“Potter, Black, Evans, and Lupin, what do you have to say for yourselves?” screeched Professor McGonagall menacingly. The four people mentioned were all staring at the pale body of Severus Snape, who was unconscious. “Professor, don’t punish Sirius, Lily, or Remus. I was the one who hexed Snape in the first place.” James said, daring to look up at McGonagall. Her nostrils were white enough to belong to a ghost, not that he was going to mention that though.
“According to Mr. Malfoy, all four of you were dueling Mr. Snape.” She said, switching to an unnervingly calm voice. The sudden change in the Deputy Headmistress's voice scared him. It scared him a lot. Sirius shyly stepped forward. He too looked alarmed at McGonagall’s tone.
“No, Professor. Lily and Remus had intervened only to stop us from hexing Snape.” Sirius said, glancing over at the two prefects. Both of them were sobbing into their robes. Professor McGonagall also noted the behavior of those two, because her eyes softened by an inch. “I’m going to have to take two hundred from Gryffindor. No exceptions.” She said, with tears threatening to come to her eyes also. “All four of you will go up to Professor Dumbledore’s office, where you will await your punishment. Understood? Now go.”
Dejectedly, all four of them headed towards Dumbledore’s office. James peered back to see Professor McGonagall conjuring a gurney to put Snape on. Once the slimy git was on the stretcher, it magically carried him towards the hospital wing. He shook his head, trying to keep a myriad of dark thoughts from invading his mind. They turned the corner and found themselves staring at the hourglasses which held the points for each house. Gryffindor, who had been in first place this morning, was now in last place. It was now only a quarter full now. Remus and Lily, who had finally started to dry up, were now sobbing again. He couldn’t blame them though. They’d set the record for most house points lost in a day. Masked by the sobs, he could barely distinguish Sirius’ voice. It was full of bitterness and hatred… “I hate karma.”
After maneuvering their way through many corridors, they finally made it to the headmaster’s office. The gargoyles which stood in front of the entrance were adamantly refusing them entry without a password. “C’mon guys. We need to get in there.” James said pleadingly. The gargoyles shook their heads in unison. “Erm, what about Chocoballs.” He asked hopefully. They shook their heads again. “Jelly Slugs, Ice Mice, Pepper Imps, or for heaven’s sake, TOOTHFLOSSING STRINGMINTS!” He yelled, not caring about the complaining portraits…
But to James’ surprise, the door opened and they were granted entrance. His outburst had turned out to be just a mere adrenaline rush and he once more, found himself frightened. He stepped in the doorway and was followed by Lily, Sirius, and finally Remus. As soon as Remus was in, the door closed, leaving them face to face with Albus Dumbledore. “I thought I heard your pleasant voice outside!” he said, clearly amused. The man was peering up at them through his half-moon spectacles. “Please do forgive me, but sadly, I am not up to date with your recent happenings. I am undoubtedly, in need of an update.” He said, rather calmly.
Shakily, James stepped forward and drew a breath. He felt calmer as he stared into Professor Dumbledore’s piercing blue eyes. “Well, Sirius, Remus, and I were waiting on Peter, who was asking Professor Flitwick a question. We were sitting against the wall as Snape had just called Evans the ‘M’ word and we were there to witness it. I tried to confront him, but Snape had already drawn his wand and tried to hex me. By then, Sirius and I were both fighting him.. Lily and Remus came inbetween us and both of them casted Protego charms. By that time, Snape was already on the ground unconscious.” He finished with his explanation and stared up at Dumbledore. The headmaster was merely gazing at them through a clouded expression. “Do you believe that you deserve a punishment for your actions?” he asked in a nonchalant voice. James couldn’t tell if he were accusing them or not. Lily, for the first time since the incident, spoke up. “Yes, Professor.” She whispered. Tears still leaked out of the corners of her eyes.
James wanted to argue, but he couldn’t find the heart to do so. They followed in Lily’s suit and told him that they fully deserved any punishment. Sirius looked pained to do so. “True Gryffindors you are to not back away from any punishment.” Dumbledore muttered before standing up. He swept past them and headed towards the door. As the door opened, he turned back around. “I need to talk to Professor McGonagall about your punishment. Please remain here until I return.” Dumbledore then conjured some squishy chairs and left without another word.
A few moments later, almost everyone was doing something to occupy themselves. Sirius was pacing up and down the office. Remus was moaning about ruining his reputation. Lily was crying silently now. James just sat there. “Why did you have to interfere?” Lily asked suddenly. He decided not to make a joke out of this, considering that Evans was crying. “I dunno… I just couldn’t stand you being treated that way.” He said, staring into her eyes. They looked beautiful even though they were bloodshot. “I didn’t need your help.” She said quietly. Her voice was barely distinguishable.
“What?” he asked, wanting to make sure he heard her correctly.
“I DIDN’T NEED YOUR HELP!” she yelled, now standing up.
“OI! WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME NOW?” James retorted, becoming enraged. Remus had now has stopped muttering to himself long enough to watch the two of them.
“I DIDN’T HAVE THE CHANCE TO. YOU AND BLACK THINK YOU’RE SOMETHING. ALL YOU DO IS PRANCE AROUND THE SCHOOL HEXING PEOPLE FOR NO APPARENT REASON. I’M TIRED OF YOUR ANTICS AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I’VE PUT UP WITH THEM FOR EVEN THIS LONG. YOU’RE A BULLYING TOERAG AND AN ARROGANT JERK JAMES POTTER… I PITY THE WOMAN WHO MARRIES YOU!” Stunned, James stepped back from Lily. She looked absolutely venomous. Was he really that much of a jerk? He turned to Sirius who was turned away from them. “Sirius, what are you doing?” he asked suspiciously. They couldn’t afford any more trouble. His friend remained silent. “What are you doing?” he repeated, more dangerously than before. Remus had now stood up, edging towards them.
James gave a nod to Remus and then both of them jumped on top of Sirius. Sirius’ and Lily’s screams mingled with one another. Finally, they had wrestled the device Sirius had been messing with from his hands. It was a minuscule hour glass which was now cracked in several places. “This is a time-turner, you dolt.” Remus said angrily. “And not just any time-turner, it’s one that takes you to the future. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT SIRIUS?!” Just as Remus had jumped on top of Sirius again, the world started turning and everything became blurs. James could hear Remus and Sirius still fighting. Lily was screaming and he; he was coming close to whacking Sirius upside the head for getting them in this mess. He was about to do just that when they had reached their destination. They were back in Dumbledore’s office and Dumbledore was there now. James sighed in relief. But then he noticed something. This Dumbledore looked older and had a blackened hand. This Dumbledore was staring at them, shocked. “Merlin’s Beard, it's James Potter.”