One in Four
or “Why You Don’t Need to Worry About Your Mental Health When Sirius Black is Your Friend”


“Psychiatrists say one in every four people are mentally ill,” Sirius Black said, looking up from his magazine.

Lily Evans sat down at the breakfast table - beside James, of course - just in time to catch that. “There are four of us here,” she said, looking around. “Hmm. Me, James, Sirius and Remus.” She grinned mischievously, her eyes sparkling. “I wonder which one it is?”

“I object!” It was Sirius, of course.

“What do you object to this time, Padfoot?” James asked, sighing, but not seeming all too surprised.

“Your girlfriend called me insane!” Sirius exclaimed.

“Not quite,” Lily corrected. “You were the first one to bring your name into the equation.”

“She’s right,” Remus said, amused. “She just said she wondered which one of us was the insane one.”

“And she obviously implied me,” said Sirius.

“Either that or your twisted mind jumped to the obvious conclusion and you finally admitted to us that you’re insane,” Lily said.

“See?” Sirius said, pointing his finger at her. “She called me insane.”

Lily rolled her eyes. “Fine, I called you insane.”

“See? She admitted it.”

Pretending he hadn’t interrupted her, Lily continued, “But who here can honestly say that you aren’t?” She looked around, and no one moved to object. “See what I mean?”

“How come no one has any faith in my sanity?” Sirius pouted.

Under his breath, James muttered, “What sanity?”

“To be fair,” Remus said, placating him, “You didn’t exactly argue with Lily, either, Sirius.”

“I - ” Sirius stopped short when he realized Remus was absolutely right. “That doesn’t count.”

The other three groaned.

Just then, Peter came over and joined them, his plate brimming with food. “What’s wrong?” he asked, looking mystified at the other’s expressions.

“Ha!” Sirius shouted, pointing an accusing finger at Peter. “Now we’re five. Wormtail upset the balance. What do you have to say about that, Miss Sirius-Black-is-insane?”

“I missed something,” Peter said. He looked at Sirius warily, an expression he used all-too-often with the other boy. “And I don’t think I want to know what it was.”

“Psychiatrists say that one out of every four people is insane,” Remus explained. “Check your friends. If they’re fine, then you’re it.”

“Oh,” Peter said, sounding relieved. “I’m fine, then. Sirius is here.”

Sirius spluttered while Lily giggled.

“Maybe we should just drop it,” Remus suggested diplomatically.

Sirius eyed Remus, looking miffed. “You’re supposed to be on my side,” he grumbled. “I’m sure if it were Lily we were talking about, James would be defending her.”

“Yes, but in my case, it would be a false accusation. In yours . . .” Lily trailed off, grinning.

Sirius did the only thing he could in that situation - stuck his tongue out at her. Of course, Lily proved she was just as mature as he was by sticking her tongue out back at him.

Remus and James looked at each other.

“She’s your girlfriend.”

“He’s your boyfriend.”

Sirius and Lily broke off from their tongue war. “But you love us anyway, don’t you?” Lily asked.

“I suppose,” James said.

Lily put her hands on her hips and arched her eyebrows. “You suppose?” she said acerbically.

James relented. “O Lily, my love, my life,” he waxed poetically. “Please, forgive me.” Starting with her hand, he left a trail of kisses going up her arm until his face was buried in her neck.

Knowing that they could go on like that for awhile, Remus turned to Sirius and asked, “Well? Aren’t you going to apologize, too?”

“Me? Why would I apologize to you? Shouldn’t you be apologizing to me?”

“No. You’re insane, remember? You only think I owe you an apology. In reality, you owe me the apology.”

“Oh,” Sirius said, grinning. “I’m glad you cleared that up.” Then, skipping the oral portion, he went straight to the kissing part of the apology, easily matching the passion of James and Lily’s kiss.

Meanwhile Peter looked from Sirius, who was showing Remus just how well he could apologize, to Lily and James, who looked like they were seconds away from tearing each other’s clothes off right there in the middle of the Great Hall, then back at his food.

He sighed, then started to eat.

The End