Chapter 7 : Revenge Has No Bounds
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Evie was bewildered. The relationship between James Potter and Lily Evans hadn’t improved at all.
Or so it appeared.
After they got out of the room, Lily avoided James at all costs. She wouldn’t even look in his direction nor acknowledge his existence at all. When Evie mentioned James’s name, Lily would suddenly stare off into the distance, finding the ceiling amusing or a random student attractive to look at. She was indifferent, almost apathetic. And that scared Evie.
It was easy to fob off anger for passion. It was another thing to try and convince someone they were in love when they were way more interested in how ink glistened on parchment.
The oddest thing was that even James didn’t chase her. Come their first lesson back, James Potter threw a scrunched up ball of paper across the room to hit Lily Evans in the back of the head. It would have too if Lily hadn’t suddenly ducked down to look for something in her bag, causing the ball of paper to land directly in the potion Lily was working on.
As the ball of paper smoked, sizzled and disintegrated into the potion, Lily just stared at it and when she was sure it was completely gone, tipped her potion out and started again. Without a peep. On a normal day that would have at least earned a look of loathing in Potter’s direction.
Evie eyed him closely and when he came to throw another ball of paper with something clearly scribbled on it, Evie caught it directly above her head. Un-scrunching the paper, she read the note he’d tried to send Lily. It had only one word.
“What does it all mean?” Evie complained to the convened OHE members later on, “I can’t believe nothing happened in that room.”
“Have you heard some of the rumours flying around?” Sirius asked nonchalantly, leaning against his bed, “Spreading like wildfire in true Hogwarts fashion.”
“Well I’d like to know the actual truth. That is somewhat more interesting to me,” Evie pouted.
“I think my favourite was that Lily had accidentally conjured a dragon and James had to slay it for her,” Margie said with a laugh as she brushed her long black hair, “Or the one that said they had gotten married in a secret ceremony in the Room of Requirement.”
“Oo I heard that one! Someone asked me whether Dumbledore had married them,” Ana piped up excitedly. The rest of them laughed at this one, thinking how preposterous it sounded.
“Professor McGonagall handed out so many detentions today I swear all the House counters are practically empty,” Remus Lupin added, “Especially Gryffindor.”
“Oh come on Remus,” Sirius joked lightly, “How could I resist? She told me she was giving me a detention because I was, wait for it, smiling too much.”
“Smiling?” Ana asked, “What’s wrong with smiling? I smile all the time in class.”
“Speaking of,” Remus suddenly said, “Ladies I need your help. I too happened to be smiling quite a bit and unfortunately in my state of euphoria I stared in the wrong direction. Now two different girls think I’m into them. I need you to help me let them down.”
“Are you saying that you don’t like either of them?” Margie asked, watching Ana surreptitiously in her peripheral vision.
“No not really,” he answered, a muscle jumping in his jaw, “I’m not the blonde bitchy type.”
Ana Hill mindlessly fingered her long caramel brown hair. Only Margie Bennett and Evie Ford noticed the connection.
“Well just tell them you’re not interested,” Margie said with a shrug.
Remus blinked at her.
“Is it that simple?”
The rest of them laughed. “Girls aren’t as complex as you think they are,” she continued.
“Oh yes they are. I am yet to meet a girl who doesn’t completely perplex me. In fact, girls are evil.” Sirius said, smirking.
“Here’s an idea. Write a letter,” Evie said, ignoring Sirius in true Evie fashion, “Then it will be in writing and she can’t change what you said.”
“Yeah and put every single classic let down line in the one note,” Margie joked, “It’s not you, it’s me…I don’t have any time right now and you deserve more than that…”
Remus had grabbed a piece of parchment and was quickly writing out a draft as they all threw him ideas.
“Alright how does this sound,” he said reading from the parchment, “I’m confused about my sexuality. I think I may like boys.”
The group burst into laughter, even cracking Ana up.
“Okay okay, how about I’d rather be friends.”
“Oh Lordy, he’s in for it isn’t he?” Evie said to the other girls, “Don’t…ever say that to a girl. Ever, ever. She’ll read way too much into it.”
“What’s so difficult about understanding…”
“Trust me?” Evie said abruptly.
“How about you just try being honest?” Ana said quietly, “Just say…You’re sorry if you gave her the wrong impression but you’re not really wanting anything at the moment…right?”
Remus looked at Ana contemplatively as a small appreciative smile grew on his face.
“Right Ana,” he said, “I’ll just say that. Thanks.”
“Shouldn’t we be talking about Lily and James?” Peter piped up after an unusual silence.
“You know what…I have an idea...” Sirius suddenly said leaning forward, his wicked grin gone to be replaced by a look of deliberation.
“Sirius Black we are not using that love potion I saw you sneakily buy in Hogsmeade,” Evie said matter-of-factly. As the others chuckled and stared on in dangerous curiosity, Sirius reddened.
“No…I think the problem…” Sirius began, “Is that everyone knows about the Room of Requirement but no-one knows about how much of a…I mean, what Vale did to Lily.”
Remus stopped his jotting, turned around to Sirius perplexed and just quietly leant over to him.
“You didn’t swear.”
“I’m in the company of ladies.”
“Oh what a gentleman. Good work.”
“Are you suggesting,” Evie cut off their little banter, “That we tell the school about Vale’s deal?”
Sirius turned back to her with a quizzical brow and the building of an idea in his eyes.
“I believe so Evangeline.”
“James would never go for it,” Remus brushed off the idea.
“No, but who said James had to know about it?” Ana Hill pondered.
The other five in the room all stared at Ana in awe.
“I think…I think we broke her,” Evie laughed in disbelief as the others stared on, “Ana goody-two-shoes is no more!”
“That’s a little frightening actually. Who’s going to keep us in check now?” Margie added.
“Nobody,” Sirius Black said with a supremely devious smile, “So how about we take advantage of that?”
The lot of them – Margie, Ana, Evie, Sirius and Peter – were currently standing in a cramped broom cupboard awaiting Remus Lupin’s return. He’d been gone for longer than they had planned or expected. A lot longer.
“He’s been caught. I know it,” Ana worried.
“Stop saying that. Remus wouldn’t get caught. He’s too awesome,” Margie answered her.
As though her words were prophetic, Remus opened the door and squished himself inside with them all. They all shuffled uncomfortably to allow for his sudden bulky form. Remus pulled his arm free and dug deep inside his cloak to pull out just one medium-sized object.
“Alright. Who’s doing the charm?” he asked, breathing heavily.
They all chorused at once.
“Oh come on guys…” Evie said, pushing her hand through a gap between their heads to take the object from Remus.
“You’re the most capable here. I want to make sure it works,” Sirius said.
Evie could not reach the object and with Remus’s arms squished to his sides, they all began to push against each other so that Evie could get closer to Remus.
“Lordy that was my foot!”
“Who the hell picked this rotten cupboard…”
“I can’t BREATHE.”
“Move Wormtail! Otherwise I’ll move you.”
Quite suddenly just as Evie reached out and grabbed the object in Remus’s clasped hand, Peter fell against the door, causing it to swing wide open and send them all tumbling on top of each other out into the broad daylight of the corridor.
There were groans and curses emitting from the tangled mass of limbs and Hogwarts robes as they all struggled to free themselves from the pile. An authoritative voice suddenly resounded around them.
“May I assume you were all in such a hurry to get to your lessons that you tripped and fell over one another?” Professor McGonagall stated, looking down on the group.
Sirius Black suddenly pushed Evie behind him, effectively covering her and the object she was clutching.
“Right you are Professor,” he answered, detangling himself and standing before her, “Rushing to class is a dangerous sport.”
Professor McGonagall stared him down.
“As is Quidditch Mr Black. When you find him, please tell Mr Potter that I wish to speak with him,” she asked, the expression in her dark eyes holding Sirius Black to her request as good as if he’d made an oath.
She took one last glance at the mass of struggling students on the floor, then turned and began to walk slowly away.
“What is it regarding Professor?” Sirius Black said after her.
Professor McGonagall stopped briefly.
And with that Professor McGonagall swept away, leaving Sirius Black to have everything come crashing down on his head. Evie finally pulled her twisted robe free of Margie Bennett’s ankle, and joined Sirius watching after the Professor.
“Did she say what I thought she said?” Evie asked briefly. Sirius nodded solemnly.
“Come on,” he finally said, pulling Margie to her feet as Remus pulled Ana to hers, “Let’s get on with this.”
Henry Vale was yet to learn that Lily Evans knew his secret.
Although he had been called up in front of Professor McGonagall and forced to deny the entire thing, it did not once cross his mind that Lily could possibly know.
How could she?
Granted he had been a little worried after he found out that Lily had been trapped in a room with James Potter for so long. But then his brain (which wasn’t really intelligent to begin with when you think about it) reasoned that even if Potter had told Lily, there was no way she would believe him. She thought her dear Henry was perfect.
Strangely Henry hadn’t been able to pin her down until today. Whenever he’d gone to ask one of her friends – Evie and…whatever their names were – Peter Pettigrew had always been there to get in the way. Somehow he always knew where Lily was, so Henry didn’t mind too much.
Well until he realised that every time Peter gave him directions, it ended up in a dead end.
But finally, amongst the hordes of students going to and from classes, he had spotted her bright red hair.
“Lily!” he called out to her in his sweetest, most concerned voice, “Lily stop! LILY!”
She turned to him, frozen with shock.
Henry Vale did not catch the hatred that flashed across Lily’s face as he wrapped his arms around her. It only took one moment for Lily Evans to understand he had absolutely no idea what had happened on the weekend. Luckily the arms that stayed by her sides did not give her away. Apparently Henry just took it as a sign that she was extremely annoyed at James Potter.
“Lily I’ve been looking everywhere and all week for you…your friends…” he said all in a hurry holding onto her gently and looking into her eyes with the same soft adoring expression he always had.
Lily was about to open her mouth (possibly to spit in his face – who knew?) when they were interrupted.
The commanding voice made Henry Vale freeze momentarily. Would James Potter confront him with Lily here? Would he really do that?
Perhaps not. But Sirius Black was ready to.
“Now I know what you’re thinking you spineless git…” said Sirius as he walked up behind them. Henry stepped slightly behind Lily, almost as though he was using her as a shield.
Sirius stopped, crossed his arms and gave them one of his classic bad-boy smirks. The expression on his face as he looked at Henry said it all.
Pathetic. Vulnerable. Stupid. Excellent.
“Actually I don’t know what you’re thinking, if you do at all. I mean why’d you do it?” Sirius teased.
“D-d-did what?” Henry stammered. Even Lily had to admit to herself that he looked like a complete idiot. She wondered what she’d ever seen in him.
“Oh you know exactly what I’m talking about.”
The way Sirius leaned in and said this sent shivers up Lily’s spine. He could be awfully threatening…in a very seductive and charming sort of way. She knew exactly what he was trying to do – have Henry admit in front of her what he had been planning.
He was doing a good job too – Henry was shaking like mad.
Ironically it was the first time Lily had ever approved of Sirius’s antics. Although it did cross her mind that James may have made him do it.
Sirius took one step forward.
“Nothing to say then Vale? Because I promise you, you will regret it.”
Henry slowly shook his head.
“No? Ah well. Can’t say I didn’t give you a chance. Should I tell her now or in front of James Potter so she can go running into his arms like the hero he thinks he is?”
At this Henry Vale very quickly pushed Lily behind him and came up very close to Sirius Black. Standing as tall as possible (which meant he still only came up to Sirius Black’s chin) Henry gave him what Sirius believed to be an expression of determined warning. Although the rush of students had died down by now leaving the three of them practically alone, Henry Vale was still concerned.
“I don’t think there is anything you need to say to my girlfriend Black,” he said through gritted teeth.
Sirius Black just stared him straight back in the face then took a deep breath.
“Your boyfriend Evans,” Sirius began still staring at Vale, “is a cheat and a liar. Your relationship is nothing more than a sham. A deal cooked up by some slimy Slytherin. He’s being paid to date you. And all so the Slytherin team will win a Quidditch game.”
There was a short silence before Henry turned quickly to Lily, grabbing her hand and holding it gently.
“We don’t need to listen to this rubbish Black. Lily is my girlfriend because I want her to be. Not because of some stupid reason you and your pal Potter made up over a plate of your mother’s homemade biscuits.”
Sirius stayed silent, knowing full well that his charade was all for Lily. Not that it meant anything as she knew the whole story and had in fact been the reason James Potter was not currently on the train home.
His dark eyes turned on her, waiting for a fitting response.
Now Lily Evans should have known that Sirius Black had thought this through. She never really did give him credit for how incredibly intelligent and clever he was in his deviousness.
And the minute amount of worry niggling at Sirius Black that Lily Evans wouldn’t understand exactly what he was trying to do? Pointless.
“Tell James Potter…” Lily Evans said slowly and deliberately, “That I think he’s the liar.”
In the short moment that Henry Vale looked at Sirius Black with an expression of pretentious triumph, Lily Evans winked at Sirius.
Thursday – Game Day
“Ladies and Gentlemen…welcome to QUIDDIIIIIIIIIIITCH!”
The stands roared with anticipation, the atmosphere undeniably thick and hot with a high-voltage energy. Students of all four houses screamed and chorused war cries as the first game of the season - James Potter’s final season – finally arrived.
“AND HERE COMES JAMES POTTER HIMSELF!!” the commentator shouted through the air, the crowd answering his words with a ruckus. Stepping through the open door, James gripped his broomstick and walked out onto the pitch to join the rest of his team. They’d always joked that he was treated as a bit of a star and James did honestly feel like he could be walking in slow motion, the wind rustling through his jet black hair, making him look like some kind of Quidditch god. To be honest, in the last couple of years it was getting a little boring.
But why not make every sweet moment count?
He threw his hands in the air turning to each of the four corners of the stands as if to say James Potter has arrived.
He punched the air with the energy coursing through him rapidly. The crowd screamed, and James grinned a grin that split his face from ear to ear. He could have sworn a couple of girls fainted.
“Ready to be broken Potter?”
The growl of Anton Van Bruuen, Captain to the Slytherin team, sent a shocking bolt of energy up James’s spine. The challenge wasn’t as much in his words, as in the boy’s face – he looked like a bull eyeing off its blood red mark. He might as well have been snorting and pawing at the ground.
James was willing to ignore the usual taunts of the Slytherins. Until…
“An’ we though’ the takin’ of that stuck-up cow would bring ‘im down a notch.”
James’s broomstick was thrust to the ground and his fist in the face of the Captain faster than you could say Quidditch.
“STOP THIS AT ONCE!” Madam Hooch shouted, pulling James Potter away from the Slytherin, “You two. Not a finger will lay on the other. Understand?”
Even as she held James Potter and Anton Van Bruuen at arms length, the two boys kept eye contact, the desire to fight dangerously clear in their eyes.
“Perfectly,” James said, through gritted teeth.
“If y’say so…Madam,” Van Bruuen said, wiping his mouth with his robe sleeve, a cocky smile on his ugly face.
Madam Hooch let them both go, and James’s own team captain grabbed his arm roughly, holding him back in case he tried anything again.
“Potter, pull y’self together, “ said the strong Scottish accent of Tom Crowley, “We need you clear-headed and on top of y’game. Don’t listen to them.”
“They’re scared of you, Potter,” Oscar Price – Keeper – said matter-of-factly, “Think o’that.”
Seeker Nina Sherlock was however staring at the Slytherins strangely.
“What did he mean by ‘takin’ that stuck up cow’?” she asked, looking at James questioningly.
“Don’t know,” James answered at once.
“Bloody boys,” she said with a roll of her eyes.
Madam Hooch blew her whistle and the two teams convened in the middle of the pitch, broomsticks clutched tightly in their fists. James’s usually serene face was now reddened with anger.
Payback time, James thought to himself.
Mounting his broom, he kept a fixed eye on Anton Van Bruuen.
He didn’t even register Hooch’s whistle, instead reacting to it automatically and so quickly that a loud gasp came through the microphone.
“AND IT’S ON LADIES AND GENTS! James Potter has got himself a Quaffle, snatching it from the air right under Van Bruuen’s nose…not a wonder really, who could see over the top of that thing?...Potter heading towards the goal, pitchin’ to the lovely De Bruyne…OI! LARA! SURE YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO HOGSMEADE WITH ME?”
“Fleet…I’m warning you…” Professor McGonagall said lowly.
Ainsley Fleet, long renowned commentator was ignoring McGonagall’s glares and throwing a sly wink in Lara De Bruyne’s direction. She readily turned her back on him, head in the game.
“Just givin’ a girl a chance Professor. Gryffindor’s Wenser now in possession, passes back to Potter, De Bruyne, back to Potter and…OH! WE HAVE OURSELVES A SLY SLYTHERIN FOLKS! Slytherin takes possession with Van Bruuen punching that thing right out of Potter’s arm, grip a little loose Potter? Don’t lose hold of y’broomstick now…Van Bruuen outflies a bludger from Crowley, passes to Blackwood, passes to Hastings and…OH! OH! GRYFFINDOR TAKES BACK THAT QUAFFLE! They promised us the match of the season and I think we’re already seeing how tough it’s going to be… “
Not if I can bloody help it, James Potter thought, Time for some action.
“Potter passes the Quaffle to De Bruyne, back to Potter, onto Wensor…oooh that was a close one Wensor, don’t want to see a repeat of last year’s face Bludger do we now? Back to De- oh no back to Potter and he’s head…NO HE SCORES! GRYFFINDOR SCOR-!
As Ainsley Fleet shouted happily into the microphone an incredibly strange thing happened. His words suddenly became no longer his words. In fact, what Ainsley began to do – and by the look on his face it was completely unwilling – was begin talking…or shouting…about someone who wasn’t even on the pitch.
“HENRY VALE WEARS CHUDLEY CANNON BOXERS THAT HIS MOTHER EMBROIDERED HIS NAME ON SO HE DOESN’T LOSE THEM.”
Ainsley Fleet clamped a hand over his mouth, his eyes shifting from side to side as though he was slightly hoping that no one had heard his little outburst.
Too bad everyone had heard it.
There was a moment of silence and then a murmuring outburst of laughter in the crowd – somewhere between confused giggling and guffawing. Henry Vale stood stock still in the middle of the crowd, staring flabbergasted at the far-off commentator. He couldn’t quite believe what had just happened.
“Why don’t you show us ‘enry?” the student next to him asked, his face red with laughter. Henry Vale quite suddenly clutched the top of his trousers, afraid that someone would make him show the whole of Hogwarts.
Sirius Black, he whispered to himself. With a glare in the direction of the offending microphone, Henry Vale pushed his way through the crowd, escaping back to the castle.
“FLEET!” Professor McGonagall screeched through clenched teeth.
“Uh…” Fleet began again slowly testing out the microphone and tapping it with his fingers, “Sorry about that folks…don’t know where that came from…getting back to the game, Slytherin’s back in possession with Van Bruuen passing to Hastings, oopp a little fumble there, and oooh! A very well aligned Bludger from the one-and-only Crowley has knocked that Quaffle right into the hands of Gryffindor Keeper Price, he throws it back to Potter, and onto Wensor and onto De Bruyne whose face is lovelier than a...”
“Foiled by the Professor, sorry Lara! And look at this folks, Sherlock and Barr head to head going for…nope that was a red herring if I ever saw one BUT SLYTHERIN HAS THAT QUAFFLE, PRICE WATCH OU-“
Oscar Price was in fact watching closely but as his hands reached for the Quaffle flying past him and through the middle golden hoop, Fleet was the one who needed focusing. Or rather a new microphone.
“HENRY VALE READS ROMANCE NOVELS.”
This time the crowd went into an uproar, with almost every single person laughing outrageously. Ainsley Fleet couldn’t help it. He had to join in. It wasn’t everyday that a commentator came across a microphone that made you spout secrets about someone every time there was a goal.
Somewhere in the crowd Sirius and Remus looked at each other and broke into uncontrollable sniggering. They knew Evie’s charm skills would work…but they didn’t realise the stuff would be this juicy.
Remus high-fived Sirius. It was the best high-five ever.
“And…I think…we should…” Ainsley Fleet tried very hard to continue in vain. Finally Professor McGonagall tore the microphone away from him.
“And Slytherin Chaser Blackwood has the Quaffle which he has taken off Potter. He has now passed it to Hastings. The Quaffle remains in Slytherin’s possession, “ McGonagall’s commentary droned, “Creswick has hit a Bludger in the direction of Price, which he has dodged. Quaffle in possession of Van Bruuen and now Hastings. Gryffindor takes possession of the Quaffle, with Potter now passing to Wensor and Wensor preparing to pass to De Bruyne…Ah good work Gryffindor, they have score their second goal of the…”
For anyone who had doubts, the microphone struck again. Unfortunately Professor McGonagall was not quick enough in tearing her mouth away from it.
“HENRY VALE’S MOTHER HAS FORBIDDEN HIM TO GO ANYWHERE NEAR THE WHOMPING WILLOW IN CASE IT THUMPS HIM IN THE HEAD AND BREAKS HIS BEAUTIFUL FACE.”
James Potter almost fell off his broom with laughter.
“WOULDN’T MAKE MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE!” he shouted jokingly, as the rest of his team ground to halt, each of them in fits of giggles.
The game had momentarily stopped as the players up in the air were laughing a little too much. In fact the Gryffindor and Slytherin Seekers were the only ones still concentrating. Madam Hooch, who was also trying to suppress a bit of a smirk, waved her hand around a little until the two Captains got their teams in order. With a blow of the whistle she had the game back in full swing.
Professor McGonagall cleared her throat and then slowly slid the microphone back towards Ainsley Fleet who was wiping the joyous tears from his eyes.
“I must say Keepers I think you should let some more of these goals in…”
“…because this is way too much fun. Right, both teams are trying their best to continue on with this game, Van Bruuen takes possession of the Quaffle and passes…yeah I think that was a pass, Hastings had to do a bit of a drop to catch the Quaffle, looks like you just dropped it Van Bruuen…maybe if you stop laughing…oh and here we go! Hastings to Blackwood, Creswick sends a Bludger in the direction – yes here we go ladies and gents…looks like this game is back up to speed! – that Bludger hits the tail end of Keeper Price, leaving Gryffindor goals op…nope, he’s caught that one with a swift Keeper glove flick sending it back into the arms of a very grateful Harry Wensor…Harry you’re in fine form today m’lad…and of course the very TALENTED Lara De Bruyne catches his pass…you know the Quaffle pass not the…oh never mind, Gryffindor closing in on those goals blocked by…NOW WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE?”
Caylem Blackwood, big, bulky and mean-looking and one of the toughest Chasers Slytherin had seen in a long while had pulled right in front of Gryffindor’s Chaser De Bruyne, causing her to screech to a halt. Instead of going around him, the two Chasers, one with Quaffle in hand, just sat there staring threateningly at each other.
Quite suddenly, Blackwood shuffled his broom to one side. With a cheeky smile, he held out one arm, signalling her to pass. Cliantha Wells, Keeper for Slytherin just watched on as De Bruyne sent the Quaffle flying straight through their middle hoop.
In all her time at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall had never seen two teams cooperate on the field let alone a Slytherin member letting a Gryffindor get a goal.
There was a small pause as every pair of eyes was fixed on Ainsley Fleet’s mouth.
“HENRY VALE USED TO CALL HIS FIRST TEDDY BEAR, HIS ‘GIRLFRIEND’.”
Sirius Black collapsed onto the floor in a fit of laughter. In fact, Ainsley Fleet also fell off his chair as did Professor Slughorn (who received a sharp rap on the head from McGonagall). Up in the air, the players were trying harder than ever to stay on their brooms.
James Potter found himself doing something he never thought would ever happen. He was having to lean on Anton Van Bruuen (and vice versa) to save himself from falling off his broom he was laughing so hard.
In amongst this complete confusion, laughter filling the stands, Nina Sherlock and Alicai Barr – the two team Seekers – had both spotted the Snitch, flitting close to the ground.
It wasn’t until some of the spectators began gasping and shouting and pointing that everyone caught on.
“THIS IS IT FOLKS! THE SNITCH IS IN SIGHT. SHERLOCK AND BARR HEADING FOR A…Hang on a moment…are they? Are THEY? They’re going to hit the ground! I hope Madame Pomfrey has some spare beds! This is going to be well close! Can they do it? And it’s Sherl…no Barr pulls out of the dive! GRYFFINDOR CATCHES THE SNITCH! GRYFFINDOR WINS THE MATCH!”
Shouts and screams went up in the crowd all around them as the Gryffindor team rushed towards Nina, holding the Snitch high above her head. Colliding into each other, they were ruffling her hair and shaking her hand and clapping her on the back…all the while drifting slowly towards the ground. When they finally landed, the Slytherin Seeker stuck his hand out in congratulations.
What do you do with a woman on the opposite team who has just completed a perfect Wronski Feint? You kiss her of course.
Up in the stands Professor McGonagall gave a little huff. She’d never seen a more ridiculous game in her entire career. Professor Slughorn clapped her on the back.
“Jolly good game don’t you think?” he said to her, a large grin on his oversized face, “That’s what Quidditch is about!”
James Potter landed his broom and ran straight for the Gryffindor stands, reaching them just as Evie Ford and Lily Evans got to the bottom of the stairs.
“What the hell was that?” he shouted over the cacophony of noise, ”Did you do all that?”
Evie nodded happily.
“It was Sirius’s idea,” she said with a little laugh, her eyes alight.
“Oh I feel SO much better!” Lily shouted, dancing around the waves of people streaming onto the pitch.
They were all laughing together (to be honest, their stomach muscles were quite sore by this time) when Henry Vale came stalking up to them, his cloak billowing out from behind him.
“YOU!” he shouted, taking James by the shoulders and shoving him to the ground. He started to climb ontop of him, his fist ready to smash into James Potter’s face with as much force as he could muster, when a voice echoed around the pitch.
“AND IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU SHOULD ALL KNOW ABOUT HENRY VALE, “said the unknown voice that was certainly NOT Ainsley Fleet’s, “IT’S THAT HE’S A TWO-TIMING, SCAMMING, SON-OF-A-WORD I’M NOT ALLOWED TO MENTION RIGHT HERE, WHO HAS BROKEN LILY EVAN’S HEART.”
The ruckus that had come after Gryffindor’s win of the match, died down extremely quickly at the sound of this new serious tone. Henry’s fist hovered over James Potter’s face, his other hand tight around James’s throat.
“HENRY VALE MADE A DEAL,” said the voice, “WITH ANTONIO GRAY OF SLYTHERIN THAT GRAY WOULD PAY HIM TO DATE LILY EVANS AND TRICK HER INTO THINKING THAT HE HAD FEELINGS FOR HER. AND ALL BECAUSE THEY WANTED JAMES POTTER TO LOSE THIS MATCH. EVERYONE KNOWS HOW JAMES FEELS ABOUT LILY. NOW EVERYONE WILL KNOW HOW LILY FEELS ABOUT HENRY VALE.”
Henry saw the flicker out the corner of his eye but still wasn’t quick enough to move. Lily Evans kneed him right between the legs. Right where it hurt him most.
Clutching himself, Henry let go of James and collapsed to the soggy ground, rolling around and whimpering in pain. James coughed as oxygen spread back into his lungs and colour back into his face.
Lily held a hand out to James and helped him up.
There was a bit of confusion as some of the crowd – mainly Gryffindors to be honest – clapped loudly and shouted Lily’s name.
She still hadn’t let go of James’s hand.
“You are…brilliant,” he breathed staring at Lily closely. A small jolt went through their entwined hands causing them to jump apart.
As both of them cursed, Evie just raised one eyebrow.
“What was that? Static electricity?” she said cheekily.
As the three of them walked away – and the others joined them (Sirius Black from the commentator’s booth), they could hear Henry Vale still groaning but now shouting at the Slytherin team. It appeared as though he felt betrayed. The Slytherin Captain just calmly informed him that that’s what happened when you mucked around with Slytherins.
“You know...I think I have a new life motto…don’t fly and laugh….or laugh and fly...” James joked as they walked off the pitch and away from the best game he’d ever seen.
Lily opened the door to the Trophy room, wincing as it squeaked loudly.
James’s head whipped around at the sound, his hands full of polishing cloth and an extremely dirty trophy.
“Lily?” he said into the darkness of the room, “Hey, what…what are you doing here?”
“Was just wondering if you wanted some company,” she said matter-of-factly, closing the door behind her and walking to him, “Or some help?”
He smiled and continued polishing.
“You don’t need to help me, I wouldn’t want those perfect hands getting dirty,” he replied, “But I do appreciate the company.”
Lily smiled to herself, then picked up a trophy, another cloth and began rubbing vigorously.
“No, no stop,” he said with a laugh placing his hand over hers, “Like this – in a circular motion.”
He guided her hand over the dirty metal, watching as the bright silver steadily came through. Lily cleared her throat and he let go.
“Does Evie know you’re here?” he asked, going back to his own polishing. He finished off the trophy in his hands, placed it back on the shelf and reached for another that was a little bit heavier than he expected.
“No, I left her celebrating with the girls in the Common Room,” she answered, watching with amusement as James almost dropped the trophy, “I didn’t tell her what happened in the room, so I…guess it would be a bit of a shock to find me sneaking out to keep you company as you did penance for protecting me. Especially since we’ve been pretending to ignore each other ever since.”
They sat quietly on the large innate rug covering the trophy room floor and sat in silence again. A comfortable silence that didn’t need filling.
“Thankyou by the way,” Lily suddenly said, “For…defending me with the whole Henry thing.”
James just shrugged.
“You know I’d do it again right?” he said, flicking a glance at her, “No hesitation. I’d smash his face right-”
“Okay, okay got it,” she said rolling her eyes, “I think what you did was enough.”
“Right,” James said, fixing his glasses, “But still…”
“OKAY!” she laughed, crossing her legs on the warm rug.
“You’ve got to admit…today was fun,” he said with a cheeky grin, “Getting back at him like that.”
“Well I’m not one for revenge usually…” she started with James scoffing.
“Oh please…how many times have you hit me?”
Their laughter quieted down but instead of allowing that comfortable silence to swarm them again, James felt bold enough to ask a burning question.
“You know…” he began carefully, “I thought what happened in the Room of Requirement…that it would change something between us…has it…I mean has it changed anything for you?”
Lily looked up at him curiously and James felt as though her green-eyed stare might burn a hole right through him.
“It did change something James,” Lily whispered, “It changed everything.”
Quite suddenly, the silvery wisp of a Patronus burst through the trophy room door, coming to a halt in front of James.
“Mr Potter,” the Patronus – which James recognised as Madame Pomfrey’s, “We need you. Whomping Willow. Now.”
With those few words it vanished. The trophy in James’s hand clattered to the floor. Before Lily could register what was happening he was sprinting through the door and down the corridor.
Lily ran after him, running through the castle and out into the pitch-black grounds. She didn’t know for sure whose Patronus that had been in the trophy room, although she had a faint suspicion it was a teacher. She didn’t understand why anyone would be summoning James Potter, especially at this time of night. And she certainly didn’t understand why they were heading towards the Whomping Willow.
Lily tried very hard to keep up with the naturally more athletic James, but there was something much more than his legs that was spurring him on.
As they closed in on the tree however, James ground to a halt. There was just one moment of silence before the howl of a werewolf made James Potter go rigid.
His eyes widened as he now stared through the dark and over to a large tree. In the distance he could just make out its extreme stillness...and the moving figures below it.
James, no longer frozen in horror, suddenly grabbed Lily and pushed her roughly behind him, strong arms gripping her protectively.
A scream ripped through the air around them.
If you noticed Remington Oslo missing from this entire chapter, a gold star for you! That is all.
p.s. I really like reviews…:D
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