- Chapter One -
The First Prank

The witches and wizards of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry could often tell what kind of a year it was going to be by the first prank played. If the first prank was steam coming out of someone’s ears, or someone’s hair changing color, the students could discern that it would be a pretty boring year. If, however, a person’s skin was charmed to change color and design every hour, or if the dungeons were suddenly decorated in permanent Gryffindor colors, the students knew it would be an exciting year.

So it had been over the years, and so it was now. Students of all ages had played different pranks since the beginning of Hogwarts, but none were more recognized, respected, and feared than a group of boys who called themselves the Marauders. At the beginning of each school year for the past six years, the Marauders had played a different prank. Now, in their seventh and final year at the magical school, the students were expecting this prank to be the greatest of all.

Breakfast that morning was like most other breakfasts on the first day of school. Students were eating as much food as they could get while complaining about class schedules. However, there was a buzz of excitement in the Great Hall that couldn’t be missed. Some students had their eyes fixed on the Gryffindor table, watching closely for any signs of the prank to come. Others were looking around with shifty eyes, almost as if they expected someone to burst into flame at any moment. Others still just had a curious air about them, as if they didn’t know what all the excitement was about.

One person in particular was paying extra attention to the happenings at breakfast that morning. Lily Evans hadn’t stopped glaring at the four Marauders since she had come into the Hall. They however, paid little attention to her, and just continued to eat their breakfast innocently. Too innocently for Lily’s liking.

She watched and waited, but still nothing happened. She finished her breakfast, but still there was no prank. Lily sighed and pushed a strand of dark red hair behind her ear. She was suddenly feeling the intense urge to pout, though she didn’t know why. It wasn’t like she wanted any pranks that morning. She was Head Girl after all.

Lily sighed again and stood up, slinging her book bag over her shoulders to go to class. She cast one last suspicious look at the Marauders before beginning to walk away. However, right at that moment, there was an ear splitting BANG! Lily spun around just in time to see a bunch of green and silver fireworks going off over the Slytherin table. Then another BANG! sounded, and black and yellow fireworks were going off at the Hufflepuff table, followed by blue and silver over the Ravenclaw table. Lily turned to the Gryffindor table just in time to see Peter Pettigrew, one of the four Marauders, open his mouth and scream, only to have scarlet and gold fireworks come out instead of his voice.

Students jumped up from the tables and started screaming, some were clapping loudly, and others were trying to get out of the Great Hall as fast as they could. Some of the professors were making their way through the Hall, trying to quiet the students and find the trouble makers.

Lily already knew who did it.

“James Potter!” she shrieked, spinning to come face to face with a tall boy with wild black hair, and bright brown eyes, hidden behind a pair of small, round glasses.

“Hey there, Evans,” he said, smiling casually.

Lily could actually feel a growl working in her throat. “Don’t you ‘hey there, Evans’ me!” she bellowed. “Look at what you’ve done! The students have fireworks coming out of their mouths! You are Head Boy, why would you do this!?”

James tilted his head to one side and adopted a thoughtful expression. “I can assure you I didn’t pull this prank.” he said. “Peter has fireworks coming out of his mouth, and I would never do something to him. You know, Evans, this isn’t the only time you have falsely accused me of a prank.”

Lily felt her mouth open in shock. “Y-y-you,” she spluttered. “You are so frustrating!”

James smiled wistfully as he watched her storm out of the hall. He waited a few moments and then jumped up on the Gryffindor table. All of the students froze at the sight of him, and everything became deathly quiet.

“Hey, Padfoot,” hissed James. “Get up here.”

Another boy jumped up beside him. He was ruggedly handsome, with shoulder length, straggly black hair, and clear gray eyes. The two boys smiled at all the students, held their arms out, and took a deep bow. The Great Hall erupted into fits of cheering and clapping even as the fireworks continued.

“Great show, Prongs,” said the other boy, Sirius Black, jumping down off the table. “Look, even the professors are trying not to smile.”

James turned towards the Head Table. Sure enough, most of the teachers were trying to hold in their amusement. The Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, was full out smiling, his blue eyes twinkling merrily. Professor McGonagall, the Transfiguration teacher and Head of Gryffindor, was biting her lip to keep from laughing. Most of the other teachers were reacting the same way. Only Professor March, the Potions Master, had a frown on his face.

“Hey, Remus!” called James, motioning to the third Marauder, a boy with light brown hair and honey colored eyes. “Why don’t you use the counter curse on Peter? Then we can take it off the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students. I think old Snivellus can go for a bit longer though.”

Sirius looked over towards the Slytherin table and spotted a boy with pale skin, greasy black hair, and a large hooked nose who was still spouting silver and green fireworks. He snorted amusedly and turned back to James with a smile.

“Will you two ever tire of picking on Snape?” asked Remus, as he casually waved his wand in Peter’s direction, stopping the fireworks.

“No,” they answered in unison.

“I still don’t understand why you had to do the prank on me as well,” whined Peter, pouting miserably.

“Well that’s the beauty of it, Wormtail,” said Sirius, plopping down on the bench to sit next to Peter. “If we did something to one of the Marauders, no one would suspect us.”

“But everyone already knows you did it,” said Peter, his pout turning into a confused frown.

“Relax, Wormy,” said James, clapping him on the back. “It was more for Lily’s benefit than anyone else’s.”

Peter opened his mouth, thought for a moment, then snapped it shut again, deciding he wanted to pout some more.

“Watch it,” said Remus quietly, having just returned from the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables. “McGonagall is heading this way.”

James peeked at the group of professors trying to help the firework-spouting Snape out of the Hall, and sure enough, McGonagall had detached herself from the group and was on her way over.

Her mouth was set in a thin line as she reached them, hands on hips, eyes piercing, she was an imposing figure. “Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, I suggest you two come with me.”

Sirius and James looked at each other and then followed after her with slightly bowed heads, resigned to their fate.

“Wait, professor,” said Remus, quickly jumping to the rescue of his two friends. “You shouldn’t punish them.”

Professor McGonagall stopped and turned to look at him. “And why is that, Mr. Lupin?”

James and Sirius were looking at him hopefully over McGonagall’s shoulders.

“Well,” said Remus, lowering his voice a bit. “We all worked on it together, the four of us. We wanted to give the students something to smile about, what with You-Know-Who running around now. All that the students can think about is who is going to be attacked next, who will die next. We just wanted to show them that there are people in this school still able to make them smile.”

“That’s right, professor,” said James. “And we already did the counter curse on Peter and the two other students. I’ll even go to the Infirmary right now and help Snape.”

Professor McGonagall looked at them for several moments before smiling slightly. “Alright, you’re off this time. But I expect better behavior from the Head Boy in the future.”

James nodded ecstatically. “Certainly.”

“And I expect the same from you three,” said Professor McGonagall, looking at Sirius, Remus, and Peter. “As seventh years you should set a good example for the younger students.”

“Yes, ma’am,” they said.

“Well then,” continued the Professor. “Off to class, you don’t want to be late.”

The four of them watched her walk away and slowly released a breath of relief when she was gone.

“That was close,” said Sirius. “We owe you, Moony.”

Remus smiled. “No problem. Now, Professor McGonagall is right. We have Potions first, and you know how March gets if anyone is late.”

“I’ll meet you guys there,” said James, running a hand through his unruly black tresses. “I have to go fix up Snivellus.”

“See you later,” said Peter quietly.

James left for the Infirmary, while the other three headed towards the dungeons.

* * *

The sound of a door slamming could be heard throughout the Head’s Common Room. It was such a strong slam that a portrait on the wall shook, and a glass of water spilled.

Lily Evans was in a foul mood.

Source of mood: James Potter.

She just knew that that boy did all the things he did to irritate her. At least, that’s what she thought. In her mind, the only reason James was alive was to torture her. It was no secret that the Head Boy had a rather large crush on Lily. He had asked her out at least once a day since half way through fourth year. It was also no secret that Lily didn’t reciprocate his feelings, but that didn’t keep James from trying.

Lily huffed and sat down on her bed. It was a beautiful room that she had decorated herself. Even though Lily was a Gryffindor, her favorite color had always been green, like her eyes. Not Slytherin green, but a soft, yet altogether more vivid green. The walls of the room were painted that exact color, and the four poster bed had white sheets with a white comforter. Little green leaves were stitched all over the comforter, and sheer green hangings could be pulled around the bed. All the furniture in the room was white, some pieces with gold accents. Altogether, it was a very peaceful place.

This was why a very angry looking Lily Evans seemed so out of place. She crossed her arms over her chest and fell back into her pillows. No matter what Potter said, she knew he pulled that prank this morning. She knew she shouldn’t be angry about it, the professors had probably already taken care of him and his band of troublemakers, but Merlin help her, that boy made her so angry.

Lily let out a low growl as she sat up. Glancing at her clock, she saw it was almost time for Potions and quickly gathered her books. Her foul mood lessened considerably when she entered the classroom to find only three of the Marauders present. James was no where to be seen.

Lily sighed happily as she sank down into her chair. Maybe he had gotten into so much trouble that the professors were making him serve detention now. Or maybe he got –

Lily’s train of thought was lost as James Potter himself walked into the classroom, closely followed by a scowling Severus Snape. James spotted her, smiled brightly, and headed towards the empty chair next to her. All Lily could do was watch him approach with rapidly narrowing eyes. Merlin help him if he decided to sit next to her.

Author's Note: Okay, I have never actually read that many James/Lily fics, but I got the idea for this one, and just had to write it. So, since I have never really read one before, I am not sure how different this will be. This is the Marauders as I see them. Anyway, I hope you all like it, please tell me what you think, and if you have any suggestions, don't be afraid to let me know. Thanks! :)

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