Quick Exit

A/N: James is barking mad. Everyone knows it and we're about to find out just how mad he can be.

Emma walked into Manticore Hall, and looked over at Chimera's table. She sighed in relief when she saw Rose, Lisa and Adam, but not James or Tiffany. She walked over to the table and sat down. "Where are James and Tiffany?"

Rose caught the apprehensive tone, and looked up from the Potions essay she was working on. "They're in the lab, working on something, why?"

"Reginald Crabbe is spreading a tale around, that he's done it with Tiffany." Reginald Crabbe was the older brother of Martin Crabbe, the third year Sltherin that James had beaten so badly during first year, when James caught him tormenting Mercy

The flare of anger that this comment caused in the three sitting there brought an instant response from James. "Rose, what's wrong?"

"A minor problem, James, I've got it under control." Rose was quick to reassure him, even as she stared at Emma. "He's nuts. James will kill him for insulting Tiffany like that."

Adam was thinking about it, and trying to figure out what Reginald's angle on this was. It came to him suddenly. "If James touches Reginald over this, he'll be expelled. Don't you remember what Professor Dumbledore said after the fight first year? James will have to show that Reginald was doing as much damage as James does to him, or he'll be expelled."

"He's right, so what are we going to do about it? Having James expelled would be bad." The other three nearly choked on Lisa's understatement, but they recovered and started planning.

When James and Tiffany came out of the lab, they were met by Jerrick, who had some things he wanted James to look at, and by Mercy, who wanted Tiffany to help her with something. After those two were finished, there were more Manticores and by the time everyone was done, it was well after curfew, and they all ended up sneaking back to the Gryffindor common room.

The next morning, Adam, who asked him to come to Manticore Hall, as they had a debate going on ethics during a battle, woke James. Since this was one of James's favorite debates, he quickly agreed, and they were soon arguing with the other Manticores that were involved.

An hour later, James looked up as Sonya took Tiffany away, saying she wanted Tiffany to hear something, and vaguely noted that there were a lot of Manticores in the Hall for such a beautiful morning, but a comment by one of the debaters drew him back into the discussion before he could wonder why.

Sonya was being guided by one of Jerrick's people who had found Reginald telling the story about the supposed incident to a couple of other Slytherins. She took Tiffany to a place where they could hear what Reginald was saying.

It took Tiffany a few seconds to understand what Reginald was talking about, and a few seconds longer to realize whom he was talking about so sneeringly. James figured it out at the same time she did, and the combined fury of the two burst over Tiffany in a wave.

Reginald's first indication that Tiffany was there was the blow that caught him between the shoulder blades, knocking him to the ground. Tiffany had led her attack with a drop kick, and as she prepared to continue, one of the other Slytherins ran, and the other one pointed his wand at her.

She reacted, and her foot lashed out, striking the boy's wrist and sending his wand flying. Before he could do anything else, her spinning backfist caught him on the side of the jaw, backed by anger and the muscles of three years of training and accelerated ageing. He dropped where he stood, and Tiffany turned her attention to Reginald, who was just turning over.

She struck out with a low kick, catching Reginald by sheer chance, in the same spot James had hit Martin in two years earlier, and these ribs gave way under this assault also. Reginald curled up, trying to protect himself, but that just left Tiffany an excellent target, which Reginald found out as she stooped, and pounded a fist into his kidney.

Tiffany knelt, catching Reginald by the hair and pulling his head back. She struck him several times in quick succession, turning his face into a bloody mess, and nearly knocking him senseless.

She stopped suddenly, and reached into her robes as Reginald watched helplessly. Her hand came out, not with the wand he had expected, but with a silver spoon, with edges that glittered as the sun caught them. "So, you had fun, did you?" Tiffany's voice was low, and the menace there scared Reginald more than the pain he was feeling. "I hope you did, boy, because I'm going to remove you from the gene pool."

Panic shot through Reginald, because she was completely serious.

James had still been embroiled in the debate when he realized what Tiffany was hearing, and his wand appeared in his hand. His eyes were blazing with an anger that no one there, not even Rose had ever seen, and the words he muttered were more a curse than a spell. He was heading for the doors to Manticore Hall at a run as he put his wand away, and what he did next elevated him forever into School legend.

The doors to Manticore led to a hallway. Turning right took you to the stairs that ended in the base of the south tower, and turning left took you to the stairs that passed Gryffindor and ended in the Main Hall. As he passed the doors at a dead run, James showed them all a new way. Placing one hand on the banister, James vaulted over the five-story drop.

A/N: Tiffany's about to castrate Reginald, and James is falling five stories. This looks like a perfect place to leave off.