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             Friday morning, upon my arrival in the Great Hall, I was waved over to the Gryffindor table by the Marauders plus Lily. She was currently sitting next to her boyfriend, almost close enough to be considered sitting on his lap, which was partially endearing and partially disgusting. But I gave them a pass because it’s the first week and they’re still in the lovey-dovey  honeymoon phase.

            “I’m glad we caught you before tonight!” Lily smiled, James’s arm resting comfortably around her shoulder. They both looked so happy, I couldn’t help smiling. “C’mon, sit,” she nodded across the table at Remus, who immediately scooted over, creating a space for me.

            “We haven’t seen you at breakfast at all this week,” Remus noted as I loaded my plate with the delicacies this morning had to offer.

            “Oh, see I have this thing where I sleep in until the latest possible moment,” I laughed, applying copious amounts of butter on my toast. It was true; I had a problem with waking up in time for breakfast. It might have something to do with the fact that I went to bed at an irresponsible time, but carpe noctum and all. “So what’s happening tonight?” I ventured, referring to Lily’s comment earlier.

            “Just thought we’d throw a little get together for Halloween,” James and the other Marauders smirked, causing Lily to laugh in a cynical way.

            “By ‘little get together,’ he means every student in the school not in Slytherin,” she rolled her eyes. “The Marauders are infamous for their wild parties, among other things.”

            “We always have a costume party to celebrate the holiday, but this year we’re a bit last minute on the planning,” Sirius explained. “This one,” he nodded to James, “has been a bit busy this week, so we haven’t even started thinking about it until last night.”

            “You’re invited, of course,” Remus added, in case it wasn’t obvious. To be invited to their party was lovely and all, but I was a bit unsure about accepting it.

            “I don’t know,” I shrugged, thinking about it. “I’m not exactly fit enough to dress up as a slutty fairy of something.” The thought of me showing ample amounts of cleavage and leg was laughable.

            Lily scoffed at my weak excuse. “Oh come off it, Ronnie. You’re coming, and you don’t have to wear a slag costume.” She assured me, although that didn’t exactly settle the uneasy feeling in my stomach.

            “What? Don’t listen to her, Ronnie. You can wear a slutty costume if you want to,” Sirius exclaimed, and although the content of his protest was extremely creepy, I could tell he was completely joking. But that didn’t stop me, and about everyone else we were sitting with glare at him. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. Go as a sack of potatoes for all I care,” he apologized, and I knew that was the best I would get from him, so I took it and dropped the subject.

            “These blueberry muffins are amazing!” I gushed, picking up one of the pastries and taking a huge bite from it. The others starred at me oddly for a moment, but I guess they’ve fully accepted my idiosyncrasies. I hope.

            Just as I was taking another mouthful of the surprisingly moist muffin, Teresa Phillips came walking, no, sauntering, towards our group. To be more specific, Sirius Black. She leaned over to him and whispered, in an attempt to be seductive, “So, did you think about my offer, Black?”

            Sirius, like the rest of us, was completely terrified out of his mind. It was a bit humorous to see, considering Black likes to think of himself as a smooth ladies man. I’ve actually seen him reject 5 girls this past week alone. But then again, Teresa Phillips isn’t exactly your average girl. At 6’ 2” she towers over the rest of the female population. The Ravenclaw beater usually wears her blond hair in two plaits braided tight to her skull. I wouldn’t say she’s fat, because I doubt her body fat percentage is anything higher than 7%. But she sure is big. Her bicep is about the size of my upper thigh, and I’m no stick myself. I’m not surprised that Sirius was shaking slightly as she tried to seduce him. She could most likely break him in half with her bare hands.

            Apparently his silence was an answer enough for her, because she smiled and informed him, “The next Hogsmede weekend is next Saturday. Meet me at the entrance at noon for our date.” Then, she sauntered off, flipping one of her braids over her shoulder. I swear those things could be used as whips.

            After we all took a moment to recover from what happened, a wicked smile spread across James’s face. “Hot date for Hogsmede, huh Padfoot?” Sirius shot him a glare and we all exploded into laughter.

            “Maybe, if you two get intimate,” I gasped through laughter, “she’ll start bench pressing you.” Cue more laughter. Blood rushed to his cheeks, and eventually, after a few more good hearted jabs at Sirius’s stake, the laughter died down.

            “C’mon guys! She asked me out the other day and I was too scared to reject her. How do I tell her no without being strangled to death?!? Ronnie, what am I supposed to do?” His question was crazily enough, aimed at me. Ever since I sort of got Lily and James together (I honestly wouldn’t have done anything if Lily hadn’t come to be and planned it all out), James and Sirius regarded me as some sort of know-all-be-all love guru. Now, whenever they need advice or have questions about the opposite sex, I’m the one they come to. It’s a bit ironic, considering only a week ago those two were trying to set me up with Remus and scoffing at me dating history, or lack thereof. I’m really not at all qualified for the job, except all of their inquiries and problems are so simple, any girl with half a brain could answer them. What do I say if Lily asked if she looks fat? Why do girls hate when I just snog them in the broom closet but not date them? What is PMS?

            The whole problem with Teresa wasn’t one that I was familiar with. Having never rejected, nor been rejected, I wasn’t so sure how to deal with it. But, if I were going to be turned down on a date, I’d want it to be quick and painless, like tearing off a band aid. Of course, tearing off a band aid is usually never very quick or painless, but you get the idea. And he’d have to be nice, because if a girl like Teresa is dumped painfully, someone will be seriously injured.

            “Just say it kindly. ‘Teresa, you seem like a great person, but I’m really not looking for a serious commitment right now and I don’t like you that way.’ But don’t use the cliché, ‘We could still be friends,’ because she might take you up on that offer and I doubt you want that,” I concluded, nodding sagely at my advice. I even threw in a chin stroke to make it look believable.

            “Oh, that’s good,” Sirius mused. “I should have written that down.” I glanced at Lily and we both rolled our eyes. Boys were impressed by the simplest, most moronic things.

            “I have an idea!” James sang and we all looked at him skeptically. “No, really, this is an amazing idea!” I’ve learned that James’s “amazing ideas” usually end up in someone getting hurt or detention. It was one of his ideas to set me up with Remus and we all know how that turned out. But I’ve also learned that it’s better to let James say his ideas rather than keep it all bottled up.

            The silence of our group was an invitation for him to continue, so he started laying out his thoughts like he was pitching an idea to a board of CEOs in a corporation. “Imagine, a few years from now. Ronnie has graduated Hogwarts and, I don’t know, spent some time traveling the world. Now, she has to settle down, get a real job, and make a living. So, she opens up her own practice called ‘Veronica Ross, Love Doctor.’ She takes in patients and gives them advice about their love lives! It’s perfects!” He exclaimed. Everything about that idea was ridiculous. I don’t even know if “love doctors” exist! But apparently Sirius thought it was a good idea, because he took it and ran.

            “Oh!” Black added, “She’ll be a matchmaker too! Help poor, lonely souls find their match.” Soon, as the boys consorted, I went from having a humble business to being the leader of my own empire of love. I’d write a series of self-help books, create a line of love potions, and go on world tours, hosting singles conventions and speak to massive crowds about finding love. Honestly, this all sounded beyond amazing. They had a better grasp of what I’d do with my life than I did. But there was one obvious loophole in their plan.

            “As much as I like this,” I started, getting the scheming boys’ attentions, “And trust me I do. I have to point out the glaringly obvious. I would be a bit hypocritical of me to lecture people on love when I’ve never actually had a boyfriend, don’t you think?”

            “Ugh, you should really get on that, Ronnie,” James sighed in fake annoyance, then started to glance suggestively at me and Remus. He was even trying to wiggle his eyebrows, I think, but it looked more like he was having a stroke. I shot him glare, as if to say “Cut it out, you idiot,” then sneakily glanced at Remus, to see if he noticed James’s inappropriate suggestiveness. Either he hadn’t seen, or he was pretending not to (here’s hoping it’s the former), but there was a slight red tint to his cheeks causing me to believe it was the latter. The fact that he was embarrassed by the thought of dating me embarrassed me immensely, and I was glad that breakfast decided to end right then, so nothing could further humiliate me.

            We all collected our various parchments and books, and then split on our merry ways. And even though James and Sirius were headed to Charms, which was in the opposite direction of my next class, Potions, I had to ask them something.

            “Did either of you tell Remus about how you tried to set us up?” I asked when I finally caught up to their surprisingly quick pace.

            “Why would we do that? He would only be cross at us for breaking our promise,” James ventured, a bit confused at my question.

            “It’s just that at breakfast, when you,” I nodded at James, “were looking suggestively between me and him, you should learn to be more subtle, he looked all embarrassed and started to blush. I thought that maybe you had told him before and now he’s all disgusted of the idea of going out with me.”

            My deductions skill apparently are subpar, because Sirius snorted and muttered something along the lines of, “That’s about the opposite of what he feels,” which earned him a hard jab in the ribs by James, who then gave him a knowing glare.

            Then, James turned to me and smiled. “I didn’t tell him anything, so you must have been imagining things. Besides, I think Moony’s a bit sunburnt, so that’s what you saw,” he explained, which seemed rational enough. So, I bid the farewell and started heading towards Potions class.

            Later on in the day, Lily approached me in Transfiguration. Up until that week, neither of us realized we were in the same class, but then again, we never knew each other until Sunday. Unfortunately, our seats were already set for the term, so I was stuck sitting next to Arnold Ardsley, the obnoxious and slimy, everything a good Slytherin should be. But, Lily and I were still able to communicate through looks and tossing note. Surprisingly, Lily is much more lenient with her work ethics than I expected. Obviously she’s still a straight O student, but I always thought she’d be a bit more Ravenclaw when it came to homework and classes.

            “So, Ronnie,” Lily slid into Arnold’s seat. He was nowhere to be found, thank Merlin, but then again, class hadn’t officially started yet. Fingers crossed. “Excited for tonight?”

            My face scrunched up like I had just drunk expired milk. Excited wasn’t exactly the word I’d use to describe my feelings for the party. I’d go more with queasy, anxious, borderline terrified. “About the party…” I ventured slowly, “is it really necessary that I go? No one will even miss me if I don’t show up.”

            “No, no, no! You are going to this party, missy!” Lily voiced sternly, sounding a frightening amount like my mother. “I am not watching over four drunken idiots by myself. Merlin knows James will be hard enough to handle on his own.”

            “Wow, you’re making this sound so much more enticing,” I said sarcastically, but there was a seed of guilt. I didn’t know that Lily was so adamant about me attending and I didn’t want to abandon her.

            “It’ll fun! There’s going to be, I don’t know, dancing? Candy? Floating pumpkins? What more could you possibly want?” She pleaded, desperation in her eyes.

             “Well I wouldn’t know, considering I’ve never actually been to a raging teenage party before!” I exclaimed, earning some annoyed glances from fellow students. I mouthed and apology before turning my attention back to Lily, who looked both astonished and amused.

            “Never? Really?” She asked in disbelief, and suddenly I felt like a total loser.

            “Well, us badgers aren’t exactly party animals,” I joked cornily, nudging her shoulder.

            “That was honestly terrible,” She deadpanned, then cracked a smile. “But now you definitely have to come! Going to a party is like some sort of teenage rite of passage. There’s nothing to be worried about, they aren’t half as bad as those parties you see in American movies with the beer pong and red solo cups. Gryffindors affairs seem tame in comparison. Plus, there will be a bunch of fit blokes in costume! I’m off the market, but that doesn’t mean you can’t browse around, if you know what I’m saying,” it was her turn to nudge me, and I snorted with laughter at the very idea. “Maybe there’s one bloke in particular you’d like to see?” Lily chanced, looking at me with expectance. It seemed more like a hint than a question, and the confusion must have been written all over my face. She just shook her head and smiled.

            “Good afternoon class! Everyone please take their seats and open their textbooks to chapter 6.” Professor McGonagall glided into the room and Lily quickly slid out of Arnold’s seat.

            “Don’t forget to wear a costume!” she whispered before hurrying back to the front of the class and taking a seat next to some random girl from Ravenclaw. Looks like I was going after all.

A/N: I know this one's a bit short, but the next few chapters I've written out are longer and that's really when all of the juicy action starts! So, please review and give me feedback!

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