Excitement buzzed around the Great Hall during breakfast on the day of the first Hogsmeade Trip. First Years confusedly asked Second Years why everyone was so energized and Second Years dreamily told them of the awesome village Hogsmeade that was just a short carriage ride away.
One of the most excited was James. If he thought Diagon Alley had been a big date for him and Lily, Hogsmeade felt like it was going to be ten times better. He tried to down play his emotions though because the last he had gotten this excited the date turned out to be nothing how he imagined.
'The Three Broomsticks is just another place to get a Butterbeer...Zonko's is just like any other-well, no I'm still allowed to be excited about Zonko's,' he thought to himself.
The eight Gryffindors sat at their table eating breakfast, though looking nicer than usual for the trip.
"Sirius, is this the first time you've gone to Hogsmeade alone?" Danielle asked.
"Course not! I always make sure not to take a date on Valentine's Day," he replied in an obvious tone.
"Why?" All four of the girls were looking at Sirius interested in his answer.
"Because all girls do are look for 'signs'," he put his fingers up in quotation marks, "If I took someone as a date to Hogsmeade they would think it was a sign that we were meant to be together. Then we'd accidentally reach for the same fork or something and it would be a sign because our hands touched. Or we'd both order a Butterbeer and they would take it as a sign that we like all the same things! It would be horrible."
"Not all girls are like that," Lisa said defensively.
"And besides, everyone likes Butterbeer. It doesn't count," Lily laughed.
Sirius wagged his finger slightly and shook his head, "I've heard it happen before."
"Who in Merlin's name would try to make that connection?"
Sirius's eyes pointed at Marie, who was suddenly very interested in stirring her orange juice.
"Seriously, Marie?" Danielle laughed.
Marie let out a huff and glared at Sirius. "Mine doesn't count! It wasn't just any Butterbeer, it was that the guy asked for cinnamon in it."
Lily cringed at the combination, "That actually tastes good?"
"I like it," Marie shrugged.
"Okay, well then that does classify as special...or at least interesting," Lisa said, "Who was the guy?"
"Not important," Marie sipped from her juice.
The three girls looked to Sirius for the answer. "How do you think we started dating last year?"
"You certainly are the romantic type, aren't you Marie?" Danielle laughed.
"Shut up..." Marie mumbled.
When breakfast cleared from the tables the young 7th years left the Great Hall and gathered with the rest of the school outside the castle's door lining up for carriages. Because there were so many of them, they split into two groups; the boys in one carriage (though James at first protested this) and the girls in another.
It was only a quick fifteen minute ride before they were dropped off in front of the village and the group started walking down the cobble stone streets.
"How about a quick Butterbeer before we all go our separate ways?" Remus suggested.
"Yeah, that way Evans can get started on our bet and buy me a Butterbeer!" Sirius said.
"Yes, yes, you reminded me of it yesterday," Lily shook her head bitterly. She still couldn't believe that Sirius had beat her to conducting a Patronus, and she knew he wouldn't let her forget about it for a long time.
The pub was already filled with students eager for drinks and food, so while Sirius and Danielle stood in line to order drinks the other fanned out in hopes of snagging a booth.
"I really wish they would make this place bigger," Lisa complained, "It's always so damn busy!"
"We could always try Madame Puddifoot's," Marie said.
"No way!" James said scrunching his face, "I don't think she even serves Butterbeer. It's all tea and lattes and things that a man just shouldn't be seen drinking."
Lily giggled, but Marie rolled her eyes. "It's a lot more than that. It's smaller for better company and therefore quieter for better conversations and it serves a lot of hot drinks, which yes may be lattes or teas, but they keep a person warm on days like this!"
"I'm sorry, Marie, but no," Remus said.
"Fine," Marie grumbled, "Oh! There! Hey Sarah, save that for us!" she yelled across the pub.
A girl from Ravenclaw happily waited for them to make their through the crowds and to the booth that easily fit all eight people. Thankfully, it was just in time for Sirius and Danielle to make their way over with the Butterbeers with the help of one of The Three Broomsticks workers help. With a nod of thanks, the worker went back behind the bar and everyone began passing money to Danielle who had initially bought the drinks for them.
"Here's money for Sirius's as well," Lily said grimly.
"Maybe you'll find the chance to win a bet in the future, Evans," Sirius said taking a sip from his drink, "Man, this tastes better when it's free."
"Where are you all going to go first?" Lisa asked.
"Zonko's!" Peter yelled, "Marauder tradition says we have to go to Zonko's together."
"Would you mind?" James asked Lily.
"No," she shrugged, "It might actually be fun to see it through the eyes of a Marauder."
"It's an experience you'll cherish forever!" James assured her.
"You guys want to join us?" Lily asked her friends.
"No, I think we're going to take a trip up to the Shrieking Shack," Marie said mischievously.
"That place isn't even scary," Sirius scoffed.
"Oh, I don't know, Padfoot! It's the most haunted place in England!" Peter giggled.
"There are supposed to be ghouls and ghosts in there, you know," Marie defended her decision. She didn't like the boys making fun of their adventure.
"Have you ever heard them?" James asked.
"Well, no, but the locals have! Lots of screaming and howling and crashing."
"Sounds painful," Remus muttered as he sipped from his mug.
"Anyway," James said hoping to break Remus' tension, "So we'll go to Zonko's with you guys, but then me and Lily are probably going to do our own thing."
"Well, boys, we all knew this day would come," Sirius sighed.
"The day when James leaves us for Lily," Peter sighed.
"You're practically tearing the group apart, Lily," Remus winked.
"It's all in my plan of Head Girl Infiltration of the Marauders," she replied.
"Merlin's beard, I told you all! You had me going after you threw Diggory across the room, but that was probably just apart of your plan to squeeze your way in, wasn't it?" Sirius glared at her.
"Maybe," she shrugged.
"You're tricky, Evans."
"Makes me even more Marauder material, doesn't it?"
The group finished their drinks and split up when they left the pub. The three girls went up the road to the Shrieking Shack and Lily stayed with the boys to go down the street to Zonko's. She could see the excitement in James's eyes as he talked with the boys about which nonsense toys and joke plans they planned on doing soon.
"Do you think he got in the shipment of fireworks, yet?" James asked.
"If he did, don't you think he would save that for people who don't attend Hogwarts? McGonagall would kill him if he let those kinds of things get sold to us. What we really should've done was came and ordered them during summer holiday." Remus said.
"How would she know it was even us?" Peter said.
"Well, it's always obvious it was us, there's just no proof it was us," Sirius pointed out.
"Yeah, except when you find the time to stand up on the tables and bow like in fifth year," Remus laughed.
"I'll admit, that time it was my fault for getting us caught. This time though it could be a number of people who would've done it!"
"What do you need fireworks for?" Lily asked curiously before they walked into the store.
The four boys stopped speaking and all looked at her gravely.
"I already forgot she was here," Sirius whispered.
"Do you think we've said too much?" Peter also whispered.
"No, no, just start talking about something else and maybe she'll forget," James winked at her.
Lily rolled her eyes, but had a smile on her lips. "I'm going to find out sooner or later, aren't I?"
"Evans, this was all a trick. We just said that to throw you off the trail of what we're really doing. Why would we ever want fireworks? We're still practically children! We could hurt ourselves, you know!" Sirius said. He took off into the store and before Lily could ask anymore questions the other three boys followed suit.
"James, whatever the prank is, just remember that you're Head Boy," she whined.
"Don't worry, Lils! This one is will honestly entertain almost the entire school with just a few exceptions."
"I'm can't answer that right now, but trust me, I'm sure even McGonagall will have to stop herself from smiling."
"Ha!" was all Lily said.
She followed James around the shop as he happily went from one toy to another. The section holding Sneakoscopes immediately went off in a flurry when he passed by. Lily hoped that they had only happened to go off since they were mainly known to be faulty, but James's guilty smile back at her told her she was wrong.
While James kept Lily amused around the store showing her some of his favorite jokes (Screaming Yo-Yo, Stink Bombs and fake wands) Sirius, Remus and Peter talked quietly with Mr. Zonko about their package. It took them some convincing to get Mr. Zonko to actually hand the package over to them, but he himself could never stand in the way of a good joke and in the end allowed them to make the purchase. A small cough told James that the transaction had been completed and they could leave the store now.
"How did you use a fake wand in a prank?" Lily asked curiously.
"Back when Lucius Malfoy still went here we switched his real wand with a fake one. When he went to class and it didn't work we convinced Jasmine, who was in her class, to suggest that maybe he wasn't magical after all! It only took him a few tries before realizing it wasn't his wand. He was furious, and an instant classic," James explained.
"No wonder he hated you all those years!" Lily laughed.
"Those years?" Sirius said, "He still hates us now!"
"For different reasons though," Remus said.
"Why does he hate you now?" Lily asked.
"Doesn't matter," Sirius brushed the subject aside, "The point is the guy is a prick."
"Got that right," Peter squeaked.
Lily let the subject slide and instead brought up a new one. "Do you think we could stop by Honeydukes?" she asked James.
"Why? You're already so sweet," James said with a big cheesy smile.
"Awe!" Remus, Sirius and Peter all rang out at once.
"I bet he's been saving that one for months," Sirius laughed.
"No, that was more of a on the spot line," Remus countered.
James shoved Sirius on the shoulder and after a last call goodbye they turned down the road to head towards the candy shop. James grabbed Lily's hand and squeezed it into his coat pocket with his to keep it warm from the chilly air. It felt so natural for them to be walking beside each other. James could easily imagine themselves together in a few years after completing their training and schooling for careers walking as grown adults while shopping or touring through Muggle shops.
He wished that even now he could get an outside view of the two of them walking down the street. He wondered if they looked as happy as he felt and if they looked as natural together as he felt they did. He felt Lily's gaze on himself and turned to give her a grin.
"You're pretty cute for a guy who thinks I didn't notice your friends buying fireworks," she smirked.
"You're pretty cute for a girl who only pretended to be interested in my favorite joke toys," he said.
Lily threw her head back in a laugh. She had never been one for those pranking things. "Maybe if you can teach me how to keep a Screaming Yo-Yo going I'll become interested."
After the Hogsmeade trip was done James and Sirius had to hurry back to the castle for Quidditch practice. The team thankfully didn't have to replace any of positions so they could finish out their last season of Quidditch together like they did the previous year; with the Quidditch trophy being placed in the Gryffindor trophy case.
The weather in the high altitude was cold, but the clouds kept the rain to themselves. Positioned as chasers with James were two six years named Freddie and David. With Sirius as a beater was a fifth year named Blake, back at the goal post was another fifth year named Robby and flying around them overhead was the only girl on the team, Lucy, who was a sixth year.
James had been appointed as Captain the previous year and took pride in the team that he had chosen. The friendly chemistry between them all helped them in the rush of the game to read each others minds and created a flow that most other teams didn't have.
James also made sure that Lucy was comfortable on the team. Since she was the only girl James made sure none of the other lads made moves on her (especially Sirius), in fear that if a romantic relationship went wrong the chemistry of the team would be destroyed. He kept an eye on her on the field though too since the Slytherins had a cruel way of treating girls who they didn't think should be playing.
When practice ended the seven players went into the locker room, Lucy going to her own appointed portion, and the rest of the guys started showering and cleaning up for the castle.
"Lucy's looking pretty good up there this season," David commented while he dressed into his school robes.
"You could say that again!" Blake laughed and high fived Robby.
James rolled his eyes. It was hard having an attractive teammate, or at least for the other boys. Lucy had black straight hair and olive green eyes that seemed to grab quite a lot of attention. "Eyes on the prize boys," James reminded them.
"'Course! That's how I meant it!" David winked.
"Relax, Captain," Robby said, "Lucy's too old for us anyway. She likes older men from what we hear."
"Older men, you say?" SIrius leaned up against his locker, "How much older?"
"A chap in your year; Remus Lupin."
"Go, Moony!" Sirius whooped.
James nodded his head in approval, "At least he's the kind of guy to have the sense not to screw with her heart during Quidditch season," he said.
"Yeah, right. He'd be the one to get all poetic on us and break up with her half way through the season if he didn't think they were right."
"We'll see," James said.
When the team finished up and arrived back in the Gryffindor common room, Sirius immediately noticed that Remus wasn't there and that Lucy had hurriedly run off to do her own thing.
"You think they're getting together?" Sirius asked wiggling his eye brows.
"Doubt it," James shook his head.
"Who's getting together?" Peter asked.
"No one," James said knowing Peter had a big mouth, "Plus, Moony would've told us if they had started hanging out."
"With who?" Peter asked again.
"No one," Sirius said, "But there's only one way to find out!"
He sprinted up the stairs to the boy dormitory and dug out the Marauder's Map. The little dots of people in the school appeared as Sirius scanned his finger around the different levels to find their two names.
"Boring," he muttered when he found Remus in the library and Lucy in a classroom with what looked like a study group.
His eyes roamed around the map for an extra moment watching the Slytherins in the dungeons and the Ravenclaws on the other side of the castle. His eyes froze though when he looked in Dumbledore's office and saw more than one name there.
'Jasmine Potter' it read.
"Jas?" he whispered. Gripping the map tightly in his hand, Sirius flew from the boys dorm and ignoring his friends requests where he was going, ran from he common room and down flights of stairs to Dumbledore's office. At the last moment he remembered to step over a trick step, which would have delayed him a good five minutes.
Within minutes he was outside of Dumbledore's office gaining an odd look from the statue guards. He glanced down at the map again, but now the name was gone.
"What the-?" he muttered. He was sure he had seen Jasmine's name on the map, and the map never lies. He scanned the entire map again hoping that maybe she had just gone down to the Great Hall, or to see McGonagall or something, but no where on the map was Jasmine Potter.
When he grudgingly reached the common room again, Remus was back from the library and James had a relieved look on his face. Luckily it had seemed that Lily was up in her own dorm so he could sit down without having the hide the map.
"Where'd you run off to?" James asked.
Sirius hesitated an answer not wanting his friends to think he was crazy, but at the same time he wondered if James knew anything that he didn't. "I could've sworn I...I had seen Jasmine's name on the map in Dumbledore's office, but by the time I got there her name was gone," he explained.
"Why would Jasmine be at the school?" Peter asked.
"If I knew, I would tell you, Wormtail," Sirius said moodily. He crossed his arms and turned back to James, "Do you know why she would be here?"
"No," James shook his head, "No offense, mate, but you don't think you saw my name and thought it was her, do you?"
"I wouldn't do that! Plus, she was in Dumbledore's office and if I thought she was you I would've been looking for her down here."
Even with this logic, Remus was still shaking his head, "Sirius, there's no way Jasmine was here. If she was she would have had to walk into the castle from Hogsmeade and if she had done that she would've still been on the map!"
Sirius let out a huff still not happy with what he was hearing. He had been so sure he saw her name... When the boys were done in the common room they went up to their dorm where Sirius once more took a peak at the map. Dumbledore was still in his office pacing, but this time with McGonagall who looked like she was sitting at his desk.
Like a lightbulb had gone off in his head, Sirius grabbed a fresh piece or parchment out of his book bag and began writing a letter to Jasmine herself. It was short and to the point, but Sirius had to know! He watched the owl fly away into the night ready to hear the truth from Jasmine. If she had been at Hogwarts though, why wouldn't she try to see him?
Author's Note: Hello all! So! What did you think?? Don't forget to review and let me know! hehe!
And, as always, thank you for your patience! I'm getting these written and up as fast as i can! :)
Disclaimer:I own nothing!
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