Sick and Tired

James Potter begins to realize his life isn't as perfect as he firstly thought of. Hogwarts' graduation grows closer, and a war waits for him outside of the gates. A tired enemy fuels the indecision and uncertainty James feels about where he's heading, and the destiny of many might be involved into James' brand new path.

Warning: this is a Snames fic, mature content.

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2. Spilling it

 

The NEWTs were only four weeks ahead in time, so Lily, Moony and Wormtail were busy studying that night. I and Padfoot remained at the Gryffindor common room, sitting in front of the fireplace, since I was too exhausted to study and Padfoot... Well, he didn't want to study, and either here or somewhere else, he wouldn't do it anyway.

“Are you sure we can't sneak the Marauder's Map out of Filch's room? It would make things way easier.” he suggested out of nowhere.

“What for we need that old thing?”

“Did you forget about yesterday, Prongs?”

“No.” How could I? “But seriously, Pads, do we really have to do it? We have only a month left, I don't want to get into trouble.”

I didn't tell him what kind of trouble. The threat I received was crystal clear. Either I left Snivellus alone, or I would be very sorry for it. Even so, in all seriousness, I wasn't surprised he went that low. Part of me wanted to believe he wouldn't seriously hurt me because, hell, I saved his life once. And it wasn't my fault he was down the Whopping Willow in the first place. Another part was very sure he wasn't lying about it. Both were at odds, and I didn't want to test each one was right.

“Exactly! We have a month left! And since you hand down the map, we haven't had much fun. We could have it just for a few days and then return it. Filch won't even notice it's gone.”

“Really, let's just... Behave for once in our lives.”

Padfoot laughed. “Who are you and what you did to the real James Potter? I mean, some nice Polyjuice Potion you got over there, lasts more than an hour.”

“I'm me. And I'm serious about this.”

“Oh, come on, Prongs! Stop being such a bore.”

“Seriously. Stop insisting, I won't help you this time!” I hissed and stormed out of the common room.

I didn't want to enter in details as to why I refused to help him, neither did I want to lie, so it was flee or fight.

Fuming, I stroll without a clear destiny in my mind. Facing Padfoot again would make me say something I shouldn't, or worst I would tell him what happened and thus create a havoc. I'd rather calm down first and think of a good excuse.

Not that it came to me a good half an hour later.

There was no reasonable explanation as to why I wouldn't join Padfoot... Without revealing the truth, that is. Disclosing what happened would, for certain, make everything worst. Especially because I did want to leave Snivellus alone.

Was I afraid of him? Yes, of course. But was that the real reason why I wanted to stop the constant confrontations...? Well, not really. We never went as far as actually threatening each other's lives, and the incident in the Whopping Willow wasn't my fault either way.

Remembering all of my years at Hogwarts, I realized I made his life a living hell.

It was just a joke, I would say to myself. A laugh. Everyone was laughing, couldn't it be bad, right...? Well, as walked on the moonlit hallways, I couldn't lie to myself anymore about the harm I had done.

And all this left a bad taste in my mouth...

The curfew would happen soon, so I headed back to the Gryffindor common room, hoping Lily would already be there. That way, Padfoot couldn't bring up what happened earlier. Yes, I had a plan... For now. Hopefully the issue would be dead and gone by tomorrow.

It wasn't, indeed. Something else of much more importance happened while I walked away from the Gryffindor Common Room. Though the issue still returned to Snape.

When I returned, Lily wasn't there though Padfoot, Moony and Wormtail were. Padfoot and Moony tried to play it cool, but Wormtail dripped in sweat and looked everywhere with his watery tiny eyes. It seemed as if though we were in trouble...

I joined them by sitting on the free armchair nearby the couch they were sitting on. “What happened?”

“I don't know. But whatever it is, must be very serious.” Moony replied and grabbed a piece of paper from his pocket, stretching his arm to offer it to me. “Here, you got one too.”

With a frown, I grabbed the paper and skimmed through it.

Dear Mr. Potter... Your presence is requested at my office... Tomorrow, eight hours p.m.... Take care, Albus Dumbledore.

“You all received this?!” I exclaimed after reading Albus Dumbledore three times. After, I added in a hurried mutter: “Dumbledore? Dumbledore's office? How screwed are we?”

Padfoot shrugged. “It can be that serious, come on, we didn't do anything for the past decade. Maybe he wants us over to have some tea and biscuits, who knows?”

At least he tried to pretend he was calm.

Wormtail not so much.

“A-are you sure, Padfoot? I mean... What if... He discovered about...”

“He didn't. No one else knows but us.” Moony soon interjected. “Right?” he asked then, swallowing hard. 

Becoming animagi and helping him during the full moon wasn't only fun, but also betrayal of Dumbledore's trust who made all the necessary arrangements for Moony not to hurt anyone at Hogwarts or Hogsmeade... Well, I couldn't say our method with dealing with full moons was the safest. Or the most legal according to the wizardry law, by the way. We stopped doing that since I handed the Marauder's Map to Filch.

Still, someone could have known and told Dumbledore.

“No one else but us know about it, of course.” I replied. “We didn't tell anyone.”

But we didn't necessarily have to tell anyone for someone to figure it out. Maybe we were seen leaving, or returning in our animal forms... I knew very well we were not the only ones leaving the dorms after curfew and we didn't an eye on the map all the time.

“The note didn't seem like something serious.” Wormtail said. “I mean, it doesn't sound like we are going to be expelled or anything of the like.”

“No, not really.” Padfoot agreed. “Even so, who would do something like this? I can only think of Snivellus. I told you he was up to something.”

Moony shifted uncomfortably on the couch. “He made an oath to protect my secret... It doesn't really stop him from telling Dumbldore our other secret. But there's no way he saw us. We never caught him out of his dorm.”

Well, I already have.

He must have put the pieces together and realized we knew where he was all the time... I supposed he wasn't expecting to find me the other day because he must also have noticed we couldn't tell his location anymore. Or perhaps that night, he just needed to grab some books undercover.

No, the idea of him discovering about what we did and telling to Dumbledore just now didn't sit well on my mind. Had he known about this before, sure we'd be damned. But now...? I'm pretty sure he wouldn't even bother, not to mention he had to have this information for a long time.

He said I would be sorry if I messed with him again... Was this what he was talking about? I had the slight impression it was about slicing me like a sausage, and I didn't do anything ever since. It must be some kind of record.

Was he lying...?

The doubt ate me from my insides the following day. I could be knee-deep into trouble... In fact, I was sure it was the case. And I also couldn't process the idea I had been fooled by Snivellus. I spent the whole morning boiling over the desire of strangling him with my own hands.

And it was lunch by the time the boil started to seep out from the pot.

Lily and I went to have lunch earlier since we wanted to be alone. The Great Hall was somewhat empty and without a sea of heads and people leaving and entering, the visibility of the Slytherin table was good. I could even see Avery, Mulciber and some others eating there. Including Snivellus, with his head down, reading a book , eating a few bites here and there and sometimes smirking at a joke.

I wondered how he could act so normal, knowing what he just did.

“James...?”

“Yes, Lily?”

“Your head have been in the clouds as of late. And you didn't touch your food yet. Honestly, is there something wrong? Sirius and Remus won't tell me anything, and Peter... Well, he isn't a very good liar, is he? I know there is something going on. Spill it.”

I could barely admit to myself I believed in Snivellus, let alone admit it to her. Once again, I needed to flee. How, though...?

“My stomach is upset as of late.” I said. “I think I have been ill for the past few days, but I didn't want to go to Madam Pomfrey, but... Well, I feel like throwing up and I should go... Now.” Then I disappeared from there before she had a chance to say something.

Though the Hospital Wing, nor the Common Room was my destiny. Instead I sneaked to nearby Filch's office. If I was going to be expelled, the least I could do was to leave with a great memory... No one was around and I attached my ear to his door, to see if he was there.

He wasn't, but his door was locked. I pulled out my wand.

“Alohamora!” The door clicked and opened. “Pfft, muggle locks.”

I closed the door and looked around. Filch's room could be a dirty little closet which had loads of junk, and happened to have a desk and a chair in the middle of it. How could I find a parchment? I decided to go to the obvious route and look for it at the desk.

Which gladly had a locked drawer. Not that it remained that way after another Alohamora.

There was a bunch of letters I didn't even bother to read – Filch could be back at any minute – and right on the bottom, I found a familiar blank parchment. I sighed with relief and organized everything to where they were, locked the drawer and happily left with the map inside the inner pocket of my robes. I then went to an empty hallway and tapped my wand onto the parchment.

With a smirk, I said: “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

I would stop to appreciate the beauty I helped to create, if I wasn't in such a hurry. I had to do something before the classes starting, or else I'd have to wait for them to end, which wasn't desirable at all.

Soon I found Snivellus' dot moving towards the dungeons. Probably he would reach the Slytherin Common Room before I even made it to the level he was in, though I could wait for him to get out of there... Exactly as he would do twenty minutes later.

The hallways nearby were packed by then, though he took a longer route, on his own. A bit daring of his part. I waited for him, leaned on a wall.

“Breaking promises lately, Snivelly?” I asked.

He was going to walk past and not even glance at me, but then he did, with an arched eyebrow.

“None of which I can recall, Potter.” He kept on walking then, but I kept up with him.

“Really? All I want is to be left alone? Aren't you ashamed of lying this bad?”

“It wasn't a lie. I would turn around and go in the opposite direction if I were you. My patience is known to be short.”

“So will you just lie to my face again? I wasn't expecting you to make such a low move, Snivellus.”

As soon as he stopped walking, I jumped back, wand at ready. I didn't want to be pinned against a wall again, nor be attacked.

Snivellus merely shook his head lightly. “Tut, tut. Are you honestly this desperate to get someone to pick on? I will tell you this: whatever you did I think I did, I didn't do it, and if you even dare to cast a Rictusempra in my direction, you better run very fast.”

“Ha, as if. Are you going to tell me you haven't talked with Dumbledore lately? Perhaps letting some secrets slipping?”

He snorted. “Ah. Of course. Dumbledore called you to his room. You won't last long outside of here if you keep spilling your secrets this way.”

Then I was left alone in the hallway.

Maybe I was in trouble, though not in the way I imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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