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Like a House on Fire by 800 words of heaven
Chapter 12 : It has to be Soon
 
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“I hate him!” Lily screeched. “I hate him! Hate him! Hate him! He is just the biggest idiot in the world! Why did I ever agree to go out with him? He is such an arsehole! I hate him!” Cue angry heavy breathing.

“What’s up?” I asked, trying not to groan too loudly as I stretched my aching limbs. James was training us like our bloody lives depended on it.

“Potter!”

“I guessed as much. What did he do?”

“I’m going to bloody kill him!”

“Lils, what did he do?”

“But first, I’m going to torture him until he’ll wish he wasn’t born!”

“Lily! What did he do?” Merlin, the woman had finally lost it!

She glared at me for a moment, but for once, I wasn’t really worried for my safety because I’m quite sure she was using me as a James substitute. However, I will take mild offence at being a boyfriend substitute. “He and Severus were trying to kill each other again,” she said quietly.

I looked at her for a moment. No matter what Lily said, I am quite certain that she’s still in love with Severus, at least a little. “What happened?”

“Well, I was just on patrols and I walked in on them having an argument, or something.”

“What were they arguing about?”

“Oh, who cares? All that matters was that suddenly Potter had his wand at Severus’ throat and Severus looked like he was about to launch himself at Potter and throttle him with his bare hands –” That I would have liked to see. They were the same height, but James had the physique that can only be obtained through years of Quidditch training, and well, Severus was a scrawny little git in comparison. “– and then I decided to do something about it.”

I took a deep breath, steeling myself for the worst. “What did you do?”

“I marched up to them –” Read: stormed up to them.

“– Told them off for being such arrogant swine –” Read: ranted and raved at them for being stupid little shits.

“– And then marched off again.” Read: stormed away from them leaving them in shock or to finish each other off for good or both.

“Lils… was it…” I started cautiously. We didn’t talk much about Severus. It was one of those touchy topics. I knew that we should, and we would, at some point. Soon. I promise.

“Was it what?” she snapped.

“Was it… a good idea to, um, intervene?”

“Was it a good idea? What was I supposed to do? Let them finish each other off?” Uh… yeah? However I didn’t reply immediately. Choosing my words carefully, I said, “Are you sure… this was James’ fault?”

“Oh, of course! You’d take his side in this! Heaven forbid that your precious Quidditch captain be in the wrong!”

I sighed again. It was just so difficult to talk to her when she was angry – especially about James or Severus. And it was sheer hell when it was about both. “Lily…” I started, but I didn’t know what to say. I needed Sarah. She was much better at dealing with all of this. I always just ended up saying the wrong thing. How the hell were we even friends? “Okay. Maybe James was wrong, but why are you getting so worked up over this? I’m sure Severus is planning revenge right now, so there’s no need for you to get all righteously indignant on his behalf.”

Because I thought he’d changed!”

“Who? Severus?” Had he washed his hair or something since I last saw him?

“No! James!” Well, that was a good sign. She couldn’t be that mad at him if she was using his first name again.

“He has changed! For you!” Quidditch captain aside, James Potter was my friend, so I had some obligation to defend his actions, no matter how much I thought the little rivalry thing him and Severus had going on between them was as annoying as hell.

She shook her head. “You weren’t there Millie! He’s still the same cocky idiot he’s always been. And I really thought…” she looked away and down. “Never mind,” she muttered. “I think I’ll go to bed now.” And without another word, she went up to our dormitory. I sighed and pulled over my History of Magic essay.

 

“Hey,” Sirius said quietly as he sat down next to me.

“Hey yourself,” I replied. He smirked.

“Where’s Lily?” he asked.

“Bed,” I mumbled.

He raised his eyebrows at me. “Little Miss Perfect went to bed before midnight with our pile of homework?”

“She’s had a long day,” I said shortly. I wasn’t in the mood to discuss exactly why she had gone to bed.

“Prongs’ being the same.”

I looked over at him. “What happened?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. He’s being really vague about it all.”

“Strange.”

“Yeah.”

We sat there in comfortable silence for a while. It was strange how I would have shrieked in rage at his mere shadow crossing my page a few months ago, but now we felt perfectly comfortable sharing a brooding silence over our best friends’ weird stupidity. We both sighed simultaneously. “I should probably go see if he’s alright,” Sirius said.

“Yeah… it’s probably been long enough for her to pretend that she’s fallen asleep, if she wants to.” We shared a wistful smile with each other and parted ways.

 

I dragged myself onto the couch where Remus, Sarah and Sirius were studying. “Merlin Millie! Who attacked you?” Sarah asked in surprise.

I groaned and shook my head. It had been six days since James and Lily’s sort-of-but-not-really argument. She still hadn’t talked to him. Hell, she was barely acknowledging his presence right now. I wondered how on earth they were performing their Head Boy and Girl duties if they didn’t even talk to each other anymore.

“Where’s Prongs?” Remus asked, noticing that one of his best mates was still missing. Speaking of best mates, where was Peter? That boy rarely left the protection that the formidable team of James-Sirius offered.

“I think he’s drowning himself in the showers still,” I managed to get out. I hurt everywhere.

“Tough training session?” Sarah asked sympathetically.

“He’s killing us!” Merlin, it sounded like I was almost in tears. “I thought our training sessions used to be bad, but compared to this…”

“They were a walk in the park?” Sirius offered.

“Exactly!” Somewhere in the back of my brain, I noted some surprise at agreeing with him on something.

“He’s been miserable all week,” Remus remarked.

“It’s because of Evans,” Sirius said darkly. “She’s been ignoring him all week and it’s breaking his heart.”

“Hey! It’s not completely Lily’s fault!” Sarah cried, on behalf of our friend, but she liked James, and it was really hard to see him so down in the dumps. It was like seeing a sad sunflower. It was just against the Laws of Nature.

“Something has to be done about those two,” I muttered. “I don’t think I’ll survive another one of our training sessions!” I sounded like I was on the verge of tears again.

“Yeah! We need to do something that’ll make them realise that they’re head over heels in love with each other and shouldn’t be doing this to each other!” Sirius said enthusiastically.

Through my pain, I managed to snort. “I really don’t think James has a problem with realising his feelings for Lily.”

“Yeah, you’re right, but Miss Evans on the other hand…” Sirius must be the only seventeen year-old male on the planet who could get away with calling anyone Miss and making it sound okay.

“This hasn’t been easy for her you know!” Sarah was fulfilling her duty as Lily’s best friend, because I was in far too much pain to even bother. All my muscles had cramped painfully and were now going into spasms periodically. I knew a shower would help, but I highly doubted that I would ever be able to get off this couch again.

“Then why in Merlin’s name is she doing it?” Sirius asked. That seemed like a legitimate question to me. It was as clear as day that those two were made for each other, but why was she refusing to acknowledge it?

“Because… I don’t know!” Sarah sighed in frustration. They all looked over at me.

“Don’t look at me! I’m just the best friend! No one actually tells me anything!”

“You girls never shut up! What else do you talk about?” Sirius asked.

“We do have other things in our lives than just boys!”

“Guys, not that this isn’t riveting and all, but can we first sort out one problem before you two can bite each other’s heads off?” Remus asked wearily. Poor bloke, how come it was always him who ended up mediating? Must be a tough job.

We both looked appropriately ashamed. “Sorry,” Sirius muttered. “But what can we do?”

“We have to do something!” I said. We all paused for a moment to see if we could think of anything. I really tried to think about something, but all I could think about was how much my body hurt and how it felt like someone had replaced the marrow in my bones with lead.

“Anything?” Sarah finally asked.

We all shook our heads no. After a moment, Sirius piped up, “We could always just lock them in a broom cupboard and not let them out until they’ve sorted out their differences.”

“Won’t work,” I said. “You tried it last year, and do you remember how that ended?” Both Remus and Sirius winced. James had spent the next two weeks in the Hospital Wing and there was many a rumour flying around the Changing Rooms that his ability to father children may now be grievously diminished.

“Well do you have anything better?” he demanded.

I glared at him. I saw Remus and Sarah exchange a look. We’re allowed to fight – we’re not even going out!

Yeah, we’re dysfunctional, get over it.

“What we need, is something that would make them realise that they were made for each other. That they can’t live without each other,” Sarah tactfully said.

“Yeah, but the question still remains, what?”

“Whatever it is, it has to be soon.” The others nodded in agreement.




AN: GASP! All is not well in paradise (aka James and Lily' relationship)! A little light on Sirius/Millie interaction, but one does need to spend some time writing about the second-cutest couple in the world! So what did you think of it? Let me know in the little grey box below!


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