Disclaimer- I own copies of all the books including U.K. versions of GoF, OoP, and HBP in addition to the U.S. versions, but sadly I don't own a scrap of the actual characters. Though I really would like to own Remus Lupin. Mmm, Remus.

Authoress's Note- Erm ... I'm not going to be murdered am I? I last updated this in March, and it's now July ... wow. I'm completely awful. Well, it case anyone's been wondering what I've been up to for the last four months I finished my fanfiction Summer with the Arrogant Prat, edited a bit on this one, have spent way too much time over on livejournal, passed my finals, made some progress on my novel-in-the-works, wrote a one-shot for The Great Break's Scrivenshaft Challenge (I'll probably post it here when the winners are announced), generally wasted the first month of summer, and have just returned from a two week jaunt around England, Scotland, and Ireland! Oh and I also finished Half-Blood Prince. Excellent.

Well, as I can't say I've been too busy to work on fanfiction as I really haven't, we'll just say I've been rather neglectful of it as I'm not really as dedicated to FF dot net as I used to be. If you haven't seen the note I wrote on my author page, I'm a faithful member of The Great Break movement, and as the new archive is almost here, I've been contemplating whether I should make the complete crossover, meaning I abandon this account, and dedicate myself entirely to this new, fairer archive. I would of course leave a link on my author's page for all of you to find me, but still, I don't know yet. E.D.J.

Dedicated reviewers I heart thee!

Black Emerald Dawn- Well, seeing as Sirius is present and accounted for in this chapter, I'd have to say that they did eventually remove Sirius from the kitchens, though I hear a lot of kicking, screaming, and jinxes were involved. ;-)

Auramistealia- Ah yes, I found the name Nixie on some name website. Apparently it means "water sprite" in Old German, which is really connected to house elves too much but eh. Yes, poor James having to deal with Lily's temper; that's got to be awful to be up against.

ThelovelyladyLily- Cool! A kid called Remmy! What's his real name? I'm glad you enjoyed the tickle the pear scene as much as I did.

you-don't-understand- Nope, real name's not Elladora, though I do like my true name quite a lot. James is awesome, though Remus has come to be number one in MY heart. (giggles)

Harry Lvr- Oh darn, I bet I'm getting rotten food from Oz thrown at me after four months of no updates on Seven Years of Marauding!

MeadowRunner- Oh that's alright; not everyone frequents the Lexicon as much as I do (A LOT). I'm glad you liked Nixie and chapter twenty-eight!

GinnyGin- I'd been wondering where you wandered off to. I'm glad to know you're alive! And feel free to take your time reading all the updates you missed.

Reader4ever- Thanks for the reviews! I don't know if it's always the fifth-year prefects who lead the first-years up. Hmm. Doesn't Percy do it a lot when he's at school though? Hmm. I can't remember. Oh well. Let's just say it's possible that the routine could have changed in the last twenty years.

goth hamster- The best? Why thank you!

FioreHacker- Thank you for the wonderful review!

TonksIsMyHero- Adorable? Thanks! Oh yes, Remus will definitely mature over time.

Ch. 29- A Diagnosis of Spattergroit

October thirty-first found Hogwarts in an uproar. Not only was it Halloween, but the first Quidditch game of the season, Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff—and consequently James and Sirius's first ever Quidditch match—was occurring.

And Remus Lupin was nowhere to be found.

"Are you sure you checked the library again?" Sirius demanded, his brand-new scarlet robes flung over his arm as he peered under all the dormitory beds once more.

"YES!" said James, his tone impatient. "And the greenhouses, the common room, the dungeons, and the Quidditch pitch!"

"He's not in the Astronomy Tower or the Great Hall!" Peter announced tiredly as he walked in the door. "No one's seen him since before dinner last night. He's just vanished!"

"Let's look at this logically," said James, trying to remain the voice of calm as a bubble of nervous apprehension welled up in his chest. "He told us he was going to the library to do some Charms homework instead of going to dinner. Did anyone see him in the library last night, Pete?"

Peter slowly shook his head.

"We all went to bed, assuming he was still studying in the common room or something, but we woke up, and he still wasn't back …"

"And we haven't seen him since!" Sirius finished despairingly, slumping down on his bed and groaning.

"If I was Remus, and my friends were having trouble finding me, where would I be?" Peter mused absently.

Suddenly, Sirius's eyes widened, and he breathed, "The Hospital Wing."

"But I checked …" James trailed off. "Oops."

The three boys bolted out of their dormitory, through the common room where Riona O'Callaghan barked, "Black! Potter! Changing rooms in fifteen minutes!", and then down innumerable flights of stairs before they arrived panting at the door of the Hospital Wing, which Peter flung open, and they thundered inside.

They searched the beds but besides a fifth-year Slytherin boy with a colorful Fwooper-feather quill wedged up his left nostril and a third-year Ravenclaw girl whose skin was a mottled green (and when James looked closely her hands were webbed as well), Remus was nowhere to be found.

As they turned to go, Peter suddenly shouted, "Wait!" and hurried over to a bed at the far end of the ward that had thick flowery curtains drawn around it, shielding the bed from view.

Sirius and James exchanged a doubtful look but followed Peter. With an intake of breath, Peter yanked back the curtains and gasped.

There was Remus sleeping soundly, a trickle of dark blood running down his brow. But that was the least of it: there were dark circles under his eyes, deep scratches covering his entire face, and blood speckling his pajamas where it had soaked through—obviously from where more wounds were hiding.

"What happened to him?" Peter asked, his voice scared and horrified.

"He looks like he got attacked by something," James breathed, aghast.

Just then, Remus's eyelids snapped open, and he stared at them without comprehending for a moment. A low growl sounded deep in his throat before he shook his head as if to clear it and then took a deep intake of breath, a fearful look appearing on his scratched face.

"What happened, Rem?" Sirius whispered. "You're all bloody."

"I'm sick," Remus croaked shakily, as if his voice had forgotten how to work properly.

"With what?" James said, wide-eyed, staring disbelievingly at the blood stains dotting his friend's pajamas and wondering what sort of illness had strange symptoms like bloody scratches.

"Nothing out of the ordinary," Remus replied stoutly. "I'm fine."

"There's blood running down your face!" Peter squeaked. "That's not normal!"

Remus wiped a hand over his face and winced at the smear of read across it.

"Oh," he said faintly. "Madam Pomfrey'll fix that up in a minute. I'm fine. Really."

His friends still continued to stare at him until Madam Pomfrey bustled in, alerted by the sounds of voices around her isolated patient's bed.

"What do you think you three are doing here?" she demanded, eyeing them beadily. "Mr. Lupin needs his rest!"

"What the bloody hell's wrong with him?" Sirius asked, his voice shaking.

Madam Pomfrey looked confused and looked from Remus to Sirius and back again.

"Oh the blood and scratches!" she exclaimed, realizing. "Why that's nothing a bit of Healing and Blood-Replenishing Potions can't fix up. Usually. It's really quite normal in his case."

"And what precisely does he have a case of?" James said, a hint of worry still evident in his voice.

"Hasn't he—?" Madam Pomfrey looked over her shoulder at Remus, who shot her a pleading glance. "OH, it's, well, it's … spattergroit," she fumbled, naming a skin affliction that made one become "grossly disfigured and pockmarked". It's only remedy was said to be standing naked in a barrel of eels' eyes at the full moon with a frog liver tied around your throat, but every good Healer knew a good dose of haggis usually did the trick—a reason why no one from Scotland was every found afflicted with the condition.

"Spattergroit?" James repeated.

"Yes," she said steadily. "But it's really nothing I can't handle. You needn't worry about Mr. Lupin in the slightest. I'm sure he'll be back making trouble with the rest of you by dinnertime."

"Our first Quidditch match is in five minutes!" Sirius protested, and Remus chewed his lip at the bad timing of his illness. "He's supposed to be there cheering James and me on!"

"I'm afraid he'll have to miss it," she said, a note of finality in her voice. "He shouldn't be out of bed."

All four boys groaned—three in disappointment and one in sheer pain.

"Potion time, Mr. Lupin," Madam Pomfrey positively sang in response, and she produced three or four sinister-looking bottles from her apron pocket. "Shoo, you three! Out!" She bustled Peter, James, and Sirius out of the ward, and with a snap, pulled the curtains shut once more, hiding her and Remus from view.

The three boys stared at each other, bewildered, before leaving the Hospital Wing, feet dragging.

"Spattergroit," Sirius repeated, trying the word on his tongue, brow furrowed. "What the hell is that?"

"Do you think it's contagious?" Peter asked anxiously, examining the palms of his hands as if he expected them to break out in purple spots any moment now. "I feel itchy. Do you feel itchy?"

"You accidentally spilled that packet of itching powder in your trunk last night, mate," James replied matter-of-factly.

"Oh yeah," said Peter, scratching vigorously at his neck. "Great," he added flatly. "Another three hours like this until it wears off." He rubbed at his ankles, which were already raw and red.

"Stop it!" Sirius said sternly, pushing Peter's hands away from scratching his skin. "You'll only make it worse!"

Peter huffed and folded his arms over his chest in an effort not to scratch. He lasted less than a minute before he was scraping his nails over his forearms again.

Sirius and James just sighed and shook their heads. He'd learn.

"Quidditch pitch?" James suggested resignedly to Sirius.

"Yeah, I suppose."

The three boys hurried outside, panic filling their stomachs at the sight of how empty the Entrance Hall was. Sirius and James said hurried goodbyes to Peter, who enthusiastically wished them both luck, and bolted for the Gryffindor changing rooms.

Lily and Bella weren't speaking. Well, Bella had tried, but she'd received nothing more than an angry glower from Lily on every occasion. Emmeline had adopted an "I don't even want to know" attitude and asked them no questions just chattered excitedly as the three girls made their way over the school grounds.

"Have you be reading up about Quidditch, Lily?" Emmeline asked.

"Yes," said Lily, and her face lightened a bit from the dark frown she'd been wearing all day. "There's the Quaffle, the Golden Snitch, and Blooders—"

"Bludgers," Bella corrected acidly out of the corner of her mouth, tightening her grip on her broomstick.

Lily cleared her throat and continued loudly, "As I was saying, there's the Quaffle, the Golden Snitch, and Bludgers," she gave Bella a scathing look, "and the players are Chasers, Beaters, Keeper, and Seeker. Is that right?"

"It's the basic jist," said Emmeline as they reached the pitch. "Well, good luck, Bella!" she exclaimed and with an exasperated sight at the tension present in the air, grabbed Lily's arm and hurried up the stands.

Bella hurried to the Gryffindor changing rooms and quietly slipped inside, hoping no one would notice she was a bit late. Thankfully, Sirius Black and James Potter thundered in after her, drawing Riona's wrath fully onto them.

"Late!" Riona said shrilly, straightening her scarlet robes on her shoulders. "Do you have any idea how selfish it is to put the entire game in jeopardy just because you two only decided to wander in at your leisure?"

"Sorry, sorry," Sirius and James muttered, pulling robes over their heads.

"And where were you?" Riona demanded, foot tapping.

"We were searching for our friend Remus Lupin," replied Sirius, straightening up. "We hadn't seen him since last night, you see, and we were worried."

"And we were right to be concerned," James added. "He's in the Hospital Wing."

Riona huffed and merely said curtly, "Don't let it happen again, alright?"

The boys nodded solemnly.

"And now that's everyone's present and accounted for," Riona took a quick scan of the room. "Everyone suited up? Good. Let's play Quidditch."

The seven Gryffindor players strode out confidently and received a roar of approval from the wall of scarlet and gold up in the stands.

"And welcome to this year's first Quidditch match, Gryffindor versus Hufflepuff!" called a loud male voice through a megaphone. "I'm Bowen Radcliffe, six-year Ravenclaw, six foot one, devilishly handsome if any of you ladies are interested …"

"Radcliffe, please," came Professor McGonagall's strained voice. "The commentary."

"Ah, right you are, Professor!" said Bowen cheerfully. "And here's the Gryffindor team now! They're looking nice and confident—just wait until Ravenclaw gets a hold of you lot! I know, Professor, the commentary! I give you Chasers Owens, Callaway, and—new on the team this year—Potter! And then there's returning Beater Addison and his new partner Meadows! She's a tiny thing if you ask me, but rumor has it she's quite handy with that bat of hers! I think a few second-year boys have the marks to prove it! And then there's new Gryffindor Keeper Sirius Black! Aren't he and Potter ringleaders of that little gang of midget pranksters?"

There was a loud scrambling over the megaphone before Radcliffe said loudly, "Fine, fine! Apparently, folks, 'midgets' is not deemed an appropriate term for the younger set here at Hogwarts. Please Obliviate it from your memories while I announce last but certainly not least, the lovely Captain and Seeker O'Callaghan!"

While Radcliffe enthusiastically announced the members of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team (he rambled on about how he thought one of the Chasers fancied him for a good three minutes before McGonagall had the sense to tug the megaphone away from him and finish the commentary herself), Riona turned a critical eye on her teammates and barked last minute instructions at them.

"Black, remember to concentrate on your position in front of the hoops. Sometimes you're drifting to the left."

Sirius nodded.

"Chasers, keep that Hawkshead Attacking Formation in mind; an opportunity might present itself."

Aubri, Shev, and James nodded vigorously.

"Addison, Meadows," Riona turned to her two Beaters, a wry grin on her face. "Kill them."

After a few minutes, the fairly new Flying instructor Madam Hooch, who was refereeing the game, called," Captains, shake hands please."

Riona and the Hufflepuff captain Malcolm Finley—a surprisingly short sixth year who had hardly more than an inch or two on Riona—clasped hands and nodded curtly to each other.

"On my whistle then," said Madam Hooch, scooping the Quaffle from near her feet with one hand and raising her whistle to her lips with the other.

She blew two short blasts, and the fourteen players kicked off simultaneously.

"And Hufflepuff Chaser Worth has the Quaffle!" Radcliffe roared. "Worth to Evers! Intercepted by Owens! And he's streaking down the pitch—nice Bludger dodge there, Shev! He shoots, and it's saved by Hufflepuff Keeper Sinclair!"

Sirius swore not very quietly from his position by the goalposts at the opposite end of the pitch as he listened intently to the commentary.

"And the Hufflepuff Chasers are making there way back down the pitch, and it looks as if this will be new Keeper Black's first demonstration of his talents …"

Sirius tried to ignore the commentary, a trickle of sweat running down the back of his neck as Evers rocketed down the pitch towards him.

"Come on, Sirius!" James bellowed.

As if in slow motion, Evers threw the Quaffle, and Sirius dove in front of the right hoop. He let out a gasp of relief at the sight of the scarlet ball clutched in his fingertips. He hauled himself back onto his broomstick, as he'd only been clinging to it by his left leg, and let out a cheer.

"And a spectacular save by Black!" Radcliffe shouted, and loud cheers came from the Gryffindor section.

"THIS IS AMAZING!" Lily shouted to Emmeline over the din as the score became sixty-fifty, Hufflepuff.

"Do you understand what's going on?" Emmeline asked warily.

Lily paused for a moment to think. "Well, kind of! I'm getting the hang of it!"

Just then, James got hold of the Quaffle and rocketed toward the opponent's goal posts. As he drew nearer and ready to aim, everyone in the stands quieted, holding their breath.

Everyone except Lily who, oblivious to the silence around her, bellowed, "Potter, if you don't get this next goal, I'm going to kick your arse!"

Everyone turned to stare at her as her voice echoed across the silent pitch.

Lily turned bright red and attempted to hide beneath her seat.

Meanwhile, James heard Lily's bellow and stopped in midair, nearly dropping the Quaffle. Was that Lily Evans? And was she cheering him on in a twisted, life-threatening sort of way? Odd.

Realizing he was in the middle of match and also the one holding the Quaffle with three opponent Chasers headed his way, James took Lily's advice, aimed, and threw the Quaffle through the center hoop with a loud clang.

"And the game's tied sixty-sixty!" Radcliffe's voice rang out. "Callaway's just intercepted the Quaffle from Worth and …"

The commentary trailed off, and James whirled around just in time to see Aubri take a Bludger in the mouth and crumple over the front of her broomstick, blood pouring down her chin, and the Quaffle fell slowly through the air, forgotten.

"And Gryffindor Captain O'Callaghan calls a time out as one of her Chasers is injured by a Bludger from Hufflepuff Beater Finley!"

Madam Hooch blew a blast on her whistle, and five Gryffindor players smoothly landed while Shev and Aubri had a bumpier landing as he had Aubri clutching on to him with one hand and her broom with the other.

Madam Hooch hurried over and eyed the blood pouring down Aubri's scarlet robes critically.

"That looks like a broken jaw," she said at last. "She can't play like that."

Aubri tried to protest, but the effort made her gasp in pain. She was already looking woozy from blood loss.

Professor McGonagall had since hurried down from the commentator's box and said gently, "I'll take her up to the castle, Riona."

"But the game!" Riona exclaimed. "We're a player short!"

"Catch the Snitch then," said McGonagall simply, and with that, she took Aubri by the arm and slowly started off the pitch.

Riona shook her head and smiled. "I'll catch the Snitch then!" she called after her Head of House.

"Are you ready then?" said Madam Hooch, and Riona nodded.

Everyone rose back up into the air, and the game resumed. The only problem was now that the Hufflepuff Seeker had had a good five minutes to search for the Snitch already.

Sirius watched as Riona scanned the pitch for a glint of something gold, and then suddenly, the Hufflepuff Seeker Irving dove toward Bella, and Sirius saw a flash of gold fluttering above her head.

Bella let out a small scream at the sight of the Seeker charging at her, and she pulled her broom upward to avoid a collision. Luckily, Irving paused for a moment to make sure Bella was out of the way, giving Riona a chance to swoop and grab the fluttering Snitch right in front of him.

"And O'Callaghan has caught the Snitch!" Bowen Radcliffe roared into the megaphone. "Gryffindor wins two hundred and ten to sixty!"

Cheers rang out and chants of "RIONA! RIONA!" rose over the pitch, and the rest of the Gryffindor rocketed over to hug her and praise Irving's sheer stupidity. He would not be a very popular person in the Hufflepuff common room tonight.

Yes, the Hufflepuffs won't be very happy, will they? (grins) I'm hoping this gains a bit of forgiveness for my absence for the last four months! Much love, E.D.J.