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When James next woke up, all the uneasiness has escaped him, leaving hardly any trace behind it, so that he barely rembered the anxiety he had felt for so long. Remus, too, was completely cured of the feeling when he arose, messy haired, from his bed. They sat and talked for a bit, while waiting for Sirius and Peter to wake up. Sirius woke up, and since he had not felt any uneasiness to begin with, had nothing to report except that he was hungry. And of course, once it had been mentioned, James and Remus immeadiately realized that they, too, were hungry.


They spent a few minutes debating whether they should wake Peter. After all, he was usually the one who was most hungry, and it was never just occasionaly, but always. So the desicion was made rather quickly, but they hit a small problem when they discovered his bed empty. Since it was almost lunch time, and knowing what Peters stomach was like, they figured he had traisped on down to the Great Hall by himself for an early lunch and they wasted no more time hastening down there themselves.


They had been expecting to see him sitting at the Gryffindor bench stuffing his face with mashed potatoes or else making his way to the table, but after taking a quick look around they found the place quite void of him.


"I don't understand it," Sirius grumbled, as they sat down. "Since when does Wormtail do stuff on his own?"


"Yeah, and since when has what's for lunch not been the first priority for him?" James said in response to Sirius's question.


Remus' mouth pulled down in a frown of thought. After complentating for a few moments, he reached forward for some of the pot roast which had a very tempting smell that just happened to be wafting in his direction. Sirius' stomach gave an almighty growl of hunger, and without protesting it he too reached for food. James followed suit, his mind quickly wondering away from Peter and stopping at the food layed out before him.


Not even enough time had passed after they filled their plates to start eating when Peter come striding in, out of breath and accompanied by a bruised eye, torn robes, and a smoking wand in his hand, looking very angry indeed.


"Scumbag," he offered in means of explanation as he sat down and stowed his now calmed wand into his pocket. "Filthy, sneaking, no good, waste of a wizard. Can't even wait to attack 'till his opponent is facing him."


Remus opened his mouth to speak, but then found that he really didn't need to ask. The doors to the Great Hall opened and a very sinister looking Snivellus Snape walked in. His left eyebrow was bleeding, his lip was swollen and he showed signs of a very recent bloody nose. He looked annoyed and irritated, but also gave the impression that he was very pleased with himself.


James' hand automatically found it's way to the pocket in which his wand was stored and he was halfway to his feet when Peter grabbed the sleeve of his robbed and pulled him back down onto the bench.


"Wh-?" James stammered, looking around at him.


"Don't worry about it," Peter sincerely said, reaching for the potatoes. "It was my fight, and I fought it, and I won, so you don't need to step in. Thanks though, but don't make matters worse, and besides, Lily is right over there, and she's watching you."


James whipped his head around to look down the end of the table, where sure enough, Lily was staring transfixed at the probable scene before her.


"Plus, Prongsie, you're Head Boy," Sirius reminded him, as James stowed his wand back in his pocket.


"Smart move, Pothead," Snape whispered with malice as he slowly passed the Gryffindor table. "Surely you don't want to engage yourself in a battle with me while she's watching? Not only would you lose magnificently, but she would also probably chew your head off."


"Lose magnificently?" James repeated in a voice of determined calm. "I seem to remember you hanging by your ankles a couple years ago in the middle of a large crowd while someone threatened to take off and wash your dirty old underwear for you....now who was that? Oh yes. Me. But I'm getting kind of rusty at it, why don't we go outside and practice?"


Snape flushed, the color quickly but lightly staining his cheeks. The incident was clearly still imprinted in his mind. He closed his eyes and then opened them again staring at James with a fiercer cold cruelty in his eyes than ever before.


"I have yet to repay you for that. Mark my words, Potter, you're not long for this world, but I'll get you before you go. Soon, oh so very soon," Snape said, his voice trembling with excitement and impatience.


"Why not now?" said James, completely unperturbed by Snape's words.


"The Mudblood Evans is watching."


James began to shake with rage. "You jumped up little prick! Never, say that word again." But Snape was already walking away.


"Do you understand me?" James said louder. "Snivellus?"


Snape stopped walking. James was aware that everyone had stopped what they were doing to watch, and was quite glad. A few seconds later, Snape turned to look at James, grinned malicously, and continued to the Slytherin table. James flung himself back on the bench, unaware of having stood up, and began muttering under his breath.


"You handled that nicely, James," Remus said, reaching for his flask of pumpkin juice.


"Yeah, you did, but I still think you should have cursed him into the next century," Sirius said lightly.


"We'll save that for next time, right?" Peter said, turning to glare at Snape.


"Most definately...You shouldn't take that lying down, Prongs," Sirius said. "In fact, I think I have an even better idea to get back at him."


"Which is?" James asked, picking at the now cold food and wishing he had scheduled a Quidditch practice.


"Er..nothing," Sirius said, causing James to look up at him. Why Sirius had changed his mind become clear in an instant. Lily sat down on the side of James that was not occupied by Peter.


"Hey," she said.


"Hello, how'd it go last night?" James asked.


"It went great, that map is amazing!"


"Thanks," Sirius said.


"Where'd you get it?" Lily asked curiously. "I wouldn't mind having one.


"Just picked it up somewhere," Remus said.


"Alright, alright, you don't have to tell me, " Lily said smiling. "Anyways, what was that about?" She glanced behind her to the Slythering table to indicate what she was talking about.


"He's just a foul git," Peter said with disgust.


"He was just insulting some friends of mine. Wouldn't take that kind of crap from him, you know?" James replied, also looking over at Snape. "He thinks he can walk all over everyone..."


"Sounds like someone else I know," Lily said before she could stop herself.


"I'm not that bad anymore!" James said indignantly.


"No, alright, you're not," Lily said fairly. "But it's no wonder he does it to you."


"That's true, but what would you do?" James asked.


Lily looked down at her hands.


"You'd do the same thing, wouldn't you?" Remus asked. "If he had said to you what he said a few minutes ago to James, you would have responded the same way."


"Probably," Lily muttered, grabbing a candy as the dessert appeared.


"Yes, and he really did handle it well," Sirius said, playing with his wand. "If he'd said that to me, we'd still be at it."


"What did he say?" Lily asked.


"Erm," James started, not sure how to tell her, or even if he should.


"That's okay," Lily said quickly, catching his discomfort and birghtly changing the subject. "So are you patrolling tonight?"


"Uhhhh...yes, I believe I am. Same time?"


"No, we'll start at nine, since curfew is later on the weekends."


"Right. Well, that gives me more time to think of a game, at least," James smiled.


"Okay," Lily laughed. "If you want to get beat again so soon. I'll see you guys later, I've got to go find Emma and Laura, we've got some plans for the day."


"Alright, see you at nine then," James said.


She got up and left the table, and James sort of found himself wishing he was Emma or Laura, just to get to hang out with Lily more than was required for patrols. He'd thought about asking her out again, thought she might even consider it for once, but knew it was a hope that was set to high. And he didn't want to risk any of the progress he'd made with her already.



A/n: Soo......I've been updating quicker, are you proud of me? I am. I really kind of like this chapter, and it's set some things up for later chapters. But I"m not getting any reviews...so...feel free to fix that...And Emma and Laura, how does it feel to know James wants to be one of you? hehehe. I hope it's alright I stole your names, but it was kind of a dedication act. Anyways, please reveiw, everyone, and I'll update sooner. ♥AMW

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