James turned around to face Sirius. They were standing in the Captain’s room of the changing rooms in their Quidditch gear, ready to play their first match of the season.
Well, some were more ready than others.
“What? Oh right, sorry, Padfoot. I’m ready,” James said, looking around the small room for his broomstick. “Where is it?!”
Sirius looked at his friend as if he’d lost it. He took pity on him and retrieved his broom from his desk and handed it to him.
“Are you alright, Prongs? You look like we’ve already lost the Cup,” Sirius said. “It’s Evans, isn’t it?”
James sighed. “Yeah it is, Padfoot. I don’t know what to do. I mean she runs from the hall the other morning and hasn’t spoken to me since. I passed her on the way down here and she never said a word. Do you really think she doesn’t want to go out with me anymore?”
Sirius had to feel sorry for James, and he didn’t feel sorry for anyone very often. But James looked like a puppy abandoned in the snow trying to find his way home.
“Don’t worry, mate. It’s just Evans, since when can we ever understand what that girl does? I mean she and White made a deal to never date us! How crazy is that?” Sirius cried.
“Maybe they were right,” James said but continued despite Sirius’ incredulous look. “At first, I think they were right about their reasoning behind it. But we’re not really like that anymore. And neither are they. Lily said she loved me.”
“Then what are you so afraid about?”
“Because, she’s only loved me for a little while. She’s known her friends much longer. I think that if they tell her she can’t see me because of whatever promise they made, she might agree with them.”
“Relax, Prongs. They’re not going to do any such thing. You saw them that morning. Evans actually likes you now and she’s not going to change that on White‘s whim. Plus, did you see Frost? She was delighted about the news so she won’t let White walk all over Evans,” Sirius said. James looked at his friend, surprised that he had said something even remotely helpful.
“So now that the all knowing Sirius has knocked some sense into your head, can we get on with the game now?”
James laughed and picked up his broom.
“Let’s go get ‘em then. The Quidditch pitch is Marauder turf and it’s time they learned that, don’t you Padfoot?”
James made his way out of the changing rooms and onto the pitch where he received thunderous applause from the gathered crowd. The atmosphere was enough to make anyone forget every problem they could have.
“Woo! Go Gryffindor!” came a scream as Lily and Gabriella took their seats in the stadium.
“Wow, the game hasn’t even started yet and they‘re already going crazy,” Gabriella said with a laugh at the enthusiasm. Her smile fell immediately when she say her face.
“Hey Lils, you ok? You’ve been really quiet all morning.”
Lily looked up and for a moment looked confused as to where she was. “What? Oh I’m fine. Who’s winning?”
“Hun, it hasn’t started yet. Is everything ok?”
Gabriella was shocked to see that Lily’s eyes filled with tears.
“James hates me!” she burst out.
“What? Lily that’s crazy! Why would you even think that?” Gabriella told her.
“No it isn’t! He hasn’t spoken to me since he told everyone we were together yesterday morning,” she said, tears falling down her cheeks.
Gabriella stared down at the pitch, searching the entering teams for Amberle. She never liked getting involved in things that weren’t her business but she couldn’t let this slide by. Lily really liked James at long last and now Amberle had put the relationship on the rocks before it even had a chance to begin. Well she wasn’t going to watch it fall through the cracks because of something so stupid.
“Listen, Lils, James doesn’t hate you. He never could before and he’s not going to start now. I suggest that after the game you go down to him and find out what’s wrong. Ok?”
Lily looked up at her through red eyes but nodded.
“Good, now let’s relax and watch the game.”
This game, however, wasn’t what could be called relaxing. It was more of a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat, pull out your hair type of game. Gryffindor and Slytherin was always a tough, exciting game, but this one was far worse. Every goal Slytherin scored was answered with one from Gryffindor. There hadn’t been any sign of the Snitch but the Seekers had plenty of work playing tricks and feints on each other. As the game progressed agitation and frustration set into the players and the game became more violent.
The score stood at 230-210 in favour of Slytherin and Lily sat leaning over the banister, her eyes flickering from Amberle to James as though staring so hard at them would stop either of them being hurt.
Then, all of a sudden it happened. There wasn’t a warning and no matter how skilled you were, or how much your girlfriend stared at you, there was no avoiding it.
James Potter was searching the skies for a glimpse of a gold. Finally, after two hours of searching he saw it. He went into a dive, determined this chase would be successful. He was so focused that he never heard the whistle of a passing ball behind him. By the time he noticed something was going on it was too late. Not one, but two bludgers collided with him, knocking him off his broom with their force.
The last thing he remembered was a sensation of falling down and a scream.
“Lily, will you please sit down?” Amberle asked. “Pacing won’t do anything!”
“You’ve been standing for the last three hours, you’ll collapse soon if you don’t at least sit for a minute,” Sirius said.
“I can’t! I…He…I just can’t,” Lily cried out in frustration and worry.
Since James’ fall at the game the Marauders, joined by the Queens, had taken up a vigil at his bedside. That was three hours ago. Madam Pomfrey, the new nurse at Hogwarts, said that the bludgers had damaged both his back and head but he would be fine.
Lily didn’t believe that. She wasn’t going to believe anything until James was sitting in front of her with his eyes open and laughing. She was never good under pressure, exam times were proof of that, but this was different. She had no self control and couldn’t stop the horrible thoughts passing through her head that James would never wake up.
This was madness! James never got injured at Quidditch. She was meant to talk to him after the game and find out why he wasn’t talking to her.
She stood shock still. She had been so worried about him waking up that she never considered what it would be like when he did. Would he talk to her? Was this just a rough patch they had to go through? No relationship that was being built on six years of hate was going to run smooth, was it? Or would James just give up and say she wasn’t worth the trouble?
“Lily! I swear if you don’t sit down I’ll chain you to the chair!” Amberle told her. Lily sighed and took the remaining seat beside James bed. They sat there in silence then, all six of them, waiting for some movement from the boy lying before them.
They had now been here for four hours, all refusing any offers of food or rest, only leaving to use the bathroom. The Marauders wanted to be there when their friend woke up and Amberle and Gabriella had agreed to stay with Lily, she needed them or she really would crack.
“He has to be ok, he just has to,” Remus said. Gabriella looked at him sadly. It had to be hard, to have a friend lying there and not knowing what would when, or if, they woke up.
“Don’t worry, Remus. James will come through, you know he’s stronger than that,” she tried to sound optimistic.
“I really hope so, we couldn’t lose him because of a stupid Quidditch accident.”
“Everything will be fine. I’ll be here with you all the time, right up until he wakes up and demands to know who won the game.”
Remus looked over at her, searching for a meaning to what she had said. He really appreciated having her there. For some reason it made him feel more relaxed and calm about the situation.
“Thanks, Gabriella, I really appreciate it,” he said with a smile. She smiled back shyly but felt a warm glow inside.
“Come on, Prongs. Wake up,” Sirius said, trying non stop for the last hour or more to wake his friend.
“He will wake up, we’re not getting rid of you lot that easily,” Amberle attempted lightening the mood. Even she was worried about James, something she thought she’d never hear herself say.
“I don’t get it, nothing ever knocks James down. I mean we’re the Marauders! We’re invincible!”
“Maybe not as invincible as we thought, Padfoot,” Remus said quietly, turning his gaze back to James. Silence fell again around the bed, everyone retreating back into their own little worlds after the brief interaction.
Another hour passed, or it could have been two. Maybe three? Time meant nothing to them anymore. It was just something to measure the depth of James’ injury by. By now it was into the night, and Madam Pomfrey had given up all hope of getting them to go to bed.
Lily was watching James intently, thoughts still taunting her mind. She thought that all the worry and strain was causing her to hallucinate, because as she sat watching James she could have sworn she saw him move. No, he couldn’t have, she was getting her hopes up for nothing. She-
“I think he’s waking up!” Remus cried suddenly. Sirius and Amberle who had fallen asleep jerked awake. They all sat forward, alert again and eagerly watching. Again James moved, stirring restlessly in his sleep for the first time in hours.
“Prongs? Prongs, mate? You awake?” Sirius asked.
James’ eyes flickered a few times before coming fully awake. They flitted from one person to the other, recognition coming back to him. Then they landed on Lily and the expression changed.
“What is she doing here?” he asked, his tone cold.
“The same thing we’re all doing, waiting for you to wake up,” Remus said, glancing at Lily.
“So she cares now? Didn’t seem that way this morning from what I remember.” James spoke as though Lily wasn’t in the room and couldn’t hear what he was saying.
Lily had gone still, her heart contracting as though an iron fist had been placed around it. She should have known he wouldn’t want to see her, why would he? He’d made it clear he didn’t want to see her.
“I’ll just go then,” she said and stood up, walking briskly towards the exit, ignoring her friend’s protests and the tears spilling down her cheeks once more. She stopped once to glance back at James.
“I’m glad you’re ok, James.”
Then she ran.
A/N: Ok personally I hate this chapter. I’ve had it for three days and I can’t get it to work so I’ll let you judge how bad it is! The next chapter was meant to be with this one but it went on too much! PLEASE REVIEW anyway and tell me what you thought! Thanks for reading!
Write a Review How Will I Know?: Chapter 13: On the Wings of a Snitch