Harry Potter, Nicked It

Title: Nicked It [Remus/Lily, James/Lily]
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for swears and licentious slander.
Summary: “Remus, I’m sorry I shouted at you,” Lily protested in horror, “but it doesn’t have anything to do with Potter! Well, it did, but not because he’s not having me! Which he isn’t!”
A/N: Written for Musesfool’s birthday, because her Lily is the one I always hear in my head and because Remus can be such an unmitigated spoilsport.

Nicked It

“Lily,” Remus rolled his eyes, “don’t you think you’re being a bit hard on James?”

“No!” Lily said crisply, crinkling up her Herbology essay in her irritation. “Let’s look at the facts, shall we? Today alone, I’ve caught him trying to poison Slytherin’s oatmeal, bullying First Years into carrying his books, skivving off class to sneak off with Black somewhere…”

“Which is nothing,” Remus interrupted, “that every other Sixth Year in the place hasn’t done as well.”

“Not in the space of two hours!”

Putting on the neutral face that Lily hated because it was impossible to tell what was going on beneath it, Remus asked quietly if she had really wanted to meet him just so she could complain about James. Lily felt immediately contrite and reported that in fact she had wanted to study.

“Is that study?” Remus asked, expression melting just a little, “or ‘study’ with the raised eyebrow?”

“That’s a stupid question,” Lily informed him, knocking the book in his lap carelessly to the floor and leaning over against him. Her lips had barely grazed his when the portrait hole banged open and in strode the object of Lily’s disaffection.

” ‘Lo, Remus,” Potter said casually, mussing up his hand with one hair. The other hand was wrapped securely around a struggling Snitch. ” ‘Lo, Evans.”

“Potter!” Lily snarled, backing away from Remus immediately to glare at James, back ridiculously stiff. “Don’t you dare let that loose in here, and just where did it come from anyhow?”

“This?” James glanced at the Snitch casually before shrugging. “Nicked it.”

“Do you see?!” Lily rounded on Remus, whose closed expression was back in full force, increasing her irritation. “You’re a Prefect, you ought to do something about him!”

“I’ll do something right now,” Remus said, the chill in his tone seeming a bit unwarranted to Lily, “I’ll be studying in the library. Can’t have Prefects with poor marks, can we?”

Lily watched him scoop up his book and bag and head quickly through the portrait hole, her jaw hanging open a little. She flicked a glance over to James, who was still standing next to the couch, looking supremely unconcerned about Remus’ exit and tossing the Snitch up and down just a little.

“What did I tell you about that Snitch?!” she shouted.

“It’s under control, Evans,” he replied easily, letting it slip just far enough away from him that he was barely stretching his fingers to pluck it out of the air again. “Unlike you.”

She was opening her mouth to demand what that meant when Black came through the portrait hole, scowling.

“Oi, what’s on with Moony?” he asked Potter. “He just stormed by me with barely two words, and they were ‘fuck’ and ‘off’!”

“Evans was shouting at him for no reason,” Potter shrugged, lobbing the Snitch at Black. Black snagged it roughly by a wing and pelted it back to the other boy, who caught it neatly. Eyebrows drawn together in an angry line, Black turn to glare at Lily.

“Cor, Evans!” he snarled at her, “do you have to be such a bint all the time?!”

Lily clenched her jaw as she stood and snatched up her bag, then stormed from the room without sparing either one of the social misfits another glance.

After she calmed down, Lily did begin to feel rather badly about snapping at Remus, who after all was forced to share a dormitory with Tweedledee, Tweedledork, and Tweedlefuckwit through no fault of his own, and had not deserved to be shouted at. She decided that for the moment the best plan was to ignore the minimal effort Remus put into controlling his Yearmates and apologize for the severity of her attack.

Unfortunately, while Lily had been hoping to catch a quiet moment alone with her boyfriend during breakfast, his three friends had already closed ranks around him on the bench, Pettigrew and Black on either side of Remus and Potter opposite them. As Lily approached, the other three glared openly at her while Remus went on calmly eating his oatmeal.

She cleared her throat softly behind Remus and got no response, other Black baring his teeth a little at her. Refusing to be cowed, she tried again.

“Remus? Could I talk to you?”

Remus turned to look over his shoulder at her, but there was a long moment while he considered his response, during which Lily noted that the fruit James was eating was not, as she had thought, an orange, if the luminescent smear across his cheek was any indication.

“Potter,” she snapped, interrupting whatever Remus was opening his mouth to say, “is that a Sparklegranate?” Potter took another bite, and Remus closed his mouth with a snap.

“So what if it is?” he asked. Out of the corner of her eye, Lily saw Remus give a little snort and turn back to his oatmeal. Black edged in closer, whispering something Lily couldn’t make out above the noise of Potter chewing as loudly as possible.

“So Sparklegranates are only to be used in potions!” Lily sneered at him. “And they are illegal and they have dangerous hallucinogenic properties!”

“Huh,” Potter looked her right in the eye and took another large bite, “and here I thought your face had gone all those funny colors because you were hacked off at Remus.”

“I’m NOT…they aren’t even in season!” Lily flailed a hand through the air, wishing she could get it around Potter’s throat. “Where did you even get it?!”

“Nicked it,” Potter took another large bite and stood up, the other three boys following suit, just like they always did. Black elbowed Lily in the stomach ‘accidentally’ as he slid back the bench, knocking her back a step. Coming around the side of the table, Potter deposited the sticky remains of the fruit in her hand.

“Saved the last few bites for you,” he informed her, giving her a wink, “try it, help you loosen up.”

Clenching her hands into fists as she watched James saunter off, Lily only remembered her original reason for approaching them when Remus edged by her.

“Remus…” she started, cursing Potter internally for his ridiculous distraction. She was interrupted immediately by Black shouting for Remus to hurry up.

“I have to go,” Remus shrugged, pushing past Lily, blank expression firmly in place. He glanced back only long enough to comment, “You might want to wash your hands before class.”

Looking down, Lily saw that she had crushed the half-eaten Sparkgranate to pulp, her entire hand glowing orange.

“Miss Evans!” McGonagall’s crisp voice rang out behind her. “Might I ask what you have there?”

There wasn’t another chance for Lily to catch up with Remus until their shared Potions class, and while Potter was late as usual, Black had sat himself down next to Remus’ seat, giving Lily the Eye of Imminent Doom when she approached. Remus himself was up at the professor’s desk, discussing something about their assignment for the day.

“Black!” Lily hissed, sliding onto the stool right in front of him so she could talk quietly. “Switch spots with me.”

“Sod off,” Black replied, settling more firmly onto his stool.

“Can’t you be a decent human being for once!” she snapped. “I’d just like to talk to my boyfriend for five minutes without one of you biting my head off!”

Black’s look upgraded from Imminent Doom to Armageddon Momentarily, but just then Remus returned to his seat and gave both of them a neutral glance.

“Down, boy,” he said to Black, who dropped his eyes and grumbled something rebellious. “Something you want, Lily?”

“All I want…” Lily’s voice was sharper than she’d intended, but it didn’t matter because just then the class was called to order. Gritting her teeth, Lily gave Remus a meaningful look before turning slowly around in the stool to face the front.

Ten minutes in, Potter strode into class and stopped right beside her.

“Just keep moving,” she growled without looking up. Potter thumped his bag down onto the table beside her.

“You are sitting next to my seat, you realize,” he commented, sliding onto his stool with a nod of greeting to Black and Remus. “Want to partner me, do you? Or just work with me in Potions?”

“Evans and Potter!” came a sharp voice from the front of the room. “Stop flirting and get to work!”

Lily’s face was on fire as she pulled out her cauldron and clunked it onto the table. After making a barely-too-fast-to-catch comment about women’s place being front of cookware, Potter scooted off to get the potion ingredients from the front. She was too occupied glaring at Potter’s back to notice that at the table behind her, Black was also doing the fetching, leaving her alone with Remus.

“Wanted to talk to me just that bad, did you?”

If her face turned any redder, Lily thought her nose might explode. She whirled around to insist that she had wanted to, really, but it was already too late; Potter and Black were returning, Black snarling at her openly until she turned back around and came face to face with a smirking Potter.

She would’ve preferred Black. Especially with all the little comments about chemistry that Potter kept whispering, flustering her as she was trying to add precise amounts of volatile ingredients.

“You’re bollixing it all up,” Potter said sagely after he’d startled her into dropping twice the needed amount of Kneezle fur. Their potion was frothing merrily and much more blue than the directions indicated it should be. “Here, let me…” Potter paused, looking over Lily’s shoulder, “…on second thought, fix it yourself.”

“What?!” Lily screeched, but Potter only waved her off as he slid out of his chair, telling her to ask Snivellus for help or something.

Infuriated, Lily shot him a black glare as he stood whispering to Remus and Black behind her, but in the end had no choice but to ask somebody else for help, and Severus was the best option available. She got his attention and waved him over, pointing at her cauldron and looking helpless.

Severus gave a suspicious look at the group behind her, but did get up when Lily wrung her hands pleadingly, and sidled over to her table.

“I think it’s got too much Kneezle in it,” Lily explained when he got close enough, pushing her stool back so he could get a better look. Severus took one look in her cauldron and started to back away, eyes wide.

It was too late: the cauldron exploded in a shower of blue bubbles and steaming liquid. Although Severus took the hit squarely, not a drop touched Lily. Severus was momentarily stunned, blue liquid dripping down his robes in rivulets, leaving bleached streaks behind.

Finite Incantatum,” Potter said casually behind Lily, lowering the Shielding Spell before breaking into peals of laughter with the rest of his hooligans.

“In on the jokes now too, Mudblood?” Severus sneered at Lily before turning on his heel. Mortified, Lily tried frantically to explain that it had truly been an accident, but she couldn’t be heard over the howls behind her, and Severus was already back at his desk, shoulders hunched against any further comment.

“YOU!” Lily roared, whirling on Potter and giving him a shove that bumped him up against Remus’ table and made his and Black’s cauldron teeter. Black threw himself in front of Remus and made a lucky grab and caught the cauldron, eyes promising destruction to Lily in the near future. Lily didn’t spare him a glance. “How DARE you make me part of your childish pranks!”

“You’re the one who dropped in the Kneazle,” Potter shrugged.

“And called over Severus,” Black pointed out nastily.

“You TOLD me to!” Lily seethed, advancing as if she was going to rip out Potter’s throat, but just then the professor reminded the class loudly that they had five minutes to turn in their potions. Lily froze, turning white. “Oh NO, the potion! Potter, you idiot, we’re going to get zeros!”

“Relax.” Potter pulled a vial out of his pocket, the contents of which were the periwinkle their potion was supposed to have been. “Nicked it. We’re covered.”

Lily spluttered as Potter sauntered past her to deposit the vial on the professor’s desk, then she turned to Black and Remus. Her words died on her lips when she saw the dark look Remus was giving her.

“You’re a Prefect,” he said, voice cold, “why didn’t you do anything about that?”

Shame burning in her chest, Lily had to drop her gaze to her feet, and when she looked up again, Remus was already gone, Black’s ponytail disappearing around the corner as he trailed closely behind. She sank into her stool, feeling drained but somehow mustering up the energy to glare at Potter when he returned to pick up his things.

“You,” she hissed. “You’re a waste of air.”

“What’s that say about you then?” Potter commented as he tucked his things away. “You’re the one throwing yourself at me all the time.”

Making incoherent noises of rage, Lily was about to strangle him with the strap of her school bag when a voice interrupted from the front of the classroom.

“Do you two think you might carry on your torrid affair outside my classroom?”

Torn between dying of embarrassment and tossing Potter’s entrails to the wind, Lily chose instead to flee the room as quickly as possible.

The other three boys were on their guard now, and Remus didn’t go anywhere for the rest of the afternoon without a bodyguard of at least one of them. Realizing that she might not see Remus alone until their next Prefect meeting, days away, Lily reasoned that the best option would probably be while Black and Potter were occupied at Quidditch practice. True, Pettigrew would likely still be lurking about, but if Lily wasn’t a match for somebody who could be distracted by tossing an Ice Mouse down the corridor, then she should have thrown in the towel First Year.

Unfortunately, Lily spent most of her window of opportunity trying to hunt her elusive boyfriend down, only to come to the unwelcome conclusion that he was in fact at the Quidditch practice. Sure enough, when she trekked outside, there he was with Pettigrew, lounging in the Gryffindor stands.

She marched right to the stands and climbed the stairs, leaning over Pettigrew menacingly when she got to the seats.

“Scram!” she ordered, arms crossed. Pettigrew took one look at her expression, shot an apologetic look off to Remus, and then scurried down the stairs as fast as he could go.

“Reduced to terrorist tactics now, are we?” Remus asked, still watching the Gryffindors filing back into the locker room in the fading light. Lily felt a chill that had nothing to do with the wind ruffling her hair, but shook it off as she sat next to Remus on the bench.

“Remus, please look at me,” she pleaded. Giving a soft sigh, Remus obeyed, and up close Lily could see that despite his blank expression the corners of his mouth looked rather pinched. “You know I don’t want to be in a fight with you…”

“Funny way of showing it,” Remus commented, and Lily swallowed hard against her rising temper as he continued. “Perhaps shouting at one’s boyfriend is considered a display of affection in your family? Constantly nattering at him about his inferior qualities? Perhaps I missed the Muggle Studies unit where the domestic interactions of Muggleborn couples were discussed?”

“It hasn’t been easy to get a moment with you,” Lily protested, fighting to keep her voice even. “What with Black herding you about everywhere like livestock! And Potter…”

“Yes, let’s bring up James again,” Remus interrupted, words laced with contempt. “He’s your favorite topic, isn’t he? Discuss him with your girlfriends too, or just me?”

“I don’t…” Lily started, but Remus was already on his feet and pushing past her to slip down the stairs. After a moment of shock, Lily followed him as quickly as she could on the steep stairs, which were rather scarier on the way down than in the opposite direction.

By the time she reached the bottom and rushed out to catch up, Black was fast approaching Remus on the other side, hair still soaked from the shower and Pettigrew tagging along behind him.

“You only had one job, an idiot could have managed it!” Black was shouting at Pettigrew, who looked chagrined and was staying well out of the way of Black’s flailing arms. Black quickly lost interest in the smaller boy when he caught sight of Lily. Whatever else he was about to shout was cut off as he reached Remus, and Remus said a few quiet words to him.

When Lily reached the three of them, out of breath from her race down the stairs, Pettigrew glared at her but said nothing as Remus stared recalcitrantly at the ground. Lily couldn’t be sure because of the wind, but…was that Black growling at her?

“Honestly, Moony,” Black said, looking Lily right in the eye, “I don’t care if she’s the best lay in the castle, I wouldn’t put up with it.”

Lily stiffened as if she’d been slapped across the face.

“You said you hadn’t told anyone,” she said, very quietly. Remus’ wince and Black’s smirk told her everything she needed to know. Tears prickling her eyes, Lily fled past them, running for the castle with her head down.

She slammed into someone coming out the locker room door hard enough to knock her back on her arse. Cracking her tailbone painfully, she looked up with a snarl to find Potter looking down at her with one eyebrow raised. He had a large broom rack braced on his shoulder.

“YOU!” she screamed, rage burning incandescent because he had caught her crying. “You were in on it too, weren’t you! Probably made Remus give you every little detail so you could all have a good laugh! And why’ve you got a BROOM RACK?!”

“I have no idea what you’re on about,” Potter shrugged, reaching down and snatching one of her wrists to yank her back to her feet. “And I nicked it.”

“A-HA!” Black’s voice came from behind them, and Lily jerked her head to find the other three boys staring at them, Black’s expression victorious and Remus’ resigned. Pettigrew just looked confused.

Lily followed their gazed to where her hand was still held in Potter’s and jerked it away hurriedly.

“Fuck you all,” she snarled before rushing into the castle.

After a good cry and a hot shower, Lily still could not bring herself to try and confront Remus again. Every time his idiot roommates showed up, they made her situation even worse. Lily couldn’t imagine how it could get worse really at this point, but she was sure Potter would manage somehow.

In the end, she talked a First Year wandering by her in the Common Room into putting a note on the door of Remus’ dormitory. The Firstie looked rather dubious about the errand, as younger students general gave the Sixth Year dormitory as wide a berth as possible, but Lily threatened to Everstick him to the door with the note scrawled across his stomach in eyeliner, and he scarpered.

The note asked Remus to meet her in the corridor next to the Prefect’s bathroom a half hour after lights out. Sitting on a bench in the corridor to wait, Lily swung her feet nervously and wondered if Remus would even show up.

“What are you doing here?”

Lily looked up to find Remus staring down at her around a hefty stack of library books. She wrinkled her brow.

“I wrote you a note asking you to meet me here,” she said, heart sinking at his flat tone. “Didn’t you get it?” Remus shook his head. “Then why…”

“I was in the library,” he cut her off. He looked down at her a moment longer before carefully setting down his books on the bench and sitting beside her. “I suppose we ought to talk. You’re breaking up with me, aren’t you?”

“Remus!” Lily’s jaw fell open.

“No, it’s all right,” Remus continued, staring at his hands tiredly. “It wasn’t going to last, after all, silly of me to throw myself in the way of James having you…”

“Remus, I’m sorry I shouted at you,” Lily protested in horror, “but it doesn’t have anything to do with Potter! Well, it did, but not because he’s not having me! Which he isn’t!”

“And I’m sorry for what Sirius said to you earlier,” Remus continued, ignoring her protests. “I hadn’t meant to tell him, but he already suspected, and you know him, he’ll just keeping worrying at something until you just can’t take it anymore, like a do—”

“But I’m not breaking up with you!” Lily said desperately. “I’m not!”

“But you are,” Remus informed her sadly. “You just haven’t figured it out yet.”

Lily sat numbly while Remus gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek and gathered his things together, then left quietly. She felt like she ought to cry, but couldn’t quite summon the energy to manage it as she stared down the corridor in the direction Remus had left. After several long moments of silence, she nearly jumped out her skin when someone spoke beside her.

” ‘Lo, Evans.” Potter was standing at her elbow, grinning casually, a limp-looking House Elf dangling from the crook of his arm. If she had possessed the initiative to move, Lily would have snatched the House Elf from him and beaten him senseless with it.

“What are you doing here?” she snarled.

“Found a note.” Potter shifted the weight of the Elf and dug around in his pocket to pull out Lily’s note to Remus, rather crumpled and stained on one side. Lily clenched her jaw to keep a hysterical giggle from spilling out. The urge to beat him increased, and the House Elf gave her a shifty glance as if it knew what she had in mind. “Anyway, it’s after lights out, so I’ll just be on my way. Wouldn’t want to break any rules with all the Prefects lurking about.”

Grumbling to herself, Lily heaved herself to her feet and headed back towards Gryffindor Tower as well, not fancying being chewed out my McGonagall for the second time that day.

“Remus has thrown me over,” she announced after a few minutes of silence, giving James a suspicious glare. “I don’t suppose you have any idea why he might do that, do you?”

“It might,” Potter tilted his head in a thoughtful manner, “have something to do with the way you’ve been following me around all day. Breakfast this morning, then sitting next to me in Potions…next I’ll be shooing you out of the stall just to get a shower!”

“I wasn’t! I…” The words stuck in her throat as she thought of Remus’ assurance that she didn’t know she was breaking up with him, and how many of their conversations revolved around Potter. “It’s just that you’re always doing something illicit, it’s impossible not to pay attention to you! Like that House Elf! What’ve you got a HOUSE ELF for?!”

“Nicked it,” Potter shrugged, and the House Elf bobbed its head furiously. Lily covered her face with her hands and rubbed her eyes. “And you’re following me right now, as a matter of fact.”

“I’M NOT FOLLOWING YOU!” Lily roared. “I LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE AS YOU, YOU BLOODY FUCKWIT!”

“Young lady!” the Fat Lady scolded as they reached the portrait hole. “Such language, and from a Prefect! You should be ashamed!”

“She said it, not me,” Potter held up a hand in surrender as Lily bared her teeth at him. She barked the password at the painting and ignored the Fat Lady’s scowl of disapproval.

“Ladies first,” she snapped at Potter, resisting the urge to boot him through the hole, but just barely.

Inside, Black was sprawled across the couch copying over someone’s homework, and looked up when Potter came through the portrait hole.

“Oi, Prongs!” he called cheerfully. “Moony came through a bit ago with the best news, do you know he just…oh.” Black’s grin turned into a snarl when he noticed Lily coming in behind Potter. “What’s she doing with you?”

“Her?” Potter answered before Lily could shoot off a retort. He glanced over his shoulder at her and looked her over before turning back to Black with a shrug.

“Nicked her.”

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