"Had someone told me that this is what it feels like to be in love, I would have done so sooner!"
Sirius was one of those resilient people, down but not out for the count. His cut had been deep, but relatively easy to mend. The day after the dance he was fighting Madame Pomfrey tooth and nail to leave the hospital wing, but she would hear nothing of it.
“Poppy! Look at me! I am strong, I am healthy! Do I look like I was ever injured to you?” Sirius shouted, calling her by her first name, which was often his tendency towards teachers he felt he could manipulate (Flitwick, for example…). But Madame Pomfrey was equally as willful as Sirius.
“Absolutely not, Mr. Black! You will remain in that bed till I deem you healthy to leave, and not a moment before!” She scolded him sternly, forcing him back to his bed. “And don’t call me Poppy!”
Remus was another story. Transforming was always hard on his system, and in addition he was feeling guilty for attacking Sirius, so he had barely spoken a word since returning from the forest. Having no one to bite, he had to scratch and bite himself, and was not in a very good condition. Although staying in the hospital bed next to Sirius, Remus could not even bring himself to look at his friend, even though Sirius reminded him that he couldn’t have helped it and to just get over it and move on.
Naturally, the whole school was eager to know what had happened that night, and rather than taking the word of Lily, Peter, and James, who assured them that Sirius and Remus were fine, they preferred to hear the tale from the “victims‘” own mouths. James had filled Sirius in on the story Lily and Peter had made up, and was sticking to it remarkably well, considering his usual habit of elaborate stories that strayed far from the truth. However, as it wasn’t the truth to begin with, Sirius had James’s permission to embellish away (which, of course, he did!)
Here was what happened according to Sirius (as he told a group of 4th year girls who had come to visit him and wish him well):
“Remus and Crystal were talking in the rosebushes, when a huge gust of wind blew and extinguished the fairy lights. Something grabbed Remus, and had begun to drag him away, when I came to his rescue! I lunged at it, not even bothering with my wand, not caring whether I attacked a human, or a beast! It was a bloody fight, and I yelled to Peter to get James for backup (In reality Sirius had been out cold long before this…, But Lily only nodded along), as he has a great right hook (James always felt that part was a nice touch to the story.)
"While doing this, I stumbled in the dark, and that’s when this animal dealt me that fateful blow, straight to my head (This story is going to his head, alright! Tracy muttered to Lily, watching the girls simper over Sirius).
"But by some mere chance, it didn’t completely knock me out! I struggled to remain conscious, I couldn’t let them take Remus away, and the girls were unprotected! Just then James came and took up where I had left off, and he chased the beast into the woods! Lily, the sweet angel of mercy she is, and Peter, that fellow of stout heart, they came to my side when all seemed lost! (Lily always found it hard to keep a straight face during this part, as Sirius would get so emotional and dramatic).
"With them by my side, I did not lose hope in my right hand man James, and I finally thought no more…”
Sirius then would sigh deeply and put up a distressed face, and the girls would once again simper and fuss over him. James would then shoo them away, telling them that Sirius needed his rest and his condition might worsen if he didn’t.
Together they put on a dazzling performance, and the only ones who found it highly unlikely were the people that needed to be convinced the most: Tracy, Erica, and Crystal.
Lily and Erica were working on the Charms homework they had been assigned over the holidays in the common room later that day, the feeling of excitement and anticipation gone as the dance was now over. Lily was busily checking her facts in a hefty volume titled, “Charming but Dangerous: Using your charms as an element of self defense!” for her essay on the subject, but Erica had her mind on something completely off the topic.
“What really happened in the garden last night, Lils?” she asked Lily, taking her by surprise with the unexpectedness of the question. Lily blinked, unsure of how to answer.
“What do you mean? You heard Sirius…” Lily began, deciding that if she could avoid the question she wouldn’t have to answer it.
“Lily.” Erica said, smiling at her, “You don’t really think that Crystal, Tracy, and I are thick enough to believe the tales that come out of Sirius’s mouth, even though some are!” Lily had to smile at this too, it did amaze her that some girls accepted Sirius’s words like they were the Bible or something.
“Well, I can see how you might doubt his side of the story, but James, Peter, and I are reliable!”
“Yea, I know you are… and I trust Peter, but….” Erica trailed off, but Lily had a feeling she knew what Erica was going to say.
“You don’t trust James’s word?”
“Well, he is Sirius’s best friend, and we all know how deceptive they can be when it suits their interests.” Erica said slowly, trying to find the best way to word it. “And I know he wouldn’t lie or anything to hurt anyone (well, maybe Snape…), but sometimes when he gets that crooked grin…” Erica continued, but Lily was looking almost glazed over, a kind of dazed smile playing across her face.
“Yea… that smile. I know what you mean.” Lily sighed, picturing that smile in her mind, the silly lopsided grin he reserved specifically for times of conniving with Sirius or times of togetherness with her.
“Hello? Earth to Lily? Lils, are you in there??” Erica asked, waving her hand in front of Lily’s eyes. Lily turned to look at her, still blissfully thinking of James.
“Girl, you’ve got it bad!” Erica exclaimed, laughing at her friend’s face that was so obviously happy with love.
“Got what?” Lily asked, smiling back. Erica leaned over the table to get closer.
“As if you didn’t know! Lily, you are SO OUT OF IT! You love him, he loves you, what happened at that dance last night that you didn’t spill last night with us?” Erica asked her slyly, and Lily’s mouth opened in shock.
“Oh my gosh! Nothing like THAT!” she honestly rebuked Erica, who’s eyebrows raised as she said this. “I swear! We just danced!”
Erica gave her a “right, whatever you say Lils, I don’t think so” look, but dropped the matter as they resumed their Charms homework.
“So, what did Dumbledore say about it?” Sirius asked James in the hospital wing. Madame Pomfrey was currently tending to a Hufflepuff 3rd year who had gotten locked inside a broom closet by Peeves, but she had locked the door to ensure Sirius didn’t try to leave. He was, however, jumping on his bed trying to get rid of his excessive pent-up energy, and James found it very difficult to talk to him when he was like this.
“Not much really. He knew that it was because of the full moon and that we had lied down in the garden, but he didn’t find out about us being animagi. Lily covered up for us.” he tried to tell him, not really sure if Sirius was listening as he was attempting to do a backflip on the springy mattress.
“Yea, she’s clever, that one. Red heads are like that, you know. You better watch her James, she’s fiery!” Sirius warned him as he landed on his but from his flip. “She’s one of those girls who follows the rules, Prongs, you think you know them, but then WHAMO! You do one little thing and they are off like a firecracker! Red hair, you know…” Sirius continued to tell him, but James was looking off into space, a silly, lopsided grin on his face.
“JAMES!” Sirius yelled in his ear, slowing his bouncing to properly startle his friend.
“Huh?” James asked him, not really interested, his mind elsewhere. Actually, it was on Lily… he could see her red hair fanning out behind her as it had last night when he had spun her around. God he loved that hair! And that cute little nose she had, especially when she would wrinkle it up in disdain… and those lips… and those eyes… green eyes… lovely like always…
“PPPPPPPPPRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Sirius bellowed, and James nearly fell off of his chair. Even Remus in the bed next to him started in his sleep.
“Holy crap, Sirius! What was that for?” James asked him indignantly, he had been savoring the image of Lily twirling again.
“I can’t believe it has happened!” Sirius muttered quietly, in a state of disbelief. “You’re gone! Beyond the point of no return!” he continued, James watching his utter awe. “My best mate has finally met his match… Prongs, you’re in love!”
James grinned again, turning scarlet as he rumpled his hair.
“MR. BLACK! GET OFF OF THAT BED AND STOP ACTING LIKE A BABOON!” Madame Pomfrey raged as she stormed in, furious to see Sirius standing on the bed, the sheets in disarray from his bouncing.
Sirius got down, but smiled innocently at her. “Come now, Poppy! Just a little exercise to keep me nimble!” Madame Pomfrey was not amused at all, but James couldn’t help but snigger at his friend as Sirius jovially resumed to his hospital bed.
“Confinement has never suited him at all, Madame Pomfrey!” James told her, and she shook her head exasperatedly as they watch Sirius open a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and down the contents.
“And the last thing he needs is more sugar!” She said as she yanked the box (now empty) from his hands. James knew she would give in sooner or later and let him leave, or Sirius would drive her up a wall.
Comment from the Author: I thougt it was kind of funny how girls and boys react differently to being in love, or at least seeing their friends in love.
Sirius-"point of no return"
Erica-"got it bad"
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