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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 13: Best Friend, Worse Thing

A/N: Ah, yes, the long awaited chapter 13. That's my favorite number, by the way. *wicked grin* Now I've been through quite the ordeal this week, involving me in the ER and ending with my being placed on a heart monitor in the near future. So easy on the attempts on my life, alright? (Because I'm certain there may be a few...) But not to worry, dear readers, I'll be fine. ;) Now then, I must warn you that this chapter is a bit...explicit, so, ah, prepare yourself. Anyways, enjoy!






No.

It was the one word that James kept repeating in his head as he looked wide eyed at the photograph in front of him. He felt as though someone had just smashed his apparently fragile heart with a rather large sledge hammer, no matter how much his mind was denying that the photograph was real. It had to be a hoax of some kind. It just had to be. There was no way, no way that Sirius would do that to him. No. It wasn't real. This was Snape's way of trying to get James angry with Sirius, and James wasn't going to fall for it. There was no way in Hell that Sirius would try to take Lily from him.

James felt his disbelief and heartbreak fall behind a wall of uncountable anger as he looked back up to Snape, his eyes flashing viciously before his wand was back at Snape's throat and his fist had gathered the photograph in a ball and he pulled back, getting ready to do as much magical and physical damage to Snape as humanly possible.

"You little scumbag," he growled. "Did you really think I would fall for this?"

Snape, sensing the danger he was suddenly in, spoke instantly in that slimy voice of his that made James pause long enough to listen.

"Do you really think Black would let me hold it over him if it wasn't?" he retorted. "Of course he wouldn't. You know as well as I do that Evans has been spending an unhealthy amount of time with your best friend...though I'm rather shocked you could call a traitor like that your friend."

That was not what James wanted to hear...mostly because Snape was vocalizing his own doubts. But he couldn't lose face in front of Snape. No, for now he would hold his ground. Sirius wouldn't do this to him...in fact he was even at the point where he didn't think Lily would do it to him either. His frown deepened at Snape.

"Wrong answer," he drawled before he pulled his fist back more. Snape cringed, but didn't stop his whining attempt to save his own sorry skin.

"Misplaced anger Potter!" he stated, his voice losing a bit of its calm indifference. "I'm not who you're angry with! You...you're upset with yourself, angry that you haven't caught what Black's been doing to you all this time...you're angry that they're off making a fool of you! That Evans has let you believe you're getting closer to her, when all she really cares about is not upsetting Black by hating you so much!"

Laughter wasn't quite what James expected to fall from his mouth at Snape's statement...but it did. A bitter laugh it was too, as his eyes narrowed on Snape. Well he'd certainly hit the nail on the head, hadn't he? And yet he wasn't factoring in James' unwillingness to believe what he saw on a piece of paper handed to him by Snape. However, James couldn't very well beat himself up, and Snape certainly struck him as the type to enjoy killing the messenger, so to speak, so the least James could do was to show him just that.

"Strike two."

"You left him alone with her, didn't you?" Snape said hastily, his voice losing even more of its edge as his eyes flickered between James' fist, wand, and angry face. "Left them alone together, to come find me? They're always disappearing at the same time, aren't they? No, no, you know that what's on that photograph is real. You know Sirius Black has been going behind your back with Lily Evans."

This time James visibly hesitated. He hadn't thought of that. He had left Sirius and Lily alone...and they were always vanishing at the same time. The map, the 'boyfriend', the way they would look at each other when they thought no one else was looking...even the way that Sirius would dodge the subject of Lily whenever she came up. He knew more things about Lily than he should, and...the "Marauder style party" Lily had been to that James hadn't. It made a hell of a lot more sense when James thought of it in the way of Sirius and Lily being a secret couple. But...

"Sirius wouldn't do that to me," James said finally. "There's an old Muggle game...three strikes and you're out."

James didn't wait for Snape to speak again. He just let his fist collide with the Slytherin's face. One hard punch would do the trick. Snape howled with pain as he staggered away from the angry James. James glared at the other boy for a few moments before deciding he wasn't worth the fight. No, he had to make sure he was right...and Snape was wrong.

He went to the library.




Three hours and twenty-two minutes. James had read and reread A History of Photographs and Magic by Lynn S. Capps as well as Adjusting Your Photographs to Fit You by Frodo Graf. Neither book seemed too keen to prove James right. Rather, they strongly supported Snape.

"To cure that nasty habit of photographs that tend to get fuzzy after years simply..."

"Moving photos were invented by..."

James rubbed his head as he gazed at the two books on his bed, he flipped through them helplessly. He was now struggling between anger and absolute depression. What could he possibly have done to have Sirius turn on him like this? Was he truly as heartless as his family? He couldn't have possibly missed the countless hours James spent fretting over the fact that Lily still hated him...or the hours he'd spend exhilarated over the fact that Lily had smiled for him, or laughed for him, or...sang to him. Even Remus, who knew Lily better than any other Marauder, told him that Lily didn't hum for anyone that didn't mean something to her, even if she wouldn't admit it.

A cheerful whistle met his ears, and he felt his eyes narrow and he pushed his glasses back up to the bridge of his nose. His shoulders stiffened but he didn't change his position as the door opened and Sirius came in, still whistling...that tune of Lily's. James felt his anger ruffle underneath his disbelief, but he still needed to have Sirius confirm it first.

If Sirius noticed James' sullen mood at all, he didn't show it, because he started rambling off to James right away.

"Great talker, Lily," he said cheerfully. James didn't look up but felt his anger grow unsteadily and felt as though he could burn holes through the books that he was now glaring at instead of reading. "It's like she could wash away the world's problems if she wanted, isn't it?"

James didn't answer, but he finally moved his russet eyes from the books up to Sirius' jovial silver ones. Sirius' grin faltered at the dark look that James was giving him. His grey eyes started to grow stormy as the fell down to the books at James' side before they moved back to James' face and then to the photograph in his hands. The color drained from Sirius' face, and a crack surfaced in the damn that was holding back James' rage. Strike one. He reached out and handed the photograph to Sirius so that he could examine it fully. Sirius, it seemed, had not only seen the photo before, but also seemed to know where it came from. He gaped at it and then at James.

"I thought I'd ask you what that was," James spoke, his voice dry, but sharp. Sirius flinched, lightly, but James saw it. Strike two. He wasn't going to go after Sirius just yet. There was one more reaction he was waiting for. "But I think that it's rather obvious. And when Snape first gave it to me, I wanted to think it was a ploy just to make me angry with you, but these books," James waved his hand uncaringly at the books next to him, "assure me that it's not."

Sirius' eyes flew between James and the picture, still gaping. He seemed to be stunned, and well he should be, because it was far from what he was going to be when James was through with him.

"I was going to tell you," he croaked, looking up from the photograph to the rather cryptic looking James. "Prongs I'm—"

Strike three.

"Sorry?" James snarled, his teeth bared and his hand gripped tightly around his wand. "Is that the best you can do? You know, when Lily told me she had a boyfriend and you knew about it, I had no idea that it was you...actually, I thought she was simply lying to save your pathetic arse, but that doesn't seem to be the case, does it? No, not only could you not face me like a man and tell me that you were dating Lily, but you let yourself be blackmailed for it."

He watched as Sirius' eyes held a hurt, scared, and ashamed look in their eyes. Normally that look alone saved Sirius from James whenever they argued over silly things, like Quiddich, or money. This was different. James wasn't falling for any of Sirius' usual tricks to get James to forgive him. Lily was involved with this, and when it came to Lily, nothing was normal for James.

"Prongs—"

"DON'T address me so informally!" James yelled, hastily turning on Sirius. His eyes flashed horrifically, and he saw Sirius visibly recoil from James' harsh words. No matter how angry James was, he'd never spoken like this before, and he was only getting worse. His words calmed, but his voice held that same note of bitter sarcasm. "Made a right idiot out of me, haven't you Sirius? I—"

"You're not an idi—"

"I'M TALKING, NOT YOU! No, you've lost that privilege until I ask you a question. How long have you been making a fool of me?"

"We weren't making a fool out of you James!" Sirius said exasperated. "We just...I didn't think you'd understand! I mean she's Lily Evans! There was no way you would have approved me dating her. You'd have been angry regardless!"

"Answer the question," said James darkly.

Sirius' gaze fell to the floor and he seemed to be staring at a spot under James' bed. James kept his eyes on Sirius' guilty face. He watched a momentary wave of defiance crossed those stormy eyes before it was replaced with defeat.

"Officially? Three months."

"And unofficially?"

"Six."

James didn't actually recall uttering the stinging hex, but it was his arm that was extended, and his wand that was pointed at Sirius, and his eyes that were blazing as he watched Sirius yelp from the sudden hex. Sirius gave him a dark look, but said nothing. He was starting to gather up his own anger. Good, James was looking for a good fight.

"Six months? I let you in my home during part of those six months. I helped you sneak out quite a number of distractions. I'm sure Lily didn't know about those during that time, did she? So why is it that she kept this from me?"

"She didn't want to mate—"

"Don't call me 'mate' you traitor, you told her to keep it a secret?"

"Asked her to, Prongs please understand, we couldn't—"

"Couldn't," James scoffed, his voice growing harsher by the second. "There was no couldn't to this! This was a wouldn't, you wouldn't face me like a man, you bloody coward. And DON'T address me so informally as to use my nickname. You don't deserve to! You LIED to me! You BETRAYED ME!"

James snatched the picture from Sirius' hands and glared at it before balling it up and throwing it on the ground, disgusted. He started pacing, his wrath steaming as he looked at the crumpled photograph before he kicked it furiously towards the door. He rounded back on Sirius, his eyes flared at the boy that he once called his best mate.

"You...you..." James couldn't seem to find the words to describe what Sirius was, though after a moment he seemed to come up with the ideal insult. "You're a Black."

The change that came over Sirius was instantaneous. James knew the rules that Sirius had imposed upon his name. He'd seen Snape beat up over them countless times. There was one, and only one, person in the world that could get away with calling Sirius a Black, and that was Sirius himself. His eyes were now blazing the same as James' and James felt his heart pump faster at the promise of a brawl. He could almost hear Sirius think that James was playing dirty. James' own thoughts retaliated that Sirius did it first.

"Well no shit, Sherlock," Sirius spat. "Can't exactly escape that title can I?"

"WHY DON'T YOU GO BACK TO THE HOUSE YOU BELONG IN THEN?" James roared. "WHY, THE HELL, ARE YOU IN GRYFFINDOR, WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE LOYAL TO YOUR FRIENDS?"

"I AM IN THE HOUSE I BELONG IN, POTTER!" Sirius yelled back. "It's not a CRIME to date Lily!"

"It is! Have you been COMPLETELY blind to how much I've been in LOVE with the girl all these years? What in the world possessed you to try and take her from me?"

"She was never 'yours' to be taken from! And maybe it's you who've been the blind one! You're not the only person in this school who loves Lily!"

It was the second time that day that laughter came unexpectedly from James' mouth, and once more it was a harsh, bitter laugh that indicated James found the topic at hand far from amusing. No, this was a laugh worthy of an angry, betrayed friend. This was laughter worthy of Sirius.

"Love her? You don't even know what love is, Black," James seethed. "You bloody well didn't seem to love her this summer, with all those other girls finding their way into your bed. And you sure as hell weren't the one that Lily got up and fought those Death Eaters for...not you that she hummed to, and not you that she—"

"Yeah? Well it's not you she's dating, is it? And what do you know of love, really James? You haven't kept a girl for more than a few weeks because they can never compare, can they? All you ever use them as is an attempt to make Lily jealous, and it never works does it? Know why? You spend too much time focusing on Lily than your girlfriend!" Sirius snarled. James' grip on his wand tightened, but he couldn't quite say anything yet because Sirius was right.

"At least I'm no coward," James said viciously. He let out a merciless laugh that was far from the laughter he knew Sirius liked to hear. Sirius was about to fall prey to the way that James treated Snape. "I've suspected for months now. The pieces of the puzzle where all lain out for me to see...but I didn't. I wanted to believe that Lily was good for you, a good friend. You haven't had many of those. You push too many others away, don't you? That should have been my first clue...you let her get close. Ironic the way life has been throwing these hints at me, hasn't it? Your two dots on the Marauder's Map back in late September...the countless hours you would vanish to deal with internal issues about your family around the same time Lily would go off to study with some friends..."

Sirius' eyes never left the wand in James' hands. He knew what was going to happen once James' rant was over; he knew that James was stronger with a wand more often than not. And James knew everything Sirius did.

"You're a bastard, Black," James huffed, his wand raised now. "A fucking bastard. Everte statum!"

Sirius had known it was coming, but he didn't defend himself as the spell hit him. He slammed into the wall and he hissed as his skull did as well. He put his hand to the back of his head as he stood back up to face James. James saw a small bit of blood as Sirius looked at his hand. His logic made a fleeting appearance, telling him that he might not be making the smartest of decisions to keep fighting like this, but his pride was a bit stronger today, and his current temper towards Sirius fought it down.

"I've done nothing wrong in dating Lily," Sirius stated calmly. "You're over reacting Prongs."

"Don't. Call. Me. Prongs," James growled, articulating his words hastily. "And I'm over reacting, am I? I mean, why should I be angry when my best friend has been dating the only girl that I've ever had any real feelings for? What do I care that he knows exactly how I feel about her, and yet threw my feelings aside so that he could care for his own? Well you know what, Sirius? You made your decision. You put a girl before me, so you're a bigger idiot than I thought if you had some sick belief that I wouldn't do the same after you made the first move."

"I didn't mean to hurt you James!"

"Right!" James snorted, furiously. "Of course you didn't! I just happened to slip your mind for the past few months, haven't I? Everything I told you, everything I've done to try to get Lily to give me the time of day, just escaped your memory, did it? You knew DAMN well what you were doing and who you were doing it with! Don't give me some crap that you didn't mean to hurt me! I'm amazed that I claim to know you so well. Here I thought you had a great memory and a good conscious, but either I was wrong about your memory, or you're too much of a cold blooded Black to give a damn about how your best friend feels for Lily Evans."

In a flash, James had his hand on Sirius' throat. It was amazing the struggle James watched behind Sirius' eyes. He saw the boy Padfoot fall as the bitter Black came into control of Sirius' actions. Sirius' own anger was in control now, and James held back his smirk. It was going to be a hell of a lot easier to fight Sirius when he was a Black than when he was a Marauder. He shoved James off of him roughly. James stumbled back, but his face never lost its rage.

"Is this what you want James? Huh?" Sirius asked, walking up to James and shoving him back again. James was getting ready to swing, but Sirius easily dodged the blow. Physically speaking, James knew Sirius had the advantage, but he was beyond caring. "A fight for Lily? Let's rumble then, but before we do, take in the situation. Lily's got feelings for me, she cares about what happens to me. You've had more than enough time to get over her James, what do you want me to do? Keep breaking her heart, because that's for damn sure what I would have been doing if I kept denying her a relationship when we both knew we had feelings for each other. So say we get in this fight, eh. You're a scrawny little Chaser. You spend your days flying around on a broomstick and running around the castle with me and the other Marauders. I, on the other hand, run around the castle, run around with Lily, and work out on my own. I've been trained in physical defensive maneuvers since I could walk. On the off chance that you can beat me in a Muggle fight, who do you think Lily's going to give her attention to? And if I win this fight, and tell her you came onto me first...who do you think she's going to turn to? I'll give you a hint...it won't be you."

"I'll give you a hint, Black," James hissed. "I don't really care."

Damn liar. James threw another punch, and this time, Sirius didn't simply block, his own fists were quick to follow. James knew long before the fight was over that he was beat. Sirius' movements were precise, practiced, and prepared. James' were irrational and quick, and he was only fighting because he felt he had to. But it wasn't Sirius, and it wasn't James that stopped the fight.

"Incarcerous!"

Sirius and James were both pulled apart from each other and strung in midair by thick ropes. James' eyes swiveled harshly to the source of the spell. There stood Remus, with his wand out, and behind him, holding the crumpled photograph and looking at it with stunned horror, was Lily.

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