Lily immediately stopped her fight when she heard the voice and looked up to see Sirius' stormy eyes gazing down at her.
"Shit...Prongs is going to have a fit that it was you in there."
She looked to her left and saw James with Marcus by the collar up against the car. Marcus had a scowl on his face, but his body was nothing but defeated.
"Didn't you learn from your past?" James muttered. "She okay, Padfoot?"
"Uh..." Sirius bit his lip trying to decide how to word this. "Are you okay?" he whispered to Lily. She nodded and turned into his chest. "I-I think she's okay."
James looked over to see for himself, but when he saw that specific blue color of their uniforms ripped to threads and that specific red hair messy and sticking up, his vision turned red.
His rage busted through his body, his fists wildly punching at Marcus's face. Even when Marcus dropped to the ground, James followed him down and let his fury rain.
Sirius let go of Lily and ran to restrain his friend. He knew Marcus deserved exactly what he was getting, but it wasn't worth the punishment James would get from both magical and muggle authorities. He grabbed James' arms and pulled them to his back so that only his body was still fighting.
Marcus curled to his side, his hands hiding his blood covered face. Jasmine had run to the scene when Sirius yelled, and was now the one trying to get Lily to look away from James. She had seen him get in fights hundreds of times at Hogwarts, but he had never had that wild look on his face. He was screaming profanities trying to get out of Sirius's grip.
"James, stop! she yelled. She shook off Jasmine's arms and walked in front of her struggling boyfriend. "STOP!
He stopped his fit, but didn't take his eyes off of Marcus.
"Let go, Padfoot," he muttered.
"Maybe we should wait until we're in the house."
"I'm not going to pummel Lily to get to him." Sirius was still hesitant. "LET GO!"
James looked at Lily and gently pushed her aside with a trembling hand.
"James..." She warned.
He stopped and said in a strained voice, "Give me just a second." He bent down and grabbed Marcus by the shirt again. "You're lucky they were here to pull me off of you. You'd be dead if it was choice."
James dropped Marcus back on to the ground making him groan. Without a backward glance he grabbed Lily's hand and walked to his house. When they were inside he saw Lily trying to keep her shirt together without the buttons. She was slightly trembling keeping her eyes down on the floor.
James unbuttoned his own shirt and drew it around her shoulders. "Here you are, love," he whispered.
"Thanks." She quickly put her arms through the sleeves, but couldn't get her hands to stop shaking enough so that she could button it; James took over the job.
Jasmine and Sirius ran into the living room to get their parents.
"I tell you to go on a walk and you turn it into a rescuing crusade," Mrs. Potter muttered. "Lily, dear, are you alright?"
"I just want to go home," she said in a whisper.
She took her wand out ready to Apparate, but Mrs. Potter stopped her. "You'll splinch if you try to Apparate in this state, Lily. Why don't you let James drive you?"
Lily, for the first time since they had gotten into the house, looked up. He had both of his hands behind his head making his chest look quite broad. He had had on a wife beater under his work shirt, but it didn't help cover much of his muscle. His shoulders looked hard and his waist was perfectly symmetrical to the rest of his body.
"No problem," James said meeting her gaze.
Lily was suddenly worried about being alone with him. 'What's he going to think? Catching me in the backseat with my ex boyfriend...Lily, you idiot! What were you thinking?!'
They walked outside and Lily curiously peeked to the other side of the street to see that the red Buick was gone from the front of the house.
"Lily?" Her attention snapped to the car in front of her. James held the door open for her, his eyes looking slightly worried.
"Sorry..." she mumbled.
They pulled out onto the main street, and Lily noticed how little James was actually looking at the road. It made her want to laugh to imagine what the muggles looking in would think, seeing a boy drive perfectly without having to look where he was going.
The car stayed silent and it was making James crazy. He didn't want to see her in this mess. He wanted to see her smiling, and with her hair bouncing like it always did when she laughed...he had lost count how many times she had distracted him with that trait.
Finally he heard her say, "Thank you."
He couldn't believe his ears. He was the one who left her at the store without knowing if she could get home alright. He abandoned her because he couldn't wait the extra five minutes to take her home. It was entirely all his fault.
"I said thank you...I never would have gotten out of that car without you and-"
"It's because of me that you were in that car!" James erupted making Lily flinch. "I should've waited. I should've known you wouldn't call your mum! Walking home alone this late...should've known," he muttered to himself.
Lily felt a slight growl in her throat, but refused to let it surface. 'Just because I couldn't get to my wand-UGH! STOP! Don't get defensive...breathe.' She slowly let out the breath that was making her face turn red. She took one more before saying, "Will you stop being such an ass and just accept my thank you?"
James still didn't look calm in the least. "You're welcome," she barely heard him say.
When they reached Lily's house the car was filled with silence. Neither quite knew what to say, but Lily was starting to feel unbalanced. Her emotions were driving her haywire; sad, grateful, relieved, hurt.
"I guess I'll be going now," she said unbuckling her belt.
James threw his head back against the head rest and groaned, "Lily." She stopped with her hand on the door handle. He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her across the car into a bone breaking hug. "Just please stay away from from him now....please," he begged.
The raw emotion in his voice pulled the last straw for Lily. Her eyes became faucets and they poured out what felt like a thousand tears.
'What did I say?!' James thought frantically. Was that too pushy? Did I squeeze her too hard?'
"I'm so sorry!" she sobbed, "I shouldn't be acting like this in front of you." She took deep breaths trying to rewind her sudden outbreak. "Goodness, I've frightened you to death!" She tried to laugh.
"I've just never...you've never...cried."
She let out a scoff. "Just not in front of you." She picked up the end of her borrowed shirt and wiped her face. "You should've seen me when me and Severus stopped being friends. I was a mess to say the least." James' brow started furrow.
She started to climb back over to her side, but hesitated a moment to put a soft kiss on James's cheek. "Please don't blame yourself," she whispered.
James sighed and got out of the car to follow her to the door. "Do you want me to come in with you?" he asked.
"I...I don't know..." she hesitated, "How do you bring that up to them? They've done so much for Marcus thinking it would make him better, but... I don't think he wanted to be..."
James could see more tears starting to form up behind her eyes, and with the porch light shining on her he could see the dark bags starting to form around her eyes. She looked beautiful, but nevertheless a mess.
"Why don't I at least come in? Make sure that you can stay awake during the discussion."
Lily took in a shaky breath and opened the door.
"Lily, is that you?" She heard her mum.
She had thought she could rile up a strong voice, but it came out weak when she said, "Yes."
"Well, you have some explaining to do! Do you know what time it is?"
Mrs. Evans came walking through the kitchen and stopped when she saw the two. The first thought that registered in her head was that Lily was wearing an XL uniform shirt. The second was that Lily had tear stains on her cheeks and James' expression was hard as a rock.
"Good heavens, what happened?" Lily opened her mouth to speak, but only tiny squeaks from the back of her throat were coming out. Mrs. Evans turned to James. "James?"
"There was a...happening," he said failing to find the right words.
"A happening? What does that mean?" She ran to Lily and grabbed her shoulders, "Was there a robbery? David!" she called for Mr. Evans.
"Mrs. Evans, I left work early because of a family emergency," he started. Mrs. Evans tried to take deeper breaths.
"What's wrong, Rose?" Mr. Evans walked in.
"I- I don't know! James left early and something happened!"
Lily slightly sighed and reached over giving James's hand a squeeze.
"Mum, I tried to walk home, but I ran into Marcus and he...he had been drinking."
"That's not an excuse," James muttered.
"Did he hurt you?" Mr. Evans demanded.
"He tried...but James and Sirius saved me."
"Where is he?" He had his jacket in a flash and started angrily searching for his keys.
"No, dad!" Lily ran up and tried to stop him from searching. "James already did that part! There's no need-"
"This is why we told you to stay away from him, Lily!" Mrs. Evans said sharply. "Why didn't you listen?"
"I did! He offered me a ride home, and I didn't think there was anything wrong with that..."
"You drove with him drunk?!" Mrs. Evans yelled.
"We give him a second chance and this is how he repays us," Mr. Evans muttered.
"Mr. Evans," James spoke, "I don't think finding him tonight will do any good. It would be better to wait until the morning when he's sober enough to remember everything."
Mr. Evans stared at James and then walked away into the kitchen muttering inaudible things.
"Lily, we're glad you're alright but...you need to use your head," Mrs. Evans said softly. She walked over and gave Lily a hug. "It would tear this family apart if anything happened to you." Mrs. Evans took a step back and held Lily's face in her hands, "I'll make you some tea to help your nerves. We'll call the police like James said in the morning."
James watched Mrs. Evans join her husband in the kitchen and turned back to Lily. He flinched when he saw that she had more tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Lils," He rushed to her. "What's wrong? It's all going to be okay!" He crushed her in his arms trying to give comfort.
"It was never supposed to be like this," she whispered, "Thank you for being there tonight...I owe you even more now." She gently untangled herself from James's arms and planted another soft kiss on his cheek. "I think I'll just go to bed...I'll see you at work or owl you."
"Are you sure? I could stay a little bit longer."
"No, it's ok." She walked him over to the front door and opened it.
"Good night," he mumbled.
James sat on the sofa in his living room after getting a phone call from Mrs. Evans
"Due to the...event," she said, "we thought it would be better if the two of you took the weekend off...just until we get everything figured out.
He had of course agreed and tried not to worry when he didn't hear from Lily. Luckily, Remus had showed up that morning laughing about the note James sent last night. It helped (in a small way) keep his mind occupied.
"Just come?" he laughed. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Moony, this is serious!" Sirius tried to explain, "You should've heard the way they were talking about it. Remember that muggle war we learned about? How our parents are always talking about the old muggle bombings or whatever?"
"World War II? Of course."
"It's going to be like that, mate, but much worse because we have to keep it secret from muggles!"
"Quiet down, little ones," Jasmine walked into the room, "The parents have news."
She sat on the chair of the sofa gaining a glare from Sirius. "Don't you have an apartment of your own?"
"Sure I do, but it's summer! When else am I supposed to see my little brother?" She reached across Sirius to pinch James's cheek.
"Jas!" James complained.
Remus started laughing. "You guys never change," he muttered.
"Boys," Mr. Potter walked into the room. Everyone settled down. "We've got to talk."
Mrs. Potter stood in the doorway his eyes brooding, but James and Sirius didn't have time to notice. Their bodies perked up and turned their full attention on their father.
"We're going to talk to Dumbledore about what happened last night. I'm not promising anything about you being able to talk to him...and Remus I can't speak for you, but I'm sure he'll have the same verdict for you all."
"Why can't we go with you?" James asked, "I think it's only fair that we're there to show our side of the fight."
"Agreed," Sirius said.
"No," Mrs. Potter spoke up. "You're going to stay here with Jasmine. Be careful while we're gone. I don't want you boys out too late, and coming home in the early hours of the morning doesn't count." She eyed the three carefully trying to make her point clear.
"Nothing to worry about, mum," Jasmines said sharing the watchful eye. "I've got them."
They said their quick goodbyes and then Apparated from the room.
"I've got them," Sirius mimicked.
"Shut up, Sirius!"
"You're the one being all goody, goody. Honestly, twenty years old and you're still sucking up?"
"No, I respect them! I grew up and decided that maybe acting like an idiot wasn't the best way to live my life."
"Oh, so you think I'm idiot?!"
James sighed and walked out the door with Remus chuckling behind him, "Not even two seconds and they're back at it,"
"It's starting to get worse."
"They'll get it together eventually."
"Yeah, right about when hell freezes over."
Remus laughed and slapped James's shoulder. It had been over a month since they had all hung out and Remus didn't like to admit it, but that one full moon was lonely. He hated that his friends had broken the law to be with him when he transformed, but he hated it even more when they weren't there with him. Biting, scratching, howling by himself.
Excluding the urgency of the letter from James and Sirius, he was embarrassingly excited to go and see them. He only thought for a second about Peter not being here, but he was sure they would owl him by the end of the night to have him come over.
James fidgeted a little. "Good, I think...She didn't go to work either."
"Why don't you have her come over? I'm sure she needs a break from parents too."
"You think she would want to? After...last night?"
"Only one way to find out!" He pulled his wand out and pointed it towards the kitchen. "Accio keys!" They flew into his hands.
"Watch where you're fling those keys, Lupin!" Sirius yelled.
Remus laughed. "Lets go!"
hi everyone! omgsh i'm so sorry this took so long! i had some technical difficulties. but thanks to some of the users and staff i found out how to fix it!
so here's the chapter! i hope it was worth the wait!!
don't forget to review!!
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