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One Late Night by PotterandEvans

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,565
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, General, Romance
Characters: Lily, James
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 08/11/2009
Last Chapter: 06/12/2010
Last Updated: 06/12/2010

Summary:



“Potter! Black! Must I remind you again? When I am talking I demand that you pay attention! And Mr. Potter, I ask that you please change Mr. Black’s hair to its original color. Magenta makes him look peaky.”

James is like an onion. And Lily starts to learn that onions have many layers.


Chapter 1: One Late Night
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“Potter! Black! Must I remind you again? When I am talking I demand that you pay attention! And Mr. Potter, I ask that you please change Mr. Black’s hair to its original color. Magenta makes him look peaky.”

“Professor McGonagall, I resent that. Can’t a man try a new look?”

“Yes, Professor, Padfoot looks absolutely dashing with magenta hair, especially when the work is coming from a fine artist, such as myself. Wouldn’t you agree Moony?”

“Wholeheartedly. And you, Peter?”

“Of course. Padfoot always looks dreamy, and Prongs does fantastic work, if I do say so myself.”

“Well, Professor, there you have it. I am a prodigy and Padfoot looks brilliant no matter-”

Enough of this nonsense!” McGonagall cried, changing Sirius’s hair back to original color, along with a groan from James. “Must I throw you four in detention? I daresay you’ve gotten quite used to it!”

Lily simply rolled her eyes. “Makes you sick, doesn’t it?” She whispered to Marlene.

“I know. I think I feel lunch coming back up.”

Lily laughed and mimed retching, while Cas giggled in response.

By the time Transfiguration let out, Lily Evans really did feel like she might hurl and was tired of Potter and Black’s idiotic antics. She heaved a sigh. What a long day.

“Go to dinner without me, Marlene, Cas,” she said, “I have to finish Slughorn's essay."

“Lily, are you sure?” Cas asked, while Marlene looked at Lily sympathetically.

“Yea, I’m sure.”

They nodded as Lily walked back to the dormitories, sat down by the fire in her favorite squashy armchair, and then set to work. Lily finished looking up some facts for her last paragraph and glanced at the clock. It was past twelve; Marlene and Cas had come back to the dormitory and then gone to bed. The common room was nearly empty. She wondered vaguely why she hadn’t seen Potter, Black, Remus, or Peter. It was strange: Usually Remus would be here working with her.

Lily went back to her essay, but found it considerably more difficult to concentrate; there seemed to be two people shouting just outside the portrait hole. Lily let out a moan. She would have to tell them to be quiet. Lily reluctantly got up from her armchair, rubbed her eyes and headed toward the portrait hole. Whoever they were, they were certainly being quite loud. Couldn’t they keep it down?

“Look, people are either studying or sleeping, could you—” Lily stopped short and gaped at the sight before her eyes.

Potter had Black shoved against the wall. “Why, in the name of Merlin, would you ever do that Sirius?” He screamed in Black’s face. The sight was quite unnerving; Lily had never seen Potter like this. Ever.

“James, Evans is—” Black tried to get out.

“Didn’t you think at all?” Potter bellowed.

“I—” Black spluttered. He tried to fight Potter, but Potter simply shoved him further against the wall, a loud bang echoing down the hallway.

“No! Shut the hell up Sirius! Don’t even try to make excuses to me! You almost cost him his life! Did you even consider how Moony would feel if anything happened? He would never forgive himself. Even if we leave Snape aside, you—”

“What? What happened?” Lily found her voice.

Potter finally looked at her, his eyes meeting hers. His hazel eyes were ablaze with anger, and yet, they seemed to be pleading with her.

“Lily, go back to the common room. Go to bed and don’t worry about this. I have to deal with Sirius.” His voice was fierce.

“But what happened to Severus?”

“He’s…” Potter sighed, shot a filthy look at Black, and then said, “He’s shaken,” then seeing the look on Lily’s face, he quickly added, “No, don’t worry, he’ll be fine, it’s just that—”

“What? Tell me.”

“Lily, just please go.” His tone was final and pleading.

Lily took one last look at the scene before her, and reluctantly said, “Oh, and Potter? Let go of Black, you’re going to strangle him. I really don’t mind, in fact nothing would make me happier—well, other than your death, but Professor Dumbledore might be a little unhappy if one of his students were to die.” Potter looked at Lily, sighed, dropped his hands and stepped away.

Lily climbed back through the portrait hole and looked at her almost finished essay. She knew she couldn’t do anymore tonight. Instead she paced back and forth in front of the dying fire, thinking.

Just then the portrait hole opened and Black came in. He marched up to the dormitories without looking back.

She heard the portrait hole open again, and Potter entered the common room. He didn’t look well. In fact he looked like he hadn’t slept for days. His arms were bruised, and his shirt was bloody.

“What happened?” Lily asked.

“It’s a long story.”

Lily looked at him. He was still staring into the fire, thinking hard. “James, tell me what happened.”

Potter looked at her questioningly. “You called me James.”

“Yes,” he sighed again. “Sirius doesn’t think you should know this. But, I disagree. You deserve to know.”

“You can trust me.”

“I know.” He ran his hand through his hair again, but it was different than all the times he had done it before. He let out a long breath, “Okay…okay. Merlin, I don’t even know where to begin…”

“At the beginning.”

“I guess the beginning starts on our very first day of Hogwarts when Sirius and I met on the train. I met Remus that night with Peter and we suddenly became the Marauders.

"And then there was Snape. I didn’t like him from the start. My family has always been very biased against Slytherin and I inherited that same attitude,” he held up a hand as Lily started to protest, “I know that’s no excuse, but it’s hard to change your ways overnight, and yet, I’m trying. But, you too, Lily, have your prejudices. Look how you feel about me.”

“With reason.”

“Maybe, but that’s not the point. I’m trying to get you to understand why tonight happened. Snape and I hated each other from the start. And he and Sirius hated each other too. I know he doesn’t trust Remus, which is completely absurd. I know you’ve heard his theory-”

“I don’t believe it-”

“Well, you should.”

“Remus is…?”

“Yes. Lily, I’m surprised, I thought it would be a bit obvious to someone like you.”

“But, Remus doesn’t act like a werewolf; they’re, well, what about Greyback? Remus isn’t like that.”

“No, you’re right, he isn’t. And that’s why it makes me so furious that Snape distrusts him so much. That’s part of the reason Snape and I don’t get along. But, I would never do what Sirius did tonight.”

“What did he do?”

“First I must tell you that though Remus does not act like a werewolf when in human form, it does not mean that he is not extremely dangerous when transforming and then when in his wolf form.

"When Sirius, Peter, and I first met him, we wondered why he disappeared every month. Sirius and I figured it out towards the end of our first year and confronted Remus at the beginning of our second. Remus was scared that the three of us would abandon him. Of course we didn’t. How could we? Remus had become our friend. He told us that he was bitten as a child because his father refused to join the Death Eaters.”

“His dad did the right thing. But…that’s just horrible.” Lily trailed off pathetically.

“I know, but Dumbledore accepted him immediately. That’s why the Whomping Willow exists. It leads to the Shrieking Shack where Remus transforms.”

“That’s why it’s haunted!”

“But throughout second year, Peter, Sirius, and I had to endure Remus’ transformations. He would come back late at night with cuts, bruises, and gashes everywhere. We had to do something. So Sirius and I came up with an idea, and by the end of our fourth year we had managed to do it and helped Peter to learn in his fifth year. We became Animagi.”

“What? No! You couldn’t have!”

“Yes, unregistered, of course.”

“Oh…oh! Moony! Remus! Wormtail…what does Peter become?”

“A rat.”

“Padfoot…Sirius…?”

“A great shaggy black dog.”

“Well, his laugh does sound like a bark. But, that leaves you…Prongs…hmm…”

“I’m a stag,” James said. Lily simply stared.

“What’s your Patronus?” She asked without thinking.

"A stag as well.”

“Oh.” Lily blushed.

"So, every month all four of us would transform with Remus. That’s how we know the castle, the grounds, and all the secret passageways. Well, you’ve seen our map.”

"But that’s ridiculous. How did you not get caught?”

“Ahh…right. You’ve never seen it…I have an invisibility cloak. I actually think that Dumbledore is aware that the four of us tramp around with a werewolf every month…though we’ve had our fair share of hospital visits-”

“James! That’s so stupid! Didn’t you ever consider how dangerous Remus could be as a werewolf! You could’ve been bitten!”

“Well, what would you have me do, Lily? Since you’re the expert, why don’t you enlighten me?” Lily was silent. “Exactly. So, I could have been hurt. We were all willing to sacrifice that for Remus.”

“But, all those times you were in the hospital wing…all those times that you had bruises, scratches…”

“Do I actually hear concern in your voice, Lily?”

“Not for you,” Lily answered coldly, “For Remus. He always thinks-”

“That everything is his fault?”

“Yes. He’s too hard on himself.”

“I know. He does feel guilty, but he’s already tried to reason with us, and we won’t hear a word of it.”

“But, how come none of you have been bitten?”

“We have-”

“What!”

“It doesn’t affect us when we are in Animagus form. That’s why we transform. To help Remus and give him company-we can communicate better when we are all animals.”

“You don’t need to transform for that to happen.”

“Oh, aren’t you witty?” James replied with a hint of annoyance.

“So what does this have to do with Severus?” Lily demanded, “And I want the entire story, James.”

"Tonight, as you may have noticed is a full moon. Remus went to the Shrieking Shack to transform. Sirius, Peter, and I were on our way there. But, I forgot the invisibility cloak, so I went back.

"Lately though, Snape has been following us around trying to prove his theory. So Sirius decided to be the world’s biggest git and tried to get back at Snape and told him if he wanted to see something interesting, he should press the knot at the bottom of the Whomping Willow’s trunk and it would freeze.

"Then Sirius and Peter doubled back. I somehow missed them on my way out. As I got on the steps opening up from the grounds, I saw Snape pressing the knot, and I immediately froze. I started to shout, but he had already vanished down the passageway that leads to the Shack.

“I panicked. I ran down the passageway and reached the shack. Moony had transformed and Snape was standing in the doorway, frozen. He’s lucky Remus hadn’t bit him yet. I stunned Remus. Then I stunned Snape who was in shock. I left Remus there and brought Snape to the hospital wing. Then I headed for Dumbledore’s office and on the way there I met Sirius. He was laughing-”

“Laughing?”

“Yes. Laughing. He told me what happened like it was some big joke. I was so shocked that I didn’t react at first. Then he finally noticed my appearance noting that I looked like hell. ‘Who did that to you? And why are you bleeding? Did you get in a fight?’ I couldn’t take it. I punched him then walked away. When I got to Dumbledore’s office I told him everything. After that, I found Sirius again. And well, that’s where you came in.”

Lily didn’t know what to say. James still hated Snape, but he risked his life for him tonight and protected a friend who didn’t deserve it. She looked at him; he was staring into the fire, troubled. He was still bleeding heavily. Lily sighed, unable to believe what she was about to do, but then again…

She walked over to him and kneeled in front of him. His hazel eyes met her green ones. “James, stand up,” she whispered. He looked puzzled, but did so. She stood as well, noting how tall he was. She took a deep breath. “Take off your shirt,” she blushed.

“What?” He looked shocked.

“Look, I’m trying to help you. Just, please take it off.”

He looked into her eyes again, searching, and then he slowly lifted it from his back. Lily gasped. He was bruised all over. He had several deep gashes along his chest and stomach, not to mention the one that Lily had noticed on his back. Besides that, he had many cuts, and several long scars that Lily guessed were from other outings. She never knew…

“Oh, James,” she breathed. She thought how different he looked from their first day on the Hogwarts Express. He was taller, still thin, but it was a different thin…he wasn’t scrawny anymore, he was lean. He had a trail of dark hair on his stomach that disappeared below his waistband, and when he exhaled, his abdominal muscles were visible. He was now more man than boy. Lily wondered when this change had happened and why she hadn’t seemed to notice until now.

“It’s nothing,” James whispered, his warm breath floating across her face.

Lily sighed; ignoring him, she summoned the essence of murtlap from her room, along with a towel, and walked James over to a stool by the fire. He sat down as she kneeled beside him, again looking at the many cuts on his body. If he looked like this, she hated to think how Remus looked…

“Scourgify,” she whispered. The blood immediately disappeared. She poured the murtlap onto the towel and gently dabbed James’ open wounds. He flinched slightly when she first touched him.

“Baby.” She felt him chuckle.

Finally, she finished her work, as James turned to look at her. She never noticed his eyes had green flecks in them. But then again, she seemed to be noticing a lot tonight.

“Why?” he murmured.

“What?”

“Why did you do that?”

“Do what?” Lily asked.

“Why did you help me? Why didn’t you get mad at me for what happened to Snape? I thought you hated me, Lily.”

“Because you told me the truth.”

“Oh,” he paused, then summoned his shirt from the floor and stood, “You should get to bed. It’s late.”

“Yea…” Lily picked up her still unfinished essay and climbed the stairs to the girl’s dormitories.

“Lily?” She turned. James was walking towards her, “Thank you for listening…for understanding,” he whispered. She felt his hot breath tickle her ear, as he leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. His lips were soft and her skin tingled and burned where they had touched.

She looked up at him, furious. “Potter, don’t ever do that again.”

He laughed, “As you wish, Evans.” He looked at her, as she glared down at him, then she walked to the dormitory and slammed the door.    

 



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