Chapter 4 : Chapter 4 - A Request
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I couldn’t bear to tell Charlotte or Mollie what I had heard that night, she was already in such a fragile state after loosing her uncle and I didn’t want to be the barer of more bad news. Instead I kept a close watch over Lucy and a sharp eye out for anything else suspicious going on in the castle. Yet, rest of the week passed in much the same fashion: getting overloaded with work and teachers continually reminding us how important N.E.W.T.s were, and Lucy showed no signs of anything unusual.
The only change was that there seemed to be a slight cool between the usually inseparable James and Sirius for the next few days after their row the morning after our meeting with Dumbledore. Sitting at the breakfast table, I could hear their conversation a few seats down from us.
“What were you doing last night?” asked James with narrowed eyes.
“Nothing much, just spent the evening with Remus, Mollie and Charlotte, that’s all. How was your escapade with Evans?” He asked with a sly smile and wiggling his eyebrows at James.
“I’m not in the mood to talk about her at the moment,” he snapped, “I want to know where you went and whom you talked to.”
“Geez what’s up with you? I didn’t go anywhere last night, and you rarely blow off a change to talk about Lily. ‘Oh she’s so pretty, why won’t she go out with me?’ ” He mimicked, batting his eyelashes. I hoped James didn’t really talk about me like that.
Charlotte and Mollie who had been listening in to the conversation as well nudged me giggling, but I just rolled my eyes at them. I wanted to hear what Sirius had been doing behind that tapestry last night. He liked Mollie; they were friends. Why would he want to hurt her younger sister?
“What’s up with me?” James said incredulously, “More like what’s up with you? Since when are you in league with the Slytherin’s?” (On the way back to the common room last night James insisted that the people behind the tapestry had been Slytherin’s though we didn’t have any proof. But I think that this was only because he was determined to blame Snape, and the rest of the Slytherin’s for anything he could.)
The look on Sirius’ face could not have made it plainer that James had touched a very raw nerve. “You know I wouldn’t go near a Slytherin. What the hell would you think I was even doing with them?” he said hardly keeping his voice level.
“We heard you last night on the second floor talking about…” but he stopped short before mentioning Lucy as I shot him a warning look.
“I told you, I didn’t go anywhere last night, why don’t you believe me? Do you not trust me anymore or something?” he said flaring up. “And I thought that you would have put a word in for me,” he spat at Remus who had sat observing the argument with a curious complexion. And with that he stormed out of the Great Hall.
“He’ll come round,” said Remus soothingly to James who looked both furious and upset. “I was with him the whole night. He didn’t go anywhere,” he added.
Breakfast was eaten in stony silence and we all hurried away to our next class as soon as possible to escape James’ death glares that he was giving to anyone who so much a glanced in his direction.
“What was James talking about to Sirius?” quizzed Charlotte on our way to Charms, while Mollie made a detour to the bathroom. I swear that girl has the bladder the size of a pea!
“We thought that we overheard him and a bunch of others last night planning- well I don’t know what they were planning, but it had something to do with Mollie’s sister. I don’t want to upset Mollie though, so don’t tell her!”
Charlotte nodded. I knew that I could trust her to keep this secret, she had never let me down in the whole seven years that I had known her.
But by the end of the week, all traces of the fight between James and Sirius had gone and they were back to their mischievous, irritating selves.
“Ahh come on Lily, you know you want to go out with me. Just say yes, that’s all it is; one small word.” James pleaded with me in the common room late on Friday night leaning over my chair as I struggled through trying to read yet another thick volume that Professor Slugghorn had set us before our next lesson on Monday. Apart from Emma Willcock, who was dosing by the fire, we were the only two people left in the common room.
“Will you shut up James, I’m trying to read. And for the thousandth time the answer is still no.” When was that boy going to get it through that fat head of his that I wasn’t going to go out with him, however many times he asked?
He looked as if he was about to plead some more, but luckily for me, at that moment, Mollie emerged from the dormitory, with Charlotte following behind her. Spotting James standing next to me, she ran down and diverted him by bombarding him with questions about Quidditch tryouts the next day, while Charlotte came and sat down next to me.
“James, Do you know how many others are trying out for Keeper? What time are tryouts, do you think that I could get an hours practice in before?” She asked breathlessly, clutching her broomstick looking as if she was ready to head out of the portrait hole that very moment even though she was in her pajamas.
She had been out on the Quidditch pitch almost every last minute, determined that she would get as much practice as possible- and the season hadn’t even started yet!
Honestly, she’s worse than James or Sirius when it comes to Quidditch.
“Stop panicking Mollie, it’ll be fine. You’ll have no competition- you are the best keeper I’ve seen,” he pacified. This, though, still didn’t seem to calm Mollie down and she continued to badger him until she was distracted by the arrival of Sirius and Remus who both came tumbling through the portrait hole laden down with food from the kitchens.
After seven years with them, I still don’t know how they get into the kitchens, let alone make it there and back without being caught and none of them will tell me!
“Sustenance!” cried Sirius to practically empty common room.
“Well its a bit late now, you two went ages ago. What took so long?” asked James.
“Filch. Had to make a detour…” explained Remus. “Anyway, tuck in,” he said offering around muffins and chocolate éclairs to the rest of us.
I decided to give my reading up as a bad job and join in with the others- I could finish the book tomorrow.
“Why were you two down at the kitchens,” asked Charlotte, her mouth full of muffin.
“Hadn’t been down there yet. Wanted to check that the service was still excellent,” said Sirius, his mouth equally full.
“So basically, you were still hungry after stuffing your faces at dinner and wanted a midnight snack,” she translated.
“Pretty much, yeah,” he laughed
We sat munching for a while staring into the waning fire. I was too tired to think of anything to say to break the silence. So instead we sat and watched the glowing embers flicker, as a small breath of wind came in through the open window, which made the long shadows dance across the room. One by one we waved good night to the others and drifted away back to our dormitories until as I was leaving, only Sirius and Charlotte were left.
“WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP?” From my seat in the stands, I could hear James hollering at the crowd in front of him for the fifth time. They were babbling noisily on the Quidditch pitch, and Sirius who was standing next to him, chuckled at his lack of control. James looked helplessly at Sirius, who stuck two fingers in his mouth and whistled loudly, immediately the crowd went silent.
“Thank you,” he said exasperatedly, “now the first exercise that I want you to do is just to do a few laps of the pitch. I’ll split you into groups and send one group off at a time.”
Charlotte and I, who had come down to watch Mollie’s try out, decided to take this time to finish our breakfast that we hadn’t been allowed to eat as Mollie was too desperate to get out on to the Quidditch Pitch. There was no point in watching the flying test; Mollie would pass that one easily, unlike some of the people that were trying out today!
Most of the groups comprised of girls who were only here to get a good look at James and Sirius on a broom and they were too busy keeping their eyes glued to the latter’s abs to look where they were going. Subsequently, there had been more than one pile up before James decided to abandon the flying test and sent most of the girls off the pitch into the stands.
James and Sirius were now ordering about the remaining few who had actually been able to do a lap of the pitch without crashing into the person in front of them. Those two are like Quidditch Nazis! I don’t know how Mollie survived four years of being on the same team with them! This year was probably going to be even worse as not only was James captain, but he was determined to win the Quidditch Cup, which Gryffindor hadn’t won in over eleven years- a fact that Slytherin was careful to remind us of as often as possible.
“Good luck Mollie!” shouted Charlotte as Mollie was now turning a pale shade of green at the prospect of having to defend the hoops from Quaffles thrown at her by the three chasers Alice Carton, Harold Pitcher and Angela Harper who had made it on to the team.
The beaters, Sirius and a sixth year, Tom Blakely, had also already been chosen and the only slot left to fill was Keeper. Apart from Mollie, there were three other hopeful looking second or third years, but none of them were remotely as good, missing at least two of the five balls thrown at them.
So by lunchtime, a very pleased looking James came with Sirius and slotted him self in between Remus and Peter who had been sitting next to us.
“Good team this year?” asked Remus.
“Excellent, we might have a shot this time!” said James helping himself to steak and kidney pie.
“The sixth year Tom Blakely, and Angela Harper in third year, but other wise there haven’t been any other changes.”
“Where’s Mollie didn’t she come down with you guys?” I asked. She was hardly ever late for lunch.
“Just taking changing from her Quidditch robes, she’ll be here soon,” Sirius replied. And sure enough a few minutes later Mollie came bounding down the Great Hall and plonked herself beside me.
“Food,” she said longingly pilling mountains on to her plate.
“Happier now are we that we’ve been made Keeper?” asked Charlotte playfully. “You looked as if you were about to be sick with nerves back then.”
“I wasn’t nervous for me, just for those other kids trying out, I thought they might get hit with the Quaffle” she joked “it’s about three times the size of them!.”
I feel like I’m drowning. Literally drowning in the mass of paper that surrounds me. I looked over to the other side of the library to see Charlotte in the exact same state. I mean, it’s only the end of the first bloody week, how much work are the teachers expecting us to do?
“Remus, can you pass me the Defense text book?” Remus, Charlotte and I had set up a sort of weekend study group in the library last year and it had worked rather well. Remus would teach us about Defense, I would help them with Potions while Charlotte would cover Charms.
Although Remus was very good at Defense, it probably would have been better if James or Sirius were teaching us. But those two along with Mollie were now off at Quidditch practice, and, on second thought, I was glad to get a break from James’ incessant pestering and big headedness, so really I would rather Remus taught me. Forget what I said earlier.
“I give up!” sighed Charlotte, “I mean it looks as if we’ll all be in here next weekend anyway. Remus, do you mind if you help me with Byrne’s essay then? I can’t take any more today.”
“Umm… are you sure you don’t want to do it now… the library closes in an hour? Just that I won’t be here next weekend, I got a letter from my mum, my second cousin’s ill, and I have to go visit her.”
We both gave him a shrewd look. I swear she has been ill since about third year! It’s either that or this ridiculous pet rabbit of his, if it gives his family that much bother I don’t see why they don’t just have it put down.
“Is this Abigail?” Charlotte asked ”Gosh, is she still not better?”
“Yeah, well you know muggle hospitals,” he said laughing nervously.
“Since when was she in a muggle hospital? Last time you said she was in St Mungo’s?” I asked.
“She was transferred…” he said, his eyes glued to the page in his textbook, but he was saved from answering any more of our questions by the approaching footsteps of Madam Pince as Charlotte and I scurried away to escape her wrath. Even though we hadn’t done anything, she would find something to tell us off about. Moody old bitch.
“I don’t think I’ve ever run so hard in my life!” Charlotte panted flopping back on to her bed. After we had run down the corridor away from the library, we had been chased by Peeves who was pelting us with pieces of chalk the whole way back to Gryffindor Tower.
“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever been this out of breath,” I said collapsing on to my own four-poster.
“Speak for your self,” said Mollie who had just entered the dormitory back from practice looking flushed. “Lily, I finally understand why you hate James so much. He made us run laps around the pitch! Laps! And we don’t even need to run in Quidditch, we’re on brooms for God’s sake! It’s not like that’s going to help us win against Slytherin… when’s dinner?”
“About an hour,” I said.
“I think I’ll have a shower,” mumbled Mollie heading towards the bathroom, taking her windswept hair out of its ponytail. “Hey, where’s the shampoo?”
“Amber moved yours to make room for her straightening potions. I think it’s in the cupboard under the sink,” called Charlotte.
“How many straightening potions does she use?” I said. “Last year I swear she went through about five bottles in three weeks!”
“No, the record was six bottles,” said Charlotte.
“She doesn’t even need it though, her hair’s straight enough as it is!”
“I suppose she thinks boys like it,” reasoned Charlotte
“Boy’s like her anyway- they know she’s easy! She’ll kiss anything with lips!” But our laughter suddenly stopped as we heard the door slam. Amber came in glaring daggers at us with Emma behind her.
God. She had probably heard all of it. Charlotte turned to face the wall her hide her giggles and had to stuff her fist in her mouth to stifle the noise. Still giving us dirty looks, Amber snatched up her Transfiguration textbook and flounced out of the room with Emma following her like a Spaniel, sneering at us as she went.
As the door closed behind them Charlotte erupted into laughter.
“Shh! They can probably still hear us!” I cried trying to shut her up.
“But did you see her face!” Charlotte snorted. “And she couldn’t say anything because she knows it’s true!”
I couldn’t help but smile at this. Although I felt guilty that she had over heard us, in an odd way it felt like a sort of victory. Since second year after Cameron Williams dumped her for Charlotte, we’ve had nothing but snide remarks and evil glares thrown our way from her and Emma. It felt nice to finally be able to say something about her that she can’t deny- although we’ll probably pay for this sooner or later.
“Ah Miss Evans,” called Slugghorn as I was nearing the door, “you wouldn’t mind to wait behind a moment would you?” Was I in trouble? I had done all the homework he had set us hadn’t I?
God, I hope he wasn’t going to invite me to another one of his ‘Slug Club’ parties. I hated them. But, he would have asked Charlotte to stay behind as well then.
“We’ll tell McGonagall where you are,” Mollie said as she passed me on her way out.
Most of the other students had left the class by now and I watched as Slugghorn waddled around the desk and lumbered his way towards me. “I was wondering if you would be up to doing a bit of tutoring for me?” he said as reached me. Well that wasn’t what I had expected. I was quite flattered, but a bit confused, why me? Ok. Fine. I’ll stop being modest; I know why he picked me.
“Yeah sure that sounds fine, but who is it?” As I said this Charlie Payton, a beater on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team with blonde hair and broad shoulders walked over from the other side of the classroom where he had been packing away his cauldron and ingredients. Charlie was one of the last people that I would have thought needed tutoring.
He came and stood beside Slugghorn, looking rather embarrassed at the fact that he was needing tutoring this early into seventh year. He smiled at me and I felt myself blush slightly.
“Excellent!” cried Slugghorn happily clapping his hands together. “Now off you two go, I don’t want Professor McGonagall telling me off for keeping you.” He shuddered at the thought of an angry McGonagall cornering him in the staff room for making us late to her lesson.
“I’m sorry I’m making you give up time to tutor me,” Charlie said as we walked down the corridor towards the Transfiguration classroom.
“Don’t worry! I wouldn’t be doing anything useful anyway,” I said smiling at him.
“You wouldn’t mind starting this weekend would you? It’s only been the first week and I already don’t understand what’s going on, and if I have any chance of passing these N.E.W.T.s I need to start now,” he said running a hand through his hair rather like James Potter did. But unlike James, I’m pretty sure this was out of self-consciousness rather than vanity.
“Sure, that’s fine,” I said as I pushed the door open to the Transfiguration classroom. He smiled at me again forming two dimples in his cheeks and his green eyes seemed to sparkle.
I couldn’t help but grin to myself as I took my seat next to Charlotte.
A/N: Ok so I'm not entirely happy with this chapter, I feel like not enough happens.
But please leave a review- I would love to hear what you think!
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