Disclaimer: I is not owning stuff of JK Rowlings belongings...
This is set just after the incident where Snape finds out about Lupin, and James saves his life...
Sixth year Gryffindor, Lily Evans looked around the common room in annoyance.
Remus Lupin was meant to be accompanying her on a patrol around the castle, as was the norm for prefects. However, he was nowhere in sight, and he was ten minute late. She peered at all the people scattering the room and noticed that none of his friends were there either.
Sighing angrily, she made her way to the stairs up to the boys' dormitory. Lupin had said that he had to go and visit his mother who was ill last night, but that he would be back for patrol that evening. Potter, she thought in disgust, or Black, or possibly both, had probably roped him into playing some kind of stupid joke on the Slytherins.
Lily shook her head. Those two were such arrogant little berks. Although, she had noticed lately that the amount of Slytherin baiting had not been as prolific as usual. Maybe they were finally growing up? Lily snorted. She didn't think they would ever grow up.
As she reached the landing for the Sixth year boys she stopped, hearing loud echoing voices resounding out into the stairwell. Listening closely, she could make out that they belonged to Potter and Black, and their argument, was more than just a petty disagreement.
"I've just been lectured by Dumbledore, McGonagall and any other teachers you'd like to add, on the stupid, irresponsible and completely disloyal act I just committed. I don't need it from you as well, James!"
"Oh, really? You don't mean to say to me that if you had the chance, you wouldn't think twice about doing it again?"
"He's a bloody Slytherin that's probably all ready in with Voldemort, and you're telling me I should just ignore him? Since when have you cared about Snape, anyway?"
"Do you honestly think that I would have minded if Snape had been killed? But, did you even stop to think what it would have done to Remus if your little plan had worked?"
There was silence from Sirius. Lily was shocked. Black and Potter never disagreed upon anything. She didn't want to hear anything else, but she couldn't make her feet move.
"I can tell you didn't." James continued. "That's the problem, Sirius, you never think! We have spent the last three years trying to convince Remus that he is not a monster, and now you go and do this! WHAT THE HELL MADE YOU EVEN CONSIDER IT?"
The last was ended on a deafeningly loud shout.
"You know who I'm talking about, don't you? Remus? He's the guy that's one of our best friends, nice, helps you with your homework? You know the one that you risked expulsion, and worse, to help? THE ONE YOU SWORE TO PROTECT WITH ANYTHING YOU HAD?"
There were the sounds of angry pacing inside the room. Lily could vividly imagine the hateful stare's, so often aimed at the Slytherins, being angled at the two best friends.
"You'd know all about protecting someone, wouldn't you James? A typical Potter, going and playing noble and brave, pulling back your enemy from certain death, at great personal risk?
I'm sure Dumbledore loved that!" His tone was laced with sarcasm.
Sirius seemed to have said what he wanted to say. James, however, perhaps rankled by the jab against his name, wasn't finished.
"You know, Sirius, I believed you when you said that you weren't a part of your family, that just because you had the same last name as them, you weren't anything like them. I was wrong. What kind of friend makes a promise, and then, after while, after it gets boring being someone that can be trusted, goes and betrays that person by trying to make them a murderer? WELL? I was stupid. A Black, not being in Slytherin, just maybe someone who can do something good, yeah right! You probably saw Remus as just a tool, a pet werewolf, who could come in handy if you didn't want to do the dirty work yourself. DIDN'T YOU? Well, I've finally realised, you were always a Black at heart, you are just as bad as one of them! YOU MAKE ME SICK!"
At this, Lily withdrew from the door, stunned. Sirius Black's family was never brought up in conversation, as he liked to pretend they didn't exist, much like Lily's own sister. On top of the fact that Remus Lupin was a werewolf, she almost couldn't believe her ears.
With a crash, the door burst open, and Sirius stumbled out. His face was pale, and his eyes downcast. Lily could practically feel the hurt and shame radiating off of him from James' words.
He did not even see her as he ran blindly down the stairs. James' however did.
She turned slowly to look at him, mouth open, and saw almost the same expression on his face that had been on Sirius'. It was clear that he had regretted his insults as soon as they had left his mouth.
When he registered her presence, the hurt turned to anger, and he advanced quickly. Lily felt a ripple of fear run through her as he pulled her into the room roughly and slammed the door shut.
"How much did you hear?" He asked in a low voice. He was still holding onto her arm.
"Enough. Let go of my arm." He ignored her.
"You won't repeat anything of what you heard." His voice was cold, and hard penetrating hazel eyes stared into her own.
"James, you're hurting me, let go!" Lily said, a little panicked. James looked down at where his hand was biting into her seemingly small arm, and visibly crumpled. He stepped away holding his hands up as if he had been burned, with a horror struck look on his face.
"I'm sorry." He whispered, almost brokenly. Lily was barely able to hear him.
"It's all right." She stepped closer, and pushed him towards one of the beds in the dormitory. "Here, sit."
He obeyed her silently, still watching her carefully. Lily was almost considering
leaving, but she could not bring herself to step away, even if it was James Potter. As a prefect she should stay. But it was the unnamed rush of emotion she felt at seeing the pain on his face that needed her to stay.
Slowly she sat down next to him, and said softly, "What happened?"
His head lowered, and for a minute, Lily thought he was going to tell her to leave, but then he spoke. "What I'm about to say, must stay in this room." His eyes flicked up to meet hers, and he continued, "It's not for my sake. Did you hear what I said about Remus, being…"
"A werewolf?" she finished softly, and nodded. James searched her face swiftly, before, smiling a little.
"I wouldn't normally tell anyone this, least of all you, but, since you already heard…"
He didn't need to say anything. And so, Lily heard all about what had happened the night before. Remus' furry little problem, how Snape had figured it out, Sirius telling him how to find Remus, and James going to pull Snape back.
By the end of the recount, Lily was again stunned. When James got to the part where he had argued with Sirius he stopped and looked at his feet.
"Well, you know the rest." He finished bleakly. Lily reached out and took his hand. Seeming strengthened by the contact he kept going. "I didn't mean those…what I said. He's not anything like the rest of his family; he would never try to hurt Remus, or any of us! I shouldn't have said it, he's practically my brother." He stopped, and he swiped angrily at his eyes. "He is my brother. He didn't deserve it."
Lily abandoned all pretence at detachment and wrapped her arms round him, squeezing tightly. "You know that true family will forgive anything. If you apologise to him, Sirius will forgive you. And…" Lily hesitated, unsure of whether she should go on. Taking a breath, she continued, "You can forgive him too, because you love him."
James nodded into her neck, and Lily held him as she felt warm tears trickle into her robe.
Two weeks later Lily Evans was again staring around the common room, looking for Remus Lupin. This time however, she found him. He was sitting with James, Sirius and Peter, watching the first two play Exploding Snap. They were all focusing grimly on the cards, when with an enormous bang, the pile of cards burst outwards, shooting out in every direction. As they had all been sitting so close, each face was blackened with soot as they gazed around at each other. One of them started to laugh, and within a few seconds, they were all rolling fitfully around on the floor.
Smiling, she made her way over to the table, and looked down at them.
"Excuse me, but Remus and I need to go on Patrol." Her words had an instantaneous effect on everyone.
Remus tried to stand up quickly, while James, Sirius and Peter leapt to their feet, grinning eagerly.
"Does ickle Remiekins need to go out on Patrol?" Peter said teasingly.
"Do you need to go to the bathroom first, Remie?" Sirius added.
"Oh, sod off, you two." Remus said, getting to his feet with James' help. "I just need to get my cloak," he added to Lily. She nodded.
"Okay, I'll wait outside. Bye." She said for the benefit of Sirius, Peter and James, and turned to go.
"Lily!" She looked back at James questioningly. "Um, can I talk to you?"
She nodded and James led her outside the common room to the catcalls of his
"Look, I wanted to thank you, and…apologise." He said. Lily started to interrupt, but he cut her off. "Please, just let me finish. I'm sorry I laid all that stuff on you, it wasn't fair, and I wasn't thinking straight. And I'm sorry for-" He lowered his voice and looked around, "Crying on you. Kind of embarrassing, that. But I'm glad you didn't leave, because it would have taken me a lot longer to talk to Sirius about…stuff, so…thanks."
He was looking at the floor. Lily smiled.
"You're welcome, and don't worry about the crying thing. I would have too."
They smiled at each other tentatively.
"Look, Lily, I know we've never been…friendly, but do you think, maybe we could stop being… I don't know…"
"Unpleasant?" at his nod Lily continued, "Yeah, I think that could work."
"So, are we…friends now?" James asked, his brow furrowed.
Lily feigned a look of disgust, and said, "With you, Potter? Never!"
James laughed and turned away, "Yeah, Evans, whatever you say."
Remus chose that moment to appear, and looked concernedly between them, "Is something wrong?" He asked carefully.
They both smiled and replied, "No."
As they walked off, Lily, turned and said, "Goodnight…James."
"Same to you, Lily."
With one last smile, James disappeared in through the portrait hole and Lily turned away to walk with Remus, who was shaking his head in confusion at both of them.
A/N: Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Please review, as I would really like to know if it was okay, or terribly bad.
Also, if you liked this there is an offshoot called 'Brotherly Affection'.
Luv, Nut 1