Edited: July 15, 2012
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
"Last patrols of the year," Lily murmured as her and James strolled down the long hallways of Hogwarts.
"Crazy, yeah?" he responded, swinging their intertwined hands between them.
The two were participating in the last time they would ever patrols the halls for snogging couples or third years hoping to become the next Marauders. All year these patrols had been interesting, but nothing to really fret over. They had at first included witty banter and some awkward silence and towards the end of the year there was usually a kiss or two shared between hallway intersections.
Nevertheless, it was still another eye-opener to how quickly the year was coming to an end. The Hogwarts Express would soon leave the station, pushing the graduated seventh years into a new world.
Exams had been completed the day previous and it only took Lily and Remus thirteen and a half hours of sleep each to erase the bags under their eyes from studying late into the night. All were happy to finally be able to have a conversation with the two without a book between them. James had almost forgotten the color of Lily's eyes!
"Hey, Lils?" James asked after a moment of silence.
"Mmmm?" she answered, seemingly contentment with their easy patrol.
"I love you,"
She turned to look up at him, grinning widely. Her emerald eyes sparkled; almost out-doing Dumbledore's usual twinkle, and James had to grin at the few stray curls that were poking up on her head. She squeezed his hand before answering.
"I love you too, James," she turned to look at a passing window, her gaze trained to the inky blue sky and suddenly she cam to a halt, enchanted with the outside, "Don't you just love the stars? They're so…so…constant, always there. It's almost like they're trying to make you laugh by winking at you and trying to outshine each other."
In that moment Lily looked the most beautiful James had ever seen her. She was happy, glowing even, and she loved him. She pulled him to the window and plopped onto the ledge, her knees hugged to her chest. She looked so innocent, staring at the stars like that.
No matter the innocence, James could still see the resolve behind her eyes. It had been there for a very long time now and he had recently realized what it was for. He believed that look would be in her eyes until the war was over, or at least until she could do all she could do. Lily Evans would be a force to be reckoned with.
If there was one thing that James had noticed about her in the past month or two that she'd been herself, it was how incredibly strong she was. No longer was she the weepy girl with red-rimmed eyes.
What she was now was almost hard to explain. If James were to try he would say that she radiated energy, positive energy to be more specific. Her magic was ten times stronger then it had been and was full of light. Her laughter was contagious and traveled so easily through a room that it reached the ears of all who were present.
The thing he noticed most about her newfound endurance, however, was the fire that burned in her eyes when the subject of the raging war outside the walls of Hogwarts was brought into a conversation. The fire was full of determination and maybe a flicker of pain. The pain was for those who would suffer through this war and maybe even pain for how much it had affected her. James suspected she was ashamed of her reaction to her parent's death and the battle on New Year's.
He was right though. Having broken after all that had happened; Lily still couldn't help but feel weak. If she hadn't been able to shoot a curse at a death eater without passing out, how was she supposed to become an auror and pursue battles like those every week?
Deep down she knew she could do it though. She knew that if anyone was going to help the outcome of this battle, it was her because she knew what the outside world was like. She knew how cruel it was and she was prepared with the best thing possible, experience.
At times she had almost thought her parents' death had happened for a reason. Perhaps her parents were best off being spared from the darkness the world had been engulfed in and perhaps it also helped Lily so that she could try and bring the world out of this darkness. Anything that happened to her now would surely feel like a paper cut after the explosion she felt after the tragedy. Now she was strong, now she could face anything.
Sitting with Lily there on that ledge, James could see all of this in her eyes, the eyes that were wistfully scanning the dark horizon for their chance to make a difference. His heart swelled and, being caught up in the moment, he said the most romantic thing a guy could say in a moment that wasn't quite as romantic as he had hoped for when he envisioned speaking the famed four words.
"Will you marry me?"
"Sirius…why is your hair pink?" Remus asked at the sight of Sirius as he walked into their dorm.
"It's magenta, not pink!" Sirius shrieked.
"That's completely besides the point!"
"Wanna, help me steal Professor Slughorn's pineapple?" Sirius asked while sifting through his trunk for the map. Remus grinned when the doggie grooming kit Prongs gave him for Christmas flew out of it.
"Once again, that has nothing to do with my question!"
"We were playing truth or dare over Christmas break and the timer on the jinx was messed up. I, being an idiot, assumed I was home free when I didn't turn red and magenta after not stealing Professor Slughorn's pineapple, but obviously I am not 'home free' as I currently resemble a strawberry. Unless I want to be like this FOREVER, you need to help me sneak to the dungeons without getting caught."
He quickly stood and made his way to James's trunk. After opening it and throwing almost all of its neatly packed contents out onto the floor Remus decided to willingly help him rather then risk getting dragged into it by force.
"If you're looking for the cloak, James has it," he sighed while calculating the odds of getting caught in his mind.
"We'll just have to travel without it then," Sirius responded while peeking around the door down the stairs. "Moony, go make sure no one's in the common room, this could ruin my reputation!" he hissed.
With another sigh Remus jogged down the stairs taking two at a time. His eyes scanned the room and then landed on a head of curly brown hair. The girl looked up and her matching eyes were twinkling.
"He's magenta, isn't he?" Marlene asked.
"Just his hair…rest of him's red." Remus responded easily, "How'd you know?"
"I could hear his scream from my dorm. Lily told me about the dare and I figured it would happen sooner or later," she responded. Remus chuckled.
"Would you like to help us?" he asked.
"Sure. Why not?" she said shrugging her shoulders. Remus smiled gratefully and called up the stairs.
A loud crash sounded as Sirius was seen tumbling down the many steps, taking several books with him. He hopped up once he made his descent and brushed himself off.
"Stupid books," he was heard muttering. Marlene laughed loudly causing his head to shoot up. "MOONY! I thought you said it was clear!" he hollered.
"No worries, Black, I'm on your side," Marlene said in reply. Sirius just shook his head.
"Think you can keep up with the Marauders, McKinnon?" he asked raising his eyebrows.
"I'll do my best," she shrugged, before taking the lead and walking out the portrait hole.
Sirius and Remus rushed behind her while whispering battle plans between them. Once their method of stealing the sacred pineapple was decided, the three were engulfed in silence as they adventured down the many moving stairs of Hogwarts to get to Professor Slughorn's room in the dungeons. Sirius broke the silence first.
"So, Marley, do you think Sunshine and Prongs are actually patrolling? Or are they snogging in some deserted hallway?"
"Ha! No idea Black. Perhaps James is pronouncing his undying love for her and getting down on one knee…who knows."
"They're going to quite mad if they realize we were able to get all the way to the dungeons without being caught on their patrol," chuckled Remus.
"Not to mention how James will be mad that he didn't see me looking like a giant firecracker," Sirius added.
"Yeah, red's a good color on you, Sirius," Marlene said joining the banter.
"Why thank you Marley!"
"Oh and James needn't worry, I snapped a picture of you with Lily's camera back in the common room when you weren't looking," she said smirking at Sirius's horrified face.
"Well, all embarrassment aside, we're here," Remus stated, stopping in front of the door to heir potion's classroom.
Sirius hesitantly pushed the door open and scanned the room for the sight of their teacher. Luckily for them, he was nowhere to be seen. Sliding in the doorway, Sirius dropped to the ground and rolled along the floor, making a pretend muggle gun with his hands while humming the theme to a spy movie James showed it to him the year before.
"Eww, Sirius, get off the floor. That's disgusting!" Marlene grimaced at the sight of him and chose to walk instead of roll. A decision Remus followed.
Sirius jumped back up as soon as he got to Slughorn's desk and smoothly pulled the drawer open that contained their professor's prized candy. As soon as his hand touched the package, a loud, ear-splintering wails pierced the air.
"Caterwauling charm!" yelled Remus over the noise.
"I am so out of here!" Sirius responded, grabbing the bag and running out of the room.
The three made it out just in time though for Professor Slughorn ran into the potion's room as soon as they had disappeared into a nearby passage way. He gasped at the empty open drawer and flicked his wand to stop the intense wailing.
"My pineapple! Who would take my pineapple?" he sleepily muttered while walking into the hallway. "Must be dreaming…yes that's it, this is all a bad dream." He concluded, yawing widely.
Sirius had to cover his laughter; their potion's master was in for an unpleasant surprise in the morning. He looked down and saw that his tanned arm was just that, tan. With a grin, he held the box of crystalized pineapple in front of Marlene and Remus.
"I can't believe you guys did that," Alice said shaking her head while packing the last of her things into her trunk. She was referring to last night's pineapple rendezvous.
"As amusing as it would have been to see Sirius red and magenta forever, I think we all would've missed his hair," Marlene said in response. Alice paused for a moment.
"Yeah you're right," she said nodding in agreement.
"In less then a hour, we'll be leaving Hogwarts. How insane is that?" Marlene said, brushing her hand over the familiar blue nail polish mark on the floor.
Her words were true and the whole school was feeling the bit of sadness that came with leaving Hogwarts. It was a whole different story for the seventh years though because they weren't coming back. By that point everyone had packed and was either sobbing goodbyes and promising to write or already walking down to Hogsmeade station.
The seventh years had chosen their paths. Dark or Light, to fight or be fought.
Alice nodded sadly and dragged her trunk out of their dorm with Marley at her heels. They both paused before making their way down the stairs, taking in every inch of the room they'd grown to love so much.
"Did Lily say goodbye?" Alice asked, referring to their room.
"Yeah she came and jumped on her bed for the last time before she went on patrols last night. She should be meeting us by the front doors."
With a nod, Alice finally tore her eyes away and sat on top of her trunk, riding it down the stairs, as was tradition on the last day. She laughed when she saw Sirius doing the same thing down the stairs that led to the boy's dorms.
"Ready to leave, Prewitt?" he asked, slinging on arm around her shoulder.
"Not quite…I'll manage though," she said with teary eyes.
Frank, who was supposed to meet up with her before they left the common room, came down and latched onto her hand while Sirius walked around her to flirt up Marley.
"We've half an hour, better go meet up with James and Lily," Remus said, running a hand through his hair. He too was a bit intimidated by the thought of leaving Hogwarts.
The other nodded in response and the group walked out the portrait hole for the last time, focused on finding James and Lily rather then that thought.
As soon as Lily's mane of red hair came into view next to the front doors, Marlene and Alice both rushed her, almost causing her to topple to the ground. Sirius was the only other one of the group to run up with them while Remus, Frank, and Peter decided to walk down the hall like "civilized" beings.
"Oh gosh, Lils! We're leaving!" moaned Marlene.
"What are we going to do?" sobbed Alice.
"I'M GETTING MARRIED!" Lily yelled as soon as their hugs loosened.
"Wait…WHAT!" yelled Sirius from behind them. The girls separated and Alice finally let out the girly shriek she had been holding in.
"Ahhhh! You're getting married!" she yelled taking Lily's hands and jumping up and down.
James chose that moment to trudge around the corner dragging both his and Lily's trunks.
"Gosh Lils, what's in this thing, rocks?" he said panting before dropping them to the ground.
His face took on a form of amusement at the sight of Lily, Alice, and Marlene jumping around in circles. He figured instantly what had caused the commotion and a shot of happiness ran through him at the very thought of it. He was getting married to Lily Evans. She said yes.
"PRONGS! YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED!" yelled Sirius before tackling him to the ground.
"I KNOW!" he yelled back, equally loud.
"WHY'S EVERYONE YELLING!" Remus inquired in the same matter as the three of them got to the group.
"LILY'S GETTING MARRIED!" Alice shrieked.
This caused three more people to be yelling and jumping around, creating an insanely loud hallway. Students stared at them in awe, wondering how only seven people could so much noise. Others were passing around money they had bet on Lily and James.
Eventually, Professor McGonagall rounded the corner, set on distinguishing the noise. Her plans were instantly forgotten when Sirius practically pounced her.
"THEY'RE GETTING MARRIED!" he yelled, swinging the strict teacher around.
"Very well, Black," she replied yanking his arms off her. She couldn't keep a small smile off her face though. Flitwick owed her thirteen galleons. "The train leaves in fifteen minutes so you all better get to Hogsmeade,"
"Right-o Minnie! You're invited to wedding!" James hollered as the group skipped out the front doors, filled with excitement.
"Yes, Congratulations Mr. Potter, Ms. Evans," she said shaking her head. She was going to miss them, but she'd never say it out loud.
"Lily! Show us the ring!" squealed Alice as they found a compartment on the train.
Lily grinned widely and waved her left hand in front of her friends' faces. On her ring finger was a small wedding ring drawn on with color-changing ink.
"It wasn't exactly planned," James said, running a hand through his messy hair, " so that's the best I could do at the moment."
"Oh, an impromptu proposal, how romantic," sighed Marlene, collapsing in the red leather seat.
"No ring? Really Prongs?" Sirius said, whacking him on the back of the head.
"Wanna be the best man?" James asked.
"What kind of question is that? I thought it was implied with the marriage," Sirius smirked while taking the spot next to Marlene.
James laughed and sat next to his best friend with Lily on his other side. Remus, Alice, Frank, and Peter all squished into the seats across from them. Silence followed as they all thought of what would happen next. Job applications had to be sent, wars fought, and a wedding on top.
"How are we going to do this?" Marlene sighed, referring to life without Hogwarts.
"The better question isn't how…it's what. What are we going to do?" Remus said with equal distress.
"I know," Lily muttered, smiling up at James, her fiancé.
"Yeah, Sunshine?" asked Sirius over James.
"Yeah. We're going to face the world fighting. Together."
Thank you so much to my amazing reviewers/readers! Send me a review about what you think of the story no matter when you read it; I'm always looking for a boost. The sequel "Face the World Fighting" is being updated frequently and I encourage you all to check it out :), thanks again!