Sirius started to rise up from his position on the grass, Lily catching on and realizing the gravity of the situation took his lead. Grabbing onto Sirius' proffered arm they headed towards the castle, the still bitter cold wind whipping around them as they steadily continued towards the front doors.
"Sirius?" Lily questioned as they took one last stride towards the door, stopping and letting his arm rest upon the handle. Sirius simply nodded, affirming that he heard her quiet tone which was barely louder than the wind.
"It's bad isn't it? Whatever is going on at home."
"Yeah, it is Lily. James can't deal with this any longer, it's killing him slowly and he'll never let on. You're the only one he'll come out of this for, Lily. I don't know what you should say but you have to do something."
"Yeah, of course…yeah I'll try Siri", Lily breathed.
As he opened the door allowing them into the warm of the hall, Lily was engulfed with a foreboding feeling. It was as if she knew what was coming even though she had no idea how her life would be changed because of this moment. She shivered visibly causing Sirius to remove her hand from his arm and instead wrapped his warm, strong arm around her shoulder and rubbed it gently.
As the rounded the corner entering the Head's Quarter, Sirius slowed down the pace. Squeezing her shoulder and kissing her temple, he sighed and walked back to the main hallway presumably towards the Kitchens for he had missed lunch. Lily quietly watched his figure stalk off until he disappeared behind the corner. Sighing, Lily placed her hand on the portrait of strawberry and grapes, and waited until the portrait slowly opened to an opening in the wall just large enough for her to walk through without having to bend even the slightest. She noted how uncomfortable James with his tall, lanky frame is every time he is forced to bend ever so much at the waist trying to get through.
"Jamie? Are you around?" Lily called as she tried to retain her cool. If she deviated even slightly from her ordinarily chipper disposition, James would surely know that she had been informed of his distress.
Coming around the couch in the common area, Lily treaded to James' door knocking four times to the beat of her favorite Beatles' song. With no answer Lily opened the door and quietly peered inside. To her dismay James was still in bed with the blankets tightly wrapped around his form covering even the top of his messy strands of ebony hair. Lily began to climb up on his bed, preparing herself for a ritual between the two of them—Lily waking him up on a sunny weekend afternoon when, insisting he should already be up. Today, however, she felt that this October Saturday would not exactly be like all the others. As she climbed next to him, placing herself down on the bed beside him she lifted the blanket a bit exposing his head, neck and shoulder blades to the cool air. Beside her James grunted.
"Jamie, honey, up, up up, the day awaits you!" Lily exclaimed fingering his hair and slowly shaking his shoulders.
"If you don't wake up I'll have to tickle you!"
"Lily, not today okay? I'm not in the mood." Was his quiet, un-amused response.
Lily knew in her heart Sirius was right, this wasn't the James she knew and loved. He had changed and was hurting she could tell. Instead of jumping on him, tickling him like she normally would have, Lily inched closer to him and gently rain her fingers through his hair, massaging his scalp. His heart beat was erratic which scared her a little.
"Shhh" she cooed softly in his ear as she rested her chin on his shoulder. She felt him slowly relax and his breathing and heartbeat calmed over the next few minutes. She felt him slowly try to turn himself over, she rose herself up above him as he turned around to face her. Lily lowered herself back on his shoulder and smoothed out the wrinkles in his soft t-shirt. With James' arm wrapped around her twirling her hair, she realized that they each were able to calm the other, when seemingly no one else was able. She loved this fact about them; they were the perfect best friends in her opinion. Granted, no one was closer than he and Sirius but the two of them where close in their own way. She and James, would cuddle on the couch or she'd rest her head on his shoulders if she were tired at breakfast. In that touching intimacy of close friends she was different that Sirius who would never cuddle with James--and for that special bond she was able to share with James, and often with Sirius as well, that they wouldn't share with each other made her grateful of the mere fact that she was their girl best friend.