Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/Pairings: Sirius Black/OC, James/Lily
Short summary: Erica Costello’s life has been absolutely crazy ever since they closed Hogwarts down. But it gets even worse when she gets her hands on a wonky timeturner and she is sent to the 1970s with no way of getting back to her own time. Now she is forced to hide at Hogwarts with annoying girls, crazy pranksters and a certain boy named Sirius Black that seems to have it out for her. SBOC and eventual JPLE. This story is AU after the sixth book.
James had been staring impatiently at the portrait hole for the past hour. He was waiting desperately to see what Lily had thought of the quidditch match, and more importantly, the six goals he scored but she had yet to show up. He was beginning to think that Erica had been pulling his leg when she said Lily was going. In fact, she was probably in the library right now working on her Charms homework. He couldn’t believe he had been so stupid to actually believe Erica. He slumped back onto the scarlet couch and took the bottle of firewhiskey, one of the many bottles of alcohol that had ‘mysteriously’ appeared when Sirius had arrived to the victory party, from the third years sitting next to him. He took a large sip just as Erica walked in through the portrait hole, a large scowl on her face, with Lily on her heels, her mouth moving rapidly.
His face lit up the second he saw her and he waved Erica over, hoping Lily would follow her. Erica frowned at him, probably on to what he was doing, but sat down next to him anyways. To his delight, Lily sat in the armchair across from them. “It was so ridiculous! You shouldn’t have let her get to you like that. She was only trying to make you angry, you should have just –”
James interrupted her by asking, “So, did you enjoy the game, Evans?”
“Oh yes,” Lily said acidly. “My favorite part was when that ball almost knocked you off your broom. It’s a pity you managed to hang on.” Then she turned to the seventh year boy sitting in the chair next to her and starting talking about Transfiguration, of all things.
James opened his mouth to say something else but Erica felt the best thing to do was fill him in on what had happened. “We only saw the first ten minutes.”
“Why?” James asked, sounding more than a little disappointed.
“I got in a fight with Cassidy Wilson,” Erica muttered, scowling at the brunette entering the common room.
James chuckled. “Wow, new girl, that’s what, three fights in your first month and a half here? That’s impressive.”
“Three?” Lily said, suddenly interested in their conversation. “Who else have you been fighting?”
“Oh, come on!” Erica said, feeling a little surprised at this information herself. She had never considered herself a violent person, the only fights she had been in in her time were silly little wrestling matches with her brothers. But this whole traveling back in time thing was wearing on, it was frazzling her nerves and making her short-tempered, especially around the people that seemed ot enjoy provoking her the most. And the fight with Snape… well, that was just a little bit of payback for the hell he would put her through in the future. “That one outside the library doesn’t count! I never actually hit Sirius.”
“That’s true,” James conceded. “But you did hit Snivellus.”
Lily turned to Erica in wide-eyed shock. “You hit Severus?”
“Yes, but he deserved it!” Erica said, hoping Lily wouldn’t hit the roof. “He cornered me when I was by myself and had me hanging in the air before I even knew he was there. Who knows what he would have done if James and Sirius didn’t show up?”
Lily shook her head, staring at Erica with narrowed eyes. Then she got up and stormed upstairs, reappearing minutes later with her book bag. “Is she doing homework?” James asked, looking horrified.
“Yeah, it’s her thing,” Erica said. “And thanks for telling her about Snape! God, I just got an hour-long lecture over hitting someone that she doesn’t even like. I can only imagine the lecture I’m going to get now that she knows I hit somebody she actually likes.”
“She doesn’t like Snivellus,” James said sharply.
“I thought they used to be –”
“Used to be being the key words there,” James interrupted.
“Whatever.” Erica snatched the bottle of firewhiskey out of his hands and taking a big gulp.
“Careful,” James said, watching her with wide eyes. “It burns your –”
“Oh, don’t be an idiot, James,” Erica said, before taking another large swig. “I’ve drank firewhiskey before.”
“You know, new girl,” James smirked, looking impressed, “you got Evans to come to the match, you hit Snivellus in the face and you apparently know how to drink firewhiskey. I think I might be in love with you.”
“Ugh, don’t make me throw up,” Erica joked.
James laughed, “Cheers.” He grabbed the bottle of alcohol from her and drinking it down.
They sat like that for a while, drinking from the bottle of firewhiskey while James gave her a play by play recount of the quidditch match. The sunlight had faded almost completely by the time Jenn sat down across from them. “Hey Jenn,” Erica said, her words slightly slurring.
Jenn laughed. “So that’s where the firewhiskey went.”
“Sirius brought more than one bottle,” James said, furrowing his brow in confusion.
Jenn rolled her eyes. “Well, congrats on the match, James.”
“And the party,” James said, surveying the common room where the whole of Gryffindor tower was celebrating. “This is some party, right?”
Jenn shrugged. “I don’t know, I think it would be a lot better if we had some music.”
James stared at her with wide eyes. “You know, you are so right.” He stood up, wobbling a little on his feet before grabbing onto the side of the couch to steady himself. “Hold on, I’m going to get Remus’s wireless.”
As soon as he was up the stairs, Jenn grabbed Erica’s hands and dragged her off the sofa. “Right, now that he’s gone, you can apologize to Lily.”
“What?!” Erica said, certain that the alcohol had somehow affected her hearing.
Jenn pulled her over to the corner where Lily was studying. “Lily, will you please put down the Transfiguration homework? Erica has something to say to you.”
“I do?” Erica asked, feeling very confused.
Lily scoffed. “She’s drunk, Jenn. I wouldn’t believe any apology she had, anyways.”
“But I don’t have an apology,” Erica said, slowly catching on.
Lily’s temper flared. “So you think it’s okay to go around hitting people?”
“Lily,” Erica said slowly, trying to think clearly through the haze of inebriation. She didn’t want Lily to be angry with her but she had to make her see why Erica didn’t feel sorry without revealing too much. “Snape cornered me because I was a mudblood. What was I supposed to do?”
“You should have walked away!” Lily snapped.
“Yes, turning my back on someone who is well on their way to becoming a death eater would have been a great idea.”
“He is not –”
“Lily,” Erica said pleadingly as she sat down across from her. “You know who he hangs out with and I’m sure you know all about the things they’ve done. I know you want to think he’s not like that but…”
Lily sighed and wiped absently at her eyes. “I know who he hangs out with,” she said darkly. “But I just can’t see Severus –”
“Really, Lily?” Erica asked. “Are you telling me that in all the time you’ve known him, he hasn’t once used the word ‘mudblood’?” Lily put her head in her hands, not saying anything. “Look, I know he’s your friend but I’m not going to apologize for defending myself against someone that wants me dead simply because of who my parents are.”
Jenn looked between the two of them, obviously trying to think of a way to dispel the tension that had filled the corner they were sitting in. Luckily, James had just turned Remus’s wireless on and the common room was suddenly filled with the sound of big band music, the volume on max. Everyone in the common room jumped, the deafening sound taking them by surprise. James quickly turned it back off, shook his head, and muttered something about Remus needing to find some new music. He tapped it with his wand and the common room was again full of the sound of loud music, but this time it was a rock band that sounded strangely familiar.
“Is this The Weird Sisters?” Erica asked, certain now that she was hearing things.
“You know them?” Jenn looked both surprised and pleased. “Their record came out last year and no one seems to know who they are yet but I swear, this band is going to be huge. They’re amazing!” She got up and pulled Erica out of her seat. “Come on!”
Erica looked at her in confusion before realizing that the majority of the people in the common room had gotten up and started to dance. “I don’t know,” she said, feeling a little embarrassed. She wasn’t exactly all that great at dancing.
“Come on,” Jenn repeated. “It’s a party! Loosen up!”
Erica looked around the common room again and shrugged, figuring she had drunk enough to blame all of her flailing moves on the firewhiskey. She closed her eyes and started swaying her hips in time with the beat of the hard rock song, trying to ignore the amused look Jenn shot her. And then something amazing happened, she simply lost herself in the music. This was a band she loved in her own time, and a song that she had often danced around her bedroom to. Listening to it again, perhaps some of the alcohol helped as well, made her forget about the fact that she was in 1975, surrounded by children who would soon meet tragedy at the hands of Lord Voldemort. All that mattered was the beat of the drums and the lead singer’s voice as he belted out the chorus to one of her favorite songs.
She didn’t open her eyes again until the song was over. To her surprise, she saw that Sirius Black had been watching her, but not with his usual look of contempt. The corners of his lips were twitching, as if he was trying to hold back a smile, and his grey eyes, usually cold as ice, looked warm and inviting. She felt her cheeks burn as the blood rushed to them and she whipped around before he could see the effect he had on her. She grabbed Lily, who was still doing her homework, by the wrist and attempted to drag her to her feet.
“No!” Lily said, trying weakly to resist Erica. “I can’t dance.”
“So?” Erica laughed. “Neither can I. But it’s a lot more fun than homework.”
Jenn grabbed Lily’s other wrist and helped Erica pull her off her chair. “Come on, Lily! It’s a lot easier to forget it like this than burying yourself in Transfiguration.”
Lily pursed her lips for a moment before starting to dance too. The three of them stayed like that for the rest of the night, their dance moves getting a little more outrageous with each hour that passed.
By the time Erica rolled into bed late that night, the firewhiskey’s effect had almost worn off and it took her a while to fall asleep. She knew that she had to make a change, she would have to work on bottling her emotions up and hiding the anguish she felt. Even now, when she was finally isolated from the rest of her dorm mates, she wasn’t really alone. They could hear her, had heard her, crying herself to sleep each night and it wasn’t something that could continue, especially now that she knew there were some people that would hold it against her, like Cassidy Wilson. And she couldn’t let her emotions take charge anymore, especially since they seemed to best manifest themselves in violence towards other students. If she got into too many fights, she would draw attention to herself and that was something she couldn’t do. Dumbledore had warned her on her first day in the past that she would have to try to alter time as little as possible because the slightest change could turn the entire future upside down. And as wonderful as it would be to change the future for the better, she also ran the risk of making things worse. She sighed heavily, turned on her side, and for the first time since she entered the past, tried to think of nothing as she feel asleep.
Time seemed to pass quickly after that. Erica and Cassidy had seemed to reach some kind of agreement where they stayed out of each other’s way. Erica didn’t think she would hit Cassidy again, she had been practicing bottling her emotions up instead of letting them flow out of her, but Cassidy seemed a little frightened of her all the same. She and Lily hadn’t mentioned the small fight they had about Snape, although they both avoided the subject like the plague. And Sirius… well, Erica was sure that he would slowly drive her insane. He was either cold as ice towards her or he ignored her completely, while also giving her those strange looks that made her stomach feel like it was twisting itself into knots.
Surprisingly, her grades hadn’t plummeted, although that might have had more to do with the help she was getting from both Lily and James than from her own doing. Lily had immediately taken over tutoring her in Charms after spotting the D she had received on her essay on nonverbal charms. Erica was a little embarrassed that she had fallen so far from the beginning of the year, but she had always had to work hard for good grades and she hadn’t been putting much effort in since going back in time.
Getting James to help had been a little more difficult, however. Her grades had fallen pretty far in Transfiguration, to the point where McGonnagal was considering putting her back into O.W.L. level Transfiguration when she finally begged him to help her. And he really did make her beg. She was just happy that Remus was the only one still in the common room when she had literally gotten down on her knees to plead with him. He actually ended up being a really good tutor, too. He was patient with her when she didn’t understand something, and was almost as good as her old tutor at dumbing things down enough for her. Erica wasn’t the only one surprised by this, either.Lily just couldn’t seem to get over the fact that James Potter was something nice for a non-Marauder. She constantly asked for strange details, like what exactly he had told her about human transfiguration, and she only seemed to get annoyed when she couldn’t find fault with whatever he had said. It was as if she expected him to give Erica false information on purpose and didn’t listen to any of Erica’s assurances that James wasn’t like that. Erica really liked Lily, but she was driving her crazy.
“Lily!” Erica snapped, trying to keep her voice down even though she felt her temper flaring again. She knew getting kicked out of the library wouldn’t help with the whole not drawing attention to herself thing. “What does it matter what James said about conjuring spells? It’s not going to help me write this essay, is it?”
Lily bit her lip, looking a little sheepish. “I’m sorry. I just can’t believe he’d –”
“He’d what?” Erica interrupted. “Turn out to be a decent human being?”
“Well… yes,” Lily answered. “I was certain he was Satan’s spawn.”
Erica rolled her eyes. “You know, Lily, people might get the wrong idea and think you’re obsessed if you keep talking about James like that.”
Lily’s face turned white at that before pulling Erica’s Charms essay towards her. Erica watched in annoyance as Lily scribbled things. “No, Erica, you’ve got this wrong,” Lily said. “The engorgement charm doesn’t –”
Erica put her head in her hands and tried to hold in a groan. As much as Erica appreciated what Lily was doing, she was nowhere near as good as James was at tutoring. It all still sounded like a bunch of gibberish to her. She tuned Lily out, although she knew she shouldn’t, and watched the sun set behind the forbidden forest. It was times like now when she couldn’t help but feel a very severe longing for her own time. She missed sitting in the library, doing her homework with Veronica Bluth, her best friend and tutor. Veronica was a genius who wanted nothing more than to teach at Hogwarts, and she was very good at it. After all, she had somehow managed to help Erica get E’s on her Potions, Charms and Transfiguration O.W.L.s.
“Erica!” Lily said, poking her hard in the shoulder. “You’re not even paying attention!”
“Sorry,” Erica muttered.
“Honestly,” Lily said, her anger clear in her voice. “I don’t know how you expect to pass the test next week if you can’t even understand the theory behind engorgement charms.”
“Test?!” Erica asked, her voice taking on an unpleasant shrillness. “What test?”
Lily stared at her in shock before starting to laugh. “Do you even listen when Flitwick talks? Or does your brain just turn off the second you enter the Charms classroom?”
“Well, it’s so hard to hear him down there!” Erica said, a little surprised by Lily’s reaction.
Lily only seemed to laugh harder at this, earning herself a nasty glare from Madam Pince. “Oh come on,” she said, grabbing her bag and getting up from the table. “This is pointless, we’re not going to make any progress tonight.”
Erica jumped up and stuffed her work in her bag, more than happy for the reprieve from all the homework. “Okay, but tomorrow –”
“Right, tomorrow we will get to work on everything that will be on the test,” Lily said.
“Thanks, Lily,” Erica smiled. They walked in a comfortable silence, although Erica could feel her curiosity rising again. She found it strange how Jenn had mentioned that Lily was friends with Snape and yet they never spent any time together. It made her wonder if she had hit closer to home than she previously thought with all the things she said during the victory party. She held it in, though, not wanting to cause another fight with Lily, and eventually they reached the common room. Erica ran her book bag up to the dormitory, trying not to laugh as Cassidy quickly left once she had entered. By the time she had gotten back to the common room, Lily was sitting with a fifth year girl named Mary Macdonald, a pretty blonde who seemed to idolize her.
“Hi, Erica!” Mary said cheerfully. Erica couldn’t help smiling at her, it was nice knowing that there were some people in 1975 that didn’t hate her guts on first sight.
“Hey Mary,” Erica said, sitting down next to Lily.
“How was tutoring?” Mary asked. She laughed at the tortured expression on Erica’s face. “That bad, huh?”
Lily laughed. “It’s probably best if we don’t remind her of it.”
“Please don’t,” Erica agreed.
“Mary,” Lily said suddenly, looking at her friend strangely. “I never knew you wore glasses.”
“Oh,” Mary said, starting to blush. “I got them over the summer. My mum noticed I was squinting when I was doing my History of Magic homework and she made me get them.”
“You don’t sound too happy about that,” Erica pointed out.
“I’m not,” Mary said angrily, taking the thin black frames off her face. “It’s so ridiculous how we can’t just… magic our eyes into perfect vision.” Lily raised any eyebrow at her and she laughed weakly. “I just look so stupid in glasses.”
“No you don’t!” Lily said sympathetically. “You look really nice in them! Studious, even. If you want to see something funny, you should put glasses on me.”
“You need glasses?” Erica asked curiously.
Lily blushed a little at this. “I’m slightly nearsighted. I used to have them to read the blackboard at my primary school but I never wore them. I look awful in glasses.”
“I doubt that,” Erica said, looking Lily over. She knew she wasn’t the only one who thought Lily was extremely pretty, and the fact that James Potter kept chasing after her definitely corroborated it.
“No, really,” Lily laughed. “I looked awful. All the kids in my class used to laugh at me.”
Erica and Mary looked at each other and started to laugh. “No, I still don’t believe you,” Mary said in between giggles.
Lily sighed and put Mary’s glasses on. “See?” she asked, trying to hold back a smile.
“You do not look that bad!” Mary said, rolling her eyes at her friend. “Right, Erica?”
Erica couldn’t answer. It felt as if her stomach were suddenly rebelling against the shepard’s pie she had for dinner. Erica had always gotten the strange feeling of déjà vu whenever she looked into Lily’s emerald green eyes, but she had always figured it was only because she had met Lily before in passing, in her own time. But now she could see that she had been completely wrong. She had definitely seen those eyes before. They had belonged to a member of her House in the 1990s and the only reason she had never noticed it was because she was used to seeing them behind glasses.