Five Minutes

Chapter 68

Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.

Hello readers!

Heres Chapter Sixty-Eight

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Sixty-Eight

It took James a couple of weeks to stop being so angry. He apologised to Sirius for what he had said to him, knowing he had crossed a line when he had referred to Sirius as still being part of the Black family. He wasn't. Not at all. If he could change his last name then James was sure he would do it because he hated being associated with them. So James had apologised the only way he knew how; he brought Sirius a load of food which Sirius took gladly, accepting the apology straight away when he saw that there was pie. And 'apology pie' as James had dubbed it.

Things went back to normal and, in every aspect of James' life, things seemed to be going well, moving along smoothly with no interruptions. He had apologised to Sirius and they were fine. He stood by Remus during the full moon, dutifully making valid excuses to Lily as to why they couldn't do the patrol, careful to avoid telling her anything about Remus' 'furry little problem'. He even tried to teach Peter some of the Transfiguration skills that he, Sirius and Remus had been learning over the past couple of years, being extremely patient when he couldn't do it and not sharing his opinions when he secretly thought that it was a good job he didn't take Transfiguration for he was useless at it. Lastly, his relationship was blossoming well. For all intents and purposes, he appeared to be the perfect boyfriend and, if people weren't jealous of Lily beforehand, they were when they saw how he was with her.

He took her for walks around the grounds in the evening with his arm around her, carried her bag when she over filled it with books and it became too heavy, walked her to classes, waited for her after her Ancient Runes class and stole sweet, passionate kisses from her in the hallways. When she went to study, he allowed and respected her space, never pestering her if she didn't want him there but, if she had been revising for an overlong amount of time he would take her some of her favourite sweets, (exploding strawberry bon bons), and a drink to make sure she kept her sugar levels up. The little things he did for her though wasn't why more people were jealous of Lily than before. No, it was the way he looked at her that they envied. Every girl wanted to be looked at like that by someone but James seemed to be the only one who could dish out these looks. He looked at her as if she was the only person in the world that mattered. There was such adoration and devotion in his eyes that every girl in the school would be sure to melt if he looked at them like that. Lily however, the girl who was going out with him, the girl who these looks were solely reserved for, didn't seem to notice or melt at his ardent gaze. Or if she did, she didn't let on.

So James Potter appeared to be the perfect boyfriend to everyone but he thought himself anything but. Ever since his house elf died, he had been feeling guilty. At first it started out as guilt over the fact that he couldn't cry at her death but then it stemmed out onto other things. Mostly the secrets he was keeping from Lily. Because he had never told her about Linda, he then started to think of all the other things he hadn't told her, which he had no intention of telling her even though the guilt it caused him was sometimes unbearable. Especially when she smiled at him, thinking that they shared practically everything with each other. He knew that she had shared more of herself with him than even Hestia, her best friend, and that just made it worse. Lily had told him her secrets yet he had told her hardly anything.

He hadn't told her where he had lived before the Christmas holidays and he hadn't told her about Linda until it was too late to meet her. These were now out in the open but his other secrets weren't. He hadn't told his mum about her. He hadn't told her he had met his mum in Hogsmeade when he received new of Linda's death, (though he suspected that Sirius had told her that). He hadn't told her why he needed to avoid having certain patrol dates, lying about the reason behind them all the time. He hadn't told her that Remus was a werewolf and so, by extension, he hadn't told her he was an Animagus. He hadn't told her that he had broken the law, that by all definition of the word, he was now a criminal. He would never tell her that and it killed him inside to think that she would never know a side of him that he was so proud of; the part of him that would do anything to help out a friend, no matter the cost. She would only ever know the side of him that used to bully her best friend, who she believed had changed for her. But now, that wasn't true, because, also since Linda's death, James had taken to cursing Severus again.

He hadn't planned on starting to, (what Lily's dad would say), bully him again, but Severus really didn't make it easy for James to walk away. He had followed him around for a few days after Linda's death, taunting him with the fact that he had almost kissed his girlfriend and she didn't pull away. At first, when James cursed him, it was just a reaction to what he was saying but, after a few days, Severus didn't have to say anything at all. All he had to do was be in the general vicinity of James when no one else was around and James would curse or hex him. He did it straight away so that Severus didn't have the chance to defend himself or, as James suspected he would do given the chance, throw the curse he had made up at him, (Sectumsempra).

He had already thrown it at James three times over the past year; twice at Christmas when James managed to dodge it and once the previous school year when he hadn't been that lucky. It had hit him that time and it was the most physically painful thing James had had to withstand, and that included the injuries he had received after the Hogsmeade attacks. James justified his hexing of Snape by viewing it as a kind of pay-back for the whole of sixth year when he did nothing to defend himself every time Severus cursed him, (not just with his own spell), but, unlike in previous years when he had hexed, cursed and basically just tortured Snape, James felt guilty. Because once again, this was something he hadn't told Lily and he knew she wouldn't like it.

He hadn't told anyone actually. Of course Sirius, Remus and Peter knew about the menial hexes, tricks and curses that Severus had thrown at James the previous year and they also knew that James had done nothing to stop Severus cursing him because, at the time, he had been trying his hardest to get into Lily's good books and become friends with her. But they didn't know that James had started to hex Severus this year. They didn't know that Severus had used his own spell on him and had made his arm bleed furiously. No, they didn't know that. All they knew about that was that James had appeared with the sleeve of his usually clean and crisp white school shirt stained to high heaven in blood. They had asked what had happened but James refused to tell them, denying that there was even blood on his shirt in the first place. They had been kept in the dark about that for a year, yet another thing he was feeling guilty about and yet, another thing he didn't fancy sharing. He didn't know how they'd react to him keeping such things from them when their whole friendship was supposed based on loyalty and trust. He didn't want to find out what they'd do.

He pushed his guilt down though and just tried to act normally. He was very good at it. No one would have thought anything was wrong. He was still himself, looking at Lily in that devoted way, dropping sweets off for her in the library, walking around with his friends as if he owned the halls and just, sometimes, being a child. Like right now. He, along with Sirius, Remus and Peter, was walking through the halls of the castle with their school ties tied around their heads, playing an odd word game of all things.

'Fart goblin.' Remus said after a moment's thought.

'Gassy hippogriff.' Peter put in in a small squeak.

'Humping imps.' Sirius announced boldly.

'Humping imps?' James asked with a laugh as the four boys turned a corner on their way to the common room.

'Yes.' Sirius nodded, 'How do you thing imp's come to be?'

Remus and James stopped, Peter almost crashing into the back of them, and looked at Sirius in a slightly curious way.

'I swear if someone took a trip into your mind they'd be scared for life.' Remus said simply.

'I second that.' James agreed, 'Your mind is a weird, weird place.'

'Your go Pete.' Remus said, as they started to walk again on their way to Gryffindor tower.

'Insane giant squid.' Peter said, more certain this time than he had been before, finally getting the game that they were playing and becoming more confident in it. But his confidence was short lived thanks to his lack of knowledge of things to do with the alphabet.

'Giant begins with a G not a J.' Remus corrected him, unintentionally breaking his self-assurance.

'Oh…' Peter said, deflated.

'You're so smart Moony.' Sirius said batting his eyelashes sarcastically at Remus who just rolled his eyes.

'You're the master of spelling!' James joined in, adding a sigh to Remus' roll of the eye.

'All hail moony! Master of spelling!' Sirius shouted suddenly, throwing his fist into the air whilst James started to mockingly bow repeatedly as they carried on walking down the corridor.

'Jumping kelpie.' Remus said assertively to change the subject.

'Jumping kelpie?' Sirius asked as the four boys turned a corner, heading towards one of their secret passageways that was a short cut to the common room, 'That's tame Moony.'

'Better than half the stuff you come out with.' Remus said with a chuckle, stuffing his hands into his pockets as they neared the too small door which only Peter was really small enough to fit through.

'Too true.' James laughed.

'Like when you tried to convince me that Prongs was being told what to do by evil wombats.' Remus remembered.

'Evil wombats?' Peter questioned curiously.

'They're telling Prongs what to do.' Sirius stated as if he hadn't spoken truer words before in his lifetime.

'No they're not.' Remus said with exasperation, wishing he'd never foolishly brought this up already.

'Can't be too careful.' Sirius breathed with a suspicious sideways look at James who simply smiled.

Peter looked up between Sirius and James with a muddled look. From their expressions, he couldn't tell if this was a joke or not. Sure Remus had said it wasn't true but James and Sirius were very convincing. Peter couldn't help but ask, 'Are you being told what to do by evil wombats Prongs?'

'I'm not at liberty to say.' James said seriously to Peter raising his eyebrows once.

Remus shook his head at Peter's gormless expression and opened the door which would lead them into a large spacious passage and then, in turn, to a steep staircase that would lead them the seventh floor and the Gryffindor common room. James walked through the door followed by Sirius, ducking their heads down for it was quite low. Remus followed them through. From behind them, they heard the door they had just walked through open and close again. James and Sirius looked at each other confusedly before remembering the fourth marauder with them and started absentmindedly looking around for Peter. But he was stood next to Remus who had walked through the door after Sirius had. The four boys frowned at each other, Sirius counting them just to make sure that they were all there. When he finished counting, he turned around and saw who had followed them through the door.

He sighed with irritated exhaustion. 'Are you following us?' he asked Severus Snape harshly.

James sighed too, the need to hex Severus rising up as he stood in the same space as him. He tried to push it down but was unable to hold a comment in and said, glaring at Severus, 'He's been stalking me.'

Remus and Sirius grimaced, both wondering why this was the first they were hearing about this. Still, it didn't stop Sirius stating, 'That's creepy. You should file a complaint.'

But James, who was tired of hiding things and feeling guilty all the time, who couldn't help himself any longer for it was like an unhealthy addiction, simple sighed and said, 'Why should I file a complaint when I could just…' and then waved his wand, sending out a hex which hit Severus' arm, making it erupt in bleeding and pus filled boils.

James looked at the damage he had done, guilt settling in again, waiting and expecting Severus to try and throw something back like he usually did, but he didn't. He simply looked down at his arm and gave an evil smirk to himself before walking away, back through the door.

'Prongs.' Remus said, having to use his disappointed tone of voice, the one which he hadn't had to use in a while for James.

'What?' James shrugged, already regretting what he had said and the hex he had thrown. 'He provokes me.' James said in way of explanation, giving no further details as to why or how Severus provoked him.

'Provokes me too.' Sirius added, with what was obviously meant to be a cool nod of his head.

'How?' Remus asked exhaustedly.

'By following us.' Sirius replied simply as if the answer was clear to see.

Remus shook his head, disappointment in his eyes which always made Sirius and James feel bad for what they had done to Severus in the past. Remus didn't know if it still worked but it was worth a try. He turned his attention to James. 'How does he provoke you?' he softly demanded, 'I can't remember the last time you two duelled.'

'Just now.' James said cheekily, hoping that Remus would drop the subject, rolling his eyes in exasperation and walking away unhappily as he had done so many times in the past; disappointed at James for bullying someone and disappointed at himself for not being able to stop him. James wished and prayed that this would happen now for he had already started to feel guilty, an inescapable feeling within him these days. He knew the reason why but he daren't bring anything up with anyone. He figured there were two ways to ease his guilt; stop cursing Severus and tell Lily and his friends everything that had gone on, Severus throwing his own spell at him and what not. Or, just tell Lily everything. Everything he hadn't told her because that was where the main seat of his guilt slept. The secrets he was keeping from her killed him. He wanted her to know everything about him. He had never felt this way before. He knew. But he couldn't do either of these things because the drama that it would create and the drama that would follow just wasn't worth it. So he hoped Remus would just walk away. But he didn't.

'That wasn't a duel.' Remus pressed on, 'I meant the last time he threw a curse at you.'

'Dunno.' James lied. But he did. He knew the last curse Severus had thrown at him. The last successful curse he had thrown at him burned into the back of his mind. Or his arm. Again, not something James wanted to tell anyone. So he just said, 'Whatever.' with a shrug of his shoulders before covering his bases and saying, 'Just don't tell Lily.'

He didn't want Lily to know.

Lily was in the library studying and sucking on a strawberry exploding bon bon from the bag of sweets that James had dropped off for her. When she thought of this, she couldn't help but smile. When she tasted those sweets, she found her mind wondering and wishing she could be tasting him instead. Tasting him and smelling him and just being with him. But she had to study and he was a distraction. A much wanted distraction but a distraction nonetheless. And when N.E.W.T's were creeping up on her and her entire future career rested on how well she did in those tests, she couldn't afford to be distracted by him. So when she felt someone sit down next to her, she focused on her books and very calmly tried to tell him to stop distracting her.

'James you're gonna have to stop this.' she said, forcing down a smile as she thought of his smirking face as she tried to concentrate, 'You distract me, you know that. Distract me later. We can-'

'Not Potter.' came snide words from next to her.

Lily's hidden smile disappeared. She was glad she didn't finish that sentence. She didn't look up. Instead, she gave an irked sigh and continued to study, bitterly asking, 'What do you want Snape?'

'I just want to sit here.' Severus said. He sounded strangely happy. But his happiness didn't sound pure.

Lily sighed again, blowing the deep red hair out of her face. 'Fine.' she resolved, packing up her books, ready to move for she knew how James had felt last time this had happened. She didn't want him to feel like that again. His happiness was more important to her than her stubbornness to stay in a spot just because she was there first. She stood up and shoved her books in her bag. 'You sit there then.' she said to Severus, barely glancing up at him. 'I'm gonna go study somewhere…else.' Her brief glimpse at him stopped her in her tracks as something caught her eye and curiosity caught her mind. 'What happened to your arm?' she asked.

Severus' arm was red raw. The sleeve on his robe was bunched up near his elbow, allowing his injuries full display to the public eye. It was covered in lumps and bumps, all delightful shades of sparkling red and creamy yellow. He looked down at it and then back up to Lily with a glimmer of a smile in his black eyes. 'You noticed.' he said.

'It's pretty hard not to.' Lily pointed out, grimacing at the unsightly wound, 'It's bleeding. And it's got puss leaking out of it. What did you do?'

'I didn't do anything.' Severus said, standing up, standing close to her. His hooked nose was barely a foot away from hers. His looked deep into her emerald green eyes, soaking in their purity as he conveyed his message and said, 'Someone else did.'

'Don't.' Lily swallowed, taking a step back and shaking her head slightly.

'He did.' Severus said, truth oozing out of his words. He stepped forwards towards her.

Lily took two steps back. 'He wouldn't.' she denied with a small dubious laugh, not believing that Severus would stoop to this just because he didn't like James. 'He stopped this last year.' Lily said adamantly. She knew James had stopped this the year before. It was one of the reasons why she had given him a chance. If he had cursed Severus now…no. He couldn't have cursed Severus now. Not when she felt herself falling. Not when she knew where things with him were heading. James wouldn't jeopardise that. Would he?

'He's not changed as much as you think he has.' Severus stated, a hard expression creeping into his face as he saw the hurt in Lily's eyes over James Potter, 'He hasn't changed at all. He's still the arrogant git who you used to call-'

'Well I don't now!' Lily hissed at him angrily. How dare he try to remind her what she used to think of James. She knew perfectly well what she used to think of him. And she knew what she thought of him now. And she knew what she could be thinking of him soon. She shook her head again in denial. 'He didn't do that.' she stated, trying to sound sure of what she was saying, but doubt was now creeping into her mind. Perhaps she was just trying to find an excuse, an excuse because she was scared of how serious thing had been getting. Still, doubt presented itself.

'Check his wand.' Severus suggested, 'You'll see what the last spell he cast was.'

'I don't need to check his wand.' Lily said, swinging her bag over her shoulder, ready to leave, 'I'll just ask him.'

'And if he says he didn't do it?' Severus asked as she started to walk away.

'Then he didn't do it.' Lily said over her shoulder.

'You'd believe him over me?' Severus called after her, demanding the answer angrily for he couldn't believe it. James Potter was a proven liar and a bully and just an alright arrogant pain in the backside, whereas Severus, in his own view, wasn't.

Lily stopped and turned around to face Severus one last time. 'Any day.' she said truthfully, before walking away from him and out of the library.

'James, can I talk to you?' Lily said as she barged into the common room, walking straight over to where James was sat with his friends in their usual spot around the fireplace.

'Sure.' James said, oblivious to what was about to happen.

'In private?' Lily added.

James looked into Lily's eyes and became unsettled instantly. The expression she wore was all too similar to the one she used to wear when she used to berate him and tell him off for bullying someone. When she used to hate him. He glanced around at Sirius, Remus and Peter. They saw it too. James looked nervously back at Lily, wondering what on earth she had found out. It could be anything. After all, he had a stock pile of secrets and guilt that she could draw from. She could have found anything.

He took a deep breath. 'Ok.' he said, but was too scared to move.

'Now!' Lily said sternly, not waiting for him any longer and turning around to walk out of the common room, expecting James to follow.

James took one last look at his friends before standing up and following Lily out of the room. Remus and Sirius looked at each other as James left, the guilty expression in his eyes keying them into the fact that something was about to happen. Lily had found something out, something which James didn't want her to know. They only knew of one thing; Remus' 'furry little problem'. They immediately followed James out of the room.

Lily walked into a spare classroom trying to calm herself down. Severus had probably been lying. He would probably do anything to break her and James up, she knew how much he hated James. But there was still that little seed of doubt in her mind and unless she asked James for the truth, that seed would grow and grow until her relationship with him was destroyed. She didn't want that to happen, especially not now.

She heard the door close behind her and turned around to see James, as expected. He was stood in front of the door, as if ready to open it again, but his hands were in his pockets. Lily looked up into his eyes, an unmistakable trace of cautiousness and guilt there as he asked her, 'What's up?'

Lily took a deep breath. She could be imagining the look of guilt. It meant nothing and unless she heard true admittance from him, than this was just Severus trying to play games with her. She didn't know why she was listening to him in the first place, they weren't friends anymore. But she had listened to him and she needed to know.

'Just listen to me first ok?' she said.

'Ok…' James replied, his heart starting to beat faster as suspicions and suggestions of what she could say next crept into his mind.

'Snape came to sit next to me in the library again but before you ask he didn't try anything like last time.' Lily began, making things clear right from the get go, 'Anyway, I tried to move but I saw something on his arm and it was bleeding and leaking puss and, well I was curious so I asked what he'd done. And he said that you did it to him. He told me that as much as I wanted to believe it you've not changed at all. He told me that you still hex him and that you hexed him earlier today. But if you tell me that it wasn't you then I'll drop it. I'll believe you James. Did you hex him?'

She looked at him, wishing to see confusion in his eyes, wishing him to ask her why she would believe such crazy things when she knew who he was now, knew how he'd changed. She looked at him, praying and hoping because not seeing these things would hurt her more than physical pain. She didn't see any of these things It broke her heart so much it felt as if someone had literally taken a knife to her. She didn't know why. When James said nothing, a rip tore through her soul.

'James?' she prompted, giving him another chance, wanting him to speak and tell her it wasn't true. But he didn't.

'What do you want me to tell you Lils?' James said, 'I'm not gonna lie to you.'

Because James was tired of lying to her. Granted he would never have chosen to tell her this but now that it was out in the open, he saw no reason to continue hiding it, lying to her. He hated lying to her. She had put so much trust in him and he had repaid her poorly. Letting her know the truth about this, although it caused their first argument, was his first step into being completely open and honest with her like he so desperately wanted to be.

Lily wasn't happy. She hadn't wanted to believe what Severus had told her and yet, James wasn't denying it. 'So you…God James how can you still be pulling this kind of crap?' she asked him and angry astonishment.

'He deserved it.' James said simply.

'No one deserves to be hexed James!' Lily told him, her voice rising in volume.

'Snape did!' James said, fully believing it, 'The git had it coming.'

'The git had it coming?' Lily laughed in disbelief, 'For goodness sakes James can you hear yourself right now?'

'Yes.' James replied.

'I thought you had stopped this!' Lily said, becoming madder by the minute. She couldn't believe she'd been so foolish to believe that he had changed. She could have sworn he had. She thought that all of this had stopped at the beginning of their sixth year. He had had her fooled for over a year and a half now. But through all of this, she couldn't believe that her opinion of him could change so quickly because of one thing. And she couldn't believe how much it hurt her. Most of all, she couldn't believe that, even though she hated that he had started to do this again and all she wanted to say was that she couldn't be with him when he pulled this sort of thing, she couldn't. She couldn't walk away from him, from this, and so they were stuck in an argument.

'Well I took it up again.' James told her, a sarcastic note in his voice.

'Don't try to be a smart arse!' Lily said instructionally.

'I am smart Lily!' James replied, matter-of-factly and arrogantly, 'I'm smarter than you!'

Lily was speechless at that comment. He was calling her dumb? She wasn't dumb. She was just as smart as he was, even if she had had to work at it. Not everyone could skate through life, not picking up a book to study from in their life and still pass all their exams with flying colours. Some had to work at it because they cared more. But that didn't mean she was any less smart than he was.

James looked at her face and he knew he had overstepped. He had crossed a line. They were arguing about Snape and how James was cursing him. He shouldn't have said his last comment and the hurt look on Lily's face made James die inside.

'Sorry.' he apologised.

'I should bloody well hope you are.' Lily stated, trying to regain some of her composure.

'But not about Snape.' James added to make sure they were on the same page. Yes he felt guilty that he had been cursing Snape, but that was only because he knew Lily wouldn't like it and he hadn't told her about it. It wasn't because he thought he didn't deserve it, because after all that Snape had done to him the previous year James definitely thought he did. The menial hexes and the curses and tricks; changing his drink to ink, freezing his drink in his throat so he almost choked, stealing his things, breaking his bag, tripping him up and throwing his own curse at him. James was now getting payback for all of these things that Severus had done to him. He deserved it. Especially after what he kept saying about him and Lily in the library.

James' comment made Lily angrier than she had been before, the temper of a red-headed stubborn girl shining through. The pair began to shout at each other, their first argument reaching full scale. It could probably be heard from outside of the classroom they were in.

'Why not?' Lily demanded.

'Because anything I did wasn't without provocation!' James shot back.

'I don't care!' Lily shouted, 'I don't care at all! You're head boy and you don't just go around hexing people!'

'I'm not hexing people I'm hexing Snape. And only because he hexed me first!' James explained in a loud voice.

'Do you realise how childish you sound right now?' Lily put to him with raised eyebrows and a derisive laugh in her voice.

'I'm not being childish I'm telling you the truth and that's what you wanted.' James said, 'He hexed me first. It was just self-defence.'

'We're at Hogwarts! You don't need self-defence!' Lily yelled.

'All right fine so it was pay-back.' James yelled back, conceding to the point.

'You don't need to pay him back for anything, just be the bigger person!' Lily said, 'Let him get on with it! Walk away!'

'So you'd rather I just take it all lying down? You'd rather I go back to last year when I practically let him get away with murder?' James shouted at her in the heat of the moment. Then he realised what he said.

'What?' Lily asked with a frown, her voice dropping back to a normal volume. 'What do you mean?'

James avoided looking into her startling emerald green eyes, knowing that if he did, he would see that dangerous look, the one that made him tell her anything she wanted to hear. The look that made him literally want to rip his heart out and give it to her, now more than ever because he knew. Now was not the time to tell her though.

'Nothing.' he said, thinking he had effectively ended the argument. 'Forget it.' he continued, 'I won't hex him anymore.'

He turned around and put his hand on the door handle wanting to leave the room before he was forced to tell her all about this situation, the whole truth which would upset her. The whole truth which he had concealed away from her. He was about to open the door when a small hand grabbed his arm. Lily had walked forwards to stop him leaving.

'James! What do you mean?'she said as she turned him to face her, her hand still on his arm. She wanted an explanation. Perhaps there was more to the story than James hexing Severus as he used to do. Perhaps there was something that Severus hadn't told her. Her hope was reignited as she desperately wanted this to be the case

James looked down at her hand on his arm. His skin burnt at the touch of her and he focused on the beat of his heart speeding up and fighting the urge to touch her. He still didn't look her in the eye. 'Nothing.' he repeated.

'You can't say something like that and not explain it!' Lily said angrily.

'Well guess what? I am.' James replied, taking his arm out of Lily's grip and turning back towards the door to try and leave again.

'James if you leave this room without telling me what you mean I'll-'

'You'll what?' James said daringly turning back around. He looked into her eyes.

Lily's face softened at his eyes one hers. 'James. You have to tell me.' she said.

And James was gone. He had looked into her eyes. Tug. Snap. He was hers. Those eyes, that look, he couldn't deny her it. She had the right to know, he knew that. But he hadn't wanted to tell her even so. Now he had no choice. He would tell her anything now. She just needed to ask. And that was a dangerous situation to be in with the secrets he was keeping.

'Ok.' he said.

'Well?' Lily asked delicately.

'I'm getting to it!' James snapped before cursing himself internally and closing his eyes. He walked over to a chair and sat down, averting his gaze from Lily whilst he told her what she wanted to know. He didn't want to see the look in her eyes. He didn't think he could handle whatever expression she wore. He would lose himself to her, even more than he had already. He took a deep breath and began to tell her. Everything.

He told her how he had stopped cursing Severus so that they could become friends because it was the only thing he could think of to do. The only thing he could do to get her to give him a chance. He told her that even though he had stopped cursing Severus, Severus had never stopped cursing him. He told her of the menial things Severus had done and how he wouldn't retaliate and how he hadn't even let Sirius retaliate for him. How he had tried he hardest to not rise to the challenge. How he had taken it all lying down. He was fine telling her all this, no breaks in his voice. It was just informative. He glanced up at her once before he moved onto the worst thing Severus had done to him. This was what he was most nervous about and if he had the willpower to stop himself he would have done. But Lily had him under her control and he carried on. He had to look away from her again though to do so.

'Then the last thing he was successful in doing which I didn't fight back at was that day me, Sirius and them made an invisible wall in the corridor.' he said with a sigh, 'I thought you just wanted to be friends and I told you I was fine with that but, well we both know I wasn't so I went to 'sulk' as you'd call it, on the Quidditch pitch. Don't know how he found me the stalker but he was asking what I'd done to upset you and I didn't know what he was on about and he got all worked up and Sox was there and he threw that curse he used on Avery in Potions out and it hit my arm and it hurt like hell and there was blood everywhere but still, I didn't fight back. So over Christmas when he threw it at me again I couldn't just take it all lying down anymore so I cursed him and-Lily?'

James had glanced up and she had gone. The door was open. He was suddenly alert. He stood up and walked out of the door saying 'Lily?', hoping she would just be out the door. She wasn't. Remus, Sirius and Peter were waiting there though.

Peter was sat on the floor crossed legged, Sirius was leaning against the wall next to the door frame and Remus was stood opposite him.

He looked around them, too involved in finding where Lily had gone to bother about why they were there and whether or not they had heard his first argument with her. He had seen nothing he had said that would make her be mad at him.

'Which way did she go?' he asked them.

Simultaneously, the three boys stood themselves up properly and pointed in the direction that Lily had stormed away in. They all looked rather anxious. They had heard snippets of James and Lily's argument but they had no idea what was really going on. They only had one question; did Lily know about Remus' 'furry little problem'.

But James ignored their nervous faces, looking in the direction they had pointed. To the right. Lily had gone to the right in the direction of the library, the library where she had spoken to Severus Snape. Snape.

'Ah crap!' James cursed in realisation. He darted off after her.

'Wait!' Sirius shouted after him, 'Prongs! What's going on? Wait up!'

He got no answer. James ignored him, too intent on following his girlfriend. So Sirius, Remus and Peter had no choice. They followed them too. They needed to know what was going on. And they would find out soon.

Thanks for reading and once again, a huge happy birthday to Lily153! Hope you have a good day! :)


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