"Do you give up?" Remus asked smugly, wearing a satisfied smirk as he pinned his friend to the floor.
"Nngg...Never!" Refused James, struggling to flip them over. Sirius and Peter were perched on Sirius' bed watching the wrestling match with the utmost amusement. The rain was pounding hard on the bay window and they had run out of indoor activities hours ago when James had bet he could beat any of them in a scuffle.
Sirius shook his head, grinning widely. "I told you not to challenge Moony, mate."
"This...ugh! This is ridiculous!" James squirmed, clearly getting frustrated as Remus seemed to not even be trying.
"Aw, you can do better than that, Prongs." Remus chuckled, who hadn't so much as broken a sweat. "C'mon, where are all those amazing Quidditch muscles you keep bragging about?"
"How much do you bloody weigh?" James huffed breathlessly, still stubbornly trying to maneuver himself out.
"165. Doesn't matter. Werewolf strength, mate. You might as well just give up before you pass out."
With a groan of defeat, James went limp under him. "Fine! I give."
Remus got up and brushed himself off. James sat cross legged on the floor and Sirius tossed him his glasses, snickering under his breath and shaking his head.
Remus held out his palm. "Five galleons?"
James grumbled, reaching into his pocket and shoving the gold into his friend's hand. "Prat."
Remus laughed. "You're the arrogant prick that bet he could beat any of us."
"I figured Sirius would be the one to volunteer first." James admit sulkily. Sirius looked mildly offended, but he didn't say anything.
"Yes, well, I figured your ego could use a little deflating." Remus shrugged.
Peter nodded, grinning to himself and reaching into the pile of snacks on Sirius' bed for a cauldron cake. "That's your official title, Moony. Ego Deflater, for these two twats."
"He takes his job quite seriously." James muttered, straightening himself out.
"Someone's got to do it." Remus sighed dramatically, flopping down on the bed and resting his head on Sirius' knee. Sirius broke off a piece of the honeydukes finest he was munching on and fed it to the other boy without taking his eyes off the letter he was reading.
"Who's that from?" James asked, joining the others on the bed.
"Marlene." Sirius muttered. "The girls have been staying at her's for the summer and they're bored as well. She wants to get together."
James' hand flew to his hair and his eyes lit up. "The girls? As in all of 'em?"
Sirius quirked an eyebrow at him. "Well not every bloody bird at Hogwarts." He smirked. "But yes, Evans is with them if that's what you were asking, prat."
Peter snorted, a smirk forming on his lips as he elbowed James in the rib. "Prongs, what d'you reckon goes down at one of those sleepovers? Think it's all pillow fights in their nighties?"
Both he and James snickered madly to themselves as visions clouded their minds, similar to the scenarios they had seen in the dirty magazines hidden beneath James' mattress.
"Ever think about Meadows and McKinnon together?" Asked James with a devious grin that Peter matched in an affirmative reply.
Remus made a face. "You don't think the girls talk about us that way, do you?"
"Well personally I think the entire school should think about us that way." Sirius smirked at him, earning a swat to his stomach.
James rolled his eyes. "Some of us have no bloody choice," he said pointedly, glaring at the couple. "When certain people forget their bloody silencing charms before shagging like rabbits. Honestly, I know way more about what both of you like in bed than I care to-"
"We don't forget that often." Said Sirius defensively as Remus' face went slightly pink.
Peter let out a sharp laugh. "Oh sure you don't. This sound familiar?" He adopted a breathy tone and tried to imitate Sirius' posh accent. "'Oh Moony do that again!'"
James wailed with laughter, thumping hard on the bed. "Yes! Wait! And 'Sirius! Do that with your tongue- oh fuck yes!'"
Remus had buried his bright red face in Sirius' stomach and he groaned loudly in embarrassment. Sirius looked completely unaffected and fixed both of them with a stare.
"For a pair of straight lads you sure are listening an awful lot. You could say something, you know. Or are you living vicariously through our sex life because neither of you are getting laid?"
The laughter died almost immediately and Sirius bit the head off a chocolate frog with a victorious chuckle. "That's what I thought."
"Oh, buggering banshees!" Marlene swore loudly as her hand slipped and bright red polish trailed off Dorcas' nail and onto the skin on her toe. "That's the third time. Can't you sit still?"
"Sorry," Dorcas apologized, though she sounded just as irritated. "What on earth are you doing to my head, MacDonald? It isn't a pin cushion, you know!"
Mary rolled her eyes and purposely prodded the darker girl's skull with a bobby pin. "You asked for pin-curls. This is how it's done!"
Lily, who was sitting cross legged on the floor of Marlene's bedroom sorting through records, glanced up and shook her head. "I don't see why you're all getting dolled up. Who're you trying to impress?"
She didn't see the point of this whole endeavor at all, but her friends seemed adamant about getting out of the house and beyond the yard of the McKinnon's decently large property. She could understand that, she supposed. They were sixteen, nearly seventeen and it wasn't that a night out didn't appeal to her, it was the company they had invited that made her skin crawl.
"We aren't trying to impress anyone." Marlene explained as she started yet again on her girlfriend's nails. "What's the problem, Lils? You and Remus are friends. And you've been on decent terms with Sirius-"
Lily snorted. "It's not Sirius I'm worried about. It's who comes with Sirius..."
"Remus." Snickered Mary, and Marlene and Dorcas lost it.
Lily did her best to appear unamused, but the shadow of a smile ghosted across her face and she had to bite the inside of her mouth to stop herself from giggling.
"Don't tell me you haven't thought about that," Marlene smirked, still focused on keeping her hand steady. "Black and Lupin?"
"Who hasn't?" Mary giggled dreamily as she twirled a long strand of Dorcas' thick black hair around her index finger and pinned it against her head.
Lily laughed sharply, green eyes examining a Simon and Garfunkel album cover. "I don't have to think about it. Remus and I are on the same rounds. Do you know how many times I've caught the two of them stumbling out of an empty classroom?" She arched one eyebrow suggestively as the other girls continued to twitter with intrigued laughter.
"During rounds, eh?" Dorcas grinned. "And here I thought he was a good little prefect."
"He is." Said Lily with a slight shrug of her shoulder. "He's just also a Marauder." She sighed and put the records back. "So what exactly is the plan anyway? We're just meeting them in Diagon Alley? And then what? Walk around aimlessly?"
Finally finished with Dorcas' now glittering red toenails, Marlene spun around on her backside to face the redhead, wearing an apprehensive look that made Lily feel like she wasn't going to like the answer.
"Well we were thinking of heading into muggle London." The blonde said simply, clearly skirting around the details she knew her best friend would not be thrilled with. Lily's eyes narrowed suspiciously.
"Alright..." Already this sounded like more trouble than it was worth...Sirius Black and James Potter loose in a large muggle city. "And then? It's not like we can get into any pubs or discos. We're not of age."
"And then we'll just see where the evening takes us, Lily!" Dorcas proclaimed, an edge of frustration on her voice. "Where's your sense of adventure? Your Gryffindor Courage? Your- blehhh!" She started to choke as a thick cloud of hair spray descended around her. "Fucking..." Cough "hell, Mary! Are you trying to kill me?"
Mary grimaced, waving her hands haphazardly to clear the air. "Sorry, Dory!"
Marlene rolled her eyes at the now bickering girls on her bed and crossed the room to where Lily sat. She took the other girl by the arm and hauled her up. "That's enough, Evans. You've been a miserable little spoil sport all summer-"
"I have not!"
"You have." Said Marlene firmly, pressing her lips together in a thin line. She sighed. "Look, I know you're still sore over your falling out with Severus-"
Lily shook her head. "Marlene, I'm over it-"
"You're not." Blue eyes bore fiercely into green until Lily exhaled heavily in surrender. Marlene offered a sad smile. "He was your friend, Lily. You trusted him, cared about him,"
"I was a fool." Lily whispered harshly. "It was there the whole time in him, I was just blind-"
"You thought you could change him," Marlene's voice was sympathetic and soft as she reached up to tuck a lock of deep red hair behind Lily's ear. "You wanted to change him. You, Lily Evans, are not a fool. You saw the good in him. It just...wasn't strong enough to outweigh the bad."
When Lily at last showed the hints of a smile, Marlene hugged her close, lifting her slightly off her feet. "That's better. Now, let's get all tarted up for a night on the town and live a little, eh?" She gave a wicked little wink and dragged the shorter girl to her closet. She threw several dresses at her, most of which Lily didn't think the girl's mother knew she was in possession of judging by the length and cut. "Pick one of those and then we'll get your hair and makeup done-"
"I don't suggest the MacDonald Salon!" Dorcas interjected loudly from the bed, scowling at Mary who stuck her tongue out in reply.
Laughing, Marlene and Lily turned to the mirror holding up the dresses from the closet.
"This one, I suppose." Lily decided. It was deep teal and it wasn't as short or tight as the others. It also seemed to be the only dress Marlene owned that wasn't a pencil skirt, but flared out at the waist.
"Yeah I figured." Marlene chuckled, shaking her head.
"Can you blame me?" Lily smiled wryly. "The rest of them would fit like a second skin. Potter drools enough as it is."
"Relax, Lily." Said Mary, now beginning to pull the pins out of Dorcas' hair which fell to her shoulders in tight curls. "I mean...sure, the boys are a handful. But they're not animals!"
“Padfoot, would you cut that out?” Remus scolded impatiently, watching the shaggy black dog roll around in grassy patch just outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor. “You’ll get fleas that way, you know.”
Padfoot flipped onto his back, exposing his belly and panting happily as two young witches passed, giggling and pointing.
“How sweet!” Said one of them. She was quite leggy with long tawny curls.
“Is he yours?” Asked the other, smiling flirtatiously at James. She was shorter than her friend and curvy, with a silvery blonde pixie cut.
Remus groaned as he saw the shit-eating-grin on the bespectacled boy’s face widen. “Yeah, he is.”
“His name is Snuffles.” Peter added, smirking as the dog’s eyes narrowed on him momentarily. The girls both continued to fawn over Padfoot, scratching his belly and gushing over how cute he was while James and Peter chatted them up. Remus caught the dog’s clever wink in his direction and he shook his head. You’re just eating this up, you mutt…
The girls bid their giggly goodbyes and walked off, leaving Peter and James with goofy looking grins.
Remus snorted. “You know they must be at least twenty. You’re not even out of school yet.”
James ruffled his hair with a lopsided smile.. “They didn’t know that.”
“Charming.” Remus said dryly. “The girls should be meeting us soon. Padfoot, go change before someone sees you.”
The dog barked once and trotted off down a dark alley, returning moments later as Sirius Black wearing tight faded jeans and a black v neck shirt. Whatever annoyance Remus had felt before quickly dissipated, especially as his boyfriend bent over to tie the laces of his boot.
“So,” Remus said softly, leaning close to Sirius’ ear as the four of them started to walk to The Three Broomsticks to meet the girls. “James’ dog now, are you?” He slipped one hand possessively into the back pocket of the other boy’s sinfully tight jeans.
Sirius flashed him a grin. “Jealous, Moony?”
A few steps ahead of them, James had spotted red hair in the crowds of the busy sidewalk and had stopped short to check his reflection in a shop window. “Of Prongs?” Remus chuckled, pulling Sirius closer and kissing the side of his head. "Somehow I don’t feel very threatened, no.“
As they approached The Three Broomsticks, the blonde head of Marlene McKinnon, the tallest of the girls, turned and her blue eyes widened when she spotted them. She gave an excited little wave and as soon as they got close enough she threw her arms around Sirius with a delighted squeal. When they separated Sirius have her a once over and whistled.
"Well Mcknickers, don't you look like something out of a centerfold?" He smirked. Marlene did a little twirl to show off. She did look nice, and quite mature, in her black pencil skirt and kitten heels. "Watch out Meadows, I may decide I want her back."
Dorcas quirked an eyebrow at him and laughed. "Oh? I'm sure Remus and I would gladly switch off and let the two of you run wild. But I'm afraid it's our responsibility as decent human beings to keep you both under control."
"Agreed." Said Remus, leaning in to hug Mary and Lily hello. "You girls do look lovely though, all of you."
"Thank you, Remus." Lily smiled, accepting a kiss on the cheek from him. "Hi Peter." Her smiled faltered for only a moment as her eyes landed on James. "Potter."
James nodded curtly, and Remus could tell he was resisting the urge to run his hand through his messy hair. "Evans."
"So we were thinking of going into muggle London," said Marlene, still buzzing with excitement which was instantly matched by James and Sirius, as they agreed with an enthusiasm that left both Lily and Remus feeling slightly apprehensive.
They were clearly out numbered in their concern though, and with a shared look of defeat, they followed the rest of the group through Diagon Alley to the brick wall that separated the Wizarding World from the rest of the city.