Chapter 20 : Chapter 20
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Lily craned her neck, trying to get a better view. She was very curious about what her boyfriend was most afraid of. In an instant, the Boggart became Sirius. He smiled sadly, and promptly collapsed. It was obvious he was dead.
James took a startled step backward. Crack. Dead Remus. James rubbed at his eyes under his glasses. Crack. Dead Peter. Crack. Dead Lily. James shot her a glance as if to reassure himself that she was still there. She was shocked to see his eyes were wet. Crack. Dead Sirius again.
‘Riddikulus,’ James croaked. A bunch of daisies appeared in the Sirius-Boggart’s hands. It sat upright, staring at James with amusement.
‘I’m not really dead, Prongs,’ it said. ‘I’m pushing up daisies!’ It waggled the flowers at James. ‘If I were dead though, Prongs, You, Moony and Wormy would have a serious problem... Get it? Serious? A Sirius problem?’ The Boggart started to laugh. James still wasn’t looking much happier, but the real Sirius was laughing and so were Remus and Peter.
‘Very good!’ Gurdan called. He shepherded the Boggart, who was now a tall cloaked Death Eater into the cupboard it had been in. ‘The rest of you will get your turn next lesson! Class dismissed!’ He strode to the door. ‘Oh, Pettigrew, mind you take it easy. I don’t want Poppy after me,’ he said as he left. Peter nodded and scurried out after him.
Lily made her way back to her desk to retrieve her bag. Sirius and Remus were talking quietly to James as he packed up. James was shaking his head insistently. ‘James?’ Lily said, going over. He was still awfully pale. ‘Are you all right?’
His eyes met hers and next thing she knew he had her in a tight hug. She tilted her head up and caught his lips and he kissed her back eagerly.
‘I think he’s better now,’ she heard Remus laugh.
‘You’d hope so,’ Sirius commented, ‘if a bit of snogging doesn’t cheer him up I don’t know what will.’ Next thing Lily knew James had been pulled away. ‘Come on, lover-boy,’ Sirius said, hauling him to the door.
‘Paddy!’ James whined.
Sirius stepped between James and Lily. ‘Prongs,’ he said in an equally pathetic voice.
James grinned. ‘Oh, all right.’
Sirius beamed. ‘To lunch!’ he said, dashing past James and out into the corridor.
‘Thank Merlin,’ James laughed. ‘I thought he’d never leave.’ His eyes flicked to the door though, and Lily could tell he wanted nothing more than to follow his almost-brother.
‘Come on then,’ she said, grabbing his hand. Remus smirked.
The three of them made their way down the first floor corridor. They were passing the statue History of Magic classroom when Sirius stormed over, his hands on his hips.
‘You arse!’ he said, looking disgruntled. ‘I’d been talking to you all the way down the corridor; I was outside the Great Hall before I realised you weren’t with me!’ He smacked the back of James’ head.
This seemed to be too much for James, who started to laugh. Sirius looked annoyed, and with a slightly evil smile, drew his wand. James gulped, diving behind Lily for protection. ‘How very Gryffindor of you, Prongs,’ Sirius teased, looking at his wand thoughtfully.
‘Hexing your friends is very Slytherin of you, Padfoot,’ James shot back, peeking over his girlfriend’s shoulder. Lily exchanged a glance with Remus, who smiled.
‘I didn’t hex you!’ Sirius protested.
‘Yet,’ James said knowingly.
‘You’ve got me there,’ Sirius said shrugging. He grinned. ‘Come on, Potter, stop hiding under Evans’ skirt-’ at this point Lily blushed, ‘-and face me like a real Marauder.’
James laughed. He planted a kiss on Lily’s cheek, making her blush again; she was fully aware of the small crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle. ‘All right, Pads,’ he said affably.
'James! Sirius!' Lily warned.
James ignored her. ‘Levicorpus.’
‘Hey!’ Sirius yelped as his robes fell over his head. James laughed and made to run away, but Sirius tripped him with a jinx, effectively banishing his shoe. Remus laughed, pulling Lily off to the side where they would be out of harm’s way.
‘Accio James Potter!’ Sirius muttered. James was dragged toward his best friend. ‘Liberacorpus!’
James collapsed with an ‘Oof!’ as Sirius fell on him.
‘Serves you right,’ Sirius told him, getting to his feet. James chuckled.
‘Enough!’ Lily said loudly when it became apparent they weren’t ready to stop. She couldn’t believe she’d let things get so out of hand.
Remus fixed her with a look. ‘Lily, you can either watch quietly, or you can leave.’
‘I’m Head Girl,’ she reminded him. ‘I’m not allowed to do either of those things. James! Sirius!’
‘Lily,’ Remus said warningly. He twirled his wand between his long pale fingers, a mischievous gleam in his eyes. She stayed quiet after that.
The two dark haired Marauders continued to shoot spells at each other, laughing like toddlers the whole time. If Lily didn’t know better, she would have sworn she heard Sirius giggle.
It was hard to tell who was winning, or, if they were even playing to win; Sirius turned James’ hair blue, vanished his remaining shoe and also his school robes, leaving him in his school trousers, shirt, tie and socks. His Head Boy badge had affixed itself to his forehead.
Meanwhile, Sirius was sporting a pair of fluffy black ears as well as a tail. He had also lost his robes and tie, and he was grinning like an idiot as he whistled to himself; James was very capable when it came to cheering charms.
‘What in Merlin’s name is going on down here?!’ a stern voice shouted. Dread coursed through Lily.
Whispers ran through the assembled crowd and James and Sirius put their wands down at once. ‘Minnie!’ they squeaked. So quickly Lily would have sworn they had Apparated, they were gone, fleeing down the hall.
Remus pulled his wand out, tapped Lily on the head, and then stepped in front of her. She shivered as a cold feeling shot down her spine, but had the sense not to say anything; Professor McGonagall made her way through the crowd to where Sirius and James had been seconds before.
‘Mr Lupin,’ she said eyeing him beadily. ‘What was happening here?’
‘No idea, Professor,’ he said, shrugging. ‘I was coming back from Defence Against the Dark Arts and caught up in the crowd.’
‘Lessons ended fifteen minutes ago, Mr Lupin,’ McGonagall said, nostrils flaring. ‘And unless I’m mistaken, the classroom is less than a minute down the corridor.’
‘Yes, Professor,’ Remus said. It sounded like he was smiling slightly, but with his back to her, Lily couldn’t tell. ‘You’re right, but you forgot to factor James and Sirius into the equation. We were doing Boggarts, you see, and they decided to... cheer me up. If it wasn’t for Lily I don’t know what I would’ve done. Wait for the next class to come, I suppose and hope someone knows how to reverse a tickling charm.’
‘A tickling charm?’ she repeated doubtfully.
‘Yes, miss,’ Remus said sounding embarrassed. ‘They set that on me and then used Levicorpus...’
‘And where is Miss Evans now?’
‘I can’t see her,’ Remus replied, pretending to scan the crowd. ‘My guess is she’s gone after James and Sirius for jinxing me. She takes her duty as Head Girl very... seriously.’
‘Did Messrs Potter and Black have anything to do with whatever was happening here a few moments ago?’
‘No, of course not,’ Remus scoffed. ‘Wouldn’t you try to get as far away as possible if you had the Head Girl after you?’ McGonagall seemed appeased. She adjusted her hat and stalked off toward Melissa Robbins, the Ravenclaw Prefect.
‘You lied to a teacher!’ Lily said, shocked as soon as she was out of earshot.
Remus shrugged. ‘There was no harm done. It’s not like anyone was hurt.’
Lily nodded slowly. ‘I suppose... What spell did you cast on me before?’
‘A Disillusionment charm.’ Lily lifted her hand, and upon finding it invisible, laughed. ‘I thought I’d save you the questioning.’
‘Thank you,’ she said cautiously.
‘No problem.’ he frowned, looking around. ‘Lils, where exactly are you?’
‘Here,’ she said from behind him, making him jump. She laughed at his startled expression.
‘Come here and I’ll reverse it.’
‘No!’ Lily said, leaping away from him. He frowned at the wall, clearly thinking that’s where she was. ‘Over here, Moony,’ she teased.
He groaned. ‘Oh, Merlin. It’s finally happened.’
‘What has?’ she asked anxiously.
‘We’ve corrupted you.’
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