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Chapter 3 – Such a Tease

“And who the bloody hell are you trying to impress?”

Lily’s smile widened as she sauntered by both James and Sirius. Her hips swayed back and forth to a tune only she knew. Every male student that had passed her by in the corridor that morning had no choice but to stop and look at her. Her ruby-colored, curly locks bobbed up and down and hung about her shoulders. Even though she was wearing the Hogwarts preferred school uniform, she had made…modifications to it the night before – shortening the skirt, lowering the neckline, and making sure that each garment practically clung to her like a second skin. No, she didn’t want to look like what she knew James was thinking of. All she wanted to do was get the attention of a certain new Gryffindor that seemed to be paying her no mind as of late.

Cat calls and whistles echoed all around her as she leaned against the wall in front of James. Her smile never left her face while he glared at her. “You don’t like it?”

“What I want is Lily back. If I wanted to go out with one of the other girls I would have picked them. What the hell is all of this, Lily?” James looked her up and down, taking everything in. Once he noticed Sirius doing the same thing, his elbow shot out to his best friend’s rib cage. “Why do you look like some cheap…”

“Morning,” Remus interrupted, scratching his head and rubbing his drowsy eyes. Before he could take another step forward, James blocked his path. “James, what the…?”

“Do you see what’s happening?” James asked angrily. “Do you see what the bloody hell is happening? Even my own girlfriend seems to be taking a liking to the damn new kid. Lily isn’t Lily any more. She’s like a school girl…”

Lily rolled her eyes. “I am a school girl.”

“…like a school girl swooning over some imaginary figure. Which is what he will be, Remus, once I get through with him. No one messes with James Potter. You, of all people, know this. He has crossed the wrong Marauder.”

“I never said anything. Look, all I said was for you to give him a chance, have him included with us. But you’re the one pushing him to the outside. You’re the one making him more popular than ever.” Remus took a few steps forward and stood toe-to-toe with James. “I can’t help it if Lily finds him attractive or if you’re acting like a complete and utter git. You’re jealous of a boy you hardly know!”

James shoved a finger into Remus’s chest and began to push him backwards. “Let me tell you something right now, Remus…choose a side. This little battle that has been going on for the past few weeks is going to end. He crossed the line when he made my girlfriend look at him in ways she’s supposed to look at me. This is war, Remus, and if he doesn’t like…not my bloody fault.”

Before Remus could say another word, James grasped Lily’s wrist tightly and began to drag her down the corridor. Remus stood there – flabbergasted. He had absolutely no idea what to say. What he had warned Mackenzie about a few days prior was coming true. A war was going to ignite even if Teddy didn’t want it. Why did Lily have to go and like Teddy in the first place? Why couldn’t she have been happy with James and just left it at that? Remus couldn’t deny the fact that there was a certain charm to Teddy. It was familiar and he was beginning to wonder if that was what was getting under James’s skin. There were too many qualities and traits there were becoming similar to several of the Marauders. There was James’s charm, Sirius way with the ladies…but it was his looks that had Remus glancing in the mirror over and over again wondering if he had a long lost brother he didn’t know about. It was Teddy’s eyes that made Remus see himself in Teddy. Perhaps it was just because all of the family lines were tangled, but he couldn’t help feel some sort of undeniable connection to Teddy.

“Honestly I’ve been trying to cool him down for the past three days, Moony,” Sirius said to him as he stood beside Remus. “I’ve learned to just let it go with this kid. The more and more I look at this kid Teddy, the more I’ve been noticing he doesn’t even like the attention like we do. He shuns the spotlight and it’s rare to see that with someone who’s standing in it.”

Remus continued to watch Lily and James fade into the distance. He was losing his grip on his best friend and it was breaking his heart. “All Teddy wants to do is be normal. He’s just looking for acceptance, Sirius, and no one is giving it to him. I was hoping the Marauders would at least show him that we’re not a bunch of complete jerks.”

“Well, most of us are complete jerks…but that’s beside the point.” Leaning against the wall, Sirius watched as most of the students passed on by without a care. “Remus, you may be able to get to Teddy unlike the rest of us. Peter is off doing Merlin knows what. James will drop dead before he welcomes Teddy with open arms.”

“And what about you?”

Sirius peered over at Remus and nodded. “I think there may be an opportunity here that no one else is seeing. Perhaps it is time someone beats James at his own game. Yes, I enjoy my status of playboy, but it is not the center of my world. James enjoys it because it was the only way he could see getting to Lily. But now with Lily’s attention turned to Teddy, James is going to be furious and will stop at nothing to see Teddy destroyed.”

With the fate of the Teddy’s life in his hands, Remus knew he had to do something that wouldn’t permit James to either maim Teddy or kill him. Either way, he knew that he was in for a bit of a challenge. There had already been some ideas discussed with Mackenzie a few days prior near the Whomping Willow. Although nothing was fleshed out completely, they had both come to the conclusion that something had to be done. But if Sirius was willing to help out with some master plan, perhaps there was hope after all.

“You have a plan I take it?”

“A partial plan,” Sirius stated simply, folding his arms over his chest. “It might or might not work. However it will show James that he isn’t immortal, that there are others out there that are just as good as him. Plus, it might help Lily see James for who he really is.”

Remus chuckled. “A git?”

“No, not a git,” Sirius said, laughing. “But that is a point we will have to try and get over. Ever since school started this year, I’ve heard Lily complaining that James has been ignoring her, not giving her the attention she deserves.”

“I’m listening.”

“What if someone else gave Lily the attention she deserves? What if that person is none other than Teddy?”

With his jaw nearly hitting the floor, Remus shook his head. “You must be out of your bloody mind. Do you seriously want to give Teddy a death sentence?”

“He’ll stand a chance if we back him. It’s not like we’re going to throw him to the wolves.” Sirius cringed at the wolf comment and ignored Remus’s cold stare. “You know what I’m talking about. James will never know I’m helping you guys. If you want to see Teddy survive this year, this is the only way to do it. We back Teddy. We prepare him for what James will throw at him. You and I know better than anyone, Moony, what kind of havoc James can raise. If we prepare him well in advance, James will finally see how he’s been acting this year.”

“You don’t like it either, do you? The way James has been acting?”

Sirius merely bowed his head, glancing down at his feet. “No, I don’t. I don’t know what’s come over him, but he’s not James. I’m ready to shake him out of it. Are you?”

Remus thought about the repercussions of their actions and what could ensue if the plan they had backfired. James would never talk to any of them again. Teddy would be a dead man. Lily would be single. And Hogwarts, without any doubt, would be up in flames from sort of curse, hex or what have you. Hell would come to Hogwarts if James had his way. Remus feared it but also thought about what would happen if their plan worked. It was worth a shot. If they could fully prepare Teddy for what was to come, James wouldn’t know what hit him. The once popular James Potter would be knocked down the ladder of success. James would become James again and the Marauders would be whole they way they should have been.

“We’re going to need help with this. It can’t just be us, Sirius. We’re going to need some serious manpower here and I’m not sure if we can find it.”

Sirius winked and put his arm around Remus’s shoulders. They began to walk down the corridor together as the wheels in Sirius’s head began to turn. Remus could practically smell the smoke.

“Leave that all up to me, Remus. I believe I can handle that little part of our plan.”

Teddy sat at the farthest end of the Gryffindor table. He didn’t want to be anywhere near the Marauders at the moment. He had been hexed, cursed, and pranked on way too many times to count in one day. It had taken him forever to find the counter-curse to make himself not look like a frozen popsicle any more. He had missed Transfiguration because of that and had angered Professor McGonagall quite a bit, not exactly something he was used to.

The mashed potatoes on his plate looked as though it was a volcano that was ready to explode. He was watching it rather carefully just incase it did happen to explode and James’s laughter echoed in his ears. His day had not gone well at all. All he had wanted to do was retire to the Gryffindor Common Room but had found it swarming with girls of every year and house looking to be near him in some form or another. Mackenzie’s plan of being one of the most popular kids in school was growing tiring. He had rather enjoyed being the normal kid in school when he was back during his own time. The only thing he missed was his parent’s adoration when he had done something right or won an award. That was the only reason why he was where he was and he was doing what he was doing.

But seeing his father sitting at the opposite end of the table with his best friends didn’t help his heart any. It had actually made the feeling he had been suppressing for so long worse. He longed to be that way with his father – best friends. It had been something he dreamed about. Teddy had always wondered what he father was like when he had gotten older. From the way his godfather, Harry, had spoken of him, he was more studious and humble. Even now Teddy had begun to see those traits rising to the surface. He never understood why Victore had thought his father was a playboy. Teddy had never believed that. It had taken forever for his father to ask his mother out on a date. Teddy honestly didn’t believe that his father would have been any different during his Hogwarts days.

“Is this seat taken?”

Glancing up, he noticed Lily standing beside him. Her smile was nearly glowing as she indicated to the seat next to him. He quickly shook his head and she sat down slowly, letting him watch her with a keen interest.

Why is James’s girlfriend wanting to sit next to me?

“I don’t think we’ve formally met. Lily Evans.”

Teddy took her outstretched hand and shook it. “Teddy Lu…Wolfe.” He had nearly slipped and almost bit his tongue off at his stupidity. “But I suppose you already knew that.”

“Who doesn’t know about the infamous Teddy Wolfe?” There was a slight pause before Lily continued, still smiling. “But I was wondering why someone of your popularity level is sitting all the way at the end of the table by himself when there are dozens of girls clamoring to sit next to you. I mean, after all, some would curse off their own arm to get a chance to do that.”

“Well I certainly don’t want that to happen. Cursing off their arm that is.” Teddy swallowed hard as Lily slid closer to him. He could practically feel James’s cold stare at the back of his head. “So what does the Head Girl want with a guy like me?”

Lily’s eyes shimmered in the golden light that surrounded her. She watched as Teddy just seemed to sit there, dumbfounded as she lightly touched his arm. He recoiled as if in pain, but she placed her hand on his shoulder once again, drawing him close. Her breath was hot on his skin while her lips hovered just inches above his own.

“Trust me…”

Leaning in, her soft, rose-colored lips touched his. The entire Great Hall erupted into applause and whispers as Lily deepened the kiss. Teddy had absolutely no idea what to do but sit there and let her do whatever she was doing, his eyes closed to the world around him. She wrapped her arms around him and drew him as flush against her as their position would allow. Lily was watching over Teddy’s shoulder, noticing James slowly standing up – seething. A grin began to slowly spread as she broke the kiss.

“We know what we’re doing.”

Teddy gazed at her both puzzled and in awe of what had just happened. “We know what we’re…what?”

Before he could get anything else out, he felt himself being lifted up and tossed to the floor. He bit his lip in pain as his shoulder hit the stone and nearly cracked. Trying to push himself up, he was rolled over instead and a foot placed firmly on his chest. Teddy looked up into the eyes of an angry James. As he tried to get up once again, James pushed his foot back down onto his chest once again – harder and nearly leaving a footprint.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Teddy stammered. “I was…I mean I didn’t…I don’t know what…”

“Stay away from my girl or you’ll end up in the hospital wing,” James warned. “Am I making myself clear?”

“Yes…I mean…I understand…but…”

Teddy didn’t have a chance to say anything else. James dug the heel of his shoe into Teddy’s chest before leaving him to lie there. As Teddy stared up at the ceiling, Sirius peered down at him as did Lily. He felt dizzy and confused. What the hell had just happened? Did Lily just kiss him?

“Well that looked like it worked,” Sirius muttered, not even peering down at Teddy any more but glancing at Lily instead. “I told you it would.”

“We almost got him put into the infirmary, Sirius,” Lily rebutted. “For Merlin’s sake, James has a swollen ego. If this doesn’t work I don’t know what will.”

Teddy groaned and pushed himself up on his elbows. He noticed Remus and Mackenzie slowly walking toward him with straight faces. Something was going on and he wasn’t quite sure he wanted to know what.

“Can someone tell me what’s going on?”

“Midnight in the Courtyard. Meet us there. We’ll explain everything.”

Mackenzie sat down next to Teddy on the cold stone floor as Sirius, Lily, and Remus walked away without another word said. He had absolutely no idea what was going on. All of a sudden his world had turned upside down. What had he just gotten himself into?

“Don’t worry, Teddy. Remus and Sirius will explain everything.”

Turning his head toward her, Teddy glanced at Mackenzie curiously. “This isn’t what I want, Mackenzie. This has turned into one big mess.”

“No it hasn’t,” Mackenzie countered. “This just brings you closer to Remus than ever before. He’ll be working along side of you and you can finally figure out who your father is.”

“Working along side of me for what?”

A huge smile spread across Mackenzie’s lips as she nudged him. “The Master Plan.”

A/N: Well, here it is...another update actually sooner the planned. I hope that you enjoyed it and you're enjoying the story. Please let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!

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