Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, J.K. Rowling does. I just use her brilliant characters to write my very amateur story.

Fatal Flaws: Chapter Eight

"He's blackmailing you?"

"No, you have to be joking," Marlene said, then got distracted, "By the way, I love your shirt. Can I borrow it sometime?"

"Marlene," I groaned, "You're missing the point! If I don't tell Remus and James that I have a crush on Remus then Sirius is going to tell them, and, knowing Sirius, he's probably going to make it into some big thing that it's not."

". . . So I can borrow the shirt?"

"If you help me, I'll let you borrow any of my clothes."

Marlene nodded, "Deal."

"Ooh, me too!"Alice said, grinning.

"Sure, whatever," I said, "Just help me!"

Alice nodded, a gleam in her eyes.

"So, what should I do about Sirius?" I asked, placing my head in my hands and tapping my foot nervously.

Alice's eyebrows were knitted together as she chewed her lip softly. "I don't know what to do," she finally admitted, sighing hopelessly. "I don't think there's anything we can do. I mean, Sirius Black isn't a force to be reckoned with."

Marlene stared at her like she was crazy. "What do you mean there's nothing we can do? There has to be something Sirius doesn't want everyone to know, and that is exactly what we need to find out," she said smugly, a smirk gracing her pretty face.

"And then we threaten to tell everyone if he tells them about my secret," I finished, beaming at her. "That could actually work."

Marlene nodded, her eyes twinkling.

"So we're fighting blackmail with blackmail, eh?"Alice said, nodding.

"Nope," Marlene said, "We're fighting Blackmail with Marlenemail," she grinned mischievously as Alice and I rolled our eyes. "We just have to investigate."

The rest of the train ride consisted of Marlene, Alice and I trying to think up anything that Sirius Black wouldn't want people to know. When we got to Hogsmeade, we still had no idea what Sirius wouldn't want people to know about him.

"Sirius Black can not be so indestructible,"Alice sighed. Then, as if he had heard us, the door snapped open and Sirius Black himself strutted in.

"Hello, ladies," he said smoothly, grinning at us, "I just came to have a chat with my friend Lily, here."

I smiled at him with fake warmth, "What do you want, Sirius? We can talk when we get to Hogwarts."

"But I want you to sit in my carriage," Sirius said, pulling his suitcase behind him with one hand, and using his other hand to grab mine and pull me along behind him. I grabbed my suitcase quickly and jogged along behind him, giving Marlene and Alice a shrug and a look that said 'I'm not very happy about this.'

"That better not be some perverted joke you and your friends dreamed up," I grumbled, giving him a look to show him I wasn't joking.

He barked out a laugh, "I assure you, it's not. I simply meant that you and I are going to ride in a carriage to Hogwarts together. Merlin, get your mind out of the gutter, Evans."

I ignored his last comment. "Why do I have to sit with you? I want to go back with Marlene and Alice!"

I tried to turn back to them, but Sirius' grip on my hand tightened, not allowing me to go more than two feet.

"Ah, ah, ah, Evans," he said, tsking at me like I was a small toddler he was punishing for taking a cookie out of the cookie jar. "Do you want everyone to know about you're little . . . crush?"

A few giggling girls next to us, stopped and looked over at me excitedly, then started whispering amongst each other. I blushed scarlet.

"I hate you so much," I growled, but followed him to the carriages, anyway. We joined Remus, James and Peter in their carriage. Sirius was grinning, Peter looked confused, and Remus and James looked anxious and uncomfortable. I was fuming, crossing my legs and arms and refusing to look at any of them.

"Sorry about that, mates," Sirius said, "Evans just insisted on joining our party. She says we're all going to make friends over the semester, didn't you, Lily?"

I glared at him, opening my mouth to tell him that I had absolutely no intention of 'making friends' with any of them - except maybe Remus, but there I wanted to be more then just friends - but Sirius gave me a look that made me reconsider.

"Of course I did," I said with a little too much enthusiasm, plastering a fake smile on my face as happy thoughts of Sirius getting run over by this carriage filled my mind. "That sounds just like me," I muttered sarcastically under my breath, making James, who was sitting directly across from me, snort and look away, grinning.

I almost smiled.

"So, Lily, how was your summer?" Peter asked nicely, after a minute of awkward silence.

I mulled over this summer's events in my mind; getting a new kitten, changing my look, leaving the evil clutches of my sister.

"It's been very productive," I finally said, giving him a small smile. "How about your Summer?"

"It was okay," Peter said, shrugging.

I nodded, looking at the carriage behind ours, where Marlene and Alice where waving at me feverishly. I gave them a small, two-fingered wave, laughing as I saw Alice try to jump out towards me, but Marlene pulled her back in to the carriage.

"You have weird friends," James commented, laughing at my best friends antics. He suddenly stopped laughing andlooked at me nervously, "No offense."

I nodded at him, laughing as Marlene tackled Alice into the carriage, making them disspear from view. "I know; they are crazy."

James smiled at me, nodding his head.

When we got to Hogwarts, I hopped out of the carriage and waited for Alice and Marlene, telling the boys to go ahead and sit without me.

"We'll save you a seat!" Sirius called behind him as the joined the throng of students walking through the doors.

"Make it three," I said. I wasn't going to sit through the whole feast without Marlene and Alice - I always sat with at least one of them.

When Marlene and Alice's carriage finally stopped in front of me, I helped them with their suitcases, and then we started towards the castle.

"Lily, this is perfect," Marlene said, grinning at me.

"No, it's not! I don't want to spend my year at Hogwarts hanging out with the Marauders," I said, my nose crinkling in distaste just at the very thought. "How is this perfect in anyway?"

"Because, if you spend all your time with them, then you'll get to know them better," Marlene explained.

Alice nodded, "Yes, that is true, Marlene. You are just so smart."

Marlene ignored her.

"And if you get to know Sirius better, then you can find out his secrets - and then we can blackmail him back!" she finished, grinning triumphantly at her plan.

My eyes widened, "Oh! That's brilliant. Let Sirius think he's calling the shots, but, really, he's helping me blackmail him back."

"That could work,"Alice said, her eyes twinkling brightly. "Plus, you'll get to spend some quality time with Remus!"

I laughed as she waggled her eyebrows at me.

"That's just a bonus," I said, grinning like a madwoman.

"Our plan is foolproof," Marlene said proudly, "Once again, I, the brains of this bunch, have come up with another excellent plan, with no help, whatsoever, from either of you two."

I pushed her over playfully, "Bugger off, Mar. I come up with some pretty great plans."

She shrugged, unconvinced. "Your plans are amateur, at best."

I ignored her. "They're saving us seats, so we can sit with them." I said, making a face.

"Perfect!"Alice exclaimed, "Like they say; keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

". . . I wouldn't go so far as to say they're the enemy," I said, "More like people we're not really friends with, but don't really hate them, either."

Marlene rolled her eyes at me, "Whatever, Lily. Let's just go sit with them - we only have 'till Halloween to find out Sirius' secret. Hopefully less, if we can manage it."

"I just hope he doesn't find out what we're planning, and tell James and Remus early," I said.

"I don't think he will,"Alice said, "We can be pretty sneaky when we want to be."

Marlene nodded, "That is true."

"Let's go eat," I sighed, pulling them faster, "I'm starved, and I don't want to miss the sorting."