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 Fifty-One!
Hope you enjoy it!
September was over in an instant and the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft were soon into their second month back at the castle. Every single student was excited about this but all for different reasons. Some were excited because they were able to cross the month off of their calendars leaving only ten months till the summer holidays came around again. Others were excited because it was almost Halloween and Hogwarts always threw a spectacular Halloween feast. Then there were those who were happily awaiting the upcoming Hogsmeade trip the following week and then Quidditch game between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor in November. After this, there were those students who weren't particularly fussed about the passing of the month. Two of those students were James Potter and Sirius Black.
They couldn't care less that September had ended and that they were now a good few days into October. They didn't care that outside the window of the Transfiguration lesson they were in, the leaves were turning into a beautiful array of gold's, ambers, reds and browns symbolising the arrival of autumn. They weren't too fussed that the arrival of autumn also meant colder and wetter days and, by extension, less days beneath their beloved beech tree. They weren't even bothered that the end of September meant that there N.E.W.T's were drawing ever closer. This was obvious to anyone who saw them because they weren't paying any attention to Professor McGonagall as she attempted to explain to the class the difference between the learned skill of becoming an Animagi and the natural talent of a Metamorphmagus. Instead, they were quite literally playing with fire, or at least, sparks of it.
At the back of the classroom, James was swinging back on his chair, balancing on only the back two legs, his feet up on the table. His hair was messy, as usual, and the sleeves on his crisp white shirt were rolled up, again, as usual. He had a look of laughable concentration on his face as his right hand darted about the air to catch the shots of red sparks that Sirius, who was sat opposite him, was shooting out of his wand.
Sirius was lounging back in his own chair, one arm swinging over the back and the other lazily flicking his wand in any direction he seemed to deem fit, the red sparks leaping into James' hand. His legs were sprawled out in front of him and he had a bored but bemused look etched onto his handsome face. He looked more nonchalant then James was, more casual, even with his perfectly set hair.
For over five minutes, probably against her better judgement, Professor McGonagall had left them to it whilst she concentrated on the rest of the class. Her argument for this was that if they weren't bothering to pay attention and learn of their own accord, she wasn't about to waste her time attempting to get them to do so. After all, she had been doing it continuously for six years and if they hadn't got the message that their education was important by now then she didn't particularly want to waste her breath anymore. Not when she had a class full of other students who were willing and ready to learn. However, her decision was changed for her when one of the sparks flying out of Sirius' wand went a miss, bounced across the classroom and hit Frank Longbottom directly in the eye.
'Will you kindly stop that Mr Black?' she instructed him sternly. She had phrased it as a question but in reality, it was an order.
'Sure miss!' Sirius laughed happily.
And Professor McGonagall believed she had won. Sirius had indeed stopped throwing sparks around the classroom and she was able to continue informing the class about the forms a Metamorphmagus could take. What she hadn't counted on was the boys switching roles.
It was James' turn to throw sparks out of his wand. Gold sparks though, not red. He threw them across to Sirius who was using both hands to try and catch the glittering fire. But Sirius didn't have the efficiency or the reflexes that James did and more than once let the sparks fly past him, uncaught. They weren't able to keep their charade going for as long as they had before because of this and it wasn't long until somebody was hit again with a wayward shot. Unfortunately, it was Frank Longbottom who received the brunt of the spark again. This time it hit his neck.
'Mr Potter! Mr Black!' Professor McGonagall called shrilly across the classroom to them. Everyone's heads turned to the back of the class to watch their retaliation.
'Yes miss?' the boys said in unison, a look of what appeared to be practiced innocence on their faces. And it had to be practiced. After all, there was hardly a time when they were actually innocent.
'If you insist on continuing, and I strongly advise that you don't, I shall be forced to confiscate your wands.' Professor McGonagall warned, shooting them both a cautioning look. It was a statement which she had hardly ever had to say before. Through her whole career so far, she had only had to confiscate someone's wand once during a lesson. It was something she didn't like to do. In muggle terms, it was like confiscating a musical instrument during a music lesson because the student just couldn't stop playing.
'You can't do that Professor!' Sirius almost shouted in shock.
'And why not Mr Black?' Professor McGonagall replied, her eyebrows shooting up her forehead in the surprise of being told she wasn't allowed to do something in her own classroom. It was a scary look on her. If looks could kill, Sirius would now be gasping for his final breath.
'Err…' he began, completely bricking himself over the stern look that he was receiving, losing all his Gryffindor confidence, 'For the reasons…James will now tell you. James?'
James' chair fell back to the ground with a thud, all four legs now returning to contact with the floor instead of the two he had been swinging back on. He thought quickly, extremely aware that the whole class was looking at him. All eyes were on him and, when all eyes were on him, James didn't like to appear as if he was in the lurch. On the contrary, he liked to show off, to impress people and become cheeky. Through all his trying to grow up, that part had never left him. He could subdue it, but that was about all. It wasn't something he could willingly stop like he had with hexing anybody who caught his fancy, (mainly Severus Snape). But it seemed, today, he couldn't restrain himself completely.
'It's against the law Professor.' James nodded returning McGonagall's stern stare but with the added air of mockery, 'You can't take our wands without provocation.'
'And I can assure you Mr Potter, you have provoked me enough!' she retorted, still not confiscating their wands though. Instead she tried to guilt some good behaviour out of James. 'I expect better behaviour from you Mr Potter. You are head boy after all.'
James gasped. 'I am?' he asked with shocked sarcasm, 'Did you know that?' he asked Sirius, turning to face him.
'No I didn't!' Sirius replied, playing along, 'Why didn't you tell us miss?' he asked Professor McGonagall.
'Yeah!' James continued, 'This is big news! Let's celebrate!'
'Awesome!' Sirius said, standing up, 'I'll go get some jelly.'
'Awesome! Get orange!' James added, also standing up.
'Sit down both of you!' Professor McGonagall shouted at them, her hands placed on her hips, 'Or I shall give you both detentions!'
James and Sirius looked at each other conferring, as if silently discussing what to do next, weighing out the pros and the cons. It seemed the cons won. They couldn't afford a detention with the full moon only a week or so away. A month seemed to pass by so quickly. So the boys sat back down in their seats, both of them swinging their legs out and plonking their feet up on the table, resigned to listening to a subject they already knew perhaps too much about.
After five minutes of dejectedly and reluctantly listening to Professor McGonagall lecture the class upon the steps it took to become an Animagus, a topic which Sirius and James were already fully learned in, the two boys once again found childish fun. This time, it was in their shoes.
Using their un-confiscated wands, Sirius and James started to mess about with their shoes. Their tricks started from changing the colour of each other's shoes from the required black to alarming shades of purple, blue, green and red to transfiguring the shoelace on Sirius shoe into a worm. At this point, Sirius unthreaded the worm from his shoe muttered the charm, wingardium leviosa, and levitated the poor unfortunate little invertebrate into the air and dangled it in front of Hestia Jones' face to which she shrieked at, balled up her parchment full of notes and threw it at the pair of laughing boys.
'Really boys!' Professor McGonagall said, rounding on them as she waved her wand and magically returned Hestia's notes back to her, 'If you carry on I'm going to have to separate you.'
James and Sirius took no notice of this warning.
'You say that every lesson-' James began.
'But you never do it!' Sirius continued.
'And we just have to wonder Professor-'
'Where do you live during the summer holidays?'
James paused a look of confusion over his face. It was the same look the rest of the class was wearing also. He slowly turned his head to look at his best friend. 'That's not what I was going for at all.' he said with a shake of his head.
'It wasn't?' Sirius replied, genuinely shocked that James hadn't intended to ask that question, 'Really?'
'No.' James said.
'But aren't you curious?' Sirius smirked, egging James on to join in.
'A little…'James replied, a smile now tugging at the corners of his mouth. Then he turned to Professor McGonagall, 'So where do you live Professor?'
'Do you stay in the castle?' Sirius asked with a head tilt, not unlike that of a puppy.
'Wondering around on your own?' James said.
'Missing us all?' Sirius added.
'Us especially.' James put in, 'You may deny it professor but you secretly love us.'
'Secretly?' Sirius asked James with a 'come on really?' expression on his face; one eyebrow raised and, yet again, that head tilt.
'You're right.' James sighed, 'It's pretty obvious!' He leant back in his chair and relaxingly placed his hands behind his head.
'Definitely.' Sirius said, 'In the summer she sits staring at pictures of us-'
'Wishing we were here-'
'Making her laugh-'
'Giving her purpose-'
'Filling her day-'
'And just basically being our awesome and handsome selves!' James ended, running a hand through his hair before returning it to relax behind his head.
'Is that what you do professor?' Sirius asked, finally turning back to Professor McGonagall who had been waiting impatiently for them to finish, knowing that if she interrupted they would just go on even longer.
When she realised they had finished and were now waiting for her to answer, she seized her opportunity and decided to separate them, once and for all. 'Mr Potter, please collect your things together and move to the front of the classroom.'
'She likes me more than you.' James said quickly, turning to Sirius with a smile and not bothering to move at all.
'No she doesn't!' Sirius retaliated, not liking the idea that anyone liked James more than him. He loved James like a brother but still thought that people should love him more. He was just loveable. Like a puppy.
'Why she asking me to move closer to her rather than you then?' James teased.
'Because if I'm any closer to her she won't be able to resist me!' Sirius bragged, shaking his head in an arrogant and cocky manner.
'Or its cause you smell.' James said.
'I don't smell!' Sirius defended, secretly now trying to sniff himself.
'Yeah you do! Like cheese!' James laughed before adding when he saw Sirius' face starting to light up, 'And not in a good way.'
'Then why do you sit next to me?' Sirius challenged him.
'I don't.' James said, finally standing up and gathering his stuff together, well, picking up his wand as he hadn't actually bothered to get any of his things out, 'I'm being moved and thank Merlin cause I was about to pass out from your stinky cheesiness!' he ended with a bantering laugh.
Sirius laughed good naturedly as James made his way up to the front of the class where McGonagall was trying to make new seating arrangements for James in her classroom.
'Miss Jones you have no choice in the matter.' she said instructionally to Hestia who was moaning at the prospect at being moved to sit next to Sirius Black.
'But didn't you just hear what Potter just said?' Hestia whined, 'He stinks!' Then when she got no response, 'Like cheese!'
'But haven't you heard?' James started with a smirk, 'The smellier the cheese the better. Plus it gets better over time and that's…kind of true about Sirius.'
Hestia shot him a dark look and then turned back to Professor McGonagall, who was still insisting she move, to argue her case some more. She lost in the end and was forced to move to the back of the classroom to sit next to Sirius who was smirking mischievously at the idea. When she got there she slammed her book on the table and roughly pushed Sirius' feet off of it, a grumpy look on her face. She was not happy at this idea.
James was. James was extremely happy about this as Professor McGonagall's rearrangement of the seating plan conveniently landed him a spot next to Lily. He sat down happily next to her and, under the table, pinched her thigh to which she jumped and slapped his hand away, determined to ignore him and carry on with her notes. He pushed his glasses up his nose and though for a moment. Then, appearing to the class as though he was finally going to take notes, he rummaged around in his bag and pulled out a crumpled piece of parchment, a quill and a pot of ink.
At the top of his piece of parchment he wrote Hey! and then discreetly waved his wand, performing a handy little nonverbal spell which connected his and Lily's pieces of parchment. This meant that everything Lily wrote, James would see and vice-versa. James watched as his blank parchment suddenly filled up with loads of neat little bullet pointed notes detailing the specifics about Animagi, Metamorphmagus transformations and the distinctions between them. Looking at all of this it was clear that his little Hey! was bound to be unnoticed. So, in true James Potter fashion, he embellished it; drawing several arrows pointing towards it and a snitch zooming around the top until she noticed.
He glanced sideways at her and saw her look up and look around. Everyone seemed to be hard at work, or at least feigning it, including James. He had an inkling that she had no idea who had written on her parchment or how, having never tried to do such a thing herself before. This inkling was proven true when she wrote underneath James' Hey! with a reply of Hey?
Three question marks. She definitely didn't know who was writing things on her parchment and it made James chuckle mentally. For such a smart girl, she could be rather clueless sometimes. For anyone else, it would be rather obvious. But not to her. So, rather than spoil the fun of her finding out, he decided to play.
You stole my toast this morning at breakfast, he wrote, knowing no such thing had happened at all that morning. He hadn't even seen her this morning before this lesson. At least not at breakfast time. He had seen her at two o'clock in the morning when he had returned her to her dorm room after dragging her out to take a midnight stroll with him. It was something she had protested against at first, ('James, we can't, we have lessons tomorrow!') but had eventually succumbed to the idea after he gave her a not so subtle reminder that if they didn't go out at night then they couldn't go out at all because Lily was still adamant on keeping it all a big secret. So he hadn't seen her since then as he had slept in all first period, in which he had had a free and she had, presumably, gone to the library. All this meant that James' comment about her stealing his toast would completely confuse her as to who was writing on her notes. And it did.
Who is this? she wrote.
It's me, James wrote back in reply, still not giving out any hints as to his identity.
Well that helps! Lily put down sarcastically, her neat little writing now sliding vertically down the edge of the page so as not to erase or go over any of her notes.
It was meant to! James wrote in return, unable to keep a smirk off of his face.
JAMES! Lily wrote in annoyance, the capital letters she had used and exclamation mark emphasising this greatly.
Not fair! James scribbled back, You looked at my notes!
My notes you mean! Lily retaliated before adding in a hasty side line, Now let me carry on with them!
James watched his parchment as Lily returned to making notes. Her neat printed writing appeared across the page as she returned her attention to Professor McGonagall who was now explain the vital mistakes and Animagus could make during a transformation. James already knew this. He knew all the possible mistakes an Animagus could make. He had even made a few of them before. He didn't now. He was old hat at his transformations now. He had been an illegal Animagus for almost two whole years. For this reason, he didn't pay an ounce of attention to Professor McGonagall on this subject and continued to write to Lily.
Will you go out with me? he scrawled across his parchment, and by extension, Lily's, exactly where she was about to write next.
He watched her hand stop as the words appeared in front of her and heard her audibly sigh. Then with a clenching jaw, for she was thoroughly annoyed that James kept interrupting her note making process, she dipped her quill in her ink pot and wrote a reply.
James looked back down to his parchment and watched the words form neatly on the page. I'm already going out with you, they read, her tidy writing becoming looser with annoyance, James could tell. Still, he smiled at the words. In his opinion, he would never get tired of hearing them, reading them or just knowing they were true.
I mean to Hogsmeade with me this weekend, he clarified with a scribble right next to Lily's words to, once again, prevent her continuing with her notes.
You do realise that this topic will be on our N.E.W.T's exam don't you? came her reply. Her writing was now definitely showing annoyance. It had changed from neatly printed to hastily scribbled and, at places, joint up as if she was in a hurry to end this conversation.
Well that's a bit nosey of the examiners isn't it? James wrote back in a scrawl, What business is it of theirs if I take you out to Hogsmeade or not?
James glanced at Lily out of the corner of his eye and saw her shake her head slightly at this comment, a small now tugging at the corners of her mouth. She took a deep breath as if to control a full smile from making an unauthorised appearance and dipped her quill in her ink to write her reply. James looked back down to his, well Lily's notes, to find the words, If I say yes will you let me get on with my notes? written across the page.
James smiled but, unlike Lily, didn't bother to hide it. Yes, he wrote.
Good. Now leave me alone, came Lily's reply. But James was having none of that.
You didn't say yes, he continued on, blocking the words Lily was about to write with his annoying persistence.
Fine. Yes. Are you happy now? Lily wrote back shortly.
Yes, was James' simple reply and it was simple because it was true. He was extremely happy. Lily had agreed to go to Hogsmeade with him and she hadn't asked him to keep it quiet. Maybe she was ready to tell.
On Wednesday Hestia Jones and Lily Evans were planning the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend. Hestia was being strangely specific about the time she wanted to go; early. She was insistent that she and Lily make it down in time for the first of the three escorted trips down to the village. When Lily asked why, all Hestia did was smile sweetly and reply with some variation of the line, 'I have a lot of shopping to do.' Lily didn't press her. It was a statement which could very well be true.
Anyway, Lily didn't want to protest to Hestia's plan to go down to the village early. She wasn't too bothered that Hestia wanted her to get up early so that they could make the eleven o'clock excursion out because over all, it worked out in her favour. She would get to spend some time shopping, chatting and having an all-round girlie day with her best friend then, when she received a fake note asking her to go and see Dumbledore in his office, she would be able to sneak off and see James.
After their Transfiguration lesson she had made it clear to him that she still didn't want to tell people they were dating, stopping him just in time as he was about to go and tell his fellow marauders that he wouldn't be able to make it into Hogsmeade with them that weekend. Lily could tell he was upset at this and that the secret they were keeping was tearing him up inside. Not because he didn't want to keep it but because he found it hard to keep the secret from his friends. But Lily had assured him that it would just be a few weeks more whilst she figured out a way to tell Hestia that they were together. They had then devised a plan that would allow them to excuse themselves from their friends company and disappear together to a place where James would not tell Lily.
So Lily and Hestia were both agreed that they would get up early to go to Hogsmeade that Saturday and they were both excited about it. They chatted about it none stop on their way to their Defence Against the Dark Arts class. In fact, their conversation had involved them both so deeply that when they arrived in the classroom, they didn't notice that Professor Linkedin wasn't there. They didn't notice that she wasn't there for twenty minutes. It was only when Frank Longbottom pointed it out to Alice and Alice had then asked Lily and Hestia that they started to pay attention to their surroundings.
The classroom was by this point a mess. There were scrunched up pieces of parchment littering the floor near the bin as Remus Lupin had decided to see how many shots he could make from where he was sat, almost five metres away. There was a line of empty ink bottles which started on Peter Pettigrew's desk at the back left of the classroom and ended on Sirius Black's desk at the back right. All of the ink from these bottles had been put into the empty Grindylow tank which sat covered in dust at the front of the classroom. Then, half of the students in the class were sat in a circle on the floor as their desks and chairs had been used by James Potter, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew to build an ten foot high barricade across the far wall of the classroom which was lined with windows. They had secured it all together with sticking charms and thick ropes and were now sat atop it with their feet dangling off of the edge doing the same thing that Remus was only from a different height. Everyone was talking loudly over the top of each other. The noise in the room was deafening and the state of the room was chaotic. They needed a teacher.
'Do you know where she is?' Frank asked Lily, thinking that, as head girl, she might be clued into what was going on.
'No idea.' Lily replied, raising her voice slightly so that she could be heard above the noisy class. She looked around to see if anyone else might have any clue as to where their professor had run off too. She thought hard and her gaze finally landed on Remus Lupin.
'I'm gonna ask around.' Lily said to Frank, Alice and Hestia who nodded their heads and returned to the topic of Hogsmeade.
Lily stood up and walked over to Remus. He didn't look as though he was missing the lesson they should have been having at all. In fact, he looked completely at ease with the idea of just sitting and relaxing for the hour that had been earmarked for the study of Defence Against the Dark Arts. If Lily hadn't interrupted him, she was sure that he would have gladly spent the hour throwing screwed up pieces of parchment into the bin.
'Lupin?' Lily asked as she approached him.
Remus glanced at her fleetingly. 'Hey Evans.' he said noncommittally before returning to his new found sport which he was fairly useless at. He kept missing the bin by a few feet every time.
'Do you know where Professor Linkedin is?' Lily asked him, leaning one hand on his desk as she did so.
'Nope.' Remus replied succinctly, aiming another piece of crumpled up parchment into the bin. He threw it and missed.
'Do you care?' Lily went on to say, exasperation coming through clearly in her voice.
'Nope.' Remus said, repeating his succinct statement from before and tearing up another piece of parchment all ready to screw up and throw towards the bin. Upon hearing her sigh though, he went on to say, 'Ask James. He might know.'
Lily watched him make one last shot, once again failing miserably at aiming the parchment into the bin, and turned around to go and ask James if he knew where Professor Linkedin had suddenly disappeared off to. She had no idea why he would know this information but decided to give it a go.
She walked over to the poorly constructed barricade which James, Sirius and Peter had made and looked up towards the top. The three boys were sat on some haphazardly balancing chairs which looked as though they might fall any second. She called up to him.
'James?' she shouted over the top of the loud conversations that the people in the Defence Against the Dark Arts class were holding. She wondered whether people knew that they were in the same room as each other instead of mile apart. There was no need to be talking quite so loudly.
'Yeah?' James called out, looking around for who had hollered for him. Upon seeing Lily at the bottom of his barricade he smiled down at her and yelled down in caution. 'You might want to move to your right a little bit!' he said loudly.
'Why?' she replied, squinting her eyes up to him in question.
'Just do it!' was James' reply.
Confused and curious, Lily took a deep breath and stepped to the side a little bit, exhaling with another sigh once she had done it. She waited where she was for a couple of seconds, tapping her foot in impatience. Then, she was suddenly frightened out of her skin when a large heavy mattress fell to her left. She squealed in shock and placed her hand over her now fast beating heart. Where they had found a mattress in the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom she didn't know but nevertheless it was there and it fell with a large thud.
'What did you do that for?' she yelled up to James, her heart still racing ten to the dozen.
'Because,' James began to shout down in reply. He then fluently swung himself over the barrier on the barricade and dropped down onto the mattress, landing efficiently and standing up straight away. He then continued to talk to Lily at a normal volume. 'Because,' he repeated, 'this floor is really hard and I didn't want to break my foot or anything. That's quite a big drop!'
'Ok…' Lily said with a shake of her head.
'So what's up?' he went on to say, getting off of the mattress and folding his arms as he looked at her in question.
'Do you know where Professor Linkedin is?' Lily asked him.
James looked confused. 'Is she not here?' he said, looking around him as if he expected Professor Linkedin to just be standing in the corner or at her desk.
'No.' Lily said in disbelief, 'You really think you'd have been able to build a barricade if she was?'
'Well it would have been more of a challenge but I think we could have pulled it off.' James shrugged.
'Why do I talk to you?' Lily said, more to herself than James. Still, her comment earned her a chuckle from him anyway.
'Sirius might know.' James said to Lily before turning his head up to the barricade and yelling up to Sirius who had stopped throwing screwed up parchment into the bin and was now throwing them at Peter's head instead. 'Oi! Padfoot!' James shouted, practically deafening Lily in the process. (She had to cover her ears) 'Where's Professor Linkedin?'
'You mean Elvendork?' Sirius shouted down to James who nodded his head.
'Elvendork?' Lily questioned with yet another confused look.
'It's unisex.' James said quickly to her, not actually answering her question. He then continued to yell up to Sirius. 'Yeah! he said, 'Do you know where she is?'
'In a broom cupboard somewhere.' Sirius stated.
Lily's eyes widened. Why was there Defence Against the Dark Arts professor in a broom cupboard somewhere instead of teaching their class? And why did Sirius Black know about it? She dreaded the reason behind it. Still, she had to know. It was her curiosity again.
'Why?' Lily began, 'Why is she in a broom cupboard?'
'Because she gave us homework on the first day of term!' Sirius replied as if it was obvious. After all, what other reasons would there be for locking your professor in a broom cupboard?
'And?' Lily replied. That had happened over a month ago. Why would that matter now?
'And,' Sirius began. Then, much like James had done a few minutes before him, Sirius swung his legs over the barrier of the barricade and dropped down onto the mattress below. From the way he had landed you would have thought he had only dropped two feet instead of ten. He smoothly fell down on to the mattress, elegantly landing and walking off of it immediately. He then continued with what he was saying. 'And,' he repeated, 'I don't like being given homework at the best of times and she gave us homework first day back. That's something you gotta pay for.'
Lily looked at him incredulously. She then looked to James who, from the expression on his face, seemed to see the bizarre logic behind Sirius' reasoning. She shook her head at them both, taking a deep breath to calm herself. She didn't want to shout at them. At least she didn't want to shout at James.
She turned to Sirius, a forced calm hovering around her. 'So what did you do to her?'
'Who said I did any-'
'Padfoot.' James said with raised eyebrows, deciding that he was going to help Lily out to try and find what Sirius had done to their professor.
Sirius looked at James for a couple of seconds, wondering why he had suddenly decided to side with Lily instead of him. There was a reason but Sirius had no idea what it could be. The most obvious reason he could see was that James was finally stepping into his responsibility as head boy but, to Sirius, that idea just seemed ludicrous. There had to be another reason but Sirius had no idea what it could be. It had already been established that James was no longer interested, (or at least he said he wasn't), interested in asking Lily out so this could hardly be a ploy to get into her good books could it? Probably. Still, Sirius gave in under James' stare and confessed to what he had done.
'I put a sleeping draught in her tea, drew on her face and shoved her in a broom cupboard on the second floor.' he said reluctantly.
James began to laugh but after a warning glance from Lily he muffled it.
Lily took a deep breath and exercised her responsibility as head girl. 'Ok.' she began, taking on a tone of voice which clearly illustrated that Sirius had no choice in the matter. He was going to do what she said. 'You are going to take me to the second floor broom cupboard where you have locked Professor Linkedin in and help me take her to the hospital wing to reverse your…stupidity.'
Sirius scowled at her and then looked to James who gave him a look which said, 'go on just do it.' Breathing deeply in annoyance at Lily and, for a small part, James, Sirius reluctantly began to follow the head girl out of the room. They were halfway there though, when they heard a thud emanate from behind them. The pair turned around to see what had happened.
'Wormy there's a mattress for a reason!' James was saying as he started to pull Peter up off of the floor.
Sirius and Lily watched as Remus rushed forwards to help James with Peter. It seemed that he had tried to jump off of the barricade in the same way James and Sirius had done before but had misjudged where the mattress was and had landed a couple of feet to the side of it. He had either broken or sprained his ankle. Remus and James were either side of Peter, pulling him up as he whimpered at the pressure on his foot.
James looked up to Lily and Sirius and simply said, 'Guess we'll meet you in the hospital wing.'
Lily shook her head whilst Sirius laughed out loud at Peter misfortune. After a couple of seconds of his insensitive laughing, Lily reminded him that they needed to go and find Professor Linkedin and she led him out of the room.
The two Gryffindor students walked in silence as they climbed down a couple of flights of stairs and went through a small hidden passage to get to the second floor. Sirius had a moody pout across his face because he was being forced to do the right thing. Doing the right thing wasn't something Sirius liked to be told to do. If he was going to do it, then he would prefer the decision to be made by himself and on his own terms. That way any praise he received would be his and, perhaps more importantly, deserved. Next to him, Lily was walking slowly looking at every door they passed in the hopes that it might be the broom cupboard that Sirius had locked Professor Linkedin in. She didn't think she could stand the silence for much longer. Luckily she didn't have to.
'So you going to go to Hogsmeade this weekend?' Sirius asked her, trying to break the quiet and possibly distract her from tryin to find Professor Linkedin.
'Yes.' Lily said in a short answer.
'You gonna go with that Hunt dude?' Sirius wondered.
Lily stopped in her tracks. She wanted the silence back. 'No.' she sighed, 'Where did you put Professor Linkedin?'
Sirius didn't listen to her. He also stopped and turned to face her and, for all intents and purposes, interrogate her about a topic which he knew upset his best friend, even though James would never admit it. Sirius knew James still liked Lily. He always had. When had overheard her a few weeks being talked into a date with the Ravenclaw Adonis Joshua Hunt, he had seen James' reaction. At the time he had said he 'couldn't care less'. He was lying. Sirius knew. It bothered him that the girl he had asked out continuously had agreed to go on a date with someone else. Sirius knew it did. He just wasn't clued into the specific reasons why.
'So you not going out with that Hunt dude?' Sirius asked her.
Lily was, to say the least, shocked that Sirius Black was talking to her about this. It was an odd topic of conversation for him to decide to talk to her about, especially as they weren't all that close. She would call them friends but she would use the term loosely. In that circle, obviously, she was much closer to James. She was dating him but Sirius didn't know that. No one did. After James she would say the next marauder she was closest to was probably Remus Lupin. She had been a prefect with him for a couple of years and he was the one who had had a go at her at the start of their sixth year, convincing her to give the marauders a chance. Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew, (much to Sirius' disgust if he knew), were on par. Lily had hung out with both of them in some of her free periods, gone to Hogsmeade with them a couple of times and ate most of her meals in their company but still, she wasn't all to close with them. In those situations she had mostly talked to James. So it was an extremely odd conversation for Sirius Black to strike up with her and, until she decided she was ready to tell people about her and James, she felt that her dating life was none of his business. And she told him this.
'I really don't think it's any of your business Black.' Lily stated, 'Now where did you hide Prof-'
'You know, James is my best friend.' Sirius interrupted.
Again, Lily was shocked. Not at the fact that he had pointed out, she already knew that. No, she was shocked that he was insisting on pursuing this topic.
'And at some point last year you did like him.' Sirius continued.
Lily said nothing. The thing that occurred to her in that moment though was that everything would be a lot easier if she just told Sirius right there and then that she was going out with James, not Joshua Hunt. But she didn't. Something was stopping her. Perhaps it was out of loyalty to Hestia, thinking she deserved to be the first to know about that aspect of Lily's life. Perhaps she just wasn't ready to tell anyone just yet. And it was true; she wasn't ready to tell anyone. Not just yet. Then again, maybe she just wasn't ready to give up the secrecy of it all. It may have sounded silly to some people but Lily enjoyed sneaking around. It was thrilling to her. Anyone of these things could be the something that was stopping her. She didn't know what it was but, nevertheless, she didn't tell Sirius about her and James. Instead she stood and listened to what he had to say, even though most of it was completely redundant.
'I don't think you should go out with that Hunt dude-'
'His name is Joshua.'
'-I think you should consider giving James a chance. If you did like him last year then you could still like him now.' Sirius went on to say, ignoring Lily's correction, and trying to convince her to give James a chance. He didn't realise that he would soon regret it. 'It's not so far-fetched is it? He's a decent, good looking bloke. Not as good looking as me of course but I'm taken.'
'By who?' Lily questioned incredulously. That morning at breakfast she could have sworn he had said he had just finished breaking up with someone.
'Courtney Jenkins.' Sirius shrugged as if she was nothing important and, to hem, she probably wasn't. She was probably just a passing flirtation.
Lily shook her head and seized her opportunity. Sirius didn't have a very long attention span and, as he had gone off on a tangent about his latest conquest and his looks, Lily took her chance to change the subject and find out where Professor Linkedin was.
'Where's this broom cupboard then?' she asked him.
'I just told you I was taken Evans!' Sirius said with dramatic gasp, 'You can't hit on someone who is in a dedicated relationship!'
'And if I see anyone like that then I promise I'll steer clear of them.' Lily retorted, 'Now, where did you hide Professor Linkedin?'
Sirius rolled his eyes, his moody and annoyed expression once again returning to his face. He turned around and pulled back a full length hanging portrait, disturbing its resident who yelled angrily at Sirius for moving him. Behind the portrait was an odd shaped door which, Lily presumed, led to the broom cupboard. She opened the door and sat inside, collapsed on the floor resting on a silver bucket, was Professor Linkedin.
Lily looked at her face. It was true. Sirius had drawn all over it; moustaches, fake beards, fuzzy eyebrows and many other little pictures. She turned to Sirius. 'You weren't kidding.' she said.
Sirius just simply smiled mischievously at her, quite proudly too. James wasn't the only one who doodled in their group. Sirius did too and this was some of his best work.
Thanks for reading