Our usual seats are taken when we get upstairs, so James turfs the scrawny fourth years out, much to Lily’s disapproval. A few minutes later Remus taps me on the shoulder and I move up on the chair so that he can perch on the arm rest. I always sit closest to the fire, I like the heat, and so does he. It must be the wolf in him. “How was detention?” He asks with an elusive smile.
“Fine, if detention can ever be fine that is. I heard there was a commotion in the Great Hall. I’m sad I missed it.”
“You should be.” Remus’ eyes flicker with pride, a look that I’ve only seen once or twice. “I was the master organiser of it you know. Worked out the timings and everything.”
“I wish I had seen it then- I’m sure that would be the most amazing plan ever.”
“You should also be very flattered that we put so much effort into avenging you.”
“It’s nice to know how liked I am.” I laugh. “Did you get any of it on camera?”
“I think Wormtail did.”
“You need to get that developed.”
“I’ll get you a copy.”
“What are you two talking about?” James queries peering around to look at us.
I reply, “Just the genius that is Remus Lupin.”
The boy next to me makes a mock bow and holds his hands up to stop the imaginary applause. “Thank you, settle down, settle down- I know, I’m fantastic.” He brags. He does that even less often than look proud. James scowls. “It was my plan! You just organised it.”
“Without getting caught, I may add.”
“And,” I interrupt, “you got the idea from me Jamsie.”
Remus opens his mouth in fake shock. “You mean your brilliance is actually Jess’s?”
“That’s what I’m saying,” I clarify.
“Must be fact then.”
I prod Remus’ cheek. “This guy knows his stuff.”
“Yes, yes I do.”
James flounders. “This is preposterous! I think I deserve more respect.”
“Respect? Shall I quote your 5th year poetry?” He coughs, enjoying the attention, then begins to recite. “Evans, o Evans,
Go out with me please,
Otherwise I'll spend my life pissing on trees.
It's no laughing matter,
It's Padfoot I'll splatter,
And then he’ll try and kill me.
Evans, o Evans,
Your eyes are so pretty,
And as well, you're really quite witty,
I've tried not to pry,
But that's a lie,
You look sexy in your lingerie.
Evans o Evans-”
“PADFOOT SHUT UP.” James is bright red, I can see his glasses are fogging up as his embarrassment grows. We’re all laughing at him and Sirius is revelling in the situation he has caused. Lily slides off of James’ lap and onto the arm of the sofa. “Please say you didn’t actually write that?” She whispers, mortified. James opens and closes his mouth several times. Peter grins. “Oh he did. He and Padfoot were having a poetry contest. We had to judge…” He nods at Remus who sighs in a tired way.
“That was the longest few months of my life.” The werewolf shakes his head.
“Months?” I ask. “Hang on, James how did you see Lily in her underwear?”
“Um…” He replies. “Errr, I um, well it was… um, can I answer this later?”
Lily frowns at him. “James. If you ever want to see me in my underwear again, you will tell me.”
“In private.” He assures her. “Besides. My poetry wasn’t that bad.”
The boys went silent. “It was better than Padfoot’s.” Peter interjected.
Sirius’ head snapped around like a dog. “I was fabulous. I am fabulous. Right. Tomorrow, I’ll have a new poem for you, which I shall recite with real conviction.”
The boys groan and Sirius flounces off to bed trying to pair rhymes.
I go up to my dormitory later in the evening, and Lily follows me up shortly after. “That was eventful.” She murmurs sarcastically, her voice intentionally low so as not to wake our dorm-mates. “How has he seen you in your underwear?” I ask equally quietly, pulling off my stained blouse and shaking my head in despair at the depravity of James Potter. Lily shakes her head and reaches for the brush I gave her last year for Christmas. It’s silver and enchanted so that overnight her hair becomes wavy. She’s always moaning about how flat her hair is, never mind that it’s the most beautiful shade of dark orange.
“This weekend, do you want to go to Hogsmeade? Grab a drink at the Three Broomsticks and then get on a sugar high from Honeydukes.” I suggest.
“Oh, sorry Jess, I would, I really would but James and I are going on a date.”
“Right. Of course. Stupid. I need to get some work done anyway.” I draw the drapes around the bed, whisper “goodnight” and curl up into a ball.
When my alarm sounds in the morning, it’s dark and the other girls are groaning at having to wake up. I open my bed curtains to see Tiffany rushing around, trying to find some parchment to do an essay due in next lesson. Her trunk is spilling out onto the floor and her brown hair is limply hanging down as a sign that she hasn’t had time to style it today. I like Tiffany. She may be forgetful, easy to stress out and oh so easy to wind up, but she’s genuine and sweet. “It’s over there.” I tell her and point to her bedside table. “Why didn’t you just accio it?”
“I didn’t think of that.” She curses under her breath and sends Daisy-May Hastings into a tirade on bad language. I tell her to “shut the fuck up” and she glares at me with her mouth open like a goldfish. Lily is still asleep and so being the amazing friend that I am I chuck a pillow at her. She rolls onto her front and grunts at me. “Oi.”
“Get up you lazy arse.” I command and she opens her green eyes.
“I hate you.” Lily glowers.
“No, you love me.”
I get dressed, do my hair, brush my teeth and then head down to breakfast with Tiffany, telling Lily to catch me up. “I have to do this essay for first lesson,” Tiffany says, grasping the paper in her hand and pushing her hair behind her ear. “Which teacher?” I ask.
I inhale sharply. “Oh, good luck burning in hell.”
“Thanks.” She replies sarcastically. “You know it doesn’t help that he actually has black eyes.”
“I thought I was the only one to notice that!”
We sit down at our table and I pour myself a bowl of cheery owls as Tiffany knocks over a jug of water while trying to reach for her quill. “I am so dead.” She mutters before calling to Dean to ask for a copy of his homework. He hands it over as Lily sits down on my other side, looking as if she had woken up at 5 just to do her makeup. “Hello.” She says cheerily.
“Sup.” I reply.
“Are you angry with me?”
“Are you sure? Is it because I’m going out with James tomorrow?”
“So it is.”
“I said no.”
“Which means it is.”
“It’s not alright? It’s really not!”
“Not what?” James asks from behind me. I smile at him so sweetly that he backs away in fright.
“Not any of your business.” I smile and he seems relieved. Sirius is behind him, a piece of parchment in his hand- presumably… poetry. James turns to look at him and mutters something under his breath. Sirius gives him a look that nobody else but James could understand then he takes a deep, dramatic breath. “So, I take it you girls heard the news?”
Tiffany looks round. “News?” She asks him.
As if from nowhere, Sirius produces a newspaper and flings it at us. The photo takes up most of the page, and the headline only a few centimetres. I grab it and start reading.
13th Murder in 13 Days: What is the Ministry doing about it?
Today brought news of yet another set of grisly murders. A family consisting of two muggle-borns and their infant daughter was slaughtered late last night. It is rumoured that they were only killed after undergoing the effects of the cruciatus curse and their daughter, Natalie, 2, was subject to bodily mutilation. Head of the Auror Office Andrea Chapton issued the following statement. “What happened to this family is unacceptable. We are making every effort to stop this from ever happening again. We do currently have a number of possible leads, the greatest of which is that this is the work of some sick cult. The mark found above the house of the victims’ house is said to be the work of this new cult. In addition to this, new evidence”… cont. page 3.
“That’s sick.” I hiss. “That’s sick!”
Lily snatches it from me and begins to read it furiously. “Every effort?” She mutters. “Bullshit.”
James sits down and slips an arm around her. “It’s alright. The aurors might not be doing much but the Order of the thingy will be all over this.” He says reassuringly.
I close my eyes and ask, “What is this order you keep banging on about James? It’s been months since you told us about it and you still don’t have any new info?”
“Well I can hardly ask my parents, I’m not supposed to know about it.”
“Fine. It’s him, isn’t it? Voldemort. He’s come up for some hideous mark to put above victims’ houses.” I look at the photo. A skull with a snake-like tongue sliding from its’ mouth and slithering down the sky. “It’s repulsive.”
“Yes. It is.” Sirius says glancing over at the Slytherin table. I look over too and see Mulciber reading the same article with a gleeful expression on his ugly face. “Sick bastards.” I growl.
Sirius frowns “What?”
“Mulciber,” I reply exasperatedly. “What were you looking at?”
Remus and Peter appear at their shoulders and see what we’re all looking at. Remus puts a hand on Sirius’ shoulder reassuringly while Peter and James exchange a meaningful look. I roll my eyes. There’s no understanding these boys, their friendship runs too deep.