Peter burst into the room and shouted, "They're gonna duel!"
Remus exchanged a look with Lily and they all ran outside.
James and Sirius stood ten feet apart and already in dueling stances, pointing wands at each other.
"You won't get away with this," James said.
"It wasn't me, you idiot!" Sirius spat back at him.
"I know what I saw! This is the last time I invite you to my house, you mutt!"
Lily leaned towards Peter. "What are they fighting about?"
"No idea," Peter answered with a grin and drummed his fingers against each other.
Remus sighed as he watched his friends throw the first battle spells. "Do I have to intervene?"
Why did he always have to be a mediator?
"Nah." Lily shrugged. "Let them work it out."
James sent a series of jinxes at his friend. "YOU," he missed, "DISGUSTING," he missed, "HAIRY," he missed, "MONGREL!"
The last one made contact and Sirius flew back to land on his butt with a grunt.
Peter cheered. "Go get 'im, James!"
Sirius got up. "You need to get your eyes checked. That wasn't me!" and he delivered a jinx which hit the boy with a flash of light.
James flapped his arms vigorously as if they were wings and tried to respond with more spells, but they all sounded like duck quacks which rendered them useless.
Sirius walked away from his quacking friend. "Maybe next time, he'll think better than to duel me."
James quacked with an intensity that sounded like swearing.
Lily shook her head at him. "Sirius, don't undo the jinx until he calms down." She turned back to Remus. "Now, Remus, I want to hear the rest of the story."
Remus hoped he could drop the subject. He wanted to share the news with Lily but the boys were going to be impossible. He didn't want to have that conversation with them.
"I'd rather hear what this fight was about."
James quacked and pursed his lips in anger.
Sirius ruffled his overgrown hair. "He accused me of peeing on his broomstick."
"WHAT?" Remus and Lily shouted in disbelief.
"He said he saw me turn into a dog and pee on his broom. Seriously. You think I would do that?"
James started flapping his arms in an argument.
"Quack all you want. It wasn't me!"
Remus covered his mouth but then couldn't stop the outburst of laughter. He pointed at the other side of the yard where a big black dog was sniffing a tree.
"See???" Sirius said, pointing at the dog with both hands. "Not me!"
James stared at the dog and then at Sirius, and quacked in defeat.
Lily smacked him in the back of the head.
"Why'd you hit him?" Peter complained.
"He deserved it." She turned to Remus. "Now that that's cleared up, tell me about the werewolf girl."
"A werewolf girl?" Sirius said and whistled. "I want to hear that."
James quacked and put his arms in his pockets to stop them from flapping.
"I'll help you, James," Peter said and pulled out his wand.
"Finite Incantatem," he said but it didn't work because now, James sprouted feathers from his fingers. "Oh... Sorry."
"Come on, Remus," Sirius said, ignoring James' increased quacking. "Who is this wolfgirl?"
Oh, to hell with it. They wouldn't drop it until he gave them something.
"She's just a friend."
Lily smiled like she was daydreaming. "Is she pretty?"
"I guess so." he shrugged. "But her hair is so short, she's almost bald."
Sirius giggled. "Moony's got a bald girlfriend."
Remus ignored the laughter (and quacking) that followed and figured he might as well get this over with.
"She's got a bunch of silver earrings in both ears and likes to dress in denim. She is a witch but I've never seen her at Hogwarts so I'm guessing that she was homeschooled. She has this annoying habit of chewing gum with her mouth open."
Remus shifted on his feet and decided to skip the story of how he ran with her during the full moon. They would never stop with their "girlfriend" jokes if he told them.
"More. Tell us more."
"She gets rude and bossy sometimes," he added, running out of things to say. "For such a petite girl, she's pretty confident."
"Oooh." Sirius sucked in air through his teeth as if he heard something cringy.
James shook his head and quacked as if he heard bad news.
Lily huffed. "What's wrong with being confident?"
Sirius and James exchanged a look.
Lily put her hands on her hips. "Is it because she's a girl? Girls are not allowed to be confident?"
Sirius scratched his shaggy head. "Maybe we should talk about this later."
"No, tell me now!"
Sirius snuck a glance at Remus but then back at the girl. "Well, aren't wolves all about hierarchy? Alpha, beta, et cetera?"
"Well, she sounds like an alpha."
Lily furrowed her brows and looked between the four of them. "And?"
"And Remus..." Sirius didn't finish but Remus already knew what he was going to say.
Remus had no alpha qualities. He didn't even have a pack which suited him fine. He didn't want any part of the werewolf culture and didn't care about their hierarchies.
He never gave it much thought about what type of werewolf he was and it bothered him that Sirius appeared to have already made up his mind about it.
He was ready to change the topic so he took his wand out and cast Finite Incantatem on James, removing the feathers and stopping the arm-flapping.
"Thank you," James said though it still sounded a little quacky. He cleared his throat and put his arms around Sirius and Remus. "Sorry about earlier, Sirius. That dog really looked like you. And Remus," he squeezed his shoulder, "don't be too bummed about the alpha-wolf girl. Maybe she'll like you anyway."
Wasn't it neat how the one thing they agreed on was his wolf status?
"She's only a friend anyway," Remus said. "So it doesn't matter."
Sirius clapped him on the back, "You say that a lot."