A/N: Missus Moony: Hey, y'all! New chapter! Missus Padfoot: Yay! Oh, happy day! Okay, so this chapter may seem like it's a step backwards, but believe us... Missus Moony: It's not. Okay, but before we start the chapter, we realized that there's a couple of our readers that we need to recognize. These people are our ever faithful readers and they mean so much to us! Missus Padfoot: Not that we don't admire all of you tremendously, but these guys have been outstanding with their reviews and have been there for us for a very long time. Missus Moony: Most notable of these people have been prongsie_potter_rules and RupertsPhoenix. These guys have been with us since the beginning and have been reading and reviewing for our story for almost a year and a half now! Missus Padfoot: Way to go guys!!! You absolutely rock our socks and are so faithful that we have been touched! Missus Moony: Listen to yourself, Padfoot - you're getting way too mushy. Missus Padfoot: ...'tis true. Anyway, and here's a list of some others that we would like to recognize:
Missus Moony: You guys are amazing! Just wanted to tell you. Missus Padfoot: And to those who we didn't recognize, WE LOVE YOU TOO!!!! It's just that these guys have blown us away with their loyalties to us and our story and we thought, "hey, it's high time we gave them some credit for our success because they make us feel awesome!" Missus Moony: Oh, and a very special thank you to mollymagnificent... who happened to be my mother. Love ya, Mom! ...if you're still reading this. :D Missus Padfoot: Because of all the great reviews that we have, everytime we update, we are now going to recognize one reviewer that we feel deserves a special thank you from us - just because we feel that you guys deserve a lot of credit for making us write so much of this story. Missus Moony: Honestly, it wouldn't have gotten this far without you guys. Both Missus: WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! Ok, now finally for the chapter:
Chapter 32: And Cleodies is Down for the Count... Poor Cleodies.
The next couple weeks passed by in a whirlwind of schoolwork and Lily was up late one Wednesday night making her Head Girl rounds in the Charms Hall, deep in thought. Rebecca and Marissa had burst into her Head's Common Room weeks ago and told her the great news of James and Daphne's breakup and although it had made her undeniably ecstatic that they were not together anymore, she found herself now more remorseful than ever. She hadn't seen much of James lately due to her studying a lot in the library, but it did seem like he had been avoiding her lately. Wouldn't James have come pursued her by now if he still cared about her? Wouldn't he have gone back to his old ways of flirting with her and asking her out every other day?
‘He truly has moved on, hasn't he?’ thought Lily dejectedly as she looked down at her shoes as she walked past a suit of armor that was rattling.
Suddenly the face-shield on the helmet of the suit of armor blasted open and Peeves the poltergeist flew out of it and began pelting dungbombs at Lily.
“Why if it isn't Miss Headzy-Weadzy Girl out for a midnight stroll!” taunted Peeves as he hung upside down in the air, his wicked grin plastered on his face. “Didn't think you'd run into mean ol' Peevesy now did you?” he cackled.
“Buzz off, Peeves, I'm not in the mood!” growled Lily quietly as she deflected all Peeves' dungbombs with her wand.
Peeves ignored her last comment, blew an extremely loud raspberry at her, and continued with his dungbomb throwing. Finally, not able to take Peeves' mad cackling anymore, Lily pointed her wand at one of the flying dungbombs and shouted, “Waddiwasi!” A small piece of the dungbomb flew off of the bomb and zoomed right up one of the poltergeist's nostrils and he flew off cursing all things with red hair.
“Nice one, Lils, I'll have to remember that one.”
Lily turned around to find Remus standing behind her with his wand out.
“I was just about to help you out, but looks like you didn't need my help after all!” Remus said with a smile.
“Well, I could use your help cleaning up this mess,” she sighed as she gestured towards the massive amounts of dungbombs that were splattered across the floor and the corridor walls.
“Sure, no prob!” said Remus cheerfully as he began to use the Cleaning Charm on the mess.
“So, were you making your rounds like me?” asked Lily conversationally.
“Mmhmm. I'm nearly finished,” he replied.
“Lucky. I've just started,” muttered Lily as she cleared up the last bit of dung.
“Well, why don't I accompany you for the last bit of my shift?”
Lily looked up at Remus' friendly grin and smiled herself. “Thanks, Remus. I could use the company.”
They set off walking down the corridor in a companionable silence.
“So,” said Lily trying to break the silence between them, “have you asked anyone to the Yule Ball yet? It's coming up soon, you know.”
Remus furrowed his eyebrows together before he laughed. “You know, I haven't given it much thought!” he said truthfully.
‘Poor Rebecca,’ thought Lily as she shook her head.
“Well, what about you?” Remus inquired. “Has anyone asked you yet?”
“Nope,” sighed Lily, “No one.”
“Well, have you thought about asking anyone yourself?” Remus grinned.
“Oh, I don't think I could ask anyone... ” Lily trailed off.
“Why not? What about James? Perhaps you should ask him!”
Lily blushed. It seemed like everyone knew that she liked James now. “Oh, I-I-I couldn't,” she stammered. “He doesn't like me anymore and he'd probably say no and I don't think I could face rejection.”
Remus opened his mouth to tell Lily that he believed that James still had feelings for her when she held up her hand.
“I'd rather we didn’t talk about James right now, Remus,” she said quietly.
Remus closed his mouth and nodded slowly.
Lily tried to change the subject. “Well, if I were to buck up the courage and ask someone, who would I ask?”
Remus shrugged as Lily began to talk to more herself than Remus.
“Who is there in our year? Hmm... well, I suppose I could ask Sirius...”
Remus raised his eyebrows as he and Lily slowly turned their heads towards each other to look at one another.
“Nah!” They both said together before they burst out laughing.
“Well, I guess there's always Pe -”
“Lily, please don't say Peter Pettigrew,” Remus cut in quickly. “Yes, he's my friend, but you, my dear, can do so much better!”
“Okay, no Peter then,” Lily laughed. She then paused in her talking to think. Who could she ask? She didn't want to go to the Ball alone! All of a sudden she stopped dead in her tracks, stopping Remus with her as she held out her arm. She slowly turned her head towards Remus with a slightly evil grin that could rival Marissa and Rebecca's.
“Why are you looking at me like that, Lily?” Remus asked suspiciously.
‘And both you and Rebecca are never going to have the guts to ask each other out,’ thought Lily as she finally made up her mind about what she was about to do.
“Well...” began Lily as she took in a deep breath of courage, “how about going to the Yule Ball with me?” she asked hopefully.
Remus bit his bottom lip as he thought about the situation. ‘James is going to kill me... wait a minute, will he though? I mean, was he actually planning on asking her? Oh, why doesn't anyone tell me these things?!’
Lily watched as he frowned, deep in thought. “This is only if you weren't planning on asking anyone,” she said hurriedly. “And we'd just be going as friends!”
Remus moved his eyes from the floor to Lily's pleading eyes and knew what he had to do as Lily's friend.
“Alright. I'd be happy to go with you.”
Walking into the Head's Common Room, Remus was greeted with the sight of Sirius and James shouting and jumping about, looking much like a pair of monkeys.
“W-what on earth are you doing?!?” Remus stuttered, his mouth agape as he took in his friends' antics.
Sirius snagged James as he hurtled past the couch and shoved him down, rubbing his shoulders much like a coach would to a boxing star getting ready to go out in the ring.
“Our very own James Cleodies Potter has decided that tonight is the night!!”
There was a moment’s pause with Remus and James both staring at Sirius.
“Cleodies?” James questioned with a grin.
“I thought it sounded cool.”
Remus cut in quickly before the two got carried away and forgot what they were supposed to be talking about. “The night for what?”
“The night that James will ask Lily to the Yule Ball!!!”
For a brief moment, Remus was elated for his friend's decision to take the leap and finally ask Lily to the ball... but then he remembered that he had just promised Lily he'd accompany her to the ball.
Swearing, Remus palmed his forehead.
“Oh, bloody hell!”
At the werewolf's outburst, James and Sirius exchanged alarmed expressions. Jumping over the couch, Sirius approached his friend cautiously. “Moony, buddy, pal. You never swear! Especially when the news is good!!”
Remus watched as James stood and walked over to his two friends, waiting for his answer with puzzled concern.
'Oh god, I feel like such a cad!’
Sighing, Remus rubbed his forehead, and cursed his luck.
“I swore because I just got back from rounds with Lily.”
“Well, that's never bothered you before mate!” Sirius laughed, slapping the distraught boy on his back.
“True, but she's also never asked me to go to the Yule Ball with her before either.”
Sirius had to hold up James, who had collapsed to sit on the couch, completely forgetting he wasn't actually near said object anymore.
“Aw, man! And Cleodies is down for the count!” whined Sirius as his body sagged from James' weight and the added burden of his frustration and annoyance. “You told her no, right, Moony?”
As suddenly as he collapsed, James surged forward and clutched Remus' arms. “YOU SAID YES?!”
“James, you weren't there! She was all depressed thinking you weren't going to ask her and she didn't want to go alone, so when she asked me as a friend, I agreed! And how was I supposed to know you were going to ask her? It’s not like you haven’t been going after her lately or pining for her like you used to! I'm not psychic, Prongs!!”
James frowned. Remus did have a point. But he couldn’t help it if he had been feeling awkward around Lily lately and too damn scared to ask her out! He didn’t want to get hurt again! That night had been the first night that he had found the courage to finally make a move and it came crashing down on him. James tried not to think about that and rounded his frustration on Remus. “Well, you took three years of Divination!!” he yelled with a sarcastic laugh.
Remus gave James a bland glare. “And I was bloody horrible at it! During my O.W.L. exam when I was reading the Professor's palm I told him he'd live to be fifteen, give birth to twenty children, and die as a cat! Not something one would normally say to a 132-year-old wizard that happened to be a eunuch!”
Sirius snickered as he remembered that particular day. “Ah yes, you were rather out of it then weren't you?”
“Oh, shut it! You know perfectly well that Madam Pomfrey had given me a different potion to try that made me act all wonky that day.”
James waved his arms dramatically to gain his friend's attention. “Why didn't you just ask Rebecca?! Why did you have to go and steal the girl I was going to ask!!”
Remus blinked in confusion as James and Sirius both stared intently at him.
“Why on earth would I ask Rebecca?”
The two Marauder's faces instantly fell to disbelief.
“Yeah, he's serious.”
“Damn! And I thought you were dense, Prongs-OW!! Jeez, you didn't have to hit me so hard!”
James was shaking his hand out, the knuckles already turning red, as he moved to sit on the couch.
“I don't know, guys. I mean, maybe I shouldn't tell Lily how I feel. Maybe this is a sign! Yeah, a sign that Lily and I just weren't meant for each other. Not to mention that we still haven't gotten past being awkward around each other, and she's still trying to avoid me!”
While James was convinced that Lily was avoiding him, he hadn't realized that while he was straining under a massive load of schoolwork and holing himself up in his room to study, Lily had even more work to complete than any of their friends, so she spent her entire day in the Library. With the two so focused on schoolwork, they were both just assuming that the other was avidly trying to avoid them. All in all, it made for very awkward moments when they did happen to run into each other during the day.
“James, I would have never agreed to go with Lily if I had known you were going to ask her. You know that,” said Remus sadly as he leaned against the back of the couch that James was sitting on.
James sighed and ran his hand through his hair despairingly. “Yeah, I know. I'm just using you to vent.”
Remus gave his friend a mock glare. “Well, thanks. Glad to know I'm at least useful for something!”
James gave the pouting werewolf a crooked grin. “Yes, well we thought about extending your duties to chocolate provider, but then we realized that we would like to live to at least see our graduation, and stealing Rebecca's personal supplier was a quick way to sign our death notice.” The three Marauders all shared a grin with each other at the image of James' twin on a rampage from a chocolate shortage.
A comfortable silence fell over the boys as they all faced each other, at ease with each other's presence. After a moment, Sirius and Remus both walked over to James on the couch, sitting on opposite sides of their still agitated friend.
“You know, Prongs,” Sirius mused, propping his feet up on the coffee table, “don't stress about this whole Lily thing. Things will work out in the end, I can feel it - you're too stubborn to let fate kick you in the arse! Don't give up on Lily. You went through hell-”
“A.K.A. Daphne,” interjected Remus helpfully.
“-true, Daphne, and you shouldn't let all your perverseness go to waste!!”
“Um, Sirius, I think you meant perseverance.”
Sirius waved his hand about dismissively. “Same difference.”
Grinning, James leaned back on the couch, thinking about what his friends had told him.
Not even a minute had passed before Sirius, looking around the room, jumped up and waved his arms about. “Okay, I'm done being sappy and uplifting for the evening. Let's go to the kitchens and harass the house-elves for treats.”
Laughing, the Marauders all hauled themselves out of the Head Common Room and tumbled into the corridor, laughing and shoving each other, leaving their worries behind for the evening.
A/N: Both Missus: Hope you liked it, guys!!!
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