It was a rainy day, three and a half weeks into the term. One late afternoon, Lily sat on a window seat, attempting to finish her History of Magic essay for Professor Binns, who had apparently died over the summer, but had not noticed. No one said anything to him for fear that the classes would get a new teacher who would actually notice if nobody was paying attention and talking in class.
Lily set down her pen and stretched her hand. She glanced out the window. Through watery streaks, she thought she saw a movement. Leaning closer, Lily realized it was a figure spinning around on the lawn. Unable to discern whom it was, Lily set down her roll of parchment and hurried to the front doors of Hogwarts School.
“You, there. You cannot be dancing around in this weather, get back in here at once or I’ll give you detention,” Lily yelled through the haze, fearing the person would not hear her. Sure enough, the individual did not stop and Lily had to run out into the downpour.
“I said you need to go inside before you catch your death in these conditions,” Lily informed the dancer, furious that she had to go outdoors in this rainstorm.
The girl turned around, “I heard you earlier, but I am busy dancing.”
“Mary MacDonald, you are going to kill yourself! Are you insane?”
She shrugged, and twirled around, “A little water never hurt anyone.”
“A little?” Lily asked incredulously.
The other girl laughed, “Come dance with me.”
“Dance with you? Are you crazy? I’m going inside before I get anymore soaked and I’d advise you to do the same,” Lily started to turn back to the castle.
“No,” Mary seized Lily’s hands and spun her around, laughing all the while.
“Just look. It’s so beautiful, the rain.”
Lily wavered, “It is kind of nice.”Finally, Lily calmed and saw the beauty in the rain and in nature, just another thing Mary noticed instantly and without any help. She took Mary’s hands and danced around with her best friend.
“How many moons does Jupiter have?” Mary asked. Her quill hesitated over her assignment.
“Sixty-three,” Lily replied.
The two girls had come back inside after a few hours of dancing in the rain and were now finishing their homework. They sat on the same window seat Lily had been working on earlier, only now it had been magically widened so that they could sit side by side with their backs against opposite walls.
“Thanks, what are their names?”
Lily groaned, “Mary, I can’t give you all the answers. Go look in your book.”
“Please,” she pleaded, with her signature big puppy eyes, “I can’t reach it. It’s all the way upstairs in our dormitory.”
“Fine, the main four are Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa.”
The only sound that broke the silence in the Common Room was the sound of her quill scratching on parchment. Lily noticed that the ink was bright orange.
“Why on Earth do you insist on writing in strange colors? What is wrong with just plain black? You know none of the teachers like it, except Slughorn. McGonagall always give you points off for it.”
Mary ignored most of the comment, but did say, “Orange is the new black.”
“Do you even own black ink?”
Mary snorted, “No, of course not.”
“Just finish your essay,” Lily sighed.
“Everyone’s already gone to bed; can’t I go to sleep too?” Mary yawned, “I’m so tired.”
Lily shook her head, “Unless you want to fail all of your classes.”
“Shhh,” Lily interrupted, “Look.”
She pointed at four figures shuffling around toward the Portrait Hole. The Marauders were sneaking out again.
“Potter,” Lily shouted, “Just where do you think you and your friends are going?”
They all froze, then slowly turned to face the girls. Lily noticed how pale Remus looked and that Potter and Black were each clutching something behind their backs.
“How did you not see them?” James whispered out of the corner of his mouth to Sirius. Lily was clearly not meant to hear.
“I didn’t check for anyone yet, the map…”
“What map?” Lily asked, striding over to the group of fifth year boys. They did not reply, but were casting pleading looks at Mary.
“I said, ‘what map?’” Lily repeated.
Sirius muttered, “Map? You must have misheard me. I didn’t say map. I said…um…nap. Yeah, we’re off to take a nap.”
The others chimed in, “Yeah nap.” “We’re tired.” “Nap, yay, a nap!”
“A nap? What is wrong with your beds?” Lily demanded, obviously knowing that the boys were lying, but unsure of why.
“They broke,” Peter added, unbelievably.
Lily nodded, “Of course. They broke. I assume you were jumping up and down and were playing Quidditch on them.”
“Yes,” Peter exclaimed, thinking she was serious and bought their lie, “Wait, no. I mean…”
“Look, Lily, I promise it’s really important. Won’t you let us go?” Remus begged.
“No, I am a prefect and you will tell me where you are going,” Lily answered firmly.
James stepped toward her, “Now Lily-flower…”
“Mary, help us,” Remus implored desperately.
Mary hesitated, “Lily, let them go.”
“What? No, they are breaking school rules; out of bed after curfew.”
“Lily, it’s really important. You can give them detention or whatever you want, just let them go right now,” Mary asked of her best friend, “Purty, purty, purty please!”
Lily paused, sensing the extreme anxiety in Mary’s voice and in the boys’ expressions, “All right…I guess, but you four have a week’s worth of detentions.”
“Thank you, thank you,” the Marauders all exclaimed as they scurried out of the Portrait Hole. Then, they broke into a full run down the corridor.
“No running in the halls,” Lily called. She turned to her friend, “What was that? Why did you insist we let them go free? Some Prefect you are. Moreover, how do you know where they are going? We do not keep secrets from each other,” she demanded as she sat back down on the girls’ window seat.
“It is not my secret to tell,” Mary answered not looking Lily in the eyes, but gazing out of the window at the full moon.
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By the way, I do not own Harry Potter, but I wish I did.