Remus knew something was wrong the moment Lily Evans - in her fierce anger - walked, no ran, into the common room. Her jaw was clenched, her emerald -eyes blazing; he could practically see her eye twitching. Perhaps James had tried a little too hard this time to get her to go out with him? Maybe he publicly embarrassed her?As she became closer to him, Remus noted something else in her expression: worry, panic perhaps.
Yes, he decided, something was definitely wrong.
She stomped over to him, her hands twitching nervously, her Prefect badge gleaming from the fire's light. "Remus, where are Potter, Black, and Pettigrew?" she asked urgently. Remus raised an eyebrow. Normally she would've asked that in a fierce, angry tone.
He sat aside the Potions essay he was working on and sat up.
"I'm not sure. Is there something wrong?"
His last question seemed to bring that fierce anger out in Lily.
"Oh yes," she hissed, "something is definitely wrong." In a hushed whisper, she quickly explained everything to him.
"This is going to be too easy," James Potter laughed, nudging his two mates, Peter and Sirius, in the sides. They both nodded their agreement and looked at the other with excited looks in their eyes. Come on, how hard could it be to prank the Hufflepuffs?
The three Marauders walked stealthily under James' Invisibility Cloak, each carrying their own bowl of punch. As they came up on the painting that lead to the Hufflepuff common room, James checked that no one was around before he carefully removed the Cloak and sat his bowl on the floor. At his signal, Peter and Sirius followed suit.
Peter fidgeted. "Maybe we should do this somewhere more, er, private?"
James chuckled softly. "Don't worry, Wormtail, you are going to watch the Map while Sirius and I get our punch ready." As he spoke, a wicked smile graced his lips. He handed Peter the Marauder’sMap.
Sirius smirked. "When Evans find out-"
"-if-" James interrupted.
"- she's going to hex you so hard you'll eat out of your -"
"There's really no need to go into details, Padfoot."
Sirius shrugged. "You know she's going to notice something is wrong anyway."
He laughed. "You're the one that stole the punch she was supposed to be bringing to this so-called party. You want to know what the best part is? You stole it in front of her face. She didn't notice, of course, because Peter scared her by switching to his Animagus."
"Be quiet, will you?" James hissed. What if someone overheard them?
Sirius waved a hand dismissively. "Pete has the Map - he'll tell us when someone's near." As if to add emphasis, Sirius poked the map with his wand.
James chewed his bottom lip nervously. True, Evans would be very angry with him. It wasn’t not like he’d ever had a chance with her anyway, eh? Well, maybe he would next year, it being their last year and all. Sighing, he shook his head. He couldn't let this (a girl) get in between him and his pranks! Especially the end-of-the-year prank that he planned with his fellow Marauders; with the exception of Remus, who could sometimes be a buzz kill. This prank would go down in history, he was sure of it.How couldn't it? No one in the history of Hogwarts - or the Wizarding World, for that matter - had ever pulled such a prank as the one they were about to pull. James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew would go down in history as the greatest Gryffindor pranksters ever to grace the scarlet and gold House! He wasn't about to go down in history as the Gryffindor too scared of a certain redhead to pull a prank.
Sighing, James stood and plucked a piece of his hair from his scalp. "Ready?"
Sirius and Peter mimicked his actions. "Ready," they replied. In unison, the three Marauders dropped the strands of hair into their bowls. It took a minute for the punch to react; but when it did, James and Sirius' turned gold, whilst Peter's turned a slight gold with a hint of black.
James' voice took a commanding edge to it. "Wormtail, check the map - is everything clear?"
Peter nodded vigorously.
"Good. You two ready?"
Sirius smiled wickedly. "Aye, aye, sir!"
Peter piped up,. "What he said!"
James nodded. "Good." Each boy grabbed their bowl and stood in front of the still-life that marked the entrance to the Hufflepuff common room.
Sirius whispered in Peter's ear. "I wonder what that black in your potion stands for?" he teased. Peter laughed in response.
James walked to the still-life and knocked - what else was he supposed to do? Sure enough, Hufflepuff Sebastian Abbot came and opened the, er, painting. "Hullo there," he smiled and waved.
James smiled a smile he hoped was nice and kind. "Lily told us to bring these to you. She said she's sorry she can't attend the..eh, party?"
Sebastian frowned. "I was hoping she would come," he said thoughtfully. James idly thought that maybe he should've slipped a little something else into his punch, just for Abbot.
"Anyway," he said, shaking his head and making way for the Marauders to walk into the common room, "come on in! You're more than welcome to stay, if you like!"
The boys walked into the common room and were immediately shocked at how yellow the place was. Honestly, yellow was everywhere: yellow chairs, pillows; hell, even the bookcase had a yellow tint to it. And I thought we were proud, James thought dryly. He sat his bowl on a nearby table, Sirius and Peter having already done the same.
Sirius, being the blunt bloke he was, said, "So, where're the party-goers? Doesn't look like much of a party to me!"
Sebastian blushed. "We thought it best not to have many people come; only six or seven. After all, aren't the Gryffindors and Ravenclaws having a huge get-together?"
James and Sirius nearly burst with pride. "Yes, yes we are," Sirius said. James, however, faltered- Lily was going to come to a Hufflepuff party and not one thrown by her own House?
"You are all welcome to stay here for while," Sebastian said, smiling.
"Afraid we can't," James said, clapping Sebastian on the back. "We've got to prepare some things for our shindig."
"Oh, alright then. Have fun!"
James, Sirius, and Peter walked out of the Hufflepuff common room, smiling and laughing quietly to themselves.
Lily Evans couldn't help but to blame herself slightly for whatever James was trying to pull off. After all, he had stolen her punch from her, right in front of her face. If it wasn't for that rat...
"The Hufflepuff common room, right?" Remus asked, jogging beside her. The image of her and Remus jogging side-by-side any other time would've made her giggle.
The redhead nodded. "Yeah." Merlin, how would she live this downIt didn't take a genius to figure out what James and his minions were attemptting to pull off; and she would get in trouble for not stopping it.
Just as she and Remus were rounding the corner to the Hufflepuff common room, Lily collided with a hard figure. Before falling back, she was caught. Looking up, her eyes met those of James's. Jerking herself from his grasp, she hissed, "What did you do?"
At first, he almost looked confused; then realization hit him. He stared at her for a minute - as if looking at her would help him come up with a good lie - before looking at Sirius for help. He in turn chuckled before patting James on the back.
"Evans, we were just taking a stroll."
Lily raised an eyebrow. "Does that involve stealing three bowls of punch?"
Sirius feigned shock. "What do you mean?" What did she mean? He knew bloody well what she meant! Before Lily could hex Sirius, Remus stepped in.
"Lily, you stay here with these three," he said, jerking his thumb at James, Sirius, and Peter, "and I'll go make sure no one’s had any of the punch." Lily nodded and Remus walked to the Hufflepuff painting, eventually being let in.
After a few moments' silence, Lily rounded on James. "How ignorant are you? Do you know how much trouble you could get in? Or do you really have a thick skull under that hair!"
Sirius stared at Lily angrily; he was about to say something until James cut him off. "Evans, it's not as bad as you thi-"
"Think? Oh yes, it is! You three could get expelled!"
"Never knew you cared," Sirius muttered.
"It's not so bad," Peter piped.
"Yeah," James agreed.
Lily couldn't believe it. Here were three Gryffindors - who were normally troublemakers and jokesters - with pleading looks in their eyes (okay, only James). Something told her that James was telling the truth.
"Explain to me, then, how you were planning on the people who merely sipped the punch to not notice there are more of them in front of their faces?"
James shrugged as if it were nothing. "We just tweaked a few things here and there, that's all. Whoever drinks the potion will be oblivious to it; if they look in a mirror, they'll see themselves."
"What about if they look at someone else?"
James rolled his eyes. "They'll see the person how that person has always looked."
"And if someone who hasn't drank the potion sees them?"
"They'll see the regular person."
"What was the point in this prank then?" Lily asked.
"To get a good laugh," Sirius said.
"But you didn't stay to see them..."
"Yeah? So?" Sirius said impatiently.
Lily was dumbfounded. Remus came back, confusion all over his face."There's nothing wrong."
"I know," Lily said flatly. She began walking down the corridor. She'd had enough ofMarauders and pranks for one day. "Let your friends explain it to you."
Remus turned around to look at James, Sirius, and Peter. "What's going on...?"
Sirius laughed his bark-like laugh and clapped Remus on the back. "I'll explain later."
The four Marauders began walking back to the Gryffindor Tower. Finally, James spoke up, "At least Evans didn't hex us."
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