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"Hey, Lily, can we talk to you?"
James was standing anxiously with Peter, Sirius, and Remus in the Head's dormitory. Lily was sitting at her desk immersed in a text on some type of spell or another. At her boyfriend's words, her body turned towards the group a little more, but her eyes remained on her book.
"Of course you can. What's up?" Each person in the group shared an uneasy glance, except for Remus, who looked surprisingly calm given the current situation. Unnoticed to the others was a mischievous glint of amusement in his eyes. Sirius and James exchanged several eyebrow movements and significant looks before the latter sighed in defeat. It was clear that breaking the news to Lily would be his job, given that she was his girlfriend.
"Well, you know how we all call each other nicknames? Prongs, Padfoot, Moony, and Wormtail? There's actually a reason for that." he said nervously, not sure how the following conversation was going to go.
"Hmm." Lily responded, her eyes still glued to her book. James blinked several times before clearing his throat and continuing, wiping his palms on his jeans.
"Well, the reason for that is, er, well . . ." he trailed off, but with several prompting glares from his friends, continued – albeit a little more quickly than before. "What I'm trying to say is that Peter, Sirius, and I are all illegal Animagi and Remus is a werewolf." He clenched his eyes shut, waiting for the shock, and possibly anger, to kick in.
"Hmm." James opened his eyes incredulously and saw that Lily was still reading her book. He couldn't believe this. Here he was revealing the Marauder's biggest secret, and she was reading. A slight frown took over his features.
"Sniv – er, Snape is professing his love for you outside the portrait hole." he said, scrutinizing her reaction.
"Your sister is in love with a whale."
"Sirius is my other girlfriend."
"Hey!" Sirius's protest was ignored as James became more convinced Lily hadn't been listening when he'd confessed what the four of them were. Peter had grown more and more confused as James continued to talk, while Remus was now barely holding in laughter. This was not going the way James had anticipated. He decided to try one more time to get his girlfriend's attention.
"We've ended our feud with Slytherin, and are baking each of them their own personal cakes without the help of magic."
"You're doing what?" Lily looked up in shock, book forgotten as her gaze turned concerned. "Do you need to go to Madam Pomfrey? You look a little flushed, and your hands are rather clammy, you might be running a fever." She had pressed the back of her hand to James's forehead, and had then lightly grasped his hands.
"Lily, calm down, I'm fine. I was just trying to get your attention and see if you were listening earlier. My dislike for Slytherin is still intact, and if I baked any of them cakes, they would certainly be filled with laxatives or something." Lily's eyes cleared of both confusion and concern as she breathed a sigh of relief.
"Oh. Was that it? That's a relief." she replied, sitting back down at the desk. "I was listening to you the whole time, I was just multitasking while doing so." James's brow furrowed as he thought back over their almost-conversation.
"Wait, but if you were listening the whole time, then why didn't you respond to any of the other things I said like you did with the comment about Slytherin?" he asked. Lily's confused expression from earlier returned.
"I thought you were listing things that were true." she said, her tone now uncertain. "Wasn't that what you were doing?" Three of the Marauders gaped at her with wide eyes. Their stunned silence lasted until Remus finally lost it, and erupted into laughter so hard tears were coming out of his eyes, and he was doubled over. The others suddenly realized the implications of her words.
"Hey! I am not a girl,nor am I dating Prongs!" Sirius sputtered. "And since when was your sister into zoology?" Lily looked perplexed at his question, until she suddenly turned red in embarrassment as she caught on to what he meant.
"I think you mean bestiality, Sirius. Zoology is the study of animals." she corrected, her expression still rather scandalized. "And she isn't interested in either. I thought you meant her boyfriend Vernon. If there was such a thing as a human whale, he would be it." Sirius looked a little calmer at that, but he was still a little disgruntled.
"That still doesn't change the fact that you called me James's girlfriend." he grumbled. "Which I clearly am not, seeing as that is you." Lily scrutinized the group in front of her for a moment before she responded.
"Well, you can't exactly be his boyfriend when that's what you practically are with Remus. Therefore, the only remaining option, and the one that makes sense in this case, is that you are James's other girlfriend."
Remus abruptly stopped laughing as he began to choke on air, and his skin flushed bright red. Sirius was gaping at the redhead, alternately going pale and bright red. James had a rather pinched look on his face, and Peter looked completely lost. Lily sat there rather smugly – after all, it isn't everyday the Marauders were reduced to speechlessness, confusion, and embarrassment.
"You are taking the news that we are Animagi and that Remus is a werewolf rather well." Peter commented, having decided to ignore his confusion for the moment. The others snapped back to attention as the conversation was returned to their original topic. Remus was still a little pink, but his grin returned as Lily gained one of her own when they shared a glance.
"Oh, I've known about Remus's 'furry little problem' since first year," she said easily, causing the other three Marauders to stare at her blankly, "and of the fact that you three were Animagi since the end of fifth year, though I'd had my suspicions that something was up since the beginning of fourth." She caught sight of the three's stunned expressions and frowned.
"Wait, you didn't really think I would mind, did you?" she asked. Apparently their expressions were enough of an answer for her. "Let's get one thing straight here. Remus being a werewolf in no way impacts my opinion of him as he is the exact same person he would be without the transformation being a part of his life. While I don't approve of the illegality of it, I do admire the fact that you went to so much work and risked so much to help Remus handle his transformations. Honestly, I'm rather proud to know all four of you, and am pretty impressed with your magic." There was silence in which they processed her words, and in which Remus looked gratefully at Lily, his smile softening slightly.
"Thanks, Lils. I would have told them that you already knew, but their reactions were too good to pass up. I don't often get a chance to get them back for their pranks on me, so this was pretty much a golden opportunity." Lily smiled brightly at him, and gave the werewolf a high five.
"Good thinking. Glad I could help with payback." she responded, smirking slightly.
"Right then, that settles it." Sirius said, turning slightly dazedly to James. "Prongs, you have to find a way to get this girl to marry you. It is official, you can't ever break up with her, even if you wanted to. Which, knowing you, you would never want to do anyway so that shouldn't be a problem. Nobody else is good enough anymore." Lily turned pink and James snorted, not taking his eyes off of his girlfriend as he responded to his friend.
"What do you think I've been working towards since first year? Eternal dating? An endless chase to get her to go out with me in the first place?" he asked sarcastically. Lily's blush deepened at that, and she cleared her throat in embarrassment.
"Well, now that all of that was taken care of, if you don't mind I'm going to return to my book seeing as I have a two foot essay on it due on Monday." The others nodded, and began to return to the entrance again, though James lingered behind for a moment.
"Don't worry, Flower, we'll get out of your hair now." he said with a quick peck to her cheek. "I'll see you later." He began to follow the others out of the room, and Lily sent him a smile before turning back to the thick tome on the desk.
"See you later, James." she called out after him. The door clicked shut behind them, and Lily was in a peaceful silence once more. Several minutes later, she nearly jumped out of her skin as the door slammed open with a bang as James returned to the room.
"Wait, when did Snape confess his love to you in front of the portrait hole?"