James waited nervously in the entrance hall on Saturday to meet Lily for their day in Hogsmeade. Just then he saw Lily coming down the stairs, and went up to greet her. “Hey, James!” she said, smiling at him. James was amazed at how lovely she could look even in the school robes. “Ready, Lily?” he asked her, linking arms with her, and they headed to the join the queue to the door. Filch, the caretaker was checking off the names of students who were going to Hogsmeade. “Evans, Lily and Potter, James.” he sneered, checking them off as they headed through the door. Filch disliked the Marauders very much, as they caused mayhem so often, and always managed to get away with it. Lily and James began the short walk to the village, making conversation as they went. “So, what do you do for fun in the muggle world during your summer?” James asked her. “Well, I really like to play football…” “Football? What is that?” he asked, confused. “Oh it is a great sport! You have to kick a ball to get it down the field, and then try to get it past the goal keeper to score. You can’t use your hands, only you’re feet, except for the goal keeper, who can pick it up…” Lily began to explain, but James interrupted. “Wait! So no one is flying? And there is only ONE ball?” he asked, not sure if he had heard her correctly. “Well, in muggle sports they usually try to promote teamwork, not just a place for the amazing James Potter to show off with a spectacular dive to win the game!” she joked, and James looked highly offended. “Lily, I am going to take you flying one day and I will show you how wonderful it is!” James said, now grinning. “Ok, but if I fall, you’ll be in big trouble, mister!” Lily began to turn into the Three Broomsticks, the usual student hangout, but James pulled her arm, continuing to walk down the street. “I thought we could eat at this other place I know, Madam Puddifoot’s.” He said to her, “C’mon, you’ll love it!” They entered into a very steamy little café, which had a dozen or so cozy little booths for couples, and lots of little flowers on the tables. A witch came up to the pair and seated them at one of the booths, and took their orders. “I’ll have a coffee and a slice of your chocolate cheesecake.” James ordered, while Lily looked around. She recognized a couple of other students, obviously on dates, and many of them were tightly lip-locked, steaming the windows. Lily suddenly became very aware of how close she and James were sitting to one another. “And for you, dear?” the lady asked Lily kindly. “Coffee and cheesecake, but I think I’ll have strawberry.” The lady nodded, took their menus, and left. Lily and James sat there awkwardly together for a moment, watching the other couples. Madam Puddifoot returned with their orders, and they sipped and ate cheesecake awkwardly. “Do you want to go to Honeydukes or something after this?” James asked after a couple more minutes of the unbearable silence. “Well, I was thinking we could go to the Shrieking Shack, I’ve never been there before.” Lily suggested. “Really? You’ve never been there before? You’ve been missing out, Lily!” he said in disbelief. “Then we have to go there since you’ve never been. Gosh, Sirius, Remus, Peter and I go there all the time!” After they had finished their coffee and cheesecake, they got up and headed for the Shrieking Shack, breathing in the fresh air after all the steam of Madam Puddifoot’s. Lily walked around the falling apart shack cautiously when they got their, but James went straight up to one of the windows that was not boarded up and climbed into the house. “What are you doing? This house is haunted!” she gasped, watching him in horror. “Don’t be silly, of course it’s not. Come on, I’ll help you in.” He reached out for Lily’s hands, and she finally allowed herself to be pulled into one of the most severely haunted houses in all f Britain that was supposedly not haunted. She gasped again when she looked around the room they were standing in. Everything was ripped and torn to shreds, the bed, the chairs, all the other furniture, the curtains, everything. “Yea, sure, this house isn’t haunted!” she said, glaring at James. “Don’t let this one room fool you, the other ones are okay.” he said, opening the door to the hall and pulling her onwards. They turned off into another room, the parlor, and the difference was huge. All of the furniture was whole, and aside from the fact that the window was boarded up, everything was quite cheerily decorated. James sat down in one of the chairs, and Lily followed suit. “So if this house is really not haunted, why was that room torn up and why does everyone think it is?” she demanded of him. James looked like he was on the verge of revealing something big that he shouldn’t, and he hesitated for a moment. “Do you promise you won’t tell anyone? Not even Tracy?” “Sure, but why can’t I…” “Because if you do, Sirius, Remus, Peter and I would probably get expelled.” he said, in the most serious voice she had ever heard him use. “Okay…” Lily said, not sure she really wanted to be here if they were doing something that could get them expelled. “Well, first thing is, a ghost didn’t tear up that room, Remus did.” “Remus?” breathed Lily, not believing the most kind and gentle of the Marauders could have caused such destruction. “Yea, but only because he’s a werewolf.” Lily just stared at him in awe as he spoke. “So Dumbledore would let him come here when he would transform during the full moon, and he wouldn’t harm anyone, just that room. But Sirius, Peter, and I noticed he kept going off every month, and we made him tell us where he went. So, we decided to become Animagi and go around Hogsmeade with him to keep him company. And this is where we hang out every month!” He finished, motioning proudly around the room. “You’re an animagus?” Lily asked, very impressed. “What do you transform into?” “I’ll show you.” And with that, he stood up, and almost effortlessly it seemed, he transformed into a beautiful white stag. “Prongs!” Lily realized, as she leaned over to stroke his head. She made a mental note to decipher Sirius, Remus, and Peter’s nicknames later. James became human again before her eyes. “James…” she tentatively asked once he was sitting on the couch with her again. “Mmm?” “I’m really glad I came here with you today. I had a really good time with you, and I like getting to know you, and I am sorry for all those times I called you an arrogant jerk, or a big-head, or a…” Lily rambled on, but James turned so they were facing each other. Lily stopped and was startled by how intensely he was staring into her eyes. She looked into his eyes of gray, and remembered her strange dream. She forgot about it promptly as James leaned forward. She leaned a little too, and this time James didn’t miss… (A/N): Wow! Thanks to all of you who have R/R so far and helping me achieve one of the featured stories! You guys are the best!
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