chapter fourteen - "stop being so dirty-minded, Potter."

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"Would you look at this? It's Potter and his mudblood slut!" A drawling, cold voice called out. James balled his hands into fists.

"You actually have the nerve-"

"Say it again. Go on, I dare you." Lily spoke up, cutting him off.

She wasn't even surprised to see the bulky figures of Mulciber, Goyle, Crabbe and Avery.

"She thinks we're scared!" Avery exclaimed and the three boys burst out into laughter.

"Evans, I think we should go." James warned, whispering in Lily's ear. Despite the unconscious body of the girl inches away ftom her and the four dangerous Slytherins, Lily felt a shiver run down her back and she sucked in a breath, shakily nodding to him.

But it was too late.

They both looked up to find that they were surrounded on all sides by the four boys.

"So now you want to leave, eh? Well, now is just not a suitable-

"Expulso!" Lily shouted, her wand pointing to a broom cupboard directly behind they boys and the four boys threw themselves down as bits of wood and splinter flew thriugh the air.

"C'mon!" Lily urged James and he grabbed the invisible stretcher and ran after her.

They reached the staircase leading down to the corridor that would lead them to the Hospital Wing. "Glisseo!" She murmured and they turned into a ramp, which was far easier to get down by.

Once they pulled the stretcher down, they set off to running down the corridor again.

"Yesssss!" James shouted when they reached the doors. He let his hands fall away from the stretcher and without thinking, ran around and engulfed Lily Evans in a hug.

She hugged him back automatically, reveling in the feeling of being encased in his arms, safe. His chest, hard against her cheek, fell rapidly up and down as he breathed. And that brilliant cologne and aftershave of his, filling her nose, making her feel very dizzy, in a good way.

At the sound of a noise, they drew back and as Lily looked up James, she flushed. He was standing a foot away, still breathing heavily. His hazel eyes were wide behind his glasses as they drank in hers. They were in their own bubble of togetherness - until the same sound that had broken them apart from the hug sounded again.

Sometime during their escape from the Slytherins, the Cloak had fallen off the girl and lay on one end of the bed. Lily looked down at the girl, who was the source of the noise. She was whimpering, her face deathly pale and her hair sticky on her scalp.

"Let's get her inside," Lily said worriedly and she grabbed the side of the stretcher and opened the doors to walk in. James stood there, staring after her for a moment, the same flushed, wide-eyed look on his face before hurrying in after.

Madam Pomfrey stood by one of the beds, hovering over a boy and dabbing his face with a face cloth. When she heard the squeaking of their shoes on their ground, she turned around.

"Merlin's boots!"She exclaimed upon sight of the girl. "What happened here?!"

"Somebody attacked her with sectumsempra." Lily explained.

"Oh my," Pomfrey said. She turned around and gave the boy in the bed a potion before turning to them again.

"Put her there," she instructed James. He walked over to the stretcher and threaded his hands underneath her body, picking her up. He layed her down gently in one of the beds.

Lily felt a pang in her heart - not jealously, longing - and looked away .

Pomfrey pulled the curtains around the girl's bed and there was a sound like tearing material.

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