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Author's Note: Hello Fellow Harry Potter-ers! We're getting better about the updating thing, aren't we? I mean, a few months this time is much better than a few years, right? We're hoping to keep the streak alive, life permitting, and keep up the good work, but for now, we hope you enjoy this 20th chapter of the Marauder's Guide! Drop us a note if you're feeling so inclined!
Another Fabulously wonderful chapter image by ailhsa @ TDA!
Alexa's Point of View:
Rule 93: When Moony is the ‘Man with the Plan’ it is safe to assume that the ‘Plan’ is a guaranteed success. When Padfoot or Prongs is in charge, it is safe to assume that further planning may be needed. Wormtail has lost his ‘MwtP’ privileges after the ‘Incident’ which will no longer be spoken of starting right now.
“James,” I looked at the boy in question, eyes wide as he continued to ignore me for the essay in his lap. “James!” His eyebrows furrowed and his nose wrinkled as he heard me, but other than that there was no sign he was listening to me. Deciding to pull out the big guns, I took a quick glance around the library, hoping no one else was around. “James Potter if you don’t give me your undivided attention I will tell everyone in this library about what happened between you and Blair during the infamous Hogsmeade trip.”
“Alexa, I swear to Merlin, you are the most annoying friend I’ve ever had. And that includes your boyfriend as well.” He said, sighing and giving up on his essay. He shoved the parchment haphazardly in his bag, and then leant back in the armchair he was occupying. “What could you possibly need that cannot wait until I’m done?”
Sighing, I sat down next to him, making him scooch over. “This armchair really wasn’t made for two people, was it?” I asked as I tried without success to get comfortable. Seeing I wasn’t about to give up, James threw his hands up in defeat and sat on the floor. Smiling happily to myself, I pulled my legs up under me and rearranged my skirt before continuing. “You’re really not as fun now that you’re Head Boy. My old best friend would have been much more accepting to being interrupted while he was doing work.”
“You have stolen my spot; you have interrupted me; and now you’ve insulted me. If you don’t hurry up and tell me what this is all about, I’m going to gather my things and leave you alone in the library.” Trying to look stern, he crossed his arms over his chest and waited while I chewed on my bottom lip, nervousness replacing my need to be annoying.
“Look, if I tell you this, you can’t be mad. I’m coming to you because Sirius will tell me it means I’m not responsible enough to join the Order and Blair is on a date.” My eyes widened as James’ did, and I bit my tongue. “Pretend I didn’t say that.”
“I most certainly will not. But first, tell me what this is all about.” James abandoned crossing his arms for leaning forward in interest and I leant down to maintain privacy.
“I may have accidentally, without meaning too, and only very briefly set down my invitation to the Order and never picked it back up again because when I remembered it, it was far too late to pick it back up again.” I waited for him to freak out, but he only leaned away from me and shook his head with a slight laugh. “Why are you laughing? This isn’t funny!”
“You really had me going, Alex. But I see what you’re doing. Tell me some outrageous lie so I forget about the fact that Blair is on her first date since we broke up. I’ll have to admit that you had me going for a moment, but in the end, it’s really impossible to best the James Potter.” He ran a hand through his hair, looking at me in amusement.
“First of all, this isn’t her first date since you all broke up. Second of all, it’s not really any of your business if she dates or not. And third of all, I’m not lying. I seriously lost my Order letter and I have no clue where it is, or if anyone could have stumbled in and found it.” I was getting heated with James, for not believing me and for not having the same sense of urgency I felt about the matter.
“You really did lose it?” James asked, skeptically. I nodded in the affirmative. “And you’re not just doing this to distract me?” Again, I nodded. “Alexa, what the hell?”
“Shh!” I looked around frantically, but there was no one that seemed to be in the library during this cold and gray February day. “Don’t be so loud. If someone hears, we’re screwed.”
“We’re screwed? I have nothing to do with this one, so don’t drag me down with you!” James said, standing and gathering his bags. I pulled on the strap to his satchel before he could get too far away.
“Where the hell are you going? You can’t leave me to deal with this on my own. Dumbledore will eat me alive for this one, James. I cannot go to Azkaban because I let out one of the secrets I was meant to take to my grave.” I felt a cold sweat come over me at the thought that I would have to take this to Dumbledore. James removed my hand from his bag, grabbing my wrist instead and hauling ass out of the library. I followed along, each moment becoming more and more panicked, until he pulled us into a small unused classroom a few meters down from the library.
“First of all, we can’t be talking about this in the open like that. Also, you’re not going to be sent to Azkaban because we are going to start thinking about this rationally and we will find the letter before anyone else finds out. Now, where did you last see it?” James sat at one of the tables, and I joined him as I tried to take deep breaths and calm my breathing.
Thinking back to the day of my seventeenth birthday, I tried to remember all the details. “Well, the letter arrived the morning of my birthday, as I was getting into the shower. Cleo was at the window so I took the letter and she flew off to wherever it is that she goes when she’s not delivering me mail.” James gave me an exasperated look and I quickly continued. “I’m pretty sure I didn’t take the letter into the shower with me, so I must’ve put it back in my room, although I can’t remember for sure if I did that or not? And then I went to Hogsmeade with you and Sirius; and hung out with Sirius when I got back.”
“And did you mention the letter to anyone after you got it?” James asked, and I bit the inside of my cheek in concentration.
“Not that I remember. I don’t think I told you I’d gotten it, did I?” James shook his head no, and I put my head in my hands, trying to keep the panic from rising again.
“You don’t remember telling Sirius anything about it that afternoon?” He asked, running a hand over his face as he thought about our current choices in what to do next.
My face flamed red as I looked at my best friend, squirming in my seat. “There wasn’t really time to discuss things.” I avoided his eyes, and James made a part-embarrassed, part-disgusted look.
“I’m sorry I asked.” He said, and I gave him my best stern look before shaking my head. “We’re going to have to ask him if he remembers you telling him about it. And then you’re going to have to ask Blair if she’s seen the letter as well.”
Lunging forward, I stopped him from getting up from the table. “We can’t tell Blair, and we most certainly cannot tell Sirius. He will be so mad at me, James. Like crazy mad. He doesn’t want me in the Order anyway, remember?”
James contemplated our actions, and then nodded to himself. “Then the only thing left to do is ask the only other girl that sleeps in the Seventh-Year Gryffindor Dorms.” I furrowed my eyebrows at him, and tried to understand what he was saying. When it clicked, the feeling of dread in my stomach rose once more.
“Lily.” I whispered out, wondering just how much trouble I’d be in if she had my letter, or if she figured things out before I could find it myself. “Why can’t you just do it yourself?” I questioned, picking at the wood that was chipping away from the old table.
“Because I’m not the one who lost my letter, am I?” He rolled his eyes at me, and then stood from the table. “Come on, I’ll go with you to ask her tonight when we get finished with dinner. We have rounds at 8, and you can come with us for the first part.”
I nodded, feeling worse than I did before I told James. “If I’d known you were going to make me be responsible with this, I would have waited for Blair.” I said, following him out the door. A few students milling about in the hallway looked at us, but I ignored it in favor of following James back to the Common Room.
“It’s being Head Boy that’s doing this to me. I haven’t participated in a prank in so long. You’ve no idea how much it pains me.” He said in a mournful voice. I patted him on the shoulder, then shoved my hands into my robe.
“I know. Sirius has been driving me up the wall talking about how he misses the carefree life of last year. To which I must remind him that this time last year, we were dating and broken up about six different times, Remus was trying to fight a teacher, and Lyla was maybe/maybe not pregnant. So, things have really changed in both good and bad ways.” I sighed at the thought of my sister, and then shook off the worry, resolved to be mad at her for the foreseeable future. My heart twanged a little, but I brushed the feelings away.
“Yes, and Blair and I were still together.” He said it so casually that I knew he was about to ask me about her, and I looked over at him to see the pensive look on his face. “Speaking of, who is this bloke that Blair is seeing anyway?” His nonchalant attitude was slightly ruined by the fact that he was methodically running his hand through his hair and adjusting his crimson and gold tie around his neck.
“James,” I warned, but he only shrugged, motioning for me to go on. “He’s a Hufflepuff Sixth year, I’m not one hundred percent sure of his name, but I know that she just thought it would be a nice time. I think they were just going for a walk or something.”
James nodded, then looked down at me curiously. “And are they serious?” He tried to phrase the question in a friendly manner, but I could tell it pained him slightly to ask.
“I don’t really know. She didn’t seem like she was too taken by him, to be honest. I think she just wanted to have someone to hang out with. It gets hard to be constantly surrounded by couples.” I shrugged, trying to figure out James’ angle when he wouldn’t look at me. “Don’t take offense to this, Jamesy, but why exactly do you care?”
I grabbed his hand before he could run his hands through his hair again, forcing him to look at me right outside of the portrait hole. “I just want her to be happy, Alex. Just because we didn’t work as a couple doesn’t mean that we can’t still work as friends.” He sounded like he was trying to convince himself of the same point, but before I could ask, he had muttered the password and slipped away through the portrait hole into the Common Room.
Staring after him briefly, I pulled a face at the Fat Lady and hurried inside before she could swing shut on me. I caught the tail-end of James’ robe ascending around the corner of the stairs, and changed my direction towards where Remus and Sirius were sitting over by the fire.
“What’d you do to Prongs, Al? He seemed rather upset when he came charging through here just moments before you.” Sirius gave me a curious look, pulling me by the hand so I fell over the side of his chair and into his lap. Struggling to get up, I huffed and blew my hair out of my face before digging my elbow into his thigh. He let out a yelp, and unceremoniously dumped me into the floor.
“Prick!” I muttered, dusting myself off and then positioning myself more comfortably on the arm of the chair he was sitting in. “And I don’t know what’s wrong with James. You know how he gets when he goes too long without pulling a prank.” I said, trying to change the subject as I finger-brushed my hair into some semblance of a style.
Wrapping his warm arm around my waist, Sirius pushed his head into my hip and laid there for a moment. Then looking back up at me with his dazzling gray eyes (I try to stay immune but there’s only so much I can take), he shook his head at me. “I don’t believe you, love.” I rolled my eyes at him, looking towards Remus to escape his charm. Remus glanced up at me from the chessboard that was between himself and Sirius, and shrugged his shoulders.
“You’re too nonchalant when you lie, Alexa. You always look like you’re trying to melt into the floor from being so cool.” I looked at my Brother-in-Law in mock outrage before resigning myself to the truth. While I was the master of all things stealth, I was a pretty poor liar.
“Fine, but if you all tell him I told you this, then he’ll kill me and I’ll come back from the dead and haunt you for the rest of your life.” I looked at each boy in turn, and almost as if they were the same person, they rolled their eyes and nodded together. “He found out that Blair is on a date and he wasn’t very happy about it.”
Remus and Sirius kept their faces passively blank, and I immediately knew that something was up. Opening my mouth to say something, I was cut off as James walked back downstairs. Closing my mouth and turning to look at him, I gave him a tentative smile, and was rewarded with a patented James Potter grin. “What are you lot being so serious about?” He nudged Sirius with a wink at the overused pun, and then dropped onto the couch. “Remus, mate, looks like you’re thrashing him as always.”
I narrowed my eyes, trying to decide what had changed this shift in James, and then decided that I probably didn’t want to know. “You know Moony, Prongs. The ever-skillful chess master that he is.” Sirius made a move on the chessboard that immediately lost him the game, and then pulled me back into his lap while James and Remus faced off.
Resigning myself to my seat, I settled in to pass the last few hours of our Sunday warm and cozy in Sirius’ arms before dinner, where ultimately, I would have to either fake death or a life-threatening illness to get out of talking to Lily about my missing letter. Either way, it wasn’t going to be pretty.
“Hey Lily, I think that Alexa has something she wanted to ask you.” I felt the sip of pumpkin juice I had just taken a drink of catch in my throat as James smirked at me and shrugged his shoulders. If he hadn’t been across the table I would have throttled him with his own tie.
“Of course.” Lily said with a smile, turning her attention towards me. “What can I help you with, Alexa?” I tried to smile back at the redhead, but the wheels in my head were turning faster than I could speak. I could tell that Blair was staring at me from her spot next to me, as Sirius tried to figure out what I wanted to ask from James. It wasn’t like me asking a question was that big of a deal, but when I didn’t really even talk to Lily all alone it seemed a little suspicious. Plus, James bringing it out into the open at dinner made it seem even more so.
“It’s nothing major, really. Just something small about the, uh, the homework in potions.” I smiled to myself, satisfied that I had blown off the questioning glances coming my way.
Lily put down her fork, turning fully towards me now that I had her attention. “Sure, what question did you need help with?” Cursing my inability towards forward thinking, I closed my eyes and then formulated my plan, never mind the fact that I looked like an absolute wanker.
“Well, actually, I don’t have my homework with me, but maybe we could talk about it later when we get back to the Common Room?” I avoided Sirius’ eye as I could tell he could see right through my facade. Lily nodded at me, then turned to James to talk to him about their rounds tonight. As I pushed my fork through my mashed potatoes, I felt Sirius nudge me with his foot under the table. Glancing up at him, I shrugged at his questioning stare, and then looked away. This, however, caused me to catch Lyla’s glare from down the table. Figuring I had nowhere left to look, I grabbed my schoolbag from the floor and stood up. “I think I’ll retire to the Common Room for the night.” I announced.
My friends looked up at me like I was crazy, and I bit my lip before tipping an imaginary hat at them all and cursing myself for acting like an idiot. As I hustled my way out of the Great Hall, headed for the stairs, I heard footsteps behind me, and then someone grasped my hand, winding their fingers between mine.
“So, you’re acting like a crazy person.” I rolled my eyes up towards Sirius, who was smiling down at me. Snaking my bag off my arm so he could carry it for me, he then replaced his hand that was holding mine and swung his arm around my shoulders, pulling me in closer. I leaned my head against his chest, breathing in a sigh before I looked up at him.
“These are all perks of dating me, Mr. Black. I thought you would have realized that by now.” He rolled his eyes at me, then leant down at pressed a kiss to my lips.
“What do you say to begging off homework tonight. I know plenty of secret passages we haven’t explored in a while.” He grinned lecherously at me, and I shoved him in the side before pulling him back towards me with an arm around his waist. He took this as an invitation and somehow, we ended up behind a conveniently placed suit of armor, lips very close but not fully touching.
“I really need to get some work done tonight, Sirius; and if I don’t ask Lily this question then James is going to be pissed at me.” I tried to hold on to my intelligent reasoning as my boyfriend hummed in agreement, his actions contradicting his assertions as he trailed light kissed down my jaw and neck.
“I’m sure James will get over it.” He said, moving one hand to my hip and the other to the wall next to my head, trapping me in his bubble of personal space. As his lips traveled back up towards my own, I found it hard to think of a reason why I shouldn’t stay right here for as long as Sirius would like.
Right before our lips touched, however, he was pulled away from me, and I opened my eyes to see a very annoyed looking Head Boy and Girl. “Damnit, James.” I said, crossing my arms over my chest as my face flamed red.
“Just because you lot are my friends doesn’t mean you can just lurk in corridors doing all manner of ill deeds.” He rolled his eyes at me, and I glared back at him while Sirius shook his head at his best friend and ran a hand through his short hair.
“Prongs, I’m really going to have to beat your ass if you keep interrupting us.” He winked at me, and I shoved out from behind the suit of armor, grabbing my bag back from Sirius and starting up the corridor towards the common room. They caught up with me easily, however, and as Sirius leaned down to place a kiss to the top of my head, I decided it would be harder to be mad at them than to just get over it.
“Yes, well, Alexa and I have important business with the Head Girl here so if you’d stop trying to be inappropriate in the hallway then I wouldn’t have to keep interrupting you.” James rolled his eyes, and then playfully shoved Sirius.
“You’re just angry because the only action you’re getting lately is breaking up other peoples.” Sirius joked, winking at James who gave him an unamused face in return. “And now, I’m afraid I must bid you adieu. Moony and I have plans elsewhere in the castle.” Backing away from us, Sirius went into a deep bow and then raised back up, turning away and whistling a jaunty tune.
“Don’t think this means you’ll be let off easily if you get caught,” Lily called after him, but he only waved a hand in response, never turning around to look back at us. I rolled my eyes, hoisting my forgotten bag up and over my shoulder and felt myself smile involuntarily at the antics of my boyfriend. Despite how annoying he could be at times, he did make me forget my problems, like, say, the fact that I was about to have to ask Lily if she knew anything about my missing Order of the Phoenix letter.
The three of us walked in amicable silence for a while before we reached the Portrait of the Fat Lady, and then we paused outside of the door. James was giving me the international ‘bring it up’ face, while I tried to think of a suave way to put things. Biting my lip, I turned to look at Lily, who was looking between the two of us like we were acting strange, which, admittedly we were.
“So, Lils, do you mind if I call you Lils?” I started, after she nodded I forged on, ignoring James who was rolling his eyes at my nonchalant-ness. “So Lils, I was thinking that it might be good for me if I went on rounds with you and James tonight. You know, scare some sense into me so that I can scare some sense into Sirius as it were.”
“That’s fine with me if it’s all right with James, though I’m not sure how much good it will do this late in your school career.” She smiled at me, then motioned towards the Fat Lady. “Do you want to drop your bag off inside before we get going?”
“Nah, I’ll just drop it here. It’ll be fine.” As I made to take my bag off and set it at the foot of the portrait hole, James grabbed it from me and then gave me an exasperated look.
“This is why you’re always losing shit, Alexa.” His look changed to a very pointed one, and I sighed heavily before pulling my wand from my robe pocket and banishing the bag to what I hoped was my room.
“Happy?” I asked, stowing my wand away and then placing my hands on my hips.
“Ecstatic,” James retaliated. Before we could continue with our usual banter, however, Lily interrupted us.
“Why don’t we go ahead and get started?” She asked happily, and I put my hands up in a truce with James. It didn’t stop me from nudging him slightly when she turned away from us though. He held up a hand like he was going to beat me up, but I rolled my eyes at him and hurried to catch up with Lily.
“So, like James was saying earlier, I am pretty prone to losing things when I’m not fully focused on my business. Like, say, just the other day I put a letter down in the dorms and it’s gone missing.” Lily nodded with me, looking over at me questioningly. “I guess what I’m asking is if you perhaps saw it?”
My hopeful expression was dashed as Lily paused to think. “When did you lose it?” She asked, seeming none-the-wiser to the situation. I bit my lip, trying to not seem as crazy as I’m sure I would look.
“Well, it’s been missing since, oh I don’t know, maybe December? December 12th to be exact actually.” Lily’s eyes widened at my confession, and then she swung around to look at James, who only shrugged.
“Alexa, it’s February now. You do realize that it has been two months since you lost this letter?” I smiled innocently at her and she sighed before running a hand through her long red hair. “I haven’t seen it, and I’m going to say it’s safe to assume that it’s probably lost by now.”
I looked over at James, panic overtaking my expression. If Lily really hadn’t seen it, then I was definitely up shit’s creek without a paddle. It could be anywhere in the castle by now. In anyone’s hands for any nefarious purpose. I tried to slow my breathing, but found that instead I was starting to hyperventilate. Good looking out, Alexa.
“Lily, if you’ll excuse us a moment.” James said, steering me away by the shoulders. We walked a few paces from Lily, who was giving us a look that said she obviously needed better friends, until we were out of earshot. “You’ve really shit the money bed this time, my friend.”
“James, this is not the time for chastisement.” He raised his eyebrows in a slightly impressed look. “Yes, I know big words too. Whoo-hoo. What are we going to do?”
Releasing a sigh, James brushed his hair out of his eyes, raking the short strands up into disarray in the process. “Look, we’ll keep an eye out for it, and for anyone acting suspicious around us. If anyone brings up the Order then we’ll know that they have the letter, and we can do damage control from there. At this point, we don’t know if anyone has even seen it. The house elves very may have just thrown it away thinking it was trash.”
I nodded along, feeling slightly relieved at James’ reasoning. “Okay, but under no circumstance do we tell Sirius or the others about what’s going on. Agreed?” I gave him my best ‘pretty please’ look and he nodded back, sticking his hand out for me to shake it. Ignoring him, I pulled him into a hug instead. “You’re one of my best friends, James. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
James hugged me back, then patted my head. “Same goes for you, Alex.” With that, we released each other and walked back towards Lily.
“Any who,” I started, pretending to look at my left wrist even though I very clearly did not have a watch on it. “I better get going. Thanks for the talk, Lils. James, I’ll see you later.”
“But you didn’t ask your Potions questions, Alexa.” Lily called after me and I waved goodbye jauntily as I continued my way down the corridor. “James, are you sure she’s all there in the head?” I heard Lily ask as I rounded the corner away from them. Laughing to myself, I listened as they kept walking, James trying to explain my numerous intricacies. I was almost back to the Common Room when I heard pounding footsteps behind me.
Turning around, I narrowly missed being trampled by Remus as he swung into the portrait hole that had just opened as he shouted the password at the Fat Lady. I opened my mouth to ask what was going on, and was unceremoniously grabbed around the waist and shoved forward into the Common Room as well.
“Sirius Black, you unhand me right this instance!” I demanded, feeling myself be dragged along until we were in the light of the room.
“Well, if that doesn’t bring back happy memories I don’t know what does.” I heard Blair say from her spot on one of the plush couches. I smiled at my friend, who looked like she’d just settled into the Common Room from her date, thinking of all the many times I had probably shouted the same thing when Sirius and I were skirting around each other last year.
“I’ll have you know Alexa and I have been happily together with no ‘offs’ since July, Ms. Winchester.” Sirius said in a haughty voice. He gave me one last squeeze before unhanding me and making sure the portrait hole was shut completely. Remus stood beside him, catching his breath but remaining vigilant at the door as well.
“Okay, really, what is going on?” Blair said, standing from her spot and putting her magazine down. I shook my head in confusion, turning to look at the boys as they continued to act suspiciously. It felt nice when the shoe was on the other foot and people weren’t watching me that way.
“All I know is I was making my way back to the comfort of my warm bed when I was almost killed by my loving Brother-in-Law and this lummox.” I said, using my hand to wave over at the two Marauders.
“I resent you calling Padfoot a lummox, Alex. He very nearly just completed one of the greatest pranks of all time without getting caught.” Remus said, looking very satisfied with their actions.
“Very nearly being the key words here,” Sirius added, winking over at us, his smile sparkling as he did so. I rolled my eyes, but felt my heart speed up a bit. Not that I’d give him the satisfaction of knowing. We may have a loving, healthy relationship now but there was no need to stroke his ego that much.
“So, what did you do?” Blair said, her excitement palpable as the Fat Lady could be heard telling someone outside the door that they were not allowed to enter seeing as they weren’t Gryffindors.
Remus and Sirius stepped away from the door finally, walking quickly over to the couch Blair had just vacated. Sitting down and pulling a worn piece of parchment from his robes, Sirius spread it out on the table while Remus tapped his wand to the paper and said the incantation. Hastily, they both looked at each other before wrapping the parchment up and springing up from their seats.
“No time to talk, Blair-bear.” Sirius said, scrambling for the stairs to the seventh-year dormitories. Remus was already walking swiftly towards the door that would lead him out of the room and towards his and Lyla’s private rooms. As Sirius disappeared around the corner, the door to the Common Room swung open, and Blair and I watched as McGonagall came striding into the room, what looked to be a night cap askew on her head and robes billowing behind her.
“Ms. Parker, Ms. Winchester. Where are they?” She demanded and I tried to keep the smile from my face as I shrugged my shoulders. Blair widened her eyes to look more innocent, and squeezed her palms together in what looked to be a bid to stop her giggling.
“They ran in and ran out, Professor, without saying anything about where they were going.” I said, trying to keep my cool. McGonagall stared at us, and then swung around, striding back out of the room. Before she left fully, however, she turned back to look at us over her shoulder.
“When you do see them, and I have no doubt in my mind that you know where they are, tell them they have a week’s worth of detention with Professor Flitwick, starting tomorrow night.” With that she swept out of the room, the door closing shut behind her.
Blair and I looked at each other, laughter bursting from us as we sat down on the couches and waited for them to reappear. “Is she gone?” I heard Sirius ask timidly from the stairs. Nodding at him, I watched as he crept out of hiding and back into the room fully. People ignored us pretty fully, save for a few of his fans that watched just a few meters away.
“Seriously, what did you all do? I can’t take the suspense.” Blair said through her laughter as Sirius flung himself down onto the couch opposite of where we were sitting. Draping an arm over his eyes dramatically, Sirius let out a ‘woe is me’ sigh and then peeked out from between his fingers.
“We may or may not have followed Snivellus and a few of his more unsavory friends into Flitwick’s classroom where they were serving detention. And we may or may not have charmed the desks in said classroom to bark like dogs and follow them around, eventually cornering them.” I held my questions, trying to see where this was going. Sirius, knowing he had a captive audience, continued the drama. “And then we may or may not have sent a few hexes their way causing Knott to soil himself and Snivellus to become more nose than boy.”
“Sirius, you are literally going to die before you make it to graduation if you keep messing with them.” Blair said through tears of laughter. I felt myself involuntarily laughing as well, the image of our Slytherin torturers going through this torture more than I could pretend to be mad at.
“I wish I could say that I was disappointed in you, but the image of this happening is too good.” I said, finally breaking down into hysterics as well. As Blair and I tried to catch our breath, James and Lily came through the portrait hole. James was sporting the biggest smile I had seen on him in a while, while Lily looked reprimanding.
“Padfoot, you honor our name well. And where is Moony, I need to congratulate him as well,” James said, coming over to shake Sirius by the shoulder and mess up his hair. They gave each other a boisterous hug, while Lily rolled her eyes and came to sit on one of the couches we had commandeered.
“They’ll be in trouble their whole lives, won’t they?” She asked, a small smile finally gracing her features.
“Unfortunately for us, I think so.” I said, leaning back into the couch and picking up Blair’s forgotten magazine as I let the worries of the day be washed away by the barking laughter and happy smiles around me.
James' Point of View:
“Boys, we need a plan.” I looked over at Remus from my position on the stool that surrounded the Guide and the Map, wondering what we could possibly need a plan about. Sirius nodded along happily to Remus’ suggestion, while Peter looked between the three of us with apprehension.
“Chillax, Wormtail, what with me being Head Boy and all, any nefarious activity ol’ Moony could be thinking of will surely not be enough to get any of you expelled,” I winked at my small friend, who nodded nervously. “What kind of plan did you have in mind, Moons?”
I couldn’t help the excitement that seemed to be coursing through my veins at the suggestion that a possible prank could be pulled. It had been too long since I had been involved in something big, and Remus and Sirius’ prank from earlier had made me a little sad. While I was happy my friends were following the Guide, and keeping with the Marauder’s Code in my absence, I couldn’t help but want to be right there with them. Lily’s words of ‘maturity’ and ‘setting an example’ however, rang in my head as well. And a marauder torn two ways did not make for a happy James Potter.
“James, are you listening?” The hand that was snapping in my face brought me back to attention, and I shoved Sirius on his stool so he had to right it quickly or risk falling over. Smirking over at him, I ignored his rude finger while focusing back on Remus.
“Yes, you were saying Messer Lupin?” I grinned at him, and he rolled his eyes before he motioned between himself and Sirius.
“We’ve been talking lately, and I know that a lot of the things that Lyla has said and done have not gone over well with some of our group.” I nodded along, thinking of the last time Lyla and Alexa talked. It had not gone well. I felt a wave of sympathy wash over me for the tired look on Remus’ face.
“And we totally get why she’s been acting the way she has, Reems. It’s been a tough few months for her, and for you,” I said, reaching across the small circle we had made and patting him on the shoulder.
“I know, and I don’t know what I would have done without you all there. But my point is, that Lyla has been opening up to me a lot more lately, and she seems to be on a good path. She’s not drinking anymore, and she’s been sleeping much better and going to class the majority of the time,” Remus continued, looking over to Sirius to continue the story. I turned my attention to my best friend, as Sirius ran a hand through his hair.
“So, what we were thinking is that now that Lyla is on the mend, it’s time for her and my wonderful other half to get the show back on the road and to do this they’re going to need our help.” He smiled knowingly, and I shook my head at him.
“And you don’t think that Alex is going to push you off the Astronomy tower for making these suggestions?” I laughed at the image of Alexa, short but strong in her fury, her wild curls all around her as she threatened Sirius with the end of her wand. He shuddered at what I’m assuming was the same image.
“That’s precisely why I’m not going to tell her what we’re doing, Prongs.” Sirius said, an innocent look on his face that quickly devolved into one of mischief.
“The plan so far is to get them both together for the continuation of the Epic Hide and Go Seek game of last semester. We’ll say that everyone playing has to be on the same team, and in doing so we’ll make sure that Alexa and Lyla are together for the game.” I frowned a little, trying not to think of who Blair was partnered with for the last game. As I reminded myself that we were no longer dating and that Matt Whatever was not her new boyfriend, Remus continued speaking, thinking my confused look was related to the topic of his wife. “Sirius and I will stay close to the girls, making sure they don’t kill each other in the process.”
“They’re both insanely competitive, especially when it comes to beating the likes of us at anything, so we’re hoping they’ll bond over that.” Sirius said, looking happy at the prospect of the whole group being back together again.
“And if they don’t decide to be best friends again?” Peter asked, speaking for the first time. I looked over at him, trying to decide what his deal was lately. He’d been even more quiet and disappearing than usual.
“Then we’ll have to lock them in a room together and pray for the best.” Remus said. This plan, of course, sounded completely logical.
“So, when do we foresee this little ditty happening?” I asked, hoping I wouldn’t have to be the one to tell Lily what was going on. While she was fit, and there may have been some untold feelings between the two of us, I was still nervous about her wrath. Hell hath no fury like a Lily Evans who has been duped by the Marauders.
“Well, Remus and I are pretty much locked down in detention for the next week so we were thinking the Saturday after our last detention.” Sirius said, picking up the guide and flipping through it.
“Padfoot, your ability to remember Valentine’s day is literally astounding.” Remus said, running a hand over his face in exasperation. I let out a very manly giggle at the thought of Sirius once again getting his ass beat as Alexa realized that not only had he forgotten Valentine’s day for the second time they would be celebrating, but that he was forcing her and Lyla to spend it together.
“I didn’t forget. The fact that everyone in the castle will be gone to Hogsmeade just makes it easier for us to pull off this hide and seek game.” He looked very proud of himself, and I rolled my eyes. Even I knew this plan had the potential to be a disaster.
“And you think Alex is going to be cool with that?” I asked, trying to make sure I had all my ducks in a row before I got completely on board with the plan. Although, if I was being honest with myself, I was totally down even before I knew what the plan was.
“She’ll be fine. I’ll just make sure we do something together that night.” He winked and we all let out a collective groan at the innuendo. “So, what do we think? Everyone who agrees say ‘aye’ and know that if you don’t agree Moony and I will just do the damn thing anyway.”
“Aye,” I said, smiling at my friends in turn. “I’m so happy that I get to be part of this.” I mocked crying in happiness, pretending to wipe away some tears from my eyes.
“So glad to have you back, Prongs,” Remus laughed, reaching to put his hand on the Guide that Sirius had just placed back in the book.
As we concluded the meeting, I thought about bringing up the fact that I had used the Map to spy on Blair earlier, checking on her and her ‘date’ but decided against it for now. No one needed to know that I was checking up on her. Besides, it wasn’t in a nefarious way. I just wanted to make sure she was okay.
I climbed into bed feeling like I had done a properly thorough job convincing myself there were no lingering feelings for my friend before I laid down. Then I closed my eyes and did my best to think about red hair and Head badges. Because I was James Potter, and I was not a love-sick fool. Well, anymore I mean.