A Rather Boring Routine
"Guys," James Potter groaned, dropping onto one of the couches. "I'm bored."
His best mate, Sirius Black smirked, sinking into the spot next to him. "We just finished Quidditch practice. In fact, you still stink. Take another shower, that'll take care of your problem."
"Exactly," James said, overlooking the last two sentences. "Finished, being the key word. We need something else to do."
"Like what?" Sirius asked, distractedly. James caught the tone and quickly glanced around. Sure enough, Remus was nearby at a couch in front of a low table-his books spread out around him.
Sensing he was losing him, James quickly jumped up. "Snivelus! Always there for us in our time of need. If we hurry, we might still catch him in the library."
"Uh huh." Sirius muttered, making no move to get up.
James dropped back onto the couch with a defeated sigh. "I've lost him." He grumbled.
"Lost who?" Lily asked from behind him. She hadn't yet changed from her uniform and clutched several books in her arms, having most likely spent her free time after dinner in the library.
This was the first year the two had managed to get onto civil terms with one another. It was with great restraint that he didn't know he had, that James had only asked her out a few times since the term started. Lily was smart enough to take whatever wins she could.
"My best mate, my brother in all but blood…and name and looks and…actually we do share blood, but it's cousinly blood."
Lily raised a sardonic eyebrow. "You're more melodramatic today then normal."
"I feel neglected, that's why. I've not been getting my usual share of attention lately. Can you blame me for trying?"
Lily carefully set down her books and curled up in a chair facing him. "Of course I can, but that's not the point. As far as I know, you've been getting the same amount of attention as usual. McGonagall awarded you five points in Transfiguration and then gave you a detention right after. Your potion exploded in Slughorn's class, and you had two girls ask you out. I would think that's up to your usual standards for an average day."
James grinned. "You've been keeping an eye on me." She rolled her eyes and he rushed to keep talking so she couldn't deny it, at least aloud. A bloke had to take what he could, after all. "That's all well and good, but my own mates have been neglecting me. Have you noticed that in the three and a half minutes that you've been here, Sirius has yet to say a word?"
Lily frowned and looked over to the other boy. "You're right, that is strange." She tried waving her hand to gain his attention but he didn't even blink. "Is he alright?"
James sighed. "He's been doing this a lot lately. It was fun at first. I mean, I could get him to agree to go on a date with Snape right now." At Lily's disbelieving glance, he leaned over to the dark haired boy.
"Hey, Pads, Snivelus needs a date to Hogsmede this weekend. You up for it?"
Lily's eyes widened and James shot her a 'see, I told you so' look.
"You'd be missing Quidditch practice though."
"That's alright," Sirius mumbled.
"Great, I'll tell him to meet you at that Madam Puddifoot's."
"Sounds great, James."
Lily actually looked concerned. "What in Merlin's name is wrong with him?"
James fell back, shooting a revolted look at his best mate. "He's gone and fallen in love." He said, shaking his head in disgust. He conveniently overlooked the fact that his own favorite pastime next to Quidditch and pranking was 'Lily-watching' as Sirius had deemed it, followed closely by his 'daily sap talk' about the beautiful Miss Evans.
Lily looked back to Sirius in surprise. She tried following his gaze and was even more surprised to find it was Remus he was watching. She looked between the two and back to James who gave her a solemn nod.
"Remus?" She asked, not ready to believe it. "But, Black has a new girl a week."
"More than that, but he doesn't like to advertise that particular fact in case it makes him seem a bit of a man-whore."
Lily barely withheld a snort. "Of course." She glanced back over to Sirius, noticing his rather glazed expression. She looked back to Remus to see him rummaging through his bag. Across from her, James groaned.
"Here we go. He's pulling out a sugar quill. Padfoot'll start drooling then." James informed her. When Remus did in fact, pull out a sugar quill, Lily shot him a questioning look. "Lily, my dear, this has been going on the past three weeks at least. It's a rather boring routine I must endure for lack of anything else to do. We're at stage two, stage one having been 'Mooning over Moony.' It starts the second Sirius catches sight of Remus and if he's not distracted within those first few vital seconds, he's gone."
Lily looked at him, amused, despite herself. "What's stage two called?"
"Well, my creativity abandoned me after labeling the first stage, so it's just called Stage Two."
"Ah. You said three weeks? It just started suddenly?"
"No, well, sort of. I think it's always been there, personally. Padfoot's always a touchy-feely kind of bloke. Blame that on his parents who wouldn't know a hug if a troll delivered one personally. With Moony, he's always been even more so. But something must have happened and he realized it or something, because it's never been this bad." He gestured with his head over to Sirius.
If Lily thought he was transfixed before, it was nothing to now. Remus had curled his legs under him and had a book resting in his lap as he absently sucked on his sugar quill. Lily was strongly reminded of a dog and half expected Sirius to literally start drooling.
"You know, if I didn't know better, I'd say Remus was doing this on purpose. Bugger it, I do know better and I still think he might be doing this on purpose." James muttered.
Lily wouldn't go so far as to say that. Remus was too naïve and innocent. It was one of his many endearing traits. He was completely oblivious to the fact that he had his own group of girls throughout Hogwarts that fancied him. He couldn't possibly be purposely seductive.
She caught movement in the corner of her eye and looked over to see Sirius leaving the couch he was sharing with James and gracefully slide in next to Remus. She glanced over to James.
"Stage Three." He said. "Actually, it's a bit earlier then normal today. Usually it takes him another minute and a half to get over there. If you'll pay attention, this is the stage that Sirius is most alert during."
They both watched as Sirius rested his chin on Remus' shoulder and strained to hear what he said.
"…'cha reading, Moony?"
"Our defense text," Remus responded, absentmindedly.
James came up and sat on the arm of her chair and in her own distraction she didn't complain. They watched as Sirius leaned in further, as if to read the book.
"It's just an excuse to be closer to him." James whispered near her ear.
"Chapter Seventeen? Rem, I hate to break it to you, but we don't cover that until sometime during the Spring." Sirius said, keeping his head where it was, a few strands of his black hair slipping down to hang between them. If Lily hadn't been paying as much attention as she was, she would have missed Remus breathing deeply, his nostrils flaring slightly as if taking in a scent.
"It's called preparation, Sirius. I like to be prepared for my classes." Remus responded, going back to his sugar quill which had been temporarily forgotten when Sirius had decided to intrude in his studies. Sirius' eyes followed his movements from the side.
"More like obsession. Prepared is having your homework ready a few days before it's due. Yours is done at least a week before. Prepared is maybe skimming through the required texts before term starts. You have them memorized by then." He retorted, smirking.
Remus shot him a half-hearted glare. "I happen to enjoy Defense, thank you."
"And Transfiguration, Astronomy, Arithmancy, Charms, History of Magic…" Sirius listed on his fingers, his arm conveniently brushing against Remus' as he held it up, long after he had finished counting. "Potions, actually, do you read your potions text?"
Remus huffed. "Of course I do. Can you imagine how dismally my potions would come out if I didn't?"
Sirius let out a bark-like laugh. "Rem, you're last potion was green when it was meant to be purple."
"My point exactly. If I hadn't read, it might have been yellow, in which case it could have been explosive."
"How you can be brilliant at everything else but so horrible in Potions will forever be a mystery, Moony."
"Its official, my best mate is a sap. Oh, how the mighty have fallen." James whispered dramatically. Lily jumped as she felt him move in, his body flesh against hers. She turned, ready to give him an earful, but froze as she felt his lips brush her ear, so lightly she wondered if she imagined it.
"Shh, this part's new." He whispered to her. Lily bit her lip, torn between wanting to tell him off and to scoot away but curious as to his friends' behavior. She completely ignored the fact that a small part of her was content with their current position.
She turned her attention back over to Sirius and Remus and watched in shock as Remus leaned across Sirius, reaching for something on the table with one hand while the other rested dangerously high on Sirius' thigh. The dark haired Gryffindor's breath hitched and his eyes darkened from their normal gray to an almost black.
"M-moony?" He gasped, one hand clenching into the couch cushion.
"Hmm? Sorry, I can't reach…my ink…" Remus leaned further, consequently allowing his hand on Sirius' thigh to inch higher. "Ah, there." Remus muttered, satisfied as he withdrew and sat up straight, having retrieved his bottle of ink. He took a quill and a spare piece of parchment from a pile in front of him and jotted something down from the book he was reading.
Beside him, Sirius was fighting to control his faintly labored breathing. "In-Ink?" Sirius repeated dumbly.
"Mmhmm, to take notes." Remus explained patiently, not looking up. "I realize it's a task you never partake in, but us mere mortals find it necessary to pass."
Sirius made a strangled sound, deep in his throat as he seemed to realize a growing problem. He searched wildly, seeing a pillow nearby and grabbed it frantically, throwing it on his lap and resting his arms on it casually. Lily could have sworn she saw Remus' lips twitch slightly, but when he looked over to Sirius, he looked entirely innocent. And not the 'I know I'm caught but please work' innocent look that Sirius and James always had but could never get away with. She mostly believed it really had been an accident.
"Pads? You okay? You're looking a little flushed." Remus asked, concerned. He raised a hand to his friend's face and felt his forehead, frowning. "You do seem a bit hot."
Sirius couldn't seem able to reply, his eyes wide. Remus let his hand slide down to his cheek and gently tilted his face so that he could see him better. It was perhaps the first time Lily had ever seen Sirius Black blush.
"Do you want me to take you to the Infirmary? You could be coming down with something."
"He makes it seem entirely natural, doesn't he? You'd never notice anything wrong if you weren't looking for it. Moony's always the most motherly one of us lot." James whispered. This time Lily knew she felt his lips but she was too shocked by his comment.
"He did that purposely?" Lily hissed back, her mind reeling.
James smirked. "Our Moony's rather gifted isn't he? McGonagall herself could witness him in the act of something and even she'd let him get away scotch free with that look of his." He responded proudly. "And everyone thinks he's so innocent. He pulls just as many pranks as the rest of us, and yet rarely ever gets detention."
Lily watched as Sirius managed to shake his head and mutter "I'm fine." Remus didn't look as though he believed him, but gave a reluctant nod.
"Alright, but then at least get some rest. How did practice go? I'm sure it was exhausting. Here," he tried to take the pillow from Sirius, but the other boy held it back desperately. "Padfoot, you really should lay down." Remus admonished, giving up with wrestling for the pillow. He reached behind him and pulled another one and rested it against himself.
Lily had to fight back a grin as Sirius wasted no time in taking advantage of an opportunity to be even closer to Remus.
"I guess I'm a little tired," Sirius said, faking a yawn. With careful maneuvering, the pillow never leaving his lap, he stretched himself out so his head rested in Remus' lap.
James rolled his eyes while meanwhile, Remus looked down, amused. He went back to reading, running his fingers absently through Sirius' hair.
Lily chuckled. "He's practically purring." She muttered. She glanced to the side of her where James face still sat. "What stage is this?"
"Oh, this part doesn't belong to any particular stage. They're always like this. Apparently both of them make very comfortable pillows." James said, wryly.
Lily smirked. "You mean you've never draped yourself across your best friends, Potter?"
James snorted in response. "Sirius would hex me into next week if I tried that on Remus. Really, I should have suspected something in first year. Sirius has always been overprotective and possessive of him."
Lily turned back to the two on the couch. "How can you sit here every day and watch this without doing anything?"
James raised an eyebrow. "Like what? Join them?"
Lily swatted his arm. "No, help them along."
"How? Shove them in a closet? Moony's afraid of enclosed spaces so it'd have to be a rather large closet and Padfoot doesn't like the dark, so it'd have to have plenty of light. So, as you can see, that idea is useless."
"Oh for Merlin's sakes, no, I meant…" she trailed off. "He's afraid of the dark?" She shook her head. "Beside the point; try talking to them or something. You're their best mate, push them along."
James chuckled. "I know why you're a Gryffindor, you have no patience. Relax, Evans. If I know our Remey, he's been listening in from the start and is now well aware of the situation."
Lily's head shot back around and sure enough, Remus was watching them with a smirk.
"Sensitive hearing, Love. He can hear a quill drop in a several meter radius, I'm sure." James said- his grin triumphant as he watched his two friends.
Remus let out a laugh, catching Sirius' attention. At Sirius' questioning look, Remus just grinned. "How about a trip to the kitchens, Pads? Are you hungry?"
Sirius nodded and stood up, following the werewolf. As he passed, Remus gave them a small wink before they were out the portrait hole.
"Five galleons says they never make it off this floor." Peter's voice drifted from his position on the stairs.
James started laughing. "No bet, Pete. I'm sure Moony jumped him the second the portrait closed."
"Looks like they'll finally get to Phase Four," Peter said grinning. He stood up, stretching his legs.
"Maybe even Phase Five." James shot him a grin. He looked back over to Lily who still seemed a bit shocked. "Evans? You alright there?"
"You planned that?" She demanded incredulously.
"Well, sort of. After you came and we started talking, I knew he could hear us and had to be listening. I figured it'd be the best way to get him to finally realize Sirius was head over heels for him. For such a bright bloke, he really is dense when it comes to these things."
His grin was infectious, Lily determined, when she started smiling herself. He was evidently quite pleased with himself and also for his friends, his hazel eyes shining brightly behind his glasses.
"I'm going to ward my bed with silencing charms. Night, Prongs, night Lily." Peter called, disappearing up the stairs.
"Not a bad idea, actually." James muttered. His expression suddenly crashed. "Bloody hell. I just got my two best mates together. My two male best mates who share a dorm with me. Who are hormonal teenagers. Bugger. And now I'm bored again. There goes my daily entertainment."
Lily chuckled. "Maybe you aren't so bad, Potter." She said, standing up. James face lit right back up at the rare compliment from Lily Evans.
"Hey, Evans, you want to-"
"No." She responded, still smiling as she picked up her books and headed up to her own dormitory. James was only slightly disappointed though. He fell back onto the chair, a dopey grin spreading across his face when he could still smell her.
"That's alright. She can't resist me much longer."