The Sugar Quill
Author: Abigail (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Day the Marauders Lost Their Map  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

“There you go, Moony

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter… I wish I did, though, sometimes you know…

 

 

The Day the Marauders Lost Their Map

By Abigail

 

 

 

 

 

“There you go, Moony. Thought this might interest you,” Sirius Black said, dropping the newspaper right into Remus Lupin’s bowl of porridge. “Oh, sorry, mate,” he added, not sounding sorry at all, as he sat down at his side, pushing his dark hair out of his handsome face with one movement. Lupin, who looked tired and disdainful, turned to look at him with exasperation. “Was that absolutely necessary?” he asked, sighing and pushing his plate aside.

 

Sirius smiled at him, and his eyes traveled from one side of his face to the other. Remus was covered in scars and he looked peaky and pale. “You look awful, Moony. Bad night?” he asked innocently, with a crooked smile.

 

Remus rolled his eyes. “Terrible one,” he answered. “And now you’ve completely messed up my porridge.”

 

“Here, Remus, have mine,” a mousy haired, round boy said, smiling in an almost manic way. Remus eyed him carefully before grabbing the plate and sticking his spoon in it. “Cheers, Wormtail,” he said. “Sure you don’t want it?” he asked after thrusting a spoonful into his mouth. Wormtail shook his head roughly.

 

“He doesn’t need it,” Sirius said, looking bored. “He’s got enough of a belly to be going on with. He might explode, you know.”

 

Wormtail looked down at his stomach automatically and then looked back at Sirius. “I’m kidding, Wormtail!” Sirius said, as though it was completely obvious, his expression by no means softer. “Anyway, page five, Moony.”

 

Remus stared at him, his mouth quite full. Sirius sighed deeply. “Page five of the Prophet. Some lady, Agatha something-something is trying to pass a decree against werewolf hunting,” he said, waving his hand at him with exasperation.

 

Remus jumped from his seat at once, and reached out for the paper, sending the second bowl of porridge flying right onto Regina Baccus, a sixth year Gryffindor sitting across the table. She glared at him, and Remus, blushing furiously, muttered a tiny ‘Sorry’ before disappearing behind the paper. 

 

Sirius looked at him, amazed, and shook his head before smiling softly at Regina, who blushed a little and smiled back. Then he scanned the hall with precision, his hair falling into his face again. He turned to look quizzically at Remus, and then snatch the paper from him, without being rude. With a kind of elegance actually.

 

“Moony, where’s Prongs?” he asked, and Remus snatched the paper back from him. “Well,” he replied. “If you would’ve woken earlier this morning, you would’ve heard him say something about escorting Lily Evans to breakfast.” He peeked his head from behind the paper and smiled mischievously.

 

“I wonder how that went,” Wormtail piped up and Sirius shook his head. “Could’ve gone terribly well, or terribly wrong,” he said wisely. “Let’s just hope Evans was in a good mood today, or Prongs might actually look a lot like Moony.”

 

They all laughed, but no one laughed harder than Wormtail. Sirius rolled his eyes at him. “Get a grip on yourself, Wormtail,” he said and then looked away at the doors of the Great Hall.  A very lonely James Potter was walking through them just then. “Well, here comes the man,” Sirius said, following his friend with slightly narrowed eyes. “And he doesn’t look beaten to me.”

 

Remus folded the newspaper and looked over at James too. “Still, he isn’t escorting anybody either, is he?”

 

Sirius shrugged. “Guess we’ll have to ask then,” he said, noticing Lupin wasn’t reading the paper anymore. “Find it interesting, did you?” he said, nodding towards it.

 

Remus sighed and shook his head. “The same nonsense. They aren’t going to pay any attention to her, mark my words,” he said miserably, through gritted teeth.

 

“There, there, Moony,” Sirius said, when James was getting closer. “Someday maybe, with our help of course, you’ll get them to stop hunting werewolves.” He watched as James sat at his side, wearing a grim expression on his face. “Bad morning, Prongs?” he asked, patting him sympathetically in the back.

 

James looked at him but did not answer. “Yeah,” Sirius said nodding. “Wouldn’t give up, would she?” James shook his head. “Ah, wrong luck, mate,” Sirius continued. “Mind you, there are still loads of good-looking girls at Hogwarts, you know. I wouldn’t be so annoyed about it.”

 

James smiled forcedly at him, and then thrust some bacon into his mouth. “That’s easy for you to say, Padfoot,” he said, sending bits of bacon flying in every direction. “You can have the whole lot.”

 

Sirius looked half amused, half amazed. “Me?” he asked, in mock modesty.

 

The four of them laughed, but no one laughed harder than Wormtail. “Get a grip on yourself, Wormtail,” Sirius said, rolling his eyes at him, and swinging his bag over his shoulder with one swift movement. “Anyway, you better hurry, Prongs, we’ve got Transfiguration with McGonagall next. You know she doesn’t appreciate us to be late.”

 

Remus followed his cue and got up from the table at once, while James buttered himself a piece of toast as fast as he could. Finally, he got up and the three of them made to walk out of the now almost empty Great Hall.

 

“Wait,” Sirius said as they reached the Entrance Hall, “aren’t we forgetting something?”

 

“No, I don’t think-“ James began, but just then a very high squeak was heard, and they all turned to look in time to see Peter Pettigrew gathering his books and thrusting them into his bag hurriedly. “Oh, yes,” James corrected himself, staring at Wormtail with odd supremacy. “Yes, we are.”

 

***

 

“This is bound to be in your Transfiguration N.E.W.T. It’s very advanced magic, and for those who wish to become Aurors once out of school, it’s going to help you through your most difficult challenges….”

 

James was only taking in half the words McGonagall was saying, although he knew he should have been taking in the whole lot. He was looking longingly at the table at his right, where a red haired girl, who seemed to be paying a great deal of attention to the professor, was sitting so gracefully you might have mistaken her for an angel. Well… James might have.

 

“OUCH!” He gasped loudly, as he felt an elbow crashing into his ribs. He glared at Sirius, who was clearly fighting back a fit of laughter as McGonagall searched the classroom with dangerous eyes in search of the source of the sudden noise.

 

Sirius waited until McGonagall was facing the blackboard again before whispering “Gotcha!” into James’ ear and pointing at his parchment lying on the table.

 

James looked down at once, only to find that he had been writing tiny Lily’s all over it since the beginning of the class. He blushed furiously, and looked around, as if to make sure no one else had noticed. Wormtail had fallen asleep over his parchment again, and Lupin was paying a slightly disturbing amount of attention to McGonagall. James sighed loudly. Good, he thought as he ripped the parchment into tiny pieces, not wanting to look over at Sirius, even though he could feel him smiling at his side.

 

“I didn’t know this girl had you going nutters, mate,” Sirius said, as they exited McGonagall’s class, Lupin immersed in a giant book and Peter bouncing distractedly along. James gave him a stern look.

 

“What?” Sirius said, looking around, pretending to be in shock. “You know Moony, once he’s started he can’t put down the bloody books. And Wormtail, well… just look at him.,Tthey both turned to look, and James smiled. “Well, she is,” he answered, rather quickly.

 

“Ha!” Sirius raised both of his arms in celebration, scaring a couple of Hufflepuff girls that were passing by. “I knew it, mate.”

 

James gave him another stern look. “Well, you don’t have to make an announcement out of it,” he said quietly, since a bunch of second years were looking curiously at them.

 

“Run along, midgets,” Sirius said, waving a hand at them, and they started to walk again at once, annoyed and glaring at him. “They’re just little people, Prongs, they won’t harm you,” he added, as he led the way out of the castle and onto the large Hogwarts grounds. James smiled at him, his mood lifting a bit. The four of them lounged over the large beech tree that stood by the lake, Lupin still reading the overlarge leather bound book.

 

“Would you put that down?” Sirius asked impatiently, as he took the book from him, closed it and held it out of his reach. “Prongs here is going to tell us how the escorting went this morning.”

 

He smiled hopefully at James, and James gave him a faint smile in return. “No I’m not,” he said, looking over his shoulder at the entrance of the castle, waiting for Lily to exit it.

 

“Yes you are,” Sirius pressed on, still smiling wildly.

 

James sighed. “Right. Well, nothing happened, really,” he started, not looking at his friends. His stomach gave a funny lurch. A red haired figure had just stepped out of the castle. “We walked in harmony up until we reached the main staircases - ” She just had clearly said something funny, because her friends were now howling with laughter. “ - and then I said the usual, you know-“

 

“Are you ever going out with me, Evans?” his three friends chorused, as she sat down in the green grass. James smiled. “Yes, exactly,” he replied, staring at her as she held up her hair in a long ponytail, “and she just looked at me with the same old look and made the same old exasperated noise and walked ahead,” he finished, as his stomach gave another tremendous lurch. She was gazing back at him. As if in reflex, he lifted his hand up to his head and ruffled his hair with arrogance. She looked away at once.

 

“Same old story, then, Prongs,” Sirius said, and James turned to look at him at last. He nodded. Same old story, alright, he thought hopelessly. Was she ever going out with him?

 

“Well, maybe you’re doing things wrong,” Remus said, and James looked inquiringly at him, feeling a twinge of annoyance in his stomach. What does he mean, doing it wrong? “She clearly doesn’t like the way you’re doing things, or she would’ve agreed to go out with you long before.”

 

They all stared at him for quite a long time. “Just a thought,” Remus said dismissively after a while, not minding the looks they were all giving him. He snatched the book back from Sirius’ grip and disappeared behind it once more.

 

“One day your brain is going to burn up from all the reading, Moony,” Sirius’ said, looking handsomely bored once again. “Mark my words.”

 

Wormtail laughed loudly, but James was still dwelling on Remus’ words. Remus was the closest to Lily of them all. Maybe she spoke to him about James. So he was doing things wrong… but what about telling him how to do things the right way? He threw himself flat on the ground and looked up at the cloudless sky. Yeah, what about telling him how to do it right? After all, how was he supposed to know how to act?

 

“Actually,” Wormtail’s piping voice reached James’ ears, making him flinch a bit, “it may not even be James’ fault anyway.” Yes, he liked that theory a lot more. James sat bolt upright and eyed Wormtail carefully.

 

“I’ve heard,” Wormtail continued, lowering his voice so that James had to get closer in order to hear. “I’ve heard she’s dating that boy, that Hufflepuff boy, Dedalus Diggle.”

 

The rest of them stared at him for a few seconds before reacting. James snorted loudly and Sirius burst out laughing, in his usual bark-like way. The corners of Remus’ lips shook a bit and Wormtail gave them a defeated look. “Who tells you this nonsense?” Sirius asked, giggling madly. “Have you been talking to Snape again?” he added, screwing up his face in mock seriousness.

 

Wormtail did not laugh at all this time. “No, I haven’t,” he said, looking down at the grass.

 

“Of course you haven’t, Peter,” Remus said, not lifting his gaze from the book’s pages. “We know you wouldn’t.”

 

There was a small silence and James fixed his eyes on Lily again. He found himself thinking that he would kill Diggle the next time he saw him. But no, she couldn’t be dating Dedalus Diggle; Lily was way more selective than that.

 

“Evans would never date that crackpot,” Sirius said, as though he had heard what James was thinking. “She knows better.” He patted James on the shoulder. “Don’t worry mate, someday you’ll have her, you’ll see.” James gave him a lopsided grin and sighed. “I hope so,” he said.

 

***

 

“I got a letter from my parents this morning.” Sirius startled James a bit, since he was immersed in trying to write a particularly difficult Charms essay. He lifted his gaze, put down his quill, and stared at Sirius, who was sitting at his side, sucking a sugar quill distractedly, obviously trying hard to look as though this had no effect on him whatsoever.  “Well, more from my da-father actually,” he added, not meeting James’ eyes. “He said they blasted me off the tapestry.” He laughed in a hollow sort of way, and James could tell it made him terribly miserable. Still, he remained silent, surveying him quietly, a sort of discomfort growing hot in his stomach.

 

Sirius had left his parents’ house last summer, just a couple of weeks after the end of their fifth year. He had crashed over at James’ during the holidays, and James’ parents had been extra nice to him. Sirius kept telling James how much he hated his mom and dad, and how happy he was to get out of there, but James knew that it hurt him badly, even though they were despicable wizards. It was weird, how easy it was for Sirius to hide his soft side from everybody, always with his head high, his crooked smile, and the bored expression on his face, as though nothing touched him deeply, as though everything bounced upon him. And it was scary how easy James discovered what bothered him, and what made him crack, even though Sirius gave no signs of it.

 

James smiled gently at his friend, but Sirius, who was looking distractedly out of the window, didn’t notice.

 

“The fat old rag blasted me off the tapestry,” he muttered under his breath. James wasn’t sure of what to say. He knew Mrs. Black was a horrible woman, but to blast a son like that and completely deny his existence was something far from horrible. It was sick. “I don’t think she knew my father was writing to me,” he said, in an incredibly everyday tone, as though they were discussing homework. “Still, it wasn’t a very affectionate letter, you know.” He bark-laughed one last time and they fell into complete silence.

 

James went back to his essay, thinking miserably that Remus would’ve known what to say to Sirius right now, but since he was quite tired from the night before he had fallen asleep first. Remus, who was always in his right mind, centered and correct, always doing what he was supposed to, and never being too noisy. Except for that day each month in which his disease ruled over his heart and he became something so unlike himself. It was terribly unfair, that he had to endure that. He, of all people.

 

James felt so selfish sometimes. He had this nearly perfect life; he never had to endure any of the things his friends went through. And here he was, thinking constantly about a girl who didn’t even turn to look at him, unable to say something encouraging to his very best friend, unable to think beyond Lily at the moment. Was he selfish? Or was he really in love?

 

Sirius snapped James into reality once again. “Is there something wrong?” he asked, and his voice cracked a bit.

 

James shook his head almost too quickly. “Not at all,” he said, trying with all his might to stop himself from telling Sirius something about Lily. He was feeling frustrated about it, but he knew it was nothing compared to what Sirius was feeling. He smiled forcedly and tried to fix his mind on his essay again.

 

“No, seriously, Prongs,” Sirius pressed on.

 

James hesitated, then said very quietly, “I’m wondering where she is, that’s all.” He ruffled his hair distractedly and stopped almost at once. He had promised himself he’d never do that again. It was an annoying habit.

 

Sirius surveyed him carefully, and the grim expression seemed to flee from his face. “Really…” he simply said, tilting back his chair on two legs, like he always did. He cleared his throat and seemed somehow more cheerful. “D’you know?” he asked quickly, resuming sucking on his sugar quill and surveying the deserted common room. “Mind you, Prongs, I think Moony was right this morning.”

 

“What d’you mean?” James asked, rubbing his eyes and feeling tired, not recalling, at the moment, what Remus had said in the morning.

 

“Do you remember,” Sirius seemed to be choosing his words carefully, “last year, when we took Snivellus’ pants off?” he said the last words with a shadow of glee imprinted on his face. James smiled and nodded. “She told you some nasty things,” Sirius added, returning his chair to his normal position and making James’ smile completely fade.

 

He fixed his eyes on his essay again, pretending to be thinking what to write next, but feeling slightly drowsy. Yes, he remembered. Of course he remembered. She had told him she was surprised his broomstick could get off the ground with his fat head on it. Oh yes, he remembered what she had told him, alright.

 

Sirius, who didn’t seem satisfied with James’ silence, spoke again. “So why do you keep asking her out?” he said, shaking his head to get his hair out of his face. “I mean, the least you could do is come up with another way of conquering her heart you know, ‘cause clearly your way isn’t working.”

 

Conquering her heart, Padfoot?” he asked dismissively, trying his best to keep cool, although the whole thing was starting to have a tremendous effect on him. He knew his friends were so right to think he was going about things the wrong way. He knew he was pushing her away. He knew she hated him badly.

 

Sirius shrugged, clearly getting bored again. “You know what I mean, mate,” he said shortly, before tilting his chair on two legs again.

 

There was a long silence, and a very awkward one, in James’ opinion. So maybe Lily was dating Dedalus Diggle. After all, it suddenly became too clear for James that she would never date him. Ever.

 

They sat there in the common room, both minding their own business. James turned to look every few minutes in the direction of the portrait hole, expecting to see Lily coming through it at any moment.

 

“Padfoot,” he said, rolling up his parchment and standing up. Sirius let his chair fall on all four legs again and looked at him piercingly. “I think I’m going to check on Evans tonight.”

 

Sirius lit up at the sight of a new adventure. “The map?” he asked, smiling in a lopsided way. James nodded. “Let’s check if she is really dating Diggle,” he said and Sirius jumped up from his chair at once. “I’m on it, mate!”

 

***

 

“I swear, if you step on my foot once again, I’m going to curse you,” James said through gritted teeth, holding the Invisibility Cloak right over their heads carefully. Sirius, who had the Marauder’s Map opened in front of him, stepped on James’ foot stubbornly. “Curse me then,” he said calmly, scanning the map with determination, his hair falling on his handsome face.

 

James glared at his neck. “Very funny,” he replied, as he held his wand in front of him, which was lit at the tip, and gave them enough light to move around. Suddenly, just as they were descending a staircase, Sirius let out a laugh and pointed triumphantly at a spot on the map. “There she is,” he said. “Lily Evans.”

 

“Where is she?” James asked hurriedly, trying to get a peek at the map.

 

“She is down at the trophy room,” Sirius answered shortly with a look James couldn’t figure out. “But take a look at this Prongs,” he said, holding up the map to his friend’s nose.

 

James did all he could to find the tiny spot with Lily’s name on it, and his heart froze when he saw what the spot standing next to her was labeled. “Snivellus?” he asked, anger bubbling up inside him. “What’s she doing down there with Snivellus?” It was worse than Diggle, yes it was.

 

“No idea,” Sirius replied, shrugging, looking intently at the two tiny dots moving around the trophy room. “Who would’ve guessed,” he added, much to James’ indignation.

 

“Who would’ve guessed what?” James spat at him, not bothering to keep his voice down. This was by far the most awful day he had ever had.

 

Sirius looked at him warningly. “Calm down, mate,” he said, his voice low, as though he wanted to set him an example of how to talk.

 

“She’s probably in detention with him, or something,” James replied in an almost hysterical tone, glaring at Sirius, although he didn’t really believe his own words.

 

Sirius nodded. “Sure, Prongs, that’s probably it,” he said, and James could tell, with a high amount of annoyance, that his friend was getting bored again.

 

James babbled about how much he loathed Snape and how much Snape loathed Lily all the way to the trophy room. Sirius, whose sight seemed to be lost in time and space, yawned a couple of times, and then coughed a bit, and James, knowing him, noticed that he half wished they had never left the common room… he found the whole adventure quite boring.

 

“If I don’t hex Snape when we get there, I’m going to kill myself,” Sirius said, as they rounded the corner of the trophy room’s hall. James nodded in agreement. And just as the trophy room’s door came to view, it flew open and out came a very upset Lily Evans.

 

What happened next happened very fast. The two friends, still covered by the Invisibility Cloak, flung themselves against the opposite wall, managing, just in time, to get out of her way. She walked a couple of steps more, and James eyed Sirius significantly, but just as they made to follow her, Lily, who was pretty smart, turned roughly around again, and crashed right into James. She let out a small shriek and then, completely startling James, grabbed the Invisibility Cloak and uncovered them swiftly. There was a long silence, none of them blinking in the process, and then Lily let out a low exasperated noise that James was quite familiar with.

 

“Potter!” she spat indignantly, throwing the Invisibility Cloak at his feet, so that they disappeared at once. James, whose heart was pounding so fast he thought it was about to explode, looked at her, and blushed furiously. He waited for the bellowing to start, but before she managed to say another word, Sirius poked James in the shoulder and pointed behind them. James turned to look and grabbed his wand in reflex. There was Snape, with his greasy hair and overlarge nose, looking at them with a sneer on his face. Sirius was already pointing his wand at him, his eyes slightly shut and his hair falling once again on his face.

 

Snivellus,” he said very slowly. Snape reacted fast, and before another word was spoken,  he had sent Sirius flying past James and into a picture of a very old witch. Sirius let go of the map and James caught it in midair, while Lily shrieked loudly, and ran to aid Sirius. He seemed to be unable to move.

 

James and Snape stood glaring at each other for a few seconds, James torn between hexing his opponent and helping his friend out. But before he could make up his mind, Snape had yelled “Stupefy!” and James found himself staring up at the ceiling, lying on his back, unable to move, and still clutching the un-erased map in his outstretched hand. Just as he was expecting, Snape swept past him and grabbed the map with one very awkward movement, while James felt his face grow hot with anger and frustration.

 

He could hear Sirius yelling, “Mischief managed!” but felt panic rising up his throat when he glimpsed Sirius’ wand a few feet from him, lying on the ground. Lily can do it! James thought desperately, as he tried with all his might to move his arms and reach out for Snape’s feet. Tell Lily to do it!

 

“Mischief managed, Lily!” Sirius bellowed almost at once, scaring James out of his wits. He had just read his thoughts. “Please!”

 

He heard struggling and then Lily’s voice, “Mischief-.”

 

Managed!”  Sirius spat desperately.

 

“Mischief managed!” Lily said quickly. Then footsteps drew nearer and he heard a very soft, “Finite Incantatum.” He was able to move again. 

 

He scrambled up and found Lily looking straight at him, holding both her wand and their map in her hands. James felt his face grow even hotter. He had just been beaten by greasy haired Snivellus. But he didn’t have time to dwell too much on that awful thought either. Lily was looking, transfixed, at a spot over his left shoulder. In alarm, James turned to look and saw Filch, the caretaker, walking straight at them, his smelly old cat at his side. He looked as though Christmas had come early.

 

“Ah, Potter and Black,” he said, as three Gryffindors walked slowly backwards from him. “And Evans,” he added with a nasty look at her. “Snape, have they been bothering you again?”

 

James looked sharply around at Snape, who was sneering stupidly. “Yes,” he said shortly.

 

“Ah, yes, yes,” Filch wheezed under his breath. “Yes, there’s no way you’re escaping this time.”

 

“The piece of parchment,” Snape said hotly, advancing quickly and snatching it from Lily’s hands. Lily looked hopelessly at Sirius, who had managed to get up, but had lost half of his elegance in the process, and was breathing shallowly.

 

With a sharp movement, James launched himself towards Snape, trying to snatch the map back from him, but Filch came in between them with a look of glee imprinted on his face. James shot him a nasty look before backing away. “What’s the matter, Snape?” he blurted out, before thinking the words through. “Can’t stand up for yourself? Hiding behind that squib, are you?” His chest swelled with delight when Snape stopped sneering at once.  Filch’s face was now contorting with rage, and he grabbed the map violently, muttering wildly under his breath. “Give me that,” he said as he opened it. It was completely blank. “I’ll have this.” He nodded hysterically.

 

James shrugged. “It’s just a piece of parchment,” he said, trying, and failing, to sound careless.

 

“No it’s not,” Snape said, and James felt an incredible urge to kick him unconscious. “I saw it, it’s a sort of map.”

 

“The grease on your face is blurring your vision, Snivellus,” Sirius said, matter-of-factly, from behind James. Where his ears mistaken or had he just heard a tiny laugh coming from Lily?.

 

“You come with me, Snape,” Filch said. “You are going to tell the headmaster about this.”

 

Snape nodded without looking at his three schoolmates and followed suit, looking somewhat embarrassed.

 

“What were you thinking!” Lily said in towering range, as they made their slow way to the common room again, “I mean… why where you following me?!”

 

James couldn’t think of a suitable answer right away, so he resolved to lock his gaze on his feet. Sirius didn’t answer either. He probably wasn’t paying attention to Lily at all. James was sure it had something to do with the fact that Snape had just sent him flying into a wall.

 

“I’m sorry,” James said after a very long silence, just as they reached the Gryffindor Tower staircases and began to climb them. “I just wanted to know why you weren’t in the common room-“

 

“It’s my business, James,” she cut him off, and James grinned slightly, noticing it was the first time she had called him James. She usually just called him Potter.

 

“Yeah, I know,” he said, still not looking at her. “But if you don’t mind me asking… what were you doing there with Snape?” he asked, carefully choosing the words.

 

Lily’s eyes flashed. “I do mind you asking,” she said, and James lifted his gaze at once. The answer confirmed his every fear. Was she dating Snape? And, as if she had read his thoughts, she laughed dismissively. “I’m not dating him, Potter, if that’s what you thought!” she said. So they were back to ‘Potter’. At least she wasn’t dating Snape. “We were in detention, that was all,” she added, matter-of-factly. But James suspected she wasn’t being completely honest with him.

 

She doesn’t have to anyway, he thought bitterly. You were spying on her… that doesn’t exactly make you best friends.

 

“Anyway,” Sirius spoke for the first time since they had left the trophy room. “I’m thinking about what we’re going to tell Moony, James,” he said scratching his head slightly, so that if he had any elegance left in him, he lost it then. “The map’s gone,” he added, and James’ stomach fell. What with the excitement of having a decent conversation with Lily for once, and finding out she wasn’t really dating Snape, he hadn’t thought of the serious consequences of losing the map. Remus was going to be angry out of his wits.

 

“I have no idea,” James said, feeling even more miserable every minute.

 

Lily looked from one to the other. “At least he didn’t take your Invisibility Cloak,” she said innocently, all traces of anger disappearing completely from her voice. James felt all warm inside. When she wasn’t bellowing at him her voice was quite soothing. 

 

James and Sirius exchanged significant glances. “I would’ve given it to him freely, if he offered the map back.”

 

Lily looked astounded. “What’s with that map anyway?” she said, as they reached the portrait of the fat lady. “Why is it so important?”

 

Waffles,” Sirius spat grimly at the fat lady, and she swung open muttering, “Out at this time of night… when will they ever learn?” “Let’s just say, it was a way of avoiding many problems,” he said as they scrambled through the hole.

 

James laughed hollowly. “Yeah it was,” he nodded as he flung himself on an armchair by the fire.

 

Lily shrugged earnestly. “I’m going to bed,” she said. Sirius and James chorused a very quiet ‘Good night’ and she climbed the girl’s staircases, leaving them completely alone.

 

“So,” Sirius said, sitting on the chair next to James’, and looking longingly at the extinguished fire. “I’m positively killing myself.”

 

“What do you mean?” James asked distractedly.

 

“Well, I didn’t get to hex Snape, did I?”

 

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

//
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