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Move Along by Jaggy

Format: Novel
Chapters: 21
Word Count: 67,581
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, General, Romance
Characters: Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew, Skeeter, OtherCanon
Pairings: James/Lily, Sirius/Lily

First Published: 07/24/2006
Last Chapter: 01/12/2008
Last Updated: 01/12/2008

A companionship and somewhat awkward relationship one year in the making, finally becomes official. But the secretive love of Lily and Sirius is turned upside down as Lily finds a new bond in none other than James. In their sixth year, how is the number one guy in Lily's life changed from Sirius Black to James Potter?

Chapter 21: The Running Rat || Posted January 12, 2008
-on hitus-

Chapter 4: Competition

A/N: So this would be the fourth chapter, aren't you all just brimming with excitement? I know it's just amazing! :-) Well anyways, here's chapter four, enjoy!

Sirius was vaguely aware of voices at his bedside. He was more prominently aware of his very sore body. There was a pounding in his head, and his chest ached every time he took a breath. He was very familiar with this feeling. He'd been under the Cruciatus Curse. His attention, he decided, would be best served if it were focusing on something other than the pain running up and down his body. It took him a moment of focusing on the voices before he understood what they were saying.

"Lily and James? They did that? That's amazing!"

"Yes Poppy," came a deep voice that Sirius recognized, but couldn't identify. "They were quite amazing. They made a great team, and if what Rosmerta told me she saw of them is true, then it is my belief that we can expect more great things to come from them."

"Imagine! To stand up against one Cruciatus Curse, much less, three. How did they do it Albus?" the woman called Poppy asked.

Sirius smiled. He knew where he was now. He was in the Hospital Wing and he was listening to Professor Dumbledore talk to a shrill sounding Madame Pomfrey.

"That, Poppy, is anyone's guess."

"You don't suppose—"

But just what it was that Pomfrey wondered Dumbledore supposed, Sirius never found out. A soft moan somewhere next to him cut Pomfrey short. Sirius noted that he knew that voice too, and he didn't like hearing it moan so pitifully.

"Oh Miss Evans! Keep still!" Pomfrey's voice called out. Sirius heard the ruffling of a dress and he almost smiled knowing that Lily was probably doing just the opposite of what Pomfrey was telling her to do. He finally opened his eyes, and squinted against the lighting in the Hospital Wing. From his bed, Sirius could see Remus and Peter in the beds across from him and beside him was Lily and beside her was James. Remus still looked quite unconscious, while Peter had large cotton balls in his nose, his pale eyes were looking around curiously. James, Sirius saw, seemed to have awoken upon hearing Lily's name. Sirius closed his eyes again trying to remember why it was all of them were in here. He was used to all four Marauders waking up in the Hospital Wing together with the stupid stunts they would pull, but Lily was here, so it had to be something...

Sirius instantly sat up in anger as he recalled what Bellatrix had been doing and pain shot through his body as he too released a shout at the sudden movement. He'd known better than to do that, he thought as he lay back against his bed. How many times had he been through a Cruciatus Curse to know better than to try to move much after one? He resorted to fuming angrily at his cousin.

"Mr. Black!" Pomfrey's voice was at his side. "You have to keep still too! What is it with Gryffindors and wanting to move after an ordeal like the five of you have been through?"

"Ah, you can't keep us still Poppy and you know it," a jovial voice beside Lily called out. Sirius actually smiled this time.

"James is right, Madam," he said, his voice was rusty and he grimaced at how weak he sounded. "You can't keep the Marauders still for anything. And, well, Lily's the only girl who can keep up with us all, so she's naturally going to want to move too."

"That's right!" it was Peter's voice now, although he sounded stuffed.

"Pettigrew, you keep those cotton balls in your nose or you'll start bleeding again!" Pomfrey scolded rushing away from Sirius over to Peter. Sirius could hear Dumbledore chuckling slightly and he looked up to see the Headmaster standing next to him.

"Well Poppy, I can see you have your hands full, I'll just let you be then," the Professor said, winking down at Sirius. "You boys, and lady, don't hassle your caring matron too badly, alright? Good evening, Poppy, Gryffindors."

"Professor..." it was Lily, and the Headmaster stopped and turned to look at her curiously. She looked a bit embarrassed at his sudden attention on her, but she opened her mouth again and continued. "Why were they in Hogsmeade?"

Sirius looked back at Professor Dumbledore. Peter and James had stopped their stirring at Lily's words, all four men knew who 'they' were. That was a good question. Death Eaters usually had a reason for being places. Well, if torturing Muggles was a reason...But Hogsmeade didn't have any Muggles. A few Muggleborns maybe, but...

Dumbledore sighed and for the first time Sirius could recall, the Headmaster looked very tired, and old. Sirius had always known the Headmaster was old, but now he looked really old. And weary. Sirius didn't like that. He didn't think that weary should ever be used to describe a strong man like Dumbledore.

"They were there as a distraction Miss Evans," he said solemnly. "Whilst those Death Eaters wreaked havoc in Hogsmeade, bringing most Aurors there, Voldemort and several of his other followers made a much quieter attack in London. The Minister of Magic, Ambrose Morin is dead. Murdered quite brutally in his office."

A chill filled the Hospital Wing and the Marauders and Lily looked at each other horrified. The Minister of Magic was killed? It was the first time Sirius had seen such fear gather in Lily's eyes, like she had just now realized just how big of a threat Voldemort was becoming. Sirius almost wanted to scold her for it. Surely a smart girl like Lily could have seen it coming? After everything he had told her? After everything that he'd talked to her about, the Dark Wizards, his brother and his friends, hell his parents' friends. Then again, Lily wasn't as exposed to the Dark Arts and Dark Wizards as he had been. She hadn't seen Voldemort's supporters swelling. She didn't spend hours listening to Orion Black droning on and on about how it was about time that someone like Voldemort came along to clean the Wizarding race of the filth that was people like Lily. Muggles and Muggleborns. She was spared that, for now.

The Headmaster gave the group a sad look and Sirius' mind was whirring at the danger Lily was in, and at the fact that she'd been so shocked that Voldemort and his followers were as powerful as Sirius had warned her they would be. His thoughts were interrupted when Dumbledore spoke again.

"Don't think on it," he said softly. "Just lay back and recover."

"Professor," James spoke this time. "Did you all catch..."

"I'm afraid we did not," Dumbledore said sadly, answering James's unfinished question. "Your attackers are still very much at large, I regret to say. Apperated, I'm afraid, just before we could stun them."

As the Headmaster left, Sirius soon found his mind wondering back to what had happened earlier. They had survived a Death Eater attack. He shuttered, vividly remembering Lily's screams. The Death Eaters had found her, he had a strong hunch, because Bellatrix had recognized her. Bellatrix had been the one to pick Sirius up from the train station last year and she'd seen Lily talking to Sirius. Sirius felt a rush of guilt at this thought that it was his fault that Lily had been so brutally tortured.

"Don't blame yourself," Lily's voice pulled him from his revere. "If anything being close to you saved my life. If I hadn't been your friend she would have killed me instead of trying to teach me what happens when a Mudblood like me tries to befriend a Pureblood of noble upbringing like you."

Sirius looked up at Lily and saw her emerald eyes looking at him harshly. He smiled lightly, almost unwilling to admit that Lily had said exactly what he needed to hear. She'd comforted him easily. But she didn't smile back at him; instead she turned her head back to look at a point across the room. He could see it in her emerald eyes. She was trying not to focus on the pain.

"What are you two talking about so glumly?" James asked jovially.

"Do you even hurt at all Potter?" Lily asked him; though her voice held none of the resentment it normally did when she and James argued.

"Of course I do! But we just survived being attacked by seven Death Eaters! I'm alive!" he proclaimed loudly. "And it's all thanks to you Lily! If you hadn't of gotten up, I don't think any of us would still be alive."

This was news to Sirius. He saw Lily open her mouth to rebuke James with a sarcastic remark...most likely on being redundant, but he stepped in with his on inquireies first.

"You got up?" he asked, looking at her bewildered. And quite suddenly he felt ashamed. Lily had gotten up when he had fainted. Was he that pathetic? Lily turned and looked at him, her eyes were sympathizing. Shame burned through Sirius again. In her eyes he read that she did not think he was weak, but Sirius took no comfort in the thought. She'd gotten up.

"Oh she didn't just get up, she fought! And we managed to stun all the Death Eaters except Bellatrix and two others, and they put us under a three way Cruciatus Curse, which was awful and she didn't fall. She didn't let me fall even, and we could use magic even though we were in so much pain! She's amazing! God Lily! You can't imagine...!"

"Enough James," Lily said lightly, and to Sirius' amazement James hushed, but his face still shone with pride towards Lily. Lily's own face held a blush as she turned her gaze from Sirius to James. She was stopping James from making Sirius feel worse than he already did. She was (he shuttered to think it) pitying him. She knew that he felt pathetic right now, and though she was trying, she wasn't succeeding in making him feel any better.

James later told Sirius that he and Lily had reached an unspoken agreement, to respect each other, and therein, they became friends. But Sirius did not know of this unannounced agreement as he spoke to them. What he did know, what was blindingly obvious to anyone who looked at Lily and James now, was that there was now an unbreakable bond between them. They'd saved each others lives, and they were now bound, in whatever way life might take them. And for the first time Sirius could ever recall, Sirius was jealous of James's new relationship with Lily, however 'friends only' it might be. He was fearful now that he could lose her to his best mate, even when said best mate didn't know that she needed to be won from anyone. Sirius did not like this new feeling, he didn't like it one bit.

The rest of the evening was spent with the nurse running between the three conscious Marauders, and Lily, although Lily wasn't making things too difficult for Pomfrey, just a little bit. Sirius laughed as Lily out right refused to change into anything else behind a curtain.

"NO! You obviously don't know these boys as well as you claim to! You think a little curtain is going to stop them?" Lily cried weakly, but determinedly.

"Please Miss Evans, just go change!"


"Aw Evans, don't you trust us?" James laughed from her side. Her glare clearly stated that she did not, but James' smile never faltered. "She's right in not trusting us Madam. I myself think I shall be sorely tempted to vanish that little curtain if I know Lily Evans is changing behind it. Padfoot?"

"Ah, I have to say I would be as well. Evans, you really shouldn't hide that body from us! It should be a crime!"

Lily glared at Sirius now and he resisted the urge to tell her it wasn't anything he hadn't seen before. Actually, James was the only reason he was able to resist the urge. Madam Pomfrey sighed in defeat and with a wave of her wand Lily was in the Hospital Wing issued night gown and her own clothing was piled at the foot of her bed.

Peter was the first one out of the Wing, released the next day and it was another two days before Remus had woken up from whatever hex Bellatrix had put him under. This was both fortunate and unfortunate, because the day of Remus' wakening was a full moon, meaning Madam Pomfrey didn't have to leave an unconscious Remus alone in the Shrieking Shack, however it also meant that Remus was looking forward to an extra long visit to the Hospital Wing as a transformation was not going to help in his recovery.

Peter constantly came back to visit before Remus's wakening. With him he brought news of the school and the outside Wizarding world. Apparently there wasn't as much chaos as expected from the loss of the Minister. A new woman had been pulled to the position, Millicent Bagnold, and she had even appointed a junior minister, Cornelius Fudge, in case something similar happened to her. Peter said what people were really buzzing about was what Madam Rosmerta was telling everyone about how Lily and James had fought off three Death Eaters while being tortured. On the night of Remus' wakening, however, Peter did not come to visit because, as Sirius and James knew, he was going to at least try to help Remus with his transformation.

Sirius and James were both quite startled when Lily asked no questions as to why Remus was released to go, when he was very obviously in no condition to leave. Lily was usually so curious about everything and yet she simply watched Remus leave without question. Sirius waved it off to Lily was still recovering from her own ordeal to be too curious as to where Remus might be off to in such a fragile state. It wasn't until later that evening that he and James discovered that Lily knew about Remus's "furry little problem."

Lily was looking out the window at the full moon. Sirius heard her mumble something under her breath. He looked over to see what it was she was saying, but she was turned away from him. James, on the other hand apparently did see what she had said.

"You know?" he asked, sounding bewildered.

Lily turned her head to look at James, and Sirius could see the amused look on her face. It gave her away, and he was somewhat impressed that she'd known and hadn't told him that she knew. He wondered briefly just how long she'd known, but she stopped his wondering by answering James's question with another.

"Know what?"

"Don't get smart with me Evans! I saw you say his name!" James said. He didn't sound angry though; he was looking at her oddly and Sirius knew he was feeling protective Remus's secret. "I'll ask again, you know?"

"I haven't got a clue what you're talking about," Lily said, though the look on her face still suggested other wise. "But I'd advise we stop talking about what we do and do not know about anything because we have a visitor."

Lily nodded her head towards the doorway and both James and Sirius looked up to see a tall, skinny lady with short, curly blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Her face was heavily concealed with make-up, and her eyes rested behind a bold pair of turquoise glasses, with jewels in the rim. A phony smile was plastered on the woman's face.

"Oh, don't mind me!" the woman said in a falsely cheerful voice to match the artificial smile. "I'm just here to see the children everyone is making such a fuss about."

The woman stepped into the Wing, her clothing was bright as the red lipstick that donned her lips and everything matched in bright, annoying, perfection. From the turquoise lined collar of her red dress suit to her bright red fingernails, and her turquoise heels. She even had a turquoise alligator skinned handbag. Sirius instantly disliked her. She was fake. But the woman smiled her false smile all the same and stopped when she was in front of Lily's bed.

"So you're Lily Evans, and which of you is James Potter?" she looked back and fourth between Sirius and James before James told her that he was. "Wonderful!"

The woman pulled her wand (which Sirius could have sworn was red with a turquoise handle, but she put it back too quickly for him to know for certain) out of her bag and flicked it to conjure a chair between Lily and James' beds. Quick as she'd pulled out her wand, the woman now had a piece of paper and a quill out and let it rest on her knee.

"Excuse me for being so rude!" she exclaimed, her voice putting on an air of false cheerfulness. "But let me introduce myself, I'm—"

But Lily cut her off, causing James and Sirius to give her questioning looks. She wasn't rude to adults, why was she rude to this one? Sirius found momentarily that he didn't care, he almost wanted to laugh at the fact that there was an adult in the world that Lily didn't respect. And here he'd thought that impossible. Lily was full of surprises. He knew there was a reason he was dating her...however secretly...

"I know who you are," she spat viciously, unaware of Sirius' thought patterns, but pulling him out of them all the same. "You're Rita Skeeter, the Daily Prophet's biggest gossip columnist."

Rita's blue eyes looked at Lily sharply and Sirius saw the veil of politeness drop as she momentarily looked at Lily with dislike. But quick as it had fallen it was back up, even if Rita did look a bit more strained to do it.

"Gossip is such a foul word," she said, almost warningly to Lily. "I prefer to call it...enhanced truth."

"Call it what you will," Lily said rudely. "But gossip is gossip all the same. It's for brainless people who have no where else to turn. Yes I've heard of you Skeeter. You find your way into everyone's business but your own, and you write half truths and out right lies about people. You ruin people's reputations. You're a foul woman, and James and I have no plans to be your next lie filled chronicle."

This time Rita's veil stayed down as she looked at Lily with extreme dislike. Sirius watched this scene with amusement. Lily was so cute when she argued. Sirius grey eyes caught the look on James' face, which gave away that he seemed to think the same thing. Sirius felt another twinge of guilt, but he didn't have to focus on it long either...

"So you're one of those girls," Rita said. "The kind that hear all the babble going on in the bathroom and pretend to hate it because it's never about you."

Sirius felt an urge to stop thinking, this conversation was getting interesting. Lily, a bitter gossip deprived girl? Please. That was what made her so impressive, other than the obvious, of course. The fact that she was above petty things like gossip was fascinating, particularly since so many girls weren't.

"Oh please," Lily spat back. "My sister is one of the gossip queens of the world. I know how to wheel and deal gossip as much as anyone. I choose not to because it's a distasteful waste of time. I, unlike you, am a lady of class."

Sirius held back his snicker at Lily's words and she shot him a quick glace. Rita's eyes followed Lily's and a vague smirk formed on her overly painted lips before she turned to James, her blue eyes took him in, judging just how she could corrupt him into getting what she wanted.

"What about you, dear boy?" she asked softly, smiling at him in her falsely cheerful tone. "Wouldn't you like to be in the paper? Tell me, what's it like to be a boy of mere fifteen and to have fought off seven Death Eaters and live to tell the tale?"

"I'm seventeen," James said coldly. "And Lily helped, a lot. But—" he caught Lily's glare. "If Lily says we're not giving you an interview, then we're not giving you an interview. She's right, gossip is for brainless bimbos."

Rita's façade fell again and she glared at James, but her quill and parchment were back in her turquoise bag and she stood up angrily. She gave James and Lily a final, contemptuous glare.

"So it's true what they say," she huffed at Lily and James. "The two of you do make a perfect couple. Well I've got news for you. Nobody denies Rita Skeeter a story. Nobody."

And with that, Rita turned on her heel and out of the door, leaving behind an amused James, a very irritated Lily, and Sirius being torn between the two extremes.