Disclaimer: This story is in no way affiliated with Ms Rowlings works. I borrow her ideas in order to create non profit stories for my own pleasure (and hopefully others') so don't sue, enjoy!
A/N: Dear readers: this is a chronicle of the adventures of four Marauders, with some Lily and Emmeline thrown in for the fun of it. I hope you enjoy it, and please make my day and review! xx - Lexie
Chapter One: In which a pact is formed
Lily Evans winced, recognizing all too well the voice that was currently crowing her name in a triumphant fashion. Seconds later, she found herself dangling in the air – well, not so much dangling as being picked up and hugged by a rather tall someone.
"Put me down, Potter," she growled, and he obeyed, beaming at her.
"Not at all," she said stiffly, making him laugh.
"That's good. I mean… It's good to see you, because I missed you too, you see."
"Right. That's lovely Potter. How about you go and tell Black all about it?"
A boy with long, shaggy black hair turned, smiling. The effect was, as always, devastating, but Lily had worked up a sort of immunity to Sirius Black.
"Someone say my name? Ah, Lily my dear, how are we?"
"We are going. I'll see you boys later."
A hand caught her arm. Potter again, his hazel eyes earnest.
"Lily, wait – I have a surprise for you."
She sighed and shook herself free. "It can wait, Potter."
She strolled off into the crowd that was gathering on the platform beside the great scarlet engine, casually flicking a long, dark red curl over her shoulder. James and Sirius watched her go.
"As much as I like Evans, I don't understand what you see in her," Sirius murmured.
James raised his eyebrows, whilst all the while appreciating that Sirius was probably the only person who could say this to him and get away with it.
"Padfoot," he replied flatly. "She's the most incredible, beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life."
Sirius rolled his eyes. He prodded James in the stomach.
James shrugged. "Probably. Let's find the others."
"Ahh Moony, my heart bleeds." Sirius smirked by way of greeting, flinging open the compartment door. The small, mousy haired boy in the corner was so startled he fell off his seat.
Remus Lupin sighed, closing his book, Hairy Snout, Human Heart. "It's really quite interesting," he replied patiently. "I feel I can really relate to the author."
James laughed. "Of course, Moony. How is your furry little problem?"
Remus smiled as some first years walked past the open compartment door, oblivious. "It's hopping on nicely, thank you, Prongs."
James grinned. "Good to know," he said seriously, stowing his luggage above the seats. He sighed, ruffling his messy black hair, as he was habitually wont to do. "I'll be back in a while, children. Mind you behave, now."
Sirius smirked, stowing his trunk beside James'. With a flicker of a wink to the other two boys, he replied, "Yes Mum."
Laughing softly, James left the compartment, sliding the door closed.
"W-where's he going?"
The quiet voice emerged from the corner of the compartment. Sirius eyed the boy, his expression darkly amused. "He's gone to serenade Evans in the Heads compartment, Wormtail."
Peter Pettigrew frowned. "I don't think she'll like that very much."
Sirius rolled his eyes, muttering "Wormtail you twat." He swung his legs across the empty seat beside him, not bothering to elaborate. With a shrug, Remus returned to his book while Peter continued to watch Sirius, yearning in his eyes.
Lily Evans startled in horror, snapping out of her reverie. Potter was closing the compartment door and taking the seat across from her.
"This is the Head's compartment, Potter," she told him, willing her voice to be patient. Unfortunately for Lily, she didn't have much patience left for James Potter. He seemed, overall, to be a continual disappointment.
James nodded earnestly. "Yeah, I know. Actually, I was going to suggest we might as well be nice to each other this year, but obviously you have other plans."
Lily rolled her eyes. "I hope that wasn't your surprise. I really don't have time for this conversation at the moment," she said, a little more gently. "I'm waiting for the Head Boy and then we have to go and speak to the prefects."
"Well you don't have to worry about waiting, do you? I'm ready, lead the way."
Lily raised her eyebrows. She eyed James cautiously, not exactly sure of a) what he was doing there (besides harassing her) and b) what he was talking about.
In fact, James was smiling. That was twice in one morning, she realized. This was not something that Lily had seen very often (she most firmly recalled that the majority of the occasions they had run across each other in the past, Potter had been smirking, or for some variation, laughing cruelly). And it was evident in the ensuing moments that the answers to her questions had occurred to her, as her lovely, curving lips fell open in shock.
"Who killed Dumbledore and made you Head Boy?" she demanded, both disbelieving and outraged.
James shrugged. "I suppose," he said thoughtfully, "that I must possess some sort of leadership qualities."
Lily groaned. She had inadvertently begun him on one of his ego trips.
He smiled at her again. "I mean, I'm sitting in here with you, and you definitely possess some fabulous leadership skills along with your beauty, talent and wit."
Lily put her head in her hands. "Right, Potter. Of course. Flattery will get you nowhere. Can we just go and see the prefects and get this over and done with?"
"Too bad, Prongs," Sirius murmured, shaking his shaggy head so his hair fell into his eyes. Impatiently he swept it away again.
James frowned, examining the Quaffle in his hands. "It doesn't matter what I do, Evans doesn't want to know me," he said glumly, throwing the Quaffle back across the compartment. Peter watched eagerly, his eyes following the flying leather ball.
Sirius shrugged. "She's prejudiced. Just like Snape hates Muggleborns, Lily hates you. But you could change her mind."
Sirius' eyes lit up and he leant forward, tossing the bright red Quaffle in his hands. Peter was looking dizzy. "It's like that book we read in Muggle Studies last year-"
James scoffed. "Like you ever read anything, Padfoot!"
Sirius conceded this fact with a smirk and a nod. "True," he admitted. "Anyway, that's beside the point. Lizzie hates Dizzy-"
"Darcy," corrected Remus, not looking up from his book.
"Darcy, whatever, Moony. Anyway, she hates him, right, but he keeps being nice and eventually she realises she was wrong and falls in love with him."
Peter gazed at James, impressed. "That sounds just like you and Lily," he said.
"That's the point," Sirius deadpanned.
James caught the Quaffle thoughtfully.
"So if I keep being nice she'll eventually have to like me?" he said hopefully.
Remus finally looked up, his smile wry. "She has to trust you first, Prongs. And believe me, after the number of times she's caught you playing pranks or bullying Snape, you're up for a rough time convincing her you've changed."
James frowned. "I don't bully. Snape deserves it."
"Another prejudice," Remus responded knowingly.
"Ouch!" Sirius complained, rubbing his nose.
"Teach you not to pay attention, Padfoot."
Several carriages away, Lily was raging. Her audience, made up of the Gryffindor seventh year girls, rolled their eyes. They had always known Lily to be absurdly prejudiced against James Potter, but really, shouldn't she have grown out of it by now?
He had obviously matured over the past two years – ever since the lake incident, actually – but Lily was too stubborn to see this.
The girls knew well about Lily's stubbornness too. Only Emmeline Vance, her best friend, had any influence over her whatsoever. The others had learnt it was often best to stay silent- unless they absolutely couldn't resist.
"I mean, who in their right minds would make a Marauder - a Marauder, for Merlin's sake! - Head Boy, let alone Potter?"
Emmeline shrugged. "They've always said Dumbledore is mad," she replied reasonably, earning a frown.
"Mad but brilliant," Marlene McKinnon and Isadora Wood recited in unison, smiling.
"Don't worry about it," Alice Prewett said soothingly. "You probably won't even need to see Potter very often."
"They get their own dorm, Alice," Isadora said, grinning. "I think they'll be seeing each other plenty."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Lily demanded, watching the four girls giggle. They were just as bad as Potter and his friends, Lily reflected dismally.
"Come on, Lily. He's very sweet and funny. I wonder if you'll have to share a bathroom?" Marlene asked dreamily.
Lily rolled her eyes. "All right, then. While you lot continue to salivate over the freak-of-a-Head Boy, I'm going to find Art."
"I'm bored," Sirius announced, staring at James' dozing form. The Head Boy was stretched out across the seat opposite him, snoring softly. "I can't believe this is our last year at Hogwarts."
"I'm not ready to grow up," Peter murmured seriously.
"Evidently," Remus muttered briskly, his head still buried in Hairy Heart, Human Snout, or whatever it was called.
Sirius frowned at the book cover thoughtfully. "Even worse," he told them, "this is our last opportunity to cause as much mayhem as possible without facing severe consequences. Think of what we could do!" He gazed off dreamily at the ceiling, his eyes unfocused on a strange configuration of mildew that strangely enough resembled a cat.
"Let's make a pact," he suggested, straightening suddenly.
"Like the pact we made when we became the Marauders?" Peter asked.
"Better," Sirius told them. He leant forward, resting his elbows on his knees, his eyes glinting.
"We make a pact to cause as much trouble as we can think of."
"Excellent." Remus closed his book with a decisive snap that woke James up. Rubbing his eyes, James stared around at his strangely eager three friends.
"Mr Prongs, Mr Padfoot has a proposition to put forward," Remus announced formally, before bowing in his seat to Sirius. "Mr Padfoot, you may have the floor."
"Thank you, Mr Moony. Gentlemen, I propose we form a pact. 'I solemnly swear to produce as much mayhem as magically and imaginatively possible, to mark the final year of the Marauder's reign of tyranny over Hogwarts Castle.'"
James grinned, saluting his best friend. "Mischief managed!"
Remus and Peter echoed him, equally jovial expressions on their faces. Only Sirius seemed deeply thoughtful, although this was not particularly rare.
"Can we make a list, then?" Peter asked, after the appropriate period of respectful silence had passed.
James looked questioningly to Sirius, who shrugged. "If you like, Wormy. What of?"
"Pranks!" Peter said happily, rummaging in his trunk for parchment. "We can kidnap Mrs. Norris," he murmured, eyes shining.
Remus and James exchanged a lazy look, that, in simple terms, said 'Wormtail has gone mad.' Sirius, however, was nodding in approval.
James threw the Quaffle at his face. "Honestly, Padfoot! I thought you meant something more meaningful," he said, the picture of disdain.
Sirius looked deeply offended. "Prongs, Mrs. Norris is our arch-nemesis. Filch would be nothing without an evil companion, and I swear on Merlin's name that cat is evil."
Remus hid his wry smile behind his hand, pretending to yawn. Put in his place, James retrieved the Quaffle, which had rolled back to his feet, and delicately examined its soft, leathery surface ponderously.
James sighed softly. Remus was going to be no help whatsoever, this was clear, and Peter – well Peter was a bit of a lost cause when it came to Sirius. Unless James disagreed with Sirius… and, being best friends, Sirius and James tended to share the same tendencies.
"Bother it," he grinned. "Why not? Lets have some fun, Moony."
"Don't look at me," Remus responded immediately, raising his hands in innocence. "I wasn't the one who objected."
Peter coughed for attention. "So- " he sucked the tip of his quill, thoughtfully. "- we kidnap Mrs Norris. What else?"
James' eyes lit up, and he smiled. "Let's enchant the suits of armour."
Peter nodded, jotting it down in a scarily efficient manner.
"Naturally, as house captain I say we win the Quidditch Cup," Sirius put in. "I do realise that doesn't really qualify."
"Let's drug the Slytherins!" Peter grinned, the image of a cheeky young man. "Let's dose their breakfast!"
"Aye aye. How about-"
"How about we make Lily fall for Prongs?" Remus finally suggested, a practical voice of reason. "At least then we can kill two puffskeins with one stone."
"B-but what about Scamander?"
Sirius scowled. There was only one boy who Sirius disliked more than Severus Snape: and the school was not, and never had been, big enough for the two of them. To top it off, last year Art Scamander – fabulously wealthy, even more so than the Potters, and with an ego to match – had asked out Lily Evans, who had long been declared the object of James' affections. Sirius could only see this as an attack against the Marauders' sensibilities. Of course, Lily – innocent, ignorant, lovely Lily - was completely unaware that she had a boyfriend only by means of a silent grudge war.
James' expression mirrored Sirius.
"We catch him out."
Remus rolled his eyes. Both being male specimens of the highest masculinity – although Remus was often forced to wonder about Sirius' obsession with his hair – Prongs and Padfoot made enemies almost as easily as friends. There was Severus Snape – who, undeniably, oftenearnt their scorn; but there had also been that Scamander, or Scummy, as they thought of him, who liked to parade about the hallways and pluck unsuspecting students out of the crowd to join his exclusive group of friends. He disliked the Marauders intensely, as they (between three of them, at least) were all much smarter, a great deal more popular in general and much more amusing.
The ink had dried on Peter's pen when the compartment door opened, and a fifth year prefect stuck his head in to tell them they would arrive at the station in a matter of minutes.
A/N: Stay posted, I have 20 chapters planned, and before you accuse me of having high notions, I have already written 11, so it's not such an empty promise! Reviews would be most appreciated, as always xx