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             I had only known Lily Evans for two whole days, and yet I was beginning to understand why James Potter was so obsessed with her. She was much more than a pretty face, although anyone who’s ever met her could tell you that. She had some of the best qualities from each Hogwart’s house; the intelligence of a Ravenclaw, the kindness of Hufflepuff, the ambition of a Slytherin, and the courage of a Gryffindor. But this didn’t mean she didn’t have her faults. Lily was truly a stickler for the rules, which could get a bit bothersome at times. She was also incredibly stubborn, always standing by her ideas, even if they were wrong. And she had a temper to match her fiery head of hair. But overall, Lily Evans was someone I wanted to be friends with.



            Monday evening, during dinner, Lily joined me at the Hufflepuff table to talk strategy. She wanted to devise a structured plan including scripted conversations, diversions, distractions, and two more back up plans. That girl was determined to get James to ask her out. On the other hand, I thought the whole plan to have a plan was entirely unnecessary and suggested winging it. Lily’s stubbornness kicked in, so I decided she could plan all she wanted to, but couldn’t stop me from being spontaneous when it was time to go. Overall, we came to an agreement that the whole goal of everything was to find out James’s true feelings for Lily. Even that seemed a bit ridiculous to me. Even a blind person could see that James was head over heels for the girl. He had expressed his love for her enough to make it clear he wasn’t joking around, while simultaneously publicly humiliating himself. But I guess Lily was either self-conscious or completely daft. I’m going with the former, but maybe she’s not as smart as I thought she was. Either way, Lily wanted solid proof that James liked her; proof that apparently I could obtain because, according to her, I was “close enough with him,” and therefore could find out his secrets and exploit them to the world. I didn’t know that a week long friendship was classified as “close,” but then again, what did I know about relationships with other people.

            Everything was supposed to go down on Tuesday, after classes and dinner were over, so when the time arrived, Lily and I headed to the Gryffindor common room, where the Marauders were currently residing. When Lily gave The Fat Lady the passcode, she eyed me warily, as if someone from another house has never entered the common room before. But Lily assured her I was okay, and we entered.

            The decorum of the Gryffindor common room was so different than the Hufflepuff common room that I had to pause upon entering and look around. Besides the color scheme being scarlet and gold, there were massive tapestries donning the walls and lavish rugs gracing the normally wooden floors. All of the furniture seemed so plush and comfortable, couches and armchairs with cushions that could swallow a first year whole. The fireplace was currently lit ablaze, which only added to the welcoming atmosphere that the room created. It was, I decided, much better than the Hufflepuff common room and I would have to convince my new Gryffindor friends to take me there more often.

            “There he is!” Lily whispered furiously, smacking my arm to enunciate each word she spoke. I turned to where she was referring to, and lo and behold, the infamous Marauders were in fact lounging on the various sofas that were assembled around the fire. “Ugh, look at James, with that smug smirk on his face. It’s like he thinks he’s a god or something. Why do I find that so attractive? I fucking hate him.” Lily went through an array of emotions when referring to James, and they almost always ended with hatred and anger.

            “Okay, I’ll head over and you sit tight at a table. Take out some books and pretend to look studious,” I commanded, pushing her towards an empty desk nearby. She shouted something about following the plan, so I nodded in agreement. Then Lily sat down, pulled out a scroll, and started scribbling on it. I could tell she wasn’t actually doing homework because her left leg was jiggling up and down, one of her nervous habits. I just rolled my eyes, knowing that her being on edge was natural, but there was really nothing to worry about. I get things done.

            I started towards the boys, only to have Sirius look up and notice me. “Hey, Ross! How’d you get in here? Last time I checked, there was a password to the entrance.” The others turned around with confused looks on their faces.

            I was about to say Lily let me in, but I could just blow my cover and throw her under the bus like that. Instead, I answered with the most nebulous response I could think of, “I have my ways.” This answer seemed to satisfy 75% of my company, leaving Remus, the only one with half a brain, questioning. He shot me an inquisitive look, but I just shook my head, mouthing that I’d explain later.

            “And why have you graced us with your presence on this fine evening?” James inquired as I situated myself on the armrest of the sofa he was lying on.

             “I am actually here to talk to you,” I pointed at James and he feigned shock and surprise. “So,” I paused, mulling over how I would deliver the next line. I couldn’t make it obvious that Lily had sent me on a mission. I had to be as subtle as the ‘b’ in subtle. “Lily Evans, huh?” Perfect.

            “What did you do?” Sirius gasped in horror, alarmed at my question. I didn’t understand why he was so opposed of my conversational topic until I realized how James was reacting.

            Over the past week, I’ve learned that messes up the brain. Lily Evans and James Potter are two completely average wizards, capable of normal metal and physical functions. But when the other’s name is mentioned, things become weird. Lily, upon seeing or hearing about James, becomes madly in love with him, emphasis on the mad. She starts yelling and ranting about his muscles and hair, saying things like, “How dare he look so attractive, that git!” and “How could he have the nerve to be in the same room as her looking like that!”

            James, on the other hand, becomes a big pile of mush at the mention of her name. In public he plays it “cool,” which means acting like an obnoxious prick. But in private, his tough guy composure melts away, revealing a little girl. He gushes about how “her eyes are the color of a meadow,” and that “she’s the smartest person he’s ever met.” The fact that their personalities change so drastically was concerning, but it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed.

            “And one time she helped a first year with his Potions essay. She’s just so kind and selfless.” James was currently hugging a pillow, starring off into space with a dreamy expression on his face. His transformation into a preteen girl, talking about her crush at a sleepover, was almost complete.

            “C’mon Prongs! We went over this before!” Sirius cried in distress. “Think manly thoughts! Meat and potatoes! Quidditch! Fist fights! Sweat! Mud!” As he tried coaching James into restoring his manliness, I watched on in amusement.

            “This happens more often than you’d think,” Remus whispered to me as Sirius yelled something in the background about chest hair.

            Apparently the manliness coaching wasn’t working, so Sirius pulled back his arm and back handed James on the cheek. “You feel that?” he yelled as James rubbed his tender and red face. “It’s pain. And I will continue to hit you in the face until you become yourself again. I will even kick you in the balls if I have to.”

            The last part seemed to snap James out of his daze and he started protesting, “I’m good! I’m good!” while blocking his privates from on oncoming kick from his friend with the pillow he was cuddling with moments ago.

            “No! Don’t stop!” I exclaimed in a frenzy, an idea popping into my head. “This is good. All this,” I gestures to James’s expression and blabberings, “is great.” The boys looked at me with confused expressions so I elaborated. “Girls like sensitive, nice guys. How you normally act around Lily, you know, big headed and mean, is off putting. That’s why she keeps rejecting you. But just then, you were sincere and vulnerable, and I can assure you that if you repeat those things to her, she’ll want to go out with you.”

            James, Remus, and Peter looked thoughtful, if not a bit skeptical, but Sirius just scoffed. “Bull.” He declared, folding his arms in a challenge like fashion. “Girls like bad boys. They’re attracted to cool rule breakers, not sensitive pansies. Trust me, I would know.”

            His satisfaction was obvious by the smirk on his face. I felt a need to knock him down a peg or two. “Girls who want a thrill, a one-time hookup, like bad boys. So they go to you. But Lily’s not a slag. James wants to be her boyfriend, and if her shows emotion and vulnerability, he’ll be boyfriend material,” I finished, my logic quite accurate.

            “How would you know?” Sirius scoffed, but I could tell he was less certain about the argument now.

            “Well, if you haven’t noticed, Black, I am a girl. I do know things.” He laughed in response, which irritated me slightly. “Don’t make me break your nose again,” I threatened, which seemed to shut him up.

            “Wait,” Remus piped in from the arm chair he was sitting on, “Again? Were you the one who broke his nose last week?”

            This question put me in a very sticky situation. If I told Remus the truth, he would delve further into why I was throwing punches in the first place. I doubt he’d believe me if I said I occasionally lost control of my right fist, which means I’d have to spill the whole truth, something I didn’t want to get into yet. “What? Again? I’ve never broken Sirius’s nose before! Where would you get that insane idea from?” As I laughed nervously, I made a mental note to become a better liar. Then I made a note to screw the first note because lying was deceitful and wasn’t going to get me anywhere good.

            Remus didn’t seem convinced, but there were more important matters at hand than whose fist connected to whose nose. I shifted my focus back to James, knowing I’d have to deal with the sandy haired boy at a later time. I hated lying to Remus, but right now it was necessary. “Just go talk to Lily. Be sincere and tell her who you feel. Worst case scenario, you’ll be no better off than you are now. Best case scenario, Lily Evans will be your girlfriend and snog you senseless. Now go.” I pushed James off of the couch and shooed him towards Lily, who was anticipating his arrival in the corner of her eye.

            “It’s not going to work,” Sirius sang teasingly. I was about to shoot back an insult but Remus came to my rescue first.

            “I don’t know, it seems to make sense,” he concluded as we avidly watched James approach Lily, all of us poking our heads over the back of the couch.

            “Make sense! It’s common sense! People like to surround themselves with others who are nice and enjoy their company, not jerks that go around insulting everyone. I don’t know why boys find this so hard to comprehend,” I ranted, eyes still glued to James, who was currently standing in front of Lily, eventually sitting down. The four of us were spying on the soon-to-be-couple’s conversation, although it was impossible to hear what was being said unless you were an expert lip reader.

            “5 galleons Lily will reject him and slap him across the face,” Sirius muttered.

            “5 galleons? That’s ridiculous! I don’t have 5 galleons in the excess,” I exclaimed, to which he just laughed.

            “Think you’re going to lose the bet then?” he smirked. I was 100% sure I would win. Well, maybe more like 90% sure, James had a way of screwing things up. But, I felt the need to prove Sirius wrong, and my wallet was a bit empty, so I took the bet, countering with a claim that Lily would become his girlfriend and start snogging him in the middle of the room. Remus and Peter took spots and soon the sides were evenly stacked.

            After about 3 minutes of tense waiting, James stopped talking and there was a moment of anticipation. I don’t know about the others, but I held my breath. I tried to get a good look at Lily’s face so I could gauge her reaction, but when I did, she looked more than angry. Furious even. Sirius must have seen this too, because he started to whisper, “Yes, yes, yes…”

            Disappointment over took me and I was positive James had somehow fucked up his speech, angering Lily. But, then something completely and wonderfully unexpected happened. Lily grabbed James by the shirt and started full on snogging him, right in the middle of the Gryffindor common room.

            “Victory!” I shouted, jumping up from our hiding spot while pumping my fist in the air. Sirius let out a groan of disappointment, but still had a wide grin on his face. After all, his best mate had finally gotten the girl, even if that did mean he lost 5 galleons.

            Even after my outburst, the couple didn’t come up for air. As endearing as the scene was, it was also a bit gross and my appetite was completely lost. Others in the common room noticed the two going at it and instead of protests, there was shouts of congratulations. I guess everyone was waiting for the day James and Lily finally got together.

            “This is one for the history books,” Remus whistled, turning away from the overly public display of affection. He then raised his voice considerably as to get everyone’s attention. “Let it be known to all, that after six longs years of failure, James Potter has finally convinced Lily Evans to be his girlfriend!” This was followed by various cheers from around the room. Remus then got down from the couch he was standing on, and in a normal tone of voice said to me, “All thanks to you.”

            “It would of happened eventually,” I blushed. “I barely did anything, just catalyzed the process.”

            “So modest,” he teased, causing me to laugh. That was one word that hasn’t been used to describe me before. I leaned back onto the couch and put my feet up on the coffee table. My work here was done.

A/N: Okay, so this chapter is a bit lame, but trust me, it's all part of the bigger picture

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