Summary: Set sometime around early fifth year at Hogwarts. James does something exceedingly stupid in his attemps to woo Lily, despite Remus' advice. Remus suffers.
Author's Notes: I recently re-found a bunch of Marauders fic. So, I hope there's folks who still read the community and will enjoy this.
"No. Just.. no, James. No."
"Reeeeemus, pleeeeease?" Remus cringed slightly, he hated James' persistent whining, especially when it was mixed with the sad-puppy look James had mastered.
"I absolutely will not, James. Lily will kill you if you try this, you realize."
"Come on, Rems, it can't hurt. Really. And it won't hurt Lily any, I promise."
"Sorry, James, but I'm staying out of this one." Remus shook his head. "And I've half a mind to tell her about it, just so you know."
"You can't! Please, just let me try. Maybe this will be what makes her give in. You know she wants me, Remus, she's just too stubborn to admit it!" James looked so earnest, that Remus was almost swayed. Lily had been a little nicer to James lately, and she had confided in Remus that she was 'giving him a chance'. Even if that meant not hexing him immediately, it was some sort of progress after almost three years of tension.
"No, James," Remus said again, turning to go down to breakfast before James could break his resolve. "I like being alive, and having Lily as a friend. I'll say it again - if you've got a brain somewhere inside that head of yours, and you honest-to-Merlin want a chance with her, you won't do this, either."
This time, Remus was absolutely not going to be involved. Not at all. Not on either side. He wasn't going to help James woo Lily, and he reasoned that Lily was smart and capable enough to handle herself. She had, after all, been named his fellow Prefect the past summer - and that was another thing. A stunt like what James wanted to pull was sure to cost him his badge.
Arriving at breakfast, he tried to sit a little further down the table than usual, just to make it clear later that he had nothing at all to do with what James was planning. Instead, he was practically yanked into Lily's lap when she grabbed him as he walked by. "Where do you think you're going, Rems?" she grinned, forcing him to take a seat beside her. "It's not like the table's crowded yet. Unless, of course, you've belatedly decided that girls have cooties and you'd rather not be in my company."
He smiled a half-smile, praying to whatever gods would listen that James would be detained on the way to breakfast. "You're in a good mood this morning, Miss Evans," he quipped. "And no, I think that after spending most of the last five years around you, I'm quite immune by now."
"It's a nice morning," Lily told him by way of explanation. "And besides... ah, nevermind." Remus glanced in the direction she was facing, only to see Sirius come bounding in for breakfast, with Peter and James close behind him. Remus strongly suspected that the morning had suddenly become much more dour for her.
"Lil -" Remus didn't have time to finish his sentence before Sirius and James sat down.
"Um, Lily? Can I, err, talk to you for a minute?" Peter stood behind her, looking more than a little nervous. Apparently James had roped him into helping distract Lily instead.
"Okay." Lily looked at him suspiciously. "What do you need?"
"Umm, can we talk somewhere else?" Peter looked down at the floor, and Remus hoped that Lily would catch on that something strange was up, but instead, she followed Peter out of the Great Hall. She was far too nice and entirely too trusting sometimes, Remus thought.
As soon as she had left, James reached into his robe, uncorked the small phial of Amortentia, and emptied it into her pumpkin juice before Remus could stop him. The potion settled in surprisingly well, though Remus was still disturbed. He knew Lily would figure out what had happened, and James would probably be sent to the Hospital Wing. Three days' recovery time wasn't an unreasonable estimate, he figured.
Lily returned a few moments later, just as James managed to slip the empty phial back away, and Peter was following somewhat sheepishly behind her. He walked around the table and sat a small distance away, presumably trying to place himself out of hexing range. Remus shook his head, noticing the silence in which Lily now sat. It was her "I am annoyed but going to stay stoic" silence she'd been refining since she was made Prefect.
Remus wished desperately that he'd been able to stop James, or warn Lily ahead of time about the potion in her drink. While it was true that it would not physically harm her any, it would shatter any honest efforts James had made to win her over. Aside from that, it put Remus in the extremely difficult and trying position of betraying one or the other of his best friends. If he told Lily, James would be upset, and if he didn't tell Lily - which he hadn't - she would see his actions as a betrayal of her. Remus was more than a little upset with James for such, but seeing as how his friends had become Animagus for him... he felt a little guilty, all around.
Reaching for her pumpkin juice, Lily took a large swallow, and Remus cringed a little. Just as he suspected, her eyes widened slightly, she sniffed the juice, looked at the company surrounding her, and immediately turned to face James.
What mattered most was that Lily Evans was now angry. It wasn't her normal hot anger, the kind that resulted in a nasty hex and an apology the next day - if you weren't James at least. This was a cold, calculating anger, and it was a thousand times worse. "At what point did you think that this would be a good idea?" she hissed, her voice dangerously low. Somehow she managed to glare at all four Marauders at once, though they were not all sitting terribly near one another.
"Erm, what?" James feigned.
"You, Potter, tried to put Amortentia into my pumpkin juice. And you, Black, I'm sure were in on it too." Remus cringed more, expecting her to pull out her wand any second. Instead, she turned her attention to Peter. "And you," she said, even more venomously, "Peter, you were the cowardly bait, weren't you? You lured me away so that James could pull his little stunt. The three of you make me absolutely sick." Standing, Lily abandoned the rest of her breakfast. "If you don't stay entirely away from me for the next week, I can promise you I won't be responsible for what I do to you."
Straightening her spine, Lily turned her attention to the last Marauder. "And you, Remus," she hissed, "I'm bloody disappointed in you. I thought you were better than your friends, but I guess I was wrong." Turning on her heel, Lily strode purposefully out of the Great Hall.
With a glare at James, Remus ran after her. He wasn't going to try and apologize for James this time, he needed to apologize for himself.