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The Gryffindor table made its way up the many stair cases of the castle until they reached their tower. The second years and up made their way through the portrait, but Lily held the first years behind.

"Pay attention really quick!" she tried to get their attention, "Now, in order to get inside the common room you must tell the Fat Lady the password. For now the password is-"

"Wait!" James yelled. Lily raised an eyebrow at him waiting for an explanation. "There might be a spy hiding within these first years. We don't know them yet!"

"Oh, Merlin," Lily mumbled.

"Come close, rookies!" James said the eleven year olds, "It's vitally important that you don't tell another soul from another House what the password is, got it?"

They all nodded their heads and inched towards the Head Students. "Can I tell them now?" Lily asked. James took another glance around their hallway and nodded. "Right then, the password is Himple Dinks."

"What's a Himple Dink?" a boy asked.

"A Himple Dink is a slug that attaches itself inside of a tree trunk in order to escape the view of predators," Lily answered.

"Do we have to know its definition to enter?" a girl asked.

"No, even though it's something good to remember for future reference."

"What happens if we forget the password?" another girl asked.

"You're stuck out here until either you remember it, or another Gryffindor comes by and helps you in," James explained.

"Can't the portrait just remember us?"

"I prefer to be called by my name!" the Fat Lady said indignantly.

"She'll come to recognize you, but that doesn't mean she'll let you in. The Fat Lady is very dedicated to her job!" Lily said, "Now come along, lets get you inside! Everyone tell me the password."

"Himple Dink!" they chorused.

The Fat Lady swung open and Lily smiled, finally feeling like she was home. The first years gasped in delight and curiously walked around the room to test out some of the squishy chairs and look at the book case.

"Your trunks are already in your rooms; Boys on the first level on the left stair case, ladies on the first level on the right stair case," James yelled so they could all hear him.

"Do you think we should warn the boys about the girls staircase?" Lily asked.

"They'll find out on their own," James smirked.

"Wow, Sirius, so you're actually in a relationship?" they heard Marie ask by the fireplace.

The pair made their way over as Sirius casually put his hands behind his head before answering, "That's right. Me and Jasmine are the real deal."

"I really thought Jasmine of all people would have more sense than to date someone like you," Lisa said in a casual tone.

"She's got plenty of sense!" Sirius defended Jasmine.

Lisa went on ignoring his comment, "Of course, we all thought Lily had more sense than to date Potter, but we were wrong there, weren't we?"

The comment sent Danielle busting into laughter, Marie into giggles, but Lily narrowed her eyes at all three of them. "Real mature, Lisa," she said.

"We're only joking, Lils!" she said.

"Yeah, relax! You had to of known we wouldn't let you get away with this scot free, did you?" Danielle said.

Lily looked to Marie for help, but she only shrugged. 'Great, no allies...' she thought.

"I'm going to bed," Lily sighed in annoyance. She turned to James and gave him a quick kiss, "Night."

"Night. I love you," he hugged her.

"You too."

James waited for Lily to be all the way up the stairs before turning on her friends, "I'm sorry, did you all forget who received the most O's on their N.E.W.T.S. last year? I think that proves Lily's got plenty of sense. And lets remember how I was one of the only people from Hogwarts who hung out with Lily this whole summer, even before we were dating! The Marauders know more about her summer than you do because you were all too lazy to even write a small note to Lily. Maybe if you had attempted to keep in touch you would know that Lily's happy."

Marie looked down at her hands guiltily, but Lisa and Danielle put their hands on their hips in defense, "You're just lucky we weren't there during the summer or else you would never have gotten this far with her," Danielle said. She and Lisa stood up also heading towards the staircase when she continued, "Just wait for when school starts rolling again. She's going to be so busy with studying and passing classes she's not going to have time to waste with you."

The two left the room with James glaring after them. He never realized how much worse those two were than Lily was when she hated him and his friends.

"Marie, why do they hate us so much?" Remus asked.

Marie shrugged avoiding their eyes. "I guess it's just a little bit of everything."

"Oh come on, we weren't that bad to you guys!" Sirius said.

This comment made Marie look up finally, "Lets see, you dated both of them at the same time, then toyed with my heart last year. James has been chasing Lily all these years professing his love to her, while simultaneously having flings. Peter worships the two of you for those said actions," Peter let out an indignant 'Hey!' "and Remus..."

"Me? What have I done?" Remus asked incredulously.

"You let them do whatever the hell they want." She paused to let it sink in before continuing, "You guys know that I don't mind you. I accept who you are and what you do, but Lisa and Danielle for some reason just can't get over it!"

"That's not who we are anymore though!" James exclaimed, "You of all people know that Lily wouldn't just fall into my arms because you guys weren't here to egg her on anymore. I worked my ass off to become the person she deserves, and thank Merlin, I succeeded!"

"I know you did! She explained it to us on the train ride. They still aren't convinced though."

"Maybe you can put in a good word for us," Remus suggested.

"Yeah! If it's coming from you instead of Lily they'll stop thinking it's a biased decision," James said.

"I don't know you guys...I'll give it a shot, but Lisa and Danielle are the most stubborn people I know."

"We noticed," Peter snickered.

Marie stood and straightened her clothing, giving the boys one last look. "I'm not promising anything," she said, "Good night."

"Night," they chorused.

Marie followed in the same footsteps as her roommates and could hear their bickering already about half way up the stairs. She was officially Team Lily and Co. now, but truth be told it scared the day lights out of her that her opponents were Lisa and Danielle. Already she could hear them voicing their complaints, and she could only imagine poor Lily trying to defend herself.

She opened the seventh year dormitory door and saw the battlefield was vicious. On the one side was Lily with her hands balled up at her sides, her face pink, and her mouth straining not to open yet. On the other side was Lisa and Danielle egging each other hardly giving Lily the chance to speak.

"Fine, you're dating him! The deed is already done, but I just don't get how you could allow him to sweep into your life when you're most vulnerable and trick yourself into thinking that he actually cares," Lisa said.

Lily's eyes started to feel a little moist, but she didn't let her friends see it. "Well, what I just don't get," she mocked Lisa's words, "Is how shitty of friends you're being. I get that you guys don't like him, but we've been friends long enough that you should be able to trust my decisions, or at least control your mouths enough so that for just one second tonight you could say something that isn't insulting."

"Shitty? Is that what you'd call this? Because I think of it more as an intervention. We care enough to get you out of this!" Danielle rebutted.

"The only shitty thing we did was not step in sooner," Lisa added.

"You guys, stop it!" Marie yelled making her presence known, "Should Lily have at least warned us that this was going on? Sure! But you two are being plain mean and rude. We should be happy that Lily found a guy who's going to treat her right!"

"How are you so sure that he's going to treat her right, Marie? You know just as well as the rest of us how James is when it comes to the girls of this school. All four of them are a bunch of horn dogs!"

"That's just it, Lisa! You don't know them. A few years back when Sirius played you, and James was always annoying Lily they were pricks. If you look at them now though, really look at them you can tell they've matured. James is Head Boy, which has to say something, Sirius is in a real relationship, Peter isn't as dependent on the guys anymore, and Remus actually kept their chaos at a minimum last year. You're both too prejudiced to see that though. You're blinded by your hatred."

"I don't recall you being this forgiving when Black played you last year," Danielle mumbled.

Marie's cheeks flushed a little, but she was quick in saying, "That was a year ago, and I'm over it. How long has it been since Sirius did that to you guys? Three years? That shows the great maturity levels needed for a future Auror and Professor."

The two girls had to suppress their glares because they both knew she was right; they were acting like ten year olds who were pretending to know everything.

"Fine," Lisa said, "We'll sleep on it."

"Thank you," Lily sighed.

"And we're sorry if we came off as only being mean. We were just trying to smack you out of it."

"I understand. We used some of the same tactics on Marie, except me and James are a real thing. We're staying together for as long as we can."

With the battle air finally cooling down, the girls were able to finish getting ready for bed and get in some proper sleep before their classes the next morning. Lily personally fell asleep with a little extra contentment that she at least had one friend officially on her side.

James woke up to the sound of Sirius and Peter wrestling in front of the bathroom door.

"I need to go first, Wormtail!" Sirius yelled.

"No! You take too long with your hair! Just let me go!" Peter yelled back.

James covered his ears with his hands and turned away from the scene.

"Padfoot, just let him go first!" Remus put in his input, "It's true, you spend way too much time on your hair."

Sirius let out a huff after untangling himself from Peter and trekked back over to his bed. "Maybe you guys should wake up earlier than me if your showers are so precious to you."

"Maybe you should wake up earlier than us!" Peter said before shutting the bathroom door.

"He's so melodramatic," Sirius flopped into his bed.

"Right, he's melodramatic," Remus laughed.

"I call dibs on the next shower though. If I don't get my hair washed I'm going to look like Snivelly."

"Something no one wants," James shuddered. He slowly lifted himself from the bed and quickly ruffled his hair in his hands, "We're officially back in school, lads!"

Remus stood from his bed and after a quick stretch bent over and reached under his bed for his book bag stuffed with all of his school essentials. "It's going to be a tough one," he said opening the bag and looking through his books.

"Nonsense!" Sirius said, "The teachers do this to us every year; scare us into thinking the next year is always going to be harder, but I think it's a load of lies. I still seem to do perfectly fine!"

"Yes, but for us who actually want to do above average, we work twice as hard."

"Average? Moony, I think we all know here that I am way above average. Even Wormtail is above average and he does even less than me! It's how we do, right Prongs?"

James shrugged and began look through his suit case for a uniform. "I don't know, mate...Lily got me thinking, and I think we should really give this year a go! I mean we always get our work done and stuff, but maybe we can try studying more than just the bare minimum this year."

Sirius's jaw dropped, and Remus bursted out in laugher. "What has dating a bookworm done to you?!" Sirius yelled, "That's it! Give me that badge! It's changing you!"

Sirius lunged at James, his hand outstretched toward the Head Boy badge hanging on the left side of his robe. James tried to back away, but tripped over a foot of his bed causing both him and Sirius to land on the floor.

"Get off me, Padfoot!"

"Not until you give me that demonic emblem!"

The bathroom door opened and Peter stepped out wrapped in towels. "Merlin, Sirius must really want his hair washed. I didn't know it meant that much to you," he said.

"He's onto a different subject now," Remus informed him.

There was a rip of clothing and a victorious, "Yes!" from the new wrestling match.

Sirius jumped off with the badge held into the air. "Now how do you feel?" he asked James.

James's mouth hung open as he stared down at the hole in his new robe. "I feel angry, you dolt! Mum just bought these!" He jumped up from floor and jumped at Sirius sending them both back onto the floor. "Give it back!" he ordered.

"Agh! Just give it a second!" Sirius managed to yell out, "Not wearing this is for the better!"

"Lets go to breakfast, Peter. I have a feeling this is going to take a while," Remus shook his head.

Remus sloppily put on his uniform and together they walked out of the dorm room. When they reached the Great Hall they spotted Lily and her friends sitting on one end of the table, and Remus made the decision to take a seat next to them.

"Morning, ladies," he greeted them.

"Hello," they chorused.

He and Peter sat down and before they could take their first bite of toast, Lily asked, "Where's James?"

"He's, uh, on his way. Him and Sirius had something to figure out," Peter laughed.

"Merlin, it's not a prank is it? Because I specifically told him that I wouldn't be able to tolerate them, and he shouldn't be doing them since he's Head Boy!"

"No, it's not prank related, don't worry."

"I wouldn't put it past him though," Danielle scoffed.

Lily's head snapped in her direction, but Marie immediately intervened. "What she means is that he's still a Marauder, despite his position, and it would be weird for them not to pull a prank!"

"Precisely," Danielle shrugged.

Lily rolled her eyes as she turned back to her breakfast. If this was her friends making an attempt to understand they would have to work a lot harder on their acting.

"Has McGonagall passed out the new schedules yet?" Remus asked.

"Not yet. I think she's waiting for James to be here so that we can both help her," Lily explained.

"How were your holidays?" Marie asked.

"Decent," Peter said with a mouthful of porridge, "Little bit of fun here, little bit of fun there. You know the life," he winked making Lisa roll her eyes.

"And yours, Remus?"

"It was fine. Obviously didn't have as much fun as Pete though," he said. The girls giggled at his joke, but Peter sent a small glare in Remus's direction.

The flow of students entering for their breakfast started to thicken, and about half way through James and Sirius finally made their appearance. Both of their hairs were messy and tousled, their uniforms disheveled.

"What happened to you two?" Marie laughed.

"Looks like you two spent some time in a broom closet," Danielle teased.

"James, what happened to your robes?" Lily asked noticing the hole.

James furrowed his eyebrows, "Well, it turns out that the Head Boy badge holds a curse over me when I wear it, so Padfoot here took it upon himself to remove it from me."

Sirius huffed in disbelief, "So it's one little hole, get over it. I'm sure Evans knows a spell to sew it back up anyway."

"That's true," Lily nodded promptly pointing her wand at the robe to get it fixed.

"Not the point though. I was supposed to be down here a half hour ago, but instead I had to wait for him to wash his hair," James complained.

"Did you expect me to walk down here alone?" Sirius asked.

James opened his mouth to respond, but instead McGonagall walked up to the table with instructions. "Miss Evans, Mr. Potter, can you please take these schedules and hand them out to your Housemates?"

"Of course, Professor," Lily said taking the stack from her. She split it in two handing one half to James.

"Annabelle Lewis?" Lily yelled down the table. A third year girl raised her hand and Lily walked over to her.

James looked down at his own stack wishing he could just eat his breakfast.

"Not having the badge isn't such a bad idea now, is it?" Sirius laughed.

James ignored him and followed Lily's lead. "Elizabeth Mays?"

Sirius's laughter followed him down the table, but he tried to ignore it. It was true that he would have to be more mature because of his Head Boy position, but mostly it was because he knew they wouldn't be able to keep the act much longer. Sure, it was good to have fun every now and again, but for the first time in their lives they had to pay attention to the future. They had always done extremely well in their classes, but he knew if they actually put effort into it they'd be the most sought after students around!

He passed out another twenty-something schedules and was able to swallow a quick cup of pumpkin juice and stuffed a bagel in his bag as the rest of the group started to stand.

"Where's your first class, James?" Lily asked.

He quickly glanced down at his schedule and cursed at the first class. "Potions," he mumbled.

"Oh, good! Me too! Maybe we can be partners," she winked.

Hearing this, Lisa pulled on Danielle's arm to make her stop. "Please don't go to Magical Creatures! Take Potions instead!"

"You have Magical Creatures right now, Danielle? We can walk together!" Peter said happily.

Danielle held back a groan at this, but turning back to Lisa she could only shrug. "I promised Professor Sweetney that I'd take her class in turn for a letter of recommendation."

Lisa's shoulders slumped and walked away to catch up with Marie. "You have Potions, don't you?"

"No way!" Marie laughed, "This is my free period of the day. I only got up so we could have a last first day breakfast together." Lisa's face dropped even further, making Marie laugh and throw her arm around her shoulders. "Don't pout! I'm sure Potions is going to be just fine."

"No it's not! Lily is going to be with James, and Remus is going to be with Sirius. Who's supposed to be my partner?"

"There's always Snape," Marie shrugged.

Lisa huffed and threw her head back dramatically. "Do you at least have Charms with us next class?"

"That I do! Just think, only an hour and a half to go and your first class will be over."

They walked out the Great Hall's doors and while Marie went back to the Gryffindor common room, Danielle and Peter went outside for Magical Creatures, and Lisa sulkily followed James, Lily, Remus and Sirius down to the dungeons.

When they reached the dungeons they waited just outside the doors huddled away from the other students. Lily noted some of the students who were expected to be in the class like her two enemies Severus and Naomi. She didn't bother looking at the other Slytherins knowing she already wouldn't like them, and politely smiled at the other House students.

"You know what I like about seventh year classes?" Sirius said, "We share the classes with other Houses, but it's never entirely the same House. Yeah, there are Slytherins here, but only three instead of the usual eight. We have some nice Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs to join the mix now."

"I think I'll have to agree with that," Lisa reluctantly nodded, "The variety is nice."

The dungeon door opened and Professor Slughorn greeted his students inside the room. "Welcome, my students!"

Remus and Sirius took a desk together, and James took a seat in the desk in front of them. Lisa dejectedly sat at a table just to the right of them, but Lily surprised her when she took the seat next to her.

"Really?" Lisa smiled wide.

"Of course!" Lily laughed, "What if you got stuck with someone like Naomi," she whispered.

The girls snickered to themselves slyly watching Naomi at the entrance of the door who was looking for a seat. LIke the Gryffindors, the Ravenclaws had an odd number of students so she now had to find someone from a different House to sit next to.

"Don't dilly dally Miss Russel. Take the seat next to Mr. Potter."

Lily's head snapped in their direction at this, her mouth slightly agape. Naomi didn't waste any time practically skipping to her assigned seat and immediately giving James a pearly smile.

"You didn't think that was going to happen, did you?" Lisa snickered.

"Obviously not," Lily muttered.

She turned her attention to Slughorn who gave a speech emphasizing that their class was obvious full of the best Potion makers of the school, and that he expected them all to put their best foot forward in order retain the reputation of The Slug Club.

"But we'll save those matters for later," he chuckled, "For now, everyone please open your books to page 10 and look at the potion 'Draught of Living Death.' Yes, we have made this before, but I think it's a nice warm up for the beginning of the year. Send one partner to receive the ingredients and begin."

Lisa stood from the table and walked over to the supply cabinet, followed by James. Lily kept her gaze down at her book trying to clear her mind with the potion, but was interrupted by Naomi.

"It's so great to be partners with one of the Marauders. They make everything more fun, even potions," she said loud enough for Lily to hear.

Lily tightened her jaw not wanting to say something that she would regret.

"It means a lot of things to be partnered up with a Marauder, Russel," she heard Sirius say, "The best part of it is that you never know if we're laughing with you, or at you."

Naomi's smile haltered a little taking in Sirius's small threat, but Lily now relaxed her jaw. She forgot the Marauders liked her now...

At the same time, another conversation was being overheard by Lisa between James and Severus. There were two lines leading to the cabinet, and while she stood behind James, he stood next to Severus.

"I noticed you and Evans aren't sitting together," Severus said just loud enough for her to hear, "That didn't take you too long to mess things up."

"I didn't mess things up," James snapped, "She didn't want Lisa to sit alone. She was being a good friend."

Severus chuckled, shaking his head, "If that's what you think. Those friends of hers are manipulative, and I would be willing to bet some Sickels that you two not sitting together is a plot to get her away from you. They do it to any guy they think isn't good enough them."

"I'd be willing to bet some Galleons that this conversation is an attempt to be just as manipulative. Stay out of our business, you're not welcome in Lily's life anymore."

"That's not for you to decide, Potter," Severus hissed.

"I think Lily made it pretty clear she made that decision herself in the park," James retorted.

Both of the boys stopped in their tracks, glaring dangerously at each other. Lisa could see they both had on hand in their robe pockets clamped around their wands.

"Move it, you two! You're holding up the line," she said to break their focus of killing one another.

Snape turned from them and began collecting his ingredients before hurriedly going back to his table. James watched him carefully as Lisa took Severus's spot and also began getting her portions, but then turned to do the same.

"It's not a plot," she said softy.

"What?" James muttered.

"I didn't ask Lily to sit with me. She didn't want me to get stuck with someone difficult to work with."

"Right," James sighed before going back to his table.

Lisa caught up to him wanting to reassure him. "Danielle and I are going to try to get used to you guys. It might not seem like it, but we've got a lot of grudges we need to figure out before we can really accept it."

James stopped to look at Lisa. "Its only been a day, I'm not expecting any immediate results. We're not the real enemies though," he nodded in the Slytherin's direction.

He continued over to his table where Naomi was waiting, and Lisa noticed a small sign sticking to her back: 'LAUGH AT ME' it said in untidy writing.

Sirius was already thumping his leg in a good laugh, and Remus shook his head disapprovingly though he still had a grin on his face like he was close to joining Sirius. Even Lily had a smirk on her face! Lisa supposed that maybe having the Marauders on their side for once could be entertaining.
Author's Note: Alright! Chapter 2! Thank you all for waiting so patiently :)
Don't forget to reviiiiew!
Disclaimer: nooooope

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