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.
Welcome Chapter Sixty-Five
Hope you enjoy it!
Lily searched the castle for half an hour for Sirius with no success. She searched the most obvious places at first; the common room, his dormitory, the great hall, the beech tree outside and the kitchens. But she couldn't find him anywhere. So she decided to check the less obvious but more secluded places that Sirius could hide. She searched the secret passage ways that James had taken her down, a couple of broom closets, (kicking people out of them who looked a bit too comfortable), some class rooms and some back staircases, still she couldn't find him. In the end she resorted to asking people if they had seen him, asking the girls mostly because they were more likely to have paid attention to him if he passed them. But none of them were willing to help her. Instead they shook their heads at her and looked down their noses at her with disdain, something she didn't fully understand. Then they'd walk away from her, giving her no information of Sirius' whereabouts but whispering as they left. She never did fully catch what they were saying but she swore she heard the words 'poor James'. Still, she brushed it aside so that she could continue in her search for Sirius. It worked and she finally found him sitting at the bottom of a staircase.
'Black?' she said tentatively walking towards him.
Sirius looked over his shoulder slightly and saw Lily. He turned back to look at his feet and sighed. 'Don't call me that please Evans.' he said, fed up of being referred to as if he was part of that family. 'I've had enough of Black.' he spat at the floor miserably, 'I'm not a Black.'
Lily looked at him sadly for a couple of seconds, never having seen him in this sort of position before, He, like James, was always sure of himself and was cocky and arrogant and, at some points, just unbearable to be around because he was so vain. Now he looked vulnerable. She walked forwards towards him and stood next to where he was sat on the steps. 'Are you ok?' she asked.
Sirius rolled his eyes. 'Oh yeah!' he said sarcastically, 'Peachy keen!'
Lily took a breath and brushed his sarcasm aside. 'Do you want to talk about it?' she queried quietly.
'Not with you.' Sirius stated simply, trying not to be rude but failing. Besides, he wasn't in the mood to try and get along with her at the minute. And anyway, James wasn't around.
'Ok.' Lily said, overlooking his rude tone and sitting on the step next to him, much to his dislike. 'I'll just sit here then and if you do decide you want to talk, I'm right here.' she went on, clasping her hands together and looking at Sirius' haughty handsome face.
Sirius gave a bitter laugh. 'You're very full of yourself aren't you?' he said.
'You're one to talk.' Lily retorted.
Sirius looked down at his feet. 'What makes you think I can talk to you?' he asked her, wondering what made her so sure that he would. Why had she found him? 'All you are is my best mates girlfriend.' he said.
'I'm also your friend.' Lily said sweetly with a small half shrug, surprised at how true the statement actually was. 'At least, I see you as my friend.' she carried on, realising that he may not be her friend as she was his, 'And I've been told I'm a very good listener.'
Sirius gave a single laugh. 'By James?' he asked.
'No actually I gave myself that title.' Lily smiled.
'Ha.' Sirius chuckled. He paused and took a deep breath, heaving a great sigh before looking at her. He thought as he looked at her. She was looking kindly back at him. Maybe she could…no. Possibly? 'Alright Evans.' he gave in reluctantly under her friendly and compassionate gaze, a level of compassion not unlike what James had. 'It's my brother.' he went on, 'Think you can help me on that subject?'
'I didn't even know you had a brother.' Lily replied honestly. She knew there was a relationship, a family connection there as soon as James had announced that Regulus Black was the Slytherin Seeker. She didn't have to be a pureblood wizard to know that all the Blacks were related. She just didn't know how.
'Well I do.' Sirius said matter of factly, 'Regulus 'golden child to my parents who think the sun shines out of his arse' Black.'
There was a pause where Sirius said nothing and neither did Lily. But Lily wanted to talk. She had believed that Sirius was about to talk to her, to share what the matter with him was. She wanted to help him. She wanted to help him because it was obvious he was in need. But there was a small part of her that saw the personal gain in it. If she helped him and they started getting on better, things would be easier for James. She decided to prompt the conversation to start again. 'I thought he was your cousin.' she said.
'No that's Bellatrix.' Sirius answered immediately. 'She's a pshyco.' he laughed before sighing yet again and saying, 'But most in my family are. I did have hope for my brother though. Small hope.'
'Hopes still hope.' Lily said, understanding that level of hope. It was the same sort of hope she carried around for her sister. That one day she might finally accept her. She recognised it in Sirius.
'Yeah.' Sirius said before stopping again.
Lily once again prompted. 'Do you get on with him?' she asked.
'Nope.' Sirius replied, popping the p, 'Used to when we were little. When he used to look up to me. Then I was sorted into Gryffindor.'
Lily frowned. 'And?' she asked, not realising that this tiny little question was all Sirius needed to get started.
'And when you're a Black you don't get sorted into Gryffindor.' Sirius explained, looking at Lily before going into a small speech complete with arm gestures and, as usual for Sirius, humourful laughs. He went on, 'You especially don't go get sorted into Gryffindor and go around your house plastering the walls with red and gold paraphernalia using permanent sticking charms, just to make sure they couldn't take them down and their shame would be there forever. You also don't take muggle studies because muggles are nothing to learn about and you don't start an obsession with motorbikes, buy muggle posters and magazines and stick them all over your walls. (Again, permanent sticking charms.) Add into that the fact that I get ten detentions a day for pissing about, pulling pranks and not paying attention and it's safe to say I brought shame to the house of Black. Then I ran away.' He stopped and looked at Lily. 'Suppose you know all about that though?' he said with a small nod of his head.
'No.' Lily said with a shake of her head, 'I don't know anything about that. All I know is that you went to live with James. He wouldn't tell me why.'
'No he wouldn't.' Sirius shook his head also. Typical James really. Wouldn't tell a soul anything you told him in confidentiality. Very trustworthy. He was a private person, not just about his own personal life but also about what ever others told him. That was why Lily knew nothing about Sirius' family or why he had left them. He didn't know what made him do it but he carried on, telling Lily everything James hadn't. 'Well,' he began, 'Regulus stopped looking up to me and stopped thinking of me as his 'big brother' when I was sorted into Gryffindor, a decision I couldn't control and didn't want to change. Because of that he conformed to the 'Black way of life'. He's everything a Black should be.'
'And you're not?' Lily said.
'No.' Sirius replied.
Lily thought for a second. 'Is that what's wrong?' she asked cautiously.
'No.' Sirius said simply, at last the hints of a smile gracing his handsome face. 'I love being me.' he said before smirking and saying, as if it was the best thing in life, 'The rebel of the family.'
'Ha.' Lily laughed once, also smiling now Sirius was, and gently pushing him to the side in a friendly manner.
'It's true!' Sirius chuckled, still smiling. Then his smile dropped and he continued. 'It's just,' he said, looking at Lily briefly as she looked at him before dropping his gaze away from her startling eyes to the ground, wondering how on earth James got any work done with those eyes watching him. He shook his thoughts away and went on. 'Regulus reminds me of the family I hate, who I should have been, who I was expected to be if I'd never been sorted into Gryffindor. So during a Quidditch match…well, it's not good to have a reminder when you're flying a hundred foot in the air.' he pointed out.
'No I don't suppose it is.' Lily said.
Sirius stopped again, waiting for Lily to ask another question or say something. When she didn't he suddenly felt rather stupid over what he had been talking about and attempted to brush her off, just when he thought he was starting to see Lily as someone that James would deem worthy to change for. But if was just going to see him as silly, well he didn't want to see that. So he just said, 'Yeah, well, thanks for listening but James is the one I usually talk to about this stuff. He understands it.' He paused and looked at her. 'You probably just think I'm being stupid.' he said bitterly.
'I don't' Lily said honestly.
'Yeah right.' Sirius rolled his eyes, not believing her.
'I have a sister.' Lily said, assuming he knew about what he relationship with her sister was like, assuming James had told him anyway. She was wrong.
'That's nothing like this.' Sirius said, 'You're still close with your sister.'
It was then Lily thought exactly what Sirius had thought moments before hand, unbeknownst to her. James; wouldn't tell a soul anything you told him in confidence. Very trustworthy. He was a private person, not just about his own personal life but also about what ever others told him. That was why Sirius knew nothing about Lily's sister or what went on between them. It was exactly what Sirius had thought only Lily had an element in her that Sirius didn't; a warmth spreading through her as she thought that James was a very decent person. He had kept her secrets. He was very good to her.
'You went to her wedding.' Sirius pointed out.
Lily took a deep breath, knowing that if she was to prove to Sirius she was trustworthy, it was a two-way street. He had shared. She had to too. 'I crashed her wedding.' she corrected him.
Sirius chuckled and looked at her with raised eyebrows, clearly shocked. 'Perfect prefect Lily Evans crashed a wedding?' he said before thinking something and asking, 'James' idea?'
'No.' Lily said with a shake of her head. 'Mine. And I'm head girl you dolt.' she continued, pushing him to the side in that friendly fashion again.
'Perfect prefect rhymes though.' Sirius shrugged.
'No it doesn't.' Lily said.
'Sounds cool though.' Sirius muttered before turning to her again and asking, 'So you crashed her wedding?'
'Yeah.' Lily replied with a small laugh. 'Now,' she went on seriously, placing a small hand on Sirius' arm and forcing him to look at her as she said, very compassionately, 'I'd never dream of comparing my situation with yours because they're not the same. But I can empathise. My sister stopped liking me when I started Hogwarts because I was a witch. That was a decision I couldn't control, couldn't change and didn't want to change, just like with you being sorted into Gryffindor. She is everything I could have been if I had been born what she would call 'normal'. But I wasn't. And it kills me that she can't accept me for who I am. Now, as I said, our situations aren't the same, and I'm not gonna pretend they are. But I do understand. And I don't think you're being stupid. Not at all.'
Sirius saw the genuinely kind expression in her eyes. 'Thanks.' he said. She wasn't all that bad. She was a nice person. Caring.
'If you need to talk, I'll listen to you.' she went on, 'I know you said you'll only talk to James about this but if you do decided you want to talk to me, then just know that you do have the option. I won't tell anyone anything. Just like James.'
'Just like me what?' James asked, appearing behind them just at the right time. He had a knack for doing that.
Lily looked at him and smiled, a smile which he returned and which sent butterflies flying through her stomach. She turned back to Sirius and rubbed his arm supportively before standing up and saying, 'Just think about it Sirius.'
She waited for Sirius to nod before she left, leaving James to talk to Sirius which he was obviously there to do. As she passed James she kissed him softly on the cheek, unable to help herself. He hadn't told anyone her secrets. There was a new level of trust there. She had to thank him.
James let her kiss his cheek with an ounce of surprise, wondering why she was doing it. When he frowned, smiling at her, she simple smiled back and squeezed his hand before walking away. He watched her go, not able to take his eyes off of her retreating figure until she turned the corner, out of view. Then he pulled his attention to Sirius and went to sit next to him on the stairs.
'Been looking for you everywhere mate.' he said as he sat down and clapped Sirius in a brotherly manner on the shoulder. 'You alright?' he asked.
'Mmm.' Sirius nodded. He was alright.
'Black family crap?' James queried, knowing it was.
Sirius gave a breathless chuckle for James' name for his problem. James had names for everyone's problems. A prime example; Remus. Remus had a 'furry little problem'. Sirius had 'Black family crap'. He confirmed James' theory. 'Black family crap.' he repeated.
James paused. 'Wanna talk about it?' he asked.
'Nah.' Sirius sighed, 'It's ok actually. Evans helped.'
'Yeah?' James said with raised eyebrows, surprised that Sirius had let her help. Still, his thoughts sank into her and he couldn't help but say, 'Mmm. She's good like that.'
'Yeah she's not bad.' Sirius agreed, 'Better than you.'
He turned his head to look at James who was looking at him with that same surprised expression he had just been wearing with raised eyebrows, only it was joined by a grin. He knew that was as closest thing to Sirius admitting he liked Lily that he'd ever get.
Sirius chuckled at his smitten friend and pushed his head to the side in a brotherly way. He could see it. He could see why James would want to change for Lily. He accepted it. James liked her. Sirius had to like her. And they were friends. Friends. He wouldn't say any of this to James though who had known it all along, known that Lily was worth changing for. Instead, he simply said, 'You could do a lot worse.'
James chuckled and ran a hand through his hair. He sat with Sirius for a couple of minutes, neither of them talking. Sirius broke the silence.
'I just can't believe Regulus is the Seeker.' he said in disbelief with a shake of his head. 'He couldn't catch jack!'
'Hopefully that'll work in our favour.' James laughed, 'And just remember, you're the one yielding a bat and Bludger. If the sight of him bugs you too much you could always whack one his way.'
'The look of him don't bother me too much.' Sirius said, returning to his usual self and flipping his black hair over his shoulders and saying vainly, 'Least I know I'm better looking.'
'Not more than me.' James smirked arrogantly.
'You wish.' Sirius laughed.
'How sweet.' came a snide voice from behind them.
Sirius and James looked over their shoulders to see the all too unwelcome familiar face of Severus Snape; hooked nose, paled skin and greasy black curtained hair. They both rolled their eyes and turned away from him.
'Ah sod off Snivellus.' Sirius snarled at him, putting no effort into it really. He wasn't in the mood.
'Yeah.' James said, hints of his 'fifth year self' sneaking through in his voice as he said, 'We're not in the mood to kick your arse today.'
Sirius noticed this and smirked at it. Maybe he hadn't completely changed for Lily. Maybe there was still that part of him which enjoyed kicking Severus to the curb and besting him at a duelling match. Maybe.
'Doubt you could anymore.' Severus sneered, wanting James to rise to the bait. He did.
'Why Padfoot,' James said, 'looks like he thinks we've gone soft in our old age.'
Sirius' smirk widened. 'Can't have him thinking that now can we?' he said.
In unison, fluently and effortlessly, James and Sirius took out their wands and flicked them over their shoulders, specific in their aim even though they couldn't see him, and shot a double curse at Severus which sent him into the air and falling down to the ground with a thud, tied in ropes. As soon as they heard him crash dully to the floor, not a moment before, Sirius and James stood, wands held limply in their hands and walked past a bound and gagged Severus. They high fived as they passed him as they used to do before James suddenly became against cursing him. They returned to their fifth year selves only with one change.
'Don't tell Lily.' James said.
'Welcome to the first Quidditch match this season!' Mary MacDonald shouted through the enchanted microphone that magnified her voice tenfold around the Quidditch stadium for everyone to hear.
The Quidditch stadium was alight with cheers, everyone excited for the Slytherin versus Gryffindor game. The cheers became almost ear splitting when the Quidditch teams actually walked onto the pitch. From the stands, where she was stood with Remus, Peter, Alice and Frank, cheered for James as he came onto the green, waving down at him. When he returned her wave with a simple lift of his hand, she waved to Sirius and Hestia. Sirius acknowledged her wave just as James had done but Hestia waved back excitedly. Lily didn't notice the whispers around her.
The game got off to a quick start. James and the Slytherin Quidditch captain shook hands. The Slytherin Quidditch captain, Nicholas Tyler who also happened to be the Keeper, tried his hardest to crush James' hand but James withstood it, smirking at him and unnerving him just as he was trying to do the same to him. After Madam Hooch had told them they could hold hands afterwards, she gave her usual warning for a nice clean game and sent the group of witches and wizards into the air. She sent the Quaffle after them and began the match which Mary MacDonald began to commentate immediately. Well, commentate amongst other things.
'Hestia Jones takes possession of the Quaffle.' Mary said, telling the crowd what they could see obviously anyway, her voice echoing around the Quidditch stadium, 'She dodges a Bludger. Passes it to James Potter. Potter with the Quaffle. Potter shoots…HE SCORES! Ten points to Gryffindor. Wow. Good on him. Can still do his best for his house even with a broken heart.'
'Miss MacDonald.' Professor McGonagall said sternly.
'Sorry Professor.' Mary replied quickly, returning to commentate on the game.
Hestia flew past James and gave him a high five along with a questioning look. What broken heart? It seemed James didn't know either as he just shrugged at her, brushing it off and continued with the game.
Mary continued to inform the crowd of excitable Hogwarts students about the game that was going on in front of them. For a Slytherin versus Gryffindor Quidditch match, there wasn't a lot of excitable things going on. It wasn't nearly as entertaining as the Ravenclaw versus Gryffindor match where the Ravenclaw Beater literally broke most of the Gryffindor team; giving Hestia a dislocated shoulder and James a broken foot. Compared to that game, this one was quite tame. And boring. Everyone thought so.
'Twenty minutes into the game and nothing's happening.' Mary announced lazily to the crowd, 'Who else is bored?'
'Miss MacDonald.' McGonagall reprimanded.
'Well if you let me talk about something other than the game Professor-'
'We are here for the game Miss MacDonald.' McGonagall said shortly.
'Yes Professor.' Mary replied glumly. Then something happened. 'And Gryffindor's Sirius Black whacks a Bludger to the Slytherin Keeper!' she said standing up, she and the crowd captivated in the path of the Bludger which was nearing Nicholas Tyler, the Slytherin Quidditch captain. 'Ohh!' Mary said as the Bludger hit Nicholas square in the stomach, 'Down goes Tyler! Gryffindor captain high fives his Beater. Don't know how he could do that after what I've heard.'
'Miss MacDonald!' McGonagall said reaching the end of her tether. Her stern voice shut Mary up.
The game continued with only game related commentary from Mary. She told the crowd of the battles for the Quaffle between James, Hestia and the Slytherin Chasers. She informed them of Nicholas Tyler's return to the pitch and then his departure from the pitch again when Sirius once more whacked a tormenting Bludger towards the Slytherin Quidditch captain. When Nicholas finally returned to the pitch for good, Sirius concentrated his aim on his brother, but always managed to miss. Whether it was on purpose or not, nobody knew. But everyone liked to guess.
'And the Bludger sent by Black misses t'other Black by a mere three inches. Jealousy can put one off his game-alright Professor I know!' Mary said, anticipating Professor McGonagall's reprimand. She went back to the game. 'Gryffindor lead Slytherin sixty to forty.' she began before seemingly absentmindedly saying, '…Sad to say I share a dorm room with the cause of James Potters broken heart.'
She was talking about Lily. James stopped in the air, long enough for the Quaffle to be stolen from his possession, something which McGonagall wasn't too pleased about.
'Miss MacDonald!' she reprimanded loudly, her voice, being picked up by the enchanted megaphone and echoing out across the stadium, kicking James back into action.
'It slipped out!' Mary defended before muttering supposedly under her breath, '…Cheating with your boyfriend's best friend. That's low.' Everyone heard it though.
In the stands, Lily started to frown as everyone turned to look at her. She was confused. She hadn't cheated on James. She thought about it hard and realisation struck her. There was only one thing she could thing of. But they couldn't know about her drunken kiss with Sirius could they?
'Mary!' McGonagall said strictly, now using her given name to show her anger.
'Again, slip of the tongue Professor!' Mary said defensively before adding quickly, getting as much out as possible before McGonagall cut her off. 'Shame the same can't be said for Lily Evans in the leaky cauldron when her tongue slipped into-' she said.
'Mary!' McGonagall interjected.
Up in the air, James was fuming, hating the twisted truth that Mary was spreading across the stadium. He didn't like his private business being told to the whole of the school. Sirius was hating it too as, not only did it show Lily in a bad light but him too. He'd been best friends with James throughout his whole Hogwarts life. How could anyone think he would do such a thing to hurt him? In the stands Lily had gone red and wide eyed, shrinking back between Remus and Peter who were trying their best to shield her from the vicious stares and glares she was now receiving from people around her.
'Gryffindor still lead Slytherin eighty to seventy.' Mary said, returning to the game, 'Come on Gryffindor!'
'You are supposed to be impartial Mary.' McGonagall reminded her.
'Come on Gryffindor!' Mary repeated before cowering under her Transfiguration teachers glare and saying, 'I meant Slytherin Professor. Gryffindor with the Quaffle. Jones. Potter. Jones. Still Jones. Over to-ooh! She drops the Quaffle…but Potter gets it back. Jones. Back to Potter and…James Potter shoots another goal! Well done Potter! Very forgiving to his chaser who dropped the Quaffle! He saved it though. Seems to be very forgiving on and off the Quidditch pitch.'
James had had enough of his business being aired to everyone.
'Miss MacDonald I will not tell you again.' McGonagall reprimanded severely.
'Sorry Professor.' Mary said, not sorry at all, 'I swear I'll shut up. Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of one of Sirius Black's jealous glares every time he sees Lily Evans with-HEY!'
James had flown down to where Mary was sat in the commentators stand and snatched the enchanted megaphone off of her.
'A personal life is just that! Personal!' he said, the megaphone catching his voice and ricocheting it around the Quidditch pitch softly.
Form where she was in the stands, Lily leant forwards to see him hovering on his broom over Mary, megaphone in hand. She broke into a small smile.
'Mr Potter!' McGonagall said.
'Just doing what you were gonna do Professor.' James shrugged with a smirk. He took the megaphone and flew with it over to where Lily was in the crowd. Only he wasn't flying there for her. He didn't even look at her. He spoke to Remus. 'Remus!' he yelled, tossing the megaphone lazily over to him, Remus just about catching it. 'Commentate on the game please?' he called over his shoulder as he flew back to join the match.
'Ok.' Remus said, turning the enchanted megaphone over in his hands. 'Hey everyone.' he said to the crowd, 'Err…what's the score?'
The game had finished. Gryffindor had managed a win even after Mary's wary commentary and James' momentary departure from the game. Everyone in the stadium had gone away buzzing with the gossip that Mary had leaked out into the stands. Lily hadn't. She had headed straight down to the Gryffindor changing rooms to meet James, humiliated, embarrassed, angry and upset. She had marched into the changing room, not caring that the Quidditch team would be doing just that, changing, and had gone into a sort of flurry. James had sent the Quidditch team, bar Sirius and Hestia, out of the changing room, let Remus, Peter and Alice in and then sent Hestia out to try and find where the rumour had started from. As the biggest gossip amongst them, she would be the one most likely to find out. He then tried to calm Lily down. After ten minutes of trying though he gave up.
He sat on a bench in the changing room, his school shirt hanging open for he couldn't be bothered to do it up, his head leaning back against the wall with his eyes closed. He had been watching Lily pace back and forth but she had started to make him go dizzy so he stopped. He was tired of her rant now, tired of trying to reassure her when she wouldn't take it. So he had stopped trying. He wasn't the only tired one though. Sirius was lying down on the bench opposite James, still in his Quidditch robes, his eyes also closed. Peter was sat on the floor near the changing room door, watching Lily go back and forth, his eyes darting like a he was watching a tennis match. Alice was sat on the same bench as Sirius, near his feet wishing Hestia would come back with news of who had started the rumour so that she could leave the smelly room. Remus was leant against the wall just west of where James was sitting, his arms folded. They were all tired. James sighed as Lily started again.
'How did everyone find out?' Lily wondered agitatedly, still pacing, 'It was one time.'
'Lils don't worry about it.' James said for about the fifth time, bringing his hand up to his eyes and pressing his thumb and forefingers into them.
'Everyone thinks I've cheated on you!' Lily said in a slightly high pitched voice which caused Remus to widen his eyes. Lily stopped pacing and stood facing James.
'With me!' Sirius chimed in, sitting up finally and swinging his legs around to sit up properly.
Lily looked over her shoulder to see him.
'I'm your best mate.' Sirius said, obviously as miffed about this whole thing as Lily was, 'They think I betrayed you. They think I'm jealous.' he went on, holding his arms out and looking around as if the situation had just gotten more serious. 'Now that's bad.' he pointed out.
'No it's not.' James said finally standing up and walking over to Lily. He took her hands and looked into her eyes, a look she returned only, she had a slight pout and was looking up at him through her eyelashes. 'I was there.' he went on, 'You didn't cheat on me and as long as we know that, then I don't see the problem.'
'You don't see the problem?' Lily repeated in disbelief.
'No I don't.' James exasperated, his annoyance finally coming through in his voice, taking one of his hands out of hers and holding it up to his forehead. He noticed the silence around him and Lily taking her other hand out of his. He brought his hand down and saw Lily looking at him stonily with folded arms. 'I'm sorry.' he said shaking his head at his snap. He sighed and pulled her into a hug. 'Come here.' he said, folding his arms around her in an apologetic hug, 'We can't let this get to us.'
'Too late.' Lily said into his bare chest which she was pressed against because he still hadn't done his shirt up. She threaded her arms around him, under his shirt and hugged him back, breathing in his beech wood scent. They stood in the middle of the changing room hugging for a couple of minutes, the eyes of their friends watching them until Hestia barged into the room and provided a distraction.
'Ok.' Hestia said, running into the middle of the room to stand only a short distance away from Lily and James. She was still in her Quidditch robes, carrying her broom for some unknown reason. Probably to complete the outfit. 'I've found out what's happened.'
'What?' Lily said immediately, withdrawing herself from James' hug but keeping her arm around his waist under his shirt as he kept his arm around her waist.
'Someone overheard you telling us about it on the train back from the Christmas holidays.' Hestia said unthinkingly.
James blinked and took a deep steadying breath. He turned his head slowly to face Lily. 'You told them on the train?' he asked her.
Lily looked back at him guiltily. 'Well…' she started, unable to finish
'What else did you tell them on the train?' James went on, closing his eyes and praying that she hadn't revealed anything else about what had transpired between them during the Christmas break. He couldn't understand why she would. It was more embarrassing for her than it was for him.
'Well…' she started again, still unable to finish.
'Everything?' James said in disbelief, taking his arm from around her. He had told her not to tell anyone. He had told her not to tell anyone because he knew how much Hogwarts wanted a piece of gossip on them. He knew how they would try to twist it so he had asked her to keep it private. But she hadn't and now exactly what he thought could happen had. And the whole school was talking about them again, something which he knew she didn't like. Yet it seemed to be because she had told her friends about her drunken kiss with Sirius. He didn't want to blame her but it was hard not to.
'They're my friends.' Lily said with a pleading tone, wanting him to forgive her, 'I needed advice. I told them before you told me not to so you can't be mad.'
'If it helps we both think you were very gentlemanly.' Alice said with a small shrug, walking over to join Hestia in front of an abashed Lily and a slightly embarrassed James at finding out more of his personal life had been spread about. This time by his girlfriend.
'Great.' James said shortly shooting a glare at Sirius who was silently laughing at him.
Lily looked into his eyes again. 'I'm sorry-'
'No it's fine.' James said, shaking his head and brushing it away. He couldn't be mad at her. That damn look in her eyes that made him snap, gave a tug. It was dangerous. 'It's done now.' he said to her before turning to Hestia and asking, 'Do you know who overheard you?'
'Well…yes.' Hestia said uncomfortably.
'Who?' Remus asked, pushing himself off of the wall and walking forwards to join James, Lily, Hestia and Alice in the middle of the changing room; the main group. He stood next to James with his hands in his pockets.
Hestia took a deep breath and looked slightly angry as she said, 'Sean.'
'Sean?' Alice asked Hestia, 'Your Sean?'
'Yes.' Hestia said shortly, 'He told Joshua to prove to him why it was a good reason you chose Potter over him and it kind of spread from there. From them.'
Lily gave a single breathless laugh of disbelief and folded her arms again. James put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her into his side, kissing her hair. Remus shook his head in disappointment at what some people would do to try and make themselves feel better over someone else's choice. Peter scrambled to his feet and went over to join the group in the middle of the changing room, shaking his head as Remus had done. Sirius took a more vocal approach, the only one not to join the group in the centre.
'That git!' Sirius said loudly.
'Don't worry Lily I'm gonna break up with him.' Hestia said immediately, 'I can't be with someone who's gonna come between us.'
'He's not gonna come in between us Hestia.' Lily assured her with a shake of her head.
'He's spread around the school that you're a cheater.' Hestia pointed out.
'But she's not.' James put in, determined to have it known that he didn't believe Lily could cheat on him at all, much like he could never cheat on her.
'I know that,' Hestia said with a roll of her eyes to James before turning back to Lily, 'but he still spread it. I mean, he could have really ruined everything.'
'You don't have to break up with him for me.' Lily insisted, not wanting to feel guilty over Hestia's break up. She had hated the last break up Hestia had gone through, all down to the subject of cheating, she didn't want to be responsible for another failed relationship for Hestia.
'Yes I do.' Hestia maintained, not listening to Lily's objections. 'You'd do the same thing for me if I were in your position.'
'No it's fine.' Hestia said shortly as if the point wasn't worth arguing anymore, 'You're more important to me Lily. It's not like I'm in love with him or anything. I can cope.'
There was a tense silence in the room where nobody dared argue with Hestia any further. Remus puffed a sigh and looked up to the ceiling. Peter copied him. Alice admired her nails. Lily leant into James and James ran a hand through his hair. Sirius stood up and walked over to the group finally, standing next to Peter. He looked around the group and smirked, ready to break the silence.
'If you want Jones,' he began, clapping Peter on the shoulder, 'Peter's available for a rebound.'
Hestia looked at Peter who was a tiny bit shorter than her. She looked back to Sirius and said sarcastically, 'Gee. Thanks.'
'Well you could have me but I'm taken.' Sirius said big-headedly, running a hand down his smooth black locks.
'Again. Gee. Thanks.' Hestia said with a roll of her eyes. She didn't know which was worse. Sirius Black or Peter Pettigrew. She shook her head. 'See you later Lily.' she said to her best friend before turning to Alice, 'Coming Alice?'
'Yeah.' Alice said, turning and walking to the door to the changing room with Hestia calling, 'See you Lily.' over her shoulder.
'Bye.' she said to her friends as they walked out of the room. When the door was shut behind them she turned to look at James and asked him, 'What are we going to do now?'
Remus had an answer. 'I think Prongs and Padfoot need to change.' he said, pointing out the obvious fact that Sirius was still in his Quidditch robes and James was in a state of undress, his shirt still flapping open.
Lily looked at Remus with a derisive look. 'I meant about this mess.' she stated.
'Only thing we can do.' James said with a shrug, the attention of the other four people in the room immediately turning to him as he explained, 'Ignore it. We know it's not true and as long as we know it I don't care what others think.'
Lily nodded her head slowly before sighing and shaking her head with a roll of her eyes. 'This school has a sick fascination with our relationship.' she said.
'Well we are fascinating people.' James said arrogantly, high fiving Sirius with the hand that wasn't wrapped around Lily's waist.
Lily rolled her eyes again, but this time at James' ego. The ever present ego of James Potter. Typical really. She took her arm from around James' waist, signalling Peter and Remus to start moving towards the door as she said, 'Get changed. We'll be outside.'
She began to walk away, to follow Remus and Peter who were making their way out of the changing room when James grabbed her wrist and pulled her back to him, crashing his lips down onto hers and slipping his tongue inside her mouth quickly thanks to her gasp of shock from when he pulled her in. He threaded his hands into her hair over her cheeks. She kissed him back and ran her hand up his chest, winding it around his neck, her other hand tangling itself into his alluringly messy hair. They broke apart thanks to a wolf-whistle coming from next to them. Simultaneously, they turned their heads to face Sirius who was standing to the side of them with his arms folded and bobbing eyebrows. Their hands stayed rested where they had been during their kiss.
'Imagining me Evans?' Sirius said, flashing a cheeky grin to Lily who just raised her eyebrows at him.
'Good god no.' she shook her head, 'Sorry Sirius but he's a better snog than you.'
'Ha!' James laughed once to Sirius before turning Lily's head back towards him with a finger under her chin. 'We're gonna laugh about this one day.' he told her with a sure nod.
'Yeah?' Lily said, not believing him.
James nodded and smirked at her, bringing his lips softly down to capture hers and kissing her gently once with a lingering kiss before pulling away.
Lily looked into his eyes. 'Today is not the day.' she said.
Thanks for Reading!
Update on 12th July