Past Long Forgotten
Chapter 3 - The Marauders and Girls
Written 2002-2003, with Hids
I can't believe it's been a month since I found out from Sirius that James at least found me attractive. Time seems to fly at Hogwarts - especially with the sixth year Ball hanging over our heads, along with the end of year exams. I don't think it's fair the way the teaches arrange things! But at least I manage to keep up - I'm not so sure about the boys, however.
James is so different from the other Marauders. He's sensible, charming, smart, cute and funny at the same time. A deadly combination he uses against me.
I now regret telling Sirius and Remus what they had spoken during inebriation, because they teamed up with Peter to play 'matchmakers'. They think it's all a game! I suppose they're trying to help, but it happens to aggravate me. Today in Transfiguration, Sirius seized my books while the teacher was occupied with Frank Longbottom. I feel sorry for Frank - he's always been unsuccessful in all of his class, except maybe Herbology. I wouldn't have minded, usually, if Sirius had taken my books but he kept scrawling over the covers 'Lily 4 James'.
And Remus with devious Peter. The two of them kept sniggering at me, clearing enjoying their role in 'matchmaker.' What's worse is that James was sitting next to me, craning his neck not so inconspicuously to see what he was missing out on. God, I hope he had his glasses off.
What am I thinking? Of course he did! But I'm sure he smiled at me, even if the situation was dire.
To make matters worse, Sirius made sure that James 'happened' to land with the only available seat residing next to mine. James took the onslaught of Peter's notes without stress, but his hastily scribbled notes returned to Peter with much furiousness. Finally, James gave up and scrunched up the crowded parchment. I admire his calm restraint, even if he was close to throttling his friends.
After that particularly murderous class, James and I hurried out of the wake of the other Marauders, who were humming the Wedding March loudly. I hope I didn't look as embarrassed as I felt, with those three making a commotion in the corridors. As my next class was Arithmancy, James decided to walk me there, as it was in the general direction of his next class. When I asked him why, he shot the Marauders a look and they apparently scarpered. I'd never seen James so nervous! His face continued to redden as he nervously rubbed his hands together.
I felt a sudden thrill of anxiety. Was he going to ask what I thought he was going to? I'd never prayed so hard in my life.
"Lily..." James' voice didn't sound as it usually did, strained against his nerves.
"Yes James?" Lily tried to look him in the face, tried to make her voice confident, but she found her confidence lacking.
He laughed nervously as he brushed some hair our of his eyes. "You know that sixth year dance is coming soon right?"
Lily paused for a moment trying to digest everything he was saying. How she wished he was going to ask her out! She nodded slowly, her tension building quickly as a tedious silence stretched between them. She was going to be late to Arithmancy at this rate. James broke the silence, babbling, "Well I know you told Peter that if you didn't have a date that you would go with him, but I was hoping that...you know...maybe...if you wanted...You wouldn't have to..."
Lily's face broke into a relieved grin and she ducked her head to conceal it. This was difficult, owing to the fact that James was watching her every movement, trying to figure out her reaction. Finally, Lily looked up into his handsome face and queried innocently, "Are you asking me out Mr Potter?"
James' face shone a brilliant shade of magenta, betraying just how nervous he really was about the whole situation. "I just thought that we could just go - just as , I mean, no one has asked me out and I was kinda wondering..."
From the growing pause arose a familiar and teasing voice. "James, half of the female population at Hogwarts has asked you out. They are particularly fighting to get seats next to you, or haven't you noticed?"
That voice belonged to none other than a smirking Peter Pettigrew. James and Lily turned around to see the forms of Sirius, Peter and Remus, grinning out from behind the statue of Urg the Unclean. It appeared they had been hiding behind it for the entire conversation. James glared at them, his eyes flashing. He didn't yell, didn't sound at all annoyed by his friends. He asked in a quite casual way, "How long have you been kindly listening to us?"
The trio were taken back by his lack of frustration. They guessed they should have known - James wasn't the type to lose his much earnt composure. Sirius spoke as solemnly as he could, the desire to laugh almost overwhelming him, "James we didn't mean to listen, honestly! We were just walking by..."
As James' best friend, Sirius had some chance at making the situation unwind a little, but for once this failed to achieve anything but make James finally lose his composure.
"Would you guys just leave?" James shot back furiously.
There was a minute of silence (a silence punctuated by Sirius' shoulders shaking with barely suppressed laughter) before Remus returned calmly, "Ease up, Prongs. We just came to see how the little stag was pushing along."
Sirius and Peter could no longer hold in their laughter and let it loose, barely able to breathe through their joyful onslaught. Lily didn't see what was so funny. She turned to James who looked absolutely embarrassed, his eyes darting from one end of the corridor to the other. Without warning he grabbed Lily's arm and ran down the corridor until they reached the mercifully empty classroom, yet to be filled with James' Ancient Runes class.
"I'm really sorry about them." James shook his head. "They're don't know when to stop."
"James." Lily didn't know if she could keep her voice working for much longer.
James looked over at her, his eyes searching, hopeful. "Yes, Lily?"
Lily crept forward slowly, her eyes never leaving James'. Gently, she kissed him on the check and whispered before she could lose confidence, "I can't think of anyone else I would rather go to the ball with than you. I'll see you later - it will take me a while to get to Arithmancy."
As Lily left the room, she looked over her shoulder and smiled. No sooner had she left, the Marauders came pushing through the doorway which couldn't fit them all. Once they'd managed to get through, Sirius punched him on the shoulder. "You sly dog! I knew you'd get her!"
"If I'm not mistaken you are the dog, Padfoot," James replied evasively.
"At least I don't eat like one," Sirius retorted.
James smiled at him innocently. "But you do." James frowned suddenly. "Where's Remus? Don't tell me I forgot it's the full moon tonight."
Peter looked baffled. "What? No...it's not for another two weeks, I think."
"Then where is he?" James demanded, slightly irate.
Sirius burst into laughter. By the sneaky grin Sirius sprouted between chuckles, James could tell that the reason for Moony's absence was something Sirius was planning to make a living hell.
"What's so funny Sirius?" Peter grinned back, trying to sound oblivious.
Sirius tried to stop laughing while he burst out, "Remus asked me not to tell you but...while he and I were at Hogsmeade last month while you two were finishing off your Potions assignment, he...he..."
Sirius was betrayed by his laughter and went down on the floor, thudding at it while tears leaked from his eyes.
"What's so damn funny?" James frowned down at him, trying to appear menacing.
Sirius wiped the tears from his eyes and chuckled softly to himself before managing, "Shamari Witherspoon asked him out to the dance."
At that moment James joint his friend, falling to the ground also, while querying, "Shamari Witherspoon? The blonde of Ravenclaw?"
"That blonde of Ravenclaw," Peter informed, "is the most popular girl in school. I am having great difficulty wondering why she of all people would ask Remus out."
"I've seen Shamari eyeing our friend up for months," James told him coolly. "If you can't remember what goes on in our group, join some other one."
Peter looked hurt. "No need to be mean about it, Prongs! I just figured she asked either you or Sirius. I mean...you guys are like the rulers of the school and NO ONE has asked me out."
Sirius gave him a sound thud on the back. "Someone will ask you, mark my words. By the way, Shamari hates James because he called her a fake blond last year and well...she asked me but I refused - she just gives me the creeps. Besides I'm planning to do some serious pranks at the dance and I didn't want some blonde air head tattling."
"If you do anything to mess my date with Lily I'll turn you into a teacup," threatened James.
"Relax James, nothing will happen to the poor water lily, but I'd watch Snape and his girlfriend..."
"Don't get caught," James warned.
Sirius laughed. "No one can catch me!"
At that moment the room began filling up with the class, so the Marauders desisted with their conversation. Throughout Ancient Runes, they discussed what pranks would allow them to commence discreetly.