Note: Written months ago for LiveJournal on a dare because Mrs Tater asked me to write it! Finally getting it posted here …
Prompt: Lily can't stand Remus because he's such a useless prefect where his mates are concerned. ;)
"… and furthermore," Lily went on in a hushed voice, accenting her words with a finger jabbing the table in front of her, "I am dead certain that there are things you know about ahead of time that you let them get away with."
"I cannot deny it." Remus turned the page in his book, although he hadn't really paid attention to it for the last three pages, since Lily had begun her tirade.
"And I'll bet there are things that you've even helped them to perpetrate."
"You're absolutely right."
"And – what did you say?"
Remus cleared his throat and leaned toward her over the table. "You're absolutely right," he whispered.
Lily's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean I'm absolutely right?"
"I mean, not only do I not throw them into detention; I don't throw myself into detention, either. That would be stupid, wouldn't it?"
"I – " Lily shut her mouth and glared at him. The little crease between her eyebrows appeared, the one that was reserved for James, and suddenly Remus knew why his friend liked to get her riled up. Lily was adorable when she looked this fierce, although, unlike James, Remus knew better than to say so.
"So you don't deny that you've let them get away with murder?"
"Well, murder … " Remus gathered his books into his satchel and stood up. "Not yet. Not to my knowledge."
"Not to your knowledge?"
"No, not to my knowledge."
Lily growled and shook her fists at the ceiling, causing Madam Pince to peer disapprovingly over her book at the two students at the corner table. Remus smiled benignly at the librarian and shouldered his bag. "Now," he said to Lily, "if you'll excuse me – "
"Oh, no you don't," she retorted, gathering her books and following him to the door. "This isn't over, Lupin."
"Will you report me?" he asked as soon as they entered the hallway.
Lily seemed flustered, as if she hadn't been expecting that question. "No. No, I won't."
"Because – because I expect you to do the right thing without my forcing you to," she replied firmly. "Because fear of punishment shouldn't be what makes you a good person."
"Hmm," said Remus, glancing at her meaningfully.
She scowled. "That's bollocks and you know it."
"Perhaps," said Remus quietly. "But apparently we both think it's a valid argument."
"I never said – "
Remus' eyebrow went up, and he stopped in the middle of the hall and looked straight into her face. "Are you calling me a liar?"
"No, I – "
"And I'd never call you one, either. So how about we keep it between us?"
"What on earth are you talking about?"
"You have no evidence that I've let anyone get away with anything, other than the fact that I just admitted it to you, and frankly, that's hearsay."
"You – you – " Lily gritted her teeth, her fist squeezing the strap of her book bag. "You are infuriating."
Remus smiled. "Am I?"
"YES!" she spat.
"Thank you," he replied sincerely. His heart was pounding hard now and he wasn't really sure why. But for some reason he liked that he was making Lily Evans this angry.
She lowered her voice and stepped into him, eyeing him steadily. His heart beat faster, and he swallowed. "I'll be keeping an eye on you, Lupin."
Luckily his wit was still functioning, though he suspected his brain had been left behind somewhere in the library. "Promise?" he said, with the best cocksure smile he could muster.
Lily stamped her foot – which was something Remus had never made a girl do before – and stalked away from him, red hair swishing from side to side across her back with every furious step.
Remus followed her all the way back to the Common Room, suddenly happy that someone had figured him out, and even happier that she wouldn't do anything about it.
After all, it would all be hearsay, wouldn't it?
A/N: Do you want a bribe to review? Hmm, let's see. Perhaps there's a certain Prefect who needs a lesson or two in discipline. Would that suffice? ;)