Chapter 90

The Marauder's New Toy

Even Sirius was surprised by the sheer number of rumours that spread about them. Between the non-existent prank, Sirius' new look, and James' new glasses the entire school was talking about them. Even if most of them didn't realise it.

Sirius seemed to capture the attention of the entirety of the female population. True, not all of them were entranced by his new hairstyle (a very short, tight ponytail with loose, chin length fringe that seemed to magically stay out of his face) but none of them could honestly say they hadn't stared open-mouthed when he walked into breakfast the morning classes began. Even Lily Evans couldn't help it, however she snapped out of it quickly trying to hide her blush.

James had noticed, with major irritation.

Within the first week of classes Sirius had been asked out a full twenty-one times. James had been asked five times and even Remus had managed to get asked out, though he suspected that she'd just wanted to use him to get to Sirius.

Sirius quickly denied it when Remus mentioned it. However, he would have seriously protested if Remus had actually considered it because secretly he knew that Remus was right. Not out of pride, but because not only had she already asked Sirius out three times, she was also more than a little obsessive, if the amount of time she spent staring at him was any indication. However, that didn't mean he wouldn't let Remus have his moment of triumph.

Remus denied her instantly; he was so shocked by her request that he practically snapped at the Ravenclaw. James thought it was hilarious... Sirius thought it was sad.

Remus felt horrible about it afterwards and went to apologise to her but he still refused when she asked him again-but then, the Marauders had never really expected otherwise.

But it was still nice to know that Remus could at least say someone had asked him out.

Then again, as much as Sirius teased him about it James wasn't sure Remus wouldn't have preferred to remain unasked.

It really wasn't fair, Remus attempted to reason with Sirius, vainly trying to stop the teasing with simple logic. He might as well been trying to teach a tarantula to tap-dance for all the good it did.

"But the very thing you're teasing me about, you've done twenty times. There's really no reason..." Remus attempted to say, but Sirius wasn't moved in the slightest.

"Do you really think I feel I need a reason?" Sirius smirked at him and mussed up his hair. "All that matters is that our little Moony is growing up and I'm gonna have to start chasing off the girls."

James laughed.

"You? Chasing off the girls from Remus? I'm more worried about Remus having to chase the girls away from you."

"Me?" Sirius looked offended before smirking. "I assure you I can chase them off myself."

"I'd like to see that," James laughed.

"Hey, nice glasses, Potter! Your granny get them for you?"

They quickly turned to the voice, recognizing it easily. Snape and Mulciber, a Slytherin who Sirius used to know on a first name basis, were chuckling. Lily trailed behind them, clearly irritated by their teasing and not at all comfortable with her friend's acquaintance.

James reaction was swift and severe. One second Snape was laughing the next his head hit the ground with a loud crack.

It was one thing for Snape to laugh in his expense, though that was bad enough, but for him to do it with Lily right there… that was crossing the line.

Sirius seemed to erupt in laughter while Remus inhaled sharply, worry for the Slytherin going through his mind along with surprise that his friend would allow himself to be so easily provoked and react so severely.

Lily's reaction was similar to Remus' but she didn't hold her reaction back. She quickly ran over to help Snape who attempted to brush her off, not wanting to look like he needed her help in front of his friends and enemies.

"What's wrong, Snivellus? You didn't see my spell? Maybe you're the one who needs glasses," James said with a look on his face that Remus didn't like at all. It was dark, and reminded him of the kids who used to bully him on the playground before he begged his mother to stop taking him.

Sirius' laughter only got stronger at this; he clutched a stitch in his side and was leaning against a wall. Remus couldn't understand what was so funny, but Sirius' laughter only encouraged James' behavior.

"Let's see, can you see this," James said quietly, muttering a curse and aiming between Snape's eyes.

This time Snape was ready and had a shield charm up already, and, to James' surprise, already had a counter attack planned.

It was pretty much the exact opposite of what James had done to him. Where Snape had fallen down head first, James flew up ankle first.

James let out a squeal that made Mulciber laugh nearly as hard as Sirius had done just a second ago.

On Sirius' part he didn't betray any surprise, instead he snapped at Snape to put James down, looking far more threatening than the two future Death Eaters he was staring down.

"Put. Him. Down," he said, his wand pointed right in between Snape's eyes. Lily looked terrified for her friend, but she didn't move. Not because she was scared but because she wasn't entirely sure Severus didn't deserve it.

James had taken the first shot, but even she knew Sev had been asking for it for a long time.

Snape smirked, to a normal person he looked unmoved, but Remus could see the fear in his eyes. Yet Snape stood his ground, although even Mulciber had stepped back.

Remus wondered if there was more of a Gryffindor in Severus Snape then he liked to let on.

"I can't," Snape laughed. "I haven't invented a countercurse yet."

How Sirius wasn't completely floored by this information Remus didn't know, because he certainly was. Sirius didn't look even a little surprised to learn that his fourteen year old enemy had invented a spell: maybe he thought it was a lie or maybe he was plotting…

"Well you'd better figure it out real fast," Sirius said darkly and in a flash faster than Remus knew Sirius could move his wand moved from Snape and suddenly Lily Evans gave a shriek.

"Lily!" Snape called, shocked at the sight.

Lily was now hanging upside down as well, doing her best to keep her skirt from falling down.

"Black!" Snape yelled furious.

"Sirius!" James exclaimed from behind him. Though admittedly he was mostly hoping she'd fail in her quest to keep her skirt covering her bum.

"You-I- How?" Snape stuttered in rage.

"I suppose you'd best get working on that countercurse real fast, or your girlfriend might be up there for a while."

"I'm not his girlfriend!" Lily screeched.

"That's not possible. I haven't told anyone that spell," Snape hissed.

"What on Earth is going on?!"

Snape jumped at the sound of McGonagall's voice coming from down the hall while Mulciber just ran off. He'd wanted to as well but he wouldn't just leave Lily like this.

"He attacked Lily!" Snape tried knowing it was hopeless, stupid Potter and his bloody friends always got off easy.

"Please, I wouldn't even know that spell if you hadn't done it to James first."

"Will someone please get me down?!" Lily cried, her arms getting tired as she fought with the laws of gravity trying to force her skirt down.

McGonagall gave a simple flick of her wand and they both became grounded, James landed on his back while McGonagall flipped Lily over to land on her feet.

"To my office, now," she said sternly, leaving no room for questions.

Remus trailed behind with Sirius. He wanted to say something, anything, about the disproportionate retribution they'd dished out and how it looked disturbingly like bullying…

But when he opened his mouth his courage failed him.

"How did you know the spell?" He asked, berating himself for his cowardice.

Sirius laughed, completely unconcerned. "Moony we didn't spend three months last Christmas experimenting on chocolate frogs for me to not be able to identify an amateur spell and copy it."

Remus laughed, though the guilt had not gone.

The guilt would never completely go away.

A/N) Woah chapter ninty... only 10 more and there's 100... Crazy.

Merry Christmas! ^_^