A/N: Alright, so here's your story guide: when James is writing, the font is italicsed, Sirius and Lily are plain, Remus and Janie Ferguson are bolded and Pettigrew is underlined. The communication parchments, you'll see what I mean, momentarily are kinda like personal chatrooms. I think that the kids at Hogwarts would have come up with these at some point over the course of history.
Disclaimer: All characters from the wonderful world of Harry Potter belong to the great J.K Rowling, not me. If they did—I'd be rich.
What Does 'Yes' Mean?
James Potter hurried into Transfiguration class and took the last available seat. His best friends, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, sitting in a clump in the front corner of the room (right out of range of Professor McGonagall's peripheral vision, of course) collectively shot him a questioning look but he shook his head at them.
"Mr. Potter?" McGonagall asked immediately, "Your excuse?"
"Filch," James mumbled. A collective mutter swept the room at the mention of the hated man, earning James a few sympathetic looks from the class. McGonagall nodded.
"I see," she said, "and I trust that I can verify this with Mr. Argus Filch."
Out of the corner of his eye, James saw Sirius mouth the word 'Argus' and make kissy faces at McGonagall's back. James managed to hide his smile and tried to discreetly shake his head at Sirius before the class saw it and pointed it out, particularly Lily Evan's friends sitting in the back row.
After three years of constant practice, James could pinpoint her location in a classroom and follow her subconsciously whenever they were in a room together. Despite the fact that he'd been trying to bury his feelings for her for their entire sixth year so far, he'd still managed to memorize her schedule the first week of school and every time she would reenter class from using the restroom he relaxed despite himself.
McGonagall, after giving the class a short lecture on the use of proper, respectful titles of Hogwarts faculty, gave a parting stern look at James, left his desk, returned to her perch at the front of the classroom, and resumed the third day of their four-part study of Animagi. Sirius turned around and smirked at James over his shoulder and James allowed himself a small smile. The two of them, and Peter, had been illegal Animagi for over a year and a half now. However, from where he was sitting, dead center, directly in front of McGonagall, he couldn't exactly talk to Sirius. Passing notes, however, was not talking.
James delved into his school bag and pulled out a notebook, a fresh quill, an inkpot, and a blank, rumpled sheet of parchment.
"White Prongs," he whispered, tapping the parchment with his wand. A ripple of ink spread across the parchment from where he'd touched it. He dipped his quill in the inkpot and, with a final glance at McGonagall, wrote the words 'Blue Padfoot' on the parchment and again tapped it with his wand. James watched as Sirius glanced back at him and then bent over his own piece of parchment.
'So what'd you do to Argus?' appeared on the parchment in Sirius' sloppy handwriting. James grinned and began scribbling his response:
'Nothing, Mrs. Norris however…' Sirius barked a laugh out loud, earning him a quelling look from Professor McGonagall.
'So what did you do?' Sirius wrote after a moment.
'Paralyzed her and began stuffing her into a knight's helmet.'
'What! And you're still alive?'
'Heard Filch coming just before he showed up and started taking her out, I managed to convince him I'd found her that way.'
'He bought that?'
'Yeah, I don't know, maybe they've busted somebody recently and he believed that somebody else would do it.'
'Still, he'd love to have an excuse to keep you in detention till school gets out!'
'Yeah James.' This newest remark was in the careful block lettering that James recognized from Remus.
'Prefect Lupin not taking notes, hm?'
'If you'll care to remember, Mr. Potter, I helped the three of you become Animagi; I don't need to take notes.'
'Touché, where's Peter?'
'Looking over my shoulder.' James glanced up. Indeed the trio was hunched over their notes at their desks, apparently absorbed in their studies. But as he watched, Peter took the sheet from Sirius and began to write something. James smiled and shook his head. Wormtail had probably lost his own parchment somewhere around the castle.
In the past two years, the parchments had become a necessity if you wanted to stay connected at Hogwarts. Every student had their own piece. If they used their password, they activated their sheet. If you knew a friend's password, then you could send messages to them no matter where you were on campus. James and his friends all used their nicknames. The names being common knowledge around school, they'd decided to each tag a random color on to the beginnings. So maybe it made the nicknames sound stupid, but no one had managed to figure it out yet. So far, the teachers hadn't discovered the trick, but the students knew it was, regrettably, only a matter of time.
'So how'd you get out of the death sentence with Filch?' (This was Wormtail now.) James grinned.
'A few well-placed words, some chocolates, and an exclusive flash of my pretty smile.' Sirius snorted out loud from his desk at James' response.
"Mr. Black!" McGonagall's interrupted suddenly.