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FutureAuthor13 January 18th, 2011 5:39 pm

Routine
 
Routine

Hindsight is a gift.

This is the part where Sirius would snort at someone like me making such a profound statement. But, it's only when you're a little bit older and a little bit wiser when you can look back at things calmly.

Really, anyone can do it. If only there was some sort of device that would allow us all to step willingly into our pasts; "Oh, look...I'll change that...I could've done this better, so hang on...Yeah I was a bit of a prat here, so-"

What's that, Remus? Oh...timeturners...cheers for the sarcasm, mate!

...

Shut up and drink your firewhisky, Padfoot.

Right, as I was saying:

We were gits- we all were. On both sides. I don’t even know why it started, to be honest. I sometimes hope that there was some deep, inner reasoning as to why it all began which would make our behaviour significantly more justifiable...and be a lot more interesting.

But as Padfoot so eloquently told me in our very first year at Hogwarts: “He looked at us funny.”

Yes. He was different. Mismatched clothes, greasy hair, almost as thin as a matchstick...Yeah, the perfect target for some immature boys that had the whole world in the palm of their hands.

To be fair, he was just as bad as us.

But, in all honesty, our loathing of each other wasn’t as strong or as powerful as it could’ve been. A snide word here, a push there- from both us and him. It was rather like our little daily routine; normal, something that was expected. Just one of those things.

Until... that time in 5th year. The hatred was unbearable at that time.

This was mainly due to one thing: Lily. It was common knowledge between the Gryffindor boys that I fancied “Evans” like mad. The only problem was that he did, too. And I saw them- having a stroll around the school grounds, talking about everything. What really got on my nerves was how he could make her laugh; how happy she was when he was with her.

I tried and tried in vain when I was 15- but I could never make her erupt with a magnificent chortle that could rival what he coaxed out of her.

Well, now I can. With a little help from Moony, Wormy and Padfoot, of course.

Sorry, I’m getting off topic. I do that quite often- I’m sure you’re aware of that, now.

So, after the big explosion that was 5th year- something changed, both for me and for him. In my case, I tried to stop being a complete and utter prat. I wanted Lily to see that...I was good enough for her.

And we stopped taunting Sniv-him. Really- just like that. (Although, I’m sure Sirius would disagree). We all insist that we simply lost interest. But the truth was...I felt sorry for him; sorry for what we’d done to him.

But even without us trying to constantly hex him in every god-forsaken corridor, he changed for the worse. I still don’t know exactly what happened. He became even more reserved and I think, without Lily there, no-one was around to pull him back into the light. It was scary for us all, though we didn’t dare admit it: how his face became paler and mask like- his dark eyes looking like something dead and forgotten.

After the silence- our resolution to bury our hatred- something had to break.

And break, it did. It shattered like millions of pieces of dangerous shards of glass- cutting every single one of us. The problem was that only some managed to staunch the blood.


***

“James, give it a rest.”

“Okay! I was only joking; you’re hardly Miss High and Mighty, yourself-hey!”

Attempting and failing to dodge a shove from Lily, I threw out a hand to steady myself against a nearby wall, still chuckling. One of the things I loved about being Head Boy was the fact that I could now spend a great deal of time with Lily, who recently, had appeared to be actually enjoying my company. Yes, I know. Sirius nearly had a heart attack.

She rolled her eyes at me, however, I’m sure I witnessed the slightest upwards twitch of her lips. Or, maybe I imagined it. You can never quite tell with Evans.


***

It happened as I was heading down to the Great Hall- straight after Double Herbology-which was ironically not with the Slytherins. Strolling down the corridor, I spotted Remus’s face in the hustle and bustle of the crowd.

“Moony!” I called over the noise. He glanced upwards, recognition dawning on him and made his way over to me. In fact, he was sprinting over to me. Wait-what?

“Remus?” I asked uncertainly, taking in his worried expression, the furrowed brow, and the startled eyes.

“James,” he panted. “- Peter told me when I was walking out of Charms--”


***

Never had I seen a corridor so crowded. Everyone was pushing and shoving, determined to reach their destination; first years almost falling to the ground due to the huge tide of people pressing in on all sides. A small girl with blonde plaits was thrown into my path. Quickly bending down to make sure she wasn’t trampled; I struggled once more with making my way across to the scene that had caused all of this.

And there. Two seventh years that I knew very well indeed, attempting to hex the living daylights out of each other.

Sirius dodged a jet of red light easily, laughing in Snape’s face- which was twisted with rage. But the laugh was wrong- different, somehow- it sounded strained and forced...trembling...

Before I even knew what I was doing, I had raised my wand. “Protego!”

They both were blasted backwards by the force of the spell. Snape took one look at me and glared with a kind of hatred that I would never have thought possible; even for us. But, for once in my life, I ignored him and ran to the person who truly mattered.

“Sirius.” I put a hand on his shoulder tentatively, trying to pull him back. People were staring, whispering, pointing, sneering... My friend was shaking, literally shaking, and suddenly I was afraid. “Sirius?” I muttered again. “Come on, he isn’t worth it.”

“Piece of filth,” he eventually managed to choke out. And then he shook my hand off, straightening up. “I’m not alone,” he announced quietly.

I wondered exactly what Snape had said to make Sirius react in such an...unusual way. Sirius could normally laugh things off easily and Snape was probably the last person who would rattle his cage like this.

But the moment had passed. Feeling that it was safe enough to do so, I broke the Shield Charm, dragging Sirius away from Snape once more. When I was sure Sirius was far enough apart, I chanced a glance at Snape. He was getting to his feet, leaning on a wall as I had done only half an hour previously. I spotted his wand lying, forgotten on the ground.

Being uncomfortably aware of the still existing crowd, I walked towards him and slowly picked it up. Slower still, I held out my hand to him, the one holding the wand.

WHAM. I was hardly aware of it happening until I heard the cries of shock from the “spectators”, and I felt my jaw. He had punched me.

And now, something inside me seemed to have malfunctioned or stopped working entirely. I threw myself at him, kicking and punching and tearing. Magic immediately did not exist. This fight was more raw and sharp and real than any other.

I was distantly aware of the screams, and the shouts of “Get him, James!”

Argh! Snape had sharply and mercilessly connected his knee with my chest, and now I was upon the floor, and Snivellus was standing over me, with the most unbearably smug smirk playing on his lips.

I growled and instantly grabbed his arm, not knowing that this would change everything.

I heard a gasp of pain and for a moment wondered who it was. And then I looked at Snape, my mouth opening in disbelief. After all the blows I had landed on him, this was what hurt him?! What startled me the most, was how his teeth were gritted in agony (and, truthfully, my grip wasn’t that brutal), and...his black eyes, just for a second, seemed to be filled with-

I released my grasp, drawing my hand back as if burned. And still he stood there, shaking as Sirius had done- a shallow cut on his lip, sweat dripping off his flushed face-

The bell sounded, making me flinch.

Oh, yeah...Transfiguration.


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