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“What time is it?”

Remus looked at his old watch. “Almost three,” he sighed. “We’re never going to be able to get up in the morning.”

“I just want this night to be over with.”

“That makes two of us.”

A few crackling footsteps in the distance indicated that Lily wasn’t very far.

“Alright, we won’t yell her name,” James told Remus. “Take out your wand and we’ll freeze her.”

Remus hesitated. “This is not prefect behaviour,” he said guiltily.

“Yes, well, neither is running around the school at night – I think you’re past that point, Moony.”

Remus sighed and drew out his wand. “What spell do you want me to use?”

“Anything,” James said but then hesitated. “Just nothing painful.”

Remus couldn’t help but smile. “Alright,” he said calmly. “On the count of three.”

“One.”

Remus’s grip tightened around his wand as he prepared to turn the corner.

“Two.”

James strained his ear to hear the footsteps.

“Three!”

Both boys jumped out from the corner while Remus waved his wand effortlessly. “Petrificus Totalus!”

“I think you got her,” James whispered as they turned the corner to see a frozen figure sitting on the floor against the wall.

“Padfoot?” James and Remus said together as they recognized Sirius to be the frozen figure. “Why on earth are you here?”

Remus waved his wand to undo the spell as Sirius cursed a few times. “Thanks for that,” he said sarcastically.

“Well, we thought it was Lily,” James barked. “How did you get here before we did?”

Sirius sighed and stretched his stiff elbow joint. “I went back in for the map,” he said. “And when I did, I saw you two in the Great Hall and Evans down here in the dungeons so I took off.”

“Well, where is she?”

Sirius reached into his pocket and drew out the Marauder’s Map. He pointed to a floating dot not far from them, labelled Lily Evans.

“She’s in the potions classroom,” Remus pointed.

“Do you reckon Slughorn will wake up?” James asked.

“From what I’ve heard, that man snores like an elephant,” Remus said.

“And looks like one too,” Sirius sniggered under his breath.

“I doubt he’ll wake up,” Remus continued, pretending to ignore Sirius.

James nodded and made his way down the dark, musty corridor of the dungeons. Ahead of him, he could hear the clanking of glasses and footsteps. He looked behind him to make sure that Sirius and Remus were there and opened the door to the Potions classroom.

Lily was standing there, as expected, banging her hands against the walls. She wasn’t banging them in a teenage angst wait but rather, like she was trying to find something.

“Lily?” James said gently. This time he knew how to deal with her.

“Yes?” she said turning around but stopped when she realized it was James. “Why are you hic follow-hic -ing me?”

“I’m not following you,” James said. “Well, I sort of am but it’s all your fault. I’m trying to help you!”

Lily took another step forward and this time stumbled on the marble floor, falling right into James who fell down too. She looked up at him and smiled cheerfully.

“Did you know that you hic have pre-” she began.

“Pretty eyes?” James finished for her. “Yes, I’ve heard.”

They stood staring at each other for a few minutes before Lily spoke again. “Can I kiss you again?” she asked.

James opened his mouth to say no but her green eyes were just so convincing. He looked at her with a loving expression and just couldn’t resist. She’s already drunk,” he thought. besides, she won’t remember any of this. .

“I think that’d be okay,” James said, grinning as he leaned in.

Before he knew it, they were locked once again in a kiss – this time, it not only seemed much longer, it was much longer. It took them a good five minutes to realize that Sirius and Remus had been standing there for at least four of those five minutes.

“Are you done?” Sirius asked while Remus gave a disapproving look.

“Um…yeah….” James said awkwardly as Lily still sat in his lap.

“I can’t believe you, Prongs,” Remus said. “Snogging a girl while she’s barely conscious.”

“Well, she wouldn’t let me do it if she wasn’t drunk,” James said defensively.

“Pathetic,” Sirius said.

“Alright well, there’s no need for you to mumble,” James said.

“What?”

“Stop mumbling,” James said.

“I’m not mumbling,” Sirius said and then turned to Remus. “He’s not either.”

“But I could’ve sworn I heard someone mumble,” James said. Sirius and Remus turned their heads to see a large shadow approaching the classroom.

“Slughorn!” the three of them hissed as they ducked behind the teacher’s desk. James pulled Lily down with him while Sirius spread the invisibility cloak over everyone.

Right on cue, the bulgy figure of Professor Slughorn came into view. He looked around for a few seconds and then mumbled something to himself.

“I could’ve sworn I heard voices,” he said puzzled.

Lily began to shuffle under the cloak causing it to shift slightly and reveal part of Sirius’s foot.

“Keep her down!” Sirius hissed.

Slughorn paced the back of the classroom suspiciously but James managed to keep Lily in control until he was satisfied that the room was empty. He left the classroom without looking back.

“Oh thank goodness,” Sirius sighed. “I thought he’d never leave.”

The four of them got out from under the cloak. As Lily stumbled to get up from under the table, her hand knocked down one of the potion bottles sitting atop the desk. Before anyone knew what happened, Remus’s face began to swell up to the size of ripened tomatoes.

“My face!” he cried. “What the hell just happened?”

Sirius ran over and read the label on the potion. “Swelling Solution,” he read with an amused expression. “That’s what did it.”

“You think?” Remus said sarcastically.

James couldn’t help but laughing either. He gently placed his hand on the back of his head where he could feel the bruise from earlier. He had acquired it when Sirius and Remus had knocked him out in front of the painting near the kitchen.

Remus’s eyes were barely visible from beneath the swollen skin and his voice sounded like a wounded cow. “This is a disaster!” he wailed.

“Keep it down, Moony,” Sirius said. “Don’t have a cow.” He burst out laughing.

“Guys!” Remus said. “I’m serious!”

“No, I’m Sirius!”

Both James and Remus rolled their eyes. “We’re stuck in a dark room in the middle of the night and all you can think of is to be a comedian?”

“Well, we all need to calm down,” Sirius said. “Don’t worry, Moony. I’m sure there’s an antidote here somewhere.”

A loud thumping noise distracted the three of them. They turned to see Lily banging her hands against the wall again. “I don’t get it,” Sirius said. “What’s she trying to do?”

“Do you think it has something to do with why she’s been running around the castle?” Remus asked with some difficulty.

“I don’t see why,” James said. “If she wanted to find something or someone, it’s pointless to come to the dungeons. This place is almost always empty and it’s a dead end.”

Remus nodded in agreement.

“That’s not true,” Sirius interjected.

“What?”

“The dungeons aren’t a dead end,” he corrected them. “Regulus told me – it’s the entrance to the Slytherin Common Room.”

“Com-?” James stuttered confusedly. Then it hit him. “Slytherin Common Room!” he said excitedly. “She’s been looking for the Slytherin Common Room this whole time!”

***

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