Chapter 20 : Chapter 20 - Full Moons and Rivalries
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Chapter 20 – Full Moons and Rivalries
Jessica and Hannah woke Lily that evening before dinner. They shared a very happy reunion, talking about trivial stuff, mostly boys. When they did get around to her parents, Jessica wasn’t sure how to comfort her best friend.
“Are you OK? If you really want to talk about it, I’m ready to listen. I don’t mind either way,” said Jessica consolingly.
Lily paused. She finally looked up at her friends, who were waiting patiently with kind eyes. “It’s getting better. I’m not sure, actually. It’s like… I never really was a part of that life. I really belong here, and as much as I loved them, I didn’t…” She stopped and swallowed, feeling tears in her eyes. “I didn’t belong there. I wasn’t really part of their family. And after a while, I stopped wanting to be,” Lily said in a choked voice.
Hannah sat next to Lily on the edge of the bed, and put an arm around her. Her parents were wizards and very wealthy, yet they almost never noticed their only daughter; she shared Lily’s orphan feeling, even if it wasn’t as extreme. Lily smiled weakly, and looked up at Jessica.
Jessica, true to form, read Lily’s mind. “It’s not your fault. As many times as you’re going to hear that from now on, it’s not.” Her penetrating stare gave her words sincerity.
“I’m getting there,” said Lily. She smiled and laughed, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Way to stay strong, guys,” joked Lily, crying and looking around at her friends, both of whom were crying too. They laughed together and made their way down to the Great Hall.
As Lily and her friends walked into the Great Hall about ten minutes later, they saw a group of Slytherins murmuring by the end of their House table.
“Freaks,” whispered Hannah. They kept walking, down to their seats at the Gryffindor table, across from the Marauders. James and Sirius were muttering lowly near the middle of table, across from Remus and Peter, who were nodding and mumbling.
“Not getting in trouble already, are we?” said Hannah. All four boys looked up, unsmiling. The girls sat near them and ignored the odd quiet. Just as Lily decided to ask James what in the world was going on, but Dumbledore stood up at the podium and began his speech.
“Welcome back. I am sure that all of you are anxious to get on with the feast. I just wanted to reissue a few term reminders. First of all, Mr. Filch has asked me to discuss the list of rules…”
“So, what were you saying, Moony?” said Sirius in a low voice. Lily rolled her eyes as Remus continued. They should be listening.
“…And that’s all. Eat up!” finished Dumbledore, some ten minutes later.
“About time!” exclaimed Sirius. Everyone rolled their eyes.
The platters before them had swelled with chicken, potatoes, beef, peas, and puddings. Sirius jumped right in and loaded his plate with as many spoonfuls of food as was physically possible.
“Ooh, Jello!” Sirius said, plunging his spoon right into the bowl. Remus chuckled and James just shook his head.
An hour later, while everyone was finishing their dinner (Sirius was back to devouring the Jello dish) Lily turned to James.
“What are you doing tonight?”
“Well, the guys and I were gonna go do our homework… for a change,” he added sweetly.
“You haven’t done it?” she asked, appalled.
“We basically did it all on the train. I, uh… just didn’t write it down,” said James, taking another sip of pumpkin juice.
“James,” said Lily, letting her frustration show, “you are supposed to be Head Boy. Doing your homework is an elementary part of being a prefect!”
“Don’t worry about it, Lils.” James smiled as Lily sighed. “Let’s go back to the common room. You can help me with my homework?” he suggested.
“Ok, fine!” relented Lily. She turned to Jessica, who was sitting and talking excitedly with Lupin. “Jessa, wanna go upstairs? If you’re… uh, finished, that is,” she added looking quickly at Remus, then back to Jessica smirking.
“I’m finished, yes,” said Jessica through gritted teeth, glaring at Lily.
“Good. James, you want to get out of here?” she suggested, standing up.
“Brilliant.” They all stood and began to leave the Hall. About halfway to the door, Remus and Sirius caught up.
“Well, Padfoot was being boring,” he said.
“Hey!” said Sirius, right beside Lupin. James laughed and put an arm around Lily. They walked into the Entrance Hall, and had almost reached the stairs. Almost.
“Oh, wait! I left my bag on the bench! I’ll be right back.” Lily ran back to get it, followed closely by Hannah and Jessica.
“Have a nice vacation, Potter?” called a sneering voice. All smiles were wiped off their faces.
“So,” said Snape again, “had a nice time last week, Potter? Heard you’re little mudblood girlfriend had a little run in.”
“Stuff it, Snape,” said Lupin.
“Oh, sod off Lupin. But sweet Potter over here has every right to be upset. He had to be saved, after all,” replied Snape coldly.
“Snivellus, you shut it now before it gets ugly. Not that you haven’t filled the ugly quota for the next century,” Sirius said, stepping forward, fuming.
“Oh, clever, aren’t you, Black?” Snape jeered malevolently. “You weren’t much of a help, were you, when it mattered? Or is that you’re really just a wimp?”
“That’s it!” said Sirius, thrusting his hand into his robes and retracting his wand. Snape had done the same, but not as quickly.
“I don’t want you, Black. You are just the sidekick. Potter here, however, has yet to stick up for himself. Or little Evans, the mudblood!”
“You slimey, foul piece of waste!” Lily had reentered the Hall, and was walking toward Snape. She held her wand out, but stopped about four paces apart from him. People were beginning to form around the edge of their huddle. Snape had turned his back on James, focusing now on Lily.
“Missing your sweet muggle parents, are you, Evans?” asked Snape fiercely. James had had enough.
James stepped out, between Snape and Lily, towering in anger and rage. “You are not going to lay one finger on her.”
“I don’t have to touch her filthy skin to curse her-” began Snape viciously.
“You will not go near her again. Get out.” His voice was quiet, but there was no misinterpreting his tone. Remus and Sirius had crossed behind James, avoiding the people surrounding them.
Snape didn’t move.
“I believe James told you to get your greasy self out of here, Snivellus,” said Sirius dangerously.
“And why would I listen either of you… blood traitors?” whispered Snape.
“Because, Snape, James is Head Boy. Your head of house won’t look at this little incident too favorably if he finds you cursed a Hall full of people, including both the Head Boy and Girl,” said Lupin in a low and threatening voice.
“I’ll take my chances, wolf.” He had whispered the word, but it carried at least through the Marauders. Lily didn’t understand.
“Why you!” James all but threw himself at Snape. Everyone around them gasped, and a few boys yelled, “fight!”
“Don’t! He’s not worth it!” she said, pulling on James’ arm. He struggled, but Remus managed to grab James’ other arm.
He stopped fighting.” Of – course – he’s – not,” panted James, jerking out of their grasp. Snape had recoiled to the staircase and nearly tripped over himself. Sirius barked a cruel laugh, though no one else could muster one up.
“Get out of here, and don’t ever talk to us again,” said Lily. Snape didn’t move once again.
“If you know what’s good for you, Snivellus, you’ll go back and play with your chemistry set like a good boy.” Sirius tried James’ towering method. Snape trembled. “That’s what I thought… a coward.”
Snape slunk away, creeping from under Sirius’ glare and down towards the dungeons, followed by several other Slytherins. The most of the rest of the school, who had all assembled in the hall, sighed in disappointment. When had James Potter and his friends avoided a possible fight? They divided and walked off, being fairly late, to bed and their houses.
Sirius and Remus were huddled together, whispering darkly. James sat at the bottom of the stairs, an arm around Lily. Hannah and Jessica were standing by the couple at the stairs.
“How he dared… should we tell Dumbledore?” asked Sirius in a whisper.
“No, no… it wouldn’t work. Snape would give some BS story, not to mention all the questions. We got to just forget it.”
“No, you don’t. You wished that two years ago, and he found out all about me, didn’t he? Snape may be – ok, is evil, but we just have to let it go.” They sighed.
James sat next to Lily. “What was that about?” she said, head resting on his shoulder.
“Not sure I can tell you,” he said hurriedly.
Lily stared. “Can't tell me? We’re practically married, for crying out loud!”
“I know, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to them,” he said reluctantly, pointing at his friends. Just as he spoke, Peter came out of the Great Hall.
“What did I miss?” he squeaked.
“Wormtail, you dolt,” said James, grimly.
Late that night, the Marauders sat with Lily, watching the rest of the common room traipse off to bed. Once all was clear, Lily turned to James and asked the question she had been combing through in her head.
“What did Snape mean?”
No one answered her at first. She looked first at James, who shook his head and rested his head in his hands; then to Sirius, who looked away quickly and went to stand by the fireplace. Finally, she turned to Remus.
“You can tell me. Please,” she begged.
Lupin took a deep breath and began. “It’s not something I tell everyone. Actually, only they know… and Snape,” said Remus, gesturing to his friends. “When I was little, my parents took me on a camping trip. My mom is a muggle, and my dad wanted her to have a regular life, or as close to it as possible. I was outside and a wolf came out from behind this huge rock. I ran. I was only five, and it caught up with me in about ten seconds. My dad found me and shot a Patronus at it, but it was already done. It bit me. At first, we didn’t understand, but when they finally got around to taking me to St. Mungo’s, we found out that it hadn’t been a wolf. It… was a… a werewolf.”
Lily gasped. “Then you’re…” she whispered.
“Yeah. I’m a werewolf. I don’t tell anyone because it means I’m different, that I’m dangerous. And I’m just me… until the full moon. I can’t help it, and I can’t fight it. It controls my whole life,” he said desperately.
“I’m so sorry, Remus,” said Lily sympathetically.
“That’s not everything.” He paused and to let Lily speak, but she didn’t say anything. “You know that the Whomping Willow was planted the year we all came here? You’ve heard the stories about the shack in Hogsmeade? It’s all about me. I use a passage under the tree, go out to the shack and change in a werewolf at the full moon. Madame Hooch used to escort me, and I would have to sit, alone and mean and afraid…of myself. But James and Sirius, and Peter, they figured out…” he paused.
“Figured out how to be Animagi,” James finished.
“You WHAT?” Lily said, daggers in her eyes. She hadn’t yelled, but her tone was just as harsh.
“We became Animagi. It’s not as dangerous as it sounds, Lily!” he added, seeing her glare.
“Of course it is! Not to mention illegal!” spat Lily.
“It’s not like we did it for fun!” interrupted Sirius, annoyed with Lily’s obsession with rules.
“Oh, sure!” said Lily, not caring to keep her voice down.
“What else could they have done, Lily?” asked Lupin.
She let out a sigh of exasperation. Then, pushing forward in her thoughts came another question. “How does Snape know, then?”
Sirius gave a hollow bark-like laugh. “Well,” said James, “Padfoot here decided he’d had enough of Snape little comments. Long story short, he sent Snape in after Moony and saw him. Nearly got bitten.”
Lily rounded on Sirius, who still stood by the fire. “He could have been hurt! Remus would’ve gone to Azkaban! All of you would’ve been exposed!” she hissed, swatting Sirius as she spoke. He backed away from her, finally hitting the stairs.
“No! You should be ashamed! You weren’t even thinking, were you?”
“I’m going to bed,” said Sirius exasperatedly.
“Good,” she said. Sirius rolled his eyes and stomped up the boys’ stairway.
“Lily, don’t be mad at him,” said Remus sadly. “James near beat him up right after, anyway. I understand how Sirius felt about Snape… feels about Snape, really.”
“How can you forgive him? Either of you?” added Lily, focusing on James instead.
“Because he has the worst family ever, and we’re his friends,” said James kindly.
“His family is really that bad?”
“Remember in first year, a couple of seventh years from Slytherin – Lucius and his sidekick, Regulus?”
“Blond tall guy, and another tall boy with dark hair?”
James nodded. “Care to take a guess at whose brother was the second one?”
Lily thought for a second, and then it clicked. That blood crazy Slytherin was related to Sirius? “But surely his brother was just the weird one?”
“More like the representation for his pure-blood manic parents. Especially his mum,” replied James darkly. “Sirius left them last summer. I don’t blame him for wanting to get out of that house.”
“Snape’s always reminded him of his family,” said Remus.
Lily felt a pang of guilt. Changing the subject, she asked Lupin, “Does being a werewolf hurt?”
Lupin smiled slightly. “Yeah. Transforming is the worst, but the guys keep me in check so I don’t go and hurt myself.”
“OK,” she said lamely.
“I’m going up, too, James, OK?” said Remus, yawning and standing up.
“Sure,” James said off-handedly.
“Just… you know,” Lupin began awkwardly.
“Don’t tell,” agreed Lily.
“Thanks,” Lupin said, yawning again. He walked up the stairs and out of sight.
“You won’t tell?” It was more of statement. He put an arm around her, and she slumped and half-lay on his lap.
“How could I not have known? Or figured it out… I mean, he’s been away so often, and then when we learned about boggarts… And then, last year… I ran into you at the door one night, and you…” She looked up at him, confused.
“And I was just about to put on my cloak and run outside. You made me go all the way upstairs and shake you off before I could go and meet the guys outside,” he said, stroking her hair and smiling.
“Is that what you were doing? I thought you were meeting a girl,” said Lily, smirking.
“Well, that was my cover story.”
That sat and watched the fire for a while. Lily couldn’t stop berating herself for being so ignorant of Lupin and Sirius. When she was half asleep, she realized that she had classes tomorrow.
“We should go to bed…” she said slowly.
He sighed. “If you insist, Lils.”
She picked herself off the couch, and was about to go up to her room when she heard a noise behind her. James was already snoring on the sofa.
“Accio blanket,” she muttered, pointing her wand at the armchair by the door. The red and gold blanket flew and covered James.
On the fourth step, she heard someone say from the couch, “Thank you, Lily.” She smiled and went up to bed, thinking about the entire night’s information. I really need a Pensieve.
Read and review! OMG, there is so much going on in the HP world. JKR added to her mysterious door, HPFF is doing that Writer’s Duel bit, and there’s a contest for people to meet the Trio and JKR!!! It’s crazy!! Happy Birthday to: Molly Weasley, my sisters, and deathday to Lily and James ;-(… READ AND REVIEW!!!!!
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