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The Shadow by IloveNeville
Chapter 8: Valentine's Day Surprises
“Peter? Are you sure?”
“Positive.” Lily nodded.
Jane sat on her bed and looked down at the box of chocolates still sitting next to her, wondering what Peter had been thinking.
“Jane, they’ll be like that for a while,” Lily said, stepping over the two girls now lying motionless on the floor. “Fancy some breakfast?” She asked nonchalantly. Jane looked up before agreeing with her friend. They exited the dormitory, and made their way downstairs towards the Great Hall.
“Do you think we should have taken them to Slughorn?” Jane muttered.
“Not really,” Lily yawned. “I hate those girls. They’re always so perky.”
“This is why we are friends,” Jane smirked.
“So do you think Peter likes you?”
“I don’t know,” Jane sighed. “He doesn’t even speak to me normally.”
“He’s probably nervous.” Lily grinned.
“Don’t look at me like that. It’s not funny. Imagine what could have happened if he hadn’t bought dark chocolate. I would have eaten it and made a complete fool of myself.”
“I wouldn’t have let you get out of the dormitory. Don’t you know I’ve always got your back?” Jane laughed as they entered the Great Hall.
“Yes, I’m glad I have you to knock me out in case I ever get into strife.” She grinned, patting Lily’s back. They sat down at the Gryffindor table and Jane grabbed a piece of toast before shoving it in her mouth and promptly grabbing another.
“Merlin, Jane you eat like a boy.”
“Excuse me Lily, but I have not eaten for a very long time.”
“You ate dinner at the same time I did and I’m still eating like a girl.”
“Give me a break. You’re sounding like Paloma.”
“You take that back,” Lily said forcibly, pointing her cereal spoon at Jane as four Gryffindor boys walked in. They made their way over to the girls before Sirius sat down next to Jane and planted a kiss on her left cheek.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he said passing her a gift. As Jane took it from his hand she noticed that James was talking to Lily.
"What do you want, Potter?" Lily sighed.
"Yeah, it's good to see you too," he replied, ignoring her hostility. “So, today's Valentine's Day.”
"You don't say," she answered sarcastically.
"I was wondering if you wanted to go to Hogsmeade with me." Lily looked at him for several moments before speaking.
“No.” She stood up and walked from the room, leaving a small wrapped present sitting untouched on the table. Jane could feel Peter’s eyes on her but she ignored it and turned to James.
At this moment, Peter stood up and left the Great Hall, leaving Jane with the other three Marauders. She felt as if she should follow him to discuss the chocolates but decided that it wasn’t the time and turned back to James.
“Tough luck mate,” said Sirius.
“It’s alright," James said happily, catching everyone by surprise. "I have this philosophy, you see. It’s actually quite brilliant if I do say so myself." He smiled, clearing his throat. "Hate equals love. The more they act like they hate you, the more they really like you.”
“Unless they really do hate you,” Jane added. At which point, James bowed his head in a mock defeated manner.
"Glossin, why do you always have to rain on my parade?" he asked. Remus smirked from across the table.
“No James, I think you’re on to something,” she said, patting him on the back. “Lils isn’t like the other girls at Hogwarts. She’s a hard nut to crack.”
“I know she’s not like the other girls. That’s why I like her. Because every so often when she smiles, it just lights up my day.”
“It really does. If he sees her in the morning he’s on a high all day,” Sirius cut in.”
“Well that’s good. But James, the thing you need to know about Lily is that she is incredibly stubborn. You need to be sneaky and wait for her walls to come down. That’s when you strike!” she cried, clapping her hands together.
Later that day, Jane and Sirius walked down the Hogwarts Grounds to Hogsmeade along with the other Gryffindors. As they approached the Hogwarts gate, they saw Grace Brown leaning against a nearby tree. She was scowling at Jane. When Sirius saw this, he wrapped his arms around Jane’s waist and kissed her cheek. When he looked back up, Grace was disappearing into the crowd, anger evident in every step.
“So did you get any secret admirers today?” he teased, letting go of Jane’s waist. She looked up to see Sirius smirking, and wondered if he was implying that he was behind the chocolates.
“Oh that was you?” she asked. Sirius’ smirk faded.
“What?” he said, stopping on the spot. Jane thought fast.
“I was only joking,” she said quickly. “I haven’t had any secret admirers.” Jane didn’t want to tell Sirius about the chocolates, she didn’t want to cause any trouble between the Marauders.
Once in the village, the two spent most of their time in Honeydukes before making their way on to the new Quidditch store at the very edge of Hogsmeade.
“Hey, isn’t that the Shrieking Shack?” Jane asked, pointing to a rickety old house atop a hill.
“Yeah,” Sirius muttered. “Yeah, I think it is.”
“Let’s go see it,” Jane said happily, grabbing Sirius’ hand. He followed her, amused at her excitement. “Wow, it’s so cool,” she said as she reached the fence surrounding the large shack. “Do you think it’s really haunted?” she asked Sirius, who looked at her madly.
“Apparently it’s the ghost of an old woman that’s trapped inside the building, constantly in search of her children,” he said. “And she attacks every girl that comes within ten feet of the place,” he added eerily. “Hey, how about we go back to Quentin’s Quidditch Supplies. I really need a broom-kit.
“Okay.” Jane said walking backwards, though her eyes remained transfixed on the building in front of her.
Later, Sirius and Jane found themselves sitting in the Three Broomsticks. Jane was halfway through her Butterbeer when she overheard some Slytherins whispering at a nearby table. Sirius had apparently heard it too, because he peered around and saw his brother Regulus in the company of Evan Rosier and Rodulphus Lestrange. They were huddled, and speaking in very hushed voices
At this moment Regulus noticed Sirius listening.
“Mind your own business Black,” he sneered.
“Your name’s Black too, you prat.”
“Come on, we cannot have vermin like this listening to our conversation,” said Lestrange, rising from his seat. The other two followed suit and the Slytherins were gone.
Later that evening, as Jane entered the library to retrieve a book, Madam Pince gave her a scowl. Jane laughed as she recalled the story of how Madam Pince had bewitched the books to chase Sirius and Willow Harington from the library. As she made her way to the back of the room she understood why whenever someone would mention the library, Sirius would run in the opposite direction. She was scanning the books on the back shelf when she walked right into someone. Severus Snape was walking with his head down, deeply immersed in a thick black book.
“Oh sorry,” Jane said, passing by Snape, and taking herself by surprise. He seemed just as surprised as she was because moments later, he walked into a book shelf, causing a few books to drop and Madam Pince to glare over angrily. Jane saw him charming the books into place before quickly rushing from the library.
Ten minutes later, Jane had her book and was walking down a corridor back to Gryffindor tower when she heard a kind of sob. She looked around for several moments before she located the source of the sound. It was coming from the boy’s lavatory just to her left. Usually Jane would have steered clear of this room, but that cry sounded so miserable. It rang through her ears and sent her heart into sadness, as if she could feel the person's pain. After much self-debate, Jane opened the door a little bit and stuck her head through.
“Are you okay?” she called. The noise stopped and there was silence.
“I just want to make sure you’re okay,” she said.
“I’m fine, now go away.” Jane withdrew her head from the door and slowly began walking back to her common room. Hearing the sob again, she turned and walked all the way into the bathroom.
“Look, I’m not leaving until you stop you’re blubbering. Come out here and tell me what’s wrong.” Nothing happened for a few moments until the far cubicle door opened and Jane immediately regretted her decision, as a boy with shoulder-length greasy black hair walked out. It was like curtains over his pale white face; his hooked nose poking through.
“How dare you-” He looked up and saw Jane standing in front of him.
“You,” Jane muttered, feeling uncomfortable about being alone in the boy’s bathroom with Severus Snape. As much as she told herself to leave, something inside her made her stay. She didn’t like seeing other people in pain. Not even Severus Snape. “Now are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”
“You? Why would I tell you anything?” he said, crossing his arms across his chest. Jane walked across the floor towards where Snape stood.
“Because Snape, it seems I’m the only one willing to listen.” They stood there for what seemed like an eternity, staring each other down. “I’m not leaving,” Jane repeated defiantly. It had now become a battle of wills.
After much refusal, Snape gave in and told Jane all about his regret since the day that he lost Lily Evan’s friendship. It seemed that the tiny bit of kindness that Jane had shown him in the library reminded Severus of how kindly Lily had treated him when they were just children.
“I didn’t know, I’m so sorry. That… that you’ve had to experience all that pain.” Snape gave her a skeptical look. “No Severus, really. No-one should be without a best friend.” Jane felt terrible. She had, after all, played an instrumental role in the breakdown of Lily’s friendship with the boy.
“You called me Severus,” he choked out.
“Well that’s your name, isn’t it?”
“Usually people call me Snape or Snivellus or Captain Hook,” he said, pointing at his nose.
“Well they’re awful things to call someone,” she said resting her hand on his shoulder. “Plus, Severus is such a nice name.” she smiled. “I know I’m not the most ideal person but don’t worry, I won't tell anyone about this.”
Jane slowly made her way up to Gryffindor Tower. She walked through the portrait hole and saw Remus and Peter sitting by the fire. Remus looked hard at work while Peter sat next to him watching him write. When the portrait hole shut behind her, Peter looked up. He saw Jane, turned to Remus and quickly said goodnight before rushing up the stairs to his dormitory. Jane took his seat at the fireplace.
“Hi Remus.” Remus looked up.
“Oh hey Jane, how are you?”
“I’m fine. Did Peter say anything about sending me chocolates this morning?” Remus looked up once more.
“Sending you chocolates? No he didn’t say anything,” he said. “What’s going on Jane? I noticed him watching you at breakfast; it was so intense it made me uncomfortable. And just now he ran away the second you walked into the room.”
“Well I woke up this morning and found a box of chocolates on my bedside table. They were dark chocolate and as you know I hate dark chocolate-” Remus nodded in agreement. “-so I let the other girls have them. I thought they were from Sirius. But when I got out of the shower Gretel and Paloma had eaten them and they were fighting over someone. It turns out it was Peter.”
“You think he tried slipping you love potion?” Remus put his quill down on his page and turned his body to Jane.
“Well I don’t know. That’s how it seems but I thought maybe it was a Marauder’s practical joke or something.”
“No, I certainly had nothing to do with it and Sirius wouldn’t find it funny to have his girlfriend all over Wormtail. As for James, I’m positive he wouldn’t do that to his best mate. Have you tried talking to Peter?”
“I try but as you can see I’m having some difficulty.”
“Do you want me to talk to him?”
“Yeah, that would be great. But please don’t let Sirius know, or even James,” Jane begged.
AN/ Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment J