Nice Try, Potter.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Lily Evans and Severus Snape were sitting by the lake studying for their OWLs. They'd breezed through Potions – as the pair was quite adept at the subject – and had tackled Transfiguration, too. They were currently on History of Magic, which was a bit of a stumbling block as neither of them were actually studious enough to have paid more than cursory attention to Binns' frequent, droning lectures. Consequentially, they were busy pouring over their textbooks and vowing to drop the class the minute they took their OWLs. Still, in spite of the tediousness of their task, the afternoon was quite peaceful and they were rather enjoying themselves. Naturally, such a thing could not last.

"Hey Evans!" James Potter exclaimed, running towards them followed by his usual posse and absentmindedly running a hand through his hair, making it even messier than it normally was. "Guess what I found?"

"I don't care," Lily replied shortly. "If it requires a prefect's attention, show it to Remus."

"Come on, guess," James continued, undeterred.

"She'll never guess, mate," Sirius Black informed his friend. "Better just tell her before she hexes you."

"I hardly think Lily would hex him just for annoying her," Remus Lupin said, glancing up from his own studying, which he appeared to be doing as he followed James and Sirius.

"I think she would," Peter Pettigrew confided quietly. "She's scary!"

"Did you want something?" Severus snapped. "Or are you just interested in hitting on Lily?"

"I don't see why I can't do both," James said cheerfully. "Besides, I already told you why I'm here: I want you to guess what I found."

"Is it a life?" Lily asked. "No, wait…"

"Nope," James answered, still grinning.

"It's this," Sirius shoved a book into Lily's hands.

"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," she read. "Is this fiction or non-fiction?"

"We're not sure," Remus replied.

"Course we're sure, Moony," James said blithely, ignoring the way Severus twitched at the rather blatant werewolf allusion. "And what's more: it's from the future!"

Severus almost choked at that. "Don't be absurd, Potter. And since when do you believe in Divination, anyway?"

"Since I got this awesome book from the future," James replied primly. "See, look at the copyright date."

Lily flipped to the page in question. "1997," she read. "That doesn't mean anything; anyone can fake a copyright date, especially with magic. Besides, even if it was true, why would I want to read about a relative of yours?"

"I don't think she's going to like this…" Peter warned.

"Well, she's got to get used to the idea at some point," Sirius pointed out.

"Because it's a relative of OURS," James' smile couldn't possibly get any bigger.

Lily was confused. "Potter, you're a Pureblood and I'm a Muggleborn. We don't actually HAVE any relatives in common."

Severus, meanwhile, had paled considerable. "Oh dear God, please don't tell me that you mean…" he trailed off, disgusted.

"That's right," James nodded happily. "Harry Potter is our future son." He ducked suddenly as a blast of red headed straight for his head. "What the hell was that for, Snivellus?"

"Reflex," Severus said innocently.

"Don't call him that," Lily snapped. "And you," she said, turning to her companion. "Don't antagonize them or they'll never leave."

James and Severus both sighed. "Fine…"

"Where did you find this book chronicling the adventures of our never-gonna-happen future progeny?" Lily asked matter-of-factly.

Sirius shrugged. "Moony made us clean our dorm and it was under my bed, so who knows how it got there or how long it's been there."

"Even if I did somehow end up having a child with Potter, which would probably be a sign of the apocalypse, why in the world would I name him Harry? I have a cousin named Harry and he was always the dreadful bully," Lily told them.

"My middle name is Harry," James volunteered. "Or rather, Henry, but I think that's a stupid name so I go by Harry."

"Your middle name has a nickname?" Lily asked incredulously. At James' nod she asked, "Why? Just…why?"

James frowned. "I just told you; it's because Henry is a stuffy name."

"If we were going to name a child after you, why wouldn't we go with 'James'?" Lily asked reasonably.

"Well…that was Harry's middle name," James admitted.

"You named your child after you twice? Besides the complete and total lack of originality involved in just switching your first and middle names, how big is your ego that you would do that?" Severus demanded.

"No one asked you, Snive-Snape," James hastily corrected himself after a pointed glare for Lily.

"You are so whipped," Sirius said, shaking his head in disappointment. "And to think, if this is what it's like when you aren't dating, imagine how bad it will be when you are."

"So, what? I don't get any say in the name?" Lily asked, angrily.

"I thought you didn't believe James," Peter spoke up.

"I don't, but it's really the principle of the matter," Lily replied.

"Fine," James crossed his arms. "What would you name him?"

"I've always liked Alexander or Michael. And Connor's a nice name, too…" Lily mused.

"I suppose Michael wouldn't be too bad, but those other names would sound horrible with Potter," James told her.

"Then it's a good thing I won't be having any children with you," Lily said sweetly. "Why are we even talking about children anyway? We're not even dating!"

"Not yet," James said smugly. "Though that can change at any time, Lily-Flower."

"Call me that again and I will hurt you," Lily warned him, her wand suddenly appearing in her hand.

James wisely chose not to say anything.

"So what happens?" Lily asked, a little curious to see what James and his friends had devised. "A bunch of wacky hijinks that bring our parenting skills into question?"

There was an awkward silence. Then Remus said softly, "Actually…in the books, you and James die on Halloween when Harry is only one. You sacrifice yourself for Harry and so when Voldemort tries to kill him, he is defeated and remains bodiless and presumed dead for the next thirteen years before he rises again and attempts to kill Harry. Your son does eventually kill him, though."

Lily had heard the rumors of a powerful new Pureblood supremacist, but she hadn't thought much of it before. "That is…that's ridiculous. Why would Voldemort himself come after me? Or James, for that matter?"

"He was actually after Harry," Sirius corrected her helpfully. "You two were just in the way."

"You said the kid was one!" Lily protested. "Why would a dark wizard have personally have come to kill an infant?"

"Because Snape told Voldemort there was a prophesy about Harry being able to kill him and so Voldemort wanted to prevent this from happening," James spat, glaring daggers at Severus.

"How dare you!" Severus shouted. "I would never do anything to endanger Lily!"

"AND he's not a Death Eater," Lily agreed hotly. "Even if he does have rather questionable friends."

"I love you, Lily, but I honestly have no idea what you see in this git," James shook his head sadly. "Still, I can see that my well-reasoned argument will not sway you-"

"What 'well-reasoned argument'?" Lily demanded. "Mostly it's just a variation on the theme of 'Slytherin equals evil'!"

"Well, it does," Sirius said defensively.

"And how in the world does Voldemort manage to stay alive if he's bodiless?" Lily asked.

"He has Horcruxes," Remus explained.

"…What?" Lily asked, puzzled.

"As in more than one?" Severus asked, shocked. When the others turned to stare at him, he flushed. "Oh, right. Horcruxes are when a wizard splits his soul by killing someone and storing part of his soul in another object. Inanimate objects are preferable to living creatures as the creature can die and possesses a will of its own regardless."

"Voldemort created seven," Remus deigned to answer Severus's earlier question.

"If this isn't just some sad, sad attempt to get me to go out with you, then why on earth don't you take this to Dumbledore?" Lily demanded. "It sounds kind of, oh, I don't know, important."

"Maybe I will," James shot back, crossing his arms defensively.

"That's not a challenge! But please do. One way or another it will mean that you'll go away," Lily glowered. "I really need to finish studying-"

"Ah, you're brilliant, Evans. What do you need to study for? James and I never do," Sirius told her.

"I'm not even going to dignify that with a response," Lily sniffed. "Now GO AWAY."

"Don't you want to hear what happens to Harry after he was tragically orphaned?" James asked pleadingly.

"I would imagine he was raised by Black as you were apparently calling all the shots in the relationship," Lily said drily.

"No, actually Sirius got sent to Azkaban for killing a dozen Muggles and Peter," James said casually.

"That wouldn't surprise me in the slightest," Severus said. "After all, you've already got one count of attempted murder under your belt."

"That was an accident!" Sirius protested. "…Kind of…"

"Wait…what's this? He tried to KILL you?" Lily asked, alarmed. "Why didn't you say something?"

"I'm not actually supposed to talk about it…" Severus admitted sheepishly.

"It's okay though," James said, quickly changing the subject. "Sirius was innocent and Peter was faking his own death because he was a Death Eater."

Lily turned to look at Peter, who kept flinching every time someone raised their voice. "…Are you sure?" she asked skeptically.

"Positive," Sirius said. "But we already made him swear an unbreakable vow to never ever under any circumstances become a Death Eater, sell any of us out to anyone, or knowingly help Voldemort in any way, shape or form. I figure if that doesn't solve the problem, I don't know what will."

"Whatever," Lily sighed. "Just tell me what happens to what's-his-name so you guys will leave."

"Dumbledore makes Harry stay at the Dursley's because of your blood protection," James tells her. "They're really not nice to him because they hate magic, so at some point I should probably hex them." He tilted his head. "Although that might make them hate magic more…"

"Who are the Dursleys?" Lily asked blankly.

The Marauders stared at each other in surprise.

"Your sister is Mrs. Dursley in the book. Are you saying that she's not dating a 'Vernon Dursley' right now?" Sirius asked her.

Lily shook her head. "Petunia doesn't like owl post so I haven't heard from her since I went home for Christmas, but she was dating some guy named Christopher."

"Well, she's going to marry Vernon Dursley," James told her helpfully.

"You don't know that," Lily said. "You're either making things up or stalking my sister. But go on, what does the 'future' hold for Severus and Remus?"

"Snape becomes what could possibly be the worst potions teacher in the history of magic and Remus teaches DADA during Harry's third year before Snape makes him resign because of…well, Snape makes him resign," James said, throwing Severus a dirty look.

"The position is practically cursed anyway," Lily shrugged. "Maybe he should be grateful that all that happened was him resigning. Remember what happened last year."

A collective shudder fell over the group as they remembered what had happened to poor Professor Brown.

"Of course, Remus is also apparently a cradle robber who marries my cousin, Nymphadora Tonks, even though she's two right now," Sirius said, looking accusingly at Remus.

"I don't know what to tell you," Remus said, holding up his hands. "Harry was only there for one argument about Tonks wanting us to get together and she is clearly very persistent."

"So, uh, Lily?" Peter spoke up, trying to diffuse the tension that had suddenly erupted. "Considering Harry is your future son, you don't really seem all that interested in him."

"That's because I'm not," Lily said frankly.

James turned wide eyes to her. "But he's your SON!"

"No he's not," Lily shot back. "There is no way I will ever even date you, let alone marry you and have your children! And even if it were true, I've never met him and am far too young to be thinking about children. Honestly, I'm only sixteen and if I'm dead, than how will me knowing any of this do anyone any good?"

There was silence for a moment.

"Cold," Sirius said finally. James nodded in agreement.

"He's not real!" Lily insisted.

"Yes he is!" James cried. "For God's sake, do you think I made up an entire series of novels about his Hogwarts career just to get you to go out with me?"

"As a matter of fact, yes," Lily snapped.

"If you didn't make it up, Potter," Severus said, sounding like he very much doubted that. "Then who is this 'J.K. Rowling' it says wrote it and how did it travel twenty years into the past?"

"I don't know!" James said, throwing up his arms in frustration. "Magic?"

Severus snorted to show what he thought of that answer.

"You know what, I'm sick of this," Lily decided, packing up her books. "I'm not going to date you, now or ever. I'm going to the library. Coming, Severus?"

As the Marauders watched Lily and Severus leave, Sirius remarked, "That could have gone better. Better luck next time."

James sighed. "If proof of our son from the future won't convince her, what will?"

"Maybe you should stop harassing her best friend?" Remus suggested. "And possibly get to know her as a friend without constantly asking her out. That way it would be more of a 'sure, let's date' instead of a surrender if she ever does say yes."

James studiously ignored him.

"Do you think we should take these to Dumbledore? He'd probably know what to do with them," Peter said, remembering what Lily had said earlier.

"Eh, why not?" James shrugged as the four made their way to Dumbledore, not knowing how much it would change everything.

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