The Great Hall the next day was far too bright and loud for James liking.

"You look beautiful this morning, Prongsy," Sirius said, dropping onto the bench beside James, whose head was buried in his hands.

"Padfoot, leave him alone," Remus admonished, turning a page of The Daily Prophet. "He clearly had a very late night doing whatever he was doing while he forgot about us."

"I said I was sorry," James told him. "I got held up."

"And left the three of us alone in the corridor under the Invisibility Cloak," Sirius said, gesturing to Remus and Peter. "Didn't even get to prank Snivelly," he muttered.

"Why didn't you just do it without me?" asked James.

"Not as much fun," Sirius shrugged. He looked darkly at the Slytherin table, where Snape sat with a group of other fifth and sixth-years. "Slimy, greasy git."

Peter laughed. "Yeah," he said. "Git." Sirius ignored him.

"Where were you, anyway?" Remus asked, his curiosity getting the better of him as he laid down the newspaper.

"I told you," James said in a would-be casual tone. His eyes flicked up the table to where Lily Evans sat with Mary MacDonald and Alice Fortuin. "I got held up."

Sirius followed James eyes. "Oh," he said, his eyes bugging. "Ha! Prongs, you idiot! You should've told us you finally got her!" He smacked the back of James' head.

"Ow," James said, rubbing it. "It wasn't anything like that."

"Sure," Sirius said with a smirk. "Not a thing." He, Remus, and Peter shared knowing glances.

James stole another look up the table. After a few moments, he caught Lily's eye, and grinned at her. She blushed and looked away.

One day, James told himself. One day.