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Marauders and Mudbloods



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Old April 7th, 2006, 11:30 pm
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Marauders and Mudbloods

Chapter 1


“Lily! Lily, I need help!”

I clambered in through the portrait hole to the Gryffindor common room, where my best friend Lily Evans was sitting, reading from one of the pile of text books that was stacked on the table in front of her, her long red hair tied back, to keep it out of her eyes while she worked.

“What’s wrong Phoebe?” she asked, closing the book, looking pleased for the distraction.

“I’m going to fail my OWL’s at this rate,” I said, collapsing into one of the big comfortable chairs in front of the fireplace, and throwing my schoolbag down on the floor, “I need a miracle.”

“You need to calm down,” Lily corrected, “What’s happened?”

“I was in the library, trying to finish Slughorn’s homework for Potions. It has to be in tomorrow but I can’t do it! I’ve been studying so hard, you know I have, but nothing’s sinking in, it’s a disaster!”

“What you need is a break,” Lily said, with a smile, “Just relax for a couple of hours, we’ll go and take a walk.”

“I need to work!”

“No,” Lily said, firmly, and began packing away her books, “You need to get some fresh air and calm down. We can study together later. I can help you with Potions this evening.”

“I wish I was as clever as you!” I moaned.

“Oh, like you’re not clever, Miss ‘I levitated a feather on my first day’!” Lily laughed, “And you’re better at Transfiguration! You were turning mice into water goblets, while my mouse was nibbling a large hole in my robes!”

There’s a reason why she was my best friend. Lily was the only person I knew who was patient enough to take my stress and turn it into laughter. Not that I got stressed often, but with our OWL’s only six weeks away, everyone was more tense than usual.

I met Lily for the first time at King’s Cross Station in our first year. We both arrived with our parents, and what with both of us being from Muggle families, and having no idea how to get to Platform 9 and ¾, we were immediately drawn to each other. From the moment we sat together on the Hogwarts Express, we were inseparable, and even more thrilled at both getting into Gryffindor. Since then we’d shared secrets, homework, detentions and disasters and we had reached our fifth year, closer than ever.

Once Lily had packed her books into her bag, we stood up to escape the stuffy common room, but before we could get out, the portrait hole flew open again. Noise filled the room as James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew entered.

“Did you see his face?” laughed Sirius, “Classic!”

“Beats studying,” James agreed, “Shame we got thrown out! I was just starting to enjoy that!”

“Well at least you’ll get top marks for Summoning charms!”

The talking stopped as the boys noticed Lily and I, both looking disapprovingly at them.

James and Sirius were probably the most arrogant boys in the entire school. Not without reason of course, they were both popular and intelligent, but they also had an unyielding need to be noticed, whether it was for achieving top grades in class, or simply for cheeking the teachers. Along with Remus and Peter, they had a definite talent for mischief.

“No wonder you couldn’t concentrate in the library,” Lily said to me loudly, “With this rabble in there.”

“You missed all the fun Phoebe,” Sirius said, with a grin, “You shouldn’t have left so soon!”

My stomach lurched as he addressed me, and I could feel my cheeks beginning to glow, as they always did whenever he was around.

“Who have you been tormenting this time?” Lily asked, disapprovingly, stemming the flow of gibberish that would probably have left my mouth had I attempted to speak, “As if I can’t guess.”

“Snivellus just happened to be in the way,” James said, with mock innocence, “I was only trying to get my book back from Sirius, but unfortunately Snivellus stood up at just the wrong moment.”

Sirius laughed, “It’s amazing how much noise a book makes when it smacks someone in the face.”

‘Snivellus’ as James so charmingly referred to him, was Severus Snape, a pale faced, greasy haired Slytherin, one James and his friends had taken a particular dislike to. They weren’t the only ones. Severus spent most of his time wondering around alone, not a friend to his name.

“Yeah, his massive nose took the brunt of it,” James went on, “It’s still in one piece though.”

“No thanks to you,” Lily said, glaring at him, a look of intense hatred in her eyes, “Why do you get such pleasure out of being so mean to him?”

“Oh come on, Evans,” James said, slinging his arm loosely round her shoulders, “It was an accident.”

Lily shrugged him off, and said, “There’s no such thing as an accident when it comes to you and Severus,” then climbed out of the portrait hole leaving me standing there with the boys.

“What’s her problem?” James asked, staring out after her.

“Maybe she’s got a crush on Snivellus?” Sirius joked, and James spun round to look at him so fast, I’m surprised he didn’t fall over.

“That’s not funny!” he said,.then turned to me, “She hasn’t, has she?”

Raising my eyebrows, I said, “As if I’d tell you.”


I followed Lily as she walked briskly down the stairs, towards the main hall. James had really wound her up, as he seemed to so often. Lily and I had never had much to do with James and co. until the beginning of that year. We had shared classes and a common room, of course but we’d never really spoken to each other. Then Lily was made prefect along with Remus, and so our worlds had collided. Since then, James had taken quite a shine to Lily which made him inclined to show off whenever she was near. The unfortunate consequence was that it made Lily think he was a complete prat.

“Lily, wait!” I called, running to catch up with her.

She stopped and turned to me, “Sorry Phoebe,” she said, with an apologetic smile, “He just makes me so mad!”

“I noticed that,” I said, linking my arm through hers as we began to walk again.

“How can he be so nasty? Just because Severus is quiet and keeps to himself, that’s no reason to charm books to fly at his head!”

“It wasn’t just James,” I told her, “Sirius was just as bad. Before I left the library, every time Severus put his quill down, Sirius turned it into a feather duster.”

“They’re pathetic! Severus, and everyone else was trying to study, and they were acting like idiots!”

“No, it’s not an act Lily, they are idiots .Particularly Peter. The way he stares at James and Sirius, it’s like hero worship! I swear they only keep him around to boost their egos!”

“Well at least Peter isn’t causing harm to innocent people.”

I glanced sideways at Lily, wondering if she’d gone mad. Admittedly, she was one of the kindest people I’d ever met, but defending Severus Snape, a boy obsessed with the Dark Arts who hid behind his long greasy hair to avoid having to talk to people?

“Why the concern for Severus all of a sudden?” I asked, “You’ve never been worried about his welfare before?”

“I’m not concerned about him,” Lily replied, a little too quickly, “I just don’t think there’s any need for James and Sirius to treat him the way they do.”

Something in the way she’d reacted, told me that she wasn’t being entirely truthful, but I let it go. If there was anything she wanted to tell me, I knew she would do so in her own time.

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  #2  
Old April 12th, 2006, 6:51 pm
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Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Lily and I strolled out of the castle, and into the Hogwarts grounds. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I couldn’t believe I’d wasted it staring blankly at the pages of my Potions notes. It was Sunday, after all!

We settled ourselves on the grass beside the lake, an option most of the other students had already taken. All around us were people playing wizards chess, groups of girls chatting and laughing together and boys exchanging chocolate frog cards. There were even a few people lying under the trees, studying. Everyone was making the most of the good weather while they could.

For a while, we sat in comfortable silence, staring out into the lake. To be in the fresh air felt wonderful after being cooped up in the library all day. I stretched my legs out in front of me and tilted my head back, enjoying the cool breeze blowing through my long curly hair. As I began to relax, all thoughts of homework and exams drifted out of my mind and were instead replaced by thoughts of Sirius.

I don’t remember when Sirius began occupying space in my head, but I knew that the space he was taking up had grown considerably since the beginning of our fifth year. He was, without question, the best looking boy in our year and I wasn’t the only one who thought so Wherever he went he was followed by groups of girls, all hoping that he might cast a glance in their direction, then giggling pathetically when he did. I fought hard against becoming one of those girls, partly because he had a big enough head as it was, and partly because I hoped I was above such behaviour. The truth of the matter was, I was equally as pathetic as they were, I just chose to be quieter about it.

“Stop thinking about him,” Lily said, shaking me out of my trance.

I turned my head to look at her. “Who?”

“Don’t pretend you don’t know who I mean! Sirius! You’re thinking about him again, aren’t you?”

A guilty grin spread across my face, and I said, “How did you know?”

“You’re dribbling.”

Nudging her shoulder with mine, I started to laugh. Lily was the only person I’d trusted with my secret. She was the only person I knew I could trust. She teased me about it on a regular basis, as any true best friend would, but she was also there for me on the days when I became frustrated with the knowledge that my feelings were in vain.

“Don’t worry, I’ll get over it,” I said, with a confidence I didn’t really feel.

“Yes you will,” Lily agreed, then laughed, “We’ve only got two more years left at school, and then you’ll be there!”

“Of course, by that time, he’ll have dated half the girls in the school, and I’ll have failed all my exams because of my overwhelming misery!” I added, dramatically, but still laughing.

“No, you’ll be dating one of his best friends, and Sirius will be insanely jealous that he didn’t take the chance to ask you out while you were available!”

I was silent for a moment as I processed the thought, then said, “I don’t really like any of his best friends though, and in case you hadn’t noticed, James likes you!”

Lily rolled her eyes, “Worst luck. What have I done to deserve that?”

“Let’s see, you’re funny, clever, good looking…I can’t imagine what he sees in you!” I teased.

“But he’s such an arrogant little runt! There’s no way I’d go out with him in a million years!”

“So, who would stand a chance with you?” I asked, thinking back to Sirius’ comment about Severus. I shook it off though. There was no way Lily would ever be interested in him. No way.

“Joe Maloney,” Lily said, after a moment, “He’s older, he’s got manners, he’s got a brain. And he’s not bad to look at either.”

Joe Maloney was a seventh year, and he also happened to be the Gryffindor Quidditch captain. Tall and stocky with blonde hair, Lily was right, he was a good looking guy.

Recently, boys were the main topic of conversation for us. The boys in our year had suddenly become more interesting, and the older ones were even better. Neither Lily nor myself had had a boyfriend, but we certainly enjoyed discussing potential candidates!

We stayed outside talking until it was time for dinner. After that, it was back to work I had to admit, Lily was right. After relaxing for a couple of hours, my brain was fully recharged and ready to get back to my homework. I finished my Potions essay without any trouble at all, then spent the rest of the evening in the Gryffindor common room eating Fizzing Whizbees and talking with Lily, and Sarah Wilkie, Polly Parker and Jane Tully who we shared a dormitory with, until we were tired enough to go to bed.


Chapter 2

I used to hate Mondays. Before Hogwarts, going to school was a chore. Don’t get me wrong, my Muggle primary school was nice enough, but I never particularly enjoyed it. School was just something that had to be endured. Everything changed when I arrived at Hogwarts though. I never once woke up with the Monday morning blues. Quite the opposite, in fact. With each new day, I welcomed the challenge of learning something new. Of course, lessons were becoming more and more difficult and there were times when I struggled, but I never dreaded going to any of my classes. Not even the ones we shared with the Slytherins.

Our first class of the day was double Potions. Potions was definitely my least favourite subject of all, perhaps because brewing potions was not my strong point. I had no trouble understanding the theories, but the practical aspect was a bit beyond me! No matter how closely I followed the instructions, I’d never quite managed to make the perfect potion. Lily was the genius in that area, something that hadn’t gone unnoticed by our teacher, Professor Slughorn. Slughorn was a rotund man, with thick gingery blond hair and a moustache. He was also head of Slytherin. He had his own particular favourite students, which was great for them, but lousy for the rest of us. Lily was one of those favourites, along with Severus Snape. He had other favourites too of course, but in our year, they were the ones. Slughorn often commented how he thought Lily should have been in his house, something I would have taken great offence to, but Lily took it in her stride.

We began the morning’s lesson by handing our essays on moonstone to Professor Slughorn, then we all sat down at our desks as he told us what we would be doing for the next two hours.

“This morning,” he began, “We will be brewing the Draught of Peace. Who can tell me what the Draught of Peace is used for?”

Several people raised their hands, but although I knew the answer, I didn’t bother wasting my energy. He never asked me.

“Lily,” he said, as I knew he would.

“It’s used to calm anxiety,” Lily replied.

“Yes!” Slughorn beamed, “It’s used to calm anxiety and soothe agitation. But it’s a very awkward potion to make. If the instructions are not followed very carefully, it can cause a person to fall into a deep sleep, one that can sometimes be irreversible.”

“You mean it can kill people?” Josie Blyde asked, from the back of the classroom.

“Indeed it could,” Professor Slughorn continued, “But not to worry, I won’t be making you test the potions. The object of today’s lesson is to learn the ingredients required to make a successful Draught of Peace, as it is likely to come up in your OWL, and also to give you some experience into making a more complex potion. Any questions?”

When nobody answered, Professor Slughorn said, “Okay, the instructions are written on the blackboard, and the ingredients can be found in the store room. You may begin.”

We all stood up, and made our way to the store room.

“I can see another disastrous lesson coming on,” I said, as we joined the queue to get our ingredients, “I have enough trouble with simple potions.”

“You’re not nearly as bad as you think you are,” Lily said, encouragingly, “I think I’m going to have trouble with this one too.”

“Well that would be a first,” a voice drawled.

Severus was standing behind me, looking intently at Lily. It wasn’t entirely clear from his tone whether he meant it as a compliment or not.

“Hello Severus,” Lily said, politely, “I didn’t see you there.”

I wondered momentarily if perhaps I’d been unconscious for a few months and missed the explanation of why Lily was being so friendly towards him all of a sudden. It just wasn’t normal. It wasn’t that she was ever nasty to him, more that she didn’t usually take much notice of him.

My attention was distracted by the sight of James and Remus walking towards us. They had noticed Lily and Severus talking, and both looked rather displeased.

“He’s not bothering you girls, is he?” Remus asked, as they joined us.

“No,” Lily replied, “He isn’t.”

I was tempted to disagree. The very presence of Severus bothered me. The way his eyes were still staring at Lily gave me the creeps.

“Well if he does, just let us know,” James said, glowering, “We’ll be happy to get rid of him.”

“We’re fine,” Lily said, firmly.

“Yeah,” I added, more to back her up than anything else, “We’re fine. Let’s just go and get what we need so we can get started.”

'And away from Severus’ , I thought to myself.

Lily nodded, and gave Severus a rather regretful smile, before heading into the store room. I followed her in, James and Remus close behind us.

“What’s going on Evans?” James asked, “Why were you talking to Snivellus?”

“I don’t think that’s any of your business, Potter,” Lily told him, as we began collecting the required ingredients.

“But…he’s a Slytherin.”

“Well we’re not all into petty house rivalries, some of us have grown out of that.”

“He’s a prat.”

Lily gave him a sarcastic smile and said, “Takes one to know one," then breezed out of the store room, winking at me as she left.

I tried, unsuccessfully to conceal a giggle, at the look of shock on James’ face, and quickly went to my cauldron before he could begin ranting at me.


As I had predicted, the lesson went badly for me. At the end of the hour and a half we’d had to make the Draught of Peace, mine was looking decidedly lame beside Lily’s. Her potion was giving off a fine silver mist, as it was supposed to, while mine was emitting blue bubbles. ‘If I pass my Potions OWL, it will be a miracle’ I thought, shaking my head at my amazing lack of skill.

As Professor Slughorn wandered past, he looked into my cauldron, and said, “Never mind Miss Marshall, better luck next time.”

I honestly think that was the closest thing to a compliment I’d ever received from him.

After Slughorn had given his usual praise to Lily and Severus, it was thankfully, time to leave. Lily was still packing her things away as most of the class began to file out of the door.

“Go on ahead if you want,” Lily said to me, “I’ll catch you up.”

“I don’t mind waiting,” I said, glancing over to the back of the classroom where Severus was also packing his things away unnaturally slowly.

“Please,” Lily insisted, “Go on, I don’t want you to be late. I need to speak to Professor Slughorn anyway.”

I didn’t even need to look at her to know she was lying. We’d been friends for five years, I knew her better than anyone. She was staying behind to talk to Severus. The question was....why?


*************

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  #3  
Old April 17th, 2006, 7:44 pm
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Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

I wandered thoughtfully out of the classroom and started to head for my next lesson, trying to push the question of what Lily and Severus were talking about out of my mind. Why on Earth could she possibly want to speak to him? I was baffled. ‘If it was anything important, she would tell you,’ I said to myself. Lily had never deliberately kept anything of significance from me before. Any secrets we had, we shared. The thought cheered me slightly and by the time I reached the Transfiguration classroom, I’d almost convinced myself it was nothing to worry about.

Lily arrived in Transfiguration just a few minutes after me, and just a few seconds before Professor Mcgonagall.

“Everything okay?” I whispered, as Lily took her seat beside me.

She nodded and smiled, looking gratefully at me for not asking any further questions, and I decided to leave it at that for the time being.

Transfiguration was my absolute favourite subject. While others struggled, I found it relatively easy, easier than making Potions anyway!
We were learning Cross Species Switches, transfiguring one type of creature into another. During the previous lesson, we had learned the technique, and it was time to put it into practice.

The classroom filled with noise as everyone tried desperately to master the spell. It wasn’t easy though. The rabbit I was trying to turn into an owl, kept trying to jump off my desk, and Lily’s rabbit, despite the noise in the room, had fallen asleep.

“I can’t do it,” she said, “I don’t want to disturb it!”

“Just poke it with your wand,” I laughed, “That’ll wake it up!”

On the other side of me, Polly Parker was glaring at the cat in front of her, as if hoping to transfigure it with willpower alone.

‘Oh well,” I thought, “Time to give it another try.” I pointed my wand at my rabbit, concentrating hard, and said, “Transmogrify!”

I almost dropped my wand in shock, as before my eyes, my rabbit transformed into an owl and flew up onto my shoulder.

“Yes!” I cried, ecstatic that I was the first person in the whole class to perfect the spell.

Professor Mcgonagall walked over to my desk, surveying the owl critically, as if checking to see if it still had whiskers or a long tail, but then her face broke into a smile and she said, “Very good Miss Marshall, ten points to Gryffindor!”

“Well done Phoebs,” Lily said, grinning.

“How come she can do it and we can’t?” Peter complained.

He, Sirius, James and Remus were sitting at the row of desks in front of us, and had all turned to look at me. Probably because it was the first time I’d ever achieved something ahead of them. I was normally fourth behind James, Sirius and Remus, and closely followed by Peter.

“Maybe it was luck,” James said.

“Since when has anyone transfigured anything through sheer luck?” I asked, offended.

“Ignore him,” Remus said, “He’s just annoyed because he can’t do it.”

“I can do it,” James said, glancing at Lily who was gently prodding her rabbit with her wand.

“Go on then,” she challenged, looking up at him.

He smiled, ruffling up his dark hair in a way that I can only assume he thought was cool. He turned back to his desk, pointed his wand at his cat, and confidently said, “Transmogrify!”

The cat just gave him a look of extreme disinterest, and then curled itself up in a ball.

“Never mind,” I said, sweetly, “I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it.”

Lily chuckled, enjoying the sight of James being knocked off his pedestal. The fact that I was the one to do it, just made it all the more amusing for her. It wasn’t that she hated James, but she certainly disliked his attitude and his arrogance, and thought he needed to be taken down a peg or two.

The sound of flapping wings attracted my attention. Sirius had successfully transfigured his rabbit into an owl too, adding to James’s embarrassment and frustration.

“Look at that Prongs,” Sirius said, smugly, “It’s just so easy.”

“Another ten points to Gryffindor,” Professor Mcgonagall said, “Miss Marshall, Mr Black, I will be expecting excellent results from your OWL’s. You too Mr Potter.”

“Great,” James said, sarcastically, “Just what we need, extra pressure.”

I barely heard a word, I was so carried away by Professor Mcgonagall linking my name with Sirius’. ‘Miss Marshall, Mr Black,’ I thought, dreamily, “Mr and Mrs Black. Mrs Phoebe Black.’

Sirius looked round at me, and in a moment of panic, I wondered if I’d accidentally said my thoughts aloud. I couldn’t have though, Lily would have nudged me or something.

I tried to smile, but it was difficult when I could feel my cheeks beginning to turn red. Sirius raised his eyebrows, and with a hint of a grin, turned back to his desk.

Closing my eyes, I cringed with embarrassment, wondering why I couldn’t behave normally around him instead of turning into a human traffic light. If he didn’t know I liked him before, he certainly knew now.

*********

I was relieved when it was time for lunch, so I could escape the torture of sitting behind Sirius now he knew my secret. It took about an hour for Lily to convince me that it wasn’t really a big deal and that Sirius was used to girls fancying him so nobody would think anything of it. I knew she was right too, it could have been much worse. Even so, I hoped to avoid him as much as possible for the rest of the day, until my humiliation had subsided properly.

After lunch we had a study period, so Lily, Sarah, Polly, Jane and I all went to the library. It was no great surprise to see Sirius there with his friends, but I could still feel the heat rising in my cheeks again. Lily steered us to a table as far away from them as possible and we sat down and pulled out our books.

History of Magic was by far the most boring subject we had to endure, which was why we had all left our essays on the Goblin Rebellion until the last minute. It wasn’t difficult, just dull but I forced myself to read, soaking up the facts ready to put them on parchment. For half an hour, I didn’t look up from my book, until I was disturbed by a strange buzzing sound. I raised my head, ready to swat away the fly that had caused the noise in my ears, but I couldn’t see it. Instead what I saw, was Severus leaning over to talk to Lily, but unfortunately the buzzing meant I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I glanced at Jane, Polly and Sarah, and they too were looking around for the invisible fly that was causing the noise. I was about to ask Lily if she could hear it too, when it suddenly stopped just as Severus walked away.

“What was that?” Sarah asked, still looking around.

“I don’t know,” I replied, “It was loud though.”

“Did you hear it Lily?” Polly asked.

Lily looked flustered for a second, then said, “Yeah, I heard it. I could hardly hear what Severus was saying.”

“And what was he saying?” I whispered, as the others got back to work.

“He was just asking if I wanted to borrow a book of his.”

“A book?” I asked, sceptically.

“Yes, it’s a Potions thing, he was telling me about it earlier.”

“Lily,” I said, carefully, “What exactly is going on with you two?”

“Nothing is going on Phoebe. Just because we were talking, doesn’t mean there’s anything going on. We just both happen to like Potions.”

“Okay,” I said, “Okay. I’m going to take a break. I’ll be back in a minute.”

I stood up and left the library, heading towards the girls’ bathroom. I needed to clear my head for a bit. Questions about what Lily was up to with Severus, combined with facts about the Goblin Rebellion were beginning to give me a headache. I splashed my face with cold water, and then dried it with some paper towels. When I felt ready to get back to it, I left the bathroom again, only to be confronted by James. Sirius, Peter and Remus were standing a little way behind him, as if ready to back him up if necessary.

“What are you doing?” I asked, uncertainly.

“I want to know what’s going on between Lily and Severus,” James said, looking angry.

I couldn’t believe he’d just asked me that, especially after he’d been so rude to me in Transfiguration.

“Well, we can’t always have what we want, can we?” I replied, taking a step forwards, but James blocked my way.

“Wait,” he said, “Tell me.”

“No. It’s got nothing to do with you and I don’t appreciate being ambushed on my way out of the bathroom.”

“Tell me what they were talking about.”

“No!” I said, more adamantly, “It’s none of your business.”

“Leave it James,” Sirius said, “I told you she wouldn’t tell you anything.”

Sirius was eyeing me critically, and for the first time all year, I met his gaze, looking directly into his grey, and admittedly rather beautiful eyes.

“What would you do?” I asked him, “If someone wanted to know one of your friends’ secrets, would you tell them?”

Any feelings I had for him, had been pushed aside in my determination to make my point. Lily was my best friend and I wasn’t going to be bullied into answering their questions just because James fancied her.

The four exchanged a look, and I knew they understood where I was coming from.

“She’s right,” Sirius said, “We wouldn’t. Give her a break.”

“I just want to know what’s going on,” James said, running his hands through his hair in frustration, and for the first time, I felt sorry for him.

“A word of advice,” I said, after a while, “If you want to have a chance with Lily, you might want to try acting your age. It wouldn’t hurt to be a bit nicer to her best friend either,” I added, as I walked away.

As I passed Sirius, Remus and Peter, a triumphant grin spread across my face. I’d stood up to them. Not only that, I’d managed to look at Sirius without my face changing colour.

“Phoebe,” James called after me, and I turned around, “Please don’t tell her about this.”

I was tempted to let him stew, but I figured he’d had a bad enough day as it was.

“Okay,” I said, “I won’t tell her.”

“Thanks.”

James may have had his faults, but his feelings for Lily certainly seemed genuine. It was a bit of a shock to find out that a self-obsessed twerp like James had a soft side. Who would have thought it?

*******

Sorry about the rather abrupt ending, I sat for about two hours and I couldn't work it out!

Hope you all like this part - it will start to get more interesting soon!

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  #4  
Old April 22nd, 2006, 4:42 pm
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Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Okay...I have mixed feelings about this post, it's taken a while to get it sorted, so any comments will be welcome!


Chapter 3

A few days passed, and thankfully, there hadn’t been anymore incidents. In fact, everything had gone depressingly back to normal. James and Sirius had resumed their typical arrogance, I hadn’t noticed Lily whispering with Severus again, and in my last Potions lesson, I’d set fire to my cauldron. Business as usual.

Everything changed, very sadly for the worst, on Friday morning at breakfast in the Great Hall. Lily and I were just finishing our toast when Sarah and Jane came running towards us, looking a little shaken up.

“Are you okay?” Lily asked, as they stopped beside us, “What’s happened?”

“It’s Polly,” Sarah said, her voice wobbling slightly, “She was called to Dumbledore’s office as soon as she woke up. The Dark Mark was cast above her house last night. Her parents and her baby brother were all found dead.”

Jane’s face was still pale from the shock, as she said, “Professor Mcgonagall just came in to the dormitory to collect her things. She’s got to stay in Dumbledore’s office until her aunt and uncle come to collect her. She won’t be coming back.”

A horrible, cold feeling crept over me. For the past couple of years, events like these had started to become more and more common. Reports of murders, torture, and people being possessed at the hands of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters were on the increase and showed no sign of stopping any time soon. He had been gaining support and growing stronger for the last five years, and he was now so feared that very few would speak his name.

I remember being unnerved from the very first time I learned of his existence. Coming from a Muggle family, I wasn’t used to such things. Of course, there were bad people in the Muggle world too, but no-one who struck such terror in people as Lord Voldemort. As much as I loved being a part of the wizarding world, sometimes it worried me senseless, because it wasn’t just me who was involved, it was my family too. While I knew it was unlikely that Lord Voldemort would have any reason to harm them, it was still something that concerned me, particularly at times like these. I couldn’t even begin to imagine how I would have felt in Polly’s position. I’d always been close to my parents, and my nine year-old brother Jack. The idea of them not always being there was not one I wanted to dwell on.

“I wish we could say goodbye to her,” I said, quietly, banishing my unpleasant thoughts.

“Maybe we’ll be able to get in touch with her…you know, when things have calmed down a bit,” Jane said.

“I hope so,” Lily said, quickly wiping her eyes, “It’ll be strange without her. I wish there was something we could do.”

“There’s nothing,” I said, with a sigh, “Nothing at all.”


News about Polly’s family spread through the school rapidly and, of course rumours were flying around too, the nastiest being that Mr Parker had been a Death Eater and was killed for betraying Lord Voldemort. I’d never once heard anything to support that theory, and while I was sad that Polly had had to leave Hogwarts, I was glad she didn’t have to deal with the gossip on top of her grief. That would have been too much.

We spent the day feeling very subdued, not concentrating properly in any of our classes. Our thoughts were very much with Polly, and we just couldn’t seem to find room for anything else. To top it all, the fifth years had to have a careers meeting with their Head of House that day. It was to discuss our future careers, and establish the OWL grades required to fulfil our ambitions. I couldn’t speak for anyone else, but I found it particularly difficult to think about my future after what had happened. I’d suddenly realised that life couldn’t ever be planned. Things changed, circumstances altered. Nothing was ever certain.

My interview with Professor Mcgonagall was right at the end of the day, through the last half of Divination. Up until that point, I had no idea which career I wanted to pursue. Lily and I had had another brief look through all the information we’d been given at lunchtime, but it wasn’t until I sat down in Professor Mcgonagall’s office that I knew.

When she asked me if I’d had any ideas as to what I wanted to do, I was suddenly ready for the question.

“I want to be an Auror,” I said, confidently.

Professor Mcgonagall raised her eyebrows, “Are you sure about this Miss Marshall?” she asked, looking at me closely over the top of her square glasses, which had begun to slide down her nose.

“Yes, I’m sure Professor.”

“It’s a lot of work. It will require further training when you have finished school, as well as excellent NEWT grades.”

“I know. I’ve read all the leaflets. I think I can do it.”

“I don’t doubt your abilities Miss Marshall. But I will say this; everyone has been affected by the events of the last twenty four hours. If you intend to become an Auror, you will have to be dedicated. It is not something to be entered into half-heartedly. You can’t do it purely to avenge the deaths of your friends’ parents.”

“I understand Professor,” I said, “You’re right. What happened to Polly’s family did help me to reach a decision. But I think it’s one I would have reached on my own eventually anyway. And even if I change my mind before I leave school, it can’t hurt to aim for top grades. If I manage to get good results, I’ll have more options.”

I wasn’t sure where all of the sensible talk was coming from, but I knew it was right. The days events had made me determined to work harder, so that one day I could do something to help. I’d never wanted an office job, I’d always wanted to do something that would make a difference to people, and becoming an Auror would certainly do that.

“That is very true,” Professor Mcgonagall said, “The only problem I see, is that your grade for Potions is currently only at Acceptable. To continue at NEWT level, you will need to achieve Exceeds Expectations.”

“That could be a problem,” I said, glumly, “I haven’t managed to brew a decent Potion all year. I don’t know why. I always follow the instructions, but so far, I haven’t got it right. Professor Slughorn has started wearing flame retardant robes when he teaches me.”

I saw Professor Mcgonagall’s face twitch as if she might laugh, but she said, “I have every faith in you. You are a very capable student when you set your mind to it. I have no doubt that you will try your very best to raise your grade.”

I will Professor. I'm determined."


***********

That evening, Lily and I stayed in our dormitory laying on our beds, tackling our homework with very little enthusiasm. I was pleased it was Friday, not only because it was the end of the week but also because we had a Hogsmeade trip the next day. I couldn’t wait to get out of the school grounds for a few hours; I was beginning to get a little stir crazy! We had all been working so hard, we definitely deserved a break.

Lily and I continued to do our homework in silence for a while, but I wasn’t really progressing, and I had a feeling Lily wasn’t either. Something had been on my mind from the moment the news about Polly had broken and I needed to share my concerns.

“Lily,” I said.

“Yeah,” Lily replied, looking over at me.

“I was thinking…about Polly.”

“Yeah, me too,” she sighed, rolling onto her side so she was facing me, “Today was scary, how fast everything happened.”

“I know. It was all so sudden. This time yesterday, she still had a family and now it’s gone.”

“If anything like that happened to you and you had to leave Hogwarts, I don’t know what I’d do.”

I nodded, a lump rising in throat.

“I’ve been thinking the same thing all day,” I said, “I’d really miss you if you weren’t here,” then I let out a small laugh, “We can barely survive the few weeks we’re apart in the summer holidays.”

Smiling too, Lily said, “That’s true.”

“You’re my best friend in the whole world Lily," I told her, "Whatever happens, promise we’ll always stay in touch.”

“Of course. We’ll always be friends Phoebs, whatever happens."

*********


Thank you for reading!
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  #5  
Old April 26th, 2006, 11:10 am
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Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hello! I think this could be my longest post so far!

MarauderGrl - if you're reading, the return of Sirius is here!

********

Lily and I stayed up until quite late that night, talking about life, and our plans. I confided my ambition to be an Auror, and Lily vowed to help me with my Potions grade. We then exercised our imaginations by entering into a conversation about whom we would marry and where we would live; me with Sirius in London, fighting Dark wizards together, Lily living next door with Joe Maloney and two neurotically perfect children. It may have been entirely fantasy, but it was fun all the same!

I woke up in the morning feeling relaxed and relived that it was finally Saturday. It had been quite a week, and as I glanced over at Polly’s empty bed, I was glad it was over.

We had a day in Hogsmeade to look forward to, and I was raring to go. I loved Hogsmeade trips, not only for the change of scenery, but also because it felt very grown up to be allowed to go shopping and into the Three Broomsticks unaccompanied. Of course, there were bound to be extra teachers on this trip in light of what had happened the day before, but it was still a day out of school.

After breakfast, Lily, Sarah, Jane and I went back to our dormitory. We needed to get our money in order to pay for the huge amount of sweets we always brought back with us. Sarah and Jane went on ahead while I was still getting my things together. Lily however, was sitting on the end of her bed, staring into space.

“Are you okay Lily?” I asked.

Lily jumped as if I’d awoken her from a daydream and said, “Yeah, I’m fine. Phoebs, do you mind if I give Hogsmeade a miss today?”

“You don’t want to come?”

“It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just….I’ve got so much homework, I really should stay here and finish it.”

Disappointment took hold of me. I had been looking forward to shopping with Lily for weeks, and now the time had come, she wanted to stay and do her homework. It was our last Hogsmeasde visit before our OWL’s, and I knew it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without her.

“Don’t look at me like that,” Lily said, with a smile, “Just because you have big blue eyes, doesn’t mean you can use them to make me feel guilty!”

“Sorry,” I said, sitting down beside her, “I just thought we were going to have a day off today.”

“I’m sorry too, but if I don’t get through some of this mountain of homework, I think I might have a nervous breakdown.”

“Do you want me to stay too,” I offered, “Keep you company?”

“No, you go and have fun!” Lily said, “Just because I’m being sensible, there’s no need for me to drag you down with me. Besides, I’m a bit tired, I didn’t sleep very well.”

One look at her face told me she had been thinking about Polly, and I knew that had contributed to her wanting to stay at school instead of going to Hogsmeade and enjoying herself. I understood, and didn’t push the subject.

“Okay,” I said, standing up, “If you’re sure.”

“I'm sure.”

“Well, I’d better get going. I’ll see you later.”

“I’ll be in the library when you get back. Please come and rescue me, I’ll have had enough by then!”

“I will,” I promised.

I left the dormitory and ran to catch up with Sarah and Jane. This would be the first trip to Hogsmeade I’d been on without Lily. We had only ever missed one, in the third year. I had been attacked by Jane’s Nose-Biting Teacup (a purchase from the previous Hogsmeade trip), and was in the hospital wing. Lily had stayed with me so I wasn’t lonely. We hadn’t missed one since though.

The walk into Hogsmeade was glorious. Sarah, Jane and I strolled slowly in the sunshine, savouring every moment of being away from Hogwarts. Everyone seemed to be strolling at a leisurely pace that day, presumably everyone was trying to put off going back to school for as long as possible.

We were just debating where to go to first, Honeydukes, or the Three Broomsticks when we heard someone shout, “Hey!”

We turned and James, Sirius, Remus and Peter were running towards us.

“What do they want?” Sarah asked, sounding mystified.

“I don’t know,” I replied, “But I have a feeling we’re about to find out.”

“Hello ladies,” Sirius said, with a grin.

“Hello,” Jane replied, suspiciously, “What are you up to?”

“Same as you,” James said, “Escaping.”

“Hello Phoebe,” Peter muttered, a red tinge appearing on his cheeks. He was staring at me, smiling goofily.

Sirius clapped him on the shoulder and said, “Put your tongue away Wormtail! Ever thought of being subtle?”

Oh, no please don’t let Peter have a crush on me,’ I begged, silently, but he continued to stare, ‘How is that fair? Lily gets James, and I get Peter! Could life be more cruel?'

“Where’s Evans today?” James asked, distracting my attention. His tone was casual, but he wasn’t fooling me, I knew the suspense was killing him.

“Studying,” I told him, as we began to walk again, “She’s decided to stay at school and finish her homework.”

“Oh James,” Sirius mocked, “You’ve fallen for a bookworm!”

“Lily is not a bookworm,” I said, immediately jumping to her defence, “She just wanted to finish her homework.”

“Easy, Marshall,” he said, “I was just kidding. So how come you’re not with her, I thought you two were joined at the hip?”

“Well, you thought wrong.”

I had a sneaking suspicion that Sirius was only talking to me because he knew I liked him, and was enjoying seeing me squirm. I was fully aware that my cheeks were probably as red as Peter’s, and my stomach was flipping over at an alarming rate. The only thing that was keeping me from stuttering like an idiot was the fact that I wasn’t actually looking at him. I knew if I looked him in the eye, my annoyance would vanish and I would melt into a puddle of mush.

“We’re going to the Shrieking Shack today,” Remus said, thankfully changing the subject.

“You’re what?” Jane gasped, “We’re not supposed to go there! Why would you even want to?”

I had to admit, I was wondering the same thing. Why would anyone want to go and visit the most haunted building in Britain?

“Because it’s cool,” James said, as if the answer was obvious.

“Do you want to come?” Remus asked.

“Yeah,” Peter added, enthusiastically, “Come with us!”

“No thanks,” I replied, “We’re going shopping.”

“You’re not scared are you?” Sirius asked, standing directly in front of me, his eyes twinkling.

“Not scared,” I told him, “Just not interested.”

“Not interested? Are you sure?”

The insinuation was crystal clear.

“Leave her alone Sirius,” Remus said, coming to my rescue for the second time, “Come on, we’re wasting time.”

“Yeah, come on,” James agreed, “Let’s go!”

“Bye Phoebe,” Peter said.

Sirius winked at me before turning away and running ahead with the others.

It was strange. I’d always wanted that. For Sirius to talk to me, to notice me. But I was angry and embarrassed because I knew he was only teasing me. He knew I had feelings for him, and he was using me to boost his already gargantuan ego. Confused, I wondered how it was possible to like and hate one person in equal measure.

“What’s going on with you two?” Jane asked, clearly amused.

“Nothing,” I told her, firmly, “He was just messing around.”

“He was flirting with you! I think he likes you.”

“He was laughing at me,” I fumed, “He’s a complete git!”

“A handsome one though” Sarah swooned, “He’s gorgeous.”

I declined to reply. I wished Lily had been there to witness what had just happened so we could sit down together and thoroughly dissect the conversation. I was tempted to run straight back to school to tell her right away, but Sarah linked her arm through mine, and said, “I think we need a Butterbeer.”

We spent an hour in the Three Broomsticks, drinking our Butterbeers and chatting until I was calm enough to go outside again. We looked in the window of Zonko’s Joke Shop (we had stopped shopping in there shortly after the incident with the Nose Biting Teacup!), then we went into Gladrags Wizardwear, where Sarah bought a cute pair of pink socks with Golden Snitches embroidered on them, and I bought some hair clips shaped like owls. We left Honeydukes until last. Honeydukes was the best sweet shop in the world, and it always took us ages to decide what we wanted. After much deliberation, I purchased some Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizbees, Liquorice Wands, and some Ice Mice for Lily because they were her favourite.

My encounter with Sirius was still playing on my mind though, in spite of my happy chatter with Sarah and Jane. When we finally got back to school, I was desperate to find Lily so I could tell her about it.

I headed straight for the library, that’s where she said she would be, and as I walked through the door, I saw her immediately, engrossed in a textbook.

A textbook she was sharing with Severus Snape.

Maybe Lily felt my stare, because she and Severus both looked up, a smirk appearing on Severus’ face.

Without a word, I walked straight back out of the library, angrier than I could ever remember feeling in my life. ‘She lied to me,’ I realised, “She lied.’ I headed towards the Gryffindor common room, and had just reached the portrait of the Fat Lady when I heard Lily shout, “Phoebe, wait!”

She ran towards me, saying, “Pheobe I know what you muct be thinking,but-”

“Believe me, you don’t,” I snapped.

“Phoebe, please-”

“Severus?” I interrupted, with utter disbelief, “Severus? You turned down a day in Hogsmeade to stay at school with Severus?”

“No,” Lily said, shaking her head, “I didn’t, I was in the library, and Severus came in.”

“Oh really?” I asked, sarcasm oozing from my words, “He just happened to stay at school today too, and just accidentally found you in the library?”

“Yes.”

I looked into her eyes, desperately searching for a clue, some kind of sign to let me know whether she was telling the truth.

“So,” I said, in a tone of forced calm, “Did you get your homework finished?”

“Well, I finished Mcgonagall’s essay.”

“Is that all?” I exploded, “You said you were staying behind to get through a mountain of homework, and you’ve only done one piece?”

“Phoebe, calm down.”

“Calm down? My best friend would rather spend the day with Snape than me and I’m supposed to calm down?”

“I’ve told you, it wasn’t like that!”

“How am I supposed to believe that? You’ve been whispering in corners with him, staying behind after class with him, and now this!”

Lily’s eyes narrowed, and she said, “I’m allowed to have other friends Phoebe.”

“Who said you weren’t? I just don’t like being lied to.”

“I didn’t lie!” she shouted.

“Well it’s a pretty big coincidence.”

I began to walk away, suddenly wanting to be out in the fresh air again, and even more eager to get away from Lily. As I passed her, I said, “Oh, by the way, I bought these for you,” then threw the bag of Ice Mice at her and stormed out of the castle, leaving Lily open mouthed at the top of the stairs.

*****

That's all for today!
Thank you for reading!

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  #6  
Old April 30th, 2006, 10:14 am
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Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Chapter 4

‘Severus,’ I raged to myself, ‘Why could she possibly want to stay with him instead of going to Hogsmeade?’ It just didn’t make any sense. This sudden friendship with him was totally bizarre. He was a Slytherin! An unpopular and rather strange Slytherin at that. Lily was fun, well-liked and beautiful. It was not an obvious pairing at all. But it wasn’t that that was bothering me, it was the fact that she hadn’t told me the truth. If she had, well, it still would have been weird but I wouldn’t have been as angry.

Once outside, I sat down under an unoccupied beech tree and opened one of my Chocolate Frogs. I held onto the frog with my thumb so it couldn’t hop away while I looked at the Famous Wizard card that had come with it. It was Ptolemy, not that it mattered, I didn’t collect them anyway. I usually gave them to the nearest first year who looked interested.

Rather cruelly, I yanked a leg off the frog and put it in my mouth. This was the first time I’d ever fallen out with Lily. We were usually too close to argue about anything. But this thing with Severus had somehow created a barrier between us. I couldn’t understand why she was being so secretive about it. Although the idea of her dating him brought shivers to my spine, if that was what she wanted, I would support her, however nauseating I found it.

“Okay, what’s happened?” I heard someone ask, “Sitting outside eating Chocolate Frogs alone, something must have happened.”

I recognised the voice as belonging to Remus, and for once, he was alone.

“Are you following me?” I snapped, after all, this was the third time he had come to my rescue that day.

Remus raised his eyebrows and said, “Suit yourself.”

“Wait,” I said, instantly regretting my sharpness with him, “Sorry. Bad day.”

“I guessed.”

“Can I interest you in a Chocolate Frog?” I asked, with a sheepish smile.

“Yeah, go on then,” Remus replied, sitting beside me.

As he took a frog, I noticed that he looked a bit pale and tired. His light brown hair was a little unkempt too. I hadn’t spotted it earlier, I had been too pre-occupied with Sirius. It was probably just the stress of the exams, everyone was more tired lately.

“How come you’re on your own?” I asked him.

“The others have gone for lunch,” Remus explained, “And by ‘lunch’, I mean they’re sneaking into the kitchen to con the House Elves into feeding them.”

Smiling, I said, “Why doesn’t that surprise me?”

The four of them were often telling amusing stories about hidden corridors and rooms they had found while exploring the castle at weekends when they were bored.

“What about you?” Remus asked, “Why are you on your own?”

With a sigh, I said, “Can you keep a secret?”

I thought I saw a flicker of amusement in his eyes as he said, “Yes, I’m an expert.”

“You can’t tell anyone.”

“I promise.”

There was something very honest about Remus, I just instinctively knew I could trust him. He was different to Sirius and James, quieter and more sensible and he was different to Peter too, because…well nobody was like Peter!

“Lily didn’t come to Hogsmeade today because she was with Severus and she lied about it.”

“Severus?” Remus said, in much the same tone I’d used when I first found out.

“Yep,” I replied, “She told me she was studying but she was in the library with him.”

“Maybe they were studying.”

“Hmm, and maybe Slughorn will award me fifty points for my excellent Potions skills.”

Remus almost choked on his Chocolate Frog, laughing at my sarcasm.

“That’s not the point anyway,” I said, “She lied to me. If they were just studying, she would have told me.”

“You don’t think they’re-” Remus trailed off, unable to finish.

“I hope not,” I said, firmly.

“It is strange,” Remus mused, “She was talking to him in the library on Monday, and in Potions, and we saw them together outside the Great Hall at the end of the day yesterday.”

That was news to me. It must have happened while I was still at my careers meeting.

“I’m sure there’s a good explanation for Lily not telling you,” Remus said, after a while, “I don’t think she would keep anything from you without a good reason.”

“Remus, I’m too angry to be reasonable!” I complained.

“Just trying to help. Lily’s a nice girl, there’s no way she would get involved with Sniv – Severus.”

He was flicking the top of his Famous Witch/Wizard card in a slightly irritable fashion, and something suddenly occurred to me.

“You like her, don’t you?” I realised, a grin slowly creeping across my face, “You like Lily.”

“No,” Remus answered, far too quickly, “No.”

“Yes you do!” I laughed as it all began to make sense, “That’s why you rescued us from Snape the other day! You were trying to keep him away from her!”

I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed before!

Remus glared at me, “What gave it away?”

Still laughing, I took the card from him. The Dumbledore on the card was in a sitting position, shielding himself from Remus’ flicking, silver stars were circling his head.

“The violent flicking! You’ve injured him!” I said, “It’s very cruel to take your aggression out on our Headmaster, you know?”

“Okay,” he admitted, “I like Lily. But it’s not serious or anything.”

“No?”

“No. James is the one who really likes her. He always has.”

“Yeah, I noticed he’d got it bad when he yelled at me on Monday. So…?”

“It’s nothing Phoebe, really. I do like her, but,” he shrugged, “James saw her first. And anyway, it’s not as strong as your crush on Sirius!”

“Very funny,” I said, bristling at the mention of his name. I was still irritated at being his ego boost for the day.

“You know, you and James have a lot in common. He likes Lily, you like Sirius. There’s no point pretending you don’t,” he said, as I began to open my mouth in protest, “You like him a lot, don’t you?”

“Everyone likes Sirius,” I said, with a sigh, “And he knows it too. He’s so cocky and smug about it! He drives me mad!”

Remus smiled, “Why do you like him then?”

“Because he’s good-looking, clever, and cocky and smug,” I added, laughing at my contradiction, “Oh, it’s so frustrating!” I growled, picking at a blade of grass, “I don’t want to like him, because he winds me up. But I do.”

“Girls are strange,” Remus said, shaking his head.

“Yeah, sometimes I don’t even understand it. It’s not like I’ve even got a chance with him, he never even noticed me until I made a prat of myself in Transfiguration!”

Remus gave a soft laugh, “You are deluded,” he said, “Of course he noticed you, you and Lily are two of the prettiest girls in our year.”

My anger faded, and slowly gave way to a smile. Nobody had ever described me as pretty before.

“Really?” I asked, quietly.

“Yes. A lot of people think so,” Remus replied, “Sirius is an idiot sometimes, but he knows a pretty girl when he sees one.”

“So…does he actually like me?”

“What were you saying the other day about keeping secrets?” Remus reminded me, “I couldn’t tell you one way or the other. But I don’t think he’s really interested in having a girlfriend at the moment anyway. He’s too much of a flirt.”

That was true. But I didn’t mind that all of a sudden. Remus had just told me that I was pretty, and that other people thought so too. I knew he hadn’t just said it to cheer me up either, he meant it. ‘What a sweet guy.’

“You won’t tell Sirius what we talked about, will you?” I asked, suddenly.

I was sure he wouldn't, but it couldn't hurt to reassure myself.

“No," Remus promised, "I won't. Don’t tell Lily what I said either.”

“Not much chance of that,” I sighed, “We’re not talking, remember?”

*******

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  #7  
Old May 4th, 2006, 4:39 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Um...this post is again, mainly dialogue...hopefully you'll all enjoy it though!

**********

What followed was probably the most boring weekend ever. I spent it mainly on my own in the library finishing my homework. Every so often, Sarah or Jane would come and chat to me, but mostly I was alone.

Every time Lily and I saw each other, we blatantly refused to even look at each other, let alone speak. My anger towards her hadn’t cooled yet, and I knew there was very little chance of her approaching me. We could both be pretty stubborn when we wanted to be, so we continued to avoid each other as much as possible.

I kind of felt as if part of me was missing, wandering around on my own. Sirius’s comment about Lily and I being joined at the hip wasn’t far from the truth: we usually were inseparable. It wasn’t long before people started to notice we weren’t together, and questions were asked. Questions I refused to answer. Lily had annoyed me more than I ever thought she would be able to, but the last thing I wanted to do was draw attention to her spending time with Snape. That would have just been spiteful. Besides, it seemed that since our argument, she hadn’t been seen with him at all.

I was desperately curious to find out what the situation was, but Lily had been unwilling to tell me when we were on speaking terms, so there was no chance while we were at loggerheads.

**********

“Why don’t you just go and speak to her?” Jane asked, as we began the walk to Divination.

It was Wednesday afternoon and there had been no change in the situation. It hadn’t been easy to avoid talking to Lily, we sat next to each other in every class, but somehow we managed it. Sarah and Jane were becoming increasingly frustrated with us and had tried, unsuccessfully to nudge us into a conversation at every opportunity.

“I don’t want to talk to her,” I said, for about the hundredth time.

“Phoebe, you’re miserable! I’ve never seen you so unhappy and Lily’s the same. Can’t you just go and sort it out?”

“Not until she apologises.”

“You still haven’t told us why you’ve fallen out,” then she quietly added, “Sirius wasn’t right, was he?”

Rolling my eyes, I said, “No, he wasn’t.”

During Monday’s History of Magic lesson, Sirius and his friends decided to entertain themselves by guessing why Lily and I were sitting so far apart. Sirius had, rather proudly, said, “Maybe it’s because they both fancy me, and couldn’t decide which one gets to go out with me.” Both James and I had given him a look which would have stopped a Troll in its tracks.

“Well what is it then?” Jane persisted, “It can’t be that bad.”

“Jane please,” I said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“I don’t know why you insist on being so awkward,” Jane muttered, as we started to climb the ladder to the Divination classroom.

“It’s not just me! Why don’t you have this conversation with Lily?”

“Where do you think Sarah is?”

Sure enough, Sarah was sitting in my seat at a small, circular table, badgering Lily. She was obviously not making any progress either, so when she saw Jane and I, she stood up and went to her own seat.

I wasn’t thrilled to see a crystal ball perched on the centre of our table. We had been revisiting some of our previous lessons in the run up to the exams, and the crystal ball meant that Lily and I would have to speak to each other in order to get through the lesson.

Our teacher, Professor Strauss, was a small, middle aged woman with a slight hearing impediment. Considering her subject, she was actually a really cool teacher. She took her subject seriously, but understood that almost everyone would have difficulty with seeing into the future, and so wasn’t afraid to make fun of it every now and again.

I gazed into the crystal ball for a while, as usual seeing absolutely nothing but my own reflection. Lily was doing the same thing, drumming her fingers on the table, and a sudden idea came into my head.

“I see something,” I said.

“You do?” Lily asked. I think she was so surprised by my comment that she had forgotten we weren’t speaking.

“Yes,” I said, seriously, fluttering my hand over the crystal ball for dramatic effect, “I see a boy. A boy with long, black greasy hair and a huge nose.”

“Oh, you’re so funny,” Lily said, sarcastically.

“He’s coming between two people who have never argued before,” I continued, in an ethereal tone, “He has a message for you.”

“Shut up Phoebe.”

“He says that if you insist on going out with him-”

“I’m not going out with him!”

“Well, that’s something at least,” I said, looking up at her.

“Why would you think that?”

“Keep it down girls,” Remus said, from, the table behind us, “Professor Strauss isn’t completely deaf.”

I gave him a quick smile, grateful for the warning. I hadn’t realised we’d been speaking that loudly. Remus was sharing his crystal ball with James, who was trying to pretend he wasn’t listening to what Lily and I had been saying.

“Has anyone had a vision yet?” Professor Strauss called from her desk.

“Yeah,” Sirius piped up, “I can see Peter’s wedding day. It’s a beautiful thing Professor. Peter in a suit, with Phoebe walking down the aisle towards him.”

Peter, who hadn’t realised Sirius was being an idiot, beamed happily, while the rest of the class erupted with laughter.

I wished I could apparate out of the classroom to a place where nobody could see me, but since I was a) too young and b) it was impossible to apparate inside the castle grounds, I had to stay and suffer.

“You’re such a loser Sirius,” Lily told him, glaring over her shoulder at him.

“Okay, settle down,” Professor Strauss said, “Mr Black, please refrain from teasing your classmates. Otherwise you’ll see yourself in detention.”

I was torn between being angry with Sirius for embarrassing me, and touched by Lily defending me. Why did he continue to torture and humiliate me? Honestly, if I didn't like him so much, I'd have hated him.

“Are you okay?” Remus asked.

“Fine,” I replied, through gritted teeth, “Sirius might not be when I throw this crystal ball at him though.”

“He was only joking,” James said, still laughing.

“He’s an insensitive, egotistical little weasel,” Lily snarled, "The two of you have a lot in common."

That seemed to shut him up!

“Thanks Lily,” I said, with a smile.

“Anytime.”

“Friends?” I asked, hopefully.

“Friends,” then she grinned, “And the first thing we’re going to do is teach Sirius a lesson.”

As quickly as I’d become angry with her, I forgave her. Apologies weren’t necessary.

“Phoebe,” Lily began, “About the other day, I really did just bump into Severus. But just because I’m friends with him it doesn’t mean-”

“Forget it,” I interupted, “Maybe I over-reacted. I just…it was so sudden, and you’ve been so secretive about it.”

“It’s nothing to worry about Phoebs, honest. I know it's a bit strange, but my friendship with him is based purely on our enjoyment of Potions. Nothing more."

"Really?"

"Really," then she smiled again, "So, are you ready to get revenge on Sirius?"

I nodded, cheered by the very thought, and said, "What did you have in mind?"

***********

Hee hee! A nice cliffhanger!!

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  #8  
Old May 7th, 2006, 7:14 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hello! I have been a little carried away with posting this week...I normally try to leave it a bit longer, but....well, I like this bit! It's really long too! Please please tell me what you think at the end!


Chapter 5

Lily and I spent all of our, very limited, spare time trying to devise the perfect revenge tactic over the next couple of days. We wanted maximum humiliation for Sirius, with the largest amount of students we could muster to witness it. Our relentless plotting was spurred on by Sirius’s continued efforts to irk me. His teasing bothered me much less with the promise of his comeuppance looming, though I didn’t let on.

Unfortunately, my feelings for him hadn’t lessened. I was still hopelessly crazy about him, but I was absolutely determined not to let him get away with the way he was treating me. I’d had enough of his not so witty comments. It was payback time!

It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that Lily had it all figured out. Over breakfast she said that she would reveal her plan, but we needed to find a place where we wouldn’t be disturbed so we could discuss the details without being seen or heard. I couldn’t think of anywhere off the top of my head, so I enlisted the talents of Remus. He was sure to know of a place. Of course, I had to bend the truth somewhat, I couldn’t tell him the real reason we needed absolute privacy, although if I had, he would probably have been amused.

Remus had also been irritated by Sirius teasing me, and always made sure to cheer me up afterwards. We had become very good friends in a very short space of time. I often thought it was a shame that it had taken me so long to notice how nice he was, we could have had an extra five years of friendship.

Remus gave me directions to a secret room on the fifth floor. It was hidden behind a portrait of a blonde witch called Milly the Miserable and to get into the room, we had to tell her a joke to make her smile.

“A joke?” Lily asked, as we stood in front of the portrait in the deserted corridor, “I don’t know any jokes.”

“I know some,” I said, eyeing the painting, “But I don’t know if they’ll work.”

Milly the Miserable was sitting in a huge red chair, her foot tapping impatiently, a huge frown on her overly made-up face.

“Well give it a try,” Lily said, “Before somebody comes.”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?” I began.

“Heard it,” Milly replied, dryly.

“Okay. What do you call a man with a spade on his head?”

“Heard it.”

“Maybe she doesn’t like Muggle jokes,” Lily suggested.

“Well I don’t know any others. By the way, I know they’re not very good, but the only person that tells me jokes is my brother and he’s only nine.”

“Got any more?”

“Yeah. What did the sea say to the sand?”

“I don’t know,” Milly said, curiously. I took that as a good sign.

“Nothing,” I replied, “It just gave a little wave.”

Milly’s face widened into a grin and the door swung open.

Shaking my head, I said, “She’s easily pleased!”

“Yeah,” Lily said, “That was rubbish!”

Laughing, we climbed into the room and the door closed behind us. It was probably the least interesting room in the entire school. All it contained was three desks, three chairs and an old looking fireplace. There wasn’t even anything adorning the walls.

“Wow,” I said, “I bet the guys were really cheesed off when they worked out how to get through the portrait, only to find a boring place like this!”

“Yeah,” Lily agreed, looking around, “It sort of makes you wonder why there’s a portrait guarding it in the first place.”

“Maybe it’s for the amusement of Milly the Miserable. She probably enjoys the disappointment of anyone who gets past her.”

I hopped onto one of the desks and said, “So, what’s the plan Lily? The suspense is killing me!”

“I was thinking,” Lily said, with a rather mischievous grin, “You wanted something that would embarrass Sirius in front of a lot of people, right?”

“Right.”

“Well, I’ve found a spell that if used at the right time, would really embarrass him.”

“What is it?” I asked, my eyes lighting up at the idea.

“It’s called ‘Levicorpus’. It’s a non-verbal spell, but I think it’s perfect.”

I gave her a sceptical look and said, “We haven’t learned non-verbal spells yet though. We don’t learn that until next year.”

“You’ll be able to do it though, it’s easy.”

“What does this spell do exactly?”

“Try it on me.”

“On you?”

“Yeah,” Lily said, “You do it in just the same way you would do any other spell, but you just think the incantation instead of saying it.”

“It won’t…hurt you, will it?”

“No, of course not,” Lily laughed, “Just try it.”

Lily pinned her arms to her sides, looking completely relaxed. I raised my wand a little hesitantly, and said ‘Levicorpus’ in my head.

“Oh!” I gasped.

Lily was hanging upside down in the air. It was as if someone had grabbed her by the ankle and swung her off her feet. It was now obvious why she had pinned her arms by her sides, if she hadn’t, her robes would have gone over her head!

“Lily, are you okay”? I asked, in panic but then I realised she was laughing as her long hair was sweeping the stone floor.

“Well done,” she said.

“How do I get you down?”

“Liberacorpus.”

Still in a state of shock at what I’d done, I thought ‘Liberacorpus’ and Lily returned to the ground.

“Don’t look so worried,” she giggled, “I didn’t feel a thing!”

“Lucky you! I think I’m having a heart attack!”

Standing up, Lily said, “Sorry Phoebs, I didn’t want to spoil the surprise!”

“It’s okay,” I replied as my heart rate began to slow again, “Where did you learn that?”

“I read it in a book in the library. I can’t remember which one,” she added quickly, “But it’s good, isn’t it? I mean, if we were to use it say….on Thursday afternoon…” she trailed off, ominously.

“Quidditch!” I cried.

The match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The whole school would be there because it was the last match of the year, and Sirius would definitely be there because James played Chaser for the Gryffindor team. He was always there to support his best friend.

“Right,” Lily said, “I’ve thought it through. If you do it at the end of the game, everyone will see and nobody will know it was you because the spell is non-verbal. Sirius will be humiliated, and he won’t know that you did it.”

I let the idea seep into my consciousness. Lily was right…it could work. The spell wouldn’t hurt Sirius, it would just cause people to laugh at him, just long enough to teach him a lesson. Even the presence of the teachers wouldn’t be a problem, because as Lily had said, the spell was non-verbal. It was ideal.

“Lily, I think I love you.”

**********

Lily and I spent a while in the secret classroom, using ‘Levicorpus’ on each other, and finding it more and more amusing every time, then we went for a walk. We decided to go and visit Hagrid, the gamekeeper in his hut. We hadn’t been to visit him for a while, we had been too busy.

I can still remember the first time I saw Hagrid. We had just stepped off the Hogwarts Express in our first year, only to be greeted by the most enormous man I’d ever seen. I was only scared for about thirty seconds, because in spite of his intimidating appearance, he was so friendly! He really warmed to Lily very early on, and we used to visit him every weekend for a cup of tea and one of his famous rock cakes, (so named because they were as hard as rocks!).

“Alrigh’ girls,” Hagrid said, as he let us inside.

“Hi Hagrid,” we replied.

“I see yeh two are talkin’ again!”

I looked at Lily. She must have been to visit him after we’d fallen out. It seemed like forever ago!

“We couldn’t stay angry with each other for too long,” Lily said, “We’re fine now.”

“Glad to hear it. Cuppa tea?”

“Yes please.”

As I let my gaze wander around Hagrid’s hut, I noticed a box, resting on the table next to where Lily was sitting.

“What’s in the box Hagrid?” I asked, although usually when I asked that question, I regretted it.

Hagrid often had all kinds of strange things in his hut, the most memorable of which was in the second year, when I’d peered into a bag he’d left on the floor, only to find it contained Mooncalf dung. Aside from that, he’d been known to take a liking to the kind of creatures that would make most people run away screaming. He’d confided to us once that his greatest wish was to own a dragon. We didn’t hold that against him though, the likelihood of him actually getting a dragon was very slim!

“It’s a Kneazle,” he replied, handing Lily and I cup of tea each, “A baby Kneazle.”

“Can we have a look?” Lily asked.

“O’ course!” Hagrid replied, carefully lifting the flaps of the box.

Slowly padding around inside the box, was a tiny ginger cat-like creature, with brown spots on his fur. The only thing distinguishing the Kneazle from an ordinary cat was its lion-like tail.

“Oh Hagrid, it’s so cute!” Lily said.

“Jus’ got him this morning,” Hagrid beamed, “Didn’ cost much. Isn’ he lovely?”

“What are you going to do with him?”

“I though’ I’d keep him.Very useful, Kneazles. Good at spottin’ dodgy characters.”

“Do you meet a lot of dodgy characters?” I asked.

“Well, no. But it can’ hurt, can it?”

“I want one,” Lily said, “Can I hold him?”

Hagrid picked the Kneazle up, very gently, and handed him to Lily. I moved closer, and carefully stroked it. It looked up at me for a moment, then closed its eyes and went to sleep.

“What’s his name?” I asked, rather relieved that the Kneazle didn’t consider me to be ‘dodgy’.

“I haven’ named him yet,” Hagrid admitted, “What do yeh think?”

“I don’t know,” Lily said, looking fondly at it, “But, can I come and visit him every day?”

Hagrid went all misty eyed, looking at Lily stroking the Kneazle, and said, “Why don’ yeh take him back to school with yeh? Not today, but in a few weeks when he’s a bit bigger.”

“Oh, no,” Lily said, “Hagrid, he’s yours!”

“No, he likes yeh. Yeh can keep him.”

“But you paid for him, I can’t just take him!”

“Yes, yeh can,” Hagrid insisted, smiling at her, “Yeh can come an’ visit whenever yeh want, an’ when he’s bigger, yeh can take him to school.”

Lily’s face broke into the biggest smile I’d ever seen.

“Thanks Hagrid!” she said, “If I ever find a dragon egg, I’ll let you know!”


**********

I’ve often wondered why time slows down when you’re looking forward to something. Thursday afternoon seemed like years away, and I was so looking forward to the moment when I could get my own back on Sirius. He was still using me to get a laugh at every opportunity, and by Wednesday evening I was practically climbing the walls in the excited anticipation of revenge

Lily, unfortunately, had to go to a meeting in Slughorn’s office that evening, although ‘meeting’ was probably too formal a term. It was more of a get together for Slughorn’s favourite students. He seemed to collect those who he considered to be worthy of his praise, and liked to entertain them with Butterbeer and Cauldron Cakes. Lily always hated going but would never have dreamed of turning Slughorn down, she thought it would be rude.

While Lily was at Slughorn’s little party, Sarah, Jane and I went to the library. It had become habit due to the vast amounts of homework that kept piling up on us. I, however, was much too busy imagining the look of shock on Sirius’s face as he flipped upside down in the air to get much work done. It was such a satisfying vision!

After a couple of wasted hours, we decided to call it a night, and headed towards the common room. There was no point in trying to study when my mind was elsewhere. On our way, by some strange coincidence, we bumped into Sirius, James, Remus and Peter who were all laughing at something James had said. The sight of Sarah, Jane and I, seemed to cheer them even further.

“Ah look, it’s my favourite girls,” Sirius said, “But there’s one missing.”

“Slughorn’s party,” James told him, in explanation of Lily’s absence.

“Where are you lot going?” Jane asked.

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Peter said, even though he was looking at me with that goofy grin on his face again.

“Peter, I’ve told you,” Sirius said, as we walked past them, losing all interest in where they were going, “Phoebe isn’t interested in you. She’s got good taste.”

“Peter, if I was you, I’d get some new friends,” I said, turning to him, “Before all of their arrogance rubs off on you.”

I’d never liked Peter much, but the way James and Sirius treated him was just cruel.

James snorted with laughter, “What’s he got to be arrogant about?”

“How about the fact that he doesn’t get pleasure from tormenting innocent people?” I snapped.

“Calm down Phoebe,” Sirius said, amusement in his voice, “There’s no need to get so worked up.”

Looking at him, his perfect face mocking me, I felt rage bubbling up inside me. I was sick of the constant emotional battle that was going on inside me. Half liking him, half hating him. Without even thinking about it, I whipped my wand out and pointed it at him. ‘Levicorpus’

Sirius shouted out as he spun upside down and up into the air, dangling by his ankle.

I wished I’d had a camera to capture the look of panic on his face as he flipped over. Everyone except Sirius roared with laughter, and to top it off, three Slytherin boys emerged from the library just as Sirius left the ground.

“Let me down!” he shouted, kicking his legs in the hope that that would help him. It just made him look more ridiculous though. His long black hair was swinging wildly, almost touching the floor.

“Now why would I want to do that?” I asked, casually, “I’m having so much fun! Nice legs, by the way.”

“James, Remus, help me!”

But they were rendered incapable with laughter. The Slytherins had joined in too. One of them began mimicking his cries for help.

“Phoebe let me down!”

“What do you think girls?” I asked, turning to Sarah and Jane, who were giggling uncontrollably.

“I think you should leave him there,” Sarah managed to say, “For a bit longer.”

“Let me down!” he shouted again.

“Okay. I will. But only if you promise to stop teasing me and apologise for being such an arrogant berk.”

“Okay. Okay, I’ll stop.”

He was trying to sound cool, but it just wasn’t working. I smiled innocently. ‘Liberacorpus’

Sirius fell to the floor in a crumpled heap, where Remus, James and Peter were still in fits.

“See you later,” I said, coolly and began to walk away with Jane and Sarah who had tears of mirth rolling down their cheeks.

“That was brilliant,” Sarah said, wiping her eyes, “Brilliant.”

“TARANTALLEGRA!”

Before I knew what was happening, my legs began jerking around crazily, making it look as if I were doing an Irish jig. Sirius had bellowed his retaliation after I’d turned my back, there was no way I could have stopped him.

“You didn’t think you would get away with that, did you?” he asked, as I struggled to face him again.

“Agauamenti!” I cried, trying to control my flailing legs at the same time as directing a huge jet of water at Sirius’s chest, completely soaking his robes.

“WHAT is going on here?”

The voice of Professor Mcgonagall rang through the corridor, as she hurried towards us.

“Miss Marshall, Mr Black! What in the name of Merlin has gotten into you?”

She pointed her wand, first at me, giving me back the use of my legs, then at Sirius, drying him off. The three Slytherins sloped away quietly as the laughter faded out.

Sirius and I eyed each other, both daring the other to tell the truth about what had happened. Neither of us said a word.

“I do not expect this kind of behaviour from fifth years!” Professor Mcogonagall said, “And certainly not from students in my own house! Ten points from each of you! And you will both join me in detention tomorrow at five o clock.”

“Five o clock!” Sirius said, “But the Quidditch match-”

“Five o clock, Mr Black, in my office!”

“She started it though!” James said, pointing at me, “It’s her fault!”

“Not another word, Mr Potter, unless you want to join them! Now, all of you back to the common room!”

Professor Mcgonagall waited as we all started to walk to the common room. My joy at having successfully humiliated Sirius turned to disappointment, weighing more heavily with every step. Not only had I managed to lose ten points for Gryffindor, and land myself detention, I was going to miss the final Quidditch match. I really loved Quidditch, it was my substitute for football when I was at school. I couldn’t have been given a worse punishment. The thing that made me feel the most miserable though, was the knowledge that if Sirius had ever liked me, I’d ruined it. I had blown any chance I’d ever had with him by losing my cool less than twenty four hours earlier than I should have. There was no anonymity, he knew it was me, and I could almost hear him plotting his revenge already.

“I still think it was brilliant,” Sarah said, noticing the look on my face.

“Well, I think he’s going to make the rest of my school years hell from now on,” I sighed.

“No he won’t,” Jane said, “He won’t mess with you now! He’ll be too scared of being hung upside down again.”

Shrugging my shoulders, I didn’t reply. When we got back to the dormitory, Lily was already there, sitting on the end of her bed waiting for us. She looked a bit jumpy, and her face was a bit pale, as though she’d had a shock.

“Lily?” I said, sitting beside her, “What’s wrong?”

“I…just now…in Slughorn’s office,” she stuttered, “Severus…he tried to kiss me.”

**************

Hmmm...I think that's a good place to leave things!

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  #9  
Old May 11th, 2006, 2:59 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
Location: Away with the fairies
Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Okay...I don't usually end a post in the middle of a conversation, but the temptation to leave things with a cliffie was just too strong! So here's the rest!

******

“He WHAT?” I asked, forgetting all about Sirius. No wonder Lily looked pale.

“Everyone else had left,” she stammered, staring straight ahead. I could almost see her reliving it, “Severus and I were talking and…he tried to kiss me.”

“What…just out of nowhere?” Jane asked, as she and Sarah sat down on my bed.

Lily nodded.

“What were you talking about? Sarah asked.

“Nothing really. Just…homework. We were chatting and he just lunged at me.”

“Ugh,” I said, closing my eyes in disgust, “What did you do?”

“I told him I don’t think of him that way. He was so embarrassed, he ran out before I could explain.”

“Explain what?” I asked, “How could he ever have thought you’d want to kiss him?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t want him to feel bad about it. I’d still like to be his friend.”

Lily was far too nice for her own good. If I had been in her position, with Snape’s sallow face and greasy hair moving towards me, I’d have hit him with a Knockback Jinx and got the hell out of there! Her compassion really was beyond the norm. I’ll give anyone a chance. I was never into house rivalry, or prejudiced against people for no reason, but Severus just wasn’t a pleasant person. He rarely spoke to anyone outside of Slytherin, and if he absolutely had to, he always looked as if he wanted to be somewhere else Then there was his obsession with the Dark Arts. Defence Against the Dark Arts was the class he paid the most attention to, but it seemed as if defence was the last thing on his mind. The books he was so often seen reading outside of lessons were always about curses and hexes, the most recent one I’d seen him with was ‘The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts’. It was a true testament to Lily’s kindness and beauty that she had managed to penetrate his coldness towards other human beings.

“We’ve got Potions first thing tomorrow,” Jane said supportively, “Maybe you’ll be able to speak to him then.”

We sat in silence for a few minutes, each of us privately digesting Lily’s revelation. After a while, Sarah said, “So…how close did he actually get?”

I cringed at the very thought of being close enough to Severus that he could even attempt to kiss me.

“Well,” Lily said, holding her hand about an inch from her face, “About...here.”

“Ugh,” I moaned, “At least he didn’t get you though. It would have been awful if your first kiss had been with…Snivellus.”

The four of us exchanged a look of horror, then promptly burst out laughing.

“The poor boy’s probably heartbroken,” Jane giggled.

“It’s not funny!” Lily said, although she was still laughing.

“He couldn’t really have thought you were going to kiss him though,” I mused, “I mean, you’re gorgeous and he’s disgusting.”

“Phoebe!” Lily scolded, “He’s not that bad.”

“So why didn’t you kiss him then?”

“Because he’s not my type!”

“I can’t imagine he’s anyone’s type!” Sarah said, “He’s so slimy and weird!”

“He’s not weird, he’s just quiet.”

“He wasn’t so quiet tonight!” Jane teased.

We could always rely on her to lower the tone!

“Alright,” I said, sensing Lily’s unease, “Enough teasing.”

“Thank you,” Lily said, gratefully, “What have you been doing this evening?”

Grinning widely, Sarah said, “Phoebe and Sirius had a fight in the corridor.”

Lily’s hand shot up to her mouth, her green eyes widening in surprise.

“Yeah,.” I began, tentatively, “You know the plan we had for tomorrow? Well, I kind of lost my temper and-“

“You did it?”

I nodded and Lily started to laugh, “Who saw?”

“Not as many people as we’d planned. I’m really sorry you weren’t there to witness it Lily, but I just couldn’t stop myself. Jane and Sarah were there, and Remus, James and Peter. Oh, and three Slytherin boys.”

“It was hilarious,” Sarah said, “You should have seen him!”

“He was not amused,” I said, “When I let him down, we started throwing jinxes at each other, then Professor Mcgonagall caught us and gave us both detention. Tomorrow afternoon.”

“Oh no,” Lily said, “During Quidditch?”

“Yep. But I think that’s the least of my worries. Sirius is never going to forgive me for this, is he?”

Lily gave my hand an understanding squeeze and said, “I’m sure he will Phoebs.”

“The whole school will know by the morning though. Wilkes and Rosier will make sure of that.”

“Wilkes and Rosier?” Lily asked, “They were the Slytherins who saw?”

“Yeah. Them, and some kid from the third year. They’ll tell everyone and Sirius will hate me even more,” I sighed, in acceptance of this realisation, “It might help you out though Lily, “I added, “It’ll probably put Severus in a good mood, knowing that someone embarrassed one of his enemies!”

She didn’t appear to be listening though.

“Lily?”

“What?” she asked, shaking her head, “Sorry.”

“I was just saying, it might cheer Severus up.”

“Yeah,” she agreed, vaguely, “I suppose so.”

“Are you okay?” Jane asked her.

“Yeah, I’m just tired. I think I’m going to go to bed.”

It was perfectly clear that Lily wasn’t fine as she stood up and began getting ready for bed, but I had a funny feeling that whatever it was that was bothering her, she wasn’t going to share it with anyone. So I had two choices. I could get angry with her for keeping yet another secret from me and waste another few days sulking, or I could believe that there was a good reason why she was keeping yet another secret from me, and carry on as normal. After a brief internal struggle, I decided on the latter.

Once we had all got into our beds, I said, “Night Lily.”

“Phoebs?”

“Yeah?” I asked, hopefully.

Lily sighed, then said, “Goodnight.”


Chapter 6


As I had predicted, the news of my encounter with Sirius had rapidly spread through the school. Amazingly, when Wilkes and Rosier had recounted the story, they had missed out the battle of the jinxes, and told only the part where Sirius had been dangled upside down.

At breakfast, I was greeted with mixed reactions. The boys who were jealous of Sirius, and the girls who had been spurned by him, congratulated me, and the boys who idolized him and the girls who fancied him either glared at me or looked at me as if I was mad. I didn’t know whether to be proud or ashamed. To be honest, I was more worried about Lily. She seemed particularly edgy that morning and insisted on going to Potions early, hoping to have a word with Severus before the lesson started. I offered to go with her as she was in such a state, but she was adamant that she had to go alone, so I stayed in the Great Hall with Sarah and Jane. I was quite keen to get out of there myself, what with all the stares I was getting.

I didn’t see Sirius until I arrived in the Potions classroom. He was sat in his usual spot between James and Remus, and as I walked past them to my seat, he gave me a look that could only be interpreted as, ‘Don't think this is over.’

Slightly concerned, I sat down beside Lily and said, “Did you speak to Severus?”

“He’s not here,” Lily replied stiffly.

Sure enough, as I turned around, he slipped in through the door just ahead of Professor Slughorn. At the end of the lesson, he escaped from the classroom just as sneakily as he had entered, leaving Lily frustrated and even more edgy.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said, as we started the walk to Herbology, “He’ll come round. He’s probably still embarrassed.”

“Yes, but if I could just talk to him, he wouldn’t have to be embarrassed.”

“Lily, are you sure that’s all it is?” I asked, gently.

She looked at me, and shook her head but before I could ask anymore questions, Remus tapped me on the shoulder.

I almost jumped out of my skin. I was nervous enough without people creeping up on me.

Remus laughed, and said, “Don’t worry, it’s only me.”

“Where are the others?” I asked, looking around, just in case they were hiding somewhere.

“Bathroom,” Remus replied, “I just came to congratulate you on last night.”

“Don’t let Sirius hear you say that,” Lily said.

“What’s he planning?” I asked, almost breathless with worry, “He’s planning something, I know it.”

“Relax, he’s not planning anything.”

“But just now he-”

“He’s just messing with you. For now.”

“Remus!” I cried, grabbing his sleeve in desperation, “You’ve got to stop him! Please don’t let him do anything to me!”

“Phoebe,” Remus laughed, taking my hand, “Don’t worry. I won’t let him do anything too horrible. But you must have known that he wasn’t going to let it go easily?”

“I didn’t think about that! I just wanted to get him back for being so horrible!”

“I know, and you did a good job.”

“He hates me, doesn’t he?” I asked, miserably, as Remus let go of my hand.

“Hate is probably a bit strong,” he said, “Dislike is closer.”

“He’ll get over it though,” Lily said, glaring at Remus for being so insensitive, “You’ve just bruised his ego, he’ll calm down.”

“When? We’ve only got two years left you know!”

*********

By the time five o’clock came around, I was a nervous wreck. I wasn’t keen to see Sirius and hoped that Professor Mcgongall didn’t have anything too horrific planned for our detention.

When we arrived in her office, Professor Mcgonagall was sitting at her desk, looking even more stern than usual. Before handing out her punishment, she gave us a long lecture about how disappointed she was with our behaviour and how we had let her down. I was overwhelmed with shame. The only other detentions I had received had been for late homework, and that had only happened twice in five years. I had always got on reasonably well with Professor Mcgonagall, and to hear that she was so appalled by my actions was punishment enough.

When she had finished her fifteen minute telling off, she said, “For your detention, you will both spend the evening polishing the silver in the trophy room, without the use of magic.”

“That’s going to take forever,” Sirius grumbled.

Personally, I didn’t think that was too harsh. At home, I had spent many a weekend polishing my Mum’s endless collection of ornaments.

“Yes Mr Black,” Professor Mcgonagall replied, “That should give the two of you enough time to sort out your differences. I will be coming down to check on you at regular intervals, and if I see any sign of the behaviour I witnessed yesterday, you will join me in detention tomorrow, understood?”

“Yes Professor.”

********

Sorry to leave it there, but the next part has to flow, and if I carried on, this post would be HUGE!

Thank you for reading!


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  #10  
Old May 16th, 2006, 4:53 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Okay...here is the eagerly awaited detention scene! I'm very nervous today! I hope this is to everyone's liking! Again, I had to stop before I wanted to in order to prevent the post from being insanely long! Okay...here we go!

*******
Equipped with our cleaning supplies, Professor Mcgonagall escorted Sirius and I to the Trophy Room, where we began polishing with very little enthusiasm. After about five minutes, Professor Mcgonagall left us to it, with one final warning about what would happen if she caught us fighting again.

Still feeling a bit low from the telling off, I sat down on the floor and began polishing the trophies at the bottom of one of the cabinets. My mind drifted to the Quidditch Pitch, wandering if anyone had scored yet. I couldn’t believe I was missing the final game to be stuck polishing silver with someone who hated me. I kept waiting for Sirius to say something, to make some kind of dig, but he didn’t utter a word. After forty five long minutes, I couldn’t stand it any longer.

“I’m sorry, okay?” I burst out, “I’m sorry about yesterday! Can you please say something because the silence is driving me crazy!”

While we had been cleaning, we had moved in opposite directions around the room, and were now at the furthest distance we could possibly be from each other Sirius swivelled round to face me, and I sat down on the floor so we were at the same level.

“What would you like me to say?” he asked, with raised eyebrows.

“I don’t know, but I can’t stand it being so quiet!”

A grin spread across his face, and he said, “I’m not making you nervous am I?”

His ability to know what I was thinking was highly irritating, and I turned my back on him, continuing with the cleaning. Maybe silence was preferable after all.

I heard his footsteps as he crossed the room and sat down beside me.

“So how did you do it?” he asked, leaning back casually against one of the cabinets. He wasn’t sitting that close to me, but close enough that I began to get butterflies in my stomach again

“How did I do, what?” I asked, trying not to look in his direction. It wasn’t easy. He really was the epitome of cool, and the fact that he knew it made me even more determined.

“Yesterday,” Sirius said, “When I flew up into the air. You didn’t even say anything. You can do non-verbal spells?”

“Well, I’m not just a pretty face.”

“I can see that.”

My eyes shifted sideways to where he was sitting, still grinning. I was so pleased he hadn’t insulted me, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling back.

“How long have you been able to do them?” he asked.

“Since Sunday. That was when I learned the spell. Why?”

Sirius shrugged, “I was just curious. I didn’t know you had it in you.”

“What’s that?” I asked, bristling slightly, “The ability to do something you can’t do?”

“The ability to stand up to me.”

With those words, my defences shot back up. He was so full of himself. In order to stop myself punching him, I picked up the next trophy on the shelf and started to polish it, with renewed vigour.

“That was meant as a compliment,” Sirius said, but I could hear that teasing tone creep back into his voice again, “Not many people would have the guts to attack someone they fancy.”

“Get a grip on yourself Sirius,” I snarled, “Not everyone finds you irresistible! I certainly don’t!”

“No?”

“No,” I said, so convincingly, I almost believed it myself, “I don’t.”

Sirius leaned forwards and took the polish and trophy out of my hands, placing them on the floor, so I had no choice but to look at him. Our eyes connected, and our gaze lingered for a little longer than I could handle. Overwhelmed by his closeness, I stood up.

“What was that spell that you used?” Sirius asked, changing the subject back to one I was only a little more comfortable with.

My mind was still on the look we had shared though. My heart was beating so loudly, I was sure he could hear it. I wondered if he had any idea of the effect he had on me, and if he even cared. ‘Don’t be stupid,’ a rather negative voice inside my head told me, ‘He’s only interested in the spell that got the whole school talking about him. He’s not interested in you.’

“There’s no way I’d tell you,” I said, firmly, “No way.”

“Why not?”

“Because I have no desire to flash my knickers in front of the whole school!”

“I’m not asking so I can use it on you. Even I wouldn’t be that cruel.”

“I don’t believe you,” I said, shaking my head, “You’ve been giving me funny looks all day, you must be planning something.”

I was beginning to ramble, and I wished I could get out of that room because I really needed to put some distance between Sirius and myself. Why had I ever opened my mouth? At least when I was nervous about the silence, I wasn’t acting like an idiot. And why did I let him get to me? I just couldn’t seem to be myself around him, I was either sarcastic or stroppy, neither of which were particularly appealing.

“Phoebe, relax,” Sirius said, and summoned his own polish and cloth from the other side of the room, “I’m not going to do anything to you.”

He started to clean the silver in the cabinet he had been leaning against and I said, “I thought you were angry.”

“I was. But seeing you panic about it all day was revenge enough. I’d have preferred it if you hadn’t done what you did in front of my little brother though.”

“Your-” I began, thinking back to the evening before, to who had been there. Then it dawned on me, “That scruffy looking kid from Slytherin?”

“Yeah. That’s my brother, Regulus.”

“Wow,” I said, “I didn’t even know you had a brother.”

“I don’t have much to do with him,” Sirius replied, darkly, “I try not to tell people we’re related. He’ll have already have sent on owl to my parents, telling them what happened. I can just hear my mother’s reaction, ‘My own son, attacked by a Mudblood.’. She’ll have me thrown out for bringing shame on the family. Not that I care, I hate the lot of them.”

I had always imagined that Sirius came from the perfect pure-blood family. Nice friendly wizarding types who worshipped their handsome and talented son, and spoiled him rotten. Clearly, I was wrong.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I had no idea.”

“Don’t worry about it. I don’t.”

He didn’t look up from his polishing, but I could have sworn I heard a hint of bitterness in his voice as he answered. Maybe the reason he enjoyed being the centre of attention at school was because his home life wasn’t so good.

This was turning out to be a weird detention.

As I sat down on the floor again and resumed polishing, I wanted to ask him more questions, I wanted to know more about him, but as this was the most in-depth conversation we’d ever had, I didn’t want to push my luck. Not now we were finally communicating in a civil manner.

“That spell,” I said, with a sigh, “It’s Levicorpus.”

“Levicorpus,” Sirius repeated, looking up at me.

“Yeah.”

“How did you do it though? Can you teach me?”

I almost laughed out loud at the strangeness of Sirius asking me to teach him something.

“There’s nothing to it,” I told him, “You wave your wand, you think the spell. Easy. Oh, and the reverse of the spell is Liberacorpus.”

“Can I try it on you?”

“No,” I said, “Because if Professor Mcgonagall walks in and sees me up in the air, we’ll be stuck in detention again tomorrow night.”

“It hasn’t been that bad, being here with me, has it?” Sirius asked, looking ever so slightly offended.

“Well,” I began, ”It’s been better in the last thirty seconds since you stopped being mean to me.”

“But you take it so well,” he mocked.

“You see,” I said, shaking my head, “Every time I think you’re not a complete pillock, you prove me wrong.”

“Now who’s being mean?”

“It’s nothing compared to what you’ve done to me over the last couple of weeks!”

“Okay,” he admitted, holding up his hands, “You’re right, I’m sorry. Remus was right, you’re really cool.”

I wasn’t sure which to feel more pleased about! The fact that anyone considered me to be cool was a shock, but the fact that two of the most popular boys in school thought so was a huge compliment.

“Remus said that?” I asked, surprised.

“Yeah, he’s always telling me to lay off you. He likes you a lot.”

“That’s because he’s my friend.”

“Nah, it’s more than that.”

“No, it’s not,” I insisted.

“If you say so,” Sirus said, with a knowing smile.

He was so wrong. Remus liked Lily, he had told me so himself. Unless…could Remus possibly be pretending to like me to cover up for the fact that he liked Lily because of James? Or maybe Sirius was winding me up again Yes, that was much more likely.

“I do say so,” I told him firmly, “Now shut up and get back to work.”

It was another hour before Professor Mcgonagall finally let us out of the Trophy Room. Sirius and I hadn’t said another word to each other since he had given me his thoughts on Remus. I decided not to take any notice of him though. I was sure that Remus didn’t have any romantic feelings for me, and I didn’t have any for him. He was sweet, and kind and considerate, but we were just friends.

Definitely.

Just friends.

I had become so lost in my own thoughts, I had completely forgotten about Quidditch. The wave of noise that hit Sirius and I as we climbed through the portrait hole was unbelievable. Some were still cheering, others chattering excitedly about the events of the game, there were even a few people singing and waving their scarves in celebration. Remus bounded towards us, as if he had been eagerly awaiting our return, a big grin on his face, “We won!”

He hugged me, than Sirius, and I said, “What was the final score?”

“Three hundred and sixty to one hundred and eighty. James was wicked! He scored in the fourth minute and didn’t really stop for the whole match, then Maloney caught the Snitch and it was all over.”

Remus’s excitement was infectious, and I smiled too, “It’s a shame I missed it, but at least we won!”

“Where is James?” Sirius asked, looking through the crowds of ecstatic students.

“He’s in the corner signing autographs for the first years,” Remus replied, pointing.

Sure enough, there he was, a queue of eleven year olds in front of him, waiting to get near the man of the moment. Peter was sitting beside him, excitedly clapping his hands every now and again, in awe of his friend.

“Well, you never know, his autograph might be worth a fortune one day,” I giggled, “I’m going to go and find Lily. I’ll see you later.”

I had only taken about three steps when I felt myself being hoisted up in the air by my ankle, and spun upside down. I only just managed to clasp my arms to my sides in time.

“Very funny,” I said, as the room erupted with laughter, “It’s very rude to attack someone while their back is turned, you know?”

“I couldn’t resist,” Sirius laughed, as he and Remus walked over and stood in front of me.

Even though the whole of the Gryffindor population was laughing, I was surprised to find I wasn’t embarrassed. Probably because I’d been half expecting it.

“Put me down,” I said, calmly.

“Why would I want to do that?” Sirius asked, repeating word for word what I had said to him when he had been upside down in the air, “I’m having so much fun.”

“Okay, you’ve made your point,” Remus said, looking unsure whether to laugh at Sirius or shout at him, “Put her down.”

“You weren’t this helpful to me yesterday,” Sirius reminded him, indignantly.

“That’s because you deserved it. Put her down Sirius. Now.”

“Fine,” Sirius said, and I was returned gently to the ground. As I got to my feet, he said, “I think we’re even now.”

“I suppose we are,” I replied, dusting off my robes, “For now.”

Sirius winked at me, and said, “Tonight was fun. We’ll have to do it again sometime.”

He walked away, and the noise level of the common room began to rise again. As he disappeared, I shook my head, completely confused as to what was going on. Was he flirting with me, or merely continuing with his quest to tease me?

“What happened tonight?” Remus asked, curiously, “I thought you were in detention?”

“We were,” I replied, still a little dazed, “He’s being weird. We just…talked a bit.”

That wasn’t strictly true though. Something had happened between us, I just wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe it was the look that had passed between us, or the short but rather revealing conversation about his family. Whatever it was, I felt as if I had finally made a start towards getting to know him.

**

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  #11  
Old May 23rd, 2006, 5:02 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hello! This post was suppose to be longer but I have been suffering from a nasty bout of writer's block this week - therefore, this isn't my best post! Please let me know what you think anyway though!

*****
I only had one thought after Remus had wandered back to his friends, and that was to find Lily. I needed someone to discuss my thoughts with, about what had happened with Sirius, and what he had said about Remus. It was all too much to process on my own. I asked Sarah and Jane if they knew where Lily was, but they both said they hadn’t seen her since the end of the Quidditch match. I went up to the dormitory just in case she was doing homework, but she wasn’t there. The only other place I could think that she might be, was the library, so I took a quick stroll there, but it was virtually empty. ‘Where is she?’ I wondered, as I went back to the common room. I thought she would have been waiting for me, she knew how worried I was about my detention, but she seemed to have vanished. It was most unusual for her to miss Quidditch celebrations, but as I couldn’t think of anywhere else she could be, Sarah, Jane and I stayed in the common room, enjoying the happy atmosphere. It wasn’t long before Sirius had taught nearly everyone how to use ‘Levicorpus’, and every now and again someone would be seen hanging upside down in the air, either squealing in shock, or laughing hysterically at the feeling of it.

Whenever there was a gap in the conversation, my eyes drifted across the room to Sirius, Remus, James and Peter. James was clearly recounting every moment of the Quidditch match to Sirius, who was listening intently, throwing in a comment or question here and there. Remus and Peter stayed quiet, Peter was mesmerized and Remus looked slightly bored. I wandered what he was thinking about. Was he thinking about me? ‘Damn you, Sirius,’ I raged, inwardly, ‘This is all your fault!’ Why did he have to put the idea of Remus liking me in my head? Now everything seemed different. Now I was re-evaluating every conversation we had ever had, searching for any hint that it might be true.

And if it is?

No. It just wasn’t possible. Remus liked Lily.

It was times like these when I wished I could go home and talk to my Mum. She always had the answers. I decided I would write her a letter the next day in the hope that she would have some helpful advice for me. Even if she didn’t, I knew I would feel better once I had offloaded my thoughts.

Just as I was about to drift off into another bout of daydreaming, I heard Jane say, “There’s Lily.”

Sure enough, as I looked up, Lily was climbing through the portrait hole, followed closely by Joe Maloney, the good-looking Quidditch captain. Sarah, Jane and I exchanged a look of incredulity as she walked towards us.

“Hi,” Lily said, sitting down beside me.

“And where have you been?” Jane asked, with a grin.

“I just went for a walk,” Lily replied, smiling coyly.

“A walk?” I asked, “With Joe Maloney?”

“Yeah.”

“And what were you talking about?” I giggled, “Quidditch?”

“Well,” she blushed, “Not just Quidditch.”

As my mouth dropped open, Sarah said, “You sly little thing! What happened?”

“Nothing,” Lily replied, the slightest hint of disappointment in her voice, “We really were just talking.”

“Did he ask you out?”

Lily shook her head, and I smiled, “I bet he’s going to though,” I said, “I don’t suppose he goes walking round the castle grounds at night with girls he’s not interested in.”

“Don’t,” Lily said, briefly screwing her face up as if she was in pain, “Don’t say that, I don’t want to put a jinx on it!”

“He’s looking over,” Jane said, “Whatever you do, don’t look up.”

“He probably knows I’m talking about him, oh this is so embarrassing!”

“Let’s hope he can’t lip read,” Sarah said, “Wow, he really is very good-looking.”

“I know!”

“It’s okay,” Jane said, “He’s not looking anymore.”

“Oh good,” Lily sighed, raising her head.

Just as she looked up, Jamie Pickett was the next victim of ‘Levicorpus’. He hung laughing in the air until the culprit kindly let him down again.

“What’s going on?” Lily asked, “How-?”

Rolling my eyes, I said, “Sirius. I showed him how to do it in detention and he showed everyone.”

The colour drained from her face, and she stood up.

“Phoebe, I need to talk to you.”

Lily had headed off towards the dormitory before I could ask and I had a feeling I wasn’t going to like what she was about to say.

“If we’re not back in fifteen minutes, come and find us,” I said to Jane and Sarah, before following Lily upstairs

Lily was pacing back and forth, still looking deathly pale, wringing her hands nervously.

“Lily, what’s going on?” I asked

“I,” she began, then stopped, “Oh Phoebe…Severus is going to kill me.”

“Severus?” I asked, “Why?”

“This is all my own fault,” she muttered, “None of this would be happening if I’d just told you in the first place.”

“Told me what? What are you talking about?”

She stopped pacing, and sank down onto my bed, “Phoebe,” she began, “You know I’ve become friends with Severus?”

“How could I forget?”

“Well, I learnt ‘Levicorpus’ from him.”

“Okay,” I said, slowly, still not sure where this conversation was leading, “What’s the problem?”

“I can’t tell you everything because I promised him I wouldn’t, but…he’s got a book. It’s a Potions book, it used to belong to his mother, and she used to invent spells and she scribbled some of them down in the book. She gave the book to Severus, and he’s been adding to the number of invented spells over the last year.”

“Severus invented ‘Levicorpus’?” I asked, my eyes widening in surprise, “Wow.”

"Yes, but if people find out about this book, there’s going to be trouble, and now the spell’s out-”

“Lily, wait,” I interrupted, “What’s the big deal. It’s just a spell. It’s harmless.”

“You don’t understand,” Lily said, anxiously, standing up again, “It’s not about the spell, it’s…I wish I could tell you everything Phoebe, but I promised!”

“Okay, calm down, I don’t care about that. Why did you teach me the spell if you didn’t want people to find out about it?”

“Because if you’d stuck to the plan and used it after the Quidditch match, Severus would have thought it was me, and that would have been the end of it!”

Now things were starting to make sense. This explained why Lily had panicked when she found out that Wilkes and Rosier had seen me jinx Sirius the day before. She had realised that they would find it funny and the first person they would tell would be Severus. He would then realise Lily had taught it to me and wonder what else I knew.

“Just how serious is this thing you can’t tell me?” I asked, cautiously.

“It’s really, really serious.”

“Lily, why didn’t you say something? If you’d told me, I’d never have showed Sirius how to do it!”

“I know,” Lily wailed, “I know! What am I going to do?”

Lily’s vivid green eyes looked desperately at me, glistening with tears, and I let out a sigh.

“Well,” I began, “Would it help if I talked to him? I could tell him it was all my fault. Did you ever borrow the book?”

Lily nodded, “Once.”

“So, I could tell him that I saw you reading it and…I don’t know…that I tried the spell on you, or something.”

“I don’t think he’d believe you. And anyway, I don’t want you to take the blame for me.”

“Oh come on Lily, if it stops you worrying, I’ll do it. He already hates me so I’ve got nothing to lose.”

“He’s still going to think I’ve told you everything though,” she put her head in her hands, and sat down on the bed again, “He trusted me Phoebs, and I really messed up.”

As she looked up, a tear slid down her face, and I sat down beside her.

“It’ll be okay,” I said, putting my arm around her, “We’ll sort it out.”

**

Worrying about Lily, and how to fix the mess she had got herself into, had kept me awake until late that night, and when I had finally drifted off to sleep, images of Sirius and Remus wove in and out of my dreams, adding to my restlessness. It was a very disturbed night, and I awoke early in the morning, feeling exhausted. At least I could be thankful that it was Friday.

As I was awake so early, I decided to write a letter to my Mum, telling her all about my week. Although it had been a while since I had written, my Mum was used to me wittering on about Sirius, so this letter would come as no surprise. I usually addressed my letters to my whole family, but this one was solely for my mother. It would have been far too embarrassing to let my Dad and brother know how I was feeling, after all.

Once I was satisfied that I had fully explained my thoughts and feelings, in particular about Sirius and Remus, I got dressed and went to the Owlery to send the letter.

By the time I returned to the dormitory, Lily, Jane and Sarah were dressed and ready for breakfast too. Lily still looked rather pale, and I realised it was going to be a tough day.

Any hopes that ‘Levicorpus’ was going to stay inside the Gryffindor common room were dashed on the way to our first lesson, when someone used it on a first year from Ravenclaw, which only added to Lily’s stress. Our first lesson that morning was Defence Against the Dark Arts, a lesson we, unfortunately, shared with the Slytherins.

As Lily and I entered the classroom and took our seats, Severus refused to look at her, pretending instead to read his text book.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said, as we sat down, “He can’t avoid you forever.”

“It looks like he’s going to try though,” Lily replied, “How am I going to apologise if he won’t speak to me?”

“Well, if he’s going to be so rude as to ignore you, there’s no point in trying.”

“He’s upset Phoebe!”

“Yes, I know. But him being upset, is upsetting you and you haven’t even done anything wrong.”

Lily turned around, hoping to catch his eye, but he was still pretending to be engrossed in reading.

It really galled me to see Lily getting so upset, especially because of someone like Severus. Whatever the big secret was, he was being unfair. He could have at least given her a chance to tell him what had happened, but instead he decided to sulk, causing Lily to work herself up into a state. I decided if he didn’t speak to her soon, I was going to have words with him myself.

The sight of Sirius and co entering the classroom made me snap my head back to the front of the room. I was actually grateful that they sat behind us so I wouldn’t have to look at them for the next hour.

“Morning ladies,” James said, brightly.

I guessed James hadn't spotted Lily with Joe Maloney the previous evening, there was no way he would have been in such a good mood if he had.

“Morning,” Lily and I replied, unenthusiastically.

“Cheer up,” Remus said, “It’s Friday.”

“Great,” I said, yawning, “Another weekend of endless studying.”

“Are you okay?”

“Tired,” I explained, without looking at him.

He didn’t ask anymore, and I felt bad for being so short with him. My confused state of mind wasn’t his fault. I didn’t apologise though, I felt that the less I said to any of them, the less chance I had of saying something stupid, at least until I’d had some time to think things over properly.

Professor Twitchell entered the classroom then, and the room fell silent. He was a very tall, very thin man with a receding hairline, and a long nose, giving the impression that he had been stretched. He also had a loud, commanding voice which made it easy for him to capture the attention of his students, not that he had needed to use it with our class recently. Defence Against the Dark Arts was another subject during which we had been revising old topics, which meant re-reading our notes from previous lessons. It was monotonous, but at least if we did it during class, we had more time to finish our other homework in our spare time.

I began reading about the day’s required revision subjects, Boggarts and Werewolves. Beside me, Lily was staring at her notes, her hand propping up her chin, her eyes unmoving, focused on one line of text. All of a sudden, a scrunched up ball of parchment hit the side of her head and landed on her desk. With a quick glance at Professor Twitchell, Lily unravelled the parchment. Scribbled on it, were the words ‘What’s up Evans?’ Lily and I both turned around, where James was looking at her with concern. I smiled. ‘How cute,’ I thought. Maybe he would be able to cheer her up, I certainly wasn’t having much luck. Lily seemed as though she was about to respond, but her eyes shifted to the seat behind him, where Severus was sitting, staring at her. Lily quickly faced the front of the class again, and James gave me a questioning look. With a shrug, I went back to reading. After a few minutes, another piece of parchment flew over Lily’s shoulder, onto the notes she had been vacantly gazing at. On this piece, James had written, ‘Smile, it can’t be that bad!’ On a normal day, Lily wouldn’t have been able to resist smiling at him, but because her mind was elsewhere, she just tossed the piece of parchment back over her shoulder at him.

Nudging her, I whispered, “Give him a break, he’s just worried about you.”

“Well he has no reason to be,” she hissed back, “I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. You have got to sort this thing out with Severus, Lily. Chase him down the corridor after class if you have to, just get it sorted because it’s making you miserable!”

At the end of the lesson, I was surprised to see that Lily took my advice. Severus attempted to make his usual high speed exit, and Lily bolted out after him. ‘This is it,’ I thought, ‘Please let it be resolved by the time she gets to Charms class, otherwise I’m going to have to talk to him myself’.’ That wasn’t a pleasant thought, but it was a small price to pay for Lily’s peace of mind.

I picked up my bag, and followed everyone out of the classroom.

“Phoebe,” James said, appearing suddenly beside me.

“Please don’t ask,” I said, wearily, “Because I have no idea.”

“Is Lily…I mean, is there-”

“She’s not going out with him,” I said, in response to his unanswered question, “That’s about as much as I know.”

“Then why did she run after him?”

“Because she needs to talk to him about something. It’s nothing to worry about.”

“Lily looks worried.”

James’ concern for Lily’s welfare made me smile kindly at him.

“You like her a lot, don’t you?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he replied, sadly, then remembering that he was supposed to be cool, he added, “I just wanted to make sure everything was okay really. I...I’ll see you later.”

As he ran to catch up with the others, I let out a sigh.

When did life become so complicated? Lily was chasing Severus, completely oblivious to James’ feelings for her. I had been constantly thinking about Sirius, and hadn’t noticed anything, or anyone else until Sirius himself had suggested Remus might like me. What had happened to the days when all we’d had to worry about was getting our homework finished on time?

‘I don’t know,’ I answered myself, “But I think those days are well and truly over.’

*****
Sorry, I know it wasn't up to much!

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  #12  
Old May 26th, 2006, 9:23 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hello! Okay, here's the next bit!

****************

I obviously didn’t wish hard enough for reconciliation between Lily and Severus, because when I got to Charms, Lily was almost in tears.

The moment Professor Flitwick had given his instructions on how to silence the ravens that had appeared in front of us, and the class became noisy again, I said, “What happened? Did you speak to him?”

Lily shook her head, and taking a deep breath, said, “He said he didn’t want to talk to me. I tried to explain but he wouldn’t listen.”

“Well…maybe you should just forget it then,” I said, “ If he won’t listen, there’s nothing you can do. You can’t force him.”

“But I don’t want him to think I betrayed his trust.”

While it was true that Lily hated to let anyone down, she seemed to be taking her fall out with Severus particularly badly. When she and I had fallen out, she had been stubborn, and although I knew she had felt bad about it, she never chased me half way round the school to fix the situation.

“Lily,” I began, carefully, “What exactly is the big deal about Severus? Why is it so important that he forgives you?”

She pointed her wand at her raven, and with a sharp jab, said, “Silencio.” The bird ceased to make sound immediately.

“It’s not what you think,” she said, continuing the conversation as if silencing the raven had merely been an annoyance, rather than one of the most difficult spells we’d learnt all year, “Severus has got a lot of problems, and I don’t want to add to them, that’s all. He hasn’t got anyone else to talk to.”

“What about Wilkes and Rosier? They’re his friends.”

“No they’re not, they’re just people he hangs round with sometimes. I’m the only person he trusted.”

“Why though? It’s not as if you were friends before.”

“It was all to do with timing. I bumped into him outside Slughorn’s office one afternoon, and he was upset. He just started telling me things. Of course, he regretted it immediately afterwards, but once we got to know each other a bit, he was fine. Until now,” she sighed, and said, “I’ve got to make him listen to me somehow. I just want him to know that I’ve kept his secret, and I always will.”

I really admired her loyalty, but deep down I thought she was wasting her time. Severus was, in spite of what she said, a strange boy, and running around after him seemed as if it was going to be a pointless task.

In front of me, my raven was cawing loudly still, and I made my first attempt at silencing it.

“Silencio.”

Its continued cawing sounded rather like laughter, mocking my inability to master the spell. As I had another try, Layla Ferrell, a willowy blonde haired girl from Hufflepuff, leaned over and tapped Lily on the shoulder.

“Is it true?” she asked, her eyes almost bulging out of her head in excitement. Layla was a very pretty, yet slightly academically challenged girl who enjoyed nothing more than gossiping and flirting with any boy who had a pulse.

“Is what true?” Lily asked.

“That you’re going out with Severus Snape? Josie Blyde’s telling everyone that you are!”

The look of shock on Lily’s face would have been funny under different circumstances.

“No, it’s not true,” I answered for her.

“Everyone thinks you are because you ran after him just now.”

The speed at which rumours travelled around the school never failed to amaze me. In the time it had taken to walk from one class to the next, it had become public knowledge that Lily had gone after Severus.

“It’s not true,” I repeated, “And it would be really nice if you’d stop repeating ridiculous gossip.”

“Why did you run after him Lily?” Layla pressed on, “Couldn’t you wait any longer to declare your love?”

Layla’s friends, Melissa Thomas and Hannah Oakland laughed at Layla’s remark. Layla had never been friendly to Lily and I, but why she was suddenly being so nasty was a mystery. What could Lily possibly have done to provoke such malice?

“Why are you so interested?” Lily asked, regaining her confidence, “Worried there’ll be one less boy for you to flutter your eyelashes at?”

Layla gave her a look filled with loathing and said, “You don’t think you’d be competition for me, do you?”

“No chance,” James said, from the table behind Layla, “Lily has a brain so she’s already got one up on you. No contest.”

Layla swung her long hair over her shoulder, and having been put in her place, got back to work. Lily mouthed, ‘Thank you’ to James and we went back to work too.

“Do you really think everyone is talking about me and Severus?” Lily asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied, “”But if they are, I don’t expect the rumours will last very long. They’ll have found something else to talk about by the morning. Don’t worry about it.”

“I suppose so,” Lily said, with a sigh.

“And if not,” I said, cheekily, “You could always get Joe Maloney to snog you in the middle of the Great Hall at breakfast!”

“If only,” Lily said, cracking her first smile of the day.

“I reckon James would do it if Joe was unwilling,” I giggled.

“Ha ha,” Lily said, giving me a look of mixed amusement and disgust, “I wouldn’t snog James in a million years!”

“Lily, he was just really nice to you!”

“He’s still an imbecile!”

“He likes you a lot though, and he’s cute.”

“You snog him then!”

“No!” I laughed, “I’m more interested in his friend!”

“Yeah, I know,” Lily said, with another smile, “You like Sirius.”

I accidentally jabbed my raven’s wing as she said that. ‘Sirius’. It wasn’t until she had said his name that I realised I hadn’t actually been thinking of him.

I really needed some sleep.

********

I was so relieved when it got to the end of the day. I was exhausted, and my head was spinning in confusion at my mixed up feelings. All I wanted to do was slope away on my own to clear my head.

At dinner, I hardly ate anything, due greatly to the fact that I was too tired to lift my fork. That was unusual in itself. I loved the food at Hogwarts so much that ordinarily I had to be dragged away from the table. It was a miracle that I wasn’t the size of an elephant by the end of the year!

Lily had prefect duties that evening, much to her disappointment. The last thing she wanted to do was roam the halls when everyone was still talking about her, but as she was busy, I took the opportunity to spend some time alone. The evenings were lighter and warmer now, so I sat outside by the Black Lake, trying to gather my thoughts. Nothing made sense though, it was just the same questions circling round and round. ‘Was Sirius right? Does Remus like me? Do I like Remus? How can I, when I never even considered it until Sirius suggested it? What about Sirius? Do I still like him?It was never-ending, and I didn’t have any answers. I couldn’t really avoid them for much longer either. While I doubted that Sirius had noticed, I knew Remus had. He had been trying to catch my eye all day, and while I hadn’t ignored him, I had been a bit dismissive. I’d wanted to talk to him, but I had been so worried about what might come out of my mouth, that I kept away.

After an hour or so, I realised that there was no way I was going to resolve any of my worries while I was tired, so I decided to head back to the common room. I still needed to practice the Silencing Charm, which I had failed to master during the lesson anyway.

I began the walk back up to the castle, still in a daze. I was so completely lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice Severus, just as I reached the steps leading up to the Entrance Hall.

“Phoebe Marshall,” he said, making me jump.

He was standing behind me, a nasty sneer on his pale face. I had no idea where he had appeared from.

“Severus Snape,” I answered, with just a hint of sarcasm.

“Where’s Lily?”

“You are joking?” I asked, “You’ve been trying to get away from her all day!”

“I need to talk to her.”

“Well, she’s busy. You should have spoken to her earlier.”

“I’ll talk to you then,” he said, taking a few steps towards me.

I backed away a little, into the gap between the steps up to the castle, and a huge bush that was climbing the castle wall. As he got closer to me, I saw a look of anger in his eyes.

“What’s she been telling you?” he asked.

“She hasn’t told me anything,” I replied, stepping further away from him, but stopped abruptly as my back touched the wall.

“I don’t believe you,” Severus said, pulling out his wand, “Tell me what you know.”

His hand was shaking as he pointed his wand at me, suggesting he wasn’t entirely confident, but I was the one in the position of vulnerability, so I decided not to make an issue of it, however tempted I was.

“I don’t know anything,” I told him, “Lily has been nothing but secretive since she started hanging round with you.”

“So how did you know about that spell?”

“Okay,” I admitted, “She told me about that, but she didn’t tell me you invented it until after I’d used it.”

“So she told you I invent spells,” he said, triumphantly, “What else?”

"That's all."

"She must have told you more than that."

“She. Hasn’t. Told. Me. Anything,” I said slowly, in the hopes that he might get it.

Severus’s wand was at my throat before I had a chance to defend myself. My breath came short, as I realised that there was nothing I could do to get away from him. There were no teachers or students around, it was just him and me.

“She tells you everything,” Severus said, angrily, “She told me so herself!”

“Severus,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady, “I don’t know anything about you, I asked her, but she wouldn’t tell me.”

“You’ve been laughing about me, haven’t you? I bet you’ve really enjoyed yourselves, talking about me and my family!”

‘He’s delusional,’ I thought, ‘And he’s working himself into a rage with his wand pointed at my throat, how am I going to get out of this?’ I tried to pull my wand out of my pocket, but he was too close to me, I couldn’t move my arms at all. He pressed his wand a little harder against my throat and said, “I knew I shouldn’t have trusted a Mudblood, you’re all the same, you don’t understand how serious things are.”

“What things?” I asked, trying to twist myself away from him, but it was no use. I was stuck.

“You know what I’m talking about!”

“No, I don’t!” I said, beginning to get scared, “Let me go!”

“Not until you tell me what you know!” he shouted. He wasn’t shaking anymore, his voice was stronger and more confident than I’d ever heard it.

Whatever it was that Lily knew about him, was clearly a very serious piece of information. I didn’t envy her, knowing his secrets. If he was this angry with me, who he only suspected of knowing, I didn’t even want to think about what he might do to Lily, who he thought had been telling people about it.

“What d’yeh think yer doing?” a familiar, and very welcome voice bellowed.

I sighed with relief at the sight of Hagrid, marching towards us, followed closely by Remus and Lily. Severus backed away from me, and I sank down onto the grass, my legs giving way.

“What are yeh playin’ at?” Hagrid demanded.

Severus didn’t answer, and when he looked back at me, on the grass, shaking, it was as if he suddenly realised what he had done.

“I…I,” he stuttered.

Lily and Remus ran over to me, Lily looked horrified at what she had just seen.

“I’m takin’ yeh to Dumbledore’s office righ’ now,” Hagrid said, giving Severus a push so that he stumbled forwards.

“No,” I said, quickly, “No, it’s okay Hagrid. I’m fine.”

Everyone looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.

“He shouldn’ get away with tha’!” Hagrid insisted, “He was threatenin’ yeh!”

“It doesn’t matter,” I said, “Really.”

Severus met my gaze, and I saw him correctly decipher what I was thinking. ‘If you leave Lily alone, this will go no further.’ He gave me an almost undetectable nod, and scurried away before I changed my mind.

“Tha’ was very good o’ yeh,” Hagrid said, “He should have at least got detention.”

“He deserves it,” Remus said, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

I nodded, and got to my feet, “Yeah, I’m okay. Thanks.”

“Well, I’ll leave yeh to make sure Phoebe gets back to the common room in one piece,” Hagrid said, “See yeh.”

Hagrid walked away, leaving Lily, Remus and I together.

“Are you really okay?” Lily asked.

“I’m fine,” I said, again, even though I was still shaking a bit, “It was a bit frightening, but it’s over now. What were you doing out here anyway?”

Lily and Remus exchanged a brief look, and Lily said, “We finished patrolling the corridors so we went down to see Hagrid for a cup of tea. He walked us back up here. Good thing he did really.”

“I’ll say!”

“Did...did he hurt you?”

“A little,” I said, rubbing my throat gently, “But not too much. He scared me more than anything.”

“I’m really sorry Phoebs. This is all my fault.”

“No it’s not,” I said, “It’s Severus’s fault for being paranoid.”

“Why did Severus do that to you?” Remus asked, “I don’t get it.”

“A misunderstanding,” I told him, “I think it’s sorted though.”

His blue eyes were looking at me, full of concern and I didn’t know what else to say to him. I’d never had difficulty finding words before. Lily glanced at him again and said, “I think…I think I’m going to go and talk to him.”

“No, there’s no need,” I said, “It’s all over now.”

Lily shook her head, “I still need to talk to him,” she turned to Remus and said, rather pointedly, “Look after her.”

************
I think that'll do for now!
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  #13  
Old May 31st, 2006, 4:53 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
Location: Away with the fairies
Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hello there people! I'm really excited about this post! I hope you like it as much as I do, and I also hope that I have managed to get the correct balance between dialogue and description....I really need to work on that! But I am sorry about the length of it though! I got carried away!

***

I watched as Lily walked up the steps, then disappeared into the castle. Suddenly, the scenario I had been trying to prevent for the whole day had become a reality. I was alone with Remus, and although I wasn’t ready yet, there was no way I could make an excuse to avoid speaking to him now.

“Do you want to go for a walk?” Remus asked, “Or we could just go back to the common room?”

I thought I heard his voice quiver ever so slightly, but I wasn’t sure. Maybe he was just as confused as I was. Or maybe my sleep deprived mind was imagining things. Either way, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I sat down on the steps in lieu of having to answer.

“Phoebe,” Remus said, “Is everything okay? I mean, today you’ve been…we haven’t spoken much. Have I done something to upset you?”

I looked up at him. He looked so anxious, so afraid. I’d been so preoccupied with trying to make sense of my own feelings, I had neglected considering his.

“Oh, Remus,” I sighed, running my fingers roughly through my hair, “No, you haven’t done anything to upset me. It’s me...I’m just…I don’t know,” I finished, lamely.

Remus sat down on the steps beside me.

“You look tired,” he said.

“I am tired. I didn’t sleep well last night. In fact, I don’t think I’ve slept properly all week.”

“Is that why you’ve been so quiet today?”

I nodded, “Partly. I’ve been worrying about Lily too which hasn’t helped. I’m sorry I took it out on you though, I just haven’t been in the mood to talk to anyone today.”

There was a short silence, then Remus said, “Does your lack of sleep have anything to do with Sirius?”

He was fiddling nervously with the sleeve of his robes, his eyes focused firmly on the ground in front of him.

“Why do you think that?” I asked, quietly.

He shrugged, casually. His silence made me nervous because I knew he was waiting for an answer. ‘Tell him the truth, just be honest with him.’

“Yes,” I said, eventually, “My lack of sleep is slightly Sirius related. But-”

“What’s the problem? Did something happen in detention?”

Remus looked as if his line of questioning was causing him actual physical pain, but his tone was still light, as if he was asking me about homework or something. It was so confusing and frustrating, not knowing what he was thinking.

“Remus, what’s happening between us?” I burst out.

I hadn’t meant to, but I couldn’t stop the words from tumbling out of my mouth. Remus looked up at me in surprise, and I felt sure my heart stopped for a second. ‘He doesn’t like me at all,’ I thought, 'I let Sirius's stupid comments confuse me, and now I've embarrassed myself.'

“Phoebe,” Remus muttered, “I think..I..”

I stood up quickly, saying, “Sorry, I’m sorry. Just forget it, I think I’m just going to go to bed.”

“Wait,” Remus said, standing up too, but I had to go. I couldn’t stay there to hear him say what had suddenly become crystal clear. I had obviously misread his friendly concern for something more, and probably ruined our friendship in the process.

I ran back to the common room, inwardly berating myself for being so stupid. ‘Why couldn’t you have kept your mouth shut? Or at least been a bit more subtle? How are you ever going to look him in the eye again?’ This was precisely why I hadn’t wanted to be alone with him while I was tired. Being tired made me confused and over-emotional, and it could only lead me to say the wrong thing.

Just as I reached the final flight of stairs leading to the portrait of the Fat Lady, I heard the voices of Sirius, James and Peter, who were also heading towards the common room. In my desperation to get up to my dormitory before they saw me, I tripped up the last step and fell over in front of them, my knee smacking hard onto the stone floor.

And the nightmare is complete.

“I didn’t have you down as the clumsy type,” James said, holding out his hand to help me up.

As I took it, Sirius said, “Nah, she did it on purpose. It’s okay, I’m used to girls falling at my feet.”

I swore at him and began to hobble away from them, my knee throbbing painfully. I knew it wasn’t very lady like, but I just wasn’t in the mood for him.

“I was only joking,” he said, “There’s no need to be so sensitive.”

I felt tears welling up in my eyes, and it took all of my self control to keep from crying right there in front of them. The day had been a disaster from start to finish, and after being attacked by Severus, then making a fool of myself in front of Remus, the last thing I needed was any kind of incident with Sirius.

I muttered the password at the Fat Lady, and the portrait swung open. Sirius, James and Peter followed me into the common room.

“Phoebe,” Sirius said.

“Leave me alone.”

“What’s wrong?”

I turned to look at him, and James pulled Peter away to the other side of the common room.

“I just want to be left alone,” I told him, as a tear slipped down my cheek. I quickly wiped it away, trying to keep my emotions under control for just a bit longer.

“I didn’t mean to upset you,” he said.

“This may come as a surprise, but not everything is about you!” I snapped, then turned and limped up the spiral staircase to the dormitory.

“Phoebe, what’s the matter?”

“Lily,” I said, surprised to see her laying on her bed, reading, “I thought you were going to find Severus?”

Lily opened and closed her mouth, for some reason she appeared to be lost for words.

“I couldn’t find him,” she said, eventually, “I thought you…what’s wrong?”

I sat down on my bed, and said, “I need to switch schools.”

“What’s happened?” Lily asked, putting her book down, and sitting up straight.

I kicked off my shoes, and curled myself up in a ball, “I’m making a mess of everything today,” I said, with a sigh, “Lily, I think maybe…I think I might…sort of… like Remus.”

“You like Remus?” she repeated, and I’m sure I saw her smile, although why she would find that amusing, I wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know…maybe.”

“Okay, but why would that mean you have to switch schools?”

“Because I think I just told him.”

Lily jumped over onto my bed so fast, I almost hit my head on the ceiling from the bounce she created.

“You told him?” she asked.

“Sort of. But now I wish I hadn’t said anything because I don’t think he’s ever going to speak to me again,” I sighed, “I should never have listened to Sirius.”

“Sirius?” Lily asked, shaking her head in confusion, “What’s he got to do with anything?”

“Last night in detention, he said he thought Remus liked me and I, stupidly, started to believe him, and now I’ve ruined everything!”

“What did Remus say when you told him?”

“Well, I didn’t tell him exactly, I just sort of implied it. He didn’t say anything though, he just started stuttering, and I ran off.”

“Phoebe!” Lily said, sounding exasperated, “You didn’t even listen to him?”

“I knew what he was going to say Lily! That we’re just friends, and I was already embarrassed enough, without having to hear him say that!”

“Oh, Phoebe,” Lily said, giving me a hug, “How do you know he was going to say that?”

“He looked so shocked, like it was the last thing he expected to hear. Now I’ve scared him, and there’s nothing I can do to take it back.”

“He probably looked surprised because he thought you liked Sirius. You don’t still like Sirius, do you?” she asked.

“I don’t know! I don’t know,” I rested my head on Lily’s shoulder, “I just want to go to sleep and forget about it for a while.”

“I think that’s a good idea. Get some rest, and try not to worry Phoebs. Everything will seem better in the morning.”


Chapter 7

The morning came far too quickly for me, and although I had slept well, I still felt decidedly groggy. As I rolled over, my knee touched the mattress, and I knocked the bruise that I’d sustained the night before. ‘Oh dear,’ I thought, ‘I was hoping that had all been a bad dream.’ A feeling of dread came over me and I closed my eyes hoping to delay the thought process for a little longer. It was no use though, besides, I knew I’d have to get up and face the world eventually. There was no point in putting it off.

I rolled out of bed and got dressed. Lily, Sarah and Jane were all still asleep, as usual, so I went down to the common room to wait for them. I took my Potions book with me. My grades still weren’t at the level I had hoped, in spite of Lily’s continued supervision, so I needed to get as much extra studying done as possible. Studying also had the added bonus of preventing me from letting my tangled thoughts get the best of me. I wanted to at least be awake for one stress free hour before my mind became clouded up again.

The common room was empty except for two girls from the first year who were sitting on the floor in front of the fire, practising levitating feathers.I sat down at one of the tables at the edge of the room, and began to read from my book, but I was so bored by it, that it was only minutes before my mind began to wander. The worry of what would happen when I finally bumped into Remus again was too much of a distraction, plus the noise the girls were making as they did their homework didn’t help matters, so I closed the book and joined the girls by the fire.

They looked up at me nervously, and I smiled. ‘Did I ever look that small?’

“Do you need any help?” I asked, “I’m pretty good at Charms.”

The girls looked at each other, then the one with messy blonde curls said, “Yes please.”

I sat down with them, and said, “I’m Phoebe, by the way.”

“I know, you’re the girl who did that spell on Sirius Black.”

Laughing, I said, “That’s me. What are your names?”

“I’m Ella,” the blonde girl said, “And this is Lucy.”

Lucy was a very petite, black haired girl who looked incredibly shy. They had been making plenty of noise before I had approached them, but now they seemed a bit scared. I could understand why. When I was in the first year, anyone in the third year and above terrified me!

I spent a little while talking them through the required wand movements to do the spell, and within twenty minutes, both Ella and Lucy had managed to successfully levitate their feathers.

“Thanks Phoebe,” Ella said, “You made it sound so easy. I don’t know how we’re going to manage when we get to the fifth year if we can’t even levitate a feather!”

“It just takes practice,” I told them, reassuringly, “You’ll get the hang of it in no time.”

“I don’t know about that. The only thing I’m good at is Potions.”

“Lucky you,” I said, smiling, “I’m rubbish at Potions. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve melted my cauldron!”

“Ain’t that the truth,” Sirius said, breezing into the common room with his usual coolness, “Morning girls.”

Ella and Lucy blushed and giggled at being spoken to by the best looking boy in Gryffindor.

“Are you feeling better this morning Phoebe?” Sirius asked, “Or should I keep away?”

“You should keep away,” I replied.

“You don’t want to join me for breakfast then?”

“Not unless you want to spend the rest of the day wearing it.”

I wasn’t sure exactly what was making me so frosty towards him, I suppose it was just because I still wasn’t in the mood to be the victim of his daily teasing.

He sat down in the armchair I had been leaning against, and I tensed up as I felt his hands touch my shoulders.

“I’m sorry about last night,” he said, and surprised me by actually sounding genuine. It was a bit of an ill-timed gesture though, and I shrugged him off.

“Yeah, well I told you, I wasn’t upset because of you,” I said, standing up.

“What is wrong with you?” he asked, “I’m trying to be nice.”

“Well it doesn’t suit you.”

Ella and Lucy were watching us with interest, and Sirius winked at them, “She loves me really.”

Had I not been worried about frightening Ella and Lucy, I would have unleashed all of my feelings of anger on him. What was he doing? Why was he being nice to me when just a few days before he had been making every effort to humiliate me? I suddenly thought that ‘Levicorpus’ was a very apt spell, because from the moment I’d used it, my whole world had turned upside down. Nothing made sense anymore.

With a quick smile, I said, “I’m going to get something to eat. I’ll see you later girls.”

“Bye Phoebe,” they chorused.

I went down to the Great Hall as quickly as I could with an injured knee, wishing I could keep my temper under control. But there was just something about Sirius that really got to me, and it made me want to lash out at him. What made it worse, was knowing that that was precisely why he did it. I had to find a way to rise above it, otherwise my stress levels were going to soar out of control and I’d need to replace my morning Pumpkin juice with a Calming Draught.

When I reached the Great Hall, my stomach lurched as I saw that Remus, James and Peter were already seated at the Gryffindor table. If I hadn’t been so hungry, I would have walked straight out again, but I was starving. I put my head down and made my way to the furthest seat away from them. I began piling bacon, eggs and sausages onto my plate, and concentrated hard on not looking at Remus. Several times, I was sure I felt his eyes on me, but I didn’t look up from my plate, at least not until I heard the swooshing sound of the post owls arriving.

I was absolutely ecstatic to see my little grey owl, Ringo flying towards me (he was named after Ringo Starr, I was a huge fan of the Beatles. Aside from our families, both Lily and I missed Muggle music the most. Lily’s owl was called Donny, after Donny Osmond!) I untied the letter from Ringo’s leg, and was relieved to see that it was from my Mum. I don’t think I’d ever needed her advice more.

Dear Phoebe,
I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time at the moment, I wish you were here so we could talk about this properly over a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit! I don’t think there’s anything I can really say to help you though. Only you can know how you really feel, and it’s something you need to work out on your own. You have to trust your own feelings, that’s the only way. I wish I could give you some better advice, Phoebe, but that’s what it comes down to. I know it’s hard, but I hope you can put your worries aside enough to get some studying done, I don’t want this to affect your exam results, and I’m sure you don’t either.
Dad and Jack send their love, we all miss you very much! We can’t wait to see you!

Lots of love,
Mum


With a sigh, I folded the letter back up, and put it in my pocket. I don’t know what I was expecting really. Mum was right, there was nothing she could do to help, this was all for me to figure out. But where to start? 'Denial,' I thought. I decided to take my Mum's advice and actually get some work done. Maybe if I pretended everything was fine and stopped trying to figure things out, the answer would become clear.

So that was what I did. I barely said a word to anyone for the rest of the day. I went to the library and worked harder than I had worked in a long time. Lily had been great. She understood that I needed some time to myself, and was happy to let me get on with it.

Whenever I took a break, all I could think about was Remus. I didn't care that I'd been horrible to Sirius, that wasn't important anymore. He had suddenly slipped down my list of priorities. I don't know how it had happened, all I did know was that the fact that Remus hadn't even attempted to find me all day, was becoming more and more painful with every passing minute. I hadn't seen him since breakfast, I'd somehow managed to miss him at lunch and dinner. I wondered if he was purposely avoiding me, or if it had just been unfortunate timing.

Or maybe I hadn't even crossed his mind.

'Enough analysing,' I told myself, firmly, 'Go and find him. Now.'

The thought made me feel a bit sick, because it was so obviously the right thing to do, I knew I had to do it. I didn't know what I was going to say to him, but there was no way I could let another night go by without resolving things.

I was greeted happily by Lily when I arrived back in the common room.

"Phoebe," she said, giving me a hug, "You're back."

"Yeah, I've had enough of skulking around in the library."

"We missed you! Come and sit down."

Sarah and Jane had managed to grab the best seats in the room, and were chatting animatedly together.

"I will," I said, "But I need to talk to Remus first. Have you seen him?"

Lily shook her head. "No, not since dinner," then her eyes drifted to the window, and she said, "I think he's got detention."

"Remus?" I asked, sceptically, "Detention?"

"Yeah, I think so...I don't know why."

Shrugging, I said, "Oh well, I guess it'll have to wait until later then."

I felt the most relaxed I'd felt in days, sitting with my friends, eating chocolate and talking. I suppose it was because I'd finally worked out how I felt, and even though that in itself was scary, it was better than not knowing what I wanted. I was still convinced that Remus wouldn't feel the same way I did, but for some reason, I wanted to tell him anyway. I needed to be honest with him, and then...well, we would just have to see what happened from there.

I waited up until past midnight in the common room for him to come back, but there was no sign of him. I didn't see Sirius, James or Peter either. Maybe Lily had been wrong, and they'd been in their dormitory all evening? I decided to give up and go to bed. I was tired, and even though the moonlight was streaming in through the window, casting light on the room, I fell asleep almost immediately.

****
Apologies for leaving it here....I was slightly worried you might all fall asleep by the end!

Thank you for reading!
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  #14  
Old June 4th, 2006, 9:31 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
Location: Away with the fairies
Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hello! I didn't really intend to post today, but I actually got some work done this afternoon (while sunbathing in the garden! ) so I thought I'd go for it! Enjoy!

*****

Sunday morning arrived, filling me with a feeling of calm satisfaction, the type of calm you feel after a good night’s sleep. Suddenly, things didn’t seem so bleak. It was still the weekend, and for once, I had finished my homework, so the day was mine to do as I pleased. Talking to Remus was the only thing I needed, or wanted to do. I wasn’t even nervous anymore, more excited by the prospect of seeing him after two days of barely spending any time with him. It surprised me, how much I’d missed him. I hadn’t really noticed all the extra time we had been spending together slowly building up until it had stopped so abruptly. I wanted it back.

I wanted more than that.

Optimism and enthusiasm carried me through the morning, despite not having seen Remus or any of his friends. I just assumed they were busy exploring the castle as they so often did at the weekends.

That illusion was shattered after lunch, when Lily came up to the dormitory, where Sarah, Jane and I were using Exploding Snap cards, to build a house of cards on the floor in between our beds.

“Phoebs,” she said, as Sarah carefully began to build the next level of the tower, “You need to get yourself down to the hospital wing.”

“Why?” I asked, unable to take my eyes away from the cards that were beginning to wobble ever so slightly.

“I just ran into James and the others. Remus had a run-in with the Venomous Tentacular in the greenhouse last night. He’s been in the hospital wing all night.”

In my hurry to turn around, I accidentally knocked the cards, causing a loud explosion as they collapsed.

“Is he okay?” I asked, as Jane extinguished her duvet, which had ignited as the cards blew up.

“He’ll be fine,” Lily said, “Apparently while they were in detention last night, Remus got too close to the Venomous Tentacular and it tried to strangle him.”

Shaking my head at the ridiculousness of that sentence I said, “Do you think it would be okay if I went to see him?”

Lily nodded, “James and Peter seemed to think so.”

Just James and Peter?

“And Sirius?” I asked.

“He didn’t say anything.”

I shrugged, then stood up, “Okay,” I said, then stopped, realising that this was it. I was actually going to see him.

“Go on,” Lily said, with an encouraging smile, “Just do it.”

She could always sense my thoughts and feelings perfectly, I suppose it was because we had spent so much time together. It came in useful at times when we didn’t want to say what we were thinking out loud. Sarah and Jane were indeed looking at us curiously from under their slightly scorched fringes.

“Okay,” I said, again, “Thanks Lily.”

The walk to the hospital wing seemed to take forever, but I didn’t mind. I took the time to calm my newly forming nerves, and by the time I got there, my apprehension had lessened slightly.

It wasn’t difficult to find Remus, as he was the only person in the hospital wing. He was in a bed at the far end of the room, laying flat on his back, staring at the ceiling. As I got closer, I saw that he had two deep red gashes across his left cheek, a few scratches down his neck, and his face was ghostly white. He looked so vulnerable, so lonely. I just wanted to stay by his side and take care of him.

“Hi,” I said, softly.

Remus slowly turned his head, and when he saw me, he gave me a weak smile.

“How are you feeling?” I asked, sitting down in the chair beside his bed.

“Sore,” he replied, his voice was a little croaky, “And tired.”

“I’d have thought after five years, you would have learned to stay away from poisonous plants!”

Remus just shrugged, then said, “What are you doing here anyway? Shouldn’t you be desperately trying to finish the homework you’ve been putting off all weekend like you normally do?”

“It’s finished,” I replied, amused by his ability to nag me, even from a hospital bed, “And I was worried about you. I wanted to see you.”

“Really?”

I nodded, “Really.”

For a second, Remus smiled, but almost as soon as it had appeared, it vanished and he sighed and looked away.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, confused by his sudden change of mood, “Remus?”

He closed his eyes for a moment, and I reached out and held his hand in mine. As he opened his eyes and turned his head towards me again, a tear dropped onto his pillow and he gave my hand a gentle squeeze. I didn’t know what to say, or why he was crying, so I moved over onto the bed and sat closer to him.

“Does it hurt a lot?” I asked, after a while.

“Yeah,” Remus replied, looking at me with a strange expression in his eyes, “It hurts a lot.”

I had never seen him cry before, in fact I think it was the first time I had seen any boy at school cry. ‘He must really be in a lot of pain.

Remus wiped his eyes with his free hand, then gave me a small smile, and said, “Stop looking at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“You look scared.”

“I am scared,” I told him, “You’re upset and I want to help but I don’t know how. Plus, I didn’t expect the next time we saw each other would be…here.”

“You could have waited until I got out.”

“No. I couldn’t,” I said, “I couldn’t wait. I waited up for you last night, but well, you were here. I missed you.”

“I missed you too Phoebs,” he said, as more tears fell onto his pillow. He let go of my hand to wipe his eyes, and said, “Sorry, I can’t believe I’m crying in front of you.”

“I don’t mind,” I said, reaching for his hand again, “I just…don’t know why.”

For a moment, there was a silence between us. We just sat, holding hands, neither of us knowing what to say. Eventually it was me who spoke first.

“Remus, you know the other night…what I said…well-”

“You didn’t mean to say it,” Remus finished, with a rather resigned sigh, “It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

“No,” I said, quickly, “I mean, well I didn’t mean to say it, but…what I mean is,” I paused, trying to work out exactly what it was that I was trying to say, then sighed, “I guess I’m just having trouble finding the words.”

“You don’t have to say anything Phoebe. Let’s just forget about it.”

My eyes narrowed in confusion.

“You want to forget about it?” I asked.

Remus nodded, “I think it’s probably best.”

“But I thought…” I began, trying to push aside the feelings of hurt that were rapidly building inside me, “Remus, I really like you.”

My words hung in the air, unanswered. It felt as if time had stood still. The silence was almost unbearable. At that point in my life, telling Remus how I felt was the bravest and scariest thing I had ever done.

“You like me?” he asked, slowly, “You? Like me?”

I laughed softly at his surprise, “Yes. I do.”

A smile began to spread across his face, but again, it faded away and he said, “Phoebe, I think we should just be friends.”

I don’t know why it hurt so much when I had been preparing myself for it all day, but it really did hurt. With the way he had been looking at me, I thought that the answer might have been different. For a moment, I’d been sure he felt the way I did.

“I’m sorry,” he said, quietly.

“No,” I said, shaking my head, “It’s okay. It’s fine. I’m getting used to making a fool of myself now. It’s okay.”

Nothing could have been further from the truth though. Waves of agony began washing over me, so strong they felt as if they would never go away. If I had known how much it was going to hurt, I would have done everything I could think of to stop it from happening.

“You haven’t made a fool of yourself,” Remus said, still holding my, now trembling, hand tightly, “You haven’t.”

“It doesn’t feel like that from where I’m sitting,” I told him, trying to blink back the tears.

“Please don’t be upset.”

“How can I not be upset? I thought…I thought you liked me too.”

“Phoebe, I do. But-”

“Just as a friend. I know.”

Remus shook his head, “No. You don’t know.”

“So explain it to me.”

He looked into my eyes and opened his mouth to speak, but then he turned away.

“I can’t Phoebe,” he said, “I’m sorry.”

I had no idea what he had been about to say, but he let go of my hand and I knew that was it. Not just the end of all my hopes, but the end of our friendship. It was as if in that second, he had completely closed off from me, and I realised I had blown it. Nothing I could say would be able to change it.

With tears now falling freely down my face, I stood up and walked slowly away from him. At the door, I turned back, just in time to see him roll over onto his side, away from me.

I left the hospital wing feeling the lowest I had ever felt in my life. I had lost one of my best friends, and it was all my own fault. I had always known that revealing my feelings to Remus may not end the way I wanted, but I hadn’t expected him to shut down the way he had. Now I had nothing.

I began to walk quickly up the stairs towards the common room, and with each step I felt heavier with sadness. I needed to find Lily so I could pour my wounded heart out to her.

No sooner had I thought it, I literally bumped right into her in the fifth floor corridor, in front of the statue of Boris the Bewildered. Lily took one look at my tear-stained face, and promptly put her arms around me, giving me a hug.

“How could I have got it so wrong Lily?” I sobbed, into her shoulder, “He doesn’t like me, he never did.”

“Sshh,” Lily said, gently, “It’s okay Phoebs, it’s okay.”

“No, it’s not! Now he hates me!”

“Of course he doesn’t. Come on Phoebe, let’s go for a walk and you can tell me what happened.”

I let Lily lead me, rather predictably, down to the Black Lake. On the way, I explained, through my tears, what Remus and I had said to each other. Lily listened very carefully, but didn’t say anything until I had finished, by which time we had reached the lake, and were sitting as far as we could get from the other students who were relaxing there too.

“I don’t understand,” she said, gazing out at the water, “It doesn’t make any sense why-” she stopped, then said, “I just can’t believe he doesn’t like you.”

“Well that’s because you’re my best friend. You have to say that.”

“No, it’s not just that,” Lily said, she sounded even more confused than I did, “I mean, the way he was acting…it sort of looked like he had feelings for you.”

“I wasn’t just imagining it then?” I asked, hopefully.

Lily shook her head, “I don’t think so.”

“Then why did he reject me?”

“I don’t know,” Lily said, looking over at me, “I don’t know.”

I would have said something more, but I was crying again. Lily put her arm around me, and said, “Don’t cry Phoebs. Remus is obviously stupid if he can’t see how beautiful and special you are.”

“Thanks,” I said, managing a smile, but I didn’t feel any better. As much as I appreciated Lily being there for me, I still wanted to be with Remus, holding his hand like I had been less than half an hour ago. ‘Impossible,’ I thought, ‘I don’t think that’s ever going to happen again.’ And with that thought, I curled myself up into a ball, and let all of my pain flood out of me.

“Growing up hurts, Lily,” I said, when I had regained the use of my voice, “Can we make it stop?”

“I’m afraid not,” Lily replied, with a kind smile, “I think we’ve still got a long way to go. We’re nowhere near the Land of the Grown-Ups yet.”

“Oh,” I said, letting out a small laugh, “I was hoping this was it.”

“Probably not. But,” she said, “We’ll be just fine. We’ve got each other, haven’t we?”

I nodded, wiping my eyes, “Yes, we have.”

As we sat staring out over the lake, I wasn't sure how much pain I would be able to cope with. But Lily was right, we did have each other. And I was going to need her more than ever while I attempted to heal my wounds. The idea of seeing Remus and not being able to speak to him was just awful. I wasn't sure I was strong enough to handle it. 'If this is love, then it's not meant for me.' I thought, 'I don't ever want to feel like this again. Not ever.'
******

Thank you for reading!
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http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=87524


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Last edited by IMissPadfoot; June 8th, 2006 at 8:10 pm.
  #15  
Old June 11th, 2006, 12:03 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
Location: Away with the fairies
Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

This section has been a complete nightmare to write, and I’m still not convinced, but I’m posting anyway because I think the longer I look at it, the more I’m going to find wrong with it! I hope you enjoy it anyway though!
I’ve been meaning to say this for ages but thanks to Swee and j_man_potter who have put links to my fic in their sigs! And also to Blood_River for helping me work out what happens in this post and roach76 for listening to my mad ramblings!
Okay, here we go!

**

The next couple of days were absolutely horrific. I cried constantly for the rest of Sunday, and most of Monday, if I’m honest. But I managed to struggle through in my usual way, by throwing myself into my work with extra determination. Anything to take my mind off Remus. He got out of the hospital wing on Tuesday which made things more difficult though. In nearly every lesson, he sat either in front of, or behind Lily, Sarah, Jane and I, so it was impossible to avoid him completely. We didn’t speak to, or look at each other at all, we just reverted back to the way things used to be. Like strangers.

The girls really looked after me, doing whatever they could to keep me busy and stop me obsessing about what had happened. I was happy for any distraction, even extra Potions practice was preferable to driving myself crazy with endless questions.

It paid off too. On Wednesday during Potions class, I actually produced a Potion that was as perfect as Lily’s for the first time ever!

“Well,” Professor Slughorn said, looking astounded, “I congratulate you Miss Marshall. I knew that sitting with Lily would pay off in the end.”

“Thanks for that,” I muttered, as he walked away, my happiness deflating quickly.

“Well, I’m proud of you,” Lily laughed.

“Interesting,” a sneering voice said, and Severus Snape’s greasy head peered into my cauldron, “It must have been all the extra help you got, you couldn’t have done it on your own.”

“She did,” Lily said, firmly.

Without another word, he wandered back to his own cauldron, a look of disgust on his face.

“What did he mean by that?” I asked.

I could practically see James straining to hear the conversation from behind us, as he always did whenever Severus was involved.

“He thinks I used his way of doing things, and showed you,” Lily replied, quietly.

“His way?”

“Yeah, a couple of his Potions books have had alterations made to them. Ways of brewing Potions more effectively. There’s loads of them, I don’t know how he thought I’d remember them all.”

“Well he’s mental, isn’t he?”

“He’s not mental…just paranoid.”

“I’m sticking with mental,” I said, “After what he did to me, I don’t think he’s all there.”

Lily and I hadn’t discussed the incident with Severus again, due to the fact that other things had happened since then. I also thought that it was partly because Lily felt responsible and didn’t want to be reminded of it. Not that I blamed her at all, it wasn’t her fault that Severus was a psycho. His big secret was still a mystery to me, but I didn’t care anymore, just as long as he kept away from me.

At the end of the lesson, after having my confidence knocked by both Slughorn and Severus, I wasn’t in the greatest of moods so when Layla Ferrell and her cronies caught up with Lily and I on the way to Herbology, I was less than impressed.

“We were wondering,” Layla began, a smug look on her face, “What it is that you two do that repulses men so much.”

Lily and I glanced at each other, both wondering where she was going with this, and why she had suddenly decided to pick a fight with us. She had been relentless since Friday’s Charms lesson.

“I mean,” Layla went on, ”It looks like Lily here has been ditched by Severus already, and you Phoebe, despite your desperate attempts to attract Sirius Black, he’s never even noticed you. And to top it all, it looks like even Remus Lupin has lost interest in you now. What’s going girls?”

There was no way Layla could have known how much of a nerve she had hit on with me, but Lily did, and she instinctively grabbed hold of my arm to stop me from cursing Layla into the middle of next week, which admittedly, I had been about to do.

“It must be awful to be so crippled with insecurity that you feel the need to spend all your time criticising others,” Lily said, sharply.

“I’m not insecure,” Layla smirked, “I’m just curious about what you’re doing wrong. I don’t want to make the same mistakes, you see.”

“Well you don’t need to worry about that, because we like different types. I like boys with brains, and for anyone to find you attractive, they’d have to be completely braindead.”

“Alright Layla,” I heard Sirius say from behind us, in his flirtatious way.

“I rest my case,” Lily said, and I had to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” James asked, as he, Remus, Sirius and Peter caught us up.

My laughter faded quickly, and Layla said, “Phoebe was just about to tell us why she can’t get a boyfriend.”

There was no disguising the tension, as Sirius replied, “She doesn’t want ‘a boyfriend’, she wants me.”

Everyone accept Lily, Remus and myself, started to laugh. Remus just looked down at the ground, as if he was hoping it might swallow him up. Either he hadn’t told his friends what had happened between us, or they were just really insensitive. I hoped it was the first of the two.

“Get over yourself Sirius,” I said, “I got over you ages ago. Besides, there isn’t a girl in the world who could fancy you as much as you fancy yourself.”

I saw the corners of Remus’s mouth turn upwards slightly, but I walked on ahead of them all. It was hard enough being near Remus during lessons, having to put a brave face on, without having to do it outside too. If we weren’t going to talk to each other, then we had to keep away from each other, because if we didn’t, I was scared that all my pent up feelings of misery and pain would explode for everyone to see. On the odd occasions that I had risked looking over at Remus, I noticed that he looked unhappy too, but I didn’t dare to let myself think it had anything to do with me. I hated to think of him being miserable though. Just because we were avoiding each other, it didn’t mean I cared for him any less. ‘Don’t Phoebe,’ I told myself, ‘Don’t think about it.’

“Oy, Marshall!”

Lovely.

I just didn’t get it. When I had wanted Sirius’s attention, he’d ignored me, but now I didn’t want it, I couldn’t get rid of him.

“Go away Sirius,” I said, walking faster.

“Wait,” he said, running to catch up, “Talk to me.”

“I believe I just did. I told you to go away.”

“What’s going on with you and Remus?” he asked, ignoring my attempt to snub him.

I sighed, and said, “Why would you think there’s something going on?”

“Because usually after I’ve annoyed you, he runs after you to cheer you up. The fact that he didn’t today, along with the fact that he’s been walking around with a face like a slapped backside for the last few days, suggests there’s something wrong.”

“Congratulations,” I muttered with disdain, “You’re a genius. Go away.”

“I’m just trying to help,” he said holding up his hands in defeat.

“Yeah, your comment about me ‘wanting you’ was really helpful,” my voice was now dripping with sarcasm.

“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” he said, with a grin, “Everyone wants me.”

“I’m happy for you. But just so you know, I handed back my membership to the Sirius Black fan club a few weeks ago.”

“I thought you were the founding member?”

“I resigned.”

Instead of taking my very obvious hint that I didn’t want to speak to him, he spun round in front of me, walking backwards so that I couldn’t ignore him, His long black hair was messy, and falling in front of his eyes, and his bag was slung casually over his shoulder. He pouted at me comically, and said, “Why aren’t you nice to me anymore?”

“Why?” I asked, finally losing my patience, “Is it such a blow to your ego that just one girl has realised that there are other boys in the school besides you?”

From the glare he gave me, the answer was obviously, ‘yes’.

You were never my type anyway,” he said, stepping aside.

“Boo hoo.”

I walked past him, hating him and his smugness. I didn’t care what he thought about me, or that he probably wouldn’t ever speak to me again. I just wanted him to get the message that I was well and truly over him. The only part of my conversation with Sirius that was still resounding in my brain, was the part when he had highlighted the fact that Remus hasn’t come after me. It wasn’t that I had expected him too but…I missed it.

I stopped and looked back at the others. Sirius looked rather sulky as he re-joined the group. Peter was rotating his head from left to right, gazing adoringly at first Lily, then Layla. Lily caught James rumpling up his hair and shook her head, a look of disinterest on her face, although I saw her smile slightly as she looked away.

And then there was Remus, trailing behind them all. Part of me wanted to go to him, to speak to him, to make things right again, but another part was afraid that he might turn me away. Could I really stand to put myself through that again?

With another sigh, I turned on my heel and continued on my way to the greenhouse.

Once everyone had arrived and taken their places, we all continued labelling the parts of the Fanged Geranium which we had begun during the previous lesson. It wasn’t exactly challenging, but I wasn’t sure I would have coped with anything more complicated at the time.

“So, who is it Marshall?” Sirius asked, the second Professor Sprout had wandered out of the greenhouse.

“Who is what?” I asked, knowing precisely what he meant, but hoping to buy some time while I thought up an appropriate cover story.

“The boy you’ve ‘noticed’. Who is it?”

From the opposite side of the room Layla was craning her neck trying to hear what we were saying.

“What makes you think it’s someone in particular?” I asked, “Maybe I’ve just come to my senses and realised you’re a prat.”

Lily, who was in the unfortunate position of being in between Sirius and I, smiled at my comment.

“There has to be someone,” Sirius persisted, “Who?”

“Why?” I challenged, “Why do you care so much anyway?”

“I don’t care,” he said, with an unconcerned laugh, “I’m just curious. I mean, he must be really special if you like him more than you like me.”

My annoyance fell away, as I realised that, for once, he’d got something right.

“Yeah,” I said, my voice suddenly softer, “He is.”

Remus looked up from his diagram, and our eyes met for a second. It was the first time we had acknowledged each other since Sunday. He still looked tired, his scars hadn’t yet healed and the vulnerability I had seen in him remained. It would have been so easy just to wrap my arms around him and make things better. But I couldn’t. Fera, and the fact that we were in the middle of a lesson, stopped me. As my eyes shifted back to Sirius, I could see him putting two and two together and coming up with the correct answer. It all happened so quickly, that anyone looking in from the outside wouldn’t have noticed it.

Sirius didn’t seem to know what to do with the information he had just uncovered, so he just shrugged and got back to work without another word. I watched him for a while, with interest. I could tell exactly what he was thinking. It was written all over his face. ‘He’s so bloody arrogant that he can’t believe that anyone would choose Remus over him! Even though Remus is one of his best friends, he can’t stand it!” It had nothing to do with me, it could have been any girl at all, but the fact remained, Sirius was actually jealous of Remus.

Shaking my head in amazement at the way Sirius’s mind worked, I went back to my own sketch and tried to get the image of Remus looking at me so sadly, out of my head.

At the end of the lesson, Remus shot out of the classroom, ahead of everyone, leaving me disappointed because I’d hoped that he might hang back so we could talk. Lily linked her arm through mine, and said, “Come on Phoebe, let’s go and get some lunch.”

***
Once again, I found myself in the Great Hall at lunchtime with no appetite whatsoever. Even Lily’s attempts at distracting me weren’t working anymore. I was too far lost in my own gloom to even pretend that everything was okay. I couldn’t quite believe I had let Sirius know about my feelings for Remus, although whether to add it to my list of achievements or not, I wasn’t sure. I guessed not as Remus still wasn’t speaking to me.

The rest of the day was a struggle, but somehow I made it through, and I went to bed at a ridiculously early hour to avoid having to discuss how I was feeling with anyone. It was just too difficult to act happy when I felt so down so I thought it was best to stay away from everyone. I didn’t want my misery to cascade onto anyone else.

The problem with going to bed so early, was that I woke up at midnight, wide awake, my throat abnormally dry and I realised, to my annoyance that I wouldn’t get back to sleep until I had quenched my thirst, which meant going down to the common room in search of Pumpkin juice. I waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, then reached out for my wand.

“Lumos,” I whispered, and light shone from my wand’s tip.

I held it low, so as not to wake the others, then started to creep down the spiral staircase. Just before I reached the bottom, I stopped as I heard voices drifting up from the common room.

“-what I should do. I don’t know anymore.”

It was Remus’s voice. He sounded weary and utterly fed up.

You’ve got to do something Remus, you can’t carry on like this.”

I was even more surprised to hear that it was Lily’s voice that followed. I hadn’t even noticed she wasn’t in bed as I had walked by.

I know,” Remus said, with a sigh, “I just don’t know what.”

Talk to her,” Lily told him, “She feels awful about what happened. Pretending she doesn’t exist is just making things worse. You’re hurting her Remus and it’s not fair.”

It’s not easy for me either,” Remus said, his voice rising in frustration, “I wish things were different, I wish I could tell her that I’m-” he stopped and I heard him sigh again, “Forget it. I’m not going to change my mind.”

You’re being stupid. Whatever your reasons are for not telling her the truth, they’re not good enough. You’re both so unhappy.”

It’s not your decision.”

Fine,” Lily said, obviously realising she was wasting her breath, “But then at least talk to her and fix your friendship because she really misses you.”

I miss her too. But it’s too soon. I can’t-”

At that point, I thought I’d heard enough. I would just have to stay thirsty because there was no way I was going into the common room now. I quietly climbed back up the stairs, my mind reeling What was it that he wanted to tell me, but couldn’t? It didn’t sound as if Lily knew either which was a shame. I was hoping she might be able to give me a clue. Whatever it was, it didn’t sound like I was going to find out any time soon.

I climbed back into bed and turned out my wand light. The last thing I heard as I slowly drifted off to sleep, was Remus’s voice saying. “I miss her too.”
****
Okay, that's all for now!
Thank you for reading!

Thoughts please!


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  #16  
Old June 14th, 2006, 2:35 pm
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Sixth Year
 
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Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

This is a weird post! I don't know if I like it or not! But I had to keep it fairly short, because the next bit will probably be quite long!

Thank you to everyone who has now linked my fic in their sig! Love ya!

Chapter 8

The next two and a half weeks whizzed by in a blur of late night studying sessions and severe sleep deprivation. Everyone who was intent on doing well in their exams were either walking around like zombies from the exhaustion, or buzzing around frantically trying to cram in a few extra minutes studying whenever possible. I fell into the first of those two categories, which was unusual for me. The words ‘highly strung’ were often applied to me in times of stress. It was actually a refreshing change from chaotic to comatose!

The pressure of exams had been very useful to my healing process. I barely had the energy to wish Lily goodnight before I passed out at night, and during the day I was so focused on my work that there was no longer any time to spend re-running my last conversation with Remus in my head. The outcome was that it didn’t hurt as much anymore. With every day things felt a little better. Remus and I had even progressed to smiling at each other across the common room every now and again, which was a vast improvement.

Lily never told me about her late night conversation with Remus, and I didn’t ask. I knew if she had uncovered anything important, she would have told me. I wasn’t upset with her for talking to him about me, because I could tell she was only trying to help. I trusted her judgment completely. To be honest, I wished I’d never heard any of it anyway.

Sirius hadn’t spoken to me since that day in Herbology. Clearly my comment had offended him permanently. He had taken to ‘Levicorpus’ing me, usually when Layla Ferrell was around, which cause her great amusement. She was still continuing her hate campaign against Lily and I, but the reason was still as unclear as ever.

**
The weekend before our exams began, most of the fifth and seventh years were working extra hard to get in some last minute revision. I however, was absolutely sick of studying. The library was full, the Gryffindor common room was packed with people reading, testing each other, or practising spells, and all I could think about was getting away from it. I had worked so hard over the past few weeks, that I decided, ‘If I don’t know it now, I never will.’ I knew feelings of guilt would kick in later, but on Saturday afternoon, I wanted to rest.

I couldn’t persuade Lily Sarah and Jane to take a break, so I had to entertain myself. I went down to Hagrid’s for a cup of tea and to check on Lily’s Kneazle, which after much deliberation, she had named, Buddy, after Buddy Holly, then I took a slow walk back towards school where I met Ella and Lucy in the courtyard.

Since the morning I had helped them with their homework, we had had several conversation which were usually centered around teachers, lessons and Sirius. Ella had taken quite a shine to him, even with my attempts to convince her that he was a prat. I couldn’t judge her too harshly though, I remembered a time when I had felt the same way about him.

The three of us were just about to go back into the castle when we heard a boy shout, “Hey!”

Lucy, Ella and I looked over our shoulders. Across the courtyard, Evan Rosier, and Severus were in a heap on the floor, their ankles bound together by a thick rope. I looked around for the culprit, but I couldn’t see who it could be. There was a gang of first year Ravenclaws, but they wouldn’t have been capable of such a spell, and a few other Slytherins, but they were unlikely to have attacked people from their own house.

Everyone was laughing at the sight of Evan and Severus struggling to get to their feet, and as much as I would have liked to stay and enjoy the moment, I thought it was time to get back to work.

We were about to continue on our way, when Remus, Sirius, James and Peter came running towards us, laughing. They came to a halt when they reached us, and peered round us just in time to see Severus use his wand to get rid of the ropes that had joined him to his friend.

It was a bit of a coincidence that the boys had appeared shortly after an incident involving Severus, although I wasn’t quite sure how they had managed to do it when I hadn’t seen them nearby at the time.

“Okay,” I said, suspiciously, “How did you do it?”

“Do what?” James asked, as the four of them looked at each other blankly.

“You know what I mean,” I said, with a look of mixed amusement and confusion, “Come on, out with it.”

“Honestly, we don’t know what you mean,” Remus said, but a slight smile gave him away though.

With a laugh, I shook my head and turned to Ella and Lucy.

“These are the people who are supposed to set you a good example,” I sighed, with mock despair.

“We are setting them a good example,” James insisted, “We’re teaching them that greasy, ugly Slytherins need to be put in their place.”

“And that place is on the floor, in the dirt,” Sirius added, but with a grin so he didn’t seem too evil.

The irony that it was because of Severus that both Remus and Sirius had spoken to me for the first time in weeks, was not lost on me but I didn’t comment on it.

“Why aren’t you studying?” James asked me, “I thought you’d be inside surrounded by textbooks.”

“I’m tired of it,” I replied, “I took the afternoon off. What’s your excuse?”

“We’re too clever to worry about studying,” Sirius replied, smugly.

“Not with your girlfriend today then?” I asked, unable to resist getting a little dig in. It was so much easier now that I didn’t care what he thought of me.

I still couldn’t believe that after five years of mooning around after him, I no longer had any feelings for him. Even though my feelings for Remus had now cooled somewhat, I still would have put him miles ahead of Sirius. Things really had changed.

“You mean Layla?” Sirius asked, “She’s not my girlfriend, just one of my many admirers.”

“And of course, she will be studying because she’s as thick as you are arrogant. But you probably haven’t noticed her lack of intelligence, as you’ve been too busy snogging her to notice she can’t string a sentence together!”

I don’t really know what possessed me to say it, but I smiled sweetly, and Sirius’s eyes narrowed. “I haven’t snogged her,” he said, “I’m not going out with her.”

“Well, then do you think you could stop hanging me up in the air every time she’s nearby, because I’ve still got serious bruising from being dropped on my backside yesterday.”

In spite of his annoyance, I saw his eyes flash mischievously for a moment, but he controlled it well, and said, “Only if you start being nice to me again.”

“Why?” I asked, now thoroughly enjoying tormenting him, "Have you missed me?”

“You wish.”

I could suddenly see why Sirius had so much enjoyed winding me up, when he knew he would get a rise out of me, but he wasn’t enjoying it so much now things had turned around. I could have gone on all day, but Ella looked slightly traumatised as she watched me and Sirius arguing with each other, so I thought I’d better control my newly forming sadistic streak.

“Okay,” I said, “I’ve finished now.”

“Are you going back to the common room?” Remus asked.

“Library,” I replied, “I can’t put it off any longer.”

“Can I walk up with you?”

“Yeah,” I said, a little surprised, but pleased, “Of course.”

“Oh, come on mate,” James complained, “You can’t wimp out on us now!”

“Sorry,” Remus told them, “I want to pass my exams.”

“So study later. We’ve got things to do,” he added meaningfully.

I was sure that by ‘things’, James meant the continued torture of Severus, and for a second I was tempted to ask if I could join them. Severus was still being very dismissive to Lily, and although it bothered her a little less, I could still see that it upset her a bit. Any revenge on him was fine with me.

“Not now,” Remus said, “Go on without me.”

James opened his mouth to argue, but Sirius said, “Let him go. He’s obviously got better things to do.”

He shot me a nasty look and then walked away, James and Peter following him quickly.

“Idiot,” I muttered, wondering what was behind the look he’d given me.

The things I had said to him were nothing compared to what he’d said to me in the past, he had no right to get stroppy about it.

“Ignore him,” Remus said, “He’s just got a bee in his bonnet because I’ve ruined his plan for the afternoon.”

“Which was?” I asked, as we began to walk back into the castle.

Remus glanced down at Ella and Lucy who were listening intently, and said, “I’ll tell you later.”

We separated from Ella and Lucy at the library, and before we went inside, Remus said, “Phoebe,I need to apologise for-“

“Stop,” I interrupted, “You don’t have to apologise for anything, okay?”

I really meant it too. The awkwardness between us had suddenly gone, and I didn’t want to bring it back.

“I think I do Phoebs,” he went on, “I shouldn’t have left it so long before speaking to you again after what happened.”

“It doesn’t matter, really. We don’t need to go over it. Besides, I could just as easily have spoken to you. I was just…too scared.”

“Me too.”

We smiled sheepishly at each other, and Remus said, “So can things go back to normal now?”

“I’d like that.”

It was the possibly easiest make-up in the history of the world, but why make it more complicated when it didn’t need to be? The situation had settled down, we were back on speaking terms again. That was all that mattered.

A short while later, Remus and I entered the library, armed with our notes from as many different subjects as we could carry, and found two seats next to each other, which were unfortunately placed at the end of a table of Hufflepuffs, which included Layla, Hannah and Melissa. I didn’t let it worry me though, Layla wasn’t nearly as mouthy when Sirius wasn’t around.

I looked around for Lily, Sarah and Jane and eventually spotted them three tables away, and there was someone else sitting with them too.

“Is that Joe Maloney sitting opposite Lily?” Remus whispered.

“Yeah,” I said, laughing, “It is.”

I watched them for a moment, as neither seemed to be studying very much. They appeared to be passing notes across the table to each other to avoid disturbing Sarah and Jane by talking. ‘Whoa,’ I thought, ‘He really is gorgeous.’ He had the most piercing blue eyes, the type that most girls would love to gaze into, but he seemed only to notice Lily.

“Looks like someone’s jealous,” Remus said, nodding his head towards Layla.

As I looked up, I saw he was right. She was staring at Lily and Joe with a murderous expression on her face.

“Well that explains things,” I whispered, “That’s why she’s been such a cow. She fancies Joe.”

“Why is she being mean to you too though?”

I shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe she fancies you,” I teased.

Remus gently tapped me on the head with his Charms notes, but laughed and said, “Get to work!”

Still giggling, I put my head down and began to read.

**

I didn’t get to grill Lily about Joe Maloney until much later that night, as she mysteriously disappeared after dinner and didn’t reappear until bedtime when she wandered into the dormitory, a sickeningly happy grin plastered on her face.

“Good evening,” I said, unable to stop myself chuckling at her dreamy expression.

Lily sank down onto her bed, and said, “He’s perfect!”

Rolling onto my side to face her, I said, “What happened? I want details!”

“Nothing happened,” Lily said, sticking her tongue out at me, “But he is perfect!”

“If nothing happened, why are you smiling like that?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“You’ve seen him, right?” she asked, laughing.

“Oh yes!” I nodded, “So where have you been all this time?”

“We were down by the lake,” Lily said as she lay back on the bed, “Phoebe he’s-“

"Perfect?” I teased.

“Yes!”

“What did you talk about?”

“Everything. Exams, teachers, our friends, family – everything.”

“And he didn’t kiss you?”

“No. But he held my hand though,” she said, blushing slightly.

As she stared dreamily into space, I smiled. It was lovely to see her so happy. She had had a difficult time with worrying about Severus, so for her to suddenly be so carefree was great.

“Where were you this afternoon anyway?” Lily asked, suddenly coming out of her trance, “I thought you said you were going to come to the library later.”

“I did,” I said, “But you were too busy with Joe to notice!”

Lily put her hands up to her mouth, and said, “Oh, I’m sorry!”

“It’s okay,” I replied, with a grin, “I was with Remus.”

“Remus?” she asked, sitting upright again, her eyes widening in excitement, “Tell me more!”

“Everything’s back to normal. We’re friends again.”

“Just friends?”

“Yeah, but that’s okay," I told her,"That’s all I want.”

“Really?” Lily asked, gently.

I nodded, “Really. I still care about him a lot, and if he changed his mind about me….who knows? But for now I’m just pleased we can talk again.”

********

Odd ending place too! Sorry about that! If you stick with me just a bit longer, things do begin to get interesting again! I promise!
Thank you for reading!
Go on, you know you want to!


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  #17  
Old June 18th, 2006, 11:57 am
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Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hi guys! I can't really take too much credit for this post, JKR wrote most of it! But of course, I had to change perspectives. Anyway, I hope you find this post as amusing to read, as I found it to write!


**************

Chapter 9

My relief that my life had become normal again, carried me through the weekend. I studied for most of Sunday with Lily, Sarah, Jane and Joe, who had now become part of the group. Lily was right, he was a really nice guy. He chatted with all of us, unconcerned that a) we were two years younger than him, and b) we all fancied him. Sarah, Jane and I let out a collective sigh as he and Lily went out in the afternoon for another one of their walks, hand in hand. She was so lucky!

James, however, was not so pleased by Lily’s new found joy with his Quidditch team mate. His face fell as he watched Lily climbing out through the portrait hole with Joe, and I could see his hope slipping away into nothingness. I really felt for him, I could only imagine how awful he was feeling, and across the common room, I gave him an understanding smile. I briefly debated whether or not to go and speak to him, but I realised that there was nothing I could say to make him feel better. While I hated to see anyone feeling sad, Lily was my best friend and her happiness was more important than anything. She may not have really been going out with Joe, but she certainly liked him a lot, so to give James false hope would have been even more cruel than the suffering he was already feeling.

**

On Monday morning, everyone’s moods changed as the first exam loomed. It was all anyone could think about as we went down to breakfast. I could only manage to force down two pieces of toast, because my stomach was churning so much. ‘Why didn’t I spend more time revising on Saturday?’ I scolded myself, ‘Just an extra couple of hours could have made all the difference.’ These exams were hugely important, and I really wanted to do well. I felt an extra pressure, being Muggle born in a school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I had a need to prove myself, but most of all, I didn’t want my dream of becoming an Auror to be snatched away by some stupid mistake that I might make because I hadn’t put enough hours of study in.

Just before we re-entered the Great Hall for our Charms theory exam, Lily and I stood anxiously with the other students, waiting to be called in, class by class, by Professor Mcgonagall.

“Well, this is it,” Lily said, with a sigh.

“Yep, it is.”

“Good luck Phoebs.”

“Good luck.”

We both burst out laughing at how dramatic we had suddenly become. We sounded like two people awaiting trial for Azkaban, rather than two fifth years waiting for an exam!

“Hey,” Remus said, materialising by my side, “Are you ready?”

“Yeah, I think so. You?”

He nodded, then gave me a huge hug that I hadn’t been expecting.

“Thanks,” I laughed, “I needed that!”

“Me too,” he said, grinning, “I feel better now.”

That was enough to prove that we were officially friends again, and as Professor Mcgonagall called us into the Great Hall, I felt a surge of confidence rise within me. Everything was going to be just fine.

**

Throughout the exams, I found myself having plenty to write during the theory parts, and somehow managing to make minimal mistakes during the practical. My biggest disasters happened during the Charms practical, when somehow I managed to make the raven I was supposed to be silencing, start to bark like a dog, during Astronomy, I was sure I’d labelled almost everything incorrectly, and in Potions, my Draught of Peace was only marginally better than the one I had produced in class a few weeks previously. I was sure that was going to be the end of my Auror hopes, which meant I was in a foul mood for the rest of the day, and I hid away in the dormitory, worrying about all the mistakes I’d probably made that I hadn’t even noticed.

Nothing even remotely interesting happened during exam time, we just sat the exams and studied in the evenings. It was dull, but with every day we felt a little more excited that we were nearing the end.

The last Thursday morning of the exams, we had theory of Defence Against the Dark Arts. It was a hot day, and the Great Hall was alarmingly stuffy, but I worked through it. With ten minutes remaining, I felt I had answered the questions as fully as I could, but re-read the paper again, just to make sure I had included everything necessary. Once I was finally satisfied, I looked up and rubbed my eyes. They were starting to ache from the concentration. Lily, was so far away from me, I couldn’t even locate her, so I rested my quill down on my desk, and relaxed back in my chair.

“Five more minutes,” Professor Flitwick said.

At the desk in front of me, Sirius was tilting his chair back on two legs, his hands behind his head as if he were hanging out in the common room, rather than in the middle of an exam. I smiled to myself, trying to stop myself willing his chair to fall over. He was probably too cool for anything that embarrassing to happen anyway, I was out of luck. Two seats along from me, Remus was re-reading his answers, and absent-mindedly scratching his chin with his quill.

“Quills down please,” Professor Flitwick squeaked, “That means you too Stebbins! Please remain seated while I collect your parchment. Accio!”

Professor Flitwick fell backwards, as over a hundred pieces of parchment shot across the room to him. Several people laughed, and Luke Rogers and Alan Arnold from Ravenclaw ran over and helped him to his feet.

“Thank you…thank you,” he panted, “Very well everybody, you’re free to go.”

Shoving my exam paper into my bag, I leapt to my feet, eager to get out of the stifling hall, and into the sunshine. I found Lily, Sarah and Jane and we joined the throng of people heading for the door.

“How do you think it went?” Lily asked, as she did after every exam.

“Really well. What did you think?”

“Yeah, I thought it was fine.”

“Let’s get out of here,” Sarah said, “I’m boiling! Let’s go to the lake.”

She heard no complaints from the rest of us, so that was what we did.

“One more exam to go!” I cheered, as we sat down at the edge of the lake and removed our shoes and socks so we could dip our feet in the cool water.

“Hurrah!” Jane said, and we all laughed.

We couldn’t fail to be in a good mood. The sun was shining, the exams were almost over and in four days time, we would be on our way home for the summer!

“I can’t believe we’ve almost finished our OWL’s,” Lily said, “This year has gone really fast.”

“We must be getting old,” Jane remarked, “My mum always says, the closer you get to the end, the faster things go.”

“Like…toilet paper,” Lily mused.

We stared at her for a second, taking in her interesting view of Jane’s comment, then promptly burst out laughing.

“Toilet paper?” Sarah giggled, and Lily just shrugged.

“We might be nearing the end of school,” I said, “But our lives are just beginning.”

“I know,” Lily agreed, “We’re nearly adults, in wizarding terms.”

“Sorry to interrupt the philosophising,” Jane cut in, “But Lily, I think James is trying to get your attention.”

“Don’t look!” Lily said, as we had all been about to turn around, “What’s he doing?”

“Playing with a Golden Snitch,” Jane replied, squinting slightly through the sunshine.

Lily rolled her eyes, “I saw him doing that yesterday.”

I couldn’t resist taking a quick peek. Sure enough, a little way away from us, James was looking in our direction as he kept letting the Snitch fly out of his hands, then catching just before it escaped. Peter was watching James, awestruck, as always. Remus was leaning against a tree, reading and Sirius was sitting on the grass looking boredly around at all the students who were wandering by.

“He’s got it bad,” Jane commented, “Really bad.”

“He’ll have to get over it,” Lily said, completely uninterested.

“He’s very good looking though, isn’t he?”

“He’s okay I suppose,” she agreed, with another shrug, “But that doesn’t make up for him being such a berk.”

“And of course, you have moved onto older boys,” Jane teased.

Lily smiled, but didn’t say anything. She hadn’t really had a lot to say on the subject of Joe for a few days, but they were still spending every spare minute together so I knew everything was okay between them. Lily wasn’t really the type to harp on about things anyway. It was clear from just looking at her that she was perfectly content with her life, she didn’t need to say a word!

“Oh, he’s put it away,” Jane went on, continuing her running commentary of James, “And he’s running his hand through his hair again!”

“Ah, I love the ‘I just stepped off my broom’ look,” Sarah mocked, running her fingers through her thick blonde hair in imitation.

Laughing, I took my feet out of the water as they had already begun to get cold, and beside me Lily did the same.

“Maybe he’ll grow up one day,” I said.

“What do you think he’ll do when he leaves school?” Sarah asked, thoughtfully.

“He’ll be the inventor of hair potions that keep your hair messy all day long,” Jane replied, “He’ll make millions!”

Giggling, Sarah said, “What about Sirius?”

“Centrefold for Witch Weekly,” I replied, with a grin.

“And Peter?”

“Minister for Magic,” Lily answered, dryly.

At that we all fell about laughing as we imagined Peter trying to keep the wizarding world under control. The mind boggled!

“There’s Severus,” Jane said, as he walked past us, his eyes still firmly fixed upon his exam paper, “What do you think he’ll be?”

“Mass murderer?” I suggested.

Lily poked me in the arm, still laughing, “Don’t be mean!”

“He’s creepy enough to be a murderer,” Jane said, “I think Phoebe’s got a point.”

Lily began putting her shoes and socks back on, and as I looked back over to where the boys were sitting, I saw James disarm Severus.

“Uh-oh,” Jane said, “This looks interesting.”

Before I could reply, Severus had been knocked off his feet as he dived for his wand. All of the students who had been aimlessly milling around had all stopped to watch, some looking worried, others, amused.

“Lily, look,” I said, nudging her as James and Sirius moved towards Severus, their wands raised. She whipped her head round, and an angry look took over her face.

“Oh, what are they doing?” she muttered, standing up.

“Leave it,” I said, “Don’t get involved.”

“Phoebs, I know you hate Severus, but I won’t let them attack him. I can’t.”

As she stormed towards them, I knew she was probably right. It wasn’t really fair to let them gang up on him. It seemed as if half the school had gathered to watch now too.

“Leave him ALONE!” I heard Lily shout, as Severus suddenly appeared to be foaming at the mouth.

I began to put my shoes and socks on too, and said, “I’d better go and back her up.”

But as I ran towards the chaotic scene, it was obvious that she didn’t need it.

“-you’re just an arrogant, bullying toerag Potter,” she said, “Leave him alone.”

I perched under the shade of the tree next to Remus, who up until then had been pretending to read, and I said, “Aren’t prefects supposed to stop incidents like these?”

“Yeah,” he said, without a hint of a grin, “It’s a good thing Lily’s here.”

“Why didn’t you do something?”

Remus looked at me as if the answer was obvious, and said, “He threatened you. He deserves everything he gets.”

In the time it had taken me to sit down, Severus had managed to reach his wand, and with a flash of light, a gash appeared down the side of James’s face, spattering his robes with blood. James didn’t waste any time reacting, and with another flash of light, Severus was hanging upside down in the air, his robes falling over his head to reveal skinny legs, and a pair of ugly greying underpants.

Many people in the crowd cheered, Sirius, James and Peter roared with laughter, and I put my hand up to my mouth to stop myself giggling. ‘Poor boy,’ I thought, ‘Being attacked with one of his own spells.’ But I happened to agree with Remus, and after what he’d done to me, I didn’t feel that bad for him. I’m ashamed to say I was sort of enjoying myself, even though I knew I shouldn’t.

“Let him down!” Lily said, a firmness in her voice that she didn’t use very often.

“Certainly,” James replied, and with a wave of his wand, Severus fell into a heap on the ground. He got up quickly, but the moment he was upright, Sirius said, “Petrificus Totalus,” and Severus fell over again, rigid as a board.

I couldn’t control my laughter any longer, he had fallen backwards like a skittle at a bowling alley! Beside me, even Remus cracked a smile.

“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” Lily shouted, pointing her wand at James and Sirius.

“Ah, Evans, don’t make me hex you,” James said.

“Take the curse off him then!”

James sighed, then turned to Severus and muttered the counter curse.

“There you go,” he said, as Severus struggled to his feet, “You’re lucky Evans was here, Snivellus-”

“I don’t need help from filthy Mudbloods like her!” Severus snarled.

The laughter died out, and any last shred of understanding I’d had for him fell away. I couldn’t believe he had turned on Lily, the only person who was trying to help him. Lily took it in her stride though.

“Fine,” she said, coolly, “I won’t bother in future. And I’d wash your pants if I were you Snivellus.”

“Apologise to Evans!” James roared at Severus, his wand pointing threateningly at him.

“I don’t want you to make him apologise,” Lily shouted at James, “You’re as bad as he is!”

“What? I’d NEVER call you a you-know-what!”

But Lily had worked herself up into a rage by now, and she spat, “Messing up your hair because you think it looks cool to look like you’ve just got off your broomstick, showing off with that stupid Snitch, walking down corridors and hexing anyone who annoys you just because you can. I’m surprised your broomstick can get off the ground with that fat head on it. You make me SICK!”

Then she turned on her heel and hurried away.

“Evans,” James shouted after her, “Hey EVANS!”

But she didn’t look back.

“Shouldn’t you go after her?” Remus asked, taking my attention away from James.

“No,” I replied, “Not yet. Lily and I have similar temperaments, that require time on our own to cool down before it’s safe for anyone to approach.”

Remus nodded. “I’ll remember that.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another flash of light, and when I looked up, Severus was upside down in the air again. James, who looked furious at being publicly rejected by Lily, said, “Who wants to see me take off Snivelly’s pants?”

Another enthusiastic cheer erupted from the crowd, and Sirius and Peter were laughing again.

Standing up quickly, I said, “Oh, please, spare us.”

I couldn’ t let it happen. The idea of Severus with his pants down made me nauseous.

James spun around to look at me, and snapped, “You’re not defending him as well now, are you?”

“No,” I said, calmly, “But you’ve taken it far enough. Let him down.”

He glared at me. “Get lost Phoebe, unless you want to join him up there.”

“I’m used to it,” I said, glancing evilly at Sirius, “Let him down James. You’re not making things any better for yourself by torturing him,” I added, with meaning.

James huffed as he pointed his wand in Severus’s direction, returning him to the ground again.

“It’s not like I had a chance anyway, is it?” he snarled, and stormed away in the opposite direction to Lily.

The crowd, who had fallen silent, began muttering to each other as they dispersed, and Severus sped away as fast as his skinny legs would carry him, leaving me with Remus, Sirius and Peter. I sat down beside Remus again, my mind still on James. Lily was right. He was an arrogant, bullying toerag. But underneath it, was a boy who seemed to care about her very much. His reaction when Severus had called her a Mudblood had proved that. If he just learned to control his temper, and eased off on the Snape torturing, he might not be so bad. It wasn’t as if Lily hadn’t noticed him, after all. I’d seen her smiling, somewhat fondly as he rumpled his hair on occasions, and although she was currently involved with Joe, I was beginning to suspect that James might have had more of an effect on her than she even realised.

*****


There's still a fair bit of action to come before the end of the year too!
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  #18  
Old June 25th, 2006, 5:03 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
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Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hi guys! Severe writer's block has prevented me from posting sooner, but this post is still kind of long! Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive during my misery! I'm better now!


Chapter 10

Lily wasn’t approachable until after dinner, and I knew it would be unwise to mention James for at least another day or two, so I kept my theory to myself. James was equally as grumpy, so that evening, Remus and I took ourselves to the library so we could pretend to study in peace!

Our last exam was Transfiguration, which I sailed through with no problems at all, and then we were finally free! Lily, Sarah, Jane and I went down to Hagrid’s to celebrate. He had made more of his famous rock cakes for us, and he had stocked up on Butterbeer so it was a proper celebration. We stayed at Hagrid’s until just before dinner time, and when we left Lily was finally allowed to take Buddy the Kneazle too!

In the common room that evening, Lily sat with Buddy curled up on her lap, and Joe sitting close beside her. They looked so cute together, there wasn’t a girl in the room who wasn’t a bit envious of them!

James, who couldn’t stand seeing them together, went up to the dormitory immediately after dinner. Peter and Sirius, who had decided to leave him to sulk in peace, stayed in the common room playing Gobstones while Remus and I sat on the floor in front of the fire, watching everyone and chatting.

“We’re going home on Monday,” I said, thoughtfully, stretching my legs out and lying on my side on the huge fluffy rug, “I can’t wait to see my parents and my brother but-” I began, then trailed off suddenly.

“But what?”

“Well, it’s just…I’ll miss….everyone.”

Remus smiled, understanding what I meant. Even though we had put that afternoon in the hospital wing behind us, sometimes I still got scared that an innocent comment might frighten him away again.

“I’ll miss you too,” he said, instantly calming my worry, “But I’ll bombard you with owls over the summer just to be sure you don’t forget me.”

Smiling, I gently nudged his knee with my foot, “I’m not going to forget you, you idiot!”

“Good. You’re my best gir-” he stopped and corrected himself, “Female friend.”

“And just how many gir…female friends do you have?” I teased.

“Not many. Just you and Lily.”

Lily.

I’d actually forgotten that, all that time ago, Remus had told me he liked Lily. It seemed like forever since we had had our first conversation, down by the lake, sharing secrets and chocolate frogs.

“Do you still…?” I asked, then raised my eyebrows, and he laughed and shook his head.

“Not anymore,” he said, “Besides, she’s got enough admirers.”

I glanced back over at where Lily was sitting. Joe now had his arm around her, and they were talking, looking deep into each other’s eyes.

“Poor James,” I said, sighing.

“I thought you didn’t like James?”

“I never used to,” I admitted, “But anyone who can care about my best friend so much, can’t be that bad. He’s got good taste.”

“He’s really crazy about her,” Remus said, leaning back against one of the armchairs.

“But how? I mean, it’s not like they’ve ever really spoken to each other much.”

“Lily’s the female equivalent of Sirius,” Remus explained, “She just has to smile, and boys fall in love with her.”

“Ah,” I said, smiling, “Now I understand. You’re right, she’s absolutely stunning.”

“Do you think James will ever have a chance with her?”

“Maybe. If he stopped hexing Snivellus all the time, then-”

“Did you just say Snivellus?” Remus interrupted, grinning.

I bit my lip, shyly, and said, “I might have. That name has really caught on,” then I burst out laughing, and said, “I still keep picturing the moment when Sirius used Petrificus Totalus on him yesterday. I think it’s going to be one of those moments I replay in my head whenever I need cheering up!”

Remus laughed too, “You’re so cruel.”

“Me?” I asked, still giggling, “You’re supposed to be a prefect but you didn’t stop it!”

“You know why.”

“Yeah,” I nodded, “I do.”

There was a moment of comfortable silence between us, and I sat up and shuffled across the rug to sit beside him. He smiled and opened his mouth to speak, but whatever he was about to say was lost as Sirius and Peter plonked themselves down on the rug in front of us.

“Hi,” I said, eyeing them suspiciously, and wondering why they had had to choose that moment to intrude on our conversation. Beside me, Remus was doing the same thing.

“We’re bored,” Sirius said, in reply to the unspoken question.

I’d had very little to do with Sirius over the last two weeks. He had eased right off on teasing and embarrassing me, and had taken to ignoring me instead I didn’t know what had caused it, but it had certainly made life easier. At least I could walk freely down the corridor without having to worry about being hung upside down in the air.

The atmosphere around the fireplace had become suddenly tense, and while I wanted to stay with Remus, I equally wanted to be away from Sirius, who for whatever reason was being deliberately irritating.

“Well,” I said after a couple of uncomfortable minutes, “I think I’m going to go to bed.”

“I’m sorry,” Sirius said, without a hint of sincerity, “Have we interrupted something?”

“Shut up Sirius,” Remus told him.

“I didn’t say a word mate.”

I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, but I didn’t want any part in it. Standing up, I said, “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“You don’t have to go, you know,” Sirius said, “If you two want to-”

“Shut up!” Remus repeated, glaring at him.

“If we want to, what?” I asked, curiosity getting the best of me.

What was it that was making Sirius so annoying, and Remus so annoyed?

“Be alone,” Sirius finished, smirking, “If you two want to be alone.”

“If you thought we wanted to be alone, why did you come over?” I asked.

Sirius looked for a second as if he genuinely had no idea what the answer was, and Remus took advantage of his silence to say, “He thinks he’s funny, just ignore him.”

‘It’s a bit late for that,’ I thought, my eyes flicking back and forth between the two of them.

“If you’ve got something to say Sirius, I’d rather you just got on with it,” I said, knowing it was very likely I would regret it.

“Well,” Sirius began, “It’s obvious that you fancy Remus, I was just wondering why you haven’t asked him out.”

I felt my cheeks flush, but I wasn’t about to let him know how much his comment had affected me. It was difficult though, when memories of Remus telling me that he wanted us to just be friends had suddenly come swarming back to me, reminding me how much it had hurt at the time.

“You just couldn’t leave it alone, could you?” I heard Remus say, and when I snapped out of my thoughts, I saw he was giving Sirius a nasty look “I told you to stay out of it.”

I had obviously missed a vital part of their argument somewhere along the line, but I didn’t know what it was or when it had happened.

“If you must know,” Remus said, “I asked Phoebe out, but she said no. We’re just friends. Are you happy now?”

I looked down at him in surprise. With that one sentence, he had turned the conversation round, taken all of my embarrassment and heaped it on himself, just to stop Sirius tormenting me.

Sirius, who now looked completely ashamed of himself, said, “I’m sorry mate. I didn’t know.”

He and Peter stood up and sloped away, and I sat back down beside Remus again, overwhelmed with gratitude.

“Thank you,” I said, taking his hand, “Thank you so much.”

“It’s okay,” Remus said, with a smile, “Anything to shut him up.”

“I can’t believe you did that.”

“I’d do anything to stop him upsetting you.”

“But,” I began, tentatively, “He knew that I liked you. That day in Herbology, when I said that…that you were special. Won’t he be wondering why I turned you down?”

Remus shook his head, “He’ll be too busy feeling guilty about humiliating me.”

“He didn’t mind attempting to humiliate me though, did he? Why does he hate me Remus? What did I do?”

“You got over him. And I think he’s only just realised what he could have had if he hadn’t been so slow.”

“You don’t think he likes me?” I asked, laughing at the idea, “There’s no way!”

“I don’t think he knows what he wants,” Remus said, with a sigh, “But I’m fairly certain he doesn’t hate you.”

**

The final weekend of term arrived, bringing with it mixed feelings. Everyone was thrilled that the exams were over and this was to be the most relaxed weekend we had had at school all year, but at the same time, we were also a bit sad that we would soon be leaving our friends behind for the summer.

Lily and I spent Saturday morning lazily sprawled around the common room with Sarah and Jane, enjoying our freedom, then after lunch, Lily asked me to go for a walk with her. We strolled in the direction of Hagrid’s, but instead of going down the grassy hillside to his hut, we perched at the top, sitting ourselves at a safe distance from the Whomping Willow.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, once we were comfortable.

She had been a little bit quiet all morning. Not unhappy, exactly, but I knew there was something on her mind.

Lily smiled at my perception, and said, “You could give Professor Strauss a run for her money, you know?”

“I’m not a seer,” I laughed,”I just know you. What’s going on?”

“It’s not really anything,” Lily shrugged, “It’s just…Joe.”

“Lily, only you could say his name so casually! Most girls blush at the mere thought of him!”

“I know,” she said, smiling, “He’s great.”

“So why are you looking so down?”

“I’m not really. But, well, last night we were talking and we ended things between us.”

“Ended? Why?”

“Well, it’s not going to work out, is it?” Lily said, gazing out over the hill to Hagrid’s hut, “He’s leaving school, and I’m not. We’d never see each other. It’s just not practical.”

“Love isn’t supposed to be practical,” I teased.

“It’s not love Phoebs. I like him a lot, but it’s not love. We’re going to stay in touch, and I’m meeting up with him later, but once the term’s over, we’re just going to be friends.”

Just friends. That phrase was beginning to hurt my ears, I’d heard it so often lately. With a sigh, I put my arm around Lily, and said, “Maybe you’re right. It wouldn’t be easy to have boyfriend you couldn’t spend any time with”

“It’s a shame he’s not in our year though, He’s a good kisser.”


I turned my head to look at her, she had a sly grin on her face.

“Lily Evans,” I said, laughing, “When did he kiss you, and why am I only just hearing about it now?”

“It happened last night,” she told me, smiling, “And you were asleep when I went to bed, so I couldn’t tell you.”

“Well, just so you know, that’s the kind of thing I don’t mind being woken up for!”

“I’ll remember,” Lily giggled.

“So? “What was it like?”

“It was…amazing,” Lily sighed, lying back on the grass with a look of absolute joy on her face, “Gentle, romantic….amazing.”

“You know, you look incredibly happy all of a sudden, I said, lying back too, “Are you sure about ending things with him?”

“I’m sure. It was nice while it lasted, but, he’s not the One.”

The One?” I repeated, rolling my eyes, “You are a soppy little thing, aren’t you?”

“Yes I am,” she replied, rather proudly, “And don’t pretend you’re not the same.”

“I’m not soppy!” I argued, “I am a cynic.”

Lily let out a snort of laughter, “You’re a liar!”

“Okay, okay,” I admitted, “I have my moments. But I’m not like you, going round talking about ‘The One’. Honestly!”

Lily nudged me, and we started to laugh again.

“Changing the subject,” she said, “Are you coming to Slughorn’s end of term lunch tomorrow?”

I groaned, and said, “Do I have to?”

“Please Phoebe,” she begged, smiling sweetly, “It’ll be more fun if you’re there.”

“But I don’t like him Lily, he’s rude to me!”

Lily fixed me with puppy dog eyes, and timidly said, “Please?”

With a sigh, I gave in and said, “Okay, okay. I’ll come.”

**

At dinner that evening, Lily sloped away before I had finished eating, for another evening stroll with Joe. Across the Great Hall, I could see Layla giving her the evil eye as they walked past her. I was really enjoying Layla’s annoyance, it made a nice change to see that there was at least one boy in the school who didn’t find her irresistible. She had certainly had her fair share of boyfriends that year, but it was clear that Joe was not about to be added to that list. I was still chuckling to myself when Sirius slid into the seat next to mine.

“Alright Marshall?” he said, resting his elbow on the table.

“What do you want?” I asked, without looking up from my plate. I wasn’t exactly pleased to see him after what had happened the night before.

“I’m here to beg for your forgiveness.”

I thought I had better continue to play along, so I said, “It’s Remus you should be grovelling to, not me.”

“I’ve already done that. He’s forgiven me. Will you?”

“That depends on whether you can restrain yourself from your constant attempts to drive me up the wall.”

“Marshall,” he said, his eyes dancing mischievously, “You love it when I tease you.”

For just a second, I could almost feel myself start to smile, but then I speedily reminded myself of what he had done, of the way he had behaved, and I fixed him with a glare.

“What you said last night was beyond teasing,” I said, “It was cruel.”

“And I’m sorry. Remus has forgiven me though.”

“That’s because he’s soft,” I said, standing up and abandoning the last of my Treacle Tart, “I don’t forgive so easily.”

“What do I have to do?” Sirius asked, standing up too.

“All I want you to do, is leave me alone,” I told him, with a sigh, “I’m tired of being used as a source of entertainment for you. Please just stay away from me.”

I walked out of the Great Hall, leaving Sirius, speechless at the Gryiffindor table. Even though I’d meant every word, I didn’t feel nearly as happy as I had the first time I’d stood up to him. Actually, I felt inexplicably deflated. Maybe it was the slightly hurt look on his face as I walked away that was causing it. What if, for once, he actually meant his apology? ‘That boy is incapable of being genuine,’ I told myself, ‘Look at the way he’s been treating you this year. He does not deserve forgiveness, and it's a bit late for him to start making an effort now!’

**
The next post will be the final one for their fifth year! Hurrah!
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  #19  
Old June 29th, 2006, 3:19 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
Location: Away with the fairies
Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Oh my! Get yourselves a cup of tea, coffee or whatever you fancy...this is a long one! I'd like to just say that this is the most nervous I've been about a post since my first one! I hope everyone is happy with the way this goes! I'm going to quiver nervously until I get some feedback! Please be brutally honest though!
I hope you like it!!

******************

Slughorn’s lunchtime party on Sunday was interesting, for want of a better word. It was the first time I had been to one of his parties, as I blankly refused to go with Lily every other time she had asked me. My dislike for Slughorn had kept me away before, but this time I thought it might make a nice change.

We arrived in Slughorn’s office at one o clock, and I had to admit, he had put on a good spread. There was mountains of food piled high on what seemed like hundreds of different plates on a long table that had been placed down one side of the room. Bottles of Butterbeer and jugs of Pumpkin Juice were lined up on a separate table beside the door, and there was jazz music playing subtly in the background. I took my first look around to see who had made it to this exclusive gathering. Severus was skulking in a corner on his own looking bored. Talking to Slughorn, I saw Beverly Jessop from Ravenclaw, and her friend Jenny Winton. There were several people from the second year, chatting in the middle of the room, and Stuart Davies and Mark Lawrence from Hufflepuff were eating most of the buffet between them.

“Phoebe!”

From the far side of the room, Ella and Lucy ran towards Lily and I, looking relieved to see us.

“Hi,” I said, smiling, “Wow, you must be really good at Potions if you’ve been invited here!”

Ella blushed, and nodded, but before she could say anything, Slughorn bounded over to us. He had really surpassed himself with his waistcoat this time, it was bright red with little Hippogriffs all over it!

“Lily!” he boomed, “You made it!”

“Of course Professor,” she replied, “I wouldn’t have missed this.”

I tried to stifle a giggle at her obvious falseness, which Slughorn failed to notice.

“And Miss Marshall,” he said, politely, “Very good of you to come along.”

“Lovely to be here,” I replied, with equal politeness, and this time it was Lily who had to suppress a laugh.

“Well, go and get yourselves something to eat!” Slughorn said, patting his round stomach, “There’s plenty!”

“Thank you Professor,” Lily said, and Slughorn breezed away to greet the next arrivals.

“I think he’s warming to me,” I said, with a grin.

“He has been slightly nicer to you lately,” Lily pointed out, “Maybe you’ll be a fully fledged member of the Slug Club yourself next year.”

“I’d rather get a job as Severus’s hairdresser,” I replied, dryly.

Ella giggled, and said, “It looks like he needs one!”

“Come on,” Lily said, shaking her head, “Let’s go and get some food.”

The four of us went over to the food laden table and began piling sandwiches, chicken drumsticks, pumpkin pasties and well, a bit of everything on our plates, until we couldn’t fit anymore on, then sat down on the floor in an unoccupied corner to eat.

“We don’t have to dance or anything, do we?” I asked, tucking into my food.

“You love dancing Phoebs,” Lily said, “But no. The music is just to add to the ambience!”

“Shame,” I said, “I’d love to see Slughorn freaking out on the dancefloor!”

“You should have come to the Christmas party,” Ella chuckled, “He was dancing the Tango with Barbara Bunter from Puddlemere United!”

“Ah, yes,” I said, “I forgot he invites the rich and famous to his parties. Maybe nobody could make it today.”

“It’s usually only at Christmas that he has special guests,” Lily said.

“So, who do you speak to at these things when I’m not here?” I asked, “Apart from Ella and Lucy, there’s nobody else that you really know.”

Lily glanced at me over her cheese sandwich, and I understood.

“Right,” I said, “Severus.”

Looking over into the corner where he was standing, I saw him picking at a sausage roll, then give up completely, throwing his plate into a nearby bin.

“He looks lonely,” Lucy said, watching him.

I was surprised. Lucy very rarely spoke in front of Lily and I, so for her to notice Severus, and say something which sounded like concern seemed a bit strange.

“He does look lonely,” Lily agreed, and I could tell she was thinking the same thing I was, “Do you know him Lucy?” she asked, with the perfect balance of casualness and curiosity.

“No,” Lucy replied, quietly, still looking at him, “I just know that it’s not very nice to be on your own.”

Ella looked a little worried, but continued eating as if the conversation wasn’t happening which made my interest heighten a bit more. There was clearly more to Lucy than first met the eye, but what was it? And why was she still looking at Severus like that?

**

I walked back towards the common room alone after Slughorn’s party. Lily had chosen to make one last attempt to heal her rift with Severus, and Ella and Lucy had gone to meet some friends. I thought I would go and seek out Sarah and Jane so we could all wait for Lily to come back together.

As I approached, standing just beside the portrait of the Fat Lady I saw three people arguing, and as I got closer, I saw it was Layla, Joe and James.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” James shouted at Layla, “Haven’t you got anything better to do?”

“No, actually,” Layla retorted, and I saw she had her hand on Joe’s arm, “And I was doing just fine until you came along!”

“That’s not true,” Joe said, firmly, shaking his head, “Not at all.”

“What’s going on?” I asked, and they all turned to look at me.

“Nothing,” Layla replied, a smile playing on her lips, but she removed her hand from his arm and took a slight step away.

“She just kissed me,” Joe said, quickly, “But I didn’t do anything to encourage her, you’ve got to believe me.”

“Oh, I do,” I said, my eyes narrowing, “She’s been dying to get her claws into you.”

“You’re just jealous,” Layla said, “Because you can’t get a boyfriend.”

“At least she doesn’t go round trying to steal other people’s boyfriends!” James snapped, “Unlike you.”

His anger shocked me. I would have thought he would have been happy about someone coming between Joe and Lily.

“Aren’t there enough single boys in the school for you Layla?” I asked, “Or do you just get greater pleasure out of breaking people up?”

“I was just having a bit of fun,” Layla said, still smirking, but I knew she wasn’t as confident underneath. She may have been a nasty piece of work, but I knew that Joe rejecting her had really hurt her. I wasn’t cruel enough to rub it in though, even though I knew if things had been the other way round, she wouldn’t have let me off so easily.

“Go away,” I said, glaring at her, “And if you tell anyone that you and Joe kissed-”

“You’d better book yourself a bed in the hospital wing,” James finished.

Layla walked away as coolly as she could manage, and once she was out of sight, Joe said, “Thanks. Both of you. I wouldn’t want Lily to think that I would ever be interested in Layla.”

“It’s okay,” I told him, “Let’s just keep it between ourselves.”

He nodded, and said, “I’ll see you later.”

Joe started down the steps, and I turned to James and said, “What just happened? Why did you-?”

“I don’t like Lily being with him,” James muttered angrily, “But if she’s going to go out with someone, it had better be someone who looks after her. I don’t want her to get hurt.”

I smiled, and James said, “What’s so funny?”

“I’m not laughing at you,” I said, “I think you’re very sweet.”

“Can you tell Lily? Because she thinks I’m a loser.”

“No she doesn’t. But you try too hard. Just relax around her. Be yourself.”

“I can’t,” he said, smacking his hand against the wall in frustration, “I see her, and I turn into an idiot!”

This time I did laugh, because I knew the feeling only too well.

“It’ll be okay,” I told him, “It really will. It starts to get easier, you get used to it, and-”

“When?” he asked, miserably, “I’ve been in love with her since I saw her on the Hogwarts Express in our first year. And every year it’s got harder, not easier.”

Having run out of words, I was so touched by his unhappiness that I gave him a hug. James tensed up at first, startled by my friendliness, then he relaxed and put his arms around me too.

“That was a well timed hug,” he said, with a small laugh, and we let go of each other.

“Well, I’m a girl, we’re sensitive like that.”

“Thanks Phoebe. Thanks for not completely dashing my hopes with Lily.”

Smiling, I said, “All you have to do to get her attention is be yourself, calling her by her first name wouldn’t hurt either. And if you must harass Severus, don’t let her see.”

“How do I get rid of Joe?”

“It’s done,” I told him, “They’re not seeing each other once the terms over. But if you tell anyone I told you, I won’t be so helpful in the future!”

James’s face broke into a grin.

“I think you’ve just made my day.”

**

At the end of term feast that evening, the Great Hall was decked out in red and gold, meaning that for only the second time in our five years at Hogwarts, Gryffindor had won the House Cup. This was largely due to James, Remus, Sirius and Peter. Having them in our house was both a blessing and a curse, because while they earned a lot of points for Gryffindor, their need to break the rules meant they also lost a lot of points too.

The moment everyone was settled, Professor Dumbledore stood up to give his usual end of year speech. I was barely listening though. I was running through my own personal memories of the last ten months at school. ‘Piles of homework, long lectures from the teachers, falling out with Lily, Polly having to leave school because of the war, falling in love with Sirius, falling out of love with Sirius, falling in love with Remus, falling out with Remus, being attacked by Severus, and finally the exams.’ I ran the list over in my mind again, slowly. With all of that going on, it was no wonder I was tired. All of those feelings, a lot of them new. And it was only just beginning.

“Phoebe,” Lily whispered, nudging me, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I said, “I was just reflecting. What a year.”

Lily smiled, “Indeed.”

“How did you get on with Severus earlier?”

“No joy,” she sighed, “He still won’t talk to me, so I suppose I’ll just have to forget about it. Can’t say I didn’t try.”

“Now,” Dumbledore said, cheerfully, “It’s time to award the House Cup! In fourth place, with three-hundred and sixty points, Hufflepuff!”

Across the table, James winked at me, and I knew he was thinking about Layla, who I could see pouting grumpily, ‘Last place again,’ I thought, smugly.

“In third place,” Dumbledore continued, “with three-hundred and eighty five points, Ravenclaw! In second place, Slytherin, with three-hundred and ninety points. And the winners of this year’s House Cup, with four hundred and fifteen points, Gryffindor!”

The Gryffindor table erupted with cheers, and everyone congratulating each other on the points they’d earned for their achievements, and Dumbledore clapped his hands and said, “May the feast begin!”

We didn’t leave the Great Hall until we had stuffed ourselves with our last Hogwarts meal. I could barely move when I’d finished! Lily, Joe and I were among the last few students to leave the Great Hall, we were so enjoying each other’s company, but I decided after a while that I should leave the alone. It was their last evening together, after all.

I wandered back towards the common room, with the intention of spending my last evening at school with Remus, but as I reached the fourth floor corridor, I saw two people kissing, and all of my thoughts abandoned me.

I recognised the back view of the boy immediately. Sirius. And in front of him, her arms wrapped tightly around him, was Layla Ferrell.

The perfect end to the perfect year,’ I thought, rather sarcastically.

Layla caught sight of me over Sirius’s shoulder, and I saw a triumphant gleam in her eyes. She had obviously realised that she had no hope of prising Joe from Lily, so she thought she’d get her revenge by snogging Sirius instead. Not that it bothered me that much; I had been expecting it for a while, after all. ‘Not bothered,’ a voice in my head mocked, ‘Who do you think you’re kidding?’ My arch enemy was kissing the boy I’d been in love with for five years, how could it not hurt a bit?

Layla closed her eyes, and pulled Sirius closer to her, deepening the kiss, and I felt a painful twinge in my stomach, like someone was twisting at my insides. I was determined not to let those feelings get the best of me though. I casually continued on my way, walking past them as if I hadn’t noticed, trying hard to block out the image of him holding her.

I didn’t stop walking until I got to the common room, and once inside, I fell into the first chair I came to, still reeling from seeing Sirius and Layla together.

“Phoebe,” Remus said, making his way across the busy room towards me, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I said.

Except his hands are on her waist, she winding herself around him and-’

“Phoebe?” he said, again, more persistently.

I looked up and said,“I just saw Sirius kissing Layla.”

The shock on Remus’s face was almost funny.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“Remus, I’ve been studying him for years, of course I’m sure!”

“Sorry,” he said quickly, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I told him, nodding a little too enthusiastically, “Really. It was just a surprise, that’s all.”

Remus took my hand, and pulled me to my feet.

“Come with me,” he said, and headed off into the direction of the boys dormitory. I was too curious not to follow him, and as I walked up the spiral staircase behind him, I realised it was the first time I’d ever been up there.

When we reached Remus’s dormitory, he said, “Take a seat.”

It was impossible to tell who each bed belonged to, as all of their personal belongings had been packed away, so I perched on the bed Remus was nearest to.

“You’re not okay, are you?” he asked, sitting down beside me, “Be honest.”

“I don’t want to,” I said, with a sigh.

“Please.”

I was quiet for a moment, while I tried to work out what the honest answer was, and when I’d found it, I said, “I didn’t like seeing him with her. Not because I wanted to be the one kissing him," I added, quickly "I just didn’t want her to. I hate her Remus. Seeing them together made me feel like they were ganging up on me or something. He’s horrible enough to me on his own, but now he’s with her-”

“Phoebe, I don’t think that him kissing her means anything,” Remus interrupted, “I don’t think he’ll start going out with her.”

“Then why would he kiss her?”

“I don’t know,” Remus said, putting his arm around me, “But don’t let it worry you.”

“Do you think anyone will ever want to go out with me?” I asked, sadly, resting my head on his shoulder.

“Of course they will,” Remus replied, “Of course they will.”

“You didn’t,” I sighed, “You wanted to just be friends. What if nobody ever wants to be more than that?”

“That won’t happen,” Remus said, “No way.”

“It might. I’ll just be ignored, while Layla has boys falling at her feet. She is very pretty.”

“But she’s thick.”

“Well being pretty seems to be more important than being clever,” I said, “Boys are shallow.”

“Not all of us are shallow.”

“And she’s skinny,” I went on, “She makes me feel fat.”

“Phoebe, shut up,” Remus laughed, “You are at least ten times prettier than her, you’ve got a brain, you’ve got a sense of humour and you are not fat. So stop being so hard on yourself.”

I smiled as I looked up at him, and said, “You have to say that because you’re my friend.”

“And you are determined to be negative. It doesn’t suit you, you know?”

“I just feel left out,” I said, “Everyone gets what they want except me. Lily got Joe, Sirius got Layla, Layla gets whoever she wants, whenever she wants. What have I got?”

“Everyone feels like that sometimes. I know I do.”

“What do you want?” I asked.

Remus smiled, and said, “I want a lot of things. What do you want?”

“I just want to feel, I don’t know…attractive.”

Laughing softly, Remus said, “You’re not just attractive, you’re in a league of your own. You’re beautiful.”

I don’t know what caused it, maybe it was the stress of everything that had happened that year, or maybe it was Remus’s kindness, but on hearing those words, I felt tears begin to fall from my eyes.

“Sorry,” I said, trying to brush them away, “I don’t know why I’m crying.”

“Don’t you?” he asked, softly.

I shrugged, “I feel so inadequate, and you being nice to me….it’s confusing.”

“I’m not being nice to you,” Remus said, gently wiping a tear from my cheek, “I’m telling the truth.

“But you-”

My words were lost, as Remus leaned forwards and lightly brushed his lips against mine, lingering for a second or two before slowly pulling away.


“I meant everything I said Phoebe “ he told me, “But you and I both know that this isn’t really where you want to be.”

I stared at him for a moment, unsure of how to respond, unsure of how I felt. Then, as what he had said registered in my mind, I knew he was right. I’d just been conning myself, thinking that it was Layla I had the problem with, when the truth was that I would have given anything to swap places with her. I still wanted to be with Sirius as much as I had at the beginning of the year, if not more.

“Remus,” I said, “If you knew that, why did you kiss me?”

Remus smiled, shyly, and said, “Because I don’t want you to go to bed tonight feeling unattractive and inadequate.”

My heart melted. I never felt more for him than at that moment. He really was incredible, and I knew there would always be something special between us, something that would outlast any number of relationships we might have in the future.

“You didn’t mind me kissing you, did you?” Remus asked, hesitantly.

I shook my head. “Who better to share my first kiss with, than my best friend?”

“I don’t know….maybe the man of your dreams?”

“The man of my dreams is kissing someone else,” I sighed, “And in your usual way, you’ve rescued me from feeling ugly, pathetic and stupid.”

“And if you weren’t in love with Sirius, you’d be in love with me, right?” Remus asked, smiling.

“Right,” I laughed.

“Phoebs,” Remus said, taking my hand, “If I tell you I love you, will you know that I mean just as a friend?”

“Yes,” I replied, with a smile, “As long as you know I mean the same thing when I say it back.”

He looked into my eyes for a moment, then gently said, “I do.”

Kissing him lightly on the cheek, I said, “I do too.”

**

Remus had certainly achieved his goal. He said he didn’t want me to go to bed feeling unattractive and inadequate, and I didn’t. Instead I felt tired and confused. Well, not really even confused. Everything was suddenly glaringly obvious. I hadn’t been in love with Remus at all, I’d just mistaken our close friendship for something more. I loved him very much, I just wasn’t in love with him. ‘Whatever that means,’ I thought. ‘In love’ was a term I wasn’t too familiar with. I used it casually to describe my feelings for Sirius, but I wasn’t convinced that it was true. How could I be in love with him? I barely knew anything about him. A strong crush maybe, but surely not love? How was I meant to know the difference? At what point did things cross the boundaries of merely fancying someone, to being in love with them? Who made the rules anyway? I didn’t have the answers. Maybe I never would.

Sirius. Sirius and Layla. The image of them was still stuck in my head, tormenting me more than anything else Sirius had done to me all year. I found myself wondering if he’d seen me as I had walked by them, and if he had, did he even care how miserable it had made me? Probably not. If he cared about me at all, he wouldn’t be kissing her, or holding her close to him and…

’Stop!’ I ordered myself, ‘Stop it!’ It was too late though. I was sure that that memory was now etched in my mind forever.

**

In the morning, after another night of crying myself to sleep, I was more than ready to go home. My eyes were still puffy, and my head ached. I’d only briefly explained to Lily what had happened the night before, and I knew I wouldn’t get the chance to explain it fully until we had arrived at home. I was often grateful that Lily was from a Muggle family, because if we couldn’t speak on the phone every other day through the holidays, I’d have gone mad.

After breakfast, we went back to our dormitories to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything, then it was time to go! As we followed Hagrid down towards the lake, Remus caught up with Lily and I.

“Hi,” I said, with a rather unenthusiastic smile, “Are you okay?”

He looked just as tired and fed up as I did, but he smiled too, and said, “Yeah, I’m okay. I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“Not really,” I replied, “But I will be once I get home.”

“Well, I just wanted to come and say goodbye. There’s not always time once we get off the train.”

We stopped, and Lily kindly walked on and left us to it.

“I also wanted to make sure that things aren’t awkward, after…you know.”

“They weren’t until you brought it up,” I teased, and red tinges appeared on his cheeks.

“Sorry,” he said, quickly, “Sorry.”

“Don’t be,” I told him, “Everything’s fine Remus. Between you and I, anyway.”

“Phoebs, Sirius-”

“Don’t,” I said, feeling tears in my eyes at the mention of his name, “Please. I don’t want to talk about him.”

“Okay,” Remus said, “I understand.”

He gave me a quick hug, and said, “I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

I nodded, “Yeah. I’ll write to you.”

“You’d better!” he said, as we started walking again.

“I’ll tell you all about my summer as a Muggle!”

“What do Muggles do over the summer anyway?” he asked.

“Swimming, cycling, shopping, roller-skating. All sorts.”

“What’s roller-skating?” Remus asked, baffled.

Laughing, I said, “I’ll send you a photo!”

When we got to Hogsmeade Station, and boarded the train, Lily, Sarah, Jane and I found a compartment at the end of the train, and settled ourselves in for the journey. I wasn’t really in the mood for chatting, I was too sleepy and unhappy, even though Remus had cheered me up a bit, but I joined in half-heartedly anyway. It was a long way to London, I couldn’t sit in silence the whole way there. I felt strangely numb though. Around me, my friends were talking, but I wasn’t fully aware of what they were saying. My head was full of Sirius.

“Phoebs, are you okay?” Jane asked, throwing me a Liquorice Wand.

I nodded, “Yeah, I’m okay.”

“Don’t want to talk about it, huh?” she asked, with an understanding smile.

“Not yet,” I replied, “But thanks.”

Just then, the compartment door slid open, and to my absolute disgust, Layla peered in.

‘I don’t believe this,’ I thought. I should have expected it really. She was never one to pass up an opportunity to have a little dig.

“Hello girls,” she said, with a sickeningly sweet smile, “Good journey so far?”

Lily, who was sitting with Buddy curled up on her lap, gave her a wary look, and said, “What do you want?”

“I just wanted to wish you a happy holiday,” Layla continued, in that annoyingly false tone she always used around us.

“Okay,” Jane said, dismissively, “Bye.”

Refusing to take the hint, Layla said, "Phoebe, you look tired. Bad night, was it?"

I opened my mouth to speak, but where I would usually have been able to come up with a suitable retort, nothing came out. Much to my horror, I dissolved into tears instead. I quickly turned my head away and looked out of the window, but it was too late, she had already seen.

"Oh dear," Layla said, smugly, "Have I touched a nerve?"

"You evil little hag," Lily snarled.

"Hag?" Layla laughed, "If I was a hag, I'd never have got the attention of Sirius Black, would I?"

"You got his attention by fluttering your eyelashes and laughing at his stupid jokes! You're pathetic!"

"I disagree. You see, all I had to was click my fingers, and he came running, but Phoebe...well, she's been after him all year and look which one of us got him!"

If what she was saying hadn't hurt so much, I would have blasted her through the train window. But there was a painful knot, forming in my stomach. I felt sick, and I just wanted to be alone so I could heal in private.

I could hear a scuffling sound, but I didn't look round. I was sure it was the sound of Layla being physically removed from the compartment though, and after a while, I felt Lily put her arm around me.

I spent the rest of the journey home, crying on Lily's shoulder. She just soothingly stroked my hair because she knew that was all I needed, and I knew she was there if I wanted to talk about it.

After several hours, the train finally arrived in London, and before we stepped off the train, the four of us hugged each other. Lily, Sarah and Jane all gave me words of advice and encouragement. I smiled, grateful to them all for being so patient and understanding, and then we all grabbed our luggage and stepped out onto the platform. All around, students were being greeted by their parents and siblings.

Lily and I hugged each other one last time, promising to phone each other the moment we got home, then set off to find our families. As I was making my through the crowd, I spotted Sirius and his brother looking for their parents, and Sirius turned his head and looked in my direction. It was as if he'd known I was there. He met my eye for just a second, but I couldn't take it, I didn't want to see him. I especially didn't want him to see me looking such a state. I put my head down, and continued to search for my family, trying to stop the next wave of tears that were threatening to escape me.

"Phoebe!"

The sound of my Mum's voice made me smile, and I saw her, my Dad and Jack running towards me.

"Hi!" I said, as my Mum enveloped me in a hug.

"What's wrong sweetheart?" she asked, seeing my tear stained face.

Wiping my eyes, I said, "I'll tell you when we get home."

********
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  #20  
Old July 5th, 2006, 12:20 pm
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IMissPadfoot  Female.gif IMissPadfoot is offline
Sixth Year
 
Joined: 4659 days
Location: Away with the fairies
Age: 36
Posts: 1,039
Re: Marauders and Mudbloods

Hello! This post is really, really not very exciting and really short! I hope you're not disappointed after the last one! I've been feeling a bit rough for the last few days, but hopefully, I'm on the mend now!I promise the next post will be better!

Thanks to 62442al_Man for writing my newspaper article!

*****

Chapter 11

The drive home was long, and I fell asleep almost the moment I got into the car, exhausted from my wrought emotions. It was a four and a half hour drive from London to Cornwall and I slept the whole way there. When I woke up, I felt groggy and all I wanted to do was go to bed, even though Jack was desperate to show me all the new toys he had got for his birthday the week before. Mum calmed him down though, and I promised to look at them first thing in the morning. It was getting late, and the abrupt change of scenery was making me a bit dizzy. I knew I would be just fine in the morning, but I needed to be on my own for a while to re-adjust to my surroundings. I kissed everyone goodnight, then carried my luggage up to my bedroom.

Once I was safely shut away in my room, I lay back on my bed and let out a sigh. ‘What a day’. It felt strange to be thinking about Sirius now I was so far away from him, but that was what was happening. Maybe a bit of distance from him was what I needed. With any luck, by September, I would have got used to the idea of him and Layla and it wouldn’t hurt as much. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt at all. ‘Or maybe you should just get used to the feeling of agony you felt the moment you saw them together, because the chances are, you’ll feel it again.’ If I had had anymore tears left in me, I would have cried again at the pain in that thought, but I wasn’t sure there was enough moisture in my bosy anymore. I’d cried it all out on the train.

Just then, I heard a gentle knock on my bedroom door, and my mum poked her head into my room.

“I brought you a hot chocolate,” she said, with a smile.

Sitting up, I smiled too and said, “Come in.”

Mum came into the room,handing me my drink, then sat down on my bed.

“What’s happened Phoebe?” she asked, “Why were you crying?”

It was another hour before I’d finished filling her in on everything that had happened since her last letter, including the incident with Layla on the train.

“Well,” Mum said, once I had finished, “You’ve had an eventful few weeks.”

“You could say that.”

She looked at me for a moment or two, then she smiled, and said, “You’ve really grown up Phoebe.”

“I don’t feel very grown up,” I sighed, “I feel stupid.”

“I understand. I really do. But everything will work out. It doesn’t sound as if Sirius deserves you anyway. Any boy who can make you so upset isn’t worth worrying about.”

“I can’t help the way I feel though. Believe me, if I could choose, I wouldn’t have picked him. He’s a self obsessed, arrogant prat! He makes me angry, he’s horrible to me all the time, and I wish I didn’t have these feelings for him, but I do!”

Mum wrapped her arms around me, as frustrated tears fell from my eyes again, and I said, “How do I stop it Mum? How do I stop liking him?”

“You can’t stop it Phoebs,” she said, “All you can do is learn how to cope with it, and eventually you’ll find someone else, someone who will appreciate you.”

“I don’t want anyone else!” I sobbed, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t understand how I’d ever thought I was over him. I didn’t understand anything, except for the uncomfortable knot that had settled itself in my stomach. I was sure it was going to be there forever.

“Please don’t cry sweetheart,” Mum said, softly, stroking my hair, just as Lily had done, “I hate to see you so unhappy.”

“It’s not much fun for me either,” I said, with a half-hearted attempt at a laugh, “I’ll be okay Mum. I just need some time.”

“Oh Phoebe,” Mum sighed, “I miss you so much when you’re away at school. You should be home going through all these changes so I can help you through it.”

“I miss you too Mum.”

I really did miss her very much. It had taken us both a long time to get used to me being away for most of the year. It was harder for my mum than me though. I was busy being swept away in the magic of Hogwarts, while she had to cope with her only daughter being taken away from home. We got used to it though, but I couldn’t deny that sometimes I wished I could go home at the end of a hard day like I used to.

“We’re going to have such a good summer that by the time you go back to Hogwarts, you’ll have forgotten all about Sirius,” Mum said, with a smile.

“Good plan,” I said, wiping my eyes, “I like it.”

“Besides, Jack won’t let you have a minute’s peace until you’ve played with all of his birthday presents.”

“That could take up the entire holiday in itself!” I laughed.

“And,” Mum added, “There is a big pile of records downstairs waiting to be played!”

At that, my face broke into a grin While I was away, my parents always bought me every number one song in the charts, plus any others they thought I might like, so I would be up to date with Muggle music when I got home.

“Thanks Mum.”

“Right,” she said, kissing me on the cheek, “Time for bed. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Night Mum.”

“Sweet dreams.”

**

My next few days were spent relaxing and enjoying being in the company of my family. I spent most of my time in the garden with Jack, riding our bikes and having water fights, it was great fun! One afternoon, several of my aunts, uncles and cousins came over and we had a picnic. It was lovely to see them all, and they were pleased to see me too.

When I’d first gone away to Hogwarts, my parents had told the family that I was away at an expensive private school, St Catherine’s. There was no way they could afford to send me there, but it was a convenient enough cover story. So, while they thought I was away impressing the teachers with my mathematical skills, and learning to become a ‘lady’, I was of course, silencing ravens and hanging boys upside down by the ankle! My parents were the only ones who knew the truth. Jack had only been five when I had gone away, so he didn’t know either. He had grown up thinking it was normal for his big sister to have a pet owl in her room,so he really didn’t take too much notice! I intended to tell him the truth the next summer, when I would be seventeen, and able to use magic outside of school, so I could prove it too!

It was great to catch up with everyone again, and I had been so busy, I’d barely had time to think about Sirius. It wasn’t that I’d forgotten about him, he still crossed my mind several times a day, but I had managed to push aside my misery and obsessing, at least until bedtime, in order to enjoy my holiday.

**

During the second week of the holiday, as was tradition, Lily came to stay for the week. She had always come to stay, since our first year as it soon became clear that we couldn’t survive the entire summer without seeing each other! In return, I always spent the last week of the holidays at Lily’s house, which meant we could go to Diagon Alley together to get our school things.That was convenient for my parents, as it meant they didn’t have to drive backwards and forwards to London too many times.

It was during Lily’s visit that an unfamiliar tawny owl perched on the window ledge outsde my bedroom, while Lily and I were listening to ‘Fernando’ by ABBA for about the thirtieth time that afternoon.

Opening the window, I said, “I wonder who it’s from.”

“Remus?” Lily suggested, as I untied the letter from the owl’s leg.

“No,” I replied, “His owl’s grey, like Ringo.”

“Have you heard from him yet?”

“Not yet,” I said, “But I’m sure I will.”

As I unfolded the letter, I let out a gasp of excitement as I saw who it was from.

“What is it?” Liy asked.

With a smile, I read, “Dear Phoebe and Lily, I haven’t been able to write before, as you can imagine, things have been very difficult, but I wanted to let you know that I will be returning to Hogwarts in September. Professor Dumbledore has arranged for me to take my OWL’s in a few weeks time when I’ve caught up on the work I’ve missed, so I’ll be up to date when I come back. I’ve missed you all SO much, and I think I’m really going to need you when I get back to school. I hope you haven’t forgotten me! Love Polly"

“Wow,” I said, thoughtfully, “Things are going to be really tough for her.”

“Yeah, they will,” Lily agreed, “Everyone will start talking about her again, and they’ll all be looking at her, and whispering behind her back.”

“She really is going to need us.”

“We’ll be there for her. And Sarah and Jane too. We’ll get her through it. Besides, it might be good for her to be back with her friends again.”

“Yeah, I suppose so,” I said, “If she was at home with her aunt and uncle she would just be lonely.”

“And uneducated. She’s better off at school. We’ll look after her.”


**

After the arrival of Polly’s letter, the rest of Lilly’s visit flew by. We shopped, went to the cinema, went rollerskating (We took photos for Remus, and sent one to him with Ringo!), and before we knew it, it was time for her to go home.

I always felt really lonely after Lily had gone. I didn’t have any friends outside Hogwarts. All of the people I had gone to Primary school with had grown up and forgotten about me, so my only company was my brother. Not that that was a bad thing, I just missed having the company of people my own age.

Lily always phoned me the moment she arrived home to let me know they had got back safely, and usually to finish whatever conversation we had been in the middle of when she’d left, so I wasn’t surprised when the phone rang at six-thirty.

Hello,” I said.

Phoebs,” Lily said, not in her usual cheerful way, instead sounding deeply concerned, “I’ve just got home, and I was looking at today’s Daily Prophet,-”

You get the Daily Prophet?” I interrupted, surprised.

Yes, I subscribed at the beginning of the summer. It’s bad news Phoebs.”

My mind immediately jumped to Sirius. Had something happened to him? Or Remus?

What is it?” I asked. Nervously.

Listen to this. Forty-two year old Eileen Snape was killed last night, her killer is unknown. The Magical Law Enforcement Squad apparated to the scene on a Muggle inhabited street in Kent.

"Whatever was done, we suspect it might've been an accident." says a fustrated Warty Higgins. "But I have been wrong before."

Mrs. Snape was a fairly good witch with a select few friends and a small family. She leaves behind a small son and a husband. We hope that they cope with her loss well.

Everything has been cleaned up, Obliviators were called on the scene to make sure everything was back to normal. The Ministry continues to look for any signs of a murder, suicide, or an accident. In any case, we will make sure to tell you when we hear word.
"

A shiver ran through me. Snape’s mum? Dead? I didn’t like him, but I wouldn’t have wished that on anyone.

“That’s awful,” I said, “Poor Severus.”

I think…I think I’m going to write to him,” Lily said, “I mean, I know we’re not talking, but that doesn’t really matter now does it? Not now something like this has happened.”

You’re right, You should write to him.”

This all getting too weird Phoebs,” Lily said, shakily, “First Polly’s parents, now Severus’s mum.”

Yeah. Except Severus’s mum was an accident. Nothing suspicious.”

The silence at the end of the line was a little ominous, and I said, “Lily?”

Yeah,” she said, quickly, “Yeah, you’re right.”

You don’t think there was anyone else involved, do you?” I asked, trying to get images of Severus plunging his mother’s head into a bubbling cauldron out of my mind.

I…I don’t know. It’s all a bit strange.”

Does this have anything to do with the secret Severus has?”

“I don’t know,” Lily said, again, “Maybe. I hope not.”

Lily,” I began, worriedly, “This doesn’t have anything to do with….Voldemort, does it?”

There was another long pause, then Lily said, “It’s possible. But I can’t say anymore, it’s dangerous.”

I should have known. I should have known it was something dangerous if Psycho Severus was involved.

Maybe you should leave it,” I said, “Getting involved in something even remotely related to Voldemort-”

It’s just a letter,” Lily interrupted, “I’m not getting involved.”

You’re already involved by knowing the secret!” I screeched.

Well there’s nothing I can do about that now. Severus’s mum is dead Phoebe. I just want to let him know that I’ll be there if he needs to talk.”
There was just no point in trying to talk her out of it. She had clearly made up her mind. All I could do was hope that whatever the situation was, she didn’t get any deeper in than she already was.



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