Chapter 1 : Of Cats and Cults
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Random little dedication thingy to Ande and Jack ^_^ Two of my favorite people, both who listen to my insane rambling and potentially crazy outbursts without smiting me. If you guys want to read good stories check out theirs.. they're both under my favorite authors Ande is Sweet Decadence and Jack is inti - Songs of Calico and Nikki Scott's Lists of Reasons Not to Fraternize with James and Albus Potter are both major win stories and incredibly amusing. Ily guys ^_^ And as long as I'm recommending stories anything at all by crazybibliophile is amazing.
On an entirely random side note I've noticed I'm using closets, particularly people hiding in them, in my stories fairly often. I'm not entirely sure what that says about me, but I swear I'm not really a creeper. And it's not a metaphor for my life XD No closet hiding here. Well there is a child who used to hide in my closet, but I really think that was only for the shoes and to be perfectly honest is entirely irrelevant right now.
I'm going to stop typing and let you start reading XD
“I have a plan.”
The groan that immediately escaped all three boys spoke volumes of their thoughts on this declaration. Sirius’ lack of response said even more.
“So I was thinking about your little problem, Prongs -”
“Little problem?” James interrupted, looking disgruntled. “You make me sound like an old maid with a sick cat.”
“Well you are mooning over a girl,” Sirius replied with a quick shrug.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” James demanded, his tone disgruntled.
Sirius sighed, his expression one of pity. “Prongs, mate, you’re a seventeen year old male with clearly working equipment if your moaning last night was anything to go off by -”
“Oh piss off!” James interrupted, his face heating up.
“ - yet you continue to fly after the one bird that just won’t have you. It goes against practically all guy codes. Just like old women having cats. They aren’t getting any, you aren’t getting any. Understand?”
“Your logic disturbs me,” Remus replied, shaking his head bemusedly.
“Anyway,” Sirius continued, ignoring Remus’ comment, “I’ve thought up a plan to save you from becoming the next McGonagall.”
“McGonagall’s a woman!”
“A woman who becomes a cat. If we’re not careful that could be you, Prongs.”
“But I’m male!”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“I can’t be McGonagall if I’m a male you tosser!”
“You’re clearly missing the point, Prongs.”
“I am not! You’re suggesting I’m a woman with a lot of cats -”
“No, I’m suggesting you could become a woman who can be a cat.”
“But I don’t even like cats!”
“Exactly my point! Do you want to be a cat or do you want to go through with my plan?”
“Just give up, James,” Remus interjected helpfully. “It’s Sirius logic. There is no argument.”
“Thank you, Moony,” Sirius replied with a quick grin. “Listen to him, mate. If Remus says I’m right clearly I am.”
“I didn’t say you were right,” Remus protested. “I just told James to give up.”
“Which is basically saying I’m right.”
“No, it isn’t! I just know there’s no use arguing with you!”
“Because I’m right!”
James listened to their bickering as it continued and pondered over how easy suffocating himself with his pillow would be.
“Wormtail,” he questioned suddenly, ignoring the raised voices of Sirius and Remus, “do you think it’s physically possible to suffocate oneself with a pillow? Or would you just pass out after a bit and go back to breathing regularly?”
Peter looked bemusedly at the pillow. “I dunno. Should I try?”
James was saved the possibility of having to answer that as Remus finally gave up.
“Fine! You’re right. I’m wrong. Now tell your stupid - I mean brilliant,” he corrected as Sirius glared at him, “plan.”
Sirius grinned, tasting the sweet flavor of victory. “Alright, here goes. Prongs, mate, you know how girls love gifts?”
James sighed. “Sirius, I’ve already given her gifts! We’ve tried this before, remember? She didn’t appreciate those knickers in the least.”
Remus let out a heartfelt sigh. “Perhaps because some girls might take being given g-strings as slightly offensive and possible demeaning…”
Sirius stared at him for a moment with a look of utter confusion. “That’s bullocks! If you give a girl a g-string clearly it means you want to see it on her. It’s a compliment!”
“I give up,” Remus declared, aggravation stamped across his features. “I don’t understand how you keep finding girls who put up with you, Padfoot.”
Sirius’ smirk was quick and entirely too telling on his direction of thought. "Possibly because I can get it up, Remus. Just the other day Mandy told me that -"
"Enough!" James interrupted, quickly changing the subject. “The plan, Padfoot. Focus on the plan."
“Yes!” Sirius punched a fist in the air, the brilliance of this idea hitting him once more. “We’re going to give her a different present this time.”
James sighed. “What kind of present?”
All three boys were silent.
“You!” Sirius exclaimed, his eyes glowing. “Don’t you see the brilliance? You’re not just giving her a quick snog then or knickers that won’t last after a romp. You’re giving her permanent snogs and permanent romps! It’s bloody brilliant that’s what it is.”
Despite the fact that the only response he received was silence he continued on anyway.
“Here’s what will do. Prongs, in a strictly non-gay way, your body isn’t that bad. It’s not like… fat or anything.”
“Wow. Thanks, Padfoot.”
Remus snickered in the corner, ignoring James’ annoyed glare.
“So,” Sirius continued, “we’ll just wrap you up in a bow and then you can deliver yourself to Evans.”
“Deliver myself?” James questioned incredulously. “That sounds like something out of some sort of cult.”
“Cult or cat, Prongs. Your choice.”
James sighed, unable to believe he was already considering this. “The cult involves Lily?”
He rubbed a hand wearily over his face. “The cult it is.”
“Wise choice,” Sirius nodded. “The lesser evil of the two C’s. Alright men! Let’s get to planning this. Operation deliver James begins now!”
“Padfoot,” James replied, “ I think you’ve lost your mind.”
"I think I’ve lost my mind.”
“It’s the Sirius Syndrome,” Remus replied dryly as he finished tying the bow around James. He took a step back, smothering the urge to snicker at the sight in front of him.
James was wearing nothing besides the bow that had been strategically placed around his body to hide any areas that would get him arrested for flashing in public. The effect was utterly ridiculous and one that was amusing Remus to no end. Meanwhile, Sirius was skipping around like a fairy, positive that this plan of his would work.
“We’ll just put you in the closet and then when she opens it you can step out and yell surprise!"
"Wow," Remus deadpanned. "That's not creeper at all, Sirius. I'm sure she'll think thats a lovely greeting. I know I'd love it if someone jumped out at me wearing nothing but a bow and yelling surprise. Wouldn't scare me in the least."
"You having your monthlies, Moony?" Sirius inquired with a false air of concern. "All this negativity is making me wonder."
Remus scowled, his features tightening with annoyance. "I don't have monthlies!"
"Technically you do," James pointed out helpfully. "Just not of the womanly sort."
"It's practically the same thing," Sirius replied, shrugging his shoulders. "Sometimes I honestly can't tell the difference between Moony when he's a wolf and birds when they're at that time of the month. Both involve a lot of blood too, come to think of it."
James felt slightly ill.
Remus looked appalled.
"What?" Sirius demanded at their expressions. "It's the truth!"
“Moving on,” Remus continued, ignoring Sirius completely. “I really don’t think this closet idea is brilliant at all. You’re just going to scare her and make her think James is more of a stalker than she already does.”
“Lily doesn’t think I’m a stalker!” James protested, denial stamped across his features.
Remus blinked, disbelief on his face. “James, she accuses you of being one practically every day.”
“That’s just her affectionate nickname for me!”
“Stalker?” Remus questioned incredulously.
Remus looked at the two of them for a moment, James’ expression defiant and Sirius’ still gleeful as he skipped around the room and decided, with little hesitation, to give up. “For the record, I’ve said this was a bad idea.”
“For the record, you are on your monthlies and not of the right mind,” Sirius replied airily, ignoring the growl that escaped Remus. “Now onto business. Prongs, we need to get you into that closet.”
"And how exactly do you suggest doing that, Padfoot?" Remus inquired, exasperation evident in his voice. "Regardless of whether or not James uses the invisibility cloak somebody's going to notice if the door into their dormitory and the closet suddenly opens!"
"Minor detail," Sirius proclaimed arrogantly. "We just wait till their sleeping!"
Remus paused a moment, letting that process. "So you're saying that we're going to wait till they go to sleep, sneak James in, have him shut himself in the closet with nothing but a bow on, and then have him jump out at Lily when she opens it, yelling surprise?"
"Exactly." Sirius bowed. "No need to thank me for my genius."
Remus stared at him for a moment before turning and looking at James. "When you lose the balls that you haven't gotten too much use out of yet I want you to remember that you could have listened to me and saved your future children’s lives."
James gulped nervously for a moment, indecision curling within him. “What’s the worst that could happen though, really?” He questioned uncertainly. “She could kick me, hex me, call me a creep, refuse to go out with me… all that’s been done before anyway.” His sigh of resignation and momentary look of defeat caused both Remus and Sirius to shift uncomfortably. “Maybe I should just give up.”
Sirius gaped at him while Remus felt concern bubbling within him.
“Give up?” Sirius questioned, shock written all over his features. “But you’re a Marauder! We never give up!”
James rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly, attempting to avoid the large loop of bow that rose up to his neck. “I know, but don’t you think I’m beginning to look like a bit of a fool? I mean, I’m standing in nothing but a bow and getting ready to hide in a closet.” His brows drew together, confusion settling on his features. “Maybe that is a bit creeper.”
Remus, despite the fact that he thought the whole idea was ridiculous, couldn’t accept seeing that look of defeat on James’ face. Regardless of what Lily said the two were clearly meant for each other. There was no James then Lily. There was only Lily and James. Anything else was simply illogical and impossible to comprehend.
Which was why, knowing full well he might regret it, he decided to convince James to go along with Sirius’ ridiculous plan. “Prongs. Do you love Lily?”
A slight flush tinged James’ cheek. “I don’t know if I’d say love.” He shifted uncomfortably, clearing his throat. “I just can’t quite picture life without her is all.”
Remus sighed. “Well then I think you know what to do.”
James took a quick look in the mirror, cringed, and then turned back towards the two boys, the usual gleam back in his eyes. “All right. Let’s head to the closet.”
Lily was having a long day.
It had just gotten longer.
“Go away before I hex you into the next century.”
“Aww, is that any way to treat an old pal?”
“No,” she replied, “but considering we’ve never been pals I don’t think that’s an issue.”
“You wound me, Evans.”
“Really! My heart is bleeding. I can feel the tears welling behind my eyes. Soon I’ll be a blubbering mess at your feet and then you’ll know my true pain.”
“You’re going to know true pain if you don’t back away from me in the next five seconds, Black.”
“Okay, okay!” He held up his hands as a sign of peace, slowly backing off. “I just came to tell you some good news. Merlin, woman. You on your monthlies too?”
At the vicious look she sent him he took another step back. “I’ll take that as a yes…”
She let out a short scream of frustration, prepared to stomp off when he yelled out something that stopped her in her tracks.
“Just wanted to let you know that James has finally moved on!”
She stopped abruptly, feeling as though her world had suddenly shifted. “Excuse me?”
He fought the urge to grin at her pale complexion. “James. He’s finally moved on. Just thought you’d like to know.”
“He’s moved on?” She asked faintly, unable to comprehend what he was saying.
On the inside Sirius did several victory fist punches. “He and Mary have decided to get together. Actually…” He grinned, leaning in with a wicked glint in his eye. “He was talking about sneaking up to the girls room tonight, maybe hiding in the closet for a bit and then coming out when you were all asleep.”
He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, pleased to see the flush of temper that rose to her cheeks and made her eyes sparkle dangerously. “Don’t tell Mary I told you though,” he said quickly. “James wants to make it a surprise.”
“Oh I bet he does,” she responded quietly, her voice low and vicious.
Sirius bit back a grin. “Must be nice to not have to worry about him bugging you now though, yea?”
Her lack of response said all he needed to know. He watched her walk off, her quick pace and agitated movements amusing him.
Now the rest, he thought with a wicked grin, was up to James and knowing James as he did, he was fairly sure everything would work out in his favor.
Getting into the closet hadn’t proved very difficult. In fact, it had been quite easy. All of the girls had been fast asleep and they hadn’t even stirred as he slipped by them. All in all he had thought things were going quite well.
Then he had tried to get out of the closet and everything went to hell.
First he had tried simply turning the door knob, but for some reason it wouldn’t budge. He had been mildly disturbed, but assumed that perhaps the latch had become broken and simply attempted pushing it. That hadn’t done anything either. Feeling perplexed and slightly annoyed, he had resorted to magic.
It was at that point that he realized he was in serious trouble.
He came to the conclusion, after a short amount of time, that perhaps there was some sort of locking charm on the closet much like there was on the stairs.
That was when he decided that he was royally fucked.
The way he saw it he had two options. Stay in the closet till some random girl opened it or bang on the door in an attempt to wake one of the girls up. Either way would require a great deal of incredibly embarrassing explanations, but eventually he had decided on the second.
Which was what left him in the conundrum that he now found himself facing.
“Quit banging on the door, James, before you wake everyone else up.”
He froze, recognition of that particular voice causing everything inside him to momentarily shut down.
“Lily?” He finally managed to squeak out.
He heard what sounded frighteningly like a growl before she responded. “Yes, Lily. Why? Were you expecting Mary?”
The vehemence with which she said that girls name both confused and frightened him. “Mary?”
“Don’t play dumb with me, Potter.”
He frowned, perplexition causing his features to scrunch together. “I’m not! Why would I be expecting Mary?”
“Oh please.” She snorted disdainfully. “I know why you’re in that closet, James.”
He froze again, a sudden course of fear lacing through him. If she knew why he was in the closet and she was acting so angry that could only mean one thing.
He was about to get rejected once more.
He sighed, resting his head against the door and prepared himself to give what would hopefully be his last speech to her.
“Lily,” he began quietly, “I know you think I’m a right wanker, only obsessed with Quidditch and pranking.” He paused a moment, thinking that over. “And you are almost entirely correct in that assumption.”
He found himself grinning a little when he heard her snort and then cough, clearly trying to cover up her laughter. “But I am also completely and irrevocably obsessed with you. As in I’ve become enough of an absolute prat that I would dress myself up like some sort of demented fairy in the form of a present as a symbolic gesture of presenting myself to you. I know I irritate the piss out of you and that half the time you want nothing more than to cuff me, but I think determination and relentless have to count for something eventually.”
He waited a moment, surprised that she wasn’t interrupting him before continuing. “I’ve spent about six years making an absolute fool of myself over you and trust me, if any of that’s helped at all in convincing you to feel a fraction of what I feel towards you I’ll be happy. I know that occasionally I probably should have been a bit more subtle in my feelings towards you -”
“A bit more subtle, James?”
He felt a bit of heat rush to his cheeks. “Okay, more a bit more than a bit. The point is,” he continued on hurrdily, “that I don’t regret it, but I’m fairly sure I’ve hit bottom. I mean I’m locked in a closet in the girls dormitory wearing nothing but a bow that is rubbing into the parts of me I seriously hope to being using on you one day if they survive this. So I’d appreciate it if you could let me know how much more I’m going to be humiliated before you let me out.”
For a moment the entire room was quiet before he heard a soft shuffling and then the quiet click of a door knob opening and suddenly found himself face to face with the girl who occupied most of his thoughts.
Her hair was a mess, snarled in every which direction and her pajamas consisted of a baggy sweatshirt and sweatpants that shouldn’t have sent his heart racing the way they did. He felt a ridiculous longing that made him want to slap himself and pull her close at the same time.
She looked at him slightly suspiciously. “So you’re not here for Mary then?”
His expression was baffled. “Why would I be here for Mary?”
She muttered something under her breath that sounded like something along the lines of, “prat… sirius… murder…” before she looked back up at him.
Her lips twitched momentarily as she noticed the bow. “Wow.”
He tugged somewhat self-consciously at the loop before grinning wickedly. “The idea is that you’re supposed to unwrap the present.”
She quirked an eyebrow. “Oh really?”
He nodded earnestly. “It’s rude not to.”
She snorted again, a sound he was growing fonder of by the minute. “Hmm…” She surveyed him a moment longer, her head tilting to the side. “So let me get this straight. You came into the dorm, decided to wait in the closet - wrapped in only a bow - to offer yourself to me?”
He felt himself flushing again. “Well me as a whole. I mean you can have me - uh - body wise too, obviously. In fact you can have that whenever you want it. You could have that right now even. But I was trying to say that we could do the whole thing. As in the dating thing. The I love you thing even. If you want. Not that I’m saying I love you. But you know, I might. Maybe.”
Her lips were twitching and for a moment he thought she might be having some kind of spasm, but then she laughed. A long, gorgeous peal of laughter that had him smiling back even though he wasn’t sure why.
She looked up finally, her eyes bright and happy as she grinned at him. “Okay James.”
He felt his mouth jaw open, his entire frame going slack. “W - what?”
Her grin grew wider, the eyes he loved sparkling. “I said okay. I’ll take you as a whole. If you do the same for me that is.”
He was gaping. He knew it, but he couldn’t stop his mouth from hanging open like a guppy. It wasn’t the smooth reaction he had planned. “Really?”
“Really,” she replied, the same smile still lighting her features.
He let that process for about two seconds before moving forward and capturing her face with his hands, bringing his mouth crashing down to hers. She let out a startled squeak but relaxed against him quickly afterwards. He pushed his hands through her hair, ran them down her back, and brought them back to do it all over again, all the while kissing her the way he had planned to for years.
He wasn’t entirely sure he would have ever stopped till he felt the gentle push on his chest. For a moment he ignored it, not quite able to let go, when the push became a bit more firm. He backed up reluctantly, looking down at her and unable to stop the surge of happiness at seeing her clearly just been kissed look. If it hadn’t been him who had left that expression on her face of course the bloke would be dead, but now he felt exhilarated.
She grinned at him, shaking her head when he tried to steal another kiss. “Nope,” she said, playfully pushing him back.
“But Lily,” he pouted in a way he hoped was charming, “I haven’t been unwrapped.”
“Stuff it, Potter,” she replied, her voice betraying the laughter that threatned to bubble out. “You’re not going to be by me either. But I do think you should probably do something about that bow soon.”
He blinked at her, slightly befuddled. “Why?”
She ran her tongue over her lips in a quick gesture that had his eyes darkening. “Because if you don’t take it off soon I think it might cause problems with circulation, considering the reaction you’re having.”
He looked down and then felt a moment of panic. “Oh fuck me,” he muttered, wondering how the hell he couldn’t have noticed that before.
She burst out laughing, holding a hand to her mouth as she tried to keep quiet in order to not wake up anyone. “Clearly that’s what you’re hoping for anyway.”
He glared at her, both amused and disgruntled at her laughter, before smiling wickedly. “You could always help me take it off…”
She grinned, shaking her head at him. “Don’t push your luck, Potter. You can just go back to your dorm and solve that for yourself.”
He pouted, but finally sighed, recognizing defeat. “Fine,” he muttered grumpily, “but tomorrow I’m announcing to the entire school that you’re mine and if any bloke touches you I’m cutting their hand off.”
Her eyes narrowed threatingly. “Try it and I’ll never be unwrapping you.”
He just grinned, already planning out how he would let everyone know who Lily Evans now belonged to. Because the fact was, she was his. Just as he was hers.
For once Sirius’ plan had worked out.