Chapter 3 : Accidental Arguements
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After a long day of waiting, McGonagall had come and gone, leaving behind a list of rules for their stay. No looking into any part of the future. Do not leave the Heads’ dorm unless accompanied by McGonagall herself and under a Disillusion Charm. Do not interact with anyone or anything in anyway when outside of the dorm. Never go outside of the castle, for any reason. The list went on and on but at the end of the list, she deemed that they would keep up with their studies as if they were still back in their own time. “We don’t know when you will return and you will not fall behind,” she told them sternly.
“This isn’t a vacation, Black,” Lily snapped. “Did you really expect that we would just sit around on our arses, twiddling our thumbs until we could go home?” Only a day in and she was ready to throttle the both of them, Sirius in particular. James had been oddly quiet all day, which proved to be more irritating than she would have thought.
Sirius stopped and glared at her, stormy gray meeting fiery green. “Well, Evans,” he drawled, “I certainly didn’t think we’d get stuck in this bloody room indefinitely with only homework and your sunny disposition to keep us company.” He went back to pacing again, needing the constant movement.
“And I though I’d only have to get through a detention with you gits but here we are. It’s your fault we’re stuck here anyways,” Lily told him. She was on the edge of her seat, just like Sirius was on the edge of patience.
Sirius rolled his eyes. “How is it my fault? You’re the one who was brewing the mystery potion that landed us here, don’t you remember?”
Gritting her teeth, Lily replied, “If you hadn’t jinxed Severus, you never would have gotten detention and my potion wouldn’t have been compromised.”
“Maybe if he wasn’t such a slimy git, I wouldn’t have had to jinx him.”
“Or maybe if you weren’t such an arse.”
“Or if you weren’t such an uppity bit...”
“ENOUGH!” James had been sitting idly all day, waiting for them to crack. Sirius is, ironically, like a young puppy. You put him in a confined space for too long and all his natural energy becomes destructive. On the other hand, Lily had been looking for a fight all day. Her lost memory of the potion and lack of control of the situation had made her anxious and irritable. He had been unwilling to start the fight but, now that Sirius had, he was going to finish it. “Lily, give him a break. He’s going to complain either way so you might as well accept it.” He turned his gaze towards his best mate. “Padfoot, don’t rile her up. And for Merlin’s sake, would you please sit down? You’re giving me a headache.”
Lily stood up and stormed into the girl’s dorm, slamming the door behind her. She would not have James Potter scold her.
Sirius went ahead and sat down in her vacant chair, offering James a small smile. “Sorry, Prongs. You know how I can get.”
James reached over and clapped him on the shoulder. “No worries, mate.” He glanced over at the door Lily had gone through and back at Sirius. “So shall we discuss how to make the best of our time here?”
Sirius grinned in response. “I thought you would never ask! First off, we have to figure out how to get out of this room. You can bet that Minnie has got us sealed in somehow, to keep us ‘safe’.” He rolled his eyes. “What rubbish.”
“Actually, I think I may have already figured that part out.” James dug around in his pocket for a moment before pulling out the Marauders’ Map. “With the help of this and convenient supply of Floo powder from McGonagall, we’ll be out in no time.” For communications sake, she had set up a secure link from the Heads’ common room fireplace to her own in her office. “We can Floo into her office, follow her back here, figure out the spells she’s using, and then we’ll be all set,” he explained.
“Brilliant!” Sirius clapped his hands together, loving the feeling he got whenever they plotted. “Second order of business, we should find out all we can about our future selves.”
On this subject, James was rather wary. While the temptation to hunt for future knowledge was undeniable, he knew that it could have dangerous consequences on the past. But he knew Sirius wouldn’t care so he had to proceed cautiously. A few little things here and there wouldn’t hurt. “We could check out the trophy room,” he suggested. “We’ll be able to see if we won the Quidditch cup and the House Cup.” That seemed to be safe enough. Plus, if they found out they won, maybe it would give them the confidence to win back in their own time.
“Good thinking, Prongs! Hadn’t thought of that! We need to get out of the castle though to find out the real dirt.” Sirius was feeling smug as he had already come up with the solution for getting out of the castle and wandering around. “Know how we’re going to do that?”
James frowned slightly. A few things had come to mind but nothing that seemed like a solid and reliable option. “No but I think you do.”
Sirius jumped out of his chair and headed towards their dorm room. “You’ll figure it out soon enough,” he said mysteriously before disappearing inside.
“Well, that’s annoying.” James really hated when he did that. Whatever it was, the answer was going to be obvious and Sirius would make sure to rub it in his face.
Sighing, he got up and began to look a little more closely at the Heads’ common room. He hadn’t really gotten the chance in their own time before they got sent here. It was just a place he had to walk through to get to his room. Essentially, it was just like the Gryffindor common room. It had the big plush armchairs, a couch, a few small tables, and a nook by the window, which was facing out towards the Black Lake. The room was decorated in reds and golds so the Heads in this time must both be from Gryffindor as well.
James wondered if there were any secret passages or rooms hidden within this one. There were a few hidden in certain classrooms and such so it was possible. This could be a chance to add onto the Marauders’ Map, which he was satisfied to find it, as well as the invisibility cloak, was still in his pocket after the time travel ordeal. He began to slowly circle around the room, pressing his hands up and down the walls. Sometimes, you could find a switch hidden in the wall and that’s all it took. Revealing secret passages and rooms by magic took a lot more time and skill to do. He kept his fingers on the wall as he walked past the back of the portrait guarding the entrance when he felt a little give. He stopped and pushed gently on the portrait. The portrait swung open and he looked out into the corridor in complete shock. McGonagall hadn’t sealed the portrait closed.
Knowing he now had the advantage, James was debating on how to show Sirius his discovery. It had to be something spectacular to beat his secret plans. He grinned to himself. A small bit of future knowledge would definitely beat anything Sirius had figured out. Quickly donning the invisibility cloak, James stepped out into the corridor. He felt so triumphant. Unfortunately, that feeling vanished when the portrait snapped closed behind him.
The portrait was currently empty, showing just a dingy room full of books. Whoever resided there was probably off chatting up another portrait in the castle with no chance of returning anytime soon. Not that it mattered because he didn’t know the password anyways. James was locked out.
Staring at the portrait, he found himself at a loss for what to do. He could sit outside and wait for McGonagall to come back so he could sneak back in. Or he could go find her and tell her what happened, hoping she wouldn’t kill him. It was also possible that Sirius might stumble upon the open portrait but it was unlikely. It was far too simple of an idea for someone who only works with elaborate schemes. He sunk down to the floor and decided to wait. It was only a matter of time before McGonagall would be back and sneaking back in seemed a lot less dangerous than facing her head on. He could always claim that he didn’t wander so he was somewhat smart about it.
Barely a minute into his accepted defeat, James saw the portrait open slightly.
“Potter?” Lily glanced out, slightly leaning into the seemingly empty corridor. It was strange because she had seen him duck out as she was coming out of her room and yet he had vanished. “Merlin, that boy is such a...” She did not get to finish as she was pushed back into the common room by invisible force, the portrait slamming closed behind.
“...a humble bloke who gives many thanks to his ravishing rescuer,” James finished as he pulled off the cloak.
Still shocked by her abrupt reentry into the common room, the sudden appearance of her missing person further flustered Lily. It wasn’t enough to prevent the surge of anger that coursed through her. “What the hell, Potter!?” she hissed, smacking him across the chest. “We’re not supposed to leave the dorms!”
“Merlin, Evans! It wasn’t like I meant to! Got locked out is all,” he told her, resisting the urge to rub the spot where she had hit. It stung a little.
“And if you hadn’t gotten locked out? Then what?” With no reply she was very tempted to hit him again. “That’s what I thought. Why you boys insist on breaking the rules is beyond me. Is it so hard just to do what you’re supposed to be doing for once in your life!?”
He did not like the way this conversation was going. “Now hold on a minute, Evans. I think you’re being a little dramatic here.”
If looks could kill, James would be nothing but a pile of ash. “I’m being a little dramatic?” Lily hissed, walking towards him, forcing him against the wall during his retreat. “Because of your stupid prank on Severus, you two gits landed in detention. Because of that detention, we landed ourselves here with absolutely no idea when we’ll be home again.” She leaned in close, making sure they were as close to eye to eye as she could manage. “All I want is to go home, exactly the way it is. If you do anything to put that in jeopardy, I will make you regret it.”
In all of their years together and all the fights they’d been in, he had never heard her speak with such venom. Maybe she really did hate him..... “Okay,” he said. “May I please go?”
Upon hearing the sound of his voice, she instantly stepped back. “Yeah, sure.” He sounded so.....defeated. She watched him walk over to the boys’ room, his head hung low. Yes, she was beyond angry about their situation but she really didn’t have any right to take it all out on him. They all had a little bit to do with what happened. It was just so easy to yell at him. She’d been doing it for years. This reaction was new though and she didn’t like it. “Pot-, James,” she called softly, “I’m....it’s just...”
He had started to open the door but turned back at her call. “It’s okay, Lily.” James gave her a weak smile before stepping through the door, closing it gently behind him.
A/N: Sorry! Way too long between updates but I was getting stuck. This actually didn't turn out like I had planned but I like it. Thanks for reading!
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