a/n: Alright so, I have a question fellow hp fans. If the marauders didn't become animagi till their fifth year, then didn't they not create their nicknames till around same time? Since their names all have to do with their forms I mean? For the sake of staying true to cannon I wrote this in such a way that honors that ideal. It's not a huge thing, I just got curious.

Also, I know James's, Lily's and Remus's birthdays, but not Peter's or Sirius's or Mary's. If their dates are actually canonized, please tell me. I hate being off-cannon.

Disclaimer: I own nothing and seek nothing to gain through the writing of this story


Lily and James discussed the concept of dating three times during their years at Hogwarts. Of course, James asked her out several hundred times more than that, but pair only discussed the theory of dating thrice.

The first was towards the end of their third year. A pair of unfortunate seventh year Gryffindors had been caught doing unspeakable things in a broom closet by Professor McGonagall. The professor had been so infuriated that she had seen fit to give her entire house a lecture on the time and place for such actions. While well meant in its intent, the professor's lecture hardly had the desired impact; nearly as soon as McGonagall had resumed her perch at the high table the table burst into a mass of giggles.

Lily Evans was reluctantly sitting next to James Potter at the time. Normally of course, she would have avoided such an arrangement, having decided early on in her Hogwarts career that the boy was rather egotistical and a bit cruel, but given that her best (female) friend was currently dating James's best friend… Well it was either eat alone with the first years or sit with the marauders and Mary.

"Well," Remus said in his usual quietly sarcastic tone, "That was disheartening."

"Huh?" Peter looked up from buttering his roll and blinked at his friend, "It just sounded like a long ramble to me."

Lily shook her head, "I don't see what good it will do her in any case; it's not as if a long rant about the impropriety of their actions is going to stop reoccurrences…"

"You thinking of going off into a broom cupboard next Evans? I think I have an evening free on Tuesday if you'd rather go with someone a bit more macho than Snivellus," James asked with his signature smirk, reminding Lily of why she hated sitting near him.

"In your dreams Potter," Lily retorted, stabbing a tomato with her fork and shooting an oblivious Mary a glare. Mary so owed her for this.

"Nightmares more like," Sirius put in, dragging his eyes away from Mary.

"Oh Sirius," Mary giggled, "You're too funny!"

"Mary!" Lily glared down her friend. She was used to Mary going all silly over boys, but usually that boy wasn't Sirius Black.

Her (traitorous, horrible, oblivious) friend just shrugged as Sirius pulled her up, out of her seat, obviously intent on testing out the local cupboards. Mary tittered a farewell at the group while Sirius exchanged a significant raised eyebrow with James.

"S'okay Lily," Peter spoke through his mouthful of potatoes, noting the glare the redhead directed at the pair's retreating backs, "They're just going to break up soon anyhow."

"Thank goodness for that!" chorused Lily and James. They shuddered after realizing they'd spoken in unison.

"What?" Remus looked up from his careful distribution of gravy, "What makes you think they'll break up soon Peter?"

"Because," Peter explained wisely, putting down his fork and getting into his new role as teacher, "We're thirteen and according to Witch Weekly no relationships work at thirteen."

"Sirius is fourteen," James reminded Peter immediately, as if this increased year promised a great deal more maturity and thus a greater capability of having lasting relationships.

"So are you," pointed out Lily, knowing that no such maturity was gained in a year in the case of a Marauder.

"And?" James turned to her, confused.

"Just pointing out facts," Lily smirked.

"Well then Evans," James retorted slowly, still feeling like he might have missed the point, "Might I mention that you're also fourteen?"

"You might," she nodded, "But you should also mention that I'm a girl."

"This matters how?" Remus asked, curious against his will.

"Because girls are generally more mature than boys," Lily reminded him, smug.

"Since when are we talking about maturity?" James demanded. He knew better than to challenge her statement - she had the same face she wore after getting perfect scores on potions essays.

"Isn't that what you were getting at with saying that Black is fourteen over thirteen?" she reminded him.

"Well… yes."

Peter, having had enough with the bickering that was detracting from his lesson on the art of teenage relationships, coughed loudly. When that was ignored he tapped his glass politely with his fork. Still ignored, he drew his wand and blew up the pumpkin pie that had just replaced the Yorkshire pudding. His intent had been to have the pie dance around, but, as the explosion had had the desired affect, he decided not to be picky.

"Alright," he said, "So Sirius is fourteen, but Mary is still thirteen. And as I said, thirteen year olds just don't have lasting relationships."

"But," argued James, "One half of the relationship is older, surely that means they have a better chance at making it."

"Let's not forget that that older half you speak of is Sirius…" Remus pointed out dryly.

"Oh. Right." James was quiet for a moment before sighing and bowing his head in defeat, "They're doomed."

"Amen," Lily agreed, digging into a rather large slice of chocolate pie, "I thought you wanted them over as badly as I do?"

"Just about," James admitted sheepishly, "But I don't want to deal with Sirius being mopey."

"Black can be mopey?" Lily asked in disbelief. All three seated Marauders exchanged significant glances and groaned at shared memories.

"Yes, most definitely," assented Remus.

"What about you Evans, you want your girl to be all sad?" James pointed out.

"Pros outweigh the cons," Lily responded simply.

"Meaning?" James pressed.

"Dating is silly anyway," Lily continued, ignoring the question, "It's all that stress and I don't see any point to it."

"That's only 'cause you haven't been asked properly," James pointed out, thoughtfully.

"Is not," Lily denied quickly, "I really just think it's a waste of time. Think about it. You'd have to remember all those extra dates: anniversaries, birthdays, holidays…"

"As if that'd be a problem for Miss Smarty Pants…" James rolled his eyes.

"Well, I might be fine, but I can't see you doing too well with memorizing things," Lily observed dryly.

"Eh, that's easy!" James responded, "I'll just have a lot of girly swoony presents on hand. This way, if I say, forget her birthday, bam! I'm covered."

"But presents are supposed to be thoughtful," Lily dabbed her mouth with napkin, "Not bought in bulk."

"That's another thing, isn't it;" Remus added thoughtfully, "Present shopping."

"Huh?" asked Peter and James together.

"He means the whole ordeal of buying gifts for someone special," Lily explained with exasperation, "I have enough trouble buying for my friends, let alone a boy."

"Ha!" James snorted, "You just admitted Snivellus isn't a boy!"

"Oh for the love of all that is magic," Lily threw her hands into the air, there was no dealing with this boy.

"Anyway, Evans," James began after calming down his chuckles, "You never explained that pros outweighing cons thing. I mean, obviously you think dating is stupid, but I don't really get that opinion from Mary."

In response, Lily just leveled a glare at the messy-haired boy. It was Remus who finally explained things to James.

"I think she means she'll get to spend less time with us if they break up," Remus pointed out quietly, "I'm surprised you're still with us Lily, I'd have thought you'd flee as soon as you finished dinner."

"This is the only chocolate pie on the table," Lily replied half-honestly. It was, in fact, the only chocolate pie at the feast, but she probably wouldn't have left even if there were others. She was… intrigued by the conversation. In any case, an argument with James would be more fun than sitting alone in her dorm… and it would give good fodder to the 'you're a bad friend' guilt trip she intended to send Mary on later.

"I feel loved," James commented sarcastically, "Very, very loved."

"I'm sure someone out there loves you Potter," Lily promised with false sincerity, "You have a mother after all."

"Ha, Evans, did you see that last quidditch match? I'll bet you half of Gryffindor loves me, no worries about that! Thirteen goals against the Ravenclaws, thirteen," he slapped his chest in pride.

"I wouldn't know," Lily focused her attention on the pie, "I was studying."

Upon seeing the shock on James's face, Remus wisely decided not to mention that Lily had sat next to him during the match and cheered just as loudly as any Gryffindor for each of James's goals… even if she had predicted a swelling of his ego after the last ten.

James might have gasped or argued or shouted, but just then any attempt at noise he made was silenced by the shouts coming from the doors.

"Sounds like Sirius messed up," groaned Peter, "I was so hoping he'd be the one dumping Mary."

"Can you hear what she's shrieking?" James asked quickly, "Did he do something reversible?"

"I think she's saying something along the lines of him cheating on her?" Remus bit his lip, "Oh dear…"

"She found out about Meadows?" James gasped.

"What?" Lily's head snapped up, glaring at each of the boys in turn.

"Uh…" Remus felt very small, "Sirius and Dorcas Meadows might have shared a kiss, nothing big, before Potions the other day…"

"She kissed him!" Peter added helpfully.

"But he kissed her back," added Remus, cursing his inability to lie.

"Oh, that's just… great… WHY DIDN'T ANY OF YOU SAY ANYTHING!" Lily was on her feet shouting without really remembering standing up. She half wondered if it was possible to have a conversation with the Marauders that didn't end in raised voices or hexes.

"Because," answered James rationally, "He's our bloke, his business is private."

"But Mary is my friend. We were just talking about their chances making it, don't you think this information kind of augments the probability of them failing?" she demanded.

"I don't know what that word means Evans, but even if I did I'd stick to my wand!" James was shouting too, "He's my friend."

"Oh, so you're sticking with the cheater, eh? That's so you Potter!"

Remus sat quietly at the table, watching the pair fight. He noticed that Dumbledore wasn't even looking up from his newspaper and that the other professors were content to fix glares on the couple. The raised voices from the doors mixed with the shouts from before him to create a roof-raising cacophony, but yet the staff did nothing. Remus sighed and reached for another cookie. So were the early days of Lily and James.

The second time Lily and James talked about dating in the abstract; they were on the train home after their fifth year. Lily, having firmly established a solid distaste for James was hiding in a compartment with Mary, ranting about the boy in question's latest attempts at love. James, having firmly established a taste for Lily was attempting to find her.

It took him, Sirius and Remus the better part of an hour to locate her compartment, but eventually they managed it. Of course, being with best friends with Sirius Black had given James a bit of a flare for the dramatic arts; instead of just knocking and entering he hovered by the door, listening and peering through the window.

"And so, then he goes and flips Severus up and over!" Lily announced, "And he still tried to get me to go out with him after that."

"Mhm…" James noticed that Mary didn't even feign interest. She was sprawled on the bench across from Lily, a magazine in her hands. The sight made him smirk a bit. The sight so reminded him of mornings spent in his dorm, when he would rant on and on about Lily, extolling her virtues or complaining about her faults (mostly her inability to see how they were meant to be), and his friends would pretend to listen.

"I mean, really, he knew Severus and I are- I mean were, friends. He's all about 'loyalty to friends' isn't he? So how could he think for one second that I'd ever date such a hypocrite!" James winced a bit at this; he had known that Lily and Severus were friends. Even if he couldn't exactly rationalize why she would ever be friends with Snivellus, he still had known that she was, and therefore probably should have at least faked respect for that weird relationship.

"Mhm…" Mary agreed again, and Lily finally noticed her friend's lack of attention. James smiled as she whirled on the lounging girl; his Lily wasn't necessarily the most observant girl in England.

"Mary!" she cried, indignant, "Were you even listening to me?"

Beside James on the floor, Sirius perked up, "Did she say Mary? Is Mary in there?"

"Hush up Padfoot," James hissed, pushing the boy's head back down as he tried to sneak a peak into the compartment.

"Lils," Mary sighed, finally looking up from the magazine, "I listened with utmost attention the first… three or so times. Now I'm bored and Witch Teen Weekly has an article on the wizarding world's sauciest up and coming quidditch stars. Can you blame me?"

James took this moment to make his entrance, "Anyone I might know in that article MacDonald?" He watched in amusement as Mary's eyes grew wide with fear and she gestured frantically for him to leave. Lily, he noted, had stiffened at the sound of his voice and was sitting pin straight on her seat.

"Uh…" answered Mary, mentally flipping through escape strategies as Sirius Black slid into the seat next to her and Remus Lupin into the one beside him. James, of course, flopped down beside Lily.

"Hullo Evans," James greeted her with a smile, "How are you on this fine train ride?"

"Up until a minute ago, I was doing quite well," she answered sharply. James winced a little inside. He would have liked to end the year on a higher note, this sharpness wasn't boding well for him in regard to his chances with Evans.

"That's nice," Sirius nodded as if the best of friends with the redhead, "Who ruined your fun?"

Lily appeared to consider this for a moment before sighing and slumping back into her seat, "More like, who didn't?"

"Ah, Evans," James began, "I think we need to have a talk."

"Oh?" Lily turned to meet his gaze, green eyes glinting, "About what precisely."

"This thing we've got going on here," he said sadly, "I think it needs to end."

"I'm sorry?" Lily raised an eyebrow; she was generally used to James's tricks, but every so often he threw her a curve ball.

"This love-hate relationship," James clarified, still in the same attempt at sobriety, "It's not healthy Evans."

Across the compartment Mary's eyes were wide with a mixture of amusement and fear. Amusement because, after years of being Lily's best friends and James's quidditch teammate, she had gotten used to the Evans-Potter banter; she might hate the aftermath, but, generally, the during was always good for a show. Fear because of the sad yearning look Black was giving her. She hated being the girl he chased; if she had known she was going to be the only girl in his life to break up with him, she might have phrased it in such a way that made him think the opposite had occurred. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.

"I daresay it isn't Potter," Lily assented coolly, still not sure where it was going, "Are you saying that you're going to stop insisting you have a thing for me?"

"I was more of hoping that you would stop insisting that you don't have a thing for me," James responded immediately.

"And I," Mary butted in quickly, not wanting the last few hours she had with her friends to be wrought by shouting and more angry Potter-rants, "was hoping that you two might finally be able to shelve your differences and get along."

"When hell freezes over," Remus commented dryly without looking up from his copy of the Prophet.

"Shut it Remus," Sirius hissed, "You're not helping Prongs."

"I don't think Cupid himself could help Prongs," Remus retorted, still absorbed in his paper. Sirius, having no good rebuttal, fell silent.

"So we're at an impasse," James sighed deeply, "You refuse to admit you're in love with me, and well, I refuse to acknowledge that you say you're not."

"That summarizes it nicely," Lily agreed, "But you forgot the part where I hate you."

"That's an important part," Sirius nodded, "Very important indeed."

This time, it was Remus who silenced the peanut gallery, "Hush up Padfoot," he shushed, "Not helping Prongs."

"But!" Sirius began, but fell silent after a glare from James.

"Anyway," James began again loudly, "I see only one solution."

"You transfer to Durmstrang?" Lily offered hopefully.

James scoffed, "You'd miss my banter and dashing good looks too much if I did that Evans." She would never admit that there might be some truth to that statement even if a small part of her did sort of feel that, without her fights with James; life at Hogwarts might become very boring.

"You just don't like to be cold," she said instead.

"Or away from you," he added sweetly.

Eager to prevent a full on fight, Mary piped up again, "James, your solution, please?"

"Oh, right then," James shook himself, having lost track of his plan, delivery was perfect if he expected any chance at this, "Lily, may I refer to you as Lily? No? Okay, well, Evans then, needs to go out with me."

"What?" both girls stared at him, aghast. Mentally Mary kicked herself; somehow she had believed that James's plan might actually not be stupid.

"And, why," Lily demanded, trying to keep her voice at an even tone, "would I ever agree to that? I think I've rejected you enough times to make my feelings on the matter plain."

Three hundred and thirty two times by James's count, but voicing that probably wasn't going to help him. Instead he smiled widely, "Because, it's our solution."

"How is that a solution!" she failed at keeping the ice from her voice that time, and the exasperation had already been wailing about anyway.

"Simple really," he grinned smugly, "You don't like me because you don't really know me. You date me and you get to know me, you decide if you actually like me or not."

"Why would I date you if I already know I'm not a fan of yours?" Lily pointed out, effusing her voice with calm; it wasn't necessarily Potter's fault that he was an idiot.

James groaned, "It's just a few dates Evans, they don't have to mean anything!"

Lily turned and raised an eyebrow, "Then what would be the point of them?"

"Huh?" James was flummoxed.

"See, the whole point of dating, is showing someone that you care about them enough to spend time with them. I don't care enough about you to spend any more time with you than I absolutely have to," she explained slowly, as though talking to someone vey thick. Lily knew that James wasn't quite so dumb as that, but it made her feel better to think that he might be.

"Oh," James nodded slightly, "I see. You think dating has to mean something?"

"Why would we do it if it doesn't?" she retorted immediately. A small part of her acknowledging that this might be the most pleasant conversation she and James had had in years… an even smaller part of her noted how very sad that was.

"Because it's fun!" James was rather put out; he'd thought maybe if he tried the logical approach with Evans she might actually go for it. From what he could tell, she was all about the logic.

"Good, then go have fun with someone else," Lily snapped, inwardly feeling a bit victorious.

"But…" James glared at her, she'd walked him into a corner and she knew it.

Lily smirked at him, "So you see Potter, it's more of a catch twenty-two. Either dating means something real, and thanks to your delusions you want to date me because it'd mean something, or, it means nothing and you can go on and date someone, anyone, else, and leave me alone!"

"You're impossible!" James cried, throwing his hands into the air in frustration.

"And you're a selfish, egotistical idiot!" Lily replied.

"You don't even know me!"

"I know enough!"

Remus looked over his paper to observe the pair fighting. Beside him Sirius was desperately trying to get Mary to talk to him and she was pointedly focused on her magazine. They didn't even seem to notice their best friends' quarrel. Peter had been wise to stay in the Marauders' compartment though Remus had thought him a wet blanket at the time. Now he kind of wished he was back in the nice, quite, compartment himself… He sighed heavily and turned the page to read more about the increased security measures at Gringotts. Someday, Remus was sure, James would wake up and smell the grown-up coffee. Then he and Lily might actually have a chance at making it work. Until then… Remus might just have to nick a pair of earmuffs off of Professor Sprout. So were the middle years of Lily and James.

The final time Lily and James discussed the matter in their Hogwarts years was during the fall of their seventh year. Things had changed since that fight on the train. James's head had deflated quite a bit and Lily's high horse had shrunk in size. Both had grown up enough that, upon learning of their shared Head Boy and Girl duties neither had a full on panic attack. In fact, somewhere in their sixth year, Lily had even begun to not despise James. James in turn had stopped chasing what didn't want to be caught. The result being that by the November night they spent toiling over patrol schedules they had settled into a sort of comfortable friendship.

"This is maddening," James growled, glaring at the offensive color-coded schedule as if it were personally responsible for the deaths of many people.

"I know," groaned Lily, chewing her lip, a pencil stuck behind one ear, "Why did they have to break up?"

"Not like they were that unhappy really," agreed James.

"They could so have stuck it out a bit longer," Lily nodded, erasing one name from a box and adding another.

"Just till it was someone else's mess to handle," James in turn zapped the changed box, changing its color from green to red.

"Just till June," Lily corrected, smiling over at him.

"Completely selfish of them, really," James sighed.

"Completely," Lily agreed, her smile turning into a giggle and her giggle into a laugh. Before either knew quite what was happening, both were laughing hard and sinking into their fireside armchairs.

Lily recovered first, "I think we might have finally finished it," she pointed at the dastardly schedule, "Or at least, I sure hope so, it's nearly three and I would like to get some sleep in before breakfast…"

"I hear muggle teenagers spend their Saturday nights out and about on the town," James commented bleakly, "Not messing about with patrol schedules that were perfectly fine a week ago."

"Some do," Lily nodded as James leaned over to inspect the chart with a critical eye.

He sighed heavily, "Uh, Lily, did you know you have a Slytherin and a Gryffindor patrolling together? I mean, it's Remus, but…"

"No!" she gasped, tugging the parchment away from him to stare at it, "Oh bollocks."

"It's fine," he said encouragingly, "We'll just swap Rupert and Remus. Slytherin and Ravenclaw get along well enough."

"Can't," she sighed heavily, "Then Remus would be assigned to patrol the twentieth."

"And this doesn't work because…"

Lily raised a skeptical eyebrow at him, then, looking around to see who else was left in the common room at so late an hour. Seeing a scattered assortment of sixth and seventh years in differing states of alertness she phrased it bluntly.

"Three hints. It's big, white and shiny and Remus is rather allergic."

"Oh right," James kept forgetting that Lily knew as much about Remus's furry little problem as he did… and apparently was much better with remembering dates, "That."

"Yep," she sighed, "And we can't ask Remus to patrol with Avery, that's just not on."

"I know," James rested his head on his hands and suppressed a yawn, "Sure would make things simpler though."

"Mmhmm," she agreed through a yawn of her own, "What if we put Avery with Hopkins? I know Hufflepuff and Slytherin can be toxic but…"

James snorted, "That'd be terrifically toxic Lily. Aren't you supposed to know your gossip being a girl and all?"

She glared playfully at him, "And yet you're the one here who knows about the girly gossip?"

James threw his hands up in surrender, "Sirius is my best mate."

"Point taken," she smiled "Now tell me why these two are a big no-no?"

"Same as usual," he sighed, "Dated and broke up."

"A Slytherin and a Hufflepuff?" Lily demanded, aghast.

James nodded sagely, "Terrible breakup too. What about putting Hopkins with Madley and Remus with Wilson?"

"Can't," Lily stretched, "Madley's best mate slept with Hopkins's sister and cousin in the same weekend. Out of solidarity to her family, Hopkins hates Madley."

"Wow," James blinked, impressed.

"Not impressive, disgusting."

"Right," James agreed hastily.

For a long few minutes the pair glared at their chart, suggesting corrections and facing roadblock after roadblock.

"We need hot cocoa," James announced as the clock struck three, "I'm getting the cloak and we're taking a break."

"You know," Lily sighed, "I should probably protest that hot cocoa now will mean we'll never sleep later, but, we're not likely to do that anyway the way this is going."

"Agreed," James smiled, "I'll go grab some from the kitchens and be back in a jiff, you, just stop looking at that thing for a bit. Go gossip with Mary and Sirius; find out more things that will completely mess up everything we've done tonight."

"Aye, Aye sir," she smiled and walked over to where the named two were sitting.

When James returned however, she was back in front of the fire. He set down the tray bearing cookies and cocoa and flopped down on the rug beside her.

"Learn anything Earth-shattering?" he asked with some trepidation.

"No, not really," Lily sighed, "The fifth year Ravenclaw prefects have decided to give it a go themselves though."

"Does this mean we should pair them together or split them up?" James asked, glancing over at the chart to see where things were already.

"It means we should probably split them up, but as they're already paired together I vote we don't make any overt act to split them," Lily sipped her cocoa, reveling in the richness, "If they get caught snogging in the halls, we'll deal with it then."

James smiled in relief, "I agree."

"Life would be so much easier for us if they just all decided to not date during their Hogwarts years," she pointed out calmly, carefully choosing a cookie.

"It'd probably be a lot easier on all of us if we could just not date during Hogwarts," James nodded slowly, "But it'd be a lot less fun."

"I know but, look at Bradshaw and Corner, they've gone and caused a whole mess of problems for us and the whole prefect crew with their breakup. Plus I'm sure neither of them are too happy about it…" Lily sighed, "Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it."

"If what's worth it?" James asked, confused.

"Dating," she smiled, "I mean, sure it's fun, but, at Hogwarts, I don't know… It's always doomed to failure, isn't it?"

"I'm sorry?" James was still confused, racking his brains, trying to remember if Lily had ever had her heart broken at school.

"I mean, we're bound to change. Us students I mean. We're bound to change tastes and grow in different ways. That makes it pretty hard for any choice we make here to last all that long," she answered, speaking slowly as she puzzled out the answer herself.

Her face was to the fire so she missed James's incredulous look.

"Lily, some things don't change," he said quietly, "Look at Sirius and Mary."

She laughed, "Okay, but they did change. It just happened to work in their favor."

"Fair enough," James agreed, "But that means that sometimes change is good. I mean, yeah, it can cause a hell of a lot of problems, case and point being the stupid patrol schedules, but it also can make things happen. This whole changing, growing-up thing I mean."

"It's bittersweet," sighed Lily.

"How so?" James wasn't used to asking all the questions, but thought he wasn't doing too terribly at it, for a beginner.

Instead of answering, Lily gave her mug of hot cocoa a critical stare, "Did you spike my drink?"

James blinked, "What? No, I haven't spiked anyone's drink since sixth year… and even then it was technically Sirius doing the spiking, I just bought the fire whiskey."

"Ah," she answered without giving explanation.

He waited a full minute before pressing, "You were saying?"

"Right," she seemed to shake herself out of a reverie, eyes suddenly steely and inexplicably guarded, "Growing up is bittersweet and all that. Well, just look at us."

"Huh?" James was truly flummoxed now, if there was one thing in this school that hadn't changed in years, it was them.

"You, for one, grow up," Lily sighed, gesturing at him, "You get all non-egotistical and, frankly, charming as hell. You become someone I don't despise in the slightest. And then you apparently decide that I'm no longer worth it."

"Huh?" repeated James, sure he must be mishearing things.

"Not that I exactly blame you," Lily continued, "I wasn't exactly a fun candidate back in the day. And goodness knows I must've changed too. Obviously I did, I mean, here we are. This never would have happened if I hadn't grown up a bit… but…you can see why it's all a little bittersweet?"

"You're barking," James stated calmly (much, much calmer than he felt).

It was Lily's turn to look confusedly at her cohort.

"Beg pardon?" she asked, not sure whether or not to be affronted. She had as good as said the thing and James was telling her she was crazy; it wasn't exactly how she'd pictured the conversation going.

"Let me get this strait," James insisted, "You think that what happened is I grew up and stopped wanting you?"

"Didn't you?" she responded slightly sadly.

"Barking," James repeated before leaning over and kissing her softly.

After several long moments they broke apart.

"Oh," she gasped, surprised, "So, you didn't stop?"

"Like I said Lily," James reminded her with a smile that could have melted ice, "Some things never change."

"Lets hope they never do," she smiled her own sunshine smile, "Though I think I might have a solution to that scheduling conflict…"

James rolled his eyes as she pulled the chart off the table and down to the floor beside them.

"Leave it to you to be thinking about Head duties when a fellow tells you he's in love with you," he groaned, but didn't break his smile.

Lily rolled her eyes back at him and tapped the box that had caused them so much trouble, "It's easy, don't know why we didn't think of it before…"

"Oh?" he asked, feigning interest while he played with a bit of her hair, "What's the answer then?"

"We'll do it," she smiled, changing the box to a pure red with her wand and groping around for her pencil.

"What?" he dropped her hair, "More patrolling?"

"Correction," she smirked, "more patrolling together. Now that it seems likely that I might be able to look at you without shattering my heart, I think a few hours a night spent alone, together-" Having gotten the idea, James cut her off with another kiss.

"I could get used to that kind of interruption," she commented breathily as she wrote their names in the box in her pretty handwriting, "There."

"Our names look rather good together, don't they?" James smiled, looping an arm around (his) Lily, pulling her closer.

"Mhmm," she sighed, resting her head on his shoulder,

Remus found them that way a few hours later, on his way down to breakfast. He thought about waking them, but, upon noticing the ominous Prefect's chart, decided against it. It was only after examining the chart to see when he was patrolling (and gleefully noting one less shift than usual) that he noticed how… snug, his best mate and Lily were. Taking a cookie from the abandoned platter, Remus beamed at the sleeping duo. Sirius owed him two galleons and a box of Every Flavor Beans, but that paled in comparison to the future he could imagine for the Head Boy and Girl. Remus didn't like to think of himself as a dreamer, but he'd read enough to know that some love stories are just meant to last forever. So was the story of Lily and James.