UPDATES- Since I have three connected stories, I decided to make an update section at the very top and I will continue to do so for each future chapter, so people don't have to search my extremely long author notes to find out when the next update will be. These are the dates they will MOST LIKELY be posted on, so please don't kill me if I'm late.
Always- Sunday, April 1 (will be aiming for Sundays in general, but I'll be on vacation the week of the 8th, so I'll most likely skip that week)
Abomination- Thursday, March 29 (sorry, I know I said would update this before, but the good news is that I've planned a very loose outline of Sirius's seven years so you can expect more frequent updates)
Hero- Friday, March 30 (I need to do some seriously planning, but I have a good idea of the first few chapters, not quite sure how often I'll update this)
Thank you, everyone, for understanding about my homework. I finally caught up so you can look forward to frequent updates. Thank you so much for helping me reach over 600 reviews! This chapter is the first of three chapters of the werewolf/Mary Macdonald arc that will all take place during the same day. This first part is a bit slow, but I promise things will speed up in the next chapter.
One last note: a reviewer accused me of stealing this story. I did not, even though I almost wish I did, because that means I wouldn't have spent hours on outlines that disappeared with the rest of the stuff on my old computer. I did post the very first chapter of this story on mugglenet a while ago on my old username, but they never accepted my second chapter update for some reason. If anyone runs into this story elsewhere, please let me know.
sparklyscrunchies- Thanks again for showing me the typos, and thanks for the review! I actually debated for a while if it was too harsh of Lily to say that about James. I kept it because, while she doesn't mean it, I wanted to emphasize how James can have a definite crazy effect on her. Whether it's dislike or not, there's something always strong between them. About Christopher, I had him be the one to break up with Lily because I didn't want it to be too similar to that earlier Lupin/Lily scene, although I admit Lily got off easily there too. Reading your review makes me want to do a really difficult breakup, so I'll keep what you said in mind. Unfortunately for James and Severus, Lily will have other boys interested in her, so there will be other chances.
Solastice- Thanks for the review! I'm glad that you liked the Mirror of Erised chapter because there will be another one after Lily's death, and I'm ridiculously excited to write it, especially since the original was one of my favorite chapters to write in the first place. I'm also really glad that my portrayal of Gryffindor and Slytherin is coming out that way, so thanks for pointing that out. I really wanted to avoid making Slytherin completely evil without any useful qualities, and Gryffindor the House that can do no wrong. I'm definitely trying to have Lily's perspective shift that way, and it should be more obvious in sixth year when she actually becomes friends with the Marauders.
Anon- Thanks for the review, and thanks again for pointing out the typos! Demetra is a relative of Romilda Vane, one of Harry's fan girls. I suppose it can't be her mother unless she kept her maiden name, but when writing, I didn't really consider that part, so I'll just say Romilda is Demetra's daughter, and Demetra kept her last name because she ended up marrying and divorcing several famous Quidditch players.
Fanficfan- Thanks for the review and the tip! I'll definitely test it out.
1. You say you never thought I would be someone that would steal. You don't know me at all. I'm not the best person in the world, but I'm not stupid, and it would be very stupid for me to steal someone else's work when this story gets as many views as it does. I didn't steal because I don't need to. a.) For some reason I can't explain, I actually enjoy writing this monster of a fanfic. b.) I'm a good enough writer on my own, as you said so yourself, so a quick thank you for that.
2. Your claim lacks consistency. You imply that you've been a loyal reader and have been reading for a while (not recent), then you say that we both wrote the same thing as the same time (recent), after you claim that I stole for a story that didn't have reviews at the time (not recent). Choose a timeframe and stick to it.
3. You say my story is too good, meaning I must have stolen it, then you accuse me of stealing it from you. Either you think a lot of yourself, or your name is extremely fitting. I'm going with the latter considering one second you're wishing me bad karma and the next good lack details. You didn't even mention your story's name, let alone specify what I stole. Next time, put in a little more effort and at least edit an old story so it at least it looks like I'm copying you.
4. I honestly really, really doubt that this claim is real, but if for some reason you do believe that I did steal your story, get over yourself. This is JKR's world, not mine, not yours. There are million stories out there based on it, if not more. I'm guessing there's at least a thousand jealous Mulcibers and Quidditch player crazy Marlenes. It sucks, I know, but that's the downside of borrowing one of the most popular fictional worlds. If you're trying to say that everything I've written is identical to yours, there is absolutely no way. I admit that after seventh year, I'm not completely sure of what will happen even though I have a list of scenes I know I want to write, but I planned out first through seventh years a while ago. I spent hours working out outlines with the most random details, and unless we have some weird telepathic connection, there is not a chance that you wrote the same story as me.
Chapter Sixty-Six- To Catch a Werewolf
The sun had just begun to set. The final golden rays bathed the flushed sky with a dimming glow. Soon the reds and the golds would be painted over with twilight's palette of dusty blues and purples until the most final color of all arrived. It was only fitting, really. When darkness took away the red and gold of the sun, it would take four certain Gryffindors with it. Never again would Remus Lupin be eyed with anything but fear and disgust. Never again would Potter and Black strut through the castle without a care in the world, hexing anyone who crossed their path, and never again, would they be followed by worshipful eyes and cheers when they did so. After all, who would ever want to associate with a werewolf and his gang of marauders?
Yes, black was most fitting, Severus decided with a twinge of satisfaction, a hint of a crooked smile teasing his lips as he continued to observe the window from the corner of his eye. That night was a full moon, and in the morning, Lupin would be expelled. Maybe even Dumbledore would be forced to resign, forfeiting his protection of the rest of the Marauders at the same time. Severus's eyes gleamed at the thought, not even daring to imagine what the Knights would say to that particular accomplishment. It was unlikely, but not impossible. Once Lupin's beastly little secret was revealed, anything could happen. Students would write. Parents would complain. Hogwarts' Board of Governors would have little choice in the matter if there was enough disgruntlement.
Especially if certain families pushed the matter. With the most powerful pure bloods armed with enough ammunition, not even Dumbledore, let alone the Marauders, stood a chance. That was the benefit of being on the right side; never losing. Gryffindors, the rest of the school excluding the Slytherins, really, and even then some, painted everything black and white. They blindly followed whatever they believed to be good just because they were told it was so, even if it meant their end. Severus wasn't stupid. He knew that Voldemort and the Knights weren't good. But that didn't make them wholly evil either. They weren't afraid of making sacrifices and doing what needed to be done. While everyone else was content to go their usual way, ignoring and even fearing opportunity, Voldemort and the Knights not only seized opportunity, but molded it into something that they could be proud of.
They were untouchable.
And he was one of them.
Severus's eyes drifted from the window and back to the handful of Knights that were tucked to the side of the corridor. Sure enough, eyes lowered, feet quickened, and breaths were drawn in as other students scurried by. The few Knights that were there were hardly the most threatening of the group, but even so, the signs of fear that surrounded them were unmistakeable. It was as if their mere presence had an aura of power, a power that Severus couldn't say he disliked.
"Snape, are you in?" Mulciber's impatient voice rudely cut into Severus's thoughts. Without the better of the Knights around, Mulciber had taken it upon himself to act as leader of the moment, prattling on about some elaborate and utterly stupid scheme to terrify a few first years, a scheme that Severus was certain would be met by immediate scorn if the Lestrange brothers or Lucius had been present.
Even so, Severus felt a flicker of alarm at the possibility of missing another full moon, but it was brief, vanishing almost instantly. It was only Mulciber and the lesser Knights; he could handle them easily. All he had to do was end their plans and he would be free to catch a werewolf.
Mulciber's heavy eyebrows shot up and he quickly glanced around at the other Knights as if weighing their reactions. Evidently, he hadn't believed that anyone would have the audacity to back out, least of all a mere half-blood. "Why not? You have something better to do?"
It was a typical Mulciber tactic, one Severus was all too familiar with. Scoff until the opponent backed down and claim victory. Severus fought the urge to snap back. Instead, he adopted a controlled yet lofty voice that he would have liked to think Lucius Malfoy would have used, Lucius who was respected by all, who could make even Mulciber shudder with his wintry gray eyes. "I suppose you could say I have slightly higher ambitions."
A faint scarlet began to creep up Mulciber's neck, tinging even his ears a dull red. His nostrils flared, even more so when he realized that none of the Knights rushed to defend his precious plan. "I forgot. You're the half-blood Prince," he said nastily. "Care to share what those ambitions are with us lowly pure bloods?"
"Not especially," Severus said coolly, even though a flash of anger sparked inside him in protest. He had heard it all before, but somehow, it stung worse after Eileen had so solemnly addressed him as such, after he had so formally adopted the nickname as his own. He wondered if Mulciber knew that he had written the name in all of his textbooks, but quickly cast aside the thought before his cheeks could burn.
There was a pause. Mulciber seemed at a loss for words. As expected, he didn't suffer from that particular ailment for long. "Then what do you suggest we do instead?"
"Something more challenging than cursing first years. Second years, perhaps," Severus said casually, not flinching at the mocking tone, even though his cool black eyes remained fixed on Mulciber, his gaze never losing its intensity. "Maybe even someone your age if you're feeling especially daring."
There was a chorus of laughter, laughter that startled even Severus. It was not unpleasant, and for once, his fingers unthinkingly whisked away the same strands of black hair that he relied on so heavily to shield his face. His bare face felt almost alarmingly exposed, but he found that he didn't mind nearly as much as he ordinarily did.
Mulciber, however, looked far from pleased, his face contorting as if he had been forced to swallow poison. The color that had rushed to his once pale face was reddening by the second, a near match to the hated Gryffindor scarlet. Thorfinn Rowle's next remark did little to improve matters.
"Snape has a point. It's one thing to curse a first year who's in your way, but to plan it out?" The fifth year gave a little shrug. "It's degrading."
Another fifth year Slytherin, Edgar Gibbons, nodded in agreement, the motion followed by the others, even Avery, until a furious Mulciber jabbed him in the ribs.
"Are you saying that I can't curse someone my age?" Mulciber demanded, rounding on Severus. It was a wise and predictable choice considering that Rowle looked as if he could snap his neck as easily as a wand.
"I'm sure that you could," Severus said delicately. "With the right people."
Mulciber's eyes followed as Severus's pointed gaze rested on each and every Knight present. Another silence ensued, one crackling with tension that, to Severus's amusement, had captivated the others' attention far more than Mulciber's plotting had.
"You've seen me at the meetings," Mulciber hissed at last, his eyes flashing. "You've seen what I can do."
"Against Avery," Severus said simply, enjoying the show as the other Knights, with the exception of a confused Avery, exchanged amused glances. As much as he loathed to admit it, Severus knew that Mulciber was decent, arguably more than decent, at certain hexes. He took enormous pleasure in harming the defenseless, and it showed, his delight strengthening his spellwork, causing magic to blaze from his wand as if it had a life of its own. But at meetings, paired up against Knights that were just as aware, if not more, of dark magic, he played it safe, not wanting to risk a black eye marring his aristocratic features.
"If you want to duel, Snape," Mulciber spat out with a step closer. "We can duel right now."
Severus tilted his head, unable to keep from shooting a look of desperation towards the darkening sky. There was no time for duels. The only way was to make Mulciber feel foolish enough to lower his wand. "A tad sensitive, are we, Mulciber? I never said I wanted to duel. I was only making an observation, as everyone else obviously is."
At that point, Mulciber seemed almost too enraged for words. They may not have said so, but the others' superior smirks and glinting eyes gave away their true feelings. They believed him to be an incapable coward, and Mulciber knew it.
All the blood that had pooled up in Mulciber's cheeks had drained, and his face was even whiter than before, nearly ashen. When he spoke, his voice was surprisingly quiet, but all the more fervent, his thin bloodless lips nearly spitting out each word. "I'll show you all. I'll curse the next Mudblood or blood traitor I see. If that doesn't satisfy you, then I'll do the next one and the next. You'll see. They won't even be recognizable by the time I'm through with them."
The rest of the Knights fell silent, Severus included, as they watched Mulciber stalk off. Until Walden Macnair began to laugh, a disturbing sound, causing a few of the others to join him.
Severus was struck by an unexpected uneasiness, whether it was from Macnair's chilling laugh or Mulciber's speech, he couldn't say. Mudbloods. Muggle-borns. Lily. A sudden dread shot through Severus, but he shoved it away. Lily had told him that she would be studying for her Herbology exam in the Gryffindor common room. She was safe. She had to be safe.
"I have to go," Severus muttered, feeling sick to his stomach. He ducked his head down so that the curtains of black fell in front of his face once again. He didn't brush them back.
Avery, who appeared to be rather lost without a Mulciber to follow, began to trail after him.
"No, Avery," Severus said with an edge that he couldn't quite conceal. "I'm going by myself. Stay here or do something else."
It was rather like directing a dog. Avery stayed. Severus went on, but the sick sensation lurching in his stomach remained.
There were dozens of blood traitors and Muggle- borns around. There was no reason to worry about Lily. She would be safe in the common room. Potter and Black wouldn't even be able to irritate her enough into leaving since they would be too busy lurking around the school, enjoying the moonlight.
The moonlight. Severus's eyes flashed to a passing window and exhaled when he saw that there was still time to reach the hidden corridor and wait for Lupin and Pomfrey. But just as his eyes automatically flew to the next window, as if to reassure himself that the full moon would not be missed, he found himself crashing into someone.
Severus reeled back, miraculously catching himself before he tumbled to the floor. "Regulus?"
"Sorry, Severus. Bye, Severus," Regulus said between quick breaths, hurrying past him. He whirled around, facing Severus as he backed away. "Catch you in the common room later, yeah?"
Before Severus could even think of a response, Regulus turned back, his legs carrying him as fast as a walk could be considered. Severus stared after him, completely bemused by what had just occurred. Regulus was not normal, but even for him, his actions had been bizarre. But there wasn't time to dwell on the inner workings of a Black mind. A throbbing pain in Severus's arm from the collision remained, and absentmindedly, he rubbed it.
He hastened his pace. He was almost there.
When he had finally swept by the enormous double doors of the Great Hall, his heart began to pound in anticipation. This was it. After today, he would never have to see Lupin standing behind Potter and Black, looking down as they humiliated him for their entertainment. He would never have to see that apologetic, and ultimately pathetic, look Lupin gave him during the class after.
Potter and Black... They may have been a pair of obnoxious berks who believed that they were entitled to the world, but at least they admitted as much. Lupin was a coward who couldn't stand up to anyone without those two idiots leading the way, least of all to his own friends. He deserved to be expelled, to be shunned from society. He was spineless, as spineless as Severus was at Spinner's End, when Tobias came home and took out his rage on Eileen. There was a time he had winced at the sight, just as Lupin occasionally did, and just as Lupin, Severus would do nothing but stand by and watch. It bothered Severus, how much he and Lupin resembled each other in that way.
It was just another reason why Severus despised him. Because whenever he saw Lupin idly standing by, he saw his younger self, useless and weak as he hugged his knees to his chest, trying and failing to drown out his mother's never ending screams.
Abruptly, he pushed that unwanted memory towards the back of his mind where it belonged, but even so, the hideous scowl that had twisted upon his lips remained. Severus then turned around the corner, prepared to take his old shelter behind the suit of armor. But something new was in his place, something that even he couldn't have foreseen, or rather, someone.
A someone named Sirius Black.
The Gryffindor common room was quiet.
Anyone who wasn't used to the common room would have said otherwise. There was plenty of noisy chatter, particularly from the other side of the fireplace, where a cluster of obnoxious third years squealed over a Stubby Boardman poster so loudly that the crackle of flames was inaudible. Even so, it was far too quiet.
Perhaps it was because there was no Potter to question anyone unfortunate enough to be wearing a Tornadoes badge to death until they burst into tears, such as the poor second year who still hadn't had the nerve to stray in the common room long since. Perhaps it was because the rest of the Marauders were suspiciously absent as well, they who tended to be louder than anyone, whether it was basic mayhem or an everyday conversation. Or perhaps it was because Lily still couldn't get used to the silence that should have been filled up with Marlene and Alice's bickering or Mary's swoons over Potter and Black. If Lily was being honest with herself, she almost missed hearing about how Sirius Black's hair could do no wrong.
Lily glanced to the corner of the common room, where Alice was staring at her textbook, obviously making just as much progress as Lily was. Lily looked down at her untouched parchment and bit her lip. She wasn't quite so furious anymore. Actually, she wasn't even angry. Only disappointed. She missed being friends with Alice and the others, but how could she, when they thought so badly of Severus? It felt disloyal to him, to even consider renewing her friendship with them.
Even though Severus's friends clearly thought less of her.
The thought nagged Lily. It had nagged her constantly since she had first told Severus what had happened. His eyes had darkened at first, but when Lily had told him that she couldn't be friends with anyone who couldn't accept their friendship, he had perked up considerably. He seemed more than agreeable to her declaration.
But when it concerned him and his disapproving friends, he was another person altogether. The majority of the time, he would retreat behind his mask, snapping that she didn't understand. Other times he would plead, claiming that it was better that he remain friends with them, for both their sakes. She remembered the desperation in his eyes when he had admitted that he was hiding something, and sometimes, she found herself wondering if there was no escape for him, if he had found out something truly horrible and was somehow being forced to guard the other Slytherins' secrets.
But then Lily would see how he was with them. He would hold his head high, even puff his chest out a bit. She was still sure that he was hiding something, but whatever it was, he was a willing participant in it, no matter how much she wanted to deny it. He wanted to belong. Lily understood that much. She had seen how the other Muggle boys acted around him, and she would have been glad that he was finding his niche, but Mulciber? Rosier? That was where she was completely baffled. She didn't understand how anyone could want to be friends with them. Severus didn't need to rely on the approval of Slytherin pure bloods. He was better than that.
If only he could see that.
Lily drew her knees up to her chest and stared at the merrily dancing flames in front of her. It shouldn't have been so hard. It hadn't been hard before. And that was when Petunia had been around everyday.
"You're Lily Evans, right?"
Lily jerked in surprise at the interruption and looked to her side, only to see a tiny figure in an oversized hooded robe. Not quite sure of what to make of it, she folded her arms protectively across her chest and straightened up. "Er- yes? Who are you?"
"And you're friends with Mary Macdonald?" The figure pressed again in another small whisper.
Lily opened her mouth to response, but she couldn't find the words to answer that. She went for the obvious question instead. "I'm sorry, but who are you?"
"I can't say."
"And why not?" Lily demanded, craning her neck for a better view of the figure's face. To her immense relief, there was no hideously warped monster, only a pair of round brown eyes that belonged to a normal, if not seemingly terrified, boy.
"Because I'm a Hufflepuff," the boy looked around nervously before answering. "I'm not supposed to be here or James Potter will leave me hanging upside down again."
"He hexed you?" Lily was outraged.
"Yeah! And Sirius Black too!" The boy seemed half-frightened, half-delighted by the fact.
Lily wrinkled her forehead in bewilderment, not knowing how to respond to that. She decided to go with the route she knew best, Potter threats. "Well, if he tries to again, tell him Lily Evans will put a curse on him that will make his hair fall out. Permanently."
The boy looked a bit awed by her and took a wary step back.
"Anyway, Potter isn't around. Can you tell me who you are now?" Lily asked impatiently, becoming more curious by the second. Questionably sane or not, the hooded Hufflepuff was a welcome distraction from her thoughts
"Reginald Cattermole," came the barely audible reply.
"Okay, Reginald," Lily swept an irritating lock of hair away from from her face and behind her ear as she studied Reginald, doing her best to soften her expression with a slight smile. "Why are you sneaking into the Gryffindor common room and why are you asking me about Mary?"
Her smile did little to ease his nerves. Reginald shifted from foot to foot uncomfortably, and when he looked up, his hood fell back enough to reveal his scarlet cheeks. Lily waited.
"I wanted to know if she got my note."
"Your note?" Lily repeated, arching an eyebrow.
"Yeah," Reginald mumbled, looking around everywhere but directly at her. "I've been sending her notes."
"What kind of notes?"
"Nothing bad! Just that she looks nice and...that her laugh reminds me of our family ghoul."
Lily stared at him.
"He's a really nice ghoul," Reginald said desperately when Lily said nothing.
"Maybe you should have left that part out," Lily said finally, with as much tact as she could muster. She was having the most horrifying urge to laugh, and not wanting to hurt the boy's feelings, she bit her lip, frantically trying to keep a straight face.
"I guess so," Reginald looked downcast. "Maybe that's why she didn't meet me."
His look of pure dejection was enough to erase any desire to laugh. "Meet you?"
"My last note," Reginald peeked at her and quickly returned to staring down at his feet. "I asked her to meet me. The notes were a secret, but I was going to tell her it was me. And maybe ask her go with me to Hogsmeade. I can go this year!" He seemed very excited at the fact, and as if he couldn't help himself, he looked up again at Lily, waiting to see if she shared his enthusiasm.
Lily's heart wrenched at his hopeful expression. She would have never thought he was a third year; second year would have been pushing it. But even if he were a fourth year, she doubted that Mary would have taken to him. Reginald may have been somewhat endearing, but he wasn't a Quidditch hero or handsome family rebel. He was a Hufflepuff with a head that was far too large for his scrawny body. But there was absolutely no way she could tell him that. It would devastate him. She forced a smile since that was so clearly what he wanted to see, and returned to the original topic. "I don't know why she didn't meet you. She's not here. At least I don't think she is."
"Then where is she?" Reginald sounded worried.
Lily shrugged, not really wanting to talk about Mary or the others. "I don't know. Stalking Quidditch players?"
As soon as she had uttered the words, she wanted to clap a hand over her mouth, not wanting to crush Reginald. But he didn't dwell on it and simply shook his head firmly. "She always goes back to the common room after dinner."
"Oh," Lily said, a bit unnerved that he knew this, but more troubled by the information itself. He was right. Instinctively she turned her head toward the corner opposite of Alice, the corner that Mary had taken ever since the fight in the dormitory. It was empty. She turned back to Reginald. "She's probably fine."
"What if she's not?" Reginald peered at her.
"She is," Lily said more firmly.
"But what if she's not?" Reginald insisted.
"Then why don't you look for her?" Lily was becoming more and more annoyed. She didn't want to think about Mary or Marlene or Alice or even Severus. She just wanted to be able to study Herbology without their faces popping up in her mind. Reginald was turning out to be a lousy distraction.
"I did. I couldn't find her."
Lily sighed. It wasn't Reginald's fault. If he was oblivious enough to think that Mary would choose him over Potter, she could hardly expect him to be aware of their friendship status. With a nod of her head, she gestured towards Marlene, who was perched on an armchair near her sister and a crowd of sixth year girls. To her surprise, Marlene was watching them. When she saw Lily looking at her, she tossed her shiny dark hair over her shoulder and immediately went back to chattering away. "Ask her. She might know."
"I can't," Reginald looked panicked.
"Not with all those people. And she's Marlene McKinnon," Reginald gazed at her with fearful eyes.
Lily was about to protest, but Reginald did look petrified by the very prospect, and she could understand why someone like him would be unnerved by Marlene, especially when she was surrounded by sixth years. "Fine. I'll ask."
With that, Lily rose from the armchair and slowly approached Marlene, fully aware that the last time she had said anything to her, it had ended in tears. It wasn't a very good feeling. Seeing Marlene's amber eyes widen and then narrow when she saw her coming did little to help.
"I was wondering if you knew where Mary was," Lily said quickly before Marlene could ask why she was there. She was uncomfortably aware that the handful of girls were watching her with curiosity and amusement, all except for Rachel McKinnon. From her extremely hopeful expression, Lily guessed that Marlene had been ranting on about all of them to her and her sixth year friends.
Rachel gave her younger sister an encouraging look, and was promptly sent a dark one in return. Marlene then looked at Lily suspiciously, and then at Reginald, who was still by the fireplace, wearing his hood. "No," she said flatly. "I don't."
"Okay then," Lily flushed and immediately turned around, suddenly wanting nothing more than to leave the common room, even it meant searching for Mary. She strode quickly back to the chair where Reginald was waiting with wide eyes. "Come on, let's go find her."
Reginald gulped, looking more nervous than ever. "Okay."
Lily led him out of the common room, debating whether or not to tell him that he was drawing more attention to himself by huddling over, especially when he practically glued himself to her side. In the end, she kept her mouth shut. She did, however, wince when he tripped over his robes outside the portrait hole and went flying forward.
Lily, who had just finished propping up Reginald, whipped around at the sound of Marlene's voice. "What?"
"If you're going to look for Mary, I'm coming with you," Marlene held her head high in defiance, as if daring Lily or Reginald to protest.
Lily remembered their last conversation more vividly than ever, shame creeping to her cheeks when she recalled how she had made Marlene burst into tears. Even though she still was far from happy with what Marlene had said, she hated hurting anyone. Certain that it wasn't a good idea, she glanced over at a visibly terrified Reginald, feeling only doubly sure when she took him in. "The more of us there are, the more likely we'll get caught," Lily pointed out.
"I don't care. And if you think I'm going to let you wander around at night with some creep in a hood that doesn't even fit right, you're out of your mind."
It was such a Marlene thing to say, a display of friendship hidden beneath a superficial insult. It was a show of friendship that Lily hadn't expected to see again, and she cracked a smile. To her surprise, Marlene offered one in return, a timid little smile that was a far cry from her usual toothy grins.
"Marlene, meet Reginald," Lily tilted her head towards the Hufflepuff.
"Pleased to meet you," Reginald managed with a squeak.
Marlene eyed him doubtfully.
"He's not dangerous, or anything," Lily said quickly, flicking back Reginald's hood so that it didn't droop quite so ominously over his face.
"Just in disguise," Reginald piped up. "I'm in hiding. From James Potter!"
Lily took over before Reginald could blurt out anything else, suddenly wanting nothing more than to get their mismatched search party over with. "Where should we look first?"
"Mary is on the ground floor most," Reginald seemed to be growing braver by the second. "When she's not on the seventh."
Marlene shot Lily a questioning look, as if asking are you sure he's not dangerous?
Lily forced a tight smile. "The ground floor then."
She had a feeling that it would be a very long night.