A/N: I am back in the addictive realm of Harry Potter fanfiction, with a new multi-chapter story! It should entertain you, as it is both humor and (eventually) romance... the best things to write about, in my opinion. Anyway, this is set in the Marauders Era, in their seventh year...
Warnings: This story will, eventually, feature a SiriusRemus slash pairing... but, really, that won't be for a while. So, for this chapter, there are no warnings... just insanity and good-natured fun. The point of view will constantly change, but it'll be clear, as a bold heading will indicate who is telling the story. Oh, and I'll probably be getting some facts wrong. But that's just because I'm new to the books and the fandom...
Disclaimer: I own nothing, save for my twisted imagination and this piece of toast I'm currently eating.
Planning, Plotting, and Pranking -- Chapter One
POV – Remus
When James announced, shortly after the start of our seventh year at Hogwarts, that he and Lily were finally an item, the Gryffindor common room had quickly fallen into a state of silent shock. Then, just as if an atom bomb had exploded, everyone had erupted into laughs and whoops and hollers, exchanging high-fives and jumping on the couches and chairs and generally causing a deafening ruckus. Not that this long-anticipated news hadn't been unexpected; but, at the same time, we had all wondered if it ever would happen. Throughout their first six years at the school, James and Lily had exchanged barbs on a daily basis – both being too stubborn to cater to the other – and James had never helped his cause whenever he had insisted on setting up pranks or making Severus' life a living hell or causing general chaos. On the other hand, Lily had never been that warm, either; she chastised James and the rest of us for each and every joke that was committed – even if we weren't the guilty party (which was rare), and was known to have sometimes violent (yet hilarious, if one was to watch from the sidelines) outbursts if we ever made her too angry (which was often).
That night, though, when Lily and James declared they were together, something in the back of my mind told me that this would either be very beneficial to the cause of the Marauders – or, very detrimental. I sincerely hoped it wasn't the latter of the two. All contemplative (and otherwise useful) thought was pushed away, however, when Sirius stumbled to the head of the room, a bottle of Firewhiskey in his hand, saying something or other about a toast to, as he called them, "the newlyweds." He must have started drinking before Lily and James had made their announcement – then again, Sirius had the amazing talent of being able to appear drunk whenever he wanted.
It had been a good evening – our revelry carried on far into the early hours of the morning, long after all the first- and second-years had gone to bed. While Lily and James spent half of their time snogging on the couch (and the other half, it seemed, arguing about the Marauders' daily pranks and nightly excursions), it gave Peter and Sirius the opportunity to plan a new attack on their dearest Snivellus while I watched over them, pretending to be disinterested.
"With Evans finally on our side, we can get away with just about anything," Sirius had declared drunkenly, his alcohol-induced grin wider than ever. "This year, the Marauders will wreak havoc like they never have before!"
That was two months ago.
"No, James, I will not let you turn Severus' robes pink."
"What about his hair, then? Just his hair? It would be an impr—"
"No. As a prefect, James, I will not let you do that."
He still looked hopeful. "Then – what about green? It would fit his character perfectly."
"James!" Lily was irritated – yet I could tell she was also somewhat amused – and she quickened her pace, in a false attempt to rid herself of her boyfriend. James hurried after her, though, and Peter hurried after them, taking large bites out of a particularly large muffin.
Sirius and I hung back, as it was a Sunday morning and neither of us had anyplace important to go, and besides, Sirius looked like he wanted to discuss something – in private, away from James and Lily. "Yes, Padfoot?"
He slapped his forehead with mock-surprise. "How the bugger do you do that, Moony? Don't tell me werewolves have the ability to read human minds – why, that'd be disastrous, with all the time I spend thinking about my nightly conquests –"
"Relax," I grumbled, a smirk playing at my lips. "Thankfully, I don't have access to the troves of smut that exist only in your head."
"Hey! I take offense to that!"
"I know. What was it that you were about to complain of, Padfoot?"
Instead of going on one of his often humorous, long-winded tirades, Sirius decided to spare my precious time and he dismissed the insult. "Why don't you guess, with those super-accurate, wolfish instincts of yours? Why haven't we been able to pull a good prank in over a week? Why have our Friday nights not been nearly as enjoyable as they used to? Why has Wormtail been getting fatter?" Sirius paused, to add drama to the whole situation. "Prongs' dream-girl, of course."
I allowed myself to chuckle. "I hardly think your last point has anything to do with the matter, Padfo—"
"Sure it does! Everything is Evans' fault! Including the fact that we ran out of Firewhiskey last night, damn her."
"You're certain that wasn't a mistake on your part?"
"Positive. Lily is ruining everything."
I smiled pleasantly. We were wandering to nowhere in particular – perhaps in the direction of the Gryffindor Tower – although we never took the conventional way anywhere. Sirius and I were still several meters behind Lily and James and Peter, and by the looks of it, not one of them had noticed our distance. Maybe Sirius does have a point…
Taking his turn to seemingly read my mind, Sirius made a sweeping gesture toward the three of them and grumbled, "Look. That's exactly what I'm talking about."
"They've distanced themselves from us somewhat, haven't they?"
Sirius barked with laughter. "No question necessary, Moony. They have distanced themselves from us. Though I do think that Prongs is getting the raw end of the deal, what, putting up with her and not being properly shagged yet –"
He rolled his pale-blue eyes. "Well, excuse me for talking frankly."
"You're excused. Now go sit in the corner."
"Helpful, Moony. Real helpful." Sirius brushed a strand of hair away from his face and added with a theatrical element of gloominess, "She's even making my hair look bad."
"Padfoot, if there came a day when your hair looked bad, we'd surely know: it'd be the end of the world."
Sirius stopped in his tracks suddenly, his face becoming very pale. "Perhaps it is." He extended a shaking finger, pointing to where James and Lily were carrying on a conversation – albeit awkward and forced – with Severus Snape. Sirius ducked behind me, his hands gripping my shoulders. "Hide me, Moony, we're all gonna die."
I sighed. "Get off. It's not like either James or Snape want to be there."
"Snivellus!" Sirius hissed. "This is all Evans' fault! Next thing, she'll want to crown Snivellus the fifth Marauder, and make us accept him into our group and go through all that touchy-feely shit –"
"I wouldn't worry," I said, finally succeeding in shrugging Sirius off me. "James just turned Snape's hair blue and now he's storming off toward the dungeons."
Sirius sprung forward, looking quite delighted. "Oh, goody, and Lily appears to be real pissed off, too!"
"You find pleasure in the strangest of things, Padfoot."
"Sex is strange to you? Moony, I think we have some explaining to do –"
Sighing tiredly, I said, "If you don't mind, I think I'll be heading up to the dorms to do some pleasure reading."
"Now that's what I call strange!" Sirius' voice echoed behind me as I headed for the Gryffindor Tower.
That obnoxious boy, I thought wearily. Although, he does have a valid point about Lily being a killjoy – then again, she always has been – though this time, she's got James on a shorter leash… With these thoughts in mind, I grumbled the password to the Fat Lady and continued on up the stairs to the common room.
Fifteen minutes later, Sirius stomped into the room, looking exasperated and panicked. "Moony, we've gotta stop her! She's gone too far!"
"What horrible and lecherous deed did she disallow you from committing this time, Padfoot?" I asked, without looking up from the book I was pretending to read.
"That painting with the mental knight!" he gasped, crashing down next to me on the couch. "I was going to put an itsy-bitsy spell on him so that whenever a girl from Slytherin walked by, he'd flash her – but no-o-o-o, of course Miss Golden wouldn't allow it!"
"That's a pretty lewd prank, Sirius."
"I think it's brilliant!"
I sighed tragically. "I thought you might."
"But, honestly, Remus."
"I'm always honest with you, Sirius."
"Er, good." Sirius blinked, almost as if he forgot what he was about to say, then quickly recovered. "Honestly, though – you do agree she's gone too far, don't you?"
"Why, because she wouldn't let you make that stupid knight strip naked in front of the Slytherin girls?" I didn't give him time to answer, because I knew it would take five minutes of my life that I'd never get back, and went on to say, "Yes, I do think she's gone too far – in the recent absence of pranks, there are whispers going around that the Marauders have been tamed by Lily Evans."
"Bugger! You're not serious about that, are you?"
I smirked. "Do I ever lie?"
"I believe we have already discussed this topic in the last… half-minute."
"Right you are. And because you're always right because you're Remus J. Lupin, we're gonna do something about James' Golden Girl right now."
"I fail to understand your logic, what little you possess," I said dryly.
"And you possess far too much," Sirius grumbled. "I'm gonna pull some pranks. Lots of them. And you, Moony, are gonna help me. We'll pull pranks like Hogwarts has never seen before – it'll be fantastic – awe-inspiring – amaz—"
"And this will help our cause how?" I drawled.
"Because," Sirius said, a mischievous glint appearing in his eyes, "it'll not only be an overload on Miss Prefect's system, it'll also confirm to the rest of the school that yes, the Marauders do still exist and continue to work their magic, both literally and figuratively speaking."
"You mean two of the Marauders."
The other boy frowned and stroked his hair thoughtfully. "You're right. Where the hell is Peter?"
"Following Prongs and Lily around the school, no doubt."
Sirius clucked his tongue in disapproval. "Stodgy fool. But I suppose that's better for us – he won't get in the way like he always does."
"Right you are."
"I believe that's me."
Sirius shot me a grin. "So you're in, then?"
"The 'Terrorize-Lily-Out-Of-Her-Senses' Plan?" I sighed, sounding more tired than I had intended. "If I say yes, I'll probably be the most hypocritical prefect in the history of Hogwarts."
"Exactly. You're in."
"It wasn't a question." Sirius got up abruptly and headed for the stairs, a broad smile on his face. "This revolutionary, earth-shaking plan requires privacy! Follow!"
"Where to, the dormitory?"
"No, you prat. The prefects' bathroom."
I rolled my eyes. "You have got to be kidding me. I suppose you want to shampoo and condition your hair while we're in there?"
"That's the idea."
POV – James
I was too busy laughing my ass off to notice the death glare that was burning bright in Lily's green eyes. "Did you see that? Stupid Malfoy'll have a rainforest growing out of his hair by the time he makes it back to his room!" It had been the perfect prank: an impromptu spell on Lucius Malfoy as he'd been passing by, taking the blonde-haired Slytherin completely by surprise. Ferns and daisies had started to sprout, and by the time he had noticed, it was too late. Chuckling to myself, I gave Lily a nudge. "Harmless little joke, no?"
"James, give me one good reason why I shouldn't kick your face in right this moment."
I was about to say something rather rude, but Peter piped up from behind us with, "Because he's hopelessly in love with you and if you left him in that state he'd be wandering blindly for the rest of his life?"
"Yeah!" I said, running a hand through the mess of hair on my head. "Exactly. Wormtail's got it right: I'm nothing without you Lily! I'm hopeless and – what else did you say, Peter?"
Lily cut in, irritated. "I told you, James, if you want me to stay with you, you've got to lay off on the pranks!"
"I have been!" I whined pitifully. "Laying off the pranks is like – like laying off Quidditch. It's close to impossible!"
"Well, then, as you just said so yourself, it isn't impossible."
I sighed miserably. We were still wandering around the school – I was following Lily's lead – and, from the looks of it, we were finally nearing our destination: the library. I groaned. "You've gotta be kidding me, Evans. I'm not about to go in there."
"And why not?"
"Because I'd much rather be setting Snivellus' hair on fire."
She rolled her eyes and huffed, "Is torturing that poor boy all you ever think about? Here I am, trying to stop you two from killing one another, and you're plotting your next attack! Seriously, James…"
"Seriously?" I shot a glance over my shoulder, but saw only Peter and a faraway crowd of Hufflepuff girls. "Speaking of which, where's Sirius? And Remus?"
"They stopped following us some time ago," Lily said, without moving her gaze from the entrance of the library. "At about the same time when you turned Severus' hair blue."
"What? And you didn't tell me this? I thought it was a bit quieter than usual when Lucius ran flailing his arms around after a daffodil popped up."
"You seem to have a fixation on hair-related pranks today, Prongs," said Peter.
"Maybe I should give everyone in the school an afro."
"I dunno," said Peter, both of us ignoring Lily's outburst. "That might make Sirius a little upset."
"Alright, good for you for bringing us back on topic," I said. We were now in the library, still following Lily (I had no idea why – but she had that sort of spell on you at all times). "Where the bugger is Padfoot?"
I scratched my chin and pulled out a chair at the table Lily had chosen. "Probably off plotting some amazing prank that Evans will never let me partake in."
"You couldn't be more right," she said, looking up from her book and giving me the evil eye. "They're most likely planning my demise at this very moment."
To be continued...
A/N: End of chapter one! Probably a little short, but the chapters that follow do gradually get longer. Sorry if Lily seems a little too... icy right now, but believe me -- she'll warm up pretty quickly. Anyhow, hope you enjoyed this first installment -- to make me happy, why not drop a review or comment, hm? It'd make my summer less boring!