Chapter 11 : Prongs
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This was the same reason I had gotten up so early, I knew she would want to go to the common room. She and Remus met early the next morning after the full moon and had been doing so ever since he had told her his secret. I always came down with her, because although I knew Remus would be fine, she didn't like to go alone in case something had happened.
I opened my curtains and Meg was already sat ready and dressed for the day, she was chewing her fingernails. I bet she had barely slept last night.
"Just give me five minutes, I'll be ready in no time!" I said, pulling the covers off of myself.
I went for a quick shower and forced myself to turn the water on cold so it would wake me up. I hopped out and dried myself before changing into my Pink Floyd jumper and jeans. I loved wearing this sweatshirt because only the Muggle borns knew the reference. I put my hair up in a messy ponytail, one that was actually messy and not intnetionally so, and stepped out of the bathroom.
"Ready to go, although I warn you that if you and Remus start snogging then I'll have to leave." I said and Meg remained still.
"I heard howling last night. I think it was coming from the Shrieking Shack." She said and looked at me nervously.
"Come on, don't be silly!" I said, pulling her up off the bed and down the stairs. I stopped sharply when I didn't see Remus sat on the sofa, instead it was Peter. Meg saw from behind me and pushed past me, running towards Peter.
"What's wrong Peter, what's happened?" She said quickly, shaking.
"Remus is fine, everything is fine." He said, but there was still a sad look on his face as though he wasn't sharing everything he knew.
"What is it Peter?" I asked and he sighed, standing up and shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Remus... he lost himself a bit last night. I don't know if the potion just wasn't strong enough but he lashed out a bit, he wrecked the Shrieking Shack. He recovered quickly and regained his mental capability but he's very upset."
"Did he hurt himself?" Meg asked and he shook his head.
"Then where is he?"
"He said he didn't want to see you, he thought you'd be disappointed." Peter said, shrugging.
"Oh for Merlins sake!" She said, turning and going up the stairs to the boys dormitory. Peter and I looked at each other with equally shocked faces and I ran up after her.
"Meg, you're not supposed to be up here!" I whispered. She found the Seventh years dormitory and swung open the door.
Remus was lying on his bed, fully clothed and looking up to the ceiling. He jumped slightly when the door opened and sat up in shock when he saw Meg.
"Meg." He said quietly and she walked towards him, and stopped with her hands on her hips as she stood in front of him. The usually calm girl looked fierce.
"Remus Lupin, how could you ever think I could be disappointed with you?" She said, her voice shaking.
"I lost control, I lost myself. I let myself down." He said quietly and she huffed.
"You don't have to take on all that by yourself. We share our troubles, we always have. But I can't help you if you don't let me." She said.
"I'm ashamed." He whispered, pulling at my heart strings.
"You have no reason to be. Even if you destroyed a million Shrieking Shacks, as long as you don't hurt anyone and regain control then I will always love you." She said before throwing her arms around him and smacking her lips against his. He pulled her closer and kissed her back, before pulling away and hugging her tightly.
"I love you too." He whispered.
I stood there, feeling awkward watching such an intimate moment. Remus seemed to notice too and he shut his curtains, and I heard him put a silencing charm on them.
"Well that fixes that." Peter said, chuckling.
"Evans?" A mutter came from the bed furthest right. The curtains were opened and a shirtless Sirius back was lying on his bed, the covers twisted around his legs as he leant on his elbows.
"What are you doing here?" He said, yawning.
"Sorry, Sirius, I was just following Meg. She came to see Remus..." I said trailing off and pointing at his bed.
"They've got the right idea, care to follow their suit Evans?" He said, grinning, patting his bed with his hand. Even first thing in the morning Sirius Black was as cheeky and suggesting as ever. I looked at Peter and he shrugged, smiled and walked back down the stairs.
"See, Wormtail's left us some private time." Sirius laughed, probably at how awkward I looked.
"I'm not in the mood Black, I'm exhausted." I said, and he patted his bed, putting his hands up innocently. I sighed, walking over and sitting on the very edge.
"Meg was up all night?" He asked and I nodded.
"Yeah, we didn't get too much sleep either." He muttered.
"What were you and James doing last night?" I asked and he looked at me with a smile.
"He already told you he can't tell you, can't you let it go?"
"You can tell me if he was with a girl, I just want to know." I pleaded, leaning over towards him.
"You know I can't tell you!"
"I just want to know if he's seeing someone, I don't think it's too much to ask." I said, sticking my bottom lip out.
"Don't think flirting will get you anywhere Evans!" He laughed, a little too loudly as I heard shuffling from the bed next to him.
"Shut up, Black." James said, pulling open his curtains. I froze in space as I took in his shirtless body. He reached for his glasses and put them on, sitting up in bed when he saw me.
"Lily, what are you doing here?" He said, looking between Sirius and I.
"Errmm... well." I said, not knowing where to start.
"Don't get any funny ideas Potter, we were just talking." Sirius said, rolling his eyes as he uncovered himself and walked out of bed, and I noticed he was only wearing boxers.
"Black, how in any way is that appropraite?" James exclaimed, pointing at Sirius and his semi naked state. I felt my cheeks get hot and averted my eyes.
"Oh come on, she's seen it before!" Sirius laughed as he reached inside his chest of drawers for a shirt.
"She most definitely hasn't! Have you?" James said, looking at me accusingly.
"I should go, I'll let you two get ready." I said, getting up from Sirius' unmade bed.
"Fine, see you Evans." Sirius said as he walked into their bathroom and closed the door.
"So was he telling the truth? Did nothing happen?" James asked.
"The fact you'd think Sirius and I would be involved in any way but in a friendly one is ridiculous, and it's not of your business anyway, just like yours isn't mine." I said angrily.
"Look Lily, we should talk." He said.
"Talk about what?" I asked, nonchalantly.
"You know about what, just let me explain."
"Explain what? Are you going to give me another bullshit lie about where you were last night?" I shouted and his face went red with anger.
"Just accept that I can't tell you!" He yelled back.
"Potter, just tell her." Remus said from behind us, with a confused Meg standing by him.
"Tell me what?" I asked quietly.
"Really, you're sure?" James asked, ignoring my question. Remus nodded and took Megs hand in his.
"We'll give you two a minute." Remus said, pulling Meg out the door and closing it behind him.
"Please, just tell me what's going on." I said, sitting back down on Sirius' bed.
"Okay, I'll tell you, just please get off of Blacks bed?" James asked and I got up quickly and moved away.
"Okay. Well I couldn't meet last night because I was with Remus." He said.
"What do you mean?"
"Peter, Sirius and I were with Remus in the Shrieking Shack." He said and I scoffed.
"Impossible. Remus would never let you be that close to him in case he lost control." I said, crossing my arms.
"We can control him, we're safe around him." James said seriously and swept his hair back with his hand, causing the muscles in his arm to contract.
"Look Potter you need to put a shirt on so I can concentrate!" I burst out and he blushed, grabbing a white undershirt from off of his bed and pulled it over his head.
"What were you saying? Oh yeah, but how is that possible? How could you three boys control a werewolf, especially if he lost control?" I asked.
"We're not wizards, we're a dog, a stag and a rat. We're animagi." Potter said quietly and I let out a loud laugh.
"What a joke! You think I'd believe that? To become an animagus you have to use incredibly advanced magic, and you'd have to register."
"We're unregistered, that's why Remus made us swear not to tell anyone, in case we got in trouble."
"Please Potter, I wasn't born yesterday!" I said, walking towards the door. James held the door closed before I could reach it and breathed in slowly, taking off his glasses and placing them on the bed.
"You've given me no choice, Lily. Stand back." He said, stepping backwards. And suddenly there was a fully grown stag in their dormitory where James had been stood.
I let out a scream and stumbled backwards, crashing into the wall. The bathroom door opened suddenly and Sirius came running out, his hair still wet.
"Holy shit, Potter what are you doing!" He said, and then he saw me and his horrified face intensified.
"He's... it's... James." I spluttered and Sirius hushed me.
"It's alright, its Potter! He's not going to hurt you, are you Prongs?" Sirius said to me, and turned to face the stag. The animal stepped towards us slowly and I slumped down, sitting with my back against the wall.
The stag approached Sirius and stopped in front of him. Sirius reached out his hand and stroked him affectionately on the head and underneath the ears.
"Look Lily, he's harmless!" Sirius said, motioning for me to join him.
I stood up slowly and walked towards Sirius, not breaking eye contact with the Stag. I reached out my hand and petted its forehead, the animal making a noise of content.
"You're all animagi?" I asked quietly and Sirius nodded, grinning excitedly.
"Yep, I'm a dog, wanna see?" He said and before I could answer a shaggy black German Shepherd was in Sirius' place.
I let out another scream instinctively and both of them quickly changed back into human form.
"It's okay Lily, it's okay." James said.
"It's just a lot to take in. Especially for a muggle born." I said, looking at James.
"We were still us, just in other forms." Sirius said, scratching his head.
"I think I need some time, to wrap my head around this." I said, getting up off of the floor and walking around the boys.
"Of course." James said.
I turned from the room and quickly stepped down the stairs. I saw Remus in the common room and made eye contact with him before rushing out.
"Lily wait!" He called, running after me.
"It's fine Remus. It's just very strange." I said, feeling my forehead and blinking quickly to try to tell if I was definitely awake.
"They did it for me you know. They did it so I wouldn't feel so alone. For years growing up I felt alone, I was sure I wouldn't have any real friends, that I would be alone my entire life. But the boys, all of them becoming animagi just so I could have some company. They put themselves in danger every month to try and protect me." He said, shaking his head out of disbelief.
"I can't imagine how it's been for you Remus." I said quietly.
"No you can't," He said powerfully, "and without those boys it would have been a lot worst. They're the most loyal and selfless people I've ever met, and you'd be lucky to call one your own." Remus said and I looked away, still confused from the shock of it all.
"I'm going to the library, I need time to think." I muttered, walking away quickly down the staircase.
I reached the library and walked in, grabbing a random book off of one of the bookcases and sat in the seat in the furthest corner.
I was sat in the library nearly all day before I was disturbed. I had missed breakfast and lunch, but I didn't feel hungry. I was reading the Biography of Uric the Oddball by Radolphus Pittiman, a book I had first read in my second year at Hogwarts. I may have been reading about how he kept fifty pet Augureys, but I was actually thinking about the events that had unfolded.
I couldn't believe that know one knew about this, God knows how long it had been going on for. How could they lie to everyone for so long, how could they make a mockery of everyone. I thought back to all the times they must've lied to me about why they'd missed class or why they were so exhausted. It made me feel angry and cheated.
"Lily." I heard whispered from in front of me and I saw Severus standing there, in front of me.
It had been a few weeks since I'd spoken to him, but because we had Potions together I saw him almost every day. In Potions I avoided him, trying with all my might not to even glance at him. It wasn't so much that I was hurt, more that I was disgusted at who he had become.
"I have nothing to say to you, Snape." I said, and his mouth opened slightly at my use of his last name.
"Please Lily, I'm so sorry. These past few weeks without you, well they've been awful."
"Really, I would have thought you would've hated continuing pretending to be friends with a Mudblood like me." I said, staring at him with dead eyes.
"Don't say that." He said quietly.
"That's what I am to your lot isn't it? I've got dirty blood, I'm not a true witch." I said harshly and he gulped.
"Lily, we used to be such good friends."
"No, not really. True friends accept each other for who they are, no matter what their faults are. True friends are loyal and would do anything they could do to help a friend with their struggles. You didn't do that. You let them defile me, you knew what you were doing would cause me immense pain but you continued. Thinking about it, we weren't real friends at all." I said, and turned to look away from him, instead focusing my attention back to the book.
"Lily..." He said.
"If you don't leave me alone I shall have to report you to Professor Dumbledore, as a known sympathizer for the Dark Arts." I said plainly.
"Dumbledore? Dumbledore has no real power at Hogwarts." Snape laughed.
"Fine. Then I'll have to hex you until you get the message, that I hate you Severus and I never wish to speak to you again." I said, getting up and walking away, leaving the book open on the table. Thankfully Severus didn't follow me.
I walked towards the Great Hall, and only then realized how late it was. The ceiling of the hall was dark and starry, and I looked around to see a near empty hall. Dinner was over, but there were still a few dishes with food out on the tables.
I walked to the Gryffindor table and sat down, picking up a sandwich off the plate in front and biting into it. I hadn't realised how hungry I was until then, so I quickly demolished another two sandwiches after the first and swallowed down a goblet full of pumpkin juice. When I was finally satisfied I sat, thinking about everything that had happened today.
I thought about my conversation with Severus, the way I had described the ideal friend. I realised that I had described what Remus had told me about James, Sirius and Peter. Not only had they accepted that he was a werewolf, they had gone out of their way and even illegally tranformed themselves all for him. Remus was right, James was a good man, a better man than I ever thought he could be and I would be lucky to call me mine.
I stood up quickly and ran out of the hall, all the way until I reached the common room.
"Pumpkin pasties!" I breathed out to the Fat Lady and the portrait swung open. I walked in, it was full of students all laughing and talking loudly. I looked around for James, I had to tell him how I felt. I saw Remus sat with Meg and I ran up to them.
"Lily, where have you been all day?" Meg asked, and I smiled at her but turned to Remus.
"You were right, Remus. Where's James?" I asked and he smiled widely.
"He's with Sirius in detention, they were caught walking around the castle last night." He said, looking guilty. "They're in the dungeons, cleaning out the cauldrons."
"Thank you!" I said before turning and running through the crowd and back out the door.
"It's nearly past curfew!" The Fat Lady yelled after me but I ignored her, feeling a rush of adrenaline.
I walked quickly down to the dungeons, taking my wand out so a repeat of the attack wouldn't happen again. Luckily, it was a Sunday and so there would be prefects monitoring the halls, so there was no chance of an attack anyway.
I reached the dungeons and stopped, thinking about what I was going to say.
"You're a Gryffindor Lily, have courage!" I muttered to myself before bursting through the door and seeing Sirius and James lying back in their chairs. Both of them stood up, looked at each other and back at me.
"Sirius, could you give James and I a moment please." I said calmly, looking straight at James.
"I don't want to miss anything." Sirius groaned.
"Black, out." James said and Sirius stood up, leaving the room.
I walked towards James and stopped when I was in front of him, looking up at him.
"Lily, let me explain-"
"No, please, let me. There's no need to explain. I understand." I said, letting myself smile. I could feel my heart beating quickly.
"You understand, you're not bothered by the fact that I'm sometimes a huge animal?" He asked, a look of confusion taking over his face.
"You were being a good friend, you are a good friend. You did it all for Remus, didn't you?"
"Well, we couldn't just sit in our dormitory whilst our best mate was all alone, disgusted with himself. Plus it's pretty amazing being a Stag." James said modestly.
"I can't believe you'd do that for someone. Remus was right, you're a good person. A better man than I deserve."
"What are you saying?" He asked quietly.
"I'm saying I'd be lucky to be your friend, lucky to be anything to you. I want a good man like you to call my own, I want you." I said breathlessly, nervous of his reaction to my confession.
"I've always wanted you." He said before he put his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him. We looked into each others eyes, I put my hands around his face and pulled him close.
And then we were kissing again, but this time I knew the feeling that would come and welcomed it. This wasn't a kiss for passion or want, it was loving and sweet. I held him against me tightly, both of us smiling through the kiss.
We pulled apart and I couldn't help but giggle, and he laughed too. I look up at him and he was glowing, and I knew I looked the same.
"I'm so happy." He whispered, holding my face in his hands. I laughed and brushed my thumb over his cheek and nodded.
"So happy." I said, kissing him again.
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