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Scarlett Heart

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It was late in the evening as I sat cross legged on the Lily Evans floor. I had been staying here for the last week and it had been a great week. However things had been a little awkward all week because I had been sitting on a rather large secret. Lily knew immediately and had ceaselessly berated me to tell her until on this very night, the last night of my stay. I bit the bullet and confessed to her what had happened.

“You did what!?” Lily exclaimed hopping up from her bed with all the noise of a cannon going off.

“Well I didn’t exactly do anything he just sorta kissed me and I just kinda let it happen I guess” I explained lamely.

The redhead gaped at me plopping down on her bed as the door to her room suddenly swung open “would you please stay quiet and go to bed?! I swear you’ll wake the neighbors at this rate” Petunia snapped at us.

“Sorry Tunie” Lily muttered as the brunette turned on her heels and stalked out of the room. Leaving the door ajar as she strode back to her room down the hall.

Moments later Mrs. Evans appeared looking after her eldest daughter. “What is Petunia all worked up about?”

Me and Lily shrugged in unison which seemed to make Mrs. Evans mildly suspicious based on the look she gave us. Then she sighed “best you both get to bed tomorrow you’ll be leaving for Hogwarts”

“Finally I can’t wait” I sighed laying back on my sleeping bag.

Mrs. Evans gave me a light smile “I’m glad you got to stay with us this week Scarlett”

“Thanks for letting me come Mrs. E” I smiled up at Lily’s mother who bid us a goodnight, clicked off the light, and closed the door. We were both very quiet listening as Mrs. Evans’ feet tracked down the hall to Petunia’s room.

Once we were sure she wasn’t going to be able to hear us. Lily scrambled over to her bedside table and pulled out a small flashlight she clicked on. So we could see each other again “now spill I want all the details.”

“Alright, alright” I sighed “we were the last two left on the platform James and Peter had went off with the Potters and Sirius had been lead off by his brother. Remus said he had something he wanted to tell me and then my parents showed up. I went to walk off and next thing I knew he had turned me around and well… kissed me”

“Wow” Lily gaped in the light of the flashlight “That’s kinda romantic” she murmured “does this mean you’re going to go out with him?”

“Well…” I trailed not sure how to answer the question.

“Well what?” Lily pestered “you like him don’t you?”

“Yes” I responded quickly “but I also like-“ I stopped abruptly not sure what exactly I was saying.

Lily however sucked in a large quantity of air knowing exactly what I was about to say “you like someone else!”

There were footsteps outside. Lily clicked off the flashlight and we both laid down pulling up the covers as the door opened. Mrs. Evans surveyed the room for a moment as we feigned sleep before closing the door again. We listened for her footsteps to fade before we sat up and Lily clicked back on the light.

“Who is it?” She immediately whispered “another marauder?” I opened my mouth again and then closed it. Lily didn’t need me to answer audibly to figure out what was going on in my head. Best friends tend to be annoying like that “Not Peter.” She declared thinking “you and James act more like siblings that means.. oh! Oh! Oh!”

“Shhhh” I exclaimed as realization dawned on her face. “Keep it down or your mother or sister will hear”

“But you can’t Scarlett he’s a complete flirt” Lily objected.

“It’s not like I chose to feel this way” I pointed out to the redhead “and I’m not even really sure that I do like him”

“If you’re not sure than why be so hesitant with Remus?” She inquired

“Because he’s my friend. Because dating him could ruin that. Because it’s going to get really complicated if I am dating Remus and I figure out these feelings aren’t helpful” I burst.

Lily let off an exasperated sigh “Scarlett you kissed him I think we’re a little past all that” the girl advised wisely “I mean whatever you do you’re going to have to talk to Remus. I mean what does your brain say? Go for the gentleman who has already expressed his feelings or the flirt who you can’t be sure of?”

I thought on Lily’s questions and my grandmother’s words came back to me. “When it comes to choices in life remember to listen to your heart but never ignore your brain” I contemplated the concept carefully then sighed as my head began to hurt.

“Oh what have I gotten myself into?” I exclaimed desperately burying my face in my pillow.

“Quite the predicament I’d say” she sighed laying back on her bed to. We left the conversation there for the night. Lily retired her flashlight and we both settled down for bed.
___________________
Glass was shattering. My mother was screaming. I could smell the rancid stench of alcohol on his breath as he yelled. There was so much noise. My head hurt my side hurt. He grabbed a large mound of my hair and pulled me to the ground before kicking me hard.

“Edgar stop!” My mothers cry was cut off by a loud smack.

He had hit her. His own sick wife. My rage got me to my feet. However I was smacked back to the ground again. The mineral taste of iron blood filled my mouth the carpet blurred in my vision.

My mother was crying. She was always crying. I just wish she didn’t have to cry anymore. Why did he make her cry?
__________
I gasped awake with a start sitting bolt upright. Lily was still sleeping soundly on her bed. She barely stirred as I swallowed the dry lump in my throat and got shakily to my feet. I walked over to the door and turned the knob softly. I internally cursed my hand for shaking so much. It had only been a nightmare. A nightmare of a bad memory.

I crept across the dark hall into the Evans’s bathroom. Closing the door and locking it behind me before flicking on the light. Looking at my very reflection reminded me of my mother. We had the same thin blonde hair and blue eyes. An image of my sickly mother weeping shot across my brain and I watched my reflection flinch.

My hands slowly traveled to the hem of my shirt and I lifted it delicately. The entire right side of my abdomen was an ugly bluish purple. I grimaced at the sight of it. More for remembrance of it’s cause then the actual pain it gave me. It was a gift from my father a final gift before throwing me off to the Evans before I would head on to what he called my “devil school” of course with how much his drunken voice slurred these days it came off more as “de-vel s-c-oool” I glared at my reflection as if I was glaring at him.

My mother had barely managed to let me go and stay with the Evans for the last week of summer. Her pleas and reminders that Mr. and Mrs. Evans were muggles fell on all to often deaf ears. Further when my father became annoyed with her buzzing in his ears he would swat her away like a fly. He used to only strike her when he was drunk it had been mostly yelling. Now he was drunk all the time and my mother seemed his favorite punching bag.

I was my mother’s only shield though she all to often begged me to leave. I refused. I refused to back down to him. I refused to obey him. I refused to run to my room like a coward when a monster was hitting my mother.

A small line of tears trickled down my cheek. I watched its fall in the mirror. I was a coward. I ran off to school and was glad for it. Glad to escape even though I was leaving my mother in his clutches. I felt sick just thinking about it all.

There was a light knock on the door. “Scarlett are you alright?” Came Lily’s sleepy whisper.

“Y-yeah I’m fine” I tried to wipe away the tears as I heard Lily immediately reaching for the key above the door frame. She was a very good best friend.

The door opened slowly and I watched Lily’s eyes widened as she looked at my face. “Scarlett you’re crying” she gasped. Her eyes then traveled to the bruise on my side which I then quickly covered.

“It’s nothing Lily” I muttered racking my brain for some feeble excuse for the bruise.

“It’s not nothing Scarlett” Lily snapped so sternly my head automatically looked up into her concerned green eyes. “You’re hurt. What happened? Who did this? Was it-“ Lily choked on the end of her sentence as more tears began to openly pour from my eyes.

I collapsed in a crying heap on the floor and Lily came down to sit next to me. The next half hour was filled with my and now Lily’s cry as well as my explaining. I didn’t tell her everything. I couldn’t but she understood enough. When it was over she didn’t say anything and she didn’t question me further. She simply hugged me and let my cry into her shoulder.

Then in a strained voice that held both sadness and anger but was solid in certainty “you’re no coward Scarlett. He is.”

She was a really great best friend.

Chapter Text

The next morning at breakfast Lily kept shooting looks from me to her parents. It had taken me quite sometime to convince her not to tell anyone what I had said to her whilst sobbing on the floor of the bathroom.

“My mother still loves him Lily” I had told her “it’ll break her heart that’s the only reason she’s still with him”

I was watching Lily’s internal struggle as I sat across from her at the table. No one was the wiser. Petunia was engaging Mrs. Evans in a conversation about what one of the kids that she attended school with was up to this summer and Mr. Evans face was hidden behind his newspaper.

“Oh look at the time” Mrs. Evans spoke lightly as she stood from the table “Darling best be getting the girls off to the station”

“Yes dear” Mr. Evans nodded folding his paper and rising with his coffee mug in hand. I looked across at Lily she looked at her parents with a look of struggle before looking at me and seeming to resign. She had decided not to tell my secret.

There was a lot of scrambling and grabbing as me and Lily scurried around the house collecting our things. Once we were ready Mrs. Evans gave each of us a big hugs and wished us a good year telling Lily not to be shy in writing. Petunia and Lily shared a rather awkward hug before we loaded in the car with Mr. Evans and set off for Kings cross.

A mix of fear and anxiety had fallen over me as we headed toward the train. The entire summer I had been eager to get back to school and be free. To see the marauders smiling at me and Marlene waking me every morning with some goofy exclamation that brought smiles to all our faces. Quidditch practice and games with the crowd cheering. Full moons when I’d get to transform with the boys and fly through the sky.

However Lily had reminded me of a very important fact, I had to talk to Remus. I had to decide whether I would accept his feelings for me or try and sort out whatever my heart was doing in regards to the obnoxious Sirius Black.

When we reached the station Mr. Evans found us a cart to put all our trunks on and then left us at the barrier. He hugged Lily tightly and told her to have a good year. I watched them and felt a small needle of jealous shoot through my heart. Lily and me entered onto Platform 9 ¾ together pushing our trunks down the train.

“Do you sense anyone?” She inquired.

I closed my eyes for a moment “yeah the marauders aren’t sitting that far away from Marlene, Alice, and Frank actually”

We lugged are trunks onto the train and made our way down the corridor. When we reached the compartment where Lily was going to be staying we were greet first by the as always very hyper Marlene.

“hi guys” she cheered wrapping us both in a large hug.

“Hello” Alice smiled at us and I got a glimpse that her and Frank were holding hands from where they sat next to each other. I was so happy for them but my stomach churned at the thought that I still had to talk to Remus.

“You better go find the boys” Lily told me with an understanding smile “they’ll be wondering where you are.”

I nodded and carried on down the hallway. When I reached the compartment the boys were in I took a deep breath before going inside. James and Sirius seemed to be talking excitedly about something while Peter was building a playing card tower and Remus was reading.

“Hey Scarlett” Moony smiled noticing me first and I smiled back not sure what to say as words were now failing me.

“Screechy” Sirius exclaimed and my words came back very fast.

“Don’t call me Screechy” I snapped at him with a glare. The boys just continued to smirk.

“Here I’ll help you with your trunk” Remus offered.

“Thanks” I murmured once my trunk was stowed I took my seat. Every time me and Remus locked eyes we both blushed. Upon my arrival I had thought he might have forgotten what happened last we’d seen each other. However that was a dumb idea and the never ending blush on our faces proved as much.

“Everyone have a good summer?” James asked while Sirius and Peter fell into a discussion about Wormtail’s playing cards.

“Yeah it was fun” Remus nodded.

“Totally” I muttered in agreement looking out the window. One glance at James’s suspicious expression told me that he thought something was going on between me and Remus. I felt my stomach curl. The last time Sirius and James got suspicious about me and Remus they had ended up nearly getting eaten by Moony.

The rest of the train ride was probably the most awkward one I had ever experienced. The awkwardness growing between me and Remus wasn’t even dented by the abrupt explosion of Peter’s card castle.

“I told you to use muggle cards” Remus had muttered while Peter looked at the wreckage sadly. James and Sirius were just laughing at Pete’s smoking eyebrows.

When we got off the train James was talking in elaborate hand gestures at Sirius regaling the events of a prank he pulled on some of his parents unexpecting guests over the summer. “Then Padfoot guess what my dad said?” James paused for a moment for Sirius to reply but when the long haired boy offered nothing Prongs continued “he said-“

“Hi guys” We had reached the compartment where Lily and the others were exiting. “Have a good summer?”

“Yeah McKinnon it was pretty grand” James answered “actually I was just telling Padfoot here-“

“We don’t have time for some story Potter we have to get off the train” Lily spoke up “you’re clogging up the whole hallway”

I glanced over my shoulder and saw a large clamor of kids waiting to get off the train. James sighed and we all headed off the train rather resignedly. Lily kept giving me looks as we all walked toward the carriages that were to take us to the castle. I hated that look.

A large bursting of laughter made me jump James had evidently finished his story as he and Sirius were nearly doubled over in laughter. “Took him long enough” Remus chuckled next to me. “He’s been trying to finish that story for the last half hour”

I hid a laugh in my hand as we chose a carriage. Me and marauders loaded into one and settled down for the ride. “Did you see Longbottom and Lightwood holding hands?” Sirius asked “must have gotten together over the summer”

“Yeah but it’s not like we didn’t see it coming” I pointed out. All the boys gave a confused look “you’re kidding it was obvious they both like each other” more blank looks “boys” I sighed.

“Speaking of two people liking each other” Sirius eyes glinted mischievously. I felt heat rise in my cheeks. I was getting really sick of all of these stupid emotions. “I noticed these two kids kissing on the platform last year as I was leaving”

“Really do we know them?” Peter asked obviously oblivious to how red both me and Remus were getting.

Sirius looked ready to respond but the carriage stopped right in front of the school. Me and Remus bustled everyone out of the carriage. As we walked on into the entrance hall. James and Peter became involved in their own conversation.

Sirius was giving me and Remus a knowing look “you’re a really git you know that?” I snapped quietly.

“Hey you’re the ones who decided to kiss in the middle of the platform” Padfoot shrugged. “I mean you think I’m the only one that saw?”

He gave a cheeky smirk and headed off with James and Peter into the great hall I stared after him. “You know he has a point” Remus murmured next to me “but you weren’t the one to really do the kissing.” I turned to look at him “maybe we should talk… about it”

I nodded dodging carefully past the ever vigilant Professor Mcgonagall who was waiting for the first years we stepped around a pillar in the enterance hall to talk.

“So” I murmured.

“So” Remus repeated then took a shaking deep breath. “Listen Scarlett I.. I like you. I mean you’re smart and funny and you certainly can put up with the others like no one else. Plus you know about… my furry little problem and all that” he took a deep breath “so because of all of that I was going to ask you at the train station but things kinda got jumbled but… ah.. will you go out with me?”

I blinked this entire time I had been dreading what I was going to say to Remus but at this point he had done all the talking. Now he was looking at me with a great amount of fear in his eyes. I held his heart in my hands and looking into those sweet eyes I didn’t know what to say.

My grandmother’s and Lily’s words echoed in my head he was the logical choice he was what my brain said would make me happy and I did like him. “Yeah I’d like that” I smiled “I like you to”

Remus broke into a wide grin. “Yeah?”

“Yeah” I nodded.

Remus wrapped me in a large hug and I hugged him back and my heart soared. I was happy this made me happy. “Mrs. Tanner and Mr. Lupin” we turned Mcgonagall had found us “Please go into the hall the first years will be here in a moment”

“Uh yes ma’am” Remus smiled at her. He took my hand and lead me off into the great hall. I felt a large amount of the stress on my shoulders ease away as I intertwined my fingers in his. I had made the right decision.

As we entered the hall and made are way down the table. I heard a distinct “oooh” and locked eyes with Marlene she had obviously noticed me holding Remus’s hand. I shot her a smile and she bumped Lily who also smiled at me and gave me a thumbs up.

Then we reached the boys. “Hey looks like they got official” Sirius exclaimed as we sat down across from James and him.

“Oh shut up” I snapped at him.

He was smirking. “Wait you two are a thing now?” James inquired looking between me and Remus confused.

I shrugged and Remus put on his marauders smirk “really slow aren’t you mate?”

James shot a glare at Moony that slowly turned into a smirk “so the pair Padfoot saw kissing on the platform…”

“I said shut up” I threatened Sirius and James who were rolling with laughter. They continued to laugh as the first years filed in to be sorted and I ended up laughing with them. Despite all the stress I had been feeling I real was happy to be back home.

Chapter Text

“Check mate!” James declared with a smug grin.

Remus sighed in defeat. Looking down at the chessboard. “Alright Peter it’s your turn” the werewolf grumbled rising from where he had been seated at the coffee table.

“Oh don’t be such a sore loser Moony” James exclaimed still grinning broadly.

“I’m not a sore loser” Remus objected as he sat down next to me placing an arm around my shoulders sweetly. I snuggled slightly closer to him on the couch.

James narrowed his eyes at us. While Peter took a seat next to him and began resetting the board with minor complaining from the chess pieces. Seems they didn’t want to get massacred by James again.

“Wait a minute did you throw the match so you could get all cuddly with your girlfriend?” Potter exclaimed incredulously.

Both me and Remus opened our mouths to object but a scoff from a chair next to us cut in. “Moony wouldn’t throw the match Prongs he’d kick your ass and then kindly resign from playing Wormtail.” Sirius muttered “if you remember he’s the nice one”

Remus sighed exasperatedly “why am I the nice one?”

James and Sirius broke into a horrible set of giggles at Remus’s question. I had to contain my own laughter slightly. “Come on Moony can you see any of us being the nice one?” Sirius spoke between laughs.

This seemed to rather put out Remus “oh relax babe being the nice one isn’t a bad thing” I reassured him kissing him on the cheek and he grinned. “The nice one gets to keep a girlfriend for longer than a week” I shot a pointed look at Sirius who’s current girlfriend was curled up next to him in his chair fast asleep.

“Oi I can have a girlfriend for longer than a week” he defended pointedly.

“Past actions haven’t proven that to be very true mate” James muttered with an honest voice beginning his match against Peter.

Sirius opened his mouth to object when the girl curled at his side woke up with a yawn. “Did I fall asleep Siri?” I gagged at her nickname for him as he smiled down at her.

“Yeah but it's alright” Sirius gave her a charming grin that made her giggle slightly.

“What were you guys talking about?” She inquired.

“Care for Magical creatures” I muttered grumpily catching a look from Remus that plainly meant “be nice”

“Oh that’s one of my favorite subjects” She voice happily

I made a small sound of acknowledgement returning my attention back to James and Peter’s chess match. The girl seemed about to continue the conversation when the portrait door opened and a very excited person came dashing in. For a moment I thought it was Marlene with their surge of energy however I quickly realized after seeing a dash of blazing red hair that it was in fact Lily.

“There’s going to be a dance! There’s going to be a dance!” She cheered excitedly. “Right before Christmas break” she plopped onto the couch on the other side of Remus and thrust the flier she was holding into my hands. “Isn’t this exciting?” She inquired.

“Thrilling” I muttered scanning over the document before looking up at her. “What’s got you all excited about it?”

Lily gave me a look as though I had two heads “a whole night for us to have fun dancing around and there’s going to be a feast and everything it’s going to be incredible! Come on Scarlett you have to be excited.”

I shrugged not all that interested to be honest “This does look fun” Remus spoke lightly examining the flier with a smile “we could go together”

I sighed “alright than I guess-“

“Yay” Lily cheered excited about my acceptance.

“Hey Evans you know if you still need a date-“

“No Potter”

“Sirius we can go together” Sirius’s girl had spoke up again.

“Yeah sure” Sirius told her with his same charming smile.

“If they last until then” I heard Lily mutter before she turned back to me. “Want to come with me to tell the other girls?” She asked eagerly.

I sighed and nodded getting up. “I’ll catch up with you later” Remus told me.

I started to head toward the portrait hole with Lily until with one blink I realized we were heading in the wrong direction. “Oh Alice and Marlene are in the dorm” I informed her.

“Oh” she said with a smile and turned heading toward the steps. We climbed them quickly but just as we reached the hallway to our rooms a voice called behind me.

“Scarlett?” I turned to see it was Sirius’s girlfriend.

“Yeah?” I looked at her confused.

“Can I talk to you?” she asked seeming rather awkward about it and glancing at Lily warily. “In private?”

I sighed and turned back to Lily “I’ll join you in a minute” the redhead nodded and went on to are room while I turned to the 3rd year that was shifting on her feet. “What do you need?”

“Well I wasn’t completely honest back in the common room that is I was pretending a little bit” she muttered not looking up at me but taking great interest in the wall.

“Pretending about what?” I asked crossing my arms even more confused about what this girl. Whom I wasn’t even sure of the name of was talking about.

“Well you see I heard what you all were saying even though I pretended not to. I heard what you said about Sirius not staying with girls very long” She explained still finding the wall quite interesting it seemed.

“Sorry then” I muttered not really all that sorry “we probably shouldn’t have been saying all that”

“No it’s alright” the girl spoke quickly finally lifting her head to look at me “it’s just I want you to know I’m going to try and be different. I know what the other girls say about the player Sirius Black and I think I can change him you see. Make him better” I listened silently as the girl went on. “And since I’m planning to stick around I’d really like to be your friend you know? I mean everyone knows you and those boys are thick as thieves and since your dating Lupin-“ I cut the girl off with a raised hand.

“Listen I really don’t want to sound mean or anything” I began delicately not believing I was actually having this conversation. “But I honestly don’t even know your name. Me and the others made a bit of an agreement you see we wouldn’t get to close with any of Sirius’s flirtations unless we knew he was well serious about them and you’ve only been around for what? Three days? So I guess what I’m saying is we could be friends but I’d have to wait until you’ve lasted for awhile before I could give you a definite answer on that.”

The shorter girl blinked up at me. This apparently had not been the answer she had expected of me. “My names Cynthia” she provided after a moment “and when exactly will I have been around awhile?”

I shifted on my feet thinking for a moment “how about the end of the week?” I offered

Cynthia nodded seeming rather put out as she turned and walked back down the steps toward the common room. I sighed turning to go back to my own room after Lily. I could already hear Marlene’s giddy squeal.
____________
Cynthia did not last till the end of the week in fact she didn’t even last until the end of the next day. I watched from where I sat next to Remus in transfiguration as Sirius flirted with a Ravenclaw 4th year.

“It’s a shame that last girl seemed nice” Remus murmured seeing were I was looking.

“Nice, clingy, gossipy, as long as they look pretty Sirius will date them” I muttered coldly.

Remus scoffed “isn’t that the truth.” I smiled amused “Hey you know I was thinking for our first Hogsmeade trip we could break away from the others and have a bit of a date?”

I looked over at him and smiled “I think that sounds perfect” I murmured seconds later the bell tolled and we were dismissed from class. We all rose to gather our things.

“Tanner might I have a word?” Mcgonagall called. I exchanged a look with the others before turning to walk over to the professor's desk as they left the room.

“Whatever you suspect the boys of doing I don’t know anything about it” I muttered. Having been called to stay after class for similar reasons before.

The professor gave me a wary look before speaking “I simply wanted to ask you how things were for you at home” my blood felt like it had suddenly frozen and my mouth had become very dry. She couldn’t know there was no way she could have known about my father about the bruise on my side that had only just begun to heal about the screaming and the beating. Unless.. Lily. Lily could have told her she might not have told her parents but she might have confided in our head of house she could ha- “Your grandmother wrote to me regarding your mother's condition and asked me to check in on you”

My entire body relaxed slightly but still stayed tense. “Oh thanks but I’m okay” I reassured her.

The professor nodded but fixed me with a look that told me she didn’t quite believe me. “Well if you need anything don’t hesitate to ask” she assured me “now best you be off to your next class”

“Uh yes professor” I muttered “thank you” I finished gathering my things and quickly left the classroom. Walking at a rather fast pace as thoughts raced through my head. My grandmother had wrote to Mcgonagall. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t know if I felt grateful or betrayed.

Chapter Text

“We cannot just hang out at Honeydukes this time Moony” Sirius exclaimed as we walked down the path toward Hogsmeade.

“yeah we want to actually get some supplies at Zonko’s this time” James added.

Remus was smirking as he took my hand “sorry boys but see me and Scarlett are going to be hanging out today”

“What? You’re ditching us?” Sirius cried dramatically.

“He’s taking his girlfriend on a date Sirius” I pestered the boy “maybe if you took some of your girls on dates they’d last longer” Sirius made a pouty face and stuck his tongue out at me. “Juvenile much?”

“Moony your cheating on us?” James exclaimed suddenly putting a hand to his mouth. “How could you?”

“Come now Prongs you know you’re all my three and only” Remus joked and I had to stifle a laugh. As James and Sirius wrapped Remus in a big hug.

“They will never settle down will they?” Peter muttered next to me.

“If James Potter and Sirius Black ever stopped being crazy I think the world would stop spinning” I chuckled. Peter scoffed.

“Well I guess we’ll catch you love birds later than” Sirius called slowly backing away from the group he had a grin on his face that didn’t reassure anyone “last one to Zonko’s pays” he suddenly exclaimed turning to bolt.

James and Peter took off after him at a run. Soon enough they were out of sight. “So where to first?” Remus asked rocking our hands back and forth between us as we walked down the line of buildings.

“Well unlike the other marauders I like Honeydukes” I told him happily.

He smiled brightly and I felt my heart rise in my chest. I loved his smile. Honeydukes was packed as always on the weekend. We held hands tightly as we weaved our way through the crowd toward the chocolate section. We had barely stopped to look when I heard a distinct scoff behind me and groaned.

“Well well if it isn’t Tanner and Lupin sitting in a tree” I turned around and glared as Monti Carter stood there with her friends sniggering.

“What are you jealous Carter?” I asked snidely.

“As if. Everyone knows those marauders are trouble.” She snapped shooting a glare at Remus who was staying oddly quiet through all of this. “But of course you’re just as bad as-“

“Oh shut up Carter and go torment some more first years” I snapped at her. I was not giving up my great day to her foul mood.

“That’s going to be hard none of the first years are scared of her” The new voice came from someone standing nearby. We turned and were shocked to see a carbon copy of Monti Carter standing there. The only difference was that she had a pig snout. “She’ll have to find someone new to terrorize.”

Carter seemed so shocked at the appearance of her piggy doppelgänger that her mouth kept opening and closing as if she were a fish stuck on land. “You’re you’re-“ the pig Monti let out a loud snort that made Monti scream. Her and her cronies turned and left the shop quickly. I could hear them screaming insults in between my and Remus’s laughter.

The pig Monti was smiling. Then as I watched her she screwed up her face and transformed into a small short pink haired girl I didn’t recognize. “My names Tonks” she offered extending her hand proudly.

“I’m Scarlett Tanner this Remus Lupin that was bloody brilliant” I told her shaking her hand.

“Thanks” Tonks looked to the door of the shop where Monti and her friends had disappeared. “It was a fun bit of a vengeance considering I was one of those first years she terrorized” the girl explained.

I blinked confused but Remus was the one to speak up “what? But first years aren’t allowed to Hogsmeade”

Tonks put a finger to her mouth and shushed us “I’d like it if you didn’t rat me out to the rest of the school thanks”

“Yeah alright but I owe you one” I told her with a smile.

“don’t worry about it” Tonks reassured “I’ll see you lot around”

Just like that she screwed up her eyes and transformed into someone else disappearing in the crowd. “How on earth is a first year able to change like that” Remus gaped.

“I have no idea” I responded simply. “But she’s a really cool first year”

“We’ll have to warn her away from Sirius than” Remus joked and I chuckled alongside him as we turned to observe the different candy options before us.

We didn’t see the other marauders for the rest of the day. As we explored the different knickknack shops. Munching absently on Honeydukes candy as we went before settling down in three broomsticks for a warm mug of butterbeer. Things were going great then with the scrapping of chairs and the shuffling of feet the marauders sat down around us.

“Hello” Remus muttered into his drink not hiding his annoyance. “Have a good day?”

“A great day actually” James smirked “we figured something out”

Remus nearly choked on his butterbeer while James and Sirius smirked “you’re kidding?”

“Nope” Sirius smirked popping his P. “We’ve done it”

“What are you all talking about?” I inquired eyeing them suspiciously.

“Marauders business” Sirius responded quickly before anyone could “and as you enjoy reminding us you are not a marauder”

I shot glares between them “sorry” Remus sighed.

“It’s fine” I muttered not really annoyed. They were right I had chosen very adamantly years ago that I did not want to be a marauder. Though now I was kinda regretting it.

I sighed and looked around spotting Lily and Marlene making to leave. “Well you guys can have your boy time and I’m going to go have some girls time with my dorm mates.” I told them rising “see you later” I smiled at Remus kissing him lightly on the lips.

“Yeah okay” Remus responded as I walked off. Glancing back I saw the boys talking in excited whispers hunched over their table. I was very suspicious about what they were doing.

I caught Lily and Marlene right outside the door and headed back to the castle talking to them. “So how are you and Mr. Marauder?” Marlene inquired once we had entered the common room.

“Oh goodness I wish everybody would stop making such a big deal about him being a marauder” I told them as we took seat around the fire.

“Well he is one and it’s a title that comes with a certain reputation” Marlene pointed out with a grin.

I sighed “yeah but that’s only because of Sirius and James” I objected they gave me pointed looks “as far as the written record is concerned anyway”

We all giggled lightly as we sat around snacking on some jelly slugs. “I also heard there was some trouble with Carter today” Lily voiced.

“Yeah there was but it was resolved by this shapeshifting first year” I explained.

The pair exchanged a look “you ran into the Metamorphmagus?” Marlene gasped.

“Is that what she is?” I inquired perplexed “is that how she was able to change her appearance so well?”

“Yeah metamorphmagus can change their appearance at will.” Marlene explained “their born that way I think I had a great something or other that was one. Mom talks about it sometimes”

“We ran into the one here at Hogsmeade earlier she turned into Alice in order to sneak into town then changed into Bertha Jorkins” Lily explained.

“Frank looked a little shell shocked about there being two of his girlfriend” Marlene broke into a fit of giggles “it was hilarious”

We all started to laugh at the idea of Frank blushing like a tomato at the idea of two Alice’s running around. Then I thought about how Alice might have reacted to him and started laughing even more.

Chapter Text

The next couple weeks were a not so fun scramble as news of the upcoming dance flew through the school. Lily and Marlene had been talking about it nonstop. Tonks the hufflepuff had integrated herself unexpectedly into our little group. She had apparently been caught at Hogsmeade after Monti Carter went crying to Mcgonagall about seeing herself with a pig snout. This had landed her in detention at the same time as the marauders who had pulled another prank on Severus. It was then revealed that she and Sirius were relate. Tonks was the daughter of Sirius’s favorite cousin as it just so happened. After that she had become just as involved in marauders pranking as I had at one point been.

“Is that Sirius’s latest girl?” Lily asked as we left potions one day to see the marauders talking to Tonks.

“No he asked though” I explained “she turned him down turns out they’re related. It’s Tonks”

“Oh I didn’t realize” Marlene murmured “last we saw her she had long green hair”

“I’ll catch you guys later” I told them and headed over to the boys and Tonks who was dawning pink hair that rested in line with her ears . “Guys please stop corrupting young minds” I muttered at them.

“Relax Scarlett I was corrupted long before I came here” Tonks assured me with a smile. “I do have to get to my common room though I’m meeting some friends. I’ll see you all later”

“Bye, don’t forget we’re meeting in the library tomorrow after class” Remus called after her.

“Yeah wouldn’t miss it” the girl called after us before disappearing up the steps.

“Why are you meeting her in the library?” I asked mildly confused on the interaction. I looked over to my boyfriend and as quick as lightning saw a blush shoot across his cheeks.

“Moony offered to give her private tutor sessions” Sirius muttered a smug look on his face “in private”

“Shut up Padfoot it’s not like that” Remus snapped at him. Now there was quite clearly a blush on his face.

“What? I didn’t say anything” Sirius responded cockily though there was a harsher edge to his voice.

“You know very well what you were implying” Remus responded with the same edge. The sick churning feeling that I had been experiencing the entire previous summer returned with a harsh vengeance.

“Whatever you say man” Sirius scoffed “you were the one eyeing her in detention”

“I said shut up” Remus repeated.

James suddenly stepped between the two boys whose gazes had both hardened into glares. “Relax guys let’s not go to blows now at least not in the middle of the hallway”

I glanced around and realized that we were now the center of attention for many wandering eyes. “Come on let’s just go” I took Remus’s hand and dragged him out of the hallway at a brisk pace.

“Scarlett. Scarlett wait” Remus pulled me to a stop and I turned to face him. “Listen you didn’t put any stock in what Sirius said did you?” He asked looking at me with a small amount of desperation in his eyes.

“No of course not” I reassured him giving his hand a light squeeze. “I trust you”

Remus let off a deep breath he had been holding “good because really I only offered Tonks lessons because she wasn’t doing well in defense against the dark arts and I wanted to help since she’s our friend now and-“

Remus continued to ramble for a couple more seconds but I didn’t listen much because I knew him. I knew his tone. I knew his face. I knew how he looked when he lied.
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I scanned over the letter my grandparents had just sent me about my mothers ever worsening condition as the marauders talked next to me at breakfast. Tonight was the full moon and they were making plans for what they wanted to do. It hadn’t taken long before the boys had decided that the confines of the shack were boring and decided we needed to branch out and explore. Remus often objected.

“This is a bad idea what if- what if you can’t control me?” Remus voiced.

“We’ve done it before why should this time be any different?” Sirius inquired.

“You never know do you? Which is why we shouldn’t risk it” Remus insisted.

James sighed exasperatedly and went to respond when something over my shoulder caught his attention “hello”

I turned to see a fidgety Marlene hovering over my shoulder. “What do you need?” I asked eyeing her suspiciously as she shifted from foot to foot.

“Well I wanted to talk to Peter” the girl informed lightly.

We all turned to the smallest Marauder who was seated on the other side of Remus. Wormtail looked at her wide eyed and didn’t say anything. Remus kicked him gruffly under the table “uh.. yes?”

“Well I was uh.. wondering if you might go to the christmas dance with me?” Marlene inquired sheepishly. I gaped at her shocked.

Peter gaped at her as well seeming even more shocked. Remus kicked him again and he closed his mouth with a snap before speaking again. “O-okay”

Marlene immediately brightened and started practically vibrating “Really!?” Peter nodded Marlene squealed and dashed off down the table to where Lily and Alice were waiting for her return.

“Wow James looks like you’ll be the only one single at the dance” Remus commented as we all got over the shock of what just happened. Peter looked as though he had been petrified.

James and Sirius however had gone into a fit of laughter “yeah I’ll have to go stag” James choked out between laughs.

I rolled my eyes at them working hard to contain my laughter. “Oh not this again” Remus murmured though he was also grinning. “They got into a round of these horrible puns last night and it took them hours to settle themselves enough to go to sleep” the werewolf informed and I scoffed completely believing it.

“Hey Remus” there was a call from down the hall and we all turned to the hufflepuff table to see Tonks waving at us. Obviously oblivious to the fact that she had stuck her hand in a bowl of porridge.

Remus waved back with a smile. “Rather clumsy isn’t she?” I muttered watching her amused.

“Yeah but I think it’s funny” Remus shrugged.

“Bet you would” I muttered under my breath. Silence swept over the boys.

“What do you mean?” Remus asked his voice tense.

“Nothing” I mumbled not really wanting to answer.

The boys didn’t seem as convinced. “I think you’re in the dog house mate” Sirius chuckled across the table.

“Oh shut up Sirius” I snapped closing my book. “I’ll see you guys later” I declared and with that I got up and walked off to sit with the girls. I heard Remus call after me but didn’t even glance back and he took the hint not to say anything.
_____________
I was staring out the window at the red and purple sky that evening the boys were chattering around behind me. I caught snippets and repeatedly heard my name before inevitably Remus appeared at my side. We didn’t say anything for a long time.

“You like her don’t you” I stated it so plainly that it took Remus a moment to register. I couldn’t say it any other way. The churning storm in my stomach wouldn’t allow me to neither could the deep gash forming in my heart. I waited eyes fixed on the sky for his reply.

“I think so” he muttered under his breath “but not like I like you I mean it’s just…” he trailed not sure how to finish the sentence.

“You know my grandmother told me that I should listen to my head over my heart” I told him quietly “that’s why I agreed to go out with you because while I liked you I also…”

“Liked someone else” Remus finished “and I was the more logical option”

I nodded finally turning to look at him. His eyes a swirl of emotion just as I assumed mine were. “I don’t think she was right Remus. I can’t not listen to what my heart says”

The boy nodded “I understand” we were quiet for a moment as we turned back to watching the sky again. “We were better as friends anyway. There was less pressure and less comments”

I looked to see a small bittersweet smile forming on his face “you are my best friend” I told him and we hugged briefly. Before turning to see three heads swing out of sight around a corner. “Well aren’t you lot nosy” I snapped.

There was a hefty sigh as the other three marauders came around the corner. “It’s a shame you two aren’t together anymore” Sirius sighed then his face cracked in a grin “but I’m curious who this other bloke Scarlett likes might be”

“Well you can keep wondering Snuffles cuz I’m not telling” I told him defiantly.

Sirius opened his mouth to respond I assume to being referred to as Snuffles but his face paled and I didn’t need to turn to see Remus was transforming as his limbs had begun to shake and he left off a gasp of pain.

I retreated from the window and transformed. ‘Do you think we cut it to close?’ I inquired as the others transformed. The answer was yes.
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“I’m going to the kitchens what does everyone want?” James inquired as we were all collapsed in the boys room after the battle we had endured last night.

Different orders were called out and James nodded taking it all in. He threw on the cloak and headed out to collect our breakfast. “Who wants to bet he gets at least one wrong?” Sirius muttered into his pillow.

I glanced groggily up and saw everyone raising their hands with me. I was curled contently in a pile of pillows and blankets on the floor between Sirius and Remus’s beds. I had yet to be able to fall asleep but a groggy doze was a great place to rest in.

James hadn’t seemed to be gone long when the door again opened and the smell of food wafted into the room. We all settled around on the floor as James presented us each with are meals. He had evidently messed up Sirius’s order as the pair spent the next ten minutes arguing about it.

“Padfoot get your hands off my muffins” Remus smacked the other boys hand away.

“Blame Prongs I’m being forced to scavenge since he screwed up my order” Sirius objected begrudgingly as he chewed the piece of muffin he had managed to steal.

“Hey Sirius” I asked a mischievous idea coming to me. “Those muffins are chocolate and your animagus is a dog..”

James grin broadened as he caught on and Sirius just looked confused “and dogs are allergic to chocolate” Prongs finished.

Sirius’s eyes went wide. We laughed for about a minute before I regretted ever speaking up. As the boy descended into hysterics about his dying.

Chapter Text

“You broke up!” Lily exclaimed suddenly as we all prepared for bed. Causing the nearly asleep Alice to lob a pillow at her head. Which the redhead threw back with an apology.

“Yeah we both just kinda realized we were better off friends” I explained placidly.

Lily seemed to be taking this a lot worse than either me or Remus. “But he was the logical choice! He was the reason you were going to the dance!”

“Yeah about that..” I grimaced as Lily let off an indignant squeak.

“No you’re going you can’t ditch me I-“ the red head was cut off by a pillow hitting her square in the face. I turned to see a rather agitated looking Alice glaring at us.

“Go. To. Sleep” she ordered “this can wait till morning”

“Alright” Lily sighed throwing her back her pillow. Which missed and hit the grumpy fluffball that had taken to wandering about our dorm room. We all changed into our PJ’s and settled down for bed but I was pretty sure I heard Lily still grumbling about the whole thing.
____________________
“Please you have to come” Marlene begged.

“I said no” I declared firmly “I’m not going to some silly dance to make a fool of myself” I glanced down the table where Monti Carter and her cronies were messing with some innocent first year “it’s just more ammunition for Carter”

“But you won’t necessarily make a fool of yourself” Lily pleaded “I mean you could have fun”

I sighed getting really tired of all of this. Lily had become so determined to have me come to the dance that she had enlisted the help of Marlene and even sat with me and the marauders at breakfast which she never did unless things were dire.

“Come on Scarlett this is getting ridiculous just-“

“Wait” Lily held up her hand to the brunette “I have an idea one you won’t be able to refuse” she told me “I'll make you a bet”

I felt my competitive side spark and froze in my eating “what?”

“I'll make you a bet, a deal. If you go to the dance I'll do something, anything you say” Lily explained.

“Alright fine” I thought a moment debating what I could get out of this. “But we have to talk details”

“You will dress up”

“No heels or makeup”

“Makeup and heels”

“No deal”

“Make up no heels”

“Do able”

“Dress”

“My choice”

“It has to be nice and elegant”

“We can all go shopping” Marlene chirped.

“Okay” I agreed.

“And you have to have a date”

“No”

“I'll choose your date for you”

“N-” James caught my eye he was sitting on the other side of the table ducking to hide from Lily’s view behind Peter.

He had his hand clasped and was mouthing “please, please, please” pausing to point at Lily. I sighed and rolled my eyes.

“Fine I'll let you choose my date but you have to go to the dance with James” I declared wondering if this was enough to make her back out of the deal.

Lily paused and her cheeks turning bright pink as a mental debate was waged in her head. She took a deep breath gritting her teeth “fine you have a deal” we shook hands to agree.

James jumped up and yelled “yes” drawing every student's attention to the table. Lily laid her head down on the table in defeat. Then she suddenly looked up at me a horribly evil look forming on her face.

“What is it?” I asked warily.

“Oh nothing” the redhead said smuggly turning back to her breakfast.

“What?” I repeated not believing this was “nothing”

“You’ll find out later” she said the same evil grin on her face.

This did not bode well for me. I found out the reason for her smile when we left breakfast and she dragged me off to the side of the hall. “I know who I’m going to make you ask” she declared.

“Who?” I asked hoping she didn’t intend for me to have to ask anyone obnoxious.

“Sirius Black” She stated proudly.

“What!?” I burst my heart picking up speed and a small amount of heat rising to my cheeks.

“Yup.” Lily smiled “and don’t even think about backing out you made a deal” I sighed exasperatedly “come on Scarlett you like him anyway, this is just the push you two need to get together”

Lily seemed rather proud of herself but there was a rather large flaw in her logic “but what if he has a girlfriend. He’s been known to get them over night”

Lily scoffed “Scarlett haven’t you noticed that Sirius hasn’t had a single girlfriend since you and Remus broke up?”

I thought about it and she was right he hadn’t been seen getting slapped nor kissed in the hallways since that full moon. “Okay but what’s that got to do with me?”

“Maybe the reason he hasn’t asked anyone else is because he’s planning to ask someone specific” Lily suggested.

“That could be anyone though” I objected.

Lily sighed “maybe but at least its a chance right?” I sighed and nodded “if you’re going to follow your heart follow your heart girl” We linked arms giggling as we walked down the hall toward class.

Chapter Text

Now that I had agreed to go to the dance Lily had found something else to pester me about. “Ask him. Ask him. Ask him!” she whispered in my ear as we walked through the common room.

“Oh shut up,” I snapped at her in a hush glancing warily at the boys who were all huddled up laughing. I paused in my step seeing them.

“Are you going to ask him?” Lily asked as I turned in that direction.

“No I’m going to talk to them” I responded. The redhead visually deflated before leaving for class. I approached the marauders suspicious “What are you guys up to?” I asked looking over Sirius’s shoulder.

I saw James tuck a large piece of parchment hurriedly into his bag. While the other three tried to block my view of it with their bodies. “Hey Scarlett, have a good morning?” Remus inquired giving me a charming smile I was at this point immune to.

I crossed my arms and narrowed my eyes “yeah I did. Now what are you guys up to?”

Sirius was the one that stood first a cocky smirk on his face. “Let’s just say you’ll find out at lunch”

“There’s going to be a prank at lunch?” I clarified. The other three all exchanged looks but Sirius didn’t take his eyes off me.

“You’ll just have to wait and see,” he replied. Then paused “but just in case you’re mad about it afterward it was Prongs’s idea.”

“Hey!” the other marauder exclaimed annoyed.

“Why would I be mad about it?” I inquired then a thought came to mind. “You’re not pranking Severus again are you?”

The exchange of looks between James and Remus confirmed my suspicions. At this point I was also really wishing Sirius would take his eyes off me. “Like I said you’ll find out at lunch”

I locked my eyes with Sirius’s silver. We held are small staring contest for a couple seconds before I turned on my heels and marched out of the room. I wasn’t going to be getting anymore information from the marauders before lunch. I might however be able to warn Severus.

At this point I knew where most of the school common rooms were or at least had an idea. Since I could sense the large clusters of students in the school at night. So in order to find Severus and warn him of his impending doom I headed for the dungeons. I hadn’t even placed a foot on the step when there was a tap on my shoulder.

I turned and found myself facing a blue haired Tonks who looked rather awkward. “Um.. Scarlett can I talk to you for a minute?” she asked.

I was taken off guard and any thought of warning Severus faded from my mind. She looked worried. “Yeah sure what’s wrong?”

Tonks bit her lip as we turned to walk further into the entrance hall. At which point she tripped over her cloak and fell in a heap on the ground. “Oh not again” she whined as I helped her back onto her feet and we took seats on the stairs. This girl really was quite the clutz.

“It’s alright have you met Frank Longbottom?” I joked lightly “he trips over his cloak as a hobby”

Tonks smiled lightly but bit her lip again “Listen Scarlett I wanted to talk to you about Remus” she stated firmly and I felt a growing sense of awkward form between us. “You see he’s asked me to the dance and I want to go with him but I know you two just broke up and I don’t want to ruin the friendship me and you have or make things awkward so I wanted to talk to you about it first, so here I am. Please don’t be mad or anything” The entire speech came out in one quick ramble that I was left to decipher.

As I sat there for a moment thinking about what she said, a bit of annoyance came into my chest but it was quickly sanded down by a soft sense of how utterly ridiculous this all was. Me and Remus had agreed to be friends and I knew he liked her. Why on earth should I have a problem with any of this?

“You should go with him” I told the hufflepuff girl with a kind smile “me and Remus broke up because we both realized we were better friends. And because I knew he liked someone else”

I gave her a pointed look and a bright smile fell over the girls face “really!” she exclaimed. I nodded, “You’re the best Scarlett” she cheered and hugged me around the shoulders.

“Thanks” I murmured in reply. Tonks took off up the stairs to go talk to Remus. I watched her walk off then found myself being grabbed by someone.

I turned to see the confused looking Marlene making a face at me. “There you are Scarlett! We’ve been waiting for you class starts in a minute we have to go” she began to drag me off to class.

I followed without protest beyond asking her to let go of my arm. However there was a nagging thought in the back of my head. I knew I had forgotten something. I couldn’t remember what it was.
____________________
It came back to me the minute I saw the marauders and their mischievous little smirks at lunch. I sat with the girls and scanned over the Slytherin table for Snape. I couldn’t see him in the swarm of kids. In a few minutes though I didn’t have to.

There was a great scream and numerous Slytherins were up out of their seats. Some had boils some were scratching at their robes like they had been doused in itching powder. Others hair was standing stark straight and a few others had green skin. The odd infection was confined to one end of the Slytherin table and I could see among them was Severus who seemed to have gotten a mixture of many of these roving symptoms.

Dumbledore was trying to maintain order while the rest of the hall was either up in laughter or shock. The marauders were in the former. Sirius was nearly doubled over and James looked rather pleased with himself.

“I can’t believe this!” Lily cried as Madam Pomfrey ushered the infected Slytherins toward the medical wing. “Those boys take these jokes way to far” she declared shooting evil glares down the table. I was doing the same. This time she was right they had sent people to the medical wing. That wasn’t a prank that was being a bully.

“We should go check on Severus” I advised her thinking in the back of my mind adding that I also needed to apologize for not warning him.

We headed out of the hall and toward the infirmary. Inside you could hear the angry Slytherins yelling and Madam Pomfrey fussing over them. Upon entering I nearly doubled back based on the looks we were getting but Lily seemed to pay them no attention and headed straight for where Severus sat still green and covered in boils his hair sticking straight up. I had a sudden realization that he looked quite like the bride of Frankenstein’s monster.

“Sev are you alright?” Lily asked him immediately “I can’t believe those horrible marauders did this”

“I can” I grumbled under my breath. “They’ve been getting worse”

“Yeah no kidding look at me” Severus exclaimed then winced as one of the boils popped. “These things hurt”

“I’m sorry Severus I knew those boys were planning something but I couldn’t find you in the crowd I should have warned you” I apologized.

“It’s not your fault at least you were going to warn me,” Severus muttered dejectedly.

“Are you two sick?” Madam Pomfrey asked appearing next to us. She didn’t give me and Lily a chance to respond as she assessed are wellness herself. “Then get out this is a medical wing not a social club as it stands this lot will have to be here for the rest of the day”

“Bye Severus” Lily called as we were thrown out “I’ll try and come visit”

When the infirmary doors closed on us Lily was practically fuming. She didn’t talk and I didn’t dare talk to her as she marched us back to lunch. There Marlene and Alice seemed to pick up on the same signals and didn’t say anything.

I didn’t even glance at the marauders as we ate and didn’t walk with them to our next class either. In fact I didn’t acknowledge any of there existence until we were leaving Herbology and I caught a glimpse of James and Sirius ducking out of sight. I followed suspicious and really wanting to give both of them an earful.

I came around the corner outside to see the boys leaning against the wall smoking magical cigarettes that admitted puffs of colorful smoke. Upon getting a single whiff of the smoke I was thrust back into my father’s house with his ashtray and rancid breath.

I recovered quickly from the spike of fear that shot through me and stalked over to the boys. “What the hell are you doing? That stuff destroys your lungs!” I snapped harshly.

The boys exchanged looks and shrugged “relax Scarlett we’re just messing around Prongs got these fro-”

“I don’t care” I changed the subject quickly to what I was really mad at them about “How could you be so cruel to the Slytherins?” I demanded the boys exchanged another set of looks they now were quickly gaging how mad I really was.

“It was just a pra-”

“That was not just a prank!” I cut James off abruptly “that was bullying your both bullies. You hurt people!” I snapped.

“Oh come off it Scarlett don’t tell me some part of you didn’t find that funny” Sirius shrugged my rage off with a cocky smirk. This was the wrong thing to do as more acidic hate built in my chest.

“They’re in the medical wing Sirius! They’re going to be there for the rest of the day this isn’t funny it’s mean!” I yelled.

“They’re Slytherin’s Scarlett they’re just going to cheat off the next exam anyway they don’t need class” Sirius objected I could see anger flash in his eyes to.

“Oh like how you copy Remus’s homework” I shot back at him.

“That’s different he lets me” Sirius objected “I don’t have to scare him into it with dark magic”

“Just because they’re in Slytherin doesn’t mean they practice dark magic” I yelled we were glaring straight into each other's faces now.

“How would you know? You didn’t even know magic existed until you were eleven” Sirius snapped “You don’t know anything about the wizarding world”

“And you’re a jackass!” I screamed. I felt wet tears brimming my eyes. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to be anywhere near here. So I transformed and flew up into the clouds. Where I couldn’t see anyone or sense anyone or have to think about anyone.
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It was a while before I came back down I landed among the empty quidditch stands and sat there looking out at the field. Here and in the sky were the only two places I could get away. I heard the creaking of the wood nearby and turned to see James making his way down the row.

When he saw I was looking at him he raised his hands defensively “I come in peace” I sniffed and turned back to look down at the field. James seemed to take this as me not going to punch him and sat down next to me.

“We’ve been looking everywhere for you ya know” he began. “We split up Remus is checking the shack and Hogsmeade with the cloak and Peter’s checking the castle with the help of Nearly headless Nick. We were going to ask Lily and the girls to help but… they didn’t seem too keen on talking to us at all”

“I wonder why” I grumbled.

James sighed “okay maybe we took things too far this time. It’s just that Snvi- Snape, bloke makes me so mad and I don’t even know why”

“You’re jealous” I muttered under my breath “you feeling completely annoyed with his very presence so much so that it makes your very blood boil”

“So you know the feeling” James murmured. I nodded mutely.

“You know she doesn’t like him like that right? I mean Lily hasn’t ever talked about him like that” I explained.

“Maybe not but I see the way he looks at her it’s the same way I do,” James muttered.

“That doesn’t mean anything if she doesn’t love him back” I pointed out.

James nodded with a sigh “what about you? Who is it that makes you feel like that?” he asked then after a moment he added “please don’t tell me its Moony and that Tonks girl”

“No” I mumbled then sighed “some of the girls I don’t even know the names of. I just don’t like them because they’re holding his hand.”

James sucked in a breath then let it out in a whistle deducing exactly who I was referring to. “Jeez he’s an idiot.” I nodded in complete agreement with that statement. We sat in silence for a moment before we decided to head back to the castle and call off the search. I had grown up all my life as an only child but now thanks to James I knew what it was like to have a brother.

Chapter Text

I was sitting alone in the shrieking shack staring out the window at the rain trickling down from the sky. I had come early in order to miss the rain which the boys had insisted wasn’t coming. I laughed lightly to myself as I imagined them trekking down the tunnel doubled over and soaking wet. The sun was setting but you could barely tell with the dark clouds that coated the sky.

The rain hadn’t been my only reason for not wanting to walk to the shack with the boys. Me and Sirius were still not speaking. Remus and James had tried to encourage us both to talk to each other. Meanwhile Lily seemed rather conflicted on whether she wanted me to talk to him or not. If I didn’t ask Sirius to the dance it would mean I wasn’t going to the dance which she wanted me to go to. However if I did ask him and we did go to the dance then she would have no choice but to go to the dance with James. Who she was rather mad at right now.

“Stop putting words in my mouth Prongs” the exclamation brought me out of my thoughts and I turned my attention to the tunnel entrance nearby. “She’s the most annoying person on the planet I’m not going to-” Sirius cut off abruptly as he exited the tunnel.

“Who’s the most annoying person on the planet?” I inquired knowing full well who he had been talking about based on the looks he was shooting at me.

“You miss nosy” he snapped.

“Jerk” I shot back.

“Brat”

“Okay” James suddenly popped up between us “let’s go in here Padfoot shall we” he grabbed Sirius’s shoulders and steered him into the next room. Peter followed after them while Remus walked over to me.

He opened his mouth to talk probably to lecture me on being nice to people but I spoke first “so I heard you asked out Tonks. Good for you”

Remus sighed “thanks. Listen Scarlett the sun is setting and I don’t have time to come up with a tactful way of redirecting the topic so can I just be blunt here”

I left off a sigh “You and Lily are never subtle” I grumbled, turning back to the window.

“Yeah best friends tend to be like that” the boy replied “listen it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out you like Sirius I mean I think Wormtail’s even suspicious at this point”

“Did James tell you or did you actually figure it out for yourself?” I asked eyeing him suspiciously.

“You told James straight out before you told me?” Remus questioned disgruntled.

“Well we had just broken up” I reminded.

The boy nodded his head lightly in understand “yeah guess you’re right. But still you told James?”

I shrugged, “he asked. Plus I was consoling him over Lily in return”

Remus again opened his mouth to speak but James reappeared into the hall. “Not to cut anything off but I’d really like not to battle a werewolf tonight and the sun’s nearly down” he spoke hurriedly.

“We’ll finish this conversation later” Remus told me. I nodded very sure of that as we went to join the others in the other room. Sirius and Peter had already transformed. Me and James didn’t even take a second to join them. I flew to perch on the candelabra as we waited. It wasn’t long before Remus disappeared and a werewolf stood in his place.

‘Let’s go explore’ Sirius declared bounding for the door.

I flew up and landed on one of James’s antlers as the boys made to leave. ‘It’s raining. Do you really want to go running around in the rain?’ I asked mildly annoyed.

‘Relax Screechy it’s just water’ Sirius barked at me as we went out into the downpour ‘oh wait but in muggle culture doesn’t water melt wicked witches?’

‘Of all the muggle references you get this is the one?’ I snapped ‘you’re such a jerk’

I took off into the air ruffling my feathers against the blasting curtain of water ‘Scarlett! It could be dangerous to fly in this weather! Scarlett!’

I wasn’t listening to James’s warning as I flew higher and higher into the air. I was not in the mood to listen to his or Remus’s reasonings. I was mad. I was furious at Sirius Black. He was an idiot. An idiot and a fool for being such a pigheaded jerk. I was so caught up in my internal rant that I hadn’t realized how high I had flown until a strong head wind crashed into my side accompanied by a large amount of rain that weighed me down.

I recovered quickly but like waves in the ocean the downpour continued to slam into me over and over again. I was tumbling through the air. I wasn’t sure what direction the shack was in at this point. Water was in my eyes I couldn’t see I was being thrown around like a rag doll in the wind. I finally opened my eyes again to see the solid bark of a tree before I was suddenly slamming into it.
_________________________
I woke to a distinct sniffing noise and what sounded like a dog whining. There was a light pop and then a voice. “Scarlett? Scarlett are you okay?”

I opened my eyes carefully and was hit with a dose of morning light. Which was then blocked by the silhouette of Sirius Black. I blinked up at him as my senses came back to me and I became very aware of my side which was being graced with an all new bruise.

I grimaced as I sat up slowly. I was also soaking wet I realized upon further examination. “Hey you didn’t answer my question. Are you alright?” Sirius pestered looking at me with concern.

“Yeah” I nodded numbly. Everything hurt and putting a hand to my head I could feel the large knot on it. “I crashed?”

“Looks like it. When you didn’t come back at dawn me and the others got worried we went looking around for you.” Sirius explained helping me to my feet. I felt dizzy and found myself leaning on his support quite heavily “I picked up your scent in the woods and followed it here”

“Thanks” I murmured.

“Think you can walk?” He asked. I was aware he has treating me with great caution and keeping his voice abnormally low. However with how dazed I still felt I was okay with that.

“Yeah, yeah I think so” I told him however with one step the ground seemed to get oddly close before my feet were swept out from under me.

“No offense but that didn’t look like it” Sirius told me. He was carrying me now.

“Thanks” I mumbled. Sirius started walking back toward the shack. “You’re not a jerk” I said finally “or a jackass you know?”

I didn’t have to look at him to guess that he was smiling “thanks but when you said it I probably deserved it. You’re not a wicked witch and you know way more about the wizarding world then I give you credit for”

I smiled lightly. “Thanks. Friends again?”

“Yeah and let's make an agreement that no matter what each one of us does that’s particularly stupid we’ll stay friends” Sirius encouraged “deal?”

“Deal” I mumbled with a smile looking up at him as he grinned.

When we made it back to the shack the others were waiting looking rather anxious. “He found her!” I heard Peter exclaim.

“Thank goodness” Remus sighed.

Sirius putting back on my feet as we reached the porch. “What happened?” James inquired.

“I got caught in the storm and crashed” I muttered “Sirius found me”

“Cool.” James looked between us “are you to…”

“We’re friends again yes” Sirius murmured.

“Awesome” James cheered. “I was drowning in all this drama”

“Let’s go get breakfast” Peter called.

Murmurs of agreement were heard as we walked back into the shack. We were all pretty exhausted and my head still hurt from the storm. Remus insisted that I should go see Madam Pomfrey however I insisted that I eat first and deal with it later. Between my powers and the fact that most of the students and teachers were in their first class it was easy to get to the kitchen unnoticed.

“I’ll have a lemon poppyseed muffin” I requested as we sat down at the duplicate Gryffindor table. Within ten seconds my order had been met by the swarm of house-elves around us. We all ate quite contently. The house-elves were all very nice as we talked and chatted amongst ourselves. They never questioned are presence and actually seemed quite glad for us to be there.

When the food was eating we all headed back to the common room and gathered our books for the next class of the day. Remus however directed me toward the medical wing instead of the potions class. With an exasperated sigh I listened to him and proceeded to wing. Madam Pomfrey fused over the large bump on my head for a good five minutes before finally releasing me. When I entered the class I was immediately met with Lily’s penetrating gaze. I would have to explain this later. Leaving out there illegal bits of course.

Chapter Text

Lily was back on the “go ask out Sirius” train once again after I told her about him “helping when I fell out of a tree when me and marauders were hanging out” which was dubbed by James as a lame excuse but Madam Pomfrey and Lily believed it so I didn’t really care what he said about it. Beyond that Lily had begun to view her going to the dance with James as a form of martyrdom. Of course I didn’t miss the blush that flashed lightning fast across her face anytime it was mentioned.

However that wasn’t the worst thing about having to go to this dance no the worst part was…

“Shopping!” Marlene had exclaimed as she bounced up and down on my bed. “It’s going to be so much fun I mean we can go to Hogsmeade and pick out the best dresses and get new shoes and-“

“Marlene I can’t afford a new dress or shoes” I objected quickly. The brunette plopped down to sit on the foot of my bed.

“Well I mean if you want I can-“

“No” I objected quickly “I’m not a charity case Mar”

“Me buying you a nice dress and shoes is not making you a charity case” Marlene countered.

“Leave it Marlene she’s not going to take your money” Lily advised as her and Alice walked in. “But she will take her grandparents money”

“What?” I asked leaning around Marlene to look at the redhead who had sat down on her bed and started petting her fuzzy monster.

“I owled your grandparents and told them there was a dance and that you didn’t have a dress an-“

“Lily!” I exclaimed “my family has enough things to worry about beyond buying me a dress”

The redhead’s face dropped to one of pure pity. It was the face she had given me at her parents house. A face Marlene and Alice didn’t understand the need for.

“My mom’s sick” I explained to the confused pair giving Lily a look not to mention the rest. “And a lot of are money is going to medical bills and we don’t have time for-“

“Scarlett” Marlene interrupted me I looked up at her and saw an oddly serious face coming from her. “Everyone wants to invest in happy memories. Trust me this isn’t a waste”

I blinked at the girls moment of abnormal wisdom but ended up nodding solemnly. “Anyone want to play chess?” Alice questioned cutting into the light silence that had fallen.

“Sure I’ll play” I agreed.

“Cool we can use Frank’s set” Alice smiled we got up and headed down stairs Marlene and Lily following having descended into more conversation on the shopping trip they had planned for this weekend.

We had only just sat down at a table in the common room when an owl came swooping through the open window. It landed delicately on the table right in front of me.

I untied the note attached to its leg and saw it was from my grandmother.

Dear Scarlett,

You’re friend Lily wrote to us about the upcoming dance we both hope you have a great time. Though your grandfather hopes that you stay away from any boy he wouldn’t approve of.
That said we unfortunately can’t give you money to buy a dress. You see your mother’s condition has taken a bad turn.
I don’t want to alarm you but it’s not looking good and she has been admitted to the hospital. Me and your Grandfather have scarcely left her side and will keep you informed of any changes.
We hope you are enjoying your time at Hogwarts and will continue to write to us.

Love,
Gran and Granpa

I sighed folding back up the letter my hand was shaking slightly but I hide it under the table. “They can’t afford it I told you” I grumbled.

“Well we can find something for you I’m sure” Marlene reassured.

“Yeah sure” I muttered as I began the game with Alice.
_____
The next morning I sat picking at my food. The girls had decided to sit with me and the marauders at breakfast again. In order to make sure I didn’t back out of their plans to drag me out to Hogsmeade for shopping.

“What color dress are you getting Evans?” James inquired suddenly.

Lily looked at him rather caught off guard “I was thinking green. Why?”

“Well we are going to the dance together last I checked” he pointed out “my parents are sending me dress robes and I want us to match”

Lily’s mouth fell open at the thoughtful gesture. Even I was shocked not really sure James had that in him. Then as the shock wore off a light blush filled her cheeks. “Oh well that’s nice” she managed.

James nodded and returned to his breakfast as us girls fell into teasing giggles. Lily shot us death glares her face still red.

“Mail’s here” Peter announced as a flock of owls swooped down around our heads. Many owls were carrying large parcels and packages barring dress robes and gowns.

Marlene got money from her parents and Remus got his robes. I wasn’t expecting to get anything until a small Tawny owl landed right in front of my plate.

“You’ve got a letter” Lily gaped.

“Yeah I can see that” I murmured sarcastically. My entire chest was tight dreading what might happen. I was dreading what might be in this letter. The last letter I had gotten said my mother was in the hospital and my grandparents would keep me posted. A million worse case scenarios for what this might mean went through my head. Then I opened the letter.

Dear Scarlett Tanner,

Your Grandmother informed of your situation regarding the dance. I told you to come to me if there were any issues for which I could help. Further in order to best represent Gryffindor I expect all our students to dress to impress at his upcoming dance. In order to ensure this I have enclosed enough money for you to buy yourself a nice dress for the dance.

Sincerely,
Prof. Mcgonagall

With that I looked at the foot of the owl and pulled off a small pouch that jingled a little. I glanced inside and saw a decent amount of coins inside. With a wide smile I looked to the teachers table where Mcgonagall sat with a small smirk on her face. “Thank you” I mouthed to her and she nodded still smiling.

“What’s going on?” Lily pestered as I turned back to the letter still smiling.

“Well girls looks like I’m going to be getting a dress” I told them. All three of them broke out into squeals.

“Girls” I heard Sirius mutter to James with an eyeroll and I kicked his shin under the table causing him to glare.
_______________________________
“Okay okay how does this one look?” Marlene inquired as she came bouncing out of the dressing room in a light brown dress.

“It looks..” I trailed not sure how to respond. I knew how my brain wanted to respond but I knew that is not how I should respond.

“It’s the color of a turd” Tonks voiced my thought and I nodded in agreement.

“Alright next one” Marlene declared turning back to the changing room.

“Wait wait wait! I got another possible for Scarlett” Lily called popping her head out of the racks.

“Is it red?” I called over my shoulder.

“Maybe” the redhead responded guiltily.

“Then no” I told her.

“But it’s perfect” she begged.

“No” I repeated.

“What do you guys think?”

“Wow” Tonks gasped and I turned back to the changing room doors to see Alice standing there looking rather awkward and pink in the cheeks.

“Is it pretty?” she asked timidly.

“It’s perfect!” Marlene exclaimed excitedly.

“Really?” Alice asked grinning broadly and admiring herself in the mirror. Her dress was beautiful golden yellow with a graceful draping skirt and elegant lace sleeves.

“Okay dress number..” Marlene paused to think.

“Five” Tonks offered.

“Five!” Marlene cheered pulling the curtain closed on the changing room again. We all laughed.

“But really Scarlett this is a beautiful dress can you at least try it?” Lily pestered.

“Why don’t you find yourself a dress before you go looking for one for me” I suggest.

“Fine” Lily huffed “but I’m leaving this dress here for you to try on.

“Fine” I sighed. Tonks giggled as Lily disappeared back among the clothing racks “aren’t you going to shop?” I inquired.

“My mom’s sending me a dress” Tonks explained. “It’s really pretty. And it uh matches me” she said the last bit while changing her hair color from a sunny yellow to a deep purple.

“Cool” I smiled in reply.

“Guys I think this is the one” Marlene called walking out of the changing room in a gorgeous royal blue dress. The neck of the dress was a stunning weaved design that reminded me of the tail of a peacock.

“You look incredible!” Alice, who was still in her own dress exclaimed.

“Thanks” Marlene smiled looking in the mirror.

“It totally suits you” I complimented.

“I found one! I found one!” Lily cheered coming out of the main shop with a long green dress that illuminated her jade eyes.

“Well then try it on” Marlene encouraged as the red head ducked into the changing room.

Lily stood her happy smile turning into a mischievous grin “I am going to try it on and Scarlett is going to try on that red one”

“No I’m not” I objected.

“Come on what’s the harm in just trying it on?” Lily begged. The others joined in until I couldn’t take it.

“Alright, alright, alright I’ll try it” I conceded.

They all squealed and giggled and I rolled my eyes. Lily went into one of the rooms and I went into the other with the ocean of red fabric they had given me. I changed quickly or at least tried to before I realized putting on a dress like this was quite the battle.

When I finally managed to get into the dress I couldn’t help but smile at my reflection. I had to agree with Lily this dress did look beautiful. I even looked good in it. I heard excited exclamations outside and peaked my head around the curtain of my changing room.

Lily was standing there in her amazing dress that draped delicate around her frame and sat low on her shoulder tying off her waist with a fun bow. “You look awesome” I told her and she turned to look at me with a huge smile.

“Thanks” she exclaimed “come on come on I want to see you”

I sighed and slowly walked out of the changing room in the dress. It was beautiful single strap dress that fell delicately down to my feet. “Oh my gosh you look… just wow” Alice gaped.

“Thanks” I smiled at them looking at myself in the mirror excitedly.

“Now Scarlett I know you have a thing against the red but this dress…” Lily came up next to me.

“Yeah okay” I agreed easily. “I’ll wear it”

“You will?” Lily asked excitedly. I nodded “yes! Yes! Yes! We are going to have an awesome time!” the others cheered gathering around us so we could look at all of us in the mirror together. I couldn’t help but agree this was looking to be a fun night there was just one thing I had left to do.
___________________________________
“Will you stop!” I snapped shooting a glare at Lily.

“What?” she questioned exasperatedly.

“You’re giving me that look again” I told her.

“What look?” she asked failing to hide the guilt in her voice as she turned back to her textbook.

“That look you pass between me and Sirius anytime we’re in the same room” I pointed out glancing over at the boy who was sitting on the other side of the common room with James.

“Well it’s deserved is it not” the redhead retorted “I mean the dance is tomorrow and you still haven’t asked him.”

“Oh crap it’s tomorrow. Well guess he probably has a date now” I shrugged pour every ounce of sarcasm into the statement. Turning back to the parchment I had been writing an essay on.

“Ask him” Lily pestered “right now go”

“No I’m not going to ask him right now in front of James” I objected.

“Well then we’ll eliminate James” Lily stated and then craned her neck over the back of the couch “hey Potter can you come here for a second.”

“Coming!” was the lover boys immediate response.

“Go go now” Lily stood up and pulled me off the couch as a mildly confused look James strode over “Sirius Scarlett has something she wants to talk to you about!” the redhead called past me for good measure before pushing me toward the long hair boy and pulling James back down onto the couch.

I shot death glares at her as walked unwillingly toward Sirius who looked curious. “She’s so annoying” I muttered under my breath as I reached him.

“Maybe but nobody can be as annoying as you” I turned my glare on him and he raised his hands defensively “joke! Joke! It was just a joke!”

I sighed and an amused smile graced my lips. However this did not reflect the summersaults my stomach was doing in my gut. I didn't know if I could do this. Talking to Sirius was normally not an issue for me. However this was a little different and I found that the words would not come.

“You know I’m kinda glad you came over here there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you to” Sirius talking drew me out of my thoughts with a snap.

“Really?” I asked hesitantly. What exactly could he want to ask me.

“Well according to Moony you don’t have a date to the dance and neither do I” I felt my heart rate pick up as he spoke and also a sense of shock coat my brain. “but as we all heard in order for Prongs to get to go with Lily you need to have a date so four eyes over there has been harassing me to ask you to the dance. I’ve been thinking maybe he has a point I mean we could go as friend I mean takes the pressure off each of us to actually entertain dates. You know?”

I smiled extremely happy with this turn of events. For an idiot Sirius Black always had a way of getting the girl. “Yeah that sounds like a great idea” I nodded.

“Sweet well the others are all meeting their dates in the entrance hall so I figure we could meet there to?” he offered.

“Sounds awesome” I nodded breathlessly.

“Oh what did you want to talk to me about?” Sirius asked suddenly.

I opened my mouth to respond as my heart picked up it’s pace. I glanced back at the couch and saw James and Lily watching over the back of it not-so-subtly. I took a deep breath finally realized just how silly I was being and despite my racing heart I turned back to Sirius “actually I was going to ask you to the dance as well but you beat me to it”

Sirius chuckled “well you know great minds”

I smiled and gestured back to the couch “yeah and snooping friends”

“We are not snooping!” James exclaimed indignantly. Lily shot him glares for revealing their eavesdropping

“Potter!”

Chapter Text

It’s funny how a room can suddenly seem far smaller when stuffed with a bunch of screaming girls, numerous big dresses, and a startling amount of makeup and hair products. I had snuck Tonks into Gryffindor tower so that all of us girls could get ready together. Now I was sitting on my bed watching Lily make up Marlene’s face. While Tonks was doing Alice’s hair in the bathroom.

“I can’t believe you bribed the fat lady” Marlene laughed her eyes closed.

“Don’t move” Lily scolded Mar as she applied more eye shadow.

“There is a reason half the castle thinks I’m a marauder” I pointed out.

The paired laughed lightly and Lily scolded Marlene again as she applied more makeup. “Hairs done!” Tonks announced as Alice walked out. With a beautiful golden flower piece weaved in her short hair.

“Oh that looks great” I told her.

“Thanks” Alice smiled.

“Can I look?” Marlene inquired.

“No” Lily spoke sternly.

“Well it’s your turn Scarlett” Tonks offered. I got up and walked into the bathroom. Tonks sat me down on a stool with me facing the mirror. “Alright what do you want?”

I shrugged “I don’t know there’s not much you can do with my hair” I told her.

Tonks scoffed “nah there’s a lot you can do.” I looked doubtful at my thin straight blonde hair that was cut to just longer than my ears. “Here close your eyes I need to work some magic” I gave her a dubious look in the mirror. “Just close your eyes you skeptic”

I sighed and did as I was told. I could feel her brushing and putting product in my hair. I heard Marlene come after a moment in full makeup and hair.

“Lily’s doing Alice now” she explained Tonks “they’re going to switch and then Lily will come to you and I’ll be doing your makeup Scarlett.”

“Sounds like a plan” I commented.

“You’re so lucky Tonks instant perfect hair and your makeup took all of five seconds” Marlene explained enviously. “Oooh I like what your doing there”

“What?” I questioned opening my eyes but Mar was quick and all I was able to see were her fingers.

“No peaking” The brunette exclaimed. I sighed and closed my eyes again as she removed her hand.

“So Tonks” Marlene started up casual conversation as the metamorphmagus continued to mess with my hair. “Not to sound rude or anything but Tonks doesn’t sound like a typical name”

“Yeah that would be because it’s my last name” the girl admitted “I prefer it over my first name”

“What’s your first name?” I inquired curiously.

“It’s stupid” the first year objected.

“Seriously I’m curious” Marlene pestered “spill”

“Yeah come on Tonks we won’t make fun” I promised

“Alright but you can’t go spreading it around either” she insisted.

“Cross my heart” Marlene vowed.

“It’s Nymphadora” the girl grumbled.

“Nymphadora?” Marlene questioned “that’s a cool name”

“Yeah says the girl who doesn’t have it” Tonks objected. “Alright Scarlett I’m done”

“Does that mean I can open my eyes without getting slapped in the face?” I inquired sarcastically.

“Yes” Mar muttered but I could hear the amused undertone in her voice.

I opened my eyes and looked in the mirror I was shocked at what I saw. My hair looked fuller than I had seen it before it held beautifully gold highlight and delicately on my head like a tiara was a beautiful circlet of red gems weaved within golden branches.

“Oh my gosh Tonks how did you… wow” I gaped at the circlet.

“I told you magic” the metamorphmagus smiled proudly holding up her wand “my mother taught me how to turn flowers and twigs in head pieces of jewels and metals. Of course they're not worth anything if you try to sell them or give them to someone they turn back into sticks and flowers. But they are beautiful”

“And my hair how did you-“

“Gosh I forget you’re practically muggle-born” Tonks sighed jokingly “magical hair products” she pointed to the counter where numerous bottles were strewn about. “They make your hair look like just about anything for awhile anyway. The ones I used on you will was out with a shower.”

“Gosh sometimes I forget you’re a first year” Marlene mocked Tonks fact sigh and we all laughed.

“Alright ready for hair” Lily announced stepping into the door frame next to Marlene “oh Scarlett you look great” she complimented.

“Thanks you too” I replied admiring her gorgeous makeup.

“Come on Scarlett it’s my turn” Marlene cheered taking my hand and leading back to the main room where Alice was already changing into her dress.

I sat down on Marlene’s bed and she pulled out her makeup bag. “Here we go. Now I’d ask what you want but we both know you have no idea how makeup works so.. trust me?”

“I trust you” I nodded.

“Awesome” Marlene smiled “okay close your eyes and let’s do some foundation…”

The next couple minutes were spent with me moving my head, lips, and eyelids in all sorts of ways so that Marlene could do my makeup. She gave me a verbal play-by-play which I to be completely honest didn’t understand much of. However when she was done she held up a mirror and I was blown away.

“Oh my goodness you’ve done incredibly” I smiled broadly. My skin was flawless and my eyes were lidded with a beautiful red. My eyes and cheeks were dusted with golden sparkles. While my lips were a bold red that drew immediate attention.

“I went with a deep red” Marlene informed “bit of a daring choice but I figured it would match your dress perfectly and couldn’t resist”

“Oh Scarlett you look great” Alice voiced coming over in full wardrobe.

“So do you” I told her honestly. We all giggled happily.

“No one will be able to deny your a Gryffindor tonight” Marlene commented as we got up to get into our dresses. “Not with all that red and gold you’ve got”

“Yeah no kidding” I murmured. Once I was full dressed in the beautiful red gown I walked over the full body mirror hanging on the wall and admired myself. Not only did I look beautiful but I felt beautiful as well. I couldn’t help but smile at how proud I was of how I looked in this dress. Like it emanated some sort of confidence from it that was infectious.

Eventually Lily and Tonks emerged from the bathroom and we were all dressed to leave. Not a single one of us could stop smiling as we headed down stairs to the common room. Other couples and groups were gathered around all buzzing with excitement. Even the fat lady seemed quite excited about everything. And offered us compliments as we left.

We had just about reached the entrance hall when there was a call from behind us. “Greetings fair ladies and might I say you all look quite ravishing tonight” It’s was none other than the friendly Gryffindor ghost Sir Nicholas.

“Thank you Sir Nicholas” Lily beamed up at him.

The ghost nodded and went to drift by when Marlene suddenly gasp “Nick wait!” The ghostly knight paused and turned back look perplexed “Can you do us a favor?”
___________
3rd Person POV

The marauders and Frank stood waiting patiently by the foot of the stairs in the entrance hall. They watched as in groups and pairs of students descended the stairs and headed into the great hall. However the girls were nowhere to be seen.

“Maybe something happened?” Remus suggested “one of their dresses got damaged or something and they have to fix it”

“Evans is smart I bet she could fix anything like that easy” Sirius objected.

“Yeah she’s bloody brilliant” James sighed dreamily.

“You mentioned the ‘E’ word” Peter whispered to Padfoot.

“Yeah my bad” Sirius muttered eyeing his best friend skeptically.

“Ahem” there was a clearing of the throat as the boys looked up and much to their surprise Nearly Headless Nick floating their way. “Come now boys I’m going to arrange you properly..” he spoke then began guiding each of them to stand in a line before the stairs. The boys didn’t argue much with the ghost as they were being instructed the Knight was making himself quite commanding he even tried to manhandle Frank by the shoulder before remembering he was intangible.

Once Nick was satisfied with the boys arrangement and the state of their robes. He glided up to hover to the side of the stair halfway up. Clearing his throat importantly.

“May I present Ms. Marlene McKinnon.” Marlene stepped around the corner for once seeming rather nervous. She descended the steps gracefully. The boys watched in awe until Remus realized Peter wasn’t moving and gave him a not so gentle shove toward the foot of the stairs.

Peter stumbled forward before straightening himself and presenting his arm to his date politely. “You look great” he managed his face bright red.

“Thanks” Marlene smiled bashfully as he led her back to the others.

“I now present Ms. Ny-“ there was a muffled shushing from Tonks from around the corner at the top of the steps. Nick sighed and continued “Ms. Tonks”

Tonks came around the corner and descended the stairs at a slightly faster pace then Marlene did a proud smile on her face. Remus walked forward to meet her however on the second to last step she tripped and went to fall flat on her face however the quick werewolf caught her with ease. The hufflepuff straightened with a blush and took his arm.

“May I present Ms. Alice Lightwood”

Alice came around the corner in beautiful shining gold. Frank walked forward to meet her. It was hard to tell who was blushing more. They both opened their mouths to speak but found the words absent. Before rejoining the others.

“I present Ms. Lily Evans”

Lily came around the corner beaming. James looked up at her in complete wonder. When they met at the foot of the stairs James extended his arm to her. “You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen” he told her.

A light pink hue touched her cheeks. “Thank you” she replied “you look quite handsome yourself” They joined the others and everyone turned back to the stairs expectantly.

“Finally I present to you Ms. Scarlett Tanner” Sir Nicholas announced.

Scarlett turned the corner and looked down at all her friends below. Butterfly’s took flight in her stomach and her heart seemed to soar. She began to walk down the steps delicately and locked eyes with Sirius silver gaze as he watched her with amazement.

Sirius stood at the foot of the steps and gazed up at Scarlett with complete unimaginable astonishment. His heart seemed to have leapt from his chest and his eyes couldn’t look away. The girl he had marked as pretty upon first meeting now looked in all accounts bewilderingly gorgeous in every way. She almost glowed with a sense of beautiful grace and elegance that he couldn’t place the source of.

He approached the foot of the steps on autopilot and bowed as he presented her with his arm. “You look…” he paused not sure how to phrase the indescribable beauty she was. “Beyond all else”
________
Scarlett’s POV.

“Thank you” I smiled feeling my cheeks flush with heat. He looked more handsome than I’d ever seen him. His eyes were such a stunning silver that I could’ve been lost in them. It was like time paused as we looked at each other. That is until James cleared his throat giving us looks.

“Wow Scarlett you look fantastic” Remus complimented.

“Thanks” I replied very aware of my hand still on Sirius’s arm.

“You look like a girl” Peter muttered and I looked over to see him looking at me dumbstruck.

“Thanks…” I trailed not sure how to respond to that and holding back the temptation to make a sarcastic comment.

“You all look great” James declared and all us girls giggled and exchanged looks.

“I will see you all later and hope you enjoy the party” Sir Nick told us with a slight bow.

“Thank you Sir Nicholas” Marlene called and we all echoed her thanks as the ghost floated away.

“Wow Tanner I didn’t even recognize you” I turned around to see Monti Carter looking down at me from her high held nose. An older Ravenclaw boy was with her. “Did you give up the scruffy tomboy look?”

I smirked seeing the perfect opportunity to release my sarcasm. “Just for tonight. I decided to go with drop dead gorgeous instead”

I heard sniggers behind me. “Come on Monti lets get inside.” The Ravenclaw boy who was looking rather awkward next to her pulled her away. She was still glaring.

“Not even Carter is going to be able to ruin tonight” Lily declared. “Let’s go have some fun”

There were cheers of agreement as we turned to enter the great hall. The entire hall was glowing with white. The sky was enchanted to show a beautiful snowy night. While the numerous Christmas trees within the hall were covered in different assortments of ornaments. A magical self playing orchestra of instruments was playing an upbeat tune as couples and groups danced in the center of the floor. To one side was one of the pong tables adorned with various treats and goodies.

“This is incredible” Alice voiced.

“Completely” I agreed.

“do you want to dance?” Frank asked. Alice nodded and the couple left for the dance floor.

“We should dance to” Marlene told Peter before dragging him after Alice and Frank.

“Punch or dance?” James asked Lily.

“Punch” Lily requested.

“What about you?” Remus asked Tonks.

The girl looked at the dance floor nervously. “I actually don’t know how to dance.”

“Well then I’ll show you.” Remus smiled down on her. “It’ll be fun come on” the pair went off to dance lead by Remus.

“Aw that is so sweet” Lily cooed.

“Completely they are so perfect for each other” I agreed.

“So that’s the girl Remus liked” Sirius muttered looking after them. “So who’s the boy you like?”

I turned to him with teasing eyes “me to know you to find out.” I told him “can you get me some punch?”

Sirius smirked “your wish is my command my fair lady” The boy gave a mock bow and his smile broadened when I chuckled. James and Sirius headed off to the refreshment table for lunch while me and Lily watched the others dance. Tonks was a particularly amusing dancer to watch.

“This is incredible” Lily exclaimed “it couldn’t be more perfect”

I gave her a skeptical eye “even though your date is James Potter”

A blush came to her cheeks “Well I mean he’s at least acting like a gentleman” her voice was rather high and I gave her a look “oh shush”

“I didn’t say anything” I objected.

“Didn’t say anything about what?” We turned as Sirius spoke. The boys had returned with are drinks.

“Nothing” me and Lily replied in unison then exchanged looks descending into giggles.

I took a drink of my punch as we hovered near a table. “Can you believe how incredible everyone’s looks?” Lily asked. “They all pulled out all the stops”

“Yeah and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves even the Slytherins” I commented.

“I wonder if Severus is here” Lily craned her neck to survey the crowd.

I saw James shift on his feet out of the corner of my eye. “Hey Lily do you want to dance?”

“Sure” the redhead replied.

“What about you beautiful?” Sirius turned to me.

“Beautiful?” I questioned as we sat down are drinks.

“Just calling you what you are” he told me flashing a grin.

“Uh huh does that line work with most girls?” I inquired giving him a pointed look.

“Yeah most of them” he replied with a smirk. We both laughed before he took my hand “come on” I let him lead me out onto the dance floor. We danced along with the others in a group for awhile. The marauders up to their normal schenanigans which consisted of sycronized dance moves between the four of them Remus and Peter doing the robot while Sirius and James danced the tango with goofy expressions on their faces. Sirius would occasionally twirl me around or single me out to dance to make it clear we were there together. A bunch of the Gryffindors got in a circle and took turns going in the center to dance. I watched laughing as James and Sirius did the sprinkler together.

“Come on” Marlene grabbed me and Lily and dragged us out into the center of are fellow students. For a moment I was caught like a deer in headlights however Marlene didn’t miss a beat. Lily and me followed her lead and began to do a fun macarena. Ripples of laughter spread through the crowd and before we knew it the marauders had joined in.

It wasn’t a second after we got out of the circle that the music changed. “First slow song” James stated then turned to extending his hand to Lily “may I?”

“You may” the redhead replied taking his hand with a smile.

After they drifted off into the crowd Sirius grabbed my hand and turned me to him. “Not even going to ask?” I inquired placing my other hand on his shoulder as he put his other on my waist.

“We did come here together did we not?” he replied with a smirk.

“I suppose” I replied as we swayed back and forth. I was about to say something more when someone stumbled into us bumping are hands apart.

“Sorry” Tonks smiled at us apologetically. As she took the chuckling Remus’s hands again “I have two left feet”

“It’s fine” I reassured her. As the pair danced away Tonks stepping on Remus’s toes more than once as they went I turned back to Sirius. Much to my surprise when he took my hand again he brought it up to his shoulder and put both his hands on my waist. I didn’t argue as we drifted closer swaying to the music.

“I have to admit I was expecting some witty remark” Sirius spoke looking down at me curiously.

“Couldn’t think of one” I told him.

“I seriously doubt that” the boy objected.

“Seriously you did Sirius” I asked sarcastically.

“There it is” he grinned broadly. The music picked up again and we found ourselves in the middle of a bit of a mosh pit. The others were nowhere in sight “Let’s go somewhere less chaotic” Sirius suggested leaning to my ear to be heard. I nodded as he took my hand and lead me out of the crowd to the edge. We slipped out the door into the cool night air.

I took a deep breath “that’s better” I exclaimed.

“Agreed” Sirius nodded we continued to hold hands as we walked onto the covered bridge. I took a seat on the railing and looked down at the gorge below. I had stopped being afraid of such heights since I gained the ability to fly. As I looked down a chilling breeze blew by and I shivered. “Here take this”

Sirius took off his suit jacket and draped it over my shoulder. “Thanks” I smiled pulling my arms through the too long sleeves. I watched as Padfoot pulled out a small cardboard box from his pocket and removed from it a cigarette. He was about to light it when I reached up and plucked it from his mouth throwing it down the gorge.

“Hey!” he exclaimed indignantly.

“Those things are horrible for your health” I told him annoyed. A nagging tug in the back of my mind pulling on more memories from my summer. Sirius defiantly pulled out the box and I reached out to take it from him.

“Ah ah ah” the boy teased holding it out of my reach I scooted closer to him reaching up to grab at it.

“Give it here” I ordered not able to keep the laugh out of my voice. I reached out quickly and knocked the box from his hand victoriously. We watched as it tumbled down into the gorge emptying its contents as it went. “Ha I got it” I told him turning back with a proud smirk.

He smirked back at me with narrowed eyes “technically you didn’t get it you knocked it into the gorge” he objected.

“Technicalities, technicalities” I waved him off lean back.

We both laughed lightly. I looked over at him and saw his eyes were shining in the moonlight. As he looked out at the lake. I turned to watching the crescent moon drift lazily in the air. Different torches and lanterns lit around the grounds looking like lightning bugs crawling around on a large dark green canvas.

“It’s incredible isn’t it?” Sirius asked. “I wish I could live here”

“Me to” I agreed “honestly Hogwarts is more my home than anywhere else.”

“It’s my home to” Sirius agreed.

There was a pause and as I turned to look at Sirius I found him already looking at me. He leaned forward reaching out to cup my head in his hand. He got so close I could feel his breath on my face and then his soft lips touched mine. Just like that we were kissing. I edged closer and Sirius deepened the kiss.

When we pulled apart I was smiling and so was he. It wasn’t his marauders smirk or his players charming grin but a real authentic smile. “Wow” I breathed.

“Yeah” he responded.

“Scarlett! Sirius!” we turned as Marlene and Peter appeared at the entrance of the bridge. “We’re all heading back to the common room to hangout. Are you guys coming?”

“Yeah sure be there in a second” Sirius called over his shoulder. The other couple disappeared and Sirius got to his feet.

“We are going to talk about this later” I declared with a pointed look.

“Of course especially if we’re going to do that again” Sirius smirked and I slapped his shoulder. However as we walked back into the great hall I took his hand and intertwined are fingers.

“Oh James here they are” Lily called as we walked.

“Oooooh is that hand holding I see there?” Prongs observed the moment he saw us.

“Yeah it is” Sirius answered simply “quite the detective skills you got there Prongs” Sirius stated sarcastically.

There was a mischievous glint in Lily’s eyes and I got nervous when she opened her mouth to speak but Tonks cut in with the perfect distraction. “Are you all coming?” she called down the steps.

The four of us exchanged looks before climbing the steps up to the common room. Getting in was a bit of an ordeal as the fat lady was slightly tipsy however once inside we were pleasantly surprised to see we had the room to ourselves. We threw are own little party and the boys even snuck away to get us some food from the kitchens. We played board games, truth or dare, and wizards chess. Rocking out to our own music James was playing from his wand. The night couldn’t have been better than the portrait door opened.

The second we saw Prof. Mcgonagall we were on our feet and James silenced his wand. Meanwhile Tonks edged behind the taller Remus to hide. The professor look rattled and rather pale she was clutching a piece of parchment in her hand tightly and her hands were shaking at her sides. I felt an ice chill ride down my spine as her gaze turned to me. There was sadness, grief, and worst of all pity in her eyes. In the back of my mind I knew what she was going to say right then but I refused to believe it. I refused to acknowledge the truth until it came out of her mouth.

“Scarlett..” she spoke and her voice was quivering and held every piece of emotion her eyes did.

“Yes professor” I questioned I felt Sirius take my hand again and squeeze it comfortingly. “What is it?”

“There’s been word from your grandparents.” Mcgonagall was struggling to keep her voice even. “Regarding your mother’s condition in the hospital” I squeezed Sirius’s hand tightly holding on to him like I had my broom last christmas. Like it was a life line. “I hate to be the one who has to tell you this…” the professor hesitated like the words had suddenly left her but I held her gaze.

“What is it professor?” I could hear the fear in my own voice “tell me”

Mcgonagall swallowed the lump in her throat and when she spoke again I felt the entire world fall apart around me the floor fell away and my heart sank. I went deaf and my mind was in a tailspin. This couldn’t have happened. I couldn’t it had to be some kind of cruel joke. It couldn’t… “your mother died”