Chapter 2 : A Rascally Rescue
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James’s legendary prank certainly was brilliant. They set their attack for the following Friday, immediately after Transfiguration class. The four boys waited patiently in the classroom as Lily and her friends exited, but they hadn’t anticipated them going off in separate directions. Elle started heading towards the library whereas Brigid and Lily were walking towards the Great Hall.
“We’re going to have to split up,” said James, grabbing Peter by the arm.
“Are you sure about this?” he squeaked. “Insontis nearly had a coronary that time that McGonagall called her out for passing a note in class. It might not be such a good idea to-“
“Shut your piehole and come with me,” insisted James. “We’re getting Evans and Mullins. You go for Insontis.”
“It’s showtime,” said Sirius, with a wolfish grin as he and Remus set off after Elle.
“Don’t you think this going a little too far?” asked Remus quietly as they tailed the brunette from a distance.
“What d’you mean?” asked Sirius, too distracted to really pay attention. “As soon as she gets to that pillar, we do it.”
“I mean, in his little ploys to get Lily’s attention,” pressed Remus. “It’s fun every once in awhile, but he’s really gotten desperate lately.”
“Clausius!” muttered Sirius, pointing his wand at Elle.
Remus watched in interested disgust as Elle ran smack into the invisible wall that Sirius had just placed in front of her. She attempted to go around it, only to find herself encased in a glass box. Even from a distance, Remus could see her breathing get faster. “I think she’s hyperventilating,” he commented.
“And that’s not good, is it?” asked Sirius. “Aw, man. Why’d we have to get stuck with her? It’s not fun if they curl up in a little ball and cry.”
“Not fun at all,” agreed Remus, as Elle slouched down to the floor and sat there, hiding her face. “People don’t seem to think we’re very clever this time.”
Sure enough, people weren’t laughing at the girl in the glass cage. They weren’t helping her either, but they shook their heads as they walked by. More than one group shot Remus and Sirius a look of disgust as they hurried to undo the spell.
“There goes my happy time for at least a week,” said Sirius grumpily. “You’re lucky you have a girlfriend.”
Remus didn’t respond; he was too busy undoing the magic. He released the wall on his side and stepped inside. Elle wasn’t crying, but she was very still in the corner. “Elle,” he said quietly, as if coaxing a skittish animal. “We’re sorry. We didn’t mean to scare you.”
She lifted her head, her eyes wide with fear. He held out a hand to help her up, and she cautiously took it. Something surged inside her as his fingers curled around her wrist to help her up, and her face immediately flushed scarlet. “It’s okay,” she mumbled. “Brigid’s probably going to maim you for it, though.”
Remus laughed slightly, still holding her hand between them. Sure enough, moments later, the sound of Brigid’s yells were echoing down the hallway, and ahead of them was James, who was sprinting very fast. Remus hastily dropped Elle’s hand, making her feel just as lonely as she had in her glass box. “I take it that Lily didn’t think it was too funny either,” he said dryly.
“No,” wheezed James, leaning heavily on Sirius for support. “But Godric, that had to be one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen.” He nervously looked back over his shoulder. “That is, until she figured out how to counter it. She isn’t Head Girl for nothing.”
“Where’s Wormtail?” asked Sirius suddenly.
“Mullins got him,” said James, clapping a hand to his face. “We should probably go rescue him.”
“I’m sure she won’t hurt him too badly,” said Elle quietly.
They all stared at her for a moment, and her face turned red again. She was really going to invest in some Anti-Blushing Cream. “Insontis, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you utter more than two words,” said James, grinning at her. “Congratulations on learning how to string together a sentence.”
“Don’t be mean,” muttered Remus, slugging him in the arm.
“Elle!” cried Brigid, racing down the hallway, bumping into more than one disgruntled student. “Ellie, are you alright?” Without even waiting for an answer, she turned on Sirius and Remus. “Are you kidding me? I kind of understand your sick, twisted pleasure in torturing the two of us, but what the hell has she ever done?”
“We know,” whined Sirius. “We apologized.”
“You…what?” asked Brigid, astounded. “Well, whatever. You’re still in big trouble when Lily gets here.”
And, only moments later, Lily Evans rounded the corner, looking very pleased with herself. “You’ll be glad to know that your friend Pettigrew is now in the company of Professor McGonagall,” she said. “And she expects you to be in her office now.”
“Great, thanks, Evans,” said James, sarcastically bowing to her. “This is a wonderful way to start out my Head Boy position.”
“You have no one to blame but yourself,” she said, through gritted teeth. “I can’t even imagine why-“
“He’s been doing Dumbledore some favors, if you know what I mean,” smirked Sirius, waggling his eyebrows.
“Just go,” ordered Lily. “All of you.”
With much grumbling, the three remaining Marauders set off in the direction of McGonagall’s office. Elle saw an opportunity to make progress. “Remus!” she called, her heart fluttering painfully as he faced her. “Thank you for rescuing me!”
He gave her a slight nod as Sirius muttered to him, “She does realize that you helped, right?”
Elle was quite pleased with herself, though. Talking to her target was progress, for sure, and stroking his ego definitely helped. “Well done, Ellie,” said Brigid, ruffling her hair. “I knew you had it in you.”
“Quite honestly, I thought it would be a lot easier if I did it my way,” she said, as they headed towards the common room. “Any more of your seduction lessons, and I would’ve been toast.”
“And the little problem of Shelley Tambrin is about to be demolished,” said Brigid, pleased with herself. “She’s searching for Lupin right now to break up with him.”
“Why would she do that willingly?” asked Lily suspiciously. “Did you hex her? As Head Girl-“
“Calm down, Little Miss Dictator,” said Brigid defensively. “All I did was tell her that Professor Ganieda told me that the stars said that any relationships involving boys whose names started with the letter "R" were sure to bring bad luck.”
“She didn’t honestly believe that?” giggled Elle.
“She’s a Divination freak,” snorted Brigid. “She’ll believe anything.”
“So once she’s ended it with Lupin, that leaves him free for Elle,” said Lily. “And both Potter and Black are in between girlfriends for now.”
“Lucky us,” muttered Brigid. “We know that James is going to go bonkers the second that you start showing interest in him. What about Black, though? How am I supposed to do that when I don’t actually want to do that?”
“Especially since you’ve done a good job of coming off as a terror for the past five years,” said Lily grimly.
“Hey, I’ve never actually physically hurt any of them,” said Brigid, rolling her eyes. “I’ll figure it out. Jelly Tadpoles.”
“I need to start my rounds,” said Lily, as the portrait hole swung open. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow. Elle, will you be ready to really go for it then?”
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” she said, sighing.
“Goodnight!” Lily called one last time, as her friends disappeared through the portrait hole.
“We deserved it, you know,” said Remus, after they had received a very good verbal whipping from McGonagall.
“Come on, how were we supposed to know that trapping students in glass boxes was completely against school policy?” replied James. “I’m Head Boy, and I didn’t even know that.”
“And we all know that your knowledge of school rules is the reason that you’re Head Boy,” said Sirius, with a smirk.
“Aw, shut up,” said James, punching him on the shoulder. “Dumbledore said that it had something to do with the fact that I had leadership skills.”
“It certainly had nothing to do with the fact that you show up for rounds,” said a voice too close behind them.
All four boys jumped about a foot in the air. Lily Evans was standing behind them, arms crossed and eyebrows raised. They were all shocked to see that she wasn’t looking at them like their doom was imminent. “Well, Evans,” said James, throwing his hand through his hair in an attempt to regain his cool. “I was too busy getting told off by McGonagall. Gee, I wonder whose fault that is-“
“I’m sorry, Po-James,” said Lily, smiling sweetly. “I just hate to see you jeopardizing your Head Boy position.”
“That’s crap,” snorted Sirius. “You’d love nothing more than for him to lose his position.”
“Not after seeing how well he organized that prank today,” simpered Lily, although she was gagging inside her head. “You’ve really got the potential to be a leader.”
Without another word, she sauntered off in the direction of the Heads’ quarters, her expression turning to disgust the moment she turned her back. The four boys stared after her, mouths wide open. Peter, surprisingly enough, was the first to speak. “The apocalypse is coming,” he stammered.
“He needs to go after her,” said Sirius, coming to his senses next. “She’s ready and willing.” He gave James a slight shove. “Go after her.”
“Sirius, stop thinking with your downstairs brain, and shut up for a minute," snapped Remus. "Seriously, what are the odds that a girls going to hate you one minute and be coming on to you the next?"
Before Sirius could reply, a tear-streaked girl came hurrying over to them. “R-Remus,” sobbed Shelley. “I c-can’t do this anymore. It’s over!”
As she ran away, her cries echoing after her, the other three Marauders looked at Remus, stunned. “Well, if you make that the opposite,” said Sirius slowly. "I'd say the odds are more than you thought."
“Right,” said James, summoning up his courage. “I always knew that pranking her would eventually get her attention.” He bravely grinned at all of them. “Gentlemen, my time has come.”
Before his friends could stop him, he took off in the general direction of the Heads’ quarters. “I think he’s going to end up dead,” commented Peter nervously.
“And I’m going to need a good night’s sleep if we’re going to deal with the after-math,” said Remus, sighing heavily.
Taking that as their cue, they headed back to their common room, each of them lost in their thoughts of barmy girls and their strange hormones. The fire was still going when they got back, and Remus was pleased to see that no one had removed his book. “I actually might stay up and read a bit,” he said, eyeing the book eagerly. There was nothing like delving into some literature after a particularly confusing day.
“Will you all be up soon?” asked Peter, heading towards the stairs.
“Don’t worry, Pete,” said Sirius, throwing himself into his favorite armchair. “We’ll be sure to tuck you in and chase away the boogeyman before it’s too late.”
Peter rolled his eyes before disappearing from view. “If anyone needs some action, it’s that kid,” commented Sirius, obviously not too happy that Remus preferred to spend time with his novel. “I’ve been telling him to go after Maudie Oakley again. That chick’s so easy, even Pete would stand a chance.”
“Reading,” replied Remus.
“You really reckon that Evans is finally ready to bang Prongs?” asked Sirius, ignoring his friend’s request for solitude.
With a suffering sigh, Remus placed down his book and said, “I don’t think that Lily is ready to “bang” anyone, least of all James.”
“Evening, boys,” called a voice from the portrait hole.
They turned to see Brigid sweeping through the common room like she owned the place. “Nice work today,” she said sarcastically. “I love the way that you choose to pick on the defenseless.”
“Come on, Bridge,” said Elle, taking her arm gently. “Don’t worry about it.”
“We already said we were sorry,” said Sirius, lazily twirling his wand between his fingers. “Go bother someone else.”
“What if I don’t want to?” asked Brigid, leaning on the arm of his chair.
Sirius was a little alarmed to find that her cleavage was right in his face, and that she didn’t seem inclined to move it any time soon. Any other girl but Brigid would have been fine. Breasts were wonderful, all right, but not when they came with claws.
“We really are sorry, Elle,” said Remus, slicing right through the tension in the air.
She offered him a small smile that sent a jolt of electricity through his brain. “I know,” she said quietly. “Brigid, you have to help me study Charms, remember?”
“Right,” said Brigid, her eyes not leaving Sirius’s. He wasn’t quite sure what she was challenging him to, but it was there, and he didn’t know if he liked it very much. “Have a good night.”
“Did you see that?” asked Sirius, after they had gone. “Did you see what she just did? What shit is that crazy bitch on?”
In response, Remus simply picked his book back up and said, “Today the entire female population has gone stark raving mad.”
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