Author Note: Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy. If you do and let me know perhaps I'll extend its length.
She enjoyed reading, getting lost in a novel. For her, homework was the same way. Learning was a form of entertainment and those who knew her, even a little, knew that when she was reading to not bother her. It was even more unexpected for a certain ebony haired boy to intervene. Perhaps, it would have been more likely in fifth year. But that was a different boy and it was his dearest friend Lily saw looking down at her in her seated position by her favorite oak. She had always been considered unapproachable, she wasn't sure why. Never seeing herself as particularly aloof or anti-social, it appeared to her that maybe she was misjudged—like she misjudged James. She never meant to, this judgmental air just seemed to cloud her vision when he was near. Not anymore though, he had changed: she noticed and responded. Things were comfortable for them now with their trice-weekly Heads meetings and their weekly patrols. She started to enjoy talking with him, spending time with him…just sitting with him. He had rapidly become a comforting presence in her life. She wished she could say that she had been one for him, but she doubted this greatly. From time to time, when she looked, she noticed that the familiar glimmer in his eyes were lost. She knew something must be wrong. She could sense it.
Which is why she thought the worst as she glanced up at Sirius: "What's wrong?" she questioned.
Sirius took a long deep sigh and then gave her an apologetic smile, responding "Sorry to bother you, Lily."
"Sirius, it's James isn't it? What's wrong? What happened?" was her frantic reply.
Sirius seemed to not know what to say as if this conversation was awkward. It would have been years ago, but not now, not after their truce. Not after her friendship with James began. "Lily, I'm not sure I should even be here, talking to you right now about this" he started.
Only after seeing Lily pack up her books giving him a space next to her did he continue: "There have been some issues at home and James is taking isn't taking it well. I'm trying to keep my eyes on him, it's just…" Lily let the silence run over them for a moment as he ran his hands anxiously through his hair, a habit he has evidently picked up from James.
Gently putting her hand on his shoulder Lily reassured him. Feeling momentarily calm he continued: "it's just I'm dealing with it, the situation, myself and he's being so incredibly distant. I know he's upset, even more so than I am, which worries me since I feel awful. He's never around our dorm anymore and I worry that he is distancing himself from everyone. I'm worried that he's detaching."
"Come here" she whispered pulling him towards her in a tight embrace. She knew of his terrible relationship with his own parents, she knew it had an effect on him. He craved affection; she noticed this instantly as their newfound friendship developed. Because of this knowledge, she took extra care to constantly tell him she cared for him either verbally or with a tight, warm hug. As she suspected, he melted into her embrace, burrowing his head in her shoulder.
Fingering his shoulder-length hair and softly rubbing his back seemed to help him regain some composure for he mumbled "Can you help me?" Slight shock filled Lily to the core, this proud boy never asked for help, but when worried about his friend Sirius did unexpected things. Those boys have always shared a soul, she thought, a fact of which she was always jealous.
"Of course, what shall I do?" she wondered aloud.
"He wouldn't want to know I came to you, please don't let on. I just hoped that since he has been avoiding me, that maybe you could encourage him out of his room," Sirius whispered quietly, as if the wind would carry away his secret.
Picking his head up slightly from her shoulder and readjusting so that his forehead brushed against her neck he continued, "…he has been staying in there a lot lately, I know him, I know he has."
"He has" she said honestly, feeling this was not a time to avoid the truth, this wasn't a time to breach any worry.
Moments passed, each taking deep breathes, letting the oxygen flow through them. Realization dawned on her, "What if I encourage him to do his work with me in our common room and over time ask him to join me back in the Gryffindor common room? I'd like to help both of you—you and James need each other, Sirius, you always have. You are strong individually, yes, but complete as a pair."
Sirius sighed affirming her belief as she felt his warm breath exhale on her skin. Chuckling softly, breaking the tension that seemed to lie in the air, he shook his head saying "James would kick my arse if he saw us like this."
"He would have when we were younger, perhaps" she replied. Sirius looked up slightly stunned at her ignorance but said nothing, choosing to be loyal to his friend and not reveal all of the inner workings of James' devastations before nightfall.
An: I know this is incredibly short for now, and if you like it enough to choose to review, let me know if you want it to continue. It is my first fic, so a one-shot seemed like the safer, less committed option. Anyway, thanks for reading, I do appreciate it. Thanks to RemusSiriusJames for the quotation suggestions, I couldn't figure out a good way to do it on my own :)Tw