Disclaimer: Harry Potter and associated characters aren't mine.
A/N: This is just an idea I had of how Lily might have finally realized that James wasn't the jerk she thought he was. Hope you enjoy!
"Lily," Professor McGonagall snapped and I jerked back into reality. "Is there something fascinating about the ceiling?" My face heated up as I realized that I'd been tilting my head back to listen in on the conversation behind me. Prongs had been talking to Sirius about their upcoming prank and I couldn't resist listening in. It was a habit I'd gotten into; keeping one ear and one eye alert to what Prongs was doing at all times. I hadn't planned on doing this; in fact, I'd started out the year wanting nothing to do with him. . .
Two and half months earlier
". . . and that is why I just cannot believe that James sodding Potter is Head Boy!" I shouted. I was on the train to Hogwarts and had just come back from finding out that, indeed, James Potter was Head Boy. This had led me to go on a rant about his ineptitude to my friends. Now finished raving, I threw myself into a seat next to Alice. My friends all had varying reactions. Marlene promptly burst out laughing. She's friends with James Potter and has always found my hatred of him amusing, although inexplicable to her. Alice, who was sitting by the window, smiled slightly at my dramatic antics, but also gave me a disapproving glance at my unkind judgment. She has always been against my harshness to James Potter, though she understands it some. Emma was the last one to respond and stayed silent until I looked at her. Once I did, part of me wished I hadn't. Emma was, by far, the one who was most against my hatred of James Potter and she always has a couple of good reasons for why I should stop hating him. Now was likely to be no different, though she looked angrier than I had ever seen her when discussing James.
"Lily Rose Evans. That was, most assuredly, the meanest, most undignified rant that you have ever gone on about James Potter," she said. Her voice was cool and even; Emma really wasn't one for shouting—but that almost made it worse. "I know that he's been cruel in the past, but he has changed. Ever since you yelled at him in fifth year, he has been working on living up to your standards. Heck, he's even improved Sirius's attitude. And do you know what you've done? Every time you even start to think that James is starting to get close to those standards, you raise them. James is the only person that you've never been able to see the good in and I think that when you look at him, all you see is the image of how he was in fifth year. And I understand that that is hard for you to get over, but you need to give him another chance." Stunned silence followed her remarks. My first instinct was to rebuff what she had said. I have always prided myself on being able to see the good in people, but I had to concede that she had a point. I've never been able to think about James as anything other than an arrogant toe rag and, as much as it pained me to think this, I probably needed to give him another chance. My face must have shown the slight shame that I felt from the truth of her words, for the anger slipped off of her face.
"I know that giving him a second chance and getting past your opinion is not going to be easy," she told me sympathetically. Then her face brightened and I knew that I was in trouble. "That's why I have a plan." My brows rose at that, but I really shouldn't have been surprised for two reasons. One, Emma always has a plan. It seemed as if she was always there with a smile and a plan when something happened. Two, as Remus Lupin's girlfriend, she had been trying to get me to get along with Potter since they got together halfway through sixth year. I had to admit that I hadn't made much of a valiant effort.
"Oooo, what grand scheme have you come up with now?" Marlene asked excitedly. Marlene always has been one for action, so she loved it when Emma had a plan.
"Sorry Mar, this plan is really something that Lily has to do by herself," Emma told her and Marlene look slightly crestfallen. "Oh, pepper up Marlene. Look on the bright side; soon you'll be able to hang out with Lily and James at the same time."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa" I interrupted suddenly. "One, I did not agree to this plan yet. Two, nothing says that it is going to work." Emma grinned now.
"Oh, I'm pretty sure it'll work," she reassured with a twinkle in her eye. Then her eyes hardened. "And you will agree to this plan. Lily, something has to change if you're going to be working together." I had to agree with that, so I nodded resignedly. "Good. Now, I think that a good part of the reason that you can't change your image of James is because you have a stigma with 'James Potter.' So, I propose you don't think of him as James Potter." She smiled mischievously at the three of us. "I propose that you now think of him as Prongs." Her words were once again met with silence. Marlene was the first to break it.
"Prongs? As in, the marauders?" she all but shouted. I smiled slightly at her reaction, even through my shock. Marlene never did anything halfway. She did not just have a dawning realization; she had an epiphany of epic proportions "You mean to tell me that the four of them are the marauders?"
"I do indeed," Emma replied mock loftily. "Is that so shocking?"
"Yeah," I put in. "It really is shocking. I mean, the marauders pranks are so entertaining and harmless while theirs are so cruel."
"Exactly," Emma said, still smiling.
"They did that on purpose, didn't they?" Alice asked, realization dawning on her face. I still wasn't quite following. But hey, just because I was bright, did not mean that I was omniscient. "No one would suspect them when they're pranks are so different." And, all of a sudden, it clicked. The reason the four of them never seemed inclined to do school wide pranks or hugely attention-getting pranks was because they were already doing them, just under a pseudonym to avoid the detentions. I found myself smiling unwillingly at the brilliance of their plan.
"Good, Lily. You're smiling. See? This is why I knew that this would work," Emma said triumphantly. "You've always loved the marauders' pranks. So, your job is to think of Prongs every time you see, hear or work with James." . . . . . . .
It had been hard for me at first. I had had to make sure that I called him Potter— eventually James—to his face, but Prongs in my head. In the beginning, I hadn't seen the difference, or rather; I hadn't allowed myself to see the difference. Slowly, though, I'd begun to see the person that everyone else saw.
We would actually hold intelligent and non-argumentative conversations while making our rounds. He would hold doors open for me, but he wouldn't use it as an excuse to have me owe him. I soon became accustomed to the fact that he really was the charming guy that people saw him as. And recently, I'd begun to see even deeper than that.
"Actually professor, the ceiling does seem fascinating," a voice, Prongs' voice, proclaimed. Startled by his brazenness, I looked back up. So did McGonagall. Oh no, I thought, staring up at the ceiling. The previously plain classroom ceiling had been transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors that spun slowly.
"Potter! Black! 20 points from Gryffindor each and if you do it again, it will be detention!" she shouted before resuming her lecture. I sat, stunned, throughout the rest of the lesson. My mind could not seem to fathom why Prongs had done that. Sirius too! When I looked back at them, while McGonagall was yelling at them, it had been Sirius twirling his wand just under the desk. Last year, this wouldn't have shocked me. That's because last year, Prongs had still asked me out every now and then. Though, if it had been last year, he probably would have been doing the wand work himself as Sirius and he had been on the outs for a bit. Now, though, the four pranksters were thicker than thieves and seemingly closer than they had ever been.
The sound of the bell ringing brought me out of my thoughts and I quickly packed up my things and rushed out of the room, sliding a note to Emma as I passed her. It was a good thing we had a free period next, because I was in trouble and it was all her fault.