Chapter 8 – Mischief Managed

A/N: Sorry for the delay everyone. Between end of semester finals, job applications, interviews, spring yard work and summer semester I've been a tad busy. Hope you all enjoy this. The next chapter should be up within the week, as it's already been started.

And thanks once again to everyone who reads and reviews

Special thanks to Cindy for aiding in the writing of this chapter!

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The Gryffindor portrait opened and closed however, no one entered. At least it looked that way, though three of the marauders knew better. Sirius walked away from the chess board to greet James, and Remus put the chess pieces away, knowing Sirius wouldn't continue playing. Sirius nudged Peter as he walked by and all four of them walked up to their dorm room.

Once inside their dorm room, James uncloaked and looked around. His hair was extremely messy, well, messier than usual, and his tie was loose. Remus raised an eyebrow, "Busy evening with Lily?"

James didn't say anything, but smirked.

Remus raised his other eyebrow, "If it was Lily, why are you here? And where is she? Did you get caught by Filch?"

James completely undid his tie and tossed it on his bed, "We got caught by Mrs. Norris. She went to get Filch and we ran in separate directions. She had to get back to her study group, and I came back here."

"I nearly ran into Peeves last week," Sirius added.

Remus tried to raise his eyebrows higher but since they were already higher than usual he just resorted to smirking.

Sirius looked away, "Fine. I was meeting Harriet McDougal to study."

Peter looked extremely dubious and James snorted.

"Okay, Harriet and I were snogging in an empty classroom."

James was folding up the cloak and stuffing it into his trunk, "You where using an empty classroom Sirius? Honestly, you where just begging to be caught. Closets are so much more private. And easier to silence since they're smaller."

Sirius interrupted, "And I suppose getting buried beneath a pile of mops is romantic."

"Good point. We need to find some kind of way to ensure that we don't get caught. I wonder if Remus could create some kind of warning spell. Or maybe a tracking spell."

Remus had previous lost interest in the conversation and was currently reading his Charms textbook. He was startled when James said his name, "What?"

"Warning spells!" James batted the book Remus was reading away from him and continued, "We want warning spells! Or some way to track Mrs. Norris and Filch."

Remus blinked, "You can always tie a bell to her collar."

James and Sirius glared at him.

Remus looked at his book, "Well, that was a boring chapter anyways. I'll see what I can do."

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Several weeks later

The Marauders bent over a square piece of blank parchment.

James poked it with his wand, "It's blank. This is your masterpiece Remus?"

Words spilled across the parchment - Mr. Padfoot would like to remind his friend that he is not an idiot, so he shouldn't act like one. Mr. Wormtail would like to convey that Mr. Prongs should use his brain rather than other organs to think. Mr. Moony would like to know why Mr. Prongs has forgotten even the simplest things. And Mr. Prongs would like to tell himself to shut up and listen to Mr. Moony.

James jumped back and stared at the swiftly vanishing words on the parchment, "An insulting parchment. That's absolutely spiffing Remus!"

Remus gave him a look of utter contempt and poked the parchment with his wand, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

In the spidery tracery of lines that in the future would become very familiar to the Weasley twins and the Golden Trio, the map of Hogwarts reveled itself.

Sirius leaned closer and pointed to a moving dot, "Look! There's Mrs. Norris. She's pacing in front of the trophy case."

Peter looked down over the map, "Twinky's in the kitchen. That means we will get roast beef for supper tonight."

James looked up and grinned, "You always think with your stomach Peter," he turned to Remus, "We have the perfect map for sneaking around. You have the professors, Peeves, Filch, Mrs. Norris and the House Elves on here."

He reached across the table for the map but Remus beat him to it. Remus snapped up his masterpiece and muttered "mischief managed" before turning on the other Marauders.

"This is a very important piece of work. I will not have it sullied by useless endeavors, like snogging adventures," he said in his most solemn voice. Then he broke into a grin "However, we can use it to cause even more havoc than ever. For instance, I propose the creation of 'The Annual Marauder Night of Chaos' starting tonight. I think a small box of fireworks in the Hufflepuff dorm might be a nice place to start…."

The four Marauders hunched lower over the table ignorant of the figure hiding on the opposite side of the room. A figure with red hair and green eyes.

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That night, several people crept out of their dorms. The first to leave was four Gryffindor boys huddled underneath an invisibility cloak. They were soon followed by a lean redheaded female who was layered beneath many disillusionment charms to avoid being caught. At the same time, a lanky black haired boy slipped out of the Slytherin dorms and crept up to the astronomy tower.

Unbeknownst to all the other Houses, there was a party going on in the Hufflepuff common room. It was a prefect's birthday, and as Hufflepuff's tend to need very little reason to celebrate anything, they had decorated the common room in bright yellow streamers and balloons. It looked like a sunflower had exploded. The Marauders crept in when the door opened to expel some of the more serious students who where escaping to the library. James looked like he had been hit by a stunner upon seeing the party, but Sirius had no such concerns. He flipped off the cloak and handed it to Remus who looked slightly more stunned (if that was even possible) than James. After a quick check on his hair, Sirius sauntered up to the birthday girl and proceeded to give her all seventeen of her birthday kisses with mind-numbing expertise. Peter looked torn between spending time with his girlfriend, and the desserts table.

Remus and James were standing just inside the portrait hole and were looking extremely confused. Remus looked at the map, "You know, I should probably add some more layers to this map now so that it can track everyone. If we had seen that there were this many people in the room, we could have avoided this mission failure."

However James had a better idea and grabbed the map, "Do that tomorrow. I'm going to find Lily and enjoy not being caught by Mrs. Norris."

James stepped outside of the brightly lit room and put on the cloak. Remus stood in the doorway a minute longer and then decided to make his way back up to the Gryffindor dorms. About three steps out the door he ran into Lily.

"Where is James?" she asked.

"Looking for you. He has his invisibility cloak"

"Do you know where he was headed?"

"I would assume he went to Gryffindor Tower."

Lily turned and started walking. She paused, "Aren't you coming Remus?"

Remus quickly caught up with Lily and they both started off towards Gryffindor Tower.

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In Gryffindor Tower

James quickly took off the cloak and went to look for Lily. He ran into Gertrude Prewitt coming down from the girl's dorms, "Is Lily up there?"

Gertrude looked at James, "Of course not. She said something about having to finish some Divination homework involving the alignment of the planets."

James replied, "Thanks Gertrude. I guess I'm off to the Astronomy Tower then."

"Sure," said Gertrude as she headed off to the Library.

James quickly put back on his invisibility cloak. Deciding to take the secret passage to the Astronomy Tower, he put the map in his dorm and left a note in the Common Room for Remus, Sirius and Peter telling them that the map was back in their dorm. He was off to go surprise Lily.

Rather unfortunately, he did not run into Remus and Lily, as he took off to find a specific statute that was in actuality a secret passage to the Astronomy Tower.

Upon reaching the Gryffindor Tower, Remus and Lily looked around for James, and when they couldn't find him they sat down on one of the couches in the Common Room.

"Well," said Remus, "I wonder where he wandered off to?"

"Do you think we could try a tracking spell?" asked Lily.

"Maybe, but I have a better idea," replied Remus as he noticed the note that James left. He quickly fetched the map and explained to Lily what it was and how it worked. The two of them quickly set out to add James to the map. Several minutes later, they were done. They spotted James' dot heading towards the Astronomy Tower.

Lily turned to Remus, "Well, he'll soon realize that I'm not up there and come back down. You up for a game of Exploding Snap?"

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In the Astronomy Tower

Severus Snape checked the directions for his potion again, making sure that it was in the correct position in the circle of runes that he'd drawn on the floor of the Astronomy Tower.

"Alright," Severus muttered, "just a few more minutes and everything will be done."

Severus moved back against the one wall of the Tower, as he knew that the potion had the reputation of being a tad, temperamental. And besides, he didn't need to be near it for the last stage. This act, coupled with the fact that he was now hidden in the shadows, had unknowingly allowed for the embarrassing situation that would follow.

Behind the same wall that Severus was leaning against, stood James. He had just arrived and saw through one of the cracks in the wall that someone was in the perfect spot for him to surprise them. As he believed this someone to be Lily, he quickly devised the perfect surprise for his girlfriend.

Before Severus knew what was happening, he had been pulled into a passage behind the wall, pressed up against the passage wall, and snogged. Severus pushed the figure away from him, "What in Merlin's name are you doing? And who are you?"

James turned white, "I take it you're not Lily Evans?"

"Of bloody course I'm not you imbecile. I am not female."

"Snivellus?"

"Potter?"

They both cast Lumos and then both promptly cast cleaning spells on their mouths.

Severus glared at James, "We will never speak of this, incident, ever. Agreed?"

"Of course yes. You think I want this known?"

"I have never sought to understand the inner working of your mind Potter, and I will not endeavor to do so now. Just leave."

And with that James ran back to the Gryffindor Tower, and Severus was relieved to see that his potion had turned out fine. After bottling his potion, he seriously considered obliviating himself.

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In Gryffindor Tower

"Ha! I win again!" exclaimed Lily.

"Why do you always win?" groaned Remus.

"Because I'm female. We always win."

Remus' retorted was forestalled by James stumbling through the portrait entrance. He looked as if he'd been caught doing something inappropriate to one of McGonagall's mice.

Lily asked, "What wrong? Did you get hexed or something?"

"I don't want to talk about it Lily. I really just want to forget this entire evening and go to sleep," James said as he started up the stairs to the dormitories.

"And what could you possible done James?" asked Remus, in a joking manner, "Had a passionate snog with Snape in the Astronomy Tower?"

James blanched and just walked up the stairs quicker, muttering about how oblivate sounded like a really good idea.

Remus and Lily looked at each other, and then they both shook their heads. They was no way…right?