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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 21: The Running Rat

A/N: So…I guess I haven’t updated in forever, but I am very sorry. To say the least I hit a massive writer’s block. (Which, of course, means that I’ve written this chapter about 6 times until I got it right.) I’m not 100% satisfied with it, but seeing how long it has been since I’ve updated, I’ll take my 95% satisfaction. Please don’t kill me for taking so long!

~Jaggy~







Sirius felt about as bad as he was beginning to look. His hair fell limp in his handsome face, which was starting to look less handsome and more gaunt and grey. His eyes did not shine, nor did they spark with mischievous ideas that were crossing his mind. He did not smile; he hardly ate; and, most importantly, he did not talk.

He attended class, sort of. However, he was merely in physically. Too many years of relying on Remus to catch him up to speed during naptimes/plotting through class left Sirius inept to take proper notes on his own. Besides, he was far too busy wallowing in his own self-loathing and pity to care that he was on the brink of failing more than half his classes.

It was the first time since he was Sorted into Gryffindor that Sirius had ever considered dropping out of Hogwarts. He could easily have other friends, in fact Alexandra Trent and several of her friends had more than once shown their concern for his sudden lack of friends. More importantly, Sirius’ sadistic thoughts added, his sudden lack of a girlfriend. Nevertheless, he turned them away, coldly, telling her it was none of her business why he was not with Lily any more.

“I hear she’s dating James now.”

“No, I was told this had to do with Lupin.”

“You’re both wrong, it was Snape.”

“No way! She’d leave Sirius Black for Snape? You’re full of it!”

“That’s what I heard, but she’s not too keen on Snape either, so I’m not sure how he—”

The rumors ran amuck anywhere Sirius went in the school, there were clusters of girls, and even clusters of guys, trying to figure out what in the world would cause the Marauders to break up. And better, what would cause Lily Evans to dump Sirius Black? There was one rumor, though, that Sirius would not tolerate.

“My bet is that she’s just fooling with the both of them. Get’s Potter off of her back, shuts them both up, problem solved, Prefect Evans hasn’t got to deal with either of them anymore,” Jane Herpo was saying to Walden Timms. “And then she threw Snape into the mix to get back at him for that whole love potion mess. She’s a twisted bi—”

But before Herpo could finish her words, Sirius had ripped her around to face him full on, his grey eyes blazing furiously as he practically snarled, “Shut your mouth you sodding cow. Lily broke it off because I did something stupid. It was my fault. She’s not some vindictive wench who’ll go off and play with someone like that, so you can stop that nonsense now.”

Herpo was rubbing her sore arm from Sirius’ vice grip, and shaking with fear when Timms pulled her away.

“Black! Back off it man, she’s just—”

“She knew what she was saying,” hissed Sirius at Timms. “And don’t make excuses for her when she’s just glad that you’re paying attention to the rumors of my love life that you can’t hear the ones about her shagging Nelson Monroe two days ago on the fourth floor.”

Sirius did not even stay to hear the angry argument between Hogwarts next broken up couple.



Peter’s mind was far from complex, but he was not stupid, and he certainly was not happy. His best friends had lost their entire luster in a manner of days. Over Snivellus. And Lily, but she was slightly more understandable as she was female and she was pretty. The point, however, he reminded himself, was that he was facing a conflict where James hated Sirius, Remus hated Sirius, and Sirius hated Sirius. (Peter was a little bit sore with Sirius, but he hardly hated him.)

The only other person who, at one point anyways, had been close enough to Sirius to care was Lily. Peter noticed that her emerald eyes rarely left Sirius sad form as he walked into the Common Room with his eyes on the floor and his feet shuffling on the ground. He knew, too, that Lily brought Sirius blankets at night (as he was sleeping on the couches). From what Peter gathered, Lily never stopped caring about Sirius; she simply no longer could love him because he made an unforgettable, but not unforgivable, mistake. Snape had not died, and that was the important thing.

However, Lily also had a temper, and Peter, being an observant, cautious creature by nature, had seen her tell off Maggie Smith for asking about how she was handling “the break up”. He also saw her threaten Sarah Lessard with a rather nasty sounding hex for offering to set Lily on a blind date. Peter decided that a less temperamental person might be best to approach first.

“Remus?”

The sandy haired youth continued to concentrate on the crossword puzzle that he was working on rather than answer. Peter sighed slightly and looked over Remus’ shoulder at the word that he was looking for.

“Luxor,” answered Peter, to the inquiry of the Modern-Day location of the ancient city of Thebes. “And the next one is Luxembourg.”

“Thanks Pete,” Remus muttered, filling in Luxor across and Luxembourg down. “Was there something you wanted?”

Staying silent as Remus filled in two more words (Lumos and Lexington), Peter went over his speech in his head one last time. Marauders were Marauders for life. Sirius was a Marauder, a misguided one, but a Marauder none-the-less, and he deserved to remain their friend…in the end. Peter had his mouth poised and opened to begin his lecture on how the Marauders should be friends again when the portrait swung open and a loud, angry voice hit their ears.

“—YOU SAY THAT? I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG, JAMES!”

“I SAW YOU!” James’ voice roared back. Remus and Peter looked at each other warily as Lily and James stepped into the Common Room. Peter almost wished he had popcorn again, because such an argument had not happened in some time. He could hear a group of fourth years behind him beginning to take bets. “I THOUGHT YOU BROKE UP WITH HIM?”

Lily made an angry noise with her nose that Peter thought he might have once heard come from an angry rhino.

“NOT that it’s any of YOUR business, Potter, but just because I broke up with him doesn’t mean that I can’t make sure that he’s not FREEZING in the common room that he has to sleep in because YOU kicked him out of the dormitory!” she seethed, her eyes sparkling fiercely. “You have NO place to be angry with me for something as simple as putting a blanket on him—”

“LET HIM FREEZE! YOU KNOW WHAT HE DID AS MUCH AS I DO, HE DESERVES IT!”

The movement Lily made with her hands made Peter believe that she was about an inch from strangling James, but instead, her hand went clean across his cheek and the loud slap resounded in the room. James’ face remained to the side, his breathing was hard and angry as Lily’s was. Her eyes glared at him coldly.

“Changed, you say,” she said quietly, her voice shaking with anger. “You’re about as changed as I am Slytherin. You are not my master, stop trying to control me.”

“He could have kill—” James started, but stopped as a rather sultry figure appeared from the boys’ dorm, and James’ voice died.

“Thanks James,” said Sirius, his eyes dark with something that Peter identified as a mixture of grief, anger, and loneliness. “Really great to know I’m so low that I don’t even deserve a blanket. I’ll keep that in mind.”

With that, Sirius pulled his cloak closer and stormed out of the common room. Peter knew that stalking gait that Sirius was using, all of the Marauders did. Sirius was in self-destruction mode. He had been like this when he left home and got back from St. Mungo’s. Sirius said that he felt as though he had abandoned Regulus, the brother he loved and hated in the same breath. He wasn’t going to be okay if they left him to his own devices.

Peter glanced over at Remus, who had more reason than anyone to hate Sirius. Remus’ golden eyes were focusing on the back of the portrait. James, on the other hand, was now avoiding the hard look Lily was giving him.

“What?” he said as though nothing had happened. He finally looked back up at Lily, and even Peter could tell that it was a mistake. Lily arched a dangerous eyebrow at James. “You can’t honestly expect—Lily he can take care of himself—stop looking at me like that! He’s a—FINE, I’ll go, but don’t expect me to bring him back if he won’t come.”

Peter wondered if Lily perhaps possessed some sort of psychic abilities which enabled her to control James in ways that no one else could dream of. She had effectively won an argument with James without opening her mouth once.

“And only if Remus says its okay,” added James, the pair finally looking at both Remus and Peter. Remus made an odd clicking sound, giving James a look that said he did not want to get involved. James gave a slightly apologetic look before raising his eyebrows as though hoping Remus would say no.

The moment of silence stretched to five minutes, and Remus still remained quiet. Peter shifted uncomfortably, he thought, for a moment, perhaps Remus wanted to let Sirius go on his self-endangering escapade and not stop him. But then the werewolf sighed as he always did when he picked what was right over what he wanted.

“See if he’s still on the grounds. If he’s not, we’re going after him.”



Had he been Muggle, he might have been termed a pyromaniac. Had he been Muggle, he might have been viewed as a youth with a drinking problem. Had he been a Muggle, Sirius decided, he would not be in this wretched situation; and had he been a Muggle, he certainly would not have the satisfaction of blowing crates up with his own wand.

He aimed his wand again, smiling mundanely as another crate blew apart in a fiery blast. He really wished he had brought some gold with him, it would have been nice to have some of the Firewhiskey that those crates had once held. He laughed a bit sadistically as he noticed that it had begun snowing. Looking up into the November night sky, Sirius spread his arms up to the heavens in a sign of gradual defeat.

Was it really worth it? James hated him, Remus hated him, and Peter hated him. Lily, it seemed, did not quite hate him, but she was not so fond of him either. But James hated him. James who was his brother-in-friend…hated him. Why did everything insist on going to hell at once for him?

“Well it could hardly be worse,” he mumbled to himself, kicking a rock out of the alley. He started a bit when the rock rolled back, knocking into his foot. Rocks did not kick themselves back on their own…

“Oh, I’m sure it could be much worse,” a deep voice drawled. Sirius’ eyes darted up in surprise and fear as he looked into his much older, more evil reflection. “Hello, son.”



“It’s cold,” Peter repeated for the tenth time in the five minutes since they had snuck out of Honeyduke’s and into Hogsmeade. It had taken James a full hour to finally admit that Sirius probably wasn’t hiding out in the Forbidden Forest. After a sweep of the Three Broomsticks, it was clear that Sirius wasn’t there either. He had not snuck into Zonko’s, he was nowhere to be found in the Inn. They had checked every haunt the Marauders ever had, and there was no sign of Sirius. “We’re never going to find him if he doesn’t want to be found…”

“I don’t want to be here anymore than you do Wormtail,” snapped James. “But Lily will have my broomstick if I don’t bring him back, which makes no sense as she’s angry with him too.”

Remus remained silent, and Peter decided not to challenge James’ reasoning. Instead he pulled his scarf tighter to his neck and rubbed his hands together for warmth. This was silly, Peter did not want to be out in Hogsmeade looking for Sirius. Did the others not realize how dangerous it could be with the dementors guarding the grounds? Could they not see the potential for the Death Eaters, or even worse, You-Know-Who, to attack the wizarding village again? Peter shuttered at the thought of the Wizard who's name he didn't even dare to think. He kept his mouth shut about these issues, though, knowing it would be worse for him in the end.

“It’s still cold,” stated Peter. He flinched from the hard hit that he knew James would give him for his response, but James was interrupted mid-swing by a horrified cry some blocks away. The last time Peter had seen James’ face turn so pale, Sirius had been fighting death in St. Mungo’s.

“Sirius,” it was not a question for James. He took off running in the direction of the shout. Remus followed suit, and Peter trotted along behind. He hated running, but the sudden fear for Sirius that James had sparked kept Peter from complaining aloud or to his own person.

“Running to the Potters, Sirius,” a deep voice echoed from the alley in front of the Marauders. James put his finger up to his lips, to show the other two Marauders to be quiet. He pulled his wand out of his pocket as the voice continued to speak. “And a Mudblood. What shame you bring to our name. Regulus brings us pride and joy, and you have your poor mother distressed over what she’s done wrong…STAY AWAKE!” the voice roared. Remus had his wand out now. “You think this is bad, boy? Do you? Do you think what Bella did to your filthy girlfriend was horrible? That’s nothing to what you’re going to look like when I’m finished. I think I should finish the job I started this summer. Cruc—

“EXPELLIARMUS!” James had leapt from where he hid behind the corner of the alley. Remus jumped in after him, shooting an immobilizing curse at Sirius’ father. “Get away from him, Orion!”

Peter peaked around the corner, trying his best to ignore every nerve in his body that was telling him to turn tail and flee from such a dangerous man. Orion Black stood taller than Sirius, and his angular face mimicked both of his sons’ faces exceptionally well. His black hair had long strands of grey weaving in and out as though trying to hide from the oil he used to slick his hair back. He had a nasty sneer on his face, but without his wand he seemed unwilling to taunt James. Behind Orion lay Sirius, bleeding and burned in several places. Peter could see that part of Sirius’ pant leg was still smoking. His eyes darted from the injured Sirius up to the powerful Orion.

“Potter and a half-blood,” said Orion. “Imagine my surprise.”

“Was I not clear the first time?” asked James. “Step. Away. From. Sirius. Now,” his wand did not budge from where it was aimed at Orion’s chest. Peter was very glad that he was not on the receiving end of that dark and dangerous look coming from James’ eyes. On the other hand, he was glad he was not getting the dark look that Orion was giving James either. The Black held up his hands in the gesture of giving up and side-stepped away from Sirius. “Now sit down and don’t move. Peter, go to the Three Broomsticks and get some wizards over there to come help us contain this bastard.”

But they never did get the chance, because James had made a fatal mistake in turning his head to look at Peter. Orion leapt for his wand, gained it successfully, and stunned the three boys in the alleyway. Peter, who had yet to be pointed out from his hiding spot at the corner, watched with horror and relief as Orion Apperated. Sirius' father seemed to decide that a triple murder just was not on his schedule for the day. Peter now gave up his hiding spot and ran into the alley way.

“James? Remus? Sirius?” he whispered, looking at his three unconscious friends. He bit his lip. Sirius’ injuries were much worse up close…he did not need to be unconscious, in the cold, and untreated. “Guys? Guys?” Peter, knowing he was no good with even the most basic spells, thought it best not to attempt to magically awaken them. Instead, he went with plan B. “HELP!”

To his great surprise, he was actually answered.

“Peter?” Lily’s voice met his ears just before her eyes landed on the unconscious Marauders. Peter could see the brief flash of panic cross her lovely face before she regained control, and in an instant Peter could see the strength that Sirius and James loved in her so much. “Go to The Three Broomsticks and get help, I’ll do what I can.”

Nodding, Peter ran from the ally as Lily knelt down next to Remus and woke him first.

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