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Chapter Fourteen

Repairing Friendships


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[Lily’s POV]

While Kathryn went off to find Sirius, I scanned the castle for Remus and Peter. I had to admit that I was shocked beyond belief when I discovered the real reason why the Marauders were no longer friends. There was a little part of me that honestly believed Sirius deserved his alienation from his friends because of what he had done. But the other half of me knew Sirius Black to a certain degree. He may be a childish boy who would never learn what the words ‘grow up’ meant, but he wasn’t bad at heart, and he certainly wouldn’t have purposefully tried to get someone killed, even if that person was Severus.

It had been well over three months since the whole issue rose, and at the rate things were going, it didn’t seem as if the Marauders were any close to getting back together. And no matter how annoyed I was at them, it was still painful to watch years of friendship disappear because of one accident.

So after roughly half an hour of pondering over the situation, I decided that I was going to do something about it. The plan I had concocted wasn’t the most brilliant one out there, but at least it would do more good than bad. The only potential problem was the fact that Kathryn had to get Sirius into that classroom before I brought Remus and Peter there.

It was during times like these that I was happy that Remus was a studious person. If Remus was at the library, then Peter was guaranteed to be there as well. And that was where I found them, sitting near the back, heads bent over books. Or at least, Remus was concentrating. Peter seemed rather frustrated and was scribbling down random notes every few seconds. I had a feeling that Remus would be the one organizing those notes for him later.

They both looked up when I approached. Peter looked mildly irritated that I had disrupted his studies, but Remus gave me an easy smile. Ever since I had found out about his secret and had told him that it didn’t bother me, he seemed more open and smiled more readily.

“Lily, what a pleasant surprise.” Remus gestured towards the chairs across from where he was sitting. “Have you come to join us?”

“Not really.” At his confused look, I seated myself and leaned forward on the table. “I need the both of you to come with me right now.”

Peter finally broke away from his note taking. “Why? I still have a whole essay to finish and I’m not really understanding this theory on potion mixtures.”

I waved his concern aside. “Leave it for now. Remus and I’ll help you out later. I’m in a bit of a hurry here.”

Remus’s brows furrowed. “Did something happen?”

“No, no.” I was fidgeting in my seat now and I glanced at my watch every so often. Kathryn had promised that she’d get Sirius into that room in thirty minutes, and by now, I only had around fifteen left. “It’s not something serious,” I said, and then nearly snorted at the unintentional pun. “I just want to show you something.”

“Can’t you show us later?” Peter asked irritably. “I really want to do well and show Slughorn that I can actually…”

I was this close to physically tearing that parchment out of his grasp. Of all the times that Peter had to get serious about his schoolwork, it had to be now. I gritted my teeth to keep myself from saying anything nasty, and thankfully, Remus seemed to have caught onto the urgency of the situation. He gently closed his book and tucked it into his bag.

“All right, Lily. Let’s see what you’re so eager about.”

Peter’s mouth opened. “But I’m not…”

“We’ll do it later,” Remus interrupted. “We still have all night and the essay’s due the day after tomorrow anyway.”

I mentally gave Remus multiple props of thanks when Peter begrudgingly tucked his notes into the book and slipped it into his bag as well. I jumped out of my seat and impatiently waited for them to tuck theirs in.

Peter blinked at my fidgeting. “Do you need to go to the bathroom first?”

“No. Let’s go.” I headed out the library, turning back briefly to see that they were following me, and then walked down the corridor in a rather fast pace. Remus and Peter seemed slightly bewildered that I was in such a hurry, but to their credit, they kept up with my quick strides.

It wasn’t before long till we were up another floor and in front of the door that Kathryn and Sirius were supposed to be behind. Remus and Peter came up to me a second later and peered at the door, and then at me.

Remus was the first to speak. “Now don’t get me wrong or anything,” he began, sounding very incredulous, “but did you hurry us just so you could show us a door?”

It took me a moment to register the question, and when I did, I scowled. “Of course not. Just give me a moment.” And before either of them got the chance to ask anymore questions, I opened the door just wide enough so I could slip in and closed it swiftly behind me.

Two pairs of eyes stared at me, one in shock and the other in feigned surprised. I leaned against the door so there was little chance that either Remus or Peter could barge in.

I widened my eyes and attempted to sound surprised. “What are the two of you doing in here?”

Sirius, who was sitting on top of a desk, gave a one-shoulder shrug. “That’s what I’d like to know too.” He shot a suspicious glance towards Kathryn, who managed to look innocent and amused at the same time.

“I was just about to ask him about…”

“The Potions assignment!” Sirius cut in hurriedly.

I nodded to show that I believed him, even though the Potions assignment that he was referring to had been turned in earlier today. Deciding to let Kathryn proceed with our plan, I smiled and gestured towards them.

“Sure, go ahead. Sorry to bother you.”

Sirius lifted an eyebrow. “What were you planning to do in an empty classroom?” The tone of his voice insinuated something that I didn’t bother to explore further.

“I was going to tutor a Third Year here, but I’ll go find some other place since you guys are busy.” I gave a little wave. “Have fun!” And then I scurried out the room and slammed the door behind me so quickly that I nearly bumped into Remus. He took a step back to avoid a collision and stared at me with a rather bemused expression.

Peter frowned. “What was that all about?”

I grinned and gestured for both of them to keep quiet. Flattening myself against the door and pressing my ear as close as I could to it, I attempted to listen in on any sound that was within the room. There was a faint scuffle and then an outburst of some sort before all the sound was suddenly muted. I smiled and recognized a silencing spell.

I felt Remus come forward to stand next to me, his head tilted slightly. “What are you doing?” he whispered.

Once I was certain that Kathryn and Sirius’s conversation had begun, I took out my wand and gently tapped the door, removing the spell. Both Remus and Peter blinked when they heard low undertones from the room and then gaped when I magnified the sound. The conversation within the room was as clear to us as if Kathryn and Sirius were standing right next to us.

“…going to blame you.”

Sirius let out a bitter-sounding laugh. “Right. Of course they don’t blame me. The past two months wasn’t their sign of disproval at all.”

“Sirius, honestly. You know your friends better than that.”

“Which is why I know they despise me.” His words sounded rash, angry.

Kathryn blew out an exasperated sigh and there was the sound of a chair scraping against the ground. A second later, her voice came again. “Why don’t you try to get rid of the animosity between you then?”

“That’s just the thing,” Sirius replied blandly. “I don’t need to talk to them to know what they’re thinking. Why would I let myself be humiliated even more?”

I tilted my head just in time to see Remus frown. Peter still seemed to be in shock, but he was certainly beginning to understand the situation. I wondered if this was the right way to go about with the reconciliation process, but from the way that neither of the two was vehemently rejecting the eavesdropping, it probably wasn’t too large an issue.

“Now you’re just being irrational, Sirius.” Kathryn’s voice was chiding. “Since when have they acted as if you don’t matter? It was one mistake.”

Sirius snorted. “Too bad they don’t feel the same way.”

“Well maybe if you just talk…”

I winced at the loud crash that followed. “Kathryn, just shut up!” I saw Remus raised his eyebrow and Peter cringe, and realized belatedly that I had just heard Sirius blow his fuse. “You’re a bloody outsider. You know nothing, so stop trying to make it seem like you understand the damn situation!”

The room had gone silent.

I looked at Remus in concern. “Do you think Sirius will do anything rash?”

He gave me a comical expression, one that was of wry amusement. “Sirius and rash practically go hand in hand.”

“But Kathryn…”

“He’s not going to hurt her, if that’s what you mean. He would never hit a girl unless it was Bellatrix or someone he hates just as vehemently. And even then, she had to have done something considerably terrible.”

Peter nodded emphatically and then jabbed his thumb towards the door. “Are you sure this is right? We’re listening in on a private conversation.”

“It wasn’t really meant to be private in the first place,” I divulged. Peter looked highly confused and I was about to explain further when Kathryn spoke up again.

“I’m not as clueless as you think.”

“That’s because you’re so damn nosy,” Sirius retorted snappishly.

Kathryn let out a muffle groan and I suddenly felt sorry for her. She was the one who had to deal with the guy who could rival a mule in the stubborn category. “Call it whatever you want. I just want to help.” There was a pause. “I’m your friend, Sirius.”

“Well friends should know when they should stop being a pain in the arse.”

I nodded at his valid statement and then cringed when I realized that I had put Kathryn up to this. Attempting to force down the guilt, I leaned against the door and studied my fingers as Kathryn went on.

“Would you act like this if James or Remus or Peter were here?” she asked. When Sirius didn’t answer, she continued, “I bet you would, wouldn’t you? And that’s because you want their friendship back.”

Sirius’s voice sounded begrudging. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that you should just go and talk it out.” There was a scrape of wood against floor and then wild footsteps thundering towards the door. I straightened abruptly and looked at the object with wide eyes. Remus and Peter both took a few steps back, alarmed. We were all ready to run if need be, but thankfully, the footsteps stopped right behind the door. “Pretend they’re behind this door right now. Just shout it out, say whatever is on your mind. And don’t tell me you have nothing to say because I won’t believe it.”

Sirius sounded skeptical when he spoke. “You want me to talk to a door? And what’ll it do? Relay the message to them?”

“Maybe.”

“Now you’re just being plain ridiculous.”

“I’m trying to help! You won’t talk to them and you won’t talk to me. In this case, perhaps the only thing that stands a chance is an inanimate object. Just go for it.”

Sirius grunted. “What’s there to talk about? I miss them, they hate me. End of story.”

Kathryn seemed to pounce on the information. “You miss them? How much?”

“A lot,” he grumbled. There was another sigh. “I don’t even know how things became this bad. It really was supposed to be just another prank. I never wanted Snivel—Snape to die.”

“Well at least James got him out of there in time.”

“Sure, but even he’s annoyed at me.” I could detect a bitter smile in his tone. “I never thought it’d be possible for James to ever despise me, but I guess I was wrong.”

There was a pause, and then Kathryn said, “I think Remus might have been a little angry with you because he thought you meant to harm Snape.” When Sirius didn’t say anything, she continued, “It’s how misunderstandings happen after all.”

“They wouldn’t believe me even if I told them otherwise.”

“How would you know if you’ve never tried?”

“I did try!” Sirius burst out. “I tried apologizing but none of them would have it. They didn’t even give me a chance to explain.”

Kathryn let out a snort. “You’re all hot-headed sixteen-year-old boys. It wouldn’t have been natural for them to patiently sit down and listen to what you have to say when they were all busy spewing flames at each other.”

Sirius seemed to be considering this information because when he spoke again, his voice was more tentative and even a little hopeful. “You think?”

“Sure.”

“But how am I supposed to suddenly broach this topic with them if we haven’t even…”

I let out a shocked splutter when Remus suddenly moved. He pushed past me without warning and unlocked the door, throwing it open with a loud bang. Sirius and Kathryn’s heads jerked up in shock and I saw Sirius’s eyes widen when he saw who was at the door. I slid to the side slightly to let Peter through and then came in after the two. To bystanders, it was probably a comical sight to behold, but to us, the tension in the room was more tangible than ever.

The look on Remus’s face was a strange mixture of wry amusement and determination. Kathryn must’ve detected something in his expression because she slowly inched away from Sirius and stopped only when she stood next to me. It was a Marauder moment, one that we knew we shouldn’t intrude upon.

Sirius was still gaping at Remus and Peter as if he were seeing Voldemort before him. It was possibly the first time in my entire stay at Hogwarts that I saw Sirius Black speechless, and I had no doubt that it would most likely be the last.

“Remus? Peter?” His mouth managed to close just in time to form words. “Were you eavesdropping on us?”

Remus didn’t say anything, but Peter nodded sheepishly. “Yeah. We…um…we just thought that you’d…” He trailed off uncertainly.

I raised an eyebrow towards Kathryn and she tilted her head slightly towards the door. We carefully edged out without disturbing any of them and shut the door quietly behind us. I blew out a breath that I didn’t know I was holding and leaned against the door, feeling rather exhausted. Kathryn slipped onto the floor next to me and closed her eyes in relief.

“I’m so glad that’s over with,” she muttered. “You have no idea how exasperating Sirius can be.”

I grinned. “I could tell.”

“Yeah?” Her eyes opened and she suddenly smiled. “But our efforts didn’t go to waste after all. They’re finally talking it over.”

I nodded and scratched my forehead. There was little doubt in my mind that those three would be able to sort out their differences after this talk. Remus was determined enough to forgive Sirius, Peter wanted to get back together, and Sirius was most likely relieved that he’d have his friends again. My plan, so whimsically created, was working like a miracle. The only thing that stood between a full Marauder patch-up was the gap between James and Sirius, which seemed like a rather large one at the moment.

Kathryn tugged on the sleeve of my robe lightly and I seated myself on the floor next to her. We stared at the large windows that provided a view of the grounds thoughtfully, and I could tell that she was thinking about the James and Sirius situation as well.

How could we get the two most stubborn boys in Hogwarts to cooperate?

“It’s not going to work,” Kathryn suddenly said, as if reading my mind. She turned to me. “We can’t make Sirius do the whole eavesdropping thing. James most likely isn’t going to spill his guts to me.”

I sighed. “Or me.”

She cocked her head. “Really? I was hoping you could talk some sense into him. It seems like the easiest way to go right now.”

I raised my eyebrows incredulously. “Talk some sense into him? Kathryn, he’s possibly the biggest idiot we know.”

She sighed. “You’re right.” There was a lull in the talk as we both thought over the situation. “We need some action in this one.”

“Action?” I smiled slightly. “You sound like a movie director.”

“What’s that?”

I waved my hand dismissively, temporarily forgetting that Kathryn wouldn’t understand Muggle terms. “It’s a Muggle thing. Do you want James to charge back towards the Whomping Willow again?”

Kathryn scowled. “Of course not. I was thinking along the lines of acting heroic or something.”

I nearly balked at the idea. “You want Sirius to be the damsel in distress?”

She grimaced when she pictured the scene in her head. “You’re right. That won’t work.” She tugged on her hair moodily. “Well then maybe we could…” Kathryn cut herself off abruptly when we saw two figures walking down the corridor. One was whistling some tune that I couldn’t exactly identify while the other was holding something in his hands.

Kathryn sounded tickled. “Is that James and Arthur?”

The irony made me grin. “Yeah, sure is.” They slowed their gait when they saw us, and after a brief moment of hesitance on James’s part, they approached.

Arthur’s smile was so wide that it stretched across his entire face. The boy was in a good mood. “Hey girls.”

I stood up and brushed off my robes. “Hey Arthur, James. What brings the two of you here?”

Arthur sounded amused. “Actually, James here…”

“Nothing,” James suddenly cut in. I looked at him curiously. “Nothing really. We were just walking around.”

I nodded. Kathryn had tugged Arthur to the side to ask him something undoubtedly secretive, which left James and me alone. My gaze was focused on his face for a few seconds and then it drifted down to his hands, which were clutching a parchment that looked like a letter of some sort. James moved to hide it from my view once he realized it had caught my eye, but it was already too late.

“Really?” I asked, picking up from his last comment. “Just walking around?”

He averted his gaze to the castle wall. “Sure. There’s nothing else to do.” James looked at me and frowned faintly. “So what were the two of you doing here?”

I started at the unexpected question and then quickly cast around for an answer. I came up blank. “Well uh…we were just…” There was a pause as I tried to come up with something credible. It hadn’t occurred to me at the time how strange our positions were to bystanders.

“We were just talking,” I finally blurted.

James’s right eyebrow arched ever so slightly. “I see.”

“Yeah.” I tried to sound confident. “Like you said, nothing much to do.”

“Mm.” His gaze went to scrutinize the corridor. It looked like he was trying to decide whether or not he ought to ask me a question. It took him a good five seconds, but once he saw that Kathryn and Arthur were still engaged in a rather heated conversation, he turned back to me. “Um…did you happen to see Sirius while you guys were…relaxing here?”

James really was full of surprises today. It was already the second time in ten minutes that he had managed to take me off guard with his questions. “No.” I carefully gauged his expression, only to find that his hazel eyes revealed nothing. “Is there something wrong?”

“No, nothing’s wrong. I was just curious.” His hands clenched over the letter.

I nodded slowly.

There was a moment’s pause. Kathryn and Arthur were still talking, but their chatter couldn’t drown out the awkward silence between us. One second, two seconds, and then I couldn’t take it anymore.

I cleared my throat and fiddled with the sleeves of my robes. “So…um…if you do need to see Sirius, I might be able to find him for you.”

It took James a moment to realize that I was talking to him. He blinked out of his trance and observed me with a faintly furrowed brow. “Sorry, what?”

“If you need me to find Sirius, I could…”

He was already shaking his head before I could even finish my sentence. “It’s fine. It’s not that big of a deal.”

I scrutinized him carefully. While James looked as composed as ever, there seemed to be a certain uncertainty radiating from him…an uncertainty and hesitance that I was largely unfamiliar with. Was he feeling antsy about something?

“Are you and Sirius…okay?”

James stared. It made me feel slightly uncomfortable so I shuffled slightly. It was highly uncharacteristic of me to act so shyly around people, and I mentally berated myself for it. “I mean…are you two friends again?”

He let out a rather derisive snort. “Miracles haven’t happened yet, Lily.”

“Is it really that bad? I thought you two had a nice long talk the other day.”

“It didn’t turn out too well,” he said resignedly. “Sirius and I…” He blew out a breath. “I never knew there was so much between us. I guess I wasn’t a very considerate friend, but he never did tell me much.”

Frankly speaking, I was a little shocked that James was willingly saying so much to me, especially since Sirius had been so stubborn and so unwilling to reveal even the tiniest bit of information to Kathryn. I thought about what James had just said and took a moment to form a response.

“It’s not unheard of for the best of friends to have fights once in a while.” I stopped to let him consider the statement. “But if given the chance, would you be willing to talk to Sirius and patch things up with him?”

James dipped his head towards the ground in contemplative thought. I was offered a glimpse of his unruly hair and wanted to—not for the first time—straighten out those stray locks and mat them to his head.

He lifted his head and I saw his hazel eyes again. “I would,” he said seriously. And then he grinned half-heartedly. “If not for me, then for my mum.” He lifted the letter in his hand. “It’s for Sirius, from my mum. She’s been getting worried about why Sirius has yet to write her a letter in over three months.”

I was touched by the display of affection from Mrs. Potter. “Sirius really is close to your family, isn’t he?”

“Yeah, he is.” James stuffed his left hand into the pocket of his trousers. “I just don’t understand why Sirius doesn’t think so.”

While I didn’t understand James’s last comment, I chose not to question him about it. But this talk with James did confirm one thing for me. He really did want to fix things with Sirius, and after that talk in the room with Remus and Peter, I was sure that he wouldn’t mind having James back as well.

Another thought popped into my mind then. “You wanted to find Sirius to give your mum’s letter to him?”

James nodded. “I figured I might as well, since it’s addressed to him and all.” He ran a hand through his hair and cast a casual glance towards his wizard’s watch. His eyes abruptly widened. “Oh bloody hell. Oi, Arthur!”

Arthur turned his head. “What do you want now? I’m busy over here.”

James tapped a finger against his watch. “Guess what time it is?”

It didn’t seem like Arthur had gotten a good look at the actual time. But from the look on his face, he didn’t have to. “Ah hell, are we late?”

Kathryn looked rather shocked. “What are the two of you raving about?”

“Some bet a Fourth Year started with a Slytherin.” Arthur made a face. “No idea why he bothered but it was apparently for the ‘betterment of the Gryffindor spirit’.”

I was surprised. “How come we didn’t hear of this?”

“They only made the bet an hour ago,” James replied. “We’re heading there right now to offer some moral support.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “That’s kind of you.”

Arthur nodded enthusiastically. “Would you two like to join us? It’d only make the whole thing more festive.”

Kathryn and I exchanged a glance and we shook our heads simultaneously. “No, you guys go on ahead,” she said. “I doubt they’d be missing us too much. You two, on the other hand…”

James lifted an eyebrow at her underlying implication but offered no comment. Instead, he raised a hand in parting and headed down the corridor with Arthur at a fast trot. I watched them go, faintly amused, and reveled in the fact that James had been rather open with me today. It proved that he thought I deserved to know what was going on, which gave me a rather surprising but pleasant feeling.

Kathryn turned to me, her head slightly tilted in interest. I blinked at her expression. “What?”

“You guys looked as if you were having a serious conversation.” She grinned. “Are you and James getting closer now?”

I ignored her unsubtle nudge and considered the question seriously. Were James and I getting closer now? We had certainly grown past the stage of mere acquaintances, so did that qualify us as friends now? It was an interesting topic, one that I would ponder later when I had the time. Now, there were three Marauders in a small classroom behind the door we were guarding and there was still one that needed to be reunited with the rest.

I looked down the corridor that James and Arthur had gone down a few minutes prior and turned back to the door. My mind whirled to the letter from James’s mum, his hesitance to find Sirius, and then something suddenly clicked.

Kathryn looked shocked when I whirled on her and grasped her hands. “Kathryn! I know how to get James and Sirius together.”

But before she was given a chance to reply, the door to the classroom swung open and Sirius, Remus, and Peter walked out, all sporting wide grins. They were undoubtedly exceptionally happier than I had seen them in a long time, and I knew that everything was going to be okay in the end.

As for now, it was time to set the last plan in motion.


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Author's Note: Thank you so much for reviewing the last chapter!! :) I'm honestly flattered by how many people like this story. It makes the writing process a whole lot easier. Much love to you all! :) Haha. Moving on now. Let's see...late update, and once again, real life got in the way. I have quite a few tests coming up since it's nearing the end of the year and all, so I'm gonna have to deal with those this week. But afterwards, everything should be relatively good :)

And that brings me to this story. I lied in my A/N last chapter. Sorry guys! I was going over the last few things I needed to address in this story before I could finish it and realized that I can't possibly fit all the Marauders and Lily's POVs into the story before it ends. So...there will only be one more chapter and then an epilogue left in this story :)

Hope you enjoyed this chapter and please review for me!!! :) Thank you so much!!

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