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Chapter 4: Casting Blame

Chapter 4



Ten minutes later, Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood assembled in Gryffindor common room. Hermione and Ron were both clad in their pajamas, Hermione rubbing her eyes with one hand, Ron just staring around uncomprehending and bleary-eyed, having been woken up from a sound sleep by Harry. Harry however was wearing very rumpled school robes, as he had been finishing some last minute homework when Sirius, James, Lily, Remus, and Miranda had burst into the common room because of their spell.

“I told you!” Harry hissed. “I told you they were here!”

Ron and Hermione could only gawk at Sirius, James, Lily, Remus, and Miranda with amazement and confusion, while the five stared back at them.

Hermione finally broke the silence. “What are you doing here?”

“Lily cast a spell for us to time travel.” Remus explained.

“Only because you four persuaded me!” Lily protested. “Besides, I blame Sirius!”

“What did I do?” Sirius exclaimed, highly affronted. “Why does everyone always blame me?”

“Well, Pads, you do tend to cause trouble.” James replied, simply.

“So do you!”

“Point taken, but we’re not talking about me here, are we?”

“Sirius, the whole thing was your idea!” Lily snapped.

“Yeah, sure, throw my words back in my face, like always! Real nice, Lily! You know you’re not a princess yourself?”

“And you are a princess? Pads, is there something you should tell me?” James teased.

Slowly, Hermione raised her hand in the air, but no one seemed to notice her.

“Yes, I do throw your words back in your face, because you usually say stupid things, but in this case I am throwing your actions back in your face! You were the one begging me to cast the spell!” Lily exclaimed.

“An unfounded lie! I, Sirius Black, do not beg. Cajole, sure, blackmail, most definitely, coerce, well, on a good day, but certainly not beg.”

“Uh, uh, what about that time when Snivellus hexed your books so that whenever you opened them—” James contradicted him.

“I didn’t beg!”

“Yes, you did, you begged Lily to remove the charm because—”

“No, it was a very manly appeal for help.”

“Sure, so very manly.” James snorted.

“Shut up!”

“Or the time on your sixteenth birthday when James turned you into—” Miranda began.

Lily dissolved into laughter. “Oh, I forgot about that! He made the pret—”

“No, I just beat Prongs up until he took off the curse that time!” Sirius interrupted, blushing furiously, before Lily could reveal exactly what happened on his sixteenth birthday.

Hermione began to wave her hand and bounce a bit on the balls of her slippered feet.

“You beat me in a physical fight?” James echoed derisively. “Sure, Padfoot, whatever delusions make you sleep at night. You begged me for so long to remove the spell that McGonagall ordered me to or else I would have gotten detention. Again. And I already had one scheduled with her for that night on top of it.”

“Come to think of it, you didn’t even remove it when McGonagall asked you, did you?” Remus, despite all of his efforts, had been drawn into the argument.

“Oh, that’s right! I took the detention instead!”

“Because you’re a horrible friend.” Sirius grumbled, crossing his arms over his chest and looking immensely cross.

“Aw, come off it, Pads, it wore off at the stroke of midnight.”

“See, Harry, do you see what a horrible friend your father was?” Sirius griped, whirling around to face Harry, and pointing in James’ direction.

“Er, I don’t think I understand what you’re all talking about.” Harry responded tentatively, watching the exchange wide-eyed.

“But it was funny!” James protested. “Incredibly funny, actually. You know I’m not a horrible friend; it was all in good fun. Admit it Padfoot, you thought it was funny a few days later when you thought back on it and saw the pictures. After you had time to get over your anger at public humiliation, of course.”

“NO!” Sirius retorted, but a smile was playing on his lips.

“Um,” Hermione began hesitantly, still waving her hand in the air, jostling for attention against the argument. “Can someone—can someone please—” She began, a little louder.

All arguing ceased as the five turned to face Hermione, Ron, and Harry. Hermione, startled at suddenly commanding everyone’s attention, shifted from foot to foot uncomfortably.

Sirius and James stared at her as if they had never seen anyone quite like her before.

“Prongs, why is she raising her hand?” Sirius asked in a rather loud sort of whisper, elbowing James in the ribs.

“I haven’t a clue, mate.” James whispered back, equally bemused. Aloud, he said to Hermione, “We’re not in class. You don’t need to raise your hand, just burst right into the conversation.”

Hermione looked vaguely scandalized, but nodded nonetheless and lowered her hand. “Well, what I wanted to uh, ask, was if someone could please explain all this, explain what exactlyis going on here.”

Harry and Ron nodded in agreement.

Finally. Harry thought excitedly. Answers.

***

“You mentioned time traveling—?” Hermione prompted, receiving five nods in response. “And you said that, um, she,” Hermione inclined her head at Lily.

“Lily.” Sirius, James, Remus, Miranda, and Lily, herself supplied at once.

“Yes, you said Lily cast a spell to make you time travel?”

“Yes, that’s about the gist of it.” Remus replied.

“But, sir, that’s impossible—”

“Why would that be?” Remus asked her quite calmly.

“Because there are no spells to time travel and—”

“Sure there are.” Sirius interrupted. “How else could we be here?”

Hermione frowned. “But I always read that the only way to time travel was by time turner—”

“The only way to legally time travel, you mean.” James corrected with a sly smile.

“There are spells if you know where to look; they just don’t teach you them in school, for obvious reasons.” Lily added. “And I did. The Ministry closely regulates time traveling, and thus presents it that the only way to do it is by using a time turner—”

“Except there aren’t anymore.” Ron blurted out.

“Sure there are, the Ministry has a big ol’ stockpile of ‘em.” Sirius disagreed.

“Not anymore, the whole stash broke when we—” Hermione suddenly stepped on his bare foot, causing Ron to yelp in pain. “What was that for?” He snarled.

“When you what?” Sirius prompted, looking intrigued.

“I’m really sorry, Sirius, but I don’t think we should tell you too much about the future…in case it changes things.”

“How do you know my name?” Sirius asked her abruptly. “You didn’t know Lily’s.”

“Well if Harry is James’ kid, I’m sure his best friends would know his father’s best friend.” Miranda replied, logically.

“But then why didn’t she know Lily’s name?”

“I’m sure that’s not pertinent to the matter at hand, Sirius.” Lily interrupted.

“Sure it is!”

“Why?” Lily challenged.

“Actually, that is a fairly valid question.” Remus spoke up, looking vaguely perturbed.

“Why are you supporting him in his quest to torture us all with ridiculous inquiries?”

“Hey!” Sirius protested.

“All I’m saying is look at the kid’s eyes, Lily…who else do we know with eyes that shade of green?” Remus clarified, gently. “Think about it is all.”

Lily outright laughed. “You’re both mental. You can’t honestly think—” Lily laughed again. “No, that’s just ludicrous…me and James…no way.”

“I don’t know for certain, but he did call you and Prongs ‘mum’ and “dad” when he first saw you…”

“Maybe I just look like his mum; it’s possible. After all it was late and he was undoubtedly tired…”

James shook his head, saying softly. “Lily, it’s kind of hard to get you mistaken for someone else…you’re too striking.”

“Striking?” Lily repeated, raising an eyebrow.

“That’s just Prongs’ fancy way of saying that you’re incredibly hot.” Sirius stated bluntly.

Lily blushed near as read as her hair.

James gave him an annoyed glare. “Thanks, ever so, for the clarification, Padfoot.”

“That’s what I’m here for.” Sirius replied with a nod and a grin.

“But it’s not like I’m the only one in the entire world with green eyes.” Lily objected.

“C’mon, look at the kid,” Sirius argued, pointing for emphasis. “Who else would Prongs hook up with that shade of green eyes! How likely is it that it is anyone butyou?”

“I’m sure there are other girls our year with green eyes—”

“Anyone else get the feeling that they’re just a third wheel?” Ron muttered.

“You mean that feeling that people are talking about you in front of you?” Harry queried.

Ron nodded.

“Well than, yeah, I definitely have that feeling, mate.”

Remus, obviously having overheard them, offered a sympathetic smile. “They do tend to go off on tangents, don’t they?” He remarked.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione all nodded wholeheartedly.

Remus sighed. “Thus, unfortunately it’s often left up to me to reign them all back in.” It was time to steer his friends back to the matter of considerable importance, time traveling, once again. He cleared his throat loudly. “Maybe we should talk to Harry rather than about him, hmm?”
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