Amos stopped in shock momentarily, his eyes widening at seeing James in front of him. He opened his mouth to say something but stopped himself at the last second, making him look like an idiotic, gaping fish.
James gave another disgusted laugh and shook his head. “Grindylow got your tongue, Diggory? Can’t think of a good enough excuse as to why you are kissing someone else when you’re meant to be the boyfriend of Evans?”
The smirk on the Slytherin girl got wider when James mentioned Evans' name. He had to control himself to not hex the girl...or Amos for that matter. He couldn’t understand why the girl would feel as if she had just won some competition. Since when did becoming a home wrecker become classy? Amos was still silent, occasionally looking to girl for some help. He was completely lost for words.
“You’re lucky I haven’t hit you yet, Diggory. I don’t think you realise how much restraint I’m putting in at the moment,” James shook his head and continued waiting for a response from Amos, his wand at his side.
Amos whipped his head back around and stared at James. “Like you would try anything, Potter. You’re Head Boy. You don’t want to tarnish your reputation by stepping down and using physical violence on me just because you’re trying to get justice for the love of your life. You need to move on, Potter, she likes me. You’re little hero thing,” sneering, he flourished his hand at James, “Isn’t going to work.”
James’ eyes narrowed and he clenched his wand tightly in his hand, his fingers tickling with anticipation to punch him in the nose or hex the living daylights out of him. “So you’re saying that she is fine with all this ‘girl on the side’ business? You have run this by her I assume? You know, Diggory, I didn’t know that you were one for one for trollops?”
The girl hissed with displeasure and pulled her wand out to curse James but he was too quick, deflecting it easily and silently. Amos watched her fly back against the wall from James’ shield charm and slump down unconscious, her head flopping down onto her chest. Amos turned around and sneered, “You’re going to get it for that, Potter. Rendering someone unconscious? Tut-tut. I would have thought better from the Head Boy.”
“Shut your mouth, Diggory, I couldn’t care less what you think. She cursed me. I deflected it. I’m protecting myself, simple as that. They would check her last spell on her wand that would prove my story. I don’t know where you have been but you can’t get in trouble for protecting yourself,” James paused to gesture to the girl, looking at her with strong dislike. “Thought you would have cared a little more for the Slytherins’ well being Diggory? You have barely even looked in her direction. She obviously meant that much to you. And you still haven’t told me your pathetic excuse yet either. Still trying to think of one?”
“It really is none of your business, Potter.” Amos folded his arms and gave James a withering stare.
“Actually, I think you just made it my business by being down here this early. The curse didn’t do much to help you either. Plus, Evans is Head Girl, she is going to find out about this whether you like it or not. We have to go through incident reports every week when someone curses another person. So either you tell me what’s going on now, or I can bring her down here and you can explain the whole situation to her yourself, the Slytherin included.”
Amos frowned, disgruntled with James’ ultimatum. “It’s not like Lily has ever expressed that she wanted to be exclusive anyway. I don’t know why it’s even a big issue.”
James snorted. “Yes, because your actions before clearly indicated that you were very relaxed about the situation. Getting caught in a broom closet at five in the morning did not faze you whatsoever.”
“That’s right. I don’t care. You can tell Lily whatever you like. She hasn’t specified that we’re exclusive so I’m going to continue to do whatever the hell I want. And you know what Potter, like she is ever going to believe you. You’ve been trying to ruin her relationships ever since you met her. She is just going to think this another one of your attempts at sabotaging her love life. Ha. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. What a pity, Potter. If I didn’t think you were a disgusting Gryffindor, I might have felt sorry for you.”
With that he took one more look at the unconscious girl on the floor, giving a small scoff before turning around and heading up the marble staircase. James exhaled, trying to calm himself. He ran a hand through his hair and turned toward the Slytherin, trying to figure out what to do with her.
“What an absolute prick.”
James turned around quickly to see Sirius standing only a couple of metres behind him, holding the silvery material of his invisibility cloak in his hands.
“Wait, how long have you been there, Padfoot?”
“Practically the whole time. I came around to see you this morning but you weren’t there so I looked you up on the map and saw you were heading out of the Great Hall. I figured I would come join you but decided to stay stealth so I borrowed your invisibility cloak. I miss this thing. We haven’t used it to create havoc in ages! Anyway, I was here for pretty much the whole thing. I’m surprised you didn’t ‘sense’ me. You’re usually pretty good at that, Prongs”
James frowned. “You’ve been there the whole time? You didn’t bother to help me out?”
Sirius yawned. “You seemed to have it covered, mate. To be honest, I was scared of you to begin with. Your voice was deathly low and you had this freaky look on your face. Actually, the freaky look was there the whole time. It was all a bit sardonic actually.”
“Still, you could have backed me up. The damn girl tried to curse me!” James said, flailing his arm at the Slytherin girl still on the ground.
Sirius laughed. “Prongs, look at her! She is still unconscious. I don’t think you needed any backing up mate.”
James grumbled and ran another hand through his hair. “What are we meant to do with her anyway? Just leave her here until she wakes up, then she can find her own way back? Or should I take her up the hospital wing?”
“Well, the real question is, do you want to do the right thing by the Slytherin or do you want to the do the wrong thing by the Slytherin?”
“Well, she bloody cursed me, so I don’t really care about her right now but I’ll send an anonymous tip to Madame Pompfrey to let her know someone is injured down here. That’ll do it, right?”
Sirius gave another chuckle and pat James on the back. “Probably done too much for the git, but I guess you’re Head Boy. I can’t argue with that.”
They sent word to the Matron and then headed back into the Great Hall so Sirius could eat some breakfast. James followed in Sirius’ wake and sat down absently next to him. The whole scene was finally sinking in. Amos didn’t seem to care whether or not Lily found out. James felt bile rise in his throat. He despised Amos from the beginning but his actions had now confirmed why he and everyone had such bad reactions when they found out that he and Lily were an item. He closed his eyes and tried to relax himself. He had no idea how he was going to tell Lily. Amos was right; she was immediately going to the think the worst of him if he said something. He was not about to go start another fight with Lily. He was only just starting to function without her constantly being on his mind.
He looked over to Sirius who was woofing down what appeared to the remains of his bacon on toast. “Padfoot, what am I supposed to do?”
Sirius looked at James’ downcast face and immediately knew what he was referring to. He swallowed his mouthful before continuing. “In relation to whether you should tell Lily or not about what just happened?” he paused while James nodded his head. “To be honest, I don’t really know James. I do agree with Amos on part of it. It hasn’t really gone well in the past when you have tried to talk to her about her boyfriends. But on the other hand, it’s the damn truth this time. You can’t just leave her in the dark. You may not be the best of friends but if she had found out that a girlfriend had been cheating on you, you would want to know straight away, wouldn’t you?”
James kept his eyes lowered as Sirius’ words sunk in. There was no way in hell that he would want to be left in the dark about that sort of thing. He didn’t really have an option. She had to find out some way or another. “Does it really have to be me who tells her? Can’t you tell her or something?”
“Me? You know she and I almost have a worse relationship than you two do. It’s especially rocky at the moment. Ever since I talked to her in the library a few weeks ago, she hasn’t been the happiest with me.”
James frowned. “Why, what happened in the library?”
Sirius blanched. He was not meant to give that little bit of information away to him. Sirius had deliberately kept it to himself. He knew James would kill him if he had known he had approached Lily about her idiotic ways of late. “Oh, I just saw her in the library one afternoon with Diggory and said something not quite pleasant to him as I walked past. Nothing major.”
“Oh. Fair enough. But really Sirius, can’t you say something for me please? It’s easy enough to recreate that you found them as opposed to me.”
“What makes you think that she is going to believe what I say?” Sirius looked at James. His eyes were tired but you could see the evident worry that he was feeling. “I suppose we could tell Moony though. He might be able to talk to her.”
James clicked his fingers and stood up suddenly. “Excellent. Thanks, Padfoot. That’s excellent. Can you let him know for me? Make sure you tell him the proper story. Don’t leave any details out because you think they aren’t worthwhile. Lily deserves the truth, as much as it might hurt her. It will probably do some good eventually.”
Sirius nodded, mainly to himself as James walked quickly out of the Great Hall. He had no idea where he was going but hardly anyone knew what was up with him these days. He was hoping to take the opportunity of the early morning to talk to him properly where there were no listening ears but unfortunately, Amos Diggory had to go be his disgusting, self-righteous self at the worst time. He really did feel sorry for James. He seemed to be getting stuck in the worst situations lately. They weren’t doing him any favours either. It was just making him more tired, more on edge and more stressed. Sirius had forced himself to get up at five in the morning just so he could come down and talk to him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t even do that. He picked up the last piece of toast that was in front of him, shoved it in his mouth and headed towards the staircase. Climbing the stairs to the Gryffindor tower, he silently hoped that Remus was awake and could help him out with this mess of a situation.
“Ok. So what you’re telling me is that James saw Amos cheating on Lily with a Slytherin” Remus said slowly, trying to sit up in his bed, while rubbing his eyes wearily.
“I was there too. I can vouch for him,” Sirius supplied.
“Right, you were there too. And what you want me to do is tell Lily that Amos isn’t really a loving, devoted boyfriend but in fact is a cheating scoundrel?”
Remus scoffed. “Wow. It really couldn’t have come any easier for me.”
Sirius gave Remus an encouraging pat on the back, “We felt it was a job best for you.”
“No you didn’t. I imagine James doesn’t want to do it because he doesn’t want to get into trouble from Lily and cause another argument between them and you don’t want to do it because secretly you’re just as terrified of Lily as James is.”
Sirius crossed his arms across his chest indignantly. “That is all mere hearsay, Moony.”
“I think you’re in denial, Padfoot.”
Sirius ignored Remus’ comment and continued, “So you’ll do it? You’re all good to go?”
“I think you two take me for granted. Especially you, Padfoot. Why did you think I would accept? I wasn’t even there. What makes you think that I’m going to be able to answer all her questions properly? She is going to suspect that something is up when I can’t remember some small detail that I should know. It’s Lily Evans, Padfoot, she picks up on everything! Plus, I still don’t understand why you can’t just tell her. I know she is scary, but really, grow a pair, and start taking responsibility for these things!” Remus finished looking quite frustrated.
Sirius looked at Remus for a couple of seconds before he burst out in laughter, his bark echoing off the glass pane from the window. “Moony, did you just tell me to grow a pair?”
Remus frowned and coloured slightly in his cheeks. “Yes. And I’m not retracting it. I can’t see any reason why you can’t do it.”
Sirius, still guffawing, went and sat down on his bed, tears of mirth rolling down his cheeks, “That has got to be one of the funniest things you have ever said.”
“Alright, alright Sirius, I get the point. Move on.”
“So you’re really not going to do it?”
“Correct.” Remus said smiling, as he had taken Sirius’ earlier statement.
Sirius huffed and looked out the window, “Well how about you let one of the girls know then? Tell Ella or someone. Lily won’t doubt them.”
Remus sighed, giving into Sirius’ pleas, “I still don’t see how it is going to work but I’ll let one of them know. You owe me, Sirius.”
Sirius got up and gave him another slap on his back, “I’ll let you run around in the forest on the next full moon for a bit. I’ll be your personal supervisor as well.”
“Don’t you always do that?” Remus said, looking tired again.
“Yes, but this one will be extra fun,” Sirius said excitedly.
“I still don’t understand why you think running around with a werewolf is fun.”
“Nope, and I never expect you to, Moony,” Sirius smiled and picked up his broom. “Are you coming down to the pitch? I just remembered training is on. I wondered where James was going this morning. I expect he is already down there worrying his little bottom off. Merlin, bless his Quidditch socks.”
Sirius started out of the dormitory. He was just through the door when he halted suddenly. “Oh, you should bring Ella. Perfect time to tell her! Take the good opportunity Moony; you never know when you’re going to get another one.”
Remus sighed resentfully as Sirius wandered out the door. He was only chirpy because the burden was off his shoulders. Git!
Ella wandered down to the grounds, toast in hand, and her Gryffindor scarf wrapped tightly around her neck. Aria all but slammed every door and cupboard in the dormitory that morning when she realised that she was late for Quidditch training. Cussing under her breath, she finally left with one final slam of the door, waking Ella up entirely. Lily of course was not there to witness everything but if she was, she would have probably slept through the whole thing anyway.
She took another bite of her toast and continued towards the Quidditch pitch to watch her friends train. It was never a boring experience, especially with Sirius on the team. It was only a matter of minutes until he did something that pissed off either Aria or James. There on in, it was like watching a television soap. Well, that’s what Lily said anyway.
Walking into the stadium, she heard James’ loud voice directing the keeper. She looked up to see everyone zipping around on their brooms. Looking up into the stands next, she saw Remus. She made her way up the stairs and gradually began her ascent to where he was seated. Puffing slightly, she finally slumped down next to him, smiling, “Anything entertaining happen yet? I hope I didn’t miss anything. There is nothing I love more than a Black and Slater argument.”
Remus chuckled. “Not yet. They have only been up there about ten minutes or so. They were down on the ground for a while talking about the way the Puffs sit further back on their brooms.”
“Interesting,” said Ella, with a little giggle.
Remus smiled and started cracking his knuckles. He looked up again to watch what was happening but Ella could see that something was bothering him. He always fidgeted with his fingers when he needed to say something but didn’t know how to approach it.
“You seem a little distracted today, Remus. Did Sirius do something to you last night?”
“No. It’s more what he did this morning. Well rather, what he watched this morning.”
Ella frowned, confused, and waited for Remus to continue.
Remus bit his lip and looked down at his hands. “I suppose there is no real good way to tell you so I’m just going to tell you straight out. No pretence.”
Ella’s frowned deepened. “Okay, I’m a little worried now, Remus.”
“Don’t be. It’s not a matter of life or death. It’s just that James went down to breakfast early this morning and on his way out of the Great Hall, he caught Amos snogging some Slytherin sixth year in some closet under the marble staircase.”
Ella took a sharp intake of breath, “You’re kidding?”
“Unfortunately not,” Remus said, shaking his head sadly. “Apparently, it didn’t go down to well. The Slytherin tried to hex James-”
“What!” Ella interrupted with a look of shock on her face.
“No, no, it’s okay. You know James. He can handle himself better than anyone. Can’t say the same for the Slytherin girl though. I expect she is up in the hospital wing as we speak due to James’ block. But yeah, Amos didn’t really care what he was doing and blamed it on Lily saying she hadn’t specified on whether their relationship was exclusive or not.”
Ella spluttered in outrage, “He did not say that!”
Remus smiled sadly again and nodded, “Yes, he did.”
Seething, Ella looked up at James who was now talking to one of the chasers, Seth Bell, on how to throw a different way when you’re throwing over your shoulder. She felt sorry for James. The only thing he ever wanted was returned affections from Lily. And now he had to witness something like that. No wonder he had gone into his shell, “Poor James. I suspect he doesn’t want to say anything to Lily because he doesn’t want to start a fight?”
“So, hold on, where does Sirius come in to all this mess?” Ella looked over to Remus who now had a trace of a smile on his face. His lips were pressed together, as if trying not to laugh.
“Sneaking around in the shadows as usual,” Remus said with a small laugh. “You know the saying, ‘where James Potter goes, you know Sirius Black is sure to follow’.”
Ella laughed and shook her head, “And I suppose you’re telling me because you don’t want to tell Lily either? I can understand why James doesn’t want to. Sirius, I’m always thrown off with him. He seems like nothing in the world scares him, like he has the world at his feet, and then Lily Evans comes along and he cowers like a little boy.”
Remus gave a bark of laughter, “I’ve noticed that myself, too. Poor Sirius. But yes, I’d rather not say anything myself. I’ve got a good relationship with both Lily and James and I’d rather not ruin either or both so I decided to pass the information along to you.”
“It’s seems I have become the bearer of the unwanted information,” Ella sighed ruefully.
“You could always pass it onto Aria? She might know how to handle it better, or you could help each other out?”
“Yeah, I was planning on letting her know anyway, so she could help to soften the blow when we give Lily the fateful news,” Ella paused to exhale loudly. “My day just turned for the worst. This is not going to be good. The longer we put it off, the worse it’s going to be. Plus, I don’t want that arsehole, Diggory, going around acting as if he just got away with it. I hope she doesn’t take it too badly. I just don’t even know how I’m going to tell her. It’s not like we can mention James. I know as soon as she hears the name ‘James’, she will blame it on him. He doesn’t need that right now.”
Remus looked up at James, “No, he really doesn’t. Oh, any word back from Aria’s parents? He is still just as closed up about that whole situation.”
“No, we haven’t. Don’t know why it’s taking so long. They are either being really lazy, they are taking a while to find out the problem, or they are away on a mission. But I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I hear anything.”
Remus nodded absently as he leaned back and watched the players on their brooms. Just as he was about to close his eyes in the tranquillity of the sun, he heard a screech from Aria and saw she was yelling obscenities at Sirius from fifty metres above them. At least some things never change.
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me!” Aria yelled.
“Unfortunately not,” Ella smiled painfully, repeating Remus’ words.
“Oh that good for nothing...” Aria began rolling off another round of obscenities for the second time that day.
They were standing in the middle of the girls locker rooms after Quidditch training. Aria was only half dressed when Ella had given her the bad news. She threw her shirt across the room and started pacing, muttering under her breath. She could not believe that it had happened this quickly. Poor Lily, how on earth were they meant to tell her? She was so over the moon about the relationship. The girl gave everyone the benefit of the doubt.....except James.
“So I guess we are the bearers of the fantastic news, huh?” Aria stopped, looking at Ella for an answer.
Ella nodded sympathetically.
“Damn it,” Aria yelled and started pacing again.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door and they both looked at each other confused as Aria headed over to the door. She opened it quickly and gasped and shut it again, taking a large step away from the door with a horrified look on her face.
“Who is it?” Ella asked standing up and walking towards Aria.
Aria stood motionless, her eyes still focused on the closed door. Ella sighed and went and opened the door to see for herself. Upon opening, she saw Sirius standing there with the same shocked look on his face. Ella burst out laughing. She muttered a quick “Hold on a minute, Sirius” and shut the door. Still laughing she walked over to where Aria’s shirt was and threw it at her and told her to make herself decent this time.
Aria quickly pulled on her shirt and sat down on the bench looking mortified, red streaks appearing all over her neck. Chuckling, Ella walked back to the door and pulled Sirius in. His cheeks turned a light pink when he saw Aria and he quickly bent his head and coughed, walking across the room to sit on the other side.
Clearing her throat and smiling to herself about the two embarrassed people sitting in front of her, Ella stood in between them and decided to mediate.“Alright, let’s get the tension out of the way. Sirius, yes, you did just see Aria in her bra. Are you going to use this against her?”
“No,” Sirius muttered, his voice a little rough.
“And Aria, are you going to be mad at Sirius for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, bearing in mind that it was your own fault that you didn’t put a shirt on before you opened the door?”
“No,” Aria repeated.
“Good. Now the both of you get over it. Sirius. it’s not like you have never seen a bra before and Aria it’s not like you haven’t been caught in a situation like this before either,” Aria visibly coloured a little more but glanced up at Sirius who was looking back at her. She smiled a little and shrugged her shoulders.
Ella cleared her throat again after ten seconds to get their attention back to her, “Sirius, to what do we owe this pleasure?”
“I was just coming to see what all the yelling was about. But then I realised you must have heard about Amos so I came to see what your plan of attack was,” Sirius said gruffly.
Ella looked at Aria, “We hadn’t got around to discussing it yet but I think we are just going to tell her straight out when we get back up to the castle. Hopefully Amos won’t be around. I know she doesn’t like any nonsense, so if we just get it over and done with, she might appreciate it better.”
Lily was standing in the doorway with a confused look on her face, “Might appreciate what better? And Black, what are you doing in the girls change rooms?”
Ella’s eyes widened in shock and looked quickly to Aria who was mirroring her reaction. Sirius audibly gulped. Ella took a deep breath, “Lil’s, come and sit down. There is something we have to tell you.”
Lily frowned and looked between them all as she moved across the room and sat in the middle between Aria and Sirius. “What is it? Why do you all look like someone has died?”
Sirius chuckled, “Don’t worry, no one has died. It’s just something that I saw this morning that I thought you should know about. I was going to tell you myself but I just thought I’d let these two know since they could help out afterwards.”
Lily paled and looked between them again waiting for someone to continue. Sirius looked at Aria who nodded to him to keep going, “Well, there isn’t really an easy way to tell you this, so I’m just going to tell you straight out.” Lily nodded. “This morning, when I was coming down to breakfast early, I caught Amos kissing some Slytherin git in the maintenance closet under the stairs.”
Lily’s face paled even more and her head shot to Aria and Ella who nodded an affirmative. Aria moved closer to Lily and put her arm round her shoulder, “We’re sorry, love.”
“What did he say?” Lily directed at Sirius.
“Well, his main argument was that you two weren’t exclusive so he felt that he could do anything he wanted.”
Lily nodded, keeping her eyes downcast.
“When are you going to break things off with him?” Ella asked.
“I don’t know. He is kind of right, you know? I never did specify that I wanted to be exclusive. So I don’t think I should be angry with him. I can only just tell him that I don’t want to continue the relationship if he is going to keep going out with other girls,” Lily said in a small voice, her eyes still at her shoes.
Sirius looked up, alarmed at her words, “You can’t be serious, Evans? The guy is cheating on you! There is no excuse for that behaviour. He shouldn’t have done it. He doesn’t deserve you!”
Lily pulled her head back to look at Sirius. She tugged her mouth into a half smile then stood up and headed towards the door, “Thanks for letting me know, guys. I appreciate it. I’m going to go back up to the castle. I’ll see you at lunch.”
After the door had closed, Sirius let out a large groan and stood up, the girls following in his wake, “One day that girl is going to kill herself by being too nice to people.”
I apologise for the incredibly long wait on this!
So how was the chapter for you? Pleased there was to cliffie at the end? Favourite quotes, scenes? What do you think is going to happen next?
Just a big thank you to all the people that have reviewed! I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me your thoughts!
Oh and I have an MTA page up and running now if you wanted to ask questions or leave a comment or something like that. I'd be glad to hear from you!
Thanks again everyone!