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The Corner Dorm by jane pinkerton

Format: Novel
Chapters: 15
Word Count: 60,240
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Romance
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: James/Lily, Sirius/OC

First Published: 11/08/2010
Last Chapter: 06/07/2012
Last Updated: 06/07/2012

Summary:
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A Sequel to The Corner Market
The summer's over and Lily and James are done working at the Corner Market. Now they're headed back to Hogwarts for their final year as Head Students and about to find out that if they thought things at the market were crazy, things can get just as mad in The Corner Dorm.


Chapter 1: Back to School
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Back To School


Lily Evans had just survived what had to be the most eventful summer of her life. She was forced to break up with her on again, off again boyfriend, work with a boy she hated, who it turned out she actually liked and started dating, was attacked by the ex boyfriend who turned out to be crazy, basically was put under a 24 hour protection program....and all the while had to keep working at her parents corner market.

Now as she sat in the Head's Compartment of the Hogwart's Express she turned to the boy hated and loved at the same time, James Potter, and was finally ready to say something that had been on her mind.

"James," Lily said making him turn to look at her. "I want to start this year right, and I just wanted to say," she paused and took a deep breath, "I love you."

James couldn't help but laugh. He had been sure that Lily was going to drive him crazy waiting for her to say those words. However, when he saw her eyes getting defensive about his laughter he stopped and with a large smile said, "I love you too."

He leaned towards her and planted a kiss on her lips. She responded shyly and quickly turned away making James frown at her.

"Prefects will be coming in any minute. I don't want our authority to be looked down on if they see us kissing," she explained.

"Merlin, I'm not allowed to kiss you anywhere! Not when my parents are in the house, at the Market, on the train...."

"I'm sorry!" Lily laughed, "I've been waiting for this position a long time! I don't want to mess it up."

"Fine," James said dejectedly, "I'll just wait for us to be in our dorm where only people who know the password can get in."

"Our dorm? James, just because we're the Heads doesn't mean it's only ours. We can't just kick everyone else out, or not give them the password!"

"Why not? The previous Heads never let other students in! Neither should we! It's called the Head Dorm for a reason, Lils."

Lily scrunched her eyebrows in confusion. "Didn't you get the note from McGonagall? They've gotten rid of the Head Dorm! Apparently Brooke and Chris, the Heads from last year, got frisky and were reported."

"What?" James gasped.

"I know! That's what I said! What respectable Head Girl or Boy would abuse their rights like that? I mean, I always figured some of them did, but Merlin! They were chosen for the position for a reason!"

"I was going to abuse those rights though!"

Lily cocked one eyebrow and said, "You and what girl, because I certainly wasn't."

"Maybe the note you received was a mistake! Because I never got one, and that's not really fair if I wasn't given an adequate notice."

Lily laughed that James was trying so hard to undo what was already done, and reached over to give him a kiss on the cheek, but instead only kissed air as he scooted down the seat.

"I'm not in the mood anymore," he said sourly.

Lily let out a burst of laughter and jumped over to James to sit on his lap. "A kiss on the cheek is all I want to give!"

James tried to evade her lips, but she held his face steady in her hands and moved in to plant a wet one. The pair froze in their positions as the compartment door handle started to jiggle, and without a second thought, James stood making Lily fall to the ground.

She let out a little 'Umph!', but looked up in time to see Remus enter with a Raveclaw Prefect named Naomi Russel. The girl had lush chestnut hair that fell gracefully down her shoulders. Her green eyes were more of a dark forest color instead of the bright emerald shade like Lily's. Not to mention her skin that had always been tan and completely flawless without freckles.

The two girls had been competitors since their first train ride on the Hogwarts Express. They had at first been drawn to each other because they were both muggle borns, but it was easy to see that they were both going to Hogwarts to make a name for themselves. Lily remembered Severus sitting beside her watching the two of them at first politely talk about their muggle lives and how it was so exciting to be doing something different, but then something switched. The two them instead of merely talking, started comparing things like their grades at their muggle school, the amount of friends they had had, and how they planned on outdoing all of the pureblood students. Severus's head had swiveled back and forth, knowing that a competitive Lily was a dangerous Lily. The moment they had been sorted into their opposite Houses, the real competition began not only with their intelligence, but with their looks too.

Lily had been jealous of Naomi their first three years of school because it was obvious who was better looking, despite that it was obvious Lily was smarter. In their fourth year though, Lily's body began to fill out and she came to realize that maybe she could be just as pretty as Naomi! Her confidence boosted and the girls could only wait for their fifth year to see if they both would become Prefects. When they did, the studying for O.W.L.S. began, and it turned out to be like a tie. Lily excelled in some subjects that Naomi scored lower in and vice versa.

The final test was who would become Head Girl, and as Lily stared up at Naomi's twisted face of anger and disappointment she felt the pure satisfaction of victory, minus the fact that she had just been dumped on the floor by her boyfriend.

"Is this a bad time?" Remus asked with humor in his eyes.

"No! We were just saying how Prefects would be coming at any minute," James said. He immediately reached down to lift Lily up into a standing position.

"Thanks," she softly laughed brushing herself off. "How are you, Naomi?"

"Fine," she said with a tight jaw, "I suppose a congratulations is in order."

"I suppose it is," Lily smiled brightly.

Naomi flashed her own fake smile and then took a seat in the corner of the compartment. Remus bounced his eyebrows up and down making Lily giggle before moving out of the doorway so that more Prefects could join the room.

As they filed in and took their seats Lily's chest bubbled with excitement and pulled out a piece of paper from her pocket that outlined the things that she planned to talk about. She quickly put it in James's lap and told him to look it over while she gave an introduction.

He shook his head that she had actually made something like this and saw that its bullet points emphasized on:
1. Responsibility
2. Fairness
3.Teamwork
4. Leadership
5. Enforcing Rules for Everyone (That means you, James)


"Hello, everyone! Thank you for being here so promptly! It's good to see those of you from our previous years, but to our new Prefects, I'm Lily Evans the Head Girl and this is James Potter the Head Boy!" James looked up from the paper and gave a wave hello. Lily went on to explain the duties of a Prefect and how she expected everyone to show the proper way to lead not only to the new Prefects, but to the rest of the student body too.

In fact, by the end of her speech James was pretty sure he wasn't needed! He sat back and relaxed while she took control of the meeting....or until she said, "Is there anything you'd like to add James?"

"Uh...yeah! If you guys want to give me a few pointers as well as the new Prefects, I'm sure Hogwarts would appreciate it. You all know how much I love rules!" He sent a wink to the snickering crowd, but earned a smack to the back of his head from Lily.

"Thank you for your time. Fifth years, you are to patrol the hallways first. Make sure that no one is dilly dallying in the hallway or picking on first years. Sixth years will take over patrol in one hour, and seventh years will patrol everyone getting to the carriages while James and I guide first years to the boats."

With a nod of heads, the Prefects filed out of the room and went back to their compartments. Naomi stuck her nose in the air as she as she passed Lily, entertaining Remus again who stopped to talk with his friends.

"You should've heard her on our way over, Lily," he laughed, "She's certain that Dumbledore meant to put her name on the badge."

"Yes, because Evans and Russel are so easy to mix up!" Lily said sarcastically.

James slid his arm around Lily's waist and kissed her on the cheek. "Sorry about shoving you to floor."

"Yeah, what was that?" Remus asked.

"A test of James's unknown strength apparently," Lily rolled her eyes.

"Oh no, it was known! Just accidentally used," James said. He squeezed Lily's side to lighten up her mood.

"By the way did you really have to say that?" she stepped out of James's arm. "Those students are supposed to take you seriously now!"

"I'll catch you guys later," Remus mumbled. He quickly left the room not wanting to be pulled into the fight.

"Who cares that I made a joke? And I believe that I said I could use some tips about rules, not that I wasn't going to break them."

"That's probably what they heard though! James, you're a Marauder and that means you're going to have to work just as hard as me to get respect from everyone!"

"You mean harder than you?"

"Nope. Just as hard. I'm muggle born. That means at least a quarter of the student population is against me. Who knows if the rest of the school has changed their mind since the end of last year?"

James wrapped his arm around Lily again, but this time she allowed him to keep it there.

"Who could not respect us? Lils, we are the smartest and obviously the best looking people of the entire school! If anyone shows the slightest bit of rebellion I will hex-" Lily cleared her throat making James sigh, "I will hand out detentions so fast that Filch won't know what to do with them."

"Much better," Lily sighed. With a final squeeze around his waist, Lily pulled away from James and grabbed the handle of her suit case. "I'm glad you have enough confidence for the both of us. I better go and find the girls though. See you at the boats?"

"Of course! Tell the them all hi." Lily gave him a quick peck on the lips, but he stopped her before she could step away. "Are you sure you read the note right?"

Lily rolled her eyes and unzipped a pocket on the front of her suit case. She grabbed a piece of folded parchment out of it and dangled it in front of his face. When he grabbed it from her grip she walked away still shaking her head at him.

James on the other hand, read the note with a pain struck look on his face.

Dear Miss Evans,
It has come to our attention that though the Head Dormitory has been of good use for Head Student privacy, the use of the privacy has been abused, and therefore it has been decided by the Head Master for the Head Students to live the duration of their final year in their House Dormitories as in the previous years-


James stopped reading right there and started sprinting to the compartment where he knew the rest of the Marauders would be; the last one of the left. He slammed open and shut the compartment door before throwing himself on the floor.

"Nice of you to join us, Prongs!" Peter laughed.

"Jeez, did Lily really tear you up that bad about the comment?" Remus asked.

"No," James mumbled into the floor, "It's worse than that." He pushed himself up off the floor and leaned against the seat. He saw that Sirius was intently staring at a game of Wizard's Chess between himself and Remus. "She just gave me this." He held the note into the air.

Remus grabbed it from him and scanned his eyes through the writing. "Wasn't the Head Dormitory the only reason you accepted the position?"

"More than less," James shrugged.

Sirius's head snapped up from the game with guilt written on his face. "Prongs," he said clearing his throat, "I wanted to tell you on the train ride so that you would hear it from me instead of the harsh words of the unfeeling Minnie."

"What?"

Sirius reached overhead into his bag and pulled out a folded piece of parchment that had the same strict writing as on Lily's. "The owl came one day while you were out with Lily, and I opened it knowing you wouldn't care, but when I realized how hard this would hit you I thought it would be better for me to tell you!"

"Padfoot, you know how much worse I feel now? I've spent this whole day thinking me and Lily were going to get to be in practically the same bed tonight, and I had to find out by surprise instead!"

"i'm sorry, Prongs," Sirius said patting his shoulder.

James sighed, "It's okay...you were doing what you thought would be best."

"Oh for Merlin's sake! I'm sure Lily would have made sure you two would be sleeping in your respectable rooms," Remus said, "It's not going to be that big of a difference."

"You don't know that!" Sirius defended James's emotions," James would have broke down Evans' wall and had them sharing a bed within the week!"

"Her name is Lily, and I highly doubt that," Remus scoffed.

"Yeah, me too. Lily is pretty uptight," Peter said, "Especially when it comes to rules!"

"Fine, a month! It still would've happened eventually though!" Sirius said.

"No, Moony's right. She would've turned me down." James said pulling himself all the way onto the seat now.

"Look on the bright side! Now you get to be with us again!" Peter smiled.

James glared at Peter making the other two boys laugh. "Yeah, Pete. I'm sure he'd much rather sleep with us than Evans!" Sirius laughed.

"For the love of Dumbledore's beard, call her Lily!" Remus yelled.
_______________________________________________

Lily walked away from James still shaking her head. Sure, she might have allowed herself to fall asleep in James's arms every now and again, but he was acting like this change was the end of the world! She put the thoughts aside and instead focused her energy on the excitement of seeing her best friends; Marie, Lisa and Danielle.

They all four belonged to the Gryffindor House, though they weren't all best friends at first. During their first two years they were split in half; Lily and Marie were friends by themselves and Lisa and Danielle made a own twosome.

Lily and Marie were friends because they were so opposite from each other, and for some reason they seemed to click! Lily was obviously the brains, and though Marie wasn't dumb, she enjoyed using her intelligence for more gossip than school work. She reminded Lily of her muggle friend Paula, and she sometimes wondered if that was the reason she got along with Marie so well!

On the other hand, Lisa and Danielle got along because of how similar they were. They were both quick to defend not only themselves, but others too, which sometimes made them look like they meddled into others business, but they were honestly just trying to help.

During their third year they started to hang out more, but it wasn't until their fourth year that something happened that brought all of them together. In that year, Lisa and Danielle had both developed a crush on Sirius, but they both kept it a secret from each other not wanting their reputations of being independent to be tainted.

Sirius eventually realized what was going on, and being the Marauder he was, dated them both. He made plans to meet them at Hogsmeade in different places at different times, but when Lisa stopped by The Three Broomsticks to have a Butterbeer with Lily and Marie and saw Sirius there with Danielle across the room all hell broke loose.

Lily could still remember watching it all happen...

Lisa picked up a Butterbeer from Lily and Marie's table and calmly walked over to where Sirius was chatting up her best friend. Under the table she could see Sirius lightly playing with Danielle's fingers making her anger bubble even more.

"Oh, hey Lisa!" Danielle greeted.

"Hello," she narrowed her eyes at Sirius, "Danny, did Sirius tell you why he had to leave in say, twenty minutes?"

Danielle gave her friend a confused look. "Um...no he didn't." Danielle caught onto her friend's aggravated tone and drew her hand away from Sirius's. "Where will you be going?"

Lily and Marie were snickering at the giant hole Sirius had dug himself into when Lily noticed someone sit down at their table.

"Hello, ladies," James smirked.

"Merlin, you've got to be kidding me," Lily muttered, "I told you I didn't want to have anything to do with you on this trip, Potter."

"Yes, my love, I know, but I thought maybe we could reach some kind of agreement. Sirius came up with the idea that maybe if we start dating two girls at once, who also happen to be good friends, we'll all be more comfortable around each other," he winked.

"Oh, boy," Marie sighed.

"What is it with you boys?" she yelled, "No means NO!" She heard a shriek across the room and saw that Danielle had splashed her Butterbeer in Sirius's face. "You know, that's not a bad idea," she said with a tight jaw.

James's eyes widened not wanting the same fate, and started backtracking his words. "I was just kidding, you know. I mean, who takes Sirius seriously anyway?" he laughed nervously.

Lily had already picked up her drink though and dumped its contents on James's hair.


After that, their hatred for the Marauders united them, and they came to find that the four of them actually had lots in common that they never realized; they were inseparable ever since.

Lily smiled at the memory, especially with how things had turned out, and stopped at a compartment where she could hear her three noisy best friends. They had always tried to sit in one of the compartments near the back to be as close to the exit, so Lily knew the general direction of where to look for them.

When she finally arrived, she knocked on the door lightly for them to answer.

"We're full!" she heard Lisa call out.

Lily laughed at the stern tone of her voice and knocked again.

"Didn't you hear her? No room!" Danielle repeated.

And before she could lift her hand up to knock a third time, the door slid open to reveal their three annoyed faces. When they saw Lily's mischievous smirk though with her twinkling green eyes the three screamed and pulled her into the small room.

Hugs were passed all around with little screams that reminded them that this would be their last time traveling to Hogwarts together. Lily looked around the compartment trying to take in her friends presence. Marie had her light brown hair flowing down to her shoulders while her light green eyes glistened with excitement.

Lisa's blonde hair was pulled back into a pony tail with bangs pinned up to the side, not knowing that she was probably making other girls jealous with her high cheek bones and sapphire blue eyes.

Danielle looked like all she had done was quickly run a brush through her hair, but she looked great all the same. Her baby blue eyes looked tired, but she had a trained eye on Lily.

"It took you long enough to get here!" she complained, "Seriously, I've been trying defend you from this delusion Marie has that you and Potter are dating."

"I saw them with my own two eyes! So did everyone else in Diagon Alley!" Marie exclaimed with exasperation in her voice. "This is why we need to at least attempt to stay in touch during the holidays. I know we all get busy, but this is important stuff! Tell them Lils!" Lily started to blush making Danielle and Lisa gasp. "I told you!" Marie said.

"You've got to be kidding me!" Danielle laughed.

"What happened to all of that stuff you kept going on about Marcus and this long hot summer you were going to have?" Lisa said.

"It's such a long story!" Lily complained.

"Oh, please! Just tell them so they have time to get used that we'll be sitting with the Marauders at dinner," Marie said.

"Okay....well...me and Marcus never actually got any further this summer than a greeting kiss and hug. Some really bad things happened while I was at school so my parents made us break up and it was really weird because after all of this time together I actually saw how cold of a person he is! So I spent all of my working time up front with the new cashier...James."

"You mean he actually worked for once in his life?" Lisa scoffed.

"Yep, and I made him learn everything the muggle way inside and out. Even played a few tricks on him." The girls giggled appreciatively. "But then I had to tutor him with muggle money and one night we went out and I got kind of...." Lily cleared her throat as she said the word, "wasted-"

"Wasted?" Danielle gasped.

"Oh, Merlin! You didn't shack up, did you?" Lisa begged.

"Of course not!" Lily exclaimed, "But he took really good care of me that night and covered for me the next day when I wasn't fit to go into work. He even made my favorite breakfast foods!"

"I'll give him points for that," Danielle shrugged.

"And after that we started hanging out more and more until pop! We're holding hands and I'm meeting his family!"

"How did Marcus react?" Marie asked.

Lily's eyes cast downward not wanting to relive the the story, but she took a deep breath knowing it wouldn't be long before the story would come spilling out.

"He definitely didn't like it..." she mumbled, "He said we could try to be friends, but that was when he didn't know me and James were dating and when he did find out he had been drinking and...he attacked me." Lily stopped to take a breath so that her voice wouldn't shake, "James and Sirius showed up though and took care of him."

"You didn't tell me that when I saw you at Diagon Alley," Marie whispered.

Lily reached up to wipe her eyes, "It had only happened a few days before then and I wasn't ready to say anything about it."

"Understandable," Danielle nodded.

"When you say that they took care of him you better mean they kicked his ass," Lisa said.

Lily had to let out a laugh at that. "Don't worry, James did more than that." The compartment went silent while the three contemplated Lily's story. "How've your summers been?" she asked.

"My mum took me around Europe showing me the best of the best careers to get. Apparently, McGonnagall sent her an owl saying I still hadn't chosen a career to be taking classes for. She's getting worried I'll graduate and be on the streets of Knockturn Alley," Marie sighed. Lily smiled because it sounded exactly like the last conversation she had with her best muggle friend, Paula, whose mother was also worrying about her future.

"I was over in Scotland visiting family. One of them is an Auror and I got to spend a few days with him seeing what it's all about. I'm so pumped to go to training now!" Lisa exclaimed. "And you, Danielle?"

"I didn't go far, but stayed with my aunt over in Margate. She has a house on the beach. It's my new life goal to own a home on the beach. I've never had so many amazing days in the sun!" she said.

"Well that's no fair! Everyone got to go somewhere except for me!" Lily complained.

"Lils, trust me, I would've much rather had been with you. I was about to kill my mum if she dragged me to another country where I didn't know their language, but was still forced to talk to them like I could," Marie assured her.

The compartment went silent as if they were about to go on with their normal train activities, but everyone still had their eyes on Lily.

"Lily is this thing with James serious? All four of us have been very dedicated to the anti-Marauder society for years now. Then all of a sudden you decide he's a great guy in the span of three months. You spent six years hating him!" Danielle bursted.

"If he put some kind of spell on you we need to know now so we can remove it before we reach the castle, or else the entire student body is going to know and your reputation is going to be severely damaged!" Lisa said.

"You guys, stop it! Of course it's serious! You really think that I would let a prank go this far just to teach James a lesson? And I'm not under any kind of spell or love potion. I honestly love James Potter!

"You love him?" Marie squeaked.

"Yes, I do!"

"That's so sweet!"

"No, it's not!" Danielle said, "You can't fall in love that fast! Especially when it's with James Potter!"

Lily sighed putting her head in her hands. It was the honest truth that she forgotten how hard headed her friends were. It was going to take a lot to convince them that she and James were a real thing!
__________________________________________________________

Once off of the train, James waited obediently as Lily had told him to and began to collect the first years around him. Minutes later he could hear Lily coming off of the train doing the same.

"Follow me first years! This way! No, not to the carriages! This way!" she yelled at one particular boy.

When she and James made eye contact she smiled warily as he shot her a wink. She made her way to stand next to him and called out again to get the young students attention.

"We're going to get into these boats and make our way across the lake where we'll meet with Professor McGonagall," Lily said.

"And please don't put anything in the water. It will only catch the interest of the Giant Squid, and that is something no one wants," James added.

Lily punched his arm at the first years horrified expressions. James merely shrugged muttering that he wished someone had warned him. Lily shook her head before turning back to the students.

"I'll be riding in the front boat leading the way, and James will be in the back boat." Lily waved her hand and the students began lining up to get onto a boat.

"We can't ride in the same boat?" James whined.

"If one of those kids falls out of a boat and we're too busy playing footsie to notice it, how do you think McGonagall will react?"

James again shrugged his shoulders, but started helping Lily load the boats with 2-3 children. Just from short glances James could make out which house some of them would be in. There were some that looked serious and focused on making this journey across the lake, who were Ravenclaws. Some were bouncy and in it for the fun making them look like Hufflepuffs. Then there were those who looked like they were above this childish part of the journey only wanting to get on with the night in a very Slytherin attitude. And of course there were those who proudly got on the boat and curiously looked around at their surroundings anxiously waiting for their journey to begin. James went easy on these ones since they were obviously Gryffindors.

As the boats took off towards the castle, James watched Lily in the front boat talking with the students, no doubt reassuring them after what he had said. Just from the moon's shine he could see the caring in her eyes and wished he was sitting right next to her instead of two first years whose gazes were fixed at the lit up castle ahead of them.

He shook the thoughts out of his head and also looked at the castle where could see a tall figure waiting at the lake's edge. He guessed from the tall hat that it was Professor McGonagall, though before the boats could reach her she silently turned and went back into the castle where James knew she would meet them right outside the Great Hall like she when he was a first year.

The boats docked and Lily helped each student get off until she reached James.

"Can you help me out of here?" James asked smiling up at her.

"I would, but I don't think my feminine muscles would be able to lift up such a heavy Quidditch chaser," she winked before turning away.

James quickly jumped out of the boat and grabbed her hand when he caught up to her. Lily rolled her eyes letting him have this small bit of affection until they stepped inside the castle and saw McGonagall's eyes glinting with satisfaction at the clasped hands. Lily quickly stole back her hand to hide it behind her back.

"Nicely done you two," McGonagall smiled, "You can run ahead and take your seats at your table while I explain the process to the new students."

Lily nodded and led the way through the giant oak doors of the Great Hall where students sat at their house tables filling the hall with loud chatter.

"Oi, Prongs! Down here, mate!" Sirius yelled from the middle of the Gryffindor table.

Lily sighed in relief that her friends were also there; Marie talking with the boys, Danielle and Lisa muttering amongst themselves. James pulled on Lily's hand to go over to them and then made Sirius scoot down more so that they could sit next to each other.

"Hello, ladies," James greeted her friends. Marie happily said hello, but it took a swift kick to the shins from Lily to make Danielle and Lisa cooperate.

"Hi," Lisa said tightly.

"Hello, Potter," Danielle gave a fake smile.

McGonagall marched the first years into the Great Hall and while the Sorting Hat sang its song, James started whispering to Lily.

"Are they not pleased about us?" he asked.

Lily bit her lip trying to find another explanation, but there was no avoiding the truth. "Only Marie approves," she shrugged.

"Maybe you can talk to them tonight and explain. Or should I go the same route as I did with you and have the house elves cook up their favorite foods in the morning?"

Lily giggled catching Danielle's attention who promptly let out a short shushing noise. Lily rolled her eyes, but turned away from James to watch the last of the first years be sorted. She tried her hardest to pay attention to the details in Dumbledore's speech, but again she got distracted.

James was smoothly running his hand up and down her thigh using the tips of his fingers to give her goosebumps. Lily swallowed realizing her throat had gone dry and reached out in front of her for a glass of water. She could see James smirking from the corner of her eye as she sipped from her water when his hand travelled to the top of her knee and squeezed really hard making her laugh and spew water across the table on Lisa and Danielle.

Lily covered her mouth with her hands, her eyes wide while the people around them muffled their own laughter. Dumbledore's words slowed down for a second looking over at the Gryffindor table, but continued when he saw it was only due to the Marauders.

"And remember that the man who would enjoy a god future wastes non of his present. May the feast begin!" Dumbledore finished.

The plates filled with food and all the students started grabbing for their food, except the Marauders and Lily and her friends.

"I am so sorry you guys!" Lily said.

"It's fine," Lisa dabbed her face with a napkin.

"Don't be sorry, Evans! Because of that little mishap Dumbly finished his speech faster," Sirius said before shoving a biscuit into his mouth.

"No one asked you, Black," Danielle hissed.

Sirius threw his hands up in surrender only wanting the chance to keep eating.

Lily let out a sigh, silently praying that somehow the two groups could at least be civil with each other. She felt James squeeze her leg again, but this time it was softer in a more apologetic way.

He leaned in towards her and whispered, "Don't worry, love. All things eventually turn out the way their supposed to,"

Lily nodded her head. "I sure hope so."
____________________________________
Author's Note: Welcome back readers!! :D yay i'm so excited that the sequel is finally up and going! i hope you guys can forgive me for the long wait!
anywho. don't forget to review!

Chapter 2: Himple Dinks
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The Gryffindor table made its way up the many stair cases of the castle until they reached their tower. The second years and up made their way through the portrait, but Lily held the first years behind.

"Pay attention really quick!" she tried to get their attention, "Now, in order to get inside the common room you must tell the Fat Lady the password. For now the password is-"

"Wait!" James yelled. Lily raised an eyebrow at him waiting for an explanation. "There might be a spy hiding within these first years. We don't know them yet!"

"Oh, Merlin," Lily mumbled.

"Come close, rookies!" James said the eleven year olds, "It's vitally important that you don't tell another soul from another House what the password is, got it?"

They all nodded their heads and inched towards the Head Students. "Can I tell them now?" Lily asked. James took another glance around their hallway and nodded. "Right then, the password is Himple Dinks."

"What's a Himple Dink?" a boy asked.

"A Himple Dink is a slug that attaches itself inside of a tree trunk in order to escape the view of predators," Lily answered.

"Do we have to know its definition to enter?" a girl asked.

"No, even though it's something good to remember for future reference."

"What happens if we forget the password?" another girl asked.

"You're stuck out here until either you remember it, or another Gryffindor comes by and helps you in," James explained.

"Can't the portrait just remember us?"

"I prefer to be called by my name!" the Fat Lady said indignantly.

"She'll come to recognize you, but that doesn't mean she'll let you in. The Fat Lady is very dedicated to her job!" Lily said, "Now come along, lets get you inside! Everyone tell me the password."

"Himple Dink!" they chorused.

The Fat Lady swung open and Lily smiled, finally feeling like she was home. The first years gasped in delight and curiously walked around the room to test out some of the squishy chairs and look at the book case.

"Your trunks are already in your rooms; Boys on the first level on the left stair case, ladies on the first level on the right stair case," James yelled so they could all hear him.

"Do you think we should warn the boys about the girls staircase?" Lily asked.

"They'll find out on their own," James smirked.

"Wow, Sirius, so you're actually in a relationship?" they heard Marie ask by the fireplace.

The pair made their way over as Sirius casually put his hands behind his head before answering, "That's right. Me and Jasmine are the real deal."

"I really thought Jasmine of all people would have more sense than to date someone like you," Lisa said in a casual tone.

"She's got plenty of sense!" Sirius defended Jasmine.

Lisa went on ignoring his comment, "Of course, we all thought Lily had more sense than to date Potter, but we were wrong there, weren't we?"

The comment sent Danielle busting into laughter, Marie into giggles, but Lily narrowed her eyes at all three of them. "Real mature, Lisa," she said.

"We're only joking, Lils!" she said.

"Yeah, relax! You had to of known we wouldn't let you get away with this scot free, did you?" Danielle said.

Lily looked to Marie for help, but she only shrugged. 'Great, no allies...' she thought.

"I'm going to bed," Lily sighed in annoyance. She turned to James and gave him a quick kiss, "Night."

"Night. I love you," he hugged her.

"You too."

James waited for Lily to be all the way up the stairs before turning on her friends, "I'm sorry, did you all forget who received the most O's on their N.E.W.T.S. last year? I think that proves Lily's got plenty of sense. And lets remember how I was one of the only people from Hogwarts who hung out with Lily this whole summer, even before we were dating! The Marauders know more about her summer than you do because you were all too lazy to even write a small note to Lily. Maybe if you had attempted to keep in touch you would know that Lily's happy."

Marie looked down at her hands guiltily, but Lisa and Danielle put their hands on their hips in defense, "You're just lucky we weren't there during the summer or else you would never have gotten this far with her," Danielle said. She and Lisa stood up also heading towards the staircase when she continued, "Just wait for when school starts rolling again. She's going to be so busy with studying and passing classes she's not going to have time to waste with you."

The two left the room with James glaring after them. He never realized how much worse those two were than Lily was when she hated him and his friends.

"Marie, why do they hate us so much?" Remus asked.

Marie shrugged avoiding their eyes. "I guess it's just a little bit of everything."

"Oh come on, we weren't that bad to you guys!" Sirius said.

This comment made Marie look up finally, "Lets see, you dated both of them at the same time, then toyed with my heart last year. James has been chasing Lily all these years professing his love to her, while simultaneously having flings. Peter worships the two of you for those said actions," Peter let out an indignant 'Hey!' "and Remus..."

"Me? What have I done?" Remus asked incredulously.

"You let them do whatever the hell they want." She paused to let it sink in before continuing, "You guys know that I don't mind you. I accept who you are and what you do, but Lisa and Danielle for some reason just can't get over it!"

"That's not who we are anymore though!" James exclaimed, "You of all people know that Lily wouldn't just fall into my arms because you guys weren't here to egg her on anymore. I worked my ass off to become the person she deserves, and thank Merlin, I succeeded!"

"I know you did! She explained it to us on the train ride. They still aren't convinced though."

"Maybe you can put in a good word for us," Remus suggested.

"Yeah! If it's coming from you instead of Lily they'll stop thinking it's a biased decision," James said.

"I don't know you guys...I'll give it a shot, but Lisa and Danielle are the most stubborn people I know."

"We noticed," Peter snickered.

Marie stood and straightened her clothing, giving the boys one last look. "I'm not promising anything," she said, "Good night."

"Night," they chorused.

Marie followed in the same footsteps as her roommates and could hear their bickering already about half way up the stairs. She was officially Team Lily and Co. now, but truth be told it scared the day lights out of her that her opponents were Lisa and Danielle. Already she could hear them voicing their complaints, and she could only imagine poor Lily trying to defend herself.

She opened the seventh year dormitory door and saw the battlefield was vicious. On the one side was Lily with her hands balled up at her sides, her face pink, and her mouth straining not to open yet. On the other side was Lisa and Danielle egging each other hardly giving Lily the chance to speak.

"Fine, you're dating him! The deed is already done, but I just don't get how you could allow him to sweep into your life when you're most vulnerable and trick yourself into thinking that he actually cares," Lisa said.

Lily's eyes started to feel a little moist, but she didn't let her friends see it. "Well, what I just don't get," she mocked Lisa's words, "Is how shitty of friends you're being. I get that you guys don't like him, but we've been friends long enough that you should be able to trust my decisions, or at least control your mouths enough so that for just one second tonight you could say something that isn't insulting."

"Shitty? Is that what you'd call this? Because I think of it more as an intervention. We care enough to get you out of this!" Danielle rebutted.

"The only shitty thing we did was not step in sooner," Lisa added.

"You guys, stop it!" Marie yelled making her presence known, "Should Lily have at least warned us that this was going on? Sure! But you two are being plain mean and rude. We should be happy that Lily found a guy who's going to treat her right!"

"How are you so sure that he's going to treat her right, Marie? You know just as well as the rest of us how James is when it comes to the girls of this school. All four of them are a bunch of horn dogs!"

"That's just it, Lisa! You don't know them. A few years back when Sirius played you, and James was always annoying Lily they were pricks. If you look at them now though, really look at them you can tell they've matured. James is Head Boy, which has to say something, Sirius is in a real relationship, Peter isn't as dependent on the guys anymore, and Remus actually kept their chaos at a minimum last year. You're both too prejudiced to see that though. You're blinded by your hatred."

"I don't recall you being this forgiving when Black played you last year," Danielle mumbled.

Marie's cheeks flushed a little, but she was quick in saying, "That was a year ago, and I'm over it. How long has it been since Sirius did that to you guys? Three years? That shows the great maturity levels needed for a future Auror and Professor."

The two girls had to suppress their glares because they both knew she was right; they were acting like ten year olds who were pretending to know everything.

"Fine," Lisa said, "We'll sleep on it."

"Thank you," Lily sighed.

"And we're sorry if we came off as only being mean. We were just trying to smack you out of it."

"I understand. We used some of the same tactics on Marie, except me and James are a real thing. We're staying together for as long as we can."

With the battle air finally cooling down, the girls were able to finish getting ready for bed and get in some proper sleep before their classes the next morning. Lily personally fell asleep with a little extra contentment that she at least had one friend officially on her side.
_______________________________________________________

James woke up to the sound of Sirius and Peter wrestling in front of the bathroom door.

"I need to go first, Wormtail!" Sirius yelled.

"No! You take too long with your hair! Just let me go!" Peter yelled back.

James covered his ears with his hands and turned away from the scene.

"Padfoot, just let him go first!" Remus put in his input, "It's true, you spend way too much time on your hair."

Sirius let out a huff after untangling himself from Peter and trekked back over to his bed. "Maybe you guys should wake up earlier than me if your showers are so precious to you."

"Maybe you should wake up earlier than us!" Peter said before shutting the bathroom door.

"He's so melodramatic," Sirius flopped into his bed.

"Right, he's melodramatic," Remus laughed.

"I call dibs on the next shower though. If I don't get my hair washed I'm going to look like Snivelly."

"Something no one wants," James shuddered. He slowly lifted himself from the bed and quickly ruffled his hair in his hands, "We're officially back in school, lads!"

Remus stood from his bed and after a quick stretch bent over and reached under his bed for his book bag stuffed with all of his school essentials. "It's going to be a tough one," he said opening the bag and looking through his books.

"Nonsense!" Sirius said, "The teachers do this to us every year; scare us into thinking the next year is always going to be harder, but I think it's a load of lies. I still seem to do perfectly fine!"

"Yes, but for us who actually want to do above average, we work twice as hard."

"Average? Moony, I think we all know here that I am way above average. Even Wormtail is above average and he does even less than me! It's how we do, right Prongs?"

James shrugged and began look through his suit case for a uniform. "I don't know, mate...Lily got me thinking, and I think we should really give this year a go! I mean we always get our work done and stuff, but maybe we can try studying more than just the bare minimum this year."

Sirius's jaw dropped, and Remus bursted out in laugher. "What has dating a bookworm done to you?!" Sirius yelled, "That's it! Give me that badge! It's changing you!"

Sirius lunged at James, his hand outstretched toward the Head Boy badge hanging on the left side of his robe. James tried to back away, but tripped over a foot of his bed causing both him and Sirius to land on the floor.

"Get off me, Padfoot!"

"Not until you give me that demonic emblem!"

The bathroom door opened and Peter stepped out wrapped in towels. "Merlin, Sirius must really want his hair washed. I didn't know it meant that much to you," he said.

"He's onto a different subject now," Remus informed him.

There was a rip of clothing and a victorious, "Yes!" from the new wrestling match.

Sirius jumped off with the badge held into the air. "Now how do you feel?" he asked James.

James's mouth hung open as he stared down at the hole in his new robe. "I feel angry, you dolt! Mum just bought these!" He jumped up from floor and jumped at Sirius sending them both back onto the floor. "Give it back!" he ordered.

"Agh! Just give it a second!" Sirius managed to yell out, "Not wearing this is for the better!"

"Lets go to breakfast, Peter. I have a feeling this is going to take a while," Remus shook his head.

Remus sloppily put on his uniform and together they walked out of the dorm room. When they reached the Great Hall they spotted Lily and her friends sitting on one end of the table, and Remus made the decision to take a seat next to them.

"Morning, ladies," he greeted them.

"Hello," they chorused.

He and Peter sat down and before they could take their first bite of toast, Lily asked, "Where's James?"

"He's, uh, on his way. Him and Sirius had something to figure out," Peter laughed.

"Merlin, it's not a prank is it? Because I specifically told him that I wouldn't be able to tolerate them, and he shouldn't be doing them since he's Head Boy!"

"No, it's not prank related, don't worry."

"I wouldn't put it past him though," Danielle scoffed.

Lily's head snapped in her direction, but Marie immediately intervened. "What she means is that he's still a Marauder, despite his position, and it would be weird for them not to pull a prank!"

"Precisely," Danielle shrugged.

Lily rolled her eyes as she turned back to her breakfast. If this was her friends making an attempt to understand they would have to work a lot harder on their acting.

"Has McGonagall passed out the new schedules yet?" Remus asked.

"Not yet. I think she's waiting for James to be here so that we can both help her," Lily explained.

"How were your holidays?" Marie asked.

"Decent," Peter said with a mouthful of porridge, "Little bit of fun here, little bit of fun there. You know the life," he winked making Lisa roll her eyes.

"And yours, Remus?"

"It was fine. Obviously didn't have as much fun as Pete though," he said. The girls giggled at his joke, but Peter sent a small glare in Remus's direction.

The flow of students entering for their breakfast started to thicken, and about half way through James and Sirius finally made their appearance. Both of their hairs were messy and tousled, their uniforms disheveled.

"What happened to you two?" Marie laughed.

"Looks like you two spent some time in a broom closet," Danielle teased.

"James, what happened to your robes?" Lily asked noticing the hole.

James furrowed his eyebrows, "Well, it turns out that the Head Boy badge holds a curse over me when I wear it, so Padfoot here took it upon himself to remove it from me."

Sirius huffed in disbelief, "So it's one little hole, get over it. I'm sure Evans knows a spell to sew it back up anyway."

"That's true," Lily nodded promptly pointing her wand at the robe to get it fixed.

"Not the point though. I was supposed to be down here a half hour ago, but instead I had to wait for him to wash his hair," James complained.

"Did you expect me to walk down here alone?" Sirius asked.

James opened his mouth to respond, but instead McGonagall walked up to the table with instructions. "Miss Evans, Mr. Potter, can you please take these schedules and hand them out to your Housemates?"

"Of course, Professor," Lily said taking the stack from her. She split it in two handing one half to James.

"Annabelle Lewis?" Lily yelled down the table. A third year girl raised her hand and Lily walked over to her.

James looked down at his own stack wishing he could just eat his breakfast.

"Not having the badge isn't such a bad idea now, is it?" Sirius laughed.

James ignored him and followed Lily's lead. "Elizabeth Mays?"

Sirius's laughter followed him down the table, but he tried to ignore it. It was true that he would have to be more mature because of his Head Boy position, but mostly it was because he knew they wouldn't be able to keep the act much longer. Sure, it was good to have fun every now and again, but for the first time in their lives they had to pay attention to the future. They had always done extremely well in their classes, but he knew if they actually put effort into it they'd be the most sought after students around!

He passed out another twenty-something schedules and was able to swallow a quick cup of pumpkin juice and stuffed a bagel in his bag as the rest of the group started to stand.

"Where's your first class, James?" Lily asked.

He quickly glanced down at his schedule and cursed at the first class. "Potions," he mumbled.

"Oh, good! Me too! Maybe we can be partners," she winked.

Hearing this, Lisa pulled on Danielle's arm to make her stop. "Please don't go to Magical Creatures! Take Potions instead!"

"You have Magical Creatures right now, Danielle? We can walk together!" Peter said happily.

Danielle held back a groan at this, but turning back to Lisa she could only shrug. "I promised Professor Sweetney that I'd take her class in turn for a letter of recommendation."

Lisa's shoulders slumped and walked away to catch up with Marie. "You have Potions, don't you?"

"No way!" Marie laughed, "This is my free period of the day. I only got up so we could have a last first day breakfast together." Lisa's face dropped even further, making Marie laugh and throw her arm around her shoulders. "Don't pout! I'm sure Potions is going to be just fine."

"No it's not! Lily is going to be with James, and Remus is going to be with Sirius. Who's supposed to be my partner?"

"There's always Snape," Marie shrugged.

Lisa huffed and threw her head back dramatically. "Do you at least have Charms with us next class?"

"That I do! Just think, only an hour and a half to go and your first class will be over."

They walked out the Great Hall's doors and while Marie went back to the Gryffindor common room, Danielle and Peter went outside for Magical Creatures, and Lisa sulkily followed James, Lily, Remus and Sirius down to the dungeons.

When they reached the dungeons they waited just outside the doors huddled away from the other students. Lily noted some of the students who were expected to be in the class like her two enemies Severus and Naomi. She didn't bother looking at the other Slytherins knowing she already wouldn't like them, and politely smiled at the other House students.

"You know what I like about seventh year classes?" Sirius said, "We share the classes with other Houses, but it's never entirely the same House. Yeah, there are Slytherins here, but only three instead of the usual eight. We have some nice Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs to join the mix now."

"I think I'll have to agree with that," Lisa reluctantly nodded, "The variety is nice."

The dungeon door opened and Professor Slughorn greeted his students inside the room. "Welcome, my students!"

Remus and Sirius took a desk together, and James took a seat in the desk in front of them. Lisa dejectedly sat at a table just to the right of them, but Lily surprised her when she took the seat next to her.

"Really?" Lisa smiled wide.

"Of course!" Lily laughed, "What if you got stuck with someone like Naomi," she whispered.

The girls snickered to themselves slyly watching Naomi at the entrance of the door who was looking for a seat. LIke the Gryffindors, the Ravenclaws had an odd number of students so she now had to find someone from a different House to sit next to.

"Don't dilly dally Miss Russel. Take the seat next to Mr. Potter."

Lily's head snapped in their direction at this, her mouth slightly agape. Naomi didn't waste any time practically skipping to her assigned seat and immediately giving James a pearly smile.

"You didn't think that was going to happen, did you?" Lisa snickered.

"Obviously not," Lily muttered.

She turned her attention to Slughorn who gave a speech emphasizing that their class was obvious full of the best Potion makers of the school, and that he expected them all to put their best foot forward in order retain the reputation of The Slug Club.

"But we'll save those matters for later," he chuckled, "For now, everyone please open your books to page 10 and look at the potion 'Draught of Living Death.' Yes, we have made this before, but I think it's a nice warm up for the beginning of the year. Send one partner to receive the ingredients and begin."

Lisa stood from the table and walked over to the supply cabinet, followed by James. Lily kept her gaze down at her book trying to clear her mind with the potion, but was interrupted by Naomi.

"It's so great to be partners with one of the Marauders. They make everything more fun, even potions," she said loud enough for Lily to hear.

Lily tightened her jaw not wanting to say something that she would regret.

"It means a lot of things to be partnered up with a Marauder, Russel," she heard Sirius say, "The best part of it is that you never know if we're laughing with you, or at you."

Naomi's smile haltered a little taking in Sirius's small threat, but Lily now relaxed her jaw. She forgot the Marauders liked her now...

At the same time, another conversation was being overheard by Lisa between James and Severus. There were two lines leading to the cabinet, and while she stood behind James, he stood next to Severus.

"I noticed you and Evans aren't sitting together," Severus said just loud enough for her to hear, "That didn't take you too long to mess things up."

"I didn't mess things up," James snapped, "She didn't want Lisa to sit alone. She was being a good friend."

Severus chuckled, shaking his head, "If that's what you think. Those friends of hers are manipulative, and I would be willing to bet some Sickels that you two not sitting together is a plot to get her away from you. They do it to any guy they think isn't good enough them."

"I'd be willing to bet some Galleons that this conversation is an attempt to be just as manipulative. Stay out of our business, you're not welcome in Lily's life anymore."

"That's not for you to decide, Potter," Severus hissed.

"I think Lily made it pretty clear she made that decision herself in the park," James retorted.

Both of the boys stopped in their tracks, glaring dangerously at each other. Lisa could see they both had on hand in their robe pockets clamped around their wands.

"Move it, you two! You're holding up the line," she said to break their focus of killing one another.

Snape turned from them and began collecting his ingredients before hurriedly going back to his table. James watched him carefully as Lisa took Severus's spot and also began getting her portions, but then turned to do the same.

"It's not a plot," she said softy.

"What?" James muttered.

"I didn't ask Lily to sit with me. She didn't want me to get stuck with someone difficult to work with."

"Right," James sighed before going back to his table.

Lisa caught up to him wanting to reassure him. "Danielle and I are going to try to get used to you guys. It might not seem like it, but we've got a lot of grudges we need to figure out before we can really accept it."

James stopped to look at Lisa. "Its only been a day, I'm not expecting any immediate results. We're not the real enemies though," he nodded in the Slytherin's direction.

He continued over to his table where Naomi was waiting, and Lisa noticed a small sign sticking to her back: 'LAUGH AT ME' it said in untidy writing.

Sirius was already thumping his leg in a good laugh, and Remus shook his head disapprovingly though he still had a grin on his face like he was close to joining Sirius. Even Lily had a smirk on her face! Lisa supposed that maybe having the Marauders on their side for once could be entertaining.
___________________________________________________________
Author's Note: Alright! Chapter 2! Thank you all for waiting so patiently :)
Don't forget to reviiiiew!
Disclaimer: nooooope


Chapter 3: Just Another Week
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Just Another Week


By the end of the first school week, the library was starting to fill up more and more with fifth year and above students. A few of the younger years had also wandered in on occasion, but it seemed that they were more relaxed in their studies since they weren't at O.W.L. or N.E.W.T. level yet.

At one table, Lily sat with Danielle, Remus and James so that the four of them could finish a Transfiguration paper that was due on the upcoming Monday. Lily measured her paper and sighed when she realized she still needed two inches of material to fulfill the requirement. She looked up to see how the others were doing, and realized Remus and Danielle had switched papers for peer editing and James was slowly falling asleep with his head in his palm.

She couldn't help but lean over and peek at his paper and gasped when she saw that he hadn't written more than two paragraphs.

"James!" she whispered, "Wake up, Potter!"

James's face started to slowly slip off of his hand, but he merely lifted it back up to its resting position not hearing Lily's orders. She let out a small huff and ripped off a piece of parchment from her essay's rough draft so that she could throw it at him. She hit him between the eyes making his eyebrows twitch slightly, and almost let out a giggle thinking of the many things she could have done to him if he had fallen asleep, say on a break, at the Corner Market.

She imagined getting ice from the ice machine and convincing Paula to help her put it down his shift without him realizing it. She also could have found saran wrap and carefully wound it around his body and the chair so he would wake up stuck to it. Since she was in the library though, she made a game of out of throwing pieces of parchment at him to see his various reactions.

Remus let out a small laugh when he realized what she was doing, but Danielle gave her a reproachful look that reminded Lily of Madam Pince. She ignored Danielle though continuing until one of her bigger pieces hit James on his lips and he awoke sputtering and waving his hands in front of his face.

Lily tried to look casual paying attention to her paper again, but when James muttered "What the?" at seeing the many scrunched up balls of parchment around him she had to clamp her hand over her mouth to stifle her laughter.

"Did you get bored, love?" James asked.

She was able to contain her laughter into a smile and tried to shrug casually while twirling her quill in her hand. James picked up one of the balls and with Chaser expertise hit her in the head. She looked up and smiled, but then looked back down. James, however, collected the rest of the small pieces and slowly threw them back at her.

Lily looked up again this time raising an eyebrow, making James say, "Oh, don't mind me. I'm just bored." She couldn't help but let her smile start growing again and picked up the few pieces that were now on her side. "I'd use those wisely if I were you," he warned her.

She didn't heed it though and instead threw them back at him all at once. James sighed, shaking one out of his hair, "I tried to help you, but now you asked for war!"

He threw the whole pile at her, and immediately pieces were flying back and forth. Lily had even taken to using her wand to help hit him in his face.

"You're acting like third years for Merlin's sake," Danielle muttered.

When they stopped only a few seconds later, Lily was on another dangerous verge of laughing loudly. When she opened her mouth only air came out making James let out a real laugh.

"What in the world is going on here?" a stricken voice demanded. Lily's face straightened seeing the disappointment in Madam Pince's face as she looked at the remains of their battle. "Who made this mess?" She didn't give them any time to answer though before saying, "Get out! Leave my library! I expect more from seventh year students, but you lot are as bad as the rest of them!"

Lily stood guiltily stood from her seat, though James didn't care, and they started to walk out when they heard the librarian start shouting at their friends too.

"You two leave, too!" she ordered.

"But we didn't make a mess!" Danielle complained.

"You were in association! Get on now, leave!"

Lily and James snickered watching Remus pack up his things wordlessly, and then Danielle who grumpily shoved her parchment into her bag.

"Great going," she muttered when she passed them.

Lily didn't dare speak until they were well outside of the library's doors. "It wasn't that bad, Danny," she light heartedly laughed.

"I wasn't done with my paper, thank you very much! Now I have to sit in the common room where everyone is noisy and intrusive," she complained.

"You only had some grammar mistakes to correct. It won't be that bad," Remus tried to reassure her.

"Yeah, relax Danny," James used Lily's nickname, "The paper isn't that bad anyway."

Lily snorted at this remembering the amount James had written. "If that's so true, why isn't your paper finished?"

"I already have it written out in my head! It'll take me fifteen minutes, tops, on Sunday night."

"Says the Marauder who wants to put in effort this year," Remus snickered.

"Fine, I'll do it Saturday night and edit it Sunday night," James said defiantly.

"You actually want to try this year, James?" Danielle laughed.

A small blush came to James's cheeks, but he wasn't ashamed of his new motives. "That's right. Nothing too overachieving, but enough to step it up."

"I think the teachers will find that very impressive," Lily squeezed his hand, "But you do need to spend more than fifteen minutes on your paper."

James gave her a wink and they continued their walk to the Gryffindor Tower. The sun was slowly going down behind the mountains outside the castle with a small breeze rustling through the Forbidden Forest's trees. James knew it had only been a week with classes, but already he couldn't wait to spend one on one time with Lily.

Nights after dinner were fine, but after that Lily was usually exhausted from her extensive note taking and homework and would end up falling asleep on his shoulder. It was always the worst part of his night when he would be forced to wake her up to go to her bed. There were some nights he still wished for the Head Dorm where he wouldn't have had to wake her up. Instead, he imagined they would fall asleep on the couch for the rest of the night, or he could at least carry her to her bed so he didn't have to wake her.

He had to take what he could get though, and if that meant hearing her soft snores in his ear while he tried to gain the approval of her friends, he was fine with it.

When they were allowed past the Fat Lady, Danielle and Remus found a place at a table and started working on her essay again. Lily began to follow, but James held onto her hand.

"What is it?" she asked, "I've still got more to write."

"Why don't you save it for when I do mine and that way we can edit each others."

Lily let out a thoughtful 'hmm...' weighing the options in her head of getting the paper over with, or doing it later.

"I see your point, but I only have a few inches left. I may as well get it done. I'll still proof read yours though!"

James was disappointed, but with a kiss on her forehead he left her to get back to work. She took an empty seat next to Danielle, while James dejectedly left to find Sirius. He walked up the dormitory steps and found him on his bed with a letter between his hands.

"From Jasmine?" James guessed.

"Yep. Said she's back into her apartment instead of the folks house," Sirius answered. James nodded and sat across from Sirius on Remus's bed. "Where's Evans?" he asked.

"Doing homework," James muttered.

"Really?" Sirius asked in disbelief. He shuddered when he realized James was being serious. "I'm sorry, mate. Lets do something to take your mind off things. Fancy a late treat?"

"Alright."

James walked over to his bed and reached under his bed for his suit case. He rummaged through it to the bottom and brought out a shimmering cloak that he stuffed into his pocket.

"Good thinking," Sirius laughed, "Course, if only you get caught maybe they'd take away your Head Boyship."

James laughed and gave Sirius a shove towards the dormitory stairs. They tried to get to the door quietly so that Lily couldn't disapprove of their late night activities, and only stopped to wave over Remus from the table. He was thankfully facing them while Lily faced towards the wall, and though it took a few silent jumps and ecstatic waving of arms to get him to look up from his paper, they finally caught his attention.

James pointed to the portrait and then pretended to be eating something to pass on the message, and Remus's eyebrows wiggled in delight at the thought of food. He politely excused himself from the table. The girls didn't pay him any attention too enthralled with their work, so they ran through the portrait and made their way towards the kitchens.

"Where's Peter?" Remus asked.

Sirius pulled a piece of parchment out of his pocket and mumbled a quick, "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good and let out a chuckle saying, "He's already there. Probably went straight there after dinner!"

"That's just mean," Remus laughed along.

"It's the truth though! I mean, I love Pete, but the boy needs to at least attempt to keep up his physique! He's a Marauder for goodness sake!"

"Lets invite him to some Quidditch! If that doesn't get him in shape, I don't know what will," James suggested.

They reached the kitchens without running into any teachers and tickled the pear before being greeted by house elves and a Peter with a mouth full of food.

"Hey guys!" he spewed.

"Mr. Marauders! What can Pippy get for you?" a house elf ushered them in.

"I'll take a roast beef sandwich," Sirius said.

"Only pumpkin juice for me," Remus ordered.

"I'll take...chocolate pudding," James decided.

Pippy nodded her head and hurried away to retrieve their snacks. The boys took their seats around Peter and stared in shock at the three dirty dishes stacked up beside him.

"Merlin, Wormtail!" Remus gasped, "Dinner was only a few hours ago. How can you be so hungry?"

"I'm nervous," he sighed with a chicken leg in his hand, "It's only the first week and I'm already falling behind in school work."

Sirius bursted with laughter stealing a piece of chicken off of Peter's plate, "How are you planning to fix that problem if you're down here?"

"I-I don't know!" Peter stammered, "I started to do it, but then my head got too crammed and I had to do something else."

"How far are you on the Transfiguration paper?" Remus asked.

"There's a paper due in Transfiguration?!" Peter dropped his chicken.

Remus let out a huff and clapped his hand on Peter's shoulder, "Lets get a move on it then. Lily and Danielle might be able to help you if you're lucky." He and Peter stood form the table, but he didn't leave before saying, "Get my pumpkin juice to go for me, will you?"

James nodded and with that only he and Sirius were left in the kitchens.

"Even I've started writing that paper," Sirius chuckled.

"Did you really, mate?"

"That's right! Wrote a whole introduction paragraph."

James shook his head at his best friend, though he knew he wasn't one to speak since he had fallen asleep while writing his essay. It was definitely a start though!

Pippy and another house elf hurried over to their table with plates in their hands and stopped when they noticed that the table was missing two of the Marauders.

"Where are Mr. Lupin and Mr. Pettigrew? Did Pippy not bring everything out fast enough?"

"No, that's not it at all! They had other things to do."

Pippy's ears went bad in sadness as she looked down at the plates and drinks they had prepared for them.

"Pippy will be throw these away then," she murmured.

"Pippy, who do you think you're talking to? Put them all down, and James and I will eat them," Sirius said.

PIppy's ears went back up and gladly spread the plates around on the table. It looked as though Peter had ordered some spaghetti on top of James's pudding and Sirus's sandwich.

"And can we get the pumpkin juice in a container to take up to Remus?" James asked.

"Of course, Mr. Potter!" she hurried away again.

Sirius was rubbing his hands together in delight as he eyed the roast beef sandwich the house elves had so perfectly made. He could barely wrap his hands around it to keep it from falling apart as he took his first bite. James on the other hand grabbed a fork and began twirling spaghetti around it until it was almost too big to put in his mouth.

"Man, I've missed this cooking!" Sirius said trying to swallow the huge bite he had taken, "No offense to your mum or Scooter, but this is just so good!"

"No, it's okay I agree! I'm just happy Jasmine didn't go through another cooking phase."

"Oh, jeez! Me too! That summer was horrible. Especially since we were forced to 'like' it," he used his fingers to make quotations in the air.

"Maybe when you go over to her apartment you could take Scooter with you. Jasmine might be insulted at first, but at least you'll get a full stomach out of it."

Sirius nodded his head in serious consideration. "You know, I've been thinking lately with us starting our last year and what not that I should probably start looking for an apartment myself."

"Why?" James scrunched his face, "You know you've got that room all to yourself for however long you like. Just because you graduate doesn't mean you have to move out."

"I know, but I think it's time to be out on my own two feet. Experience the real world!"

James snorted at that remark. "You wouldn't know the real world if it smacked you in the head!"

"Sure I would! I could have people over whenever I wanted, never have to work thanks to my uncle's inheritance to me, and I wouldn't have to worry about staying out too late or being too noisy."

James had been twirling more spaghetti onto his fork when he realized that would mean they wouldn't be in the same house anymore.

"What about me?" he asked almost embarrassed that he cared so much.

"You'd come with me, of course! You really think I would have this experience by myself? Where's the fun if my best mate isn't there beside me?"

"Sweet! We'll start looking during the holidays." He took a quick pause to balance his food on his fork, and stopped himself from eating it so he could say, "Lets not tell mum though. Just until it's closer to summer, so she has more time to adjust to us not being home."

"Makes sense. I think she might have a heart attack if she even started thinking about us living without any parental supervision."

The boys happily scarfed down the rest of their food, and took a glass of pumpkin juice that Pippy had carefully put a spell on not to spill with the snap of her fingers before they were off for the Gryffindor Common Room. By this time they were out past curfew, and though it was only by a few minutes James wondered if Lily had noticed. If she did he knew they'd be in trouble, but hopefully only get a few snide remarks about already getting in trouble earlier (albeit it that it was her fault) and abusing his Head Boy rights.

Sirius commandeered the Marauders Map to make sure they had a clear path, but mentioned that there were Prefects patrolling the hallways.

"Naomi is coming our way," he warned James.

James simply shrugged since his position was above hers and didn't care if they had to nod a quick hello to her. However, the moment Naomi landed her eyes on the pair there was no way in making the meeting quick.

"Well, well, look who snuck out of the watchful eye of Head Evans," she smirked.

"No sneaking, just forgot something in the Great Hall earlier and had to retrieve it," James answered.

Her eyes looked down at what James was holding and raised an eyebrow when she saw Remus's drink. "You forgot your pumpkin juice?"

"It's mine," Sirius quickly grabbed the drink, "I like it better at room temperature so I had to let it sit for a few hours before I could drink it." Naomi's eyebrow was still raised to its full height in disbelief so Sirius drank the cup's contents not leaving a drop to spare. "I think it colder from you being around us," he shook his head as if disappointed.

That comment made her eyebrow finally come down and instead they crinkled. "Five points from Gryffindor for being disrespectful and in the hallways after curfew," she muttered. She quickly turned on her heel and left them there with Sirius's jaw hanging open.

"Prongs, are you really going to let her do that?"

James snickered unable to hold it in. "I have to! You were both of those things she docked you for."

"Well, give the points back to me!"

"For what?"

"Who cares? You're Head Boy you can do what you want!"

James started walking away making Sirius follow him, "Oh, alright I see how it is now. So you don't want me to be Head Boy because it makes me have more a school conscience, but now that you need help you want me to be Head Boy?"

"Of course! What other point would there be to you having that dictating badge on your chest?"

"Unfortunately my school conscience overrules your request. Maybe you can help someone with their paper or something in front of Lily. I'm sure that would shock her enough to make her look up from that blasted essay."

They reached the Fat Lady, who bitterly opened since it was after hours to the common room that had turned loud and bursting with laughter. James looked over at the table where Lily and Danielle had been working earlier, but now it was occupied by some fifth years.

"Over here, Prongs!" he heard a voice call. He turned and instead saw them warming up around the fireplace. Peter was frantically waving him and Sirius over, while Lily and her friends were laughing at something Remus had said.

"Remus, you're hilarious!" Danielle said bent over.

Lily, who was sitting next to Remus on the couch, had doubled over so that she was laying across Remus's legs. Marie helped pull her back up when she saw James's eyes tightening in on the scene.

"What's so funny?" James asked, "I thought you guys were doing the paper?"

"We were," Lily wiped her eyes. She grabbed James's hand and pulled him down onto the couch to squish him in the cushions, "But then we finished and I couldn't find you, but Remus said you had gone out."

"Speaking of which," Sirius said, "Here you are, Moony," he handed him the post-pumpkin juice cup.

Remus looked down at the empty thing his mind puzzled. "It's empty," he stated obviously.

"Yes, well, we ran into Naomi," Lily rolled her eyes at the name making James laugh, "And she apparently needed a reason as to why we were walking around so late and that was my scape goat!"

"Thanks a lot," Remus put the cup on the ground.

"You don't have to give her a reason, James. You have higher authority than her...not that I'm suggesting that you abuse that, but I don't know who she thinks she is questioning you," Lily said.

"It wasn't me she cared about, it was Sirius. Even then I doubt she would've cared, but he had to make a remark," James chuckled.

Lily didn't want to condone his behavior, but she couldn't find it in herself to chastise him for it either. Instead she smirked and turned her attention back to her friends who had decided that if they had to hang out with the Marauders they would spend most of it with Remus.

He was the most down to Earth of all of them, and maybe slowly, but surely they would also start to accept the others. James eyed the attention Remus was getting from all four of the girls and a small bit of jealously twitched in his stomach. Given, his and Lily's stunt earlier in the library probably didn't help Danielle like him any more than she already did, but he could tell from their Potions class the other day that Lisa was starting to come around.

If he could gain Lisa's confidence just a little more that would be two out of the three friends and then Danielle wouldn't have any choice but to accept him! He still had a little way to go though if he wanted them to like him the best out of all the Marauders. Remus was a hard act to follow!

"So, anyway the waitress comes up to me and asks, 'Do you want a cappuccino?' and I asked, 'Why would I want a monkey?'" Remus said shaking his head.

Lily and her friends snorted in laughter, but James scrunched his eyebrows confused. "What's a cappuccino, and why would it be a monkey?" he asked.

"A cappuccino is a muggle coffee drink, but it sounds a lot like the monkey called the capuchin," Lily giggled.

"Oh," James nodded, "Moony, what were you doing in a muggle coffee shop?"

"What were you doing working in a muggle market?" Remus laughed.

"Touche!" Peter said.

Lily leaned back towards James and placed a kiss on her cheek.

"I think we all know what they were doing in the market," Sirius snickered.

Lily gasped and threw a pillow at the now smirking Sirius.

"Gross," Danielle muttered.

"I wish I could say that was true, but the only thing Lily ever allowed us to do there was work," James winked at Lily. It was a small white lie, but they didn't need to know the specifics.

"Thank goodness. I'd never be able to visit her there again if I had the image of you two doing unmentionables there," Lisa shuddered.

James threw his jealousies of Remus aside and instead focused on spending what time he could with Lily. He put his arms around her waist and pulled her closer to him on the couch so that she was snug against his side. It was only Friday night, and he had the whole weekend to spend time with his girlfriend like they were back in the summer time and didn't have any school in their way to hang out. In fact, he thought this might even turn out to be better than their summer time; at no point would he have to hide under her bed if her dad walked in!
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Author's Note: So nothing too exciting happening in this chapter, just another week at Hogwarts! Any suggestions? Any worries? Review and let me know!

Disclaimer: None :)

Chapter 4: An Upchuck Weekend
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An Upchuck Weekend


James always appreciated the first weekend of school. It always made him realize how he took sleeping in for granted during the summer. This first weekend though, he woke up to something different; something that twisted and turned in his stomach and made him immediately start running for the restroom. He fell to his knees at the toilet and before he could hold it in any longer started throwing up.

"No!" he moaned before being forced to shove his face back into the toilet.

"Oh, Prongs that's vile!" he heard Sirius say from the door.

James tried to throw a sarcastic remark back at him, but again couldn't get the words out before he felt himself regurgitating.

"That's not good," Remus joined Sirius, plugging his nose.

"What'd you eat last night, James? Did those stupid house elves feed you bad food?" Peter asked with his voice in a slight panic.

"Don't call them stupid," Remus reprimanded him.

"I doubt they've cooked anything wrong in their lives," Sirius scoffed.

"There's a first time for everything, you never know," Peter defended himself.

"Maybe for your hundred year old house elf," Sirius laughed.

"It belonged to my grandmum," Peter muttered.

Finally James had a break from the constant gagging and pulled his head around to face his mates. "I appreciate your desperate attempts to help, but get out!" he managed to say, hoping they caught his sarcasm.

Sirius laughed and pushed Peter outside the room before following behind him.

"Let us know if you want a bucket so you can walk to the Hospital Wing," Remus hung back.

"Thanks," James mumbled.

He listened from the bathroom as his mates got dressed and headed down to the Common Room. He leaned up against a wall and frustratedly let his head fall back onto it. What a waste of a weekend this was going to be...
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Lily patiently sat in the Common Room with Marie while she waited for James to come down from the boy's dorm. Marie, it had seemed, didn't want to waste any time not looking for someone to take her to the Hogsmeade trip in three weeks.

"Don't you think you should start concentrating on school instead of boys?" Lily laughed, "I honestly think if you don't have an idea of what to do with your life by Christmas holiday your mum is going to kill you."

"I've got my whole life to find something to do with my life, Lils!" she said optimistically. She scooted further to the edge of her seat to say, "What if the boy I go to Hogsmeade with is the man I spend the rest of my life with?"

"Come on, Marie, do you really think you're going to find a guy here who you'll spend the rest of your life with?"

Marie shrugged moving further back onto her seat, "I don't know, it's possible. You found James, didn't you?"

Lily twirled a piece of her hair thinking about that statement, "Yeah, but I never said we would last forever."

"Oh please, everyone knows you're going to stay together, even if you don't."

Lily rolled her eyes, and was saved from the conversation with the Marauders coming down the stairs.

"Morning, Evans!" Sirius said jumping down the last few steps, "Beautiful morning, isn't it?"

Peter followed after him and took a seat next to Marie. "If you could call our wake up beautiful," he chuckled.

"Why? What happened?" Marie asked.

"Prongs has the flu or something. Can't seem to get his head out of the toilet."

Lily grimaced and stood automatically going towards the boy's dorm room steps. She was met by Remus though who blocked her from going up.

"I don't think you want to see that," he warned her.

"He's taken care of me plenty of times! I think it's only fair that I return the favor," she complained.

"Let her go up, Moony! They're going to have to see the best and worst versions of each other eventually," Sirius said.

Remus moved to the side for Lily to get through, "You're choice."

Lily nodded and walked up the stairs, knocking on the door before she entered.

"James?" she softly called into the room. She walked in a little further and saw a breathing figure in one of the beds. She walked closer and smiled when she saw James looking as peaceful as a green faced boy could with his glasses just to his right on a bed stand.

She sat down on part of the bed and brushed his hair out of his face. His forehead was hot, but he had his blankets wrapped tightly around his body as if he was cold. She didn't want to wake him so she pulled out her wand, tiptoed to the bathroom, grabbed a cup that was on the sink and transfigured it into a bucket. She borrowed a piece of parchment from his book bag and wrote, "Go to Madam Pomfrey. I'm sure she has a potion for this.
xoxo,
Lily


She left soon after not wanting to catch whatever it was he had and walked down the stairs only to see that Remus was the only one who had waited for her.

"Everyone else was ravenous apparently so I said I'd wait for you and they could head down," he explained to her frown wrinkled face.

"Oh, okay," she finished walking down the last steps.

Remus stood and they left the Common Room beside each other easily making conversation about Prefects and their classes.

"I can't wait to see Snape's face at the first official Prefect meeting. Having to listen to James give out instructions is going to kill him," Remus laughed.

Lily stuffed her hands in her robe's pockets and anxiously scrunched the material in her hands. It was nothing against James, but she felt bad that Severus didn't get the Head Boy position. Together they had worked hard to get Prefect positions so that they could eventually become Head students together. Obviously in their fifth year the plan fell apart, along with their friendship, but it didn't take away the hard work he had put forth.

"Yeah, it'll sure be an event!" she forced herself to chuckle.

Remus looked up sensing her anxiety and asked, "Have you talked to him since that run in with James and Sirius?"

"No," she mumbled, "I think he finally realized he wasn't going to get another chance out of me, and I mean that's good so we can both move on with our lives, but it just...sucks," she said not able to think of a better way to describe it. Remus sighed and threw his arm around Lily's shoulders for comfort. "It's hard to talk about it with James. It's like the moment he hears Severus's name he goes crazy!"

"Can you blame him? You chose Snape over him for practically five years! I think he deserves to be a little territorial over you when it comes down to him."

"Territorial?" Lily laughed.

"You know what I mean. Protective."

The two turned a corner and stopped when they almost ran straight in Naomi. Remus casually took his arm off of Lily's shoulders, but it didn't stop Naomi from raising an eyebrow at the two.

"Well, hello Gryffindors," she smirked.

"How are you, Naomi?" Remus asked politely.

"Getting better as the day goes on! I see you two are having a leisurely time."

"Actually Remus was just helping me with a rather difficult situation, but it's nothing to worry about," Lily tried to make Naomi understand.

"I hope it's nothing between you and James. I mean, old habits must die hard, right?"

"Not at all!" Lily tried to say lightly, "A completely other subject. Like I said though, nothing you need to worry about."

"Right, I won't be keeping you then! Have a fantastic weekend!" she said in a voice that made Lily's senses wake up.

She glimpsed behind her to make sure Naomi was out of earshot before muttering, "I really don't trust her."

"She's changed a lot this year. She used to be civilized when it came down to that little competition between the two of you, but since you got the Head Girl position it's like she can't accept it. She's still trying to find a way to be better than you," Remus agreed.

Lily shuddered, but put the thoughts aside as they reached the Great Hall. Remus held the door open for her and they made their way to the Gryffindor table, where as shocking as it sounded, looked like the two groups of friends were getting along!

"So you're telling me that you were able to convince Binns to let you skip detention if you could name the medieval Goblin tribes in alphabetical order...without any kind of cheat sheet?" Danielle asked wide eyed.

"Yep!" Sirius said proudly, "He never imagined in his wildest dreams that I would be able to do it."

"How did you?" Lisa asked.

Sirius leaned in at his question, looking them both in the eye. "Remember the test we had on Goblins earlier that year?" The girls nodded. "Well, it took us a while, but the Marauders made up a song that helped us memorize them...in alphabetical order!"

"Ah, yes. We titled it 'Goblin Alphabet'," Peter said.

"Wow, you guys put a lot of thought into that one, didn't you?" Marie rolled her eyes.

"The title didn't matter as long as we had the song," Sirius defended it.

"How does the song go then?" Lisa asked looking intrigued.

"That's for the Marauders to know and you to maybe find out one day."

"I call bullocks on the song until we hear it," Danielle said.

"Fine! Don't believe me! It exists though, and comes in handy for exams every time."

"Remus?" Lisa looked to him, "Does it exist?"

Remus grabbed a piece of toast and started buttering it, "Who do you think came up with the idea for it?" He pointed to his own chest before taking a bite out of the bread.

Marie gave Remus a questioning look, but then turned her attention to Lily. "How was James?"

"Green," she said, "He definitely has something."

"Poor guy," Lisa nodded her head.

"He'll get over it," Danielle shrugged.

"Ouch," Peter laughed.

"I'm sure it's nothing a Marauder can't handle," she slightly taunted the guys.

"We knew that," Sirius said in an obvious tone, "But being denied his first weekend of freedom is just wrong. It's not even like a detention where only part of his time is taken away. Being sick sucks."

"I left him a note to go to the Hospital Wing, but I don't know if he'll wake up and feel like going," Lily rested her chin on her palm.

"He probably will. James can never stand being sick longer than he has to, especially on a weekend. If it was during the school week he might try to milk it," Remus laughed.

"That I can understand," Danielle nodded.

The group continued eating their breakfast making Lily wonder if her friends realized they were actually getting along with the boys. She didn't say anything out loud though incase it ruined her good luck.

When the meal was finished the two groups went their different ways: the boys to the Quidditch field and the girls to the lake where they planned to get some reading done. When the girls were out of earshot from the boys Lily decided to point out how their breakfast had been their most pleasant moment with the Marauders.

"They aren't so bad once they warm up to you, are they?" she said.

"Yes, yes, we've always known that they're charming and handsome and funny," Lisa raised an eyebrow, "That's exactly what got us in trouble the first time."

"Except this time you're prepared for it," Marie said, "They're nice to have as friends."

"No, they're not so bad I guess," Danielle admitted, "Sometimes I can't help but want to snap a response at them though. It's too much of a habit."

"I was kind of like that with James at first," Lily shrugged, "I really wish you all had gotten to hang out during the summer with them. Then you'd probably already be best mates with them!"

"That's a little more than optimistic," Lisa laughed.

The girls reached a tree near the bank of the lake and dropped their books to the floor. They each took the time to roll up their jeans to just below their knees before sitting down themselves and took a few minutes to enjoy the broken sunlight coming through the tree's branches.

"Weekends are the greatest," Danielle said lounging back.

"What better way to spend them than to read our schoolbooks?" Lisa laughed picking up her Charms book.

"I'll tell you how," Marie dug through her book bag, "The new edition of Witch Weekly." She pulled it out and waved it in front of her friends faces.

"Out of all of us you should be the one reading for your classes the most," Lily chided her.

"I'll get around to it tomorrow. Right now I have to read up on all the gossip we're missing out on in the real world!"

"You would call that the real world," Danielle laughed, "Everything in that magazine is staged just so celebrities can get some attention."

"It's entertaining nonetheless," Marie muttered flipping it open to the first page.

Lily shook her head. She didn't understand how Marie could stand no knowing what she wanted her career to be and still not take any initiative in her schoolwork. What if she was reading her Transfiguration book and a chapter made her realize that she wanted to study Transfiguration?

'It's not your life,' she thought to herself. She opened her Potions book to the chapter they would be studying in their next class. She needed to enjoy the fall sun while she could!
______________________________________________________________

It took him a while, but James finally found the energy in himself to wake up from his flu stupor. Trying not to move any body part he didn't have to, he reached his arm out from his blankets and reached for his glasses on his bed stand. Instead though, his hand bumped into something cold and he was forced to turn his head and see that someone had left him a bucket. Leaning against it was a note. He put the bucket and note on his stomach and then reached for his glasses.

It made him smile that Lily had come to see him and inspired him to get up and make the journey to the Hospital Wing. He slowly lifted himself up from the bed and rested in a sitting position. Already he could feel his stomach moving around, upset that he dared to move.

He reached under his pillow for his wand and pointing it to his closet. "Accio robe," he muttered.

He put his arms through the sleeves and with a deep breath slid his legs over the side of his bed and stood. He took a few steps towards the door, and as an afterthought went back to his bed to grab the bucket Lily had so nicely transfigured for him.

Down in the Common Room a few students hung around the tables playing a game of Wizard's Chess, but James walked past them all not wanting to waste any time. He could probably walk to the Hospital Wing in his sleep if he wanted to given all of the times he had been injured from Quidditch, his own recklessness and the times he and the Marauders had visited Remus during the full moons.

As he walked down the hallways with one hand on his stomach to keep it from getting too shaken up, James nodded hello to a few students, shaking his head when they asked if he was okay. With one look at the bucket they wished him well and kept on with their own plans.

When James was just a few hallways away from the Hospital Wing though, his stomach took a turn for the worse, and he doubled over being forced to shove his face into the bucket.

"Oh my gosh! Are you okay, James?" he heard a worried voice behind him.

He waved his arm above his head as a signal for them to leave him alone, but the person walked to him and started rubbing his back soothingly. With a quick glance he saw that it was Naomi.

"I'll be fine," he said gruffly. The acidic vomit was starting to burn his throat. "I'm almost to the Hospital Wing."

"Why didn't you have anyone walk with you? You could've fainted half way down here and really gotten hurt!" she said.

"The boys went to breakfast and I was asleep when Lily came to see me," he explained.

"She and Remus really should've waited for you. It's kind of inconsiderate if you ask me."

James wiped his mouth with his sleeve and straightened himself into a standing position. "Her and Remus?"

Naomi shrugged before answering, "Well, yeah, they walked down to breakfast together after all. They were having a pretty personal conversation from how it sounded."

"I see." James tried to keep his voice relaxed, but he couldn't help the small knot in his stomach. 'Why couldn't the girls have walked down with Lily? And what personal thing could she possibly be talking to him about?'

"I'm sure she'll talk to you about it later," Naomi said seeing his furrowed brow, "Lets get you to Madam Pomfrey."

She grabbed James's arm (carefully avoiding any throw up that may have gotten on him) and directed him the rest of the way.

Naomi tried to get him talking by asking him about his summer. "Did you and your friends plan pranks for throughout this year?"

"No, actually," James tried to laugh. "I was actually working at a muggle marketplace. That's how me and Lily got together; it's owned by her parents."

"I remember her mentioning they owned one once. Did you get yourself hired there for that reason?"

"I had no idea she worked there until my first day. It was my mum who got me the job, so I guess it was fate."

"That's sweet," she said almost sarcastically.

They turned a corner and James could finally see the doors to the Hospital Wing. He sighed with relief and turned to Naomi ready to part from her.

"Thank you for walking me the rest of the way," he pulled his arm out of her grip.

"Anytime," she lightly smiled.

James gave her a nod and walked down the hallway and through the doors. Madame Pomfrey promptly came out of her office and placed a hand on her hip when she saw him. "I was wondering how long it would be until I saw you in here."

He couldn't help the smile that spread on his face before sitting himself down in a chair, ready to feel better.
__________________________________________________________

The Quidditch field was zooming and whizzing with students from a variety of the Houses. On one side was Sirius, Peter, 7th year Ravenclaw named Drew and a 6th year Hufflepuff named Sarah. On the other was Amos Diggory, a 5th year Hufflepuf named Luke, a 6th year Gryffindor Eddie and a 7th year Ravenclaw named Alan. Riding around to keep an eye on the game was Remus, the acting referee.

On the sideline sat the brooding Slytherins, upset that no one had chosen them to be on their teams. They were impatiently waiting for the Quidditch game to be over so they could have their own turn, which thankfully would be decided by which team scored first to fifty points.

The game was about half way over at 20-30, and Sirius was not happy that he was on the losing team.

"This is bullocks!" he yelled as Amos intercepted a pass between Drew and Sarah.

With his bat at hand he hit a bludger in Amos's direction and only missed him by inches. He bit his tongue from cursing and instead watched with wide eyes as Sarah flew under Amos and punched the quaffle out of his arms. It flew above them both where Drew was waiting. He didn't waste time grabbing it and flying in the opposite direction towards Alan. Quickly dodging both Luke and Eddie he aimed and shot the quaffle against his fellow Ravenclaw. It soared into the right post tying up the game.

"There we go!" Sirius gave Drew a high five as he circled around. "You're not bad for a Puff!" he yelled over to Sarah. The girl rolled her eyes, but reluctantly laughed at Sirius's handsome grin.

A whistle sounded from Remus at the bottom of the field and all the players looked down to see that James had come to join the game.

"Thank Merlin," Peter groaned and flew down from his Keeper position.

"Alright, Prongsy!" Sirius cheered, "Which one of you two is better at keeping?" he asked Drew and Sarah.

"I'll try it out," Drew shrugged.

"That's not what I asked. Are you good at it?" Sirius flew a little closer to Drew and muttered, "I cannot lose to Diggory."

"I'll do it," Sarah flew near them, "I'm decent at it, and I'd love nothing better than to piss off Diggory. He didn't add me to the team because I'm a girl."

"Revenge is the greatest kind of motivation. I like it. Take the goal," he ordered.

"Oy! Hurry it up, will you? We can't be waiting all day for this bloody game to end!" Regulus Black shouted from the sideline.

"Shut your hole, we're going!" Sirius yelled back.

James straddled his broom and flew into the air where Sirius and Drew were floating.

"I'm surprised to see you here instead of with Evans," Sirius scoffed.

"I saw the game from the tower when I was done with Pomfrey. I couldn't resist!" James winked.

"Lets get to it!" Amos yelled from his side of the pitch.

Drew nodded to the pair and flew to the middle of the pitch to get ready for the start.

"I especially couldn't resist him."

"Oh yes, you also have revenge for Diggory. The bookstore incident?"

"You bet."

Sirius laughed and floated backwards into his position near Sarah at the keeper's post while James joined Drew in the middle with Amos and Luke. He nodded to them both in greeting and watched intently as Remus threw the ball up into the air.

James spun into the air catching it with his right hand, but only flew with it for a second before throwing it to Drew who waited in his original position. When the ball touched his fingertips he sprinted forward before the other Chasers could catch him, or Eddie the Beater could hit a bludger his way. With an apologetic look to his fellow Ravenclaw, he shot the quaffle into the middle hoop. They took the lead in the game 40-30 and only had to score once more to win.

"Woo!" James cheered.

Alan grumpily retrieved that ball and threw it with all of his strength to where Amos was. James tried to intercept the pass, but Amos easily caught it and started for the goal. Sarah hung in the air prepared to dive whichever way Amos tried to go. The arrogant boy smirked and dropped his hand low. He pitched it into the air and the quaffle went through Sarah's hands and into the center hoop.

"Don't badgers use their tails to smack things with?" Sirius asked, "Use your broom if your hands can't reach it."

"That would be a beaver," she snapped, squeezing the quaffle in her hands, "You could've helped with a bludger."

Sirius sent a small glare her way before warning her, "You better not let another go in."

She threw the quaffle to James who had to immediately drop because of the fast bludger coming straight for his throwing arm. He could hear Drew shouting out his name to be passed to, but it had been so long since James had scored a goal that he wanted to take this one for himself.

Luke flew up beside him and was trying to reach over to pop the ball out of his grip, but James securely locked the quaffle between his arm and hip. When Amos came up on his other James realized he hadn't thought his technique all the way through. The two players sandwiched James in the middle, but below them James could hear Drew yelling, "Drop it!"

As a leap of faith he did, and Drew was able to catch the ball and avoid also being sandwiched because the two Chasers didn't trust to leave either of the players alone. Drew practically flew circles around Luke, which made it hard for Eddie to shoot a bludger over without hitting his own teammate.

Drew made an attempt to throw the ball in from further away than he usually would, but its lack in power allowed Alan to catch it smoothly this time. With James already pushing Amos in defense and Drew still flying circles around Luke, Alan decided to take the run for himself.

"Get ready for this, badger!" Sirius yelled to Sarah. She nodded and began flying from side to side in anticipation. "Don't fall the for the same trick as last time, okay?" She waved a hand at him to shoo him away. Alan was coming at her fast. "Stay in the middle! Don't favor either side!"

Sarah let out a huff and turned to Sirius, "I KNOW HOW TO KEEP!" she yelled. Alan zoomed by her and flicked the quaffle into the left hoop. "Dammit!" she hit her fist on the broom handle.

"What the hell was that? You didn't even try!" Sirius complained.

"Maybe if you would shut your trap for a second I could've been paying attention. You're like an annoying bug flying around my head!"

James shook his head and floated to the ground where Remus was already resting on a bench with Peter. He figured that the loss didn't matter much to him because he had only been playing for the past fifteen minutes. At least that was until Amos made his way towards the boys.

"Hey there, Potter," Amos greeted James who merely nodded his head in return. "Good game up there!"

"Thanks, you too," James replied.

"Listen, I've been meaning to apologize for the Flourish and Blotts incident with Lily. It was an honest mistake!"

This caught James's attention and forced him to look up hard at Amos. "I don't see how grabbing my girlfriend's ass can happen on accident."

Amos started scratching the back of his head nervously. "Well, that part I meant to do, but I thought she was joking when she said you were her boyfriend," he laughed.

"Uh, oh," Peter mumbled.

"I'm not seeing how that's funny," James crossed his arms. Remus stood sensing that Amos obviously didn't know how deep of a hole he was digging himself.

"Come on, look at your history. No one thought you'd get together, so I thought I'd take the time to get in there myself! Congrats to you though that you finally got her. Most the guys here were starting to think she was being pretty selfish not giving anyone a chance. We're all dying to know what's underneath the robes!"

James uncrossed his arms and drew back a fist. Amos tried to get his wand out of his pocket, but he wasn't fast enough to avoid being hit.

"Agh!" Amos groaned stumbling backwards.

James followed him and shoved him hard to the ground, this time pointing his wand at him.

"Do it, mate!" Sirius yelled flying towards them.

"James, you're Head Boy. He deserved the punch, even though I doubt McGonagall will like it, but doing anything more will be begging for your badge to be revoked," Remus said.

James closed his eyes and cursed under his breath that for that small moment he had forgotten about his badge. He withdrew his wand and instead walked away from the scene.

"Oy, Lupin!" Amos stood from the ground, "You better take some points away from Gryffindor for that!"

"Get off your high horse, Diggory. You knew exactly what you were getting yourself into the moment you opened your mouth," Remus waved him off.

"Yeah! Suck it, Diggory!" Sirius yelled running past him and to his friends. "What'd he do anyway?" he caught up.

"Laughed at the idea of James and Lily being together," Peter filled him in.

"And more," James muttered with a clamped jaw.

"Was revenge as sweet as expected?" Sirius asked.

"No. Now I want to kick his ass even more! Stupid prick."

They were walking around the side of the castle and could now see the lake with Lily and her friends sitting under a tree on the bank.

"Are you going to tell Evans?"

James shrugged looking over at the girls. Marie saw the group and nudged Lily to look up and see James. She waved to him making him smile and change his path towards them. "Maybe later."

When he reached Lily he forced her to put down her Potions book. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and kissed her temple. The boys were forced to explain their failed Quidditch game, but they left out the punch ending for James to tell later.

Finally, James had gotten the weekend he had imagined.
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Author's Note: Hello my dear readers!! Forgive me for taking so long to update!! I hit a small writer's block, but I finally got it done! Phewf! haha!
I hope you enjoy and don't forget to Review!

Chapter 5: Earning and Losing Points
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Earning and Losing Points


It was Sunday evening and it seemed that James, Sirius and Peter were eating their dinner even faster than normal. While this fact didn't seem to phase Remus, Lily and her friends watched with a mixture of amazement and disgust.

"I just don't get how they can eat that much so fast!" Lisa said.

"It's like they don't chew and can swallow it straight down," Marie nodded her head in agreement with Lisa.

"Er...James?" Lily said, "There's going to be more food in the morning, you know."

James looked up at her with a mouth full of Shepard's Pie, and attempted to open his mouth, but when a pea fell out making the girls groan he swallowed his mouthful and drank half of his cup of water before answering,

"We may have forgotten to do a piece of homework yesterday. Eating everything quickly will help us stay fueled to whatever time we need to stay up till to get it completed," he explained.

Lily raised an eyebrow at him. "Would this piece of homework be the Transfiguration essay that you said you would do yesterday?"

"It's possible," he shrugged.

Lily rolled her eyes before turning to her own dinner, though she wasn't sure if she had the stomach to eat it anymore. She rested her head in her palm pushing her stew around with her spoon when a small piece of parchment shaped as a butterfly landed on her nose.

Her face scrunched, and she almost fell backwards out of her seat from the surprise, giving the boys a laugh, but Danielle was quick to catch her. Lily glared at James before opening the note that said,

"Dear Miss Evans,
Please come to my office with Mr. Potter to discuss Head duties and other matters when finished with dinner.
Signed,
Professor McGonagall"


Lily folded it up to put in her robe pocket with a sigh. "The quicker you finish, the better. We have to go see McGonagall."

James took a second to roll his eyes and started scraping his plate for any leftovers.

"Are you going to eat that?" he asked looking at her stew.

Lily protectively pulled the bowl closer to herself. "Did you know that eating that much will actually put you to sleep? If you wanted energy you should've eaten more carbs, or something with potassium like a banana."

"This has worked for us for years! You'll see."

Again, Lily rolled her eyes and looked down to her stew. It was disappointing, but it just didn't look as appetizing as it did when she first got it.

"Oh whatever, just eat it," she shoved it at James.

With a quick wink he gladly accepted the bowl and devoured its contents.

"I better not hear you complaining about being hungry later," Danielle laughed.

Lily put up her right hand promising, "If I do it'll be in silence. Ready, James?"

James wiped his mouth with a napkin and nodded his head. "Lets go."

They stood and with a few 'See you laters', headed for McGonagall's office. Once Lily was in reach, James grabbed her hand and swung it back and forth between them.

"Hopefully this won't take too long," he said.

Lily shrugged. She lifted their arms and brought them up and around her shoulder. "It probably won't. Just a quick list of updates now that school is really going to start rolling." She paused before laughing, "I can't believe you really procrastinated on that paper."

James's head drooped in mock shame. "Yes, yes I know. I didn't want to waste time on it yesterday though. It was Saturday!"

Lily reached her hand up and softly clapped it against his cheek. "Good thing you have tonight then. Don't forget we have to patrol at ten though."

James rolled his eyes at the tedious task. They finished the walk to McGonagall's office where Lily forced James to stop from walking straight in and instead politely knocked on the door until given permission to walk in.

"Me and Sirius never knock," he muttered.

Lily pretended not to hear him and walked to the front of the professor's office.

"Hello, Professor," she said.

"Evening, Professor," James followed suite.

"Thank you both for coming. I know you've got busy schedules. Please sit," she gestured to chairs in front of her desk.

McGonagall held in her smile as she watched the two in their completely different ways. While James was relaxed and almost lazy looking in his chair, Lily sat with a straight back and her hands in her lap.

"How are your Head duties going?" she asked.

"Well, we haven't really had to do much besides patrol," Lily said, "And the Prefects haven't mentioned anything wrong with the schedules that I gave to them on the train so I think it's all well."

"I'd like for you to have a meeting with them once a month just to make sure everything is still in order and there's no one misunderstanding what their roles means." At this McGonagall turned her gaze to James who automatically wanted to smack his head against something. "How are you doing with your responsibilities, Mr Potter?" she asked.

"Fine, I think," he reached his hand up and ruffled his hair, which caught Lily's attention. He was obviously nervous about something.

"By fine do you mean that you've created your own disciplining laws for other students?"

Lily's head snapped in his direction. 'What is she talking about?!' she screamed in her head.

"Professor, I'm really sorry about that. My temper got away-"

"Mr. Potter, I'm not sure why Dumbledore chose you as Head Boy instead of the runner up, but I was proud that for the first time in a long time both Head Students were from Gryffindor. When Professor Sprout told me what had happened I was ashamed that you would let yourself get so out of control."

"I'm sure he didn't tell her what really happened."

"It shouldn't matter. When you're Head Boy you should put your responsibilities before your pride so that you can set an example for other students. Don't think I won't be talking to Mr. Lupin either. He's in as much trouble as you are."

"He didn't do anything though!" James exclaimed.

"That's exactly why he's in trouble. You'll be serving detention tomorrow night with Professor Slughorn after dinner. Don't be late." James crossed his arm and refrained himself from saying anything that might dig him in a deeper hole. "Just one last thing and I'll let you two be on your way. I know that between school work and Head duties life can start to get hectic around here. There are always the Prefect bathrooms, but Professor Dumbledore has decided to allow the two of you to use the old Head dormitory for studying. I trust you two will make good use of the room for the right reasons."

"Of course!" Lily nodded enthusiastically.

"Good. You're dismissed then, and please don't forget to inform Mr. Lupin of his detention tomorrow."

"Yes, Professor," James muttered.

When they stood James tried to take hold of Lily's hand, but she smacked it away and threw him a hard glare as a warning. 'Crap,' James thought. He tried to walk slower in hopes of delaying the lecture he was about to receive from Lily, but in the back of his head he knew he was going to get it no matter what.

He silently waited for her to ask him questions when he remembered something. He was sure Lily had told him, 'I fully expect you to do something about him when school starts'. And that was exactly what he was trying to do! In fact, if she knew what Amos had said at the Quidditch pitch he was sure she would be even just a tinge proud of him! ...Or at least that's what he tried to convince himself.

"Lils?"

"Yes?" she said tightly.

"Let me explain, okay?"

Lily stopped in the middle of the hallway and turned to face James. "Go ahead then before I let my imagination get away from me."

"Okay, well, yesterday when I first got out of the Hospital Wing I went to play Quidditch with the boys." He paused to make sure she was listening, and then started to ramble, "They were playing against Amos Diggory and after the game ended he came down to the sideline where I was and he went to apologize for the day in Diagon Alley, but then he was basically laughing at our relationship and started saying that other guys wanted to see your body and I lost it!"

"James," she hit her palm against her forehead, "You couldn't just walk away or give him a detention?"

"Even if it had crossed through my mind to do that it wouldn't have been good enough. You should've heard him and seen the look on his face! Even Remus said he deserved it."

"I can't believe Remus let it happen in the first place. He's been a Prefect for years and should know better by now."

"You told me to get him back for you though," he tried to get himself out of trouble.

"I would never tell you to do that!" she said taken aback.

"But you did! You told me you expected me to!"

Lily stomped her foot remembering her words. "Yes...well...that was before you were appointed Head Boy, and I was very upset that day! Of course I would want you to do something about it." Lily let out a groan and started walking again down the hallway. "Lets just forget it. McGonagall gave you a detention and that's enough punishment."

James shrugged his shoulders and caught up. "So we can use the Head Dorm again. That's pretty cool."

"Only for studying," she said strictly, "We're not going to live out your little fantasy of living there together."

James laughed and put his arm around Lily's shoulders, "Why are you being so mean? I'm sorry I punched the guy, okay?"

"I don't know if I believe that, but...whatever. Lets just go get your paper done."

In the Common Room Sirius and Peter had already set to work on their papers. Peter had only a few more inches to go thanks to Remus's help the other night, but Sirius still had more than half to finish like James. When Lily and James walked in, Lily tried to break away still upset, but James pulled her back to his side and planted a fat kiss on her cheek.

"I only did it because I love you," he squeezed her in a hug.

"Alright, whatever," she muttered.

James joined Sirius and Peter at their table, but Lily went up into the girl's dormitory where she figured the girls were. When she entered Marie and Lisa were sitting on a bed, and from the sounds of it Danielle was in the shower.

"Lily!" Marie exclaimed, "You'll never guess what Lisa just told me."

Lily plopped herself down next to them on the bed and crossed her legs. "Just wait till the story I get to tell you guys. You first though."

"Go ahead, Lisa. Tell her!" Marie encouraged her.

"Wait, no, what's up?" Lisa asked.

Lily looked to Marie to make sure she didn't mind having to go second. "I guess her news can wait," Marie laughed.

"Well, it turns out that yesterday when the boys were playing Quidditch James punched Amos!"

Marie started laughing, but Lisa's face was confused, "Why?"

"He said Amos made a joke out of us dating and then said something inappropriate about me."

"He got what he was asking for then!" Marie exclaimed, "That guy is so arrogant it was about time someone tried to put him in his place."

"Yeah, but he's Head Boy. He's supposed to do that civilly," Lisa said.

"Exactly," Lily sighed, "I vaguely remember telling James to get him back for me when I had that run in with Amos in Diagon Alley, but I thought he would put that aside when he got his badge."

"Well yeah, that's part of being Head Boy is knowing how to handle situations that are above the heads of everyone else," Lisa agreed with Lily.

"And what's worse is that Remus was there the whole time. He could've put an end to it before it had to happen, but just stood there!"

"That's how Remus is as a Prefect though," Marie said, "He's always let the boys off the hook if there's no one around to make him do otherwise."

"I guess," Lily huffed, "Anyway, Amos told Sprout and now they both have detention tomorrow." Lily took a second to let the situation get out of her head before remembering they also had something to tell her. "What's up with you?"

"Well, I'm not so sure now..." Lisa mumbled.

"Oh, come on!" Marie grumbled, "You aren't going to let that change your mind, are you?"

"What is it?" Lily asked.

"I was going to say that I fully approve of James now because it seems like he's grown up a lot, which would mean that's he's almost good enough for you, but if he's still playing the bully role..." Lisa looked out of the dorm's window.

"It was in Lily's honor though! That's like saying you wouldn't have given Amos a good ear full if you had been there," Marie reasoned.

"That is true," Lily shrugged. She had just wanted someone to listen to her! Not have them turn the information around on James!

"Yes, but there's a big difference between chewing him out and knocking him out," Lisa said.

"Lisa, I didn't want to change your mind about him; he's still a great guy. He just needs to learn to control his temper, but we've all known how that is when it comes down to other guys and me. I don't like his little hero act either, but in the end I think it's something beneficial to his character. If he didn't have the need to help everyone in distress he wouldn't have saved me from Marcus."

"I suppose, just...don't count me in as 100% anymore. I'm more like...20/80, 80 being pro-James."

"Better than nothing," Marie sighed.

"I've already told him there's to be nothing else of the sort. I think he learned his lesson," Lily promised.

"I sure hope so...Just wait till Danielle hears."

"Hears what?" Danielle came out of the bathroom scrunching her hair with a towel.

"James punched Amos for talking smack about Lily," Marie laughed.

Surprisingly enough Danielle let out a laugh too. "Good for him! I saw Amos today and thought his face looked funny, but I figured he was in the wrong light or something."

The girls all laughed, thankfully the mood of the room lightened. They each went through their school bags to make sure all of their homework was in place and ready to be turned in for the next day, and afterwards went down the Common Room to hang out before going to bed.

The boys were still working seemingly diligently at their table so Lily didn't disturb them and instead she and the girls found some chairs near the bookcase. When they sat down, Lily's stomach grumbled. It seemed that her hunger had finally caught up to her.

Danielle laughed when she heard the cry for food.

"I'm not complaining," Lily held up her hands.

"We'll see how long that lasts!"

They were soon joined by Remus who had come down to see if his mates had needed any help, but apparently the boys were doing so well that Remus didn't even have to sit with them.

"They should be done soon," he said.

"It was only supposed to take James fifteen minutes to do it in the first place," Danielle nudged Lily.

"Oh, yes that's true. He's going over schedule." Lily peeked over at the table and laughed watching James tickle his chin with his quill.

Lily's stomach began to rumble again, and she clamped her hands over it to muffle the sound.

"Hungry?" Remus chuckled.

"No! Not at all. I'm perfectly content."

Remus shook his head and turned to the other girls. "So we're the good eggs of the bunch, eh?"

"Looks like it!" Lisa gestured around the room where the rest of the students were working.

"I guess you'll have to be my competition then," he said sarcastically, "Anyone want to play some Wizard's Chess?"

"I'll give it go," Lisa agreed.

The two of them began setting up the table, so Lily scooted closer to Lisa's side of the game to act as an advisor. Lisa had a ton of wit, but when it came to Wizard's Chess she could never quite get the hang of it.

"No cheating," Remus pointed his finger at them.

"Who do I look like, Sirius?"

"I suppose in some lights," he shrugged.

Lisa's jaw dropped and threatened to throw a chess piece at the now laughing Remus, but Lily quickly grabbed it out of her hand for safety sake.

"Don't worry about it Lisa. The boys haven't noticed it," Sirius said walking over.

James was right behind him putting his essay in his school bag before joining the group. "Glad that's over," he sighed.

"Take a seat there, Rocky," Danielle greeted him.

The nickname made Lily's head turn in surprise, "You've seen Rocky?"

"Just this last summer," Danielle said punching the air in front of her.

"Who's Rocky?" James asked.

"He's a character in a movie that came out a little while ago," Lily explained.

"And he's a boxer, so he's just like you!" Danielle laughed.

At hearing this Lisa let out a slight scoff.

"Oh good, so they know?" James raised an eyebrow.

"It was going to come out eventually," Lily said.

"That reminds me, we have detention tomorrow with Slughorn, Moony."

"What?" Remus looked up from the chess game, "Why?"

"Why do you think?" Lily challenged him.

"Busted," Sirius laughed.

"Fine, okay," Remus brushed it off.

"Fine? Okay? Is that really all you have to say? I am so disappointed in you Remus!" Lily shouted, "You were going to be Head Boy, and you let that kind of behavior go on? It really makes me wonder what else you've let students get away with all this time."

"Lils, we're trying to play a game. Can you lecture him later?" Lisa asked.

Remus didn't mind though and said, "By the time it happened there was nothing I could do about it."

"Oh please, like you didn't know what he would do if Amos came up to him."

"Stop acting like I need a babysitter," James said with dignity, "I punched the guy, and even if Remus had told me to stop I probably wouldn't have. I can make my own decisions."

Lily sighed stuck between being sorry to James or still angry at Remus. Again her stomach rumbled, but this time she couldn't keep it quiet. "Alright, Danielle you win. I'm starving!"

"No good telling us that now! You've got to wait till breakfast," Danielle laughed.

"Can we get patrols over with, Lily?" James asked standing.

"Sure," she also stood, "Can I trust you to keep a look over the Common Room, Remus?"

James rolled his eyes and grabbed Lily's arm. "It'll be fine."

They walked out the portrait door and with their wands in hand they silently decided to start from the Great Hall and go up.

After a few quiet minutes Lily's guilt got to her about making James sound like a child. "It's not that I don't trust you, just he's been a Prefect for so long and should know how to handle those kinds of situations by now."

"Why do you care so much about what he does?" James muttered.

"On top of being a Prefect, he's my friend. I don't want him to get in trouble as much as I don't want any of my friends to get in trouble."

"I guess."

His tone made Lily look up, unsure of why his mood had changed. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing," he tried to shrug her off.

Lily bumped his side with her hip trying to lighten his mood. "Come on, talk to me."

James rubbed the back of his neck. "Have you and Remus always been close?"

"I don't know if you could say close, but we've become good friends throughout the years, I suppose. What makes you ask?"

"Just wondering."

"Oh, please," Lily laughed, "There has to be a reason."

"Little things. I never realized you guys did your homework together, or walked down to breakfast together. He tells muggle jokes you understand."

Lily stopped walking at this officially confused. "James, are you...jealous?"

James chuckled and turned around to face Lily, but didn't stop walking. "No, I was just curious."

"Right," Lily raised an eyebrow, "Well then, just for your curiosity's sake, Remus and I have never been anything more than friends who throughout the years have walked to classes together, helped each other on assignments and sometimes gave each other advice."

"That's different now that I'm you boyfriend though, right?"

"Yes and no. I'll still ask him for help if I think he can help me." James's face looked slightly put out at this. "You're the only one I want walking me around the castle though." Lily caught up to him and wrapped her arm through his.

"You know you can come to me if you need to talk."

"Of course I know that." Lily reached up on her tip toes and kissed James on the cheek. Her stomach loudly lurched making her groan, "This thing just won't stop!"

James had to chuckle at her frustration. "Now that is a problem I can help with."

"Very funny, but I'm not hungry for James right now."

"Ha! That's a great line, but not what I was saying." James grabbed her hand and instead of going down the hallway to the Great Hall, went in the opposite direction.

"Where we going?" Lily asked.

"You'll see."

"But we didn't check the Great Hall! What if there are students still roaming around over there?"

"Trust me, if there are students out they wouldn't be wasting their time in there."

Finally James came to a stop in front of a portrait of a bowl of fruit. He let go of Lily's hand and walked up to the painting to tickle the pear. When it softly giggled, Lily jumped and started to back away, but James grabbed her and brought her behind the portrait.

"Where and what in the world are we doing?" she whispered.

When she looked around the room it only took her a second to recognize the four long tables of the Great Hall. In between what would usually have been the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff table, Lily saw a little head bobbing up and down towards them.

"Is that you, Mr. Potter?" a squeaky voice asked.

"Yes, Pippy. I'm sorry to bother you so late," James replied.

The small house elf stopped in front of them and made a small curtsy before taking notice of Lily's presence. "Why hello, Miss! Pippy is sorry for not introducing herself!"

"Oh, uh, it's okay. You can just call me Lily."

"Miss Lily," she curtsied again, "What can Pippy get for you?"

"What do you mean?" Lily asked.

James leaned in a whispered, "She can get you any kind of food you'd like in a snap."

"But you're sure we aren't disturbing you? You weren't sleeping or anything?"

"No, no." Pippy shook her head so hard that her ears began to flap back and forth.

"Alright then...I suppose I'll have...broccoli and cheddar soup?"

"And for Mr. Potter?"

"Nothing for me, thank you Pippy."

Pippy didn't waste any time hurrying back to the kitchen to get started on the soup. James led Lily deeper into the room and sat her down at the Gryffindor table.

"This is amazing," Lily laughed, "I always figured Dumbledore just magicked the food onto the table! I had no idea there was this whole organization down here!" James looked at her with a wink in his eye. "How did you find this place?"

"Marauder secret."

"I should've known."

James's smile widened and he began tracing Lily's fingers on the table. "So, is there anything else you need help with? Anything you want to talk about?"

Lily looked down at their touching hands and shrugged. "Not really. I mean you've been right there beside me this entire first week. Just another year at Hogwarts!"

"You're sure?"

Lily withdrew her hands from James's and put them under the table. "Unless you know something about my life that I don't, then yes."

"Alright."

"What's going on with you?"

James cursed himself for not being more conspicuous with his questions. He didn't want to rat Naomi out, but he knew that once he told Lily that someone had told him about she was having a personal problem she wouldn't stop bugging him until she knew who that someone was, or it wouldn't take her long to find out on her own.

"I'm sorry, I don't know. I think it's just the school year. It's different from what I'm used to."

Lily had a small worried crinkle on her forehead. She had never seem James like this in all of their years of knowing each other. She knew there had to be something else on his mind.

"You know you can always talk to me too, right?" She put her hands back onto the table in reassurance.

"Of course." He grabbed one of her hands and kissed the inside of her palm.

Pippy was soon back with Lily's bowl of soup, which James withheld from her until she promised she would never tell the girls about her new discover. She played around with the idea of telling them whenever they fancied a girls night and needed chocolate sweets, but in the end her hunger won out and she made the promise.

Once her bowl was emptied, she insisted that the rest of the patrol was carried out before they returned to the dormitory. The rest of the House was sound asleep, and even though the burning coals of the fire were still glowing in a very inviting way, they went to sleep both wondering what in the world was going on in the other's mind.
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Author's Note: Hey there everyone! Thanks for being so patient (again) with my updating, I promise I'm trying to get them out as fast as I can, but with school starting up again (and driving me crazy already) it's slowing down the process :P
But review and let me know what you're thinking, good or bad! LIke are the chapters too long? Is not enough happening? Your opinions always help me and it's really just great to hear from you!
Hope you enjoyed it though :)

Chapter 6: Crossing the Line
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Crossing the Line





Down in the dungeons of the school something wreaked of evil. A student could smell it from a hallway away, and when you saw it, it didn't get any prettier. It was the dirty cauldron room where Professor Slughorn had been collecting his students cauldrons all day in preparation of James and Remus's detention.

They were told to report to him after dinner, and they tried to eat as slowly as they could to delay the punishment, but they could feel McGonagall's glare start to burn through the back of their heads and changed their opinions to hurriedly eating dinner just to get it over with.

"I still can't believe Diggory told on us," James scoffed as they walked down to the dungeons.

"You know how those Puffs are. Always needing their lives to be happy with everyone getting along."

The rounded a corner closer to the dungeon and plugged their noses at the smell of the cauldrons.

"You've got to be kidding me!" James groaned.

Inside the room, Professor Slughorn was already waiting for the pair (equipped with a nose plug for himself) and gave them instructions for the night. "Alright, boys. You're to clean each of these cauldrons in a muggle fashion, which means no wands. I left a pair of gloves for each of you on the desk over there, and make sure you wear them unless you want to spend the night in the Hospital Wing getting antidotes shoved down your throat."

"Yes, Professor," the two answered him together.

"I'll be in my office around the corner if you need anything. Stop by when you're finished and you'll be free to go."

With that the man was gone and they were surrounded by cauldrons filled with things that were slimy, oozing, or already starting to mold over.

"This should be fun," Remus said walking over to get the gloves.

"Isn't it always?" James laughed, "Lets give this a shot." James pulled out his wand and with a quick point at a cauldron said, "Scourgify." Instead of disappearing though the orange ooze in the cauldron doubled in thickness. "Awe, man!"

"Ha! That one is yours."

They set to work with sponges and buckets of soap, slowly but surely starting a stack of clean cauldrons, as well as clearing away the stench. As James scrubbed away, the words of Naomi from a few days back stuck in his head. 'They were having a pretty personal conversation... I'm sure she'll tell you about it...'

But she hadn't, and was acting like she never would! With only a cauldron each left to finish, James decided now was a better time than never to bring it up.

"Moony, can I ask you something?"

"As long as my answer can be quick...I hate breathing in these fumes."

"Alright, well, I ran into Naomi the other day, and she mentioned that you and Lily walked down to breakfast together the morning I was sick."

Remus straightened up from the cauldron he was working on so he could face James. "Prongs, I wouldn't take anything she said seriously. She's got this things against Lily, and I think she's gone a little bonkers from not getting the Head Girl position."

"You did walk with her though, didn't you?"

"Yeah, but that was it."

"I haven't even gotten to the question yet. Why are you getting so defensive?"

"I'm not getting defensive, but I know Naomi probably twisted what she really saw into something completely different."

"There was something to see?"

Remus shifted weight from one foot to the other making him look guilty of something to James, but really he was just trying to find a way to word his response so James wouldn't get upset with him over something so innocent.

"Lily was having a problem that day so I was trying to be a good friend and help comfort her."

"Comfort her?" James's eyes narrowed. "All this week I've been noticing that you two are a lot closer than I used to think. She goes to you with her school and personal problems, her friends accepted you long before they started even giving me a chance... I changed a lot for her to like me, but I didn't know it would've been easier if I had just become you."

"What are you talking about? Mate, Lily loves you the way you are! She doesn't want to date someone like me. I've been in the friend circle a long time with all of those girls."

"Then what is it that she can't talk to me about?"

Remus only hesitated for a second before answering, "Snape."

"Snape?"

"Yeah! She feels bad for the guy because he didn't get the Head Boy position, but she thinks she can't talk to you about it because 1. She doesn't want to insult you and 2. You freak out over him because you were so jealous of him for so long." By the end of his explanation, James started to finally see how wrong he had been looking at everything. "How could you ever think me and Lily would do something behind your back? She's your girlfriend, and I'm your best friend."

"I kept seeing you guys together looking so happy... Couldn't you have sent her to me for comforting?" he said in a half joking way.

"I had my arm around her shoulders!" Remus exclaimed exasperatedly. "It was a platonic gesture."

"Okay! I'm sorry," James started to regret his words.

"Forget it," Remus turned back to the cauldron, "Lets finish this and leave."

When Remus finished his last cauldron he left without James, who was on his last one. James couldn't believe he let his jealousy get away from him like it did. He never meant to accuse Remus of going behind his back, he just wanted some reassurance and some truth!

Only a few minutes later James finished up and bid Professor Slughorn goodnight. As he walked through the hallways to the Gryffindor Tower he purposefully scuffed his shoes against the ground wondering if Remus would tell the rest of the Marauders about his little outburst. It was never a good thing when friends started second guessing each other...

Walking into the common room he immediately noticed that none of the Marauders were there.

'Probably discussing it in the dorm...' he thought warily.

"James! Good, you're here! I forgot to ask another Prefect to do rounds with me. Lets go!"

"Didn't Remus come back?" James asked.

"Yeah, but he practically sprinted to your room so I figured you would be better to ask."

"Alright, lets go."

This time Lily made sure that they did their rounds properly and walked the castle from the dungeons to the astronomy tower. Despite being nervous to get back to his dorm, James found that it might actually be fun to be the one busting students instead of being the busted.

When James saw a girl sneaking around the corners he got excited and said in an authoritative voice, "Excuse me, what are you doing?"

"I'm lost," she stated simply.

"That's not a fun thing to bust a someone for," James mumbled disappointed to Lily.

"Why were you out here so late in the first place?" Lily asked getting to business.

"I fell asleep studying in the library and I guess no one noticed me. I just want to get back to my common room."

"Which house?" James asked.

"Hufflepuff. I'm a first year, and usually I could get back there easily, but all the hallways look the same in the dark!"

"You were on the right path," Lily smiled, "Come along with us. What's your name?"

"Anne."

"Nice to meet you. My name is Lily and this is James, we're the Head Students."

"I recognize you," Anne nodded.

Anne awkwardly walked beside Lily and James looking up at them every few glances.

"What class were you studying for?" Lily asked.

"Transfiguration."

"Ah, my best subject," James gloated.

"Really? I can't seem to get it... Professor McGonagall doesn't really help either with her eyes. They're so intimidating..."

"You can't let her get to you. Just know that underneath those tight lips of hers exists a smile that's dying to come out. I've seen her start to crack before."

Anne let out a small laugh. "Alright I'll try to remember that."

After two more hallways, Lily was able to point Anne to the Hufflepuff portrait and made sure she had gone through before continuing back up to the Gryffindor Tower.

"How was your first detention of the year?" Lily asked with a small smirk on her lips.

"Pretty disgusting, but nothing we haven't seen before."

"You're lucky you had Remus there with you."

James shifted a little uncomfortably, "Yeah."
_______________________________________________________

The next morning the boys dormitory was a little quieter than usual. Though the usual struggle went on between Peter, Sirius and the shower, neither Remus or James made any commentary. Eventually Peter pushed his way through the doorway leaving Sirius out of breath.

"You win this time Pettigrew!" he panted on his way back to his bed. "You know, he may not be buff, but he sure can push his weight around."

James chuckled, turning shifting his position in his bed. Remus on the other hand only shook his head making Sirius curious.

"What's up, Moony?"

"Nothing," Remus shook his head.

Sirius jumped over his own bed onto Remus's. "Come on now, you can tell us! Did a girl turn you down or something?"

"Leave him alone, Sirius. Maybe he doesn't want to talk about it," James said.

"Maybe I do," Remus challenged.

"Then talk about it," James held up his hands.

"It's not his business."

"Then don't talk about it."

James and Remus stared at each other for an awkward three seconds before Sirius broke in. "What the hell is going on?"

"Nothing," Remus muttered. He grabbed his robes and without looking at either of his friends left the room.

"What happened?" Sirius asked.

James frustratedly ran his hands through his hair and then down to his neck. "I may have gotten a little jealous of him and Lily."

"What?" Sirius laughed, "Why?"

"They were always laughing and talking and then Naomi told me she saw them having a serious talk, but then Lily wouldn't talk to me... It wasn't fair! So then last night I asked him about it and after he was done explaining everything I wasn't mad anymore, but he got really pissed at me."

"Well, yeah. Mate, I think there's a better chance that we would lose the first Quidditch game than Evans or any of the Marauders turning their backs on you."

"I know, I know!" James fell backwards onto his bed, "I feel like such a dick."

"Does Evans know?"

"No way! She'd kill me if she knew."

"You'd better apologize to Moony quick then cause you know if she sees him down in the blue she won't let him rest until he tells her what's going on."

"You're right," James stood now with a purpose. He quickly lifted one of his arms and took a sniff to see how badly he smelled.

"If I can't smell you from here I'm sure you're fine," Sirius reassured him.

James shrugged and after changing into his uniform calmly walked down to the Common Room hoping Lily was still getting ready. When the coast was clear he made his way to the Great Hall, and there was Remus sitting at the end of the table pushing food around on his plate.

When James sat across from him, he neither looked up or said anything. Instead, James had to make the first move, but he was at a loss as to what to say! He had tried to say he was sorry last night, but Remus had disregarded it...

"Moony..." James said, "I said some really stupid stuff last night. I know you would never do anything to purposely hurt me, and neither would Lily. I was a down right git to even let the though pass through my mind."

"Yeah you were," Remus mumbled. He finally looked up at James before saying, "Do you know how that made me feel that even after everything you've done for me that you would think I would go and try to take away everything you have worked hard for, for the past six years?"

"I know, mate! That's what I'm trying to say. I'm sorry, so honest to Merlin sorry."

Remus sighed, and looking back down to his food took a thoughtful bite out of his blueberry pancake. "It's okay. I should've known you would react like that anyway. You had her all to yourself during the summer and now you've got to share her with the whole school." James nodded his head in agreement. "I'm not going to stop being good friends with her though, you know that, right?"

"Yeah," James shrugged, "Could you possibly turn down your awesomeness to help a fellow Marauder out? I've still got a lot of impressing to do with her and her friends."

"I'll try my best," he laughed.

The Great Hall continued to fill up, including a very surprised Lily that James had made it down there before she had.

"Merlin!" she plugged her nose, "Are you planning on smelling like that all day?"

"Sirius said I smelled fine!"

Lily turned to Sirius across the table. "Do you have a stuffy nose or something? Anyone could smell him a mile away!"

"Evans, I have the smell of a dog. He's fine," Sirius rolled his eyes.

"Maybe an old, about to die, dog," Lisa scrunched her nose in agreement. Sirius tightened his eyes in on the snickering Lily and Lisa, and his own laughing mates.

"I am perfectly healthy, thank you very much!" he said indignantly.

"Maybe you should take you to a vet," Peter whispered just loud enough for the guys to hear.

Remus and James laughed heartily at the joke, but Sirius merely sulked to himself. "I have a great nose," he muttered.

The group eventually got up from the table and made their way to their classes. All eight of them had Defense of the Dark Arts that morning and shared it with the Ravenclaws. The combined Houses made an interesting class; the Gryffindors often quickly took to their lessons because of the bravery and confidence it took to use the spells, and the Ravenclaws had a reputation to uphold as being the smartest of the school. Put them together and it turned into a big competition as to who could successfully complete the spell first.

"I heard we're learning how to cast a Patronus today," Peter announced excitedly.

"A person's Patronus is said to reflect their inner self," Lily said as a fun fact.

"I wonder what mine will be," Sirius winked to James, "I have a hunch that James is going to be like a deer or something."

Remus and Peter laughed as James's mouth popped open. "It's not a deer!" he automatically yelled.

"I could imagine mine being an eagle," Danielle threw her arms out, "Fierce and intelligent."

"I think I'd be more of a panther," Lisa smirked.

Then forty minutes later...

"That puff looked like a panther's tail!" Lisa yelled in excitement.

The Ravenclaws on the other side of the room, Naomi more particularly, snickered at Lisa's claim of already doing it before returning to their own attempts.

"Now class, lets try to remember that getting your Patronus to take form will probably take more than ten minutes of trying," their Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Staub said looking in Lisa's direction, "In fact, it may take some of you until next class to really get it down."

The Marauders all smirked to each other knowing that if they wanted to they could cast their Patronuses for the whole class to see. Back when they were learning to become Animagi the book they were learning from suggested that they learn how to cast a Patronus first. Knowing their Patronus would help them envision themselves as an animal that closely related to themselves.

"Expecto Patronum," James said not putting much effort into it. A white cloud came out of his wand, and though he could see an antler trying to rise up above the cloud, it disappeared into the air.

"You've got to say it more sternly, James," Lily lectured him, "Expecto Patronum!" she yelled, but only a small whisp came from her wand. James softly smiled at her attempt before going back to his own work.

"Yeah, that's really working for you, isn't it Evans?" Sirius mocked her.

"I'll bet I'll get it sooner than you," Lily challenged him.

A glint came to Sirius's eye at the word of a bet. "Okay, it's on! What do I get if I get it before you?"

"Sirius," Remus said in a warning tone. Sure, the Marauders were smart, but Remus didn't want anyone to realize that maybe the four of them had jumped ahead a few chapters back in their third year.

"It's fine, Moony. There's no way I could beat the almighty Evans, is there? Now what's in this bet?"

Lily thought hard about it for a minute before answering, "If you can cast a Patronus, fully formed, before me then I will..."

"Give me a smooch when Gryffindor wins our first match?"

"No," James said, not missing a beat.

Lily laughed, but continued, "I'll buy you a Butterbeer at every Hogsmeade trip this year."

"Okay," Sirius shrugged.

He immediately raised his wand to say the spell, but Lily interrupted him, "Wait a minute! What do I get if I do it first?"

"I'll give you a smooch-"

"No," James stopped him.

Sirius let out a bark laugh. "If you beat me, I'll buy you a Butterbeer at every Hogsmeade trip."

"Okay," Lily nodded, "Go! Expecto Patronum!" A small cloud floated in the air with two small ears barely taking form before disappearing. "HA! Did you see that?" she jumped around excitedly, "I hope you have your sickels saved up because those Butterbeers are going to start adding up!"

Sirius smirked before raising his own wand, "I think his is how you hold it...." he joked fumbling around with his grip on the wand. He cleared his throat and in a try-hard voice said, "Expecto Patronum!"

A giant silver dog bursted from the end of his wand and happily bounced around the room, making Lily's jaw drop open and the Gryffindors cheer in success while the Ravenclaws politely clapped.

"How did you-?" Lily chocked, "That's impossible! It was your first attempt!"

"Wow, your tip actually worked, Evans! Just had to be stern with it and it worked!" Sirius laughed.

Lily dejectedly sat down in a seat. Even when Sirius' Patronus ran up and to her, she smacked her hand through it making it disappear.

"Now that wasn't very nice to dear old Snuffles," Sirius scolded.

"Snuffles?" Marie giggled.

"Very manly name for you to give him," James smiled.

"It suits, I think," Peter nodded.

"That was very impressive, Mr. Black!" Professor Staub came to their group, "Would you like to show the class how you did it?"

"Sure!" Sirius said over enthusiastically. He proudly marched up to the front of the class and carefully said, "Expecto Patronum." This time though, Sirius didn't put as much effort into the spell and the silvery dog only half formed.

Sirius hung his head slightly, gaining pity from Professor Staub. "Well, you did it exceptionally the first time, and even that was very impressive for so soon! Maybe find a more consistent happy thought and I'm sure you'll have it down in no time!"

"Thanks, Professor. It must've been beginner's luck." He winked at the Marauders on his way back to their table and pretended to sit and think of a "consistently happy thought".

Meanwhile, James was trying to cheer Lily up enough so that she could try to get her Patronus formed. He was dying to see what kind of animal matched with her soul. He had tried to imagine something that could handle her charm, wit, and pride, but something like a lioness didn't quite fit her gentleness, and a cute bunny definitely didn't have anything to do with her personality, but just the adorable image he had of Lily in his head.

"What's the happiest possible thought you have?" James asked.

"I've been thinking of when I got my acceptance letter. It was the greatest day of my life," she smiled, "But then I start thinking about how it was Severus there beside me, but now our friendship is dead, and how Petunia started hating me for coming here..."

James sighed and took heed of Remus' words from the previous night about how he always over reacts when Lily talks about Lily. So he bit his tongue down from saying, 'Who needs him anyway?' and instead said, "Maybe you could use something that happened more recently."

"Are you suggesting yourself?"

James threw his head back in a laugh, "Well, I do tend to have that effect on people, and if that's what it takes for you to get this then yes, but I was thinking more along the lines of when you got your Head Girl letter, or something."

Lily nodded and stood back up to give it another chance. "Expecto Patronum!" The wisp came from the end of her wand, but again didn't fully form.

On the Ravenclaw's side of the room there was a burst of excitement, and looking over Lily saw a fox dancing around Naomi. James mentally winced knowing that that wasn't going to help Lily concentrate.

"No," she hissed. She determinedly began repeating the spell

"Lils, I don't think that'll help."

But she silently lifted her hand to him to leave her alone. "You let me practice my way for a minute, and then I'll go back to normal."

James shrugged and turned back to his own work. He didn't want to upset Lily, but seeing all of these other Patronus' around made him miss his own! He fooled around with the spell, saying it differently a few times, before really thinking of his happy thought and making his stag appear.

"Wow! Sirius was right! Yours is a deer, James!" Danielle said impressed by the accuracy.

"It's not a deer... It's a stag," he said calmly, "Look at his antlers."

Lily turned from her corner and jealously looked at the Patronus. "He looks great," she sighed.

James laughed and took hold of Lily's arms, shaking them like jello. "You need to relax. So a few people got it before you did, who cares? Is this really the kind of example you want younger years to see?"

Lily had to laugh at that comment, and took a deep breath after releasing herself from James's hold. "What do you think of?" she asked.

"Well, I have two that I've been thinking of. The first is when Sirius moved into my house. The second is that first night you came to have dinner with my family."

The stag walked up to Lily and happily galloped a circle around her. Lily giggled and instead of smacking him back into a cloud like she did to Sirius' dog, gently stroked the top of his head with her fingertips.

"Okay," she sighed, "I think I've got it."

"Expecto-"

DONG

DONG

DONG
the school's bell rang throughout the castle.

"Great work, everyone!" Professor Staub shouted out, "Next class meeting we'll finish up on forming Patronus' and move onto techniques of how to keep your happy thoughts when in the presence of a Dementor."

"Dang it," Lily muttered.

"Maybe we can practice later," James suggested, "Away from all of these distractions."

They packed up all of their belongings and went their separate ways, one group to History of Magic and the others to Divination. After dinner though, James passed the last patrol to the Slytherin Seventh Years and took Lily to the old Head Dorms.

Outside of it was an old statue of a woman who had a tight bun and her hands strictly clasped behind her back. When James and Lily stepped in front of her her body softly became animated with life, her eyes shifting downward to look at them.

"You" she automatically hissed, "You are not allowed in here for the last time!"

James guiltily smiled at Lily who was already rolling her eyes. "Madame Lae, it's a pleasure to see you again," James greeted her.

"Well, I could never say the same about you...you...miscreant! I have more chips on my stone body thanks to you more than any other student in all these years!"

"They were all genuine accidents, honestly!"

"I'm so sure. Like the time when you were experimenting how a jelly leg curse would affect a statue?"

"I was only in second year!"

"Well then how about two years later when-"

"Madame?" Lily interrupted. The statue for the first time took notice of Lily's presence. "I'm sure James has done plenty of things that are cringe worthy."

"You have no idea..."

"I do actually! I've had to deal with him day in and day out for years. But both him and I are Head Students now and we've been given permission from Professor McGonagall to use the old dorm as a study quarters."

"I see," Madame Lae sighed, "I don't know why in the world they would make him the Head Boy... In order to gain entrance I must see your badges."

Both Lily and James held up their badges for her to see, and though she was still weary of James, slid to the side for them to enter.

"And she said I would never be allowed in," James snickered leading Lily into the room.

"I can still hear you!" Madame Lae hissed.

The room they entered was about half the size of the Gryffindor Common Room, but it still had a fire lit on one side with a couch and an arm chair in front of it and two individual study desks across the room. On the far side of the room there was a set of stairs that led up to two doors, which brought a small glint to James's eye.

While Lily immediately began scanning through the books on a shelf, James went to the top of the stairs.

"Really, James?" Lily laughed.

"I just want to see," he shrugged. He reached for the handle, and tried to push it open, but it wouldn't budge. "Alohomora." But still the door felt like it was glued shut. "Damn," he muttered.

"You really thought that after last year they would still have the rooms open for visitors?"

"They did leave the couch..."

"Come back down here so we can get started."

James went back down the stairs and took a seat in front of the fire, which he thought felt even better than the ones in the Gryffindor Common Room.

"Well, I think you're forgetting the most important part about casting a Patronus."

"What's that?" she joined him on the couch.

"Calming yourself down and only thinking of the happiest possible thing. Your memory of getting your letter is good, but you have too many other unhappy memories that go along with it."

"I don't know what else to use though," she slumped.

"You said you thought you has something earlier before class had ended. What was it?"

"It was silly..."

"Tell me what it was!" James urged her.

"When I got the Head Girl badge."

"How's that silly?" he laughed, "You worked hard for the badge for a long time. It's something to be proud of." Lily still seemed hesitant. "Give it a go."

Lily stood from her seat and took a second to enjoy the warmth that the fire emitted. In her mind she focused on that moment when she saw the school owl sitting on the window sill of her bedroom. When she let it in it would have waited patiently for Lily to remove the letter from its leg, but she herself was too impatient and almost ripped it in her hurry. When she felt the unusual weight of the letter she paused only for a second to giggle in excitement before opening its seal and letting the Head Girl badge fall into her palm.

Her parents were at work, and Petunia wouldn't care whether or not she was there so Lily jumped around her bedroom by herself, slightly scaring the school owl, but she didn't care. Her hard work had paid off.

"Expecto Patronum!" she exclaimed. The silvery cloud came from her wand and for only a split second formed as a doe before disappearing into the air again. "Did you see that!" she screamed, "A doe! I'm a doe!"

"That was excellent!" James hugged her.

"But how do I get it to stay around?"

"Just concentrate, I guess. Make your happiness as intense as you can."

"Okay," Lily nodded.

They spent another forty minutes practicing, until finally the doe stayed in her form and galloped around the room. James cast his own Patronus out of curiosity to see how they would react to each other, and to his delight the doe went to the stag's side and nuzzled its neck.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw a blush creep up on Lily's cheeks. "Well, I guess I finally found the right memory..."

"What did you change it to?" he asked throwing his arm around her neck.

"The day on the train...when I told you I love you and you said it back," she smiled.

James leaned down and gently kissed Lily on the lips. "I think this might be my new happy memory," he said before pulling her lips back to his.

It had been a while since they had been given off-Head-duties alone time, and it felt so nice to finally have it.Lily gladly wrapped her arms around James's waist while his hands dug deep into her hair. They moved to the couch for comforts sake, and with each kiss that Lily landed on his lips or his neck James couldn't believe that he had been so stupid to think that Lily would want to belong to anyone else. This wasn't a way of being arrogant, but the two of them obviously had something so special and unique that he knew that for the rest of their lives they would never be able to find another person who could fit each other so well.

"I love you, Lily Evans," he whispered.

"I love you too, James Potter."
____________________________________
Author's Note: awww cheesy endiiiing. hehe! I (yet again) apologize for the long wait you guys :( I promise, I'm trying to get better at finding time to update!
Don't forget to review though, and as always anything thoughts are welcome!! :)


Chapter 7: Serious Conversations
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Serious Conversations



The night of the first Prefect meeting had finally arrived, and though James lazily waited for them to arrive Lily sat on the edge of her seat in anticipation. James tried to get her to relax by rubbing her back and squeezing her hand, but none of it seemed to be working. Instead she would give him a small smile and then turn back to staring at nothing.

He knew it was because Severus would be in such a close proximity, and he wondered if guilt was starting to eat away at her. "Lily?"

"Yes?"

"You know how much you deserve this position, right?"

"Of course I do."

"Then you don't have anything to worry about, especially Snape."


"What are you talking about? He's not what I'm nervous about."

"I know you feel bad about him not getting the badge."

"No I don't. If he had gotten it I would have been stuck with him for the whole year. Being biased towards Slytherins, trying to convince me of his ways...plus, I think you've done a pretty good job, minus a few hiccups," she nervously giggled.

"Lily..." James mumbled wanting to get her to open up, "Remus told me you feel bad about how this worked out. I would too if the tables were turned."

"He told you about that?" Lily asked in a high pitched voice.

"Yeah, and believe it or not, I understand."

"Why would he tell you? That was personal."

"I kind of forced him to," James muttered.

"Why would you do that?"

"Because... because you wouldn't even though I could tell something was wrong, and it made me nervous so I asked Remus what was so special between you two that you could tell him things, but not me, so he told me."

"Special? There isn't anything special between us! We're friends!" She paused to try to regain her composure until she remembered hers and James's conversation. "Is this what you were trying to get out of me the other night? Did you honestly think I had a crush on Remus?"

"No!" he automatically said, "Well, maybe, but then I asked him and he said there was nothing to-"

"You asked him?" she yelled.

"What was I supposed to think?" James yelled back, "It was like every damn time I was trying to spend time with you, or something you would be with him either studying, or-"

"You weren't supposed to think anything, you were supposed to trust me. After everything else you've trust me with this is what you choose not to believe me with? He's your best friend!"

James already knew that what he did was wrong, but it felt a hundred time worse because of Lily's eyes brimming with tears glaring at him.

"Lils," he huffed, "Remus already made me feel bad enough. I don't even know what was going through my mind. All I can say is I'm sorry."

"We'll talk about it later...I can hear the Prefects coming." Lily knew her face must have looked like a tomato from all of her frustrations so she took a few calming breathes (though quietly hoping James wouldn't realize) in hopes of helping it return to a normal color.

The Prefects arrived in order of their Houses; first the Hufflepuffs, then the Ravenclaws, shortly followed by the Slytherins, and lastly, right on time were the Gryffindors.

"Good to see you all," Lily greeted them.

"Should've we have had a Prefect meeting in the first week of school?" Naomi immediately asked.

"We could have," Lily said patiently.

"We both thought it would be better to wait a few weeks though to allow everyone to get settled in with their routines though before putting more stuff on your already busy schedules," James answered.

Lily dared a quick glance at Severus and saw that he was glaring at James as he spoke, as if he shouldn't have the right to be talking.

"With that being said, how are your patrols working in with your schedules. Any conflicts yet?"

All at once Prefects began voicing out their problems, each trying to be louder than the other.

"Quiet!" James yelled over them, "Everyone quiet down! Jeez, you'd think that being Prefects you'd all know that you'll be given the chance to speak," he muttered making Remus, who had sat across from him smirk.

"I'm going to put out a piece of parchment and I'd like you all to write down which clubs or study groups you're in so that we can work out a schedule that works in everyone's interest," Lily said. She pulled out some parchment and quill, and automatically everyone began to get up from their seat. "Sit!" she ordered, "At the end of the meeting you can all get in an orderly line and patiently wait your turn."

When everyone sat down (though some of them were rolling their eyes at Lily's orders) the meeting finally began and the group began choosing weekends to go to Hogsmeade from a list of dates the Professors had given them. Out of the nine and a half months they would be at school they were only allowed four weekends to go to Hogsmeade.

"I'm sure everyone would love to go for Valentine's Day!" a Hufflepuff Prefect said.

"I'd rather go before Christmas though," a younger Gryffindor voiced.

"And we can't go to both because?" a Slytherin said sarcastically.

"Why do we need to go for Valentine's Day?" Severus said, "It's a ridiculous holiday, if you can even call it that."

"It's a nice way to show the people around you their love for them," the Hufflepuff Prefect shrugged.

"Pathetic," Severus muttered to his fellow Slytherins, who all snickered.

Lily sent him a sharp glare, but Severus didn't show any reaction to it.

"We go both dates," James reasoned, "But because those two are so close together we'll want to plan to remaining two very carefully. We don't want them to be too far away from each other, but at the same time we don't want to use them up too fast either."

"Well," Naomi spoke up, "If I remember correctly how we did it last year, we went in October, December, February and then April because by the time April comes it's Spring and it's not too cold to do things out on the grounds anymore. People get occupied by the lake and good weather."

"Yeah, that worked out really well last year," her fellow Ravenclaw said.

"Okay," Lily nodded, "Does everyone agree?"

With mumbles of agreement, and no specific complaints, Lily decided that they had done all that was needed and allowed people to write their schedules down on the parchment. James waited patiently for the line to clam down and then for Lily to gather all of her things. Remus had at first also waited for his friends, but James violently shook his head as a warning that he didn't want to be in the way of Lily's wrath.

Once packed up, she tried to make a quick exit out of the door, but James stopped her. "Lily, please wait."

"Why?" she snapped.

"Because I don't want to talk about this in front of everyone in the Common Room."

"I don't see why not. You obviously don't have any consideration for privacy."

"That's really how you're going to look at this? Merlin, Lily! I didn't know what to think! Can you really blame me for being curious about my girlfriend's life?"

Lily stomped her foot on the ground in frustration. Sure, she could have told him and trusted him with her thoughts, but that wasn't the point! Remus betrayed her trust and James invaded her privacy. She took a deep breath so that her voice wouldn't come out sounding like she was being strangled. "You should have waited until I was ready to talk about it with you. Just because I talk to someone else about my problems doesn't mean I like them."

"Okay," James compromised, though he still didn't fully understand, "Next time, if there is one, can you at least hint that you're not ready to talk about instead of acting like it's not there?"

"Yes," she sighed.

The subject was dropped and they walked out of the classroom where the meeting had been held only to find Severus just outside of its door. Lily hesitated only for a second before moving on, but he called after her to stop them.

"Yes?" Lily said shortly. Automatically, James grabbed her hand catching Severus' eye who held back a scowl.

"I need to change something about my schedule," he said in a low voice.

Lily looked at him curiously knowing that he shouldn't have any schedule compromises since he was always too unsocial to join clubs and was too proud to join a study group.

"Right." She untangled herself from James's hand and began rummaging through her bag for the piece of parchment. When she had it in her hands she scanned the list for Severus' name, but couldn't find it. "You're not on here."

"That's what I need to change."

"What time aren't you available then?"

"Can I talk to you in private about it?"

James had his mouth open to answer that question, but Lily sent him a cutting glare to make it close again.

"We are in private," she said looking around the empty hallways.

"You know what I mean," he huffed.

"Tell me now so I can write it in, or your availability will stay completely open."

"Fine," he said shortly, "I won't be able to patrol on Thursdays."

Lily began scribbling down, "Reason?"

"Personal."

Lily stopped writing and looked up at him, "You don't have anything personal. It has to be because of a club or study group."

"Lupin gets personal days!" he argued. James's glare intensified on Severus.

"Because his mum is deathly ill!"

Severus glanced at James before turning back to Lily to say, "We all know that's a lie."

"That's not your place to say," James snapped, "Just give him Thursdays off so we can go," he told Lily.

"But-" Lily started to complain.

"Consider your Thursdays open."

James pulled Lily back down the hallway despite her grumbling. "How are you just going to give in like that? We should have stuck our ground. We can't have students thinking they can walk all over us."

"I was being diplomatic," James muttered.

"This is true," Lily nodded, "You didn't even have to get your wand out." She leaned over to nudge his hip in an attempt to lighten the mood.

"Snape has always had it out for Remus, and I figured this was one way to get him to shut up."

"Yeah, no one else needs to get the idea in their head that he's a lycanthrope." Lily chanced a glance up at James, but his stare was focused in front of himself. "I mean, that would be crazy, right? Just because he happens to go home on the same days as the full moon means nothing. Same with how horrible he looks when he does come back. I would look like that too if I saw my mum dying."

"Yeah," was all James said.

Lily frustratedly tried to think of something else to say. Years ago Severus had mentioned to Lily the idea of Remus being a werewolf, but she immediately shrugged it off as a made up reason of his to hate a Marauder. However, Severus started observing Remus' actions around the full moon, and it was true that he always grew pale before the full moon, disappeared for a night, and then came back looking utterly horrible. It was all obvious, but Lily never wanted to believe that Remus had to go through such a horrible experience every month by himself.

Then when "the incident" came around and Sirius had promised to take Severus to a werewolf Lily became even more assured that Remus was a werewolf. In an attempt to protect him from Severus though she used the incident as a reason as to why Severus should forget the whole thing. She knew he wouldn't, but it was hopeful thinking.

"He is a werewolf, isn't he?" she said in a low voice.

"That's ridiculous. Of course not," James shut her out.

"James."

"Lily," he smirked mocking her.

"Isn't he?"

"Why don't you ask him yourself?"

"Well, that's not really something you can just go around asking people."

"You'll have to rely on my answer then," he shrugged.

Lily looked down at the floor still frustrated by his answers. On the one hand, James was just trying to be a good friend, but it would be so much easier if he would solidify her thoughts. She didn't want to badger him anymore though and dropped the subject right after saying, "How ironic that the two of you can talk about my personal problems, but you suddenly find a conscience when it came to that."
______________________________________________________________

The next couple of weeks, Lily and James's schedule was settled. Every morning they would meet in the Common Room to walk down to breakfast together, each go to their classes, eat lunch together, finish their classes, go t the library for homework (though James did this grudgingly), eat dinner and then spend their last few hours together in the Common Room with their friends. Meanwhile, they only had to do patrols on Monday nights since they had figured out the rest of the Prefects schedules.

School life was much less strenuous like that for the Lily who now only had to concentrate on finishing her homework as quickly, but still efficiently, as possibly so that she and James could spend time together. Most of the time they would stay in the Common Room with friends, but there were other times when James would ask for her help on a subject in the Head Dorm, which she quickly found out meant that he wanted alone time with her.

This didn't always mean that they would be making out on the couch, though Lily found that breaking the rules didn't make her feel as guilty as she thought it would, but instead just the peace and quiet of being able to be alone was nice.

This particular night though, Lily and James were enjoying the peace and quiet a little more than usual. James had tricked her into think that he honestly needed help with his homework, but once they had arrived Lily noticed that he hadn't even brought his book.

"Well, well, if it isn't beauty and the miscreant," they were greeted, "More homework, I assume?"

"Double checking Prefect schedules since Quidditch season is coming up," James easily lied.

"Horrible sport," Madame Lae scoffed. She unconcealed the passage way and James quickly led Lily in, and far enough away so that Madame Lae couldn't overhear them.

"James, I don't really have time for this right now," Lily told him standing in front of the always lit fireplace.

"Hear me out," James said, "Quidditch season really is coming up. We start try outs next week and then after that I'm going to constantly be at practice."

"Okay..."

James stood in front of her and wiped her hair off of her shoulder before nibbling on it. "That means we won't get to see each other nearly as much as we have been. I saw an opportunity for us to get some alone time, and figured I may as well take advantage of it."

Lily leaned into his kisses knowing that it was true. "Okay," she mumbled, "But even after Quidditch season is done, or we get some extra time we can't keep abusing McGonagall's trust like this. They're expecting us to me mature!"

Kissing her lips, James nodded in understanding and led Lily to the couch. Without breaking contact, he pulled her down on top of his body making them both topple onto the cushions. Lily giggled at their crash landing, but James wouldn't let her lose focus.

He snaked his hands underneath her school robes, and then found the hem of her undershirt that was still tucked into her skirt.

"Have I ever told you how crazy this skirt drives me?" he said giving them both a chance to breathe.

"I don't even shorten it like the other girls," she laughed.

"That's why! I was always dying to see your legs." One his hands softly traveled to her legs and pulled up the skirt so that he could see her thighs. "I feel bad for the other lads though. I at least got to see them during the summer. No one else has the slightest idea what they're missing out on."

"Isn't that a good thing?"

"Definitely. McGonagall would take my badge if I had to defend you from all of those prying eyes," he laughed.

Lily rolled her eyes, but leaned forward to softly bite James's cheek. His hands again began going up her shirt, but the moment they reached her bra strap Lily froze.

"James?"

"Hm?" he said trying to get her lips back down to his.

"I have a slightly embarrassing conversation topic."

James brought his hands out from under her shirt and cupped her face. "Now?"

"Yes?" Lily said nervously.

"Okay," James sighed. "Go for it."

"Well, it's just that I've been thinking about how patient you were with me during the summer with how far we...go and everything. I mean, with the fact that it was just weird at first, and then the whole Marcus thing, but now we're at school and everything is going really well, and I was wondering...how far do you plan on going?" she ended, a little confused by her own words.

James bit his tongue so that he wouldn't laugh at Lily's nervous face. "Lils, we can go at whatever pace you need to. I'm just along for the ride."

"I know you would, but with my thoughts aside do you have any...preferences?"

James sighed and realizing that they probably weren't going to be needing to be laying down anymore, he sat up so that he could look Lily eye to eye. "I'm just as new to this as you are. I may have dated around a lot before you, but it's hard to do much more than making out when you're in a broom closet."

Lily laughed partly at his joke, but mostly it was laugh of relief that she wasn't the only inexperienced one here. In the past, she and Marcus had never gone all the way, but there were also a few things she wasn't so proud of. It wasn't really in her character to do things that she wasn't sure about, but during those summers with Marcus she had felt like she was someone else and let a few things slide.

"Okay, good," she nodded, "I mean, because it's not to say that I'm completely inexperienced, just with the grand finale. When I was with Marcus-"

"Stop!" James put his hands up to his ears, "I can't hear that. I never want to be able to picture anything that the two of you did."

"Sorry," she laughed, "The point is that I'm a little rusty, and I really don't want to embarrass myself. Plus, we've never really talked about it so I wanted to see that we're on the same page."

"Considered it talked over."

"So...now what?"

"Well, the Prefects bathrooms should be empty by this time at night..." James winked. Lily rolled her eyes and stood from the couch. "What? You said you were rusty? What better way to warm you back up?"

Lily threw her head back in a laugh and walked towards the exit, James now following right behind her. "Oh, Potter. You're so cute to think that just because we talked about it thinks I'm actually willing to do those things with you."

James shrugged and looked down at Lily. "Well, you are...aren't you?"

They passed by Madame Lae with a nod of farewell. "Maybe... I still need a little convincing from your end."

James's eyebrow furrowed. "Oh, I'll show you convincing."

"I'll believe it when I see it," she challenged back.

Their jokes went back and forth until they reached the Gryffindor Common Room, where thankfully no one had noticed their extended absence.

"Gotten lucky yet, Prongs?" Sirius asked the moment they sat down.

James threw a pillow at Sirius and Lily's cheeks burned pink. Well...almost no one had noticed.
________________________________________
Author's Note: Helloooo everyooone! Hope you enjoyed! Let me know what you think! I always reply to the reviews!
Special thanks to you all who have been all this time!

Disclaimer: I am disclaimeda

Chapter 8: A Hogsmeade Blast
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A Hogsmeade Blast


Excitement buzzed around the Great Hall during breakfast on the day of the first Hogsmeade Trip. First Years confusedly asked Second Years why everyone was so energized and Second Years dreamily told them of the awesome village Hogsmeade that was just a short carriage ride away.

One of the most excited was James. If he thought Diagon Alley had been a big date for him and Lily, Hogsmeade felt like it was going to be ten times better. He tried to down play his emotions though because the last he had gotten this excited the date turned out to be nothing how he imagined.

'The Three Broomsticks is just another place to get a Butterbeer...Zonko's is just like any other-well, no I'm still allowed to be excited about Zonko's,' he thought to himself.

The eight Gryffindors sat at their table eating breakfast, though looking nicer than usual for the trip.

"Sirius, is this the first time you've gone to Hogsmeade alone?" Danielle asked.

"Course not! I always make sure not to take a date on Valentine's Day," he replied in an obvious tone.

"Why?" All four of the girls were looking at Sirius interested in his answer.

"Because all girls do are look for 'signs'," he put his fingers up in quotation marks, "If I took someone as a date to Hogsmeade they would think it was a sign that we were meant to be together. Then we'd accidentally reach for the same fork or something and it would be a sign because our hands touched. Or we'd both order a Butterbeer and they would take it as a sign that we like all the same things! It would be horrible."

"Not all girls are like that," Lisa said defensively.

"And besides, everyone likes Butterbeer. It doesn't count," Lily laughed.

Sirius wagged his finger slightly and shook his head, "I've heard it happen before."

"Who in Merlin's name would try to make that connection?"

Sirius's eyes pointed at Marie, who was suddenly very interested in stirring her orange juice.

"Seriously, Marie?" Danielle laughed.

Marie let out a huff and glared at Sirius. "Mine doesn't count! It wasn't just any Butterbeer, it was that the guy asked for cinnamon in it."

Lily cringed at the combination, "That actually tastes good?"

"I like it," Marie shrugged.

"Okay, well then that does classify as special...or at least interesting," Lisa said, "Who was the guy?"

"Not important," Marie sipped from her juice.

The three girls looked to Sirius for the answer. "How do you think we started dating last year?"

"You certainly are the romantic type, aren't you Marie?" Danielle laughed.

"Shut up..." Marie mumbled.

When breakfast cleared from the tables the young 7th years left the Great Hall and gathered with the rest of the school outside the castle's door lining up for carriages. Because there were so many of them, they split into two groups; the boys in one carriage (though James at first protested this) and the girls in another.

It was only a quick fifteen minute ride before they were dropped off in front of the village and the group started walking down the cobble stone streets.

"How about a quick Butterbeer before we all go our separate ways?" Remus suggested.

"Yeah, that way Evans can get started on our bet and buy me a Butterbeer!" Sirius said.

"Yes, yes, you reminded me of it yesterday," Lily shook her head bitterly. She still couldn't believe that Sirius had beat her to conducting a Patronus, and she knew he wouldn't let her forget about it for a long time.

The pub was already filled with students eager for drinks and food, so while Sirius and Danielle stood in line to order drinks the other fanned out in hopes of snagging a booth.

"I really wish they would make this place bigger," Lisa complained, "It's always so damn busy!"

"We could always try Madame Puddifoot's," Marie said.

"No way!" James said scrunching his face, "I don't think she even serves Butterbeer. It's all tea and lattes and things that a man just shouldn't be seen drinking."

Lily giggled, but Marie rolled her eyes. "It's a lot more than that. It's smaller for better company and therefore quieter for better conversations and it serves a lot of hot drinks, which yes may be lattes or teas, but they keep a person warm on days like this!"

"I'm sorry, Marie, but no," Remus said.

"Fine," Marie grumbled, "Oh! There! Hey Sarah, save that for us!" she yelled across the pub.

A girl from Ravenclaw happily waited for them to make their through the crowds and to the booth that easily fit all eight people. Thankfully, it was just in time for Sirius and Danielle to make their way over with the Butterbeers with the help of one of The Three Broomsticks workers help. With a nod of thanks, the worker went back behind the bar and everyone began passing money to Danielle who had initially bought the drinks for them.

"Here's money for Sirius's as well," Lily said grimly.

"Maybe you'll find the chance to win a bet in the future, Evans," Sirius said taking a sip from his drink, "Man, this tastes better when it's free."

"Where are you all going to go first?" Lisa asked.

"Zonko's!" Peter yelled, "Marauder tradition says we have to go to Zonko's together."

"Would you mind?" James asked Lily.

"No," she shrugged, "It might actually be fun to see it through the eyes of a Marauder."

"It's an experience you'll cherish forever!" James assured her.

"You guys want to join us?" Lily asked her friends.

"No, I think we're going to take a trip up to the Shrieking Shack," Marie said mischievously.

"That place isn't even scary," Sirius scoffed.

"Oh, I don't know, Padfoot! It's the most haunted place in England!" Peter giggled.

"There are supposed to be ghouls and ghosts in there, you know," Marie defended her decision. She didn't like the boys making fun of their adventure.

"Have you ever heard them?" James asked.

"Well, no, but the locals have! Lots of screaming and howling and crashing."

"Sounds painful," Remus muttered as he sipped from his mug.

"Anyway," James said hoping to break Remus' tension, "So we'll go to Zonko's with you guys, but then me and Lily are probably going to do our own thing."

"Well, boys, we all knew this day would come," Sirius sighed.

"The day when James leaves us for Lily," Peter sighed.

"You're practically tearing the group apart, Lily," Remus winked.

"It's all in my plan of Head Girl Infiltration of the Marauders," she replied.

"Merlin's beard, I told you all! You had me going after you threw Diggory across the room, but that was probably just apart of your plan to squeeze your way in, wasn't it?" Sirius glared at her.

"Maybe," she shrugged.

"You're tricky, Evans."

"Makes me even more Marauder material, doesn't it?"

"We'll see."

The group finished their drinks and split up when they left the pub. The three girls went up the road to the Shrieking Shack and Lily stayed with the boys to go down the street to Zonko's. She could see the excitement in James's eyes as he talked with the boys about which nonsense toys and joke plans they planned on doing soon.

"Do you think he got in the shipment of fireworks, yet?" James asked.

"If he did, don't you think he would save that for people who don't attend Hogwarts? McGonagall would kill him if he let those kinds of things get sold to us. What we really should've done was came and ordered them during summer holiday." Remus said.

"How would she know it was even us?" Peter said.

"Well, it's always obvious it was us, there's just no proof it was us," Sirius pointed out.

"Yeah, except when you find the time to stand up on the tables and bow like in fifth year," Remus laughed.

"I'll admit, that time it was my fault for getting us caught. This time though it could be a number of people who would've done it!"

"What do you need fireworks for?" Lily asked curiously before they walked into the store.

The four boys stopped speaking and all looked at her gravely.

"I already forgot she was here," Sirius whispered.

"Do you think we've said too much?" Peter also whispered.

"No, no, just start talking about something else and maybe she'll forget," James winked at her.

Lily rolled her eyes, but had a smile on her lips. "I'm going to find out sooner or later, aren't I?"

"Evans, this was all a trick. We just said that to throw you off the trail of what we're really doing. Why would we ever want fireworks? We're still practically children! We could hurt ourselves, you know!" Sirius said. He took off into the store and before Lily could ask anymore questions the other three boys followed suit.

"James, whatever the prank is, just remember that you're Head Boy," she whined.

"Don't worry, Lils! This one is will honestly entertain almost the entire school with just a few exceptions."

"The Slytherins?"

"I'm can't answer that right now, but trust me, I'm sure even McGonagall will have to stop herself from smiling."

"Ha!" was all Lily said.

She followed James around the shop as he happily went from one toy to another. The section holding Sneakoscopes immediately went off in a flurry when he passed by. Lily hoped that they had only happened to go off since they were mainly known to be faulty, but James's guilty smile back at her told her she was wrong.

While James kept Lily amused around the store showing her some of his favorite jokes (Screaming Yo-Yo, Stink Bombs and fake wands) Sirius, Remus and Peter talked quietly with Mr. Zonko about their package. It took them some convincing to get Mr. Zonko to actually hand the package over to them, but he himself could never stand in the way of a good joke and in the end allowed them to make the purchase. A small cough told James that the transaction had been completed and they could leave the store now.

"How did you use a fake wand in a prank?" Lily asked curiously.

"Back when Lucius Malfoy still went here we switched his real wand with a fake one. When he went to class and it didn't work we convinced Jasmine, who was in her class, to suggest that maybe he wasn't magical after all! It only took him a few tries before realizing it wasn't his wand. He was furious, and an instant classic," James explained.

"No wonder he hated you all those years!" Lily laughed.

"Those years?" Sirius said, "He still hates us now!"

"For different reasons though," Remus said.

"Why does he hate you now?" Lily asked.

"Doesn't matter," Sirius brushed the subject aside, "The point is the guy is a prick."

"Got that right," Peter squeaked.

Lily let the subject slide and instead brought up a new one. "Do you think we could stop by Honeydukes?" she asked James.

"Why? You're already so sweet," James said with a big cheesy smile.

"Awe!" Remus, Sirius and Peter all rang out at once.

"I bet he's been saving that one for months," Sirius laughed.

"No, that was more of a on the spot line," Remus countered.

James shoved Sirius on the shoulder and after a last call goodbye they turned down the road to head towards the candy shop. James grabbed Lily's hand and squeezed it into his coat pocket with his to keep it warm from the chilly air. It felt so natural for them to be walking beside each other. James could easily imagine themselves together in a few years after completing their training and schooling for careers walking as grown adults while shopping or touring through Muggle shops.

He wished that even now he could get an outside view of the two of them walking down the street. He wondered if they looked as happy as he felt and if they looked as natural together as he felt they did. He felt Lily's gaze on himself and turned to give her a grin.

"You're pretty cute for a guy who thinks I didn't notice your friends buying fireworks," she smirked.

"You're pretty cute for a girl who only pretended to be interested in my favorite joke toys," he said.

Lily threw her head back in a laugh. She had never been one for those pranking things. "Maybe if you can teach me how to keep a Screaming Yo-Yo going I'll become interested."

"Deal."
___________________________________________________________

After the Hogsmeade trip was done James and Sirius had to hurry back to the castle for Quidditch practice. The team thankfully didn't have to replace any of positions so they could finish out their last season of Quidditch together like they did the previous year; with the Quidditch trophy being placed in the Gryffindor trophy case.

The weather in the high altitude was cold, but the clouds kept the rain to themselves. Positioned as chasers with James were two six years named Freddie and David. With Sirius as a beater was a fifth year named Blake, back at the goal post was another fifth year named Robby and flying around them overhead was the only girl on the team, Lucy, who was a sixth year.

James had been appointed as Captain the previous year and took pride in the team that he had chosen. The friendly chemistry between them all helped them in the rush of the game to read each others minds and created a flow that most other teams didn't have.

James also made sure that Lucy was comfortable on the team. Since she was the only girl James made sure none of the other lads made moves on her (especially Sirius), in fear that if a romantic relationship went wrong the chemistry of the team would be destroyed. He kept an eye on her on the field though too since the Slytherins had a cruel way of treating girls who they didn't think should be playing.

When practice ended the seven players went into the locker room, Lucy going to her own appointed portion, and the rest of the guys started showering and cleaning up for the castle.

"Lucy's looking pretty good up there this season," David commented while he dressed into his school robes.

"You could say that again!" Blake laughed and high fived Robby.

James rolled his eyes. It was hard having an attractive teammate, or at least for the other boys. Lucy had black straight hair and olive green eyes that seemed to grab quite a lot of attention. "Eyes on the prize boys," James reminded them.

"'Course! That's how I meant it!" David winked.

"Relax, Captain," Robby said, "Lucy's too old for us anyway. She likes older men from what we hear."

"Older men, you say?" SIrius leaned up against his locker, "How much older?"

"A chap in your year; Remus Lupin."

"Go, Moony!" Sirius whooped.

James nodded his head in approval, "At least he's the kind of guy to have the sense not to screw with her heart during Quidditch season," he said.

"Yeah, right. He'd be the one to get all poetic on us and break up with her half way through the season if he didn't think they were right."

"We'll see," James said.

When the team finished up and arrived back in the Gryffindor common room, Sirius immediately noticed that Remus wasn't there and that Lucy had hurriedly run off to do her own thing.

"You think they're getting together?" Sirius asked wiggling his eye brows.

"Doubt it," James shook his head.

"Who's getting together?" Peter asked.

"No one," James said knowing Peter had a big mouth, "Plus, Moony would've told us if they had started hanging out."

"With who?" Peter asked again.

"No one," Sirius said, "But there's only one way to find out!"

He sprinted up the stairs to the boy dormitory and dug out the Marauder's Map. The little dots of people in the school appeared as Sirius scanned his finger around the different levels to find their two names.

"Boring," he muttered when he found Remus in the library and Lucy in a classroom with what looked like a study group.

His eyes roamed around the map for an extra moment watching the Slytherins in the dungeons and the Ravenclaws on the other side of the castle. His eyes froze though when he looked in Dumbledore's office and saw more than one name there.

'Jasmine Potter' it read.

"Jas?" he whispered. Gripping the map tightly in his hand, Sirius flew from the boys dorm and ignoring his friends requests where he was going, ran from he common room and down flights of stairs to Dumbledore's office. At the last moment he remembered to step over a trick step, which would have delayed him a good five minutes.

Within minutes he was outside of Dumbledore's office gaining an odd look from the statue guards. He glanced down at the map again, but now the name was gone.

"What the-?" he muttered. He was sure he had seen Jasmine's name on the map, and the map never lies. He scanned the entire map again hoping that maybe she had just gone down to the Great Hall, or to see McGonagall or something, but no where on the map was Jasmine Potter.

When he grudgingly reached the common room again, Remus was back from the library and James had a relieved look on his face. Luckily it had seemed that Lily was up in her own dorm so he could sit down without having the hide the map.

"Where'd you run off to?" James asked.

Sirius hesitated an answer not wanting his friends to think he was crazy, but at the same time he wondered if James knew anything that he didn't. "I could've sworn I...I had seen Jasmine's name on the map in Dumbledore's office, but by the time I got there her name was gone," he explained.

"Why would Jasmine be at the school?" Peter asked.

"If I knew, I would tell you, Wormtail," Sirius said moodily. He crossed his arms and turned back to James, "Do you know why she would be here?"

"No," James shook his head, "No offense, mate, but you don't think you saw my name and thought it was her, do you?"

"I wouldn't do that! Plus, she was in Dumbledore's office and if I thought she was you I would've been looking for her down here."

Even with this logic, Remus was still shaking his head, "Sirius, there's no way Jasmine was here. If she was she would have had to walk into the castle from Hogsmeade and if she had done that she would've still been on the map!"

Sirius let out a huff still not happy with what he was hearing. He had been so sure he saw her name... When the boys were done in the common room they went up to their dorm where Sirius once more took a peak at the map. Dumbledore was still in his office pacing, but this time with McGonagall who looked like she was sitting at his desk.

Like a lightbulb had gone off in his head, Sirius grabbed a fresh piece or parchment out of his book bag and began writing a letter to Jasmine herself. It was short and to the point, but Sirius had to know! He watched the owl fly away into the night ready to hear the truth from Jasmine. If she had been at Hogwarts though, why wouldn't she try to see him?
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Author's Note: Hello all! So! What did you think?? Don't forget to review and let me know! hehe!
And, as always, thank you for your patience! I'm getting these written and up as fast as i can! :)

Disclaimer:I own nothing!

Chapter 9: All In Preparation
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All In Preparation


Dear Sirius,
Where in the world did you hear that I was at Hogwarts? I mean, there have been a few times where I've wanted to go there and kidnap you, but obviously I've lost my nerve every time (I'm joking). I miss you so much, Sirius, and I can't wait to see you in just a few short months. I'm sorry this is brief, but I'll write again soon.
-Jasmine


Sirius peered down on the letter with his eyebrows clenched together. She had drawn a complex heart on the bottom of the parchment and had enchanted it to have a beating motion to it. As he read through the wording again though he realized that Jasmine hadn't really answered the question. She skipped around it and made a joke instead, probably hoping to distract his mind away from the situation.

When he showed the note to the rest of the group they weren't fully convinced, but were intrigued at the same time.

"She did mention to us a few times that had an in with Dumbledore. Maybe she came to talk to him about something," James said.

"Why wouldn't she have come and said hello though?" Peter asked.

"If she came specifically to talk to Dumbledore she probably didn't have time to come up," Remus reasoned, "Then it would've been more like a tease to Sirius anyway. Say hello for ten minutes and then have to leave again."

"I would've taken one minute," Sirius muttered.

"That's what you say now," Remus said, "But then you'd want two minutes, and then five minutes, then five minutes more and eventually you'd be begging her to stay the hour."

"You know, Padfoot, I give you some big props. If me and Lily had to be away from each other for this long..." James gave a small shudder, "I can't even imagine."

"What do you guys think though? Team Figment Of My Imagination or Team Sirius Isn't Crazy?" Sirius asked.

"Figment Of Your Imagination," Remus laughed.

"Me too," James raised his hand.

The three all looked to Peter who was deep in thought. "I think I'll go with Sirius Isn't Crazy."

"Interesting choice, Wormtail," Remus nodded his head, "Going for the underdog. I have to say, I'm surprised."

Peter shrugged his shoulders, "I suppose it's about time I took a chance on something."

"Good thing you're starting out with something small," James said mockingly serious, "Wouldn't want you to start with something dangerous like a werewolf or something."

Remus rolled his eyes not bothering to respond to the comment. "Speaking of chances," he said instead, "Has anyone started a betting pool for the Gryffindor-Slytherin match?"

"What's the point if we already know who's going to win?" Sirius said folding the note up and sticking it away in his robe pocket. "We're looking way too good this year to lose to anyone."

"Well, we still have a few tweaks, but nothing that's going to make us lose," James agreed.

"Better get them straightened out though. It's only two weeks away!" Peter said.

"We've got it under control," James reassured them.

In the coming two weeks though, James drilled his team harder than it felt they ever had been. James had them all flying across the sky, while Remus and Lily sat in the stands and charmed objects to float around the sky to force the players to fly around them.

"It's all about constant vigilance!" James lectured.

"Those poor players," Remus mumbled, "He's gone Moody on them."

"Moody?" Lily laughed, "What do you mean?"

"There's an Auror that we've all met throughout the years at James' parents holiday parties named Mad-Eye Moody."

"I think I've read about him..."

"Well, 'constant vigilance' is his own coin phrase. It's a rule that he leads his life by and never forgets to tell everyone else to do so with every little thing that they do. He can be a nightmare, Mad-Eye, so when James starts yelling 'constant vigilance' you can tell he's getting on a roll."

"Oi!" James yelled from the field, "What are you two talking about? These objects don't move themselves, Moony!"

"Aye, aye, Captain!" Remus saluted him.

Lily laughed and moved the object that she had control of (an old bludger bat) in front of James. He swatted it away at first with his hand, but Lily kept it dangling in front of him. James let out a small huff and tried to float away from it, but again the bat followed him.

"Lily," he groaned, "You're supposed to be doing that to them, not me!"

"Constant vigilance!" she yelled to him.

"I already have constant vigilance!"

"There's no such thing as having it, you do it!"

With a glint in his eye James raced around the bat and down the field where his team was practicing passing while flying in and out of each other. Lily sent the bat after him, making sure to avoid hitting any of the other players, as he went through the goal hoops and down by the grass.

"You're keeping up with him fairly well," Remus said impressed.

"Thanks," she nodded, too intent on concentrating. For a moment James disappeared behind one of the stadiums making Lily stop the chase. "Where'd he go?" she muttered, "You don't think he fell, do you?"

"Constant vigilance," a whisper filled Lily's ear.

The unexpected voice made her jump out of her seat and turn to see James sitting in the stands with a smug smirk. "You jerk!" she immediately yelled smacking him on his arm. Remus bent over in laughter, and was soon joined by the rest of the team who all had tight grips on their handles to keep themselves from falling. "How did you get over here?"

"Swung around the backside of the stands and while you were looking left, I went right!" he explained, "You know, that's cute you would think that I could fall of a broom."

"I should've hit you with the bat," she muttered.

"Don't be mad, love!" he said jumping down a row so he could be closer to her, "All in good fun. Take the rest of the night off, lads," he said to the team.

"Excuse me," Lucy raised an eyebrow.

"And Lucy," James said to appease her.

Sirius joined them in the stands still laughing from James' stunt. "That was honestly an instant classic. I wish we had something to record it so we could show everyone."

Lily glared hard at Sirius and sat back down in a seat with crossed arms. "Ridiculous," she muttered.

"You're lucky this is the first time he's done anything to you," Remus said, "Do you realize you've been dating for all of these months and yet this is the first joke he's pulled on you?"

"Yeah, whatever."

James sat next to her and put his arm around her to pull her close and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "You're so cute when you get mad. I almost miss it from the old days." Lily finally relaxed and gave him a smirk. "Right, well, lets go get changed, Padfoot. We've got to eat dinner and go to bed. We can't take any chances for tomorrow."

"I'm not going to bed right after dinner," Sirius told him in a matter of fact voice.

"Fine, you'll all get a ten minute grace period, but that's it."

"Mate, who are you kidding? It'll only be 7:30 by then!"

They all stood and began walking down the stadium steps. "We'll compromise once we get back to the common room."

Lily and Remus waited outside the locker room as James and Sirius grabbed their things. Lucy surprisingly beat all of the boys out of the locker room giving the pair a quick wave hello before heading up to the castle. Lily had never really talked to Lucy more than a quick 'hello' or 'excuse me', but she loved watching Lucy play Quidditch. Her small body made her quicker to the Snitch and more able to do twirls and dives.

Lily had only ridden on a broomstick in their first year when Madame Hooch gave them all lessons, and though she loved the idea of flying, her balance was as bad a toddler. For some reason she could never find the right position to keep herself steady on the thin handle.

When Sirius and James came out from the locker room, they were followed by the other boys; Robby, Blake, Freddie and David. James didn't waste any time in throwing his arm around Lily's waist and pulling her close to kiss her on the cheek when Freddie brought up a point.

"You know, Captain, you haven't fully introduced us your girlfriend yet."

"I haven't?" James said, "I must've figured you knew each other already. Lily, this is the team; Freddie, Blake, Robby and David, team this is Lily," he said lazily.

The four boys took their turns winking or saying hello when their name was announced making Lily realize that the team was full with younger versions of James.

"Hello, all," she waved.

"Lily, did James ever tell you about his plot to win you over last year?" Freddie asked making Robby chuckle.

"Which one? The one with all the owls, or bird shaped papers that followed me that had his undying love written on them for me?" she listed off throwing a wink to James.

"Show some respect for the creativity, Evans," Sirius said with a smirk on his lips.

"No, no, the Quidditch one!" Freddie said.

"The Quidditch one?" Lily mumbled to herself, "No, I don't remember that one. What was the plan?"

"Well, it was the Ravenclaw game last season and James spent his whole time practically dancing around the other players, but only in front of the Gryffindor stands. He almost lost the Quaffle multiple times just by trying to fancy for you."

"Yeah, it only took him half the game to realize that you weren't even in the stands," David snickered.

"After that he was just mad the whole time, and we lost." Blake shook his head.

Lily put her hands over her mouth and laughed, "I remember that day! I was studying for the Arithmancy in the library. Half of the Gryffindor House wouldn't look at me like it was my fault for not being there."

"It was your fault," James said, "I was doing perfectly fine up until that moment, and boom! My game is gone."

"You should've listened to us when we told you not to let her control your emotions so much, Prongs," Sirius laughed.

"Anyway, thankfully we still won the Cup," Freddie said.

"Shocked the hell out of Diggory when Lucy rode around the field with the snitch in her hand," Robby said smugly.

"I was at that game," Lily nodded her head thoughtfully.

"Thank Merlin for that," Blake muttered.

"For that game the Marauders prepared him the night before incase Lily wasn't there," Remus said.

"But at the same time, we made sure that she was," Sirius said.

The group entered the Great Hall and took their seats by their own friends before dishing out their suppers. It went by uneventfully, except at the end when Dumbledore wished the best of luck to the Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch teams.

James took that as a signal to get his team up to the Common Room and away from any distractions that might keep them up late. When they were herded into the Gryffindor Tower, he even took a few minutes to lay out the night's ground rules.

"Okay everyone, the match begins at 9 sharp so that means we're going to get up straight away at 7 for breakfast, head out to the pitch by 8 before too much of the rest of the school gets in, do a few warm up laps and then play. Got it?"

The team all mumbled a reply before dispersing and going to join their own friends or up to their dorms. Lily and the rest of their group had settled by the book shelves, but James and Sirius went up into the dorm to do some final strategizing for the game.

James grabbed the Marauder's Map to make sure none of the team was trying to sneak out, and scoffed when he saw all of the Slytherin team gathered in their Common Room .

"Don't forget to keep a tight eye on Lucy tomorrow. Remember last year?" James said.

"How could I forget? They hit every bludger at her they could get their bats on. Almost knocked her off a few times," Sirius shook his head. It was never a surprise when the Slytherins played dirty, but it was hard to know to what level they would slink down to.

"And lets convince Robby to eat at least some toast for breakfast this season. He almost fainted in the post last time."

"Will do. Which flying routines are you planning on doing?"

"Well, we want to do the Gryffindor Twist in the very beginning. Freddie has gotten really good at catching the quaffle and diving right down into it. If one of the Slytherins get to it first though, it wastes a lot of time cause me and David will be half way down the pitch."

"Me and Blake will have it covered if that happens. We'll definitely get to the bludgers faster than their two goons."

"Okay, but take your time in aiming. You get messy when you hurry."

"Who are you calling messy there? Weren't we just saying earlier how you basically lost up the Ravenclaw game because of your mistakes?"

"That's different!" James laughed, "I've got my good luck charm now."

"Oh so you've been playing with luck all these years! Silly me."

"Shut up."

James looked down to the Map again and noticed Dumbledore pacing back and forth in his office. Coming towards his office was Professor McGonagall and-

"Wow!" was all James could yell.

"What?" Sirius laughed, "Someone in a broom closet?"

"McGonagall and Jasmine half way to Dumbledore's office! Lets go!" Sirius was already half way out the door, but James yelled at him to stop. "We're using the invisibility cloak to get out. We can't let the team see us leaving, and if Mickey sees us we'll be suspended from the game!"

"Fine, fine, lets go!" Sirius hurried him.

James threw the cloak over themselves and they stealthily walked between students in the Common Room to leave through the Fat Lady. Once they were outside, they check the route to make sure no other teachers were around and took off the invisibility cloak to run as fast as they could.

Once they were a hallway away from the office, the cloak went back over them and the pair carefully eavesdrop and the coming girls.

"I'm just really excited to get started! I've been waiting for this for a while," Sirius heard Jasmine say.

They came into view and the boys held their breath scared that McGonagall would have un-human hearing.

"Miss Potter, we're certainly glad to have you," McGonagall nodded. Before either of them spoke the password to Dumbledore's office though, McGonagall said, "I just want to make sure this is what you really want. I know you've been around the organization for a while now, but actually taking part in it...it's very dangerous. The war hasn't truly begun yet. You could always wait until it gets more serious before taking on such a crucial job."

"Professor, I've been working at the Ministry for a couple of years now. I'm sure my parents have told you many times that there is so much more that could be done than they currently are. Even then, all I've been doing in the Charms department is paperwork. I've got to do something."

"You know Dumbledore would still insist you have a mentor, right?"

"Well, of course, but I expected that. I may know a lot of charms, and I know a lot of defensive spells, but I would appreciate learning from a mentor to keep on the safe side."

"Okay then," McGonagall nodded, "You always were one of my brightest students," she cracked a smirk.

"Brighter than my brother?" Jasmine joked.

McGonagall shook her head, "He's certainly exceptional in many subjects, but you're more level headed with your knowledge, and that makes it more useful. Lollipop," she turned to the gargoyle.

The two women disappeared into the spiraling stairs leaving Sirius and James dumbfounded in their spots.

"Who cares if I'm not always level headed?" James scoffed, "I've always used my magic perfectly fine."

"What in the hell is Jasmine getting herself into?" Sirius muttered.

James turned his attention to Sirius who was staring down at his feet. "Well," James decided to get on the subject, "Mickey mentioned the war and an organization. It must be a resistance group. Remember back in the summer when the Death Eaters came to the house?"

"Yeah."

"And then afterwards Dad wanted to set us up to talk with Dumbledore, but Jasmine told Mum?"

"Oh, yeah," Sirius brought up his head, "You think that's it?"

"I don't see how it could be anything else. Dumbledore must be asking Jasmine to take on a bigger role."

"She's not prepared for that kind of thing. She works in the Charms department for goodness sake!"

"And you don't think that could be valuable?" James reasoned.

Sirius walked out from under the cloak not being able to handle the close proximity to James; He needed air.

"Don't get me wrong, she's bloody good when it comes to defending herself, and we both know she's learned things from Dumbledore, but it's different when you're actually out there in the middle of a fight."

"It's not like you're any better, Padfoot. She's-"

"I'm not saying I'm any better than her, just that..." Sirius shoved his hands into his hair and let our a long breath, "Merlin..."

James realized that Sirius wasn't judging Jasmine's talents, but trying to express his worry for her.

"Dumbledore won't let anything happen to her. I'm sure he won't even let her do anything grand until she's properly trained by someone."

Sirius took a few random steps, lowering his hands from his head to the back of his neck. "You're right...You're right," he said more confidently, "Maybe by the time she's ready, we'll be in the group too."

"Maybe," James shrugged, "We've still got to get that appointment with Dumbledore. He's the key to all of this."

James looked down at the watch on his arm and glanced at the map for an update on people's positions.

"Lets get going. We've still go some things to go over with Moony and Wormtail before we go bed, and it's getting close to the team's bed time."

"They're going to rebel against you before this season is over if you keep being a dictator," Sirius smirked.

"Nonsense! I'd like to see them without my drills or rules. They'd look like muggles trying to play for the first time."

Sirius laughed and the two of them huddled underneath the cloak once more to make their trip to and through the Common Room. They passed by Peeves on one floor, but thankfully he was too busy squeezing himself into a suit of armor to hear their soft steps.

Just as a precaution, the two went half way up the boy's dormitory stairs before taking off the cloak and coming back into the Common Room to usher everyone to their rooms.

"Quidditch Team!" James yelled across the noisy room, "Up to bed! Lets go!" The five team members groaned as they departed from their friends and made their way to their appropriate stair cases. When they all disappeared, James walked over to Lily who was reading over a homework assignment. "Good night, love," he said.

Lily put down her papers and gently pulled James down to her level by his robe. "Good night," she replied with a kiss. "Do you want me to wake up early and eat breakfast with you?"

"No, you probably shouldn't. The team is going to be a nervous mess and I don't want you seeing us like that."

Lily laughed at the serious tone in James's voice. "Alright then. See you on the pitch."

James stood back up and waved to Remus, Peter and Sirius to follow him back up to their dorm.

"Are they your lackeys now?" Marie laughed from her seat.

"We are no one's lackeys!" Peter said with dignity.

"He just knows when it's time to buckle down for some, uh, business," Remus winked.

"Come on, lets go!" Sirius said anxiously. He was barely holding in the news of what he and James had seen and heard between Jasmine and McGonagall.

"Night, ladies," Remus said and the boys went up into their dorm.

"Guess what Prongs and I saw!" Sirius yelled once the door shut.

James stopped him though, "First things first, Padfoot! Operation Lion Fire is almost here. Does everyone have their parts memorized?"

"Is that a serious question?" Sirius laughed, "You're talking to the Marauders now, Prongs, not the team."

"Right, sorry," James sat down on his own bed, "We're going down to set it up at 6. That way we can be back by 7 to eat breakfast with the team."

"You don't think Lily will suspect anything, do you?" Peter asked.

Sirius rolled his eyes at the question. "She's Head Girl Evans, Wormtail, what do you think? It's like she can smell mischief. She won't be able to stop us though. By the time she realizes something is going on it'll be too late."

"We can only hope so. She's already onto us thanks to our little slip at Hogsmeade. I told her to sleep in with everyone else though just as a precaution," James said.

"So what did you guys see earlier?" Remus asked.

"Lets just say that Wormtail here made the right decision about joining Team Sirius Isn't Crazy," Sirius said smugly.

"What?" Remus looked to James to see if Sirius was telling the truth, however, there wasn't an etch of joking on either of their faces. "How?"

Sirius leaned forward and told the story of Jasmine joining ranks with something that Dumbledore and McGonagall were in. Remus slightly shook his head in disbelief that the pair had been able to eavesdrop without being caught while Peter simply listened as if it was story time.

"So how are you going to get her to spill what's going on?" Remus asked.

"Well," Sirius rubbed the back of his neck, "I'll keep hinting to her in notes that I know something is going on, but if that doesn't work I'll either have to intercept her one of the times she's here, or wait until Christmas Holiday when I can see her and talk to her without the chance of getting caught by a professor."

"You think you'll have the patience to wait that long until?" Peter said.

"I'll have to..." Sirius shrugged.

"Anyone want to make a bet on how long it takes him to go crazy waiting for Christmas?" James said.

"I'll bet a knut he tries to talk to her eventually, and will possibly fail. Of course, that's to say if she even comes on the grounds again," Remus laughed.

"Well, now that I'm a winner at betting, I'm going to go with the under dog again," Peter nodded, "I'll match your knut, but I think he'll wait it out until Christmas."

James shook his head at both of their bets, "You two obviously don't our dear Padfoot. I'll bet two knuts that he jumps at the next chance he gets. Not tonight though. Next time." At this James safely tucked the Marauder's Map into his pillowcase.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Sirius mumbled.

The boys all changed into their pajamas and all but one easily drifted to sleep. Sirius waited until he could hear James's breathing get deep and heavy with sleep before pulling out his wand and whispering, "Accio Map" The map easily slid out from the pillowcase and into one of Sirius' hands while the other was already grasping the invisibility cloak. With the magic words, Sirius made sure that Jasmine was still on the grounds, and sure enough it looked as if she was still discussing her plans with Dumbledore.

Without a second thought, Sirius ran down the dorm stairs and out into the school hallways where he would sit and wait for Jasmine to come out of Dumbledore's office.
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Author's Note: Oh my goodness, readers! My apologies for the wait! I went on a short vacation, and unfortunately (as hard as I tried) I couldn't get the chapter done before I had left! But!! I'm back now :) And got to finishing the chapter! So I hope you enjoy, and as always, thank you for the patience!!
Prettyyy pretty please don't forget to review! :)

Disclaimer


Chapter 10: Operation Lion Fire
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Operation Lion Fire


By the time Sirius ran down to Dumbledore's office the clock had reached 10, and it seemed that Jasmine was still talking comfortably with the Head Master. At first, while his adrenaline was still rushing through him from his fast run, Sirius paced back and forth in front of the gargoyles guarding the office entrance. After ten minutes though his heart rate has slowed so instead he leaned against the wall and stared at the opening. After another ten minutes Sirius sat on the hard castle ground tired with exhaustion from both his emotions and physical activities of the day.

He promised himself not to fall asleep worrying that if he did he would be caught and not allowed to play in the Quidditch match, but still his head would droop and his eyes seemed to shut on their own accord.

After an hour of sitting on the ground, Sirius was about to give up. If it had been any other night of the year he would have been willing to wait outside that office until the sun began to rise, but he couldn’t imagine the look on his mates faces if he showed up to either their prank or the game half way asleep. He decided he would give it another ten minutes and if Jasmine still hadn’t come down from the office he would leave and write her another letter in the morning demanding he tell her the truth.

Sirius peered down at his watch seeing there was still five minutes left when the floating labels of Jasmine and McGonagall caught his eye as they moved closer to the exit. Sirius sprung up from his seat prepared to follow the two until he got Jasmine alone.

As he intently watched the map, Sirius could hear voices from the top of the entrance.

“Goodnight, Miss Potter,” he heard Dumbledore say, “You’ve made some excellent points tonight.”

“Thank you, Professor,” Jasmine said kindly.

“If you don’t mind, I have some things to discuss with Albus before returning to my office. You’re free to either use the fireplace in here to return to your home or you’ll have to walk off the grounds before Disapparating,” he heard McGonagall say.

“Actually, I’ve booked a room down at The Three Broomsticks for the night so I could walk there. I was hoping you would allow me to come back to the campus tomorrow to watch my little brother and his Gryffindor team play their match of Quidditch,” Jasmine said.

“Of course, feel free,” Dumbledore approved.

“Thank you, Professor, that means a lot to me.”

“Just remember to remain unseen. We don’t want any questions popping up about why you’re here or why other family members can’t visit,” Dumbledore instructed, “The school tried a visiting day once and it was a complete disaster.”

Sirius heard Jasmine give a tinkling laugh, “No one will ever know I was here, sir.”

The door to the office clicked shut and Jasmine slowly descended from the stairs. When she walked out from the protection of the gargoyles, Sirius watched her as she let out a deep breath and then threw one of her fists into the air.

“Yes!” she hissed. A knot tightened in Sirius’ stomach knowing that she had obviously gotten what she had wanted.

She began skipping her way down the hallways towards the giant doors of the castle while carelessly twirling her wand between her fingers. The image made Sirius want to laugh and followed her as she went.

Jasmine began to calm down after they had gone down a few hallways and now only walked with a giant grin on her face. Despite Sirius’ careful and quiet steps, Jasmine could feel his eyes on the back of her head.

Her steps stayed the same pace, but then with a twist of the heel she turned and said, “Stupefy!

Sirius landed on the ground with a thud and cursed himself for once again getting beat up by Jasmine. The invisibility cloak had come down with him, but had shifted enough so that Jasmine could see his feet. She walked up to Sirius with her wand still at the ready and with a flick of the wrist made the cloak uncover his face.

She gasped when she saw it was Sirius before stomping her foot on the ground and cursing. “Ennervate” she mumbled.

“Why are you so good at surprise attacks?” Sirius muttered rubbing the back of his head.

“What are you doing here?” she snapped.

Sirius stood, his eyes widened at her tone and took to the defensive side. “I think I should be the one asking you that. You told me you hadn’t been here- you lied to me!”

“I didn’t lie to you,” Jasmine hissed, “I never denied it-”

“But you played it off to sound that way. It’s the same thing.”

“Who told you?”

“No one.”

“That’s ridiculous, someone had to of. You don’t just know when someone is here.”

“Why does it matter?”

“Because that would mean that someone is already leaking information, and we can’t have that.”

“What are you getting yourself into?” Sirius said. He could hear the raw desperation in his own voice begging for an answer.

“Sirius, no offense, but it’s not your business.”

“That’s bullshit,” Sirius spat, “Of course it’s my business! I know it’s got to do with Voldemort and those damned Death Eaters. I know it’s some kind of fight against them, and I know you want to be apart of it.” Sirius paused so he could try to catch his breath. “You think I came to stay with your family for fun? It was because of them! I know what they’re capable of. They could kill you.”

“I know that,” Jasmine muttered.

“Then how could you think it’s not my business. You’re...you’re mine

Jasmine let her head fall backwards and took a few random steps. “Sirius, you’re great, but I’m doing this no matter what, and if you can’t accept it then maybe we should stop seeing each other.”

Sirius felt like he had been punched in his stomach. He had expected the two of them to have a small spat, but didn’t know it would so quickly lead to a break up. “It’s not that I can’t accept it, it’s that I wish you would think about this more, or at least talk to me about it.”

Jasmine couldn’t help but feel sympathetic towards the boy. She had known from the start that the age difference between them would make things difficult- especially if she was accepted into the Order. Now she cursed herself for letting her emotions get ahead of her mind because as much as she enjoyed being with Sirius, she knew being in the Order would complicate things.

“Okay,” she whispered, “We can talk.”

Together they found an empty classroom to avoid being caught by any professors and sat on the desks why Jasmine explained how much it meant for her to be apart of something that she knew would make a difference. Sirius noticed how careful she was to avoid telling him certain details like what it was that she was actually joining and the specifics of her duties, but she did tell him it would be helping putting the Death Eaters in their place. Finally, she also told him that while there was a probability of her getting hurt or worse, she would be with Dumbledore and that gave her enough confidence that everything would be okay.

“And that should be enough comfort for you too,” she said.

Sirius sighed and nodded his head, “Alright. I guess I have to trust you. Especially since me and James plan on joining once we’re out of school anyway.”

“What?”

“We’ve been trying to get ahold of Dumbledore since the summer so we could start getting ourselves set up. We really just need the fine details before we’re officially in.”

“You can’t join.”

“What?” Sirius laughed, “Why not?”

“You’re too young,” Jasmine said as if the idea was ridiculous.

“I’m turning seventeen in just a month. By the time I graduate I’ll be free to do whatever I want, including taking up arms with Dumbledore.”

“But-” Jasmine sputtered.

“But what?”

“You’re too young!” she repeated with emphasis.

“I’m hardly three years younger than you!” Sirius exclaimed not believing Jasmine’s hypocrisy, “I’ll be learning the same things as you.”

“It’s different. I’ve been out of school for longer and I’m nineteen.”

“Voldemort wasn’t as prominent when you graduated as he is now, or else I’m sure you would be doing the same thing.”

“Whatever,” Jasmine stood from the desk she had been sitting on.

“Jasmine,” Sirius followed her. She stopped and turned to him and Sirius took the time to place his hands on the sides of her face to look her in the eyes, “I want to be there next to you. I can’t let you fight this thing alone. Have some faith,” he ended with a laugh.

Jasmine’s eyes had only slightly watered before she got her emotions under control. “You’d better be getting back up to the tower. It’s getting close to one by now.”

“Shit! Already?”

“Yeah, and you’ve got to get up early for the game,” Jasmine grimaced.

Sirius scratched the back of his head mumbling, “Among other things... Are you really coming to the game tomorrow?”

“I was planning on it,” she shrugged.

“Lets meet afterwards,” he wrapped his arms around her waist.

“No way,” Jasmine laughed, “I cant be seen on the campus.”

“I can meet you in Hogsmeade.”

“How?”

“Don’t worry about it. The Three Broomsticks sound good? Just give me till an hour after the game ends and I can be there.”

“Alright...” Jasmine said unsurely.

With that Sirius gave Jasmine a soft kiss on the lips before forcing himself to leave. If he was tired for the game in the morning James was going to kill him! He might be able to try to blame it on the earliness for Operation Lion Fire, but he would really have to put in some acting...
________________________________________________

“Awaken, my dear Marauders!” James’s voice rang through their dorm, “The time has come! This morning we will officially begin the reign of terror of the Marauders!”

“I have to say,” Remus mumbled stretching in his bed, “I think we timed this pretty well. People are just starting to think that maybe we’ve all become domesticated, but today will give them a good jolt!”

“Wormtail, Padfoot, get up! Don’t you know what day it is?” James scoffed.

Peter incoherently mumbled something in his pillow, while Sirius didn’t even move. This made one of James’s eyebrows go up. It was well known that Sirius loved to sleep, but he had always put pranks ahead of his own well being!

“Oy,” James shoved his shoulder, “Get up, Padfoot!” Sirius lazily swatted away James’s hand before trying to put himself into a new comfortable position. “We cannot fall behind schedule! Moony, the honors?”

“Of course,” Remus nodded. He pulled out his wand and with a swish made Sirius go tumbling out of the bed. He turned to do the same to Peter, but he had already sat up in his bed and violently shook his head ‘no’ at Remus.

Sirius groaned from the floor, his body widely sprawled. “Really?” he grumbled.

“You’re taking too long to wake up. We need to get this going,” James lectured him.

Before pushing through the Fat Lady’s portrait, Peter transformed into a rat and climbed into Sirius’ pocket. The other three huddled closer than they ever had underneath the invisibility cloak while also trying to keep their fireworks hidden.

Slowly, but surely, they made their way down to the dungeons where the Slytherin Common Room was. The stone snake that guarded the door to the Common Room hissed when they were uncovered from the cloak, but let them in wordlessly when they spoke the password, emendatio, which Remus had researched to find meant ‘pure blood’.

“Typical,” Sirius rolled his eyes when he heard the meaning.

The Slytherin Common Room had a stone ground with tight leather couches and chairs around the room. It was very organized looking with the lounging area strictly in one spot of the room, and small individual study tables on the other.

The boys didn’t spend much time looking over the room though, instead Peter scurried to the stop of the steps leading up to the dormitories to keep an ear out for anyone while the other three climbed to the top of the book shelf that was next to the dorm entrances and took out three small fireworks from their bag.

“This is going to be great,” James practically squealed.

Sirius barely was able to crack a smile from his tired lips, but tried his best to pay attention to what Remus was doing. He set up the fireworks to go off in the direction of the dorm entrances and whispered a flame onto their wicks.

He then began whispering even faster and cast a bubble around the wick making the flame freeze before getting too close to the exploding point. All three of them sighed in relief that the charm had performed correctly, and with a small snap to Peter, they got out of the Common Room.

“Phase one is complete,” Remus said happily, this time putting Peter in his pocket, “Now we just have to deliver the big boys to the Quidditch field.”

It had always surprised the boys that professors frequently forgot to lock the doors to the castle while on patrol. They supposed it could be because they felt so safe with Dumbledore near, and also played with the thought that it could be simply because they were at Hogwarts, and it would be stupid for anyone to think they could barge into a school bustling with capable wizards and witches.

It was still dark outside as they made their way to the field, though the sky was now turning into more of a dark violet instead of the black that it had been all night.

“These are going to be great playing conditions,” Peter remarked, “There’s going to be no way they can beat you guys.”

“I sure hope so,” James said with a twist in his stomach.

“We’ll be fine,” Sirius said, “Not to mention that they’re going to be too pissed off to really play well. They’ll just be especially violent instead!”

“Oh yes, everyone does love a violent Slytherin,” Remus laughed.

“Violence doesn’t matter for anything if it doesn’t score you points or catch you the Snitch. As long as our team stays level headed we’ll be fine.”

“Right,” James mumbled. They reached the Quidditch field and took a good look around the stands. Again they opened their Zonko’s bag, but this time pulled out fireworks the size Quaffles. “Well, lets do this, boys.”
___________________________________________________

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the opening match of the Quidditch Season,” McGonagall’s stern voice rang across the Quidditch field. She had yet to find a new announcer since she had fired Peter from the job the previous year. Peter swore up and down that he had been giving a fair report during a Raveclaw/Hufflepuff game, but McGonagall wouldn’t stand for it.

“Calling the Hufflepuffs, Hufflepussies is unacceptable!” she had screamed.

He was given a month’s detention for daring to say the nickname over the intercom, and couldn’t find anyone else trustworthy.

“Coming from the south side of the field, the Slytherin Snakes!” A quarter of the stands thundered with screams and chants from the Slytherin House as their teach flew into the air, grumpily nodding their heads. “And from the north side, the Gryffindor Lions!” Before the team flew out, a booming roar echoed through the stadium. Two fire rockets flew into the air, barely missing the Slytherin team, and exploded together to take form as a lion’s head. The lion’s mouth opened and another roar rang in the air. Its head turned and flew towards the Slytherin team, who immediately began flying back to the safety of the tunnel.

Not again!” one of them screamed. The lion was too fast for them though and exploded into the air as it chomped over their heads.

The school erupted into a mixture of laughter and applause, and the Gryffindor team came out onto the field, with Sirius and James feigning a surprised look.

“Oh for goodness sake...” McGonagall muttered into the microphone, “Will someone get them back out here?” Madame Hooch ushered the Slytherin team back onto the team, despite their singed looking hair and robes and insisted that they fly back into the air.

James, Freddie and David all took their places in the center of the pitch, the Slytherins already seething from every inch of their being.

“Looking good there,” James laughed to them.

“Your team is as good as dead, Potter,” their chaser, a sixth year named Seth spit.

“Bring it,” Freddie answered for James.

“You all better play fairly. I won’t hesitate to stop the game if I see any foul play,” Madame Hooch arrived with the quaffle.

The six players nodded their heads and with that the bludgers and snitch were released and the quaffle was thrown into the air. The Gryffindor Twist immediately went into effect and David spun into the air with the quaffle in hand as James and Freddie sped down the field in preparation for him.

The Slytherins angrily chased after them already screaming at their beaters to do something. David threw the quaffle ahead to James who caught it with ease and with a quick aiming, threw it through the left hoop.

The Gryffindor stands went wild- Lily put her fingers up to her lips for a long and loud whistle- but the chasers didn’t waste any time doubling back to their side of the pitch in anticipation for their attack.

James halted on his broom, and immediately had to duck down to avoid a bludger.

“Sorry ‘bout that cap’!” Blake shouted chasing after the ball.

James looked around for Sirius and was pleased when he saw him sticking close to Lucy, but grimaced when he also saw the Slytherin Seeker with them.

“Lucy!” James yelled. He whirled his index finger in the air giving her the sign to shake off the Seeker.

With a mischievous grin she tore away, the other Seeker chasing after her, but Sirius stayed in his spot knowing that she’d be okay as long as she was moving. Looking at the incoming Slytherin Chasers he targeted a bludger and sent it towards the Chaser with the quaffle. It hit the tail of the player’s broom sent him spinning around the air. In an attempt to keep himself in the air he dropped the quaffle, which Freddie didn’t waste any time diving down to catch.

David stuck close to him waiting for a pass, but had to break away from an incoming Slytherin Beater, who ruffly pushed him to the side. The Slytherin Chaser who had lost the ball had found his balance and chased after Freddie with revenge in his eyes.

He tried to attack Freddie from behind, throwing his hand forward to pop the ball from Freddie’s grip, but his reach was too short and instead Freddie swerved out from him and with a swift motion threw the quaffle towards the Keeper. Instead of going through one of the hoods though, the Keeper’s broom tail swung around and blocked it from going through.

James hovered near the Keeper’s post looking for the rebound, but the Keeper sent it over his head and to one of the Chasers. James bent close to his broom trying to move through the air quicker, but the Chaser was sleek and easily avoided a bludger sent over from Blake and flew out of James’s reach. Robby prepared himself in the middle of the goal posts to go either way, but even as he dove to the right to stop the quaffle, it went right past him.

Robby cursed, but didn’t stop for long so that he could retrieve the quaffle and pass it to a ready David. Blake hurried to his side to beat off an incoming bludger, and kept by his side seeing the Slytherin Chaser already charging.

Meanwhile, Sirius had returned to his post next to Lucy who had made the Slytherin Seeker frustrated with her false chase. The opposing Seeker aggressively nudged against Sirius trying to get him out of way, but Sirius pushed back refusing to be bullied.

The Gryffindor stands went wild as David scored another goal, but was followed by groans as bludger hit him from behind.

“Oh, come on!” James yelled, “He wasn’t even in possession of the quaffle!”

“I didn’t mean to, Madame,” the Slytherin Beater swore, “He had the quaffle when I first hit it.”

Madame Hooch gave the Beater a warning finger, “Watch yourself, Marrion,” she said.

The game went on, and though more warnings were given out the Slytherins continued to escalate the violence with not only the precision of their bludgers, but with their bats and claws that they called hands.

At one point, James’s uniform became ripped from the Slytherin Chaser’s desperate attempt to slow him down. He had flown right next to James and after realizing he couldn’t keep up with him grabbed the tail of his uniform and slammed on the breaks.

“My hand got caught!” he played it off to Madame Hooch.

“Everyone is to keep their hands to themselves!” Madame Hooch instructed to the players.

Finally, after an hour of playing with the score at 120-140, Slytherins in the slight lead, the crowd gasped as the Slytherin Seeker sprinted for the opposite side of the field. Lucy, having been busy trying to avert him, quickly fell in next to him as they abruptly turned downwards toward the field.

James tried to keep focused on his job as a Chaser, but looking ahead he saw Freddie had the possession of the quaffle, so he watched the race.

“GO LUCY, GO!” he yelled, practically bouncing on his broom, “YOU CAN-”

And that was all he remembered.
______________________________________________________

The Hospital Wing was full of the Gryffindor Quidditch team much to Madame Pomfrey’s distaste, but they all refused to leave while James was unconscious. It turned out that while James was rooting on Lucy, the Slytherin Beater took a cheap shot and pretended to swing at a bludger, but instead missed and hit James’s head instead.

James had immediately fallen off his broom, but had thankfully been seen by Sirius, who luckily caught James before he had hit the ground. The crowd had gone wild, half praising Sirius for his miraculous rescue, and the other half for Lucy who had managed to pull ahead of the Slytherin Seeker to get her hand around the Snitch.

“I can’t believe I didn’t even see him falling!” Lily said feeling horrible.

“Aren’t you supposed to have like a sixth sense when your other half is in trouble?” Freddie laughed.

“It was the first time I was actually into the game! Lucy was going so fast and I thought for sure that slimy Slytherin was going to try to do something I couldn’t look away! Then I look over to see James’s face and he gone!” she tried to explain herself.

“I was going pretty fast, wasn’t I?” Lucy prided in herself.

“It was pretty amazing,” Robby nodded.

A groan came from James’s bed and the group all turned to his attention.

“Great Merlin’s beard,” he muttered. His eyes were still closed, but his hand tentatively raised to his head, “Which fucking bastard was it?”

“Collins,” Sirius answered, “He’s only a few beds down if you want me to put a few boils on his mug.”

“What?” James snapped, his eyes cracking open, “Why the hell is he in here?”

“Him and some other bloke. They’re complaining of smoke inhalation. Apparently the fireworks on the pitch weren’t the only ones they’ve seen today,” Sirius chuckled.

“Ha,” James laughed dryly.

“How do you feel?” Lily asked.

“Like... I have a really bad hangover.”

Hearing James’s voice, Madame Pomfrey hurried over, scattering the visitors to the side so she could get to his bedside. “I’m not going to ask how you know what that feels like, but drink this,” she shoved a potion at him, “and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.”

“Thanks, Madame,” James tried to wink.

“Now the rest of you get out of here. I’m sure you have better things to do than stick around here like it’s his deathbed.”

The Gryffindor team all said their farewells, only leaving behind Lily and Sirius with James.

“So did we win?” James asked.

“I’m honestly surprised that wasn’t your first question,” Lily laughed.

“Yeah, Lucy beat him out big time. I wish I could’ve seen him face, but I was too busy saving your life,” Sirius said off handedly.

“Thanks for that, by the way,” James said.

“Anytime, Prongsie!” Sirius let out a big yawn. It had been a long and exhausting day for him, and yet he still had one more thing to do. “Well, I’m glad you’re awake and all, but I’ve got a few things to get done today. I’ll see you in the Common Room, yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Sirius hurriedly left the Hospital Wing, and while Lily saw this as slightly suspicious, she trained her sight on James.

“How are you feeling?” she asked again.

“Fine, Lils,” James laughed, “You act like this is my first time in here.”

“I know that, but it’s the first time I’ve cared you were in here!”

James let out another dry laugh and set himself in a sitting position. “This is nothing, trust me. In fact, I’m ready to leave.”

“You can’t possibly be,” Lily said, “You just drank the position. Give it a minute or two more.”

“It’ll be fine.”

James turned his body and threw his legs over the bedside. Before they were able to hit the floor though, Madame Pomfrey yelled, “Mr. Potter, you stay put in your bed or I will drag you back in here by your ear!”

Knowing she would be true to her word, James slowly put his legs back onto the bed and frustratedly laid back onto the bed.

“Told you,” Lily sang with a smug look in her eyes.

“Shush you,” James pointed his finger at her making Lily promptly stick her tongue out at him.

“Well, that’s just adorable, isn’t it Jamieson?” Collins, the Beater, called out to his teammate.

“You know things like this never last, Collins. Purebloods are just too good for...her kind,” Jamieson called back.

Lily could already see James’s jaw tightening in reaction to their conversation. “Ignore them,” she whispered.

“If you two have something to say spit it out,” James said.

“Not really worth our time,” Collins shrugged.

“Besides, from what I hear the situation is already being taken care of,” Jamieson said.

Taken care of?” James muttered.

“Don’t act stupid, Potter, we all know here you got the same visit our families did this summer.”

“What visit?” Lily mumbled so only James could hear, but he didn’t acknowledge the question.

“Just because they came to my house doesn’t mean I’m going to fall at their feet,” he said.

“Doesn’t mean they’ll stop at anything to get you to join them either,” Collins said.

“Fuck this,” James muttered. He got out of his bed grabbing his wand from his robes pocket and pointed it dangerously between the two Slytherins.

“James,” Lily gasped standing from her seat.

“Mr. Potter, what in the world do you think you’re doing?” Madame Pomfrey entered the room.

James’s face softened at the presence of the old lady and lowered his wand, “Nothing, Madame. I’m leaving now.”

Without waiting for permission he grabbed Lily’s hand and went out the Hospital Wing’s door.

“What were they talking about?” Lily asked once they were down the hallway.

“Nothing,” James muttered. His head and legs felt woozy from the potion he had drank now that the adrenaline from before was slowly leaving his body.

“Slow down,” Lily pulled on his hand, “Talk to me.”

James came to a complete stop and grabbed his head in an attempt to steady himself. “I-I need to sit.”

Lily led him to a stone bench where he put his head between his knees. “Do you want me to go get Madame Pomfrey?”

“No...I’ll be fine,” he breathed.

“James Potter, I never knew until this year that you made it a habit of getting sick in the hallways,” a voice laughed towards them. Lily rolled her eyes as Naomi came down the hallway. “And again so close to the Hospital Wing! Do you need a hand?”

“He’s fine, thanks,” Lily answered for him, “A potion took him by surprise is all.”

“Yeah, I’m okay,” James lifted his head, “Thank you though, Naomi.”

“Of course! What’s a Prefect for, right?”

“Right,” Lily plastered a smile on her face.

“That was nice of you to actually be with him this time Lily,” she smirked beginning to continue her walk, “Feel better, James.”

Lily’s glaring eyes followed her until she was out of sight. “That was ridiculously rude.”

“What?” James said.

“Didn’t you hear her? Nice of me to actually be here?”

“It is nice of you to be here,” James said naively.

Lily let out a huff. Boys hardly ever understood the language of girls. Naomi had just taken a direct hit at Lily, and James didn’t even notice!

“It was the way she said it,” Lily tried to explain, “Like I left you to die last time you were sick or something.”

“How did you get that out of her saying it was nice of you to be with me?” James laughed, “I think you’re over analyzing, love.”

“Whatever,” Lily muttered, “How do you feel?”

“Well enough, I think. Lets give it another go.”

“Maybe I should go find Sirius or Remus to help,” Lily suggested.

“Why? You can carry me if I fall,” James shrugged standing to his feet, “I saw you lift boxes of bananas at the Market. It’ll be just like that!”

Lily laughed and wrapped her arm around James’s waist as a precaution. “Yes, I’m sure you’re just like that.”
______________________________________________

Chapter 11: Post-Game Affairs
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Post-Game Affairs


The Honeydukes tunnel that led back to Hogwarts was usually uncomfortable for Sirius. With his tall height he had to hunch half way over, and sometimes had the bad luck of hitting his head on the ceiling frequently. This time though, he would have skipped if he could, but instead whistled a jovial tune as he made his way.

His meeting with Jasmine had gone perfectly. They ordered two butterbeers to take back up to her rented room and spent a few hours first talking, and then moving on to what Sirius had dubbed ‘sexy time’.

To be sure that he didn’t get into any trouble, Jasmine insisted that he left with just enough time to get back into the castle before curfew. Sirius had put a fight, practically begging to let him stay for the night, but she knew that she couldn’t risk any of the professors finding out where he had been. It would jeopardize everything she had been working so hard for!

So he went back to the castle, and he entered the Common Room happy to find James back from the Hospital Wing sitting around with the rest of the 7th year Gryffindors.

“‘Ello, all,” he landed himself on the couch.

“Where’ve you been all night?” Remus immediately asked.

“Celebrating of course!” Sirius exclaimed.

“Where? The best party was going on in here,” Peter said looking at him oddly before his eyes went wide, “Were you with someone?” This comment made James look up from the conversation he had been having with Lily and the girls.

“What? No!” Sirius immediately denied, “There’s no better way to congratulate myself than with some fresh sweets.” He pulled out some candy from his pocket that he had snuck from the Honeydukes basement as proof.

“Don’t think I can’t knock you out on your ass again,” James warned.

“I wouldn’t doubt it,” Sirius muttered.

“Not to mention what Jasmine would do to you,” Lily added, “I would love to see that girl duel it out with someone. She was telling me about some classes she took while training for her Charms job and it sounds like she’s amazing.”

“She is,” Sirius nodded, “I’ve been on the receiving end before.”

“That’s what she said,” Peter cackled.

“Wow,” Lisa rolled her eyes, “Good one, Pettigrew.”

“I’ll give you props for that one, Wormtail. I set myself up,” Sirius laughed.

“I thought I was quick about it,” Peter said, “The point though, mate, is that you should’ve at least invited me.”

“We’ll make a date out of it next time,” Sirius winked.

“How did you get those exactly?’ Marie asked, “Dinner finished hours ago.”

The boys all froze realizing that once again they had let slip a Marauder secret and forgotten about all four of the girls presences.

“It’s all about connections, love,” Sirius said, “Maybe one day I’ll give you my source.”

“I’ll find my own connections, thanks,” Marie rolled her eyes, “Anyways, ladies, I was thinking we could have a picnic tomorrow.”

“Oh that’d be perfect! Fall weather is going to ruin everything soon,” Danielle agreed.

“I think it’s going to start ruining it tomorrow, actually,” Remus commented.

“Why? Today was so perfect.”

“Which would usually make sense for it not to rain, but trust me, it’s going rain.”

“Moony has the sense of a wolf. He knows these things,” James winked.

“Stupid October weather...” Marie sulked, “Now I’m going to be pale for the rest of the year!”

“You’re always pale, lovely,” Lisa pointed out.

The boys snickered. “I prefer alabaster, thank you.”

Lily half heartedly giggled at the retort, but was currently being distracted by James’s fingers softly running up and down her thigh. She glanced sideways at him and found it frustratingly mad that he wasn’t even aware of the distraction he was creating. She had been wanting to hug him nonstop since he had gotten out of the Hospital Wing; realizing how dangerous the game could actually get in a blink of an eye had struck a nerve in her.

Instead though, she was forced to just sit there and be teased until-

“James, it’s time for rounds,” she broke into the conversation.

“What? Seriously?”

“Yeah, we switched with um...with...Naomi. Remember earlier when we ran into her in the hallway?”

“Ew,” Marie shuddered at the name.

“Oh, yeah? She asked to switch then? I don’t remember...” James said.

“She asked quietly when you thought you were going to be sick. Didn’t want to disturb you.”

“Evans, you said yes even though Prongs was practically blowing chunks everywhere?” Sirius asked.

Lily’s cheeks started to tinge pink. “Well, he usually bounces back from these things so quickly,” she stammered, “Never mind, it’s fine. I’m sure the professors won’t notice if we skip one night.”

“I can go with you Lily,” Remus shrugged.

“Thanks Remus, but it’s fine.”

James watched Lily silently twist her hands and take a long deep breath so that her face could return to its usual porcelain-self. ‘Wait a minute... Did she mean?’

“Oh! I remember now. I heard her ask you. I almost told you no, but I’m good. Lets do it.” He pushed himself up off the couch.

“No, you’re right, lets take the night off.”

“Lily,” James put out his hand, “What would McGonagall think if she happened to be going through the halls and didn’t find us?” he winked.

“Alright,” Lily took his hand.

“Bunch of nerds...” Sirius muttered as they walked towards the exit, “You’re a changed man, Prongs!”

James ignored the comment though and when they walked out the Common Room doors he let a smirk form on his lips. Sirius may think that Lily was rubbing off on him, but it seemed like the completely opposite was happening.

“So...” Lily said, “Naomi didn’t really ask us to cover for her.”

“So...” James copied, “I know. I haven’t seen your cheeks burn that bright since probably the day I was hired at The Market. I knew something was up.”

“What took you so long to catch on then?” she laughed pushing his arm.

“I didn’t think you had it in you to do something like this.”

“Well, I figured with the beating you took today you could use a relaxing bath.” James let Lily walk a little in front of him before throwing a silent fist in the air. “All undergarments are staying on.”

James came up behind her and wrapped his arms around his waist. “I am perfectly fine with that,” he whispered in her ear making shivers run down her neck. “I would pick you up and run there, but my body’s still a little sore.”

“That’s okay.” She hugged James’s arms tight to her body and then let them go so they could finish the walk. “We do need to make sure we don’t get caught by the Prefects though. That could turn into a very awkward situation.”

“Is it really Naomi who’s patrolling tonight?”

“I believe so... I get the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff shifts mixed up.”

“We should be fine then,” James smiled.

James had been inside the Prefects Bathroom before, but this was his first time using it as an official. He saw that the mermaid inside the painting was off swimming around her rock and that the bathtub was dry from not being used. He eyed the faucets that lined it reading each label, wondering which ones would soothe both himself and Lily.

The squeak of a knob of the water faucet made James snap out of his thoughts, and turned to see Lily bent over the ledge of the tub, already down to just her bra and underwear. James’s eyes swept her body, barely even noticing that she still had on any garments. ‘Merlin, that’s some good looking skin,’ he gulped.

“I’ve always been a sucker for the Jasmine scented bubbles,” she said softly.

“Good choice.” He scanned the labels (listed alphabetically) all the way down to ‘J’ and turned it loose to mix with the water. His eyes set on Lily as he stepped towards her. The intensity made her cross her arms in front of herself shyly. When he was close enough, he softly set her arms at her side. “No reason to be bashful, love. You’re beautiful.”

Lily grinned pushing a piece of hair behind her ear. “Thank you.”

James put his hands on Lily’s hips, the smoothness of her skin making his smile grow wider. He leaned down and kissed her at first softly on the lips before skimming his hands up the sides of her body all the way to the sides of her face.

Ehem,” a voice made them jump apart. “Sorry to interrupt James, but the tub is going to overflow with bubbles if you don’t turn them off.” The mermaid had come back to the surface of her painting, watching the couple as she slowly combed her long blonde hair.

“Merlin’s beard,” Lily gasped out of relief.

“Er, thanks Madison,” James said. He rushed to turn off the water and bubbles and noticed Madison still looking between Lily and himself. “Mind if you uh...give us some privacy?”

“Oh,” she stopped brushing her hair, “Privacy is what you want? My apologies, I didn’t know students with your position needed such things while in a bath together .”

“Wouldn’t you leave just a single student alone to do their business?”

“Not when they look like you,” she raised an eyebrow. She set her coral comb down onto her rock before splashing back into the painting’s ocean.

Lily shook her head as James pulled off his shirt. “You would know the mermaid. How many times did you sneak in here?”

“A few,” James shrugged, “I mean, come on! This tub is practically a pool! Me and the boys like to mess around when the lake is frozen over or too cold.”

She tried to ignore the immediate need she had to touch James’s toned body, but it was so much harder to do when it was all standing in front of her. She put her hands on his shoulders and slowly let her fingers slide down his arms, noticing that she could actually feel the difference between his bicep and tricep muscles.

“So do I have to pull you in there or what?” she said.

“I’d like to see you try,” James laughed. Instead of waiting for her to answer though, he lifted her up into her arms and carried her into the hot water. “Lils, can I ask you something?”

“Sure.” She leaned her head into his shoulder.

“We’re doing this now... But what’s the difference between now and like, back in my house when you weren’t comfortable with it?”

James had stopped on the second step into the tub to let her answer. “Well... I guess, it’s partly because last time you had been drinking. I didn’t know what kind of mind frame you would be in. Now it’s more natural. It’s something that’s just happening...despite that I set it all up,” she finished with a laugh.

James smiled down at her and squeezed her in his arms. “Alright.”

He stepped down into the rest of the tub making Lily gasp at the rapid temperature change.

“Too hot for you?”

“It’s fine.” He let go of her legs so she could stand, but her arms stayed tight around his neck. She kissed his dry neck letting her finger tips travel into his hair. James’s eyes closed loving the tingling that her lips left on his skin.

Her lips lined his jaw and finally landed on his lips making them come to life. There was no time wasted before his hands lifted her legs again, but this time wrapped them around his waist so he could walk to the edge of the tub, her back up against the ledge.

“Easy tiger,” Lily said between a kiss.

“Tiger? You know I’m a lion,” he squeezed the back of her thighs. Lily threw her head back laughing in response letting James get back to work by kissing her exposed neck. “Better hold your breath.”

“Why-Ah!”

James pushed off the side of the tub throwing them both into the water. The water tidal waved out of the tub and onto the bathroom floor, but they didn’t care. They surfaced with bubbles covering them from head to toe. Lily pushed herself away from James, trying to swim away from him before he could catch her.

It didn’t take long though for him to jump after her, pulling her back down under the water by her waist. When they came back up for air she didn’t try to push away from him again. James’s hold tightened to a point where Lily should have felt like she was being suffocated, but only felt happiness that she was in his arms.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” Lily nibbled on his ear making him groan and relax his grip. “This is by far the best idea you’ve ever had.”

“Thank you, Potter.”

“Are we allowed to do it after all of my matches?”

“Depends...”

“On?”

“Well, one, if you land yourself in the Hospital Wing again.”

“And?”

“And if you win.”

“Ha! That’s simple. Next time I won’t even bother with the celebration party. We’re coming straight here.”

“We’ll see,” Lily teased.

“Do you have no faith?”

“Oh no, I have faith in your game skill. It’s keeping you out of the Wing that I’m sure will be a challenge.” James’s eyebrows furrowed knowing it was true. “Do me a favor,” Lily kissed his cheek, “Watch your back better next time.”

“Is that what you’re worried about? Me getting hurt?”

“No,” Lily blushed.

“Lils,” James laughed, “It’s fine to care, but it’s a contact sport. I’m going to get hurt every now and then... Probably more now than then.”

“I don’t like it,” Lily scrunched her eyebrows. She absentmindedly traced a bruise that had formed on James’s arm.

“You never cared before.”

“Well, duh! You could’ve gone into a comma a year ago and I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash.” James started to dunk Lily into the water, but her squeal of laughter made him stop. “But I’ve seen the light. I think this just proves how much I love you.”

“Eh, it’s a start,” James shrugged, “You’ve still got six years to catch up to my love for you.”

“You can’t hold that over my head the rest of our lives, you know.”

“Sure I can.” He kissed her lips. “If you’ll have me for that long.”

Her head fell to the side, looking at James’s honest face. If things stayed like they’d been going, sure! She’d love to live the rest of her life with James. But things wouldn’t stay this way forever. It was impossible to deny the change that was rapidly approaching them. Graduating from school, moving to wherever their careers took them, and of course any emotional changes that happened along the way.

“We’ll see...” A smile stretched on James’s face. “I said we’ll see, why are you smiling.”

“Because that’s a better answer than I got the last time I brought it up.”

We’ll see.

“Alright, alright.” James let out a laugh forgetting the subject. They had a time limit, he wouldn’t ruin their moment anymore with that conversation.
____________________________________________________________

Lily couldn’t help but roll her eyes as she sat in Transfiguration watching James and Sirius soak up the glory of their past victory. They both sat on the top of a desk explaining to the students surrounding that despite their evil opponents, they overcame them with constant vigilance.

“Yeah, that sure looked like vigilance when you got blind sided by a bludger, Potter,” a Slytherin player commented from across the room.

James stared at the boy from his seat, recognizing him as Derek Rhoades, the team’s Keeper. “You didn’t show too much yourself with all those goals we scored on you.”

“Last time I had checked the score, I stopped more Quaffles than your poor excuse of a Keeper before that half breed got lucky.” James and Sirius slid off their table and walked to where the Slytherin was sitting. “What you going to do? Punch me like you did Diggory?”

Sirius looked like he was considering the suggestion, but James beat him to the punch line. “No. Ten points from Slytherin for bad mouthing, and detention tonight.”

“You’re joking, right?” Rhoades scoffed.

“Do I look like I’m joking? I’m Head Boy. You got your punishment. Meet with Slughorn to discuss your duties.”

James turned to go back to his table, fighting himself from going back when Rhoades added, “Never thought I’d see the day when James Potter turns down a fight for pride.”

‘That makes two of us,’ Sirius thought.

To make sure he didn’t do anything else, James sat himself next to Lily who had been in a tug of war with herself over whether or not to interfere with the boys. “Proud of you,” she whispered to him.

“Thanks.”

McGonagall strode into the room minutes later in her usual black robes and tall witch hat, deciding to ignore the tension between the Slytherins and Gryffindors assuming that it was solely from the match.

“Open your books to page 530. We’ll be discussing some different properties of complete object transfigurations...”

The class passed by with mostly note taking, except by Sirius whose eyes had glazed over in deep thought. Watching James turn down a fight had awoken him from the long truth that he had been refusing the accept.

Sure, he always made fun of James for becoming Head Boy and following some of the rules, but a Slytherin had actually insulted him and their team. Like Rhoades had said, that was a thing of pride- something that a Marauder never allowed to be compromised.

It also made him think of Jasmine and her current situation. She wasn’t fighting off boys from a different House. She was fighting off an enemy within their entire society, something so much more than a rivalry.

Where did that leave him then? He wished more than anything to fight alongside Jasmine, but he didn’t want to lose his youthful ways before he had to. Hogwarts was a place where his rebellion could reign with only detentions to serve as a penalty. But watching James turn away.... It made him see that maybe it was his time to follow suit. Learn to control his pride and dignity, his anger and competitiveness with other Houses. Maybe he could learn to pick and choose what battles are worth fighting...

A ripped piece of parchment hit his face and fell to his desk. He rubbed his eyes before realizing that McGonagall was glaring at him. “Thank you Mr. Pettigrew, I now know that Mr. Black prefers being hit by something to wake up instead of my yelling his name.”

“Just doing what I can to help Professor.”

“Mr. Black, can I please see your notes?”

Sirius almost rolled his eyes at the irony. There he was day dreaming about becoming more mature and already he was being yelled at by his professor. “No.”

“And why is that?”

“Because I haven’t taken any.”

“Then how do you expect to pass your N.E.W.T. when it comes? These properties are essential to the art of Transfiguration.”

“Sorry. I’ll start now,” he smiled and gave a wink.

“I know you won a hard game yesterday, but that’s no excuse. Shape up or I’ll have you miss the next match to study.” Sirius raised his hands in defeat and diligently began to label his parchment. “Much better.”

After class Peter couldn’t stop from laughing about the incident. “You were all in La-La Land while she was practically screaming your name and then bop! your wake up.”

“I can’t believe I didn’t hear ol’ Minnie,” he agreed.

“As entertaining as it was, if you miss any of the matches I’ll have your head,” James said.

“Yeah, yeah. In other news, Halloween is approaching soon. I think we should make it a good one seeing as how it’s our last.”

“You thinking a House party?” asked Lisa.

“Bigger...Inter-House party!”

Remus shook his head, but a smile on his lips said he approved. Lily was stuck between wanting to make the most out of her last year and her responsibility to the school.

“There’s no way everyone would fit in our Common Room,” she said.

“What if it wasn’t in the Gryffindor Common Room?”

“What are you suggesting?”

“If I’m not mistaken, you and James have a full, private Common Room at your expense.”

“The Head Dorm? No. Madame Lae would report us to Dumbledore!”

“She’s a statue, Evans, how would she unless someone comes to ask her? And no one would ever think to ask because you’re Evans!”

“But James is James.”

“Not the same James when he’s with you, and McGonagall knows it.”

Lily felt the pressure to say yes. James’ eyes begged for her approval so he could second it, Lisa’s lips twitched with excitement and Sirius smiled smugly seeing Lily’s desire to follow the rules crumble.

“Fine. But only fifteen people are allowed.”

“Thirty five.”

“Fifteen! That’s five people from each House, more than enough.”

“Thirty.”

“Fifteen, and that’s final!” she yelled. “You’re lucky I’m even allowing this. Now stop pushing your luck!”

She stormed away from the small group leaving them all in a shock.

“You just got Lily Evans to agree to having a party. You guys are really rubbing off on her,” Lisa said.
_______________________________________

Chapter 12: Halloween Party
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Halloween Party



When Halloween had arrived at Hogwarts, the Great Hall was decorated in its usual magnificence. Candles floated above the students heads, pumpkins were used as center pieces on every table and everyone- students and teachers -wore their tall pointed hats.

Besides the usual pumpkin juice, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pastries and pumpkin scented coffees were served throughout the day. It was a flavor and theme that the House Elves seemed to take more seriously than in the past years.

While most students were basking in the holiday, Lily sat both nervous and anxious in her seat. James couldn’t help but smile at the adorable way she would let out a huff of breath, cross and uncross her legs, and change the way she held her hands.

“Lily, from what I was to understand, you’ve done worse things in the muggle world than this,” he said.

“It’s different. There I didn’t have as many consequences. Here... I could lose my badge and the respect of my superiors, who I still plan on using as recommendations.”

James scooted a little closer to Lily and put his arm around her hunched shoulders. “Can I let you in on a secret?” Lily didn’t say anything, but instead just looked up at him. “I’ll knock on wood after I say it, but the Marauders and I have held quite a few parties the past couple years and not once have we been caught.”

“They must not have been very good parties then,” Lily smirked.

“It’ll be fun, don’t worry.” He leaned down to kiss her on the cheek before turning to the Marauders. “Alright men, is everything in place?”

“Got the food,” Peter said.

“Got the drinks,” Remus said.

“Got the guests,” Sirius winked.

“How many guests?” Lily asked. Sirius shrugged not giving an answer. “Well, I’ll have you know that I’ve told Madame Lae tonight is a study group for the DADA class, which is to account for the noise, and that only fifteen other students were to be coming. Any others are to be sent away.”

The frustration in Sirius’s eyes made Lily’s lips curl into a smug smile. She knew how parties worked. You tell even just five people about it and the next thing you know those five people have told five other people who have told five other people and so on and so forth. And knowing Sirius he had no doubt told too many people already.

Sirius let out a groan. “Evans, you’re killing me here! That room can fit at least thirty people in it!”

“Honestly Sirius, how many people do you really need there?” Danielle chimed in. “I’d be happy if it was just the Gryffindor sixth and seventh years.”

“And maybe a few of the blokes from Ravenclaw,” Marie giggled.

“Either way, Lily’s right. Fifteen people are just the right amount.”

“Women these days, I swear.”

“More like men these days! Always needing more, more, more. You’re ridiculous Sirius Black,” Lisa shook her head.

“Stop the argument now before it gets taken into the party,” Remus said.

Lisa rolled her eyes, but complied. “You guys want to go get ready?”

“Yes! This is the part of the day I’ve been waiting for,” Marie said.

Lily kissed James’s hand that was still around her shoulders before standing with the other girls. Besides Hogsmeade trips, there had been few times where they had been able to get dressed up together. If the idea had come to them sooner, they might have even made the party into a costume party!

She had tried to convince them to have costumes despite the short notice, but the boys had merely laughed.

“Lily, since you grew up as a muggle we won’t make fun of you too much.... But as wizards and witches, we take Halloween to the next level,” Remus explained.

“Parents put charms on you to float, can make your cape stay on fire all night,” James reminisced .

“Not to mention make your skin all kinds of textures,” Peter said.

“If it’s that great then why hasn’t Hogwarts ever done anything like it?” Lily asked.

“Some students may have gotten charms wrong,” Sirius shrugged.

“A student got transformed into an miniature dragon,” James snickered. “It was during my parents time here.”

After hearing that, Lily knew that it was probably for the best if costumes were left out. Leave it to the Marauders to try to copy a trick like that one.

Once in their dormitory, the girls began rummaging through their drawers for shirts, pants, dresses, really anything to wear.

“I’ve been thinking about it. I’m going to wear my black jumper with the red belt,” Marie said.

“You’ll freeze in that!” Danielle laughed.

“We’re going to be inside the whole time...I’m sure the fire will be lit, right?”

“Well, yeah, but good luck walking back here with it on. The corridors get below freezing right now,” Lily warned.

“I’ll wear my robes.”

“Do what you will, but I think I’ll keep it safe and wear some pants and a sweater,” Lisa said.

“You’re going to be single forever, aren’t you?”

“Well, if I get really desperate, I figure Pettigrew will be single forever too. He’ll be my back up plan.”

“Cruel,” Danielle laughed. She had a blue dress that had long, thin sleeves and stopped at her mid thigh. Underneath she put on black tights.

Lily shook her head at the three girls and looked at her own options. Not expecting to be going more places than just Hogsmeade, she had brought some cute clothing, but nothing for a party of sorts. Digging through the drawers, she finally found a white dress where the sleeves, though they went to her elbow, flowed away from her body.

“Lily that’s perfect!” Marie said when Lily held it up. “Here, use my belt with it.”

“But you’re using it with your outfit.”

“I’ll be fine without it. Use it, please?” Lily accept the offer and put the thick red belt around her waist. She had to admit that it did look good.
_____________________________________________________
Boys being boys, the Marauders went straight up to the Head Dormitory fine with the clothing they had had on under their robes. Madame Lae wasn’t pleased to say the least about all four of the Marauders finally being granted access into the room.

“I swore I would never let any of you in,” she complained when she was forced to move aside.

“Don’t worry, we’ll take care of the place,” Sirius snickered.

“Padfoot, I’m going to guess it’s better not to provoke her,” Remus said.

“I can’t help but feel giddy!”

“It’s like the Marauders have officially taken over we possibly could have here,” Peter said.

“Not exactly,” James said. “The bedrooms are sealed off from being entered, which means a lot less privacy.”

“Typical,” Sirius muttered.

“What do you care? Not like you need the privacy. Your girl isn’t even here,” Peter said.

“And Wormtail can’t get a girl,” James said.

“Zing!”

“What about me?” Remus asked. The three boys froze unsure if he serious or joking. “Oh, come on. I could get a girl if I wanted.”

“You could,” James shrugged.

“But you won’t,” Sirius finished. “Moony, you’re too nice. With the right coaches and lessons you could become a total ladies man.”

“Well, I don’t know. He’s got that whole quiet and mysterious thing going for him.”

“No, I tried that one for a while. The girls didn’t buy it,” Peter sighed.

“I think the problem was you, not the game.”

“That’s it!” Peter bursted. “I’ll prove it to you guys tonight. I’m going to get a girl!” The boys began laughing, but this only egged him on even more. “I’m serious you guys. I’m sick of you picking on me!”

“Come on, Wormtail. You know we were only joking,” James said.

“Whatever.” He stormed from the room muttering about needing time to himself, but slightly giving Madame Lae satisfaction that already one of the four had left.

It wasn’t long after that, that guests began coming. The Quidditch team arrived together, followed by the girl Hufflepuff Prefect and another boy from her house (it was known that Amos wasn’t to be invited), a few members of Ravenclaw, and finally the 7th year girls of Gryffindor.

When Madame Lae saw them approaching she gave Lily an all too knowing look.

“Head Girl Evans,” she said.

“Yes, Madame Lae?”

“It would not be the first time Head Students have put together a gathering in this dormitory. Do not make it known that you’re all in there, and I will not make it known you’re all in there.”

Lily blushed in embarrassment. If she couldn’t lie to an authority made out of stone, what was to say she would be able to lie to McGonagall if the question ever arose? She made a mental note to tell James to lie for her if it ever came up...

“Sorry Madame Lae,” she mumbled. “Can we still keep the maximum at 15 people?”

“You four are going to be the last ones allowed in.”

“Hey Evans!” someone called from down the hallway. Lily turned and saw Naomi, her face looking smug with Peter by her side. “Heard you were having a little Halloween get together tonight.”

Lily straightened her shoulders, her eyes glaring at Peter who for some reason looked just as smug as his date. “Just a small study group. We have a lot of tests coming up.”

“Cut the tricks, Peter already told me. I just want to join in and have a good night with you guys.”

“Sorry Naomi, but I’m telling the truth and actually we’ve already reached our maximum capacity.”

“Lily,” she laughed. “You realize I’m a Prefect, right? And I’ve also got a witness here about what’s really going on.”

Lily kept her posture though her temper rose a little more that Naomi was trying to blackmail her. “I’m not going to call my fellow Gryffindor a liar, but I’m afraid he got the wrong impression. I hope you both have a good night!”

“Happy studying Head Girl Evans,” Madame Lae let them in.

“Sorry to get your hopes up for nothing Naomi,” Peter shrugged. “Guess I’ll be going in though!”

He tried to follow the four girls in, but Madame Lae slid back into her place blocking his entrance. “No more people are allowed in.”

“But I was already in there!”

But it was too late. She had already gone back into her stone self, easily ignoring Peter’s bitter complaints. When the girls entered the Common Room no one took much notice until James stood on a table and yelled, “Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you the one who let it all happen, the beautiful, talented, intelligent, absolutely stunning-”

“That falls under beautiful,” Remus coughed.

“Evans is here!” Sirius then yelled.

The party began, food sitting out on the desks along with two bottles of smuggled fire whiskey, and a radio played at the top of the stairs. Everyone had agreed to stay the night in the dorm because of the alcohol, giving the houses time to intermingle with each other, something that had become difficult during their older years. Students so easily got caught up in studies or their House activities that communicating with the rest of the castle wasn’t something at the top of their agendas.

Despite that though, Lucy the Seeker had made it a point to get Remus alone. James watched them standing beside the fireplace, each a drink in hand, and talking about Merlin knows what. Lily squeezed his side making him jump out of his trance.

“What’re you glaring at them for?”

“I wasn’t glaring,” he laughed. “I just...don’t like it when my players get distracted with romance.”

“Players, or Lucy?”

“Lucy mainly... Not that I don’t want her to be happy or anything, just girls are more emotional. They let what they’re feeling show on the field. Takes away from concentration.”

“This is coming from the guy who almost lost a game because I wasn’t there?” Lily laughed. “Don’t worry, I’m sure Remus will take care of her.”

“That’s exactly what I’m afraid of,” he muttered.

“Oh for Merlin’s sake! She knows what she’s doing, Potter. Now come dance with me.”

James looked around and saw that some people were bobbing their heads to the music, but no one was actually dancing.

“No one else is.”

“When did that ever used to stop you?” Lily grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and pulled him towards the center of the room grabbing everyone’s attention.

“Finally!” Marie exclaimed. She grabbed by Sirius by the hand and followed them in dancing.

“I’m a taken man, Marie!” Sirius held up his hands as if touching her would infect him.

“That’s what’s so nice about it! I can dance with you and not get hit on!”

A few others joined them, some a little sloppy from the added fire whiskey in their drinks. Lily made sure to keep an eye on everyone who had drank from the bottle knowing that if they got caught it would mean nothing more than expulsion.

“Where did you get the alcohol from?” she asked James.

“My house. We brought a few just incase.”

“You guys are crazy!” she laughed. James quickly grabbed her face and kissed her firmly on the lips.

The night went on, people alternated between dancing and playing truth or dare, spin the bottle and other drinking games Sirius had made up. By eleven, Lily had decided to put a charm over the entrance of the door to make the party harder to hear and by one in the morning, people were finally starting to calm down.

Blankets were produced and pillows were fought over as one by one the students began to give in to exhaustion. Lily had just convinced the House Elves to bring an extra supply of pillows when James pulled her aside.

“I’ve been thinking.”

“Yes?”

“Everyone from my dormitory is in here.”

Lily looked up at him innocently, not quite understanding what he meant. “So?”

“So...Remember how comfortable you said it was the last time we got to sleep together?” James softly ran his hands through her hair. Lily closed her eyes and let her head fall into his touch.

“We can’t just leave everyone here.”

“Sure we can. They’re all knocked out anyway. Come on.” He grabbed her hand and began pulling her towards the doorway. Lily took one last look at the room full of students and deciding James was right, let him lead the way.

Chapter 13: The Morning After
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The Morning After


The Fat Lady wasn’t happy to say the least when James and Lily woke her up to get inside the Common Room. The fire was slowly burning out, its embers a lazy orange. Soft snores could be heard coming down from some of the dormitories.

James, who had been in the lead the whole way there, turned around and put his hands on Lily’s waist. He pulled her close to kiss her lips.

“You’re so beautiful,” he said barely above a whisper.

Lily put her hand against his chest, her fingers feeling the firm muscles underneath the shirt. “Right back at you, handsome.”

James kissed her again, pulling her body up against his. His hands travelled down to the hem of her dress, barely raising it so he could feel the soft skin of her legs. Lily’s hands clenched, relishing at the touch. It always amazed her how gentle James’s hands could be despite the rough texture that had formed from his Quidditch years.

Suddenly a snore came from behind them making them both jump. They turned to see Peter, arms stretched above his head, mouth hanging open, cramped up on the coach.

“Merlin that scared me,” Lily giggled.

“What’s he doing here?” James muttered. “He was at the party.”

Lily guiltily bit her lip. “I’ll explain in the morning. Lets go up. Someone could catch us down here.”

James turned his eyes back to her, sweeping her body up and down. His hands went up her sides and to her back. “Alright.”

They ran up the stairs and quickly shut the boys dormitory door behind them. James pushed her up against it, his hands sneaking through her flowing sleeves. They ran up and down her back, pulling her tight up against himself. All Lily could think about how it would feel if their skin were to collide. The warmth and heat they would feel.

“Just do it,” she whispered.

“Huh?”

“The dress. Take off my dress.”

“Really?”

“Yes, James! Please.”

Without waiting another second he lifted the hem of her dress up and over her head. Their eyes met as he tossed the material onto the floor

Their actions which had been rough turned softer. Realizing it would have to be her to make the next move, Lily grabbed James’s hand and led him to the bed. She sat on its edge, took a calming breath and put her hands under his shirt. The more her hands went up, the more the shirt went up until she tugged it off.

He leaned down kissing her lips and slowly pushed her onto her back. They readjusted themselves so their heads were at the top of the bed and excitedly smiled at each other. James expertly wrapped the curtains around the bed frame and after grabbing his wand from his pant pocket whispered a quick charm to keep from them being opening from the outside.

And inside those curtains they laid together, sharing kisses and letting their hands roam over the others body. After the adrenaline began to fade Lily rested her head on top of James’s chest, a small smile seemed to stick permanently on her lips. And after she would catch herself smiling again she’d kiss James’s chest, or reach up to his lips or grab his hand...whatever was closest to her.

James had to stop himself from constantly hugging her. His mind couldn’t stop flashing back to the previous year when he could only fantasize about something like this happening. Constantly he found himself thinking, ‘This is too good to be true...’
________________________________________________________

The next morning students left the Head Dormitory slowly in hopes of not attracting any attention to themselves. The House Elves had been true to their word and brought extra blankets and what not for those who hadn’t been able to fight off Lisa and Danielle for the couches.

Marie and Sirius, who had turned into each others party buddy for the night slept across from each other by the fire. They had fallen asleep after everyone else, kept up with conversations of what went wrong with them in the past and what it was about the present that Sirius was able to maintain a stable relationship. Marie, though sad that she didn’t have a relationship herself, was happy for Sirius. Plus, she saw that if Sirius was able to find love, her time alone couldn’t be much farther.

Remus was shocked when he awoke the next morning, feeling warmer and happier than he did most morning, especially after drinking. Lucy lay contentedly in his arms, cuddled up next to his chest just outside of what would have been James’s dormitory. If it had been any other Marauder Remus would have continued sleeping like it was nothing, but he wasn’t any other Marauder.

To save both her feelings, and his own, Remus untangled himself from her and woke up Sirius so they could leave together.

“Moony has finally found himself a lady!” Sirius exclaimed. “How’s it feel?”

“Horrible,” Remus dug his hands into his pockets.

“Come on. Have some fun, would you?”

“How can I? It’s hard enough to keep friends out of my personal life. Lily’s been asking about it for years.”

“That’s different though. Evans is too smart for her own good.”

“Alright she is an exception, but if she’s got it practically figured out, how am I supposed to keep it from a person who wants to be in my life all the time?”

“It’s only once a month. You’re overreacting.”

At this Remus stopped from walking. He knew Sirius didn’t mean to insult him, but that comment hit a nerve. “I’m overreacting? Once a month is a lot! But it’s all fun and games for you lads, so of course you wouldn’t fully understand what a living Hell it is for me.”

Sirius’ eyes widened. “Moony, you know I didn’t mean it like that.”

Remus stared at the ground trying to bring his temper back down. “I know,” he finally muttered.

“Lets get up to the tower. If you’re not going to have fun with the ladies then you sure as hell are going to have fun making fun of those who can...or Peter who can’t.”

A chuckle escaped Remus’s lips, and like nothing had ever been said they continued their walk.
________________________________________________________

Lily awoke with a start the next morning when noises began coming from outside the curtains. She knew they wouldn’t be able to open the curtains on them, but it made her nervous all the same. It sounded like only one of the boys had made it up to the dormitory, but that meant two more were on their way.

“James,” she whispered. She almost giggled when he made absolutely no response to her. “James,” she said a little louder. He finally began to wake, and smiled when he saw Lily.

“Morning love.”

“Good morning. The boys are starting to make their way back in the room.”

“Alright.”

“So we should probably get a go on, don’t you think?”

“I think we should just stay here all day.”

“No way!” Lily giggled.

James propped himself up on his elbows and ran his hands down Lily’s side. “Why not?”

“We’ve got homework, you’ll be getting hungry in no time at all and honestly...”

“Honestly what?”

“You’ve got morning breath.”

“That’s it!” James began mercilessly tickling Lily, but soon she had him distracted with kisses ignoring any previous mention of morning breath. Lily gave in and decided that maybe they could wait a little longer before getting out of bed, but insisted on being clothed. “I’m going to go use the loo. Don’t move, okay?”

“Alright,” Lily smiled. “Don’t get us caught in here.”

James peeked out of the curtains and waited until Peter’s back was turned before slyly stepping out and sneaking across to the bathroom. Lily got comfortable in the bed, pulling the sheets up to her chin. When she heard Remus and Sirius join the room she scooted closer to the opening of the curtain, almost giggling in excitement that she’d be able to play spy on them.

“You leave the party early, Wormtail?” Sirius asked.

“No,” he muttered.

“Well, you missed out on a good time. Not the best party Hogwarts has ever seen, but Evans knows how to pull together a good shindig.” Lily smiled to herself pleased with the outcome of the party.

“I’m sure she does.”

“What’s with the bitter tone, Pete?” Remus laughed, “You knew we were only joking around last night. You could’ve come back without a date.”

“Well I tried to! Evans was being a bitch though and wouldn’t let me and Naomi in!”

Lily’s eyes widened at the harsh words. She knew she would have to apologize for not letting him back in, but she didn’t know he would take it so badly.

“Wormtail, you seriously brought Russell back to the party?” Sirius said.

“Yeah! Why not?”

“You know why not!” Remus said. “She’s been after Lily since...forever!”

“Listen to this though.” Peter slightly snickered. “She said that if I brought her so she could see what Lily was up to, she’d go to Hogsmeade with me and maybe give me a little more afterwards.”

“You’ve got to be joking,” Remus began shaking his head. “So you got that she only agreed to go out one time with you in order for her to get Lily in trouble, right?”

At this Peter only shrugged. And when Lily heard nothing but silence she could feel her eyes getting wet with tears of betrayal.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Sirius yelled. “Lily stuck her neck out for us just so we could fulfill some stupid dream of being able to go in there, and you tried to throw it back in her face?”

“She’s Lily Evans. Naomi said the most would happen was a few detentions.”

Lily heard the bathroom door open and the boys all groaned. A silence filled the room, each of the boys waiting for the other to start talking. It seemed like it was going to be a stalemate, so instead Lily pushed the covers away from herself and stepped out from the curtains.

Remus and Sirius groaned again, Sirius putting his palm to his forehead. James was focused on Peter, his face a shade of red. Peter’s eyes flickered to Lily when she stepped out, but immediately looked back to James like he was afraid he would be attacked if he looked away for too long.

“This is awkward,” Lily laughed, but when her eyes lifted to smile, a small tear came out that she hastily rubbed away. “I was going to apologize for not letting you back in today Peter, but now I’m not so sure.”

“L-lily I really didn’t think you’d get in that much trouble.”

“Well that’s not really the point now is it?” James exclaimed.

“I’ll just see you guys later.” She started towards the door, but James stopped her.

“No, hold on Lils. Peter, you shouldn’t be trying to get us in any kind of trouble! We both would have lost our badges if Naomi had gotten the chance to tell McGonagall. Do you know what that could do for our futures?”

“Maybe if you guys hadn’t been tormenting me I wouldn’t have been pushed to do it!” Peter fought back.

“Tormented?” Sirius scoffed. “Man up Peter, we were just messing around. You take things too seriously. You owe Lily an apology.”

Peter’s cheeks turned pink at the four sets of eyes now set on him. “Merlin! Even now you guys are treating me like an inferior! You can’t force me to apologize to anyone!”

“He doesn’t have to apologize right now if he doesn’t want to,” Lily said. “Honestly guys, it’s fine. James, I’ll see you later, kay?” James nodded to her, sad to see his hopes of spending the day together in bed together disappear.

“Wow, Peter,” Sirius crossed his arms. “You are really an asshole.”

“You can’t expect me to apologize to someone just because you tell me to.”

“You’re hopeless aren’t you?”

Peter threw up his hands seeing that he wasn’t going to win this battle before leaving the room himself.

“Unbelievable,” James muttered shoving his hands through his hair.

“You know what was even more unbelievable is what Sirius called Lily...”

“What? I didn’t call her anything!”

“You sure did... You called her Lily...twice.”

“I recall no such thing,” Sirius scoffed.

“No, he’s right,” James nodded. “Once when you said Peter owed her an apology.”

“And another just after he called her a bitch.”

“He called her a what?!”
_____________________________________________________

When Lily went down the boys dormitory steps, she praised Merlin that most of the students weren’t in the common room. She was half way up the steps when a long, loud whistle came from the entrance.

“Hey baby where were you last night?” Lisa, Marie and Danielle came laughing through the door. “Caught you in the middle of the walk of shame, did we?”

Lily couldn’t help but laugh at that. “I did nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Well, that’s disappointing,” Marie sighed. “None of us got any action!”

They continued up the stairs together and Lily waited until they were inside their dorm before saying, “I wouldn’t say I didn’t get any action.”

Danielle raised an eyebrow. “Details?”

“It was amazing! It was like knowing we could trust each other with anything so we-”

“Did you guys have sex?” Lisa asked.

“No, but honestly... I don’t think I would have minded. The way he uses his hands was like he was reading my mind.”

“So, better than Marcus?” Marie asked.

“Ten times better. Marcus was always a little more rough, but James was so...smooth and confident.”

Marie sighed and put her head in her hand. “Lucky.”

“I don’t know Marie, you and Sirius looked pretty comfortable with each other last night,” Lisa said.

“Yeah, but it was nothing like that. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but ladies...turns out Sirius has grown up. He is fully committed!”

“We’ve known that,” Lily laughed. “Were you trying to corrupt him last night?”

“No, of course not! I mean, I wasn’t going to complain if he wanted a one night stand-”

“Marie!”

“Kidding! I’m just kidding. But honestly, I’m proud of the bloke. He deserves to be happy and so does Jasmine.”

The girls stayed silent for a few seconds before Danielle said, “You really did want a one night stand, didn’t you?”

“A little.”

They all began giggling, Lily deciding to keep the Peter fiasco out of the discussion. There was no need to ruin a good time when she didn’t have to. The four each took turns in the shower and dressed warmly in sweaters before going to the library to do History of Magic work.

Lily saw James pass by with Sirius and Remus at one point, but she knew it would have been hopeless to try to get them to come on a weekend. She noticed that Peter still wasn’t with them and figured he had still refused to apologize to anyone.

She didn’t know how to take it that Peter intentionally tried to get her in trouble. Besides not letting him in at the party, she had never done anything mean to him. Sure, she had thrown a few insults towards the Marauders in previous years, but that was more of a group thing. Never were any of them pointed at him specifically.

The fact that Naomi was trying to get her trouble only slightly surprised her. She noticed that this year Naomi was making their competition personal; flirting with James in classes, hinting that she and Remus were going behind his back, and now trying to rat her out to a professor.

“Incoming,” she heard Danielle sigh. Lily looked up from her daydream and saw Peter heading towards their table.

‘Think of the devil..’ she thought.

“Hey Lily, can we talk for a minute?” he asked quietly.

“I’m not sure right now is really the best time Peter,” she muttered.

“It’ll only take a minute.”

“Fine.” Lily placed her quill on her book and followed Peter to a corner of the library where it would be least likely for them to be overheard by the librarian.

“I didn’t want to apologize earlier because I felt like they were forcing me to, and I didn’t feel right giving it like that.” He waited for Lily to say something, but when she didn’t he went on. “So, I’m sorry for trying to bring in Naomi. I’m so used to detentions and getting in trouble that I didn’t think it’d be that big of a deal for you to get in trouble one time.”

“It would’ve been a little more than just a slap on the wrist detention. There was alcohol at the party! It could’ve gotten us all suspended! You included!” Lily stopped and took a breath to calm herself down. “I’ll accept your apology, but you should know I’ve never doubted the Sorting Hat’s ability to place students in the most suitable house until now.”

She tried to walk away, but Peter grabbed her by the arm to stop her. “Are you trying to say I’m not a true Gryffindor?”

“I’m saying you haven’t been proving yourself to be the person the Sorting Hat obviously thought you could be.”

“Take that back.”

“Let go of me at once.”

“Having problems are we?” Severus Snape stepped out from the library aisle, his eyebrow raised. His hair was looking long and strangely oily as usual, his skin looking quite pale. Lily noticed Peter’s hold loosened on her arm, giving her the chance to pull away.

Though she was happy to be given the chance to get away, Lily hated that it was coming from Severus’s appearance.

“Everything’s fine,” she muttered before walking back to her studying table.

“What was that about?” Lisa asked.

“He was just trying to apologize for something he said this morning. You know how boys are. They screw up everything that has to begin in ‘I’m sorry.’”

The four girls all looked up when Peter came back out from the aisle looking more shaken up than he should have. His robes were askew, his hair ruffled. Like before, he walked straight up to their table, but this time he said, “I’m sorry Lily...for everything. You were right.” And then continued his walk out of the library.

“What in the world? Did you beat him up?” Marie laughed.

“I promise I didn’t!” Lily said, slightly shocked herself.

The girls giggled making jokes as they went back to their work, but only Lily saw Severus come walking out from the same aisle she and Peter had been in. He ignored Lily as she had been ignoring him for the past months leaving Lily left in wonder. Why would he do that for her?
________________________
Author's Note: Hey there everyone! So first of all, thank you so much for continuing to read my story! I know I was absent for a really long time so I truly apologize for that! It was as if life just didn't want me to write! But anywho... Here's a new chapter for you! Hope you all enjoy :)

Chapter 14: Reassigned Seats
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Reassigned Seats




James and Lily sat in the library where Lily couldn’t help but look over at the same aisle where she and Peter had their dispute a week ago. She kept running their dispute over and over in her head trying to figure out what had made Peter react so harshly. She was so caught up in her thoughts that she didn’t even notice James staring at her.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

Lily brought her attention back to him forcing herself to smile. “Nothing. Just day dreaming.”

“You sure? You looked pretty concentrated for day dreaming.”

“I was just thinking about Peter...”

James put a hand to his chest. “Well of all the Marauders, I never thought you’d choose Peter over me.”

“Shut up,” she laughed pulling his hand down. “You know what I mean.”

“No, honestly he’s been on my mind a lot too. We’ve always teased him in good fun, but I never realized how much it really bothered him. I’m afraid it’s our fault he lashed out on you, love.”

“I don’t know... I think there’s more to it. There was something he said when he apologized-”

“Lils, can you do me a favor?” he interrupted. Lily looked up surprised that he would interrupt. “Lets not over analyze this. Peter probably did say something stupid, but honestly I think it’s just Peter. I think it’d be easier if we just moved on... you know?”

“Oh... Right.”

“He’s one of my best mates, you know? I said what I needed to say, he said what he needed to say. We’re straight now. I don’t want to be mad at him anymore.”

“No, of course.” She gave him a reassuring smile before scooting back from her chair. “I’m going to grab a book.” James grabbed her hand before she got too far and kissed the inside of her palm. Lily threw him a last smile before heading into the shelves.

She didn’t know what she was looking for, but felt like stretching her legs. Her fingers skimmed along the dusty bindings of the old, tattered books, a grey film forming over her finger tips.

“Should you really be wandering the aisles alone?” a voice said behind her. She didn’t have to turn around to know that it was Severus.

“I feel threatened by nothing.”

“Just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not there.”

“Either way I can handle myself.”

Severus scoffed. “Like yesterday?”

“I had it under control,” she whipped herself around to meet him eye to eye. “It was Peter Pettigrew for Merlin’s sake.”

“He’s not the wide eyed innocent he makes himself out to be.”

“He’s-”

“Lily!” a whisper came from an aisle over. “Where’d you go?”

“He’s probably just going through a hard time. Now get out of here,” she finished in a whisper.

“Or what?”

Lily narrowed her eyes and crossed her arm. “I’m over here James,” she called out.

“That’s not going to scare me away.” He took a step closer to Lily bringing his voice down. “I...I have some serious information you should hear.”

Lily watched Severus’s face as she heard James come up from behind her. He looked confused with inner thoughts- torn between continuing with the information or stopping before he dug himself into a hole.

“What do you want, Snape?” James muttered.

“Nothing that concerns you.”

“Well you’re standing much closer to Lily than I had warned you to, so it does concern me.”

“Potter, why don’t you keep your nose out of her business for once? You were always so pathetic following her around-”

“Hey,” Lily snapped, but he continued.

“-throwing whatever jinxes you wanted at anyone, especially myself, whenever you thought they were too close to Lily for your comfort. It’s even worse now that you’ve somehow convinced her to make you her boyfriend. I can’t even say two words to her without you butting in.”

“When it’s scum like you Snivellus trying to talk to her it’s my duty to get her away. Merlin, get it through your greasy head that she wants nothing to do with you.”

“Stop it,” Lily tried to get between them.

“No, Lily! He needs a reality check!” James took a step closer making sure that Severus was only looking at him, not Lily. “You fucked up. Stop trying to be in her life.”

James stepped back, grabbing Lily’s hand and walked the opposite way out of the aisle. Lily’s head was bent in sadness despite that she knew it was all true. They were headed in the direction of their school things when a red flash hit James in the back sending him flying through the air and crashing into desks. The students sitting close by screamed, getting up from their desks to avoid being hit.

Lily turned around to see Severus standing in the aisle, his wand pointing out and his breathing labored. James sprang up from the attack, his adrenaline running.

“That all you got, Snape? Petrificus totalus!

He easily jumped to the side to avoid the body bind without losing his poised position. Both the boys raised their wands yelling out new attacking jinxes, but Lily was faster screaming, “Invisibilis murum!

The spells cast out from their wands were stopped dead between them where Lily had pointed her wand. Both Severus and James stood ready for another shot while Lily remained between them holding up her charm.

“OUT OF MY LIBRARY!” Madame Pince came screaming. “McGonagall and Slughorn will be hearing about this!”

Severus immediately left the room, his head down, wand still beside his side. Lily relaxed her stance and James started collecting their school work.

“Get out!” Madame Pince was still yelling.

“We’re going!” James bellowed. The booming in his voice made Lily stop in her tracks. It was rare to see his temper raised so high. “Come on,” he muttered.

She followed behind him nervous to interrupt his anger. She wasn’t angry at him for reacting with a spell solely because it was a defensive spell that would have put an end to it all. She knew it would never end though so instead decided to end it herself before he did something that would get his badge taken away as a result.

James stormed all the way to the Gryffindor Tower, but stopped outside in the hallway. He carelessly tossed their books and bags to the floor, making Lily flinch, and then paced a few more steps.

“James, are you okay?” Lily asked softly.

“He attacked me from behind!”

“I know, I can’t believe he did that...”

“I can! He’s a coward! He always has been!” James ran his hands through his hair. When Lily didn’t say anything he turned to face her. “Well?”

“Well, what?”

“Tell me I was stupid for fighting back!”

Lily’s eyes widened taken aback. She took a step forward putting her hand against James’s cheek. “Why would I yell at you for defending yourself? You did nothing wrong back there! He openly attacked you, unprepared, in the middle of the library!”

He let out a sigh of relief. “All I kept thinking on my way up here was that McGonagall was going to revoke my badge.”

“I’ll back you 100% if she even thinks about that. The whole thing was my fault anyway.” James raised an eyebrow questioningly. “I should’ve walked away once he approached me...”

“It’s not your fault,” he shrugged. “He hasn’t tried to talk to you about anything other than Prefect duties this whole year. Who knew he’d all of a sudden try to just have a conversation?”

Lily thought back to Severus defending her against Peter. This would have been the perfect opportunity for her to let him know what had happened. But instead all she saw was James’s face when he had told her when he didn’t want to be mad at Peter anymore...

Lily believed what she had told Severus, that Peter was probably just going through a hard time, so instead she just nodded her head. “Yeah...who knew?”
____________________________________________________

It had happened quite naturally during the beginning weeks of school that Lily and James’s friends began sitting together at the meals. There had been once or twice where the girls had tried to rebel and sit separately, but when Lily refused to follow them to the opposite end of the table they decided to just stick it out.

On the edge of the bench Peter would sit next to Sirius who would refuse to sit anywhere except next to James who obviously wanted to sit next to Lily. On the other side of the bench Remus would across from Peter followed by Lisa, Danielle and then Marie. This sitting arrangement currently worked perfectly for Peter who had decided to avoid Lily at all costs since he had ‘apologized’.

Remus watched him as he awkwardly leaned back whenever Lily leaned forward and focused on his food whenever she spoke. He also saw Lily start to say something in the direction of Peter, but would always stop herself. It was true that the two had never been close, but now they were acting just plain...weird.

“I forgot my book in the dormitory, I’ll meet you in class.” Lily stood from her seat and kissed the top of James’s head.

“I’ll go with you,” Remus said also standing. “I forgot my parchment.” He waited until they were through the Great Hall doors and beginning the climb of the stairs before letting his curiosity get the better of him. “You and Peter worked things out, right?”

She tried to keep her face plain while answering. “Yeah.”

“Hm... You guys seemed kind of awkward this morning.”

Lily shrugged thinking of how to respond. “I think the whole situation is awkward. I didn’t let him into the party and he was upset about it. He apologized, but... I don’t know.”

“I think it was rightful you didn’t let him in. Sirius too.” With a glance he could see that Lily still wasn’t satisfied. “What else is on your mind then?”

“It’s nothing.”

“Stop pretending like you don’t want to talk about it.”

Lily stomped her foot and gave Remus a hard look. “I’m trying to forget about it. I don’t want to be the girlfriend who drives a wedge between her boyfriend and his friends. And if I tell you, who’s in the same circle of friends it’ll be like I’m spreading the poison.”

“I’m also your friend. And being in the same circle of friends as James never used to stop you from ranting on and on about how annoying he used to be.”

Lily chuckled at the truth. “That’s different... I knew anything I said wouldn’t change your opinion of James. But what I could tell you about Peter... It could change a lot.”

Remus sighed seeing the distress on her face. “Alright... We don’t have to talk about it. But if you ever want to you know I’m here.”

“Thanks Remus.”

He bit his tongue from asking anything else, but it was killing him to find out what Peter had said or done. The fact she thought it was something that could change the opinion of all the Marauders made him nervous. Peter was always trying to step up to the challenges that Sirius put in front of him, from the difficult task of becoming an animagus to simply bringing a girl to a party, but that never seemed to get him deemed with the respect he wanted. Maybe he had finally reached a breaking point.

But being Remus, he would try to let it go the best he could not only because he knew it was what Lily wanted, but because Peter was his best friend. And what was a friendship if they couldn’t trust each other?

The pair walked together to their class now fully prepared with their supplies. Lily took her usual seat next to Lisa and then turned it slightly so that she was facing both her partner and James who was sitting behind her with a sour face.

Since the party debacle James had suggested to Slughorn that there should be a partner switch with a bogus reason like ‘to keep things fresh’. It had been a week since he had talked to him, but still James was stuck sitting next to Naomi, who for the most part didn’t talk, but still made the occasional attempt.

But today, Slughorn had a glint in his eye that the class had come to realize meant that he had come up with an idea that he thought was brilliant.

“Morning class,” he greeted. “Before we start today’s lesson I’d like you all to line up at the back of the wall for partner switches.” As the students filed themselves he continued, “Some of you may be thinking this is to solely freshen things up, but honestly Professor McGonagall and I agreed that we’d like to get some inter-House relationships going. That maybe by working together in this class you’ll begin to come together outside the class. Even help each other out whether it’s in the hallways or libraries.” At this point his eyes shifted from Snape and then to James.

“Uh-oh,” Lily muttered. James’s eyes widened when he realized what was about to happen.

“And I know the two perfect partnerships to begin this trend! Misters Potter and Snape, the first desk here, please.” When they took their seats Slughorn leaned down to look them both in the eyes and said, “I’d like to have a talk with you after class Severus, and Professor McGonagall has requested you in her office James. And across from them to help set the same example, Missus’ Evans and Russell.”

Lily held her jaw from dropping while Naomi openly sighed in annoyance. Nevertheless, they both took their seats, the four students sending out tense vibes to the rest of the classroom. Lily looked over to James who set his concentration on the blackboard. His insides were aflame with his hatred for Severus. Cowardice was something that he couldn’t stand almost more than anything else and here he was sitting next to one of the biggest cowards he had ever met.

Despite that Slughorn began his lesson and that Lily was constantly glancing at his blank parchment, James continued to glare at the blackboard afraid that if he opened his mouth to speak he would begin yelling, and if he lifted his hand to begin writing he would end up punching Severus in the jaw.

He tried to count the minutes as they passed, but it didn’t seem to help the time go by until he could finally get out of his seat. When the bell did ring, he was the first one out of the classroom making Lily sprint to catch up to him. Sirius was hot on his tail too knowing his temper would be short if anyone happened to get in his way.

“Oy!” he called.

“James, hold on!” Lily yelled.

The hallways became cluttered with students coming out of their classrooms. Sirius and Lily tried to push through, but eventually they were forced to a complete stop.

“Merlin professors are stupid,” he muttered.

“Usually I would reprimand you for that, but in this case I can’t help but feel the same way.”

They walked the rest of the way to Professor McGonagall’s office and patiently waited outside. Well, almost patiently. Sirius periodically pressed his ear to the cold, thick, door hoping to catch a part of the lecture.

“You’re not going to be able to hear anything. That door is steel.”

“You never know.” He quickly pulled his head away with a grimace on his face.

“What? Did you hear something?” Lily gasped.

A smile lit on his face. “Don’t be stupid Evans, this door is pure steel.”

Lily rolled her eyes and let her legs sink to the stone floor. Sirius continued to stand, his arms folded across his chest. “Can I ask you something?” He shrugged. “Why do you call me Evans?”

Again he shrugged. Lily turned her eyes away from him thinking he wasn’t going to answer when he spoke. “I’ve always called you Evans because I’ve never really thought of us as friends. In the past every time we talked it was in an argument over something we’d done. Plus, you treated Prongs like shit.”

“That was then though. You still wouldn’t consider us friends now?”

“I’d consider us...more than acquaintances, but not quite friends. We talk when we’re in a group, I make fun of you and James, but we’d probably be awkward if left in a room to talk to each other and wouldn’t think of one another to hang out with.”

Lily thought over his words mulling them over in her head. “I disagree,” she said barely above a whisper.

“How do you figure?”

“If we weren’t friends I don’t think you would’ve stuck up for me against Peter... You’ve even thrown remarks at Russell for me before. People don’t do that for people who aren’t their friends.”

Sirius was about to answer when the the office door swung open. James stepped out with McGonagall behind him, her hand upon his shoulder. Lily jumped up from his spot on the floor and immediately came to James’s defense.

“Professor, I saw the whole thing for myself and though you might think my version of the story may be hindered by the relationship James and I share I can promise that I can be completely professional about it and give you an unbiased version of it.”

“Miss Evans-”

“There were also other students in the library who I’m sure wouldn’t mind giving their own accounts incase you still want an outsiders point of view. I already have a list of names of some, though I wouldn’t suggest speaking with Madame Pince because with all due respect I feel like she can be blinded by her love for the library-”

“Miss Evans!” Lily’s lips snapped together finally giving McGonagall the silence she wanted. “Mr. Potter has already given me his side of the story, and Madame Pince also gave me her account that put Potter in the right.”

“Oh...” Lily blushed.

McGonagall turned her attention back to James. “I’ll speak to Professor Slughorn about the seating arrangement, but there’s nothing more I can do than that. I’m very proud of you Mr. Potter. You’ve come a long way.” She began walking down the corridor when Sirius caught her eye. “Mr. Black, I haven’t seen you in my office for quite some time now. It seems you might be taking a few leaves out of Mr. Potter’s book.”

“You have no idea, Professor.”

Her eyebrows raised catching the sarcasm in his voice, but instead of chiding him she simply continued her walk. The trio walked in the opposite direction trying to get out of her earshot.

“Talk about luck, Prongs!” Sirius laughed. “I think that’s the first time ever we’ve began dueling someone and actually gotten away with it!”

“It wasn’t quite a duel Padfoot.”

“What’d she say to you then?” Lily pressed.

“She said everyone she asked said I reacted out of self defense and even with a jinx that wouldn’t cause harm to my attacker or anyone else. Said that would become a trait I’ll need for when I become an Auror and other stuff.”

“I knew it! I knew she couldn’t punish you for it!” She hugged James from the side who returned it only half heartedly.

“Lils, would you mind if I talk to Sirius...alone?”

She was slightly taken aback by being asked to leave and quickly untangled herself from his side. “Of course not... I guess I’ll just meet you in class. Try not to take too long though, we’re already late.”

As Lily walked away, Sirius watched James. He had expected for James to be happier about avoiding detentions and other punishments but instead he looked troubled.

“What’s going on, mate?”

A small smile flickered on James’s lips for only a second before disappearing again. “McGonagall said it’s time...Dumbledore’s starting to recruit.”
_______________________________
Author's Note: Hey everyooooone!! Jeez louise can you believe we're already on chapter 15?! crazyyyyy!! Hehe! Hope you enjoyed itttt!


Chapter 15: War Recruits
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War Recruits


“Are you serious?”

“Completely. She said this whole thing with Severus proved that the tension of the war outside the castle are obviously rising and that how I handled it proved I was becoming responsible enough to talk to Dumbledore about being recruited into a team after I graduate.”

“Merlin’s beard... I finally have something to shoot for! I’ve got to get that talk too!”

“Start shaping up in class and I’m positive she will.”

“Yes!” he hissed. Still Sirius wasn’t getting the reaction he was expecting from James. “What’s wrong, mate? We’ve been waiting for this since the middle of summer!”

James rubbed the back of his neck anxiously. “My dad pulled me aside during the summer after the meeting. He said Malfoy said something about Lily after you and I left the room. He thinks they might use her as a...like a decoy or pressure point against me. I didn’t believe him until I was in the Hospital Wing and those dirty Slytherins brought it up.”

“Oh.”

“Exactly! So what if they do? What if they do something to her because of me?”

This was a new perspective of how to think over things for Sirius. The Marauders as a whole were always so sure that they could always overcome things thrown their way. But this was something personal that only James could handle, and it was about something a lot bigger than Hogwarts.

“Well...think about it. First off, I’m sure Dumbledore could set up some sort of protection for her. Secondly, what makes you so sure that she’s not a name on Dumbledore’s list of recruits? She’s top of the class and has motive to fight. I’m pretty damn sure she’ll be getting the talk from McGonagall before I do.”

A memory of Lily after she had been attacked by Marcus popped into his mind. Shirt torn, hair knotted, fear in her eyes...

“No,” he automatically said. “I can’t let her get into this. It’s too dangerous...I have to tell Dumbledore no.”

He started to walk to the gargoyles that guarded Dumbledore’s office, but Sirius blocked his path. “Hold on there, Prongsie. Why aren’t you taking your own advice? Remember when you reassured me about Jasmine being apart of it?”

“I just... That night we rescued her from Marcus... This is going to be ten times worse.”

“Dumbledore wouldn’t send her without all the proper training, and she would soak that stuff up better than the two of us combined.”

“Right...”

They were forgiven by their professor for being late to the lesson and James was for once thankful for being forced to take notes. It gave him a chance to think over whether or not to go to Dumbledore and time not to let Lily realize something was the bothering him.

She threw the occasional glance his way but he easily avoided them. “Relax,” Sirius muttered to him. James dug his hands into his hair anxiously. “You’re horrible at hiding stress.”

“I know...”

When the bell rang for class to end James put a smile on his face. To completely throw Lily off his trail he wrapped her up in his arms and kissed her square on her lips. She allowed the public affection for a moment, but then softly pushed him away.

“Not in the hallways,” she laughed.

“Well fine then. Me and Sirius have to do a little bit of strategizing before practice so we’ll see you afterwards.”

“What about dinner?”

“We’ll be fine, don’t worry.”

“Alright.” She stretched up on her tip toes and put a kiss on his cheek. “Love you,” she whispered.

“You too.”

The pair headed in the direction of the kitchens to get food straight from the source and be able to have the large tables and their space to work on. Sirius followed James absentmindedly down the hallways listing off his own ideas on new Quidditch forms. He was so deep in the conversation that he didn’t even realize when James made a different turn and instead of ending in front of the bowl of fruit, they were in front of gargoyles.

“What?” Sirius complained. “Come on, really?”

“We’re killing two birds with one stone! You get to make your case to Dumbledore, I get to plead mine.”

“I’ll make you a deal. If you can guess the password in three tries we’ll do it. If not, we walk away.”

“Alright.”

He took a deep breath ready to say his first guess. “Choose wisely,” Sirius warned.

James thought over his word choice for another moment. “Watermelon Jelly Beans.”

The gargoyle stood stiff as a stone. “Watermelon Jelly Bean!” Sirius laughed. “That was the best you could come up with?”

James huffed in annoyance. “Butterball Cookies.” No movement. “Candied dragon hearts!”

“You put a good fight, Prongs, but there are just too many candies out there. There’s no way we’re going to get up there tonight!”

He threw his arm around James’s shoulder and began leading him away when a voice called after them. “Did someone say candied dragon hearts?”

James threw Sirius’s arm off of him and quickly turned back around. “Yes, sir!”

“They’re always more bitter than I expect them to be, but nevertheless I buy them!” Dumbledore said.

“Headmaster, we really need to talk to you about something.”

“You may speak,” he said.

“It’s more of a private matter.”

“Oh! Well, come up to my office then.” He turned to his gargoyles. “Strawberry Pop.”

“Was that your next guess?” Sirius chuckled. James silently punched him in the shoulder.

They travelled up the spiraling stairs entering Dumbledore’s room that oozed with wisdom from every corner. James had always been impressed by it, but he had never fully appreciated it until now. The book shelves were a dark mahogany that slightly bent from the weight of their many books despite that they reached all the way up to the sky reflecting ceilings. Cabinets held a diverse collection of contents, some glowing, others encased in glass.

Dumbledore sat behind his desk in a plush chair with all the previous Headmasters staring down at them from their frames.

“It must be an important matter of business if you’ve come to my office without the need of a disciplinary action.” he said.

“Professor, Sirius and I have had suspicions about the Order of the Phoenix since the summer.”

“The what?” Sirius whispered incredulously.

“That’s the name of the organization,” James whispered back. “And from the moment we knew a resistance existed we’ve been wanting to become part of it.”

“Which Professor McGonagall invited you to today, correct?”

“Yes sir, and I’d like the same opportunity. Wherever James goes, I go.”

Dumbledore stared down Sirius from his side of the desk. His half moon glasses glittered from the light of candles around the room. He seemed in deep thought, almost as if he was examining him.

“You’ve been discussed, Mr. Black. There are some who fear your family background. Others who have questioned your maturity.” Sirius sighed at his seemingly bad odds. “However, there are a few who are defending your admission. Personally, I’ve known you’re a good person since the day the Sorting Hat landed on your head.”

“Yes!” Sirius jumped from his seat. “I swear Head Master, I will not let you down. Thank you.” He reached across the desk and jovially shook the man’s hand.

“Don’t thank me, thank yourself.”

Sirius let out a huff of breath and sat back down in his seat. “Man that’s a load off my chest. Your turn, Prongs.”

Dumbledore’s stare turned to James. “Mr. Potter, you have something on your mind besides this?”

“Yes, sir. It’s about someone else...”

A small chuckle escaped the Head Master’s lips. “You’ve hardly been in the program for a school day and already you have a lot of requests.”

“I’m sorry, but yes.” James scratched the back of his head. When the old man didn’t say anything he went on. “During the summer and during this school year there have been threats made against Lily Evans for being my girlfriend.”

“Ah...” Dumbledore brought his fingertips together in thought. “So you would like for her to be initiated as well for protection.”

“No!” James accidentally blurted out. “I mean, I want the complete opposite. I think it would be better if she had nothing to do with this at all.”

“Mr Potter, you’re setting an excellent example as a caring person.” James nodded his head eagerly. “However, you’re falling into a trap that most caring people run into- Mr. Black, this is a good lesson for you as well. Keeping Miss Evans in the dark wouldn’t help her to avoid this as you wish. It would only catch up with her more quickly because she would be less prepared and therefore more easily hurt. On a personal level I don’t know her very well, but from my perspective I think she would be angrier if she found out later rathe than sooner, don’t you?”

James sighed deciding that despite that he wouldn’t be able to change the man’s mind, he was also right. “I understand,” he said.
_______________________________________________

The last two times Lily had tried to get work done in the library, she had been disrupted by Severus. So this time when it was time to study, she decided to give the Common Room a shot. Even if it was noisier than the usually silent library, it seemed to be working. One assignment was already done, and it was before James was even back from practice!

She put her parchment in her school bag and pulled out a fresh roll to start a new assignment on. She dipped her quill in her ink and titled it ‘Defense Against Vampires’. She was about to write an introduction when she heard an owl tapping at the window. She glanced around the room waiting for someone to claim the letter it was delivering, but no one came. Instead she cracked open the window for the owl to find its destination, but when she did the owl didn’t move from her desk.

Lily cocked her head to the side in confusion. The owl was jet black with grumpy, brooding eyes...She had never seen him before. The owl decided Lily was taking too long and squawked loudly for the whole Common Room to hear. Lily jumped and then quickly untied the message from its leg.

Lily, She immediately stopped reading recognizing the handwriting as Severus’ and slammed the letter down on the desk. What was it about this boy that he couldn’t leave her alone? The owl squawked again as if he was angry Lily wasn’t reading the letter.

“Shoo!” she hissed at the animal, but instead it took a few threatening steps towards her. “You definitely belong to Sev,” she muttered. Annoyed, she picked back up the letter and continued reading.

Please at least read this before throwing it into a fire. I’ll be in the Astronomy tower tonight waiting for you. You’ve been making this difficult, but I need to talk to you. If our friendship meant anything to you, I hope you’ll come.
-Severus


Lily threw her head back and let out a sigh. Of course their friendship meant something to her...But that was just it, meant. Past tense. She brought her head back up and the owl had taken a few steps closer to her just so it could screech in her face.

“Oy, Evans! Get that bird to shut up!” someone yelled from across the room.

“I read the stupid letter, will you leave now?” she told the bird. It then obediently exited out the window and into the falling night. “I’m not going to go,” she muttered to herself. “That would just be stupid and James would be furious and... He wouldn’t be this desperate to talk to me unless it was something serious.” She looked down at her freshly titled parchment and rolled it back up knowing that she wouldn’t be able to concentrate on it. “Why can’t he tell me things when I’m not studying?” she asked herself.

“You talking to yourself, Lils?” Marie sat beside her.

“Yes...Thinking aloud.”

“What’s on your mind?”

“I have a friend who-”

“Let me stop you right there,” Marie cut her off. “I happen to know all of your friends because they’re all my friends too so either tell me the whole story, or go on with this ‘friend’ and I’ll just guess who it is! Because you know I can, and you know I will.”

Lily knew she was right. Marie didn’t count Severus as a friend, but he was the only other person Lily had been close to outside of the Gryffindor girls. She would surely guess him.

“So?”

“Nevermind... I think I’m going to go down to the library.”

“You’re sure? Lily, I was joking, you know you can talk to me about anything.”

“I know,” she smiled. “I’ll be back in a little bit.” Lily picked up her bag and left the Gryffindor Tower debating if she should actually go to the library as she said or... No. She couldn’t go to the other tower. It would only give him more confidence to keep talking to her.

She lifted the bag higher onto her shoulder with a nod of defiance. Whatever Severus Snape had to tell her, he should’ve thought about that before he chose the wrong side.
____________________________________________

Lord Voldemort was gaining confidence. The number of his followers was growing and his resources in the Ministry were getting deeper everyday. Hogwarts, on the other hand, had been more difficult to infiltrate. Dumbledore was still Headmaster and that buffoon Slughorn was keeping a closer eye than usual on the Slytherins.

But still...He had his few younger people scouting out future recruits, and they were doing a better job than he was expecting. There were people taking an interest in his cause from other Houses- even from Gryffindor. It looked like Dumbledore might be getting a shocking lesson about his pompous, all-loving and protecting Gryffindors.
______________________________________________
Author's Note: Hey there everyone! Sooo here's a new chapter for ya :) Taking some advice and trying to bring the war back into the story. Hope you enjoyed!! Don't forget to review :))

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