Chapter 9 : Chapter Nine
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I hate Monday Mornings. There’s the typical “It’s Monday” attitude, the grogginess, and the slothy, “first day of classes and we have to start with double potions with the Slytherins!” dread.
We haven’t gotten our timetables yet, but I know that we’ll have potions. I have a sinking feeling. Call me a seer if you want, but don’t compare me to that old wench of a divinations teacher. What a fake.
I trudged downstairs where Lily was reading in the common room and walked up to the boys’ dormitories like I owned the place. I practically live up there anyway, at least around full moons and party nights. Not caring if they were decent or not, I opened the door and without knocking.
Sirius’s, James’s and Peter’s sections of the room were already in different states of disarray, but Remus’s was neat, completely unpacked, and organized. It even looked like the crazy child had dusted!
Other than the chaos of strewn clothes, the room was peaceful, the kind of peaceful silence that only occurs when they’re sleeping.
I padded across the room to Remus. Before I even got to him, he opened his eyes, smiled, stretched, and sat up saying, “Good morning.”
Knowing that he had smelled and heard me due to his enhanced werewolf senses, I just smiled back without questioning him as he silently went to wake Peter as I tackled the task of waking James and Sirius.
“James,” I whispered. “Wake up.”
I shook him a few times, but to no avail. “James.” I tried again. “You have to wake up now! The Death Eaters are attacking!” Nothing.
Irritated now, I decided to be mean. “JAMES! Voldemort is here and he’s letting Snape keep Lily as a concubine!”
At this, he bolted awake, and I rolled my eyes as his eyes snapped open and he grabbed his wand from the night stand, ready for action.
When he realized nothing was going on, he looked at me in confusion before his eyes narrowed. I smirked at his irritation. At this, he pointed his wand at my face “menacingly”.
“Put your wand away.” I snapped.
“Which one?” smirked Sirius from his bed, leaning on his elbow, shirtless. I guessed Remus had woken him up judging by his sopping hair. He threw me a lopsided grin and a wink. My heart melted to my toes. Not that I would ever admit that. Not to anyone. Except maybe my teddy bear that Grace now uses.
“It’s not my fault!” James whined, blushing. “Blood pools overnight!”
“Hush and get ready.” I giggled. “I want food.”
“Where’s Lily?” James asked me.
“Downstairs. She might’ve gone to the library for a book though. I can’t remember.”
James grinned. “She does that.”
I was puzzled by the informality of his words and the intimacy of his voice, but instead of questioning him, I went to my room to get dressed while they did the same.
I threw on my navy khakis that I stole from James and charmed to fit me- Marlene is a-ma-zing at all spells dealing with clothes, design of any kind, and anything dealing with Home Ec- partnered with my white button-down top. I loosely tied my tie around my neck, the knot resting just below the third button of my top- the first one that was done- and went back downstairs where the boys were waiting after putting an anti-frizz/control spell on my loose red barrel curls.
“Hurry up; I’m hungry!” I heard Sirius whine.
“I could go back and put makeup on, you know.”
“You don’t wear makeup because if you did the rest of the girls in this school would stop trying and jump into the Black Lake in the dead of winter. Besides, you look fantastic without it. It’s not like you need it anyway. Now hurry uppp!”
I slowed my pace just to irk him.
“Ra-aayne!” he whined again. I slowed even more.
Fed up, I watched as he stomped over to the bottom of the staircase.
I froze. “Don’t you dare. Don’t even think about it.”
He held his foot aloft perilously close to the bottom step of the girls’ stairs.
“Sirius-” I started warningly, but it was too late.
I shrieked as his foot came down on the bottom step and my own feet shot out from under me. The stairs sunk into a slide and I slid unceremoniously to the bottom, where Sirius was smirking triumphantly above me.
“I hate you.” I groaned, ignoring the giggling, smirking, and smiling spectators at the bottom, and top, of the stairs and around the common room.
He let out his bark-like laugh and scooped me up, tossing me over his shoulder and racing to the portrait.
“Si-i-i-ri-u-us!” I screamed, my voice breaking as he ran. He only laughed in response. Git.
I craned my neck and saw Lily yelling but laughing at James, in the same predicament as me. Tonks was also being carried in the same fashion by Remus, but both were laughing as she morphed herself into strange things in a vain effort to free herself. Peter was trailing behind a bit, but kept up for the most part, surprisingly enough.
Reaching the Great Hall, the boys continued their sprinting frenzy until they reached Marlene and Alice and dropped us “gracefully” into our seats.
“Oof!” I coughed, rubbing my bum tenderly. We laughed as we noticed McGonagall’s murderous glare and saw Dumbledore chuckle.
“Food!” Sirius cried gleefully.
We quickly piled our plates with delicious Hogwarts food to inhale.
I heard a collective groan come from Sirius and James, who were next to and across from me, respectively. I waited for what I knew would come.
James started, “Double potions-”
“With the Slytherins!” Sirius added.
“First thing in the morning!” They finished together, groaning again as they let their heads drop to the table.
“This year, you will be divided into pairs!” Slughorn announced jovially. “Oh no, Mr. Nott, not by yourselves, by me.” Several students groaned. “Now, now, Mr. Snape.” He said as Snape threw a look of disdain at the “unworthy” people in his class. “This is advanced potions- NEWT level!- you are going to have to push yourselves to succeed! Of course I know you’ll excel.” His jolly eyes landed on me and I smiled cheekily at him.
“Without further delay, Mr. Snape and Miss Evans-” No, no, no, no, no! SHIT. “Potter and Miss Mason,” Lucky prats. “Black and Mr. Nott,” Oh, poor Sirius. “Mr. Lupin and Miss Prewett, Mr. Longbottom and McKinnon,” I didn’t get to hear the rest of the pairings as a voice disrupted me.
“Evans. Your bags are in my seat.” Severus said coolly.
“Actually, I was saving this seat for someone worthwhile.” I retorted, though I moved my bags to the floor next to my seat.
“Lily,” he started, his voice softer. “I am, so so-”
“Save it for someone who cares, Snape.” I snapped, turning back to the lesson.
“Today we will be brewing Amortentia.” Slughorn announced happily. “Can anyone tell me about this dandy little potion? Ah, yes, Miss Evans.”
“Amortentia is the most powerful Love Potion in the world. It creates a powerful infatuation or obsession in the consumer of the potion. Amortentia has a distinct mother-of-pearl sheen, and steam rises from it in spirals characteristic to only love potion. It has a different aroma for everyone, reminding someone of the smells or person they find most alluring, even if they are unaware or don’t acknowledge their fondness for the object of their affections. However, Amortentia does not create love, nor will drinking the potion extensively ever create love. It can only instill false feelings of affection in the person who drinks it.”
“I think 30 points to Gryffindor for that outstanding explanation!” Slughorn beamed.
James, Sirius, and Rayne cheered. I sent James a wink and a grin and he blew me a kiss. I playfully rolled my eyes and turned back to my desk before James saw my blush, noticing Snape’s scowl.
“Well then, the instructions are on the board! Hop to it!”
“You just had to show off, didn’t you.” sneered Snape. “You probably found that in one of your precious books, didn’t you? Well what else can you expect from a mudblood? It’s not like your kind could ever have the brain capacity for these things.”
I willed away the tears and prayed that no one heard me let him talk to me like that. Especially not James, who was sitting at the table behind us.
“I’ll get the ingredients.” I muttered stiffly, shoving away from the table and heading to the supply closet.
“Are you alright Lily?” I heard a warm voice ask.
I turned around and saw James, “Can we talk about it later? I would love to talk to someone and usually I’d go to Rayne, but she’d probably do something stupid. Maybe we could go somewhere during our free period?”
“That sounds great, Lily. Just know that I’ll always be there for you. Whether you need to rant or laugh, it doesn’t matter, I’ll always protect you.”
Doing the only rational thing I could, I launched myself into his arms as two tears leaked out of my eyes. I buried my face in his chest, wrapping my arms around his torso. I recognized his warm hand on my lower back and his other hand stroking my hair as I drew comfort from such a simple act. I held onto him for a moment more before pulling back and wiping my eyes.
“Thank you, James. I really needed that.”
“Anytime, flower.” he smiled back at me, grabbing my hand and kissing it. I squeezed his hand back gratefully before grabbing my ingredients and walking back to my desk. Just before I reached my desk, Sirius passed me and bent down to whisper in my ear, “Hey Lil, don’t let him get to you. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.”
“Thanks Sirius.” I flashed him a grin.
“What took you so long?” Snape said nastily. “Snogging Potter in the cupboard?”
“Only every second of every minute of my free time every day.” I smirked at him.
He muttered something nasty that I chose to ignore and started preparing ingredients. I checked the cauldron temperature and began by adding four petals of the belladonna flour, crushed, along with the snake fangs, also crushed, and set aside the dried nettles and horned slugs. The horned slugs were to be stewed later, just after the porcupine quills were added. I stirred the potion, four times clockwise, and added three counter clockwise, an unconventional instruction unwritten, but very effective nevertheless.
“What are you doing?!” Snape demanded.
“Stirring.” I said obviously.
“You’re not meant to stir counter clockwise!”
“So? They also don’t mention that adding a sprig of peppermint to The Elixir to Induce Euphoria counters the excessive singing and nose-tweaking side-effects. They don’t mention that crushing the Sopophorous bean with the flat side of silver dagger releases the juice better than cutting it and they also don’t mention that adding one clockwise stir after seven counter-clockwise stirs helps to obtain the clear colour faster in the Draught of Living Death. They may mention that a bezoar works as an antidote to most poisons if you shove it down someone’s throat.”
He scowled and wrote something in his book. Probably an insult to me or my apparently “impossible” intelligence due to my blood status.
“I’m saving your grade, you git.” I rolled my eyes.
I heard Sirius, Rayne, and James laugh as Remus chuckled, and I couldn’t help but grin.
“What’s so funny?” he interrogated me as I added the rose thorns and dried nettles.
“Nothing.” I replied, still grinning. “Add the frozen Ashwinder egg and crush the moonstone. The egg needs to go in before the moonstone with the horned slugs. And don’t forget to raise the temperature almost to a boil to stew the slugs, but it has to cool before the egg goes in. Oh, and the porcupine quills go with the egg, and the peppermint sprig goes last with the crushed moonstone.”
“I know, I know.” he said sourly. I heard James snicker.
“Oh, and just for good measure, after you boil the slugs and are stirring six times counter-clockwise, add one counter-clockwise stir between each interval. You’ll do that three times.”
He scowled at me but did as I asked.
10 minutes later Slughorn called for everyone to wrap up their potions.
“Black! Where is your partner?”
“Well, sir, she’s sitting next to me.”
“I assigned you to Mr. Nott, not to Miss Mason.”
“I can’t work with him. He keeps going on about blood purity. Can I have a new one?” he asked sweetly.
“Mr. Black, if you partner with Miss Mason, who will partner with Mr. Potter?”
“I’ll partner with James, sir.”
“What’s your reasoning Miss Evans?” Though he did look hopeful.
“I don’t think I can work with someone whose regular vocabulary includes the word “mudblood”. I replied coolly, glaring at Snape.
His eyes widened and his frown deepened, but he nodded and said, “Very well, at the next class. Mr. Snape and Mr. Nott, you will be partners. Also, hang back at the end of class. I’d like a word.”
“Thanks, professor.” I grinned at him.
He nodded and smiled at me, his usual jolly twinkle back. “Time’s up! Bring me a vial of your potions!”
I quickly gathered a vial of my potion, which had turned the perfect shade of a glimmering, pale pink with the characteristic purplish mother of pearl sheen to it. Pink steam was rising in swirls. I noticed Rayne was doing the same, hers looking almost exactly the same as mine.
“We have our winners!” Slughorn announced, belly shaking with laughter.
“Miss Mason, Miss Evans, and your partners are excused from the 3.5 foot essay on both the dangers and uses of Amortentia due in 2 weeks!”
“Professor Slughorn! I helped Rayne too!” Sirius complained. “And technically I’m her partner now too!”
“Argh! SIRIUS!” I screamed. Again.
He only laughed as he adjusted me from my position on his shoulder and broke into a run.
“To Transfiguration!” James cried, carrying Lily in the same fashion as Sirius was carrying me.
“Where’s Remus?” I wondered aloud.
“Carrying Peter.” Sirius laughed.
Sure enough, Remus was carrying Peter over his shoulder, arms bulging under the weight of his friend.
“DAMN!” I yelled. “Remus got buff!”
I directed a cat call towards him and Sirius and James wolf whistled. Remus winked at me.
“Okay, Lils, what color hair do you want?” I asked with a smirk.
“Are you sure you understand human transfiguration?” she asked nervously.
“I’m a metamorphagus and you know what else.” I gave her a pointed look. “I think I can manage.” I stuck my tongue out at her.
“I know, but are you sure?”
I shot her another look and waved my hand at James and Sirius, not bothering with my wand, who instantly morphed into girl versions of themselves, sporting school skirts and half unbuttoned shirts, showing of their now curvy figures.
“Very good, Miss Mason! Now, can you reverse the charm?” I heard McGonagall ask.
I flicked my fingers lazily, still not bothering with a wand and casting it nonverbally. They silently changed back.
“Hey! I didn’t even get to look at my boobs!” Sirius complained.
“Excellent, Miss Mason! 30 points to Gryffindor!” McGonagall called to us.
When Transfiguration ended, everyone but me was set with a 12 inch essay on the dangers and uses of human transfiguration.
I looked to Lily and asked, “What do we have next?”
“Ancient Runes.” she replied as she gathered her things.
“Yes! I love that class!” I grinned.
“What class do you have next?” I asked Sirius.
“Muggle Studies.” he replied cheekily.
“We want to learn how to blend in with muggles.” James added.
“Okay, find us for our free period, alright?”
“How will they find us if we don’t set up a meeting place?” Lily asked me quietly as we walked away.
“It’s James and Sirius, do you really need to ask?”
She shrugged uncertainly, still looking bemused.
“This should be interesting.” Padfoot said as he leaned back in his chair lazily and propped his feet up.
“If you say so, but I think I’m finally understanding ekletircy and phellytones.”
“Yeah!” he agreed enthusiastically.
“Good afternoon class!” Professor Johnson called.
No one called back except for a few girls in the front.
“This year, we are going to do a project that has never been done at Hogwarts before. It will last two weeks of this semester, and you will have partners. Now, pair yourselves up.”
Everyone immediately rearranged themselves into boy girl pairs. Unfortunately for Sirius and I, who had fallen asleep, no girls were left, so we are now partners for this assignment. Just so you know, Sirius is definitely the woman in this relationship.
“Excellent! Now, for this project, you will be assigned ‘children’ if you will, that you will have to care for for two weeks. Your children will be assigned to you by character traits. Therefore, it is accurate to presume that your baby will really look like your baby. We will be using a spell for this, just a simple charm that will show you an image of your potential child. Now, you must wave your wand like so, and say ‘origo misceo’.
I turned to Sirius. “You’re better at charms than I am.”
“Fine. He grumbled. “But you’re doing the next Transfiguration spell.”
“I can’t believe he had a pop quiz after only one lesson that we learned today!” I rolled my eyes at the thought of our Ancient Runes class.
“At least you aced it.” Lily said worriedly. “I’m positive I mixed the ‘peace’ rune up, which would change the translation from a treaty of peace to an outright declaration of war! Oh I’m sure I failed!” she wailed.
“Failed what?” James asked as he and Sirius seemingly came out of nowhere. He wrapped an arm around Lily’s shoulders.
“My Ancient Runes quiz!” Lily wailed again. “Wait, where did you two come from?”
I was waiting for Lily to throw James’s arm off of her, yet she seemed to snuggle closer to him.
“Ask us no questions-” James began.
“And we’ll tell you no lies.” Sirius finished playfully.
Lily and I grinned, though I knew perfectly well where they had come from and how they had found us.
“So, Lily, do you have this period free?” James asked.
“As a matter of fact, I do.” she smiled warmly at him. “See you later, Rayne, Black.”
With that, she wrapped her arm around his middle and they walked off. I quirked a single eyebrow at Sirius. He shrugged.
“Can we find somewhere to talk?” he asked nervously.
“I don’t see why not. I’ve been meaning to talk to you anyway.” Yeah, to tell you that I want you. Now.
Sirius led me to our tree by the lake. You know, the one the Marauders always sit under. Yeah, that one.
“So, Rayne,” he began as we sat down.
“I’ve been wanting to talk to you since this summer. This, thing, since we kissed, pretending it didn’t happen, being friends,” he said the word with obvious disdain. “It’s not working.”
My heart skipped a beat. I can’t be losing him altogether. I just can’t.
“Yeah.” I said uneasily, willing away the tears and preparing for the words to come. Words that would ultimately tear my heart out of my chest, rip it to pieces, and stomp on it while laughing at my pain and drinking a cup of coffee while smoking a cigarette. “What do you suggest?” My throat had a lump in it. I tried to swallow it but I know he heard the constriction in my throat through my voice.
“I can’t be friends with you. We can’t be friends.” he said calmly.
I couldn’t take it anymore. My throat was tight; I squeezed my eyes shut as tears flooded them. This pain shouldn’t be humanly possible. I can’t lose Sirius. Not my Sirius. Not the Sirius that I grew up with, played in diapers with, took my first steps with, said my first word with, learned to ride a broom with… I can’t possibly lose him. I would survive, but I wouldn’t know how to live. I love this man. As more than a friend. To lose him would be to lose myself. I let out a strangled noise that I hoped he wouldn’t hear. Unfortunately, he noticed right away.
“Baby? What’s wrong?” Concern shone in his eyes and colored his voice.
My eyes shot open. “‘Baby’?” I questioned weakly.
“What are you saying?” I asked sharply. “What do you mean?”
“Only that I can’t be friends with you because, well, I have to be more. I need you to be mine. I can’t be just friends; it’s agonizing.” His grey eyes stared sincerely into mine, filled with so much care, yet so much pain, searching for an answer.
“Oh thank Merlin.” I sighed with relief, running my hand through my long auburn curls. “I can’t live without you, Sirius.”
His eyes widened for a moment before he pulled me quickly towards him, our lips crashing together as my hands wound their way into his hair and his arms snaked around my waist. He pulled me even closer to him, every bit of my body pressed against the hard lines of his. I let out a soft moan as he squeezed me tight and deepened the kiss.
“And then, he called me a mudblood!” I ranted to James. “The exact thing he’s been apologizing for, he does it again! I suppose he’s right though. I am a mudblood.” I finished viciously.
“Lily.” James said seriously. “I do not ever want to hear you call yourself that again. Never. You are precious to so many people. Being a muggleborn doesn’t make you less intelligent, or give you a disadvantage at casting spells. It gives you a greater incentive to work harder to succeed, and to get everything out of a world you knew nothing about for 11 years. You’re brilliant, Lily. You are the only person that I have ever seen come even remotely close to disarming Rayne. That’s saying something. That bird has been doing wandless, nonverbal, controlled magic by the age of 12. She mastered the elements by 10. All of them. And you nearly disarmed her. You shook her up. No one has ever gotten that close to beating her before. You are so, so brilliant; the most caring, nurturing, amazing, beautiful, incredible girl I have ever had the privilege of meeting, and damn anyone who tries to tell you otherwise because of your heritage. I heard what you told Snape in potions today. You totally showed him up. You know what, Lil? If anyone else gives you a problem, you let me know. No, I won’t do anything against the rules, but it’s my job as Head Boy to discourage behavior like Snape displayed today.”
“When did you become so insightful?”
“I’ve always been this way, you’ve just never been able to see that because my fatheaded ego likes to rear its ugly head whenever you come into the picture.”
“You should have let me see this side of you sooner.” I told him seriously.
“Well, the past is the past. I was a git. I still am a git; I’ve just learned to dim that side some. Shall we head back to the common room?”
“Sure.” I replied, smiling at him.
He grinned back at me. Not a smirk, but a real heartfelt smile that made my heart melt to my toes.
We reached our common room, my arm still linked casually around his. He said the password to our portrait- the entrance to the Heads’ rooms- and we sat lazily on the couch. I slid my hand down his arm and slipped it into his warm hand. He squeezed it and smiled at me again.
“So.. what do you call this?” he questioned me.
“A couch.” I smirked at him.
He rolled his eyes. “No, what do you call, us?”
“Homosapiens.” I replied cheekily.
He chuckled, but shook his head in exasperation, running his hand through his hair in a way that I used to find infuriating, but now found endearing and… cute?
“No, I mean… Ugh, Lily. Not what I meant.”
“Let’s not call it anything yet, after all, I’ve spent the last 6 years strongly disliking you, James.”
“Fair enough.” he grinned.
I snuggled deeper into his side, under his arm and leaned my head on his chest. He rested his cheek on top of my head and I soon dozed off in a peaceful sleep.
“Goodnight, beautiful. You’re more precious to me than you even know.” I thought I heard James murmur in my ear, but it might have been my tired brain imagining things. I’d like to think it was really him though.
A/N: And there it is! Good? Bad? Dreadful? Review! They make me happy! –points down- There is a magical box at the bottom of your screen perfect for leaving me feedback or ideas. J