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Chapter 6- Hogsmeade, Hogsmeade
The next morning when James woke up, he felt oddly happy, and for about a minute, he didn't know why. Then he remembered his conversation with Lily last night. It made him smile, remembering the urgent expression on her face. He remembered when she whispered in his ear, and those fleeting moments where he had thought she was actually going to kiss him. His stomach danced just thinking about it. James headed into the bathroom for a quick shower. The bathroom smelled pleasantly like green apples, and James knew that Lily had recently been in there. When he had finished, and gotten dressed, he went into the common room. Lily was already up and dressed, sitting on the floor, with papers spread out before her. She was concentrating hard, and chewing on the end of her quill.
"Lily, what are you doing?" asked James.
Lily looked up, surprised. "Oh, hi James. I'm just reviewing the names of the students allowed into Hogsmeade. Its our job to escort them there, you know." she said.
James felt the happy feeling inside him deflate a little. He had forgotten that he wasn't going on a date with Lily, Sirius was. "Oh, right." said James, trying to sound normal. "Well, are you almost done?"
"Yeah, Im just finishing up." said Lily, gathering her papers together and standing up. "Shall we go to breakfast then?"
"Yeah, I'm starving." said James truthfully.
Lily laughed. "You're always hungry." she said, shaking her head.
James shrugged, but inside, the happy feeling had returned. Something had definitely changed between them last night. Lily and I are being friendly! This is so great! he thought. They headed out of the common room and down the stairs. James walked behind Lily, admiring her slim frame in her tight jeans. Thank Merlin for Muggle clothes., he thought to himself, as Lily tugged at the back of her snug green sweater. Her auburn hair hung down in loose curls. James could not take his eyes off her as they started down the stairs to the Great Hall.
"James, what're you staring at?" she asked, self-conciously tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
James awoke from his trance. "Oh, er- nothing." he said quickly, blushing.
When they arrived in the Great Hall, they took seats by Remus and Jules. Just as James began to pile food onto his plate, Sirius sat down next to him, holding a large bouquet of white lilies. He handed them to Lily.
"For you, Madamoiselle. A token of my affection for you, on this day, the day of our first date." he said dramatically.
Lily took the flowers, trying to keep a straight face. "Sirius, they're, er- they're so-"
"Beautiful?" suggested Jules.
"Yes, beautiful." said Lily, nodding.
James, however, wasn't so subtle. "Way to be original, Padfoot! Her name is Lily, so you got her lilies." he said, shaking his head.
"What? Lilies are nice, and Lily likes them. Don't you Lily?" said Sirius, hopefully.
"Of course I do." said Lily, failing to keep from smiling.
"You should have given her something odd, like- like chrysanthemums." said James, satisfied.
"Fine." said Sirius glumly. He pulled out his wand and tapped the bouquet. Instantly they turned into bright orange chrysanthemums. They were hideous.
James nodded approvingly. Sirius shrugged and ate a piece of toast. Jules made a face, and grabbed the bouquet, throwing it under the table to be forgotten. Remus, seeing this, chuckled quietly to himself.
Devon arrived some minutes later. She had a knack for making enterances, and this time was no different. James noticed a flurry of movement at the enterance of the Great Hall. He looked toward it and saw Devon hurrying over to the table, her black curls streaming out behind her. She had knocked over a few second years, and hadn't even noticed. By the time she reached the Gryffindor table, James could hear the angry threats of younger students as they cleaned up their belongings that had been scattered by Devon.
"Hi everyone. Sorry I'm late. But, then again, I'm always late so, you shouldn't have been expecting me." she said breathlessly.
Devon tapped Sirius on the shoulder. He turned around.
"Sirius, could you slide down a bit?" she asked innocently. "I want to sit next to my date." She put extra emphasis on the word 'date'.
James grinned. Devon certainly knew how to play the game. Sirius, although he already knew of the 'plan', didn't seem to happy about it, but he slid over, making room for Devon to sit between himself and James.
"Does anyone know where Peter is?" asked Remus suddenly.
"Oh, yeah. I saw him in the common room on my way down here." said Devon. "He didn't look to good, so I asked him what was wrong. He said something about Jill Walker and he kept saying 'she already has a date' over and over. He just went up to his room."
"Uh-oh." said James.
"Double uh-oh." said Sirius.
"What happened?" asked Lily, setting down her cup of tea.
"We told him to ask Jill to Hogsmeade. She must have said no." said James, looking guilty.
"Poor Peter." said Jules quietly.
"There's always next time." said Sirius.
Everyone was quiet for a moment. Remus spoke first, breaking the awkward silence.
"So, what's everyone doing today in Hogsmeade?" asked Remus.
"Yes, James what are we doing on our date today in Hogsmeade?" asked Devon, smirking. James saw Sirius' eyes narrow slightly.
"Uh- we- what do you want to do?" he asked. Truth be told, he hadn't even thought of 'doing things' on this date. He only thought of the fact that he was going with Devon, not Lily.
Devon smiled her most stunning smile. The same smile that melted boy's hearts, made girls green with envy, and got her out of trouble with teachers. "James and I are going to get coffee and shop around a bit, and then meet Lily and Sirius and you two for lunch at the Three Broomsticks." she said.
Remus nodded then looked at Lily. He obviously knew Sirius wasn't much of a planner. Lily looked thoughtful for a moment, then spoke. "Sirius and I are going to do whatever." she said. "Then of course, we'll meet you all for lunch."
James sighed. One of the things he liked about Lily was that she seemed so thought-out and put together, and then, out of nowhere she starts being all spontaneous. And now she was being all sponateous with Sirius, who didn't even appreciate it.
Maybe this plan isn't such a good idea after all, he thought. What if Sirius and Lily start liking each other?
James didn't dwell on this thought however because Lily and he were supposed to be organizing the list of students going to Hogsmeade, and Lily had already started over to the entrance hall. James grabbed one last piece of toast, and stood up to follow her.
Getting the students in order took longer than expected. Everyone was excited for the first trip of the year, and it was Halloween, so the noise level was high. Only James yelled at the top of his lungs for everyone to be quiet, did they settle down.
When the group arrived in Hogsmeade, students walked off in every direction. James and Lily stood waiting for Sirius and Devon to catch up. The two pairs said goodbye to each other and set off in different directions. James and Devon turned down the main road, heading toward a small coffee shop. They walked down a little side street, and arrived ouside a small cafe. The sign on the door said The Magic Bean. They headed inside to find a small shop, not very crowded. The only customers were a scruffy-looking middle aged wizard who was immersed in a book, and two young witches, who looked just out of Hogwarts. They smiled at James and Devon, who took their seats on a large maroon velvet couch, and went back to their conversation.
"So James, how are you?" asked Devon pleasantly, tucking her long legs up underneath her.
"Er- I'm alright." he said awkwardly.
"Good, good." she said, looking out the window. There was a moment of silence that direly needed filling.
"So, how's um, your family?" asked James.
"Oh, well, my older brother, Aidan, has just started a new job at Gringotts. He's excited about that you know, he gets paid more money." said Devon excitedly. "In his last job he didn't get paid that much, so we were always a bit short of money after my mum and dad died. But not anymore! He said he'll be able to send me some spending money around Christmas."
James nodded and listened happily. Devon was the type of person, who if asked the right question, could go on and on. Right now, James was happy for that. As he listened, he felt a touch of guilt. Devon was raised by her older brother since before coming to Hogwarts, her parents died when she was very young. She and Aidan had always been a bit on the poor side, and James had always been a bit... wealthy. He remembered Christmases past when Devon would recieve almost nothing from her brother, and wouldn't complain at all. She would be happy for everyone else when they would unwrap their big, expensive gifts, and be even happier for herself when she would unwrap her two chocolate bars. Devon never spent Christmas with her brother, he would work during the holiday in order to get paid more. She would join Jules and her brother, Jacob, at their mansion for Christmas. Jules' parents were almost never present for Christmas, but on Christmas morning, they always made sure Devon got new robes and hats and mittens and boots. James knew that Devon had a hard time accepting these gifts, but after a few years of trying to refuse these gifts and finding them packed away in her trunk anyway when she arrived back at Hogwarts, she had given up.
"So James, how are your parents?" asked Devon, when she had finished her solilloquey on the great benefits that Gringotts offered to it's employees.
"They're great. Working a lot though." he said.
"They work for the ministry?" asked Devon.
"Yeah." said James. He didn't say anything more on the subject because the waitress had arrived to take the order.
"Can I get you two something?" she asked, smiling kindly.
"I'll have a black coffee." said James.
"Me too." said Dev.
The witch bustled off, leaving two napkins and a flyer on the coffee table. Devon grabbed the flyer. After a moment of frowning, she rolled her eyes. She passed the flyer to James. On the flyer there was a picture of a young boy and girl. They were sitting at a table across from each other sipping from the same cup through long, loopy straws. A large, glowing pink heart surrounded them. The boy in the picture kept winking cheekily at the girl, who giggled everytime. Underneath this picture, there was information on a new tea shop, written in repulsively neat and curly writing.
~*~Madame Puddifoot's! Coming soon to this location!~*~

**A magical teashop for the young in love, and the old in young-love!**

James threw down the paper in disgust. "What kind of fool would take his date to a place like that?" he asked.
Devon snorted. The serving witch arrived with their coffee, and looked sadly at the flyer.
"After 217 years of loyal service, this is what we are replaced by. A teashop for lovers." she said shaking her head as she walked away.
Devon shrugged, and picked up her cup, taking a sip. She and James sat in silence for a while, drinking their coffee, lost in their own thoughts about Lily and Sirius' date, classes, Madame Puddifoot's Teashop, Quidditch, but mostly about Lily and Sirius' date. After a while, James was getting restless.
"Hey, do you want to go for a walk or something?" asked James, standing up.
"Sure." said Devon, always up for anything.
James pulled out his money bag, and threw some money down on the table. Devon started to pull her's out as well, but James stopped her.
"I'm your date, remember?" he said, grinning.
Devon smiled her gorgeous smile. James could see why Sirius liked her, she was definitely the most beautiful girl in the year, except for Lily of course. He followed her out of the shop, and back onto the main road. The ambled on a bit, talking about Quidditch. The came to the door of Hogsmeade Quidditch Emporium and decided to go inside. They walked through the aisles and oggled all of the expensive Quidditch equipment. Devon spent a few minutes drooling over the newest Quidditch robes, a deep Gryffindor-red, with the players name and mascot embroidered on the back in a rich gold thread. She sighed when she looked at the price tag, and moved on. James decided to buy new gloves, as his old ones were falling apart. He paid for his purchase, and he and Devon headed outside.
"So, what do you think?" he asked, modeling his new gloves for Devon.
"Impressive." she said distractedly. She was glancing around, and James knew she was looking for Sirius and Lily.
"Devon, I'm sure Sirius and Lily are having a perfectly dreadful time without us. There's no need to find them." he said jokingly.
Devon blushed. "I just don't want Sirius to start liking Lily." she said.
James frowned. "Yeah, me niether." he murmered. "But trust me, he won't."
"She's a very likeable person, you know." said Devon, smiling cheekily.
"I'm well aware." said James grinning.

Across town, Sirius and Lily were spending their date walking up and down the tiny streets, occasionally ducking into shops to peruse the merchandise. They were inside Honeydukes, and Lily was checking out the bins of chocolate, when Sirius came rushing up to her, an excited smile on his face. Wordlesly, he handed her the object he was holding. It was a small package of chocolate animals that could move. Inside, Lily could see a chocolate horse-thing.
"What is it?" she asked, mystified.
"It's Prongs!" said Sirius, pointing out the antlers.
"Oh! I see now. It is Prongs!" exclaimed Lily, laughing.
"We have to buy this for him!" cried Sirius.
Lily nodded. "Do they have chocolate dogs?" she asked, grinning slyly.
Sirius face lit up. "I don't know! Let's go check!" he said, grabbing Lily and dragging her over to the display. After searching for about a minute, Sirius found one.
"Here I am!" he said excitedly. He held up a small dog that looked exactly like Sirius in his animagus form.
"And here is Peter." said Lily, holding up a small rat.
"This is so exciting!" cried Sirius.
Lily laughed at his enthusiasm. "Too bad they don't make chocolate werewolves.
Remus will be sad." she said quietly.
"Oh, but we do, Miss." said a jolly voice from somewhere behind her.
Lily froze, her heart pounding. Sirius blanched to a sickly grey color. She chanced a glance up. The shop-keeper was standing next to her, smiling kindly.
"Would you like to see them?" he asked, showing no signs he thought it unnatural to want a chocolate werewolf.
Lily sighed with relief. "Sure." she said.
The shopkeeper led her over to another display. He handed her a tiny chocolate werewolf that really howled. She thanked him and walked back over to Sirius, who still looked nervous.
"That was close." he breathed.
Lily nodded and took the chocolate animals from Sirius, and went to go pay, but Sirius stopped her.
"I'm your date Lily, remember?" he said, pulling out his money bag, which was bulging. The Blacks certainly hated Sirius, but they never kept him without money. To his parents, it was almost worse to be poor than to be a traitor, so no Black would ever be without money while they still lived.
He paid for the chocolate, and they headed out into the weak autumn sunshine. Lily noticed Sirius still looked pale after the shopkeeper scare. She felt a bit guilty. Remus and the Marauders had worked so hard to protect Remus' secret and now she had almost blown it by making a silly comment about chocolate werwolves. Lily had found out about Remus being a werewolf in second year. She, Devon, and Jules had noticed Remus's mothly disappearances, and were beggining to become suspicious, especially when Remus' mother just happened to get sick once a month, for one night. The rest of the Marauders already knew about his condition, and everytime one of the girls questioned them, they froze up and escaped. Lily eventually put two and two together, when Remus only left at full moon, and came back with scratches, and bite marks. A sick mother didn't bite you, she remembered thinking to herself, whenever Remus gave that excuse. Finally, when she and the girls confronted him, he admitted it, and they were sworn to secrecy. In fifth year, when the Marauders became Animagus, they told the girls just in case something went wrong, someone would be able to alert Dumbledore. But nothing had gone wrong, yet.
"I'm sorry about before, I shouldn't have said 'werewolf'." she apologized.
Sirius smiled sadly. "No problem. We've been more careless than you in the past, and we almost got caught." He closed his eyes and shook his head, and Lily knew he was thinking about the incident last year with Snape.
"But Sirius, that's all over now. James stopped Snivel- er- Snape from going into the Whomping Willow. No one got hurt." she said kindly.
"I know, but what if he hadn't?" he asked, his face pale.
"But he did." said Lily firmly.
It was then that Sirius remembered 'The Plan'. "You know, James is a great friend. If he hadn't... I don't know what would have happened. I was so stupid." said Sirius.
"Yeah, well that's why James stopped him." said Lily, touching Sirius' arm.
"He deserves more credit. Letting me live with him and all..." Sirius trailed off.
Lily nodded, unsure of what to say.
"You know Lil, you should give him a chance. You might actually like him once you get to know him." Sirius said.
Lily looked at the ground, hesistant. "I know." she said reluctantly, not looking up.
Sirius grinned. He put his arm around Lily. "Lil, don't say it like it's a bad thing! Making my best friends dreams come true isn't a bad thing, trust me."
Lily rolled her eyes and pushed Sirius arm off her shoulder jokingly. "So Sirius, who would make your dreams come true?" she asked slyly.
Sirius blushed.
"Sirius Black, are you actually blushing? I don't think I've ever seen you blush before." said Lily, raising her eyebrows.
Sirius looked at his watch."It's time to meet James and them. Let's go." he said quickly, grabbing Lily by the arm.
Sirius dragged Lily toward the Three Broomsticks, practically at a run. When they arrived, Lily was out of breath.
"Sirius, you didn't answer my question!" said Lily, as they took their seats.
Just then, James and Devon entered the pub, and Lily needed no answer. The way Sirius looked at Devon, you'd think she was a goddess. Lily smiled to herself.
James and Devon took their seats at the table. Remus and Jules entered the pub shortly after, each smiling shyly.
"I'll go get the drinks." offered Lily, standing up.
"I'll help you." said James, also standing up. "Butterbeers all around?"
"I'll have a firewhisky!" said Sirius, grinning mischeviously.
"Butterbeers it is then." said Lily briskly.
"I'm of age!" Sirius protested.
"Sirius, you aren't getting drunk on a Hogsmeade visit!" said Lily firmly.
"Aw, you're no fun Evans." moaned Sirius.
Everyone handed Lily their gold and she and James headed up to the bar.
James ordered the drinks while Lily counted the gold.
"So, did you have fun with Sirius today?" he asked casually.
Lily smiled. "I did." she replied.
"What did you two do?" he asked. Lily noticed his voice was a bit strained.
"Oh, you know, the usual. We had a crazy, hot snog-fest in a dark alley." she replied nonchalantly.
Lily though James eyes were going to pop out of his head. He ran his hand through his hair, shaking his head.
"James, I was kidding." she said. He didn't seem to hear her. His face was chalk-white.
"James are you alright?" she asked, concerned, touching his arm. Her touch seemed to have brought him back. He looked at Lily blankly.
"James, I was kidding about the snog-fest thing." she said.
James looked immensly relieved. "Oh, I knew that." he said stupidly.
The drinks arrived, saving Lily from having to reply. James grabbed a butterbeer and took a huge gulp. He seemed to feel bit better.
Lily paid, and they took their seats. Devon and Sirius were chatting about the upcoming Quidditch season.
"We are going to dominate!" cried Sirius. "Almost all of our players are seventh years!"
"But we still need to practice hard. We need to be prepared." said Devon.
"I heard Ravenclaw has put together a fierce team this year. Their chasers are unstoppable." said Lily, joining the conversation.
"Not for our keeper!" exclaimed Sirius proudly, thumping Lily hard on the shoulder.
Lily blushed, rubbing her shoulder. They all looked at James expectantly, as he was the captain of the team, and expected to comment. But he was staring off into space, clutching his bottle.
"What's wrong with Prongs?" Sirius asked, nudging James shoulder.
James came back to earth, looking around at everyone bemusedly.
"Oh, I told him Sirius and I had a hot snog-fest. He got a little upset." said Lily.
Devon paled, staring at Lily, her navy-blue eyes widening. Sirius and Remus started to crack up, spitting butterbeer everywhere. Jules raised her eyebrows.
"I was kidding!" said Lily defensively.
Devon cracked a smile, shaking her head. Sirius and Remus were still laughing loudly, attracting stares from neighboring tables. James frowned, as if he didn't think it was a laughing matter.
The group spent the rest of the meal chatting about nothing in particular, enjoying each others company and good food. When they were halfway through dessert, the door to the pub opened with a bang. Regulus Black entered, looking wildly about. When he spotted Sirius, he headed straight for him, practically knocking chairs out of his way. Sirius and James stood up, their wands halfway out. But they stopped when they saw Regulus' face. It was pale and drawn, he looked scared. Sirius lowered his wand, but James kept his halfway raised.
"Sirius." gasped Regulus.
"Regulus." said Sirius coldly.
"'ve got to come... it's Father." said Regulus, gasping for breath.
"Regulus, what's wrong?" asked Sirius, looking slightly alarmed.
"Father... he's dying." breathed Regulus.
Sirius face went deathly white. "What?" he whispered.
"I don't know... Dumbledore just told me and I came to get you, I didn't know if you wanted to come... I wasn't sure." Regulus didn't finish his sentence.
It was then that Lily could see the true Regulus. In spite of the fact that he was the 'true Black heir', and even though he ran around with big bad Slytherins like Snape, Rodolphus Lestrange, and Bellatrix, he was just a boy. He was only fifteen.
Sirius stayed silent for a moment. "How long has he got?" he asked quietly.
"A few hours..maybe. I don't even know." said Regulus, close to tears.
"I'll come." said Sirius, after a moment's thought.
"I'm coming too." said James almost at once, standing up.
"No. No one is coming." said Sirius, looking grave.
"But Sirius-"
"No James." said Sirius with a tone that even James couldn't argue.
Regulus turned and hurried out the door, Sirius following him. James sat back down and swore loudly.
"James, it'll be fine. Sirius will be okay." said Lily, putting a comforting hand on James hand.
James didn't say anything for a moment. "Lily, you don't know. You just don't know. You don't know what Sirius' parents are like. You don't know what they'll do to him if he goes back."
Lily slowly pulled her hand away away. No one knew what to say. Silence seemed the only appropriate option. They sat together for a while, contemplating the news they'd just recieved. Remus had his head in his hands. He suddenly stood up. James looked up at him.
"Come on James." he said. James stood up, and they strode swiftly out the door, leaving the girls sitting at the table, stupefied.
"Where are they going?" asked Jules.
Lily shrugged. She hoped they were going to find Sirius, and try to change his mind.
Jules got out her purse and paid for their food. She and Lily stood up and started to walk towards the door, when they noticed Devon hadn't moved. Lily walked back to the table. Devon was sitting stock still, her face white with terror. Her eyes were streaming with silent tears.
Dev, let's go." said Lily softly. But Devon didn't move. Lily touched her shoulder. Devon looked up, as if she'd only just noticed Lily.
"Lily, they're going to hurt him." she whispered.
"No they aren't. James and Remus have gone to stop him. Nothing will happen to him. James wouldn't let it." said Lily, sounding more confident than she felt.
"I don't know, I feel like something bad is going to happen." said Devon, wiping her tears.
"No, Sirius is a great wizard. He can protect himself." said Jules, helping Devon stand up.
"He is a great wizard, isn't he?" said Devon, giving a small watery smile.
Lily smiled at her friend as they headed back to the castle, wondering if Sirius would indeed, be okay.

Author's Note- I'm not at home right now, so I can't update!!! It's killing me!! But, never fear! the next chapter is a doozy!!!

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