Two of my residents were FUBARed but good, and one of them was bad enough that I ended up calling Security, although he did not in fact go to the hospital. One was okay enough to tell us where he'd been and we got him to bed around 4:30, but the other was showing no signs of improvement from when they got him back at 2 till i called it in at nearly 5. finally, he started coming around, but it was really really scary for awhile.
His roommate sat with him for a long time and finished out the night with him, and at one point just sort of casually said "I'm staying with you as long as it takes to get you better, cause your my roomate. That's what roommates do." I nearly burst into tears, because they've known each other all of three weeks and it was just about the most touching thing I'd ever seen. It stayed with me even after I went to bed at 6ish, and I couldn't help but think it was the most Sirius/James best mate moment I'd ever seen. So I wrote a Marauder fic, obviously. Here is what essentially happened on my hall last night:
For as Long as it Takes
Lily woke suddenly as someone shook her shoulder roughly.
“Wazzat?” she asked muzzily, picking her head up from off her Transfiguration essay.
“I think we need you,” Peter said, voice sounding a bit blurry. Lily blinked a few times and peered at him.
“Have you been drinking?” she asked.
“James is sick,” Peter tugged on Lily’s arm. “Remus said you should come look, maybe.”
Lily sighed and pushed back her chair to stand up. It had to be bad if Remus was sending a drunk person to get her.
“Let’s go then,” she said.
As she followed Peter up the stairs to the boys’ dormitories, he started muttering half to himself and half to her in a mellow sort of manner.
“I’m so pissed off…I’m buzzed and I should be having fun…this sucks…there should be a rotation…man, I’m so mad…”
Lily just sighed, knowing she should say something as a Prefect, but was too busy being amused by Peter’s mellow ‘rage’ to deal with him.
Peter didn’t lead her to the Sixth Year dormitories as she expected, but in fact to their bathroom. He pushed open the door and held it open for her to go through. The echoing sounds of dry heaving bombarded Lily as soon as the door was open.
In one of the stalls, Remus was struggling to hold James upright as he retched, swaying back and forth heavily.
“How bad is it?” Lily asked, putting a hand on Remus’ shoulder. The stall was too narrow for her to really help him hold James up.
“Bad,” Remus answered tightly. “We put him in the shower, but it didn’t help. He’s been throwing up for nearly an hour…no, James!”
Remus made a desperate grab as James pitched forward again, narrowly keeping him from cracking his head open on the toilet or the tile or both.
“Go get a dustbin,” Lily said to Peter. “We’re going to take him downstairs and sit him in a chair before he smashes his skull in.”
“I can barely keep him awake,” Remus said to Lily. James moaned suddenly and heaved, but it was clear there was simply nothing left for him to throw up.
“What did he have?” Lily asked.
“No idea,” Remus shook his head. “He went out with some Ravenclaws, but they left him somewhere…some Hufflepuffs found him and brought him back, but I’ve no idea what he was drinking.”
“It must be bad,” Lily said grimly, “James’ tolerance is fairly high, thanks to Black.”
“This is NOT Sirius’ fault,” Remus began to argue, but just then Peter returned with the dustbin.
“We’re going back to the Common Room, James,” Remus told him loudly.
“No!” James regained a fraction of cognizance. “Feel sick!” As if to prove his point, James managed to spit a little bit.
“Come ON, Potter,” Lily reached around Remus and pulled both of them out of the stall firmly. She and Remus each put one of James’ arms around their shoulders and Lily held the dustbin underneath his drooping head as they half-carried him down to the Common Room and sat him on one of the chairs. James’ head lolled back against the arm and Remus jerked him upright.
“James!” he shouted. “James, stay awake!”
“M’wake,” he mumbled. Remus dropped into the couch immediately beside the chair and Lily perched on the arm of James’ chair.
“Open your eyes, James!” she commanded. James’ eyes opened a fraction and rolled around a bit before focusing on Lily. “Can you tell me where you are?”
“Dricslow,” he said, his eyes closing again.
“No!” Remus shook him again. “You’re not in Godric’s Hollow, you’re in Gryffindor Tower, James. Stay awake!”
“He jus’ needs to throw up some more,” Peter put in, having slumped into a nearby chair. “We can do it together, man, c’mon…one…two…three…bleeeeeeeeeeah…”
Remus and Lily snickered anxiously at what Peter obviously thought was a good sound effect to represent puking. James slumped over the dustbin, but crossed his arms in front of him. Lily tried to make him hold on to the edges instead, but James pushed
her away and recrossed his arms, seemingly bent on throwing up all over himself. Again.
“Try to imagine you’re upside down,” Peter told James.
“I’m sorry,” Remus laughed tightly. “It’s not really funny at all…”
“It’s funny like a trainwreck full of clowns,” Lily told him and they both laughed
darkly. “We’ve got to keep him awake.”
“James! Wake up!” Remus shouted into his face. “What’s your first class, James?”
“Sharms,” he said.
“Who’s your professor?” Lily prompted.
“Donrember,” James said with irritation.
“Sure you do, who is it?” Remus asked.
“Donrember!” James said louder, eyes fluttering open for a second. “Leemesleep…”
“No!” Lily said sharply, yanking him back to sit up rather than lean on the dustbin. “Who’s in your class?”
“S’rius,” James murmured. “Sndrew…Leesha…” James drifted off again and Lily shook him roughly.
“Ask him something he has to think about!” she demanded.
“Count to a hundred by threes!” Remus said randomly.
“Threesixninetwelve,” James responded promptly without opening his eyes. “Fifteeneighteentwentyonetwentyfour…”
“Try a harder one,” Lily suggested. “By sevens, James, do it by sevens!”
“It’s no good,” Remus said in frustration, “he’s got them all memorized, he could do it in a coma. Pick something harder, something he has to think about!”
“What are the five signs of a werewolf?!” Lily exclaimed desperately. She missed Remus’ sudden look of alarm as she concentrated on James.
“Wearn m’clothes,” James began to giggle suddenly. “Sin m’chair.”
“I think he’s getting worse,” Lily was starting to look a bit panicky. “Remus, I think we might need Madam Pomfrey.”
“Just wait a bit longer,” Remus tried to sound more reasonable than he felt.
“James! James, you need to tell us what you had to drink!”
“Shots!” James announced suddenly. “Lossa shots…’vecleer…dr’ice…”
“Did he just say Everclear and dry ice?” Lily demanded, eyes widening.
“Maybe,” Remus shook his head. “I don’t drink, what’s that?”
“You don’t drink?” Lily was distracted for a moment. “Really?”
“Can’t get drunk!” Peter informed her loudly and Lily started slightly because she had forgotten he was even there. “Lousy bugger…man, I’m buzzed…and pissed off…”
Lily turned back to Remus as Peter trailed off again.
“Everclear is like 190 proof,” Lily told Remus, shaking James vigorously, “And dry ice burns off everything that ISN’T alcohol.”
“Oh shit,” Remus snarled. “When I get my hands on those Ravenclaws…”
“James! How many shots did you have?” Lily yelled at James.
“Thirty!” he told her, opening his eyes finally.
“How many?!” Remus looked horrified.
“Forty!” James said.
“Seriously, James!” Lily jerked his head to look at her. “How many shots?!”
“Stop asking!” Remus exclaimed. “Every time you ask him it goes up!”
“James, for the last time! How many shots?!”
James counted laboriously on the fingers of one hand.
“Sixty,” he said proudly before his head slumped over again.
“Pomfrey,” Lily said, an edge of hysteria creeping into her voice. “I’m not kidding!”
“Just wait,” Remus pleaded.
Right then the portrait hole swung open and Sirius stepped in, a little glassy-
eyed, but walking reasonably enough.
“Hey, Lils and Moony!” he called cheerfully, then noticed James and sobered. “What’s wrong with James?”
“He’s really sick,” Remus said. “He went out with Ravenclaws and they left him somewhere and he won’t stay awake.”
“He says he had shots of Everclear and dry ice,” Lily told Sirius, who swore a few times, “but he can’t tell us where or how many.”
“Shut up!” Lily yelled at James. Peter giggled.
“S’my turn next weekend!” he called. “Rotation!”
“You get Peter to bed,” Sirius tugged Lily off the chair arm and pushed her towards Peter. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Come on, you,” Lily yanked Peter to his feet a bit more roughly than was strictly necessary.
“Pissed off,” he said again, but allowed Lily to propel him upstairs.
When Lily returned, Sirius had taken her place on the chair arm, so she sank into the couch seat beside Remus and glanced over anxiously at James.
Sirius had James drinking out of water bottle he had scrounged up somewhere and was rubbing rough circles on his back.
“We think he might get better if we can get him to vomit again,” Remus told her. She shrugged; nothing else had worked.
They ran through a hundred more questions trying to keep James awake, and eventually the inquiries became a bit unorthodox, although James did seem to be getting slightly more conscious.
“Name all the places on you that are hairy!” Lily called out at one point.
“Arm…arm…” James slapped clumsily at the places he was mentioning as everyone else snickered tiredly. “Head…chest…diaphragm…”
“Diaphragm!” Lily repeated, laughing harder.
Sirius rubbed James’ back and encouraged him tirelessly.
“C’mon, mate, you’ll feel much better, just give it another go…” James produced nothing but a hiccup and Sirius made him drink some more water. “Tell me about your parents then. What’s your dad do?”
“San Auror!” James slurred. “Gets Detheaters…kick sarse…”
“Good man,” Sirius picked up easily when James started to run out of steam. “What about your mum then?”
“Doesall kindsa things,” James said. “Take scare astuff…take scara me…”
“Not here now though, is she,” Sirius said.
“No,” James answered. “Yourta ken cara me.”
“That’s right,” Sirius patted James on the back. “I’m taking care of you. Cause I’m your roommate.”
“M’bes mate, Pafoot,” James lolled his head back to look at Sirius and threw an arm around him in a clumsy hug. Sirius ruffled his hair and pushed his glasses slightly more back into place.
“I’m staying with you, Prongs,” he said, “for as long as it takes to get you better. All night if I have to. That’s what roommates do.”
Lily, who up until that moment had harbored a deep and festering hatred for Sirius Black, was so touched by what he had just said to James that she nearly started to cry.
Later on, she would chalk it up to stress.
Finally, after drinking nearly two bottles of water with no sign of further vomiting, Sirius suggested they stand James up and walk him around a bit. They had taken barely three steps before James turned green and Remus made a lucky dive towards him with the dustbin. He cleared up nearly immediately afterwards, enough that he could tell them where he’d been and with whom. With an immense amount of relief, Lily and Sirius agreed that they could probably put him to bed, so long as someone stayed up to make sure he kept breathing.
“I will,” Sirius said without hesitation, throwing James’ compliant arm around his shoulders and helping James towards the stairs. She watched their dark heads bumping against one another and wondered if her new feelings of not-hatred for Sirius would outlast the good long sleep she intended to have more or less immediately.
“Thanks for helping me, Lily,” Remus touched Lily’s arm briefly, and she shook off her pensiveness.
“You’d better keep an eye on them,” she said. “It’s somebody else’s turn next week.”
They exchanged wan smiles before Remus trailed Sirius and James up the stairs to their room.
Even after she had put on her pajamas and pulled her curtains shut, well after 5 AM, Lily didn’t fall asleep immediately. She stared at her ceiling mulling over what had happened.
She’d been really frightened for James, and even though it had all worked out in the end, she wondered if she should have called Madam Pomfrey much sooner. She shouldn’t have second-guessed herself, no matter what Remus had said to her. James had been more fucked up than anyone she had ever seen before. If she had found James herself, she would have gotten help immediately. She probably should have anyway. Lily wondered if she’d been a particularly effective Prefect that night.
What Sirius had said to James stuck with her as well. Lily didn’t know quite what to make of this sudden admission of feeling from someone she had always assumed was patently shallow. The look on Sirius’ face stayed in her mind’s eye as well, his expression rather nonchalant, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world that he would stay with James no matter how long it took or how sick he was.
Lily rolled over, pushing the thoughts out of her head as best she could so she could sleep, even though she hadn’t sorted them all out yet.
Lily just hoped that someday she would have a best friend who cared about her as fiercely as Sirius did for James.
For my freshmen, who last night made me feel simultaneously like the most ineffectual and the luckiest RA in history. I love our hall, and I love that the 35 of you do too. But most of all, I love that you take care of each other, no matter how long it takes.