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Solutions Night


Sirius was in a daze. Jasmine was sure he was having a concussion this time, but it was really the shock that had been punched into him... literally.

"I can't believe he punched you!" Jasmine cried in fret.

Usually Sirius would have stood back up and brushed off a punch to act like he hadn't felt a thing, but this one hurt more. It was from his best mate...and what really got him was that he deserved it. So instead he laid there on Jasmine's floor where he fell.

Jasmine was on her knees with her hands behind his head to feel any more bumps that may have formed from falling onto the floor.

"What have I done?" was all that he could keep thinking, "What was I thinking?"

"Sirius, you have to move. Usually I would say to just lay there for a while, but mum and dad are bound to be home any minute and if they see you in here they'll figure it out too."

"I just ruined the best friendship I've ever had. I should've told him weeks ago," Sirius mumbled.

"No you shouldn't have! He would have reacted the same way!"

Jasmine got up from her knees and attempted to drag him out of her room by his arms. She pulled with all of her might, but his body barely moved.

"How much to you weigh?" she asked shocked, "I always knew eating like that wouldn't be good for you." Sirius didn't answer. "What's Remus's address?" she asked after a pause. Sirius's face went blank not giving her any sign of communication.

"I need help! Wake up, Sirius!"

Jasmine dropped Sirius's arms back to the ground and walked off. He wasn't sure what her plan was, but there was no way he was going to be able to move himself. He felt like a thousand bricks were lying on top of his body holding him in place.

"Bricks of guilt," he though miserably.

He zoned out staring up at the ceiling. "I never realized how smooth the ceiling is...smooth like my and James's friendship was. No bumps, just endless smoothness. That cream seems to be on every ceiling. What is it with people and cream? I guess it does go with about every color. Even if they decided to change colors of the walls it would probably still match the ceiling. What kind of person determines their wall colors off of their ceiling color? What fun could they possibly find in-"

"What's he doing?" a voice interrupted his thoughts.

"He's just been lying there. I've been snapping in front of his face and calling out his name, since I flooed you an hour and half ago," Jasmine's voice said. Her voice was slightly wobbling making Sirius unsure if she had been crying, or maybe was beginning to cry, or just panicking.

"Padfoot," a stern voice called him. Remus stepped over him making Sirius's mind click with recognition. However, his face expression didn't show it. "Criminy. Come on, mate."

Sirius suddenly felt himself being lifted up like a sack of potatoes and then thrown over Remus's shoulder. He mentally noted that it was much bonier than he had expected and if this were ever to happen again to be a little more prepared for that.

Remus sighed feeling Sirius's full weight on his shoulders. To be honest, this was about the only good thing about being a werewolf. He could look sickly on the outside, but there was muscle hidden underneath that.

Walking down the hall he stood outside of Sirius's room reading the word that James had inscribed on his door. Kicking it open, he threw Sirius onto his bed without caring about the roughness.

On one side he could see how Sirius could want Jasmine. She's beautiful, intelligent, and witty, but the fact that her last name is Potter throws all that to the side where the "Out of Boundaries" sign is. Sirius should have known to at least talk to James and let him know how real his feelings really are...or so Remus was assuming. Sirius is the least capable Marauder of a long term relationship, and it was hard to tell if he was really going to stick with it this time.

On the other side though, James should have known that one day this was going to happen. The chemistry between Sirius and Jasmine was too strong to ignore for much longer. Even as her brother, James should have seen how easy it is to fall in love, lust or whatever with Jasmine. She's one of kind just like Lily!

"Really, mate?" Remus said with a dry voice, "Jasmine? You had to sleep with Jasmine?!"

"So she told you," Sirius mumbled.

"Of course she told me! How else was she supposed to convince me to come over here and drag your ass out of her room?"

Sirius sighed from his laying position and propped himself up onto his elbows. "Are you going to hate me too? Punch me just like Prongs? I wouldn't blame you. I'm the biggest prick there is," he ended miserably. His elbows strength went out making him crash back onto the mattress.

Remus watched in disbelief. Sirius wasn't making it any easier to be mad and on James's side when he acted so guilty and sorry.

"Do you even like her? You realize she's got smarter wits than you, don't you?"

"Of course I do! That girl is so incredibly hard to get along with, but that's why we're perfect for each other because there are times she can't stand me either! We're so exactly the same that we just....work."

"I thought opposites attract," Remus mumbled to himself.

"Not in this case."

From Sirius's room, the two boys could hear the front door open and close. Without a second to lose Remus sprinted to Sirius's door trying to think of a spell that would undo James's art work. If Mr. and Mrs. Potter came upstairs and saw 'Backstabber' carved into the door they would ask questions, which meant they would find out, which meant things would get just a lot more complicated than needed.

'Not to mention how awkward that would be for Mr. Potter to know Sirius is sleeping with his daughter...' Remus thought.

His mind wasn't thinking fast enough though for spells. Instead he ran into Sirius's room and removed a poster of a Quidditch team from his wall. He shoved it over the words and tried to think of a sticking spell, but still his mind was blank. Jasmine thankfully ran up and pushed Remus out of the way, muttering a spell that made the poster stay in its place.

They let out a sigh together as footsteps neared the top of the stairs. Mrs. Potter, however, didn't even notice that they were there. She walked straight past them and into her own bedroom with her eyes glazed over in what looked like exhaustion. Mr. Potter's steps weren't far behind, and though he had dark bags under his eyes, he acknowledged the pair.

"Hard day at work, daddy?" Jasmine asked in an unnaturally high voice.

"You could say that," he mumbled. He stopped and looked at Sirius's door. "I hope you didn't use a permanent sticking charm for that."

"Of course not, sir!" Remus exclaimed. He glanced worriedly at Jasmine hoping she hadn't.

"Good. A seer announced today she saw them coming in last place, and I doubt Sirius will like them much after that."

Mr. Potter lifted his hand lazily as a wave goodnight and then followed Mrs. Potter's trail into their bedroom.

"You didn't use the permanent spell, did you?" Remus asked quietly.

"To be honest..." Jasmine mumbled, "I can't remember. I just sputtered out the first thing that came to my mind, and it happened to work!"

Remus rubbed his eyes in stress. The coming full moon made him especially irritable, but he tried hard to hide it.

"Where's James?"

"I don't know...we started yelling at each other and he just left. Stormed out of here."

"He's probably with Lily," Remus mumbled, "You might want to stay away from Sirius for the night." Jasmine's eyes turned to slits. "Do you really want James to come back and have to go through it all again? No offense, Jasmine, but this is a pretty selfish thing you did. They've been best friends since forever, and you guys got together without even thinking about how James would react?"

"Of course I did!" Jasmine hissed, "But this was never supposed to happen. I didn't think we would really get together after the first time, but then..." she stopped and had to take a breath, "He says and does these things and it feels like I've never felt so connected with a person before!" A guilty look came over her face and shuffled from one foot to another. "I thought if it only happened once he would never have to know."

"Real nice," Remus half laughed.

This made Jasmine look at him with a glare. "Don't judge me."

Whipping her hair behind her, Jasmine walked hurriedly to her room snapping her door shot.

"So much drama before the school year even starts," Remus thought.

He walked down the stairs and waited for James to come home in the kitchen. He helped himself to some food, but after an hour started wondering if he would even be coming home. Finally, as he was starting to drift to sleep, the front door opened and shut.

Remus jumped to his feet and caught James just as he put a foot on the steps.

"Hey, Prongs," he called.

James turned and a curious look came over his face.

"What're you doing here?" he asked.

"Hanging out. Where've you been?"

"Lily's."

"How is she?"

"Fine."

James crossed his arms in front of his chest glaring hard at Remus. He didn't think about it earlier, but what if Remus had known this whole time? It felt as if he had been waiting for James to get home so he could fight for Sirius's side.

Remus started to walk towards James, pointing his thumb up the stairs to Sirius's door. "You did some nice work."

"We were planning on using it on the Slytherins this year," James stopped to smile, "We were going to switch the dorm room signs. Make the boys go in on the girls."

Remus himself started smiling, not even wanting to ask how they planned to get into their common room unnoticed.

James sighed wanting to get this lecture over with. "Remus, if you're going to try to get me to apologize, he's going to have to do it first. There's no way I'll be the first one to speak a word to him."

Remus put his hands up in defense, "I don't blame you, mate. I would've punched him too!"

This made James pause, confused why Remus was here if he wasn't going to be the peace maker. This brought him back to the thought that maybe he was just going to calm James down because he'd known the whole time.

"I didn't know," Remus blurted out reading his mind, "Jasmine just flooed me and asked me said she needed help. So of course I came thinking it was serious, and then there was Sirius...on the floor. I was pretty confused, but it made sense after she explained."

James brought his hand to his hair anxiously not knowing what else there was to say. "Now what?" he said.

"Well...I know Jasmine wants me to talk to you, but I need your advice on something first." This made James's eye brows scrunch in confusion. This definitely wasn't what he was expecting. "Can we talk?"

"Yeah, mate. You know I'm always here for you," James said with a sigh.

He stepped away from the stairs and headed toward the kitchen where Remus had come from. Remus followed and leaned over a counter top across from where James sat on a stool. Reaching into his pocket he brought out an envelope that had a slight bulge in it.

"I guess it's not as much that I need advice, but I need to tell you."

"Okay..." James said uncertainly.

"The last couple of months I've noticed a change in myself. I've been really moody and-"

"Remus," James stopped him, "If this is another thing about the 'wolf in you', you need to realize that's not you! It's just your furry little problem that likes to make an appearance every once in a while!"

"No, James, it's really starting to make a difference in my personality, and I know why!" Remus paused to make sure James was really listening. "It's because of stress. All of the stress from classes, Prefect duties, the problem in general, and thinking about how it'll be when I get out of school...it makes me be a person I'm not."

"Everyone gets like that. It's perfectly normal! Look at this situation! I got stressed out and punched my best friend!"

"I sent a letter to Dumbledore," Remus ignored his comment, "I resigned from Head Boy."

"What?" James said in shock, "What is wrong with you? You're perfect for the job, Moony!"

"I know, and trust me, I really wanted to do it, but I can't," Remus shook his head and looked down at the envelope in his hands. "Dumbledore said he understood, and he asked me to give you this."

He slid it across the counter making James even more confused. He picked it up, noticing it was heavier than the usual letter from Dumbledore. He slipped his finger under the seal and broke it with an easy tug. Inside was a golden badge with 'James Potter, Head Boy' engraved onto it.

"I don't understand!" James exclaimed, "I've never even been a Prefect. Why would Dumbledore give me this?"

"I don't know," Remus laughed, "But apparently he thinks you're the man for the job!"

James twirled the badge in his fingers examining the details on it. "Interesting," he mumbled.

Never in a million years did James think Dumbledore would even consider making him Head Boy! He was apart of the notorious pranking group, already the Quidditch captain of a team well known for their victory parties, and shamelessly made a love-sick fool out of himself for six years.

On the brighter side, James knew he was in the top three of their class, was really good with younger year kids when it came to teaching magic, and has become a respectable guy who is mature enough to share a dorm with-

"Oh Merlin!" James yelled making Remus jump. He jumped up from his chair and punched his fist in the air. "Me and Lily get the dorm to ourselves! No friends to walk in on us, no fighting the rest of the house for chairs by the fire. Just us two, for a year, in our own room! Mate this is the best thing you've ever thought to have done!"

Remus started laughing wondering how long it was going to take for him to realize that. He himself thought about it after thinking how bad he felt for Lily to have to live with a boy. Especially when that boy is a messy Marauder.

"This is going to be great," James continued, "I can't wait to tell her. If I didn't know she were asleep I'd send her an owl right now." He stopped for a second bouncing excitedly on his feet. "She can handle losing a few seconds of sleep to let Ripper in, I have to tell her!"

Remus laughed as he watched James spring away with his badge in his hand. Remus had been sad at first to give up his position, but seeing the excitement on James's face was worth it. He actually couldn't wait to have a school year where his only duties were to get homework done. It was going to be a synch.
_________________________________________________________________

Lily anxiously watched the clock on her register. It was 6:50PM and in ten minutes she was going to be going out with Paula. She had brought clothes with her to work to change into for their night out knowing she would be able to change in her parents' office without anyone walking in on her.

A little part of her was hoping that she would be able to squeeze her way out of hanging out with Paula. Not because she didn't want to straighten everything out before she went back to school, but she was so tired! After James had left she fell back asleep without a problem...or that was until he sent his owl.

The sharp tapping on her window had scared her almost off the bed, but when she saw whose owl it was she took the letter and set it on her bed stand planning to read it in the morning. However, before an hour could go by she was woken by that tapping noise again.

She again got the letter from Ripper, and scanned this second note that said, 'Why didn't you answer? Aren't you excited?' This made Lily roll her eyes and stubbornly went back to sleep thinking that he could wait for her reply until morning.

However, this didn't stop James from sending a third note. She tried so hard to ignore it, but Ripper wouldn't stop! She threw off her bed covers and stormed to her window practically ripping the note from Ripper's leg.

"You don't let him send you to me anymore tonight," she hissed to the owl. Without a second to waste the owl took off from her window sill and didn't return.

This made Lily feel pleased in the kind of power she held over things, but still didn't bring back those moments of interrupted sleep. She drowsily made her way to her last day of work, meeting James just as he was leaving his last shift.

His face was lit up with excitement, and only dimmed a little when he saw Lily's baggy-eyed face.

"Aren't you happy for me?" he asked her.

"For what?" Lily mumbled.

James's face dropped. "You didn't read my notes?"

"You sent them to me when I was dead asleep!"

"But you didn't read them this morning?"

"Sorry, I forgot," Lily shrugged with an apologetic smile.

"Well then," James said a little put out, "Sorry to have woken you. I guess I'll just let you work then." James punched out his number and started walking away.

"Wait, James!" Lily hurriedly punched in her own number and chased after him, "I'm sorry! I was just so tired when I woke up it slipped my mind. Tell me! Did Sirius talk to you?"

"No," James said darkly. He shook his head not wanting to think about that.

"James," Lily grabbed the back of his shirt and forced him to turn around, "What is it?"

"You really want to know?"

"Yes! Really bad!"

"Okay," his face lit up again, "I'm going to be Head Boy!"

Lily didn't know what to say so she just looked at James with an odd expression.

"But Remus is Head Boy," she finally managed.

"No, Remus was Head Boy. He told Dumbledore he didn't want to do it, so he chose me instead!"

"You didn't ask Remus to do this, did you?"

"What? No! Of course not!"

Lily crossed her arms unsurely. "But next in line was Severus! You've never even been a Prefect!"

"Lily, you're really ruining the moment for me."

"Oh!" she caught herself, "Sorry." She took a second and realized how big of an accomplishment this was. "Wow!" she exclaimed, "You're the Head Boy!" She jumped onto James giving him a big hug. "Congratulations! I'm so proud of you! I don't think any other student has ever been able to pull that off!"

"Thanks...I think," James laughed returning her hug, "You're going out tonight with Paula, right?"

"Yeah," she nodded, "I'm not sure what we're going to do, but I'm sure it'll be fine."

"She's trying really hard to make things right between you two. She's just scared I think." James took a second to sigh. "It is a shame though that we're going to have tonight together."

"Oh, really?"

"Yeah. I've been rather lonely, you know. I even dragged some poor girl into a closet with me just to get a little bit of action."

Lily started laughing and pushed James against his chest.

"I think you're on the verge of sounding desperate, Mr. Potter," Lily teased.

"If that's what it takes!" James planted a kiss on Lily's cheek and hugged her good bye.

And that's how Lily got to work, and now stared at the register's clock that said 6:50PM.

"Excuse me, miss?" a customer called out to her, "I was wondering, how sour is this sourdough bread?"

Lily mentally smacked her palm against her forehead, but instead said, "Well, you know, that's a great question. As far as I've heard other customers say this particular brand has a great taste to it.

"Yes, but how sour is it?"

Lily sighed unsure how to tell the woman she had no clue how to answer that.

"Let me go ask someone."

She paged for help over the intercom and began ringing up customers that were done shopping. One couple left, and when she looked up, she was caught off guard to see Sirius standing there.

Usually she would give him a fairly warm greeting, but now she wasn't sure what to do. So instead he spoke first.

"I know you're obligated to be on James's side, but can you help me?" His eyes were pleading her to say yes, and though part of her wanted to, she was sure this conversation wouldn't be suitable for customer's ears, and she didn't know how James would like that.

"I'm working, Sirius," she shrugged.

"What about when you're off?"

"I'm going out with Paula when I'm done here. Can't you ask Remus for help?"

"I want your help! Give me five minutes! Please?"

Lily threw ideas around in head, but finally gave in after just a few seconds. "Meet me in the foyer. I'm off in just about five or ten minutes now. But we can only talk until Paula gets here. Then we're leaving."

"That's fine!" Sirius smiled.

He obediently walked away form her register and sat in the foyer waiting for her to join him. Lily watched him from the corner of her eye not sure what advice she could give him that Remus couldn't. She and James had only been dating for a couple months now. There was no way she knew as much as him.

Instead of waiting for Lily to meet him, he went back to her side once he saw her 'CLOSED' sign go up.

"How much did he tell you?" he asked her.

"Well," Lily said as she cleaned her conveyor belt, "Aside from him being in a state of shock, he just told me that he caught you guys together. Is there much more to add to to that?" Lily laughed.

"Well, kind of," Sirius swallowed, "It wasn't the first time."

Lily looked up at him shaking her head. "When was the first time?"

"Not too long ago. The night we had been drinking."

"Why didn't you tell James?" Lily walked out from behind her register and worked her way to the time clock to punch out.

"I don't know!" Sirius reached up and pulled on his hair, "She told me not to and I listened! This is all besides the point! What is James's plan?"

"What plan?" Lily asked.

"I'm sure he ranted about doing something to make me pay."

"Oh....er...he said he would keep you from talking with the rest of the Marauders and try to stop communication between you and Jasmine."

"The complete cold shoulder," Sirius nodded, "I would do same. What do you think I can do to get him to stop?"

"Well...why don't you talk to him?"

"What? Why would James want me to talk to him? He doesn't even want to see me!"

Lily raised her eyebrows at Sirius, "What else is there to do?"

"Well, I was thinking I could buy him a new broom that hasn't been released yet, or a new captain's uniform for this season. I'm so scared he wouldn't like it though! I've never messed up this bad before!"

Lily's jaw dropped, "You're acting like he's your boyfriend! For Merlin's sake, man up and go say you're sorry!" Lily lowered her voice, "You slept with her, okay? Should you have told him? Yeah! But you didn't, and now he knows so what more could go wrong?"

Someone coughed behind the pair making them turn around to see Paula.

"Sorry, I didn't want to interrupt..."

"No, it's ok!" Lily said, "I'm just going to change and I'll be ready to go."

Lily walked away into the office leaving Sirius awkwardly trying to find a way out of this situation.

"How've you been, Sirius?" Paula asked him.

"Good," Sirius nodded, "Just needed some advice from Lily."

Paula nodded waiting for him to ask the question in return. When he didn't she decided to tell him anyway, "I've been really good too. I work during the day and go out on nights with friends. I was glad Lily was open tonight so we could hang out before you guys go back to school."

"Definitely. Right, well, I've got to be going. Tell Lily I said thanks for helping."

And with that he walked away leaving Paula very frustrated. Sirius was supposed to be mad that he had let her go, but instead he acted like he didn't even know her!

Lily came out from her parent's office now dressed in jeans and a cute top.

"Where'd Sirius go?" she asked noticing his absence.

"He left like I was the plague," Paula frowned, "He is the most infuriating boy ever! Usually when a guy dumps me they always come crawling back because I am a great catch! But him? He can't even have a conversation with me!" Paula paused taking a second to think. "Do you think he's acting like that because he still has a thing for me?"

Lily held in a laugh because she was over thinking the situation too much. "I'm sorry, Paula, but he's actually seeing someone."

Paula's face scrunched and she let out a breath. "Never mind him. It's girls night! What do you want to do tonight?"

They made their way out of the store and towards Paula's car.

"How about some dinner first, and we can we can decide what to do while we're eating."

"Okay," Paula nodded. She started the ignition and made their way out of the parking lot. She drove them to a restaurant called 'Anthony's Italian' where they knew the owners.

They were greeted kindly by the owner's wife, Isabella, and seated by their son, Johnny.

"Its been a while since you ladies have graced us with your presence," Johnny teased.

Lily laughed as Paula went along with it, "Yeah, its been a crazy summer. Hardly any time to hang out with each other let alone go out to dinner!"

They stopped at a table by a window and sat down without asking for menus.

"I'll put the regular in for you guys,"

"Thanks, Johnny," they both smiled up at him.

He walked away leaving the both of them giggling.

"He gets cuter every summer," Lily said quietly.

"I know!" Paula agreed, "I ran into him at a party during this last year and he tried really hard to hook up with me, but I was with Danny at the time. If I had known what a jerk Danny would turn out to be I might have taken him on the answer."

"No way!" Lily laughed, "Because then, no offense, but if it didn't work out they might not give us our meals for free anymore."

Paula laughed with her and agreed. Free food was not to be put in jeopardy.

Their spaghettis came not too long after letting the two settle into a silence while they ate. Lily was afraid of what the silence would bring. It could mean they had either run out of things to say already, or Paula was preparing to bring up the subject of Marcus.

She sat there waiting to find out. Paula looked like she was feeling the same awkwardness from the silence, looking off into the air as she ate her spaghetti. When she finished her plate she pushed it away and looked over at Lily.

"So," she started, "I want to apologize." Lily's ears perked up. "I wasn't the kind of friend that you needed. I turned into some bitch that only wanted to hear the gossip and didn't even try to help you," Paula's voice slightly shook as she spoke, staring hard in the opposite direction to keep back any potential tears, "I wouldn't want to tell me either! James put it all into prospective for me though, and I couldn't believe it when I realized it was true."

Lily reached across the table and grabbed one of Paula's hands. "I really appreciate the apology. I shouldn't have just pushed you out like that. It was really bad of me and really didn't help the situation like I thought it would."

The girls sat there for a few second soaking in each other's apologies.

"Are you okay, though?" Paula asked, "Michael told me what happened..." she mumbled.

Lily's stomach slightly clenched in anger that Michael had told Paula. It wasn't his to tell. Especially when all he knew was Marcus's point of view.

"I'm fine. If James and Sirius hadn't pulled up though...the story would probably be different," Lily paused focusing her sight on the plate in front of her, "I never expected to see that look in his eyes of just... pure anger."

Paula squeezed Lily's hands and whispered, "Want to go for a walk?"

"The both of you leaving so quickly?" Johnny called out when they stood from their table.

"Places to go, people to see," Paula answered swiftly.

"They're two beautiful girls, Johnny! What do you think? They can't sit there forever for you to drool all over," Isabella said. She threw a wink at the girls, who laughed and thanked her for the great dinner. "Lily, I know you go away for school, but Paula you have no excuse to take so long to come and visit us!"

"It's never quite the same though without Lily," she squeezed Lily from the side.

They walked out of the front door meeting the night's fresh air Lily felt like she could finally breathe. She made peace with Paula, and she thanks Merlin she didn't have to keep anymore secrets from her.

"So, Lils, what exactly do you learn at your school?"

"Oh..." she thought, "Except for that one..."
_________________________________________
Author's Note: Hi everyooone! As usual, I must apologize for this taking me foreverrrr. I've been trying to make the chapters longer, which doesn't necessarily give me an excuse to take THIS long to write, but i'm going to try to use it anyway.
And sheesh! Now are all of you guys happy? James is the Head Boy. Was this apart of my plan the whole time? Or did I give in to the people's demands? We will never know....but it just happened to fit in nicely right there. lol!!
reviews are always welcome! and are there any suggestions of some good l/j reads? i'm in dire need a good one :D

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