Fish to Fry
by Feana Puddlefoot.

Disclaimer: Much to my sadness, I do not own the Marauders or the Harry Potter books.
NOTES: I was just going to bed when my muses whalloped me on the head and forced me to write this. So here it is.

"Destiny's a load of rubbish. It doesn't exist."

James Potter looked up from his notebook and raised an eyebrow at his friend. "Where did this come from, Sirius?"

"Where did what come from?"

"Well…" James paused, adjusted his glasses, then carried on. "You just started talking about destiny from out of the blue."

"Oh." Sirius considered this, then leaned back in his chair. "Well, Remus was talking about it today. Giving all his theories about fate and all that. I was just thinking about it, that's all. And it is stupid."

James closed his notebook. "Theories about fate? Examples, please."

"I can't remember," Sirius said, irritably. "All I do remember is Remus droning on about how we can't fight fate and the future's already happened and we're just halfway along our paths. Just silly things like that, really. I hate all this destiny tosh."

"He could be right."

"He's not."

James grinned. "Well, how do you know?"

"I just do."

Peter Pettigrew, who until now had been listening eagerly to the conversation, piped up. "I believe in fate. Like the future's already mapped out and all our decisions are already made. It's comforting. Sort of."

"It's what cowards believe," Sirius snapped. "They can't take responsibility for their actions."

James put a hand on Sirius' shoulder to calm him down. "I think that's taking it a little too far, Padfoot. You know Remus and Peter are responsible. And Peter already said why he believes in it. He finds it comforting."


Peter shot James an anxious look and bit his lip. "I try to take responsibility for my actions. I mean … even if my decisions are already made, I still made them. You know?" he looked at James again and James nodded. "So I'm responsible for them."

Sirius folded his arms and was about to say something very rude when Remus sat down beside Peter and gave everyone a warm smile.

"What are we talking about?" Remus asked.

"Destiny," Peter answered quickly, before Sirius had a chance to make something up. "Sirius says he doesn't believe in it and I say I do and James … well, James hasn't given his opinion yet."

"Oh, I believe in destiny," Remus said, obviously about to launch himself into a full-on lecture. Sirius hastily interrupted him.

"It doesn't exist. If it does we're just actors playing a part."

James gave a quiet sigh as he played out a little scene in his head - Sirius snapping at Remus; Remus losing his cool and hitting Sirius over the head with a book then reprimadnding him; Peter looking small in the corner then asking them to stop; Sirius snapping at Peter …

"Perhaps we are," Remus said as if it were that simple.

Sirius wrinkled his nose at the idea.

"What's your opinion, James?" Peter asked, nudging James.

James cupped his chin in his hand. "I hadn't really thought about it, to be honest. I don't know. And," he said bluntly, "I'm not sure I even care, either."

Remus and Sirius gave identical derisive snorts at this. Peter shrugged.

"Wouldn't it be nice, though, if I were destined to be with Lily?" James said, dreamily.

"Lily?" Sirius asked, perking up. "You mean Lily Evans, I take it?"

James nodded.

"Who else would it be?" Peter said. "He's been in love with her all year." He gave James a small smile. "I think the sentiment is returned. She gave you a really affectionate look in Potions today, you know. And she did once ask me where you were when Remus and I were in the Library."

"What if she's just a friendly girl?" James looked half hopeful, half worried. "Maybe she does that with everyone."

"She doesn't do it to me, that's for damn sure," Sirius said quietly, as if sulking. At James' even more worried expression his features relaxed into an easy smile. "It's alright, James, I'm not going to steal your one true love. I have other fish to fry, so to speak."

"Other fish?"

"Very tasty fish, in fact."

Peter looked completely nonplussed. "Why are we talking about fish?"

Sirius closed his eyes momentarily in mock despair. "We're not. We're still talking about girls, we're just calling them fish."


"I don't know. Ask James. He probably knows."

James shrugged. "Nope, I don't know either. Sirius started it. Anyway, what were you saying about these fish, Padfoot?"

Sirius grinned. "There's this one fish with the most adorable little laugh, but she's got horrible knees."

Now it was Remus' turn to be confused. "Horrible knees?"

"Yes, horrible knees," said Sirius as if it were the most logical and simple thing in the world. "They're awful. Sort of knobbly, and they knock together a lot. Who has knees that do that? Apart from her, I mean."

"Her knees were shaking because she was nervous, you idiot," James said, half laughing. "Probably from being noticed by the famed Sirius Black."

"I didn't notice her; I smacked her in the head for looking at Remus in a funny way," Sirius said.

Remus looked outraged. "You're flirting with people who look at me in funny ways?"

Sirius bit his lip. "Well, it's a small world…"

James shook his head in impatience. "So, Peter, tell me more about Lily looking at me in Potions. Was it a long look or just a short glance? And did she only do it once? Or more than once?"

Peter sighed. "I don't know, James. I just looked up and she was staring at you with this sort of dazed smile on her face."

"So, she was definetly staring?"

Sirius rolled his eyes. "James, you're a prat. She's smiling dreamily at you in class, what more proof do you need? The girl likes you in that way. Can she make it any more clear for you without sticking a sign on her head announcing her undying love for you?"

"I quite like the sign idea," James chirped. "Do you really think she likes me, then? You're not just having a joke with me?"


"Alright, alright! So … Lily Evans likes me." James' expression became rather glazed and Remus and Peter swapped weary looks. "Do you think I should ask her out?"

"Why not?" Peter said. "She likes you, you like her … seems to make sense to me."

James stood up, suddenly. "Wish me luck," he said. Then he took a deep breath and marched over to the redhead nearby.

"Maybe he was destined to do that," Peter mused.

"Shut up."