James Potter was not a punctual person.

He was only ever on time for one thing, and that was detentions. It was not as if he enjoyed the punishments administered to him by the Professors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he simply wanted to avoid getting more of them. Plus, depending on whether he had detention with his friends, it gave him plenty of time to plan mischief.

And planning mischief was what James did best.

He and his best friends, Sirius, Remus, and Peter were the resident trouble makers of Hogwarts. They were all in their seventh year and in Gryffindor house, meaning they were old enough to know better, and young enough not to care. Upon arriving in first year, they had met and become the best of friends. Together, they deemed themselves "the Marauders", and became known school-wide for fabulous pranks.

None of them were popular, per se. They were well known, yes, but anyone who had managed to jinx all of the Slytherin Qudditch team's brooms to turn into turtles once every four minutes on a match day would be famous. More than anything, they were the underdogs, the ones who avenged those who had been looked down upon and made fun of. Beating down the popular to help those in need; the regular Robin Hood's of their day.

So when a fellow Gryffindor student had been harassed by the slimy git Lucius Malfoy, it had been their job, no, their obligation to retaliate. Malfoy's robes had looked better in bright pink, anyway.

Sirius and James had planned it together a few days ago. They hadn't meant to exclude Remus and Peter, but the two had been preoccupied. Remus, a concealed werewolf, had begun feeling quite sick, as it was the day before the full moon. Peter had always taken to Remus, who was quieter and calmer than Sirius and James, and had hung back to make sure he was okay. But the prank had still been very successful and even more rewarding, even if Malfoy had turned them in to their Head of House, Professor McGonagall.

Professor McGonagall was a new teacher. She had only started teaching that year as the new Transfiguration teacher, but she had proved to be very knowledgeable as well as strict. While both of the boys had expected a harsh punishment, they had not counted on one other fact. McGonagall was also very prideful.

When she had heard the reasoning behind the prank, she'd let them off more easily. A detention, yes, but only one where they had to write a small essay on their current Transfiguration topic, changing a desk into a rabbit.

James had, essentially, left in plenty of time to make it down to the Transfiguration classroom. However, the Fat Lady, the portrait which hung outside the Gryffindor common room, had felt the need to lecture him on his attire. For fifteen minutes. By the time he raced down the hall and skidded to the classroom, he was very late.

He mentally prepared himself for yet another speech as he approached the door to the classroom and slid it open. Casting a glance about it to see which way McGonagall was facing and if he could maybe sneak in, he noticed something odd.

The Professor was not there.

Relief washed over his features, and he swung the door open at a wider angle and stepped inside. His eye caught the image of his best friend, Sirius Black. Sirius, who had black hair and blue eyes and looked vaguely like James, smiled. "James, mate, where have you been? If McGonagall had been here, you'd be dead!"

Rolling his eyes, James took a seat next to his friend and got out a piece of parchment and his quill that he'd brought along to do his essay. "I know, trust me. The Fat Lady felt the need to preach to me the importance of looking my best, and how my clothes reflect my personality," he took a moment to pause and cast a glance down at his attire; his worn school robes overtop, a baggy brown sweated and a comfortable pair of blue jeans, "So, Sirius, how am I "reflecting" to you?"

The question, obviously, had been phrased for Sirius, but it was not he who answered. In the back of the room, tucked into the corner at such an angle that she was almost invisible, was a young girl. Fiery red hair framed her face as she spoke, an amused grin lighting up her jade eyes. "Well, for starters, it says that you could be something if you cared about anything other than pulling pranks. It says that you're a good student even if you don't want to be." She smirked lightly, "Oh, and that you have absolutely no fashion sense."

Both boys' heads swung in the direction of the voice, catching the eye of the young girl. James recognized her to be Lily Evans, a Gryffindor sixth year. He barely knew her, having only really spoken to her a couple of times when she and Sirius had briefly dated toward the end of last year. He raised a skeptical eyebrow at her, not knowing whether to seek revenge or laugh. Sirius, on the other hand, broke into an appreciative smile and chuckled. "Lily! It's been quite a while, has it not?"

She grinned at Sirius, displaying perfect, white teeth. "Nearly nine months, I believe. James, nice to see you again." She nodded in his direction, but he did not return it. He was not rude intentionally, but of all the recollections of Lily Evans, he remembered her as a shy, sweet girl. Which was precisely why she and Sirius had broken up. He had trouble seeing as what she had done to be given a detention. Sirius seemed to read his mind.

"What did you do to get in here?" He asked bluntly; tact had never been his strong suit.

She rolled her eyes in a frustrated manner. "I was trying to turn my pillow into a plate, but it ended up going really, REALLY wrong."

Perking up, James felt a grin tugging at the corners of his lips. "And?"

For a split second, Lily had seemed quite surprised the James had spoken, but that moment passed quickly as a look of despair flitted across her features. "I just messed up on letter. One letter! Instead of saying 'piliconus patalus' I said 'piliconus catalus'." She blushed slightly as Sirius and James gave hardy laughs.

Sirius looked about ready to explode. "Let me get this straight, you turned your pillow into a CAT?"

Her face was burning almost as red as her hair as she gave a sheepish nod. "Yeah. And it tried to eat my partners toad."

Their laughter echoed into the hall.

A/N: That's the first part. I don't have a minimum amount of reviews to continue, but I would like it if you clicked that purple box at the bottom and told me what you think! Also, I'm going to try to make this a bit different then most L/J's, because they seem to become quite repetitive. Oh, yes. It's named "Alive" simply because I was listening to the song with that title by POD when I wrote this. Anyway, I hope to see you in chapter 2.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or anything to do with Harry Potter. Don't sue me, please. I only have two dollars to my name and it's all in pennies.