“Are you serious?”
“Completely. She said this whole thing with Severus proved that the tension of the war outside the castle are obviously rising and that how I handled it proved I was becoming responsible enough to talk to Dumbledore about being recruited into a team after I graduate.”
“Merlin’s beard... I finally have something to shoot for! I’ve got to get that talk too!”
“Start shaping up in class and I’m positive she will.”
“Yes!” he hissed. Still Sirius wasn’t getting the reaction he was expecting from James. “What’s wrong, mate? We’ve been waiting for this since the middle of summer!”
James rubbed the back of his neck anxiously. “My dad pulled me aside during the summer after the meeting. He said Malfoy said something about Lily after you and I left the room. He thinks they might use her as a...like a decoy or pressure point against me. I didn’t believe him until I was in the Hospital Wing and those dirty Slytherins brought it up.”
“Exactly! So what if they do? What if they do something to her because of me?”
This was a new perspective of how to think over things for Sirius. The Marauders as a whole were always so sure that they could always overcome things thrown their way. But this was something personal that only James could handle, and it was about something a lot bigger than Hogwarts.
“Well...think about it. First off, I’m sure Dumbledore could set up some sort of protection for her. Secondly, what makes you so sure that she’s not a name on Dumbledore’s list of recruits? She’s top of the class and has motive to fight. I’m pretty damn sure she’ll be getting the talk from McGonagall before I do.”
A memory of Lily after she had been attacked by Marcus popped into his mind. Shirt torn, hair knotted, fear in her eyes...
“No,” he automatically said. “I can’t let her get into this. It’s too dangerous...I have to tell Dumbledore no.”
He started to walk to the gargoyles that guarded Dumbledore’s office, but Sirius blocked his path. “Hold on there, Prongsie. Why aren’t you taking your own advice? Remember when you reassured me about Jasmine being apart of it?”
“I just... That night we rescued her from Marcus... This is going to be ten times worse.”
“Dumbledore wouldn’t send her without all the proper training, and she would soak that stuff up better than the two of us combined.”
They were forgiven by their professor for being late to the lesson and James was for once thankful for being forced to take notes. It gave him a chance to think over whether or not to go to Dumbledore and time not to let Lily realize something was the bothering him.
She threw the occasional glance his way but he easily avoided them. “Relax,” Sirius muttered to him. James dug his hands into his hair anxiously. “You’re horrible at hiding stress.”
When the bell rang for class to end James put a smile on his face. To completely throw Lily off his trail he wrapped her up in his arms and kissed her square on her lips. She allowed the public affection for a moment, but then softly pushed him away.
“Not in the hallways,” she laughed.
“Well fine then. Me and Sirius have to do a little bit of strategizing before practice so we’ll see you afterwards.”
“What about dinner?”
“We’ll be fine, don’t worry.”
“Alright.” She stretched up on her tip toes and put a kiss on his cheek. “Love you,” she whispered.
The pair headed in the direction of the kitchens to get food straight from the source and be able to have the large tables and their space to work on. Sirius followed James absentmindedly down the hallways listing off his own ideas on new Quidditch forms. He was so deep in the conversation that he didn’t even realize when James made a different turn and instead of ending in front of the bowl of fruit, they were in front of gargoyles.
“What?” Sirius complained. “Come on, really?”
“We’re killing two birds with one stone! You get to make your case to Dumbledore, I get to plead mine.”
“I’ll make you a deal. If you can guess the password in three tries we’ll do it. If not, we walk away.”
He took a deep breath ready to say his first guess. “Choose wisely,” Sirius warned.
James thought over his word choice for another moment. “Watermelon Jelly Beans.”
The gargoyle stood stiff as a stone. “Watermelon Jelly Bean!” Sirius laughed. “That was the best you could come up with?”
James huffed in annoyance. “Butterball Cookies.” No movement. “Candied dragon hearts!”
“You put a good fight, Prongs, but there are just too many candies out there. There’s no way we’re going to get up there tonight!”
He threw his arm around James’s shoulder and began leading him away when a voice called after them. “Did someone say candied dragon hearts?”
James threw Sirius’s arm off of him and quickly turned back around. “Yes, sir!”
“They’re always more bitter than I expect them to be, but nevertheless I buy them!” Dumbledore said.
“Headmaster, we really need to talk to you about something.”
“You may speak,” he said.
“It’s more of a private matter.”
“Oh! Well, come up to my office then.” He turned to his gargoyles. “Strawberry Pop.”
“Was that your next guess?” Sirius chuckled. James silently punched him in the shoulder.
They travelled up the spiraling stairs entering Dumbledore’s room that oozed with wisdom from every corner. James had always been impressed by it, but he had never fully appreciated it until now. The book shelves were a dark mahogany that slightly bent from the weight of their many books despite that they reached all the way up to the sky reflecting ceilings. Cabinets held a diverse collection of contents, some glowing, others encased in glass.
Dumbledore sat behind his desk in a plush chair with all the previous Headmasters staring down at them from their frames.
“It must be an important matter of business if you’ve come to my office without the need of a disciplinary action.” he said.
“Professor, Sirius and I have had suspicions about the Order of the Phoenix since the summer.”
“The what?” Sirius whispered incredulously.
“That’s the name of the organization,” James whispered back. “And from the moment we knew a resistance existed we’ve been wanting to become part of it.”
“Which Professor McGonagall invited you to today, correct?”
“Yes sir, and I’d like the same opportunity. Wherever James goes, I go.”
Dumbledore stared down Sirius from his side of the desk. His half moon glasses glittered from the light of candles around the room. He seemed in deep thought, almost as if he was examining him.
“You’ve been discussed, Mr. Black. There are some who fear your family background. Others who have questioned your maturity.” Sirius sighed at his seemingly bad odds. “However, there are a few who are defending your admission. Personally, I’ve known you’re a good person since the day the Sorting Hat landed on your head.”
“Yes!” Sirius jumped from his seat. “I swear Head Master, I will not let you down. Thank you.” He reached across the desk and jovially shook the man’s hand.
“Don’t thank me, thank yourself.”
Sirius let out a huff of breath and sat back down in his seat. “Man that’s a load off my chest. Your turn, Prongs.”
Dumbledore’s stare turned to James. “Mr. Potter, you have something on your mind besides this?”
“Yes, sir. It’s about someone else...”
A small chuckle escaped the Head Master’s lips. “You’ve hardly been in the program for a school day and already you have a lot of requests.”
“I’m sorry, but yes.” James scratched the back of his head. When the old man didn’t say anything he went on. “During the summer and during this school year there have been threats made against Lily Evans for being my girlfriend.”
“Ah...” Dumbledore brought his fingertips together in thought. “So you would like for her to be initiated as well for protection.”
“No!” James accidentally blurted out. “I mean, I want the complete opposite. I think it would be better if she had nothing to do with this at all.”
“Mr Potter, you’re setting an excellent example as a caring person.” James nodded his head eagerly. “However, you’re falling into a trap that most caring people run into- Mr. Black, this is a good lesson for you as well. Keeping Miss Evans in the dark wouldn’t help her to avoid this as you wish. It would only catch up with her more quickly because she would be less prepared and therefore more easily hurt. On a personal level I don’t know her very well, but from my perspective I think she would be angrier if she found out later rathe than sooner, don’t you?”
James sighed deciding that despite that he wouldn’t be able to change the man’s mind, he was also right. “I understand,” he said.
The last two times Lily had tried to get work done in the library, she had been disrupted by Severus. So this time when it was time to study, she decided to give the Common Room a shot. Even if it was noisier than the usually silent library, it seemed to be working. One assignment was already done, and it was before James was even back from practice!
She put her parchment in her school bag and pulled out a fresh roll to start a new assignment on. She dipped her quill in her ink and titled it ‘Defense Against Vampires’. She was about to write an introduction when she heard an owl tapping at the window. She glanced around the room waiting for someone to claim the letter it was delivering, but no one came. Instead she cracked open the window for the owl to find its destination, but when she did the owl didn’t move from her desk.
Lily cocked her head to the side in confusion. The owl was jet black with grumpy, brooding eyes...She had never seen him before. The owl decided Lily was taking too long and squawked loudly for the whole Common Room to hear. Lily jumped and then quickly untied the message from its leg.
Lily, She immediately stopped reading recognizing the handwriting as Severus’ and slammed the letter down on the desk. What was it about this boy that he couldn’t leave her alone? The owl squawked again as if he was angry Lily wasn’t reading the letter.
“Shoo!” she hissed at the animal, but instead it took a few threatening steps towards her. “You definitely belong to Sev,” she muttered. Annoyed, she picked back up the letter and continued reading.
Please at least read this before throwing it into a fire. I’ll be in the Astronomy tower tonight waiting for you. You’ve been making this difficult, but I need to talk to you. If our friendship meant anything to you, I hope you’ll come.
Lily threw her head back and let out a sigh. Of course their friendship meant something to her...But that was just it, meant. Past tense. She brought her head back up and the owl had taken a few steps closer to her just so it could screech in her face.
“Oy, Evans! Get that bird to shut up!” someone yelled from across the room.
“I read the stupid letter, will you leave now?” she told the bird. It then obediently exited out the window and into the falling night. “I’m not going to go,” she muttered to herself. “That would just be stupid and James would be furious and... He wouldn’t be this desperate to talk to me unless it was something serious.” She looked down at her freshly titled parchment and rolled it back up knowing that she wouldn’t be able to concentrate on it. “Why can’t he tell me things when I’m not studying?” she asked herself.
“You talking to yourself, Lils?” Marie sat beside her.
“What’s on your mind?”
“I have a friend who-”
“Let me stop you right there,” Marie cut her off. “I happen to know all of your friends because they’re all my friends too so either tell me the whole story, or go on with this ‘friend’ and I’ll just guess who it is! Because you know I can, and you know I will.”
Lily knew she was right. Marie didn’t count Severus as a friend, but he was the only other person Lily had been close to outside of the Gryffindor girls. She would surely guess him.
“Nevermind... I think I’m going to go down to the library.”
“You’re sure? Lily, I was joking, you know you can talk to me about anything.”
“I know,” she smiled. “I’ll be back in a little bit.” Lily picked up her bag and left the Gryffindor Tower debating if she should actually go to the library as she said or... No. She couldn’t go to the other tower. It would only give him more confidence to keep talking to her.
She lifted the bag higher onto her shoulder with a nod of defiance. Whatever Severus Snape had to tell her, he should’ve thought about that before he chose the wrong side.
Lord Voldemort was gaining confidence. The number of his followers was growing and his resources in the Ministry were getting deeper everyday. Hogwarts, on the other hand, had been more difficult to infiltrate. Dumbledore was still Headmaster and that buffoon Slughorn was keeping a closer eye than usual on the Slytherins.
But still...He had his few younger people scouting out future recruits, and they were doing a better job than he was expecting. There were people taking an interest in his cause from other Houses- even from Gryffindor. It looked like Dumbledore might be getting a shocking lesson about his pompous, all-loving and protecting Gryffindors.
Author's Note: Hey there everyone! Sooo here's a new chapter for ya :) Taking some advice and trying to bring the war back into the story. Hope you enjoyed!! Don't forget to review :))
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