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~ Lily was bent over her notes, studying as hard as she could for the OWLs tomorrow. She looked up and frowned at the other corner of the common room, where the Marauders were huddled. ‘They’re probably planning some prank.’ She thought. Little did she know how right she was. * “I can’t STAND it anymore!” Sirius burst out. James quickly shushed him. “Keep it down Sirius.” He hissed. “Some people are trying to study.” “That’s exactly my point!” Sirius stressed. “Everyone’s so wrapped up in studying of all things.” He let out ‘studying’ as if it were a curse. “We HAVE to do something. A prank! That’s it. People are starting to wonder if the Marauders have given up on pranking.” James’ eyes flashed. “Never! Sirius is, for once, right. We can’t let years of building up our good reputation go to waste.” Peter’s eyes widened in thought. “But what should we do?” Remus shook his head. “Not until after the exams. Everyone needs to study, and I’m not so sure Lily would be to pleased with us if we disrupted her.” He noted with interest that James’ eyes widened slightly. Sirius didn’t miss it either. “Prongs! Don’t tell me you fancy Evans!” James started to shake his head. “No... I- I...don’t.” Sirius smiled. “Denial.” “Okay.” James said. “I like Evans. Now leave me alone.” “Ask her to go out with you tomorrow, after the exams.” Sirius suggested. “Maybe... but she hates me.” James whispered. “You never know.” Remus said, then picked up a nearby book and started studying. * The day of the exams seemed to fly by. James and Sirius were expressing their confidence in passing Charms in flying colors at every chance they got. Remus was equally sure of himself, but was too modest to say anything. Peter, however, was just as sure that he failed. He could be heard moaning about forgetting the ingredients used in a Forgetfulness Potion. “Just forget about it Peter.” James finally said, irritated. Peter groaned again. Remus grimaced. “I think that was the wrong word to use, Prongs.” Sirius said, “Relax, we only have two more exams. Defense Against Dark Arts.” * James picked his exam up and looked it over before starting on the first question. ‘Please note the incantation and wand movement for the Disarming Spell.’ He grinned. This was going to be easy. * “Five more minutes!” Professor Flitwick yelled. James set down his quill and started to reread what he had written to make sure he didn’t miss a question. He set his parchment down, satisfied, and yawned. He rumpled up his hair and made sure Flitwick wasn’t watching him. James grinned again and turned to Sirius, who was lounging back in his chair on two legs. Sirius gave James a thumbs-up. James turned his attention to a piece of scrap parchment and started doodling a Snitch. On an impulse, he traced Lily’s initials inside of it. “Quills down please!” Professor Flitwick squeaked. “That means you too, Stebbins! Please remain seated while I collect your parchment! Accio!” All of the parchment flew to Flitwick’s arms, knocking him over backwards. Some students sitting in the front row took pity on the poor man and helped him to his feet. “Thank you... thank you,” he panted. “Very well, everybody, you’re free to go!” James hurriedly scribbled out the initials in the Snitch, lest anyone see them, jumped to his feet, stuffed his quill and exam question paper into his bag, which he slung over his back, and stood waiting for Sirius to join him. “Did you like question ten, Moony?” asked Sirius as they emerged from the entrance hall. “Loved it,” Remus answered briskly. “‘Give five signs that identify a werewolf.’ Excellent question.” “D’you think you managed to get all the signs?” James asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “Think I did,” Remus said seriously as they joined the leaving crowd of anxious students. “One: He’s sitting in my chair. Two: He’s wearing my clothes. Three: His name’s Remus Lupin...” Everyone laughed but Peter. “I got the snout shape, the pupils of the eyes, and the tufted tail,” he said anxiously. “but I couldn’t think of what else-“ “How thick are you, Wormtail?” James impatiently asked. “You run around with a werewolf once a month-“ “Keep your voice down.” Remus chided. “Well, I thought that paper was a piece of cake.” Sirius said. “I’ll be surprised if I don’t get an Outstanding on it at least.” “Me too.” James said. He brought out the Golden Snitch he had hidden in his pocket. “Where’d you get that?” “Nicked it.” James started playing cat and mouse with the Snitch, letting it get further away each time before he caught it. The rest of the Marauders threw themselves into the shade of a beech tree. Remus immediately pulled out a book and began reading, Sirius began people watching, Peter kept watching James and applauding, and James kept playing with the Snitch, rumpling his hair, and looking over at Lily. “Put that away, will you?” Sirius asked, irritated. “Before Wormtail wets himself form excitement.” Peter started blushing, but James only grinned. “If it bothers you.” James replied, and stuffed the Snitch back into his pocket. “I’m bored.” Said Sirius. “Wish it were a full moon.” “You might.” Remus said darkly. “We’ve still got Transfiguration, if you’re bored you can test me... Here.” He held out his book to Sirius. Sirius snorted. “I don’t need to look at that rubbish, I know it all.” “This’ll liven you up, Padfoot,” James said quietly. “Look who it is...” Sirius turned and stood very still, like the dog that he could sometimes be. “Excellent,” he said softly. “Snivellus.” Snape was heading back into the Great Hall, and James and Sirius stood up. Remus still stared at his book, though it was obvious that he was not reading it. Peter was looking back and forth between James and Sirius to Snape, greatly anticipating what was going to happen next. “All right, Snivellus?” James said loudly. Snape reacted fast enough to give the impression that he had been expecting an attack. He threw down his bag and plunged his hand inside his robes to pull out his wand. James looked on with something that could be called amusement. ~ Author’s Notes: Well, I’m proud to say that that was my longest chapter ever, 1,191 words.

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