“That isn’t Reddington’s Law of Energy Transformation!”

“Uh, yes, it is!”


“Uh, no, it’s not!”


“There’s no way I’m mistaken!”


“Of course you are! This is Fulcan’s Law!”


“Evans, please. Don’t embarrass yourself further.”


“Potter, please. Be prepared to stuff it.”


Dorcas looked between Lily and James, rolling her eyes at Mary. This was exactly why she preferred studying by herself. The one time Mary had dragged her to a group discussion, two questions in, and an argument had ensued.


“Moony,” James appealed to his friend, his tone laced with mock-politeness. “Please tell pumpkin-head she’s wrong.”


“Dory,” Lily turned to her in the same tone. “Why don’t you tell pot-head he’s wrong?”


Remus’ eyes glinted with amusement as he exchanged a glance with Dorcas. Sirius had fallen asleep on the table, and Peter was peering over Remus’ shoulder as he flipped through his Transfiguration book. James was tipping his chair on it’s hind legs, dipping dangerously low and shooting an all-knowing grin at Lily. She seemed least impressed, her eyebrows raised in an alarmingly similar fashion, arms crossed. Dorcas rolled her eyes at Remus as James started whistling (and quite badly at that) the tune to ‘Brooming Free’ by Seven Strings Sync. Remus shrugged apologetically, joining in as he continued his search, and Lily started tapping her foot impatiently.


“Ah yes,” Remus exclaimed. Lily’s foot stilled and the whistle slowed on James’ lip, but he continued rocking his chair. 


“Well?” Lil demanded impatiently. Remus looked like he was struggling to keep his face straight.


“Er…” he started slowly, glancing between James and Lily. “It appears… James is right. Sorry, Lily.”

“AHA!” James startled the sleeping Sirius with his cry of triumph, lifting his hands up, and almost knocking the book off Remus’ hands. Dorcas was compelled to giggle at the ridiculous jig he was taunting Lily with. Lily’s face grew red, but Dorcas could see she was biting back a smile. 

“Lily the Silly,” he roared laughing. Peter was snickering but Remus just rolled his eyes.


“There once was a bird called Lily

She made many mistakes so-silly
Hung her head in such shame
That she had to change her name!” 

“That is the worst sonnet ever!” Lily interjected. “Been taking lessons from Peeves. Have you?”
“Been taking Transfiguration lessons from Fat Friar, have you?”

James continued to rock back on his chair, and much to Dorcas’ surprise, Lily reached out and kicked the leg with her foot.

James came crashing down, grabbing at the back of Mary’s chair as he did so, pulling the poor girl with him.




“Oh bugger,” Dorcas muttered, glaring at Lily as Madam Pince’s shriek was closely followed by her hurrying footfalls. 


“Befouling the sanctity of the…”

James was fervently apologizing while Peter was shuffling his feet, trying to hide the fact that Sirius had just woken up from deep sleep. Woe betide if Pince found out he had been drooling all over her beloved books!

Soon they found themselves being kicked out of the library.

“Nicely played, Evans.”

Dorcas turned to see James wink at Evans before jogging to catch up with Remus, Sirius and Peter. There was something odd about Lily’s expression.

“Oh fuck’s sake!” she groaned, the realization dawning on her. “You like Potter!”

“What?” Even in the dim lighting of the corridor, Dorcas could see Lily turning red. “N-no…”

Dorcas shook her head grinning, “does Marlene know?” Lily’s eyes widened slightly. 

“Don’t be silly!” her voice sounded a bit shrill, “there’s nothing to know.”

“Ahan.” Dorcas continued looking at her sideways as they walked on, slightly enjoying watching Lily squirm and figit. 

“Merlin!” she exclaimed, her flaming face turning to look at Dorcas. “What do you want now?”


Dorcas’ face broke into a smirk. “So… you and Potter?”


Shut up!” Lily hissed, throwing an alarming glance towards the boys ahead of them. 


“I can’t think of two people less suited for each other!” she chuckled. 


“More than you and Pettigrew?” she shot back.


“Oh please,” Dorcas replied unfazed, “don’t even try to change the subject. This is huge!”

 “No, it’s not!” Lily stressed. “It’s not like… like - you know!”

  “I really don’t.” 

  Lily glared at her but Dorcas just shrugged smugly.  “Marlene doesn’t have to know. It’s not even… it’s not like I’m…”

  "Yes?” she prompted.

  “Urgh! Why did you of all the people have to figure this out!”

  “Better me than Marlene!”

  “You know, I liked you much better when we didn’t talk so much,” she said grudgingly.

  Dorcas grinned. They walked in silence for a few paces. “Well… so?”

  “So?” replied Lily. 

  “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to have dinner and a good night’s sleep.”


Dorcas rolled her eyes, “I meant, what about Potter?” 


“I don’t know, you’d have to ask him.”


Dorcas raised her eyebrows, “so we are pretending this never happened?”


“What never happened?”


Dorcas snickered. 



“Did any of you look into the Magical Creature Breeding Act of 1782?” Remus started conversationally. Peter, James and Sirius groaned in unison, all replying at the same time.

“Who cares?” 

“Don’t start!”


“Fine,” Remus resigned, and they went back to laying in silence. 

“Hey, Sirius! What’s your budget for Hogsmeade this weekend? I hear ol’ Zonko’s has a new line of trick Quaffles. We could-”

“I don’t know,” Sirius cut in irately. 

“Oh,” James sounded bemused, “er, that’s alright mate, I’ve got enough for one Trick Quaffle. We could switch them before the Slytherin practice session this week.” Sirius didn’t respond. James lifted his head to glance at Sirius who was on the other side of Remus. “Er, Moony, I’m not talking to myself again, am I?” 

James’ mock-serious tone elicited a small burst of laughter from Peter, but Remus just shrugged.


But as the exams began, Peter was less concerned about Sirius’ mood and more with passing third year. He picked Remus’ brain all the time, but envied James who never seemed to study. Peter took advantage of Sirius’ absence to get closer to James by asking help with studies. Though he did end up spending more time with James, he didn’t really learn much. James wasn’t as patient as Remus, and went at a faster pace. Often, he he had to double back to Remus.

The advent of the exams also meant that the end of the term was round the corner. The breakfast table was abuzz with last minute revisions, and vacation plans being exchanged. 

“Name the eleven uses of the Pockish Geranium leaves,” quizzed Remus.

Peter was thankful for his mouth full of bread. He racked his brain for the answer while chewing. Hadn’t he looked at this the night before? He knew it…

“Oh put that away, Moony!” James interjected, reaching across for some syrup. Peter grabbed the book from Remus and ran his finger down the list, muttering them aloud. 

“Hey!” Peter looked up at Marlene’s arrival.  “I know I’m so late with this. My mum sent them over months ago and I completely forgot.” She sounded slightly out of breath. “You all are invited. You have to come,” she stressed. 

Peter, Remus and James stared blankly at her. Sirius didn’t look up from his bowl of scrambled eggs.

“Oh!” she realized, and pulled out three letters from her bag. “My parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is this Summer. Mum told me to invite my friends ages ago but I completely forgot.” She handed out an invite each to Peter and Remus, and nudged Sirius. Sirius looked up with an almost bored expression and Marlene’s smile faded slightly. “You too, grumpy,” she rolled her eyes, holding out the invite, and placing it on top of his books when he didn’t take it. “You lot have to come. Otherwise mum is going to blame me for being careless again. You’ll come, won’t you?” she looked at them anxiously. 

“Sure,” Remus nodded.

“Er, aren’t you missing out someone?” Peter jerked his head towards James. 

“Oh no, the Potters got their invite in the mail. Our dads know each other from before.”

“Mum’s already planned. I’m there,” James nodded, pointing his fork at Marlene. Marlene thanked him and said something about finding Dorcas and hurried away. “The Dearborns are going too. With Doc there, it’ll be a blast. What say, Sirius?”

“Yeah, whatever.” 

James looked confused, as if it was the first time he was noticing Sirius’ mood. He made to say something but Sirius got up abruptly and walked away. Peter noticed he threw a nasty look in the direction of the Slytherin table as he did. 

“What’s with him?” 

“You’re noticing only now?” Remus raised his eyebrows. 

“Well, no,” James started indignantly, “I just thought he was… stressed about exams,” he finished lamely. 

“Are you sure your head wasn’t hit by a Bludger?” Remus replied. 

Suddenly something struck Peter.

“Say, do you think he’s upset because the holidays are coming up?” he suggested.

“Why would he be? Three months of freedom, mate!” James looked incredulous.

“Actually, Peter may be on to something. I never really got the feeling Sirius enjoyed going home,” said Remus thoughtfully. 

“Yeah… but he doesn’t really talk about it,” said James. 

“But this would explain why he’s been sulking all week,” said Peter. Remus nodded in agreement. 

Peter looked on as James stared thoughtfully at Sirius’ recently vacated seat and half full breakfast plate. 

As they headed to class, Peter had to almost jog to keep up with James’ fast strides. He was trying to make conversation but James gave monosyllabic replies all the way to class. He was almost sorry he had pointed out Sirius’ mood. Sirius was nowhere to be found and Peter gladly took the seat beside James. The Professor began discussing important Runes translations for the finals. James kept glancing at the door, but Sirius did not turn up. In fact, the next time they saw Sirius was when they went back to their dorm after classes. 

Remus left to return a book to the library and he made his way with James back to the dorm. Sirius was lying on his back, his legs hanging off the edge. 

“Sirius, mate! Peter and I were just planning to send out a search party,” James joked heartily. He pulled back the blinds, forcing Sirius to look at him. “You’ve been such a dull lately. I don’t know if I want you around over the Summer now,” James said, his voice still light. 

“What?” Sirius frowned, but looked mildly interested. 

“Dad wrote that the house has been quiet since Doc stopped coming around, and I was going to ask you. But doesn’t look like you’re going to be much fun either.” James let the blinds fall back down and started undressing by his bunk. 

Sirius sat up. “You want me to visit?” His voice sounded strange, Peter thought, laced with excitement. 

“Merlin, no! That was when I thought you were jolly company,” James shook his head. They looked at each other, James’ face arranged in perfect nonchalance and Sirius’ eyes slightly wide. Suddenly, they grinned. Nothing more was said, but Sirius’ grin didn’t fade as he fell back on the bed. 

Peter suddenly felt invisible. He had been standing right there, but the invitation wasn’t extended to him. It was always this way with James. Everyone else ceased to exist when Sirius was around. 

“Hurry up!” Lily pulled Marlene along as she weaved her way through the crowd as the foghorn sounded. The steam from the train wasn’t helping visibility either. Apart from the crowd, it appeared everyone on the platform were in as much of a hurry as them. “Here!” she beckoned to Marlene, spotting a train door. She bustled through the bottleneck at the door and stepped into the train just as the second horn sounded. Marlene stumbled next to her, panting for breath. They inched their way down the carriage as the train started with a jerk. The students moved along slowly trying to find a seat but compartments were full. Lily and Marlene searched for the other girls. 

“We should have listened to Dorcas,” Marlene said reproachfully as a first year ran past her, dashing against her shoulder. Lily felt responsible, after all it was she who had delayed them by going down to the lake in the last minute. 

“Sorry,” she muttered meekly. She had been feeling increasingly guilty around Marlene for a while now. It wasn’t enough that she had unnecessarily and tactlessly confronted Marlene about her activities, now she had to go and have weird thoughts about James Potter. She did not fancy him. But found herself wondering if he fancied her and oddly liking the idea as well. She shook her head, as if to get rid of those thoughts. 

“Hey!” Marlene exclaimed suddenly, knocking the side of her face in an eagerness to wave to someone. Before Lily could spot whoever it was, Marlene was dragging her across into a compartment. She almost tumbled in, catching her breath, and looked up at all the Gryffindor boys. “Can we sit here?” Marlene asked.

“Er, sure,” Remus replied, moving down to make place for them. Marlene gave a relieved smile and sat down next to him. Lily took the empty seat next to Clarence Sloan and found herself right opposite James Potter. Great, she thought to herself, just what I need right now. She fidgeted, causing Sloan to move a few inches down the seat in an attempt to make more space for her. She muttered a thanks in response and looked around, trying to avoid looking directly at James Potter. Instead, she smiled hesitantly at Sirius exchanging a mocking grin with Remus. She couldn’t help cringing inwardly. 

“It was a bloody brilliant tackle,” Jake Wyatt seemed to be resuming an earlier conversation, “the ref said he hadn’t quite seen that move before. They’re calling it the Twisky Tackle, after Darren Twisky.”

“Darren Twisky is a great chaser,” James agreed, “but he costs the team a lot of fouls. Any chaser who does that much Quaffle-pocking shouldn’t be allowed on the team!”

“That game against the Harpies, though,” Wyatt sounded awed. 

James didn’t look that convinced. “I’d say the real hero of that match was Kathleen Jones. She was bloody brilliant.”

“Fancy you, praising a Seeker!” chuckled Marlene. 

“Where there’s talent,” James shrugged. 

“I think a Seeker requires more talent than a Chaser,” Lily chimed in, deja vu hitting her before the words left her mouth. And even before James’ scornful eyes trained on her, she knew how this was going to end. 

He cocked an eyebrow, “you do, do you?” he said mockingly. 

She felt an urge to prevent the inevitable. “I’m just saying, catching a Snitch requires far more raw talent than shooting Quaffle through the hoops,” she tried to reason. She saw Marlene raise her eyebrows slightly and wondered if she had effectively ended up insulting her best friend and James Potter. She hadn’t really meant to -

“Evans.” She stopped mid-thought and looked up at James’ cold voice, dripping with scorn. “You’ve known Quidditch for three years, I’ve known it since I was three years old. This isn’t one of your silly Muggle sports, so please don’t embarrass yourself.” 

Her face grew hot and she felt her stomach twist in knots of rage. Remus’ hasty reply to diffuse the situation was a distant noise to her. Anger pushed her to her feet and she didn’t bother to try and keep it out of her voice when she replied, “I didn’t realize you had to be pure-blood to talk about Quidditch.”

She stomped out, sliding the compartment door with a bang, blood pounding in her ears. She didn’t trust herself to stay there a second longer looking at stupid James Potter’s face without hexing him senseless. She stormed through the carriages until she reached the one she was searching for. 

“There you are!” Dorcas’ relieved voice fell unnaturally loud on her ears. “What’s wrong?” she stopped short at Lily’s expression. 

“Potter!” she burst out, breathing hard. 

“Right,” Mary smirked, exchanging a significant glance with Adhara.

“Stop that!” she snapped. “I’ll have none of that anymore!” and she went on to tell them what happened. When she was finished, Adhara looked mildly interested, Mary looked taken aback and Dorcas just raised her eyebrows in surprise. 

“Well, who’d have thought, James Potter,” Dorcas commented, after a pause. Lily found she was breathing hard, and sunk down to the seat, as others began discussing. Dorcas nudged her, “does this mean you’re singing a different tune?” she whispered, leaning in.

Lily looked into her teasing face, and whispered back, “nothing is more unattractive than bigotry.”

Adhara was making her way back from the bathroom when loud laughter directed her attention towards a compartment. She saw James and Sirius seated with the Prewetts. The sight of Sirius annoyed her. She hated that she allowed herself to get attached. She should have known better than to trust a Black. Sirius threw his head back laughing, and she strode past the compartment swiftly, trying to block out his guttaral laugh. 

Her path was suddenly blocked. 

“Slow down, Adhara.”

She exhaled irately. What was it about the way he pronounced her syllables that sounded like nails scraping against a blackboard?

“Move aside, Rigel. There’s still two more hours before I have to share a space with you.”

“I hear you’re not going with Sirius anymore,” He said conversationally as if he hadn’t heard her. 

Anger rankled. “Your alarming knowledge of my private life is a bit creepy, you know.” 

“Be nice, Adhara.” There it was again. He smirked. “Remember, I’m your only company for the next three months.” He smiled widely and all Adhara wanted to do was to knock those perfect teeth in. 

“I’m not scared of you,” she called after him as he walked away. 

He halted to look back at her, an eerie smirk on his face. “I’m sure.” 

The jest in his voice rang through her ears as she made her way back to her compartment, thoroughly annoyed with everything in her life. 


Adhara entered the compartment, her cheeks flushed and eyes wide. Dorcas supposed she had been to meet Sirius. “Did you lose your way?” she teased. Adhara simply glared in response and propped her feet up on the opposite seat. Dorcas gave a low whistle and returned to staring out the window. Between Lily fuming at James, Adhara being all weird about Sirius and Marlene trying not to appear upset about Owen’s new girlfriend, it did not seem a good day for fancies. 

Conversations faded and the rhythmic chugging of the train allowed her mind to wander. She replayed the abandoned Flume residence in her mind. She had gone back later to inspect the whole house, and reached the same conclusion. There was nothing remotely dark about the Flumes. She closed her eyes, trying to picture it in her mind. It hadn’t looked like the Ministry had removed anything incriminating from the house.  And someone had been frequenting the abandoned house. Nothing added up. Maybe the vacation would help her think without distractions. 

She opened her eyes and looked at the others, now talking about Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black’s Summer wedding. She was tickled by how pointless the discussion was. What did it matter how much Narcissa Black had spent on her wedding dress, or how Lucius had proposed to her? There were so many pertinent things happening, things that needed proper attention, objective investigation. The Ministry appeared to be ineffective. That much was clear from the way her father’s death had been handled. Her mother might not want to know the truth, but Dorcas wasn’t satisfied with the Ministry’s explanation. With the Flumes, no one was left to bother. This was how the Death Eaters kept getting away with it. Well, they were wrong. She was going to get answers, and the Ministry was the last resource she trusted.



A/N: Hello my readers. I know it has been months (or eons) since my last update. For those of you still sticking with the story, we have closed our doors on third year. There's still so much more to come, the drama just begins! Let me know what you all think!


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