Length: 1,988 words
Summary: Lily won't wear one and neither will Remus, but little Bill wants one and McGonagall might go for one in tartan.
Author Note: Set in late 1977; assumes the marauders and Lily joined the Order shortly after leaving Hogwarts.
Both were dressed in t-shirts emblazoned with a large golden bird; the emblem, no doubt, of some deafening, tuneless rock band.
~ JK Rowling, prequel short story set in the Harry Potter 'verse
for Waterstones 'What's Your Story?'
"I'm not wearing that."
Lily folded her arms and her fiancé's eyes darted to her engagement ring before moving back to her frowning face.
"Aww, come on," said James, holding up a black, fitted t-shirt with a huge phoenix splashed across the front in shiny gold paint. "I made this one especially for you."
"I can see that," said Lily. "It'll barely stretch over my breasts."
"And such lovely breasts they are too," said Sirius with a leer.
Lily rolled her eyes and there was a clattering noise behind her as Molly banged something down on the kitchen counter in disapproval. Mrs Weasley wasn't much older than Lily herself, but she often acted more prim and proper than even the oldest members of the Order. Lily suspected it might have something to do with her little boy, who was stood in the open doorway staring at all the new faces in his kitchen with wide eyes.
"What are breasts?" she heard him ask.
"Things women have that make milk for babies to drink," said Arthur as he placed a stack of plates on the table.
It looked like Molly was planning a communal stew, since her husband hadn't laid out individual place settings, which meant more people were planning to turn up than would be able to fit around the kitchen table. They wouldn't mind standing though if it meant they were able to eat Molly's cooking.
One of the great things about The Burrow being assigned as the Order's new Headquarters was the wonderful food that accompanied every meeting and Lily much preferred the warm Weasley kitchen to the stuffy, cramped front room at Benjy Fenwick's house where they'd used to meet, before Benjy had gotten scared and asked Dumbledore to find somewhere else.
In fact, she liked it so much that she always tried to turn up early before Order meetings so she could spend some time there, in the pleasant kitchen with Molly and Arthur's pleasant company, but then anywhere was better than being at home recently, where her parents and Petunia were less than pleased that she was going to marry into a Wizarding family and, according to them, leave them behind.
"Are you sure you don't want it? Positively certain?"
James wafted the t-shirt back and forth. It made him look like a matador and Lily bit the inside of her cheek so that she wouldn't laugh. Laughing would only encourage him.
"Of all the stupid stunts you two come up with," she said, trying to sound angry, "do we really need to advertise the fact that we're members of the Order?"
James shrugged and put the t-shirt down on top of the table, covering the spoons.
"They already know who we are and what we stand for," he pointed out. "It's not like we're hiding our faces or anything."
"It's tempting fate," said Molly crossly. She walked past Lily to wave her wand at a large pot on top of the stove, moving gracefully for a pregnant woman, although Lily hadn't actually seen that many pregnant women to be able to compare.
Arthur finished laying the table and sat down next to Peter, who was fiddling with the hem of his own phoenix t-shirt, which looked baggier on him than on James or Sirius and certainly far bigger than the one James wanted Lily to squeeze herself into.
"Fate, destiny." James waved a hand in the air dismissively. "Divination is a load of-"
"Let's not introduce my son to any more new words tonight, please," said Arthur, interrupting him politely.
James opened his mouth to reply and then closed it again when cackling and scuffling sounds came from the yard just outside; the chickens and garden gnomes announcing the arrival of a newcomer they weren't fond of.
"Evening Moony," said Sirius as Remus walked in through the backdoor.
Lily uncrossed her arms to wave and Peter smiled up at him wanly.
Remus scrubbed a hand across the top of his head, which didn't improve the unkempt and greasy look of his hair. "Couldn't you for once just challenge me like you're supposed to when I come in?"
"Why?" Sirius grinned. "We already know it’s you. Only werewolves scare off the local wildlife around here."
"What are-" began Bill, probably starting to ask about werewolves, but Molly shushed him, shooting a glare at Sirius.
"I could be Polyjuiced," Remus pointed out tiredly.
"When Polyjuice doesn't work on werewolves?"
"Oh, for goodness sake." Lily crossed to the other side of the room and stuck her wand under Remus' nose. "Prove you're you, then."
"I kissed you in fourth year."
James came up behind Lily and wrapped his arms around her waist as she lowered her wand. "You two need to come up with a different question or you're going to make me jealous."
"Oi, Moony," called Sirius. "Got something for you." He held up another t-shirt and asked, proudly, "What do you think?"
Remus eyed the large shining bird on the front of the t-shirt. "We’re already targets, but now you want to help them aim?"
"That's what I said," Lily told him.
"But we’ve got nothing to hide," said James, tightening his hold on her, "so why not?"
Remus rubbed at his eyes and the grey smudges beneath them, pulled out a chair, and sat down on the other side of Peter. Molly leaned between them both to place a mug of coffee in front of him, which he thanked her for verbally whilst Lily thanked her with a wide smile.
Remus needed looking after, even if his pride almost always stopped him from letting them.
Bill, drawn by the shiny paint, finally stopped standing in the doorway and wandered over to Sirius, who lowered the t-shirt he was still holding so the boy could get a better look at it. His tiny fingers traced the outline of the golden bird, lingering on the wings.
"I want one."
"Well, since these two don't…" Sirius tossed the t-shirt intended for Remus onto the table with a mock glare at his friend, picked up the smaller one that had been turned down by Lily, and moved to pull it over the boy's head. "This one ought to fit you."
Molly darted forward and pulled her son back out of the way.
"What you do think you're doing?" she said, almost hysterically. "He isn't in the Order. He's got nothing to do with the Order!"
"It's all right, dear," said Arthur soothingly. "He'll never have to be."
He came to stand next to her, moving as fast as she had when she'd pulled Bill away from the t-shirt, and gently wrapped a hand around the wrist of her wand arm.
Molly glared at Sirius, still holding Bill. The boy squirmed uncomfortably, possibly more because of his mother's tone of voice than her firm grip in Lily's opinion, since Lily herself was still in shock at Molly's transformation from gentle cook to raging protective mother.
Lily couldn't imagine, let alone remember, her own soft-spoken parents ever being that forceful in their defence of their children, but she abruptly decided that she would be if she ever had children of her own. James' arms around her and his ring on her finger seemed to make that more of a 'when' than an 'if' and she covered his warm hands with her own.
"Sirius just doesn't always think things through," said Remus, beginning to apologise for Sirius, before the backdoor opened again, revealing two more members of the Order and breaking up the tension in the kitchen.
"Good evening!" said Hestia cheerfully whilst McGonagall, who Lily just couldn't think of by her first name, nodded.
Arthur and Molly returned the greetings. Molly finally let go of Bill and turned away from them all to face the stove, taking a moment to compose herself.
"I have an important job for you, actually, looking after Charlie and Percy while your Mum and I feed all these people," said Arthur, placing a hand on Bill's shoulder and steering him out of the room.
Sirius dumped the t-shirt he was holding on top of the one that had been intended for Remus and James let go of Lily, stroking the back of her neck before moving away to face McGonagall.
Lily raised her wand to aim it at Hestia with a sigh.
"My name is Hestia Jones and I can't become pregnant at the moment because I'm taking what Muggles call 'the pill'," the older witch told her stridently whilst McGonagall muttered something to James that included the word 'whisky'.
The pair of them then went over to talk with Molly, Hestia taking off her cloak and slinging it over the back of a kitchen chair as she went.
James and Lily moved back towards Sirius, Remus and Peter, and all of them ended up staring at the crumpled t-shirts on the table.
"Where did you get them from, anyway?" said Remus eventually.
"Transfigured them," said Sirius, shoving his hands in the pockets of his jeans.
Lily wasn't sure if he wore jeans because he wanted to show his support for all things Muggle or because he knew that he looked good in them, but since James and Sirius often wore matching clothes Lily didn't mind, given that James looked even better in them.
"Honestly," she said, pulling her thoughts away from James in jeans and back to the ridiculous t-shirt he was wearing. "They'll probably fall apart after one good cleaning charm."
"Hey, we're good at Transfiguration!" Sirius raised his voice and said, "Right, Professor?"
McGonagall turned to look at them with her lips pursed, but the corners of her eyes crinkled proving that she was more amused than annoyed. "Why, what have you done now?"
Arthur grinned at the question as he came back into the kitchen, closing the door behind him.
Sirius spread his arms wide, showing off his new t-shirt, and gestured at James and Peter, who pushed his chair away from the table so his own t-shirt could be seen and waved at McGonagall shyly.
"Those are rather garish," was their old Professor's verdict, "and I say that as one who has seen most of Albus Dumbledore's wardrobe."
"Would you like one?" asked James.
"Have you ever heard the saying about wearing clean underwear in case you die?" McGonagall asked, directing the question at the three boys.
"Yeah," said Sirius.
"Well, maybe you ought to think about what else you'd be wearing as well."
Arthur and Hestia laughed at that. Remus folded his arms on top of the table and buried his face in them, which meant that he was probably laughing as well and didn't want Sirius and James to call him on it.
"We could make one in tartan," said James, fluttering his eyelashes. "What do you say?"
McGonagall raised her eyebrows.
"You’re not going to try and get everyone wearing those things, are you?" Lily asked James doubtfully. She had visions of Dumbledore wearing one, with the phoenix practically obscured by his beard, Alice artfully lowering the neckline on hers to make Frank drool, and Hagrid with one the size of a small tent.
"I'll make a bargain with you," said McGonagall, who looked like she was imagining Dumbledore wearing one too. "Cease and desist, and when this damnable war is over I’ll wear one to the victory party."
"In tartan?" said Sirius.
Remus made a choking noise and Peter patted him on the back absently.
"In tartan," McGonagall confirmed.
Sirius and James looked at each other gleefully, Peter looked stunned, Lilly fought the persistent mental images, and Hestia, Arthur and Molly were definitely amused.
"I'll fight as many Death Eaters as you like to see that." James picked up the two abandoned t-shirts, shrunk them, and stuffed them in his back pocket, looking happier than Lily could remember him looking for weeks.