Disclaimer: The Harry Potter series, and all characters within in it are J.K. Rowling's and not owned by me.  Any original characters found in my fics are mine… I think that about covers it, oh and please don't sue me :)

A/N 1: Big thank you to my three beta's: Fran, Ali and Hannah, for forcing this fic into shape :)  This is my first Harry Potter fic, so let me know what you think, please R/R, thanx.

A/N 2: The title 'Shortest Road Home' comes from the Irish proverb: "The longest road is the shortest road home".

A/N 3: italics are thoughts, and underlines are words the speaker are stressing

CHAPTER 1

Bella and Fee were hunched over the paper they were scrawling on in a fit of giggles,

Lily and James Potter                  James and Lily Potter

imagining the look of absolute horror on their best friend's face if she saw what they had written.  They abruptly stopped grinning as Professor Glibert stood over their desk at the back of the potions lab.

"Miss Figg and Miss Jones," he said glaring at Bella and Fee, "would you mind explaining why you are not in fact discussing the best potion to remove stains from a garment?"

"We were, Sir," Bella said. "The best potion is the S..." but she was cut off by Prof. Glibert's demand to see the paper they were writing on, knowing full well that Arabella Figg would undoubtedly be able to answer his question correctly, for a Gryffindor, she excelled at potions.

Fee and Bella exchanged a horrified look as he held his hand out for the parchment, "Sir, we were working," Fee stuttered, "the Sirilinous potion is the answer, Sir." 

"The paper, Fiona," Prof. Glibert demanded.

Lily Evans had turned from her potions partner, Frank Longbottom, to look at her two best friends.  The look of horror on their faces and the way their eyes had flitted towards her when Glibert had asked for the parchment let her know that she did not want the Professor to see what they had been doing.

Prof. Glibert's eyes narrowed and he snatched the piece of paper from Bella's fingers.  Fee and Bella tried their best not to look panicked but they both knew that Lily was going to hex them to death for this.

Avelchurch Glibert's eyes scanned the piece of parchment he had confiscated, a smirk forming on his cruel mouth as he turned to face the class, his eyes glancing towards James Potter and Lily Evans… Well, well, well, he thought coldly

James grinned widely at the situation and nudged Sirius, who had dozed off, awake.  James indicated with his head towards the back of the class where, shame-faced, Bella and Fee were sitting.  Sirius returned the grin when he realised that two of the terrible trio were about to get into trouble.  The trio were the only people in Gryffindor house that the Marauders didn't like.  Sirius grinned at that, 'didn't like' was an understatement, the only people the Marauders got on worse with, were Severus Snape and his cronies, and they were Slytherins.  James turned to look at Lily, a smirk on his face, she was looking horrified.  James inwardly jumped for joy, it wasn't often that any of the trio got into trouble in class, Fee was probably the worst, but even she hardly ever got blamed for her mischief making.

Glibert cleared his throat to read the paper allowed, when a loud yell came from the back of the class.  Fee was on the floor in the centre of the aisle clutching her ribs, while Arabella stared innocently at the ceiling. 

"When you are quite finished, Miss Jones?" Prof. Glibert sneered.  Muttering an apology a red-faced Fee stood up and turned to glare at Bella.  Bella shrugged her shoulders apologetically and mouthed  'Distraction', 'Thanks' Fee replied, rolling her eyes sarcastically and rubbing her bruised ribs.

"I am fascinated to know what this paper contains, if it is important enough to distract you from your work," Glibert said, glaring at Fee and Bella.  "Maybe you were discussing a newly discovered spell or life-form perhaps," he sneered.  Lily rolled her eyes.  He knows what the paper says, why the hell is he dragging it out?  Maybe class will finish before he does she thought glancing at the clock on the wall 2.15, another 45 minutes yet, not even Glibert's that much of a pillock.

Glibert held the paper up theatrically, for his inspection, and leapt back, as if in shock.  Drama queen, the trio thought in sync. 

"What a surprise," Glibert exclaimed, "it seems we have an imminent marriage in our midst."  Lily's eyes snapped to her friends, both of whom held their heads in their hands.  "Lily Evans and James Potter."

~*~*~*~*~

"So Prongs?"  Sirius asked with a solemn look on his face, "anything you want to share with us?"  Sirius' face split into a huge grin at the dirty look James threw him. 

"Don't even mention it," James groaned.

"You should have seen your face though, you and Lily looked as though you were about to breathe fire."  Padfoot and Remus exchanged highly amused grins.

"Look," James snapped, "it's not my fault she can't keep her bloody crazy friends out of trouble is it, why the hell would they write something like that?"  James threw his arms in the air in disgust as he paced the length of the dormitory.

"That my good fellow," said Sirius trying to keep a straight face as he slung his arm over James' shoulders, "is exactly what we want to know," and he raised a questioning eyebrow at Prongs.  James' eyes narrowed as he growled incoherently at them, storming out of the room.  Sirius had a very satisfied grin on his face, at his friend's reaction.  "Tell you what though, Moony," Sirius added, "I wouldn't like to be in Bella and Fee's shoes right now," he grinned.

~*~*~*~*~

"Lils calm down… please… it was just a joke," Fee said placatingly.  Arabella nodded in agreement.  They had been trying, unsuccessfully, to calm Lily down for the past half an hour.

"Yeah very funny," Lily retorted scathingly, "I think I need stitches, my sides just split."  The corner of Fee's mouth twitched up as she tried to suppress a grin, and Lily wheeled on her.  "You think it's funny do you?" Lily asked, her eyes narrowed dangerously, "Fiona Delphi Jones how would you like it if your two best friends decided to marry you off to your worst enemy?"  Lily yelled, her voice rising in pitch.  

"Er ..." Fee stuttered, "oops?"  Lily threw her arms despairingly in the air and stormed out of the room.

~*~*~*~*~

James pounded down the stairs towards the common room mentally berating the smarmy git that was his best friend.  Me and Lily, huh! The very idea of it!  It is totally laughable, James thought, scowling.

Lily was fuming.  How dare they write something like that, and find it funny!  The very idea of her and James dating, let alone getting married, was so totally ridiculous.  She supposed it was laughable.

Lily was so busy caught up in her own thoughts that she didn't look where she was going.  Lily yelped as she landed heavily on her rear and looked across the floor to see off whom she had rebounded. 

James raised himself up on his elbows from his position, sprawled on the floor.  He glared across at the red head that had walked into him.  "Lily!" he yelled out in shock, "what the hell are you doing?" 

Lily stared at him in shock, "Me!" she exclaimed, "you are the one that walked into me!" 

James and Lily both scrambled up at the same time, wands pointing at each other.  "You walked into me!" they yelled.

Fee, Bella, Remus and Sirius pounded down the stairs at the noise emanating from the stairwell corridor.  All four of them appeared from their different stairways into the area where Lily and James were yelling at each other at the tops of their voices, at the same time.  The four of them shared looks that quite clearly said, Oh sh-