Chapter 12 : Last I checked, the Term ‘Marauder’ Applies to You Too.
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“You guys will never believe what just happened!” James Potter exclaimed as he came bursting through the hospital wing door, hands flying and out of breath.
Lily quickly stood up off the end of Remus’ bed where she had just been sitting, as if afraid that James would guess her secret if he found her anywhere near Remus. With a quick glance over at the bedridden werewolf, she was not pleased to see that he had a guilty look on his face as he tried his best to smile at his hyper friend who had just come through the door.
When James got no response from either of the two, he walked closer to them and then lowered his voice so that only Lily and Remus could hear him.
“Is there anyone else in here, you guys? We’ve got some marauder business to discuss,” he said as he looked around the room himself.
Lily made to walk to the door, forgetting that she was a marauder and would be part of the discussion, and had almost made it there before James rounded on her.
“Sirius, where are you going? Last I checked, the term ‘marauder’ applies to you too,” he said, maybe a little colder then what was necessary.
Lily stopped dead in her tracks trying to think of something to say. She was a little shocked to hear James talk to his best friend like that, and wondered why he seemed to have such a short temper with her all of a sudden.
“James,” Remus started and then gave Lily a look that told her to just act like nothing was wrong, “no, there’s no one else in the room, me and Sirius were just having a conversation before you showed up. But it’s alright, we’ll finish it later.”
Lily noticed that Remus’ guilty look had vanished, but she could also tell that he was still thinking about what she had just said to him.
’I think that I may have feelings for…a…a…different marauder.’.
The words kept playing over and over in her mind and each time she heard herself say them, the more she got embarrassed with herself for actually telling Remus. By now Lily was thinking of herself as an idiot, especially since all Remus had said was ‘oh’ after her little confession, but she tried to put the conversation out of her mind until James left, at the very least. He was already suspicious of her enough, especially as she had almost walked out of the hospital room forgetting that she was supposed to be Sirius, so she figured she would need to devote her full attention to being a marauder at the moment.
Lily looked at James who seemed satisfied with the answer that his friend had given him a moment before and reminded herself to thank Remus for acting so calm and innocent. Lily could tell that he knew how to handle James. Knew what to say to him.
‘They don’t call him a marauder for nothing,’ she thought to herself before she was interrupted by James once more.
“So anyways, before Sirius almost ditched us here,” and he paused to glance over at Lily who once again wondered why he was acting the way he was to his friend, “I was going to tell you guys something really important,” he finished and sat down on the foot of the bed as he did so.
Lily took this as her queue to walk over and sit down on the bed as well, but in a position so that she wouldn’t have to look Remus in the eyes. She didn’t think she could stand the humiliation.
“So what is it, Prongs?” she asked in her most innocent Sirius voice.
James opened his mouth to speak before he closed it right away as soon as he had heard himself being called Prongs. It was as if he had just realized something important that he had missed before. After the look of realization left his face, Lily watched a huge grin spread across it.
“What are you smiling about now?” Lily asked James, watching his smile just grow wider as she did so.
“Lily…she just…in the hallway…,” he said, getting the look on his face that told Lily that he was really happy.
Oh no, what did Sirius do?, Lily thought frantically to herself.
Remus seemed to be thinking along the same lines because he posed the question that Lily didn’t want to know the answer to.
“What did Lily just do in the hallway, James?” Remus asked slowly, in a caring voice.
James turned to look at Remus, ready to burst with happiness.
“I didn’t realize it until now, but she called me ‘Prongs’!” he said with a confident, smug look on his face.
“He what?!” Lily said, knowing that Sirius wouldn’t just let something like that slip accidentally in the hallway.
“She, Sirius,” Remus said looking up at her, laughing as he did so, “Lily is a girl. We say she, not he.”
Keep laughing Remus. Lily found herself thinking, as she glared at him as if daring him to keep going.
“Having a gender crisis are we, Sirius” James said as he too joined in on the laughter. It seemed his bad mood had passed all of a sudden.
“You don’t know the half of it,” Lily found herself saying, a little upset that Remus was teasing her.
“Well anyways, that’s not what I came to talk to you guys about actually, even though I’ve got more to tell you about my walk with Evans,” James said as he looked back and forth between his two best friends.
“It’s Lily,” Lily said, getting frustrated by the fact that James kept calling her by her last name.
“Since when do you care about anyone’s feelings, Sirius? James snapped back at her.
Great, his bad mood is back, Lily thought to herself, trying to remember if she had done anything to upset James without meaning to.
“James, just lay off him for a minute and tell us what you came here to tell us in the first place,” Remus said, not liking James’ tone of voice at the moment, and wanting to take the subject off of James’ love for Lily.
“Alright listen to this! Me and Lily were just walking down a deserted hallway together talking,” he started.
Oh God, Lily thought to herself trying not to picture what Sirius could possibly have been talking to him about.
“And then we heard voices coming from a classroom –“ he said before Lily cut him off.
“No way. You heard people talking in a classroom…at a school?!” Lily found herself mocking. If James was going to be angry with her, then she was going to be angry right back at him.
“If you don’t care what I have to say, then just leave, Sirius,’ James said before he was interrupted by Remus this time.
“Ok, just stop. I don’t know what’s with you guys,” he said, “Sirius! We were just talking and you weren’t mad at James then,” he said and then shifted very uncomfortably at bringing up the conversation he had been having with Lily before James had arrived.
“Well if James is going to be mean to me, then I’m naturally going to have a little problem with that,” Lily said as in response to what Remus had just said.
“Well you should have been prepared for this after what you did,” James said almost immediately back at her.
“After I did what? God Pott...James, why would I do anything that would anger you?” she said, knowing that Sirius wouldn’t do anything to ever make James this mad at him.
“Enough!” It was Remus again; “you guys can talk this out later. The nurse if going to be back at any minute. Who was in the classroom, James?” he forcefully asked, stopping the fight that he could tell was coming. He didn’t’ know how long Lily could resist yelling at James anyways, and thought it best not to find out at the moment.
“Peter!” He exclaimed, turning to talk directly to Remus.
Lily instantly became interested, for she had been wondering for a long time now what Peter was up to.
“Well what was he doing in a classroom alone then?” Remus asked, obviously just as interested as Lily.
“He wasn’t alone. Get this, we found him with Malfoy and Snivellus!” James said, looking anxiously at Remus’ eyes for his reaction.
But it was Lily who got her words out first.
“What? What were they talking about?” she asked, getting very curious at this point and forgetting that she was supposed to be mad at James.
“Well, Padfoot,” and he put extra emphasis on the nickname before continuing, “I think they were threatening him or something.”
And within the next five minutes, James had told Lily and Remus exactly what he had heard in the classroom.
“And then Snape told me to watch my back, the slimy git,” he said, watching Remus nod in agreement, knowing that he wanted him to continue, “Well anyways, I cornered Peter after they left and –“
But at that moment the school nurse entered the room with a student who they learned had fallen off of his broom and had broken his arm.
As they watched the nurse show the boy to a bed where she could check what damage had been done to his arm, James spoke in a whisper with a disgusted look on his face.
“What kind of idiot falls off his broom?” he asked Remus before adding, “but no worries. We’ll finish this conversation later. Will you be out of here before 9:00 tonight Moony?” James asked.
“I should be, why?” Remus asked.
“Well, when I was walking Lily back to the common room, she told me about the Truth or Dare game that you two supposedly had planned a while ago,” he said with an evident smirk on his face.
“Oh, right. That,” Remus said.
“Well she scheduled the game tonight at 9:00. So, ya it should be fun, right?” he asked.
“You know I can’t resist a good game of Truth or Dare, Prongs,” Remus said giving him a smile and a mischievous look.
“That’s my boy,” James said as he stood up and announced that he would leave Remus to his rest.
“Wait! What are we going to do about Wormtail?” Remus asked after checking to see if the nurse and boy were listening. He figured they were which is why he had said Wormtail instead of Peter.
“Don’t worry, I’ll think of something,” James said, his leadership qualities showing as he said this. “I hope you feel better by tonight, Moony, because I know how rough it can be for you after a transformation. I’ll be in the common room waiting for you, alright?”
By this time he had reached the hospital door and was getting ready to walk through it.
“Thanks, Prongs,” Remus said.
“Catch you later, Remus,” he said and he left the hospital, letting the door close behind him.
Lily, who had been silent since she figured she was right in assuming that James was still mad at her as he hadn’t acknowledged her, or rather, Sirius’, presence when he had left, looked at Remus.
She didn’t know what to say as the silence grew around them. Remus, she noticed, looked guilty and embarrassed, which was exactly what she was feeling on the inside.
Wanting the get out of the awkward situation, Lily stood up off of the bed and spoke to Remus who hadn’t made eye contact with her since James had left.
“Look, I should go after him. Find out why he’s so mad at Sirius,” Lily said as she looked into his gray eyes.
“Good idea,” he said before he added, “look, about before –“
“Don’t Remus. I was being stupid, I shouldn’t have told you that. I know what you won’t want to jeopardize your friendship with James over a girl. So, just forget that I ever said anything,” Lily said as she slowly walked through the hospital wing door.
Just as the door was about to close behind her however, she heard Remus’ voice one last time.
“Lily, I like you too.”
The door then clicked shut but Lily had heard the words nonetheless.
Feeling oddly happy, especially at picturing the looks that nurse and boy must have been giving Remus at this point, she ran through the halls until she caught up with James, feeling ready for whatever he’d say to her.
“James wait up,” she said and she knew that he had heard her because he had stopped walking and was slowly turning around.
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