Five Minutes

Chapter 31

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 Thirty-One!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Thirty-One

By Saturday morning, the gossip about Severus Snape's attack on Avery had died down and everyone was thoroughly worked up and excited about the impending Hogsmeade trip. People had woken up extra early so that they could make the first supervised trip into the village and leave at the last accompanied trip out. They hadn't been to the picturesque town in ages and every student in the school was excited. Even the teachers were looking forward to this Hogsmeade trip. They were all hoping for some peace and quiet whilst the majority of the students disappeared for the day. They were also hoping that the small break would allow the students to return fully ready to focus on their exams. However, as all the professors of the school were thinking this, Sirius Black was trying to focus on sneaking out of the school.

Technically, he wasn't allowed into Hogsmeade. He had been banned from the trips ever since he had sent Severus Snape down to the whomping willow during one of Remus' transformations into Moony. He had also been banned from playing Quidditch but, as the Quidditch season was over, he wasn't particularly worrying about that punishment now. Trying to defy his Hogsmeade grounding was all that was on his mind now.

The previous night, James, Remus, Peter and himself were discussing times, tunnels and places that Sirius could sneak out of undetected. At first, the most obvious suggestion was made; use the tunnel behind the one-eyed crone with the hump. But after last time they had sneaked out of the school, they thought they saw someone watching them so Sirius vetoed the idea. They went through all the secret passage ways which led out of the school until they finally decided how to sneak Sirius out of the school. Oddly enough, it was probably the simplest suggestion that was made and it was made by Peter.

So, when Saturday morning arrived, all four of the marauders were waiting to go to Hogsmeade together, with Sirius underneath James' invisibility cloak. They were waiting in the common room for Lily who they had said they would go with. The only problem was that they were becoming a little bit bored as Lily wasn't up yet. She didn't like getting up and, even though Hestia had said she had woken Lily up before she left to go on her date, she still hadn't come down the steps. They had been waiting for a half an hour.

'Can't we just go?' Sirius asked, becoming bored of being invisible. There's only so much fun you can have with invisibility at a wizarding school.

'No.' James said, 'We said she could come with us. We can't just leave her.' He was leaning on the back of the settee in front of the fire place with his arms folded. He was becoming as bored as Sirius was.

'You're only saying that because you fancy her.' Sirius whined stamping his foot like a spoilt little child who wasn't getting their own way.

'No I'm not.' James sighed, looking over to the girl's staircase, running a hand through his hair and willing Lily to come down running.

'Why can't we just go and get her?' Peter questioned meekly, kneeling up on the settee that James was leant against, 'I thought we'd figured out how to use the staircase.'

'We have.' Remus said, looking up from his charms book, (he had decided to utilise this time and revise the last chapter that they had studied in class), 'But a girl actually has to walk up the staircase with us. We can't go alone.' he explained, looking towards the staircase just as James was.

'Oh.' Peter said.

There was an awkward silence where James continued to watch for Lily, Remus returned to his book, Peter counted the bricks on the wall where the fireplace stood and Sirius made all the annoying noises that he could think of; clucking, clicking, tutting, tapping, stamping, stomping. It continued for another five minutes before James saw Lily come down the stairs.

'Well it's about time!' Sirius said causing Lily to look around, 'We've been waiting for five hours!'

'That's a bit of an exaggeration Sirius.' James smiled as he pushed himself up from the back of the couch.

'Where is he?' Lily asked James, looking around nervously for Sirius.

'Around.' James shrugged.

Suddenly, Lily screamed and, jumping in James' general direction, turned around to the laughing air. It seemed that Sirius had crept up behind had and squeezed her waist to make her jump. He was laughing madly at her reaction, as was James and Remus. Peter was tittering.

Sirius pulled the invisibility cloak off so that Lily could see where he was. She stared at him with her hand on her fast beating heart. She was starting to laugh as well.

'Why did you do that?' she asked him.

'Because it was funny.' Sirius said, putting the invisibility cloak back on, 'Now let's go! You've held us up enough already!'

'What does he mean by that?' Lily asked James as they, as a group with Remus and Peter, exited the common room through the portrait hole.

'Don't worry about it.' James said, holding the portrait hole open for Lily as she stepped out of the common room.

'What do you mean don't worry?' Sirius raged as the group began to walk down to the entrance hall in a line with Peter trailing behind, 'She's made us late.'

'I didn't realise we had scheduled a time.' Lily said, beginning to descend down the steps to the next floor.

Sirius was about to answer her when the staircase decided to switch on them. The group, visible or not was jolted down a couple of steps due to the sudden turn. Lily gripped onto the banister with all her might. This was the only part of Hogwarts she didn't like. Whilst James, Remus, Peter and, presumably, Sirius, didn't mind the moving staircase Lily had always been terrified that she might fall off one of them one day. She knew that there was no chance of that happening now, especially at Hogwarts, but she couldn't help but cling onto her fear from her first year at the magical school.

When the staircase had stopped she immediately ran down the stairs to the next landing just in case they moved again, receiving strange looks from James, Remus and Peter.

'I win?' she shrugged.

'Didn't realise it was a game.' Remus said as they followed Lily off of the stairs.

They walked down a couple more staircases, through a secret passage behind a door pretending to be a wall and through a portrait door all the while being pushed on by Sirius. He kept badgering them to move quicker, worrying aloud that they would miss the last trip out to Hogsmeade and have to find a way to sneak all five of them out of the school. That was a lot easier said than done.

When James, Lily, Remus, Peter and an invisible Sirius reached the entrance hall, slimly making the last supervised excursion out to Hogsmeade that was leaving that day, they found that the leader of the final trip was none other than Professor Slughorn. Lily turned to James to see him and Remus sharing a smug look between them as they spotted Professor Slughorn checking his pocket-watch at the end of the entrance hall. She wondered what it was about and, with a curious look, followed them over to where their potions teacher was stood.

'Oh ho!' Professor Slughorn exclaimed upon seeing them, 'I was beginning to think that nobody was going to turn up for this trip. Seems as if you're the only ones left!' he finished, bobbing up and down on his heels.

'Told you so!' Lily heard whispered into her ear, obviously by Sirius as she could see James and Remus in front of her and she was sure that, even though she couldn't see him, Peter wouldn't even attempt to do something like that. Even by just looking at him you could tell that fact. He was too much of a wimp.

She walked forwards and levelled herself with James, breathing deeply. She looked up at Professor Slughorn and smiled at him with her kind and gracious smile. 'Morning Professor.' She said happily, receiving odd looks from Remus and James who, instead of greeting the Professor, had been devising a simple plan to get rid of him during their trip to Hogsmeade. If they did so, Sirius would be able to take James' invisibility cloak off sooner than planned.

'Well then,' Slughorn sighed, once again checking his little pocket-watch before stuffing it and the attached chain into the inside pocket of his billowing robes, 'shall we?' he said to the four students in front of him. As soon as they had nodded Slughorn moved off with the two sixteen year olds, (Peter and James), and the three seventeen year olds, (Lily, Remus and an invisible Sirius), following him. A couple of them were whispering deviously.

Lily watched James and Remus from where she walked behind them. She had no idea what they were saying. She couldn't hear them and she was no good at lip reading. It didn't stop her trying but she was sure the words she was making out, (we need tree stump chocolate and pip squeak cream), were not pertaining to their conversation. In fact, she didn't believe that those words would ever appear in any conversation. Nevertheless, she continued to watch them in conversation, looking for some clue as to what they were saying, when they suddenly moved from behind Professor Slughorn to either side of him.

Lily walked quicker to see if she could over hear what they were saying. They had just exited the school gates and began to walk down the slope towards the little village that was blossoming quickly into spring, when she finally heard them.

'You know Professor,' Remus said, 'it's a beautiful day isn't it. It's a shame that you have to spend the next fifteen minutes of it walking down to the village with us when you could be having a refreshing butterbeer in the three broomsticks.'

Slughorn laughed loudly. 'Really Mr Lupin, I highly doubt that it will take fifteen minutes to walk down to Hogsmeade. It's right there look.' he bellowed, pointing to the village which was soon approaching at the end of the decline.

'Yes but,' James said, pointing his wand behind him and tripping Peter up and causing him to thud to the floor and skid lightly across the pavement, 'Peter's just a bit clumsy. It'll take a long time to get him there in one piece.'

Lily didn't see James' sleight of hand. If she did, she'd have probably said something. As it was, all she saw was Peter fall beside her. She helped heave him up as she eavesdropped in on the rest of the short conversation.

'Ah.' Slughorn said, 'I see. But, Dumbledore did say that you students had to be escorted.'

'Well, he's a prefect.' James said, jerking his thumb at Remus who smiled innocently, 'he can 'escort' us!' he finished, discreetly putting air quotes around the word escort so that Slughorn wouldn't notice.

'Mmm,' Slughorn murmured, raising his hand to his mouth in thought, 'I suppose that's true. And Miss Evans is a prefect too. That's two prefects…'

They had all come to a complete standstill now. Lily was level with James and Remus, as was Peter and, assumedly, Sirius. The students looked at Slughorn in suspense, wondering what he was going to say. He sighed and it was perfectly clear what the next words out of his mouth were to say. Before he was able to get them out though, Remus interrupted.

'Really Professor.' Remus said, clapping his hand on his Potions masters shoulder, 'There's no need to walk this last stretch with us. We're all sensible here and you have had a great influence on us and you have inspired us to be responsible young adults. Really Professor, we can handle it.'

Professor Slughorn lowered his hand from his face and looked at the young faces which surrounded him. He bobbed up and down on the balls of his feet and took the pocket watch out of his robes again, flicking it open and glancing at the time. He popped it back into his robes and looked at his students again before saying to Remus, 'Well you are quite responsible…and I see you have a handle on everything here…' he finished looking at James pointedly.

'You go have a butterbeer Professor.' Lily said, joining in with the boys plan and receiving a mischievous smile of approvement from James.

'Oh all right.' Professor Slughorn sighed, giving in un-reluctantly and making to move off, 'I could just use a butterbeer.' he ended as he left the students stood where they were and headed off towards the village below.

Sirius waited until Slughorn was a fair distance away before pulling the cloak off of himself and throwing it over to James who caught it without hesitation.

'What do you want me to do with it?' he asked his best friend with a chuckle, unfolding the cloak and letting the full length of it fall to the floor.

'I dunno.' Sirius shrugged, pulling his collar back and forth to air himself, (it was rather hot under the cloak), 'Stick it somewhere?'

'Well I have a few suggestions but you're not gonna like them!' James laughed moving the water-like cloak between his hands and threading it through his fingers.

'I'll take it.' Lily said, taking the cloak from James, their hands brushing slightly. She hesitated slightly at the touch but it went unnoticed by everyone but James, who had also paused, and she proceeded to put the cloak in the bag she had brought along which had her purse, wand and cardigan in in-case she got cold.

After Lily had closed her bag, the group, all fully visible, headed down to Hogsmeade. James and Sirius in front, Peter behind, and Remus walking with Lily in the middle. Lily sighed as she watched James walking in front of her, an action which didn't go unnoticed by the extremely perceptive Remus. He shook his head with raised eyebrows.

'What are they doing?' Lily asked Remus, still looking at James but this time with utter confusion written across her face.

Remus turned to look at his two friends who had just laid themselves out across the floor. It wasn't unusual to him so, unlike Lily, the look on his face wasn't confusion but rather fond amusement.

'Lupin?' Lily asked again. They had come to a standstill once more just to watch the boys who were still just lying there in the middle of the path. 'What are they doing?' she repeated.

'I'd wager…rolling.' Remus nodded, shoving his hands in his pockets. 'What do you think Pete?'

'Don't know what else it could be.' Peter said meekly, looking at his two friends who were now rocking back and forth on the ground.

'Rolling?' Lily questioned, 'What do you mean roll-'

'GO!' she heard from in front of her.

Lily turned to see James and Sirius tumbling down the declining slope. She laughed at them as they went, obviously enjoying themselves thoroughly. She smiled fondly, just as Remus was, at the two childlike boys.

'Do they always do that?' Lily asked Remus.

'No not always.' Remus sighed, 'Sometimes they hop, crawl, jump. Depends on their mood really.'

Lily shook her head and, along with Remus and Peter, trundled down the downwards path to meet James and Sirius at the bottom.

'Well that was fun!' James said, rearranging his glasses and running a hand through his hair, 'Shall we go then?'

The five of them started down the main street of Hogsmeade. It was buzzing and was busier than Lily had ever seen it. The air tingled with excitement and everywhere she looked, Lily could see masses of Hogwarts students flooding out of shops. They were raging with the enthusiasm of their first visit to the village in ages. Everyone had armfuls of shopping bags and they were all chatting happily, great big smiles written across their joyous faces. Lily looked around with delight at the wide cobbled street and everyone in it. She and the marauders walked down the centre of the street until they came to Zonko's joke shop, at which point they left the street and entered the little store.

Lily had never been inside Zonko's joke shop before. She walked in with fascination and bated breath. This tiny little shop was where the marauders had bought, (she hoped), all of the pranking supplies which, until recently, had been the bane of her prefect life. Since she became friends with them she hadn't bothered quite as much, but then again, for some reason, their pranks weren't as cold-hearted as before. This year they had more flavour. Either way, she was still curious about the shop that had made their pranks possible.

Zonko's joke shop was better than she imagined. The petite little store was so animated and colourful that it made her smile in stunned amazement. Everywhere she looked there were moving points of sale and cauldrons full of bouncing products. The room they were in had seven walls and was an odd shape which suited the strange shop. The wall near the front window was dedicated to a vibrant display of filibuster fireworks. Every couple of minutes one of the little rockets would burst off of the shelf and buzz around the shop, the youngest customers attempting to catch it. Lily watched it with her eyes over the heads of the people in the store and smiled.

'Oi! Evans!' Sirius yelled at Lily from across the room near the third wall which was decorated with oddities created from muggle objects like Frisbees and yo-yo's. 'Over here!' he called and beckoned her to where he and the other marauders were stood.

Lily made her way through the crowded shop, most of the customers Hogwarts students, and eventually reached the boys on the other side of the shop.

'Is this what a yo-yo looks like in the muggle world?' he asked her holding out the object in the palm of his hand.

Lily stared at the object without words. She was shocked that this object could even be considered a likeness to a yo-yo. For one it was square and all the yo-yo's she had seen were round. Also, there was a strange spoke sticking out of one side of it which had a rubber triangle on the end of it as if it was a spike. There was also a tiny painted red circle on the wooden square base-frame of the object. Finally, there was no rope. Instead the main frame of the alleged yo-yo was on a candy-striped wooden stick.

She looked up from the object to Sirius. 'In a word…no.' she said, 'But you took muggle studies. Surely you knew that.'

'We didn't do muggle toys.' he replied, putting the yo-yo back on the shelf.

'Then what did you do?' Lily wondered as she picked up the so-called yo-yo that Sirius had just put back onto the shelf.

'Transport mostly.' James said taking the yo-yo off of Lily and examining it in his hands, 'That or the main frame of public sector jobs.'

'The main frame of public sector jobs?' Lily questioned, thinking that she had never heard anything that adult come out of his mouth before. Usually he either came out with cheesy lines, childlike nonsense or just plain gibberish. This was something that actually made sense.

'Yeah.' James continued from Lily's last questioned, 'Lawyers, doctors, police men. That sort of thing.'

'Right.' Lily nodded, taking back the wizard version of a yo-yo from James and looking at it curiously. 'What does it do?' she asked the boys, experts in the field of joke products.

'Here.' Remus said, taking the toy from her. He pulled the spoke with the rubber spike out of the top of the wooden square, extending it out a couple of inches. After that he bent the handle stick thirty degrees. Then he turned the rubber spoke to point at Lily, pressed the red circle and squirted water out of the rubber triangle into her face.

Severus sat in his detention, bored. He had been sat in Dumbledore's office since eleven o'clock and it was now twelve thirty. The last Hogsmeade trip had gone out half an hour ago whilst he had been sat in the same seat staring at one disappointed headmaster, not talking.

'Mr Snape.' Dumbledore said, 'Do you know why you are here?'

'Because I was told to be.' Severus answered moodily, folding his arms and shifting in his chair uncomfortably.

'You've been sitting there for over an hour now.' Dumbledore said calmly picking up his wand from the side of his great oak desk, 'Maybe you'd prefer a more comfortable chair.'

With his elder-made wand, Dumbledore drew the outline of a soft squashy arm-chair in the air. When he had completed the shape, a purple striped armchair appeared in mid-air. He lowered it to the ground and motioned for Severus to sit on it. Dumbledore kept his hand pointed in the direction of the chair until he saw Severus reluctantly push himself of the hard wooden chair he was on and move to plop himself down on the large, soft armchair. After this had happened, Dumbledore took a small, goblin-made, silver sweet bowl, filled with ice mice, and offered it to the Slytherin boy who looked as if he had just been slapped. The sweets were refused and Dumbledore set the bowl back down on his desk before placing his fingertips together in thought.

Student and headmaster stared at each other. Both were unwavering in their looks. Severus' cold stubborn glare meeting Dumbledore's curious gentile glance. Neither of them said a word. They sat for minutes in silence just, staring.

'Mr Snape,' Dumbledore began again as Severus broke their eye contact and looked down at his knees, 'You do realise you haven't been sent here as a punishment?'

Severus looked up with contempt on his face. His nostrils flared out from his hooked nose and through gritted teeth he said, 'I was sent here for a detention. If that isn't a punishment then I don't know what is.'

'It is true this…encounter has been labelled a detention,' Dumbledore sighed with a nod of his head and straightening a quill on his desk, 'but not by me. I see this more as an opportunity to understand why you did what you did and why.'

Severus scowled and jutted his chin out moodily. He had been asked this question for weeks. Why had he attacked one of his so-called friends? What had provoked him? He had never answered these questions and, even though it was the headmaster of the school and one of the greatest wizards of their time, he was not about to tell Dumbledore either.

'I have all day.' Dumbledore said with a kind smile and twinkling eyes. He stared intently at the boy in front of him. They sat there for another five minutes. Dumbledore ate a few ice mice during the wait. He even threw one to his phoenix who had an odd fondness for the Honeydukes speciality.

Severus sighed and looked at the clock which was hung on the wall between two portraits of dozing past headmasters. The clock had several hands and stars which zoomed around the face. The time was nearly one o'clock and, frustrated, Severus let out a giant exhale of air. At the same time, his belly rumbled in hunger. He was starving. He hadn't eaten this morning as, by the time he had woken up, breakfast was over and he didn't know the way to the kitchens.

Startled by the noise emitting from Severus' stomach, Dumbledore's gaze once again fell upon his student. Once again, he picked up the silver sweet bowl and offered it to Severus.

Severus looked at it in disgust. He recalled the last time he was in this office. The night that he had almost been sent into a werewolf's grasp. He had entered the circular room with the boy he loathed, James Potter, and, instead of James getting into trouble as Severus expected and wanted, he was offered a sweet. Dumbledore obviously had very twisted ideas about punishment.

His belly rumbled again and he looked up. Dumbledore was still offering the ice mice to him and, due to the aching he was experiencing in his gut, Severus took one of the sweets. He bit off the head and savoured the sweet taste, feeling himself fill up slightly as he did. The sweet was soon devoured.

Dumbledore placed the silver bowl back on his desk and waited until Severus had finished the sweet. 'So,' he said, 'are you going to tell me what happened.

Severus stared at his headmaster coldly.

'You won't be able to leave here until you do.' Dumbledore continued.

Realising it would be his only escape, Severus shifted in his seat and sniffed. 'I lost my temper.' he said stiffly.

Dumbledore sighed and stood from his desk. He walked over to a bright and newly feathered Fawkes and stroked the magnificent phoenix. Fawkes nuzzled his head into Dumbledore's hand as he tickled him under his beak. He stood near the beautiful bird for five minutes taking no notice of the boy who as sat in front of his desk. He stayed surrounded in his world of thought; his solitary world, thinking about nothing in particular until he turned around, and looked back at the Slytherin student in his office.

'Mr Snape,' the tall headmaster said as he glided over to his desk to stand in front of the boy, 'how are you finding school at the moment?'

Severus looked at the bearded man in confusion. He hadn't expected this question and didn't really know what to say. Technically, everything about his school life was fine. He was on target in all his subjects receiving E's and O's in them all. The professors in the school, bar Professor Slughorn at the minute due to the behaviour which had landed him here in the first place, liked him. He was a model student. All his work was handed in on time and he was fully prepared for his end of year exams which were coming up shortly. His school life was fine. It was his social life within the school which he detested.

Parts of it he wouldn't change for the world. There were things he was doing and had done which he was proud of. He had stood by what he believed to be right; Voldemort's cause. He had begun the process of joining his ranks, the death eaters and had no regrets. There were, however, parts he would change so that he could be thoroughly happy. First of all, he would be friends with Lily again. He would tell her how he felt about her, properly this time, and she would return his affections. She wouldn't be swooning after who he considered his arch enemy, James Potter, and he and Lily would hate him together, as they had always done. The other thing he would change would be his fellow students, death eaters and so-called friends from Slytherin. He would change it so that they would accept Lily and Bellatrix wouldn't want to kill her. If he could do that, then his social life at school would be suitable for him and maybe even enjoyable.

He knew that none of this would happen though, so he looked to his headmaster who was giving him and intense, curious stare, and said, 'Everything for school is fine.' An honest answer.

'Mmm.' Dumbledore hummed quietly before going for another walk. He walked over to a tall but slim gold cabinet which held rows and rows of crystal phials. He looked inside the cabinet and placed his old, delicate but gentle hand on the handle of the case. He paused for a moment and then turned around and waltzed on over back to his desk all the while being watched by one thoroughly unimpressed Severus Snape.

'You are up to date with all your school work?' Dumbledore interrogated, sitting down.

'Yes.' Severus answered moodily.

'You are prepared for your upcoming end of year exams?' Dumbledore questioned.

'Yes.' Severus replied.

'Is there anything you wish to tell me Mr Snape?' Dumbledore asked, placing his fingertips together and leaning forwards on his desk with a curious and searching expression.

Severus looked down at his knees once more. Was there anything he wanted to tell his headmaster? 'No.' Severus whispered.

'Nothing at all?' Dumbledore reproached.

'No.' Severus said confidently, looking up at the old man, 'I lost my temper in the heat of the moment. I don't know what I did and can't remember so it won't happen again. I've said sorry.'

Dumbledore tilted his head to the left staring at the Slytherin boy. 'I do hope you make good decisions Mr Snape.'

Severus didn't answer. He gave a slight smile to his headmaster, attempting with all his might to employ Occlumency, which he had been reading about in the library, primarily to use against Voldemort so that certain thoughts would stay private. This wasn't the occasion that he had thought he would first use the skill in. He was sure that Dumbledore wouldn't try to read his thoughts, he wasn't an intrusive man, but Severus didn't want to risk it. So with all his might, he blocked his thoughts.

Dumbledore looked at the boy. 'You may go.' he said finally. He watched Severus stand and walk out of the room. He was sure that he distinctively saw Severus sigh in relief as he went.

Later that evening, when everybody had returned from Hogsmeade, still buzzing with the excitement from the day, Lily met up with Hestia in their dormitory to discuss the day out at Hogsmeade. They were both sat crossed legged on Lily's bed, staring at what she had bought from Hogsmeade earlier that day.

'What is it?' Hestia asked her best friend, poking the odd object with her forefinger so it tipped over onto its side.

Lily laughed and propped the toy back up. 'It's a yo-yo.' she said, using the term extremely loosely.

'What's a yo-yo?' Hestia asked.

Lily smiled mischievously and picked the object up. She did the same thing as Remus had shown her in the shop. She pulled the spoke with the rubber spike out of the top of the wooden square, extending it out a couple of inches. After that she bent the handle stick thirty degrees. Then she turned the rubber spoke to point at Hestia, pressed the red circle and squirted water out of the rubber triangle into her face. She then laughed at her best friend and she wiped the water off of her face, obviously unimpressed.

'And where did you get that?' Hestia asked, making sure that none of the liquid made its way to her hair.

'Zonko's Joke shop.' Lily said succinctly, smiling proudly as she said it.

'Really?' Hestia smiled, holding back a laugh, 'You went into Zonko's?'

'Why so surprised?' Lily fake-gasped, as she picked up the yo-yo and smiled at it fondly, recalling memories from that day.

'You've been hanging out with those boys too much!' Hestia said, shaking her head with the makings of a smile on it. She then leaned into her best friend and whispered dramatically, 'You're becoming one of them!'

Lily rolled her eyes at Hestia's dramatics and placed the wizarding version of a yo-yo on her bedside table next to her letters from home and the bag which she had taken to Hogsmeade with her.

'So how was your day with the marauders then?' Hestia asked, settling herself comfortably so that she could hear the juicy details. She did love a bit of gossip. She had a field day when Severus had attacked Avery in potions.

'It was fun.' Lily began, 'Interesting, but fun.'

'Do go on.' Hestia said in an over-the-top posh voice.

'Well,' Lily went on, 'whilst me, Lupin and Pettigrew walked down to Hogsmeade, James and Black rolled down. We then went to Zonko's, for the first time in my life, and Lupin squirted water in my face with this.' she said, indicating to the yo-yo beside her bed, 'After I had bought it so I could squirt water in your face, you're welcome, we went to some other shops like the Magic Neep to get some owl feed for Sox etcetera, where I was once again taunted about the fact that I thought his owl was his girlfriend.' she grimaced, 'Not going to live that one down. Then we went to the three broomsticks for the rest of the day.'

'And how was that?' Hestia asked.

'Not bad actually.' Lily shrugged, 'I could have done without the first twenty minutes of it.'

'Why?' Hestia questioned, smelling that gossip would follow these words.

'Well, when we got to the pub, I sat next to James-'

'Naturally.' Hestia butted in, wiggling her eyebrows insinuatingly.

Lily smiled bashfully to herself before continuing. 'Anyway, Black then proceeded to chant 'ask her out' for ten minutes and then, 'kiss her' for another ten before James told him to 'can it'. After that it was quite enjoyable.'

'Good.' Hestia replied, pleased that her friend had had a good time but secretly thinking that, if she was in her position, and Sirius Black had been chanting 'kiss her', she would have just kissed James to shut him up. Then maybe something would have developed. But it wasn't in Lily's nature to try and make that bold a move.

'So how was your date?' Lily asked, turning the conversation away from herself and onto her best friend who had, very un-characteristically, started blushing.

'It was nice.' she replied quietly, looking down at her hands and twiddling her thumbs.

Lily waited for more but Hestia just banged her thumbs together absentmindedly, obviously reliving her date in her head. Lily inhaled deeply and drew circles on her quilt with her finger, giving Hestia a few more minutes to stew in her imagination. Finally Lily couldn't take it anymore. She felt awkward sitting there whilst her friend day dreamed. Silence was fine when it was comfortable, but uncomfortable silence was just that, uncomfortable and Lily didn't much care for it. In the end, she coughed loudly to regain Hestia's attention.

Hestia looked up dazed and blinked at her friend in question. There was no look of understanding in her face and she was oblivious to the fact that Lily needed details. That was until Lily told her this is what she wanted.

'Oh.' Hestia said in realisation, 'Well what is it you want to know?' she finished coyly in question. She did like the fact that the attention was on her and she wasn't about to let all of her information go in one speech.

'Well,' Lily began, thinking of what to ask. She knew nothing about Hestia's date or who she went with. So the logical question to begin with was, 'Who did you go out with?'

Hestia bit her lip, savouring the focus that was directed at her. She wanted to milk it for all it was worth so, instead of telling Lily the name of the boy she had gone on a date with, she just said, 'Guess.'

'Gosh Hestia,' Lily sighed, 'how am I meant to guess who this person is if you haven't given me any information. Can you at least tell me what house he's in?'

Hestia thought for a moment, allowing Lily to stew. 'Nope.' she said shortly.

'Please?' Lily moaned. She picked up the yo-yo from her bedside table and aimed it at Hestia. 'I will use this.' she nodded with a quiet, deathly voice.

Hestia just raised an eyebrow at her stubborn friend, all the while thinking that hanging out with the marauders was causing her to act more childlike that usual. It was nice. She was obviously enjoying herself and the small sense of freedom acting this way brought her. But Hestia still wouldn't tell her. She shook her head and saw Lily visibly deflate.

'That's not fair!' Lily whined, bobbing her knees up and down in her crossed legged position, 'Why can't you just tell me?'

'Because.' Hestia said, thinking fast for a valid excuse. She'd rather not say that she was just trying to get the most out of the situation and the attention. It was what she was doing but she didn't want Lily to know that. She looked at her best friend and smiled with a touch of exasperation. 'I won't tell you,' she began, 'because he's the first person I've ever gone out with and I don't want you to scare him off. You know you'll just end up interrogating him.'

Lily sat in shock with a hurt expression coming out in her face. 'I'm just looking out for you.' she said quietly, a puppy dog pout forming on her lips.

Hestia rolled her eyes. 'I know. But I really like him and until I know that he won't be scared off by you-'

'How will you know if I don't try to scare him off?' Lily butted in wiggling her eyebrows, knowing that what she said was true. There was no way that Hestia would find out if this boy could stand Lily's good-intentional threats if she didn't actually make them.

Hestia shook her head and looked down at her thumbs again, realising that this was a real worry of hers and now, she wasn't telling her best friend just because she wanted the attention to last. It was a real concern of hers that this boy may be frightened off. 'Can you just respect that I'm not going to tell you?'

Lily folded her arms and pouted. She tried to stare Hestia down, glaring at her intently with her best grumpy face. It used to work all the time on her sister. It didn't now of course but, if it worked once, maybe it would work now. It didn't. She sat and stared at her best friend for five minutes, all the time pleading with her eyes for the information she so desired. But Hestia was unwavering in her resistance and didn't cave in.

Sighing, Lily said, 'Fine.' and left the subject there.

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