A/N: I recently checked the rating system and this probably falls within M, but there is nothing explicit here. Just references, cursing, and mature themes I guess. Mature teens can deal, I think.
Well, here it is: my most recent attempt at a story. Let's see how long this one lasts, shall we? ;)
Disclaimer: Not mine. The idea of James being a smoker came into my brain from Girl on a Yellow Bike, Marauders Chick. I thought it was an awesome fit. So, thanks Marauders Chick wherever you are. And JKRowling owns characters. I'd like to think the plot is mine, although the characters JKR wrote so heavily influence it, the plot is more hers too.
SUMMER SO SHE SAYS
"James, it would be nice if you didn't burn the carpet." A cigarette stain, James was learning, was tricky to get out of rugs – even with magic.
Four boys, arguably men but not quite mature enough to handle the title, were sprawled about the living room of a cramped house. One boy, the roundest, was bent over the arm of a vomit-green sofa and moaned again, "It's hot."
James, the lanky one with the cigarette, took another drag and gazed out the window. "Would you put that out?" another asked from the doorway, standing with his arms crossed and watching the fumes dance without the same poetic dream-state as James.
Taking a dramatic sigh, or possibly drawn out simply from heat and the huge amount of energy it took to even move, James put out the cig on the sole of his shoe and admired the ashes collecting artistically beneath him. The fourth boy, attractive and black haired like James, rolled over on the floor. "Thanks Moony, James sucking on his dainty was my only source of entertainment." He paused and watched James take in a deep breath, "Oh, no, not Lily again…"
The one standing, Moony, who had proven to be the most mature of the bunch, stared. "Why don't you go outside?"
"And watch the grass grow? No offense Remy; but your neighborhood's about as interesting as Pete's belly lint."
James laughed airily. "There was a time when we found that quite amusing."
Peter giggled and pulled up his shirt, examining his belly button. The man at the door ignored them. "There's a play lot – down about two streets. Why don't you go down there and knock some kids off the monkey bars or whatever the hell you delinquents like to do."
The fourth boy opened his mouth in mock indignation. "Really Remus, how could you…"
James and his friends left, the two at the front were clearly the ringleaders of the group and Pete stayed a couple steps behind still twisting his fingers through his belly button. "Oy!" The loud one called between his hands, "who am I?" He paused, walking backwards and doing a decent imitation of a small insignificant turtle. He then slicked his hair over his eyes and began breathing heavily.
"Snivelly!" James shouted triumphantly. The others laughed and the boy pretending to be Snivelly got out of character. "Come on," James encouraged, "do another."
And so they walked the blocks to the playground, first watching the boy take on a man with a rather large stomach and deep seemingly intelligent voice. "Slughorn!" Pete squeaked. Then the boy took on a prissy old woman, correctly identified as McGonagall, followed shortly by Remus, the boy from the house.
"James," The boy faked a high voice, "put out that cigarette! You'll just ruin that lovely carpet."
James grinned. "Hey, Wormtail, careful, this is a muggle neighborhood!" For, Wormtail had taken a long stick out of his pocket. Of course, magical sticks in muggle neighborhoods were unacceptable.
The play lot seemed minute; the teeny swings and short seesaw. The loud one naturally felt it was his responsibility to ride the seesaw and nearly dismantling it single-handedly. James took to watching, leaning against the rod iron swing set while Wormtail practiced inappropriate actions on the pole. "Pete, you're supposed to slide down it." James said as the other boy bent over in hysterics.
Wormtail shrugged and continued dancing, "This is more fun."
"Muggle play lots are sort of boring, aren't they?" James asked the others. "Everything's just… there."
Everyone ignored him and the boy who had been keeling over from laughter was now giving Pete a very serious look. "Alright Wormtail. I think you're scaring off the squirrels."
Wormtail gave the boy a look before climbing up into the red tubing. "Sirius really, you're going to break that…"
"James…" James looked up at Pete, who was looking at the inside of the slide. "C'mere."
James turned to the third boy, Sirius, and rolled his eyes; there was probably a bug that he wanted James to smash or something.
He climbed up to the tube – it was pretty small and extremely cramped by the time James even tried to get in – and asked Wormtail what he so desperately needed James in this close proximity for. "Now, why the hell are we in here?"
Pete pointed to markings on the inner tubings, his hand glowing red from the reflections. James followed his finger with his eyes. LME was drawn loosely in dark marker, near a PGE. Pete gazed tentatively at James who immediately felt his pocket for his cigarettes and felt his way off of the jungle gym.
"What's goin' on?" Sirius asked, marching over at the sight of James with his cigarette (it was now common knowledge among the Marauders that James smoked when he was thinking of Lily).
James didn't speak but calmly smoked by the seesaw and allowed Sirius to investigate. "LME?!" He near shouted a minute later. "Aw, mate, really, you don't think?"
When James didn't respond Sirius continued. "She isn't here Prongs. Think of all the LME's there are in the world! Lily Evans… M? What's the M? Marigold?"
"Ah. Well, I know many LMEs, so don't you worry about it."
James took a momentary break from his cigarette. "You know many LMEs?"
"Yes!" Sirius insisted without hesitation.
"Okay, name them."
Sirius paused, contemplating whether or not lying would be appropriate in this situation, but James called him on it. "James!" Sirius laughed out of irony and, really, to get James smiling again. "We both know this is just some muggle girl who came here to fool around with her boyfriend one night…"
"PGE… Her sister's name started with a P I think… Penny or something…"
"And in this muggle neighborhood?!" Sirius scoffed at his surroundings. "Why the hell would Lily be here?"
James took a drag. "She's muggle-born you idiot."
Pete had jumped from the slide and stood behind Sirius, making faces at James, who laughed lightly, only because his friends had been trying so hard to distract him.
"Alright mate!" Sirius shouted when James put out the cigarette and did not reach for another one. "Damn initials. Don't mean anything."
James, walking back to Remy's with the others, thought differently. Somewhere in the pit of his stomach he knew that those initials were not just from some muggle in the midst of passionate lovemaking; he had this weird feeling that it was Lily, Lily Marie Evans scrunched up within the slide next to her sister. James sighed and reached for another cigarette.