As she finished recounting to me what had happened, a fresh wave of sobs overcame her. I pulled her into my arms and held her, struggling to control the tide of violent anger that was surging through me. I had never been this close to wanting to hurt someone - I mean, really hurt someone.
“How...could...he?” she choked though sobs. “How...could...he...say those awful things?”
I took a deep breath, then another and finally a third.
“Lily. Lily!” I almost-shouted, my voice slipping out of control.
I felt her flinch and instantly regretted losing control and raising my voice.
“Sorry,” I murmured into her hair, clenching my hands into fists as I tried to ignore the urge to punch something. “Shhh...don’t cry, Lils. It’ll be ok.”
I heard the door creak open and James came running in. “Lily? Remus? Are you here?”
Lily burst into a fresh wave of sobs as James came running over. “Lily! Remus - what the hell -?”
James’ mouth fell open wordlessly and I thrust Lily into his arms and ran straight for the door, gasping, “Take care of her!”
I lost sense of where I was running until I turned a corner and smacked into Severus.
“What the -” he started angrily, then realised who I was. “Oh great. Just who I wanted to see -”
“Who the FUCK do you think you are?” I yelled, cutting him off.
I heard a shout of pain and felt fire sear though the knuckles of my right hand, but it wasn’t until I saw Severus crumpled on the floor, hands clutched to bleeding mouth, that I realised that I had punched him in the mouth.
“Shit!” he exclaimed, glaring at me, “What the hell was that for?” and that was all it took for me to lose all control and throw myself on him, punching and kicking and biting - bellowing as many insults and every swearword I could think of at him - anything that would make him rue the day he ever ever EVER crossed his mind that Lily should be spoken to like that - anything to hurt him half as much as he had hurt Lily -
“REMUS LUPIN!” I heard a woman exclaim in horror from the end of the corridor - in the back of my mind I half-registered it as Professor McGonagall but that didn’t matter - all that mattered was Lily - and James - and how could he do that to hurt Lily -
I felt myself being wrenched off Severus but fought back, punching whoever it was in the face.
“Ow! For fuck’s sake, Rem, calm down!”
Realising that it was Sirius and (thank God!) not Professor McGonagall, I felt myself slump into his grip, angry tears running down my face - anger at Severus and at myself, for losing control, for getting myself into trouble, for making a spectacle of myself in the middle of what turned out to be quite a crowded corridor just outside the Great Hall just as dinner was ending...