This chapter turned out a lot different than how I had originally planned it to. But I think I like it. If my writing gets a bit confusing in this chapter let me know! I was writing it while simultaneously coming up with the plot line :s
Running towards the Hospital Wing as fast as her feet would carry her, Lily only had one person on her mind. There was only one person who she wanted to see at that moment, and he was currently lying in bed with a broken arm, probably cursing himself for making her cry.
Lily wanted to laugh. No, she wanted to scream with joy. She finally knew the truth, and all her anger at James had just as easily evaporated.
However a stall in her way came in the form of a seventh year Slytherin who was crossing the corridor. As their eyes met, Lily sucked in a quick breath, straightened her shoulders, and continued walking as if she hadn't seen him. If only he had been willing to do the same.
"Lily, wait!" Lily winced as she felt him catch her wrist and coil his hand around it, preventing her from going any further.
She whirled around and yanked her arm from his grip, the color of her eyes darker than usual. "I don't have time for this Snape."
Lily knew he hated it when she addressed him by his last name. They had always been on a first name basis; had always been the closest friends. But well, some things just aren't meant to last.
"You don't have to do this Lily. I've told you before, it was a mistake. Can't you forgive me? It was just one time. And I've sworn it won't happen again. I've changed. Trust me."
Lily let out a shrill laugh, "Trust you, Snape? Really? Like how you wanted me to trust you when you said weren't like the other Slytherins. Didn't think like them. And then you went and completely broke that trust by calling me that..that name in front of the whole school? You really think I'll be able to trust you again after that? No. I don't think so."
Lily was about to turn around and continue walking, when she felt his hand on her shoulder, "Lily, please."
At that moment, she might have forgiven him. She saw the way he was looking at her. The apology shining through his eyes. And he had been her best friend. He had taught her almost everything she had needed to know about the magical world before coming to Hogwarts. It was because of him that she hadn't been lost and alone in her first year. Maybe she owned him that much. An apology. And she could tell it was sincere. She would have forgiven him then…if his mates hadn't shown up.
Lily watched as two more Slytherins emerged coming down the stairs. She recognized the tall and particularly nasty Roger Macnair as one of them. He had made her life a living hell by taunting her every chance he had gotten throughout the years. She still could never understand why Snape was friends with him. The other boy Lily only vaguely knew, but he looked to be just as nasty.
"What are you doing here?" Macnair snarled, striding up behind Snape. He kept his eyes on Lily, and she flinched from the look he was throwing her way. "Hanging around a Mudblood? Come on Severus, you're better than that."
He put his hand on Snape's shoulder, indicating for him to turn away from Lily. She watched Snape's face, hoping for some sort of a reaction on his part, knowing this was his chance to prove himself. She wanted him to thrown Macnair's hand off of his shoulder and yell at him. She wanted him to defend her in front of his friends. But she knew she should have known better when he did nothing. He remained standing there, looking at her, with his friends standing behind him.
"You don't care," Lily whispered, her voice barely audible. "If you had cared, you would have said something. You said you changed but you haven't Snape. I'm still a bloody Mudblood for you whenever we're in front of your friends. You haven't changed Snape. You haven't changed at all."
With that, Lily began running in the opposite direction. Blinking out the fast newly formed tears threatening to run down her cheeks. She could hear Snape's voice calling out to her in the distance, but she knew it was just a pathetic attempt. She held in her breath, and continued running, not knowing where she was going but just hoping her feet would carry her to the right place. James was no longer on her mind. It was now only filled with thoughts of Snape.
A week had gone by since the day Remus had confessed the truth to Lily. However, James was still unaware of this fact.
After running away from Snape, Lily had found herself back in the Head common room, where she had cried herself to sleep. The thought of James hadn't come to her until that morning, when she decided to devise a new plan: she wouldn't tell James she knew about his secret. He hadn't told her when she had asked him to in the Hospital Wing. So now she wanted to see how long he would try and hide it from her. She knew it was a stupid and perhaps selfish plan, but she didn't care. Snape had betrayed her for his friends. She wanted to see if James would do the same.
In a way, Lily knew she was setting herself up for trouble. Whenever she saw James around the castle, she always gained a sudden urge to go up to him and come clean whenever she saw the pained expression he threw her way. He still remembered her running out of the Hospital Wing, her sobs echoing around the room, and he still thought she was mad at him. Needless to say, Lily knew this wasn't helping their relationship at all. But she needed to do this; to prove to herself that James wasn't like Snape.
A week later, the two of them were sprawled on the floor of the Head common room, trying to get further down the lists the professors had handed them. The tension between the pair of them filled the air, but both were trying their best to act casually.
James was attempting a rather complicated potion that Lily was helping him with. So far, James had successfully blown up the potion twice and had even caused a particularly nasty smell to erupt from the potion on his third try. This was the fourth try, and by now they were both a bit exasperated and tired.
"Now two crushed horned slugs," Lily said in a tiresome voice.
James shook his head. "No, you keep telling me that, but it says two crushed snake fangs. Not horned slugs."
Lily looked at him wearily. "James, you've tried the snake fangs the last three times, this time please listen to me and add the horned slugs. I've told you, the snake fangs don't work."
"Just do it, alright! I don't want to spend my entire day waiting for you to brew a potion correctly," Lily hadn't meant her voice to sound so demanding, but she really was tired and knew she had a long list of charms that still needed practicing. The sooner they got done with this, the sooner they could move on to different things. Now only if James would listen to her and add the damn horned slugs.
James however, cocked an eyebrow, looking at her intently for a few moments. Lily realized he probably didn't want to start another argument with her, so after a long sigh, he added the horned slugs just as she had suggested.
Of course, upon further completion of the instructions, the potion stood perfectly brewed. Lily smirked at the look of surprise on James's face. Without further hesitation, she pulled our her charm notes, ready to start on something else.
"How did you know that?"
Lily looked up to see James transfixed by the potion. Slowly his eyes lifted and met hers. "How did you know adding horned slugs would work, even though the book clearly says snake fangs."
Lily hesitated for a moment, before shrugging her shoulders.
James ran a hand through his hair in frustration. "Come on, Lily. You've done this before too. You never follow the book. How do you know all this?"
"I can't tell you alright?"
Lily sucked in a breath just after the words had escaped her mouth, knowing she had said the wrong thing.
James sensed it too, as his mouth twitched and he crossed his arms over his chest.
"Can't tell, eh? I see. I wonder where I've heard that one before."
Lily winced, knowing James wouldn't let her hear the end of this.
"James, this is different."
"And how do you know that? How do you even know, how could you even compare?"
Lily sighed, knowing if she spoke more she would give herself away.
"Snape told me. He knows everything about potions. He's been brewing them since even before Hogwarts. In our third year, he told me all the secrets. He pointed out to me the mistakes in the books, saying even the writers don't know how to brew the potion with precision. So there's no need for me to follow the book, I go by everything that he's taught me."
Lily closed her eyes as she waited for James to take in the information. There were a few minutes of silence, but when Lily opened her eyes, she saw James's face had turned red with anger.
"Snape? Lily you've been following Snape's instructions? Need I remind you the boy nearly tried to kill me? What are you thinking? For all I know, he could have taught you something that would cause the potion to blow up right in my face! How could you?"
"How could I?" Now it was Lily's turn to fume with anger. "How could I, what James? You think I would do anything to harm you? You think I would help Snape carry out his plan of revenge against you? Do you honestly not trust me at all James? Do you honestly think I don't care about you at all? I do James, I really do. And that's why I've asked you numerous times to explain you late night absences, but it seems like it's you who doesn't care enough about me to actually tell the truth."
Her voice had gone high, and by now she had become so used to it, that she knew exactly when her tears would slip from her eyes. Without giving them a chance to do so in front of James, she got up off the floor, and ran to room.
The tears were barely there this time. It seemed as if she had used them all up last week. Sitting on her bed, feeling completely horrible at everything that had just happened downstairs, Lily cursed herself for not telling him the truth earlier; both about Snape and about knowing of Remus. But her plan had failed hadn't it? She had hoped James wouldn't be like Snape, but for their friends, both boys were the same. They would always stick by their mates no matter how much pain it caused Lily.
The sudden realization caused her to move towards the door. So James had failed the test. He hadn't told her on his own. She might as well go down and tell him that she knew herself.
But just as Lily opened the door, she found herself face to face with James. He had been standing outside her door as long as she had been in there, waiting for her to come out. She opened her mouth to explain herself, but before she could, James placed a hand over her mouth.
"Please, I need to do this."
Lily just stood there, taken aback. James took this opportunity to continue.
"I should have told you this a long, long time ago Lily. But I couldn't. I didn't think I should. But…but you mean too much to me for me to just let you go."
The tears that weren't coming out earlier, were now slipping freely from her eyes as James told her everything about Remus and what the rest of the Marauders did with him. He even went as far as to tell her each of their Animagi forms without Lily even having to ask.
She nodded at everything, the feelings inside of her soaring at the fact that James had passed the test. He had passed! He wasn't like Snape. He was different. He cared.
She continued to smile through her tears, waiting for James to stop talking. As soon as he did, she pulled him into a bone crushing hug.
"Thank you, James. Thank you, thank you. You have no idea how much this means to me," she murmured into his shirt.
If James was confused at her lack of surprise at everything he had just told her, he didn't show it. He was just glad to have her back in his arms after so many days. Smiling with relief, he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her in closer. Then in one swift motion, he lifted her chin and captured her lips with his own.
Thank you for reading! Review?