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“So, where are you girls heading today?” Sirius asked Lily, Tracy, and Erica brightly. The girls and him, along with James and Peter, were watching Hagrid trying to force the main door open against the three feet of snow that blocked it. It was the last weekend of the term, and a Hogsmeade day. “Well, first we need to do some dress shopping. Then after that we need to go shoe shopping. Next we need to go accessory shopping. Oh, and we can’t forget to go Christmas shopping! And then shopping for Crystal’s birthday, it’s in January. I need some new quills, so we might need to go shopping. Then Lily needs to buy more owl treats for Iris, she prefers them over the kind they have at school. And after that we’ll probably go shopping!” Tracy ran through the agenda, Sirius listened with apparent difficulty, as the wind outside whistled loudly across the opening that Hagrid had managed to force open thus far. “So, to sum it up, I would say that they are planning to go shopping today.” Sirius concluded. Just last night James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter had asked Lily, Tracy, Crystal, and Erica to the Yule Ball on Christmas, and for the girls this meant they needed to go shopping. “Well, think you’ll take a break sometime during that shopping?” James asked hopefully. “Probably at some point.” Lily replied. “But shopping is our main priority!” “Don’t we know!” James muttered under his breath to Sirius, but turned to the girls and said, “Maybe you could meet up with us at the Three Broomsticks later and we could all have a butterbeer!” They all decided that this would be fun, and by this time Hagrid had managed to wedge the door open enough for people to get in and out. And with that, the girls set off to do what they did best. Shop. The Marauders, for whatever reason, did not share this passion for shopping. But as it was nearing Christmas, and they did want to at least look ok for the dance, they felt that it was a necessary evil, at least for the day. “Get the dress robes out of the way, you reckon?” Sirius suggested to James and Peter, who sighed and nodded grimly. They walked into Gladrag’s Wizard Wear, a large shop containing wall-to-wall racks of robes, and were temporarily at loss for words with the sheer number of robes. All colors, all fabrics, all styles, all sizes, and anything else you can categorize robes by, they had them all. Where would they ever begin to look? A saleswitch soon came to their rescue, which they were most grateful for. “Dress robes, boys?” She asked them, startling them out of their stupor. They nodded, and with that she began to dart around the room, stopping at various racks to grab different robes. They soon were laden down with an assortment of robes each, and she sent them to the dressing rooms to try them on. Sirius came out first, wearing velvety robes of a dark blue. James wasn’t sure the color was right, and told him he resembled an overgrown blueberry. Needless to say, Sirius went back to try a different one on pretty quickly. Peter’s first robes were an unusual yellowish color, and were not at all flattering on his more rotund tummy. James and Sirius both agreed that he looked like a blob of mustard, and so he went back to change. Sirius came back out, this time wearing a shade of maroon. Normally this color made James retch, but it actually suited Sirius quite well. As Sirius went to have the saleswitch alter it, James whispered to Peter, “Now he looks like a purple grape!” Peter next had a subtle shade of green on, and although he slightly resembled a squat, moss-covered boulder, James could not find any food or condiments to compare him to, and they decided that green was the choice. Next, James tried on his robes. The first one was a satiny black one, very sleek but he decided it looked very masculine. He came out with it on, and it fit perfectly. I was lucky I got a winner on the first try! He thought to himself as he changed back into his school robes. When the robes had been successfully altered and purchased, the boys were absolutely exhausted from ALL the shopping they had done, and decided to head over to the Three Broomsticks a little early to wait for the girls. They stepped in and found themselves inside the pub squashed against the wall from the crowding students. Everyone had come, it seemed, enjoying the last visit of the term before the Holidays. “Grab us a table, I’ll get the drinks.” Sirius said in a muffled tone, as his face was smooshed against James’s shoulder. Peter and James pushed their way through the crowd, reaching an empty table. Sitting down it wasn’t much better, as people kept bumping into them. Someone carrying drinks accidentally sloshed quite a bit of butterbeer on Peter’s head, and he was busy mopping himself up when the very last person James wanted to see sat down at the table. “I see you’ve been shopping, James.” Emma said, smiling flirtatiously with him. James did not return the smile, but politely nodded. He had become wary of Emma, with the threat that the secret would get out, but also because she would never leave him alone, even when he was with Lily. “May I see?” She asked, motioning to the bag holding his robes he had set on his lap. Once again he nodded, searching the crowd for a sign of Sirius’s return or Lily coming in. No sign of either. “Ohh! These are sooo silky smooth!” Emma squealed when she pulled out the robes, and began stroking them in a way that made James uncomfortable. “Found a date to the dance yet?” “Yes.” Relieved that he could now give her a hint to go away he replied, and turned around to face her. He wished instantly that he hadn’t. Emma’s robes were unbuttoned rather low, revealing quite a lot of, well, more than he would have liked to see. He tried desperately to look anywhere but there, unfortunately Emma was leaning over the table towards him in a position so that it was really all he could see. He snatched back his robes. “Are you going with anyone?” He asked, more to distract himself than to engage in conversation. “No.” she sighed, pretending that she didn’t care, hoping that he would notice how dejected she felt. “Although I had a great time with you at the last dance, they really don’t appeal to me that much.” she said dismissively, batting her eyelashes. “You never told me who YOU were taking!” She said, as if she had suddenly remembered that he had omitted that minor detail. “I thought you would have guessed. I am taking Lily. You know, LILY? Who I’ve been together with for, what, TWO MONTHS!?!” He said, a little louder than he meant to, but feeling rather frustrated that she would not take a hint. Sirius was walking slowly as not to trip with the bottles of butterbeer he was carrying, but noticed Emma at the table. When he got nearer, he could also see the pained expression on James’s face, and the awkward position Emma was in. He decided he would do a little show for the crowd. “WHOOPS!” Sirius hollered loudly, catching the attention of James, Emma, Peter, and a good majority of the rest of the pub. And with that, he went into a tremendous fake-trip, the butterbeer bottles leaping from his hands. He of course fell flat on his face, but the butterbeer drenched Emma. Partly because of her unusual positioning, but a large amount of the steamy hot liquid fell into her robes. “AHH! HOT!” she exclaimed, jumping up and dancing around on the spot trying to cool down. The students all laughed hysterically. Just then Lily, Erica, and Tracy entered, and watched the unusual scene unfold. Lily went over to the table, Emma still hopping up and down in a ridiculous manner. “Didn’t know it was the style to where the robes so, um, open!” Lily exclaimed, pointing at Emma. She definitely had a point, with all the bouncing around Emma had done, her robes had become a great deal more open than they had been before. Emma shot her a look of daggers (which was extremely funny, as her face was dripping with butterbeer), clutched her robes more tightly, and stormed out of the Three Broomsticks, followed by the laughing of the students. Lily sat down next to James, and Sirius leapt up off of the floor, amid tumultuous applause from the crowd. Unable to resist, he climbed up on top of the table, and took a sweeping bow. “Good show, Padfoot!” James called out to him, and Sirius gave him a wink, which James knew meant, “I told you I’d come through for you!” And as Lily chatted animatedly about all the fun she had had shopping, James couldn’t help but smile as he watched her green eyes flash excitedly. “James! Why are you smiling like that?” she asked him, giggling at the goony-grin he had plastered on his face. He didn’t answer her, but he knew that he was smiling because he was going to the Yule Ball with Lily Evans, and not Emma Donaldson. (A/N): Yes, I know, I FINALLY UPDATED (told you I'd come through in the end, Lucille)!!! The reason for not updating for awhile was not because I am lazy and haven't felt like writing (although I am lazy!) is because after deleting this chapter, my computer's internet completely died on me, but thankfully my father is a computer WHIZ and he was able to hook me back up after a couple of days! So, thank my daddy for this chapter, GOOD JOB, POPS! Also, ADVERTISING DOES WORK! (Thanks, LilyG!!!) Want to see what I mean, check out my other fic ONLY TIME WILL TELL. And tell me that you agree about the advertising!

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