Five Minutes

Chapter 29

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 Twenty-Nine!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Twenty-Nine

The next morning went extremely slowly. The Gryffindor's and the Ravenclaw's had double charms first thing, or at least those who had taken the subject had. They were cooped up in a tiny classroom on the third floor of Hogwarts castle, attempting to listen to a two hour lecture from Professor Flitwick. They were doing no practical work. Instead, they were supposed to be taking notes on what Professor Flitwick was explaining about the technique of non-verbal spells. Unfortunately for Flitwick hardly any of the class were actually taking notice.

Remus, was sat on the back row in the small classroom with his feet up on the desk. He was dying inside. He felt so tired and warn out. He wasn't meant to be in lessons today due to the full moon but he hated missing classes. It took him longer to catch up because the people who were supposed to bring him the work, namely James and Sirius, never really paid attention anyway and always forgot. However, actually turning up to the lesson in his current state didn't exactly improve his reception of the work. It was making no difference, his presence. He might as well have waited the usual week to find out what the lectures were about. He was too exhausted to take any notice and he felt extremely angry. If somebody said something even remotely out of line to him today, he would most likely punch them. He was not in a good mood.

Peter was sat on his left hand side, attempting to take notes. He wasn't getting very far. There was no ink in his jar but he didn't notice as the label read 'invisible ink'. What he didn't know was that Sirius had switched his inks around. He didn't have any proper scrolls of parchment left so he was writing, or just scratching his quill, on the back of his astronomy map. The last thing getting in his way was Remus' feet. They were actually tugging on his parchment making it impossible for him to write. But he didn't dare say anything to Remus because he was more afraid of him during his werewolf period than he was usually.

Sirius was the opposite side of Remus and James was next to him. Both were slouching in their chairs, taking it in turns to throw Bertie Bott's every flavour beans into each other's mouths. Both had relatively good aim so there was no fear of any beans flying astray and hitting someone on the head, though this didn't stop the boys purposefully doing this for a laugh. They weren't just eating Bertie Bott's though, they were feasting on nearly all of the sweets that Mrs Potter had sent James that morning in advance of his birthday that month. Strewn across the desk were layers of wrappers, some empty, some full. There was lots of chocolate frogs, cauldron cakes, liquorice wands, exploding bon-bon's and ice mice along with half a page of doodles un-expertedly drawn by James.

Two rows in front of the four marauders, sat Alice, Emmeline, Hestia, and Lily.

Alice, instead of working, was thinking about going to Hogsmeade that weekend. It would be the first time she and Frank had gone on a date outside of the school grounds. She was extremely excited and, whilst doodling love hearts and hers and Franks initials, she was planning the outfit she was going to where for what she looked upon as their first official, official date. She was also planning where they should go. She had heard of a darling little teashop in town called Madam Puddifoot's. Maybe they could go there?

Next to Alice, Emmeline was chewing on her quill. To anybody looking at her, they would probably suspect that she was eating an edible quill. To those who knew her though, knew that she in fact, was just munching upon her own. She was staring off into space as she usually did, thinking of everything and nothing.

Oddly enough, it was Hestia who was the one doing the work today. She was taking accurate neat notes pertaining to what Professor Flitwick was squeaking on about. Her notes were taking up quite a bit of space in the notebook she had stolen from Lily when she couldn't find her own. She was running low on ink halfway through the lecture and so leaned over to Lily to ask if she had any spare.

Lily, who was shaken out of a daydream, rummaged around in her bag to find her spare bottle of ink, not thinking to give Hestia the one she had already gotten out at the start of the lesson as she wasn't using it. She found a bottle of multi-coloured ink, the only spare bottle she had in her bag, and gave it to Hestia before returning to her daydream. She was thinking about her sister and her sister's wedding. She wasn't invited and Petunia didn't return any of the letters Lily had tried to send her. Or rather she did. They were just unopened. She was broken out of her thoughts again when a bag of sweets landed on her desk. Upon closer inspection, she saw that they were exploding bob-bon's, her favourites.

She turned around to see where they had come from. Her suspicions were correct and sure enough, it was James who was smiling at her, giving her a nod before returning to the mound of sweets in front of him. Lily turned back to face the front, smiling to herself and becoming a little bit flushed. She opened the bag of sweets, offered them to her friends who took them willingly, before taking one herself and popping it in her mouth. Her thoughts returned back to Petunia who had always liked bon-bon's in the muggle world. She wasn't quite sure how she'd react to the exploding ones, one of which was now fizzing and crackling in her mouth.

Lily decided to write another letter to Petunia. She was sure that anybody else would have given up by now but Lily just couldn't do that. She was, after all, still her sister and nothing on earth could change that fact. She grabbed the notebook Hestia was scribbling in, much to her protestations, ripped out a page, slung it back into her best friend's arms and began to write.

It took her the rest lesson to finish writing her letter. Or at least it took her the rest lesson to be happy with what she had written. When Professor Flitwick dismissed the class, Lily asked Hestia to take her bag to the common room whilst she nipped up to the Owlery to send her letter. What she wasn't expecting, was to open the door to the staircase, which lead to the Owlery, and bump into James.

'Hey.' James said to her in surprise, glancing up at her quickly and then continuing to scribble what was presumably a letter in his hand. He was stood a couple of stairs up into the spiral staircase leaning on his hand and writing a very messy thank you to his mum on a scraggy piece of parchment, the only piece he could find in his pocket. Sure it had his Defence Against the Dark Arts doodles, (for you could hardly call them notes), on it but he had to find something to write on. When he finished the note, he shoved his quill in his pocket, folded up the piece parchment he was holding and sealed it with his wand. He looked back at Lily who hadn't moved or said anything. He raised an eyebrow at her. 'Hey?' he said again.

Lily shook her head, waking herself up from her moment of sudden, shocked silence. She looked up at James and said, 'Hi.'

'Hi.' James laughed. He motioned at her to walk up the stairs with him and the pair set of up the tower.

'So, are you alright?' James asked her, running a hand through his hair and then shoving his hands in his pockets.

'I think so.' Lily began before going into one of her nervous rambles, 'I mean, thanks for the bon bon's today. They were really nice so that made me feel happy. Charms made me feel quite bored which is rather unusual for me as it is my favourite subject. And I forgot to take notes because I was too busy wrapped up in my own little world but Hestia took notes so I'll copy hers. But right now I just feel a little bit embarrassed. I mean, last time I was in the Owlery I accused you of dating your owl and I-'

'-am rambling.' James completed for her.

Lily looked at him trying not to flush bright red. 'Right.' she smiled weakly, 'I do tend to do that.'

James smiled at her again and opened the door to the windowless circular room, which was the Owlery, for her. They both walked into the room and Lily went to select one of the school owls to deliver her letter for her. James however stopped in the middle of the room.

He had a cheeky smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He knew how she would react and he believed it would be funny. Not necessarily for her but for him. So he held out his arm and, although he hated the name, he called, 'Oh Sophie' with a mischievous lilt in his voice.

Sure enough, Lily turned around slowly with a less than amused expression. 'Very funny.' she said with a small shake of her head.

James chuckled softly to himself. 'I thought so.' he said, walking over to the glassless window to join Lily and tie his letter onto his owl's leg. 'So,' he continued, determined for things not to be awkward and just keep the conversation going, 'who you writing too?'

Lily sighed. 'My sister.' she replied depressively with a sigh.

'Is everything all right with you and her now then?' James asked. He had finished tying his letter to Sox' legs and was now stroking her as she nipped at him affectionately.

'No.' Lily answered with a sad look up at James. She was struggling to tie her letter to the school owl which she had picked out as it was very unsettled and angry about being woken up to deliver a letter. Lily continued, 'I keep sending her letters but she keeps sending them back unopened. Any sane person would have probably given up by now.'

'Yeah but you're not sane.' James said offhandedly.

'Thanks!' Lily retorted snappily.

James sighed and took the owl off of Lily, which had just pecked her rather hard, and attempted to calm it down enough to tie the letter to it. 'I didn't mean it like that.' he carried on, his voice getting lower, softer and quieter, 'What I meant was that you're a very sweet person and if you care about someone and something is wrong in the relationship between you, then you won't give up until it's sorted out. Not many people would have the patience for that kind of thing and…I really admire you for it.'

He had tied the letter to the owl finally and stroked it once before it flew out of the pane-less arch that it had been in. He then stroked Sox' head a couple more times before sending her on her way.

Lily watched him do this. She smiled slightly as she watched him. He was very good with animals, something that she didn't know before. It took her all she had to follow Alice's advice and not just jump in feet first right there and then. She looked at him and saw everything she wanted at that moment. She saw someone who understood or at least respected her somewhat pointless one-sided correspondence with her sister. She saw someone who was kind and gentle and who really liked her.

James looked at her, feeling her gaze on him. 'What?' he asked with a lopsided smile.

'Nothing.' Lily shrugged, wanting to stop there but not being able to help herself in continuing. 'It's just-'

'Well, well, well. What do we have here?' came a voice from the door.

Lily and James, in unison, turned their heads to see Severus Snape stood in the doorway with his arms folded. He walked slowly into the room and stopped about two metres from where the pair stood. He looked back and forth between the two of them with a malicious smirk.

'What do you want?' James demanded roughly, not wanting to waste any of his day being harassed by someone who he could easily defeat in a duel but, because of certain situations, couldn't.

'I want to send an owl.' Severus replied, pronouncing every syllable, consonant and vowel with utmost precision.

'You can send as many owls as you like Snivellus but you actually have to have friends to get a reply.' James said exasperatedly, receiving a warning look off of Lily who didn't approve of the snideness, pettiness and sometimes just plain cruelty and bullying.

'I. Have. Friends.' Severus said angrily through gritted teeth, his eyebrows lowering considerably creating a dark shadow over his eyes.

'You keep telling yourself that.' James retorted with a teasing smirk, very different in every way from Severus' evil one.

'You better watch yourself Potter!' Severus hissed.

'Ooh I'm so scared!' James said sarcastically, bringing his hand up to his mouth and pretending to bite his nails nervously.

Lily huffed from beside him. She didn't like this side of James. It reminded her of the version of him from fifth year downwards, although it had been tamed slightly. She looked at him disappointedly, shaking her head. He didn't look at her though.

'Don't push me Potter!' Severus said marching up to James with a furious look blazing on his face.

Slowly, James looked him up and down, shrugged, and with his right hand, pushed his shoulder.

Severus' eyes widened and he quickly searched for his wand to teach James a lesson. He found it in a pocket around the back of his robe and took it out to point at James. However his hesitation in casting a spell allowed James to take his wand off of him and inspect it.

'Surprised you can do any damage with this thing.' James said with a chortle. He tapped the wand twice in his hand, twice on the wall and then twice on the windowless window sill causing a few splinters of wood to break off before Lily snatched it off him and gave it back to Severus.

James rolled his eyes at his personal fun being ruined and folded his arms.

'I can do more damage than you can!' Severus sneered tucking his wand back into his pocket after receiving a disappointed look from Lily which he couldn't deny. It made him feel as if he had failed in some way.

'Okay.' James chuckled derisively.

Severus looked at Lily who looked as if she had just about had enough of the both of them. He looked down at his shoes and then back to James with a contemptible look. 'If I were you Potter,' he said taking a step backwards, 'I'd watch your back.' his head then turned snappily towards Lily, 'That goes for you too!' he spat before exiting the room swiftly.

Lily looked at the door with a disgusted shock. 'He threatened me…' she whispered quietly in disbelief, mostly to herself but she couldn't stop James hearing her.

'He wasn't threatening you.' James said, suddenly serious again. He looked suspicious and a little bit worried as he turned to Lily to continue, 'He was warning you.'

Remus and Sirius were sat in the hospital wing. It was raining outside which made a great change from the weather the previous day. The heavy downpour beat angrily against the windows and created a shadowed illusion on the wall opposite the boys. They stared at it; Remus with interest and Sirius with boredom. They had now been sat there for fifteen minutes of their free period.

Sirius had dragged Remus to Madame Pomfrey after he had collapsed on their way up to the Gryffindor tower. It hadn't actually occurred to Sirius to levitate his friend down to the hospital wing so it took him twice as long as it should have done to get his unconscious friend down to the medical room and into Madame Pomfrey's capable hands. Sirius pestered her for ten minutes whilst she overlooked Remus to see what was wrong and why he had passed out. After she had finished inspecting Remus and had concluded what was wrong she told Sirius.

Half of the reason was apparent without examination; it was the days of the full moon and Remus was naturally weaker in his human state at this time. There were two other reasons which contributed to his collapse. First of all, he hadn't eaten or drunk anything for about fourteen hours and due to his recent transformation had dehydrated quickly. The other reason was that there was a rather deep cut at the base of his back which had been bleeding heavily, covered up by his robes. After she had finished telling Sirius what was wrong with Remus, she set to work healing him. It took her no time at all and Remus was soon sat up in a hospital bed with strict instructions not to leave or even move.

So both of the boys were now facing the wall watching the shadow of the rain in silence. The only sound was the water hitting the glass pane behind them until Remus spoke.

'I can't believe you did that.' he said shaking his head with an annoyed expression apparent over his face.

'At least I got you here!' Sirius said through gritted teeth, not grasping why Remus was irritated with him. In his eyes, which usually over exaggerated these situations anyway, he had saved one of his best friend's lives by his heroic act of bringing him to the hospital wing. Why couldn't Remus see that?

'Why didn't you levitate me?' Remus asked, shaking his head, 'You used that spell on certain Slytherin's many a time. How could you not think of it?'

'I panicked!' Sirius whined, his voice reaching an unnaturally high register.

'So your solution was to drag me here, by the foot with my face trailing on the floor?' Remus questioned with raised eyebrows, finally turning to Sirius.

Sirius paused. 'Yes?' he replied, unsure.

Remus paused as well. 'I can taste floor in my mouth!' he said with a bit of outrage.

'Well you're a werewolf. I'm sure you've tasted way worse than the floors of Hogwarts before now.' Sirius shrugged offhandedly.

'None that spring to mind!' Remus sighed shortly. He reached over to the small table beside his hospital bed and grabbed the book which was placed upon it. He opened it and began to read, not having any patience left to deal with Sirius. He was reading what Sirius and James called his hospital book. It was the book which, much like Remus, held a permanent residence in the hospital wing.

Sirius folded his arms and leant back in his chair. He had a face like a wet fish. He just couldn't understand why Remus was so mad at him. He had been able to get him down to the hospital wing after all and he had been able to make sure that Remus had received the assistance that he needed. Sirius shook his head, not understanding.

'Hey!' James said as he walked through the door to the hospital wing, his hands held out in question, 'Pete said you were here. What happened?' He stopped in front of Remus' bed.

Remus closed his book, marking the page onto which he had read, and place it back on his bed side table.

'Well,' Remus began turning to James with a less than amused expression written across his face, 'I collapsed on the way back from charms and so Sirius dragged me across the floors to the hospital wing.'

'Dude, why didn't you just levitate him?' James asked Sirius.

Sirius stood up in a huff. 'I didn't think of it, all right!' he yelled stomping out of the hospital wing like a moody four year old.

James watched him go warily. He turned back to Remus. 'Did I touch a nerve?'

Remus nodded his head and rolled his eyes. He sat up more in his bed as James came and sat in the chair that Sirius had just vacated. He put his feet up on Remus' hospital bed and leant back in his chair his arms folded behind his head. He heaved a great sigh.

'So why is he being such a girl then?' James asked Remus.

'He's always like that.' Remus replied, staring at the door which was slowly closing shut after Sirius' somewhat dramatic exit. He sighed in an echo of James and looked back towards the gently slowing shadowed rain on the wall opposite him.

'Fair point.' James chuckled, a smile spreading across his face. 'So you got to stay here for the next few days then?'

'Yes.' Remus said miserably, not liking the prospect of spending two and half more lonely days in the hollow room. He would have to be alone for these days due to an infliction which he couldn't control and that wasn't his fault. It was at days like this that he really hated his father.

James spent the rest of his free period sitting in the hospital wing to keep Remus company. They played wizards chess for a while, Remus won, and then they played with half a pack of exploding snap cards. The other half were somewhere in there dormitory from when they were trying to knock a goblet of pumpkin juice off of Peters desk by throwing cards at it. Neither of them saw Sirius until the end of the period when he stormed in eating a chicken drumstick which he had obviously taken from the kitchens.

He walked into the room, chewing with his mouth open, Peter was trailing behind him. He stopped in front of Remus' bed, making a big deal about the fact that he was upset. Heaving huge audible sighs and looking up to the ceiling sadly, averting eye contact with both of his friends. Peter looked at a loss.

'It's dinner time.' Sirius said, still not looking at either James or Remus but rather, taking another bite of his chicken wing and looking at the window above their heads.

The heavy rain had begun to slow and the deadening sound got softer. The shadow illusion which Sirius was now stood in front of began fade away making his shadow bolder in the light from the window. From opposite the wall, looking at his shadow, Remus saw Sirius turn his head to James.

'It's time to eat.' he said shortly, his head turned towards his best friends but his eyes glancing up at the ceiling, still not looking at him.

'With you it's always time to eat.' James said with a soft chuckle, relaxing back into his chair and, once more, putting his feet up on Remus' hospital bed.

Sirius finally looked at James in the eye, the hand holding his half eaten chicken wing relaxed to his side and his eyes narrowed. 'You know what I mean.' Sirius sighed, obviously not amused.

'Enlighten me.' James said testily.

'Aw come on!' Sirius whined, his voice reaching that unnaturally high register again which would soon become his natural voice if he used it too much, 'It's lunch time and I'm hungry!'

'Then go and eat.' James said, motioning towards the open doors of the hospital wing, 'Nothing's stopping you.'

'I can't eat on my own!' he moaned, stamping his foot slightly, giving of the image of a spoilt little girl once again.

'Eat with Peter then.' James shrugged simply, gesturing to the small plump boy beside Sirius. Peter looked thrilled.

Sirius didn't even dignify the comment with a response. Instead his face dropped and he looked at James disappointedly for even suggesting such a ludicrous idea. After almost six years of sharing a dormitory with the boy, hanging out in the same friendship group as him and taking nearly all the same classes, Sirius could still hardly stand Peter Pettigrew. No one could ever figure out why. And he didn't seem to care that he was right next to him now.

James shook his head slightly at Sirius' obvious hatred at his suggestion. Even he didn't know why Sirius didn't like Peter that much. They had all been friends for six or so years and, even though Peter wasn't particularly a great conservationist and was just a little bit slow and stupid, there was nothing that he had done, that James could think of, that would have caused Sirius' dislike.

He sighed, rose out of his chair and turned to Remus. 'I'm gonna go and baby sit.' he said, 'See you after potions?'

'If I haven't died of boredom.' Remus sighed, taking a dramatic turn in mockery of Sirius.

James chuckled and walked over to Sirius who was still stood at the end of Remus' bed. 'See you later!' he said waving a hand to Remus and he, Peter and Sirius left to exit the room leaving Remus on his own with nothing to do but read his hospital book for two long and lonely hours.

Lily left the great hall after lunch and headed off on her own down to potions. When she got to the classroom, there was only one other person in the room; Severus Snape. He stared at her when she entered the room. Lily had no idea why. The only thing she could think of was the warning that James had told her that Severus had given her in the Owlery. Then again, she still couldn't figure out what she needed to be warned about. She may no longer be friends with him but she knew in her gut that he would never hurt her. Still, it didn't mean that his constant and unwavering staring at her didn't tick her off.

She sighed frustrated and her eyes glanced to the floor, widening in annoyance.

'That was a big sigh.' James said, entering the room with Sirius and standing behind her, 'What's up?'

Lily turned around and using her eyes, motioned towards Severus, (who was still staring at her), to indicate that he was the problem.

'Oh.' James said, grasping what Lily was not saying. He tried to make it less awkward, 'The sky is up…Except, from when it's down…and it's never down…so…I'm gonna stop talking now cause this isn't making any sense.'

'It made sense to me.' Sirius said shrugging his shoulders.

Lily, because of James attempting to make the situation less awkward and failing, turned around and walked to her seat. She felt a lot more comfortable now James was there. She smiled when he sat down next to her but to disguise it, she reached down to grab her text book. When she emerged from under the table, her smile was still there, however, it quickly faded when she saw Sirius sitting at their table too.

Lily, in a state of shock and not thinking of how it might sound to anybody else, asked, 'What is he doing at our table?'

'Sitting?' James questioned, wondering what the problem was. He looked at Sirius. Sure he was attempting to discreetly stuff a whole chocolate frog in his mouth and failing poorly, bits of chocolate jumping onto the table, but he wasn't that bad.

'You know what I mean.' Lily replied exasperatedly.

'Well Remus doesn't feel too well and you can't leave Sirius unattended in a potions room.' James said, still looking at Sirius, a little bit disgustedly now as he was chewing with his mouth open, 'If we leave him alone he may just blow up the school. He's a mad man you know.'

'Don't worry though,' Sirius said, swallowing noisily, 'If you two want to discuss your newly declared feelings for each other I won't stand in your way.'

Lily looked away, as did James, both uncomfortable by Sirius' suggestion.

'I mean you don't have to if you don't want too.' Sirius continued, not taking any notice of the new and uncomfortable atmosphere he had created, 'I'm just saying that if you did I would give you full privacy and-'

'Sirius.' James said, 'Shut up.'

Before Sirius could answer, Professor Slughorn entered the room much to Lily's relief. Hopefully his presence would bring an end to this embarrassing one-sided conversation. She looked around the classroom to see that everybody else bar Remus of course, had arrived and was ready to learn. Well, as ready as any Slytherin's could ever be. She suddenly felt quite surrounded. She, James and Sirius were the only Gryffindor's in the class. Seeing this, made Lily reluctantly allow Sirius to continue sitting at their table. She didn't really have a say in the matter but it was nice to feel as if she did.

'All right then class.' Slughorn said, busting around his desk to find his own, personal textbook, 'Can you all turn to page forty-six of your advanced potions book. Today I want you to make the hiccoughing solution but be warned, I am not a great fan of this potion. It is easy to make but extremely difficult to make well. I won't be impressed if you put minimum effort in.' he looked at Sirius. 'Now, any ingredients you may need are in the cupboard. You can start.'

There was a rustle as every student in the room scraped back there chairs and made their way over to the store cupboard, each person determined to get the best and freshest ingredients they could lay their hands on. There was a lot of pushing and shoving as nine people all tried to cram themselves into the small cupboard. It was an even tighter squeeze when they all tried to force themselves out.

James and Sirius returned to their table where Lily was already sat beginning her potion. They sat down next to her and sorted out their ingredients before starting their own individual potions. The table was cramped with three of them working on it. They kept bumping elbows which they usually wouldn't have minded. But every time James and Lily accidentally touched, Sirius would wolf whistle, make kissing sounds or other suggestive noises making Lily blush furiously and James roll his eyes. It went on for around fifteen minutes before Sirius was told off.

'Really Mr Black!' Professor Slughorn said, 'is that really necessary?'

'Err…yes?' Sirius replied cheekily.

Professor Slughorn shook his head and turned to Lily, his most favourite student and then to James, a student whom he liked and whom he wanted to be in his slug club but was always disappointed when the answer was no. 'I was just coming over to see how the Felix Felicis was coming along.'

Lily and James turned to each other, wide eyed. Through everything that had happened recently, James finding out about Lily's feelings, Lily finding out about James finding out about her feelings and Quidditch, it was a hectic month in their teenage lives and they had completely forgotten about the potion that they were supposed to be brewing.

Thinking quickly, James made up an excuse as to their lacking of lucky potion. 'There was no boomslang skin.'

Professor Slughorn blinked. 'You don't need boomslang skin for the Felix Felicis potion Mr potter.'

'Oh.' James said, 'Well, then I guess there's no reason for us not to get started then. We'll do that as soon as possible professor.'

'Miss Evans,' Professor Slughorn said, turning towards Lily with a disappointed expression forming on his face usually jolly face, 'surely you knew that boomslang skin isn't used in Felix Felicis?'

Lily looked down at the table, drawing around the natural wood patterns with her finger. 'Well, you see sir,' she began, not knowing what to say, 'the thing is, I-'

'I said I'd get all the ingredients for the potion.' James said, cutting Lily off.

Slughorn turned back to James with a suspicious stare. 'But surely Mr Potter, by following the ingredients list you should have known that boomslang skin isn't in that potion.' Professor Slughorn said. He then paused. 'Was I wrong in trusting you with this potion?'

'Probably.' James said.

'No.' Lily said immediately, almost at the same time as James. She turned to him and gave him a warning glance before turning back to Professor Slughorn and saying, 'You can trust us Professor. We'll get started on it this week.'

Professor Slughorn nodded. 'Well see that you do. I'll check your progress in a couple of weeks. The first stage should be complete by then.' he said before walking away to check on some of the other students in his class.

'That was close.' Sirius said with a sigh of relief.

'I know.' Lily said, looking back to James.

'He almost saw me eating my Bertie Bott's!' Sirius continued, taking a pack of the small jelly beans out of his robes and shoving a few into his mouth.

James chuckled softly at his best friend, shaking his head fondly as he did. He carried on with his potion.

'Want one?' Sirius said offering a sweet to James who took one willingly.

'Thanks.' James said, eating the small bean and then turning back to his potion which was bubbling and hissing. Never a good sign.

'You want one?' Sirius said to Lily who accepted and reached over to get one of the sweets. Before her hand entered the packet though, Sirius snatched it away and said, 'Give Jimmy-boy here a kiss and you can have one.'

James suddenly dropped all of the chopped rats tail he had just sliced up into his potion, making it bubble furiously over the top of his cauldron. An even worse sign. Lily and Sirius jumped back slightly as James tried to control his fuming potion. He managed to salvage it within a few minutes after which he turned to Sirius and said, 'Bit too far there mate.'

From the table above the three Gryffindor's, Severus watched the whole exchange. He gripped the blade he was holding tightly. They obviously knew that Lily liked James. He couldn't stand it. The whole situation made his skin crawl. The little looks they stole at each other when the other wasn't looking were sickening. He gripped his blade tighter. She shouldn't be giving him those looks. She shouldn't be giving anybody those types of looks. And James Potter, in Severus' opinion, should never look at Lily like that unless he wanted to be seriously harmed. But now he had no say in who Lily wanted and it tore him up inside.

Severus stuck his blade into the table, extremely close to Avery's hand.

'What do you think you're doing?' Avery yelled, snatching his hand off of the table and yanking out the knife out of where it was embedded in the wood.

'Well maybe if your hand wasn't in the way.' Severus snapped back, snatching his blade back off of Avery angrily.

'My hand wasn't in the way it was on my side of the desk!' Avery hissed stepping threateningly towards Severus.

'Don't threaten me!' Severus whispered dangerously, taking his wand out and poking it into Avery's slightly chubby stomach.

Avery was about to answer back when Professor Slughorn rushed over, pre-empting a fight and taking precautions to stop it.

'What is the meaning of this?' Professor Slughorn said, holding the two boys apart by the scruff of their necks. He looked between the two of them with disappointment, shock and curiosity. He couldn't believe that two of his own sixth year students, from his own house, would act up so unexpectedly.

Neither of the boys answered. They just stared at each other menacingly, each cursing the other in their heads.

'I don't want to ask again.' Professor Slughorn said, 'Now what was the meaning of this?'

Severus took a deep breath. 'Nothing.' he growled, pulling himself away from his head of house's grasp. He rearranged his robe which had been disturbed by Slughorn holding him. He glared at Avery, shaking his head in despise.

'Not nothing!' Avery snarled, 'He tried to chop my hand off the little wart!'

Severus leapt at Avery, pushing him onto the ground. The pair scraped in a good old-fashioned brawl until Severus got bored stood up and cursed Avery so that he was covered in cuts which would not stop bleeding. All the while, Slughorn attempted to stop the fighting in every which way possible, but was unsuccessful until it stopped on its own naturally leaving Avery bleeding on the floor and Severus stood up in a sick defiance.

Severus watched on as Slughorn knelt down beside his student, healing the wounds as quickly as he could. Severus was in a state of shock. He could not believe what he had done. The spell he had cast wasn't a real spell. He had no idea what it would do. They were just words floating around in his head. He had never meant for them to be that brutal. In that moment though, through all of the commotion that he had caused, he could only remember one thing. It was what Voldemort had told them at their last meeting; we will get nowhere if we turn on each other. We must be united if we are to win the war on purity.

Taking a step back Severus looked around the small class who watched on as Slughorn attempted to heal the cuts which consumed Avery's body. He looked at Mulciber who was glaring angrily at him and then down to Avery with what could only be described as worry, (although he would never admit it). The three other Slytherin's in the room, all girls looked aghast at the situation. Sirius Black was wide eyed, confused and, finally, James Potter was hugging Lily to his chest. He was shielding her in shock. She had turned into him when the fight behind them had turned to the worst. It was clear to Severus at this was what had happened. James shock wasn't to the event which Severus himself was involved in; it was to Lily's sudden grip around him.

Severus looked back to Avery. It was clear he was alive. Professor Slughorn had healed nearly all of his wounds. Everything was still in slow motion to Severus. He looked between Avery and James and Lily with a deathly scowl on his face all the while, his two made up words whirling around in his mind. Two thoughts occurred to him. One, he was most likely to get in trouble for this, a detention most likely. And two, his new spell would become very handy in the death eater ranks, (if he was still in the dark lords army of hand-picked young witches and wizards.)

Focusing more on the second of his two thoughts, Severus made to leave the room. He rounded his table and, before exiting the class, stopped in front of James and whispered so quietly that only James could hear; 'Now you should be worried.' Then, with one last fleeting look at the back of Lily's head, for she was still facing James in a hug, left the room.

Slughorn saw him exit and, not noticing the exchange between Severus and James, shouted after him. 'Detention Mr Snape! This Saturday. With the headmaster!' The punishment for this sort of behaviour was usually a lot more severe but, due to the circumstances, Severus being in the house of which he was in charge off, Slughorn had the authority to lighten the punishment.

The class was silent after Severus' departure. It wasn't long until Avery was back on his feet and taken down to the hospital, the class ending early due to the dramatics of the lesson. Everybody left in a stupor. Especially James. He had just been threatened with an unidentified spell. How could he beat that?

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