Disclaimer 1:This is a work of fan fiction using characters from the Harry Potter world, which is trademarked by J. K. Rowling. All characters are created and owned by J.K. Rowling, and I do not claim any ownership over them or the world of Harry Potter. The story I tell here is my own invention, and it is not purported or believed to be part of J.K. Rowling's story canon. This story is for entertainment only and is not part of the official story line.
Disclaimer 2: I have read many a Jily fanfic. If your own story looks even remotely like this one, I assure you it's a happy accident. Feel free to link it in the reviews for others (like myself) to enjoy.
Alone in the Gryffindor common room, Lily Evans, year 6 at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, sat comfortably one of the couches, surrounded by her vanilla -scented candles, quill in hand, finishing a Potions essay that wasn't due for another two weeks. The steady October rainfall was doing wonders for her concentration. She was particularly pleased with page 11 paragraphs 3 through 5, a bit theorizing how to concoct a serum to combat the perils of lycanthropy using the sister ingredients to a memory loss potion.
She paused in between musings only to readjust her oversized sweater or stroke the fire with a flick of her wand. When the temperature drop became too much, she walked to the window with her eyes still on her paper, scanning for imperfections while her body knew how to navigate her across the room. When Lily reached the window, she inhaled the earthy aroma of the outside world. But as she extended her hand towards the handle, the calmness evaporated.
Thunder shook the walls and deafened Lily. Her hand recoiled from the shock and brushed past a particularly sharp corner of the windowsill. Cursing Merlin, she brought her thumb to her lips to minimize the damage. She succeeded in finally closing the window, looking wearily at the sky and noticing the full moon somehow shining through the clouds.
Her face blanched, not a wholly unattractive contrast to her fiery hair, although she would never think so. Her thoughts were with Remus, wondering where he was, how he was enduring.
Then the portrait hole burst open. Sirius Black, drenched and bloodied, stumbled through. When he saw her his eyes widened, a bewildered and pleading expression at once. "Have you seen Peter?" But Lily shook her head.
"I-I think I need your help."
"Is it Remus?" Her prior apprehension had taken root.
"No, it's James." Sirius looked sick.
Lily couldn't imagine what was wrong. But she knew that if Sirius Black was desperate enough to seek out her help, she had to act quickly. She summoned her cloak and fastened it as Sirius led her out of the common room.
No one should have been roaming around except the Ravenclaw prefects on their rounds. When they passed by a fourth year Huffelpuff couple lurking in the shadows Lily sent them a death glare but didn't bother to stop. "You have to say something Sirius. Explain what's happening at least. What idiotic mess has Potter made this time?" She questioned.
"No, Lily I messed up. I just wanted to have some fun with Snivellus, so I took him to meet Ramus…"
Lily gasped and stopped. "Are you insane? It's a full moon!"
For once Sirius looked ashamed. "We knew you knew about him. He'd hinted as much."
"Of course I knew about him! When you lot found out, you panicked. For a short but critical time neither you nor Peter nor Potter were there for him, but I was." Her accusations stung, but Sirius quickly recovered and continued walking.
"I think you'll find we've more than made up for that."
"So what happened. Where is Severus?" Lily wasn't friends with Severus Snape anymore, but it nonetheless pained her to think he could be hurt.
"He's in the Hospital Wing. James isn't as much of an idiot as I am. He shoved Snivellus out of the way, so other than a few cuts and bruises, your friend will be fine. Luckily he also passed out as soon as James pushed him, which helped prevent other, uh, complications." He avoided further details, and Lily decided not to press as they had reached the Herbology greenhouse. Something glimmered in the corner, but when Lily's eyes adjusted and she looked closer, she saw a shadow slumped by the wall.
"Did you find him?" A pained voice called out.
"No mate, I found someone better." Sirius hoped to lighten the mood, but when James saw Lily, he sucked in his breath.
"Just when I thought you couldn't make any more moronic decisions, you bring her." When James spoke with such coldness, Lily retreated a bit.
"I don't want her to get involved in this, she can get hurt." He said more softly.
Lily could have sworn she was having palpitations, but she shoved the thought aside as she began assessing the situation, taking in the blood soaking James's back.
"Sirius filled me in on most of what happened. Did he-did Ramus, bite you?" She asked in alarm.
"No! This is just an unfortunate byproduct of some over-enthusiastic rough housing."
Lily wasn't having it. "Why didn't you go to the Hospital Wing?" She demanded.
"I did go, I delivered Snivellus and bolted. But I couldn't stay, because you know what that would mean for Ramus. It's already bad enough that Snivellus has seen him. But there's no harm done if no one is hurt, and Dumbledore will make sure the news doesn't spread further. If any hint of bloodshed is hinted at, Ramus would be out. We came back for for him but we couldn't find him, and then it hit me and I realized it was worse than I thought."
Because Lily cherished Ramus's friendship, she knew she would have to help. "What do you need me to do?"
Sirius jumped in, "All you need to do is hold the cloak. I can support him, but I can't do both. That's why I was looking for Peter. Where in Merlin's name could he be? And he's got the map! We need to get him back to the Gryffindor common room, and then I can manage with the wounds. "
Lily's confusion deepened. "What map? Why do I need to hold a cloak?" Sirius and James shared a glance. James sighted, pulling out a shimmering cloak.
"Because we don't want anyone to see us Evans." James chose to ignore her first question as he covered himself with the cloak.
Lily's mouth hung open without making a sound, but James quickly reappeared before her after removing the cloak.
"Potter, this explains so much."
He managed to smirk. "This only brushes the surface Evans."
They began working together, Sirus and Lily helping James up before Sirius took over James's weight, and Lily wrapped the cloak around them. "Forget the Gryffindor Common Room, there are still people who could see," she said, "the prefects' bathroom will be deserted because I've scheduled it for renovations."
They hurried in silence except for James's forceful breathing. When they reached the prefects' bathroom, Lily muttered the password and rushed them inside. She instructed Sirius help James in the bath while she stepped out to grab some supplies. When she returned with a large bag, James was already submerged, the hot water stinging his wounds. Sirius was next to him, looking like a puppy about to urinate from terror.
"Get it together man, you're a wizard." She scolded as she shoved him aside. "Potter, can you remove your shirt?"
"I think that's my queu to leave." He was only half-joking
"You will do no such thing Sirius Black!" Lily threatened. She began working with precision, every so often yelling out instructions to Sirius. She disinfected James's wounds and placed a healing tonic. She asked James to leave the bath and then placed a soothing potion all along his back. With Sirius in the room and with the urgency of the situation, she almost negated the feel of James's skin, how his muscles seemed to shiver every time she touched him. She told herself it was because of the pain he was feeling. After a few healing spells, she gave James a potion to help him sleep, and the three walked back to the Gryffindor common room together under the Invisibility cloak. Sirius excused himself first when he noticed that James wasn't ready to leave Lily. Lily yelled after him, "Sirius, that's fifty points from Gryffindor." He winced but nodded in defeat.
"Thank you for tonight Evans. I know you hate me, you've told me as much, so I know this can't have been easy for you. It breaks at least ten rules." James looked down as he spoke.
"More like fifteen. I will say Potter, that your loyalty to your friends, if a bit reckless, is admirable."
James shrugged off the complement, but Lily continued. "But what shocked me wasn't your kindness towards your friend but rather your kindness towards your enemy." Lily's eyes were glistening now, and she had to look away. "Thank you for saving Severus." James starting to interrupt but Lily didn't give him the chance. "No I mean it. He and I aren't friends anymore, but we were for so long that I still care.
James lifted his saddened eyes towards her. "I know Evans, that's why I did it. Because he matters to you. Just like you matter to me." He looked exhausted as he finally turned away to head for the boys' dormitory, but Lily's voice stopped him.
"No Potter, you're wrong. He doesn't matter to me the way that I matter to you."
James turned to look at her, finding their eyes locked in a silent battle. Without losing eye contact she retreated towards the girls' dormitory. Before turning the door, she smirked and added one final thing, "And Potter, that's fifty points to Gryffindor."
Peter Pettigrew crawled in through the portrait hole about an hour later, quiet as a mouse, or as a rat. His disheveled appearance and wild stare would have spooked anyone who saw him. But no one did. When he reached the dormitory, both Sirius and James were sound asleep, seemingly unconcerned with the trials their friend Wormtail had suffered. To him it was infurriating. Without so much as changing his clothes, he climbed into his own bed and and resolved to fall asleep quickly. He decided it would be best to save himself the embarrassment of recounting his kidnapping by the Slytherins-his friends didn't seem overly concerned. He'd kept the map safe at the very least. But would they even appreciate it? It was his final thought as he drifted to sleep.