The Common Room was still; most of the students had already gone to bed. The fire place set a warm glow upon the crimson walls and the gold and red tapestries flashed vibrantly every time a log would crack under the fire's intense heat. Remus, James, and Peter sat in silence; each too absorbed to speak. James was seated cross-legged at the coffee table in front of the hearth, trying to levitate a new wing onto his house of cards; Peter sat next to him, watching his every move. Remus contently flipped the pages of a book he had borrowed from the library that day. The tick of the old grandfathers clock by the door seemed to echo within the room. It was well past four in the morning, but none of the boys gave any indication of going to bed anytime soon.
Just as James was balancing a queen of hearts upon the tallest tower of his house, the door to the Common Room opened. It appeared as if no one was there, but within seconds, Sirius emerged from underneath the invisibility cloak. The flow of air caused by Sirius' entrance made the cards tumble into a heap, but James didn't seem to mind. In fact, he smiled up at Sirius; he had waited all night for his best friend to come back.
"So, how was your hot date?" James smirked; his voice thick with sarcasm as to hide his genuine curiosity.
"Hot." A crooked smile crept across Sirius' face. "Here, thanks for letting me borrow it." Sirius flung the cloak onto James' face and then flopped face first onto the shag rug by the fire.
"I still can't believe you got a date with Penelope Clem!" Peter sighed, gazing at Sirius as if he was a movie star.
"Where did you take her?" James added, his hands running over the cloak in his lap.
"Well boys, let me tell you, you know, so you can use my dating tricks for the future." Sirius had rolled over and propped up against one elbow to face them, the glow of the fire creating a ring of light around his long black hair. "We used the cloak to sneak down to Hogsmeade for a couple of hours. I bought her a few butterbeers and we danced together for a bit. After that, we walked down to the lagoon and tossed stones, followed by a trip up to the Observatory to look at the stars, 'cause you know, chicks dig crap like that. Really, it wasn't so much as looking at the stars, but more of just plain old snogging. For being a goody-good, Penelope sure knows what she's doing. When she kissed me goodnight, though, she said I was the sweetest guy in school. Can you believe it, me, sweet?" Sirius let out a long laugh as he rolled on the carpet.
"You do realize you broke like fifty rules tonight, right?"
Sirius sat up to look at Remus. Lupin was still reading his book, not even looking up to see Sirius pretend to blow his brains out with a hand gun.
"Anyways, I think tomorrow night she wants to go out again. I'll tell her to bring her friend, Jessica, if you're interested, James." Sirius waggled his eyebrows up and down.
"Nah, I'm not really up for double dates right now."
"C'mon Prongs, why not? Its Evans, isn't it?" James blushed.
"I just don't want to give her any reason to say no to me. I mean, if she hears that I went out on a date with someone she might think I'm not interested in-"
"What are you talking about? She already says no to you!" Sirius thrust is arms in the air.
"She won't always say no." James' face grew redder; not from anger, from embarrassment. He knew he had no reason to believe that Lily would ever feel for him the way he felt for her. He just believed.
"You sound like you are in a chic flick, you know that?"
"What if I set you up with Suzie what's-her-face? You know, the Hufflepuff quidditch keeper that I took out, like, two months ago? She was kinda cool, plus she looks way hotter when she's not in that team uniform."
"No way, Padfoot. I'm telling you, one day Lily will come around. I'm convinced she's the only girl for me." James' voice was soft as he pictured the girl with the red hair and bright green eyes that he couldn't seem to not think about.
"I swear, Prongs, you might as well be a girl," Sirius rolled his eyes.
"I think it's very telling that James is so committed to Lily. In fact, I think it might just end up happening for him." Remus had finally put down his book, his full attention on the conversation in the room.
"Hey Moony, when was the last time you went on a date?" Sirius asked, half mocking and half genuinely curious.
"I don't date, nor do I ever really plan to," Remus' eyes grew cold. "It would be too hard to bring another person I care about into my… lifestyle." He paused for a long while as he contemplated his words, the fire crackling as to fill the silence. "No, I will definitely never find love."
"C'mon Moony, just 'cause you have your 'time of the month' issue, doesn't mean you can't take a girl out every once in a while," Sirius urged. "I mean, I always see you talking to that Samantha Snout girl from Ravenclaw. In fact, you two have a lot of private study sessions. What kind of things do you guys 'study', huh?"
Remus' cheeks grew pink. He quickly picked his book back up and shoved his nose into it, shaking his head and murmuring things like "never" and "stupid, Padfoot".
"C'mon guys, what's wrong with you? Don't you want to have fun at all?" Sirius asked, exasperated.
"What about me? You could set me up with a girl." Peter quipped.
"Wormtail, have you ever even kissed a girl?"
Peter fell silent, just as James and Remus had done.
"What the hell? You guys, this is so pathetic! We are young, eligible, bachelors and we should be out there, breaking the hearts of women everywhere." Sirius jumped up onto the coffee table, prepared to give the speech of his life. His words grew louder with each sentence. "We can't continue to pine over Lily Evans or hide behind our furry secrets. And we especially can't die as kiss-less lip virgins. We are the Marauders, and Marauders are strong, mysterious, and cool. We take women into our arms and show them a date to never forget. At the rate you all are going, I wouldn't be surprised if I am the only one that gets married and has kids, and you know that I am not at all the marrying, father type. Now, I am going to get you all laid by the end of this school year, or my name isn't Sirius Black, and you will appreciate it or so help me, I will chew up all your socks!"
And with that, Sirius stormed out and up towards the boys bed chamber. After he had disappeared, the remaining three Marauders sat in silence for a while. The fire had smoldered down to ashes, and was now glowing. Remus eventually broke the silence.
"Is it bad that the only thing I got from that speech was a mental picture of what Padfoot's offspring would be like."
The three of them laughed, but the thought did send chills down their spines.