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The Shadow by IloveNeville
Chapter 5: A Weekend at Potter Manor
Over the next few weeks, Jane became closer to the Marauders, as they treated her like one of the boys. She regularly had ideas for terrorizing the Slytherins, and James began to look forward to hearing each arising plot. Jane always invited Lily along in the hope that she’d see the decent side of James, but she was unsurprised to find that the girl would passionately decline every time.
She tried hard to help James win Lily over. But whenever the latter would enter the room, James’ hand would automatically fly to his hair. A habit Jane knew her best friend hated. “Messing up his hair because he thinks it looks cool to look like he’s just got off his broomstick. What a prat.”
Jane looked forward to her occasional Quidditch games with the Marauders. She found it a refreshing change to be up in the skies of Hogwarts, which up until recently she had avoided due to the judgements of Paloma Stoles and her friend Grace Brown. Grace, who Jane had always had a polite relationship with, was a pretty Ravenclaw girl, with honey blonde hair. She had a distinct habit of using her hands to excess whenever she spoke.
Jane regularly caught herself eagerly watching Sirius Black zoom around on his Nimbus 1001. How she wanted to be riding that broom herself. A feeling of envy swept across her as she watched him speed across the pitch and throw the Quaffle into one of the three hoops. He threw his arms up in triumph and his sleeve fell, exposing the muscular forearm beneath. Jane tore her eyes from the scene in front of her and looked down to the grounds where she saw a crowd of girls watching the game eagerly, they giggled loudly as Sirius Black gave them a wave and Jane felt another flash of envy.
Sirius enjoyed the new addition to the group. He found it refreshing to have a girl around who did not cling on to him like a leech. But at the same time, part of him wished she clung more. Sirius would watch Jane while playing Quidditch with his friends. She was really quite good at it; he wondered why she hadn’t signed up for the house team in all these six years. He would watch her zoom up and down the pitch, her long golden ponytail waving in the wind. Sirius had admitted to himself that he felt something for this girl, something he hadn’t felt before. He felt strangely nervous whenever she was around, a combination of excitement and fear.
One day the Marauders sat at the very back of the library with Jane, right beside a large garland of holly and mistletoe hung against the wall. Jane was playing with small hole in the sleeve of her robes. She had felt bad about spending more time with the Marauders, as it limited the time that she could spend with Lily.
“Don’t worry Jane. Lily said that she was fine with you hanging around with us this afternoon, right?” Said Remus, over the top of his book.
“I guess. But I still feel bad,” Jane sighed.
“You’re one of us now. You’re an honorary Marauder,” said James with a grin.
“Oh wow, what a privilege.” Jane laughed.
“Hey look Padfoot,” James whispered. “Willow Harington is watching you again.” Sirius, Peter and Jane followed James’ eyes to the opposite side of the library where there stood a girl with long black hair tied back in a plait. She was indeed looking in their direction.
"Yeah you two got together that night last year, didn’t you?” Said Peter’s squeaky voice. Jane looked over at Sirius’ face; he was looking at her as if waiting for her to say something. She said nothing and looked down at her hands. Sirius sat watching the top of her head as she determinedly started tracing her finger along the table. He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want Jane of all people to think he was like that. She’d want nothing to do with him. James seemed to sense the tension in the group, as he looked between Sirius and Jane.
“So Sirius and I have decided that everyone has to come to my house these holidays, okay? That includes you Glossin.” Jane looked up.
“Oh yeah, of course. Lily’s staying at my house for a few nights but after that I’ll definitely come.” Jane smiled to James, avoiding Sirius’ watchful eyes.
“Invite her,” said James, a little too enthusiastically.
“Well I could try James, but your chances aren’t good.”
“As much as I enjoy the company of men, I have other plans," squeaked Peter.
“Well I guess we’ll see you after the holidays then,’ said Sirius, giving Peter a menacing stare for letting slip about his rendezvous with Harington.
James and Sirius stood in the kitchen of Potter Manor, preparing the Christmas turkey.
“So, you and Glossin ey?” Said James with a grin.
“What do you mean?” Sirius replied, a little too quickly.
“Oh come on Padfoot. I’m your best mate. Don’t you think I can tell by now when you fancy a girl?” Sirius looked at his friend and decided that the truth was the best option.
“Fine, I like her okay. She’s brilliant. But it’s so weird, she actually makes me nervous. You know, sweaty palms and everything. No one’s ever done that before.”
“Blimey, I didn’t know you liked her that much,” James said, sitting the bowl of stuffing down. “What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know,” said Sirius, biting his lip.
“You should tell her mate. I have seen how she looks at you; she probably feels the same way. You are a handsome devil, after all.” He winked.
“Ha, thanks Prongs.” Sirius sighed.
“Tell her mate. My dad always says that we should tell people every day just how much they mean to us.”
“Yeah maybe,” Sirius mumbled, turning back to the turkey, as the fear returned once again.
Lily sat in the Glossin family kitchen, reading the Daily Prophet. Her friend was making pancakes for breakfast.
“Jane, tell me honestly. Do you have a thing for Sirius Black?” Jane turned around slowly and looked at her friend. Lily had a look of knowing on her face. She turned back to the pancakes and tried to act subtle.
“Why do you think that?” She was thankful that Lily could not see her face, which had turned scarlet in colour. She began placing the pancakes on two plates.
“That means yes! If you didn’t like him, you would have just said no,” Lily laughed, pushing the Daily Prophet aside.
“Okay, I do.” Jane sighed. “Is it really that obvious?” She asked, turning around and carrying the plates to the table, worry on her face. Lily just looked up at her and smirked. "Do you think he knows?" Jane asked, concernedly.
“Maybe. But I wouldn't give him that much credit. He's kind of a moron,” she replied, pouring syrup on to her pancakes. Jane gave her a desperate look. “Don't listen to me,” Lily added. “It's just that I don't like change. You know I have major control issues.”
“Yeah, I know.” Jane poured syrup on to her own pancakes.
“I may not understand it, but I respect it. If you like Black, he can't be all that bad.”
“You know who else is a nice guy? James.” Jane smirked.
“Well now I know you're barking mad.”
Jane arrived at Potter Manor at around midday. As she walked up the drive, she saw a large shaggy black dog standing in the front yard. There was a certain familiarity about this dog. It's eyes gave the impression that it was amused, almost human-like. Jane put this out of her mind and continued up the drive, concerned about the coming weekend. She wasn't sure how she felt about her situation with Sirius. She was certain that she had strong feelings for the boy, but every so often she would remind herself of what she would be dragging him into. When she looked up again, the dog had disappeared and James and Sirius stood in its place.
“Hey Glossin, how have your holidays been?” James asked, taking Jane's bag.
“Yeah, good thanks. Lily’s been over for the past week, she just left this morning.” James was opening his mouth to speak when Jane cut him off. “I did ask her to come, I did. But she said no.”
“Damn. Oh well, I’ll show you to your room.”
“Is Remus here yet?” Jane asked as she followed James into the house.
“No, not yet. He’s been a bit sick for the past couple of days. He’ll be here tomorrow night.”
“That boy gets sick an awful lot, doesn’t he?” Jane said more to herself than to James.
“Yeah…he does," James muttered. "Anyway, follow me.” He showed Jane to her room and gave her a tour around the house. After a few minutes, she realized that Sirius had disappeared. Just as she was about to ask where he had gone, James spoke. "My mum was so excited when I told her you were coming," gesturing her back down the stairs.
Jane sat at the dinner table with James, Sirius and the two adult Potters, who were very interested to talk about Jane.
“So Jane dear, do you have a boyfriend?” Dorea Potter asked. Sirius looked up at her.
“Dear, don’t embarrass the poor girl."
“She’s not embarrassed, Charlus. Are you embarrassed Jane?” Mrs. Potter looked at her happily, causing Jane to let out a small nervous laugh. She was, in fact, embarassed.
“No, I don’t have a boyfriend.” she smiled.
“Why is that?” Dorea continued.
“Mum, I’m sure Jane doesn’t want to talk about this with you over dinner.” James cut in. But Mrs. Potter’s eyes remained on Jane.
“I guess-” Jane began. “-I just haven’t found the right person.” She smiled kindly again. Mrs. Potter returned the smile, her eyes briefly flicking to Sirius before resting on her plate as everyone returned to their dinner. After a few moments Jane could still feel a set of eyes watching her, it was Sirius. His eyes pierced the side of her face but she didn’t look up, she wouldn’t look up.
“Jane,” Mr. Potter said, resting his fork on the table. "The trick is to forget everything you've been told about love. Forget all of it," he added throwing his hands in the air. "The trick is to find your best friend and marry them." And he clasped his wife's hand in his own. At this James and Sirius winked and waved at each other romantically across the table.
The conversation soon turned to the war, and Jane shifted around awkwardly in her seat, as Mr. Potter relayed the goings on in the Auror Office, and the information that they had gathered on Voldemort.
“He's recruiting giants and werewolves, which are making up huge number,” he said.
“We've been working on improving our relations with the Brotherhood of Goblins. They're not too happy with the Ministry at the moment; we're concerned that Voldemort might lure them in with promises of allowing them the same wand rights as wizards, which is rubbish,” he scoffed. “Voldemort would never give wand rights to the goblins. In his eyes, that's almost as bad as giving them to the Muggles. Just last week, Eamon Duvalier up in the Goblin Liaison Office was arrested on suspicion that he's in cahoots with Voldemort. It just goes to show there's no way of telling who's working for him and who isn't. Everything's in disarray and no-one is safe.” This made Jane even more unsettled. Mr. Potter was right; no-one was safe.
AN/ Hey everyone, thanks for reading! I hope you liked the chapter. This chapter was initially a lot longer, but I decided to cut it in half so as not to overload you with stuff. But the upside is that the next chapter should not be far away at all. Please leave me a review, telling me what you think. I appreciate them ever so much. And if you have any questions, feel free to drop by my Meet the Authors page on the forums, because I love them too!