A/N: Sorry this one took so long, but we're getting up to the point where I'm only writing a few chapters ahead. That fact, combined with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and the fact that my CRAZY teachers are torturing us every day beforehand… ::deep breat::: It's all good, but I'm backing off for a few weeks while I study endlessly for a big round of tests and projects.

Hope you enjoy!

An amused voice interrupted them. "And what, exactly, would you know about the Spurned Witches' Curse, Mr. Potter?"…

CHAPTER EIGHT

Harry fought the urge to answer, and James grinned cheekily even as he blushed scarlet and the class laughed. Flitwick smiled gently at them and went back to opening his lesson.

However, not even halfway through his first sentence, the door opened and a Ravenclaw girl strode in – she had wavy brown hair that she could probably sit on, and Harry immediately recognized her as the girl in front of him at Quality Quidditch Supplies. Her gaze swept by him for only a second, yet Harry felt she reminded him of someone ….

The girl ignored Flitwick and haughtily strode to a seat on the far side of the room, her shining waves trailing after her. Dennis Averallo walked in, watching his feet the entire time. He looked upset, and Harry felt a twinge of sympathy.

Flitwick nodded to Dennis, but sent a more firm look to the girl. "Ten points of Ravenclaw for your lateness, Mr. Averallo, Miss Blair."

Blair shot Dennis, who was trying to find a seat, an extremely nasty look. Harry felt his anger rising and caught Dennis's attention. He grinned 0and motioned to the seat behind him. Dennis, looking relieved and shocked, sat behind him.

Sirius and James frowned at Harry's actions, but he barely noticed. Remus merely looked curious.

Flitwick gave them the customary lecture and asked them to take notes as he reviewed. Remus dutifully jotted down what Flitwick wrote (Peter couldn't catch most of it, and spent half the class craning over Remus's paper.)

Harry noticed that James and Sirius didn't write a single thing – mainly just doodled on their parchments. Harry noticed the initials "L.E." appeared several times on James's paper. By the time Flitwick was done, Harry's hand had begun to cramp.

Finally, Flitwick had a pretty blonde Ravenclaw pass out cages with doves in them. Flitwick squeaked from on top of his stack of books, "Now, I know you all know how to Vanish creatures. This year, I want you to try to vanish them one body part at a time. For example," He pointed his wand at the dove, announced the spell, and suddenly the dove's wings were missing. The class oohed appropriately, and he continued to vanish the dove piece by piece until it was completely Vanished. He then restored it with a wave of his wand.

"Now form small groups, I want you all to help each other. I'll be walking around if you have any questions."

The Marauders and Harry began to maneuver their desks so they were all facing each other. Harry was aware of Dennis's hesitation behind him, so he grabbed Dennis's desk and pulled it next to his. He ignored James and Sirius, who both had distinct frowns on their faces.

He turned his desk perpendicular to Dennis's and demanded to know what happened at the beginning of class. Behind him, the Marauders were practicing on their doves, but he knew they were listening.

Dennis cringed. "Oh. That. It's nothing, no big deal." He looked so downtrodden Harry felt his temper rising again.

"Wrong. Big deal." He responded cuttingly, sending a cool glance to Blair across the room. She was ignoring him, but it made him feel better. Dennis bit his lip.

"She was trying to pick on me, nothing new. She's got this thing, I mean…" He looked vaguely panicked. "She does a lot of experiments and she's really smart, brilliant actually –"

Harry felt his stomach jar – this sounded like James and Sirius's line of reasoning. He gritted his teeth.

Dennis was still babbling on "-And she knows it so she kind of gets superior and-"

Harry ground out, "I don't care how bloody smart she is, I'll - "

Before he could finish his threat, Remus nudged Harry a bit hesitantly. "Daniel? Flitwick's coming over."

Harry took one look at Dennis's confused face and immediately felt ashamed for his outburst. "Thanks, Remus."

He took a deep breath and Vanished and returned the creature once to make sure he had the charm right. He scrutinized it carefully, then jabbed his wand directly at the dove's beak, as Hermione had shown him. The spell worked, but the bird's entire head was gone, not just the beak.

During this time, Flitwick had snuck up on him. "Very good, Mr. Graham. I was coming over to make sure you were up to this lesson, but you seem to have it down."

Harry felt the heat rushing to his face, and he was very aware of the Marauders' eavesdropping. Now he had to admit that Flitwick had it wrong…. "No, sir, actually I Vanished too much of it. I was just trying for the beak."

Flitwick took a close look at the headless dove and nodded. "That's all right, Mr. Graham. It's better that you over-do it than under-do it on a spell like this. I'll think you'll be able to perfect it quickly."

He moved on to Remus and Harry turned back to Dennis, now beet red. "Well, that was fun."

Dennis smiled at him, genuinely now. "You're doing well, I'm probably going to blow mine up."

Harry gestured with his hand. "You try it, then."

Dennis bit his lip, as was his habit, and jabbed the wand at the dove, nearly poking its eye out. Harry grabbed it before it could fly away, chirping indignantly. He grinned at Dennis, "Well, that was definitely a good wand movement."

Dennis grinned through his dark blush and didn't seem to notice the titters of the groups next to them. "Uh, yeah, I'll try that again."

This time, he aimed to the side and managed to vanish a wing almost perfectly. Dennis tried to perfect his spell while Harry turned back to his own dove, and found the spell much easier when he wasn't so angry.

However, Peter didn't appear to be able to Vanish his dove at all. Sirius came out of his brooding state long enough to try to help him, but he didn't seem to be a very good teacher.

"No, Peter, you git, you're going to end up killing the bird that way - "

Peter seemed awfully embarrassed and Remus finally decided to step in. "Peter – you're saying it wrong again, it's like this–"

James seemed preoccupied watching Lily perfectly transfigure her dove. She was smiling at her success and Harry was again struck by how genuine she seemed, especially compared with the Marauders. He felt a twinge of guilt. They hadn't been so bad, really, and they had been wonderful to him. But the image of Snape's sneering face interrupted that thought….

At that moment, the class was interrupted by a loud explosion – someone had blown up their desk a few seats ahead of them. As the smoke cleared around the area and Flitwick squeakily issued calls for order, Harry saw the blonde girl who had passed out the doves, soot-covered and looking distraught. She was tearfully explaining to Professor Flitwick that she had no idea what she had done, but Harry noted Blair looked pleased. His eyes dropped to her wand, which was positioned on her lap to point directly where the exploded desk had been.

As if sensing his stare, she turned and met his gaze. She looked confused for a second – then her pale eyes grew cold and she smirked at him. He just gave her a disgusted look and turned back to his dove. He felt her stare long after he looked away, but couldn't find it in him to care.

By the end of the lesson, Harry seemed to be on par with Lily. He managed to Vanish the dove piece by piece perfectly. Dennis still had difficulty with Vanishing the dove's eyes, but he also seemed to be doing well.

Flitwick assigned them homework and the class began to shift and gather their books, ready to leave.

Harry walked with Dennis to the door, following the Marauders. They chatted a moment and bid farewell as the Ravenclaws headed off to their electives and the Gryffindors went down to the Great Hall for lunch. He ran to catch up with the Marauders as they entered a wider hall, receiving a welcoming smile from Remus. Sirius and James ignored him momentarily, involved in a whispered discussion. Harry saw James point his wand and mutter a few soft words-

A sudden BOOM sounded and smoke began rolling down the hallway, just as Harry grabbed Remus's cloak and pulled him down. Harry swore quietly to himself - couldn't he catch a break?

As the smoke cleared, Professor McGonagall strode onto the scene, her eyes flashing and reminding Harry of Fred and George's run-in with Hermione the previous year.

"POTTER! BLACK!" Her voice rang throughout the hall and a few dozen students stayed to watch. Most were completely soot-covered and some looked quite rattled, however a few were cracking admiring smiles.

James and Sirius ignored McGonagall. James called out jeeringly, "All right there, Parkinson?" A few people laughed, but most of them still seemed to be confused. Harry suddenly spotted the target, a short boy who looked to be in third or fourth year. Harry couldn't tell any more, as the boy was completely covered in soot, and the explosion that had landed next to him seemed to have ripped his robes and books up considerably. He bent over to pick them up, but fell flat on his face – his shoes had been tied together. Remus had said that Sirius and James's behavior had worsened steadily from fifth to sixth year, culminating with Sirius's near-fatal prank on Snape. But despite Remus's warnings, Harry still felt shocked by the maliciousness in this display.

The entire hall laughed this time, with the exception of Harry and McGonagall, who took a second look at Harry's revolted expression, before her anger began to burn again.

Remus laughed half-heartedly beside him, and Harry dug his elbow into his friend's side. He leaned in and whispered through gritted teeth, "What the hell did they do that for?"

Remus sighed. "He's a Slytherin, his father's in Azkaban, he was caught Muggle-hunting with a band of Dark Lord supporters last year."

"What's that got to do with him?"

McGonagall was by now a sight to see. Seeing her face, all off the students but the Marauders and Harry fled, and Parkinson was helped out by a nearby Slytherin girl. As they left the hall, McGonagall rounded on the Marauders. Harry could've sworn she was breathing fire.

"Just what do you think you're doing?!" Seeing the look on her face and remembering Parkinson's shell-shocked appearance and ruined supplies, Harry's stomach squirmed with guilt. Surely he could've done something to stop the prank….

"50 points off of Gryffindor each, Black, Potter! And detention every night for two weeks! You could've seriously injured someone!"

Sirius muttered to James, "Just a Slytherin, jeez." He had meant it for only James's ears, but McGonagall heard it, nonetheless. She swelled furiously and spat out, "Another 50 points! And you're going to pay for the replacement of Mr. Parkinson's things! Report to me after dinner for detention!"

McGonagall was regaining her lost equilibrium and had lowered her voice, but she still looked about to skin them alive. Sirius moved as if to leave, but she stopped him. "No, you're not going down to lunch there – report to Dumbledore's office and we'll see what detention he thinks will fit you!"

When Sirius and James made no move to leave, she snapped again, "Now!" They skulked off, looking as if they had been scolded for dropping a dungbomb as opposed to seriously endangering another student. He was furious with himself for it, but deep down Harry was worried – would they get suspended?

She turned to the three remaining boys. "Pettigrew, Lupin – Great Hall, now. Mr. Graham, you stay here."

Uh-oh.

Harry had had McGonagall's lectures in the past, but never for something so forwardly malicious. He found himself staring at his feet, but he raised his eyes to meet hers when she spoke.

Her voice was startlingly soft, and she sounded a bit hoarse. "Mr. Graham, I cannot dictate what company you keep, but I'd strongly advise associating too closely with the Marauders this year." She swallowed and her voice began to regain its strength and practical tone.

"While I must admit they are clever, they do not share your values on what friendship or kindness is." She scrutinized him closely, "I pride myself in the idea that I have students with your disposition. Do not let the actions of others guide you… especially Potter's, when he's around poor Miss Evans…" She seemed to be talking more to herself now.

Shaking herself out of her thoughts, she sent him to the Great Hall for lunch.

He didn't really feel like sitting with Remus and Peter (or the gaggle of admirers around them right now), but he wasn't sure how his actions now would dictate their friendship later. He reluctantly made his way to Remus's side and sat down. Ignoring the cooing entourage with ease, he began to eat.

Peter was chattering excitedly, and Harry had to fight back the urge to punch him for being an annoying git. He missed Ron and Hermione a lot right now.

"James was brilliant, wasn't her? The way he aimed that spell… Well, after that, don't see how Evans can resist James any more."

Harry set down his fork suddenly, and found himself saying, "Do you actually believe for a minute that she'll buy into that stupid act? He could've killed that Parkinson boy-"

Peter looked slightly cowed, but took one look at the whispering crowd around them and seemed to gain his courage back. "So what, it's just another Slytherin - " The crowd sniggered inanely.

Harry rolled his eyes and stood up. "Who cares? So he's a Slytherin, what does it matter? He didn't do anything to James or Sirius, and they got in huge trouble and lost a load of points – for what? To impress some girl?" Harry grabbed his bag and stormed out of the hall moodily. He heard Remus call out but ignored him and stormed up the grand staircase.

Hearing footsteps following behind him, he growled, "Go away, Remus!"

A clear, musical voice stopped him. "I'm not Remus." His mind supplied unwanted imagery at the sound of her voice.

No! No, not Harry!

Taking a deep breath, he turned around, and found himself staring in a pair of emerald eyes.

End of Chapter Nine

A/N: Sorry about the length, but I wanted this one to be on its own. Don't worry, don't worry, the Marauders will become more likable as this goes on, a major reason being Harry.

Ahem. But my idea of this is that the Marauders didn't change that day after O.W.L.s by the lake. I think they kept going until James got a real shock to his system – Sirius's prank on Snape, which will be a pivotal part of this year. James began to change for the better that night, and matured. Sirius began to mature, but he had a lot of problems and getting himself thrown into Azkaban didn't help matters. I see the elder Black as a dark and conflicted character, and I want to do a proper lead up to that.

Erikalya Arvanesse

2003-10-22

8

Signed

Hey if you're sick you don't have school meaning you have more time to type giving us a faster update right?

Nice try. I'm working on it, though.

Vicious Lily

2003-10-21

8

Signed

No one spiked your punch? Christ, that's the best part! *wink*

Nice chapter. Why was there a _ after a Professor's name?

Erm... get well soon, and update fast!

~V

Tell me about – it was spiked with Busch last year and we all had a hell of a lot more fun. This year…eh.

Sorry about that – I was tired and didn't really care who the professor was, cause they're not going to be there now. I fixed it, though.

Thanks for the well wishes, and I'm working on the updates.

Duchessa

2003-10-23

8

Signed

*grin* nice chapter. You written Harry very well, this is actually one of the fics where I can confuse canon for. JK Rowling and her tendencies to late updates...After 3-4 years of waiting, can you blame me for mixing canon & fanon together?
Will there be a DADA class next? It'll give Harry a chance to show off. And how about Quidditch? Dennis too...
'James was jealous of him? It made no sense. Ever since Harry had entered Hogwarts, people seemed to think that he was just an imitation – and not a particularly good one – of his father. He had quickly grown to ignore that behavior, and had no small amount of contempt for it now that he had seen Snape's worst memory…'
*wince* I got that feeling too...specially when Sirius is involved...I love the mutt, but he can be a prat. Let harry outdone his father a bit more will you! Will harry develop a friendship with Lily? I hope he will.
UPDATE

You made my day several times over. I think I'm blushing…. Yes, I do the same thing some times, but when it gets down to it and I find a really good fic, I know I'll never really do it for long. Rowling's gift is too unique.

Yeah, Harry will show off, that's what I love watching him do. No – it will not be with a Patronus. Quidditch will be later, and Harry will keep his promise to Dennis.

Yeah, I adore Sirius, but he did have a dark side that continued into adulthood, at least to me. I really want to see those two prats taken down a peg, believe me, so you'll get your wishes. I'm not fond of Snape, either, so you can watch out for that. Harry will develop a friendship with Lily very soon, because Lily rocks.

Thanks for your review! I just wish I had more like yours!

MedNar

2003-10-24

8

Signed

Ah, it was a good chapter! Don't worry 'bout it. Hope you're feeling better.

I like how James was jealous of Harry-it got me thinking. he probably would be, because he doesn't know Harry's his son or anything. Can't wait to see more!

Thanks, I'm feeling better, mostly because I got a couple of my friends sick, too. We really need to work on that sharing soda thing.

But JESSICA got HERSELF sick, not that I'm going to yell at her anymore for her STUPIDITY.

Yeah, James is looking a bit green, and this won't be the only thing. Little git. I love him to death and want to hit him – wonder if Lily felt that way?

padfootrox2003

2003-10-25

7

Signed

i under stand your athors note. my dad died 2 years ago.

You, too, huh? It wasn't so much the death for me…. Well, of course it was, but I was rather young. I don't remember much, but apparently I was pretty messed up for a couple of years.

The thing that really rankled me is that he didn't want me to know he was dying (cancer), so I didn't find out until after his death and funeral and such, but that was because my mother didn't know, either. I still know very little about him, and that's a big part of what bugs me. My mother still won't talk about him much, and I resent her for it a little. But in the long run she's been an amazing, highly successful person and she's encouraged me to be the same way. Looking around at the total jerks some of my friends have to live with, I am one lucky girl.

Siri Kat

2003-10-27

8

Signed

Wow! I think that this might be the best time travel fic that I've read! I mean,, the marauders didn't sit with Harry on the way to Hogwart, Harry has another friend, AND he doesn't act too wierd! Please continue ASAP!

Thank you! Yes, I've read a lot of the other fics and have intentionally avoided as many clichés as possible. I'm trying to give Harry some credit, here, because he acts like a real idiot in some of them I've read.

NightSpear

2003-10-05

7

Signed

I just read the first few chapters up to this one, and I'll just do a general review for this wonderful story that I'm glad to have found.

"I'll probably put more focus on Harry's dark side that usual, his lying talent (and how it's bothering him), his thirst for revenge, his manipulative and sadistic side Rowling's given us such startling glimpses of, and over all, his amazing will power."

Good. Please do. There are so many people who stubbornly continue to believe that Harry is very much an essentially good and not-so-innocent-but-only-because-fate's-been-mean-to-him kind of person. While I agree that he is more good than evil, if it's possible to define a person as such, and that he's not as horribly sadistic & stuff as some people mark him, those "startling glimpses" of his darker side is really intriguing, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how you play it out-it'll only get more interesting since he's with people who have died/betrayed said dead party.

First, though, why is he being sent back? If you explained this, please tell me, and I'll apologize for not reading carefully enough. But for now, it doesn't really make much sense to me. Secondly, in chapter (2? I think that was it) you said that Harry packed away the lute that Hagrid gave him...I know you meant flute, but it made me pause a bit and see a strange mental image of Harry strumming a lute in front of a snarling 3-headed dog. It's not a big deal, though.

Anyway, it's a great story so far. Please update soon!

I love you. Your long review made me feel a LOT better… I'm so happy! I love your review! Can I keep you?

Harry has his "Slytherin" side, which I've always liked, and Rowling's kept us in tune with that. Mouthing off to Tom Riddle and Snape, saying rude things about Malfoy's mother, and being ready to truly kill Sirius at first all come to mind. But I do believe that idea that Harry is essentially pure, and that no one can go through any life, much less his, unmarked. Many people have dark sides that don't come out because they don't need to, because they never find themselves in a situation where it would matter. Just, Harry's dark side is a heck of a lot scarier than anyone else's.

The thing about Harry is he has such an ability to love and I think that's part of what makes him hate. He feel emotions very deeply. He can make me cry with what he feels for his friends but truly terrify me with his utter hate.

The fifth book was WOW – I loved him telling Ron he was dreaming about Ron's Quidditch playing, but attempting the Cruciatus on Lestrange blew my mind. Still, he couldn't complete it and his love for Sirius – wow. I love this boy.

And yes, it'll get more interesting. Didn't you wonder why Lestrange (Bellatrix) hasn't shown? There's a reason, and it will make Harry very, very angry. But not for a while, though…

Oh, the lute? Truthfully, I didn't know what a lute was – I guess it's a miniature harp from what you said, but I thought it was the "posh Euro" term for a flute. I'll check my book again later – thank you!

david

2003-10-21

7

Anonymous

first of all the movies never siad that lily and the marauders weren't all giffindors secondly you need to read the first book james being a chaser is a common misconception brought on my conveenance in fanfictions that harry goes back in time in and people simply forgetting also acording to hagrid in the first book lily and james were head boy and girl in the fith she breaks her own canon if you don't belive me check and i'm not talking about the movie i mean the BOOK i'm sorry if i came off as rude but people should at least double check the facts when writeing these things

David: Sweetheart, I don't mean to be rude, but you're an idiot.

I never said that the movie said Lily/MWPP weren't all Gryffindors. Other fanfictions often make that mistake and I wished to say ahead of time that I would not.

I don't know what the hell you meant to say when you wrote "conveenance", which isn't a word… but James IS a chaser. J.K. Rowling has said so. The movie said he was a seeker, she was asked about it in an interview (find it here) and she said they got it wrong, and that James was a chaser.

No, she did not break her own canon. A lot of people thought she had made a mistake by saying James was not a prefect but was Head Boy. She responded that you don't have to be a prefect to be a Head Boy or Girl. It's her school. She would know..

I apologize for offending anyone with this response, but I have no patience for this sort of thing. I enjoy constructive criticism because it helps me, and it also makes me feel that you were paying more attention, and possibly enjoying it more.

But I don't appreciate flames, or borderline insults like this review. I don't appreciate being told off for messing up the history when the person scolding me can't even spell "Gryffindor" correctly, or be bothered to use punctuation.

Bitchy? Maybe. I'm not sorry for the way I feel, but I am truly sorry if anyone is upset by the response. I'll be happy to discuss, hopefully with some intelligence this time, how I should have or could have responded with anyone, but for now I'm going to get back to my Spanish homework. (Francisco won the contest and he's going to Chicago! Goodie goodie!)