Author's Note;; The whole fight between the Marauders, Lily, and Snape came from the seventh book when Harry saw Snape's past but I did change parts of it. Just crediting JK Rowling for her beastly-ness. It may be a while until I next update due to midterms but please stay with me! Review, review, review (please)!!!!
Chapter Seven: Enter, Misters Padfoot, Moony, Prongs, and Wormtail
Becoming an Animagus was far harder than waving your wand and saying a bunch of tongue twisters, the Marauders soon found. With the help of James’ fourth year Christmas present from his father, an Invisibility Cloak, the boys snuck into the Restricted Section of the library looking for anything that would tell them more about the process. Sure, they found nothing relevant to their initial quest but they found it much easier to sneak into the Slytherin dungeons and wreak havoc. Two years past with fruitless attempts and dead ends in the Animagus Department whilst their escalating status of the school’s most impish pranksters started becoming legendary.
Fourth year dragged on for James; Lily was spending less time with Phoenix (which for reasons unexplainable to James and Sirius, didn’t bother her at all) and more time in the library with a person who’s identity only Phoenix knew. In addition to James’ problems with Lily, Slughorn, and the daily aftermaths he endured once Lily cornered him about taunting Snape, he was deemed Gryffindor Quidditch Captain just as an American transfer and Quidditch Extraordinaire, Oliver Biggerstaff (who, much to Sirius’ displeasure, had an bashful eye on Phoenix), left Salem Vocational Academy to lead Ravenclaw to victory. Victory, the very thing Remus and Peter did not have with their ‘love lives’. The two went on dead end dates several times and quickly gave up, content to settle with throwing Dungbombs at Filch and Mrs. Norris with boy-warding Phoenix. Sirius, like Phoenix, received countless offers but declined each time; he still believed the cooties conspiracy Phoenix had planted in his mind. Yet, sometimes it seemed that Sirius was far more interested in getting detentions for blowing up knights of armor than shopping and paying for lavish accessories girls threw tantrums for. On the other hand, James took the task of asking Lily to marry him anytime enough witnesses surrounded them (as security measures, he claimed).
Fifth year had Remus and Lily inducted as Gryffindor Prefects, James’ war against Snape amplifying, Phoenix deemed Gryffindor Quidditch Co-Captain, Sirius finished the last of the Marauders’ Map, and Peter learning the origin of a baby once walking into a broom cupboard by accident and finding two Hufflepuffs ‘mingling’. While Lily unidentifiable friend turned out to be Snape (courtesy of James’ ability to sneak about in his Invisibility Cloak), Sirius and Phoenix were affected more that year than the others. Sirius dealt with heart-wrenching, beauty queen diva Montana Aurelio officially establishing a school wide Sirius Black Fan Club and his fourth year Slytherin brother Regulus being taken out of Hogwarts for next two years to join a Dark Arts school. Phoenix established a new Marauder tradition of staying at Hogwarts for Christmas after materializing in the common room on Christmas Day, frazzled and equipped with rather posh looking gifts for everyone, such as the enchanted knife for Sirius that opened any door. She was constantly taken out of school, by either her grandfather, her father, or the odd searing pains in her left forearm. Worst of all, the sinister overlord Sirius had once believed pathetic and powerless was indeed expanding his army and terrorizing both the Muggle and Wizarding World.
They found absolutely nothing until the middle of their sixth year ended when a girl with long wavy black hair that, unblemished olive skin, and striking red eyes stumbled upon them in the Restricted Section of the library.
“You all take too long to do anything, did you know that?” she said. Her far-away voice was familiar but Sirius couldn’t put a name to the face. She handed them a decaying book that Madame Pince would have indisputably thrown out years ago.
“How’d you-” Remus began. She shushed him up.
“How’d I not?” she replied, a recognizable grin stretching on her flawless lips. “Good luck, mates. You sure could use some.”
Within the book, the Marauders uncovered their long-awaited answer and after a few months, James was transforming into a stag, Sirius was hunting cats in his dog disguise, Peter was scurrying about looking for cheese and overhearing gossip, and Remus’ werewolf transformations were becoming bearable with the company of his friends. Of course, with such abilities came names; Misters Prongs, Padfoot, Wormtail, and Moony, respectively.
Seventh year were sure to become the most memorable to the Marauders & Co.
“Wotcher, Siri. So…um, whatcha doing?”
“Sitting in a tree.”
“K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes love, then comes marriage-“
“Phe, please. I’m contemplating.”
“Yes, I know you’re compensating. It’s high time you admitted it.”
“Do you want to fall into the lake again?”
"Would it be as fun as last time?"
“I dunno. Do you consider nearly drowning because of your five hundred pound wool sweater in the middle of May fun?”
“Oh, so that’s what happened! I must’ve blacked out ‘cos all I remember is dancing with the tooth fairy and getting tipsy with Santa. Shame that didn’t really happen…”
“For what? I saved you that day!”
“Oh, please, Siri. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. If I thanked you for every time you saved me, the only words coming out of my mouth would be thanks.”
“Are we going to talk about something important soon? Like how my mother just sent a Howler and told me she had me blasted off the tapestry? I’m thinking about running away during the summer-”
“Did she now? Well, that’s awfully nice of her to tell you in advance. Can we go get food now? We’ve been in this tree all day and any minute now, Lillikins is going to storm out of that castle and yell at me for missing classes again.”
“See? Told you. You’re such a stupid rabid turd…never listen…”
As an estranged sixteen-year-old Lily Evans marched from the castle to the Black Lake, Sirius sighed and combusted the Howler with a wave of his wand. He had indeed held Phoenix hostage in their tree, but she was used to it. After being swept out of her bed at two in the morning at least twice a week, who wouldn’t be?
“GET OUT OF THAT RUDDY TREE RIGHT NOW BEFORE I COME UP THERE!”
Lily's red hair was flying everywhere and the only time Phoenix and Sirius would see her pupils dilated was when Lily was blowing up on James for bothering Snape.
“Really, Evans, can you even reach the branch?” Sirius scoffed. “I have to help Phe get up here. She can’t even get her index finger to touch it when I push her up.”
“Hey! Are you implying that I’m short?” Phoenix hissed.
“Oh look! Moony, Wormtail, and Prongs are coming!”
Lily rolled her eyes at the sound of James’ nickname. “Merlin,” she mumbled to herself as she fussed with whipping out her wand and spinning around to see nobody. “Black, you are so delusional. Snotter isn’t- HEY! DON’T YOU TRY RUNNING AWAY FROM ME! PETRIFICUS TOTALUS!”
“Jump, Phe! She cottoned on!” Sirius bellowed as he and Phoenix inched down to a lower branch where they had silently agreed to jump into the lake and escape Lily by means of the Forbidden Forest.
“Are you bloody nuts? We’re too high up! You should’ve come up with a better distraction!” she shrieked, her bubblegum hair bouncing with excited rage. Groaning, Sirius took out a small mirror from his back pocket.
“James Potter!” he shouted. Within seconds, James, Remus, and Peter all appeared.
“Pads, where have you been?” James asked. “Evans nearly blew up the dungeons during Potions when Phe didn’t turn up!”
“Code Red, Prongs! Evans has got us stuck on the tree above the lake and Phe won’t jump because she realized what happened to her last time!”
“What, when the mermaids nearly killed her, she blacked out, you saved her, and had to rip her shirt off to find the right place to push when you performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?” asked Peter blankly. Phoenix turned back to Sirius, her bubblegum irises more dilated than Lily’s emerald ones.
“W-what?” Sirius asked foolishly. “No! I don’t know what Wormy’s talking a-about!”
“JUST YOU WAIT, BLACK! I’M GONNA RIP YOUR HAIR OUT AND-!”
Sirius pushed Phoenix and himself off the branch and into the icy lake just as one of Lily’s hexes hit her. It wasn’t even five seconds later when Sirius had resurfaced, his eyes blurry and his ears ringing with Lily’s screaming.
“BLACK! YOU MORON, PHE IS WEARING A WOOL SWEATER! SHE’S SINKING!” she screamed, tears streaming down her pale face.
Sirius spun around and saw a dark figure slowly sinking towards the bottom of the bottomless lake. Cursing himself, he dove back under and used all humanly force to sink her level and hook his fingers around her wrist. Phoenix, who had not yet blacked out and easily resisted Lily’s Freezing Charm, began thrashing wildly as Sirius tried taking her thick sweater off to help her float to the surface naturally. Why she didn’t let him lighten herself was beyond him; what irked him more was the fact that she always wore heavy sweaters with unnecessary long sleeves, year-round.
“Phe! Kick!” he mouthed, millions of bubbles coming out of his mouth.
Phoenix began kicking roughly as instructed, her gold and scarlet amulet slipping out from its hiding place form under her sweater. The sun shining on them hit the vivid amulet in such a way, it seemed to radiate a rainbow of colors all around. Still kicking and holding onto one another, the two of them soon broke the surface of the water and gasped for air as if they had been deprived of it all day.
“Oh my gosh!” Lily shrieked as she rushed into the shallow water, the freshwater mingling with her salty tears. The other Marauders had arrived after Sirius’ plea for help and they too followed Lily into the wading area.
"Phe? Are you okay?" asked Remus breathlessly. Peter and James tried to help Phoenix up but she wingled away and stomped towards Sirius, her chest rising and deflating heavily.
“I-can’t-believe-you-ripped-off-my-shirt-last-time!” she wheezed, punching Sirius in his broad, firm chest.
“Ow! It’s not like I took it off you! I just ripped the front a little!” he defended. “I mean, it was just a little skin! I didn’t touch you weird or anything!”
“What? No! Why? What’s wrong with them? Should I take you to the Hospital Wing? Do you need something? Is something wrong with your amulet? Do you need-“
Phoenix, looking very relieved, waved him off carelessly, and in doing so, she began falling backwards. Sirius reacted within a millisecond by grabbing a hold of her; the first thing that caught his eyes was the glowing, vibrating amulet hanging on Phoenix’s neck.
“NO-“ she screamed, but it was too late. Sirius grabbed it and pulled her up, surprisingly not breaking the chain. “Oh my gosh, Siri! Are you okay? Is your hand burnt? Are you bleeding? Do you need-“
“Phe, what the hell are you talking about?” Sirius cut off, the amulet resting in his soft palm. She looked down at it, her eyes wide in astonishment. “Geez, what’s this thing made of? I can’t believe I didn’t break it!”
“You’re…you’re holding my amulet. You’re touching my amulet.” she gasped, her eyes still glued on his hand. Everyone stared at the two of them.
“Yes,” James said slowly and eagerly. “He’s holding it…is it going to blow up like a Dungbomb in his face? ‘Cos that would be ace!”
“No, no,” she muttered offhandedly. “Nothing…it’s nothing…”
Sirius watched Phoenix carefully, the amulet still in his palm. “Phe-“
“Let’s go to the common room, eh?” she suggested, not meeting his eyes and slipping the amulet back under her sweater. “I suppose Lillikins wants to yell at me for missing another fabulous day of History of Magic, Charms, and Potions!”
Lily looked disgruntled and baffled. “What? What are you talking- OH YEAH! YOU SKIPPED CLASS! ARE YOU EVEN PREPARING FOR THE N.E.W.T.S. NEXT YEAR?” As Lily lectured Phoenix and upbraided James, Remus began wondering what was so important about Phoenix’s arms and amulet that made her peppy self deflate.
“WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DO YOU WANT, SIRIUS?”
“Ms. Riddle!” snapped McGonagall. “Ten points from Gryffindor! For goodness sake, why are you screaming in the middle of my class? Just like your mother…”
Remus and Lily exchanged worried glances from across the room. It had been three weeks since the incident at the lake, yet Phoenix always looked away from Sirius when he was present (which, seeing as the two are best mates, is almost always), she stopped going on midnight raids about the castle with the Marauders, and she never let Lily leave her alone with Sirius for more than five minutes. Indeed, Remus and Lily were vexed. What was so special about Phoenix’s arms and amulet that it sent her to the brink of insanity?
“Are you okay?” whispered Sirius, pretending to be reading his blank sheet of parchment.
“Just peachy. Like a peach. You know, all sweet and juicy and orange and-“
“MS. RIDDLE! PLEASE LEAVE MY LESSON IF YOU CANNOT REFRAIN FROM TALKING TO MR. BLACK!”
Sighing, Phoenix tucked her wand up her right sleeve, packed away her books, and scurried out of the classroom. McGonagall looked astounded that not only had Phoenix left without an argument, but also she had not corrected her when she called her ‘Ms. Riddle’.
The bell rang that moment, indicating the end of classes for the day. As the Marauders quickly packed up and rushed out the door to catch Phoenix, McGonagall stopped in front of Lily’s desk.
“I’m feeling rather strange, not hearing her start a pointless debate,” sighed McGonagall. “Nothing…nothing has happened recently, has it? Any, um, letters from home or her grandfather?”
Lily blinked, her mind buzzing like it had before the Sorting in first year. She grasped the desk, trying to regain composure and remember what it was that had helped her calm down then. “Not that I know of, professor,” she choked out. McGonagall sighed again and returned to her desk.
“Well, she’s a strong girl, that Phoenix is. With a mother and father like that…not to mention her grandfather,” she paused, as if reflecting back on the time when Phoenix parents attended her Transfiguration classes. “Just keep her close and safe, Ms. Evans. Friends like Phoenix and those Marauder boys are the ones that last a lifetime and beyond. They are the ones who would die for you and are worth dying for. No matter what happens between you all, always forgive and accept them back.”
Nodding, a befuddled Lily walked out of the classroom and into the blaring sunlight where students frolicked about, enjoying the last of that day’s classes and the beginning of the weekend. When did McGonagall become so sentimental? Her head began spinning madly and her vision become impaired when she remembered what stopped her from vomiting all over the Great Hall at the Sorting.
“Phe? Will you get out of that damn tree? Hey! Don’t you roll your eyes at me, missy! I’ll hex you out again-“
“Lillikins? Will you shut up and come sit with me?”
Lily’s eyes widened in alarm. Phoenix never sounded so desperate before. Heck, when she was pummeled into a goalpost during a Quidditch match, she laughed it off and ordered everyone to set the Slytherin dungeons on fire, despite the fact the opposing team was Ravenclaw.
“Um, can you tell me what’s going on, Phe? I’m kind of freaking out and the Marauders…well, you know what they do when they freak out-“
“Go set the Slytherin dungeons on fire. Yeah, I know,” a pregnant pause came between them. “They are so many things I want to tell you, but I…can’t.”
“Why? I’m your best friend! What can’t you possibly tell me?” Sighing, Phoenix heaved Lily up on the branch and rested her head on her narrow shoulder.
“This much I can say. My amulet holds powers, Lillikins. Powers of Magus Antiquus. No random person can touch it or else they’ll burn and be scarred forever. It can only be passed along through family or that one person-“
“Who? What one person?”
“You know!” moaned Phoenix. “The one person you belong with-“
“All right, Snivellus?” a familiar, annoying voice called loudly.
Phoenix and Lily turned around to see the idle Marauders following Severus Snape as he scribbled in what looked to be a tattered Potions book. Snape turned around and whipped out his wand but James was nippy to Disarm him. Sirius began laughing and throwing more taunts at the poor boy. Silently, Phoenix helped Lily off the branch and safely on the other side of the willow tree. As they rounded about, the Marauders teased Snape more and eventually, Lily and Phoenix heard other students laughing and incantations being shouted.
“Just wait, Black. You and your furry friend will be exposed…just wait-” Snape was muttering madly as he withered about on the ground, his body under a strong hex.
“Wait for what?” Sirius asked coolly, his voice getting louder to cover Snape’s mysterious words. “Are you going to wipe your nose on us?” Snape began cursing insanely; Phoenix didn’t understand half of what he was saying.
“Wash out your mouth,” said James coldly. “Scourgify!”
“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” Lily screamed; she sprinted towards Snape who was sputtering up bubbles and pink soap. Phoenix followed and looked disappointedly at Remus. “WHAT HAS SEVERUS EVER DONE TO YOU?” she shrieked, her eyes ablaze and her face red. Phoenix moved to help her and Severus up but Lily waved her off.
“Well, it’s more the fact that he exists, if you know what I mean…” bystanders snickered along with Sirius, Peter, and James but Remus was frowning and staring back at Phoenix.
“YOU THINK YOU’RE SO FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC! GUESS WHAT? YOU’RE NOTHING BUT AN ARROGANT, BULLYING TOERAG! LEAVE SEV ALONE!”
There was a pause; no one had ever heard Lily saw a swear word before. “I will if you go out with me, Evans,” said James quickly. “And marry me-“
Lily began ranting about how she’d rather date the giant squid when all of a sudden, Snape got a hold of his wand and hit James with a hex that slit a gash in his broad chest. Unconcerned with the blood seeping through his robes, James hexed Snape again, sending him in the air and ripping his pants off. Screaming, Lily pulled out her own wand and pointed it at James.
“TAKE THE CURSE OFF HIM NOW, POTTER, OR I WILL HURT YOU!” she bellowed. The other three Marauders took a step back, their eyes wide. James sighed and released Snape from his suspension in the air. Lily bent down to help him but he waved her up forcefully, cursing loudly.
“I don’t need help from a filthy Mudblood like you!” he shouted furiously, standing up. James and Sirius pulled out their wands again but this time, Phoenix whipped her out and Disarmed them silently.
Lily stared at Snape, cold tears brimming at the corners of her pained emerald eyes. Snape’s eyes widened a little as Lily sniffled and stepped back. “Fine then,” she mumbled. She grabbed Phoenix’s arm and ran up to the castle, ignoring James’ shouting at Snape and Sirius’ demands for their wands back.
“Lillikins,” Phoenix began as they hurried into a hidden corridor. “I’m-“ Lily crumpled onto the ground, wailing, ranting, and sobbing hysterically. Phoenix sat down with her and pulled her into her arms, stroking her hair and making soothing sounds. It was hours until Lily leaked out the last tear and blew her runny nose for a final time.
“It really happened, didn’t it?” she whispered, clinging to Phoenix. “You always said something like this would happen but I didn’t believe you. You of all people…”
“I’m sorry, Lils. I shouldn’t have said anything-“
“No, you were right. You say what was there but I saw what I wanted to see. You were right,” she sighed. Phoenix hugged her tightly.
“I won’t ever leave you and I won’t let anyone hurt you. I promise.”
Lily shook her head. “Don’t make promises, Phe. He made me a promise that being a Muggleborn didn’t make a difference before we came to Hogwarts. He broke it, he broke the promise…” Sighing, Phoenix helped Lily and herself stand up.
“C’mon, Lils. Let’s get to the dorms. We missed dinner but I’ll go snitch something,” she mumbled.
Stumbling about, it took about an hour to get the drowsy Lily up to the seventh floor and into her bed. When they got settled, Mary MacDonald, another sixth year roommate, told them that Severus Snape had been waiting at the Portrait Door for nearly five hours, asking for Lily. Raging, Phoenix ran down to the common room and nearly knocked over Snape when she exited through the Fat Lady’s portrait.
“I have half a mind to blow you to pieces,” she hissed. “I have a full mind to, actually.”
“Please, get Lily,” he whispered, his voice strangled. “I have to talk to her-“
“The only person you’re going to talk to is me! I just sat with her in the middle of a damn corridor as she cried and told me all about your childhood together! Have you ever realized how much Lily has done to keep your friendship together? And what do you do? Go around, following Avery and those other Slytherins, hexing innocent people! What do you have to say about that?”
“It’s not like your father is any better!” Snape retorted, his tone sharp and livid. Phoenix raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms.
“My father? You want to talk about my father? Let’s talk about that sick, twisted man. And how you and your little Slytherin friends are all lined up to work for him! Your just as disgusting as he is, you foul little mother fu-“
“Phe?” Lily had left the dorm and came down in her nightgown, her shaky body shivering more in the chilly corridor.
“Go back up to bed, Lils. I’m taking care of this-“
“You go in. The Marauders are waiting for you and this is my fight,” she snapped stubbornly. Glaring, Phoenix went into the common room. Once the door shut behind her, the Marauders practically pounced on her. All except Remus.
“Phe, ohmigosh, we’re so-“
“It was a joke-“
“Just good fun-“
“Tell Evans that-“
“You all are in deep shit,” she said frankly. Sirius’ jaw dropped. “Yes, I used a swear word. Get over it. And while you get over that, get over yourselves!” TSirius, James, and Peter, all deflated and wordless, headed back up to their dorm silently. Phoenix turned to Remus, where he sat in a leather armchair facing the dull fire. “I really didn’t think you would, Rum. I thought you of all people would understand what it’s like to be discriminated against and hide from everyone. Even the people who love you most.”
Remus' eyebrows furrowed and his head felt light enough to break off his neck and float away. "Phe, what do you know-" Shaking her head disappointedly, Phoenix scuffled up to the girls' dormitory. He leaned back into the squishy leather chair and despite it having absolutely no lumps or cracks, he felt like boulders were falling and grinding on his back. Sighing, he tried to keep his heartbeat regular.
“Merlin, we need help.”