Past Long Forgotten
Chapter 4 - Snape Goes Into the Whomping Willow
Written 2002-2003, with Hids
With the Six Year Dance a month away, everyone's getting excited about who's going with whom. I guess the biggest news is that I'm going with James, I swear I've gotten more than fifty girls who've said that I must have cursed him to go with me. Remus has been really nice to be and has even volunteered on being my personal bodyguard. That happened after Francine Dickson, a Hufflepuff girl, attempted to suddenly end my life by tripping me down the stairs and Daphne St John and her group, a bunch of snobby Slytherin girls, nearly poisoned my food with some sort of weird potion. Remus makes sure that if I'm not with James that he's right next to me.
Sirius has been acting strange, well stranger if that's possible. Several girls have asked him to the dance but he's declined all of their offers saying 'I business to attend to'. Sirius has also taken upon himself to annoy Remus as humanly possible about his date with Shamari. I don't understand why he said yes. She's quite mean and stuck up...hmmm reminds me of Petunia. But I do have to say she is quite pretty. Long golden blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. The funny thing is she's at least an inch taller than poor Remus!
Peter has been hanging out with the Marauders less and less these days. The others have no clue where he goes off to, James suspects he's a tad upset that I'm going with James and not him. According to James, Peter had a slight thing for me. Hope I haven't hurt his feelings to much. And talking about Peter. . . He's always sneaking off without explanations. I don't trust him! I saw him off with a nasty group of Slytherins the other day. I asked him about it, but Peter refeused to tell me anything. I don't want to tell James - I'm afraid I'll ruin my dream come true...
Lily closed her diary shut as James walked into the common room, a smile flashing across his face.
"Hey Lily, how are you?" he asked suavely as he sat down next to her.
Lily smiled back as she tapped her fingers absently on her closed journal. "I'm alright, just writing in my diary."
James laughed, shaking his head. "Isn't that the one Sirius gave to you? I'm surprised it wasn't a prank!"
"So was I, it amazes me how Sirius has matured...even if it is only a little."
James grinned as he pulled something from his robes. In his hand was an empty box of wizard crackers, playing nurse to a jug of pumpkin juice and several rolls of bread. "I thought you might be hungry, since it is pretty late."
Lily's eyes widened at this gesture. It was thoughtful, really. She guessed this meant he truly did care and this wasn't just some...fling. Lily took the minute feast from James' hand and placed the box next to her. "Thank you very much. I think I'll eat them a bit later."
Suddenly Sirius and Peter burst into the common room laughing. Sirius bent over to try to stop him having a cramp while Peter launched himself into a nearby armchair, giggling madly.
"What's so funny?" James asked.
Peter looked up at James. " just played the best joke on Snape."
James' expression fell. Sirius' jokes on Severus were usually quite extreme. He still remembered the time when Sirius tried to cheer Remus up by putting a spell on Severus' hair to turn bright electric blue. Of course the trick backfired when all the girls at school wanted their hair the same as Severus'. Lily looked over at them sternly, "What did you do to Severus?"
Peter was the first to speak. "We saw Snape walking across the grounds towards the Whomping Willow, probably saw Madam Pomfrey leading Remus to transform and Sirius told him that all he had to do was prod the not on the tree trunk."
Peter didn't get to finish because James stormed over to Sirius and slammed him against the wall. "ARE YOU INSANE? SNAPE'S GONNA GET KILLED!"
Sirius grinned in spite of himself. James was either not angry at all or absolutely pissed off.
"James," Sirius drawled easily, "does it matter if it's Snape? Weren't you complaining just yesterday about how sneaky the slimeball is?"
"THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT YOU IDIOT! THAT'S WAS COMPLETELY STUPID THING TO DO...even for you." James' dropped somewhat into a tone remotely like a snarl.
Lily looked on quite scared - she had never seen this side of James. James then let go of Sirius and ran to his room. A couple of seconds later he came out with the invisibility cloak. Peter looked nervous as he started to bite his nails again. "Where are you going Prongs?"
James glared at Peter angrily. "I'm going to get Snape outta there."
"We'll go with you," Sirius suggested in a hopeful way.
"No," James growled back. "You've already caused enough damage."
And with that James ran out of the Common Room. Sirius walked into his room, still looking very hurt by James' words while Peter sat down on a nearby sofa close to tears. Lily quickly grabbed her diary and the Wizard crackers box and went to her dorm.
James ran full pelt, not even pausing to morph into the stag. He didn't feel much like showing Snape his animagus form. As the flailing tree drew nearer, James whipped out his wand and panted, "Lumos!"
The grass before him lit up, the Whomping Willow casting a long shadow onto the grounds. Peeking out from behind the invisibilty cloak, James felt a chill run up his spine. A branch had been discarded next to the irate tree, its end curling into the roots.
A howl ripped through the night, muffled by distance, but James plowed on, his wand arm steady. By now he knew he'd have to pick up pace, even if his lungs screamed for air, even if his throat begged for water. Stretching his legs further about with each stride, James knew suddenly that he was going to make it.
"SEVERUS!" he bellowed, dirt raining down into his hair.
Ahead of him, he heard footfalls treading as rapidly as his. They did not falter. Getting fed up, James put on a last spurt of speed and lengthened his strides. He could see Snape ahead of him, but knew he was catching up on the nasty Slytherin. James threw out an arm and caught Severus hard in the chest, tackling him to the ground.
"Get off me!" spat Severus and kicked him hard in the stomach before jumping to his feet and continuing hurridly down the passage.
James groaned, struggling upright. He began limping after his quarry, afraid he might be too late. He could hear Remus bashing himself up, could hear his own wheezing, could hear Snape running and knew it was too late. James forgot his pain and dashed into the Shrieking Shack to see Snape backed against one wall, his fierce eyes somewhat dimmed.
Praying he wouldn't hit Snape, James raised his shaking wand and bellowed, "Stupefy!"
The werewolf dodged the blast, regarding him through hungry eyes. James staightened up, seemingly sizing the monster down.
"You will not have him!" James raised his wand again. "Expelliarmus!"
The werewolf staggered, but regained his strength quickly. Charging forward, the beast stretched out its claws. James' mind blanked and he cried the first words that came to his head from Defence Against the Dark Arts, "Avada Kedavra!"
The werewolf dropped abruptly, limp as if in death.
"What have I done?" moaned James, who struggled against Snape as the other boy dragged him out along the passage.
"Come on, Potter!" Severus snapped. "We must get out - now!"
By the time they reached the tree, a mournful howl bounced along the passage, but Remus did not follow. James felt life return to his limbs and told Snape to come with him to the headmaster's office. Snape kept making snide comments about Dumbledore being asleep and not having the password.
"Is there something you wish to tell me?" asked a wizened voice from behind them as James paced in front of the gargoyle.
Both boys jumped then shot each other venomous looks.
"Professor Dumbledore," James began in a rush, "Snape went to the Whomping Willow. I...I tried to stop him, but..."
Snape cut in, his face showing disgust. "Because you and your stupid cronies told me to."
"I'm aware of that," James snapped. "I had nothing to do with Sirius' childish antics."
Dumbledore raised a hand, silencing them both. "Do settle down the both of you. Do not burden an old man' s hearing with your shouts. Tell me, James, what happened."
"Professor!" Snape protested, but remained quiet after a swift piercing look from the headmaster.
James told Dumbledore what happened, along with vehement interuptions from Severus. When he had finished, James looked pleadingly up at Dumbledore. Dumbledore smiled at James. "You did your best. I doubt you were powerful enough for the curse to function properly. Though your friends' actions were not mature, you will not be punished. Severus, I'm going to have to ask you not to share this information with anyone."
Snape muttered sullenly, "Why not?"
"Remus deserves as much respect as the next student at Hogwarts," Dumbledore said sternly. "The day that we discriminate is the day we lose some of the best people I know."
I'm back. What a night! Thankfully James did save Severus. James said Remus was so close to biting Severus James had to do every single spell he could think of to keep him at bay. Sirius and Peter got their punishment - toilet duty on the night of the dance.
James is still very angry with Sirius. He's doing the silent treatment, something I know Sirius can't stand. Remus is very upset knowing that he nearly bit Severus but James' reassured him that it wasn't his fault, he made sure he glared at Sirius as he said that. Sirius has tried many attempts to try to talk to James but all of them have failed. Like today at lunch Sirius tried everything to get a peep out of his friend.
"James I'm really sorry!" Sirius cried desperately.
James ignored Sirius and turned to Remus. "Remus tell the village idiot that I'm not talking to him."
"What are you in kindergarten?" Remus said quietly but did as James told him to. "James told me to tell you that he's not talking to you, village idiot."
"I heard what he said!" Sirius yelled back as he leaned closer to James. "Come on Prongs you have to forgive me! I was stupid I was possibly insane. Don't make me beg..."
"Why not, it'll make you look more like a dog than you are," James snapped before turning his head away.
Remus eyed James. "James I know what Padfoot did was beyond idiocy but come on, Sirius has apologized like a hundred times. Just cut him some slack."
"No, he took things too far. It's time he learnt some responsibility, the sneak."
And with that James stood up and left the table.
"So much for that," Peter suggested airily as though it were a simple problem encountered in Divination.
"I don't want to lose my best friend." Sirius said heavily.
Remus looked at Sirius. He had never seen him this upset before.
"Are you crying?" Remus asked curiously, but not without concern.
"No! I just have in my eye," Sirius mumbled quietly, quickly wiping the few tears off his face. "I have to talk to James."
He stood up quickly and ran after James.
James sat glumly in an armchair watching the fireplace crackle and spark. He knew that Sirius was truly upset but James was worried that Sirius just wanted to be forgiven and then go back to his old tricks.
Then something caught his eye. A small black puppy was slowly making his way towards James. He smiled slightly and said, "Sirius don't resort that that. Begging will get you nowhere with me."
The puppy cocked his head, his big eyes looking straight at James. James looked uneasily at the puppy. "Come on don't do that puppy dog face. It makes you look so useless."
The puppy whined softly as he scratched his ear. James shook his head to himself. If Sirius had resorted to doing this, making himself look completely worthless, then he must have been really sorry. James stood up slowly from his chair and crouched in front of the puppy. "Sirius do you promise that you'll never endanger anyone like that and not use wolf-Remus in any of your pranks?"
The puppy nodded quickly. James sighed. "Fine I forgive you."
The puppy's eyes widened as he barked happily. Then Sirius slowly turned back into his human shape. He smiled back at James as they hugged each other.
Suddenly they heard something crash to the floor. They spun around to see Lily, looking absolutely terrified, pointing a shaking hand at Sirius.