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The next day the boys made their way down to breakfast, still clad in their pajamas. Sitting down to eat, half asleep, Sirius piled as much food as he thought the plate could handle – slightly misjudging the plates holding capacity in the process, as three pieces of bacon fell to the table. “How ya doin there big guy?” asked James, grinning. “Mah!” grumbled back Sirius, as he placed a piece of the fallen bacon into his mouth. “You could have gotten changed” said a female voice from behind them. “It mightn’t have hurt!” Lily and Amanda sat down on either side of James and Sirius. Susan made her way around and sat down next to Remus, placing her head on his shoulder while grabbing a piece of toast. “When did you three get up?” asked Remus, leaning his head to rest on Susan’s. “We only just got here; we can’t have missed you by much.” “You didn’t” replied Susan lazily, “I made it down the stairs just as you were walking out the portrait hole.” She then turned her look to the other two girls, “I would have followed, but not everyone get’s dressed as quick as me,” her look a mixture of amusement and annoyance. “Hey!” replied Amanda quickly; “I couldn’t find the sweater I wanted to wear; which, as a matter of interest, is the one you’re wearing right now!” she finished hotly, but not angrily. “Oops” said Susan guiltily. “Sorry…” “So what are you guys doing today?” asked Lily. “I guess it’d be to much to expect you do some homework?” “As if-“ said Peter quickly before being overridden by James. “Actually Sirius and I have to get some homework done for Transfiguration and Charms, work on a new project and then meet with the head boy and girl” he said quickly. “So, Sirius and I were wondering…” he trailed off, before Sirius picked it up. “Would you be able to give us a hand with our Charms homework?” he said, blushing slightly. The girls all just looked at the two in shock, but none more so then Peter, who was openly staring at his two idols, his mouth hanging open. “I’d be glad to” said Lily quietly, “how about straight after breakfast?” “Sounds good” replied Sirius. “And thank you” whispered James, “for not making a deal out of it.” He kissed Lily on the cheek, and got back to eating his breakfast. “You’re welcome” she whispered back, before she poured herself cup of tea. Meanwhile Peter was still sitting, mouth half opened, wondering what had gone on while he had gone home. After a little more eating, James decided that he’d had enough. However looking over at Sirius, he realized that he was nowhere near finished so he said, “Padfoot – I’ll be over at the library ok?” Sirius made to stop eating, but James added, “Take you’re time – you can copy of me!” Sirius just smiled back at him, turning back to his plate. “When you’re able, I’ll be in the library” James said, turning to Lily. “No rush…” “That’s ok – I’ll come now if you don’t mind?” she replied, standing up. “Ok – just thought you’d want to finish breakfast” he said, indicating her half eaten piece of toast. “I wasn’t that hungry anyway” she replied, taking James arm as they moved off. “They’re so cute” said Amanda wistfully. “Are we like that?” she asked Remus, indicating Sirius and herself. “Uh…” said Remus, looking at Sirius who just rolled his eyes and nodded slightly, “Yeah, without a doubt!” Amanda just clapped her hands and leant in to Sirius. “What has been going on” mumbled Peter to himself. No one heard him. The majority of the hall watched James and Lily leave, arm in arm. Such a thing had not been predicted by anybody apart from their friends. So for the rest of the school, who had witnessed countless fights between the two, this was a shock. “I thought word would have gotten around” said James. “Probably – but they might have thought it was a rumor” laughed Lily as they passed the threshold to the great hall. As they made their way slowly up to the fourth floor, where the library was situated, Lily turned to James. “So what’s this new project you’re working on?” she asked suspiciously. “Ahhh” replied James, “that’s a Marauder secret that is,” but quickly seeing her look he added “but we will tell you once it works. It’s not a prank!” he finished hastily. “All right” she said, even more suspicious now, “but I want to know. I don’t like secrets!” The two continued walking until the made it to the library, at which point they made their way to the back, to a table regularly used by James and Sirius. Being the pranksters of the school was all good and well, but the attention that came with it was a bit of a conflict if they ever really needed to study. “You left your books here?” Lily asked, incredulously. When they had reached the table, James and Sirius’ books had already been lying, open from when they were last using them. “Yeah – we’re allowed to leave out stuff here. This is our table – if we move forward it’s generally too loud” he replied, smiling. Lily regarded him skeptically, “What?” he said in protest, “we’re allowed! Sirius, Remus and I come here to study.” “What about Peter?” Lily countered. “Well, he doesn’t study with us” replied James. “He always chatters and interrupts us, so we had to…” he trailed off. “Ditch him” said Sirius behind them. “Otherwise, James and I would never get any work done!” James and Sirius laughed. “Remus is the ‘good heart’ out of us, he splits his study time between us.” “That’s a bit harsh isn’t it?” said Lily, trying to hold back her own smile. “Possibly” replied James, sitting down at his chair. “But if we hadn’t done it, we wouldn’t be getting the grades we get.” “I guess” said Lily slowly, sitting down opposite James, after being diverted away from what turned out to be Sirius’ chair. “You have your own chairs?” “As he said” said Sirius, “this is our table. We’re hoping one day our kids will use it too!” “Well – what was it you needed help with?” asked Lily, trying not to sound superior. “It’s this Disillusionment Charm” said Sirius, sounding thoroughly disgruntled. “I think we’re missing something” he finished lamely. “All right then” said Lily cheerfully, “that’s simple enough.” And for the next four hours Sirius and James did just as they were told. The two had very rarely done what they were told in their lives, so these four hours were some of the longest they had ever endured. However at the end of it they were able to perform the Disillusionment Charm perfectly. “I don’t know what to say Lily” said James. “Thanks!” “Well that’s good enough, just ask any time ok?” replied Lily, a little wearily. “However if I don’t get something to eat soon…” she continued, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” “I wholeheartedly agree with you Lily Evans” said Sirius, walking up beside her and putting his arm around her. “James, I’m stealing you’re girl and we’re getting something to eat!” “All right – just don’t do anything I wouldn’t…” James looked up startled, “You’re what?” Lily and Sirius laughed as James scrambled up from his seat and joined them, giving Sirius a dirty look in the process. “We’ll be back after we’ve had something to eat” Sirius said to Madame Pince, the Librarian. “I look forward to it” she said, sarcastically. “Lovely woman that!” said Sirius grinning. “I can’t understand why she’s single” he continued, a half hearted look of intrigue on his face. Quickly making their way to the hall, and subsequently through lunch, Sirius and James said their goodbyes to Lily and headed back up to the library. They had organized with Remus and Peter to meet them at the boy’s table in an hour, and the two had some information they had to find before the other two got there. “Ok” said Sirius, “you look for the books on location spells, and I’ll look for the books on visual magic. We’ll work on the smaller stuff later, for the moment we need to find out how to locate people and to identify them, and then to put it on paper.” “Oh” replied James with exaggerated cheer, “this is going to be easy!” They both laughed and headed off to their destinations. After about ten minutes of searching, James came back to the table, arms piled with books. Sirius joined him moments later. “What did you get?” asked James. “Well” said Sirius grinning, “It’s called ‘How to put Magic on Paper’” he smiled, “I think I hit the jackpot.’ “Well you’re lucky then” replied James grimly, because we didn’t do so well in the locator spells.” After another half hour of reading, James sat up slowly then said “I think I’ve got something.” James leant over while James read aloud. “’Generally used in battle, the localitor spell is used to determine the position of enemy encampments.’ I think this is what we are after.” “’Once cast, the spell forms a three dimensional map, providing the location of each person and what they are doing.’ I think you’re right Prongsy – two breaks in the space of an hour… what’s going on?” he laughed, being joined by James. “Now we just have to find an identification spell and that bit is set” replied James happily. “Then how to hide and lock the results, and to … discourage … people from using it” said Sirius nastily. “At least those who aren’t supposed to.” “So what’s this all about?” asked Peter, as he and Remus approached, Peter being shushed by Madame Pince. “This looks like work to me!” Remus just rolled his eyes and sighed. “Of course it’s work Worm” replied Sirius, Peter flinching at the use of his shortened nickname. “But this is going to be our crowning achievement.” “What is it?” Peter replied, sitting down in a spare chair. “In short” said James excitedly, “we’re creating a map that will map out Hogwarts, and show the location of every inhabitant.” “It will show each tunnel and secret room that we’ve discovered” continued Sirius, “and future generations of trouble makers will get the head start we never got.” “Sounds tough” said Remus, “how’s the research coming?” “Actually, Prongsy just made a breakthrough” said Sirius, “but it’s going to take some work.” “Well how can we help?” said Remus, leaning forward in his seat showing his eagerness to help his two friends. Peter just sat back and watched. “Well we need to find out how to lock the piece of parchment against eyes that aren’t meant to see it” said James. “I was thinking we could use a tap of the wand, but then anyone could use it” he finished, unsure of what was needed. “What about a tap of the wand and a password?” asked Remus. “That way, if the password is unusual enough, not many people would guess it!” “Brilliant! I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think of it… good work Moony!” replied James, “No offense though – I just don’t know-“ “Don’t worry Prongs” interrupted Remus, “I know what you meant! I’ll go and see if I can find it – I think I know of something…” he trailed off as he stood up and went book hunting. “Peter – we also have a job for you, and it’s easy” said Sirius. “We need you to go to Zonko’s and see if they have any … any parchment that would do for this. Think you can do that?” “Oh yeah – no problem!” said Peter enthusiastically, recovering from his earlier disappointment at the prospect of book work. “Basically a parchment on which magic can be hidden and used – right?” “Got it in one!” said James. “Thanks Pete!” “No problem James” replied the retreating Peter as he moved out of the library. “Well – now that he’s gone I think we can get this done… at least the preliminary study for it” said Sirius happily. “Yeah – the creation will have to happen later” James replied. “I just hope we get time for it with this whole patrolling thing.” “Speaking of…” said Sirius, looking over to the clock on the wall, “we’ve got about four hours until we meet with the head’s – did you want to get a run in?” “I think I need it – I need to make sure I’m fit enough for Quidditch training this week” said James, a slight grin on his face at the response to Quidditch training from Sirius. “I don’t want to know” replied Sirius, “I’ll find out with the rest of damned. Let’s just give this a few more hours, and then we’ll go for a run.” James nodded and turned back to his book, as did Sirius; moments later though they were interrupted by the return of Remus – carrying a heavy book. “I knew I’d seen it around” said Remus as he took his seat, the book making a heavy slapping sound when he put it down. “’Practical Magic for the Paranoid,’ I found it last year when I was looking for something on Potions. It’s got what we need in it – as well as a nice little extra.” Remus flipped through the pages to one he’d marked, and turned the book towards Sirius and James. Reading aloud James said “How to insult people you’ve never even met,” he grinned, “Perfect!” “It’s got everything we need, how to lock a parchment, how to set passwords, and as you heard, how to insult people who get it wrong” said Remus excitedly. The three worked for another two hours, making notes on their separate genre, and occasionally asking another for help. By the end of their library time, they believed that they had enough to start with – as long as Peter found the right parchment. “You want to come for a run Moony?” asked Sirius, “It’ll do you good!” Remus shook his head, “No thanks. One of the benefits of not being on the Quidditch team means I’m not obligated to meet General Potters fitness requirements” he laughed, ducking a paper ball from James. “You’re loss” replied Sirius, “we’ll catch you at dinner ok?” Remus nodded his head and waved goodbye to his two friends as they made their way out of the library and to the common room to get changed. After quickly returning to the common room and changing out of their Hogwarts robes, Sirius and James were down at the front entrance dressed in their running gear. “So – same route?” asked James, stretching as he spoke. “Don’t see why not” replied Sirius, “at least that way you’re fans will know where to watch” he laughed. James and Sirius always drew a crowd when they ran, which turned out to be around once a week during holidays and most mornings during the school terms. With that the two set off at an easy pace starting towards the tree by the lake, and then tracing their way along the shore line, then cutting their way across to the forest line. Anyone who was sitting by the lake would be able to watch the two across their entire route, and by now there was a slowly increasing amount of females surreptitiously moving to the tree by the lake. “One of these days” said James, his breath laboring slightly, “I’d love to go for a run without the attention of the entire school on us, and don’t confuse this Padfoot” he said, turning his head to Sirius, “they’re out here for you too!” Sirius just grimaced and continued to run solidly next to James. After awhile he broke the easy silence that enveloped the two while they ran. “Who do you think is going to come out as leader person from this meeting?” James didn’t answer straight away, measuring his answer carefully. “Honestly, I’m not sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if they chose one of us, but… let’s just wait and see.” “Well whoever is chosen, we’re both going to support them” replied Sirius. “The last thing Dumbledore needs a is a power fight going on in his ranks.” “Agreed!” replied James. They kept running for another hour, slowly making their way around their set course. “Ok – we have ten minutes until we have to be at our table for our meeting – want to pick up the speed?” said Sirius casually. “Why Padfoot!” said James gleefully, “Are you suggesting a race?” “First one to do two full laps wins” said Sirius,. “Starting from when we next pass the entrance.” “Done!” replied James, preparing himself to run. As they came up to the entrance of the castle, James added, “No cheating!” The moment the two reached the entrance they were off – much quicker then before. The group of people who had gathered in the centre of their route realized they were now watching a race, and all stood to watch. James, while being extremely fit, was definitely going to be pushed by Sirius, who was one step ahead of him as they rounded the tree. Mild screaming erupted from the crowd as they passed by. This kept up for the next full lap, neither being able to pull ahead of the other. As the two rounded the tree for the last time, someone yelled at the two “How many more laps?” James just held up a clenched fist – indicating none. The crowd then made a beeline to the entrance to see who would win. With James right next to him on the homeward stretch – Sirius decided he was not letting the Quidditch King take this away from him – not with so many witnesses. So with a last effort Sirius put his head down and pumped his legs hard – pulling a head of James by a meter. This was all it took and Sirius passed the entrance the winner, the crowd cheering far too much for the simplicity that was James and Sirius’ work out. Panting hard, James came up to Sirius and clapped him on the shoulder. “Nice win!” Sirius just nodded in response, trying to stretch some life back into his legs and back. “Inside!” said James again, breathing hard. James and Sirius then headed inside to the great hall – ignoring the comments made by the crowd that followed them. “Well – I see the Sirius and James fan club is out in force today” smirked Jonathon as he greeted the two at the entrance to the hall. “Care to join us?” he continued, indicating Katrina who was sitting at the boy’s spot with a cup of something, drinking slowly. James and Sirius just nodded in return, following Jonathon to their seat. “I hope we didn’t keep you waiting” said James when he had managed to acquire his breath back. “Oh no” replied Katrina quickly. “Jonathon and I were just getting something to drink” she said, indicating her cup of tea. “So shall we get to it?” said Jonathon, seating himself next to Katrina. “We’ve already done the obligatory get-to-know-yous, so I’m not sure how to proceed” continued Jonathon, looking flummoxed. “Well what is our aim in meeting together?” asked Katrina rhetorically. “It’s to decide, between the four of us, who should lead us in to battle!” she said laughingly. “Should be easy, right?” The others laughed with her, reveling in the un-seriousness of it all. “Well let’s each say something… leadery … about ourselves” said Jonathon. “I’m obviously the head-boy, which doesn’t mean too much” he said jokingly, “I haven’t lead anyone anywhere – people only follow me because I’m tall!” “Well I’m head girl” said Katrina, “and that does mean something, at least to me,” she said, patting Jonathon on the shoulder as she spoke, smiling. “But Jonathon is correct – the head position isn’t much more then a figurehead position.” “Well I haven’t lead anyone anywhere or even looked like I was,” said Sirius, grinning. “And I’m related to the enemy – so that can’t go down in my favor.” This caused everyone to laugh; the majority of the school knew of Sirius family connections, and his lack of love for them. “Well that leaves me” said James, cringing. “And I only captain the Quidditch team.” “Well that’s more leading then we do” said Katrina. “But it’s only a game –“started James before Katrina overrode him. “Yes – but in it you have to make people decisions, and quick decisions – that’s something that, despite being head boy and girl of the only magical school in the country, we don’t have to do” said Jonathon. “We’re not automatically making you our leader, but… well you’re definitely leading the field” said Katrina reassuringly. ”Ha – Thanks… Look – it’s not that I don’t want to do it, I just don’t want to be all pompous and everything” said James, fighting for words. “And who’s to say that the other prefects will listen – what about the Slytherins?” “Prongs” said Sirius from beside him, “do you think that the Slytherins would listen to anyone? We’ll probably be fighting them as well!” He laughed, so did the others, but they all realized that this could happen. “So – what else do we do to further our decision?” asked Sirius, “Or do we just name Prongs captain!” “To be honest” said Jonathon. “I’d be very uneasy about taking this role – I accepted the head-boy job because I thought it’d look good after I left.” “And because there isn’t any uber-hard decisions to make” said Katrina. “Dock a few points here, make sure people are behaving a bit. It’s easy!” “But what Dumbledore wants is… well not what I signed on for” said Jonathon. “I’ll do it if need be… but I won’t choose it.” “That makes sense,” said Sirius comfortingly, “you generally don’t sign up for your last year of school and expect to be defending kids.” Sirius looked at James, noticing the look in his eyes he continued. “What about you Katrina?” “Well I don’t mind – but I kinda agree with Jon though…” she looked at James, then back to Sirius. “What do you think? We haven’t exactly excluded you yet?” she said, indicating herself and Jonathon. “Well – to be honest I wouldn’t mind it. I’m not bad under pressure – but I take orders better… stop sniggering” he said quickly, looking at everyone, “I do!” “I know what you mean” giggled Katrina, “you take orders when you need to! Right?” Sirius just nodded his head before he continued. “But I’ve known James for a long time – I’ve lived and played with him – I’d follow him anywhere.” Sirius pondered what he would say next, “I know it sounds corny, but I would. I’d vote for James – no offense to you two!” James quickly turned to Sirius, a look of surprise plastered across his face. “But why me?” “Because you are a natural born leader – and along with me, you’re the smartest kid in school!” replied Sirius, laughing at his friends predicament – while still being slightly worried. “I’m thinking you too James,” said Katrina softly, reassuring James slightly. “From what I’ve seen of you, when you’re not making fun of someone – you actually look like you fill your shoes – if that makes sense.” James just nodded mutely. “But, if you ever need anything” said Jonathon, “and I mean ANYTHING, just let us know and we’ll try and help.” “Outside of battle he means” added Katrina. “I think dinner is about to start” said Jonathon suddenly. “How can you tell?” asked Sirius, looking up excitedly. Jonathon grinned, “You’re stomach’s growling!” The four just laughed, including Sirius, looking slightly abashed. Sirius’ face grew steadily redder as students started entering the great hall for dinner. This just caused the three sitting with him to laugh harder, seeing as his stomach seemed to be a fairly decent reminder of meal times. “We’ll catch you later” said Katrina. “We’ll leave you be, but if you need anything oh captain – just let us know!” “Thanks! I’ll do that! I’ll catch you tonight for patrols…” replied James. A/N: Hope you enjoy this chapter, we're now only ... a few chapters away from the bigie, so stay tuned and enjoy! Please review so I can keep getting better - thanks so much guys! - Prongzy

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