"Uhh, Prongs, I'm not so sure this is a good idea." The mousy-haired boy looked around nervously.
"What? Are you saying that you believe that both me and Padfoot would be wrong?" The taller, black-haired boy looked affronted.
"Padfoot and I." corrected their other companion, a rather skinny boy, who also looked rather apprehensive.
"Padfoot and I. I'm so sorry Moony. I should have thought to remember that particular rule of grammar, seeing as you have only chastised us about a million times." Prongs rolled his eyes, but he grinned at his friends.
Moony smiled. "And for the record, I'm siding with Wormtail on this one."
Wormtail solemnly shook his hand. "I am ever in your debt. If anyone can get us out of trouble, it's Prefect Lupin here."
All three chuckled quietly.
"What's this? Having fun without me? Preposterous!" A figure appeared suddenly right beside Wormtail, who started.
"Ah, Padfoot, you know we'd never leave you out!" Prongs elbowed Padfoot in the ribs. The smile dropped off his face and he leaned in closer to the other dark-haired boy. "Is it set up? No one saw you, right?"
Padfoot scoffed, tossing his head back imperiously. "Of course no one saw me! I've only had a couple years to practice with your Invisibility Cloak, and last time I checked, Professor Slughorn can't see through the Cloak, now can he?"
Prongs smiled mischievously. "Excellent. We can continue to phase two."
Moony asked, without any real hope in his voice, "Would it make any difference if I reminded both of you that you still have your Transfiguration essays on Nonverbal transfiguration due in two days?" Padfoot let out a bark of a laugh and replied "Not a smidge."
Moony shrugged his shoulders. "Then don't blame me if you get a bad grade."
"We won't get a bad grade. We're the top of all our classes! We can get a better grade than Wormtail if we scratch it out the morning of!"
Wormtail smiled sheepishly. "I'm not good on Nonverbal spells yet..."
Moony patted him on the back. "I'll go over it with you tonight, provided that we aren't all in detention."
"You won't get in detention, Mister Prefect! You never get in detention."
"Oh yes I have, many times, and only because of you two."
"You consider four detentions in six years a lot? After how many Prongs and I do on a monthly basis?"
Prongs laughed, and Moony grinned. "Yes, actually I do."
Padfoot rolled his eyes and muttered "Pampered Prefect Lupin." under his breath.
Laughing, the four friends strolled down the corridor.
Noticing that Wormtail still looked anxious, Prongs said "Oh come on Wormy. I know you've been itching for some pranking lately."
Wormtail bit his lip. "Yes, but doesn't this seem a little too..." he trailed off.
Waving each of his friend's suggestions off, he continued "...Extreme?"
Prongs and Padfoot laughed. "Not after this year's Halloween feast extravaganza! Now that was a brilliant bit of mischief, if I do say so myself." Prongs sighed contentedly.
"McGonagall's face when the pumpkin exploded was priceless." Padfoot proudly reminisced.
"I did feel rather badly for those Ravenclaw firsties. They didn't deserve to be scared half to death by our illusion troll." Moony commented.
Padfoot laughed. "They should have seen that it was a fake, shouldn't they?"
Prongs and Padfoot got into a heated debate about how life-like the troll had been, and Wormtail and Moony watched in amusement as the dungeons steadily grew closer. The few students that they passed merely waved or called out greetings. Filch stared at them suspiciously from down another corridor before stalking off, scowling.
They eventually made it down to their objective. Padfoot turned to his friends and said solemnly, "Now, lads, beyond that door there," he gestured to the thick wooden door to his left, "awaits our destinies. Before we enter the dragon's lair, I give you this, singular, chance to beg off. If taken, those remaining will clear you of all implications or guilt, and you will have ten minutes to vacate the lower floors and find a suitable alibi. However..." here he gave an almost feral grin. "If you choose to continue into the lion's den, and one of your fellow Marauders is found out, you may plead the fifth—"
Moony cut him off "Yes, yes, that's all well and good, but I know that you expect both of us to continue on. You couldn't pull this off with just two, and we know it."
Prongs interceded. "Now that's where you're wrong. We would be perfectly capable of managing this mischief all by our lonesomes. It would just make it so much easier to have your spell skills, Lupin, and Pettigrew's Animagus form."
"So in other words, you can't do this alone."
Padfoot opened his mouth, only to furrow his brows and glare at the stone wall. Prongs smiled ruefully. "Well, perhaps."
Moony rolled his eyes, and Wormtail cast an anxious glance towards the stairwell.
"But you wouldn't leave us to crash and burn on our own, would you, Moony?" Padfoot spoke up.
"It doesn't look as if I've got a choice, now have I?" Commented Moony wryly.
"None!" Padfoot smiled, and beckoned the other Marauders over, closer to the dungeon door.
"Now, here's how this will work..."
Rumors among the first- and second-years run wild about the capabilities of Professor McGonagall's glare. Some said that it could bore holes in a steel door, while others said that it could scare any seventh-year into spilling his guts if maintained for an extended period of time. Occasionally it would be said that it was responsible for Professor Binn's death, though many doubted it. A couple upper years tossed around the idea that it was able to read your mind, and Professor Flitwick was known to have jokingly said that 'the death glare' was the singular thing that could destroy a dementor.
Sixth-years Sirius Black, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, and Remus Lupin knew otherwise. Yes, when her brows drew together into that one, thin line it was a signal that you need to get far away, fast, and hide all your Dungbombs, and that one look could silence every student in the Great Hall. They also knew that only with extreme practice or when under sworn oath could you lie to that glare. While they did know those things, it never was a good sign when you turn a corner and are immediately pinned down by the angry glower of Minerva McGonagall, and it didn't mean that they were entirely happy when the glare turned to them.
"Black. Potter. My office. Now."
Moony withheld the I-told-you-so look as the two black-haired teenagers followed Professor McGonagall down the hall, Padfoot hardly looking concerned and Prongs smiling pleasantly. Wormtail and Moony knew that while they might look impassive, the two were frantically searching for an excuse and a cover story that was unused.
Wormtail cast Moony a sidelong glance, who shrugged, and jerked his head down the corridor, towards the marble staircase. "Let's go and review nonverbal spells. They should be back in time for supper."
Wormtail nodded fervently, and the two started down the hall.
"...And then, if you'll believe it, she says 'That does not give you an excuse to hex the Slytherin's cauldrons so that they turn into chickens whenever an ingredient is added, Mr. Black!' and proceeded to give us a week's detention in the trophy room!" Padfoot finished his tale with a dramatic flop onto his four-poster.
Moony smiled and said nonchalantly, "Well, that will give you time to beat your trophy-polishing record, now won't it?"
Prongs nodded appreciatively. "Moony is right! I think we can beat our old record if we start with the Quidditch trophies first, then move onto the Arithmancy awards, and so on."
Padfoot pondered Prong's suggestion for a minute before sitting upright and announcing to the room, "Sounds good, but I can't think on an empty stomach. Who's up for a jaunt down to the kitchens with me?"
Wormtail looked up. "I'm in!"
Prongs shrugged. "Why not? I could use some hot chocolate right now."
"Then I'll go too." Moony closed his book after marking his page and stood up.
"Let's try out the Marauder's Map 2.5 as well. I think it has stopped labeling every Slytherin as 'Hexable' and we added the third floor secret passageway, correct?" Prongs dug around in his trunk for a minute before drawing out a battered piece of paper.
"As far as I can remember, we still need to add the pathway behind the mirror, and get it to stop mistaking Filch for Snivellus, remember when we almost ran into him last week?" Padfoot added.
"Ah, right! And then we need to find the precise location of that amazing 25 meter wide broom cupboard that we came across...was it last month?" Prongs nodded, surveying the map with a critical eye.
"Don't forget the Invisibility Cloak, James."
"Oh, yeah, that would be bad to forget, thanks Moony. Everybody ready?" Prongs cast a quick glance around the room and pulled the silvery Cloak out of his satchel.
The Marauders quickly sped down to the common room, dodging a group of third-years and waving to those who called out greetings. They were stopped inches from the Portrait Hole by a red-haired figure who stepped directly in the way of Prongs, who was leading.
"And where might you four be going at this time of night?" Her green eyes sparkled dangerously.
"And good evening to you too, Miss Evans!" Prongs smiled charmingly.
"It won't be for you if I have to set you lines again."
Prongs drew back, a hand at his heart. "Ah, you've wounded me! What have I ever done to make you suspect that I would be up to mischief this close to curfew?"
Lily snorted. "Do I need to make a list? I don't even think you can count how many times you've been caught after-hours, Potter."
Padfoot laughed, nodding as he said "The lady's got you there, Prongs!"
Prongs elbowed him and resumed his conversation. "You underestimate me, Miss Evans. I am well able to count that high, I'm sure."
"I don't think you can."
Moony stepped in just as Prongs opened his mouth to retort. "We were just heading down to the library, per my request. I need to get a book for some extra reading in potions and Peter left his bag down there earlier today."
Lily raised an eyebrow at Moony, before sighing and backing away from the exit. "If you must. But keep them out of trouble, Remus. It wouldn't do to have two of Gryffindor's star players to be low on practice."
"Prefect's Honor." Moony smiled reassuringly.
Grinning, Prongs re-entered the discussion. "Did you think any more about my offer to take you to the Three Broomsticks next Hogsmede weekend?"
Lily rolled her eyes. "Did I not make myself clear enough at your first offer?"
Prongs smiled, and shrugged casually. "It takes quite a lot to give me a hint, Miss Evans."
"Oi! Prongs! Are you gonna let us leave before we die of boredom? Or will we have to wait until you two announce your engagement?" Padfoot cut off any further conversation with a surly look.
"I resent that! I am merely trying to give Miss Evans a chance to reconsider my offer."
"Like she'd ever give you the time of day if you weren't doing something she could punish you for!"
"I believe she would, if asked politely enough."
"Yeah right. Let's just get going before curfew."
Prongs nodded and bowed to Lily. "Until next time, Miss Evans!"
Lily rolled her eyes again and beckoned for the boys to continue.
Prongs and Padfoot did so, bickering good-naturedly. Moony stayed back long enough to say "I'll keep them out of trouble, Lily." before advancing towards the Portrait Hole, Wormtail just behind.
Lily watched as the four friends retreated down the corridor, joking and laughing. They weren't going in the direction of the library. 'I'll keep them out of trouble' indeed. You can't keep those two out of trouble. They were born in trouble. Lily smiled to herself and headed to her dormitory to study for Defense Against the Dark Arts, mind wandering from the many great misadventures of Sirius Black and James Potter to her homework.
A/N: The ending pretty much feels like hitting your head on a brick wall.
I really hate the ending.
But other than that, I don't mind it. i tried to keep everyone in-character, and hope y'all agree.
Just in case you were wondering, while I do believe that Remus is the type of character that would always be polite and would probably call Lily 'Miss Evans' like James does (though James does it just to try to impress her) but I'm counting on the fact that they're both Prefects and know each other fairly well, doing Prefect duties and such together. And I tried to refer to the Marauders by their nicknames just cuz and because i wanted to see how it sounded. It seems okay to me.
This really isn't edited, but I don't generally edit my one-shots anyway.
Reviews are always appreciated!
Edit: Added the scene transitions, because it wouldn't save them before for some odd reason
Edit2: Changed a few things and edited a couple wordings.