err…well…stronger feelings than the fact that I like him, and he was fine about it. He said that he was sorry he freaked me out, he understood what I was saying, that we hadn't been going out that long, and we hadn't made anything official yet, and then he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I was so happy, and then-'
'Oh my god Alice! Take a breath!' Lily laughed, cutting off Alice's excited rambles about Frank.
The girls continued talking when the Slytherin's had finally decided to enter the great hall for their dinner. They walked collectively to their long table and sat down. From where Lily, Hestia, Alice and Emmeline were sat, they heard the Slytherin's outbursts of disgust. The girls turned to see what the least favourite house in the school was complaining about when they saw a thick layer of strawberry jam pasted across the seats of the Slytherin table. Hestia laughed, Alice gasped, Emmeline looked dreamily into the distance not noticing anything and Lily tried to hold back a smile as she had a strong suspicion who was to blame. Instead, she looked around for the culprits and sure enough she saw them laughing their heads off just outside the great hall in the entrance hall. James spotted Lily looking at him and he winked at her. This time she couldn't hold back the smile. She blushed and put her head down so James couldn't see her anymore.
'They've been doing things like that all day!' Alice said in a hushed tone.
'What do you mean?' Lily asked, eager to know what they'd been done and if she should be amused or disgusted. Maybe if it was really bad she would become mad at James again and her feelings for him would disapparate.
'Pulling pranks. I heard that they replaced all the trophies in the trophy room with toilet seats!' Alice said with a nod.
'That's nothing.' Hestia said, 'This morning after breakfast, in that first free period, they painted Hogwarts red and gold. Hogwarts. The whole outside of the castle! That's just insane! I mean, Dumbledore cleared it all off within ten minutes of them finishing it so not many people saw it, but what a way to spend a free period!'
'I know!' Lily said, 'All you did was tweeze your eyebrows instead of finishing a Herbology essay!'
Hestia blinked at Lily. 'It was more important.' she said solemnly, 'And I've handed it in now anyway!'
'You know,' Alice said thoughtfully, taking no notice of what Hestia and Lily had been talking about and just continuing with the conversation they were in before about the pranks the marauders had pulled that day, 'I heard that they also turned the portrait of the fat lady upside-down, built a fort out of the restricted books around the librarians desk in the library and stole all the boats that the first years use at the start of the year, and crammed them into Filch's office.
Lily bit her lip in thought. Painting the school, which had stood as it was since the turn of the tenth century, the first wizarding school in the world, was bold to say the least. Plus the castle was huge so how on earth could they have painted it all? Replacing the trophies in the trophy room with toilet seats was quite disturbing rather that awe inspiring as painting the castle was. Where did they get all of the toilet lids from? The trophy room was huge. It had trophies that went back generations. There were more trophies in the school than toilets. Pasting jam across the Slytherin's seats. Pretending that a venomous tentacula was eating his arm. Turning the fat lady's portrait upside-down. Building forts out of library books, restricted ones. Stealing boats and putting them into Filch's office. All of these pranks were just a bit stupid, but none of them made her feel any less towards James. If maybe he had turned back to randomly picking on certain individuals from Slytherin, than her feelings for him might have dissolved. But as it stood, they were still there, manifesting and unfortunately, as much as she tried to deny it or pretend they weren't, growing stronger.
There was just one thing that bugged her. She looked out to where the marauders were now giving each other antlers and fighting with them when she had to ask, 'Why is he being so childish all of a sudden?'
'Do you want me to go and ask him?' Hestia asked Lily. She got up and excited the hall without waiting for a reply.
Lily nodded as she left. She didn't know why it bothered her. She had a feeling the previous night that James and the marauders might be childish today. It was the reason she gave Remus for not wanting to be their friend anymore. She knew that he might tell James but she had hoped that he wouldn't. Lily looked up to Hestia. She had just reached the marauders.
'Potter!' Hestia said, walking over to James who had a laughing smile plastered on his face.
'Yeah?' he said in response, giving a cocky glance to Hestia who didn't look impressed at all.
'Why are you being so childish today?' Hestia questioned, her hands on her hips and her eyebrows raised in question.
James thought for a moment. He had to choose his words carefully here. Hestia had told him one thing and Remus had told him another. Both of them believed that theirs was the only story James knew and neither one knew the others story. He smiled and said, 'Now I know what Lily really thinks of me, I see no reason to hide my immaturity.'
Hestia gave him a look of derision, turned around, tossing her hair and walking back to Lily in the hall. She got nearer to where her friends were sitting and sped up, reaching them in less than ten seconds.
'Did you find out why they're being so childish today?' Lily asked Hestia in suspense of what she was going to say.
'He said now that he knows what you think of him, he sees no reason to hide his… immaturity.' Hestia said, pausing halfway through with realisation that she may have just told her best friend, very subtly that she had told James the one thing she had been asked not to say.
'He did tell him then.' Lily said glumly.
'Lily I'm sorry, I just-' Hestia began in a full blown apology before stopping suddenly when her brain was able to process what Lily had just said. 'Wait,' she continued, 'He? He who?'
'Lupin.' Lily sighed.
'What do you mean?' Hestia continued, leaning into Lily so that Emmeline and Alice who were talking about their divination homework, couldn't hear their conversation, 'Did you tell him…why?'
'Well…' Lily said, choosing her words carefully, 'I told him a reason why.' she shrugged her shoulders innocently.
'What reason?' Hestia said slowly, emphasising her constantans.
'I kind of told him that I didn't want to be their friend anymore because they were being too childish.' Lily spluttered quickly, hoping that getting it out quickly would make her guilt easier to deal with. It was her version of, how they said in the muggle world, ripping the plaster off.
'Well…' Hestia started, unsure of what to say to her friend who, in the five and a half years they had known each other, had never lied but had now decided to take it up as a hobby, telling a web of overlapping lies on the same day. Hestia exhaled quickly and said, 'Why did you need me to go and ask them why they were being so childish today of you sort of already knew the reason why?'
'To make sure?' Lily said nervously with a tilt of her head and the raising of one of her shoulders, an innocent look upon her face.
Hestia shook her head. 'You never usually lie.' she said with disappointment.
Lily once again, hung her head, but this time in shame. 'I know.' she mumbled, 'And I know you're going to say, that it would be easier to just tell the truth but in this case I think that the truth could make everything a lot worse.' she looked up, a pleading look in her eyes, 'I think it would just be a lot better if I stayed quiet. To be perfect l honest, I'd rather not be their friend because they think I think that they're too childish than not be their friend because it's weird for James. I don't want to make him or…Sophie, uncomfortable.'
Hestia nodded. For the first time she understood where Lily was coming from. In the back of her mind though, her conscious was making her feel extremely guilty for telling James the real reason of why Lily didn't want to be friends anymore. She had betrayed her trust and if she found out, she probably wouldn't talk to her for a while. If only Lily had actually told her this last night.
Thanks for reading