Chapter 11 : Lily’s Confession and the Overdue Cornering of Peter.
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Disclaimer --> Oh, Rowling, it amuses me so that some people may actually think that I own anything from the Harry Potter world.
Lily walked the stairs two at a time wanting to get to Remus as soon as possible. She was also hoping that Sirius would be there, for she felt that he deserved a good smack across his head. But as she walked up yet another flight of stairs, she quickly changed her mind about smacking Sirius as she realized that it would be altogether too weird to have to smack her own face.
As she was in the process of deciding that she’d save the slap for after Sirius got his body back, she felt someone grab her arm from behind.
Out of pure shock and reflex, Lily screamed at the top of her, or rather Sirius’, lungs, causing several students in the hallway to drop their bags in the process, and she herself to jump. She pushed the hand away that was resting on her arm, not even looking to see whom it belonged to, as she started to feel embarrassed for causing a scene.
Instantly she heard giggling replace all other sounds in the hallway.
She hated giggling.
Just as she was about to keep walking without even checking to see whom her ‘attacker’ was, she heard an all too familiar laugh come from directly behind her.
Great, Sirius is here, she thought to herself just as she unfortunately heard him starting a clap for her little ‘episode’.
So now, once again, she was, unsurprisingly the center of attention as she turned around to face Sirius, (who was, as she noted, still clapping).
Oh, God… Lily thought as she saw Sirius mimicking to her very discretely to take a bow.
Knowing that if she didn’t do what he was telling her. he would surely do something embarrassing to her; Lily bowed to the entire hallway. Giving Sirius an evil glare, she turned on her heel and quickly walked to the nearest corner, leaving behind the clap that had started once more.
These people will clap for Sirius no matter what, she joked to herself.
She could see how it would be funny though. It must have looked like Sirius Black, co-leader of the marauders and known lady charmer, was screaming like a girl at the top of his lungs when someone had touched him. Lily laughed to herself, wondering if she had ruined a fraction of Sirius’ reputation, as she heard running footsteps coming towards her from behind. She stopped dead in her tracks letting the person catch up to her very fast.
“Thanks for bowing, Lily…got to give the people what they want,” a voice said from behind, and even without looking, Lily knew there was a smirk on the speaker’s face.
It was painfully obviously Sirius.
Lily turned her body so that she could look him in the face before exploding at him.
“Why did you grab me? It scared the life out me!” she said, her voice maybe a little louder then Sirius thought was strictly necessary.
“Got to keep life interesting, baby,” Sirius said, a wide grin on his face.
“Don’t look so cheery,” Lily said as she started walking again, Sirius on her side, “I won’t be bowing to your friends again.”
“Ya, ya, I know you liked it though,” he said and then continued talking so that Lily had no time to respond. “Look, I’ve been looking for you everywhere. We need to talk about something.”
“Ok, Sirius, now when you say ‘everywhere’, you mean that you just looked in the Gryffindor common room, didn’t you?” Lily asked in a now friendlier tone.
“I’m hurting inside. Have some faith in your best looking buddy,” he said.
“You’re only the best looking because you are in my body, Sirius,” and she stopped herself to laugh a little bit before continuing, ‘but anyways…do you want to talk about the switch? Because I’ve been wanting to talk about that as well.”
“Yep, about the switch. I was hoping we’d feel the same way about it,” Sirius said and then stopped talking fast as if waiting to hear that she agreed with him.
“And just how do we feel, Sirius?” Lily asked, quickening her pace after noticing Sirius do the same.
He answered almost instinctively as if he’d been waiting for the question the whole conversation.
“That we want to switch back, right? I mean, come on, I’m sure you’ve had more than enough of being a marauder, right? So why don’t we tell Dumbledore that we want to switch back. I mean this was just a stupid experiment, right? And besides…I miss all the attention,” he joked to Lily who knew that he was being serious despite his facial expression.
Lily was sure there was another reason that he wanted to switch back though, because she knew that Sirius loved being a girl. And she had recently become good at telling when someone was lying due to the fact that she now had to spend time with Peter.
“Er…Sirius…I actually feel the exact opposite,” she said, waiting and preparing herself for the infamous Black temper to rise.
“Good…wait, what?” he said, shocked and a little confused.
“I don’t want to switch back,’ she said, emphasizing each word and speaking slowly as if she were talking to a five year old.
“But you have to! We’re switching back, Lily,” he exclaimed, his joking voice forgotten.
“Don’t order me around, Sirius,” Lily answered immediately, her joking voice forgotten as well. “Look, we’re not switching back, alright? Give it another week…or two, maybe,” she started but didn’t get to finish her thought due to the fact that she was interrupted by Sirius whose temper was indeed rising.
Lily! You’re unbelievable! I can’t be you for another two weeks! I need to be a marauder again; I need to talk to James again…for Pete’s Sake! It’s out of the question, Lily,” he said firmly.
“Deal with it,” Lily said coldly, the conversation starting to seriously remind her of one her past fights with James.
Lily, knowing that she wouldn’t need to explain her reasons about wanting to stay switched to Sirius because he wouldn’t be listening to reason no matter what, stayed quiet and waited for his answer.
“You’re going to regret that order, Lily,” was all he said.
“I highly doubt that,’ she replied as she made to walk down the hall again.
“We’ll see,’ Sirius finished, turned, and walked off in the other direction with a mad, mischievous look in his eyes.
Lily continued walking the opposite way, leaving behind the other students who had taken to staring at the pair.
They hadn’t exactly been quiet in the hallway it seemed.
Lily shrugged off the looks she was being given as she turned one last corner and saw her destination. She then walked up to the door that would finally bring her to Remus.
Sirius flicked the red hair out of his face as he stomped down the hallway away from where Lily was going. He was thankful for the first time in his life (and probably the last) that he had put on Lily’s high-heeled boots in the morning, for he could make quite the noise stomping on the marble floors. Sirius was also stomping on the inside though. He was inwardly very mad at Lily for refusing to even talk about switching back. He knew that he was more then ready to be his charming self again, no matter how much fun it was to be a girl. But if Lily was just going to brush him off like that, then he now felt no shame in interfering with her life and giving her what he thought she deserved; a hard time.
Sirius slowed down his pace considerably and made less noise with his boots. He was thinking up ways to get back at Lily so that she’d be begging before long to switch back with him. As he turned a corner and walked into a very short hallway with two or three empty classrooms, Sirius felt somewhat happy for the first time since his encounter with Lily.
So happy in fact that he began to skip down the hallway, telling himself that it was, indeed a macho, manly skip.
Sirius reached the end of the hallway very fast seeing as it wasn’t very big to begin with, and turned a rather sharp corner waving to the portraits that were smiling at him. Apparently they had never seen Lily Evans skip down a hallway before. Not watching where he was going, and not being used to skipping with boots on (or with skipping in general), Sirius unfortunately tripped over his own left foot. And it wasn’t very graceful.
As if in very slow motion, Sirius saw the ground coming closer and closer to his shocked face and had no time to yell or call out. Just as he was about to fall straight on his, or rather Lily’s, face, he felt a strong pair of arms catch him seconds before he would have collided with the floor. It was someone who had obviously been about to turn the very same corner.
After getter over the initial shock of his ‘near-death-experience’, Sirius let out the breath he didn’t know he had been holding and looked into the eyes of the rescuer.
Well it was a boy as Sirius expected. But he had known that as soon as he had immediately recognized the hands that had grabbed him.
“Well it looks like you’re finally falling for me, Evans. I’d laugh at the irony of the situation but I’m seriously afraid you’ll slap me,” the boy said, his hair sticking out in every direction.
Sirius smiled as a plan quickly formed in his mind.
Lily’s going to hate me for this… he thought to himself as he opened his mouth to talk to the all too familiar boy who was currently holding him inches above the ground.
Remus heard the hospital door open, so he sat up in the bed he was peacefully occupying, hoping that it was one of his friends.
As the visitor entered the silent room, Remus, noticing at once the shaggy black hair, made to call out and welcome Sirius. But that was before he remembered that this person was actually Lily.
So, even if it had sounded somehow good in his mind, his welcome ended out coming out rather odd, as he had called out half of each person’s name by accident.
“Hey Si..ly,” he accidentally said before making himself stop talking in fear of embarrassing himself even further in front of Lily.
“Silly? Well there’s a name I’ve never been called before,” Lily answered before smiling at the boy who’s red face she was sure could be seen clearly from any angle of the room.
“Sorry, Lily,” and he emphasized her name as if to make sure he got it correct this time, “ It’s just that it is so weird talking to you in Padfoot’s body. It’s just so…wow, I can’t even explain it, that’s how weird it is!” he said as he watched Lily walk towards him.
“Well it keeps life interesting, Remus,” she said, remembering Sirius saying something similar to her earlier.
“That it does. So what brings you here to my humblest of homes?” he said as he motioned to the room, voice full of sarcasm.
Lily quickly scanned the room and saw that there were no other students in the hospital with him. She noted the rows upon rows of empty beds, a few medicine cabinets on the far wall from them, the bright ceiling light, and then, as she gazed back in front of her, the painful looking scratches on Remus’ body.
“I came to see you of course. How are you feeling?” She asked, her eyes trailing from his face, down the curve of his neck, and onto his bare chest where a particularly nasty cut was placed. She noticed him watching her scan his chest, and shot her gaze at the floor, embarrassed to be caught staring at his body.
“I’ve never been better, Lily,” he said to Lily.
It was a lie. Lily knew that much.
Remus smiled weakly until their eyes locked once more. He was looking into the eyes of Sirius Black, but was easily picturing the round, warm, green ones instead.
“Look, I know you don’t like other people worrying about you, Remus,” Lily said after his short answer, “and we don’t have to talk about your…er…condition if you don’t want to. I understand that it’s hard for you, but know that I do worry. The way a friend should.”
Remus surveyed her through his own amber eyes, realizing what a genuinely great person she really was. He had a clear picture of her in her girl form by now in his mind and was staring as if in a trance, thinking about her red hair and the way it reflected sunlight when they would walk outside together, or her eyes. Remus loved her eyes the most, and felt it was probably because James spoke so often about them. And her lips…
Remus blinked and immediately looked guilty as if someone had caught him doing something he should not have been doing. Remembering what she had just said to him that had made him go into a sort of daydream, he replied.
He was feeling very weird and ashamed to be having thoughts about Lily and her lips, because she was his best female friend, but most importantly, because she was the interest of a certain good friend of his. Reminding himself that if Lily was to end up with anyone, it would be James, for Remus always felt himself second best to James or Sirius, he put thoughts about her out of his head, determined to never let anybody know what went on in his mind. Besides, he had told James that he would help him get Lily. But that was years ago after all…
“Most people aren’t that understanding, Lily. So thanks. Erm…so did you want to talk about anything else then? He asked as he watched his own reflection in the grey eyes.
Clearly they weren’t going to talk about anything full moon related, so Lily picked out a topic that had been on her mind lately and spoke in even tones.
“Well yes, actually. I feel like you’re the only person who I can talk to about this…er…problem that I have,” she said to an interested looking Remus.
If she had thought he had a weird expression on his face just moments before, she didn’t have time to ponder what it meant because it had now vanished and was replaced with a genuine smile.
“Really? What about Sirius? You can talk to him, you know. Oh! Which reminds me, he was just here looking for you,” he said as if were simply remembering an answer to a test question.
“Oh I…er…bumped into him in the hall on the way here actually,” she said trying to conceal a smile. “And no, I can’t talk to him. I mean not about this, he’d take sides, and I know whose side he’d take. I need your advice, Remus.”
“Alright what’s up Lily?” He asked curious, but at the same time, having a hunch as to what the subject matter was going to be about.
“James said that he loved me,” she blurted out before she could help herself, or weave it casually into the conversation.
“Ah. I was wondering how long it would take for you hear him say that,” Remus said, a slightly disappointed look on his face now.
“What do you…” but she was cut off.
“James talks to Sirius about you all the time, it was only a matter of time before you heard him go on one of his ‘Evans’ rants,” Remus said, looking as if Lily had just asked him what color grass is.
“Oh, ok. But he said love, Remus! Love. Not like, love. He has to be lying or something, I just can’t believe him,” she said, looking mildly agitated.
“Can’t believe him, Lily? Or won’t believe him?” Remus asked in a very quiet voice.
“I...I…I don’t love him back, Remus. Not even close, and I honestly thought he was getting that message.”
“Why hello James!” Sirius said in his sweetest ‘Lily’ voice to the boy who had caught him after his little skipping incident, which he vowed to never talk about again for as long as he lived.
James, thinking his damsel in distress to be Lily, bent down close to ‘her’ ear so that he could whisper something that the whole hallway would be unable to hear.
“You smell nice.”
Wow, what a line, Sirius thought to himself, mentally making a note to teach James how to pick up girls as soon as he got his body back.
Needless to say, he was indeed, smirking on the inside.
Getting a little creeped out by his friend being so close to him, Sirius found his feet at last and stood up with a little help from James who looked as if he didn’t want to let go of ‘Lily’.
After making sure his skirt was pulled down, Sirius raised his eyes to meet James’, a fully formed plan ready to be put into action.
“Walk with me, Prongs,” he said as he turned to walk down a hallway on their right.
Let operation ‘get-lily-so-mad-that-she-will-beg-me-to-switch-back’ begin Sirius thought as he smiled at the sight of James following him like a puppy dog.
They walked down the hallway, which surprisingly enough turned out to be deserted, in silence for about a minute. Sirius knew that James couldn’t stand silences, so he didn’t have to bother with starting a conversation, knowing that his friend would. He was just waiting for James to ask a particular question that he knew was coming at any minute.
“Want to go to Hogsmead with me, Evans?” James asked, breaking the short silence.
I know you too well, Prongs, Sirius thought in his head.
And he watched James wiggle his eyebrows at him.
It took every inch of Sirius’ strength and will power not to laugh at his best friend.
If only you know what you were doing, James, if only.
Thinking up a reply, Sirius took the conversation into his own hands.
“Well that was nicer then the usual ‘if you’re good to me then I’ll let you tag along’ line you usually use,” Sirius said, the corners of his mouth slightly switching.
James was now looking utterly surprised that he had not been smacked in the face yet, and had even taken a step backwards when he had ‘popped the question’
“Erm…well I had to try a new strategy with you, didn’t I? Obviously my first hundred plans failed,” he said promptly as if it were a fact.
“James, I’m not a Quidditch match,” Sirius said feeling that he was sounding like Lily even against his better judgement.
And when James looked fittingly confused by this last statement, Sirius ploughed on.
“You don’t have to strategize,” he explained to his friend who was never this slow to pick up on most things.
Choosing to ignore this last statement (a wise choice as Sirius could have talked about it at random for a very long time), James directed the conversation back to the original topic. Not very discreetly either.
“So what do you say?” Come to Hogsmead with me!” He asked, in a ordering kind of way.
Not even needing a second to think about his answer, Sirius responded.
“Yes, I’d love to come,” he replied as he smiled at James before walking around yet another corner, keeping his laughter to himself.
That should teach her, he thought, knowing that the real Lily would have never agreed to go to Hogsmead with James and was bound to be mad. He didn’t even care that it would probably be the most awkward day in his life when the time came, he just wanted Lily to see that she if didn’t change back with him soon, he would change her life however he saw fit.
Deciding to take his ‘get-lily-so-mad-that-she-will-beg-me-to-switch-back’ plan (hereafter known as GLSMTSWBMTSB), one step further for the day, Sirius slowed down his pace so that they were walking casually beside one another before he blurted out suddenly;
“Sirius hit on me today!”
“I don’t believe you…Padfoot knows that I lik…erm…well he wouldn’t do that,” James said in a ‘would be’ convincing voice.
“Well, he put on his ‘Sirius Black charm’ and tried to chat me up. I think you should talk to him about it because he told me that you really, really don’t like me anymore, and that you never want to be friends,” Sirius said amazed by how easily he could come up with the back-story.
“He…what?” James said, looking extremely shocked.
And Sirius could see the anger starting his eyes. He didn’t want to make his friend mad, but he desperately wanted his own body back. He was thinking up any way he could that would make Lily mad at this point. And besides, he’d explain to James later anyways.
“So…ya. Just thought you’d like to know,” Sirius finished.
They turned down what felt like the fiftieth hallway lined with several classrooms that they assumed to be empty.
“I’m going to have words with Sirius, all right,” James finally said.
Excellent, let’s see Lily talk her way out of this one, Sirius thought to himself, knowing that when James’ temper got the better of him, he wasn’t exactly fun to be around or easy to handle for that matter unless you knew exactly how to deal with him. And Lily did not. She’d be asking to switch back tomorrow.
“But why do you care that this would anger me anyways, Lily?” James asked, “I think you’ve made it painfully clear that you don’t want to be friends.”
“Yet you still follow me around every second of every day,” Sirius said trying his best to think like Lily would.
“Potter family motto; never give up on something you really want,” James recited.
Sirius chose not to respond after the ‘Potter family motto’ comment, having already known that little fact about James’ family. He knew that it wasn’t just a line and that it was truthfully and sadly the actual Potter motto.
They were almost at the end of the hallway when they heard whispered voices coming from the last door on the right of where they were passing.
James looked at Sirius, (who he thought was Lily), then whispered, “I wonder who it is and what they’re up to. Let’s check it out! You can give them detention, Lily, if you so desire…but only if they’re up to no good that is,” before creeping over to the door which was open just a crack.
A crack just big enough to let voices carry through nonetheless.
James was now in his element. He was obviously ecstatic about the thought of catching whom he deemed ‘fellow mischief makers’.
Sirius followed behind a grinning James before unfortunately speaking without thinking first. He too was getting slightly excited about the fact of finding out who was being so secretive in the room. For he was in his element as well, and had conveniently forgotten that this was not one of their Padfoot and Prongs adventures.
“Just use the map,” he whispered to James who had frozen at the words.
“How do you know about the map? There is no map, Lily,” he said quickly hoping to brush off the subject.
Oh God, Sirius thought as he was brought back to reality, remembering that James thought him to be Lily at the moment, not Sirius.
“Erm…” Sirius said, not able to think up a good enough excuse for the first time in his life.
“Whatever, forget about it, alright? Who would carry a map around anyways?” James said as he stepped as close to the slightly open door as he could, putting his ear to the opening.
Sirius had to give James credit for not spilling the beans about the map to whom he thought was Lily. It would have been the perfect opportunity to show off, and Sirius knew that James would have liked nothing better then to show Lily all of the advanced magic they had put into the map.
He smiled in spite of himself.
And another thought came to the front of his mind. A more random one though. He had just realized for the first time that he was a prefect and could give out detentions to whomever he pleased.
And his smile only widened as he too pressed his ear to the door and watched James’ body go tense beside him.
He’s probably not used to being this close to Lily, Sirius thought, or for going so long without being physically injured.
He couldn’t keep the smile off of his face no matter how hard he tried. Being with James again, no matter the circumstances, made him happy.
A pair of first years walked past them, took one sight of their beloved James Potter and equally loved prefect Lily Evans in a position that looked as if their ears had been glued to the door, and walked in the opposite direction. Very fast. No doubt worrying for the two fifth years’ sanity.
Sirius shrugged it off and noticed that he finally was able to hear what the whispers were saying. Realizing that James seemed to have noticed that too, they both stood immensely quiet, ears on the door, listening.
“Show them were your true loyalties lie, already!” A deep voice said slowly, obviously to someone else who was in the room.
James glanced at Sirius before they both heard another low voice similar to the first, but belonging to a different person. The person seemed a little older then the first as well.
“Yes. Tell the Gryffindor trash, who you unfortunately got sorted with.”
“You do know that a lot of Gryffindor’s are purebloods, don’t you?” A third voice said a little quieter then the first two.
Sirius recognized this quieter voice at once almost as if someone had yelled the name in his ear. So did James it seemed.
It was Peter.
“Don’t talk back to me. If you’re referring to Potter and Black here, then you’ve got no argument. They’re the two biggest blood traitoring idiots in the school.” It was the voice of the first boy who had spoken again.
Sirius felt James shift beside him and saw that he had taken out his wand. Sirius, completely confused with what their familiar Gryffindor was doing with who he now recognized as Snape and Lucius, was surprised to find his own hand tightly clutching his wand as well.
“Look, just do what we told you to do, and then we’ll meet back here again in a week, alright? And try not to let your feelings interfere this time, because we won’t be so nice next time! We are your true friends, we can guarantee you protection,” Lucius said as if he were talking to a child.
As soon as he paused to take a breath, Sirius felt the door in front of him swing open. James had walked into the room, twiddling his wand in-between his fingers easily, obviously wanting some answers. He wasn’t normally one to sit on the sidelines it seemed.
Lily?” he said, as to announce their presence, “beautiful day, isn’t it?”
He then rounded on Snape, his biggest enemy in Hogwarts. The tone in his voice changed very, very fast.
“Can’t get your own friends so you have to steal mine, Snivellus?” James said, wand drawn, smirk planted firmly on his face.
“Potter! Don’t stick your over inflated head into things that are above you. We’re done here,” Lucius said as if he actually thought that the conversation would end there.
He made to walk to the door completely ignoring who he thought was Lily standing next to James. But he did however notice the she seemed to have the same look of hate on her face as James did, which was unlike her.
“Remember what we said, Pettigrew,” Snape addressed Peter before turning to James, “watch you’re back Potter, you’ll never know what hit you.”
And he followed Snape out into the hallway, leaving James, Sirius, and a very nervous looking Peter in his wake.
Sirius had been tempted to start yelling and questioning Peter, but soon remembered that he had to act like Lily, and with much difficulty, held his tongue. He knew James would been it anyways in a matter of seconds. And sure enough, Sirius watched James raise his eyebrows and look Peter directly in the eyes.
“Peter…what the hell?”
“You don’t even like James a little bit, Lily? I mean that’s hard to believe, because almost every other girl in the school fawns over him,” Remus said, trying to smile at this sensitive subject.
“I’m sorry Remus, but I just don’t. Not yet, at least. I’ve been hanging out with him a lot lately, and I admit that he isn’t as horrible a person as I used to think. And I think that I want to try being friends with him, Remus. But I’m not honestly sure if I can handle James for a boyfriend. I mean I’ve hated him for the past five years! It’s hard to forgive and forget, you know? No matter how funny, or interesting he seems to be now, he’s still James. James freakin’ Potter! Some memories run deep. And besides, this new side of him has come at a rather bad time because I actually…well…” And she paused, knowing that if wanted to tell him what she was about to, she had to do it now. And she wanted him to know, he would understand. “Er…well ok, I like…I think that I may have feelings for…a…a…different marauder,” she said very slowly carefully looking at her shoes, (which were actually Sirius’).
“I had a hunch you fancied Sirius!” Remus exclaimed, jumping to the most logical conclusion he could think of. After all, if was pretty strange for him to hear someone who looked and sounded exactly like Sirius Black saying that they liked a marauder, and still be able to keep his wits about him.
“Well, actually…it’s not Sirius who I think I fancy, Remus,” she said as she avoided his gaze another time.
“Peter then? I mean he’s never been one with the ladies, but if…” he started but was cut off suddenly by Lily.
“No, not Peter either,” she said.
And they sat in an uncomfortable silence for a very long and painful minute before Remus, who had been staring at his bed sheets, found his voice at last.
A/N-- Well? What did you think? Alright, alright, go ahead. Hate me. Eat me. Whatever you so desire, I'm not picky. Just so you know though, as I don't think I've ever officially said it, this is one of my Lily/James fics...but in the words of Shakespeare - 'The path of true love never did run smooth...'!
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