"So what are you boys up to?" Corrine asked as she approached Sirius and James sitting around the fire, parchments spread out in front of them. She knew Peter would be asleep already, he had a test the next morning and had fallen asleep studying. "Oh, nothing," Sirius said quickly gathering all the papers and blueprint plants. "What was that?" She asked suspiciously and the boys quickly adapted a rather dull expression, "What was what?" 'Hmmm...why do boys always play dumb like that? Do they think girls are idiots?' She pointed at his papers, "What you've got there. What is it?" James looked at her curiously and shook his head, "I honestly don't know what you're talking about." Corrine crossed her arms, "You aren't going to hurt someone again are you?" Sirius shook his head and shot back, "No! Not that it's any business of yours but we're being perfect little angels."
Corrine snorted, "Right, well anyway, where is Remus?" James motioned toward the door, "He and Lily left for patrolling about twenty minutes ago." Corrine looked crestfallen, "Twenty minutes? Darn. I was hoping to get Remus to pick up my Charms book. I left it in the classroom, and it's already after hours." Sirius looked up, "Well you could go get it you know, instead of sending Moony to do your dirty work." Corrine glared, "I could hardly call it dirty work, I just thought it would be easier for him, and in the process I wouldn't get in trouble." Sirius scoffed, "Evans has rubbed off on you." Sensing the growing argument James stood up, "You could borrow my cloak and the map Corrine, don't worry."
Corrine brightened up, "Really?" James nodded and bounded up the steps to retrieve his things for her. As he left Corrine turned to smirk at Sirius who was shifting through some of the papers in his hand, he was concentrating and Corrine couldn't help but breath out trying to calm herself down. She walked over to Sirius and leaned on the couch, "Why do we fight so much Sirius?" She murmured. He turned to look up at her and immediately she saw his expression soften, "I don't know." She nodded sullenly and leaned closer, "I really hate this." He nodded, "Me too." Knowing that it was do or die she let her forehead touch the side of his, "I miss you." He shuddered suddenly and asked, "What are you doing?" She shook her head, "Nothing," he gulped. Corrine sighed as he continued, "It doesn't seem like nothing."
She was quiet for a while, letting herself nuzzle into him, letting this one moment slip by unnoticed by the rest of the world. She may have had ulterior motives when she initiated this, but she couldn't deny what she really wanted out of this confrontation. He shut his eyes and almost willed himself to believe that 'this is just a girl! I flirt with girls in more ways than this making them weak at the knees! Come on Padfoot ol' boy gain back the reigns.' She shook herself and focused on the task at hand letting her glance move over from him, knowing he was trying to figure out her motives. Her eyes narrowed at the sight of his hands as the grip he had on his papers loosened. She could now see the writing, reading it quickly while darting her gaze back and forth between them and Sirius. She furrowed her brow as she realized that the plan was cut short and probably was continued on the page behind so taking a deep breath not really needing to convince herself of what she was going to do next. She knew that it was wrong but she couldn't help it, "Sirius?"
"Co-Corinne? What are you---?"
She sighed knowing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and she would make the most of it. "Just for tonight Sirius. Forget everything for tonight. I don't want to fight with you right now." His grip loosened even more as he nodded and the papers seemed to fall. She smiled seeing all that she needed to see and left one kiss on his cheek as she pulled away. She sighed in relief hearing James' footsteps come thundering down. "Here you go Rin," She smiled in gratitude and sighed, "I'll be back." She turned to Sirius who seemed to be doing lamaze breathing and chuckled, "I'll see you later Sirius." And with that she walked out, silently chuckling as she heard James ask, "Padfoot? Are you alright?"
When she was outside Corrine immediately put on the cloak waiting for Lily and Remus to return from patrol. After a few minutes she heard them coming up the staircase and smiled. She and Lily had planned this, of course she hadn't told her about the cloak and the map because that was the boys' secret and not hers, but she distinctly told her that she could find out what the boys' prank was.
"All you have to do is trust me alright?"
At first Lily was a bit confused, but after some prodding she finally agreed to hold the portrait hole open for a few seconds until she felt it being pulled from her. This had earned Corrine an even more curious glance but none the less she agreed. "I can't believe Corrine left her Charms book in the classroom, I'm almost sure that I saw her pick it up and put it in her bag." Remus said as he passed the now invisible Corrine. Lily shrugged, "She probably thought that she put it away too, but I suppose she was a bit preoccupied with Sirius." 'What?' Corrine said to herself and watched as Remus chuckled and nodded, "They were openly staring at each other...or was it glaring?" Corrine's eyes widened, 'WE WERE NOT!' But none the less she took the opportunity to follow them.
"Password?" The Fat lady asked, nodding to the two as she did every night after their patrols. "Levi Corpus," Remus answered and Corrine immediately took hold of the portrait door under Lily's hand. She followed them inside and just as she had requested Lily held the door until she felt it being pulled away which meant Corrine was in the room. Her eyes widened, but she composed herself again and smiled to Remus, "Goodnight, I'll see you in the morning." And with that she sped out of the room and up the girl dormitory stairs. Corrine settled herself by the fireplace, well away for the boys not to notice another presence but close enough to hear. "So is everything set up for the Friday before the ball?" Remus asked taking a seat next to Sirius.
James nodded, "Yes, Peter will deliver the salt night before and you're to go down and make sure the house elves don't screw things up and give the tainted food to the wrong table." Remus nodded, "So what are you and Sirius doing?" James pointed at one of the parchments, "We'll be in the Great Hall making sure that the Slytherin table consists of only Slytherins." Remus nodded and laughed, "Oh Merlin, we should bring Corrine into this, she might get a laugh out of it." At the mention of Corrine's name Sirius squeaked earning a curious glance from Remus.
"What's the matter with you?" Sirius immediately shook his head and Corrine could see that his face was growing red again. She decided it was time to make an appearance and walked over to the portrait hole opened it and shut it, causing the Fat Lady to be a bit surprised by the sudden jolt. She sighed loudly and took off the cloak. She made her way over to the boys "Well now I can't find that darn Charms book, this is frustrating." The boys all turned toward her, Sirius slightly reddening even more. She tossed the map and the cloak to James before setting her hands on the back of the couch right next to both Remus and Sirius' shoulder. She yawned, "Oh Corrine," Remus said, "Lily and I found your book, she brought it upstairs." At this Corrine's eyes brightened, "Oh thank goodness, that's a relief." She smiled and yawn, "Well I'm a bit tired mates I'll see you later."
Corrine looked down at Sirius and sadly averted her eyes before walking out and up the girls' dormitory stairs. Tonight was the only night she could do anything like that again. And they both knew it. "Merlin..." Sirius said, "I do think that woman will be the death of me."
The girls had had a two weeks to plan everything and make sure everything was in place. On more than one occasion the boys had begun to get excited, which meant they had added a new twist to their plan and it opted for another night meeting with the boys in secret. When the Friday morning came Lily and Corrine prepared, "So you saw them go down to the kitchens?" Corrine asked and Lily nodded, "I barely got out of there as Peter and Remus showed up. I told Twinkle she was not supposed to tell anyone about me being there."
She sighed and looked over at Corrine, "So your sure Sirius and the boys won't stay at the table and see us?" Corrine nodded, "No, they'll get up and walk over to admire their handy work, plus the boys have opted to hold a race." Lily giggled, "Well that will be an interesting sight, but I still don't know how you found out their entire plan." Corrine chuckled, "Marauder's secret," she teased, "So did you get in touch with everyone?" Lily nodded and continued walking, entering the Great Hall, they've all been informed and are in position."
The whole school was a buzz with the talk of the ball and Lily took a glance at James and Sirius. Just like Corrine had said they were chatting up a few Ravenclaw girls that were sitting at the Slytherin table and kindly escorting them back to their own house table. She gave Corrine a look and her friend only smiled as they took their now regular seat with the boys. Alice could be seen sitting with Frank a further ways down and Nikkila was no where in sight. Something about rehearsing with her sisters and helping Allison so she would be a bit late. So that left the Marauders and just the two of them.
"Good morning boys," Lily said as she and Corrine took their seats, the boys chorused a good morning back as the Great Hall continued to buzz. Lily chanced a glance at Sirius who was staring at Corrine curiously and she couldn't help but wonder what it is her friend had done to him. Everyone had noticed the slight turn of the tables between Corrine and Sirius, it seemed every time they talked and touched it was Sirius Black, the infamous Casanova of Hogwarts that would blush. 'She must really have him wrapped around her finger,' Lily thought.
Suddenly a squeal erupted from the Slytherin table and all turned to see that in place of every single Slytherin student was a very large pink pig dressed in green robes. All hell broke loose and pigs were scurrying every which way and that, "SOOOWEEE! SOOOOOWEEEEE!" Sirius bounded up and jumped onto a very large pig that passed with strangely long blonde hair riding it around the tables. "What is going on?" Corrine asked through laughs, even though she very well knew what was going to happen. Peter only laughed, "I suppose we decided to bring some bacon to the table." With a chuckle the other boys stood up and took off after Sirius, laughter and squeals erupted and Lily took into notice that even though the teachers seemed to be trying to calm things down they were laughing as well.
All at once the girls stood up in surprise and got out of the way as both Sirius and James rode two very frightened pigs over the seats and on top of the Marauder portion of the table. Corrine looked at Lily who had a twinkle in her eye, the boys had ruined all of the silverware from their table settings which means...they would need new ones. "POTTER! BLACK! GET OFF OF THOSE PIGS--erm---STUDENTS! GET OFF OF THEM NOW!" McGonagall looked livid now, probably because the boys had succeeded in knocking her over once or twice with Remus and Peter in tow trying to pull them off. Finally Professor Dumbledore stood up and pointed his wand to his throat, "STOP!" His voice boomed throughout the Great Hall and immediately all was quiet. "I would implore you all to please return to your seats." He said amusedly giving a wave of his wand and immediately the Slytherins had been changed back, with James and Sirius sitting atop Malfoy and Snape.
"Get off me you fool!" Lucius cried and he stood up striding back over to his table, Severus did the same, knowing they could do little with all of the Professors in front of them. The hall then erupted in applause and Lily rolled her eyes as they all began to bow and wave, Sirius overacting a bit more than the others but none the less McGonagall shook her head, "Circe's Swine salt boys?" She sighed, "That's detention for three weeks for all four of you when we return from break and I'm inclined to forbid you from the Ball." At this the hall quieted and the boys turned to the Professor in shock, "It's alright Professor McGonagall, let's hold off on that punishment for now, I have a feeling that the boys will be put in their place soon enough."
His eyes twinkled over to the girls and Corrine knew that he had seen them. Lily grinned also and turned to Corrine who winked, "Go back to your seats boys." Dumbledore said with a smile and the boys nodded before walking down the aisle to their table. Soon enough chatter was restored to the table as McGonagall summoned newly made food, though the Slytherins were not jumping at the chance to eat it. "Wasn't that great?" Sirius asked as he took his seat across from Lily, "Hilarious," Lily said, "But you boys best be careful, one day someone is going to try and out prank you." James laughed and shook his head, "Out prank the Marauders? No way in hell is that possible." The boys all agreed and began eating, "And besides," Sirius said looking back up at the girls, "Who would have the balls to try and prank us?"
"PADFOOT LOOK AT YOUR HAND!" James shouted and Sirius looked down to see that his hand had begun to swell considerably, "What the?" The boys all yelled in shock as they all began to swell one body part at a time, the Great Hall erupted in laughter once again. "WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON?" Remus was the first one to swell completely and Corrine couldn't help but laugh joining the entire hall in the giggles. His eyes were bulging out and his fingers the size of sausages. Then followed Peter, Sirius, and James. Once they were all blown up they began to float up towards the ceiling, "AH! SOMEONE HELP!"
Sirius' cheeks puffed up when he spoke which only earned louder laughter from all of the Professors and the entire student body. Lily boldly stood up on her chair and cried, "Ladies and Gentlemen Corrine and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the infamously illustrious Marauders,"
Corrine cut in taking her place next to Lily as well, "And we would also like to say to our favorite gentlemen, HAH! You've just been out pranked!" The laughter was replaced by applause and cheers from all of the houses while flashes began to erupt from different sides of the hall. It seemed that Alice, Frank, and a few other friends of the girls' friends were taking pictures, including Professor Flitwick, though he was not asked to. Lily and Corrine gave each other a high five and giggled as they pointed at the very bloated crimson red Marauders, "Oh," Lily said again, "And if anyone is interested, Zonko's new product for next semester will be the Swelling Spray," she pulled out the yellow bottle from her robe pocket and smiled, "Two galleons and a photo of the infamous Marauders in this state is to be on every wrapper! Don't forget to purchase it next Hogsmead Trip." With a smile she looked back up at the boys before laughing and bowing mockingly with Corrine just as the boys had done.
Unknown to the girls, James and Sirius had never found them so attractive before.
The girls' prank was sure to go down in Marauder history, especially since the two were able to escape any and all punishment. "I still can't believe that they got away with it!" Sirius called from the closet, "It's utterly beyond me how we get stuck with three weeks of detention and a trip to the hospital wing, but they get off with nothing but a nod of gratitude?! What has this world come to?" Remus snorted, "You're just upset because they outwitted us Padfoot, come on now be a good sport, their prank was a bit on the ingenious side, hitting us right when we thought no one would touch us." Sirius rolled his eyes, "Yeah I suppose so." He turned and started to put his jacket on only to find James rolling around on the floor. "Erm...Prongs?" James sighed and laid there flat on the floor, "Are you alright?"
He shot Sirius a glare, "I can't get this bloody thing to work!" The boys chuckled at their friend which only earned another smoldering glare, "Why not help me you idiots instead of snickering there like a bunch of pansies?" Remus shook his head, "No, we saw what you did to Peter, we're not going near you." Sirius nodded, "Right-O mate, you're dangerous when it comes to spandex."
Suddenly there was a knock at the door, "Boys? Are you in there?" James flew to his feet and wrenched the door open to find Corrine startled and later amused by the state of her friend, "CORRINE! I NEED HELP!" She laughed as she took a look at him, shirt half tucked, spandex tangled incredibly so and his glasses askew. She looked over to see Sirius walking into the bathroom, avoiding her, most likely, with Remus who was already rolling his eyes at James, only to laugh with a sigh. "He's been rolling around on the floor trying to fix his damn suspenders." Peter cried, fixing his tie in front of the mirror, "Well why not help him?" Corrine asked, "You seem to have gotten yourself together." Peter laughed, "I tried but for some reason I got his suspender stuck in the front of my knickers with James behind me trying to pull it out the wrong way and...well, I don't want to relive that moment."
Corrine laughed and shook her head. She turned and opened her mouth to say she would help but stopped. James was writhing on the floor trying to fix his blasted suspenders. "Oh James get up come here." James stood up and walked over to her, "Thank you thank you thank you thank you!" He cried, Corrine laughed and took hold of the right suspender and straightened it out before doing the same to the left. "There you go," James smiled, "Why couldn't I do that?" Corrine shrugged, "It's a gift." James snorted and smoothed out his shirt, finally fixing the last bit of it that needed to be tucked, "So," he started, "How do I look?"
She laughed and circled him, letting a critical expression come across her face, "Well, I think you're missing something." She looked over to Peter, "Hey Pete, hand me that hat over there on the dresser." It was a nice black newsboy hat and Peter complied by handing it to her. Corrine smiled in gratitude and put it on his head, "Well, I must say you clean up rather well, and now the hat covers up your hair and you don't have to wear the blazer." James smiled and turned to look into the mirror, pocketing his hands with a smile, "I think I look rather dashing."
A chuckle came from the bathroom as Sirius leaned against the door frame, "Not as good as me mate, not as good as me." He turned to see Sirius who stood leaning against the dressing room door his fedora hat stylishly pushed into his face. He wore a pinstripe gangster suit and posed in a regular James Dean fashion with a smirk, "I make the forties look good." Corrine shook her head and turned, knowing that the blush on her face would truly give her away. "So Corrine," he growled, apparently trying to do the same thing she had done to him a good two weeks ago, and unfortunately it made her heart beat faster. "What do you think?" She looked up and noticed the very smug smirk. He knew what he was doing. Smiling evilly she opened her mouth to say something, looking Sirius in the eye, but suddenly turning her focus to behind him, "Remus you look fantastic!"
"Well I do---wait what?" Corrine walked over to Remus who was clad in an olive green air force uniform and she began to look him over. Sirius watched in shock as she dusted off his shoulders and grinned, "CORRINE!" He cried as the others only laughed at him. She turned around and smiled cheekily at Sirius, "What can I say, girls love a man in uniform." Remus could not help the blush as Corrine turned back and gave him a wink. Sirius glared at Remus and crossed his arms leaning against the bedpost. James and Peter shared the same 'He's such a dud,' expression before finally Corrine smirked at him herself.
She turned back to Remus "Just don't tell Wesley that." James raised his brow, "So it's true then? You and Wesley are going to the ball together?" Sirius coughed painfully, apparently he had not heard this. Corrine glanced at him before nodding, "Yes, we've been talking about going for a long time now." Sirius couldn't stop himself, "Then what was all that rubbish about going stag then?" He cried, obviously annoyed. Corrine only waved him off, "We said only if we haven't been asked."
Sirius was not to settle for that. "Then what of Diggory?" Corrine only rolled her eyes, "He and I were never going together. I turned him down ages ago." Sirius glared, "So you say yes to Banks? Banks of all people?" Corrine glared, "There is nothing wrong with Wesley! He's a perfectly nice, respectable, TRUSTWORTHY gentleman." Sirius sputtered, "Wha--" Corrine groaned, "Look Sirius, I don't want to fight with you alright? Just for tonight, forget everything for tonight." He was startled, remembering the last time he had heard those words, but none the less regained his composure.
"So what do you propose?" Corrine crossed her arms and sighed, "No fighting, no arguing, let's just be civil. It's a ball and I want to have a good time and I would rather like to spend the evening not trying to think of witty comebacks to throw at you." Sirius eyed her, trying to see any indication of foul play but none the less he held out his hand, "Fine. One night Truce." She took his hand and felt a shock, a sudden spark and pulled away. She watched as he glanced at his hand and she knew he had felt it too.
"Er...Well you look pretty Rin," Peter interjected said. Corrine was sighed, giving a gentle appreciative nod to the change in subject, "Thanks Peter, it was a rather lucky find."
She really did look stunning, in her swing dress that hugged her nicely, showing off a very attractive figure that was sure to turn heads that night. Her hair was curled inward and her glasses' rhinestones dazzled almost as brightly as her smile. But even still, James couldn't wait to see what Lily was wearing, she probably looked breathtaking and his heart was humming in anticipation. "So, Wesley and I will meet you downstairs?" Corrine asked, "Nikkila had to go down to the Great Hall for a sound check with Lily and Alice." Remus smiled and nodded, "She told me. You go ahead, We'll only be a moment," Corrine nodded and waved, "Hurry up then, dinner and the entertainment starts at seven thirty promptly, and I don't want to miss Nikkila singing." With that she left the room the boys finishing their preparation. As the door closed Remus groaned rather loudly as if in pain, earning looks of curiosity from his friends.
"What am I going to do mates?"
The three looked at their friend confused and moved closer to sit beside him, "What are you going on about Moony?" Peter asked as Remus held his head in his hands, "I'm never good at these things. Dances and girls and such." Sirius scoffed and slapped him on the back, "Moony you're a Marauder! We never have trouble with the ladies." Remus scoffed, "Oh like you and Corrine are doing so well?" Sirius glared, "You let me worry about her, but you, you've never had a girl get to you." Remus sighed and nodded, "Yes, well, things are different now. with Nikkila it's as if..." He sighed in frustration not knowing what words to say, "As if..." James shared the same confused look with his friends before turning back to Remus who sat up and folded his hands, "As if I could be normal."
It was quiet as the boys seemed a bit taken aback by their friend's words, "Remus, you are normal." Peter said, but their friend only smiled, "Yes as normal as a lycan can get I suppose." Sirius shook his head, "Moony, we've been over this, just because you're a little different doesn't mean you're not normal." Remus scoffed stood up, "Don't you get it Padfoot? Being different isn't being normal, it never has been and never will be." James stood up and walked over to his friend, "Look Moony, we get it alright? We know how you have a problem with this, but if you keep telling yourself that you're different then that is what you'll be. You condemn yourself Remus, not anyone else."
Their friend sighed and rubbed his brow warily, "You know Corrine said that to me a few days ago. Said I was being silly for not making a move on Nikkila." Sirius laughed, "Well you are, I still don't get why you haven't." Remus gave him a look, "Really? You don't? Because it seems a bit obvious to me." The boys looked again at each other as Remus sighed, "I'm not fit to be the kind of man she deserves." Peter looked utterly bewildered, as did James and Sirius who raised their brows in question. "What does that mean?" Peter finally asked and Sirius only groaned in response. "Look mates, over the years girls have just been a bit of a bother to me. I knew I couldn't have a real relationship, I mean, what girl would with someone like me?" James opened his mouth to protest but Remus held up a hand to signal that he wanted to finish.
"But, when Nikkila came into the picture...well, I couldn't help myself. She was all I could think about for days, all I could dream about for weeks. I have never wanted to be with someone and share everything with someone so much." Peter looked up at his friend, "So what's the problem?" Remus leaned against the dresser and crossed his arms, "I can't share my secret with her. As much as I want to, I don't think any girl, especially Nikkila could accept me." James sighed, "That's a load of bull Moony." Remus looked up in surprise and James only rolled his eyes, "This girl is crazy for you. We all see it! And just because you've got a furry little problem doesn't mean she's going to dump you out like last week's trash."
Sirius nodded, "Yeah Moony, how do you know that Nikkila wouldn't accept you? Hell, I'm willing to bet she will, seeing as how head over heels she is for you." Remus sighed and shook his head, "How can I expect Nikkila to understand when even I don't sometimes?" Sirius scoffed, "Again Remus, that's your damage not Niks." He walked over to his friend and patted him on the shoulder, "You shouldn't make decisions for her Moony, that will only screw you ten times over in the end." Sirius nodded, "You care about this girl Moony, it's obvious, and she cares about you too." Remus sighed and shrugged, "I don't know...I'm a little afraid that if I let myself feel more for her than I do now, if she rejects me it will be unbearable."
James chuckled and patted his friend on the shoulder, "Listen Moony, take it from a guy who's spent his years of pining for a girl in a state of rejection, it is never easy no matter what." Remus groaned but James patted him encouragingly, "But it does get better, and you've always got your mates to back you up." Peter and Sirius nodded as Remus relished over the thought. The boys watched him closely as Remus seemed to be having an internal battle with himself when Sirius sighed, "Look, do you want us to get Corrine up here because I bet she could convince you?" Remus laughed and shook his head, "No, I'm convinced, just a little hesitant."
Sirius shook his head and smiled ruefully at his friend, "You never have to be hesitant with us Moony. Have we ever steered you wrong?" Remus gave him a pointed look and four boys burst in laughter, "Alright," Peter said, "Maybe we've had our rough times, but we've pulled through eh mates?" The boys nodded and Sirius clapped his hands in adjournment, "Come on then, let's get down to the ball, can't keep the ladies waiting." James shook his head, "Will you ever change Pads?" Peter answered for him, "He will when Rin tells him too." Sirius scoffed and shook his head, "No woman could tame Sirius Black my friends. No one." Remus snorted and opened the door as his friends filed out, "She already has mate, she already has." James and Peter laughed while Sirius looked confused, "What do you mean?"
"Wesley stop!" Came Corrine's voice from down the stairs, she was giggling in a very teasing manner and Sirius' ears perked up. His eyes flashed and immediately he flew out, "Come on!" He cried, pulling the others who just shook their heads again, "I rest my case."
As the six entered the Great Hall James sought out the beautiful redhead that plagued his every waking moment. "Over here!" Turning he saw Alice and Frank waving them over near the front where a large table was set up. James nodded toward them and the others followed, "Oh this looks so beautiful, I can't believe what a great job Allison did." Corrine gushed and Wesley nodded, "Yes, this is something." Sirius shot glares at Wesley. He was not happy with how he and Corrine were clinging to each other and turned to his best mate for support but James wasn't listening to their praises anymore. He had finally caught sight of her, looking beautiful in blue. Her hair cascaded over her shoulders in a slight curl as a large white rose was situated in her hair. It looked beautiful against her auburn hair, but was nothing compared to Lily herself. "Wow."
Her eyes flitted up to meet his for a moment and she smiled; genuinely smiled at him. Sadly it was not at all the smile he had hoped for. Her grin only screamed, 'Oh there's my mate James.' not, 'There he is. The man I love.' But despite the thought he could not be brought down from his emotional high. Lily gave a small wave and James smiled wider waving back as he made his way toward her. His eyes roamed over the very fitting swing dress as she turned from him and he shook his head. 'Easy Prongs, don't want to ruin a good thing now do you.' He had just gotten Lily to agree to a friendship and after five years he wasn't about to ruin it all by hitting on her. Not yet anyway. James sighed, 'But a little light flirting never hurt anyone.'