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Chap 3 Sirius' Black Past.
The next morning, Lily woke early at the anticipation of new classes. She got ready quickly and grabbed her bag and headed out into the common room. To her surprise, James was already dressed and sitting on one of the armchairs, staring at an empty, cold fire place. He turned at the sound of her entering. Although he smiled at her, his face was pale and tired, as if he hadn't slept well in a few days.
"Good morning Lil, how'd you sleep?" he asked, smiling tiredly.
Lily was a little shocked to see him looking so tired. "I slept fine...but you don't look like you could say the same.''
James frowned a little. "Is it that obvious?" he asked.
"Yes." she said bluntly. "You're really pale and you've got dark circles-"
James laughed. "Thanks for making me feel so attractive."
Lily blushed slightly. "I didn't mean you looked ugly, I just-"
"Think I'm devastatingly handsome?" James cut in, grinning hopefully.
"Not quite." answered Lily coolly. "Well, I'm going down to breakfast, so I guess I'll see you later."
"Well, seeing as how I'm also heading down to breakfast, why don't we walk together?" he suggested.
"Okay then." answered Lily simply.
Again, James was taken aback by this new attitude of Lily's. If this were last year, she would have refused, point blank, to walk to breakfast with him, let alone share a bathroom with him. James allowed his seed of hope to grow a little larger as they walked to breakfast. On the way they met Sirius and Peter, who were also walking to breakfast together.
"Hey Prongs! Lil!" called Sirius from behind them.
James and Lily turned to wait for them to catch up.
"Good Morning Sirius, Peter." said Lily, smiling slightly at the contrast of Sirius' cheerful, energetic face, compared with Peter's grumpy, tired one.
"Morning Lil." said Sirius. Peter looked too tired to process the meaning of her words, so he just nodded. Sirius turned to James.
"Prongs, we missed you in the dormitory last night. It was so lonely..." proclaimed Sirius with a feigned pout on his face.
James just laughed. "Well, you can be sure I didn't miss you. My new bed is so much more comfortable. And there is a bathroom that I only have to share with Evans, not 4 self conscious nutters hogging the mirror." James boasted. "But without Peter's snores and your incessant talking, it was almost too quiet to sleep."
"Hold on a sec, you have to share a loo with Evans?" asked Sirius, eyebrows raised, as they reached the Great Hall. Even Peter looked up, expecting an interesting response.
"Yeah. It's not a big deal, really." said Lily, not at all looking uncomfortable. "It's such a big bathroom, I wouldn't mind sharing it with 10 other people."
Sirius looked dumbfounded. Peter just shook his head, not yet able to comprehend the meaning of Lily's words. When they sat down at the Gryffindor table, they were joined by Remus, Devon, and Jules. They began to help themselves to toast and coffee just as Professor McGonagall started handing out schedules.
"Thank Merlin this is the last one of these I'll ever recieve." Sirius said gleefully, as he was given his.
Everyone stopped eating for a moment to compare schedules. Lily had every class with the Marauders and her friends except Peter. Peter only had OWL's in Charms, Herbology and Divination, so Lily only saw him in Charms. They finished eating quickly. James, Sirius, Devon, Remus, Lily and Jules went to double Transfiguration, and Peter had a free period.
"See you," called Peter, his voice sounding forelorn as he headed back to the common room. Everyone called their goodbyes to Peter and headed to class, even though they were ten minutes early. They lined up outside the door, only to see the Slytherins approaching. Bellatrix Black and Severus Snape led a group of sinister looking Slytherins to join the line behind the Gryffindors. James and Sirius turned to watch them walk by, equal looks of disgust on their faces. Bellatrix and Severus glared at them as they walked by.
"Oh no..." groaned Lily. This was not going to be good.
"What was that, Mudblood?" snarled Bellatrix quietly, so only Lily could hear.
Lily felt her blood quicken at that word. "I wasn't talking to you, Bellatrix." she answered, not even bothering to turn around.
"How dare you use my first name, you Mudblood piece of rubbish!" spat Bellatrix, louder this time.
This time, all the Gryffindors turned around. James, Sirius and Remus were standing in front of Lily, wands out, before she had time to think of a response.
"What did you just call her?" asked Sirius, his voice shaking with rage.
"You heard her correctly, Black. She called her a Mudblood." said Snape, moving to stand beside Bellatrix, a sick smile on his face.
"If I ever hear you call Evans that again, in fact, if I ever hear you use that word again, I'll make sure you'll never speak at all." said James softly, an unfamiliar cold glint in his normally warm hazel eyes, as he glared furiously at the Slytherins.
"Potter, are you sticking up for the Mudblood?" asked Snape dangerously.
James lunged forward and pointed his wand directly at Snape's throat, even before Snape had his wand out. Bellatrix made to grab her wand but Remus pointed his wand straight at her chest, shaking his head slowly. Lily leapt forward to stop James. Devon tried to restrain her by grabbing her sleeve but she shook her off. Lily moved next to James and put her hand on his shoulder.
"James Potter, lower your wand." she commanded.
"Get away, Evans." breathed James, as if fighting hard to keep control. "Snivellus is finally going to get what he deserves."
"This disgusting bit of slime they call Sninvellus isn't even worth the breath." snarled Lily, her voice brimming with loathing.
Bellatrix laughed. It sounded like an angry snake, ready to strike. "I wouldn't talk, Mudblood." she hissed.
"Shut up, Bellatrix!" bellowed Sirius. His face was as pale as snow and he was panting slightly. He looked a bit mad.
Bellatrix turned to face Sirius, regarding him with the utmost contempt. "Well, well, well. If it isn't the Black who went good. Or bad, I should say, considering who you call your friends these days." she spat, narrowing her eyes. "Won't mummy and daddy be proud to know you're dueling with your own family over a stupid little Mudblood?"
Sirius' entire body was shaking with rage now, and his eyes bulged. He was breathing shallow, quick breaths.
"Wait, didn't I forget something?" asked Bellatrix, with mock concern. "Oh yes! You're no longer living with them. How happy they must be, only having one son! To no longer have to see you traitrous, cowardly, weak face in their house ever again is a blessing for them."
Sirius snapped. He pointed is wand at Bellatrix. He didn't even have to say anything before Bellatrix was thrown against the wall with a loud crack. Her head collided with the stone with a sickening thud. She sank to the ground in a heap of crumpled black robes. The Slytherin standing closest to her bent to down to check on her. She roused within seconds. Leaning heavily on her friend, she stood up. She was smiling insanely, a trickle of blood was rolling down her temple, onto her cheek.
"Come on Sirius, was that the best you could do?" she goaded softly, trying to stand on her own. "Why don't you try a more painful jinx? Or how about a curse? Yes, a curse would do nicely. After all, you're playing with the big boys now."
Sirius didn't move, he looked frozen on the spot, unable to stop staring at Bellatrix.
"Don't listen to her Sirius." said Remus quietly. "She just wants to get you in trouble."
Bellatrix just laughed. "Come on, Black. I bet you don't have the guts." she sneered.
Sirius was hypnotized by her taunts. He raised his wand again, just as the classroom door swung open to admit the students. Jules rushed forward and grabbed Sirius' arm and began to pull him into the class room. Remus and James both lowered their wands, and turned to follow Sirius. Lily glanced at Bellatrix, who was smiling triumphantly, wiping the blood off her face. Dev was staring, transfixed, at Bellatrix with a violently dangerous look in her eye. Lily grabbed Dev by the robes and dragged her into the classroom. As soon as Lily took her seat, she thought to herself 'This is going to be a long year.' She had no idea how true that statement would turn out to be.
***
Sirius didn't speak much for the rest of the day. That night was first night Lily and James had to patrol the corridors. They walked in silence for a while before Lily decided to speak.
"James, why was Sirius so upset with Bellatrix today? I mean, I know she said some pretty horrible things, but she says horrible things to everyone all the time."
James frowned for a moment, deep in thought. "Lil, Sirius lives with me now, you knew that?"
Lily nodded.
"Do you know why?" James asked, still frowning.
Lily opened her mouth to say yes, but she stopped. She realized that she didn't know why, at least not the real reason. All she was told was Sirius lived with James because he didn't get along with his own parents. But after seeing Sirius reacting to Bellatrix's taunts, she knew there had to be a more serious reason. "No." she said quietly.
"In our First Year, when Sirius was sorted into Gryffindor," began James, "His parents went beserk. To them, it was an outrage that a son of one of the most esteemed and dark wizarding families should be in Gryffindor, where he would have to be with muggle-borns. They wrote Dumbledore hundreds of letters telling him to switch Sirius into Slytherin, where he belonged. Dumbledore obviously refused. Mr and Mrs Black, from then on, made Sirius' home life hell. He used to dread going home for the summer. Remus, Peter, and I would try to have him stay with us as often as possible, but the Blacks rarely allowed it because our families didn't get along, but when they did allow him to come, it wasn't enough.
"Then, in our third year, when Regulus came to Hogwarts, he got sorted into Slytherin. That is when things started to get really bad for Sirius. His parents would write to him at Christmas and tell him to stay at Hogwarts, because only Slytherins were welcome at home. Sirius would, of course come to my house. He pretended he didn't care that he didn't go home, but imagine your parents telling you you weren't allowed home for Christmas because you weren't good enough for them. I used to feel horribly guilty when he came over because I had a family who loved me, and Sirius didn't."
James paused. He stopped walking and stared grimly at the wall, remembering. He shook his head and started to walk again.
"Eventually, Sirius began to realize that his family would never accept him, and he stopped caring as much about them. He would ask to stay with me during Christmases without having to recieve a letter from his parents, but he still went home for some portion of the summer holidays. So, this past summer, when term ended, Sirius went home with Regulus to their house in London. The Blacks let him stay, reluctantly, to keep an eye on him, to see if they could somehow undo the 6 years of Gryffindor, and try to make him a true Slytherin, a true Black. Sirius fought them constantly. He fought their pure-blood ideas, their circle of friends, and most of all, their support of Lord Voldemort."
James paused again, letting the words sink in. Lily had heard of the Lord Voldemort, but only in whispers. People did not like to talk about him at all. They were beginning to refer to him as 'You-Know-Who', and 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named'. She knew that he was a dark, terrible wizard whose hunger for power was only second to his ruthlessness. Wizards and witches who believed in the superiority of pure-bloods had started to agree with his ideas and actions. He had gathered quite a following in the last year or so, and he was steadily and quickly gaining power. He had already begun to attacking Muggle-borns, Muggles, Aurors, and anything that stood in his way. But there had only been one killing. Jules used to have an older brother, Jacob, who was an auror, but he was killed about a year ago by Lord Voldemort's followers.
"Well, Sirius' parents told him that Regulus had joined ranks with Voldemort's followers, called the Death Eaters. They told him it was either join, or get out and be disowned. Sirius left his family's home within 10 minutes of hearing this, and hasn't gone back."
Lily stopped walking. James also stopped, and turned to face her.
"I never knew it was that bad..." she trailed off. "James, that is such a wonderful thing you have done. Having Sirius live with you, I never knew his family was so horrible."
"What, did you think I'd just let him become a bum, living on the street?" James asked, surprised. "Of course he would come to live with me. He practically did already. And it's not like my parents don't have the room. And he is well protected from Lord Voldemort at my house. He would be in much greater danger living on his own. Lord Voldemort doesn't like blood-traitors."

Lily shook her head, and sighed angrily. All because of Lord Voldemort she thought,

James, noticing her anger, frowned slightly. "Lil, what's wrong?" he asked, concerned.
"It's just...Voldemort!" she spat bitterly. "Do you remember last year, around the end of November, when Jules' brother, Jacob, died?"
James nodded, remebering the awful incident that had left Jules lost and helpless for many weeks.
"We told you that he was killed on the job, in an accident, but he was really fighting Death Eaters. He was killed by a man named Avery, who is only about two years older than us."
James stopped walking again, and turned to face Lily. His expression was a mixture of shock and horror. "What?" he asked faintly.
"I know James. But Dumbledore made us swear that we wouldn't tell the truth. it could have gotten someone killed if another Death Eater found out we were spreading rumors about one of their own."
"Who else knows?" James asked, his face clouded with anger.
"Jules, Dev, me and Sirius." answered Lily.
"Sirius knew!?" cried James. "And he didn't tell me?"
"Sirius only knew because he was good friends with Jacob! They had known each other almost their whole lives! And we had to swear, James. Do you know the agony Jules went through, having to tell her everyone her brother died in a foolish accident when he really died bravely, dueling a Death Eater? It was so horrible for all of us, you can't even imagine."
Lily stopped, breathing hard. Just reliving those painful memories was hard enough, and now James was angry with her?
"I'm sorry Lily. I didn't mean to yell at you, I was just shocked. I still can't believe it... killed... Once this gets out, there is going to be a war. No wonder Dumbledore and the Ministry have kept it quiet."
"Thats why you cannot tell anyone at all. Not even Remus or Peter." said Lily sternly.
"No. I won't ever tell a soul. You and Jules have my word." replied James solemnly
Lily smiled at James loyalty. They continued the rest of their patrol in silence. When they arrived at the portrait-hole door, James seemed to be in a better mood. He cleared his throat loudly. The old man woke up with a start. "Password?" he asked groggily.
James looked Lily, smiling expectantly. Lily shook her head. "I'm not going to say the password, Potter."
"Why not?" asked James, is smile becoming increasinlgy more infuriating. "Don't want to admit the truth?"
"It's more like I'm not a good liar." She replied coolly.
James' smile faded slightly, his bright hazel eyes losing their mischevious gleam. "I love Prongs." he mumbled halfheartedly. The portrait swung open to admit them. Lily sped up the stairs and reached her room before James even reached the top step. She was inwardly cursing herself for being so rude to James. She knew he was only joking, so why did she have to be so nasty?
You've got to stop being so stubborn! she told herself later, as she brushed her teeth. Just then, James walked in, wrapped in a towel, preparing for a shower. he caught sight of Lily, and smiled.
"Alright there, Evans?" he asked cheerfully, completely unabashed at the fact that he was half naked. He was smiling, so apparantly he forgot about the moment of nastiness at the portrait hole. Lily, on the other hand, was blushing furiously. She turned around to face him, still brushing her teeth, trying to act nonchalant. She couldn't help but notice his tanned, Quidditch-toned arms and shoulders. He had taken his glasses off, allowing her to see his hazel eyes more clearly, and his hair was messier than ever. In her mind, she sighed. If only...- If only WHAT?! she asked herself angrily, pushing that... thought farthest from her mind as possible. Only then, did she realize that she was still staring at James, who was looking very uncomfortable.
"What?'' he asked, self conciously running his hands through his hair.
"Oh, er- nothing, I was just spacing out..." she quickly lied.
"Oh," he said, not sounding convinced. He walked over to the shower, waiting for Lily to finish. He was staring at her back as she rinsed her mouth. Her long auburn hair was pulled into a sloppy bun at the top of her head, and she was wearing plaid pajama bottoms that looked like they were made for men, and a tank top. She stood up and turned around. She seemed to have forgotten he was there, for she looked quite startled to see him there.
"Oh, sorry James. I forgot you were here." she apologized, blushing.
James just grinned and shrugged.
"Well, I 'll- I'll just be going then." she said, smiling slightly. She turned and walked out the door into her bedroom. James smiled to himself. I should walk around in a towel more often. he thought to himself.
After his shower, James put on his flannel pajama bottoms and walked into the common room to gather all his homework that was strewn around the common room. Just as he was stuffing Standard Book of Spells Grade 7 into his bag, Lily walked into the common room with her bag open. She began to collect her belongings as well. They continued this in awkward silene for a while before Lily spoke up.
"So, what classes do we have tomorrow?" she asked, even though she already had her schedule memorized.
"Er- I think we have Potions and Charms." James said, plopping down in an armchair.
"My two favorite classes." said Lily sincerely, taking the other chair.
James just grunted. His hair was still wet from the shower, and it was sticking up at odd angles. He reached up to try to smooth in down when he noticed Lily was staring at him.
"Why do you keep staring at me?" he asked, amused.
Lily's eyes widened with shock and anger. "Excuse me! I do not keep staring at you! I tend to get spacey when I'm tired, and you keep happening to be in my line of... staring." She said lamely.
"You also tend to get cranky whe you're tired." muttered James.
"What was that?" asked Lily, her eyes flashing dangerously.
"I said...uhh- maybe you should go to bed if you're tired." James invented.
"Maybe I will..." She trailed off. But she didn't move, she just continued to gaze at the fire. James turned to stare openly at her, but she didn't seem to notice. The orange fire was reflecting off her green eyes, giving them an ethreal glow. A stray lock of hair fell across her cheek that James longed to tuck behind her ear. He found himself beginning to reach over to her, when she snapped out of her trance. She caught James mid-reach, which he quickly turned into a stretch.
"Well, I'm going to bed. I'll see you later." she stood up and padded softly back to her bedroom. James sighed and unconciously ran his hand through his hair. He stood up too, and walked into his bedroom, silently cursing the day he met Lily Evans.

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