Summary: "It wasn't as if James had never had a girlfriend before. He'd been dating since the age of fourteen, but he'd never ditched his friends before like he was doing with the Head Girl. Thus, Sirius had come to the conclusion that Lily Evans was evil, and that she had to be stopped." One-shot.
Notes: ::hangs head in shame:: I know. Should be working on TDA. But I started this about a month ago, when I saw the word 'monopolize' in the newspaper and Sirius popped into my head, and he said, "That slut is monopolizing my best friend's time", and…I had to listen to him. Plus, it was a really funny idea…or at least I thought so. Anyway, I found this while implementing a new filing system for my fanfic yesterday (please, don't ask—I got really, really bored) and felt a sudden burst of inspiration. Twelve hours later…voila.
They had been going out for a month.
A whole month.
Well, actually, now that he thought about it, thirty-one days was a little more than four weeks, because there were seven days in a week, and if you multiplied seven by four, you got twenty-eight. Which was noticeably less than thirty-one.
Four weeks and then some.
They were still in the happy, flirty, let-me-feed-you-breakfast, kiss-you-after-every-class, hold-your-hand-and-walk-you-to-the-bathroom stage. The stage where they made up ridiculous pet names for each other ("Muffin, darling?" "Yes, strawberry?"), carried each other's books, wrote simpering letters during class, shared meals and school supplies and spit…
James was never around anymore. Seriously. His time had been limited as it was this year due to his Head Boy duties that he, for whatever reason, did not feel like shirking. But even when he had the Head Boy stuff to contend with he made time to go for Hogsmeade runs or chess games or broom races or girl watching or…whatever inane activities they could come up with.
But then February rolled around and James got himself a girlfriend.
And all of a sudden, he was never around.
It wasn't as if James had never had a girlfriend before. He'd been dating since the age of fourteen, but he'd never ditched his friends before like he was doing with the Head Girl.
Thus, Sirius had come to the conclusion that Lily Evans was evil, and that she had to be stopped.
He had not shared this theory with anyone yet, but when Peter casually commented that James hadn't been around much lately on a Tuesday night in March, Sirius leapt on the opportunity.
"That's 'cause his girlfriend is evil," he said.
Remus and Peter both looked up from the History of Magic essays they were writing and stared at Sirius, who was reading Quidditch Digest on the couch, for a good minute or so before Remus finally asked, "What?"
"The girl's evil," Sirius reiterated matter-of-factly, turning his page.
"She's not evil," Peter snickered.
"Is so," Sirius insisted. "Why else would she be spending so much time with Prongs?"
"Because she likes him?" Remus suggested.
Sirius scoffed. "As if," he said, tossing the magazine onto the table where his friends were working. "Think of it this way: the Head Girl has always hated us: true or false?"
Peter immediately responded, "True," but Remus frowned and said; "I think 'hate' is a strong word for it, Sirius."
"Did she or did she not threaten to rip out Peter's jugular with her bare hands if he did not take the Flaming Hex off her hair in third year?" Sirius asked imperiously.
Peter nodded fervently.
Remus closed the book he was using for reference and said, "Well, yes, but—"
"Did she or did she not attempt to stab James in the eye with his own wand five months ago?"
"That was provoked."
"Did she or did she not suspend me from the ceiling of the Common Room by my toes last year just because I had managed to procure a pair of her knickers?"
"You'd been wearing them on your head the entire weekend," Remus pointed out.
Sirius waved this information aside. "And didn't she push you into the lake in fourth year?"
Remus paused. "No," he said. "I tripped over my own feet and I fell in."
Sirius scoffed again. "That's what she wants you to think."
Remus laughed. "Sirius, this is ridiculous," he said. "Lily is a perfectly nice, albeit high tempered, girl. She is not evil just because she happens to like your best friend. You know what your problem with her is?"
"Oh, tell me, Remus," Sirius replied sarcastically. "And while you're at it, why don't you show me that spiffy new psychology certification of yours?"
Remus ignored the last comment and proclaimed, "You're threatened by her."
"Threatened by her?!" Sirius exclaimed. "How am I threatened by her?!"
"You're worried that she's going to steal James away from you," Remus responded simply.
"Well, yeah, I am. I'm worried that she's going to steal Prongs and drag him to an abandoned warehouse somewhere and start cutting off his fingers one by one," Sirius sniped. "That's what I'm worried about."
"No, you're not," Remus smiled. "You're jealous. You're insanely jealous. You're like a little kid who just got a new little brother or sister."
Sirius did not feel like telling him that when Regulus was born he had filled his brother's baby powder tin with Wartcap powder, stolen all of his new toys, taken all of the house elf heads off the walls and rearranged them in Regulus's room, and 'accidentally' lodged his brother in a tree.
"I am not jealous," Sirius insisted.
Remus merely shook his head and returned to his essay.
Sirius turned to Peter now. "I'm not," he said.
Peter nodded solemnly. "'Course not," he agreed.
Sirius, annoyed at the lack of support his friends were giving him, picked up his magazine and buried himself in it. "Just because I'm worried about Prongs's safety you lot think I'm jealous," he muttered, mostly to himself but loudly enough so that the other two could hear him. "You wait until you start getting his body parts in the post."
James stumbled into the dormitory that night at about midnight, kicking off his shoes as he walked to his bed. Sirius sat up in his own bed, pulled the curtains open, and whispered, "Where've you been?"
The tiny sliver of moon outside was enough cast an eerie, silvery-blue light over James's face. "Am I past curfew, Mum?" he asked, shrugging out of his robes and tossing them carelessly on the floor.
Sirius ignored the slight. "Seriously, where've you been? Moony was worried."
James, who was kneeling on the floor in search of a pair of pajamas, glanced over at Remus's bed, where the boy was sprawled out on his stomach, his face buried in the pillow, snoring quietly. "He doesn't appear to be losing sleep over it," he responded lightly, pulling a red pajama top out from under the bed and rising.
Sirius frowned. Of course, Remus had not mentioned James at all since the discussion in the Common Room, and had been asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow two hours ago. Sirius, plagued by nightmares of envelopes leaking James's blood, had been unable to sleep. "That's because he's so tired," Sirius said lamely. "He's been waiting up for you all night, every night for thirty-two days now. It'll wear you out."
James quirked an eyebrow. He took off his glasses and set them on his bedside table before taking off his tie and then his shirt. "I'm sure." He put on the red pajama top and started in on his pants.
"So, where were you?" Sirius asked, trying to sound casual.
"Working out fair punishments for some thirty-odd rulebreakers," James replied. Finished dressing, he pulled the curtains back on his bed and stepped gracefully onto the mattress. Sirius mimicked his friend's movements, pulling the covers over his shoulders and lying on his side so he could still face James.
"With the Head Girl?"
Sirius could hear him smiling. "Yes, Sirius."
"So there was snoggage."
"I guess." James sat up again and punched at his pillows to fluff them up before lying down again.
"You guess?" Sirius asked, and his tone came out sharper than he had intended.
"Well, yeah, there was. Why?" James's voice was clearly suspicious.
"I am simply worried that you are letting your lust—" James laughed openly here, but Sirius ploughed on, undeterred "—get in the way of your position. Obviously, you are not devoting all of your attentions to your job. The Head Girl is—is distracting you."
James paused for such a long time that Sirius thought he must've fallen asleep, so when he finally responded, Sirius was so surprised that he flinched. "Why d'you call her that?" James asked, and his voice was even and calm.
"Why do you call Lily 'the Head Girl'?" James clarified. "I haven't heard you call her by her name since…"
"Since we started going out, actually," James replied. He paused again. "Do you not like her?"
Oh, how to tell poor, sweet, innocent James that his girlfriend was carrying out Satan's orders in her spare time? "I like her fine," Sirius said stiffly.
"Because if you don't," James said, and it was clear that he knew that Sirius was lying, "it's probably because you don't know her very well. She's very nice, you know, once you get past the yelling and stuff."
"Says the boy who is currently shoving his tongue down her throat on a regular basis," muttered Sirius.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Only that you're a bit biased, aren't you?"
There was a long, uncomfortable sort of silence, which was broken when Sirius sighed and said, "Look, it's late. You're probably all tired out from snogging your girlfriend, so I'll let you get to sleep."
He turned over on his other side so that his back was facing James. After a few moments, he heard the rustling of fabric as other boy closed his curtains, shutting him out.
"So Sirius doesn't like me."
James frowned. "I wouldn't say he doesn't like you—"
"It's fine," Lily cut in hurriedly.
"No, it's not," James said seriously. "He's my best friend, and you're my girlfriend, and I want you to get along."
They were eating sandwiches alone in the Student Authority Office, not because there was any pressing work to be done, but because they had actually come to enjoy the atmosphere of the place. Plus it was one of the few places where they could snog with almost no chance of getting caught.
"I can't make him like me, James," Lily said tiredly, setting down the remnants of her third sandwich and brushing breadcrumbs off her chest. "It's not like we're ever going to be the best of friends or anything. He's always going to be your best friend and I'm—" She blushed at the obvious slip.
"Always going to be my girlfriend?" James finished, looking highly amused.
"Well, maybe—maybe not always," she mumbled. "But for the time being. We're both—we both have attachments to you, but in different ways, and maybe he feels like I'm…threatening his attachment with my attachment?" She phrased it not as a statement, but as a question. "You made me lose my train of thought; that didn't make any sense."
He smiled. "Sorry." He chewed his sandwich thoughtfully, swallowed, and caught her eye. "Talk to him?"
"Talk to him?" Lily sputtered, surprised. "Sirius Black and I haven't spoken more than ten words to each other in seven years, and I doubt we have anything in common. What am I supposed to talk to him about?"
"You'd probably get on great, Lily, he just…like I said, he doesn't know you very well," James said. "He kinda sees you only as the Head Girl, and he has a problem with authority."
"What problem is that?"
"He doesn't like it."
"Oh, well, then this should be easy." Lily balled up the napkin she had been playing with and threw it in the general direction of a wastebasket in the corner of the room. She missed it by at least three feet and quietly scoffed at her lack of skill.
James crossed the room and picked up the napkin, tossing it back and forth between his hands as he walked to where Lily was sitting—on top of the long, rectangular table where the Prefect meetings were held. He hoisted himself to join her on the table and, after a few more moments of playing with it, hurled the napkin at the wastebasket. It landed cleanly in the basket, and James tossed Lily one of his best triumphant grins over his shoulder.
"That's unfair," Lily huffed. "You're an athlete. You've spent half your life throwing things in goals."
"I guess." James reached for her hand. "Please?" he asked softly, running his thumb over her knuckles.
She stared at him for a few moments before sighing and looking away. "I'll talk to him," she acquiesced.
Sirius looked up from his Charms homework to see Lily Evans standing in front of him, biting her lip and clasping her hands behind her back, her Head Girl badge on prominent display. She seemed to be rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet, and she looked extremely nervous. Attempting not to show his annoyance at her presence, Sirius grumbled, "Hi" back and tried to look busy.
Lily, however, took his reply as an invitation to join him at his table. She pulled out the chair in front of him and, after a few moments of stilted silence, asked, "So, what're—what're you working on?"
"Charms," he grunted.
Lily brightened; Charms was her best subject. "Oh, the questions from chapter fifteen?"
What other Charms homework do we have? "Mm."
"They're really fun, aren't they?"
Apparently, the questions Lily was talking about and the ones he was doing were two very different things. "Yeah, they're a romp."
Lily caught the sarcasm and faltered for a moment before abruptly changing tack. "Do—d'you need any help?" she queried, almost shyly. "Because I'm done with mine and I've—I could help you. If you needed help, that is."
Sirius lost his patience and looked up at her, setting down his quill. "Look, I don't need your help, and I actually work better when I'm left alone, so I'd appreciate it if you'd leave."
Lily paused. "Right," she mumbled, rising and hoisting her bag over her shoulder. "I'm sorry, I—just—forget it, I'm sorry." She dashed out of the library, and Sirius breathed a sigh of relief, shaking his head and picking up his quill to answer question twelve.
He finished the question and glanced up at his book to look up some information pertaining to the essay question ("Explain the evolution of the Splintering Charm over the course of three hundred and thirty-five years, from its invention by Vlad the Vagrant [d.1658] to the recent improvements made by Spain's Department of Revisions") and was met with the sight of a gray pleated skirt.
"I thought you left," he said, not looking directly at her but turning the page of his book to show how disinterested he was with her.
"You and I," Lily said, and her tone was surprisingly steely for someone who had been seemingly upset about ten seconds ago, "need to talk."
"I don't care." She pulled out the chair across from him again and sat in it, her arms folded over her chest.
"Don't you have some Head Girl-y thing to do?" Sirius mumbled. "Some innocent third-year to berate, someone with a sense of humor to curse, some Quidditch player to snog?"
Lily's hand shot out of nowhere and slammed his book shut with such force that he actually jumped. "Actually," she said sweetly, "the only thing I have to do today is have a chat with an immature, spoiled, selfish berk of an eighteen-year-old boy. And I'm going to do it. Even if I have to put the Full-Body Bind on you to accomplish it."
His suspicions were confirmed. The girl was evil.
But Sirius had been accused of being less-than-humane himself, and he could play just as well as she. Better, even.
"That routine might work on James," Sirius responded, his voice venomous and low, "but I'm not afraid of you."
"Aren't you?" Lily asked, her tone misleadingly light.
This wide-eyed innocent thing annoyed him possibly more than anything she'd done yet. And that included the time last week when she'd sat next to him at dinner and butted in on every single conversation he'd attempted to start up with James. "What does that mean?"
"You tell me."
"If I knew, I wouldn't be asking."
"Fine," Lily snapped, and she gathered up her things and stood up again. "Fine. But when you want to have a mature conversation about your problem with me, let me know."
He watched her stalk out of the library and thought, Huh. Not only is she evil, she's also barmy.
Sirius shrugged it off and went back to his homework.
To Sirius's extreme relief, no one attempted to talk to him about his supposed 'problem' with Lily for the rest of the week. In fact, everyone more or less ignored him. Which suited him just fine.
Except that Sirius rather liked attention. He thrived on it. People ignoring him kinda made him restless and tetchy.
This was only a problem until Sunday night, when, en route to the kitchens for a plate of fudge, Sirius heard footfalls behind him and realized that someone was following him.
He reached in his pocket for his wand, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible in case it was a Slytherin looking to start a fight who would hex him with his back turned, and whirled around, pointing it at the stalker.
It was, of course, Lily.
Sirius, scowling, pocketed his wand and asked, "What do you want?"
"Just to talk."
He rolled his eyes. "No."
"We're going to talk," Lily hissed. "Now."
He raised his eyebrows, surprised at her vehemence. "That's no way to butter me up, your Headship."
"I'm done trying to coddle you," Lily replied.
"When did you ever try to coddle me?" Sirius wondered aloud.
She ignored him. "James just broke up with me," she announced.
That took him aback, but he pretended to be completely bored with this information. "Then why are you trying to have a meaningful conversation with me?"
"Because," Lily said, "the reason he gave me was that you didn't like me."
Sirius felt oddly satisfied with this tidbit. James always had valued his opinion above all others and tended to listen to him when he wouldn't even pay his parents any mind. "Guess your nefarious little scheme failed, then," he said. "Go find someone else to dismember, 'kay?"
She stared at him. "Dismember?" she repeated, confused.
"Yeah," Sirius said. "I know all about your ulterior motives, all right? You can't fool me. Just because you pretend to be all innocent with your badge and your—your skirts and your fringe…" He forgot where he was going with that sentence, and abandoned it. "I know you're evil!"
Lily got a tight expression on her face, which Sirius had figured out a long time ago meant she was trying to hold in her evil-overlord-type laugh. Y'know, the one that went 'mwaha' (or 'bwaha', depending on your nationality) for about sixty years and continually raised in volume until it caused actual thunder and lightning to appear as if from nowhere. "I'm evil?" she said, lightly.
"Well, yeah," Sirius said. "It was easy to see it."
Sirius was growing tired of standing in the middle of the hallway discussing Lily's plans for world domination, and he really was hungry. "Look, I've got a plate of fudge in there with my name on it. Can this wait? I'm sure you've got some serious planning to do, what with the need for a new victim and all."
"I'll join you," Lily said briskly. "Lead the way."
"Maybe you missed the part about the fudge having my name on it," Sirius told her. "Nowhere on the fudge does it mention your name."
"I'll have cake, then, if you're unwilling to share your fudge," Lily responded.
That made him stop in his proverbial tracks. "James loves cake," Sirius said, eyeing her suspiciously.
She got that tight expression on her face again. "I know."
"And now you love cake."
"You ate him, didn't you?!" Sirius burst out. He pointed a shaking finger at her, his mouth dropping open in horror. "You ate him and now you've acquired his tastes!"
Lily shook her head in exasperation. "I did not eat him!" she exclaimed. "Much as he likes to believe otherwise, James Potter is not the only person on the planet with a liking for cake!"
"He doesn't have a liking!" Sirius insisted. "He has an all-consuming, once-in-a-lifetime, de—"
"Death-defying, romance-novel love for cake," Lily finished, a small smile spreading across her face. "I know."
That was possibly the worst thing she could've said. "Oh, my God!" Sirius shouted shrilly. "You did eat him! How else could you have known that?! We came up with that when we were twelve!"
"I know!" she yelled so that she could be heard over his shrieking. "He told me!"
He stared her down. "He told you?"
"He told me."
He realized something. "He didn't break up with you, did he?"
She smiled fully. "No, he really didn't."
"He told you to tell me that he did, didn't he?"
"Wanker," Sirius mumbled under his breath.
She started to laugh.
"What?" he asked, annoyed.
"That's exactly what he said you'd say."
As she giggled, Sirius considered her, trying not to think of her as the Girlfriend who took such apparent joy in sucking up every second of his best friend's time, or the stuck-up authoritarian who seemed to relish giving him detention for anything he did that she didn't agree with. He tried to look at her as a person as someone who blew out candles on her birthday and sometimes forgot to write her name on pieces of homework and had a secret penchant for trashy romance novels with well-muscled, long-haired heroes and collected diaries but never wrote in them. He tried to see her as someone with flaws and quirks, as someone who always wore her shirts with the top two buttons undone, who was terrified of flying but didn't particularly mind heights, who sometimes forgot how to tell time.
And when he thought of her that way, Sirius could not imagine why he had ever felt threatened by her.
A/N: I just felt like ending it there. If there was lack of 'closure', I apologize. :)
I don't know what it is with me always having Lily like romance novels. Just a thing I have, I guess. 'Well-muscled, long-haired heroes' translates roughly into 'Fabio'. ::snicker, snicker::
Apologies also if there are grammar mistakes. My grammar-checker and I often disagree, and I tend to trust my judgment. Maybe wrongly so. I don't know. It's after one in the morning and I'm a little bit out of things.
I've got to reiterate that this is a one-shot. So no one ask me for a second chapter. Because there will not be one. :)
I think that's it…
::yawns:: I'm going to bed now, kiddies. I expect mountains of reviews singing my praises when I wake up. ;)
That was a joke, by the way.
Except for the 'mountains of reviews' part. I realize the 'singing my praises' bit might be pushing it.
That was a joke, too.
I don't expect anything.
I just strongly suggest.