Chapter 1 / Love Potions and Melted Gold

"Honestly. I still think it's a miracle either of you managed to get an 'Acceptable' on your Potions O.W.L."

Three Gryffindor sixth-year boys were making their way down the dark, dank corridor that led to the even gloomier dungeons below. One was of average height with mousy-colored hair. This boy--Remus Lupin--was looking doubtfully at his two raven-haired friends.

"Oh, lay off, Moony." The taller one with stormy gray eyes retorted. "Honestly, just because we're not bookworms like you and we actually have to work for our grades--"

"Speak for yourself, Sirius." The one with unruly hair and glasses interjected. "I don't have to lift a finger and I make good grades." James Potter commented rather loudly, running his hand through his hair and keeping an eye on the group of girls in front of him.

At this, Remus rolled his eyes. "Where is she?" he said dejectedly. But he didn't have to look long; it was hard to miss Lily Evans' long red hair.

"Go talk to her already." Sirius advised, he too keeping an eye on the group up ahead. "You never know, she might've changed her mind."

"I dunno..." James said doubtfully. He had reason to be unsure, just last week he asked Lily out and she threw a rather powerful Jelly-Legs curse on him and told him not on her life would she ever consider it. On the flip side though, he'd heard through the grapevine (the grapevine being another sixth year Gryffindor girl who was friends with Lily and rather interested in Sirius: Ashton Fitch) that Lily had been acting strangely at the mention of James and had confided that she thought he was deflating his head a bit and that he would make a great friend if she didn't have to fear him asking her out every other day. This had made his day, he still thought about that conversation with a swelled chest, almost a month and a half after it took place.

"You're absolutely sure she said this? She said she would want to be my friend?" James asked, sounding rather like a kid in a candy store who just won the chance to take home whatever he wanted.

"I swear on my life. She said it. I wouldn't lie about this." Ash said for what felt like the tenth time, becoming annoyed. "You're missing the important detail. Don't bug her. Don't ask her out every Tuesday. James, if you just laid off and let her come to you..."

James nodded enthusiastically, not even listening. "And how did you say she reacts when you guys start talking about me?"

"Well, mostly she shuts up, finds somewhere to go, or becomes extremely interested in whatever's closest to her."

James frowned. Why wouldn't she ever talk about him? Oh how he longed for the day when he and Lily would be sitting out near the lake, talking and enjoying a lunch together...nobody around to bother them...no Sirius yelling "Prongs! Hey! Look!"

"Prongs! Hey! Look!"

James shook his head, being brought back from his daydream about Lily to find that he almost walked into the door at the entrance to the dungeon. "Thanks, mate." he said distractedly to Sirius, who just looked at him like he was nuts.

The three boys ambled over to their favorite seats in the back. "We really need to carve our names on this desk." Sirius commented, throwing his bookbag down next to the cauldron.

James nodded, hearing a tut of disapproval from Remus' direction.

"You realize how much trouble we'd be in? Vandalizing school property, I can see Filch's face now."

"Yeah." Sirius replied, a thrilled look flashing across his face. "Old Filch can't get enough of us. You have to admit we keep the poor guy busy. But seriously, we do this, we'll be infamous. Students years from now will see our names, and they'll fight over who gets to sit in our seats. They'll already know about us from our detention record, this'll just be icing on the cake." He pulled out a pocket knife and flipped out one of the blades. "So, who's name first?"

- . -

"Wow..." The little blonde butterball known as Peter Pettigrew gasped. "You mean, you can make love potions?"

Sirius snorted. "How thick are you, anyways? Has anything ever made it into that skull of yours?"

It was several hours after dinner, and all four Marauders were sitting in front of the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room, along with mostly fifth through seventh years; all the younger students had gone to bed.

"Hey!" Peter said offensively.

"He's right though." James said, without taking his eyes off of Lily. "Everyone knows you can make love potions. They just don't actually make somebody truly fall in love."

At this Peter looked confused. "But...isn't that the point?"

"What James is trying to say is that once the potion wears off, the taker returns to normal." Remus explained, restraining Sirius from whacking Peter upside the head while muttering nonsense about him not having the capacity to think. "For example, if James gave Lily a love potion, she'd be crazy about him for a set amount of time. But then, after that time ends, she'd go back to rejecting him." Peter nodded understandingly.

A rather loud "Hmph." came from Sirius' direction. "I could make any girl that I want fancy me without one of those stupid potions."

James took his eyes off Lily for a second, and moved them two places down to Ash. He wondered for a second if Sirius knew that whenever he was around she acted like she had been force-fed those potions three times a week since she was born, but then decided that he really didn't care. He turned his gaze back to Lily, who was laughing about something that Emmaline Vane had said. What he wouldn't give to be sitting over there, next to his dear Lily...

"James!" Remus snapped warningly. "Are you alright, mate?"

"Yeah, yeah, fine..." James replied distantly.

"Anyways, as I was saying." Remus continued. "Professor Slughorn had a rather interesting liquid sitting in a cauldron in the storage room."

"You mean that gold, shiny stuff?" Sirius inquired, not looking or sounding very interested in the topic at hand.

"Yeah...I think it may be a batch of Felix Felicis."

"Felix what?" both James and Sirius asked, confused.

"Felix Felicis. It's liquid luck. You take a drink of it, and you're lucky in every aspect of your day."

This sparked James' interest, and apparently Sirius' too, judging by the matching mischievous looks they shared.

Lucky...HEY! James thought, having an epiphany. I could take this stuff, then ask Lily out...there'd be no need for any love potions then! Not that I'd put my dear through that.

A potion that makes you get lucky? Lucky in what, I wonder... Sirius thought, a rather sly grin appearing on his face. "Erm, Moony, you said this makes you lucky in all aspects of your day?"

Oh brother. I've created a monster. Remus thought, nodding his head sadly.

"Hmmm...I'll have to nick me some then, later this week."

"I don't know if you should do that, Padfoot." Peter squeaked. "You don't know what it's made of...it sounds dangerous. I wouldn't drink melted gold no matter how lucky it made me."

A loud BANG! and a sudden yelp came from the center of the room which caused Lily and the other girls to turn. "BLACK! POTTER!" she roared, storming to the four. "What did you do to him now?" she said exasperatedly, pointing to the shaking form of Peter on the floor.

"Taught him a lesson." Sirius said simply, standing up. "Honestly, he was asking for it, it's his fault for being so stupid to not know that love potions exist and that nobody in their right mind would melt gold and say it made you get lucky." he explained, stretching. "Well, anyways. 'Night." he finished, and walked to the boys' dorm, turning and winking at the girls sitting at the table where Lily had been.

The scene he left could not have been more complex. Two girls were staring hopefully at the staircase where Sirius had just been, one had her nose in a book, and two others were chatting animatedly. One girl was glaring at one boy, who was looking back at her with the utmost affection. And finally, one boy shook his head smugly, while one boy laid on the floor lamely, whimpering.

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A/N: Um derr :D First chapter. I've had this up on DA for a few days now, since FF wouldn't let me post it...three day rule X.x Anyways, read and review, since I didn't get much feedback on DA O.o Apparently, they're not big on fanfiction over there. Especially the ones of Harry Potter sorts xD

Oh yeah. And my DA account is: marauder-girl-16 . deviantart . com (take out spaces X.x).If you wanna see the newest chapter (I'll be putting it there first), or see any of my sorry excuses for art/design, take a peek :D