I felt the cold floor of the stone steps beneath as I lay there, my head swimming with the images of my vision. The scenes kept replaying over and over but I found myself repeating the last one the most. There was something unimaginably disturbing about seeing your own future, even if it was to deliver a message. I closed my eyes and leant my head back; trying to ignore the pains in my back and the twisted position I was in.
I needed a distraction. All the visions I was having were driving me insane, they were nothing like dreams; I could remember each one in vivid detail.
I pulled myself off the stairs and hauled my exhausted body back to the common room. The marauders were already there, obviously having taken a different route, and also sadly was lily. She was sitting in the chair that faced the portrait hole and jumped up immediately when she saw me.
“Natalie!” she called, jogging over to me. If there was one thing I hated about lily Evans, it was that she was too bloody perfect all the time. Even when she was jogging, looking quite strange, she still looked like a goddess.
“Lily.” I said stiffly, moving to walk past her.
She moved in front of me and stuck a hand out to prevent me from walking away again. “Look, I'm sorry I didn’t tell you I was seeing Noah. If I knew you would react like this I wouldn’t have said yes to going out with him.” She cried, “But I really like him. He’s sweet and so kind and thoughtful, and I really like him ok?”
I didn’t even bother suppressing my snort as she described my poisonous brother as kind and thoughtful. She glared at me and I raised an eyebrow. “You’re obviously under the influence of amortentia or some seriously powerful drugs, Lils. My brother is the complete opposite of everything you just said. He’s mean, torturous and a vile, evil creep. I'm trying to save you from finding it out the hard way.” I snarled.
She curled her lip at me. “He told me you’d say that, but he was so heartbroken when you ran away from home. He was sick with worry and talked about getting a search party out to look for you.”
I laughed humourlessly, “The only thing he was worried about was whether or not I would get disowned so he could be the only child and they could have the family they wanted.” I shouted. The marauders were watching intently and I saw Remus trying to clear the common room of all spectators. It was the worst fight lily and I had ever had.
Lily opened her mouth to retort but was stopped by the quiet voice of Peter, “You ran away from home Natalie?” I turned to peter and glared at him.
“You didn’t tell them?” Lily raised her eyebrows, understanding the trouble she was causing me and using it to her advantage.
“No.” I hissed. “I thought you would just love the pleasure of spreading it round the school.”
“What the hell, Nat?” James yelled. “You actually left?”
I forced myself to breathe. “Yes.” I hissed through gritted teeth. “Why wouldn’t I?”
He came forward putting himself between lily and I, “Why didn’t you come and stay with me?” he was hurt and I could tell it was because he didn’t know if I trusted him. Sirius was uncharacteristically silent and peter was still cowering from my harsh glare. Remus caught my eye and I pleaded with him to get me out of the situation. He did no such thing.
I turned away from James and hung my head. Lily smiled triumphantly and promptly marched up the stairs to our dorm.
The boys all went upstairs too, except Remus who took my hand and lead me to a couch. “You knew not telling them was going to backfire, right?”
“Yeah.” I sighed. The first day back at Hogwarts had already been ridiculously stressful and it wasn’t even lunch yet, wait no I had just missed lunch. Perfect.
The next couple of days I really only talked to Remus, James had forgiven me and so had Peter, but Sirius refused to speak to me. I was still unclear on why, but I felt the sharp pain of rejection every time he turned away from me. It was stupid of me to be so hung up on Sirius, to hope round every corner I turned he would be there smiling at me and babbling about his new idea for a prank. Of course he wasn’t and most of the time I didn’t spend thinking about why he was ignoring me I spent thinking about him, longing for him to be near me.
My visions were getting worse and more frequent; I was finding myself passing out and getting scolded by teachers for not paying attention in lessons. Remus was helping me with my lessons but he was also unnecessarily worried about me. I tickled the pair and watched as a doorknob appeared, letting myself into the kitchens.
“Miss Delano!” a house elf squeaked, “What can Mitsy get you?”
“Hi, Mitsy.” I sighed, slumping down onto a chair. “Could you make me some trifle?” it was exactly what I needed right then, “also the bottle of port that you use for the base?” Mitsy looked uncomfortable at the idea of providing me with alcohol but immediately reasoned that she must serve her master. I sighed, thinking about how elderly I was; drinking port. I chuckled at myself. Mitsy was soon back and I ate as much as I could, constantly swigging on the bottle I was given.
I stood up to make my way back to the common room and felt myself sway precariously and grabbed the table for balance. I giggled and said a quick thanks to Mitsy, swiping the half full bottle off the table and tucking it into my robes. I stumbled my way to Gryffindor tower, using the secret passageways James had shown me. I went undisturbed until I literally fell through the portrait hole. Rolling around on the ground, I looked up at the rest of the common room and saw most of the Gryffindors were watching me with either smiles or frightened expressions on their faces. I chuckled and pulled myself up, dusting myself off, and made my way over to James who was residing on the couch near the fire.
“Oh dear.” He said, smirking. I pulled the finger at him and flopped down beside him, leaning heavily against him.
“I’ve got more.” I whispered loudly, “Two’s a party.”
He grinned at me, “boy’s dorm?”
I chuckled and got up, pulling him with me. James had to support me and lead me up the stairs. Once inside the dorm I pulled out the bottle I had hidden and he chuckled, taking it from me and taking a long drink. “Right,” I said, sitting myself on his bed. “Confession time!” we had a game we played every time we were under the influence of anything, we called it confession time and we had to confess anything we could think of that the other person didn’t know.
“I love lily.” James slurred.
I giggled, “I love Sirius!” I whispered loudly.
We collapsed with laughter. We were both sitting up against the headboard of his bed. The bottle had been emptied a while back and we were sufficiently inebriated. I leant my head against James’ shoulder, slowly getting my breathing back to normal. He leant over to his bedside table and picked up a packet of cigarettes and a lighter.
I inhaled the smoke and felt it travel deep into my lungs. It was our way of relaxing, letting go of all our tension. I turned to look at James and found him looking at me curiously. I stubbed my light out as he did his. He was still looking at me and I began to raise an eyebrow, which is a hard feat if you’re drunk as a skunk.
“What would you do if I kissed you right now?” James said slowly still looking at me, I stared back hard and tried to determine whether he was being serious, excuse the pun, if only he were Sirius.....
I didn’t have time to answer before his lips crashed onto mine, clumsily. I kissed him back and looped my arms around his neck, pulling him down on top of me. We stayed in that position for a while, experiencing the new feeling.
I heard the clap of footsteps on stone and quickly pushed James off me. Making a split second decision, we kicked off our shoes and climbed into the bed, pretending to be asleep.
I heard Remus and Sirius come through the door and tensed involuntarily; what James and I had just been doing was not in the boundaries of friendship. I felt James’ arm wrap around my waist and felt his breathing become heavier as he drifted off to sleep. Remus sensed I was awake and sat down on the bed across.
“Want some water before you go to sleep?” he whispered. Have I mentioned how much I love Remus? I nodded my head and grinned stupidly at him. Before he could get back with the water I had already fallen asleep.