“James, are you alright? You’re very quite,” Lily asked him after dinner. “I’m fine,” James muttered shortly. “What happened to you right before dinner? Where did you go?” “I left something in the Common Room, I needed to double back,” James tried to keep his voice calm. “Are you sure you’re alright?” “Yes! Will you just get off my case?!” James exploded. He was breathing heavily, his brown eyes blazing. Lily’s eyes widened. She looked away, nodding, her feelings obviously hurt. “Sorry, I just…” but she broke off, and hurried away. “Damn!” James cursed, slamming fist in the stone wall he was leaning against. He rolled his eyes at the excruciating pain he received in his right hand. He shook his fist, and realized that everybody in the hallway was staring at him. He glared at them, and they scuttled away. He couldn’t do what Mallon had asked him to do! Sure, he had never exactly followed rules, and enjoyed breaking them whenever he got bored, but this was too much. Never in a million years would he ever take his rule breaking to the extent they wanted. But he had to…for Lily. He started plotting in his head. How could he do what they asked? They wanted him to break into Albus Dumbledore’s office and steal his Time-Turner, not an easy thing to do by yourself. He would first need a distraction to lure Dumbledore away from his office, then he would have to find the damned thing, and who knows where Dumbledore would put it. After he had gotten it, he needed to make sure that the theft would go unnoticed for at least a few days. And to make things worse, the damage Mallon would cause would be massive. He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. He, James Harold Potter, would be responsible for whatever evil Mallon had in mind. But at least Lily would be safe. No, that was unacceptable. He could not allow so many people to die on his account. He had to find another way. He had to make a plan. But he would need help. While he was still deep in thought, leaning against the wall, he heard somebody coming down the hallway. He froze, listening. It wasn’t one of the teachers, and whoever it was was in a big hurry. It was Snape. James face was contorted in disgust. “What are you doing here, Snivilus? Lost your shampoo? It sure looks like it,” James said, his nose crinkled in disgust at the other boy’s lack of hygiene. Snape stopped, and then looked relieved to see him. “Shut up, potter. We have a serious problem. Mallon is going into the past, and he is going to kill Dumbledore, Lily, and you,” James snorted. “That’s rich Snape. And I’m supposed to believe you? Any special reason? I knew he was jealous of my looks but…” “THIS IS NOT A GAME, POTTER! Jack Mallon is Lord Voldemort! He is taking a polyjuice potion so that he can be a student here at Hogwarts.” Snape said, sending spit flying everywhere. James shrugged. “Yeah, we already figured that one out.” Snape looked taken aback, but then continued to glare. “Take a walk with me Potter, we need to talk,” Snape said. “Sorry Snape, I don’t date freaks,” James said scathingly. Snape practically growled at him. “Haven’t you wondered why Voldemort would want to come back to Hogwarts?” “The good food?” James suggested. Snape glared. “Well, to go back in time he would need Dumbledore’s Time-Turner. He knows who his enemies are. And his greatest enemy of all is Dumbledore, and following at a close second, are you and Lily. He knows you two are the best in your year, he also knows that as soon as your done with school, your going to be Aurors,” Snape said. James stopped, starting to believe Snape against his will. “You have to understand, Potter. He will go back in time, and he will kill you all as infants.” “Why do you care? You’ve never given a damn about anybody but yourself,” James spat. “That’s not true!” Snape said through gritted teeth, his cheeks were red hot. Then James understood. "I don't hate Lily." “Lily,” James said, comprehension dawning. “You stay the hell away from her!” James roared. Snape glared daggers at James. “We can’t let him get the Time-Turner.” “What do we do, then?” snarled James. “We destroy it. It’s the only way.” James rolled his eyes. “You idiot, Snape. Do you think Dumbledore keeps the only Time-Turner in the world? They keep hundreds of them at the Ministry of Magic!” Snape smiled slightly. “Is that funny?” James asked icily. Snape shook his head. He looked at James, who crossed his arms impatiently. “We have to tell Lily. She needs to know,” Snape said. James glared hard at him, but then nodded stiffly. That bastard was trying to take his Lily! “Well, let’s just worry about the one in Dumbledore’s office first, then we can worry about the ones in the Ministry,” Snape said. “The one in Dumbledore’s office should be simple, I mean, we can just ask him to remove it, and tell him why. We can get him on our side. He can help.” James nodded, and then sighed. He had to get a grip. “Nobody else will believe us…hell; I’m surprised I believe us!” James said as an after thought. “Dumbledore won’t be able to convince the the Ministry. The Minister is an idiot, and only believes what his wife tells him is true. And boy what a piece of work she is!” They laughed, and then stopped abruptly. “I guess, if this is going to work, we are going to need to trust one another,” suggested James with a pained look on his face. Snape nodded. Just then footsteps rang down the hallway. Snape and James held their breaths. Then, to James’ relief, they saw Lily, Sirius, Peter, and Remus coming down the hall. Sirius pulled out his wand at the sight of Snape. James moved in front of him. “Don’t, Sirius. He is on our side,” said James, calmingly. Sirius snorted, causing Peter to jump. “Since when have we wanted him on our side?” Sirius asked gruffly. Remus eyed Snape suspiciously. “What’s going on, James?” asked Lily. James told them everything Snape had told him. By the end, Sirius was laughing. “And you believe him?!” Sirius asked incredulously. James nodded. Sirius looked at Remus for support. “All the evidence does point to that,” Remus said, shrugging as Sirius stared at him in disbelief. Sirius looked at Peter, who looked away timidly. “Do you believe this?!” Sirius demanded. “I…well I…yes I do…” Peter said quietly. Sirius slowly turned toward Lily. “Lily…?” Sirius pleaded. Lily looked at James. James blushed and looked away, remembering how he had treated her earlier, he was sure Lily would hold it against him, just to teach him a lesson. Then she smiled. “I trust James, and if he says that we can trust Snape, then I believe we can,” she said. James wanted to kiss her right there. Snape smiled triumphantly, and Sirius snarled at him. “We’re not going to force you to come, Sirius,” James said. Then Sirius smiled. “Oh, I’ll come alright, no need to worry there but…with him?!” Sirius said, motioning towards Snape. James laughed. “Sorry mate, but we need all the help we can get,” James said grinning. "We need to act like nothing is happening between us, or Mallon will get suspicious. Potter will act like nothing has happened, and he will pretend to get him the Time-Turner. Did he give you a time limit?" asked Snape. "No," said James. "Good," Snape said. "Then we can ask Dumbledore for help. “So, let me get this straight,” Remus said, smiling. “We are going to recruit Dumbledore, break into the ministry of Magic, destroy all the Time-Turners, and basically thwart the most evil wizard in the world?” Everybody looked at each other. “Ummm…yeah, that’s about right,” said James, thinking, “Are we all in?” Everybody nodded, tension filling the air. Peter looked around nervously. “I have to go to the bathroom,” Peter whispered. Sirius smiled hopelessly; “We’re all going to die.”
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