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“You WHAT?!?” Remus roared.
“I’m really really really sorry Moony! But I didn’t have any other choice! He threatened Mr. Teddykins!” Sirius cried.
“I knew I shouldn’t have told you! I can’t believe you! What am I supposed to do now?” groaned Remus.
Snatching his bag off the chair, he quickly made his way to the portrait hole. “Where’re you going Moony?” asked Sirius.
“To the library.” He answered coolly.
“C’mon! Stay here and we’ll explain everything to James. Don’t leave me here alone with Wormtail!” Sirius begged.
“Hey!” Peter whimpered, on the verge of tears.
Sirius shot him a look. “I’ll explain later.” He hissed. “Just stay here Moony!” he said aloud.
Remus spun around quickly. “You know damn well I can’t stay here! I know James is on a rampage. He’s probably searching all over the grounds for me, so he can murder me and bury my body in the walls. You remember what he did to that Ravenclaw last year when he was about to ask Lily about a Charms assignment? And don’t forget what he did to Amos Diggory when he got to be partners with Lily in Defense Against the Dark Arts in our third year. I’ll bet as we speak James in out behind the greenhouses bullying some first year into saying if he’s seen me.” He said with a very false, sarcastic laugh.
But James was doing no such thing. In fact, his actions were quite the opposite. As opposed to being homicidal, James was feeling deeply hurt and depressed. He felt that his best friend had stabbed him in the back, but at the same time, he figured Remus and Lily deserved each other. I mean, after all, he thought, they’re both real bookworms, and they’re prefects together. It’s no wonder she would prefer him over me.
He sat up from his seat, and looked sadly at his surroundings. Often when James was extremely depressed like this, he found refuge away from the crowds of people trying to cheer him up. In his second year he had found a very peculiar room that seemed to appear always when he needed it most, and was always stocked with his favorite things. He never told anybody else about his special room. He just continued to visit it when he felt the need. It was comforting to just sit there and think about things, without having to worry about being interrupted. It was the first place James had gone to when Sirius had told him the night before, and he had woken up early that morning to be there before Remus got up.
He slowly stood up. Yes, the only thing he could do as Remus’ friend would be to give him a chance with Lily. And besides, all James really wanted was for Lily to be happy. Remus could make her happy, James was sure of it. Look on the bright side! He told himself. Now you don’t have to worry about him hurting her. Remus is too gentle for that.
Although he still felt terrible, James forced himself to leave his special spot. He would go straight away to the common room and talk to Remus. However, when he got there, Remus was nowhere to be found.
“Where’s Moony?” he asked Sirius curiously.
Sirius’ eyes widened. “I promised myself I wouldn’t tell you. I don’t want Moony to die Prongs! Please don’t kill him!” Sirius pled.
James gave him a sad smile. “I’m not going to kill him Padfoot.”
“You swear?” Sirius asked skeptically.
Nodding, James held up his right hand. “I swear on Teddykins’ grave.”
Sirius crossed his arms. “That’s Mr. Teddykins to you James Potter!” He scolded. “He’s in the library.” Sirius added as an afterthought.
Without as much as a thanks to Sirius, James dashed out of the common room and sprinted all the way to the library.
When Remus saw him, he hastily tried to cover his face with an open book and hide behind a bookshelf.
James caught up with him and tried to push the book out of his face, causing Remus to toss the book with a start and begin backing away towards the wall. “Now look James, if you kill me here, Madam Pince is going to throw a fit. So maybe we should just forget the whole thing until another time.” Remus said shakily.
“I’m not going to kill you.” James said, shaking his head. “I came here to tell you that I think you and Lily would be really great together.”
Remus looked at him curiously. “Are you serious? But…you’ve liked her forever! You aren’t just going to give up that easily, are you?”
“I’m not giving up!” James protested. “I’m just taking a break. I’m giving another guy a chance, that’s all.” He shrugged. “And if it doesn’t work out between you, well then, I guess I’ll get a second chance!” James clapped Remus on the shoulder and gave him a gentle shake. “I know you’ll be good to her, Remus. That’s all I really care about.”
“Thanks James.” Remus said quietly. “How do I ask her out though?” he asked shyly.
James grinned. “You’re asking the right guy, Moony. Do it now before I have that lesson with her this afternoon. Just go up to her. Don’t try to act real smooth. If anything, be a little reserved about it. Act a little shy. It shows that you aren’t just trying to get a quick date. Girls appreciate that. Good luck.”
Remus gave him another thankful smile and left the library. James looked after him longingly. How much he would pay to trade lives with him at that moment.
At three o’clock sharp, James entered the Transfiguration classroom. To no surprise, Lily was already there, although she seemed to be a little distracted by something. “Er…” James said to announce his presence.
Lily jumped. “Oh, er, hi.”
The lesson couldn’t have gone better. Lily and James spoke to each other calmly and politely, as though they were two people who barely knew each other. James suppressed the urge to ask Lily if Remus had asked her out, until finally, when they were packing up, it burst out of him.
Lily blushed. “Oh yeah, he asked me before I came here.”
“And what did you say?” James asked apprehensively.
“Oh, er, I said no.” she said, turning around to walk out the door.
James leapt up and cut in front of her. “What do you mean you said no? Why?” he asked forcefully.
“Because, well, I like Remus as a person, and a friend even, but, well, I kind of had my heart set on going to Hogsmeade with somebody else.” She said shyly.
“Who?” James demanded. He needed to find out who this person was, not only for himself, but now for Remus too.
Lily just rolled her eyes, and pushed him out of the way. “Like I’d tell you.” She laughed.
But James could’ve sworn that he saw her wink.
“PADFOOT! Here. Now. Please. Help!” James cried, nearly hyperventilating when he made his way through the common room. He made a beeline for their dormitory, and, being the loyal friend he was, Sirius followed.
“What’s up?” he asked, closing the door to the dorm behind them.
“I swear she just winked at me.” James said distractedly.
“C’mon Prongs. Not this again. Look, I thought last time we determined the difference between winking and blinking!” Sirius sighed in exasperation.
“No! I know that Padfoot! I’m serious! It was winking! One eye, Paddy. One eye!”
Remus took this moment to join them. “Hey!” he said. “What’s going on?”
James looked at him sympathetically. “Hey Moony! I heard about what happened! I’m sorry.”
“Nah, that’s okay. It’s no big deal. Madam Pomfrey wouldn’t be happy if I started dating anyway. She’d go straight to Dumbledore. I wouldn’t blame her anyway. With my furry little problem, I really shouldn’t be getting to close to anyone anyway.” He replied gravely.
James gave Sirius an uncomfortable look. They both acknowledge the truth of this statement, but neither had the heart to agree with him.
“Don’t worry about it though, I’ll be fine!” Remus said smiling, though his eyes told a different story. That’s the way Remus’ life would probably always be, haunted with the fear of getting close enough to kill someone during his transformations. Remus wouldn’t be able to live if he had something like that on his conscience. “That reminds me, there’s something she said that almost made me have a heart attack. She says she fancies somebody else!” he said excitedly.
“Yeah, I heard her say something like that too.” James nodded. “I want to know who!”
Little did he realize, James knew the person that struck Lily’s fancy a little better than he thought…
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