Chapter 1 : Chapter one
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James stopped in the corridor, running his empty hand through his mess of hair, giving him the most sought after windswept look, which only seemed to grace itself upon him. He turned around slowly to face the blonde haired boy standing behind him a smirk fixed on his face.
Dale Quinton was a year above him, the Quidditch captain and the greatest guy James had come to know.
“Dale,” James said with a nod as Dale began walking slowly, James falling into step beside him
“Where are you off to Potter? Going to run off with that Sirius Black kid”
James scoffed, “hardly likely.”
“I’ve heard that they keep asking you to sit with them at lunch. We all know the only reason they’re doing this is so they can be near me,” Dale spoke cockily, smiling at a passing girl who smiled sheepishly back at him.
James nodded in confirmation as they continued their walk; they were nearing the great hall.
“I wanted to ask you something, James.” Dale said throwing an arm around James and pulling him towards him so he could talk more seriously.
“Yeah? And what’s that?” James inquired, noticing the smirk had dropped off of Dale’s face.
“You know that girl you had your eye on a few days ago... Melinda something?”
James stiffened slightly; this was the girl he spent the day flirting with so he could take her to Hogsmeade at the weekend. She had turned him down this morning.
“Yeah, what about her?”
“Well, would you mind if I went out with her?” Dale asked seriously, “now that you haven’t got a chance.”
“Well, err... I ...” James began, not knowing what to say or if he even wanted Dale to see this girl.
“Great!” Dale beamed patting James roughly on the back as he dropped his arm, “I knew you would say it was okay. You’re a great mate do you know that?”
And before James could get another word in edgeways Dale had sprinted off to the magnificent front doors of the castle and exiting them, leaving a shocked and very annoyed James behind him.
“I don’t know why you put up with that?” came a voice from behind James.
“What do you mean? Dale’s great,” James said jumping to his friends defence as Sirius Black walked around to face James.
Sirius let out a scoff as he shook his head at James, “you think that’s great? He’s nothing but a jerk.”
“And what do you know about it?” James asked heatedly, who was Sirius to say whether James’s friend was a jerk or not?
“Have you not realised that he’s been going behind your back and using you?” Sirius had by now walked over to the entrance to the great hall, James was frowning at him.
“What do you mean?” James asked annoyed at Sirius’s behaviour. Sirius simply shook his head.
“You know what? You’re obviously too blind to notice it so it doesn’t matter,” and with those words he walked into the great hall and over to the Gryffindor table, taking a seat opposite Peter and Remus. James stormed angrily after him.
“Tell me what you meant!” James growled. Sirius stopped talking with Remus and Peter letting out a sigh as he turned to look at James who had stood behind him.
“Take a seat,” Sirius said simply, James looked at him in slight confusion.
“I said take a seat, I can tell you while you have lunch.”
“Oh err...Fine,” and James took a seat next to Sirius, who passed him the jug of pumpkin juice. James took hold of it sceptically.
“Don’t worry I haven’t poisoned it,” Sirius said with a roll of his eyes at the boy, “that would be the Slytherins pumpkin juice.”
Behind him a Slytherin spat out his pumpkin juice, causing Sirius to smile widely and Remus and Peter to chuckle.
“Are you going to tell me? Or am I wasting my time?” James asked ignoring the Slytherins outrage behind him. Sirius was ignoring it too.
“What’s he going on about Sirius?” Peter asked taking a piece of toast from the rack in front of him.
“Oh,” Remus said in understanding, James quickly turned on him.
“And what is that supposed to mean?” he snapped.
“Calm down! Don’t start getting annoyed at the people who actually want to be your friends. Merlin knows why we want to, after the way you’ve been behaving.” Peter told James as he took a bite of his now buttered toast.
James fumed slightly, “I don’t need...”
“You don’t need us to be your friends, you have the fabulous, Dale. Blah, blah, blah.” Remus said with a wave of his fork as he addressed James.
“He’s not that great you know,” Sirius said through a mouthful of food.
“Which you keep saying! Now give me the answer so I can get going,” James told them angrily grabbing for a sausage with his fork.
“Why? Has precious Dale told you when you need to meet him?”
“No, I have Quidditch training soon,” James told them darkly, “you know, you lot are really starting to annoy me.”
“It’s what real friends do,” Sirius told him with a smile, James glared at him.
“Well, I think we’ve avoided the subject long enough. I suppose your here to know what the deal with Dale is,” Sirius said in a serious tone, turning to face James.
“Of course I am, you know that,” James said through gritted teeth, feeling himself getting angry again.
“We’ll cut straight to the chase, shall we? Have you noticed that you seem to be doing everything that Dale tells you too?” Sirius asked him
“Of course... I’m his friend. If he asks me if I can do something I will try my best to help him,” James said with a small shrug, taking a bite of the forgotten sausage. “It’s what all friends do.”
“Yes it is I guess, but it’s not friendship if that person is taking advantage of you is it?”
“He’s not taking advantage of me.”
“Are you or are you not, doing Dales homework?” Remus asked questioningly.
“Well,” James said with a short pause as he thought of the reason he was doing Dales homework, “he asked me if I wouldn’t mind doing it this once as he was really busy with Quidditch.”
Sirius, Peter and Remus let out a laugh.
“What? What’s wrong with helping him out?”
“Answer me this, James,” Peter said leaning forward to look at the frustrated boy, “do you play Quidditch?”
“Yes,” James said with a roll of his eyes, “who doesn’t know that?”
“You are aware that you get on perfectly fine with your homework and you do Quidditch,” Sirius pointed out.
James thought about it, “Okay, I give you that one. Was that it? Homework?”
Sirius shook his head, “have you never noticed the way he makes fun of you in front of all of his friends? It seems like you’re just there to be laughed at.”
“No one laughs at me!” James cried outrage, “he has never...”
“Do you remember last month, when Dale decided to charm your broomstick so you would lose control of it when you were flying for the Quaffle, just because his friend thought it would be funny? You could have been seriously injured if it wasn’t for Remus here,” Sirius pointed to Remus who waved at James.
“You were the one who stopped that?” James asked in awe and gratitude.
“It was nothing really; it’s what friends do for each other.”
“I admit that sometimes Dale can be a bit of a ...” James began to admit.
“Jerk,” Sirius finished for him.
“But he means well,” James said with a shrug, causing Peter, Remus and Sirius to look at each other
“We knew we’d have to bring this up,” Remus said with a heavy sigh, “have you noticed that every girl that you like Dale has gone after a few days, sometimes hours, after you have mentioned that you like them?”
James opened his mouth to say something but then closed it. How had he not noticed this before? It was true that anytime James had mentioned his liking for a certain girl Dale would be seen with said girl later on that day, or a few days later and then come to James to tell him that the girl wasn’t good enough for him and went after him.
“Yes, a BIG problem we think,” Peter stated, “and what’s even worse is that we believe that it won’t be long before he works out just how much you like a certain someone.”
James looked up at Peter his eyebrows furrowed in confusion, Peter looked pointedly down the table, James followed his gaze and horror filled his face as he saw that Peter was looking at Lily Evans.
“How do you know?” James asked them in horror. They all rolled their eyes at him.
“We live with you James; we know exactly how you feel! Which isn’t helped by the fact that you talk in your sleep,” Sirius said with a laugh, James went slightly red. “And if it’s obvious to us, then it won’t be long until a certain ‘friend’ of yours works it out, and we all know what will happen when they do.”
James’s eyes widened, “he wouldn’t dare.”
“James he would, he obviously doesn’t care enough about you to respect your feelings.”
“But...he’s my friend,” James said slowly shaking his head.
“James, I really hate to say all this to you, but he really isn’t your friend.” Sirius took a breath as he raised his arm and indicated him, Remus and Peter. “Now we are more than willing to be your friends, if you’ll let us.”
James looked at them and didn’t answer their question, his head filled with Dale trying to get Lily to go on a date with him, “there’s something I need to do.”
Sirius seemed a bit deflated before he nodded slowly, he watched as James stood up and walked away from them, the arrogance seemed to have gone from his walk and he kept his hands down by his side as he walked, instead of having them constantly ruffling up his hair. He left the great hall and exited the castle.
“James.” James heard Dale run towards him; James didn’t turn to face him as he walked across the field.
“What’s up mate?” Dale asked nudging James slightly.
“Nothing, I’m fine.” James said with a shrug.
“You seem depressed, but then again I would be if I were forced to sit next to them freaks at lunch,” Dale laughed loudly, turning around when James didn’t laugh with him.
“Don’t tell me that you’re starting to like them,” Dale said with a disgusted laugh as James and Dale stopped walking.
“They actually seem okay,” James told him truthfully, Dale frowned before shrugging.
“I guess that’s your choice, but you could have chosen better. I mean if you want to hang around with us,” he indicated his friend who had just arrived, one of them carrying a ball the size of a Quaffle they had been practicing throwing to each other.
“Then you will realise that you can’t be friends with them,” he pointed over to where Sirius, Remus and Peter were shoving each other around near the castle, laughing loudly. James found himself smiling a small smile as he envied the fun they were having.
“What do you choose, James?” Dale asked loudly, pulling James’s gaze away from the boys and over to him.
“Why do I have to choose?” James asked daringly, looking up at Dale who seemed a bit dumbstruck that James had talked to him like this. Dale’s friends watched in anticipation.
“Because you do, we have a reputation to hold and as your friends we’re letting you come into our group,” Dale told him haughtily as he grabbed the Quaffle sized ball off of his friend and threw it angrily at James, who caught it with ease.
“If you were my ‘friend’ you wouldn’t make me choose! You would let me make my own decisions” James told him angrily, Dale fumed as James threw the Quaffle back at him. Hard.
“We made you who you were, we’ve let you into our group and gave you a popularity you would never have got otherwise, and you thank us by being this snivelling little know it all who thinks his better than us? If we hadn’t have guided you, you would have gone out with that bookworm Lily Evans a few years ago and really damaged your reputation.”
Dale used all of his force to throw the Quaffle back at James, who caught it without an indication that the throw hurt him. James felt himself bubble with rage at the mention of Lily, how dare he talk about her that way.
“I did not need you to make my choices for me, Dale; you can’t just treat me like shit and then just...just...ah, fuck it!” James yelled angrily throwing the Quaffle sized ball down to the floor and storming off towards the castle.
“JAMES! James get back here! We’re not finished!” Dale yelled after him.
“Yes we are! Everything is over, our friendship, this argument...Everything!”
James walked away from Dale, too angry to even run a hand through his hair.
“I told you, you had it in you!” Sirius said appearing next to James as if from out of nowhere. James turned to look at him, his eyes flickering to the people next to Sirius. Remus was standing next to Peter who was beaming at James. James resisted the urge to grin too.
“Now will you take up our offer and join the most prestigious group that Hogwarts has ever seen?”
James only needed a second to decide his answer; a broad grin flittered on his face as he looked around at the group of boys.
“Last one to the dormitory has to kiss Marlene McKinnon!”
“Eurgh! Out of the way people!” Peter yelled pushing past them and leading the race back to the castle.
“It looks like Remus is going to be last!” Sirius laughed as he ran beside James.
“Maybe he’s choosing to be last,” James laughed as he felt happier than he had in quite a while.
A/N Hope you like this, the quote we were given was "Dale; you can't just treat me like shit and then just...just...ah, fuck it" Please review, thanks for reading *gives cookies*