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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

Summary:
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 12: Tainted Black

A/N: *victory dance* Now, now, before you decide the Jagster has gone mad by giving up her regal state of cool indifference in all matters that have nothing to do with Remus Lupin, I must tell you that this chapter has given me more trouble than any I've done so far. I've written and rewritten it a grand total of (ironically) twelve times so that the next chapter will be placed perfectly, because it's where I want it to be. *cheers!* So, there's been a lot (a lot) of work put into this chapter, so I don't want to hear any "update soon"-s alright? I'm taking myself a little two week vacation, and your next chapter will be put up at my discretion because my fingers hurt, dang it. But I am pleased (finally) with this chapter, and I hope you are too. (And don't worry, thirteen is being a doll in its progress.)






Sirius wasn't certain how long he could pull off this charade of telling James that he had lost a bet to Lily and that was his reason for calling Snape 'your highness' because James, unfortunately, didn't seem to believe it.

"You're lying to me Sirius," James argued after Snape sneered at Sirius between classes without a response from Sirius. So perhaps it wasn't so much that James seemed doubtful and more that he actually was. James' face was cross, and Sirius was beginning to sense a rift between them that had never been there before, and it terrified him more than anything else.

Well, almost more than anything else. Sirius hadn't yet sent the letter to his parents explaining to them that he had a girlfriend, and she was a Muggleborn. He refused to endanger Lily like that. But, as far as Regulus was concerned, Sirius was still in the process of writing the letter.

Of course, Sirius knew that charade wouldn't hold up either because he was desperately searching his memories for something mildly incriminating to Regulus' name...and unfortunately finding none. He doubted very much that Regulus would care if anyone knew that his first word was "Sirius" not "Mudblood" or that he couldn't cast an Unforgivable until he was six. Sirius preferred not to think that he could perform an Unforgivable, and he didn't really want to think about Regulus being able to perform one as well.

"Sirius what is going on? You haven't lied to me since...well since I realized where those bruises you came back from vacation with really came from," James pleaded almost sounding hurt. Sirius felt his heart wrench at the thought. Damn it James knew which heartstrings to pull. "Why can't you tell me what Snape's really doing to you?"

"I just can't, ok?" Sirius said exasperated, before realizing he'd just blown the pathetic cover he had. Damn it. He turned around facing a pale faced James, whose hazel eyes were glaring at him harshly. "Look, James...this is my fight, you're my best friend and I'll come to you if I need you but this isn't your battle."

"The Hell it isn't my battle! You're my best friend, my brother, I'm not letting you fight alone!" he stopped for a moment before adding, "And Lily knows about it!"

Sirius cringed, but waved his hand dismissively, putting on his uncaring, Black guise. He hadn't survived in the House of Black for fifteen years without learning something.

"She knows nothing of it," Sirius lied, James' frown deepened, but Sirius pretended he didn't see. "She's concerned too James, don't worry about me. Besides if you're going to pull such a stupid move as to complain that Evans knows and you don't, you can't handle it anyways."

That had done it apparently, because James tackled Sirius to the ground his eyes blazing with hurt and confusion. Sirius was startled from his act as his back slammed into the ground. A couple of other students stopped and gathered around what they saw to be an incoming fight.

"Don't you dare use that Black act on me, Padfoot! It doesn't work, that's not who you are!"

"Like you would know!" Sirius spat back, shoving James off of him. He felt his temper flaring now as he glared at his best friend. "It's in my name Prongs! I am a BLACK, and I can't FUCKING escape it! Happy?"

Sirius wasn't sure when he'd started yelling, but the corridor, which moments ago had been bustling with sound, was silent, and James' glare had yet to falter. A pair of emerald eyes caught Sirius' grey ones over James' shoulder, and Sirius looked up from the ground, and saw Lily looking at both of them with worry and disappointment. She took in the scene around them, and released a small sigh. She reached down, and with strength Sirius never knew she had, pulled both boys up and dragged them away from the other students. She said not a word until she managed to find an empty classroom and shoved both sulking boys into the room. She slammed the door shut before rounding on both of them.

"What was that about?" her voice was calm, but dangerous. Sirius glanced over at James and when the two pairs of eyes met they instantly looked away, frustrated. Sirius heard Lily sigh again, this time annoyed. "James?"

James sat silent for a few moments more before launching into his explanation of how Sirius wouldn't tell him what was wrong, and how he'd lied and said that he'd lost a bet to her, when it was obviously something else. Lily said nothing as James spoke, but watched silently, absorbing his words. A look of relief crossed her face, and Sirius knew that she originally thought the reason for the fighting was because their secret was discovered.

"Sirius?" Lily turned to him now, her emerald eyes sparking a bit. "Any chance you wish to tell him your secrets or is this something you desire to fight on your own?"

"It's my battle," Sirius defended, looking from Lily to James. "I've a right to know I can handle the git on my own, don't I?"

"It's not just Snape! What about Regulus and Rosier? Why are they in on this as well? Why can't you trust your best friend with this Sirius?"

"Because, it's..."

"It's got to do with me," Lily murmured softly. Both boys stared at her, Sirius with fear and James with confusion. "I've a boyfriend James, and Snape found out about it, and Sirius has been helping me keep him secret because he owed me a favor. Until such time that my boyfriend decides that he's brave enough to compete with you, Sirius has agreed to bear the burden and let Snape blackmail him because he refuses to let Snape blackmail me for fear it would end up hurting you."

"Oh."

If it weren't for the heartbroken look on James' face, Sirius would have grinned in earnest at Lily's incredible ability to lie on the spot. As it was, he couldn't, for fear of giving away his position on the matter...and his best mate's look of shattered reality struck Sirius rather hard. He hated seeing James upset. James said nothing more, he wouldn't even look at Lily, but waved good bye to Sirius. He left the room looking forlorn, lost, and...with the beginning tints of anger.

"He won't like that," Sirius commented.

"No, he won't," Lily mentioned, walking up to him and giving him a concerned look. He noted that the strange tone was gone. She simply sounded worried now. "He knows it was a lie...parts of it. You know we've got to tell him soon, Sirius, or he'll confront Snape himself."

Sirius knew that he couldn't hide his relationship with Lily from James forever, and he knew Lily had a fair point. James would only be all the angrier if he knew that Sirius had let himself be blackmailed over this.

It was difficult. The blackmail got worse daily. Regulus and Snape had finally roped in Rosier and he was now insisting that Lily be brought into the extortion as well. Said he suspected that Sirius was no longer the only one that didn't want James to know. From her words, however, Sirius knew Lily would tell James before she'd bribe a Slytherin for their secrecy.

"I'll talk to Snape," Lily said finally. "See if I can't get him to reason with m—"

"NO!" Sirius shot quickly. Lily gave him an odd look, but he ignored it. "No, don't let him know you care, don't let him see this affect you. It's bad enough for me to be blackmailed; I don't want to add you to it."

"He won't—"

"Like Hell he won't," he snapped, cutting Lily off. "If he gets his hands on you that's a tool he can use against both me and James. You mean too much to both of us for Snape not to seize an opportunity to use you."

"Sirius—"

"No Lily," he commanded, and when he saw the defiance in her eyes at his demand, he instantly softened his voice in apology. "You've got to understand...he wants you Lily. He wants you to be with him, and if you're with him...it's all the more for him to gloat about...please don't go to him, Lily."

An odd look crossed Lily's beautiful eyes, and it seemed to Sirius as though he were simply telling her something she already knew. Of all the reactions he'd expected from her, this wasn't one of them. She seemed hardly phased by it at all, though she did decide to sit next to him instead of squatting. Her hand found his and he felt her fingers interlace with his own.

"I know," she said softly.

"You know?"

"Yes."

"You confronted him already."

"Yes."

Sirius's grey eyes grew stormy. Her voice was heavy when she spoke. He already knew what had been said without Lily telling him. It was obvious, and a very Snape-like move to make.

"And he told you him or me."

Lily's silence was answer enough for Sirius. Her green eyes flashed guiltily and she bit her bottom lip nervously. Sirius felt his loathing for Snape grow, in addition to his frustration that she had confronted Snape.

"It's not just that Sirius," she admitted. He looked at her. "I already knew he was going to tell me that. Look...my grandmother and the guy she tried to set me up with...all of that happened at the beginning of the summer. It doesn't bother me, it never really did, I just told you that because I knew you wouldn't like what was really bothering me."

He felt his heart stop, and his eyes were wide as he looked at her. Lily had lied to him?

"This summer," she stumbled over her words and started again. "Towards the end of this summer, Snape came to my home, and he stayed in our shed until the last week or so, I don't know where he went after that, he didn't tell me. Mum and dad never knew, I kept him fed and gave him a place to sleep and gave him some company."

She wasn't looking at him now, which may have been a good thing. Sirius could feel anger, jealousy, and betrayal beating in his chest. She let Snivellus stay with her? She'd protected that greasy little jerk? Why? He gave her a look of shocked disbelief. How could she do that to him? How could she lie to him for Snape?

"His father, Sirius..." she trailed off. There was more pity in her eyes than anything else, and Sirius felt himself ease. Of course, she had to care for everyone, Snape included. He could piece together the rest. Snape must not have much of a home life either, and he must have gone to Lily, knowing she wouldn't turn him away. "I couldn't leave him out on the streets...and while he stayed with me...he told me his feelings...and when I turned him away, he left. Angry and bitter, he was, didn't even thank me."

"He's a bastard," Sirius said after several moments of silence fell between the two. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze, thinking about what happened. "And I suppose he's the one that told you about the Dementors?"

She nodded in response, and they fell quiet once again. He put his head in his hand, the one that wasn't holding Lily's. He couldn't let Snape control Lily. Why did she have to care so much? He sighed. Because, his mind answered for him, that's how Lily was. It's what made so many guys so crazy about her. Sirius included. He was risking everything he had with James for her. He had to get something over Snape, and he knew the one person who had that something was sitting next to him, and she'd never give away someone else's secrets. It just wasn't who she was.

"We've got to tell James, haven't we?" he said miserably, finally looking up at Lily. Her eyes were so full of worry that he felt guilty for being the reason for it. It was amazing how even when she was stressed and worried, she could stay so beautiful.

"Eventually," she answered softly. "We'll think of something."

"Promise?"

"Of course."

Sirius smiled for the first time in days. Lily sounded about as sure as he felt, but she told him what he wanted to hear. She was there for him. He turned to her and pulled her in for a gentle, but much needed kiss, which she eagerly returned. It was soft and sweet, nothing as heated as the snogging that they normally did, but it was almost more effective. Her tongue was mingling gently with his, touching him with care and compassion. Sirius could feel Lily's concern for him through her kiss and it made him feel something he rarely felt. She made him feel wanted, made him feel needed. Hell, she made him feel loved, something he'd been denied since...well always.

His parents had never loved him. Though Sirius knew that the Potters loved him like their own son, he knew too that part of that 'love' of theirs was pity. And Sirius, being the manly guy he was, refrained himself from attaching the word 'love' to the friendship he held with the other Marauders, though he knew that he loved all of them like brothers.

But Lily's love was different. Sirius knew that she was far from being in love with him. She wasn't looking to be in love. But she did feel strongly for him, the kiss told him that much. A sudden question fluttered into his mind, one he'd been pushing away since he'd first agreed to date Lily in secret. Did he love her? Well, of course he did. It was impossible not to love Lily. She was beautiful, witty, caring...but was he in love with her? He couldn't be; he'd never been in love with anyone. They'd only been dating for a few months, but the two of them had been so close for much longer than that. When he'd needed her more than anything, hadn't he refrained from writing to her for fear of putting her in danger of meeting his family at St. Mungo's? The entire time he was there though, in his darkest moments, he thought of her, of her smile, her eyes, her laugh. She was the reason he didn't give up. Even now, he was trying to protect her at the cost of his brother betraying him to tell everyone. Hell, he'd yet to write to his parents like Regulus was attempting to get him to do. Sirius refused to see her hurt for him any more than she'd already been hurt.

Lily broke the kiss and Sirius was left breathless, not only from the kiss, but from the sudden shock of realization. He'd heard the words from James for years and he never dreamed he would think them for himself.

'I'm in love with Lily Evans.'

"So what did you tell him?" Sirius croaked lightly as though Lily would learn his sudden discovery of just how strongly he felt for her if he didn't keep discussing the matter at hand. Lily's eyes darted away from Sirius, and he felt fear well in his chest. She obviously had not had any revelation about being in love with him. To her, it had been just another kiss. "Lily? Lily, what was your answer?"

"I told him to go to Hell."

Sirius couldn't stop himself. His bark-like laughter filled the empty room. The only thing that was preventing him from beaming proudly at Lily was the fact that she had most likely just pissed Snape off even more, which would be bad news for Sirius. Lily gave him a twisted, almost proud grin, a light blush on her cheeks. Sirius felt his mind mentally double what it had realized moments ago. He really was in love with Lily, and that little grin of hers was making him fall all over again. He pulled her close to him again, feeling her smile widen as her lips met his once more.




Snape's head crashed satisfactorily against the wall as James held the scrawnier boy up by his Slytherin tie. Snape's black eyes were wild with fear and anger as he snarled at James.

"In a bad mood today, are we Potter?" Snape taunted, though his breath was short and his voice sounded much braver than he actually looked.

"I'd advise you tell me what you've really got over Sirius before I get creative in getting my answers out of you," James snarled. Lily's words struck him odd. Part of him still refused to believe that she meant enough to Sirius for him to sink so low as to call Snape 'your highness'...in fact, he was still trying to decide if he wanted to believe she had such a cowardly boyfriend.

"Threats, how Slytherin of you."

"Don't test me," James said, pulling his wand out with the hand that wasn't pinning Snape against the wall. The Slytherin's eyes grew wide, and a light band of sweat formed across his brow as he took it in. "What are the conditions of this blackmail?"

Snape didn't seem to wish to answer at first, but when James threatened a Stinging Hex, it was amazing the clarity that Snape came to.

"He's not to insult me, first of all," Snape said. "He's to tell me when you've plans of tormenting me...his brother's got him endangering the Mudblood for...well, you wouldn't believe me if I told you."

A wicked grin lit up Snape's face at James' snarl.

"What do you mean?"

"Let me down and I'll show you."

It went against James' better judgment, to do what he was about to, but he had to know. If he knew what Snape had over Sirius he would know how to help him. He reluctantly pulled away and let Snape to his feet. Snape brushed off his shoulders for a moment, making a slightly disgusted face before reaching into his pocket. The wicked grin was out as Snape removed what appeared to James to be a folded photograph.

"I'm sure you'll find this most useful in deciding upon your next set of friends, Potter."


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