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 Forty-Nine!
Hope you enjoy it!
Lily woke up the next morning with a knot of dread in her stomach. She reluctantly opened her eyes and let them adjust to the light that was now flooding into the dormitory. Then, with a sigh at the events that she knew must transpire that day, she sat up and rubbed her eyes with her left hand, yawning as she did so. When she opened her eyes, she spied her wrist and brought it down to rest on her covers, looking at it with a deep curiosity. Something was wrong with this picture. She stared down at her own wrist, tracing the one visible vein with her forefinger. She felt her pulse beat beneath her fingers, slow and steady, and that was when she realised what was missing.
Her eyes widened worryingly and she jumped out of bed quickly. This alerted Hestia to a problem as Lily usually never wanted to get out of bed. She had often said that she would stay in her pyjamas all day if she could. This was why Hestia knew something was wrong. She watched Lily tear apart her bed covers, throw her pillows on the floor and search under and around her bed chaotically. It was only when she knocked the candle lamp off of her bedside table though, the small wax candle bursting free from its glass cage and rolling under the bed, that Hestia posed a question to her.
'What are you doing?' she asked her, getting out of bed also to go and stand near Lily.
Lily had, by this point, pulled all the drawers open in her dresser, even going so far as to pull the bottom one out completely to rifle through it hurriedly. She had now moved onto her trunk, pulling that out from underneath her bed and heaving it onto her unmade bed.
'I've lost it!' she said in a blind panic, undoing the buckled latch on her trunk and flinging the lid open to ruffle through the debris of broken quills, odd socks and unused textbooks in a desperate attempt to find her prize.
'What have you lost?' Hestia asked, bending down and packing Lily's clothes back neatly into the drawer she had pulled out onto the floor.
'My bracelet!' Lily breathed, now grabbing her bag from the foot of her four poster bed to empty it into her open trunk, 'Almost eight years and now I lose it!'
She held her bag up in the air upside down and just let everything drop out. Pieces of parchment flew out and floated down onto the floor. As they landed Hestia did her best to gather them up quickly and stack them on Lily's bedside table before moving on to clear up the rest of the mess that Lily's destructive search had made. She bent down to pick up Lily's school bag, which she had just haphazardly tossed into the middle of the room, and moved over to stand next to her. As Lily searched through its contents which she had spilt into her trunk, she threw them out onto the floor, but only after she had made sure her bracelet wasn't caught in the folds of her books or around her quills. Sighing, Hestia went around and gathered them all back up in her bag. When she was done, she put it on the edge of Lily's bed and tried to get an explanation out of her.
'What bracelet have you lost?' she asked her, holding her still by gripping her shoulders firmly.
Lily pushed out of her grip frustratedly and got down on all fours to search under her bed again. 'The one Petunia made for me.' she said, now crawling under her bed in an effort to make her search more thorough.
'That brownish string you wear?' Hestia questioned, kneeling down at the side of Lily's bed and placing her hands on her knees.
'It's purple but yes.' Lily said, coming out from under her bed and sitting back on her heels.
She faced Hestia, mirroring her position. She was slightly out of breath from her frantic search and decided to pause for a moment to think where it may have fallen off. She knew it must have fallen off because she had never physically taken it off herself. She never would because, as sappy as it sounded, that bracelet was a link to the sister who had once loved her. And after wearing it for so long, it had almost become an extension of her. But, she had to admit it, she had had it for a long time and it was extremely threadbare so it wasn't a complete surprise that it had fallen off.
She couldn't remember the last time she had seen it on her wrist. It had been there for so long she had just always assumed that it was there. It had gotten to the stage where she hadn't noticed its movements, tightness or slight weight on her wrist. It could have been missing for days, weeks even and she might not have noticed. It could be anywhere in the castle. Then again, it might not even be in the castle. She could have lost it at home and have been none the wiser. A horrible despairing feeling lodged itself in her stomach, replacing the knot of dread she had first felt when she woke up.
'I don't know where I lost it.' she announced, an emptiness in her voice which couldn't be explained.
Hestia stayed quiet for a couple of seconds out of politeness before saying, with just the right amount of sympathetic tone in her voice, 'Well there's not much we can do about it now. You've torn the room apart and it's not here so I say let's leave it for now. Ok?'
Lily took a deep steadying breath and miserably nodded her head.
'Now,' Hestia continued, returning to her excitable nature, a smile drawing on her lips, 'it's nearly ten o'clock and we have dates!' She clapped her hands together happily and grinned at Lily but, upon seeing her less than pleased expression, stopped. 'Come on Lily!' she went on to say, standing up and helping Lily up also, 'Be happy! This is your first date ever! And I'll be there too! What could be better?'
At this Lily cracked a small smile and shook her head slightly. She did this for two reasons. The first reason was because there was a poetic irony in her sentence. Hestia fully believed that this would be the first date Lily ever went on in her life and this was exactly how it would appear to the outside world as well. But that was false. She had already been on a first date. And a second. And a third. And more after that. And she had had a first kiss. And a second. And a third. And many more after that too. But Hestia knew none of this and that was the irony.
The second reason she was shaking her head and smiling was because she was starting to recognise her old friend in there. The one that was happy-go-lucky and enthusiastic about practically everything. She was starting to see the friend which had encouraged her to tell James Potter that she liked him instead of the one that warned her away from the idea of a relationship with him. It was nice to see. Ever since Hestia's first boyfriend, Matthew something cheated on her and she broke up with him she had become depressive and cynical. She was boring and annoying to be around and Lily had wished that she would just lighten up. Now she had and Lily was relieved to see it. For this reason, Lily decided to try and enjoy herself today. To grin and bear it until it was over. She owed Hestia that much.
'Fine.' Lily said, trying to sound as happy as Hestia was about it.
'Yay!' Hestia practically yelled, jumping up and down as she did so. Then, she was the one to go into a mad frenzy although it was a different mad frenzy to the one Lily had previously been in. She raced over to Lily's chest of drawers and pulled out a nice flowery summer dress and shoved it in Lily's hands before flurrying around her own wardrobe trying to decide what to wear. She threw half her wardrobe on her bed and then stood in front of the long mirror in their room, holding each item of clothing against her in turn to see how it looked.
Lily pulled on the dress Hestia had picked out for her, deciding that she would only wear it to appease her friend. Really she wasn't too keen on the idea of going on a fake date with nearly all of her legs showing because of this low cut dress. She'd have loved to pull it up a bit more because it was low cut in more than one place, but if she did that it would be less of a dress and more of a top. Still, she put up with it for Hestia. She didn't want her to go back to being moody.
She was ready in ten minutes. Dress on, shoes on, hair done, teeth brushed, perfume and deodorant on and, (after persuasion from Hestia), make-up done. Hestia was nowhere near ready though. At one point she had finally picked an outfit, a brown skirt and a cream top, but had then decided against it as it was boring and she had no nail varnish to match that outfit. She took another half an hour to get ready in which time Lily finished the transfiguration essay they had been set, read the next chapter in her charms book, searched again for her bracelet and wrote a letter to her mum asking her to check the house. She was about to start reading her Defence Against the Dark Arts book when Hestia finally announced that she was ready.
The two girls walked down the spiral staircase and came into the common room which was relatively empty. There were a couple first years sat in the corner and some second years sat in a line against the far wall. Then there were a few of third years, who obviously didn't have permission to go to Hogsmeade, sat on the sofas and chairs around the majestic fireplace. Lily was sure that's where they would have stayed if they hadn't been silently ousted by a group of boys she didn't particularly want to see at this precise moment.
Remus, Sirius and Peter crossed in front of Hestia's and Lily's path first, taking no notice of them. They went to sit down in the comfortable seats around the fire place, gesturing for a couple the third years already sat there to move which they did willingly and without hesitation. As they sat down with their backs to her, Lily thought that she and Hestia were in the clear to slip out without the boys spotting them but she wasn't that lucky. As soon as they made to step of the spiral staircase, James walked past them and they were noticed.
He looked at Lily, his eyes raking over her. 'Hey.' he said uncomfortably.
'Hey.' she replied, shifting nervously from one foot to the other.
They looked at each other for a couple of seconds before James walked away and silently ousted the Gryffindor third year out of his seat. Lily watched him go. She knew that he was uncomfortable with the situation from the stony expression he had on his face and wishing there was another way she could think of to do this. She knew what other people would say; just don't go on the date. But it wasn't that simple. Things weren't that black and white. There were grey areas that came with keeping something a secret and this was unfortunately one of them.
Hestia, annoyed that this had happened, took Lily's elbow and led her to the portrait hole whispering, 'Just ignore him' as they went. Lily didn't reply to this, once again seeing the irony in Hestia's words and just allowed herself to be dragged out of the common room and into the hall where Hestia told her once again to ignore James Potter. She spent five minutes reminding Lily why it was a good job that she had moved on from her little crush and how this date was a good thing before looking at her watch and deciding that they should go and meet the boys.
As she and Hestia walked down to the entrance hall, all Lily could think of was James' face and how this was hurting him. She ignored Hestia's excited babble and became enwrapped in her thoughts. She remembered the slight twang of jealousy that she had felt when he had decided to go on a patrol with the Hufflepuff prefect Megan. She couldn't help but feel that the jealousy he was feeling would be magnified tenfold, no matter how much he denied it. He may not admit that he was jealous but Lily knew he was.
She was shaken out of her thoughts when Hestia tugged her arm excitedly and pointed over to the doors of the entrance hall where two tall Ravenclaw boys were standing. The one closest to them, Sean McEvoy, Hestia's date, was tall and had perfectly combed brown hair which seemed to be heavily gelled into position. His eyes were a deep shining blue and had a twinkle in them which was similar to Dumbledore's. He was wearing grey trousers and a green striped shirt which seemed to be without creases. Stood next to him was the boy which was supposed to be Lily's date and Hestia and James were right; he was a god. He was very similar to Hestia's date only he seemed to have taken it one step further to perfection.
Joshua Hunt was extremely attractive. Conventionally, he was exceptionally handsome, even more handsome that James. Joshua had golden blonde hair which was smoothed down and combed, gelled into place but not so much that you could tell whereas James had constantly messy jet black hair which stuck up in all directions. Still, Lily preferred his hair to Joshua's. You could run your hands through James' hair but Joshua looked as if he might slap your hand away if you so much as dared to try. Joshua had ice blue eyes which sparkled nicely in the sunlight. Lily thought his eyes were actually alright but still couldn't stop herself drifting into thoughts of James' warm and inviting hazel eyes which could make you melt with one look. The look in his eyes could make a complete stranger spill their life story. Lily doubted if the look in Joshua's eyes could.
As Hestia and Lily neared the two boys, Lily couldn't help but to continue to make comparisons between Joshua Hunt and James Potter. Joshua had a straight nose and steely stone lips along with a chin which looked as if it had been sculpted by a master craftsman. Again, Lily couldn't help but think back to James. Yes Joshua was more conventionally attractive with perfectly chiselled features but James had something about him. His nose was straight too but his lips were soft and inviting and his chin, although not sculpted out of marble like Joshua's clearly had been, was masculine and, well, normal. James was more ruggedly handsome with a mischievous personality which shone through his appearance and Lily could see why he was the one with girls trailing after him instead of Joshua.
They arrived in front of the two boys and Hestia hugged Sean in greeting. Lily didn't hug Joshua. She did give him a polite smile though which he returned causing her to blush slightly. If someone that handsome smiled at you, it would be a natural reaction. Add Lily's red headed complexion into the mix and it was no surprise that her cheeks were soon powdered with a faint pink blush.
'Shall we go then?' Sean asked, a smooth Irish accent flowing out which made Hestia smile greatly.
Lily rolled her eyes at this as they started to walk over to join the crowd of students waiting to go down to Hogsmeade. Hestia had always had a thing for accents. It was clear to her now why Hestia had been so excitable about this date and why she had readily accepted a date for Lily as well. She would have done anything if someone with an accent had asked her to. It was her one weakness. Or at least it was her biggest weakness.
'Lily?' Hestia said through gritted teeth, a smile painted on her face, 'Joshua just asked you a question.'
'Huh?' Lily said, only just realising that she had been in a daze filled with her own thoughts about Hestia's weakness for accents.
'Sorry.' Hestia said to the boys, apologising for Lily's space out, 'She's lost a bracelet which meant a lot to her.'
'Oh no.' Joshua said, turning to Lily with a sympathetic expression which looked as if it had been practiced for hours in the mirror, 'Was it worth much?'
Lily looked at him astounded that that was his first question; the bracelets worth. As if the more expensive the bracelet the deeper the loss should affect her. 'It wasn't worth anything.' Lily replied a bit defensively, 'My sister made it for me.'
'Well can't she make you another one?' he asked her stiffly in response to the tone that she had given him.
'Oh yes!' Lily replied sarcastically, 'I'll just write to the sister who's hated me since I got my Hogwarts letter and called me a freak at every available opportunity she's had, just to ask her to remake me the bracelet she probably doesn't even remember making me in the first place. How's this sound; Dear Tuney, sorry to interrupt your wedding plans but I lost the bracelet you made me when I was nine. Be a dear and make me another one will you? Lots of love, Lily.'
Joshua stiffened and turned away from Lily, obviously not liking the way she had just spoken to him. Again, it was up to Hestia to make apologies for Lily, only this time, she made it out to be that Lily was making a joke.
'Ha, ha!' she laughed, hugging Lily in such a way that her hand covered her mouth so she couldn't retort sarcastically, 'She's joking! Always likes a bit of a laugh but she's got a strange sense of humour I tell you!'
'Obviously.' Joshua replied, regaining the calm composure he had had when he had first greeted Lily.
The four of them stood in an awkward silence for a few minutes until Filch and Professor Flitwick arrived to sign them out and take them all down to the village respectively, a safety precaution put in place after the Hogsmeade visits were reinstated last school term. As they started to follow the crowd down to the village, Sean started up a conversation with Hestia who chatted back to him excitedly, leaving Lily and Joshua in the awkward silence by themselves. After a couple of minutes in thought, Lily decided she should probably apologise for the way she had spoken to him for Hestia's sake. After all, she was really excited about this date and, even though Lily knew there would be no future for her and Joshua because she was really dating James, she didn't want to ruin the double date for her.
'I'm sorry about earlier.' she said to him as they went through the large school gates, 'I just get a bit defensive when it comes to my sister.'
'Well that's pretty clear.' Joshua replied in a tone which reminded Lily a bit too much of Vernon Dursley, Petunia's fiancé. In fact, the air Joshua gave out reminded her of him a lot and not in a good way. She was reminded of the person she had met at Christmas and several times during the summer holidays; the man who despised her for not only being a witch, but for being someone who he considered to be his social inferior in every possible way because her family did not have as much money as his family. Unfortunately, Lily found that most people with a substantial amount of money had a snootiness about them and looked down their nose at her. Lily got this same feeling off of Joshua. Still, Lily tried to make an effort with him.
'So you're muggleborn like me then?' Joshua asked Lily, pulling her out of her thoughts.
'Yes I am.' Lily replied as they walked down the declining slope to the storybook village.
'What do your parents do?' Joshua continued his tone almost interrogatory.
'My mum works part-time in the post office and my dad's an accountant for a little firm just outside London.' Lily said in a polite manner, trying to smooth over the awkwardness in the air between them.
'Oh.' Joshua sniffed, 'My dad runs one of the banks in London. He's quite high up. Not as far as owning the bank or being the president of it. No. He's merely the manager but gets quite a nice bonus at the end of the year. My mother has a good job too. She's a nurse. Of course she doesn't earn as much as my dad but she doesn't really need to. She only works because she likes the job.'
'Good for them.' Lily replied, rolling her eyes slightly at his monologue which answered all of the questions she didn't ask. For the rest of the trip down to the three broomsticks where they were to have their date, Joshua continued on to bore Lily with the details of his father's job and how, when he was younger, he had hoped to follow him into the business. He then went on to tell her that, as he would now need to get a job in the wizarding world, he wanted to work at Gringotts in a position similar to that of his fathers in the muggle world. It seemed to Lily that his life revolved around the bank and money instead of friendship, truth, loyalty or even love. It bugged her.
They soon arrived in the three broomsticks and Hestia led them over to a table for four in the far corner. As they sat down Joshua put his arm around the back of her chair and the smell of him started to seep out. He smelt like the Hogwarts library and, although Lily loved the library and had spent an awful lot of time in there over the years, she wasn't sure that it was a good thing to smell like the place. She could smell the dust from the older library books and the stale leather from the more prestigious ones. It wasn't a particularly pleasant smell and Lily had to stop herself from physically edging away from him. All she could say was that she was thankful when he was elected to go to the bar and order the drinks for the table.
When he returned, Joshua continued to prattle on with his one-sided conversation about his father's extremely important job. Lily swore that if he hadn't been so handsome and had more than tripled in size she would have been on a date with her sister's fiancé. Only the conversation would have revolved around drills instead of the bank. She had only seen Vernon one Christmas and a few days in the summer but she was sure this was all he had ever talked about. How Petunia had gotten to know anything else about him she wasn't sure. She wasn't sure how Hestia expected her to get to know anything about Joshua when all he talked about was the bank. Whilst he continued to prattle on, she drifted back into her own little world. Drills or the bank? said a little voice in the back of her mind. She wasn't sure which one she thought to be worse.
She stared at Joshua with fascination as he continued to talk, still in her own little world of thought. He probably assumed it was fascination in their conversation but that simply wasn't it. Lily was fascinated because she couldn't believe that two people from completely different worlds could be so alike. Also, how was it that neither of them, Joshua or Vernon, knew how unbelievably boring their topics of conversation were? It astounded her that they were both unaware of this. Surely someone would have told them by now? The only saving grace Lily found was that he was easy on the eyes. But then again, she couldn't help but experiment and found that if she squinted her eyes hard enough, he did dissolve into Vernon Dursley. Lily soon stopped this though for two reasons. It freaked her out for one and for another she was pretty sure she looked extremely weird whilst doing it. Joshua was giving her some unusual looks
The drinks that Joshua had ordered, three butterbeers and a pumpkin juice for Lily as she didn't feel as if she wanted a butterbeer arrived at the table via madam Rosmerta. The group thanked her and, when she left, they all began to talk as a group. Lily was thankful for this as it got Joshua off of the subject of his father and the bank. She mostly spoke to Hestia through their conversation as a group as everything that came out of Joshua's mouth dripped with the impression that he was better that everyone else. She had been with him for less than ten minutes and she already didn't like him. She thought that that must have been a new record but then she remembered that she had loathed James after two minutes of meeting him. Again, Lily saw irony in this as she was now actually wishing she was with him instead. It seemed to be an irony filled day. However, little did she know that there were forces working beyond her power to try and make this happen.
A flurried figure appeared at the side of their table panting as if he had just run a marathon. It was James Potter and Lily seemed to be the only one who was happy to see him. Sean, (Hestia's date) had given a worried look upon spotting him, glancing over to Joshua who looked as if he wanted to kill him. But that was nothing compared to the thunderous face of Hestia, completely irked that James was now ruining their double date. Lily didn't look at James with any of these expressions though. She smiled when he arrived, her first proper smile all day. To her, he was a sight for sore eyes.
'Good! I've found you.' he puffed leaning on the table and talking to the four people sat there as a whole. Before he went on to say anything else though, before he explained the reason why he was interrupting Hestia's perfectly planned double date, he did politely say hello to everyone which was very nice of him in Lily's opinion.
'McEvoy. Jones. Hunt.' he greeted nodding at each one of them in turn, 'Really sorry about this but I need to steal Evans away from you. I need her help.' James continued on, using her last name as a way, Lily assumed, to avoid arousing suspicion.
'Why?' Hestia asked, through gritted teeth, 'We're on a date.'
'You and Evans?' James continued, still a little out of breath, 'Glad you've made it official.'
'No.' Hestia went on to say as if she was explaining something to a toddler, 'With these gentlemen here.' She motioned at Sean and Joshua, that latter of which still looking as if he was ready to pounce on James.
'How sweet.' James said, with a forced smile before turning to Lily, 'This your drink?' he asked her, pointing to the goblet in front of her.
Lily nodded and James picked up the clear goblet of pumpkin juice and took a few gulps to regulate his breathing. He had run all the way from Hogwarts and had forgotten to breathe whilst doing so. It was enough to get anyone out of breath.
'Thanks.' he said, setting it down. 'I need your help.' he said to her.
'Why?' Hestia butted in, determined to know what was so important that he had to ruin the date she had planned for her, Lily, Sean and Joshua. This was all very rude.
'If you give me a minute I'll explain!' James said to her running a hand through his hair in annoyance about the fact that Hestia wasn't making it easy to interrupt the date, 'One of the corridors in Hogwarts has…well it's like sinking sand.'
'What?' Lily asked curiously, a frown appearing on her face, 'What does that mean?'
'Well, let's put it like this.' James began, standing up fully now and attempting to demonstrate the situation at the castle with his hands, 'You're walking along the fifth floor, turn into this corridor and suddenly you fall down onto the fourth floor. Pete broke his wrist. The injuries would have stopped there only Sirius was laughing a lot and didn't really notice what was going on. Came as a real surprise to him when I pushed him through the floor. He broke his leg. Not sure when I'll hear the end of that one. Anyway, we don't know how to fix it and since your better at charms than us and we can't find Flitwick, we need your help.'
Lily sat and listened to James' story in shock, as did Hestia, Sean and Joshua. That wasn't really what she had expected. She wasn't actually sure what she had expected but it definitely wasn't that.
'Wow.' she said, 'That actually sounds like a real problem.'
James paused for a moment before answering with, 'It is a real problem and I need your help with it. Will you come and help me please?'
'I suppose I have to really.' Lily said, trying to sound annoyed but failing miserably. Her happiness at being able to leave her dreadful date shone through and she was unable to stop a smile peeking out.
She stood up and turned to politely apologise to Joshua who still looked as if he might kill James for stealing his date, and left the three broomsticks. James followed her out but before he did, he couldn't resist smiling and waving goodbye dumbly at Joshua Hunt. It was childish of him but it made him feel better.
Together, James and Lily made their way back up to the castle, Lily's first question being, 'So is the floor at Hogwarts really sinking or did you just make that up to get me out of the date with Joshua Hunt?'
'No.' James said innocently, shoving his hands in his pockets in his usual way, 'The corridor is really sinking. Getting you out of that date was just an added bonus.' he continued, flashing a cheeky smile at her.
Lily laughed and shook her head fondly at him. 'What idiot tries to sink a floor?' she asked, her laugh turning into one of disbelief.
'And here I thought you'd be pleased!' James replied dramatically, sniffing once and clutching his hand to his heart.
Lily stopped in her tracks to look at him, trying to work out if he was joking or not. He was head boy now. He couldn't still go around pulling this kind of nonsense could he? She thought that he had actually stopped this childishness. He'd had no detentions so far which was a miracle, but maybe it was just because he hadn't been caught yet. She didn't know. She had to ask. 'You didn't?' she questioned.
James pondered this for a moment before responding with a mischievous smirk, 'For you I'm gonna say no.'
'James!' Lily said, hanging her head despairingly as they continued on their way up to the castle.
'So how was your date?' James asked her, quickly changing the subject.
'Oh I can't stand him.' Lily said straight away, glad for a change of subject and an opportunity to voice her real opinions on Joshua Hunt instead of the fake ones she would later have to give to Hestia, 'He was so boring. He reminded me too much of my sister's fiancé except, instead of talking about drills, all he talked about was the bank and money.'
'What's a drill?' James queried, inside clapping his hands happily that Lily didn't like Joshua at all by the sounds of it.
'It's a DIY tool.' Lily said quickly, brushing this aside and continuing with her rant about Joshua, and by extension, Vernon. 'He does this thing that Vernon did every time he saw me this summer, where he looks down his nose at me because he thinks that I'm somehow inferior to him because his family has a higher standing in the community and their own business and a bit of money to go along with it. Joshua did that too. All he would talk about was his dad and the bank and how much he earned. How much you earn doesn't matter because as long as you're nice enough to people and treat everybody the same. Who cares right? But it was like his life revolved around how much money his family had and that really bugged me.'
James listened to this with a small smile on his face whilst a mixture of feelings ran through him. He actually found the most part of it funny. The way Lily ranted on about her soon to be brother-in-law and sounding as if she'd been holding back those opinions for a while. That made James chuckle fondly because he actually liked it when she ranted on. He kind of liked it when annoyed Lily come out to play. He was also feeling rather elated that she obviously didn't like Joshua. The thing that was bothering him was the fact that Joshua obviously came from a wealthy family which annoyed Lily. Not the fact that he had money. No, no, no. Just the fact that it was all Joshua seemed to care about.
Now James didn't care about money. He had always had it and it had never been an issue but his life didn't revolve around it. He wasn't the sort of person to give off an 'I'm better than you because of it' air. He hadn't been brought up that way and right now, he was glad of it because people like that seemed to bug Lily. He was also glad of the fact that he had never mentioned to her how wealthy his family was now. Maybe later, that would work in his favour because it would show that, even though James could be extremely arrogant, he was never arrogant about money. No, he believed that if you wanted to be arrogant about something it should be a talent. Like Quidditch. He was good at Quidditch and he had no qualms about admitting it.
They soon arrived at the castle and Lily had been ranting about how boring Joshua was for the short walk back from Hogsmeade village. James didn't mind but now he actually needed her help and led her upstairs to the fifth floor corridor where Remus was waiting.
When they got there, Lily briefly said hello to Remus and then looked at the floor in front of her. 'It looks completely normal.' she said, unable to see anything wrong with it.
'Why don't you walk on it then?' Remus suggested from where he was sat leaning against the wall with a book in his hands.
'Ha.' Lily laughed, 'No thank you.' She opened up the bag she had with her and briefly rooted around in it for something to drop into the sinking corridor. She finally found a spare hairband and flung it into the middle of the corridor where it immediately sank through to the floor below. She nodded her head and then turned to James in need of a full explanation. 'So what did you actually do?' she asked him with raised eyebrows.
'Well we were trying to place a sticking charm on the floor and-'
'Trying?' Remus interrupted, 'We succeeded.'
'Ok.' James replied and started again, 'We placed a sticking charm on the floor. Better?'
'Much.' Remus laughed, returning to his book whilst James continued on to explain their situation.
'We placed a sticking charm on the floor and to make sure it worked, we sent Peter out to test it but…he got stuck.' James said.
'Really?' Lily said sarcastically, 'He got stuck on a sticking charm? Well that's new!'
'Anyway,' James powered through, ignoring Lily's sarcasm, 'we couldn't get him unstuck without unsticking the whole corridor. So, being the great friends that we are, me and Remus applied the reversal charm. What we didn't realise was that Sirius had tried to make the floor bouncy at the same time. The spells collided and…well…Peter fell through the floor.'
'And broke his wrist?' Lily questioned.
'Then you pushed Sirius through the floor?'
'Just to test it out.' James said innocently, 'And he has a really annoying laugh…It's like a bark…'
Lily sighed and rolled her eyes. 'So what happened next?' she went on, almost as if she was conducting a police interview.
'Well, I told Remus to stand guard and make sure no one else fell through…well no one else who we liked fell through, while I went to check on Sirius and Peter and then get some help.' James said in the form of a statement, 'I took Sirius and Peter to the hospital wing and then went down to the village to find you.'
'And what about you?' Lily questioned Remus, looking around James to see him clearly.
'Well,' Remus said, closing his book but making no attempt to stand up, 'I stood guard for a while. Then I got bored of that so I sat guard. Then you two were taking an awful long time so I started to read. Oh and I think a couple of younger kids dropped through the floor.'
'What?' Lily demanded, astounded that Remus Lupin had let that happen to people in younger years.
'Well I heard screams as they fell so I assume that's what happened.' Remus continued nonchalantly as if this was an everyday occurrence which didn't matter.
Lily clapped her hand to her forehead. 'Why did Dumbledore ever make you a prefect and you head boy?' she said exasperatedly.
'Not sure.' Remus responded, flicking through his book.
'Actually I asked him why he made me head boy.' James pointed out much to the astonishment of both Remus and Lily, 'He said he thought the reason was obvious.'
'So he's gone barmy then?' Remus inputted.
'Well we knew it would happen one day!' James laughed.
'We still need to fix the floor!' Lily interjected, gesturing to the floor in question.
'Oh yeah!' James said, shaking himself back into reality and the problem they had at hand, 'Well we don't know a lot about how to-'
'PRONGS!' Sirius yelled happily from the other side of the corridor, 'I'M HEALED! YOU CAN STOP CRYING NOW BECAUSE I AM-AHHHH!'
'He fall down again?' Remus asked, again nonchalantly.
'Yeah.' James sighed, 'I'll go get him.' And with that he turned around to head to the corridor below leaving Lily to try and fix their mess.
Thanks for reading