Disclaimer: All characters and setting belong to the talented J.K. Rowling. I'm only in it for the entertainment and plot.
A/N: I've been wanting to write a James/Lily for a while now ever since I started reading them. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Summary: James Potter never dared to hope that Lily Evans might ever fall in love with him. But with one crazy night of Veritaserum, shots, and a love potion, James might just find that he gets a little more then he had expected… Why was he friends with the Marauders, again?
"No. Damn. Way." James Potter was shaking his head, looking at his best friend with amusement. "There is no damn way that you snogged Mary Mcdonald."
Sirius Black grinned easily from the armchair across from him, shrugging his shoulders helplessly. "What can I say, mate? I'm a witch magnet."
James gave a derisive snort, turning to his other friends who rested comfortably in the remaining chairs beside him. "Do you believe any of this?" He demanded.
Peter Pettigrew let out a tiny squeak, obviously terrified of having to chose between his best friends. His podgy hands went immediately to his wand, as if ready to defend himself in the oncoming war. Sirius burst out laughing, reclining further, if possible, into his seat.
"You know, Wormtail," he commented good-naturedly. "I do believe you're becoming more like your animagus each day. A rat really suits you."
Peter threw him an insulted look, his eyebrows drawn together. "I'll take that as a compliment, thank-you." He informed him. Sirius inclined his head, chuckling.
James gave a hefty dramatic sigh, trying to re-gain the room's attention. Not that there was really anyone in the room who's attention he could gain. In fact, it was about one am in the Gryffindor Tower. James and his friends lay in various positions through out the common room, avoiding things like transfiguration homework with dogged determination.
Really. James had no idea why anyone would do something like working on essays to themselves.
He turned towards Sirius again, fixing him with a disapproving expression. "Change the subject all you like, Padfoot, I still don't believe any of this stuff about Mcdonald."
The dark-haired boy gave him a hurt look, putting on what was unmistakably a pout. What many girls had described as 'broody' and 'sexy' only gave James a sudden urge to laugh.
"I did too! Tell him I did, Moony." Sirius turned hastily towards their last best friend, appearing very much like an upset child appealing to their parent. Remus Lupin glanced up from his book, raising his eyebrows slightly.
"Sirius, to prove you snogged Mary I would have had to be with both of you during said snog. The last time I checked, you don't invite me on such excursions." Remus informed him, turning back to his novel in a very classic move of a parent ignoring their whiney child. Sirius seemed to think hard for a moment, allowing the words to penetrate his head before slumping back down again.
"Oh yeah." He seemed so put out that James actually felt a bit sorry for him.
"Well, how about you prove it." He suggested, putting down the textbook he had been flipping through. "And then the rest of us can believe it." He chose not to mention the fact that Remus rarely believed anything unless it was written in a textbook found in the library.
Sirius remained unfazed. "How am I to do that?" he demanded. "It's not like I can just go ask Mary to pop up here and give me another one. These things don't come free you know." Deciding he very much would not like to know exactly how Sirius had paid Mary, James tried a different tact.
"Then it sounds like there's only one solution left." James said triumphantly, unable to stop a wide grin from splitting his face. He heard Remus give a groan, setting down his book. James took a moment to be shocked. This was rare for his friend.
"James." Remus lectured, giving him his famous stop-you-idiot look. It was a pity it never worked on him. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"
James didn't even need to answer.
"Hell yes!" Sirius announced, jumping up and punching the air as he caught on to the idea. "I'll be back in a flash."
James watched with amusement as the boy ran out of the tower at full speed, slamming the portrait door shut behind him. He heard the fat lady yelling obscenities after him and winced. She had quite the set of lungs. He did hope Filch was sound asleep.
"What's he doing?" Peter demanded, looking cluelessly from one boy to the other. "I still don't get it." James exhaled, looking at Remus, who shook his head. Judging from the disapproving expression on his friend's face, James figured he was in charge of explaining.
"Veritaserum, Wormtail." He explained carefully, already pulling a table and four chairs into the center of the room. The boy gave him a confused look, evidently not catching on.
"What?" he asked curiously. James rolled his eyes, pulling out a wand to arrange the furniture. Yes, he was actually that lazy. Quidditch did nothing to prepare him for such stressful tasks.
"Veritaserum." He said slowly. "Wizard truth-telling potion. Form of alcoholic shots. Prompt to the greatest wizarding game ever 'answer the question or you have to do what we tell you'."
Remus's eyes were practically burning a hole into the back of his head. James wondered minutely if he was frothing at the mouth too.
Peter still looked confused. "It's not actually called that, is it?"
James gave a chuckle, shaking his head. Only Peter would think to ask a question like that. It was refreshing. "No, it's more like truth or dare, only you get your question first and you have to answer honestly due to the whole Veritaserum issue." He gestured wryly with his head to the table he had set up. Peter glanced at it with wide eyes.
"What if you don't want to answer?" He asked nervously, chewing vigorously on a fingernail. "How do you get out of it?"
James turned, giving his friend a long grin. "Then we get to dare you to do something. And don't think you can get out of that either," he continued, already noting the shifty look on his friend's face. "because there's an enchantment on the shot glasses that force you to go through with it."
"Not that Sirius and James would ever let us hear the end of it otherwise." Remus muttered, his disapproving look caving to one of weary acceptance. James chuckled.
Remus shot him a dark look. "That doesn't mean I'm playing. In fact, I'd reckon I'd rather eat a bubotuber slug." James winced. That was deep.
"What happens if we don't do it?" Peter asked nervously. "The dare?"
James stopped where he was, considering. Come to think of it, no one had ever not done a dare. He shrugged. "It's like an unbreakable vow." He explained, throwing Moony a quick glance to see if he would contradict him. "Nobody knows, but it's never broken."
Peter stared at him in what could only be described as pure terror. James couldn't help but laugh.
"Don't worry, Peter." He advised him cheerfully, clapping him on the shoulder. "Soon you'll be so drunk you won't remember what you were worried about in the first place."
"Until you wake up stark naked in the Great Hall." Remus added helpfully, shooting James a dark look. "Then you remember." Peter simply looked alarmed.
"There's actual alcohol in the Veritaserum?" he squealed, his eyes bugging at an alarming rate. "It's a drinking game?"
"Only the best drinking game ever!" Sirius announced, scrambling back through the portrait hole. His arms were ladled with various bottles, each one holding a clear liquid. James raised his eyebrows at his friend, who grinned. "Knicked 'em out of the hiding place on the fourth floor."
James felt his face split into a wide smile. "Oh yeah, I forgot about that."
Remus looked affronted. "I never heard about it."
Sirius had the good grace to look embarrassed. "It was where we stashed the animagus textbooks. You never really needed to know." He explained.
Peter gave a loud gasp, causing all three boys to jump as he examined the bottles Sirius had lay on the table. "This is the Veritaserum? But - it's clear!"
James nodded, slowly applauding. Wormtail had learned to tell colours! He watched as the boy flushed, realizing how his words must have sounded. "I meant that the clear alcohols are way stronger then most." He clarified, mumbling a little.
Remus nodded, immediately coming to his friend's aid. "That's what the game's based off of. The more Veritaserum the drinker takes in, the drunker they get, and the more naughty the questions become."
James might have actually approved of this speech if Remus hadn't taken the opportunity to put finger air quotes around the word naughty. He sighed, following the other boys in taking their seats.
"You're going to love it, Wormtail." Sirius promised him excitedly, arranging the bottles accordingly. "It's the most exciting, most wonderful, most fantastic, most exhilarating-"
"Most inappropriate game ever." chimed in another voice, making all four boys jump and James's hand fly to his hair.
Lily Evans stood casually in the doorway, watching the unfolding scene with apparent amusement. Her red hair spilled over one shoulder, catching the firelight and reflecting it into the room. She clutched a wand in one hand and her jacket in the other, looking as if it was the most natural thing in the world to be out for a stroll at one in the morning.
James felt his heart rate speed up as they locked eyes, hers shining like green lights. The faint scent of perfume reached him, causing him to scowl slightly. Although quite pleasant, Lily only wore perfume on dates. And as it was one am and she was in perfume, the date must have gone very well.
James hadn't been her date.
Sirius appeared the first to recover his voice. "Lilykins." He tried, putting on a big, warm smile. "How delightful. Please, don't let us keep you. You continue right on your way to bed. Wouldn't want to keep the star student up any later then-"
"Cut the crap, Black." She advised him, heaving a long sigh before plopping herself into a nearby chair. "It's been a long night."
Immediately concerned and hating himself for it, James leaned forward slightly. He wasn't sure whether he wanted to yell at her for going out on a date or put his arm around her to comfort her. Perhaps both. Lily, however, settled this problem for him by scooting away to stare moodily into the flames. This annoyed James to no end. He wondered if she knew it.
"I know what you four are up to." She said finally, looking up pointedly at the bottles. "And as Head Girl, it's my duty to report it."
"Three." corrected Remus absently. Four heads swivelled towards him in amazement. Remus cleared his throat. James could have sworn he was slightly scarlet. "I'm not included in this. Those three are up to."
"Traitor." Sirius muttered under his breath. Peter nodded his head in evident agreement.
"So report us then." James said, amazed to hear his own voice come out so normal. "I wouldn't fancy waking McGonagall at this hour. She may have some dreadful hair curlers in."
Lily raised herself up slightly, glaring at him for a moment. Then she slumped back down again, looking dead beat and worn through.
"I want in." She announced.
Four pairs of amazed eyes swivelled towards the Head Girl this time. "Excuse me?" James choked out. Sirius was gaping at her wordlessly. Remus was turning purple.
Lily sat up slightly straighter, tossing her red hair behind her. "You heard me. Pour me a shot." She surveyed them defiantly, daring any one of them to contradict her. When they settled for continuously staring at her in shock, she snorted and stood up to pour herself a shot.
"Well boys? Am I playing alone or will you be ceasing your gaping and join me?" That seemed to shock Sirius out of his stupor. He gave a gigantic grin and positively threw his glass at her.
"One shot please, Lily love."
That got James out of his stupor. Lily love? "One for me as well." He said, throwing Sirius a warning look. His friend just stuck his tongue out, shaking his head. James relaxed a little, glad that his best mate wasn't interested in Lily like that. Not that James would have ever allowed it.
"Me too." Peter piped up, choosing a glass at random and shoving it towards Lily. She smiled at them, pouring a hefty amount of liquid into each cup. She turned to face Remus as she finished the last glass, smiling very smugly..
"You in, Remus?" She challenged. James found he loved her even more.
His friend looked slightly sick. "I'm a prefect?" he tried, watching as she smirked and shook her head. James had never been so proud - he had taught her that.
"As your head girl I order you to join the Veritaserum shots." She said, giggling slightly at her own creativity. James nodded, looking seriously at his friend.
"Moony, mate, Lily Evans has outdone you." It was worth his friend's scowl when she smiled at him.
Remus gave a sad look as if planning his own funeral before shoving the cup towards Lily, staring moodily at the table. James gave a chuckle.
"That's all of us." He announced, as if anyone needed the reminder. The magical oath he had silently taken weighed heavy against his heart. It was both a pleasant weight and an annoying one, but not easily forgettable.
"I'll start." He declared, watching as everyone hastily lifted their cup to their lips and took a draught. He nodded, satisfied. "Sirius." He said immediately, turning towards his friend with an evil smile. "Was it you that broke my broom last week?"
His best friend gave a guilty start, his eyes widening. "That wasn't what you were supposed to ask me! What about Mary?"
James gave Sirius a knowing look, raising his glass like a toast. "I'll ask what I like. Now you have to tell me, mate." He paused, considering. "Unless you want to get up on the Gryffindor table tomorrow at breakfast and sing an originally composed song for Ms. Mcdonald."
Sirius sighed, gritting his teeth as the others stifled laughs. "Yes, I broke the damn broom. I'll buy you a new one." He promised, ignoring fits of laughter now coming from the other three.
"Right, Moony!" Sirius called, causing Remus to immediately stop laughing and look nervous. "Are you a virgin?"
Remus turned so red it was past a tomato shade. "Er-" He glanced quickly at Lily, evidently embarrassed. "Not exactly, no."
"What?" exclaimed James, who had not missed the glance at Lily. "Who?"
His other friends nodded, looking just as shocked, though more delighted. Remus just grinned, shaking his head. "That wasn't part of the question."
Sirius gave a moan, slapping a hand to his head. "We should have thought to ask!" He turned to glare accusingly, as if blaming the others for not reminding him. James shrugged, gesturing for Remus to continue the interrogation. His friend did so, grinning.
An hour later James had found out more about the four other people in this room then he had ever cared to know. Well, except for Lily, obviously. James could definitely have heard more about her.
Still, he had found out that Sirius had in fact kissed Mary Mcdonald. And that Remus really did know how exactly to find loop holes in all questions so that who exactly stole his v-card was still to be determined.
James had also learned that those PlayWitch magazines they had found a couple days ago did in fact belong to Peter, and that Remus, who was looking very guilty at his own admission, had heard quite an interesting conversation between professors Flitwick and Sinistra that James was appalled at. And it was rare that anything could appal him in the first place.
"James?" Lily asked, her face flushed with the affects of the Veritaserum. She snapped her fingers sloppily in front of him, giggling slightly. "Are you listening?"
James nodded, grinning easily. Of all the people he could have ever hoped to play this game with, Lily Evans ranked number one. And that was including people such as Voldemort himself. James had so far found out that Lily was as much of an angel as he was. He was surprised to learn that she knew all of the castle passages almost as well as he did, and probably better without the map. And though she 'never cheated on tests', she admitted to doing several frowned-upon memory charms before the occasional History of Magic exams.
James had been delighted to learn that Lily wore only cotton and silk bras, but did own one in red lace. (That information had used up several questions to obtain). Lily also revealed that she had been out on an awful date with Amos Diggory, and had only just managed to escape before running into the boys. She also admitted (with much eye rolling and very undignified giggling from the boys) that this was the most fun thing she had done this week.
"James Potter!" She sung, slapping him lightly on the elbow. "I was saying it's your turn." James felt his face break into a lazy grin, his skin tingling from where she had touched him. This was turning out to be a better idea then he had thought.
"Right," he drawled, surveying the room. "Moony."
His friend looked up from where he lay on the floor, too drunk to be sitting fully upright without tipping over. Eventually, he had given up and just lay down to 'stop this spinning!'. James hadn't ever seen his friend so drunk before and hoped he would never forget it.
"Yeah?" Remus slurred.
James thought for only a second. "Worst grade you've ever gotten." He grinned as Sirius gave a cackle, righting himself with great effort. Remus let out a moan, closing his eyes as if it pained him to answer. Or look at the light. Both, probably.
"C'mon." Lily prompted, her eyes lighting up. "It's better then a dare." James reckoned she couldn't comfort him much further while on the Veritaserum.
Remus let out a crack of laughter, groaning again. "You know that paper last week I said I aced?"
James nodded, watching the others do the same. Peter looked at Remus expectantly, clearly thinking that an E wasn't so bad.
"I got a T." Remus confessed in a rush, grimacing as the others doubled up in laughter. Sirius had legitimate tears in his eyes. "It's not funny!" He protested, shaking his finger with great effort from his position on the floor. "And if I wasn't so drunk I would have never told you."
"S'okay Remus." James consoled his friend, hiccupping slightly. "None of us will remember anyways in the morning."
Remus slumped back in relief, closing his eyes again. "Neither will I." He informed him sadly. James grinned.
"It's your turn, Moony." He told him, half-heartedly taking another draught of his shot. "Go on and ask Sirius something. He needs a good interrogation on that locket he keeps under his pillow."
The dark-haired boy scowled at him, but wisely chose not to speak. Remus just shook his head, looking thoughtful. "No." he said slowly. "I do believe that I need to get you back for that last question."
James gave a small gulp, eyeing his friend with apprehension. Remus's questions were usually quite personal due to the fact that his friend was really quite smart. Sure enough, Remus gave him an evil smile before asking rather loudly and clearly, "Are you in love with Lily?"
The room went dead silent. Only the crackle of the dying embers made any sound. Four heads snapped towards him, each carrying a different expression. Sirius looked eager, Peter sympathetic, Remus curious. Lily… well, she looked like she always did. Unreadable most of the time.
"Er-" said James, desperately searching his brain for a way around the question. Did he love her? Well, he could find out by trying to articulate a response and see if it was true. But he didn't really want to know. And if he did, this wasn't the way he would want Lily to find out.
"I choose a dare." He said firmly. Four jaws dropped. Maybe five. He wasn't sure if his did. Did he really just say that?
Remus was quick to recover. "All right…" he said slowly, a grin starting to overcome his face. "I dare you too-"
"Kiss McGonagall!" Shouted Sirius.
"Eat a Pixie!" Peter called.
Remus stared with a mixture of disgust and horror at the pair of them. "Peter, that could kill him. And Sirius, you can't be serious?"
The dark-haired boy shrugged. "That's my name." Remus rolled his eyes.
Peter had the good grace to look embarrassed. "Well then what can he do?"
James waited with bated breath, watching Lily out of the corner of his eye. He had noticed that she had been awfully quiet since the question of his love had arisen and he was certain that the alcohol had nothing to do with it.
"How about Lily chooses?" The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. Embarrassed, he turned towards Sirius who was wearing a surprisingly thoughtful expression. The boy stroked his chin before giving a slow nod.
"That could work." He admitted, leaning back. "Yeah, I agree with James. Shoot, Lily."
The redhead gave a start of surprise. "Me? Why am I choosing?"
Peter, who was giving them a shrewd expression, nodded his head in agreement. "Yeah, why is she choosing?"
"Because I said so." James declared, starting to become annoyed with Peter. Sirius jerked his chin, evidently agreeing.
"Yeah." he parroted. "Cause he said so." He stopped, turning to James. "Wait, why did you say so?"
"Hold on." Remus said briefly, interrupting their conversation. "I've got it!" The boy stopped, considering. "It would be a brilliant idea if I could just… but yes, I think I could. Ooh that part might get tricky… but on the other hand…" he mused.
Sirius made an impatient noise, crossing his arms in a huff. "Well don't worry about us over here in the dark." he said loudly. "Just because we can't all ace our potions exams-"
"A love potion!" Remus exclaimed. "That's what we'll do!"
"We'll do what?" James spluttered, standing up so fast he had to catch a nearby curtain to keep himself steady. Lily had a similar look on her face, though she had the good sense to remain sitting.
"A love potion!" echoed Sirius, rubbing his hands together. "Excellent." He turned to the boy, looking impressed. "That's why you're the smart one."
Remus looked almost pleased with himself.
"I still don't get it!" Peter complained. Sirius had the good sense to slap a hand over his mouth before glancing at Remus.
"Go on and tell them, Moony." He urged. The blonde nodded his head thoughtfully, a grin lighting up his features. James would have been happy to see if it his friend wasn't plotting his demise.
"Here's how it'll work," he began. "Sirius will knick us a love potion from the dungeon tomorrow-"
"Done!" the boy crowed, sounding elated. "Slughorn loves me." James had never hated the satisfied, smug tone more.
"Right," said Remus, gaining enthusiasm. "Then, tomorrow at lunch, James will drink it. And he'll be looking at-"
"Lily Evans!" The three boys chimed, each face lighting with the idea. James made a sort of choking noise and looked beside him to see Lily making much the same expression.
"What?" the red-head spluttered, turning to glare at Remus. "He will not."
Remus only nodded, grinning all the more. It was sort of creepy. "Oh, he will."
James wasn't sure how he was feeling about all this yet. But he could definitely feel the rolls he had for supper moving in his stomach very uncomfortably. He did hope that he wouldn't retch in front of Lily.
"But wait!" Sirius cried, thrusting a finger up into the air. "There's more!"
James let out a very long sigh. "There's more?"
Sirius nodded angelically, settling back down. "Because you have to give Lily one too."
"Excuse me?" James demanded. This was turning out very bad indeed. His supposed best friend nodded again.
"Right Moony?" He appealed. His other best friend grinned.
"Right." He agreed. "And you can't give up until she takes it and looks at you."
"So when hell freezes over." Lily muttered, staring moodily into the flames again. Peter, who would normally be chattering nervously, still had a big goofy grin on his face. James decided he really hated alcohol. If this was bad now, he couldn't imagine it tomorrow morning.
"You're kidding, right?" he asked in a flat tone, searching all of their faces for any hint of humour. They all beamed back at him.
"Afraid not, mate." Sirius said cheerfully. "But it'll wear off in about a week. Give or take."
"A week too long, if you ask me!" Lily burst out, eyeing Sirius with distaste. "And what are you prats going to do while we gallivant around being all lovey-dovey?"
Remus cocked his head, considering. "Why, I do believe laugh and make bets whether James can get into your pants or not."
And that was when James decided he had had enough. Growling, he launched himself at the blonde boy, successfully upending bottles from the table on his way to the ground. Cheers sounded up from both Sirius and Peter, egging him on. And Lily…
It took James a moment to realize that Lily was helping him, poking Remus repeatedly with her wand. She seemed to be doing as much damage as she possibly could without leaving any visible physical marks that teachers could find. James might have teared up a little if he wasn't so busy pounding Remus into hamburger meat.
When the anger had finally left him, James slumped backwards, slightly appalled at himself. Lily had a similar expression of guilt, her wand restored to her pocket.
"Remus?" she tried, leaning forward timidly. "Oh Merlin, I'm so sorry. I have no idea what's wrong with me."
Remus let out a long groan. James recognized it as laughter.
"That was so much fun!" he slurred, his eyelids fluttering and a stupid grin plastering itself over his face. "Let's do it again!"
It took a lot of self-restraint for James not to hit his head on the nearest armchair. What had he gotten himself into?