|Shortest Road Home Pt6
||[Sep. 6th, 2006|10:03 pm]
Title: Shortest Road Home Chpt 11, 12 & 13
Fandom: Harry Potter
Secondary Pairing: OC/Sirius
Beta: ohshocking, Fran and Hannah
Summary: It's Lily and James' 6th year at Hogwarts, and they can't stand each other. What happens when a prank doesn't go as planned? Lily is adamant and James is fighting his feelings every step of the way
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling, not me.
Part 1,Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
11. Foot in mouth disease
Lily rolled her shoulders as she sat at the back of the divination classroom waiting for Professor Aperio to arrive. Madam Pomfrey had finally let her out of the hospital wing, she still felt kind of woozy but being stuck in there by herself was sending her out of her mind. She shook her head to wake herself up as the elderly wizard finally arrived. Five minutes late, Lily grumbled internally.
“Today we are studying crystal properties,” Prof. Aperio said loudly upon entering, causing James to sit up in his seat with interest. “The rare pink crystal: Necessitas, is of particular interest to divinators,” he started. “Unfortunately I have no example to show you, but this is a replica of one in the Ministry of Magic’s collection,” he held up a crystal identical to the one hidden in James’ robes. “If used properly it is possible to discover any persons intimately connected with your destiny, for example a true friend, or someone without whom it is impossible to fulfil your idcirco, or purpose. A light will emanate from it if those of intertwined futures are touching the crystal at the same time…” Prof. Aperio trailed off as a startled yelp was emitted from the back of the classroom, making most of the students turn around to look at the source of the noise.
Lily stood up dusting herself off. “I fell off the chair,” she explained, looking around mortified. She dared to glance at James, but could see only the back of his head. James firmly faced the front of the class, his face a picture of complete shock. My fate’s intertwined with Lily’s? James thought, trying to ignore the jump of his heart at the idea. I wonder if this is what Dad meant when he said the crystal reminded him of Mum…maybe it glowed when they touched it too, he considered, resolving to find out.
James nervously approached Prof. Aperio after the rest of the class had left. “Sir?”
“Yes, Potter?” Aperio inquired.
“Is this a Necessitas crystal?” he asked, holding out his Dad’s crystal nervously.
“Incredible, James. I do believe it is,” he said, rummaging around in his draw for a hand lens. Holding the crystal up for closer inspection he asked “Where on earth did you get this?”
“It was my Dad’s… Sir, I was wondering , could it reveal your true love? It’s just that Dad said he always kept it with him because he felt closer to my Mum?”
“Well,” Odiosus Aperio, started looking thoughtful, “I suppose it is possible, if you believe in that tosh about soul-mates and what-have-you, but that is not the purpose of this particular crystal. It is more likely that your Mother was important in helping your Father fulfil his purpose. Does that help?” he asked, raising his head to look at James.
“Yes, sir,” James replied
“You hold onto this crystal James, it will help you find those that are important to you.” Aperio added smiling, leaving James’ thoughts swirling in confusion, what was his parents’ purpose? Why were he and Lily connected?
Lily was pacing her dormitory, shaking with rage. “This is all his fault, him and that stupid crystal,” she muttered angrily, sending a venomous glare towards the piece of crystal sitting on her dressing table. “I would never have known about our stupid intertwined futures, if he hadn’t shown me that stupid thing, damn it! This is all his FAULT!” she said, yelling the last word for emphasis. Fee peeked nervously round the door, glancing at the rampaging Lily.
“Er, Lils?” she inquired delicately
“What?” Lily snarled,
“Bella’s waiting in the great hall, it’s time for dinner,” Fee explained.
Lily’s eyes narrowed, “Fine, but you'd better keep Potter away from me,” she said, practically spitting James’ name. She stormed past Fee and down the stairs, slamming the door behind her.
“Oooookay,” Fee said quietly, staring after her friend in shock.
James was talking to his friends in the Great Hall, but he couldn't stop his eyes from straying over to the entrance. Bella was sitting by herself at the other end of the Gryffindor table so surely Lily had to arrive sometime.
Peter looked up and saw what his friend was watching. “Looking for someone?” he asked innocently, causing Remus to cough rapidly in order to hide his grin, well aware of James’ antics.
“No!” James exclaimed, his ears rapidly turning red. Peter raised his eyebrows disbelievingly, but said nothing, which didn’t do anything to alleviate James’ acute embarrassment.
“Look there’s Lily!” Peter said jokingly, looking over Remus’ shoulder. James’ head whipped round causing the other three to burst out laughing.
Bella drummed her fingers, she could see the Marauder’s laughing at something further up the Gryffindor table but there was still no sign of Lily or Fee. Bella grinned slightly at the plan she was forming. She was going to get Lily to think about how she felt about James if it killed her. She had a feeling that the time Lily had spent in the cave with James had changed something. Bella smiled when she saw Lily and Fee heading towards her, yep she was definitely going to ask about a certain Mr. Potter.
Lily stormed down the length of the Gryffindor table deliberately avoiding looking at the Marauder’s in case she accidentally ripped James’ head off. Fee ran her hand through her hair as she half-jogged in order to keep up with her friend. What the hell is up with her? I thought she was finally warming to James! Fee thought. Her eyes glanced over to where the Marauders were sitting, she smiled slightly when she saw James’ eyes follow Lily. Her smile quickly turned to a frown as her eyes met with Sirius’. She turned back to look for Bella, trying desperately to ignore the fluttery feeling in her stomach.
“Hey, Lils,” Bella said, grinning cheerfully, completely unaware she was walking into the lion’s den. “Have talked to James today?” Fee’s eyes widened and she desperately made cutting motions across her neck, in an attempt to get Bella to shut up.
“Why would I ever talk to that… that… total moron?” Lily spluttered, causing Bella to frown in confusion.
“But, you two have been getting on really well, there’s been definite sparkage,” Bella said, out of the corner of her eye she noticed Fee putting her head in her hands.
Sirius stared down the table. “What’s wrong with Fee?” he asked, as he watched her bang her head against the table.
“According to you… nothing,” Peter said smirking. Remus tried to hide his chuckle as Sirius glared fiercely at the littlest Marauder. Fortunately, an argument was avoided by a disturbance at the far end of the table.
Lily stood up and yelled loudly “How on earth could you think I would like that complete git!? With his stupid glasses and stupid uncontrollable hair!”
All eyes at the table turned to James as he sat frozen in his seat, the tips of his ears glowing red. He stood up slowly. “If you’ve got something to say, Evans, why don’t you say it to my face?” he stated, storming towards her.
“Fine!” Lily retorted, exasperated. “You have ridiculous hair! Don’t you ever use a brush?” she glared at him. “Happy now?” she added sweetly.
“I have ridiculous hair!?” he exclaimed. “Have you looked in a mirror lately?”
Lily’s mouth twisted in annoyance and then eyes flashed with victory as she remembered what he had said in the cave. “Liar” she hissed. “You like my hair!”
James could feel the blush creeping up his neck, as he desperately tried to think of a retort. “Fine, be delusional!” he sneered. “Like anyone would ever find that orange colour appealing.”
Lily drew back her hand to slap him and froze. Finding him not worth the bother, she lowered her hand and stormed out of the room.
“Well that went well,” Bella whispered to Fee, who glared at her.
12. Hide and Seek
James sat on his bed, his head resting against the headboard. Why didn’t she hit me? he wondered miserably. She just looked at me like I was nothing, he groaned, hitting his head against the headboard. What the hell is wrong with me God-dammit, it’s like every time I get near her I lose my head. Why the hell did I ridicule her like that? he thought. It wasn’t my fault though, why was she so pissed off at me… ok so the crystal thing must have come as a shock, but… Dammit, yelling at her isn’t the way to get her to like me, he sighed dejectedly, putting his head in his hands.
Sirius stuck his head round their bedroom door. “James?” he asked. “You alright mate?”
“Bloody brilliant,” James replied hollowly.
“Is this about Lily?” Sirius asked curiously, sitting down at the end of James’ bed.
“Why do you ask that?” James replied in the same monotone voice.
“Cause you told me you liked her?” Sirius said, his brows knitting in confusion.
James groaned and rolled his eyes; “You’re an idiot. You know that?”
“I’m the idiot?” Sirius asked, sounding put out. “Who just mocked the girl he likes in front of the whole school?”
James tugged at his hair in frustration. “She yelled at me first,” he retorted sulkily.
Chuckling Sirius said; “That’s the spirit, she’ll be falling at your feet any minute now.”
“Yeah,” James scoffed, “because you’re doing sooo much better with Fee.” Sirius just glared at him.
The girls returned to their dormitory to find Lily crying on her bed.
“Lily?” Fee asked worriedly,
“I hate him! I hate him!” she sobbed, sitting up and drawing her knees to her chest, “He’s always so mean. Calling me names and pranking me.”
“Lils, this is getting really primary school and I hate to add to it, but, you did start it,” Bella said carefully, trying to lighten the mood.
“I know… but what about all the other times we fight,” Lily said choking back a sob. “It’s just he.. he.. he..” she stuttered, wiping her eyes. “God, he makes me so mad.” Lily blew her nose on the handkerchief Fee gave her and let out a heartfelt sigh.
Bella and Fee left Lily in the dormitory and went down to the common room. Their friend needed some time alone. “What do you think?” Bella asked Fee.
“About Lils?” Fee inquired, causing Bella to shoot her a look. “Hey!” Fee exclaimed. “How was I supposed to know what you were talking about? Don’t look at me like that, I’m not the one who brought him up at dinner. Couldn't you see she was practically steaming? Only James gets her that annoyed.”
“Yeah,” Bella agreed with a grin. “Why do you think that is?” she asked innocently.
“We both know they’re perfect for each other,” Fee replied. “Ok so maybe the years of seething hatred don’t exactly point to that, but we are her friends, we know stuff, and you know what they say…” she grinned.
“There’s a thin line between love and hate.” Bella finished, returning Fee’s grin. “Maybe they just need a bit of encouragement?” she suggested.
“No!” Fee exclaimed. “You tried matchmaking at dinner and that left our best friend crying her eyes out!” Suddenly their conversation was interrupted by a loud crash from upstairs.
Bella and Fee looked at each other, “Lily” they said together.
“Okay I’ll go and talk to Lils,” you find out why James yelled at her at lunch, when they were finally doing so much better. Talk to Sirius or something, you can pretend its abooooout… Beatering,” Bella decided, shrugging. “It’ll be a good excuse to talk to one of the Marauders alone,” she continued, running up the stairs to Lily before a wide-eyed Fee had a chance to protest.
“Like ‘Beatering’ is even a word.” Fee muttered.
Knocking on the boy’s dormitory door, Fee shuffled her feet impatiently waiting for someone to answer, while trying desperately to prevent herself from turning around and fleeing back down the stairs.
Peter opened the door cautiously, no one usually knocked. “Fee?” he asked in confusion, suddenly a grin spread over his face. “Looking for Sirius?” he added innocently.
Fee glared at him. “Is James in?” she asked, deciding to ignore Bella’s advice and ask James himself, just because it was easier, not because she wanted to avoid Sirius, no sir-eee, not at all.
“Nope,” Peter grinned. “He’s out looking for Lily.”
Fee’s eyes widened in horror. “Oh God” she mumbled. James seeing Lily right now is sooo not a good idea, not unless he fancies having his insides ripped out, Fee thought morosely. “Where is he?” she asked desperately.
“Why don’t you go and look for him?” Peter replied, grinning at the look of annoyance that flittered across Fee’s face.
Forcing past Peter and into the dormitory, Fee practically growled; “Where’s James?”
“Why?” Remus asked, peering cautiously over the mountain of books on his bed.
“Look unless one of you has a death wish, you will tell me where the hell he is. Now!” Fee said, practically yelling the last part.
“The library,” Sirius replied evenly, he was leaning against the wall by the bathroom door, where he had been watching the whole scene, the corner of his mouth was quirked up forming a half grin.
“Thanks,” Fee said, turning around she stormed out the door.
“Wait,” Sirius yelled, running after her, pausing only to glare at his two manically grinning friends. “You’re not going to kill James are you?” he asked, sounding worried.
Sighing Fee replied, “No,” then half to herself, “not yet anyway,” looking at Sirius’ shocked face. “I’m just going to warn him to stay away from Lily.”
Speeding up in a hope to end the conversation Fee practically ran down the stairs, only to see Bella stick her head round the corner of the girl’s stairwell and give an encouraging thumbs up when she saw Fee and Sirius. Great now I’m going to have to talk to him, otherwise Bella’s going to know…something, Fee thought, rolling her eyes in frustration.
“Why?” Sirius asked.
“Huh?” confused; Fee slowed down to a walking pace, as much as she didn’t want to talk to Sirius, the thought of having this conversation with James was even less appealing .
“Why should he stay away from Lily? She yelled at him first, it’s not like he’s done anything wrong.” Sirius explained.
“Lily’s not in the best mood right now. I have no idea what James did but it was something and something big. Bella’s trying to find out what right now,” Fee said.
Suddenly they were stopped in their path as Lily sped past them, she waved cheerfully, adding a maniacal, “Hi Fee!”
A wheezing Bella caught up to them 5 seconds later. “Oh thank god,” she gasped, leaning heavily on Fee. “Which way did she go?”
“Towards the library” Sirius said, staring after her in shock.
“Where James is,” Fee supplied
“Dammit! How the hell did she know he was there?” Bella puffed,
“Do you think she did? It might just be an accident, what did she say?” Sirius asked, causing Bella to stare at him incredulously. “Hey, I’m allowed to be nice, apparently Prongs needs saving again,” he said shrugging.
“Fine,” Bella said, still struggling to catch her breath. “I really need to do some more exercise.”
“Bells!” Fee admonished. “What did she say before sprinting off?”
“Erm… oh! She was ranting about, surprise, surprise, James and she was going on about his ‘stupid hair’ and ‘stupid glasses’, and something about a crystal.” Fee and Sirius exchanged puzzled glances. “Yep there was definitely a lot of ranting about a crystal and then she muttered something about proving the Professor wrong and then she went and did the running thing,” Bella finished, glaring down the corridor Lily went.
“Ok so she’s going to the library to look stuff up, not to yell at James,” Sirius realised.
“But James is in there and looking for her,” Fee said, worry edging its way into her voice.
“Uh oh,” Bella said, as all three of them took off in the direction that Lily had just gone.
13. Library Rampage
James leant back against the bookshelves, she wasn’t in there. He had searched the whole library and she wasn’t anywhere. He’d been so sure this was where she would be… maybe he didn’t know her as well as he thought he did. Suddenly his musings were interrupted by a loud bang as the library doors flew open, and a reprimanding “Miss Evans,” followed by a, “Will you come back here right now?” sounded out.
James sidled up to the end of the bookshelf and looked across, a grin forming on his features as he saw a flushed Lily standing in front of a glowering librarian. He’d been right, she was here.
Impatiently tapping his foot, he waited hidden from sight for Lily’s lecture on library etiquette to end. He desperately wanted to talk to her he just didn’t know what he was going to say. Leaning his head back against a shelf of Arithmancy text books, he closed his eyes hoping for some kind of divine inspiration; how to talk to Lily without turning into a puddle at her feet or yelling at her till she hit him would be very helpful. James massaged his temples feeling a major headache coming on.
“James,” his eyes flew open as he heard someone hiss his name. “James,” there it was again. He raised his head to look around,
“Christ, you’re alright,” Sirius said, breathing heavily but grinning as he looked over James to check for missing limbs.
“Sirius, what the hell is going on?” James replied in a whisper.
“You found him!” Bella and Fee said, as they flew round the corner.
“You haven’t talked to Lily yet have you?” Bella asked worriedly.
“No… she is still getting told off by the librarian for run… wait how the hell do you know I’m trying to talk to Lily,” he said, sounding horrified.
“Er…” Sirius started, grinning sheepishly.
“You told them!” James exclaimed. “Why the hell did you tell them!? Now Lily is going to know before I get a chance to tell her!”
James was too busy ranting to hear Bella’s bemused, “Tell her what?”
“Well you know what?” James said, his voice getting dangerously low, “Sirius li…” but he was cut off by Sirius slamming a hand over his mouth.
“I didn’t tell them anything,” Sirius said desperately, his eyes flicking over to Fee for a split second. “I just said you were looking for Lily, that’s all,” Sirius said, pleading with James, his hand still firmly over James’ mouth.
“What are you going to tell Lily?” Bella asked curiously.
James could feel himself blushing. He could feel the heat rising at the back of his neck. He tried to sound nonchalant; an attempt that would have truly failed spectacularly if it weren’t for the fact that Sirius’ hand was still covering his mouth. James kicked Sirius in the shin and reluctantly Sirius drew his hand away, still watching James warily.
“Erm…nothing…I mean sorry, I was going to tell her 'sorry',” James said, glancing hopefully at Bella, praying it sounded believable. Well I was going to tell her sorry, so it’s not like I’m lying, he thought. Just omitting some of the truth.
James stared across the library at Lily, whose head was bent over a book. Drumming his fingers idly over the table, he rolled his shoulders to try and work the tension out of them. I have to apologise to Lily and I have to be nice about it, he frowned at the thought, even after everything something inside him still rebelled at the idea of apologising to Lily. He chuckled softly to himself. You’ll need to grovel on the floor you idiot to even get her to talk to you again. It’s not like the crystal thing is your fault though. Yeah, but finding out we’re connected in the future had to be a shock I bet she thought she’d never see me again after school; it must be a hideous idea to her, he thought morosely. And it’s not like you’ve spent a lot of time wondering how you’re going to be connected is it? James felt himself blush and silently swore at the evil voice in his head.
Sirius glanced up at James, from his study of ‘The Hippogriff’, he grinned when he saw James flush red. “Whatcha thinking?” he whispered in a sing-song voice.
James glared at Sirius. “Aren’t you supposed to be helping me here?” he hissed.
“To stop you from turning into a blathering moron… yes. This is sooo much more fun though,” he replied grinning.
James’ glare intensified. “Look, it’s not my fault we end up yelling at each other every time we talk is it?” he demanded, still keeping his voice low in order to stay undetected by the librarian.
“Not what I meant old chap,” Sirius retorted, raising an eyebrow, as he tilted his head in Lily’s direction.
James let out a laboured sigh. “It’s not my fault every time she’s near I …. I mean… It’s just concentrating… and my vocal chords have a tendency to seiz….” he trailed off. Sirius turned to follow James’ gaze and saw Lily storming across the library towards them.
Lily was trying desperately to reign in her anger, to stop herself from screaming at James. The librarian would have a fit if she caused another disturbance today. Taking a deep breath to try and calm herself. “Why the hell were you staring at me?” she demanded in a harsh whisper.
James felt his brain freeze. Oh god, oh god, oh god! he thought desperately. She caught me staring at her… how the hell am I going to explain that away?
“Are you planning another prank?” Lily asked, anger filling her voice.
That could work, James thought wryly. “No,” James said, when Lily’s face filled with a look of disbelief, he continued. “Look, I want to apologise, for before, I didn’t mean what I said, when I insulted you,” he breathed out slowly, his eyes focusing on her ear; there was no way he could look her in the face but he had to say this. Nice ear though… oh god, James thought and shifted his gaze on to the bookshelf over her shoulder. “Also I want to apologise for everything before that... in Aperio’s class,” he finished, finally daring to look at her, to see if she had understood what he was hinting at. He really didn’t think she wanted anyone else to know about the crystal.
Sirius frowned; What the hell did James say in divination… did I miss something?
Lily stared incredulously at James. He apologised! She thought in shock, and how did he know how upset I was about the crystal? Determined not to show how happy she was that he was sorry, she demanded, “Ok, go on then,”
James looked around confused, “‘Go on then’, what?”
“But I…” he trailed off and glared at her. She’s right, you only said you wanted to apologise, you didn’t actually do it. She’s just being bloody annoying; she can’t even accept my apology! he thought angrily.
Sirius’ head shot up from his text book, he had caught James’ muttering about ‘bloody pernickety red-heads’. Coughing loudly, he caught James’ attention and glared meaningfully at him, just as an angry Lily opened her mouth to retort.
All right, all right, James thought. I am not going to get angry. Turning back to face Lily, he looked right at her and said, “I’m sorry.”
Lily’s eyes widened. He said ‘sorry’. He must really mean it, he didn’t get mad or yell or anything... well not really, she thought happily. Grinning widely, “Truce?” she suggested.
James’ mouth fell open. God, she’s gorgeous, he thought staring at her.
“Yes! A truce!” Sirius exclaimed, when it seemed James had lost his power of speech.
Snapping himself out of it. “Truce?” James croaked, clearing his throat, he replied, “Sure”. Lily smiled at him and turned to go back to Fee and Bella, who had been nervously watching the whole confrontation, unable to hear what was actually going on. Watching her walk away, James was unable to stop himself grinning goofily.
“Don’t mess it up,” Sirius warned.