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HP stories following Canon but PRE-OotP >> Two Steps Back by emmablk1

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
Sweat seemed to pour down James Potter’s forehead as he rounded the corner towards his starting point. It was all up to him now. No one else but himself was able to get this far, something he was extremely proud of. Too proud of sometimes. Maybe that was something he should have considered before he’d gotten involved in this. He flinched, letting the feelings of shame wash over him to let it go.
All he had to do was get through this last task. It was all up to him now and he was willing to take it all the way. James placed himself in starting position and tried to wipe some of the sweat off his head. Dimly he could see the stadium in the background behind him, his fans whispering excitedly and waiting impatiently for the starting flare. A hush came over the crowd when Dumbledore raised his wand. James counted silently in his head, not aware of the other boys standing beside him, wanting this glory as much as he did.


Time was slowing down, turning the world around him blurry as everyone mouthed the numbers with Dumbledore.


James lost his focus for a split second, moving his eyes away from the finish line and towards the Quiddich stadium seats. He could see Sirius, Peter, and Remus beaming proudly from the first row. Instead of making his eyes come back to where they should be, he stopped to search for a certain redhead who should have been sitting anywhere around the other marauders, smiling broadly, her mind only thinking of how fit he was and how much she didn’t deserve him.


He wasn’t ready for the red flare coming from the wand, bursting into the air with a hundred sparks moving along with it. He was able to make his foot move to begin running, but instantly the other runners were strides ahead of him and he suddenly knew there was no way for him to try to catch up.

Then there was the road block. It was only in his own lane, never in the others and was too large to jump over. It was Lily.

Her face was contorted into rage, nearly turning bright red. “You think you’re all that, James Potter? Take a look at yourself in the mirror! Maybe it could do you some good…” she hissed, throwing a hand mirror at him, narrowly missing his face. James caught it, falling backwards.

He expected to hit the hard ground on the field and have the wind knocked out of him, but instead he landed on his bed in his, Sirius’, Peter’s, and Remus’ dormitory. He was still holding the mirror. Cautiously he turned it over letting the reflected side lean face up on his bed. It reflected the ceiling, but nothing else.

James was too scared to look. Anything Lily told him to do must have serious repercussions. Gathering up his courage, he held up to his face and screamed.

“James, you shouldn’t do anything you might regret,” The mirror-Sirius told him, a smirk on his face in typical Sirius fashion. “You should leave Lily to me. She’ll never like you anyways…” James threw the mirror at the wall, enjoying the shattered glass that was letting Sirius break away. Now, though, it was coming right at his face. He could feel the sharp glass tearing at his skin and watched his own blood flow from the scars.

There was no pain. He could feel nothing at all, not even the tears rolling down his cheeks. There was nothing there until Lily stepped in front of him. He wasn’t sitting on his bed anymore. The room was blank, completely white making it look as if it went on for eternity.

She was smiling, walking toward him in a way that made his heart clatter against his chest. He was suddenly aware that his face was bloody and that he couldn’t feel his face. For almost a minute James swore Lily was about to kiss him. Her hands were gently on his face and when she touched him every ripped part healed.

Her hands moved to his chest and she smiled even wider. James could feel himself smiling too, but it suddenly turned into an expression of pain when her nails began to dig into him.

James cried out as Lily’s nails dug deeper into his flesh. Within seconds she had a hold of his heart, ripping every vein from it, letting him hear every pop. When the red thing finally came out of his chest she surveyed it, a little glimmer of amusement in her eyes.

“Funny,” she whispered as James began to writhe on the ground. “I didn’t think you had one of these.” She glanced at it again before dropping it to the ground and stepping on it. “Guess you don’t need it anyways, right Jamsie?”

James Potter sat bolt upright in his bed, soaked through to the bone with sweat. It was still dark outside the window. The others were still asleep and James could hear Sirius’ snoring from across the room. Panting heavily, he swung off the bed and stumbled into the bathroom.
The light blinded him for a moment before he caught sight of himself in the mirror. Thank goodness he didn’t look a thing like Sirius. There were no scars, either. His heart was obviously beating, so apparently he had nothing left to worry about.

Except what he had done to Lily. Merlin, she was never going to forgive him after when he had done now. It was that stupid day by the lake after exams yesterday. It was just a bad day, that’s all. Well, that and the fact that his ego was even more swollen than normal and that he was stressed out from the exams, and that he only had one more chance to get Lily to like him before the summer, and…well…he could blame it on the fact that the planets weren’t in line that day, it still didn’t change the fact that Lily was going to hate him forever.

He suddenly caught sight of something in the mirror. He had a red scar under his chin.

“What’re you so nervous about, Jamsie-Poo?” Sirius Black glanced at his best friend who kept staring out the window of Hogwarts train every six seconds. “Lily won’t hate you for forever.”
“Just for eternity,” Remus said without taking his eyes off of his book. Peter laughed uproariously at the joke. The others looked at him with their eyebrows raised. His laugher stopped instantly.

Sirius rolled his eyes and turned back to the problem at hand. “Anyway, it’s not as if we did anything new to Snape yesterday anyway.” He pointed out, pulling out his wand and flicking it through the air. “Admit it,” he grinned his infamous grin that he only used when he was thinking of a new prank. “You enjoy showing off in front of Lily just a little too much.” He paused to make sure James was listening to him, already knowing that he had the other’s attention. “It’s not just the fact that Lily’s watching, it’s that everyone else is too.”

Remus gave Sirius a look, and then checked the title of his book. “That’s it,” he sighed, throwing the book at Peter. “I’m never letting you borrow one of my books again, Padfoot.”

James ignored them all. The only reason he had gotten on the train so early was to make sure that he caught Lily before she avoided him for the rest of the summer. Without thinking, he rubbed his chin where the mysterious scar was, giving the impression that he was thinking very hard. In fact, the only thing he was thinking of at this moment was if he happened to catch a glimpse of red hair flying in between the other kids lolling about the train platform.

He was so close to the window now that his nose was pressed against it, leaving a greasy mark. James’ eyes were beginning to hurt. Just as he thought he saw Lily, he was suddenly aware that the compartment was eerily silent. Slowly he turned his head around and saw that Sirius and Remus weren’t there anymore and Peter was sitting casually with a magazine in his hands.

“Where’s Remus and Sirius?” he asked Peter suspiciously. Peter looked up nervously and James could almost see the lie trying to form in his head.

“R-Remus?” he stuttered, his eyes bouncing around the room to not look directly into James’ eyes. “I…uh…think he mentioned something about finding some chocolate…” Peter quickly turned back to his magazine.

“And you expect me to believe that Sirius followed him like a good puppy?” James asked, knowing exactly where Sirius most likely was.

“Um…er…uh…” Peter’s hands were visibly shaking, scared that he was going to get in trouble with Sirius.

James stood up, half smiling. “Don’t worry. I’m a resourceful chap. I think I know where to find him.” In a couple of strides, he reached the compartment door, but right as he reached it, it opened for him.

Lily stood in the doorway, arms folded across her chest, her red hair gleaming in the morning light. The only motor function that James could control was his mouth, which instantly dropped at the sight of her.

“Sirius said you wanted to tell me something?” Lily inquired, gently raising an eyebrow to make herself look even more imposing. James’ eyes swiftly glanced behind her and promised himself to kill Sirius later. Sirius just waved carelessly at him. “Potter?” she asked sharply, jolting him out of imagining himself dismembering Padfoot.

James swallowed hard and tried to speak without looking as if he were totally scared 0f her at this moment. “Yeah, I guess,” he squeaked, then righted his voice back to the land of puberty. There was a silence in which Sirius coughed loudly from the corridor, making signals to tell James what to say.

“My…my parents…uh…are…inviting?” Sirius began to make puppet shadows in the sunlight streaming into the hallway. James gave Sirius a look to tell him to stop goofing off and give him a real answer Lily would believe.

“Inviting me?” Now she was really confused. “To what, pray tell? A let’s-beat-up-Severus-Snape-party?”

“Actually, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea…” Sirius thought aloud. Remus elbowed him in the ribs.

James took the lie into his own hands while Sirius dreamed of a place that only existed in his mind. “My parents are inviting your whole family to go with us on our tour of the world this summer.” He quickly spat out, thinking suddenly of the trip that his parents were taking for their anniversary.

Lily looked surprised, to say the least. For once she let her guard down and uncrossed her arms. “I…I guess I’ll have to ask mum and dad,” she said unexpectedly, surprising even herself. With that, she glanced quickly at his face and turned silently down the hallway.

James’ ego got the best of him. “Oh, and Lily?” he called after her, sticking his head of the door to make sure she heard him. “We’re going muggle-style, so maybe we’ll even get to share a room at one of those things you call hotels?” Lily’s face burned with anger and embarrassment, so she ran down the hall faster.

“One step forward and two steps back…” Remus muttered as he walked back into the room in front of Sirius.

“What’s that supposed to mean!” James roared, slamming the door shut before Sirius had a chance to walk in.

“Nothing,” Remus said nonchalantly, sitting back down to pick up yet another book he magically pulled from somewhere.

“Hello?” Sirius called from out in the hall, but everyone ignored him. “Uh…The dog’s still in the corridor…” he gently rapped on the door, but no one moved to open it.

“Moony…” James treated, narrowing his eyes.

Remus sighed and barely looked up from his book. “I only meant that you never let Lily stay happy with you.” James’ eyes instantly went huge and round.

“What does THAT supposed to mean?”

“Why is the door locked on the outside, anyway?” Sirius wondered, pulling as hard as he could on the door. “It opened for Lily, for Merlin’s sake…why is it less than five minutes later it won’t open for Padfoot?”

“SHUT UP, PADFOOT!” James roared from the inside.

An hour later, Sirius was still sitting outside, bouncing spells off of the window, trying to hit the Slytherins in the car next to them.

Sirius sighed. “It’s gonna be a long summer…”

That’s it! Hope you liked it! Now, there’s the matter of the little purple button on the bottom of the page. It means that if you press it, you will be instantly able to send in reviews, which are good things, by the way.
Except for flames. I’ve never really had one on this site before, on others I have. And they hurt. So don’t intentionally give them. Please. Pretty please. Pretty please with cherries on top?


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