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Remus found the other three in the dorm. James was spitting with rage, pacing angrily.

“Egotistic, chauvinistic bully?!” he spat. Sirius was attempting to look sympathetic. Peter was looking on with unswerving adoration.

“She does kinda have a point mate,” Sirius said carelessly.

“EGOTISTIC?! CHAUVINISTIC?! ME?! I most certainly am not!” James continued to rave at the top of his lungs.

Exasperated, Moony broke in,
“Do you have any idea what those words even mean James?”

James looked momentarily baffled, then, knowing it would be better if he just shut up, he did. Sort of.

“Fine. But I’m not saying it’s true!”

“Fine. Good. Just shut up.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

Remus smiled to himself. Whenever James was in a mood, he tended to lose about a decade of maturity. After a couple of minutes of silence while they began to get some homework done, Prongs threw down his quill.

“I can’t be bothered. See you later.” And with that, he stormed out.

“Stupid Remus with his logic…” James muttered under his breath, taking the stairs two at a time. He swept through the common room, not glancing around and climbed through the portrait hole. He would have felt perhaps a grim satisfaction to see Lily’s face as he stormed past. She looked up as he came in (well, he wasn’t exactly silent as he crashed into the room, walked straight through the groups of people, shoving them out of the way and left… hard to miss when you think about it…) Lily blushed deeply, not a good contrast with her hair, guilt threatening to overcome her. Poor James, why did she do that? Was it a defence mechanism? She was morally against liking him, and yet she couldn’t stop. What was the matter with her?

Irritated suddenly, she got up and walked purposefully over to the staircase leading to the boys’ dormitories and went straight up, not caring who saw. She threw the door open and went straight over to James’ bed and flopped down on to it. Sirius, blatant shock on his face, clutched his bed sheet around his ears,

“LILY EVANS! THIS IS A NAKED PLACE!”

She glared at him witheringly,
“It’s four thirty. You’re still dressed.”

He put the covers down sheepishly.
“Oh. Yeah.”

Remus, grinning at his room mate’s stupidity, shook his head.

“What can I do you for Lily?” he asked, shoving his books under his pillow.

Lily turned to Sirius and Peter and said sweetly,
“Would you guys give us a few minutes?”

Sirius and Peter gazed back inanely,
“Sure.”

“Knock yourself out.”

Moony smiled apologetically at Lily, “now you can see why I would kill for some intelligent conversation… Guys? Do you mind?”

Sirius said, oblivious, “Not really. Go ahead.”

“Yeah, we’re not stopping you.”

“Then would you just go away?!” he said, exasperated. Sirius and Peter looked aghast.

“WHAT?! You and Lily! Time alone! But… but… WHAT ABOUT JAMES?!” Sirius yelped.

“What about him?” Remus asked, getting to his feet and holding the door open.

“Well he fancies Lily too! You can’t make out with Lily HERE!” Sirius cried.

“So, regardless of the fact that one of my best friends fancies her, if I were to drag Lily off to another part of the castle to make out, it would be okay?” Remus said sarcastically.

“Now you’re getting it!” Sirius said enthusiastically.

“Goodbye Sirius.”

“Bye Remus.”

Moony closed the door on the two and fell back against it, breathing a sigh of relief.

“Don’t get me wrong, they’re great friends but sometimes, they’re a bit dense… so what did you want to talk about?”

“James.”

“Of course. What about him?” Remus said, sitting down opposite her. She didn’t say anything at first, instead staring at the wall. After a while, she came out of this reverie and said bluntly,
“He’s horrid. He’s rude, arrogant, egotistic, obnoxious, and a total bully.”

Remus nodded.
“So why do you like him so much?” he said quietly.

Lily stared at him.
“Well you’re no help. I was going to ask you the same question.”

Moony settled back comfortably and said simply,
“Because you know he’s not all bad.”

“Not all bad?! Name me one good thing about him Remus-“

“He’s funny. Brave. Loyal. Honest. So what if he’s a bit arrogant. You only see him as other people see him Lily, although others admire him for it. He’s sixteen years old, he’s the best seeker in the school, he’s clever, he can probably have any girl he wants,” Remus said, a bitter tone entering his voice.

Lily looked at him sympathetically. Moony continued quietly,
“He just hasn’t been tried yet. He’s just… a teenager. We’re supposed to be frivolous and stupid – hell, when else can we be? So please, just give him a chance. He’s not as bad as you’d think, and he really likes you.”

Lily looked at him in silence for a moment, before saying softly, “How do you know so much about people?”

Remus laughed.

“Call it experience.” He didn’t want to tell Lily the real reason. He’d had to grow up a lot in the past few years, since becoming a werewolf. He found that some people were not quite as understanding of this secret as his friends had been. Lily watched him grow thoughtful.

“Remus? Are you okay?”

“Oh, fine. Are you?” he said, obviously still thinking.

“Sixteen going on sixty, aren’t you!” Lily said teasingly. She got up,
“Thanks for everything!”

“Any time!” Moony replied, opening the door for her. He was rewarded with a hug before she set off down the stairs shouting, for Sirius’ benefit,

“Thanks for the good time!” Sirius fell out of his hiding place behind the door,
“You little minx!”

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