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Hide and Seek by cherrypie3601

Format: Short story
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 12,471
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Substance Use or Abuse, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 08/05/2007
Last Chapter: 10/27/2007
Last Updated: 10/27/2007

Summary:




James, Remus and Sirius find a very drunk Lily at the Three Broomsticks. In a hasty attempt to get her back before anyone sees her, they decide to walk her to the castle quickly and quietly. However, that's the last thing Lily wants - the three of them are in for a very long night as a very wasted Lily decides to play a little game of hide and seek throughout the castle.  Fantastic Banner by Caren!


Chapter 1: Catch me if you Can - Prologue
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“Alright, let’s try again,” Remus said to Sirius as they walked down towards Hogsmeade. “If an object contains any form of poison, you can always use a bezoar to restore him to his health. That’s spell b-e-z-o-a-r.”

Sirius grunted and brandished his arms in the air. “I don’t care anymore, Moony,” he said lazily. “I’m going to fail those bloody O.W.Ls, so it doesn’t matter.”

“If you just concentrated then maybe you wouldn’t fail,” Remus insisted.

“Stop acting like such a mother,” Sirius responded. “Let’s just go to down to Hogsmeade and get hammered.”

“I wish you wouldn’t say that,” Remus said. “It just sounds like we’re getting ourselves into more trouble than we’re worth.”

“Did Prongs say he’ll meet us there?”

Remus nodded. “He’s by the front entrance, I think.”

“Why?” Sirius asked.

Remus smiled slyly and lowered his voice. “Professor Binns is patrolling the hallways tonight and Prongs has skipped at least two detentions with him.”

Sirius laughed. “That’s so classic,” he said as they approached the main doors that lead out of the castle and on the path towards Hogsmeade.

“Oye! Moony! Padfoot!”

Both Remus and Sirius looked over to see James waving them down at the bottom of the stairs. “I’ve been freezing my bloody behind out here! Where’ve you guys been?”

Sirius rolled his eyes and laughed. “I had to convince our little furry friend here to come – he needed to study .”

James laughed too. “I swear Moony, you’re such a good student that sometimes I wonder how you got mixed up with us.”

Remus rolled his eyes. “I wonder that myself too.”

“Alright, let’s move already!” Sirius yelled as snow began to fall lightly and dusted the pathway with soft, white snow. “If we hurry we can get back by midnight.”

“No!” James hissed. “Binns is still patrolling around midnight. If we wait till 1 a.m. Flitwick starts to supervise the halls – we can get past him easily.”

Sirius nodded and led the way down from the castle to Hogsmeade Village. “Where’s your invisibility cloak?” Sirius whispered after a while.

“It’s right here,” James said as he removed a large piece of cloth from his bag. “But we need to be careful with it, I think Dumbledore suspects something.”

“That old man seems to know everything about everyone,” Sirius mused as Remus spread the cloak over the three of them and they disappeared out of sight.

“Shouldn’t we have invited Wormtail?” Remus asked guiltily.

Both James and Sirius scoffed. “The last time we did that,” James began. “He couldn’t hold two firewhiskeys and threw up all over the front steps of the castle – bloody idiot.”

“He’s better off hanging out in the castle with his little toys and whatever else he plays with.”

James laughed and Remus couldn’t help but smile too. “Alright, who’s paying tonight?” Sirius asked, looking at the other two.

“I paid last week,” James said defensively.

“I paid a week before that,” Remus responded and they both looked at Sirius who sighed.

“Fine,” he said grumpily. “I guess I’ll pay. Just don’t order too many firewhiskeys.”

As they arrived closer to Hogsmeade, James saw the bright lights of the bustling village filled with people from all around the area. At corner of one of the streets stood the Three Broomstick where they were heading.

The pub was the same as it had been every Saturday night when the boys had snuck away from the castle. It was warm and comforting compared to the harsh coldness outside and was crowded with people including other students who’d snuck away.

James glanced around the room. There were Avery and Mulciber, Hannah Dmetri with Jensen Watts and Lily Evans and – wait…Lily Evans?!

“EVANS?!” James exploded rather too loudly, causing a few heads to turn in their direction.

“What’re you talking about, Prongs?” Sirius whispered.

“Isn’t that Evans up there?” James asked, pointing to the young red-headed girl slumped over the bar with her head hanging off the table.

“Whoa,” Remus remarked. “That is Lily.”

“What is she doing here?” Sirius asked incredulously. “She’s a prefect.”

“Yeah,” James rolled his eyes. “But so is Moony but he’s still here.”

Remus blushed guiltily and craned his neck over the others to see what Lily was doing.

“Maybe she…maybe she’s keeping an eye out for students breaking the rules?” Sirius suggested.

“I don’t think so,” Remus replied. “She looks pretty wasted.”

“Is she unconscious?” James asked.

“No, I don’t think so. She’s arguing with Madam Rosmerta.”

Before either Sirius or Remus could say anything, James had pushed his way through the crowd and rushed up to Lily – followed closely by Sirius and Remus. As he approached he could hear Madam Rosmerta’s conversation with Lily.

“-if he found out that a prefect of all people was lying drunk in my pub, he’d be so disappointed.”

“I…hic…don’t…hic … care…” Lily replied dazedly. “Dumble-bore can do whatever hic he wants.”

Madam Rosmerta sighed and caught James’ eye. “Potter!” she said, sounding almost happy to see him. “Please talk some sense into this girl. She’s had over twelve bottles now.”

James nodded and Lily turned her head to get a better look at him. She squinted to see who it was and then almost lost her balance causing her to stumble in her seat. James immediately rushed over and grabbed her, to help her up.

“Who are hic you?” Lily said, still sounding very confused. “I…I have seen you hic somewhere before.”

“It’s me,” James said slowly. “James.”

She still looked very confused.

“I mean,” James said. “Potter. I’m Potter…now do you remember me?”

Lily thought for a second and then smiled. “I do know you!” she said happily.

By this time, Sirius and Remus had made their way over to the bar and both looked equally surprised at finding Lily at the Three Broomsticks.

“Yes, you do,” James said gently.

“Yeah,” Lily agreed and the furrowed her brow. “You’re that boy I hate.”

James sympathetic smile vanished followed by a bemused expression. “All this alcohol and she still can’t forget that she hates me,” he whispered to Sirius and Remus who couldn’t help but laugh a little.

“Alright Evans,” James said. “Let’s get you out of here and back to the castle.”

“No!” Lily protested. “I hic don’t want to move from here!”

“And why is that?” Remus interjected as he realized James was about to yell at her.

“Because hic Professor hic Dumblebore will be very angry hic at me.”

“I thought you said that you didn’t care what Dumbledore thought,” James added. “I’m sure he’ll understand that everybody makes mistakes.”

“No! No! No!” Lily said loudly and then lowered her voice. “He’ll be angry because I fought with…hic…Severus…again…”

“Snape?” Sirius said, sounding worried.

“He didn’t hurt you, did he?” James asked Lily.

Lily nodded her head. “In hic here.” She stumbled once again and then pointed to her heart.

James looked confused. “He’s my hic frie-hic,” Lily couldn’t seem to get the word out of her.

“Friend?” Remus gently offered.

Lily nodded excitedly. “Yes! Yes! Friend!”

James rolled his eyes. “She’s out of it, she doesn’t know what she’s saying,” he said to Sirius.

As he took his attention off Lily for one second, she fell off her stool and landed painfully on the floor. A few people got up but James was already down on the floor helping her up. He leaned in closer and put one hand beneath her neck and the other on her right hand.

“Are you okay?” he asked softly.

Lily looked a little confused and then looked straight into James’ eyes. “You have very pretty hic eyes,” she said dreamily.

James looked surprised. After a painful fall which probably did result in a broken bone or two, all she could think of was that he had pretty eyes. He sighed and helped her off of the ground.

“Make sure she doesn’t fall unconscious,” Remus warned. “She needs to be sober before she sleeps or she’ll have a concussion.”

James nodded and held Lily steady with one hand on her waist and the other supporting her left hand. “Is that why you came here?” he asked Lily softly in her ear. “Because you were upset about Snape?”

Lily looked at him with a genuinely soft expression that seemed to hide the fact that she was drunk. “Did I mention that you havehic pretty eyes?” she said.

James gave up trying to ask her questions and helped her take a step or two. Sirius dashed forward to help James carry Lily but was held back by Remus.

“He needs my held carrying her,” Sirius told Remus. “Why can’t I go?”

“Because,” Remus began, “I don’t really think he needs you.”

They both turned to see James and Lily slowly walking out the pub and Sirius knew what Remus meant. “Maybe we should just leave them alone.”
***

A/N: So please let me know what you think of this story! I hope you enjoy it!

Chapter 2: Uh Oh
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“So then, hic she told me that he hadn’t even asked her about going out with Terri and I told hic him-”

“Alright,” James cut Lily off. He had the distinct feeling that she didn’t really care what she was saying to him. They were hobbling their way out of Hogsmeade and back towards the castle. “Now when we get back to the castle, just try and act sober.”

“You know hic something?” Lily said sadly. “I…hate it hic when everyone thinks I have to hic be perfect.”

“No one thinks you have to be perfect,” James said kindly.

“Yes hic they do.”

James cocked an eyebrow and realized that Lily was actually crying softly. “Don’t cry,” he said sweetly. “Let’s…let’s just sit down.”

He ushered Lily over to a small grassy patch on the pathway where they both sat down. Lily, of course, couldn’t support herself and resorted to leaning on James’ shoulder. Bloody Perfect, he thought to himself. Lily Evans is leaning on my shoulder and my hand is on her waist and all I can think of is getting her back safely.

“No one ever hic thinks of me as wild or funhic. I’m just boring old hic Eily Levans.”

“Eily Levans?” James said amusedly. “Sweetheart, you’re name is Lily Evans.”

Lily looked at James and then looked back at herself and pondered the thought for a few minutes. “Does hic it hic even matter?” she asked. “All you hic ever call me is hic Evans!”

James couldn’t help but smile. “Do you want me to call you Lily?” he asked playfully.

Lily nodded playfully. “Lily,” she said again. “Not Evans.”

“Alright,” James smiled. “Lily…not Evans.”

Lily didn’t respond and James realized she’d fallen unconscious. “Lily!” he said loudly and gently shook her shoulders. “You have to wake up!” he said.

“Lily!”

He reached for his wand and pointed it at Lily. He whispered a spell under his breathe and a jet of cold water shot out from the tip, drenching Lily from top to bottom.

“Hey!” Lily said, still obviously drunk but now, awake.

“Lily!” James said, looking at her with concern. “Are you alright?”

She furrowed her brow again and then looked at James. “You hic called mehic Lily!” she sounded overjoyed.

“Alright,” James said, tiredly. “I think it’s time we headed back up.”

He grabbed Lily’s waist and her other hand and helped her up. “Can I hic ask you somethihic ng?” Lily asked, looking at James with an innocent look.

“Sure,” he said gently.

“Do you really like Megan Rivers?”

James looked at Lily with a surprised expression. She had said that sentenced so fluently and coherently that he would never have believed that she’d had 12 firewhiskeys. But he had a deeper feeling – or rather a deeper hope- that she had been meaning to ask him that question for a long time.

“Why do you ask?” he said teasingly.

“Wellhic you always hic flirt with her and-”

She seemed so sad that it broke James’ heart. And on the other hand, he didn’t feel completely sorry for Lily either. He knew that she had gone out with many guys too – and had an equal amount of extravagant encounters around the castle.

“No,” he said after a while. “I don’t like her.” He smiled at the sudden look of relief on Lily’s face. “In fact, I like someone else.”

Lily looked up immediately. “Who?” she asked.

“Well she’s very pretty,” James said. “She has the fieriest red hair I have ever seen and her eyes are the deepest green anyone could ever imagine.”

Lily didn’t seem to get the reference and just looked angry and dazed. “What’s her name?” she asked indignantly.

James whispered into her eye. “Lily.”

Lily looked up at James and then beckoned him to come closer. “Is that me?” she asked and James nodded.

“Yes it is, sweetheart.”

Before James could say anything, Lily had pulled him in and kissed him. For a second or two, he hadn’t resisted the kiss. His heart was jumping for joy and screaming. Yes! Yes! Yes! but his mind kept nagging. She’s drunk you idiot! Don’t take advantage of her!

Finally, James pulled back despite unwillingness not to stop kissing Lily. “Maybe…maybe we should just go inside.”

Lily didn’t really seem to care. “I never really hic hated you…hic…” Lily said softly, as they entered the large castle and James covered them with his invisibility cloak.

“Yeah…” James said slowly. “I kind of figured that tonight.”

“Where…where hic are we going?”

“To the common room,” James said. “We’ll get you some water and maybe wash your face and then you can go to bed.”

“My…my head hic hurts…” Lily said and placed her hand on her head.

“Just hang in there for a few more minutes,” James said kindly. “We’re almost there.”

As they approached the Fat Lady’s portrait, James noticed that her portrait was empty. He cursed under his breath and looked back towards Lily.

“Sit down for a second,” he said gently. “I’m just going to go and get Sirius to open the portrait.”

Lily nodded obediently and huddled herself down in the corner. “Be back soon!” she said excitedly.

James smiled and placed his invisibility cloak on Lily. Then he headed down towards the corridor where a tiny statue of an elf was visible. Behind the elf, Sirius had placed a magical ear that allowed communication between the Gryffindor common room and the hall.

“Sirius!” James whispered into the statue. “Open the portrait to the common room! The Fat Lady’s not here!”

He banged on the statue a couple of times until Sirius finally whispered back. “Hold on! I’m coming!”

He slowly opened the portrait and came outside. “It took you guys this long to get up here?” Sirius asked.

“A wasted prefect isn’t that easy to carry,” James said sarcastically. “Surprisingly enough.”

Sirius gave him a bemused smile and pat him on the back. “At least you guys got up here without a teacher finding you.”

“Yeah,” James said slowly. “Come on, help me get Lily up.”

“Where is she?”

James looked around. The cloak was on the floor and Lily was nowhere to be seen.

“Bloody hell!”
***

A/N: I know this chapter is short but I promise the next ones will be longer! Reviews/comments are much appreciated!

Chapter 3: Oh someone help me!
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“REMUS!”

Remus fell out of his bed and hit his head hard against the bed post. He looked up with slightly blurred vision and tried to make out who had yelled for him.

“What is it, Sirius?” he said after a while.

“Lily’s gone missing,” Sirius whispered back, his voice sounding panicked and amused at the same time.

Remus immediately forgot the pain in his head and looked up. “Are you serious? What time is it?”

“It’s past midnight, and yes I’m serious. Prongs was bringing her back and he left her under the invisibility cloak for a second and she was gone!”

“Oh boy,” Remus sighed. “Alright, I’ll meet you and Prongs downstairs in a few minutes and we’ll go look for her.”

Sirius shook his head. “No good, mate. Prongs has already gone looking for her – he’s looking in the stairwells, you look in the Great Hall and I’ll scan the entire floor – we’ll meet back in a few minutes.”

“So we’re a posse now?”

“No – well, sort of. But we need to find her! How good will it look when Dumbledore finds out that we lost his prized student?”

Remus sighed and held his hand out. Sirius grabbed the hand and helped him up. “I’ll be down a few minutes,” Remus said. “You start looking.”

“Thanks Moony!”

Remus rolled his eyes. “This is going to be a very long night.”

***
“Lily!”

James called out to Lily as he patrolled the stairwell closest to the Fat Lady’s portrait. “Lily Evans! Can you hear me?”

However, there was no reply. He tiptoed his way up the stairs and kept his ears sharp for anything that may remotely have sounded like a silly drunk girl.

And then he heard it.

A tiny giggle echoed throughout the desolate stairwell. The giggle was faint but definitely audible.

“Lily! Is that you?”

James waited for a few seconds and then a faint reply came.

“I’ll never tell!”

The voice was so obviously Lily’s that James couldn’t help but roll his eyes. He ran down the stairs to where he’d heard her and came to see nobody there.

“Young man!”

James turned around to see one of the portraits ushering him over. The portrait was that of a tiny, bald, fat man who held himself in very high esteem.

“That young girl went behind that one painting,” he said.

James turned to see where the man was pointing and saw him ushering towards a painting with a fruit basket and some food.

“Where does it lead?” James asked.

“To the kitchens of course!” the man said pompously. “It’s a rather unknown passage but useful to get a midnight snack.”

James nodded and then walked towards the portrait, his hands against the soft velvety texture. He placed his fingers on the frame and pulled the portrait forward. As a narrow view of the kitchen became visible, James heard footsteps near the stairs behind him.

“Are you sure she went in here?” James asked the man in the painting.

“Do you doubt me?” the man said angrily. “Of course she did!”

James heard the footsteps again and decided to follow them instead of listening to the painting. Mumbles of protest and rage came out of the man as James turned the corner and heard a whisper. There was a shadow on the other side.

“Found her!” James whispered to himself.

He immediately turned the corner when he suddenly heard a voice say loudly. “Locomotor Mortis!”

A light shot at James who fell backwards and hit his head hard against the wall. “I got her!” the triumphant voice from the other side said.

James cursed under his breath as Sirius came running into view and stopped short.

“Prongs?” he said. “What on earth are you doing here?”

“I’m taking a nap!” James snapped sarcastically. “What on earth are you doing here?”

“I heard voices,” Sirius replied defensively. “I thought it was Lily.”

“So you shot a spell at her?”

“It’s only a leg locking spell,” Sirius said casually. “Besides, it’ll keep her from running away again.”

James rolled his eyes. “Well undo the spell on me,” he told Sirius who whispered something under his breath and freed James from the spell.

“Do you have any idea where she is?” Sirius asked hopelessly.

“Yeah,” James said. “In the kitchens. Oh my bloody head hurts.” He rubbed the back of his head with his hand to dull the searing pain.

They both ran back towards the painting and swung it forward to reveal twenty or so house elves running around frantically. The kitchen itself was in chaos as the elves were screaming and carrying items of various sizes and shapes all around the room.

“I guess we know she’s here,” James said to Sirius quietly and then sighed. “I can’t deal with house elves, they get so whiny all the time.”

“Don’t worry about it, mate,” Sirius said confidently. “Just go for it.”

James cleared his throat loudly and shot a few sparks into the air. The elves paid no heed to him and kept on bustling. There was a massive spill of pumpkin juice all over the floor which, it seemed, was already covered in tomatoes and onions.

“Excuse me!” James said loudly. “Has anyone seen a girl go by here?”

One of the elves stopped running and turned to James. “Of course we has!” he squeaked. “She made this whole mess.”

“What’re you talking about?”

“She tries to make us sing and then drops all this food everywhere! Oh the headmaster will be so upset!”

“Hold on a second,” James said. “Did you see where she went?”

“Yes sir,” the elf squeaked. “I is seen her leave myself. She is gone l-”

“SIRIUS BLACK!”

The elf stopped talking and turned to see a tiny elf pointing angrily at Sirius. The rest of the elves turned around as well and gave him a nasty look.

“It is Sirius Black!” one of them said, its eyes wide open.

“How do they know you?” James whispered to Sirius.

“There may be a slight chance that I’m banned from the kitchens,” Sirius said guiltily.

“Banned?!” James said. “How do you get banned from a kitchen?!”

“You is not allowed here!” the elves squealed. “You is supposed to be banned!”

“I used to come in here a lot last year,” Sirius whispered frantically. “And once I accidentally kicked one of the elves who dropped the centrepiece for the staff’s banquet. I got in so much trouble and Dumbledore banned me.”

“GET HIM!”

The elves began to reach to the floor and grab tomatoes and onions to throw at both James and Sirius. As they threw the vegetables, James and Sirius ducked out from under the portrait hole and in their haste, tripped on the landing and fell out into the corridor. The portrait was shut and James knew they were safe from the flying tomatoes.

“I can’t believe this!” James huffed.

“Well don’t blame me,” Sirius said. “It’s not like I knew they’d start attacking us with food.”

“Also, how one earth do you accidentally kick a house elf?” James asked incredulously.

“They’re small! I couldn’t see!” Sirius sighed.

“Well thanks to you we don’t know where Lily went,” James said. “That murderous house elf recognized you before the other one could tell me where Lily went.”

“Lily?” the man in the portrait said. “Is that the young girl’s name?”

Both Sirius and James looked up at the pompous, round man staring at both of them very snobbishly.

“Did you see her go by?” Sirius asked the man.

“Oh perhaps,” the man said coolly.

“Well…where did she go?” James asked.

“I don’t think I feel like telling you,” he responded. “You hurt my feelings when you didn’t believe that she’d gone into the kitchens.”

Both James and Sirius rolled their eyes. “Hurt your feelings?!” Sirius said. “You’re a bloody painting! DO YOU WANT HIM TO GIVE YOU A HUG?!”

“Well I certainly won’t tell you now!” the man said indignantly.

“Please,” James pleaded. “We need to know.”

“I’m not telling anyone!” the portrait huffed. “Especially such rowdy boys!”

“I’ll show you how rowdy we can get,” Sirius threatened.

“Sirius!” James warned and then turned to the man. “Give us a hint.”

“A hint?” Sirius said dubiously. “We’re not playing bloody games with a fat man at midnight.”

“This boy is irritating me!” the man said angrily.

“Well, he’s staying, so shove it,” James snapped back. “Give us a clue!”

Suddenly a clutter came from behind and both boys turned around to see Remus standing in the back with an amused expression on his face.

“For an entire year,” Remus began. “Whenever you wanted to do goof around, you used it but when the time comes to use it for a good cause, you forget it.”

“What’re you bumbling about Moony?”

Lupin held up the Marauder’s map in his hands and rolled his eyes. “She’s headed towards the library.”

***
Reviews much appreciated! <3

Chapter 4: Mishaps in the Library
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“Alright, we better be careful,” James warned. “That stupid old bat has the entire library filled with traps. One wrong move and the entire school will be awake.”

Sirius scoffed. “Why’d she bug the whole place?”

James shrugged. “I don’t know – maybe she thought people would sneak in in the middle of the night to read.”

They both sniggered as Remus made a slightly disapproving noise indicating that calling the librarian a “stupid old bat” wasn’t at all prefect-like.

“Moony, where is she?”

Remus held his illuminated wand up to the Marauder’s map and saw the little dot labelled Lily floating in the right wing. “She’s near the Forbidden Books section.”

James grunted. “Perfect. Just bloody perfect.”

Sirius grunted too. “Why on earth does any school library have a Forbidden Books section?” he asked. “No one’s ever going to read them because they’re bloody forbidden.”

The three boys carefully entered the library, cautiously hidden under the invisibility cloak and headed towards the right wing.

“Lily!” James whispered. “Can you hear us?”

“I don’t get it,” Sirius said after a while. “Why didn’t she set of any of the alarms here?”

“She has Prefect clearance,” Remus replied. “If you’re wearing a prefect’s badge, the alarm doesn’t go off. She’s wearing one but I’m not.”

“Shh!” James said. “I hear her!”

“You hic know what? I think you aren’t hic very nice! hic I’ve been talking to hic you for so hic long and you have not even said hic a word!”

All three of the boys looks confused as Lily came into their view.

“Prongs?” Remus said.

“Yeah, Moony.”

“She’s talking to a wall, right?”

“Yeah, Moony.”

“Good. I thought I was hallucinating.”

Lily began to sob slightly. “I think she’s crying because the wall won’t reply,” Sirius noted.

James couldn’t bear to see Lily like this and got out from under his cloak. “Lily?” he said softly, making the red-head turn around.

“Potter!” she said happily, wiping the tears away. “I was hic - how hic did you find me?”

“That’s not important,” James said. “Let’s go back now. You shouldn’t have run away in the first place.”

“But I wanna hic play!”

“Play what?” James asked. “It’s past midnight - you’re supposed to be in bed right now.”

“Hey! Don’t go all mother on hic me!”

“Lily, please!” James pleaded.

“No! I’m talking to the wall!”

James rolled his eyes. “Lily! It’s a wall – it won’t hear what you say and it won’t respond! For the love of Merlin, even at Hogwarts walls don’t talk!”

He smacked the wall hard with his hand and a tiny flash of white light appeared and then disappeared again.

“Moony! Padfoot!” James called out. “What was that?”

Both Sirius and Remus came out from under the cloak with apprehensive looks on their faces. “I’m guessing that was one of the traps.”

“But…it was just a white light?” James said.

“It’s marked our position to alert whoever it is to come here.”

“Who on earth would they send to punish a bunch of students at 1 in the morning?” Sirius asked incredulously.

Before he even finished his train of thought, he heard a loud thud outside.
“It’s Sirius Black!”

Sirius turned just in time to see four very angry house elves getting ready to hurl oranges at him and the others. “Oh boy!”

James and Remus ducked just in time to avoid the storm of fruit but Sirius got an orange right in the nose. “Bloody Elves!” he growled.

James pulled Lily down with him who seemed to be enjoying the food fight- or rather, the food attack.

“Why are they so angry?” Remus asked.

“Padfoot kicked one of them accidentally and they’ve been edgy ever since,” James explained.

“Accidentally?” Remus mused. “How on earth do you accidentally kick someone?”

Sirius led out a huge grunt. “I COULDN’T SEE IT!”

“Let’s just get out of here!” James cried. “I swear these guys are going to start chucking knives at us soon.”

James grabbed Lily’s hand and guided her towards the exit. However, his grip loosened for a second and she broke free.

“Hey!” James said loudly. “Lily! Get back here!”

“Nah Nah Nah Nah!” Lily said cheerfully. “Catch me if you hic can!”

“Moony,” James said. “Stay here and keep the elves distracted. I’m going to get her back.”

James ducked under some of the flying fruit and dove out the library’s side door, where he fell into an empty corridor – only it wasn’t that empty. Lily was walking around figuring out where to go next.

“Lily!” James called out and grabbed her wrist. “Listen to me!

“What?!” she yelled.

“Just please stay with me. We need to go back now!”

“No!” Lily pleaded. “I…hic…don’t want to …”

Something in Lily’s eyes made James feel weird. She wasn’t acting like she was drunk anymore – she wasn’t playing hide and seek. Her quivering voice and watery eyes told him that even though she was drunk, there was something she really did want to do. Then, without knowing why, he released the grip on her wrist. Her soft skin slipped through his fingers and he saw her run away.

“Prongs!” Sirius yelled as he came out. “Get down!”

James turned in time to see the house elves emerging from the library, stampeding back towards the kitchens. After they’d all left, a very amused Lupin alongside a much shaken Sirius emerged.

“Where’s she go?” Sirius asked.

“She…she got loose,” James said hesitantly. “I don’t know what it was about her but…but she begged me to let her go.”

“Well obviously she’d do that,” Sirius said bluntly. “She’s drunk.”

“No, no…you don’t know how she said it. I mean…she seemed so…hurt. I don’t know what came over me.”

“Well we’d better find her before a professor does,” Remus interjected.

“Check in the map,” Sirius suggested.

“We can’t. It fell out of my pocket in the library and we can’t go back to get it.”

“Why not?”

“It’s got traps all over the place and I, for one, don’t feel like getting attack by house elves again.”

“Don’t worry about it,” James said. “No one will be able to figure out what the map does without the words – we’ll just get it tomorrow morning.”

“So how do we find out where Lily went?”

James shrugged. “She went towards the Great Hall,” he said, pointing to the hallway where Lily had run through.

“Alright,” Sirius said. “Let’s go.”

“Excuse me?” Remus said. “WE are not going. You are going to stay here and clean up the mess.”

“What?” Sirius spat out. “Why me?!”

“Because if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be in the mess.”

Sirius grunted. “Why does it need to be cleaned though? It’s the bloody library – no one ever goes in there.”

Remus didn’t bother responding. “Just clean up and we’ll meet you in the Great Hall.”
***
James dashed through the corridors followed by a breathless Remus. But as they had expected, Lily wasn’t in the Great Hall either.

“Lumos,” James whispered as his wand lit up, illuminating the path in front of him.

“Do you reckon she passed out?” Remus asked.

James shook his head. “And I don’t think she’s running around randomly anymore either.”

“What do you mean?”

“In front of the library…I don’t know what it was but the way she looked at me, it seemed like she was looking for something.”

“Looking for something?”

“I think so,” James said. “At the beginning she was just so playful but when she asked me to let her go, she wasn’t joking around anymore.”

“So where do you think she’s gone?”

“I have no idea maybe sh-” James was cut short but a frantic ghost running into the hall and wailing loudly.

“OH DEAR!” he cried. “OH DEAR SOMEBODY HELP!”

“What’s wrong?” James asked the hysterical ghost.

“There’s an intruder in the dungeons!” he sobbed. “There’s an intruder in the dungeons!”

“Who? Who is it?”

“I didn’t see the person!” the ghost said huffily. “She was running too fast!”

James rolled his eyes. “She?”

The ghost nodded. James looked at Remus and gestured towards the dungeons. “Let’s go.”
***

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Chapter 5: Down to the Dungeons.
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“What time is it?”

Remus looked at his old watch. “Almost three,” he sighed. “We’re never going to be able to get up in the morning.”

“I just want this night to be over with.”

“That makes two of us.”

A few crackling footsteps in the distance indicated that Lily wasn’t very far.

“Alright, we won’t yell her name,” James told Remus. “Take out your wand and we’ll freeze her.”

Remus hesitated. “This is not prefect behaviour,” he said guiltily.

“Yes, well, neither is running around the school at night – I think you’re past that point, Moony.”

Remus sighed and drew out his wand. “What spell do you want me to use?”

“Anything,” James said but then hesitated. “Just nothing painful.”

Remus couldn’t help but smile. “Alright,” he said calmly. “On the count of three.”

“One.”

Remus’s grip tightened around his wand as he prepared to turn the corner.

“Two.”

James strained his ear to hear the footsteps.

“Three!”

Both boys jumped out from the corner while Remus waved his wand effortlessly. “Petrificus Totalus!”

“I think you got her,” James whispered as they turned the corner to see a frozen figure sitting on the floor against the wall.

“Padfoot?” James and Remus said together as they recognized Sirius to be the frozen figure. “Why on earth are you here?”

Remus waved his wand to undo the spell as Sirius cursed a few times. “Thanks for that,” he said sarcastically.

“Well, we thought it was Lily,” James barked. “How did you get here before we did?”

Sirius sighed and stretched his stiff elbow joint. “I went back in for the map,” he said. “And when I did, I saw you two in the Great Hall and Evans down here in the dungeons so I took off.”

“Well, where is she?”

Sirius reached into his pocket and drew out the Marauder’s Map. He pointed to a floating dot not far from them, labelled Lily Evans.

“She’s in the potions classroom,” Remus pointed.

“Do you reckon Slughorn will wake up?” James asked.

“From what I’ve heard, that man snores like an elephant,” Remus said.

“And looks like one too,” Sirius sniggered under his breath.

“I doubt he’ll wake up,” Remus continued, pretending to ignore Sirius.

James nodded and made his way down the dark, musty corridor of the dungeons. Ahead of him, he could hear the clanking of glasses and footsteps. He looked behind him to make sure that Sirius and Remus were there and opened the door to the Potions classroom.

Lily was standing there, as expected, banging her hands against the walls. She wasn’t banging them in a teenage angst wait but rather, like she was trying to find something.

“Lily?” James said gently. This time he knew how to deal with her.

“Yes?” she said turning around but stopped when she realized it was James. “Why are you hic follow-hic -ing me?”

“I’m not following you,” James said. “Well, I sort of am but it’s all your fault. I’m trying to help you!”

Lily took another step forward and this time stumbled on the marble floor, falling right into James who fell down too. She looked up at him and smiled cheerfully.

“Did you know that you hic have pre-” she began.

“Pretty eyes?” James finished for her. “Yes, I’ve heard.”

They stood staring at each other for a few minutes before Lily spoke again. “Can I kiss you again?” she asked.

James opened his mouth to say no but her green eyes were just so convincing. He looked at her with a loving expression and just couldn’t resist. She’s already drunk,” he thought. besides, she won’t remember any of this. .

“I think that’d be okay,” James said, grinning as he leaned in.

Before he knew it, they were locked once again in a kiss – this time, it not only seemed much longer, it was much longer. It took them a good five minutes to realize that Sirius and Remus had been standing there for at least four of those five minutes.

“Are you done?” Sirius asked while Remus gave a disapproving look.

“Um…yeah….” James said awkwardly as Lily still sat in his lap.

“I can’t believe you, Prongs,” Remus said. “Snogging a girl while she’s barely conscious.”

“Well, she wouldn’t let me do it if she wasn’t drunk,” James said defensively.

“Pathetic,” Sirius said.

“Alright well, there’s no need for you to mumble,” James said.

“What?”

“Stop mumbling,” James said.

“I’m not mumbling,” Sirius said and then turned to Remus. “He’s not either.”

“But I could’ve sworn I heard someone mumble,” James said. Sirius and Remus turned their heads to see a large shadow approaching the classroom.

“Slughorn!” the three of them hissed as they ducked behind the teacher’s desk. James pulled Lily down with him while Sirius spread the invisibility cloak over everyone.

Right on cue, the bulgy figure of Professor Slughorn came into view. He looked around for a few seconds and then mumbled something to himself.

“I could’ve sworn I heard voices,” he said puzzled.

Lily began to shuffle under the cloak causing it to shift slightly and reveal part of Sirius’s foot.

“Keep her down!” Sirius hissed.

Slughorn paced the back of the classroom suspiciously but James managed to keep Lily in control until he was satisfied that the room was empty. He left the classroom without looking back.

“Oh thank goodness,” Sirius sighed. “I thought he’d never leave.”

The four of them got out from under the cloak. As Lily stumbled to get up from under the table, her hand knocked down one of the potion bottles sitting atop the desk. Before anyone knew what happened, Remus’s face began to swell up to the size of ripened tomatoes.

“My face!” he cried. “What the hell just happened?”

Sirius ran over and read the label on the potion. “Swelling Solution,” he read with an amused expression. “That’s what did it.”

“You think?” Remus said sarcastically.

James couldn’t help but laughing either. He gently placed his hand on the back of his head where he could feel the bruise from earlier. He had acquired it when Sirius and Remus had knocked him out in front of the painting near the kitchen.

Remus’s eyes were barely visible from beneath the swollen skin and his voice sounded like a wounded cow. “This is a disaster!” he wailed.

“Keep it down, Moony,” Sirius said. “Don’t have a cow.” He burst out laughing.

“Guys!” Remus said. “I’m serious!”

“No, I’m Sirius!”

Both James and Remus rolled their eyes. “We’re stuck in a dark room in the middle of the night and all you can think of is to be a comedian?”

“Well, we all need to calm down,” Sirius said. “Don’t worry, Moony. I’m sure there’s an antidote here somewhere.”

A loud thumping noise distracted the three of them. They turned to see Lily banging her hands against the wall again. “I don’t get it,” Sirius said. “What’s she trying to do?”

“Do you think it has something to do with why she’s been running around the castle?” Remus asked with some difficulty.

“I don’t see why,” James said. “If she wanted to find something or someone, it’s pointless to come to the dungeons. This place is almost always empty and it’s a dead end.”

Remus nodded in agreement.

“That’s not true,” Sirius interjected.

“What?”

“The dungeons aren’t a dead end,” he corrected them. “Regulus told me – it’s the entrance to the Slytherin Common Room.”

“Com-?” James stuttered confusedly. Then it hit him. “Slytherin Common Room!” he said excitedly. “She’s been looking for the Slytherin Common Room this whole time!”

***

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Chapter 6: I'm Sorry
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Remus and Sirius looked dumbfounded at James.

“Why would Lily want to find the Slytherin Common Room?” Remus asked, twitching slightly from the pain in his face.

James smiled slyly. “You’re asking the wrong question, Moony. The real question is how does she know the Slytherin Common Room is here in the dungeons?”

“What do you mean?”

“No Slytherin’s going to want to reveal their common room location to a Gryffindor, especially a muggle-born one. Sirius only found out because his brother’s in Slytherin.”

“That’s right,” Sirius said.

James kept on smiling. “So who does Lily know in Slytherin who would tell her the location?”

“I don’t know,” Sirius shrugged.

“Think about it!” James urged. “Her friend from Slytherin…”

“Snape!” Remus said suddenly. “She called him her friend back at the Three Broomsticks.”

James had a satisfied look on his face. “That’s why she went into the kitchens before – she must have been banging on the walls and opened the painting by accident.”

“Wait –” Remus said suddenly. “What’s with the banging on the walls?”

“I’m guessing the way to enter the Slytherin Common Room is to bang on one of the dungeon walls,” James guessed.

“It is,” Sirius said. “I saw a couple first years doing the same thing.”

“So, Lily’s been trying to find the Slytherin Common Room which Snape told her about…why?”

Sirius shrugged. “No idea,” he said dejectedly.

“Think back to the Three Broomsticks,” James said. “What else did Lily say about Snape?”

Both Sirius and Remus trailed their memories back to a few hours ago. “She had a fight with him,” Sirius said quickly. “She pointed to her heart and said he hurt her.”

“Exactly!” James said eagerly. “She wants to apologize to him.”

“What?”

“I mean it – she told me that she doesn’t want to go back because Dumbledore would get mad at her for fighting with Snape. She wants to apologize to him before she goes back to her dormitory.”

“That’s why she’s been running around the entire bloody school?” Sirius asked incredulously.

“I guess so,” Remus said. “So, what do we do now?”

James hesitated for a moment. “We give her what she wants.”

“You mean, we take her to Snape so she can apologize?” Sirius blurted out.

James nodded. “It’s the only way,” he added. “Besides, I feel sort of bad for her – I mean, if she can remember the fight even with all that alcohol then it must mean something to her.”

“But you’re helping Snivellus!” Sirius said.

“I’m helping Lily,” James corrected. “The fact that Snape is involved is something I can’t help.”

James went over to Lily and placed his hand gently on her shoulder. “Lily?” he said kindly.

Lily turned around and smiled. “Hello,” she said dazedly.

“Do you want to go and find Snap- I mean, Severus?” he asked.

Lily looked confused but her expression suddenly softened and she nodded sombrely. “I hurt him,” she said with a childish tone. “See, this hic is why – this is hic why I am the way that I hic am.”

“What do you mean?”

“He never listens hic to me!” she said, referring to Snape. “Ever hic since we were hic kids!”

James looked perplexed, apparently not understanding what Lily was trying to say. He just smiled sympathetically. “Where did he say the Slytherin Common Room was?” James asked.

“I hic don’t remember,” she said. “He hic said bang hic the walls in the dunge- hic -ons.”

“I know where it is,” Sirius interrupted.

“Good,” James said. “Let’s go.”
***
Sirius led everyone to a bare stone wall not far from the Potions classroom. “I think this is it,” he said quietly. The wall was like all the others – dark, wet, musty and decayed. He placed his hand on the wall and began to randomly bang it which seemingly did the trick. A deep voice called out of nowhere.

“Password?”

“Damn,” James cursed under his breath. “Do you know the password, Lily?”

Lily shook her head. “Severus hic didn’t tell me.”

“Well it can’t be too complicated,” Remus said.

“Pureblood,” Sirius said but the wall didn’t budge. “Murder.”

“Death.”

“Salazar.”

“Victory.”

“Snake.”

None of those passwords seemed to make the entrance appear. After a few more minutes of hopeless guesses, James had given up hope.

“There’s no use Prongs,” Remus said. “The password’s got to be something really obscure. I mean maybe you have to know parsletongue or something.”

For a second, there was a large, barging noise and the wall began to split revealing a narrow passageway.

“Parseltongue’s the password?” Sirius mused.

James nodded. “Let’s get going.”

It seemed that finding Snape was not going to be as hard as they had all envisioned. The moment they entered the cold, damp common room, James spotted a figure sitting by the marble mantle in a distant, dark corner.
The figure turned around and gazed for a moment, with utter bewilderment and surprise at the four dishevelled Gryffindors in the Slytherin Common Room.

“Potter!” Snape began. “How on ear-” However, he cut himself short at the sight of Lily. “Lily,” he said softly.

Lily smiled very gently and took a step forward but being in her state, she stumbled and fell to the ground. It was at that moment perhaps that the entire story of the Marauders could be summed up – both James and Snape darted forward to help her up. Though Lily held onto Snape’s hand, it was James she used for support to get up.

“What are you doing here with them?” Snape asked Lily, referring to the three boys.

“Snivellus,” Sirius began. “Do you want to be hung upside down in your own common room? Because I can arrange that.”

“Shut up, Black,” Snape snapped. “How did you get in here?”

“That’s none of your business,” James hissed. “We only came because of Lily.”

“What about her?” Snape said, his voice suddenly bordering concern.

“She wanted to apologize to you,” Sirius said, apparently finding it shocking.

“Severus,” Lily began. “I hic need to talk to you.”

“Are you…are you drunk?”

Lily smiled. “Just a teeny tiny hic bit.”

Lily moved a little closer to Snape when James felt a hand on his shoulder. “Maybe we should give them some privacy,” he heard Remus’ voice say from behind.

He nodded sombrely and turned his head to face the other side. He strained his ears very slightly to hear the conversation between the two but he couldn’t. It seemed that Lily and Snape could communicate in the faintest whispers when the only way he and Lily ever communicated was with yelling and insults (usually given by her).

After a few minutes of hushed whispers and a few sobs on Lily’s part, she turned away from Snape. James walked over to Lily and held out his hand, which she took gently. “I want to go now,” she said eloquently, looking at James with those impossibly coloured eyes. “I want to go back.”

“Alright,” James said. He didn’t question what she had said to Snape or why she was crying – it seemed that whatever had happened to him in front of the library had happened once again. He didn’t feel the need to question why she was talking to Snape of all people or what she fought with him about – all that mattered was getting her back.

James tapped Sirius and Remus on the back and gestured towards the door. “Let’s go.”

“Lily,” Snape called from behind. The four of them stopped but Lily was the only one who turned around.

“I’ll take you back if you want,” he offered.

“That’s okay,” Lily smiled. “Thank hic you.”

“But-” Snape began to protest.

“Goodnight,” Lily said with a tone of finality in her voice. Her voice seemed so light that no one would ever believe that she had taken down twelve bottles of alcohol.
***


the story isn't over!

Chapter 7: All the way back
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The four students walked back towards the Gryffindor Common Room, a surprisingly short walk from what they had expected. As they approached the fat lady’s painting, James was relieved to see that she was actually there. The woman was snoring idly as her head rested against one of the trees in the painting.

“Gringotts,” Remus said as they approached.

The fat lady didn’t stir.

“Gringotts!” Remus repeated the password, the word stinging him as he said it.

Sirius rolled his eyes and knocked on the painting. “Hello! We’re trying to get in!”

The fat lady grunted in her sleep and opened her eyes with an infuriated expression. “I was sleeping!” she protested.

“We know,” Sirius snapped. “That’s why we banged on the painting. We need to get in.”

“And why would four young students want to sneak back into the common room at four in the morning?”

Sirius sighed. “We don’t need you to question us,” he hissed. “Just please let us in.”

“Give me a reason.”

“We’re tired!” James said. “We’re beat out! I’ve got a massive bruise on my head!” James then pointed to Remus. “His face is so swollen; it may take days to recover!” He then looked at Lily. “She’s about to have a concussion.” And then lastly at Sirius. “And he’s been attacked by murderous house elves twice in one night! We just want to go in.”

The fat lady looked confused and amused at the same time. “Go in,” she sighed. She swung her painting forward and allowed the four students to enter. Before she swung the entrance shut, she called out to the boys. “The fourth step of the stairwell to the dormitories is enchanted – the moment someone steps on it after hours it alerts a teacher.”

“Thank you,” James said kindly as the door shut and the four of them entered the warm common room. The room itself was dark and the only illumination presented itself from the crackling fireplace.

James took Lily by the waist and placed her on one of the couches near the fire. “Are you warm enough?” he asked.

She nodded. “I’m sleepy,” she said.

“Just give me a few more minutes, sweetheart,” James said kindly. “I want you to drink something before you go to sleep.”

James turned around to see Remus coming down from the dormitories, carefully avoiding the fourth step. “Here’s the potion,” he said, giving a dark flask to James.

“How much should she take?” Sirius asked. “We usually need about a cup full to get over the firewhiskeys.”

“I think a cup should be okay,” Remus agreed. “Then, as soon as she drinks it, just sit with her for about ten minutes so the potion can take full effect – she can go to sleep then.”

James poured out a cup full of a clear liquid and gave the flask back to Remus. “Lily,” he said gently. “Do you want to drink this for me?”

“What hic is this?” she asked.

“It’s something to make you feel better,” he offered.

Lily didn’t seem to hear him. “My head hurts.”

“This will help you.”

James put the glass up to Lily’s lips and tilted it very slightly. The clear liquid flowed effortlessly through the glass and into her mouth.

Remus couldn’t help but smile at the scenario before him. He turned to Sirius and pointed upstairs, indicating that they should leave them alone.

“Hey, Padfoot, do you want to help me…do you want to help me find something to dull the swelling?”

Sirius looked confused as first but then understood. “Sure. We’ll be back in a few minutes, Prongs,” he said mischievously.

James nodded and turned back to Lily; she had almost finished the glass. “That tasted bad!” Lily said.

“Alright, just lie down for a few minutes so the potion can work.”

Lily lay down on the couch with her head against one of the cushions. James sat on the floor beside her with his hand on hers. “Feel any better?” he asked.

Lily nodded. “My head doesn’t hurt anymore,” she said.

“Lucky you,” James smiled. “Because mine still does.”

He placed his hand on the back of his head and rubbed it very gently.

“How did that happen?” Lily asked.

“I just hit my head,” James said casually. “Are you sure you’re feeling fine?”

Lily nodded. “Did you hit your head because you were trying to find me?”

James looked up and realized that Lily hadn’t completely forgotten everything yet. “Yes,” he said.

“Why’d you try to find me?”

“What do you mean?”

“A teacher would have hic found me. Why did you try to find me?”

James was unsure of what to say. Part of him knew that Lily was just saying it out of curiosity but another part of him hoped that she was genuinely interested. “Because you’re my friend,” he said finally.

“But I always yell at you!” she said. “Don’t you think I’m mean?”

James furrowed his brow. “Mean? Of course not! I think you have a very strong personality,” he said kindly. “I wouldn’t change a thing about you.”

“Nothing?” she asked.

“Well, maybe I’d make you like me but other than that, nothing.” James laughed.

Lily leaned in closer and whispered something, as though it was a secret. “I do like you,” she said sweetly.

James smiled. “Just a few more minutes and you can go to sleep,” he said tenderly.

“Can I ask you something?” Lily said after a while.

“Sure, anything.”

“Can I call you James?”

James looked at Lily’s green eyes for a second and something in them told him that she’d wanted to ask that for a long time.

“Of course,” he said. “I’m actually rather glad you want to call me that. Now I’ll call you Lily and you’ll call me James.”

Lily nodded. “Lily and James,” she repeated. “That sounds nice, doesn’t it?”

“It does,” James agreed.

“Can I ask you something else?” Lily said.

“Sure.”

“Why did you stop asking me hic out this year?”

James couldn’t help but smile. “You asked me to,” he said. “You told me last year.”

“I didn’t mean it,” Lily whispered. “I hic liked it.”

“Do you want me to keep asking you out?”

Lily nodded.

“Will you say yes if I do?” he asked, hopefully.

Lily laughed. “Maybe.”

James laughed too. “You know something,” he said after a while. “You told me so many times tonight that I have pretty eyes when I think it’s your eyes that seem to be so…perfect.”

“It’s the one thing hic I like about myself,” Lily said.

“Really?”

Lily nodded. “If there’s anything my kids inherit from me, I want it to be my eyes.”

James grinned. “So you’ve got it all planned out, eh?”

Lily nodded again. They sat in silence for a few more minutes until James looked at his watch. “Alright, let’s get you upstairs now,” he said. He turned to help Lily up and saw that she had already fallen asleep.

He smiled and carried her up to the dormitories, carefully avoiding the fourth step. As he entered Lily’s room, he tiptoed towards her bed and placed her there gently. “Goodnight Lily,” he whispered and kissed her cheek before heading back downstairs.
***
James re-entered the dark common room and saw Remus and Sirius sitting by the fireplace, talking.

“I just put Lily upstairs,” James told them.

“Glad to know that the future Mrs. Potter is alright,” Sirius joked.

“Not funny,” James said tiredly as he threw himself on the couch.

“I think all things considered, you had a pretty good night,” Remus said. The swelling on his face had significantly dulled down.

“Yes, despite the painful spells and the murderous house elves and sleeping Slughorn and the fat man in the painting with an attitude – despite all that, it was a good night,” Sirius said sarcastically.

“Oh we had a terrible night,” Remus agreed, referring to himself and Sirius. “But Prongs here seemed to have been better off.”

James smiled slyly. “It wasn’t that bad,” he said.

“That bad? You kissed Evans like what…a hundred times tonight?” Sirius said.

“Not a hundred,” James said. “But she wasn’t thinking straight – she won’t remember any of this tomorrow when she gets back to her senses.”

“I think you’ve made an impression,” Remus said. “She certainly won’t think of you the same way.”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” James joked.

“I guess you’ll find out tomorrow,” Remus said. “We have Potions with her first thing in the morning.”

“That’ll be exciting,” Sirius said. “A hung-over prefect is going to be quite amusing to watch.”

“Oh guys don’t give her a hard time tomorrow,” James said.

“She owes me a lot,” Sirius said.

“Owes you?” Remus asked. “We all helped her tonight.”

“No,” Sirius said. “She literally owes me. I paid for all her fire whiskeys.”

The three of them laughed as the night began to dim and daylight shown. They all decided to catch a few hours of sleep down in the common room, not bothering to go back upstairs.

As James packed up his things before lying down to rest, he bent down to fold the Marauder’s map which had still been left open. He quickly peered over the Gryffindor dormitories to see if Lily was alright and saw her name floating over the girls’ dormitory.

For a fleeting second, it had happened.

James blinked once and then blinked again to make sure. Everything seemed to be back to normal now as the name read ‘Lily Evans’. But for a split second, or even less, he could have sworn that the name had read, ‘Lily Potter’.

***

One more chapter!










Chapter 8: Potions Class
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“Alright class!” Professor Slughorn squeaked as he walked into the large classroom in the morning. “Please settle down”

The class, as usual, was a combination of rowdy, loud students and lazy, tired students. He sighed to himself and then shot a few sparks out of his wand. “Settle down everyone! We need to begin!”

Eventually, the noise in the class died down to soft whispers amongst some students. Professor Slughorn took out his quill and parchment and placed it on top of the desk. “Today, ladies and gentleman,” Slughorn began. “We are going to be brewing a rather complicated potion so I expect you all to pay attention.”

Slughorn cracked his knuckles and braced himself for another morning of smelly potions, loud explosions and stupid accidents. “Everyone! Grab yourselves a partner and turn to page nine hunr- Ah gentlemen!” Slughorn said suddenly as three, dishevelled boys walked into the classroom.

“Thank you for joining us, Mr. Potter, Mr. Black and…I’m surprised to say this, Mr. Lupin.” Slughorn shot Lupin a disappointed look as the three of them settled into their seats. “Waltzing into class this late is not the kind of behaviour one should see coming from a prefect.”

“Yes, sir,” Remus said sombrely. “Terribly sorry.”

“Ah, Mr. Black and Mr. Potter,” Slughorn said, turning to Sirius and James. “This is probably the hundredth time you’ve come in late.”

“We’re sorry, sir,” the both of them said in unison.

“That sounds familiar,” Slughorn began, clearly irritable. “I heard that exact same thing last week when you came in late and yet here you are again. I think it-”

Slughorn stopped talking as the classroom door creaked open again, this time with Lily entering. Calling her “dishevelled” would have probably been an understatement. Her hair was tied up in a messy ponytail that would probably have made Snape’s hair look good and James’ hair look kempt. Her face was pale and there were huge bags under her beautiful green eyes.

“Oh dear, Ms. Evans! Not you too!” Slughorn cried.

“I’m sorry, sir,” Lily said quickly, her voice was tired and raspy.

“Another prefect coming in at this hour! And what, prêt ell, is your excuse for your tardiness?”

Lily looked shiftily around the class and then back at Slughorn. “I slept in,” she said. “I’m awfully sorry about this.”

“I expect this kind of behaviour from Mr. Potter and Mr. Black, but you two,” Slughorn said, referring to Remus and Lily, “have really surprised me.”

The two mumbled apologies incoherently while James and Sirius looked amused. “Very well,” Slughorn said, waving his arms in the air. “We will continue this discussion after class but for now, take your seats. Get a partner and turn to page nine hundred and forty two.”

Immediately Sirius turned to James when Slughorn suddenly spoke again. “Mr. Black! Mr. Potter! You two will not be working together today, perhaps as a punishment for your tardiness. Mr. Lupin, you will work with Mr. Black and Ms. Evans, you will work with Mr. Potter.”

“What?” Lily said. Remus and Sirius seemed to be content while a momentary smile flashed on James’ face.

“Let’s go, Evans,” James said happily as the both of them sat down near the back of the class.

“Now, we’re going to start off brewing a simple sleeping draught but with a few modifications, as you can see on the page before you, we’re going to strengthen it to a level where it can knock anyone who smells it unconscious.”

There were gasps of excitement and amazement throughout the class as students began to take out their ingredients. Slughorn began to recite the different ways to effectively grind beetles when James tuned him out and turned to Lily.

“Slept well?” he asked her playfully.

“Oh shove it,” Lily replied bluntly.

“So why are you really late?” James asked her, knowing the answer very well. He wanted to see if she remembered anything from last night but judging by the cold stare she gave him, he guessed not.

“I already said, I slept in,” she replied quickly.

“That’s a word for hangover I haven’t heard before,” James joked.

Lily gasped loudly, causing a few girls beside them to turn. She had a very angry expression on her face as she leaned in to whisper to James. “How on earth do you know?”

James smiled sadly. “I guess you really don’t remember then.”

“Are you stalking me now? Is that it?”

“Relax, Lily,” James said.

“Lily? Since when do you call me Lily now?”

James smirked. “Since last night when you asked me to before we made out.”

“WHAT?!”

Lily had got the attention of everyone in the classroom. Everyone from Slughorn to Sirius had looked up and was staring at the shocked girl.

“Miss Evans,” Slughorn said after a while. “If you are going to be so disruptive, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you and Mr. Potter to leave the classroom.”

“We did not make out!” Lily hissed to James after muttering a quick apology to Slughorn.

“I was just kidding,” James said. “It was only a light kiss.”

“Stop kidding yourself, Potter,” Lily said. “All that happened last night was I had one too many firewhiskeys and passed out in my dormitory.”

“Is that all you remember?”

“That is all that needs to be remembered because that’s all that happened.”

“How do you think you got to your dormitory?”

“I…I…” Lily stumbled. “I…walked back…I think.”

“Really?”

“Mr. Potter, this is the second interruption this morning!” Slughorn mumbled as he came over to their table. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to see the headmaster. Perhaps he can give you a better punishment for your constant distractions and lateness.”

James rolled his eyes. “Yes, sir,” he said as he gathered his things and made his way out the classroom. He winked to Sirius and Remus before he left and shut the large wooden door behind him.
***
James stood in front of Dumbledore’s magnanimous office door which he became increasingly nervous to knock on. He raised his hand and knocked on the door twice before a very cool, familiar voice replied from inside.

“Come in.”

James opened the door and entered the very recognizable office of the headmaster. The large portraits of previous headmasters towered over the various objects in the room, making them seem small and insignificant. Sitting in the middle of the room, at his desk, Dumbledore was writing something and suddenly looked up.

“Ah Mr. Potter,” he smiled. “Yes, Professor Slughorn has alerted me of your…disruptions in class this morning.”

“Yes sir,” James said.

“Well, I trust that this will not happen again,” Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling behind his half moon spectacles.

“Absolutely not,” James said quickly.

“Very well, you may go then.”

James looked up at Dumbledore with an utmost perplexed expression on his face. “That’s it?” he asked.

“I beg your pardon?” Dumbledore replied, slightly smiling.

“I’m not going to get punished?”

Dumbledore paused for a second and then replied. “Would like me to punish you?”

“Well, no, sir. But I…I just thought that Slug- I mean Professor Slughorn sent me here to get punished.”

“I think two hours of sleep and a chase throughout the castle is punishment enough,” Dumbledore mused.

James jaw dropped. “How…how…”

“You did something very noble last night, Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore continued, looking highly amused. “Here at Hogwarts, we do not punish noble deeds but rather, we reward them.”

James still couldn’t get any words out of his mouth. Dumbledore reached down into one of the drawers of his desk as he spoke. “As a reward for your help last night, I will return this to you.”

He pulled out the invisibility cloak from the drawer and handed it to a very dumbfounded James, who finally gathered up the energy to say something. “How…how did you know what happened?”

Dumbledore smiled. “It’s like Mr. Black said, this old man knows everything about everyone.”

Dumbledore had a tone of finality in his voice that clearly indicated to James that it was time to leave. “Good day, Mr. Potter,” he said as James turned around to leave.

“Good day, sir,” he said, as he left the office.

He stepped out from behind the gargoyle and, to his amazement, saw Lily waiting for him there.

“Are you in trouble?” she asked, her voice was genuinely concerned.

“No,” James said. “How come you’re here?”

“Class is over,” she said.

“Oh.”

They stood there for about two seconds without uttering a word when James spoke. “Can I ask you something?”

“Yes,” Lily responded.

“Will you go out with me?”

Lily rolled her eyes but instead of disgusted, her expression was amused. “Will you never stop trying?”

“No,” James replied with a grin. “And if memory serves me, this is your cue to threaten to hex me and then storm down the hallway.”

Lily smiled and her green eyes seemed brighter than ever. “Let’s go to Charms,” she said.
***



A/N: Alright guys! This is the end of this story! Thank you to all my readers and all my reviewers for the support and encouragement

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