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“Look who it is… Miss. Evans” the voice from the right hooded figure sounded familiar, but Lily couldn’t put a face to it. Both hoods chuckled, their wands still pointing directly at Lily’s neck.

“Who are you?” Lily demanded, however with little conviction. Lily was still trying to direct her attention towards both the figures in front of her as well as to try to locate Prongs/James.

“Miss. Evans” drawled the second figure, “you are not in a position to demand anything.” He was right, whoever he was. Lily wished that the others would turn up – however she figured that her flight with Prongs had taken her well out of range.

“So what do you think – Cruciatus or Imperius?” laughed the first voice. “I must admit, I haven’t got the Cruciatus down perfect, so Imperius it is.” Both figures now laughed at this apparent joke – however Lily didn’t find it funny. They had been taught about the “unforgivable” curses in DADA but she never thought she’d be at the wrong end of one.

“Imperio” rang out throughout the forest as the first figure’s wand lit with the spell that had just been cast. Lily felt an amazing, floating sensation – every thought and worry that she had been feeling ceased to exist.

In a part of Lily’s mind she was asked to jump into the tree next to her, and she did so without the slightest trace of why. However, quietly in another part of her mind a voice asked her, “why do I want to jump into a tree?” Lily dismissed it for the moment, but it kept on nagging at her.

Once again she was asked to do something, however this time the voice was much louder, asking “why would I want to go to them?”

The two figures were slightly worried at this change of events. Lily had crawled around on all fours, jumped into a tree – but now she wouldn’t do as she was instructed. There was something in her eyes – something that hadn’t been there before; a slight change from the absent happy look to a slight look of concentration.

However unbeknownst to them a figure had appeared, seemingly from nowhere. James Potter, slightly dazed yet fully awake was standing up, a witness to what was happening. He noticed that Lily had taken a few hesitant steps towards the two robed figures. Patting his robes he remembered he didn’t have his wand with him. However that no longer was an issue worth dwelling on as Lily had taken a few more steps.
Realsing he had little time to act, James started running. There wasn’t much ground to cover between where Prongs had been hit and the hooded figures, and James’ Quidditch toned athletic body was definitely an advantage. Both the robed figures were laughing at what they were putting Lily through, and so were unaware of the rather angry student barreling towards them.

Lily was still under the influence of the Imperius curse, however the voice in her head was nearly deafening. She hadn’t taken many steps under advice from the voice, and a small part of her wondered how a psychiatrist would evaluate that decision. That same part of her though had noticed James though, and she gasped.

At that instant the two figures finally noticed the arrival of James Potter; however it was too late for either one to do anything coherent. The one who had cursed Lily was the first to meet with James, his fist connecting with his face. The curse was immediately broken, and Lily returned to her normal self.

The second figure suffered a similar fate, however lost his wand in an attempt to curse James, it was snapped in two as James kicked it out of his hand following up with another punch to the face.

“Which one did it?” screamed James at Lily. Too scared to answer she pointed at the figure who had cursed her. James’ eyes had grown dark again, she thought that it was like the time in the common room earlier that night, however she was mistaken.

“So you’re the bastard are you?” James screamed, looking directly into the face of the figure – his robe had fallen from his head by now. It was Lucius Malfoy – no real surprise it struck Lily but not until later. “You’re going to wish that Dumbledore found you after I’m done with you Malfoy!” And with that James launched into him with a volley of punches.

Lily screamed! She had not witnessed James angry before in her life, and now twice in the one night she had seen him angry and then now – violently angry! She wasn’t sure whether to go over to him or not, thinking that she might get hurt if she tried. She knew that James wouldn’t hit her on purpose – but she wasn’t sure at the moment.

At that moment though Remus and Sirius came bursting through to her side, and in a moment took in the scene and ran straight at James. Sirius shifted into his animal stage and launched himself at James, knocking him back from Malfoy. In midair Sirius shifted back into his two legged self and just held James. While this had happened Remus had stunned the second figure who seemed to be rousing and launched himself at Malfoy – intending to keep him from harm at the same time as stop him from doing anything stupid.

“Lily” shouted Sirius, “come over here!” Sirius was struggling to hold James down, something that normally would have been easy. James might have been a Quidditch champion, but Sirius was still the stronger and larger of the two.

“Why me?” replied Lily, taking a few hesitant steps towards where James and Sirius struggled.

“Because you’re going to be the only thing to calm him down” replied Remus when Sirius didn’t answer – putting all his effort into restraining James. Both the boys were worried of what would happen to Lucius if James broke free.

“Why me though – what –“she started but was cut off by Remus.

“What made him get like this? What started it?” hurried Remus, obviously trying to explain a point that should have taken an hour in fifteen seconds.

“They put me under the Imperius curse,” two gasps were heard behind her, as she turned around she noticed Amanda and Susan standing there holding each other.

“Well don’t you get it?” screamed Sirius, “James loves you – he’ll do anything to protect you – you’re the only one that get’s him this angry. Now get over here!” With that Lily ran over to James and Sirius and kneeled down next to the struggling pair. Uncertain of what to do she put a hand on James’ forehead and held it there. She moved her hand through his hair and then back, just resting her hand on his skin – hoping that it would help.

“Say something” whispered Sirius. Aware of the situation he was putting Lily in he attempted to turn his head away while still hold onto James.

“What – “ Lily started before turning back to James. “James – Prongsy calm down. It’s Lily – I’m all right.” In the background the girls had come over to where Remus was. Malfoy now unconscious Remus moved him next to his two friends, who turned out to be Theodore Nott and another Slytherin boy, Remus had forgotten his name. Susan knelt down next to Remus and held him, aware of what he was unable to do and how much he wished he could. Amanda just stared at Sirius and James – hoping that Sirius wouldn’t be too hurt.

“James – they didn’t hurt me too much, I’m here…” whispered Lily fervently. With each passing moment James seemed to calm down, and the feeling behind what Lily was saying grew. Sirius seemed to notice what was going on and backed away, slowly so as not to disturb them but stayed close in case of emergency.

“Lily – are you all right?” whispered James, trying to sit up. Lily just pushed him back down. “Did they hurt you?” he asked again, “those bastards tried to hurt you!”

“Yes they did – but you saved me,” Lily wiped away a tear with her free hand.

“Don’t cry – they did hurt you didn’t they” James sat up, looking around wildly for Malfoy. “I’ll kill him!” At this Sirius launched himself back at James, just holding him in a tight embrace.

“Prongsy, it’s ok – they’re not going to hurt anyone anymore. Lily’s safe” he whispered. “Both are unconscious, we’ll let Dumbledore deal with them, ok?” However James didn’t seem satisfied. Trying to stand up he then attempted to shift into his Animagus form. With this Sirius quickly leapt out of the way; “Oh no you don’t – Remus!” he shouted, and seeming to pick up on it Remus pointed his wand at James and shouted “Stupefy!” And with that James slumped to the ground.

Everyone was shocked for a couple of moments before Lily turned to Remus and screamed “Did you really have to do that?” The strength in her voice rattled the girls, but Remus just looked at her calmly. “Sorry – yes, of course you did” Lily muttered. Looking at James and then at the rest of them.

“Now what are we going to do?” asked Amanda, who had by now moved over to Sirius and held him in a tight embrace of her own. Sirius looked gratified for this as not each day you had to have your best friend stunned.

“I’ve already figured that out” said Remus. “The cloak is at the tree, so you three and I will head back there and hide. When we’re there I’ll whistle and Sirius will hear it – an advantage of being an Animagus. You’ll then send a shower of sparks off with your wand that WILL grab Dumbledore’s attention and you’ll then shift and run to the tree. We’ll all then hide there until the commotion dies down.”

“What about James?” asked Lily concerned, “we can’t just leave him here.”

“No, we can’t – I’ll put him on my back and … carry him back. Then you can help me when we get him back into the castle.” The girls looked a little skeptical at this plan. “Don’t worry – I’ve done it before.” The girls didn’t want to know for what reason Sirius had done it before. Seeing the unasked question he finished, “he was drunk, now get going!”

The group tried to smile, but failed and turned and ran towards the edge of the forest and then the tree. It took them a couple of minutes to make it out of the forest and even more to make it to the tree as they had come a fair way from where they started. When they got to the tree they all sat down and Remus cast the cloak over them. He then let out a long whistle – praying that Sirius would hear it.

Of course with the extra help from the Animagus inside of him, Sirius heard the whistle first time, pointed his wand at the sky and let off a stream of sparks into the air of various colors. Shifting immediately back into the big black dog, he somehow maneuvered himself underneath James, lifted him up and ran for it. Sirius took an indirect route so as not to cross paths with the professors, Sirius made it to the tree just as the front doors of the castle opened.

Quickly being covered by the cloak, which contrary to earlier opinion DID cover all of them, they all watched as the teachers ran past them. Professor Dumbledore and McGonagall were at the head, followed by Filch and Professor Tregory of Hufflepuff. After about ten minutes of waiting, the group of professors appeared, between them were three unconscious bodies floating.

“Good – seemed the message worked” said Sirius. The rest of the group looked at him questioningly. “I left a note in the ground, just explained what had happened.” The group looked stunned, each trying to calculate how much ground was used. “I didn’t have any paper” cried Sirius softly in his own defense.

The group quietened down as the teachers approached and passed them without noticing them. About ten minutes after they had passed, Remus decided that it was time to head back inside. “We’ll head back in kinda like list time, but Sirius and Lily will carry James. I’ll come back for you two after ok?” Amanda and Susan nodded, and tried to hide themselves behind the tree – luckily it was large enough for both to hide; but only just.

Twenty minutes later, and after much muffled cursing from Sirius and Lily, everyone was in the Gryffindor common room. It seemed that all the teachers were either in bed or desperately trying not to look into the corridors this night. (Unbeknownst to them though, Dumbledore had noticed them hiding underneath the cloak, and had bid Filch to check the dungeons for students the moment they arrived back at the castle)

“Well…” sighed Amanda, resting in Sirius’ arms. “That was an interesting night wasn’t it?” The group all grinned tiredly; all but James who had been laid down in front of the fire, still unconscious. Remus and Sirius had decided to leave him until the morning, hoping that his mood would have changed.

“Well, it’s nearly three o’clock, and we’ve still got our snowball fight today!” said Susan, who had perched herself lying down next to Remus. “Time for a little bit of sleep I think!” The others all nodded their agreement. Remus and Sirius got up to head to the bathroom before bed, which left the girls alone.

“You remember what you guys said about the anger” started Lily sheepishly when the two guys had left, “about that anger being for me not at me or something?” Both the girls nodded their responses. Lily however looked slightly frightened, and both girls moved to be next to their friend. “You should have seen his eyes when he was…” she trailed off, unable to render into words what had happened.

“What did he do to Malfoy?” asked Amanda, “I didn’t see his wand anywhere!”

“He punched him…” both girls gasped, “a lot!” Lily was shaken, but she felt something else as well. “You know – I should be really scared of him but…”

“But you feel really safe around him?” finished Susan for her. “I know what you mean, we both do, and you know what it means.”

“But that anger in his eyes – I don’t know what to feel. But I guess I feel – fortunate.” Both girls nodded their understanding. They both knew that it was hard to put into words. “When I was with him tonight, riding Prongs I mean – I felt so safe, so certain that nothing would happen to me. I guess it’s the same feeling now – having seen what he did when he thought that they had really hurt me. What he still wanted to do before Remus…” she trailed off, uncertain of how to continue.

“Don’t worry Lil’s – it’s understandable. But you’re lucky to have someone who loves you that much” replied Susan looking at Lily, a hand on her knee.

“We all are” prompted Amanda, pulling both girls into a tight hug.

“Can we interrupt?” came a sly voice from behind them. “I just feel all left out here” said Sirius.

“I do to Padfoot – I never get hugs like –“but before he could finish both boys were pulled down to the ground and brought into the girls hug. As the five pulled away and settled in next to each other, each facing the fire, Lily turned and looked at James. He looks so peaceful she thought to herself, so different to back in the forest – yet both faces I love.

Each awake member said goodnight to those around them and tucked themselves into their respective doona’s and sleeping bags. “Goodnight all” whispered Lily to the group, and then turning to face the fire, and consequently James she whispered even softer, “goodnight James – I love you!”

A/N: Ok - So I've finally shown some of the dark action that is going to take place. I hope you enjoyed this chapter - Please Review and let me know what you think of it!

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