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Chapter 4- Prongs' Plan
The follwing few weeks passed quickly, without event. Full moon came and went, and the Marauders, as usual accompanied Remus to the Shrieking Shack. James had his Head duties to worry about, not to mention Quidditch. The Gryffindors had won their first match against Ravenclaw, but very narrowly. The Seventh years were also very busy with homework. With all the N.E.W.T level work they had been given, they spent most of their free time holed in in the library, or in the common room. Every weekend, satrting on Friday afternoons, students could be seen wolfing down their lunch at top speed only to trudge off to the library for another full day of homework. It was on one such day, the day before Halloween, that James, Remus, Dev and Jules could be found in the library, working on their Charms homework together. James was staring longingly out the window at the beautiful day outside, one of the left over days of summer that fall let slip in every once in a while. Remus poked him hard to get his attention.
"Ow! What was that for?" he asked angrily.
"I've asked you if you know what the incantation for the Cheering Charm was about 7 times." said Remus, just as annoyed. "Finally I decided to ask someone else."
"So why did you poke me?" asked James, rubbing his shoulder.
"Because it annoyed me that you didn't answer." said Remus, not looking up from hhis parchment.
James rolled his eyes and turned to look at his own parchment. He was almost done, he only had five more questions to complete, then he'd be outside on his broom for the rest of the day with Sirius. Thinking of Sirius reminded him.
"Where is Sirius?" he asked to no one in particular.
"He finished his homework already, he said." said Devon distractedly, as she rifled through the pages of her text.
"He's lying." James scoffed.
"I don't think he is." replied Devon, looking at Jules paper. "He said Lily helped him."
"Miss Best-in-year-at-Charms Lily." mimicked Jules bitterly. "Why hasn't she helped us?"
"Did any of you ask for help?" asked Remus fairly.
"Well no," admitted Jules, "But she could have offered!"
Remus rolled his eyes. James felt such jealousy towards Sirius for already having completed his homework, that he steeled himself, and finished his in under fifteen minutes. The second he was done, he stood up abruptly, upsetting Devon's inkpot. He hastily cleaned up the mess with his was and lent her his, He began to shove things in his bag haphazardly. Remus watched him, surprised.
"Done already?" he asked.
"Yeah. I need to go play Quidditch now. Dev, are you almost done? You should come with me." Devon was on the house team with James. Sirius played beater, Devon played seeker, James played chaser, and Lily played keeper.
Devon stared at her 3/4 of the way completed paper. She made a decision and shoved it hastily in her bag. "Let's hurry, before I forget how to play." she said.
"Join us when you're done?" James asked Remus and Jules.
Remus muttered something incoherently, that James took to mean yes. He and Dev raced back to their rooms to change and grab their brooms. They met in the main foyer, their eyes shining with equal excitement that only Quidditch could bring. When they reached the pitch, James mounted his broom and sped up into the air. He did a couple laps around the pitch out of sheer joy of being in the air again. Dev was following close behind, whooping for joy. They landed and walked over to the broom cupboard to retrieve the balls. When they returned to the pitch, they found Lily and Sirius walking towards them, carrying their brooms. It was odd how they had all ended up on the team together. Lily didn't seem like they type of girl to play Quidditch, but Devon made her try out in fifth year, and she turned out to be quite good, so James put her on the team. In the beginning of that season, when Lily was made Keeper, people started to say it was only because James liked her, but at the first match, when she didn't allow a single goal to be scored against Gryffindor, people shut up.
"Padfoot! Where were you today, when we were in the library?" called James.
"Oh, I'd finished my Charms homework already, so I went with Evans to the Owlrey. We borrowed Shay, I hope that's okay.'' he answered.
James nodded and turned around to Dev to help her with the ball crate.
"You told me Shay was your owl? I never would have asked to borrow him if i knew he was James'!" he heard Lily say to Sirius. Sirius just laughed.
"Oi! Prongs! How about a match?" called Sirius, his eyes glinting devilishly.
"You're on!" yelled James, his excitement mounting. "Casher and I vs. you and Evans."
Sirius opened his mouth to object, but then though better of it. Instead, he kicked off into the air, closely followed by Lily, who was smiling fiendishly. Dev grabbbed the Quaffle and rose up into the air, James right behind her.
"Release the Quaffle!" called Sirius. Devon threw the Quaffle out into the middle of the field, and they were off. They played Quidditch for a good two hours, before it got too dark to see. By the end, no one was keeping track of the score, but judging the winner on who preformed the most difficult moves. At one point Lily had the Quaffle and was about to toss it through the hoop when Devon flew out of nowhere and snatched the ball right out of her hands. Then she passed it to James who sped down to the other goal hoop and scored. Another time, James had the Quaffle and passed it to Dev, but Sirius flew in between them, stood up on his broom and leapt into the air to intercept the pass, before landing neatly back on his broomstick. The game was filled with memorable moments, and for a short while, James forgot about all of his problems, and just had fun playing Quidditch with his friends.
That night, James sat in the Gryffindor common room with the rest of the Marauders. Jules, Dev, and Lily were all lying in a heap on the rug in front of the fire, talking in hushed voices.
"What do you think they are talking about?" Sirius wondered aloud, his eyes fixed on the girls.
"Probably us." said James moodily.
"Or, they could be talking about the Hogsmeade Trip tomorrow." said Peter, not looking up from his comic book. James, Sirius, and Remus all turned to look at him, stunned.
"You know, Wormtail is probably right." said Remus thoughtfully.
"Yeah..." said Sirius, turning to stare once more at the girls.
"Have you asked anyone yet?" James said to everyone.
Sirius shook his head, Peter didn't even bother to respond. Remus, however blushed.
"Moony? Do I detect blushing on your visage?" asked Sirius playfully.
"No!" said Remus, defensively, not meeting anyone's eyes.
"So, who did you ask?" asked James slyly.
Remus looked down, apparantly engrossed in his jeans. He muttered something.
"We didn't quite catch that, could you say it again?"
"Jules" he said, louder this time, grinning slightly.
"Alright Moony!" whooped Sirius enthusiastically, while James clapped loudly. Several people looked up.
Remus blushed harder than ever, but was smiling. Sirius and James stood up and did a little victory jig.
"Moony's got a date! Moony's got a date!" they chanted.
Remus buried his head in his hands, embarassed. Now all the people in the common room turned to see what James and Sirius were up to, including Jules, Devon, and Lily. Apparently Jules hadn't told Lily and Devon about the date yet, because immediatly they errupted in torrents of furious whispers. Jules ignored them, gazing at Remus, smiling sympathetically. Remus smiled back feebly, still blushing crimson.
James and Sirius finally stopped, and threw themselves down on the couch, panting and laughing. Remus glared at them.
"Way to be discreet!" he muttered.
"Oh come on, Moony, we're just happy for you!" said Sirius. "Seeing as how we weren't able to get a date, we need to live through you."
James nodded sadly in agreement. He didn't have a date, he didn't even bother to ask anyone. The only girl he wanted to go with would not even consider it. If only someone could persuade her that I'm not an 'arrogant, bullying toerag' as she so kindly put it, anymore then maybe she'd give me another chance. Suddenly, he had an idea.
"Sirius!" he said sharply.
"Hmm?" answered Sirius lazily.
"You want to go out with Devon, right?"
"Yeah, I guess," said Sirius absentmindedly. "But I don't want to ask her. She probably would just laugh."
"Well, I have a plan. Tomorrow, you ask Lily to go to Hogsmeade with you, and I'll ask Dev. Then, we each tell them redeeming qualities about the other. For example, on your date with Lily, you can tell her how I'm not actually so arrogant and how I don't bully people as much anymore. And I'll tell Devon good things about you, like how you're-"
"Heart-stoppingly handsome and extremely charming?" interrupted Sirius, grinning slyly.
"Er- right, something along those lines." said James, a little uncertain. "Then, we meet up 'accidentally' and spend the rest of the trip with all four of us together, so the girls can see our redeeming qualities."
"Brilliant plan, Prongs!" exclaimed Sirius. "Only one problem though, I'm pretty sure Lily won't say yes to me if I ask her, and Devon most likely won't agree to go with you. But other than that mate, it's fool proof."
"Right, I think that they'll be so surprised that I'm asking Devon, and not Lily, and you are asking Lily, not Devon, that they won't know what else to say except yes!" said James happily.
"Sounds a bit shaky to me, Prongs." said Remus.
"Trust me Remus, it will work." said James, assuredly.
"Right then, I'm going to go ask Lily." said Sirius, sounding a bit nervous. He turned to face the direcetion of the girls and stared at them for a moment.
"Sirius mate, you haven't moved." said James gently.
"Im going, I'm going, don't rush me." said Sirius sounding more and more apprehensive by the minute. He still didn't stand up. Suddenly something dawned on James.
"Padfoot, are you scared of Lily?" he asked, trying to keep the amusement out of his voice.
"NO!" cried Sirius defensively, and with that he stood up and strode over to the girls. James listened in.
"Dev, are you going with anyone to Hogsmeade?" he asked lightly.
"No, not yet." she answered distractedly.
"Right then, Lil, do you want to accompany me to Hogsmeade tomorrow?" he asked, turning to Lily.
Lily's mouth fell open in shock. She quickly closed it. "Er, alright." she answered, staring at Sirius like he was crazy.
"Good then! I'll meet you in the enterance hall after breakfast tomorrow." said Sirius in a jolly voice. He turned and walked back to the couch where James was sitting, grinning triumphantly.
"No woman can resist the charms of Sirius Black." he announced proudly. "Not even Lily Evans."
Even though he knew Sirius had no interest in Lily, James couldn't help but feel a slight pang of jealousy. he had asked Lily out too many times to keep track of, and she never said yes. And now, Sirius had asked her out only one time and she had agreed. How unfair is that? he asked himself.
His thoughts were interrupted when he realized Sirius was speaking to him. "Prongs, I asked Casher if she had a date, and she said she didn't, but you'd better get a move on and ask her. She won't be dateless for long."
"Right, I'll ask her before she goes upstairs. If I asked her now, it would be too suspicious." James answered. Sirius nodded, and resumed looking gorgeously bored, until something caught his eye. It was Peter.
"So Peter, how are you?" asked Sirius, a little too enthusiastically.
Peter looked up, narrowing his eyes warily. "I'm er- good I guess." he answered.
"So, why haven't you asked anyone to Hogsmeade?" Sirius questioned.
Peter blushed, and looked away. "I don't know, I just didn't feel like it." he mumbled.
''What about Jill Walker?" asked James.
"She'd never say yes." said Peter sadly.
"Of course she would! Are you forgetting that you are a Marauder?" asked James sternly.
"Well, maybe if I..." Peter trailed off.
"So how are you going to ask her?" asked Remus.
"I dunno..." said Peter.
"How about you bake her a cake, and write in icing on the top, 'I love Jill, go to Hogsmeade with me?' " suggested Sirius.
Remus and James turned to stare at Sirius, their expressions clearly asking 'Are you mad?'. Sirius shrugged. But Peter only shook his head sadly. "Im rubbish at baking... the cake would be deformed." he said glumly.
They spent the rest of the evening trying to help Peter think of ways to ask Jill out. From the ludicrous ("How about you write her a song and make up a dance to go with it and preform it for her at breakfast tomorrow?" suggested Sirius.) to the sensible, (How about you just ask, 'Jill will you go to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow'?" This one came from Remus.) Peter finally decided to go with Remus' suggestion, and ask her tomorrow at breakfast. By that time, the common room was emptying out. Peter, Sirius and Remus said goodnight to James, who was waiting for Dev to be alone, and headed upstairs. Finally, Lily said goodnight to Jules and Dev and headed out of the common room. Jules and Devon stood up, yawning and started to head up the stairs. It was now or never, thought James. He stood up and walked to the bottom of the stairs that led to the girl's dormitory.
"Dev!" called James. Devon turned around. "Er.. could I talk to you quickly?"
"Sure," she said and started back down the stairs. Thankfully Jules kept going up the stairs.
"So, I heard you had no date to Hogsmeade tomorrow," began James. "And I was wondering if you wanted to go with me?"
Devon smiled. "Is this a pity date?"
"A what?"
"A pity date. You know I like Sirius but he asked Lily, so you felt bad for me and decided to ask me out. It's not one of those, is it?"
"No, definitely not a pity date." said James. "I just though we could go out as friends because neither of us have dates, and it would be fun."
"Okay then, I'll see you tomorrow." said Devon, still smiling.
"One more thing, Devon." said James, as she turned to go up the stairs. She turned around looking expectantly at him.
"You really like Sirius?" he asked.
She nodded, then laughed. "Only since, like Second year! You didn't know?"
James nodded. "I knew, I just wasn't sure if you knew."
"Of course I knew! Does he know?" asked Devon, frowning slightly.
''I don't think so." answered James.
Devon laughed again. "He's really thick, isn't he?"
James laughed. "He can be."
"Right, well, don't tell him. I want to see how long it takes him to figure it out." she said, grinning.
"Not a word." said James.
"'Night then, James." Devon called, turning up the stairs again.
"Goodnight." said James, and he turned and headed out of the common room.
***

When Lily arrived at Head common room, she took out a book, intending to read it. But she found that her attention kept wandering. She was staring out the window, lost in thought, when a voice startled her.
"What are you looking at, Lils?" James asked.
Lily jumped. She turned to face James, her expression blank. "When did you get here?" she asked, puzzled.
"About thirty seconds ago." answered James, looking conerned.
"Oh, right then." said Lily, turning to stare back out the window. She had a strange feeling in her chest but she couldn't pinpoint what was bothering her. It had started when she was walking back to the common room. No, before that, when Sirius had asked her to Hogsmeade. That's what it is, she told her self, I'm feeling guilty that Sirius asked me because I know Devon fancies him. But even as she told herself this, she knew it wasn't true.
"So, what took you so long in the common room?" she asked conversationally.
"I asked Devon to go to Hogsmeade with me." he said vaguely.
"Really?" she asked surprised.
James nodded casually.
"What did she say?" asked Lily, trying to be casual, but was really starting to feel a little nervous.
"Oh, she said yes." said James, grinning.
Lily felt the beat that her heart skipped. "Have you given up on me James?" she asked, smiling lightly. "Pity, I was just starting to like you too..."
James turned to look at her and said, in all seriousness, "I could never give up on you Evans."
Lily blushed and rolled her eyes, pretending to be annoyed, while secretly, she felt relieved. I'm not pretending to be annoyed, I really am...aren't I? she asked herself. Why was she feeling jealous of Devon? She couldn't possibly like James Potter. Could she? Suddenly it was all too much to take. There were too many feelings for her to handle. She needed to go lie down. She stood up, wobbling slightly, and began to walk to her room.
"Lily, where are you going?" she heard James ask.
"I'm- I'm going to bed. I don't feel well." she answered, turning around to look at James.
"You don't look well. Should I call Madame Pomfrey?" James asked, his eyes full of concern.
"No, there's no need. I just need to lie down." she answered.
"Alright, well let me know if I can get you anything." said James.
"Thanks." said Lily, as she headed into her room.

A/N- I beg of you!!! Review! For the love of (enter deity of choice here), please please review!!

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