Just a random plot bunny that popped into my head whilst I was trying to think up a non-clichéd Lily/James fic. Hope you enjoy! I don't ship Sirius/Lily or Remus/Lily, so there's none of that actually in here, except for the unrequited stuff.

Disclaimer: None of this is mine, same as usual.

Chapter One—All's Fair In Love and War

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"BACK OFF, SHE'S MINE!!"

James Potter looked up from the Potions book he was trying to read, sighing at his friends, and trying not to show how upset he was. It tore him up that they were fighting…over a GIRL, no less. James couldn't understand how a girl was so important to two Third Years. It's not like it would lead to anything serious from here, so why ruin their friendship over it? Sirius, Remus, James, and Peter were best friends, easily the closets group in the school. So how could this one girl destroy the friendship they had without even knowing it?

What was so special about Lily Evans, anyway? What made her think she had the right to steal two of the Marauder's hearts like this?

James thought about it a lot, and every time it was more confusing. Every girl in the bloody school wanted Sirius, why couldn't he just let Remus have this one? And Remus, who usually understands what people are feeling better than anyone, might need to come to grips with the fact that Sirius might see Lily as more than he was giving him credit for. But NO, instead it was….

"NO WAY!! I LIKE LILY MORE!!"

James groaned. "Would you two bloody SHUT UP?"

Sirius and Remus stopped fighting to look at him, confused.

"This is absolutely crazy!" he continued. "You can't let this one girl ruin your friendship…ruin the Marauders. Just bloody forget about her!"

Sirius and Remus opened their mouths to protest, but James held up his hand to silence them. "Now," he said. "One at a time, and no interrupting each other. Why do you guys think a chance with Evans is more important then our friendship?"

Remus opened his mouth first, looking slightly guilty after James' speech. "Well, I definitely don't want to lose my friends over my first real crush," he began. See, this is what James likes about Moony so much, when he has something to say, he never holds back. "But Lily…she's so nice, and funny, and smart…and overall, just amazing to be around. I really like her, James."

James nodded, motioning to Sirius. "Lily's beautiful, too. Those emerald eyes, they're gorgeous…and they look so good with her hair."

Remus turned to him angrily. "You only want to date her because you think she's fit!"

Sirius glared at him. "YOU don't appreciate her beauty. Let me date her, and go find yourself some other nice girl to be with!"

"QUIET, BOTH OF YOU!" James yelled again, and both of them shut up. "Now listen to me…you guys are friends…we have a fantastic friendship, we have so much fun together…NO girl should be worth that," he sighed. "Don't give all this up just for her."

Sirius and Remus looked even guiltier. "Sorry, Jim. You're right." They went back to their beds, staring intently at their feet, and started doing their essays as well.

"Um…Jim? Would you help me with my essay?" a quiet voice across the room asked. James turned around. "Sure thing, Pete."

James walked over to Peter's bed, looking at the essay. "But…it looks like you're finished." James wasn't surprised, with the amount of time poor Peter had put into it.

"I know…I just…think we should come up with a plan to get them both to stop fighting," he whispered.

James thought on it. "Pete, there's no way they're going to just stop," he whispered back. "We have to get them to stop liking Evans altogether, or nothing will work."

Peter nodded eagerly, concentrating hard. James nearly bust out laughing at Peter's I'm-trying-to-think-but-really-just-look-constipated face. He looked over at his other friends, who were now quietly working. It was amazing how eagerly they all listened to him.

That's it! James thought. They do whatever I say…so if I told them I liked Lily, they'd back off, right?

He shrugged to himself. Not the most brilliant idea, but it was worth a shot…he'd have to get Lily in on it, too. He didn't want to pretend he was interested in her when he wasn't.

Wait…If I tell them Lily asked me on a date, and I said yes, because I secretly pine for her, too…THEN they'd back off. Oh, how my brilliance astounds even me some days!

"Be right back," he said to them, heading down the stairs to the Gryffindor common room, where Lily and her group of friends were playing Exploding Snap.

"Hey, Evans," he said, sitting down next to her.

"What's this, then? She's hooked another Marauder?" one of the girls said. James sighed.

"Not exactly. Evans—Lily, I have a preposition for you."

She raised her eyebrows, but smiled at him. "I'm listening," she said.

"Well, I'm really scared Sirius and Remus' crushes on you will destroy their friendship, and they'll do basically anything I say, so if I tell them I like you, they'll back off!" he said, all in one breath. It was easier to do it that way, so he wasn't thinking about what a idiot he'd look like if she didn't agree with his plan.

"Does that make sense to you?" he asked.

She looked at him quizzically. "Not really, but they're boys. They have a right to do things that are completely illogical—no offence."

"None taken."

"So…you want me to…pretend I like you back?"

"I was thinking more along the lines of…a date?" he asked. She raised her eyebrows again. "I swear I don't have a thing for you! I just want to save their friendship!"

She smiled at him, rolling her eyes. "James, I'd be happy to do anything that would get those two off of my tail."

"So, you'll go, then? To the next Hogsmeade trip with me?"

She nodded, fiery hair swishing across her shoulder blades. "Sure, thing, Potter."

"Call me James. Oh—you don't mind if I tell them you asked me out? It's just more believable, and easier for them to understand."

She shrugged. "Whatever you gotta do. As long as those two stop fighting over me, and I have a decent first date, I'm fine."

He grinned at her. She really was nice, like Remus said. And, Sirius was right; those glittery green eyes were so pretty. Not—that he liked her or anything…Just some random, impartial, third-party observations. "Thanks. Evans! If you hear any glass breaking or me screaming—"

"I'll rush valiantly to your rescue, I promise. I can't have my date all bloodied up, now, can I?" she laughed, and he smiled.

Neither of them mentioned what a nice laugh she has.

He turned around, saluting Lily and her friends. "I'll meet you here Saturday at noon, then?" She nodded again, and he walked away, smiling. The smile faded from his face as he got back up to his dormitory, bracing himself to tell Sirius and Remus this new "breakthrough."

How would they react?

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A/N—I'm really having fun with this, hope you all liked reading it as much as I liked writing it!

You know what I'd love to read, now? Some reviews.