The Ball

Chapter One- Detention and the Announcement

"Potter! Enough! Detention tomorrow night!" yelled Lily Evans, a 6th year prefect, with whom James Potter had an infatuation.

The four Marauders, the biggest trouble makers in the school, had just set off several packs of fireworks in the Gryffindor common room, and they were about to pay dearly for their little moment of fun.

"What," asked James incredulously "Why just me?"

"You're right," said Lily coolly "All four of you get detention."

"Hey, you can't give Moony detention! He's a prefect too!" yelled Sirius Black, the best looking of the four. Well, the best looking guy in all of Hogwarts, actually.

"Fine. Just the three of you then. And don't push it, or I'll give you more."

"Damn…"

Once Lily had walked away, James, Sirius, and Peter, the fourth and final Marauder, turned to look at Remus. Sirius sent him a pleading look, one that few people could resist. Unfortunately for him, Remus was one of the few.

"No. I am not getting you off the hook. I told you three not to set off the fireworks, that Lily was in a bad mood as it was, but you chose not to listen to me. Now you have to suffer the consequences."

The three of them glared.

"No means no. Period."

"I don't care if you don't talk to me for the rest of the week either"

The next morning at breakfast, Remus was saying something about some important prefects meeting that night, but none of them were really listening. To get a detention of all nights, Friday. Friday for goodness sake! Sirius had had a date tonight too…

"Are any of you listening to me?" asked Remus, sounding slightly peeved.

"No." all three of them chimed in together.

Remus glared.

"Oh all right. What is it Moony?"

"I was saying Padfoot, that we're having a really important prefects meeting tonight, and its about something that might interest you and Prongs. Of course, nothings final yet, so I can't say anymore but-"

"Ooh what is it Moony? What is it?"

"Prongs, I just said I can't tell you anything yet!"

Sirius paid no heed to his comment.

"What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? What-"

"How long do you think he'll keep it up this time?"

"What is it? What is it? What is it? What is it? deep breath What is it? What is-"

"I give him until Transfiguration. McGonagall will shut him up."

"Hmmm…"

"What's on your mind, Moony? You sound a bit distracted."

"Huh? Oh, nothing, nothing…"

James was about to reply when the bell rang. Sirius had not yet stopped, but they chose to ignore him, picking up their bags and heading to Transfiguration.

Although Sirius and James never paid attention in Transfiguration, (they were animagus after all. If that wasn't the epitome of excelling in Transfiguration, they didn't know what was.) Professor McGonagall still had the ability to scare them out of their wits, therefore causing them to behave in the class. Well, to some degree anyway. At least Sirius had stopped chanting.

James had been doodling on some parchment when a crumbled up piece of parchment hit him on the head.

"Ow…" he said massaging his head.

"Mr. Potter," said Professor McGonagall, who had been in the process of explaining how to transfigure something, "is there a problem?"

"Oh no. Sorry Professor. I, errr… I accidentally hit my head with my wand."

"Having your wand near your head is not a wise move. It is extremely dangerous."

"Right…"

"As I was saying, to transfigure the human-"

James swiftly reached down and picked up the parchment. It was a note from Sirius.

What do you think the prefects meeting tonight is about?

James quickly wrote a reply in his messy scrawl and threw it back at Sirius.

No idea. But whatever it is, it seems to be distracting Moony…

Well, there's only one way to find out.

Two words- invisibility cloak

Padfoot we can't.

Why! Don't tell me you've gone soft on me!

No you git. We have detention tonight.

Oh right… When's the full moon?

Next Saturday I think

We have to wait a whole week? Ugh…

James was going to reply, but the note passing was cut short, as Professor McGonagall had started pairing them off. They were doing human transfiguration. Remus ended up with James and Peter with Sirius. Miraculously, Peter was actually able to transfigure properly, as he had been forced to learn it all early on, so Sirius was still in one piece when class finished. The three animagus had been the only successful ones in the class, while Remus had almost managed to transform James into a monkey properly.

"Remus, I can't believe you asked McGonagall if you could transform me into a stag! No way was I going to transform for you. You are disgustingly lazy"

Remus grinned sheepishly.

"Well, you turned me into a husky dog strongly resembling a wolf, so really, you owed me."

It was James' turn to grin.

"I was just having a bit of fun… besides, no one else knows."

"Except McGonagall who, I might add, sent you a very questioning look"

"Ah well, she'll forget about it"

The rest of the day had dragged by at an unusually slow pace. It had consisted of Double History of Magic, Potions, and Divination. By the time the bell had rung signaling the end of classes for the day, everyone was ready to head up to their dorm room to collapse. Instead, they were forced to wolf down dinner, so that they could get up to the Common Room to finish their homework. Both detention and the prefects meeting started at seven, and no way in hell were they doing homework over the weekend.

Sirius was complaining loudly about their Potions professor, Professor Swindle, while Peter struggled to finish his 12 inch History of Magic essay on Goblin Riots. It wasn't until James looked down at his watch that they realized that they only had 10 minutes to get down to their respective places. Remus, to the prefect's room, and the other three to Professor McGonagall's room, most likely to be punished with lines.

Upon arriving at McGonagall's room, they found out that their instincts had been right, and they did in fact, have to write lines. "I will not set off fireworks in the common room" (Like that was going to happen…) 200 times, to be exact. Great fun, it was.

Arriving back in the common room, they found Remus sitting in the common room, gazing thoughtfully into the fire.

"Hey mate." said Sirius throwing himself into the armchair beside him, "How was the meeting? Dull as usual, I presume."

"Or can you finally tell us whatever it was you were going on about this morning?" asked Peter.

Remus nodded his head.

"Ooh, what is it?" asked James excitedly. He'd forgotten that there was something going on.

"Well," started Remus slowly "we're having a Christmas ball."

This took a moment to sink in before the three started cheering.

"YES! This is going to be great!"

"Another excuse to stay at Hogwarts for the holidays. ALRIGHT!"

"Oh, this is going to be fun."

James turned to look at Remus, who wasn't celebrating with them.

"Are you ok Moony?"

"Oh er, yeah, I'm fine. Just a bit tired, that's all."

Remus could tell that James didn't believe him, but much to his relief, James didn't question him any further, instead choosing to continue celebrating with the others, although he did throw Remus a few worried glances every now and then.

At about midnight, all four of them decided that they were hungry. James ran upstairs to fetch the invisibility cloak, while Peter had to transform into a rat, as the four of them no longer fit under the cloak.

Upon arriving in the kitchens, they were greeted by several house elves, all looking like nothing in the world would please them more than to serve the Marauders.

"Six years and the service in this place still never ceases to amaze me…" said Sirius mildly.

All but Remus ate the food with glee as they made their way back to the common room. Barley nibbling at his food, he had a faraway look in his eyes. This time, not only James noticed. Once they had situated themselves by the common room fire again, Sirius spoke up-

"Alright Moony, enough. What on earth is bothering you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Oh come off it," said James incredulously "You were distracted today at breakfast, you looked upset today after you told us about the ball, and now you're hardly touching your food! Honestly, what's wrong?"

Remus blushed and shook his head.

Sirius looked at him knowingly.

"Ah, I know what it is. Moony, you're worried that you won't be able to find a date aren't you?"

Remus looked down at the ground.

"Well, that won't be a problem. Moony, you're a great guy, and Padfoot and I will help you, won't we?"

"Of course"

Remus looked up at them.

"It's not like any one will go with me. And even if they did, and by some miracle agreed to go out with me, the minute they found out they'd drop me before I'd have a chance to blink."

"You don't know that. We didn't stop talking to you when we found out did we?"

"Yeah, but you all are different. You're my best mates."

"And who's to say a girl would be any different?"

"The point is, you'll never know until you give it a shot. So what do you say? Will you at least try to get a date?"

"Well, alright… I guess."

A/N- Review please! I know that it's horrible, but I'm not going to get any better if no one tells me what's wrong with it. I really do take my reviewers seriously. Please?