Chapter 1 - Memories
Professor Severus Snape regarded the setting before him with disgust, yet he felt his heart pang at the familiar scene. It was reminiscent of his own schooldays at Hogwarts. Little did Harry know it, but James used to sit in the same place. Sirius Black would have been at his right, as was Ron Weasley, Lily Evans would occupy Hermione Granger's place to the left, and in front would be Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew, instead of Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan….
* * * * *
"He won't be doing that for a long time!" James laughed.
"He could never do it properly as it is." Sirius snorted.
"What's so funny?" Remus asked Lily, sitting next to Peter. They stared at James who was rolling around in his chair laughing.
"James challenged Snape to a duel this morning, they were arguing and Snape didn't dare back out when Sirius suggested it." Lily tried to sound disapproving, but there were traces of amusement on her lips and her eyes twinkled. "James hit him with a what's-it-called charm. You know, the one that makes whatever you charm, change colour. Anyway Snape tried to disarm James, only he missed, and hit Professor Kettleburn, you know that new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. So he got a detention, and James got off scott-free." Lily giggled, unable to hold back.
"You should have seen him, he was trying to give James a dirty look, but he kept flashing different colours, it was hysterical." Sirius finished, as James and Lily went off into fresh peals of laughter. Just then the unfortunate victim walked past the laughing group.
"Are you okay Snape? You look a bit off-colour." Lily giggled. James, Sirius Peter and Remus laughed.
"Shut up you filthy little mudblood!" The Slytherin spat angrily. James leapt to his feet, and had to be restrained by Sirius. Lily caught his arm.
"Leave it." She warned, nodding to Professor Prewett, the Potions master, who had just entered the dungeon.
"Call my girlfriend that again, and you're a dead man Snape." He muttered angrily. The other boy sneered but his cheeks were flushed and he hurried to his seat.
* * * * *
"Why did I have to say that?" Snape thought reproachfully to himself. "Why doesn't she like me? I never was horrible to her, before she started seeing the wonderful Potter! He's so obnoxious; he doesn't deserve her. She should be with someone that appreciates her, like me." Severus felt jealous and angry. He comforted himself, by thinking: "They won't last! Potter will drop her, thinking he's too good for her. He's too arrogant… and she's so gorgeous, her brilliant emerald eyes, her beautiful chestnut hair. I love her." He sat up, shocked. "I what?" He thought. "Of course I don't… or do I?" The rest of his potions lesson was spent, watching Lily, and the way she hung on James' every word. Snape disliked James even more now; he couldn't see the tender, loving glances thrown at Lily by her boyfriend, or their hands, entwined together, underneath the table. Bitterly Severus packed up his things and headed to lunch. "If I could just get her on her own, then I could explain, show her how I feel. How do you explain your love for someone who despises your very existence?" He scowled as the couple walked past him, arms wrapped around each other, oblivious to everyone except each other. James smiled at Lily and gently kissed her cheek. Lily responded with one on his mouth. Smiling happily they sat at the Gryffindor table. "A kiss, of course. Once I kiss her, Lily will see that Potter is just using her, and see how much I love her. Then she'll leave Potter, for me, and won't life be sweet." Wrapped in a blanket of daydreams and fantasies, he sat and began his lunch. He didn't even realize he was sat at the Ravenclaw table. Sirius, James and Peter howled with laughter, when they saw the Ravenclaw's kick Snape off their table. Angry and indignant, Snape sunk into a seat at the Slytherin table not even noticing that the fourth member of the maurauders was missing."
* * * * *
"Sssh!" Lily heard James hiss. She was the only one left in the Gryffindor common room, everyone else was at dinner, but Lily had a sore throat had was not in the mood for eating, so she had sat down in a high-backed armchair before the fire, with a book.
"Okay, stop nagging." That was definitely Sirius, and by a high squeak, she knew that Peter was with them. Peering over the back of the chair, she saw them hurriedly climbing out of the portrait hole. Clearly they hadn't seen her, and Lily felt hurt that James had not told her what they were going to do. Stealthily, she followed them out of the hole, and along the corridor, she paused at the end, unsure which way they had gone, but a stifled chuckle from up ahead, immediately let her know.
"They're probably wearing James' invisibility cloak, but why?" Lily thought. "We're still allowed around the castle, and the grounds so why are they hiding. Turning a corner, Lily walked straight into a crowd of Slytherin's, with Snape at the head. Inwardly, the fifth year groaned.
* * * * *
There she was, standing, looking a little dazed, right in front of him. She looked just as beautiful as ever, but this time…alone!
"This is my chance," thought Severus. "I have to tell her now." He motioned the other Slytherins on, who left them together in the corridor.
"Hello Lily." He said, trying to be cheerful, but it came out as a sneer.
"Snape." Lily nodded coldly.
"Where's your precious Potter?" He said scornfully.
"What's it to you? Why can't you just leave him alone? Just because you're jealous."
"What of exactly?"
"The fact that James is popular, good-looking, is brilliant at Quidditch. He has everything you want, but don't have, and can't get." Severus bristled. This was true, all of it.
"One thing in particular." He growled, he stared at Lily suggestively, and she took a step back. She tried to step around him, but he moved and blocked her path. Confused, she tried again, the same thing happened. Frustrated, she ran her fingers through her hair. Severus gulped nervously, as he watched her pulse, beating underneath the choker-necklace given to her by James. It had a miniature lily dangling down, and she played with this subconsciously. Unable to control himself, Snape grabbed her shoulders and pushed her against the wall. Breathing deeply, swallowing hard and unable to contain himself he slowly released her and ran his fingers through his hair. Lily went to sidestep him, but he banged his hand against the wall beside her head. When she tried to go the other way, he put a hand on her shoulder, pinning her to the wall.
"What do you want?"
"What do you think?" he replied venomously.
"Let me go." She said firmly, but her voice was quiet, and Severus knew she was scared. The power he had over her was immense, and he enjoyed every second of it.
"If he loves you so much, where is he now?" He breathed heavily. She remained silent, and Severus smiled at her response, or lack of it. He lowered his head slightly, resting his fore-head upon hers, but Lily turned her head sharply to the right, her eyes desperately searching for James or Sirius. Angrily, Severus moved his arm from the wall and gripped her chin forcefully. He lowered his face and their lips had almost met, when he felt himself being thrown backwards. Lily sighed with relief as she felt the immense weight of Snape being torn from her body. She felt even happier when she saw James' strong figure in front of her. His handsome features were clouded with anger and concern. Pulling her towards him, James hugged her tightly and lovingly kissed her head. Then he nudged her towards where Peter was standing and joined Sirius who had Snape in a tight headlock.
"What did you do to my her?" James demanded. Snape stayed silent. "Well? What did you do to Lily?" Sirius grabbed the Slytherin boy's hair, and pulled it, causing him to yelp in pain.
"Come on Severus, answer the lad." He told him menacingly.
"Nothing." Snape muttered.
"Yeah right." Sirius said angrily, but his rage was nothing compared to James, who livid.
"It looked to me like you were going to hurt her! You were going to weren't you?" Sirius released the boy, who immediately took a clumsy, misguided swing at James, who ducked and then hit him, hard.
"James Potter! Severus Snape! What in Merlin's name do you think you're doing?" It was Professor Bones, the Defence against the Dark Arts teacher. She hadn't quite seen James hit Severus, only the blood on the Slytherin's face, and the fury on the Gryffindor's. Both boys shrugged and denied everything, and the teacher carried on, suspiciously. James grabbed Snape by the scruff of the neck, and slammed him against the wall.
"If you so much as look at her again, I'll hex you into next century! Do you understand?"
"Yes." Snape muttered sullenly. Not quite satisfied, James saw the teacher, and reluctantly let go of Snape's robes, he slipped an arm around Lily's waist, and the four of them headed back to the Gryffindor common room."
* * * * *
"Are you okay? Are you sure?" James fussed, twenty minutes later. Lily had explained what had happened and repeatedly assured them that she was okay.
"James, I'm fine! You need to calm down." She turned him round to face her, and kissed him softly.
"Oh, god! Get a room!" Sirius groaned.
"Snape will pay for this." James declared. Smirking, Sirius agreed.
"And I think I know a way." Nothing the others could say would provoke him into letting his idea slip.
"Lily'll kiss you." James joked.
"I'm assuming I don't get a say in that?" Lily said indignantly. Sirius looked thoughtful.
"Okay." He decided, taking the girl in his arms. She pulled back, annoyed, and James stood up quickly.
"I was only joking." He said angrily.
"Easy tiger!" Sirius grinned. "So was I."
"I'm going to the library, I've still got that Charms essay to do." Lily announced, standing up and getting her bag. "James, are you coming?"
"No, I think I'll stay here." He said thoughtfully.
"Okay." She shrugged nonchalantly, but she was surprised. James always went with her, whenever she asked him. He was doing a lot without her lately. "Where's Remus by the way? I haven't seen him today." James, Sirius and Peter exchanged glances.
"His mum's ill." James said, but Sirius answered at the same time:
"He had to go to a wedding." Lily felt hurt and suspicious.
"Why are they lying to me?" She thought.
"He had to go to a wedding, but his mum is ill, so he had to go home now instead of the weekend." Peter amended quickly. "But he'll be back tomorrow to collect his… umm... things… he had to leave in a hurry you see." James and Sirius threw grateful looks at their small friend, but Lily was not convinced. She climbed out of the portrait hole and headed towards the library.
"Phew. That was close." James sighed.
"Do you think she was convinced?" Peter asked.
"Are you kidding? After me and James messed up, she wouldn't believe the truth." Sirius said glancing at his watch. "Dumbledore will have taken him to the Shrieking Shack already, so if we hurry, we can make it before he transforms." James grabbed his invisibility cloak, and the three of them slipped under it.
Ten minutes later they arrived at the whomping willow. Glancing around them cautiously, Sirius hastily nodded and the three of them transformed. Peter, as a rat, was the smallest, and slipped under the wildly thrashing branches. He touched a knot on the gnarled trunk. Instantly the tree froze, and James as stag, and Sirius as a large dog, followed their tiny friend around the tree, and into a hidden tunnel to meet Remus.
* * * * *
Lily made her way quickly to the library wrapped up in her thoughts she didn't see Snape following her in the shadows and didn't even sense his presence until he was right behind her and had pulled her into a small shadowy alcove in a corridor near the library.
"Snape!" Lily gasped. "What do you want?"
"Why are you with James Lily? You could do so much better."
"What? I love him… and he - "
"Loves you too? Hmm… of course he does… maybe that's why he's walking you to the library to make sure you're ok and don't get hurt."
"The only person that's tried to hurt me is you." Lily snarled and wrenching her arm out of his grip she spun around and started to walk away but Snape grabbed her arms from behind and pressed his body against hers.
"So why is he so close with Felicity Spinnet? Why does he flirt with her when your not around? He can barely keep his hands off her… you don't have any idea of what's been going on between them do you?" His voice changed became softer and sympathetic. "Poor Lily, so blind she cant even see what's been happening right under her nose. He loves you does he? I wouldn't be too sure about that…" With that he released her and drifted back into the shadows leaving Lily standing alone contemplating what he said.
* * * * *
"Morning gorgeous." James greeted Lily cheerful the next day.
"Morning." Lily replied flatly. There was none of her usual smile, nor her cute wave and the kiss on his cheek. In fact, she barely bothered to answer. James felt surprised and slightly hurt, but dismissed it assuming she was just tired.
"Did you get Charms essay done?" He asked.
"Yeah." She told him shortly, sounding bored. She turned to Remus.
"How was the wedding?" Her voice was distant and filled with false enthusiasm.
"Fine thank-you." He answered carefully. Staring at him skeptically, she carried on.
"And your mother…?"
"Is also fine now, thank you for asking."
"Anytime." Came the sarcastic reply. She smiled, but it came out as a sneer. She strolled off and joined another group of Gryffindors, whom she proceeded to sit with. The four boys stared at her. She had sat with them at every mealtime, ever since she and James had started seeing each other.
"Okay, what the hell was that?" James exploded.
"Lily started acting weird, and went and with someone else." Peter informed him. The other three stared at him.
"Something is definitely wrong." Sirius concluded.
"No shit Sherlock!" James exclaimed sarcastically. Sirius was taken aback. "Sorry mate. I didn't mean it. It's just I can't understand what Lily is playing at. What is she doing?" He apologised, looking at each of his friends in turn; they each looked as clueless as he felt. "Maybe she doesn't like me any more." He sighed. "She has been paying that sixth year a lot of attention lately." He nodded at the handsome boy sitting beside Lily. They were talking and laughing. "What's-his-name? Sam something?"
"Stephen Jordan." Peter told him.
"Oh shut up Prongs." Sirius said good-naturedly.
"He's right James. Lily could never like anyone more than you." Remus said comfortingly.
"Then what is that all about?" He spluttered exasperatedly, gesturing wildly at the flirting Lily and Stephen. "That should be me and Lily, not Lily and him. Right that's it! I can't stand any more of this."
"James, what are you going to do?" Peter asked nervously.
"Prongs?" Remus said in a warning tone of voice. However James paid no heed to his friends, and strode angrily over to Lily and Stephen.
"Lily what is going on?" He muttered furiously.
"You know perfectly well what! Come on, what's it to be?"
"What are you talking about James?" Lily hissed. People were starting to stare at them.
"The fact that you can't decide who your boyfriend is."
"Well why don't you ask Felicity Spinnet." Lily shot back.
"Don't play games with me! You've been flirting with her all week!"
"I've been flirting? At least I have the decency to sit with you, and speak to you!"
"Oh isn't that good of you James? Listen up everyone; James Potter actually has the decency to sit with his girlfriend! Well it's just a pity he can't be bothered to say when he doesn't like her anymore."
"Yeah? Well at least I don't go swanning off with anyone who looks in my direction!" He retorted angrily. Lily's eyes narrowed dangerously.
"What exactly is that supposed to mean?"
"It's not hard. You work it out!" Lily's eyes welled up with tears, but she refused to let them fall.
"Fine! If that's what you really think, then forget it. We're over." She told him, with as much dignity as she could muster. James felt his heart pang as he saw her eyes glisten with unshed tears, but his pride would not let call her back as she strode out the Great Hall. Three girls ran past him, they were Lily's best friends, Amber Thomas, Sophie Barnes and Courtney McKee. They all gave James dirty looks as they rushed after Lily. Turning he miserably re-joined his friends. He played with the food in front him as he slumped in his chair. Remus opened his mouth to speak.
"Save it Moony. I'm not in the mood." James snapped, interrupting.
"Well if the wonderful James Potter hasn't finally been beaten down, and by a girl too!" Snape sneered smugly, as he approached the Gryffindor table. "Ooh that must hurt." James stood up and glared fiercely at Snape. Sirius noticed a couple of teachers looking down, and grabbing his wrist, pulled him back into his seat.
"No leave it." He muttered, and turned to the trouble-making Slytherin. "You must really love hospital food Snape." He said mutinously.
"And why is that?"
"Because if you don't shut your mouth, right now, you'll be eating it for a long time. I'll take care of that." James told him wrathfully. Snape stepped back uneasily, and smirked that his remark had caused the intended damage.