“Did you ever watch that muggle TV show Balls of Steel?” James asked, glancing down at Laura, who was lying in his arms.
“Duh, I’m half-blood remember,” Laura replied. “My dad made me watch it all the time.”
“What about your mum?”
“She was too busy chasing after my little sister to ensure she didn’t blow up the house. Magic can be really unpredictable,” Laura explained. James chuckled.
“I bet I’d be better at it than you,” he teased.
“What?” Laura giggled.
“I’ve been thinking about how bored we’ve been lately. And I figured the best way of doing that is to do some pretty epic stuff. You know, throw the boat out there.”
The pair had now been going out for almost five months and as far as James was concerned, things were never better. He was still best friends with Ali and Amy, getting along brilliantly with the pair. There had been no news of his dad performing any murders and even Lupin was becoming more bearable. Although he hadn’t told anyone, even Amy or Laura, James knew it wouldn’t be long before he could expose Lupin and get him kicked out of Hogwarts or worse. It would be any day now, and James would make that filthy werewolf pay for what he did to his dad.
“James,” Laura replied. “I think you’re absolutely bonkers.”
“But Laura, just imagine the fun we could have, especially with magic!” James begged. “And the Quidditch game between us and Ravenclaw is on Saturday so we only have to keep ourselves entertained until the after-party.”
“Assuming we win.”
“We will win, Potter always catches the snitch. Except when he gets knocked off by Dementors,” James assured her.
“Those things creep me out,” Laura shivered. James rubbed her shoulders. “Why can’t they just find Black already?”
James flinched at the mention of his father. He wondered if he would ever tell Laura about Sirius. He figured that if after 5 months he couldn’t, he might as well not bother.
“Laura, there’s something I need to tell you…”
“What is it?” Laura’s face was suddenly laced with concern as James took a deep breath.
“My father is Sirius Black,” he whispered.
Whatever Laura had been expecting, it wasn’t that. She sat up, facing James, her mouth wide open. She pulled him into a huge hug as James felt a mixture of relief and sadness.
“Oh my god James, I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me before?” she gasped.
“Yeah because it’s such an easy thing to tell people, even the ones I love,” James replied gently but sarcastically.
“James, I’m really sorry. Your mum, now this…” Laura peeled off, pulling him tighter.
“Yeah,” James decided to be more open. “He doesn’t even know I exist. I was born when him and my mum were still in school and she never told him about me before she died. I live with my mum’s best mate’s parents, seeing as how my mum wasn’t exactly treated well by her muggle parents. She spent her whole life with her best friend, Amy’s dad.”
“Really? It’s like you two were destined to become best friends or something,” Laura smiled.
“Yeah I guess,” James replied. He felt better having told Laura the truth (or most of it) and as she pulled him into another comforting hug, he absorbed her warmth and proceeded to kiss her, first gently, then more powerfully, as she kissed him back and giggled…
Amy swore loudly as she took the last three steps at a jump. She was going to completely miss breakfast if she wasn’t quick. As her foot touched the ground, she slipped and she completely lost her footing, skidding across the entrance hall. She reached for her wand as she flipped over but didn’t need to as David came out of nowhere and grabbed her. She heaved a sigh of relief as he handed her a croissant and some orange juice. The pair had gotten closer in the month since Christmas and they were borderline boyfriend and girlfriend. For all of David’s flirting, he was yet to either ask her out or kiss her.
“Thanks so much David. My hero,” Amy grinned, catching her breath.
“Anytime. You know you’re very blue right?” David grinned. “Cheering on the mighty Claws tomorrow?”
Amy blushed fiercely. The mix of the blue jeans and the blue nail varnish and eye liner she had on had occurred to her before she’d left the common room. What she hadn’t expected, was for a couple of Ravenclaws to bewitch her robes or for Peeves to hurl a huge bucket of blue paint on her. Her hair was dripping blue streaks and her front and face were splattered.
Anything for precious David right? As opposed to James, the boy you actually love!
Oh great now even the voice in her head was turning against her.
“Very funny Summersby,” she replied, proceeding to wolf down her breakfast as David fixed her robes and hair. “Do I look okay now?” she asked, contorting her body in an attempt to examine herself.
“You look fine,” David chuckled as he pulled her closer to him. She breathed sharply as he kissed her and for a few seconds, she stood there stunned, before kissing her back. She placed her hands on his neck.
“Hey look, some girl with blue nail varnish is kissing Summersby,” Ali said from behind her as she winced. “Thank god for that, I was really worried the bastard would end up with Amy.”
“Uh Ali,” Macey muttered. “Amy was wearing blue nail varnish this morning, she lost her red and pink ones so one of the others leant her blue.”
“Wait, do you mean…?” Ali’s voice faded and Amy pulled away, facing her thunderstruck friends sheepishly. Summersby turned around and tried to grin at them. Macey was caught between laughing and exploding, Ali looked closer to exploding, Laura was trying hard not to look and James’ face was something strange, something she couldn’t pick up on. If she’d listened hard enough, she might have been able to hear his heart splintering.
Amy tried to avoid her friends for the rest of the day but that didn’t really go well. Macey, who was naturally blowing everything out of proportion, saw Amy kissing a Ravenclaw the day before the big match whilst wearing blue as nothing short of betrayal. Ali was trying to take a diplomatic view on it but when your girlfriend is so strong-minded it’s difficult to sit on the fences. James was feeling pretty down and out. Laura blamed it on their few days earlier conversation, discussing your parents, one of whom is dead, the other a wanted killer, doesn’t tend to have a positive effect on your mood. What was really keeping him down was the knowledge that any hope he had hoped he might ever end up with her. Laura had suggested as they had two free periods in the afternoon they did the stupid game that James had thought of a few days earlier. The sheer idea seemed to cheer him up a bit but he was still mopey, more so as over the course of the day, he kept seeing Amy with David, which only served to deepen his feelings towards her. By lunch, he was ready to throw himself off the top of the Astronomy Tower and though Laura didn’t have that in mind, there was some serious stuff to pull off.
“Ok, three stunts each,” Laura informed him. “Whoever does the best gets complete control over our date on Sunday. Deal?”
“Always,” James replied, forcing a smile and trying not to think about Amy.
“Ok then, you’re up first big guy,” she cuddled up to him. “Break into the Ravenclaw common room and leave a nice surprise on Summersby’s bed.” And with that she handed him a filibusters and stood back.
“Piece. Of. Cake.”
Ali had no idea how he’d allowed this to happen. Macey had decided to go all head-buster and had tracked down David’s best mate in an attempt to find out his deep dark secrets. Assuming he had any, he could just be a normal guy. Ali pointed this out but there was no way the adamant Macey was going to listen. Which was why Ali found himself standing uncomfortably as Macey pinned Summersby’s best mate up against a wall.
“Look you little prick, there must be something David does that we can use against him,” Macey snarled.
“Listen you crazy bitch,” the boy snapped, earning himself an extra hard thump. “David’s just a normal guy and he’s in love with that Amy girl so why don’t you just back off?”
Macey dropped him and stormed away, dragging Ali behind her. Ali tried to calm her down but she was adamant that there was no way Amy was going out with Summersby. Despite the fact that she seemed to enjoy his company and he was virtually harmless. Macey had yet another brainwave and was now planning to break into the Ravenclaw dormitories. Luckily, to get in, all you had to do was answer a difficult question. Unluckily, this was Macey. After six failed tries and pissing off several Ravenclaws, Macey was about to give up, at which point she heard a huge explosion from inside the dorm. The portrait opened and James Black fell out, coughing. He was covered in soot and his clothes were torn. Macey couldn’t stop laughing and neither could Laura who came out of hiding from behind a nearby pillar. An indignant James clambered to his feet.
“Well that went horribly,” he spluttered.
“Are you kidding? That was hilarious!” Laura crowed. “What the bloody hell happened?”
“Well I left it on his bed and set the charm so it was motion sensitive. But before I could leave some ugly kid came in and I hid.”
“Where, on the bed?” Laura snorted.
“No!” James retorted. “Under it. The ugly kid sat on the firework.”
This set Laura off again, and it was several minutes before she could stop laughing long enough to reply.
“So what happened then?” she giggled.
“Well I think I got off lightly compared to him. But I’ll tell you what. He looked awfully familiar. Plus, I found this under David’s bed,” James produced a small vial of what looked like sludge.
“Bingo!” Macey grinned and snatched it off him. “Come on Ali, let’s take this to Snape to find out what our little friend has been concocting. Cheers James!” she called after him as she pulled away Ali.
“Your go,” James wheezed.
Amy giggled. She was giggling a lot. All day in fact. To be honest, her day had been pretty amazing. David had treated her almost like a princess and even though they were sitting in the library doing work, he was still highly amusing. Even though at first she’d been reluctant, she guessed that he’d merely worn her down. It’s not as if James had shown any signs of making an effort to ask her out anyway, he wanted a friend, nothing more. Speaking of James, who’d been avoiding her all day (go figure), he was currently standing a few paces away, sniggering slightly. Amy frowned and beckoned him over. James kept his eyes on the bookcases as he walked over and sat down next to Amy, hugging her as he did so. David’s eyes narrowed but he didn’t say anything.
“What’s up Jamesie? I haven’t seen you all day?” Amy asked, noticing he wasn’t taking his eyes off the bookcase.
“Sorry Amy, we just figured you needed some time alone with David,” James replied. “Give me two seconds, there’s a bit of a problem.”
Even as he stood, the bookcases began to collapse. All of them, converging on a single point. James sat back down, relaxing as everyone else in the library watched in horror. The bookcases settled and an arm stuck itself from under the books, followed by a head of flustered red hair and a groaning face. Laura pulled herself out from the mountain of books, ignoring everyone’s cries, checking she was okay. She stumbled over to James and gave him a two fingered salute before collapsing into the table. David and Amy both shot James incredulous looks.
“We’re playing Balls of Steel. And judging by that display, she’s winning,” James explained, picking up his girlfriend and carrying her out.
“So Professor, what is it?” Ali asked, putting on his sweetest voice as Macey leaned against the wall behind him. Usually, Snape would never help out a Gryffindor but Macey and Ali were the only half-decent students in his NEWT class.
“Well,” Snape began, but was interrupted as Laura and James raced in.
“Sorry about this in advance, Professor,” James said, as he picked up his cauldron and placed it upside down on his head. Before Snape could protest, Laura grabbed her wand and started hammering the cauldron repeatedly. If Snape was yelling at them, James sure as hell couldn’t hear it over his own yells of pain as all his eardrums were about to burst and his head shook. As Laura decided enough was enough and pulled it off, James twisted around and hit the floor.
“It’s a charm potion,” Snape growled. “Makes even the ugliest and stupidest of people attractive and gives them charm in speech as well. And I’ll overlook wherever you got this from if you get those two imbeciles out of my sight before I’m forced to give you all detention.”
“And then the bitch tossed me out!” Clearwater growled. “Percy!” she whined.
“Sorry Penelope, I was just watching Tamserian and Black, they look like they’re up to no good,” Percy replied, eyeing up the duo as Laura prepared herself for the stunt.
“I don’t care Percy, just listen to me. We need to get back that nasty little slut, I’ve never liked her.”
“Look,” Percy snapped slightly. “We’re still together and you’re still head-girl. Nothing she can do to you is that bad if you have those two things right? And besides, she’s only supporting her house and herself.”
“How can you possibly side with her?” Clearwater spluttered.
“Because right now I’m tired of fighting,” Percy replied, kissing his girlfriend. “With her and with you.”
Percy then turned and started to yell as Laura started fisticuffs with half a dozen enchanted statues.
James and Laura looked at each other, grinning mischievously. Their previous efforts had left them blown up, crushed, deafened and beaten to a pulp by a bunch of statues. Now they were going to fight to the finish. Literally. The seventh floor was practically abandoned as they faced the stairs, wearing nothing but underwear and skis. Ali groaned as they prepared to launch themselves down the seven floor staircase.
“You guys are nutters, in case I haven’t said it already.”
“Still…Okay, first one to the great hall has control of Sunday’s date, presuming you aren’t in detention or dead, they’re both highly likely. Go on then, get on with it before I’m forced to stop you.”
Strategically planned for the least resistance, dinner time was the perfect time for a race. They pushed off, hurtling down the stairs with surprising speed. Ah the joys of magic. The 7th floor staircase shifted sharply and they broke off, James heading left down towards the 6th, Laura skidding off down the 7th floor corridor. James grinned victoriously but suddenly Laura shot out a secret passageway alongside him as they skidded through the 6th floor. Speeding down a separate staircase along their prescribed course, they flew past the hospital wing and back out into the Grand Staircase. Down another flight of stairs and then they shot out the 3rd floor window, landing on a shallow roof and then straight into the fountain. Stripping off the skis, they charged towards the main entrance hall, soaked and practically naked. They then had to run back up to the 2nd floor and get on the next set of skis. They hurtled back down towards the finish line, where Macey was waving a checked flag. However, by now there were people around. Weaving around them, they careered down the last set of stairs. As they reached the bottom, a Slytherin seemed to come out of nowhere and James crashed into him, skidding along the floor and dropping agonisingly short of the finish as Laura flew past him.
“Victory!” she screamed, losing control of her skis and hammering straight into a suit of armour.
“That looked painful,” Macey remarked as Laura groaned in pain.
If any of the teachers had heard the commotion, the pair hadn’t stuck around long enough to find out. After quickly changing, they headed back to the common room, where Macey and Ali were discussing their next move. They decided to slip David an antidote to the charm potion so Amy could see for herself. Amy was up in her dorm, getting an early night ahead of the morning’s Quidditch match. Laura and James decided to go to the hospital wing. She was starting to see things.
They were in the common room, partying with the rest of the Gryffindor team. Ravenclaw had been beaten by 230-30. Harry Potter had caught the Snitch and now victory against Slytherin would give them the cup. Even Amy, who had no interest in Quidditch, had ditched David for the evening and was partying along with James and the others. Which was when it happened.
A few minutes arguing later it transpired that Sirius Black had broken into the Gryffindor Tower and nearly killed Ron Weasley. Laura and Amy both looked at James and chased him up to his dorm.
“James?” Laura asked, taking a cautious step forwards as James sat on his bed, his face blank.
“I guess that’s it,” he swallowed. “There’s no denying it now. And you know what, there’s no way he could get into the castle without help.”
“What do you mean?” Amy asked, worried about where this was going.
“There’s only one person who would help out my dad still in this castle. Remus Lupin. That blasted werewolf again.” He turned to Laura. “You know I said I didn’t know how my mum was killed?”
“Yes?” Laura replied gently.
“She was ripped to shreds by Lupin. He’s a fucking werewolf and he’s a murderer. And now he’s helping my dad break into our dorm. This has gone on long enough. I’m going to do it tomorrow. Sorry about our date but this is more important.” He was looking straight at Amy now. “The werewolf will pay for what he’s done.”
A/N: Well then. What is James planning? Will Macey and Ali stop Summersby? And what implications does this have for Amy and Laura? Keep reading to find out :) And while you're waiting for chapter 8, why not check out the original Lost Potters, Jake and Hayley, in Through Thick and Thin, if you haven't already :) Please review guys :D HP