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A/N: Yes, yes, I know I’ve been horrible at updating, but I’m sorry! I graduated and moved and it’s just been hectic. (Hasn’t helped that this chapter’s been a pest...*glares particularly at Sirius*) Anyways, here you go! Enjoy!

Title inspired by My Chemical Romance. ;-) I thought it fit even if Remus doesn’t make an actual appearance in this chapter...







There was a bad feeling in Sirius’ gut as he cautiously stepped into the classroom that he and James were assigned to for detention. His gut dropped as he saw James in a somewhat forced looking conversation with Lily, both waiting for him to show up. Neither party looked too comfortable. Lily had told Sirius that James had been pretty much ignoring her as of late as well. But he was speaking to her now, though Sirius didn’t miss the hurt look on James’ face as the two spoke.

His silver eyes darted to Lily first; she looked up from her conversation with James and gave him a warm smile. For the first time he could recall, that beautiful smile of hers offered him no comfort...in fact, it made him feel guilty. She trusted him.

“You’re late,” she said, her smile not fading. “Not going to have to give you another detention am I?”

Unsurprisingly, James didn’t turn around; he didn’t even acknowledge that Lily had engaged someone else in a conversation. He didn’t speak, though, and his face hardened a bit. Sirius’ felt his gut twist, but another look at Lily, and he knew he wasn’t brave enough to tell James with her in the room. James, Sirius often felt, was already a lost cause, no matter how much Lily assured him that James was going to forgive him eventually. But Lily…Sirius didn’t know what he would do if she too left him.

“Sorry,” he said, not using a witty response like he normally would have. He saw Lily give him an odd look at his unusual answer. “Regulus decided to be a pest…”

He internally grimaced for the lie.

“Ah,” she said, with an understanding nod. “Very well, have a seat,” she motioned to the desk next to James, and Sirius took a hesitant seat where instructed. “Tonight the two of you are to get rid of the doxies in these curtains,” Lily said, pointing up to the tall deep purple, velvet cloth that draped windows looking over the grounds. Sirius’ eyes ventured to the moon that wasn’t quite yet visible over the forest, and then to the Whomping Willow that swayed lightly in the wind. He saw no figure on the grounds, and a mild hope that Snape wouldn’t listen to him filled his chest.

“I’ll be back in about an hour to check on your progress,” Lily continued, bringing Sirius back to his detention. She handed them buckets, gloves and doxy spray. “Wands,” she said, holding out her hands, giving them both pointed looks. Sirius reluctantly reached into his pocket and gave her his wand, knowing that James was probably going to want his back in the near future. “I’ll see you in an hour.”

Sirius watched her leave, the sinking feeling in his gut growing stronger. James had already started on one of his curtains, and Sirius cast him a side long glance.

“You’ve done something,” James noted, never looking over at Sirius. “Regulus hasn’t spoken to you at all today,” Sirius didn’t answer, somewhat shocked that James was talking to him, and mostly feeling his gut tug uncomfortably. “What did you do?”

It wasn’t a pleasant feeling at all, this guilt, Sirius decided. His pride insisted that Snape would deserve every bit of what he was headed for. A damn good scare, because surely Snape wouldn’t be stupid enough to keep going once he heard the werewolf’s call...surely. Sirius glanced back out. The full moon hung low over the forest now, Moony was out to play by this time, Sirius knew. His eyes darted down to the grounds, and he felt his chest clench up as a tiny figure was making its way, slowly but surely to the Whomping Willow. And it defiantly was too tall and thin to be Peter.

“...Moony’s going to have a visitor tonight,” Sirius said, his voice cracking slightly. He saw James go rigid as his eyes fell to the figure on the grounds. “You know...really, he won’t be stupid enough to go all the way...just a good scare...really.”

“Snape,” James snarled, his eyes quickly moving from the grounds to Sirius. The fire that was suddenly burning in those hazel eyes made Sirius’ chest swell with a fear that he normally associated with his father. “You told Snape how to get to Remus?!”

“James I—”

“FUCK, BLACK! HOW MUCH CAN YOU SCREW UP?!”

“James—” his voice was getting terribly weak sounding.

“Get Dumbledore,” James said, his voice cold, slicing through Sirius with the painful thought that James was about to go after Snape...James surely wasn’t that stupid, and Sirius was about to open his mouth and voice this thought when James stopped him quite quickly. “GO DAMN IT!”




Sirius had been late for their shared detention, and James could tell by the quivering note in his voice and the lack of an angry look on his face that Sirius was lying to Lily when he mentioned Regulus. Not only was he lying to Lily, but Sirius wasn’t looking like he was staying for a detention. In fact, he was looking quite peaky, and while James was still harboring the hope that Sirius was going to laugh it off and tell him the whole thing with Lily was a clever joke, that he would never lie to James about anything, most importantly not a girl, and that he would never sleep with said girl, James knew it wasn’t going to happen.

He knew it so well, in fact, that he had, for the most part, stopped talking to Lily recently in addition to Sirius, save for the light conversation he held with her while they awaited Sirius. Not because he was mad at her, well he was mad at her, but not as mad as he was with Sirius. Part of him, a strong part wanted to lash out at her, hurt her with such a stunned disbelief as he had. Part of him stung, hadn’t they become friends? Over the course of fighting Death Eaters and teasing each other over things like James’ hair to Lily’s lack of a chest to their inability to do anything but laugh at the other one. He had thought, even hoped to dare that Lily felt something for him, that she was sending him positive signals, that they were actually getting somewhere, and then…she had lied to him. She had picked Sirius over him. It stung, though he didn’t show her as much as he could have. While initially he was convinced that he couldn’t be angry with Lily, he quickly found that he could be angry with her. She had led him to believe that they were well enough along that she could have told him about her boyfriend. So technically she had told him that she had a boyfriend, she only did it to save Sirius’ hide…which probably classified her properly as Sirius’ girlfriend. That’s what she was supposed to do; hell, once upon a time it had been James doing idiotic things to protect Sirius.

There was a conflict in him now, the commanders of either side of the army that made up his mind and his heart were preparing themselves for a battle: to forgive Sirius or not. How could he really blame Sirius? Honestly? There had to be lies every once in a while. James had once lied to Sirius when he’d started dating Sirius’ ex-girlfriend, Angela, hadn’t he? Then again, Sirius had never really liked Angela and she only lasted about a week. Certainly not three months, and she defiantly didn’t mean much to Sirius. She didn’t drive him crazy with her ability to look at him and communicate that she was simultaneously angry with him and amused by him. She didn’t give Sirius chills by that half-smile and those emerald eyes that held so much emotion and defiance and innocence all at once. James didn’t know what to do anymore. Sirius was, and always would be his best friend, and friends stuck together no matter what. Remus was right, much as James didn’t like to think it. Lily was just a girl, and even though Sirius lied, even though he let himself be blackmailed…James would have done the same had their places been reversed. Sirius was his friend, and James loved him, he wouldn’t have been hurt so badly if he didn’t.

James’ full intention was to apologize for acting like a git to Sirius, to make up with him, to be the ringleaders of the Marauders again, and to lead the school into mass chaos once more. His intent, unfortunately, quickly changed as Sirius spoke first. His peaky face looked half shocked, half amused, but mostly scared.

And then, then, Sirius had pointed out what information he had given to Snape and all thoughts of forgiveness for the Black was thrown out of James’ mind.

“SIRIUS, GO!” he yelled a second time.

Sirius didn’t hesitate again, and James ran out, going the opposite way. He ran faster than his legs had ever carried him. Sirius’ eyes had told him all he needed to know, just as they always did. He didn’t know the details, but he knew who had told Snape how to get to Remus, and he had a sneaking suspicion of the reasons behind it. For telling James about the secretive couple in the first place was one, and of course misplaced anger was another. James had seen Sirius pacing with irritation the past few days as James had adopted the policy of completely ignoring his former best mate instead of insulting him or being just mean to him. But, as most things with Sirius were, it was impulsiveness, and probably a sense of heroism. He was defending Lily in a way that he hadn’t been able to when Belby had disrupted James and Sirius from beating Snape to a pulp.

James threw open the doors leading out on the grounds. He could see a figure in the distance, just against the shadows of the Forbidden Forest. He watched with horror as the Whomping Willow froze as the figure prodded the base with a stick. Sirius had told Snape everything. James’ speed increased tenfold as his adrenaline kicked in.

“SNAPE! STOP!” he warned at the top of his lungs. Snape either didn’t hear him, or didn’t listen to him, for his figure disappeared under the tree. James cursed under his breath, arriving to the tree barely a minute after Snape had. He found the same branch that Snape had used, and prodded the base as well, following after. His heart pounded in his chest as his feet made contact with the dirt tunnel. “Lumos.

His wand light was jerky, and ahead, Snape’s was too. James cursed again, Snape knew he was there, and was running from him.

“SNAPE! IT’S DANGEROUS THAT WAY, STOP!”

A wicked howl resounded in the tunnel, and James saw Snape’s wandlight freeze, if only for a moment. He seemed to decide that James was playing yet another trick on him, and started running again. But Snape was neither as fast, nor as fit as James, and as the howls got louder, James finally caught up to Snape. He could see the stairway leading up to the shack ahead of him, and knew that Moony could smell the humans in the tunnel. From experience James knew there were ways out of that door, he just hoped that the werewolf had a brand new memory each month. There were deep growls now, and when the door shuttered under the heavy weight of a body colliding with it, James knew Snape was aware that this wasn’t a trick anymore.

“We’ve got to go now, Snape,” James hissed, grabbing the other boy’s arm. He didn’t stop to think, he couldn’t stop, if he stopped he would panic, and if he panicked…it just wasn’t a good situation. He pulled Snape around and pushed the Slytherin in front of him, both running as quickly as they could to get out of the tunnel. There was no slow pace, James wasn’t willing to risk a slow pace if Moony could remember how to get out of the Shack without his other furry friends. Snape’s breathing was becoming ragged and his run was slowing. James refused to carry the other boy. “Keep running, you bastard!”

Snape swore, but did as instructed. The end of the tunnel was in sight, James could see the light of the moon shining down through the entrance. Snape got there first, and fumbled trying to climb out of it. James shoved him up and forward, forgetting about the swinging branches of the tree as he climbed out after the Slytherin. His side was instantly met with a strong blow, and he had lost sight of Snape. He howled in pain as another branch hit him on the other side, and tossing him into the air. He was caught by a branch to his legs, and grabbed onto a thicker brach, trying desperately to find a way out. He didn’t look long because the tree, after two more shots, one at his head and a third at his torso, sent him out onto the cold ground.

James lay face down in the grass for a few moments, his breathing was rapid, but more painful than any breathing he’d done before. His heart still pumped wildly, and blood rolled down his face from the cut on his head. He groaned lightly, blinking the blood out of his eyes as he rolled over on his side. He couldn’t tell if the world was blurry because his glasses were gone, or if it would have been blurry regardless.

A thump and a groan told James that Snape had landed beside him, and it wasn’t long after that the cursing began. It was jumbled at first, but James quickly found that he could comprehend the tones emitting from Snape’s mouth, and while most of them were wishing Sirius a long and painful death, some of them were directed at Remus, and even others at James.

Pulling himself up into a sitting position, in more pain than he could ever recall being in, James let out a muffled growl of pain and held a hand to his bleding side, flinching as he did so. From the corner of his blurred vision, he could see Snape in a similar situation.

“James!” a deep voice rumbled from behind him. James and Snape both turned sharply, and James groaned as his head throbbed painfully in response. A long white beard and deep purple robes were what James could make out on the figure in front of him. “Severus.”

Dumbledore’s voice sounded both concerned and relieved. James felt himself being pulled up with both gentleness and surprising strength. He winced as his chest moved and his ribs groaned underneath the sudden movement. The muscles in his legs pounded fiercely and his foot twinged painfully.

“Let’s get you boys inside.”




Sirius shifted nervously in the Entrance Hall as Dumbledore brought Snape and James back into the castle. He could never describe the sudden look of fear and disappointment that had filled the Headmaster’s eyes as Sirius informed him that two Hogwarts students were headed for their resident werewolf. Sirius had no idea how the ancient man could move so quickly, but move he had, getting Snape and James back as both emerged from the Willow.

He felt his chest twist as his eyes caught sight of James’ bleeding brow and limping walk.

“Mr. Black, if you’ll escort James to the Hospital Wing, tell Madam Pomfrey that Severus will be along shortly,” Dumbledore said. Sirius nodded absently, feeling lost at the sudden look of absolute loathing that James shot him. From the corner of his eye he saw Snape shooting him a similar look, but before he could compare the glares properly, Dumbledore had taken Snape up the stairs towards his office. He looked back over at James, who wasn’t looking at him now, but rather pushing himself along the wall in the direction of the Hospital Wing.

“James...”

“Don’t,” he grit out, his teeth barred. Sirius recoiled. “Just don’t.”

“James?” a new voice, startled and worried spoke in the Entrance Hall. The two boys both looked up to see Lily clutching a hand to her chest and her face contorted into one of deep concern as she rushed up to James and put a soft hand on his cheek, tilting his face to look at her so she could observe him properly. “Merlin...what happened?”

James remained silent, his hazel eyes snapping up to Sirius, and Lily’s weren’t far behind. Sirius’ face burned with a sudden feeling of shame.

“I—” he trailed off. He looked at Lily, her emerald eyes confused and concerned. A quick cry in the distance of Severus Snape rang through the otherwise silent halls. He saw a light go off in Lily’s eyes, and a sudden look of suspicion filled them.

“Please tell me you didn’t,” she said, her voice a low and almost deadly whisper.

So he didn’t. He felt his world slowly cave in around him as the silence grew between the three students in the hall. And he remained in the hall...long after Lily had taken James to the Hospital Wing. He’d lost the Marauders. That he knew, but it was many hours into the night as he sat alone in the Entrance Hall before he realized he was going to lose her too.

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