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Chapter 3—Unrecognizable Turning Point
Katie was sitting in her empty dorm room, while everyone else was down in the common room or around the school. These moments of being alone were very rare. She was attempting to get some work done while it was quiet.
A sharp, loud knocking on the door startled her. She stared at the door, unsure of what to do.
"Katie!" It was Lily calling and she hesitated. "Katie! PLEASE! I NEED you!" Lily cried and Katie realized something was truly wrong, and her best friend really did need her. She opened the door and gasped, taking in Lily's tear-stained face and disheveled hair.
"Lily…what…?" She trailed off, extremely concerned. Lily wasn't much of a crier. Ever. When Lily didn't respond, Katie put an arm around her shoulders, let her in, and shut the door. Fresh tears began to pour down Lily's face. "Lil, what happened to you?"
"I-I slept with him." She finally spoke.
"Who? Tristan?" Katie asked.
Lily shook her head and spoke a quiet, soft-spoken, "No."
"Then wh—." Katie's voice broke in mid-sentence, the answer dawning on her. "Oh..my..God." Were the only words she could come up with, causing Lily's face to crumple and a loud sob to escape. "Oh, Lily." Katie pulled her best friend into a tight embrace, not caring that her shirt was getting soaked from Lily's tears and loud sobbing. She stroked Lily's smooth hair, saying "It's okay" over and over again, knowing that when the time was right, the story would come.
Sirius, Remus and little Peter Pettigrew were emerging from the seventh year boys' dorm to get food from the kitchens when noise from the girls' dorm made them all freeze. Someone was sobbing hysterically.
"I haven't heard anyone cry that hard. Damn." Sirius said, frowning at the door. They heard a soft "Shh, it's okay, everything will be fine", during a pause between sobs.
"That's Katie's voice." Remus stated, surprised.
"You think that's Evans crying in there?" Sirius turned to face him.
"I think so." Peter squeaked.
"She's not much of a crier, though." Remus frowned.
"Yeah, but it sounds like Kates' friend and we all know most of the other girls hate Katie because they're jealous. It's Evans." Sirius concluded, wondering what the hell must have happened to her.
James was woken up the following morning by sunlight shining into his eyes. He stretched his arms in the air, eyes still closed. Then he remembered it. Last night. It was perfect. It was better than James had ever dreamed it would be. He finally slept with Lily Evans and it was mind-blowing. God, he loved her. She was a perfect angel. He turned, expecting to see her there, but the bed was empty next to him. He sat up, ruffling his hair. Lily's clothes were picked up off the floor. It looked like she had been gone a while. He got out of bed and put on a pair of boxers, going to find Lily in her room. But he frowned when he opened her door. The bed was neatly made and untouched, the curtains still open from the previous day. There was no way she had slept in there last night, seeing as it was only seven in the morning and James knew she loved sleeping later on the weekends. She left him. She wasn't there. By chance that maybe she had woken early, he went down the stairs, only to find their common room also empty. There was no sign of her.
James turned and punched the wall as hard as he could manage, not caring about the pain or his bleeding knuckles.
Sirius, Remus and Peter walked to the Great Hall for breakfast that morning, figuring James would meet them there. They saw Katie and Lily were already there, sitting at the end of the table away from everyone else. Lily was wearing a pair of Katie's fitted sweatpants and an old, worn "Gryffindor Lions Quidditch" t-shirt of Katie's from third year. Her eyes were bloodshot and red-rimmed, confirming that it was she who had been crying all night. The guys glanced at each other and sat down away from the girls, figuring they were by themselves for a reason. Remus noticed that Lily really wasn't eating, only pushing her food around with her fork and talking very quietly to Katie. At least they were talking again. But usually, the two girls were all smiles and laughs when talking to each other. Something was wrong.
James finally entered the Great Hall, his hair all over the place and not in the best mood. When he approached the Gryffindor table, he met Lily's red-rimmed eyes for the quickest second before she turned away. He sat next to the other Marauders and put his head in his hands, making a frustrated sound.
"What's going on, Prongs?" Remus asked. "Something happened with Lily, didn't it?"
"Yeah." James said, looking up. "Yeah. We slept together."
This was nothing close to the expected answer. Sirius, who had been taking a gulp of pumpkin juice at the time, spit it all out in James's face. Remus knocked over a plate of toast and Peter sent a sausage flying through the air.
"Thanks, Padfoot. Thanks a lot." James said, drying himself off.
"Are you bloody serious?" He asked, shocked and James nodded.
"No you're not." Sirius challenged.
"Yes I am."
"No you're not."
"Yes I am."
"Padfoot!" James banged his fist on the table.
"How did that happen?" Remus asked him.
"I-I don't know. We were doing school work, next thing I know we're snogging and taking each other clothes off. Then we're in my bed. And..yeah…" He trailed off.
"Bloody hell." Sirius managed. "Well then why is she so upset? No girl ever sobbed about sleeping with me before. We heard her crying to Katie last night."
"I don't know that either. I woke up this morning and she was gone, not in my bed or her own, either. I don't know what I did." James' voice broke at the end of the sentence and the other boys could tell he was really hurting. They weren't sure what to do as well.
"It's gotta be a girl thing." Sirius concluded.
However, Lily stayed in the dorm with the other seventh years the following week, not speaking to James a single time. She did not acknowledge him in class at all, no matter how many times he tried to catch her eye and pull her aside to talk. James was going insane. Finally though, he was able to get some answers. He was sitting in his Heads common room working on a Defense Against the Dark Arts assignment when Katie came through the door.
"Sorry, I'm just here to get some clothes for Lily." She told him.
"Why won't she come in here? Why won't she talk to me? What the bloody hell did I do?" James spat out. Katie continued walking until he came up and grabbed her tiny arm. "Katie! Please." He begged.
"She's unsure, James. She's confused and hurt."
"But how?" He yelled.
"It's not your fault."
"She's treating me like it is."
Katie sighed. "She's never liked you, James. You know that. You've been going after her for seven years and she never once went along with it." At those words, James let go of her arm quickly, stung.
"Then why did she do it? She could have stopped. It wasn't ALL me, you know."
"She—She didn't mean for it to happen, James. It was an accident. She didn't mean it. Now she doesn't know what to do. She didn't want that." Those words felt like a knife to him and seeing the hurt in his eyes, Katie went up to stairs.
She came back down a few minutes later, some of Lily's clothes in her arms. Pausing at the door, she glanced back at James.
"I'm sorry, James." She said to him softly. "Everything is a mess. We'll sort it out."
Before closing the door, she looked into his eyes and saw something she had never seen in any of the brave Marauders before.