Disclaimer: This chapter was NOT written by me. Also, this story is based on characters and situations created by J.K. Rowling. No money is being made off this nor is copyright infringement intended.
Chapter 11 - The Colly Wobbles
Harry followed the two boys along a familiar path, unlit the were in front of the whomping willow. "Come on." said Romulus, as he took a rather large stick and nudged the small knob at the base of the tree. When the tree became docile Hermione began to as questions, however the boys all didn't have time for answers, so they pushed her inside the small tunnel.
While walking inside the tunnel Harry notice that it had a more finished look to it rather than the root infested tunnel he remembered. At the end there was a door and on the door was the word Marauders. Harry stared at the word for some time before Draco nudged him saying, "Come on, say the password."
"Looking at Hermione and then at the door," Harry found himself at a loss for words. Frantically scrambling in his mind, he searched for a password that he had never known. Then as if out of the blue a thought struck him as he said softly, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!"
"See," Romulus said to Hermione with a smug look on his face, "how could he know the password if he was a stranger?"
Hermione looked at Harry in confusion, but he just turned his head slightly and sighed as Draco patted him on his shoulder and went in. Romulus and the others followed shortly after and when they entered both Harry and Hermione were in awe of what they saw.
It was the shrieking shack but the inside was beautiful. The wood had been restored and the place had been cleaned. New furniture and linens covered the room from wall to wall. Scratching his head Draco said, explaining to Hermione, "What a little money, some hard work and a lot of magic will do for a place like this."
"Its brilliant," said Harry in awe.
Crinkling his eyebrows in confusion Romulus said, "It should be...you thought this up."
"I did?" Harry said snapping out of his revery.
"Look," Draco said with some anger edging into his voice, "I want to know what the heck is going on, right now!"
Harry sat down in a comfortable chair and tilted his head back while closing his eyes and seeming to be in pain for a moment. "Fine, but don't interrupt me!" Romulus sat net to Draco on the couch across from Harry while Hermione chose to sit off to the side.
And so Harry told them about what had happened in his time line and how he had come to be stuck in this one. As the hours passed and the boys listened their faces shifted through a multitude of emotions, but to their credit they never once interrupted Harry as he told them everything.
"That's about it," Harry said finally, while sighing deeply and looking as if a giant weight had been lifted off his chest.
"Me?" said Draco in complete disbelief, "In Slytherin? And we were enemies?"
Harry didn't look up at the voice, rather he just nodded his head in affirmation of what had been asked. "At least your alive." said Romulus in a bitter tone, "he said that I'm not even born!"
After Romulus had a laugh at that, Harry asked tentatively, "By the way Romulus? Who is your mom?"
"She's a Black." he said as he eye became stormy with thought, "Her name is Andromeda."
"Andromeda?" Harry rolled the name in his mouth for a while then asked, "Do you have a sister, Romulus?"
"No," Romulus answered, but then smiled lightly as a thought popped into his head, "But if I did her name alone would have made her curse the day she was born."
"Why's that?" Hermione couldn't help but ask.
"Mum's always liked the name Nymphandora. Luckily," Romulus said with flourish, "I turned out to be a boy and my Dad got to name me."
Harry was still confused about the whole idea of Andromeda and Remus, as he sat back trying to process the information. "But isn't Andromeda older than Remus?" he asked Romulus bluntly.
"Yeah," Romulus answered with a raised, questioning, eyebrow, "Mom's a good couple of years older than Dad. Why do you ask?"
"Who cares!" shouted Draco, finally reaching the limits of his patients. "How can we be enemies!? I've know you since we were both in diapers! Your godfather and you were always over at our mansion!"
"I told you before," Harry said rasing his voice to an equal level, "from where I came from Snape's a git and Sirius Black is my godfather! It not like I have control over this!"
"Sorry." Draco said sitting back down in annoyance, "it's just...forget it."
"Look," Hermione said, "we've been going about this problem the wrong way. I think we should tell Harry what we know about him and then we can help him figure out what is happening, okay?"
"Fine." Draco huffed.
"Sound logical." Romulus said while inching forward on his couch.
"Harry?" asked Hermione, "What about you?" Nodding his head in approval, Hermione smile and then opened her mouth in surprise as she remembered the Divinus. Pulling out the small blue hourglass shaped object she said, "Harry, before I forget...here take this!"
Hermione handed Harry the Divinus, and as Draco began to talk about Harry's parent and why their marriage never worked out. Suddenly, Draco's words became slurred and the room seemed to grow dark as the item in Harry's hand grew warmer and warmer.
Silver threads began to pour out of the Divinus as the began to form a small sphere around Harry. A familiar feeling of dizziness hit Harry as he had only moments to scream out in anger before everything went dark, "Aw, this is sounfair...".
Peter tossed once as the light from the window struck him in the eyes. Mumbling something about hating the sun and the mornings he then began to drift off back to sleep. He would have gotten there too, had it not been the light tapping at the window or the sounds of chuckles that he thought he heard.
Groggy and a little miffed, Peter sat up looking around but couldn't see anything. Convincing himself that he was just tired and that he needed some sleep, he laid his head on the pillow and started to doze off again.
"Peter." said a disembodied voice.
Not alarmed in the bit, because he thought he was dreaming, Peter answered the voice, "What?"
"Peter, this is your conscience." the voice introduced itself.
"That's good." Peter said turning over pulling the sheets over his head.
"We need to talk, Peter." said the voice sounding a bit different.
"'bout what?" Peter asked through slurry speech as he began to close his eyes.
"About what!" said the voice rather loudly, in fact loud enough to wake Peter from his journey into slumber. "How about those hairy mitts you've been sporting!?" Peters eyes almost popped out of his eye sockets as he began to recognize the disembodied voice.
"Does you mother know that you might go blind?" said the other voice as a light chuckle followed it.
"James! Sirius! You bastards, where are you!?" Peter hissed out as he frantically got dressed and began to wave his arms around in an attempt to find the intruders.
"Now, now, Peter! Do you kiss you poor old mum with that mouth?" said Sirius, as James lifted the cloak and revealed the pair of them standing before him in full dress robes.
"What in bloody blaze is going on!" asked Peter in hushed anger, "Why are you two here? Why are you wearing dress robes? And what time is it!?"
"Calm down, Peter." James said while holding Peter's shoulder in his grasp, while the smaller man began to relax. "I'm here because Sirius is trying out insomnia as a hobby. We're here because..."
"...because Remus is dangerous when he's not gotten all his sleep." Sirius said while holding up what looked to be a singed lock of his hair.
James smirked at Sirius while saying, "That was a close one, eh?"
"He almost turned me into roasted dog, and you call that close?"
At that point Peter just shook his head and began to walk back to his bed, "That's nice. Well, I'll see you two in the morning, g'night."
"Hold on there, Pete!" Sirius said while shuffling over and pulling Peter out of bed, "Don't you want to hang out with us?"
"Actually? I want to get some sleep." replied Peter while yawning.
"Wait! James, say some..." Sirius said in desperation, but when he turned around he saw that James was currently curled up on the floor. Snoring lightly and using his invisibility cloak as a pillow, James had a smile as he curled up even tighter on the floor.
Seeing that James was with out a blanket Peter sighed and pulled one off his bed. Quickly he covered James and then looked at Sirius who was pouting, but was beginning to yawn deeply. "Come on Sirius. Let's get some sleep. Mum will make us some breakfast in the morning, how's that sound."
"Sounds...great." said Sirius as he was handed a pillow and a sheet.
Peter smiled as he watched Sirius make himself comfortable and then he laid down and began to drift off to sleep. However, before he fell asleep completely, Peter heard Sirius say, "Maybe we can talk about your hairy palms later?"
Peter smiled while mumbling with a chuckle, "Prat."
"Late," said Remus as he checked his watch then looked out the window at the leaf covered forest floor. He was about to sit down on the couch when he saw a glint of red slowly moving towards the Nook. 'Is that Lily?' hoped Remus, while almost entertained the thought that he was being pranked.
Sure enough Lily Evans slowly came into focus, as she wandered through the forest in a purposeful way. As she walking up the stairs, Remus straightened up the nook. When the knock came at the door he opened it to see Lily smiling at him.
"Are we ready to read?" she said with infectious cheer.
"Actually," Remus said softly, "I was hoping that you had the others with you."
"What? They're not here!?" Lily said sounding surprised. All that met Lily was raised eyebrows and a skeptical look. "Right," Lily said catching on, "shouldn't haven't even asked."
Moving from the door to the front room Lily flopped down on the couch with a huff that managed to display her disapproval in this matter. "So," Lily drawled out, "Do you know where they are?"
"Not really," Remus said scratching the back of his head, then he added with a smile, "though I do remember something about them trying to wake me in the middle of the night. I think I may have singed one of them."
At that moment a voice from the base of the Nook called out, "Hey, is anybody up there?"
Lily and Remus moved to the window to see James standing at the bottom of the tree wearing a wrinkled dress robe and rubbing his eyes, "James? Where are the others?"
"Sorry about that. We overslept. Meet us in the library. Oh, and bring the book, alright?" shouted James while turning back towards the house.
"Okay!" answered Remus, then he went back to the front room and grabbed the book off the table and made a beeline for the fireplace. "Come on, Lily."
"But what about James?" Lily wondered out loud while pointing out into the forest.
Flicking his hand at the forest, Remus said, "He'll probably meet us there, come on!"
Shrugging her shoulders in and tilting her head in confusion Lily complied and followed Remus to the floo. Giving her some floo powder and telling her to say "Potter library", Remus waited to see her floo out. Lily spoke the words very clearly as she threw the powder on the ground. In an instant she was transported to the Potter library where she was greeted by a familiar voice, "Hey there, Lils!"
Lily looked up and saw Sirius grinning from ear to ear. "Not you too!" she moaned
"It's just a nickname." Sirius said chuckling jovially, "besides...it's grown on me."
A burst of air from behind her signaled Remus arrival as Sirius said, "Excuse me, Lily. I have something to discuss with my dear friend Remus." And with that said Sirius walked over to Remus and lightly slapped him upside the head.
"Ow, hey! What was that for!?" asked Remus rubbing the back of his head, even though the slap wasn't that hard.
"For this you pyromaniac!" Sirius said lifting his singed hair up for inspection. "So? What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Well," Remus said while trying to search for an answer, "I always said you needed a hair cut."
Lily giggled at the two, as Sirius put Remus in a head lock and was currently nooging him to death. "Say it!" Sirius said as Remus flayed around trying to break the headlock.
"Never!" Remus retorted.
"Don't force me to play dirty, Remus! Now say it!" Sirius said placing his hand on Remus stomach.
"Aaaaahhhh! Okay, okay!" Remus said while physically flinching away from his hand, "Sirius is the man, and I'm very sorry!"
Smirking, Sirius released Remus as the library door opened and both James and Peter came in with refreshments. "What did I miss?" asked Peter as he saw Remus fixing his hair and Sirius laughing.
"Never you mind." Remus said with a bit of resentment edging its way into his voice.
James laughed a bit as he could only imagine what Sirius had done to earn the murderous glare that Remus gave him. Walking over to the table in the middle of the library James set down what he was carrying while Lily said, "So are you three going to tell us what happen that kept you up so late? And why were you wearing dress robes?"
Sirius face turned a bit grim at Lily questions, but James began talking before he could say anything. "Sirius' mom had him publicly disowned," James said without even batting an eyelash.
"What!" Peter said in disbelief.
"Damn." Remus said quietly as he looked at the floor. He now felt a fresh wave of shame pass over him, as he remembered the two asking him to join them last night and how he responded.
Sirius was livid. "Just tell the world Potter!" he said with anger while turning his back to James.
"They would have found out sooner or later," James said throwing down the Daily Prophet as the head line read in large bold print: Troubles in Paradise? Black's Matron Disowns Own Son. "I just wanted them to hear it from a friend rather than a stranger." James said scooping up the paper and placing it unceremoniously in the trash bin.
Face drawn tight with resentment and anger, Sirius stood there — in the middle of the room — staring at the table and the paper. "Well," he said cracking the mask of emotions that he had on with a half hearted smirk and chuckle, "it goes without saying that she has no Christmas present coming from me any time soon!"
"I'm sorry, Sirius." Remus began to say, but his friend held up a hand and turned away from them.
"I don't want pity," Sirius said rather harshly, but had a tinge of sadness mixed in that everyone could hear, "let's just eat and get on with the book, okay?"
"Sure." said Remus feeling extraordinarily small at the moment.
Peter pulled out a chair and sat down as the other did the same. Nothing was said until Lily cleared her throat, "Well, I believe that it's James' turn to read the book...seeing that he's managed to scive off reading for the past couple of days."
"Damn," James laughed while snatching the book off the table, "and here I was hoping you wouldn't notice!" Out of the corner of his eye James could see Sirius cracking a smile as the others laughed around him. "Fine," James said opening the book and beginning to read.
Chapter Ten - Halloween
"Is that a troll, Lils?" James said asked, shoving the book under her nose.
"I'd say a really bad drawing of one," said Remus over Lily shoulder while Peter did the same over her other shoulder and Sirius laid his chin atop her head.
"AAAAAAHHHHH! Get off me!" said Lily become a whirlwind of flailing arms and legs as she battered the others away from her.
James laughed and continued on as Lily eyed the other Marauders with narrowed eyes, almost daring them to 'try something'.
Malfoy couldn't believe his eyes when he saw that Harry and Ron were still at Hogwarts the next day, looking tired but perfectly cheerful. Indeed, by the next morning Harry and Ron thought that meeting the three-headed dog had been an excellent adventure, and they were quite keen to have...another...one
James has slowed down his reading on purpose. For some reason or another he felt as if his had a giant 'bull's-eye' target painted on his forehead, because the moment he looked up all he could see were Lily's wide, accusing eyes staring down at him.
"What?" he asked in earnest.
"And which parent would he acquire that way of think from? Hmmm, I wonder?" she went on, while James screwed up his lips and rolled his eyes in frustration.
"Harry is his own person," James finally said seriously, "What he does and how he thinks are beyond my control, thank you very much!"
"Feeling a bit responsible, James?" asked Lily as she exhibited a rather acute likeness to the Cheshire Cat at that moment. James' only response was to grumble, pick the book up, and continue the story.
In the meantime, Harry filled Ron in about the package that seemed to have been moved from Gringotts to Hogwarts, and they spent a lost of time wondering what could possibly need such heavy protection.
"I bet its something really expensive," said Peter, while a dreamy look covered his face.
"It's got to be magical if they need to keep it in Hogwarts." said Remus rubbing his chin in thought.
"I say it's a powerful weapon," said Sirius as he looked James way.
James shrugged his shoulders and looked down at the book, "What ever it is...someone wants it really bad." And with a curious look he continued on with the book.
"It's either really valuable or really dangerous," said Ron.
"Or both," said Harry.
But as they knew for sure about the mysterious object was that it was about two inches long, they didn't have much chance of guessing what it was without further clues.
Neither Neville nor Hermione showed the slightest interest in what lay underneath the dog and the trapdoor. All Neville cared about was never going near the dog again.
Hermione was now refusing to speak to Harry and Ron,
"I don't see that as a big loss," James said while rereading the last paragraph
"One less pain in the rear," Sirius laughed, "I see it as a blessing."
James laughed at Sirius statement, however, when he took a glance Lily's way he saw that she was — without saying anything — expressing her disapproval at their words and actions. James, sitting back down slowly, opened the book. However, before he began to read, he sighed deeply and thought, 'Why is it we are always on opposite sides?'
But she was such a bossy know-it-all that they saw this as an added bonus. All they really wanted now was a way of getting back at Malfoy, and to their great delight, just such a thing arrived in the mail about a week later.
"Wonder what it is?" pondered Peter.
"Well, if you hadn't interrupted James we would have probably found out." said Remus.
"Shhhh, Remy! I want to hear!" Sirius said with a chuckle, as Remus lobbed a pillow at his head.
James smirked, but composed himself quickly, found where he left off, and then began reading as soon as everyone calmed down.
As the owls flooded into the Great Hall as usual, everyone's attention was caught at once by a long, thin package carried by six large screech owls.
"That's a big package." stated Sirius, "especially if it's taking six owls to carry."
"What do you think it is?" Peter asked James, who in turn shrugged his shoulders.
"Well," said Lily, obviously interested in what the package held, "it's thin. But it's taking six owls to carry so that means either its very heavy or very long."
James' eyebrows would have shot off his head and through the ceiling when he place all the piece together. His palms began to sweat and his heart raced at the thought that ran through his head. Clutching the book James began to mumble under his breath while pulling up his legs to his chest and seeming to be in deep thought.
"James?" asked Remus, noticing something wrong with his friend, " Are you okay?" James mumbled something in response and shook his head up and down. "Uh...Sirius?" called Remus.
"What?" asked Sirius turning his head in Remus direction and seeing James, "Oh, hell!"
"What?" asked Lily in a soft worried tone.
"You don't think it's a..." whispered Peter.
"Why else would he be like this?" Remus replied softly.
Lily was so lost and a little angry for being kept out of the loop that she sighed loudly and said, "Can someone tell me what's going on?"
"Come on Lils! You should know what makes James do strange things." said Remus with a touch of laughter in his voice.
Thinking Lily then said, "You don't mean Quid..."
"Ahhhh!" yelled Sirius while covering her mouth with his hand, "Don't say the word or we'll never hear the end of it!"
Remus approached James slowly while reaching his hands out to grip the book at James side, however when he tried to pull on the book James seemed to snap out of his thoughts and look up at his friend saying in dark tones, "Don't you even think about it."
"Right!" Remus said while back up and sitting back down in his seat, while James gave the others a deadly stare.
"I'm going to read on," he announced while opening up the book.
Harry was just as interested as everyone else to see what was in this large parcel, and was amazed when the owls soared down and dropped it right in front of him, knocking his bacon to the floor. They had hardly fluttered out of the way when another owl dropped a letter on top of the parcel.
Harry ripped open the letter first,
James groaned, "Always go for the present first, Harry! Letters and cards come second!"
which was lucky, because it said:
DO NOT OPEN THE PARCEL AT THE TABLE.
"What!? Why!?" James asked the book as he stood in glaring angrily at it. Remus, on the other hand, was chuckling at the sight. It almost seemed as if James was expecting an answer to his question from the book. After he finally calmed down, he picked up from where he left off and read on with the story. That, however, was too simple for James, because when he scanned the next sentence his eyes they rolled back and he collapsed in a dead faint, with a grin etched into his face.
"Get the book!" said Lily in a panic, while Sirius, Remus, and Peter stood over James' prone body.
However, James opened his eyes and looked positively revitalized with energy as he yelled out, "A Nimbus Two Thousand! Myson is getting a Nimbus Two Thousand!" Looking around James noticed that his friends all had their hands extended towards the book and each and every one of them had a surprised look on their face. "What are you all about?" He asked as his friend helped him back up on his feet.
"How about giving us a go at reading James?" asked Remus as he was met with a confused look.
"It's alright, Remus. I think I read on." said James while he strode up to his seat on the library couch and flopped down. Luckily for the others he wasn't paying attention to the groans or the extreme body language that they were showing.
James waited til everyone was sitting before he continued on with the book and when Lily sat down he started off by saying in an excited voice, "It contains your..."
new Nimbus Two Thousand, But I don't want everybody knowing you've got a broomstick or they'll all want one. Oliver Wood will meet you tonight on the Quidditch field at seven o' clock for your first training session.
Professor M. McGonagall
Harry had difficulty hiding his glee
"Figures," said Remus pointing at James, "just look at his father." James was currently rocking on the balls of his feet, as he squatted on the couch and held the book tightly. Choosing to ignore Remus' comment James continued on.
Sirius and Lily both shook their heads in unison as they glanced James' way, but they kept their comment to themselfs. They let him move, all the while hoping that it would lead to something other than Quidditch.
as he handed the note to Ron to read.
"A Nimbus Two Thousand!" Ron moaned enviously. "I've never eventouched one."
"Well, I've never seen one!" lamented James while directing his comments at the book.
They left the hall quickly, wanting to unwrap the broomstick in private before their first class, but halfway across the entrance hall they found the way upstairs barred by Crabbe and Goyle. Malfoy seized the package from Harry and felt it.
James stood straight up in the couch and had a look of outrage on his face, and he wasn't the only one. Remus and Sirius had also began to voice their opinion about Malfoy touching their friend's son's broomstick. And Lily was also standing with James as she said, with a little more anger than she intended, "What does he think he's doing?"
"If you ask me," said Peter with a bitter edge to his voice, "I would say that's he's being a giant wanker."
"I second that!" Sirius barked out while crossing his arms.
James then added to the conversation by say before he read on, "Well, let's find out, shall we?"
"That's a broomstick," he said, throwing it back to Harry with a mixture of jealousy and spite on his face.
"Wow," said Sirius sarcastically, "did he figure that out all by himself?"
"I bet it's burning him up that Harry got a broomstick delivered to him." Peter commented while smiling at the thought.
"I have a feeling that he's going to try and get him in trouble," said Lily while shaking her head.
"For what?" asked Peter.
Remus answered him by saying, "For having the broomstick. Remember? No first year is allowed to have a broomstick or play Quidditch."
"Oh yeah." said Peter slapping his forehead.
Clearing his throat James looked around and asked, "Can I continue?" All around the room were sound of agreement as he scanned the page for the sentence he left of on.
"You'll be in for it this time, Potter, first years aren't allowed them."
Ron couldn't resist it.
"It's not any old broomstick," he said, "it's a Nimbus Two Thousand. What did you say you've got at home, Malfoy, a Comet Two Sixty?" Ron grinned to Harry. "Comets look flashy, but they're not in the same league as the Nimbus."
"I love this kid!" laughed Sirius while he added, "Take that Malfoy!"
"What would you know about it, Weasley, you couldn't afford half the handle," Malfoy snapped back. "I suppose you and your brothers have to save up twig by twig."
"Sock him one, Ron!" yelled out Remus so suddenly that Sirius jumped a his voice.
"But they're right outside the Great Hall I don't think..." said Lily, but James upheld hand and facial expression told her that everything was going to be alright.
Before Ron could answer, Professor Flitwick appeared at Malfoy's elbow.
"Not arguing, I hope, boys?" he squeaked.
"Potter's been sent a broomstick, Professor," said Malfoy quickly.
"Yes, yes, that's right," said professor Flitwick, beaming at Harry. "Professor McGonagall told me all about the special circumstances, Potter. And what model is it?"
"A Nimbus Two Thousand, sir," said Harry, fighting not to laugh at the look of horror on Malfoy's face. "And it's really thanks to Malfoy here that I've got it, " he added.
"Oooo!" Sirius said then dissolved into laughter as he could just imagine the young Malfoy's face.
"I have to give it to him," said Peter, "that was a smooth way of getting back at Malfoy."
"Yeah, I think he picked that up from his mother.!" James said while laughing.
"I do not do that...much." said Lily, playing along with the Marauders.
When Sirius started to calm down and his laughter subsided, he then spoke in a serious voice saying, "You do know what this means don't you?"
"Yeah." said Remus looking at the floor.
"What?" asked Peter obviously not understanding what they were talking about.
"McGonagall." stated James, which had Peter still a little confused.
"She did buy the broom for him," said Remus as Sirius hung his head a little lower.
"But that doesn't mean she's..." said Peter.
"Let's face it," said James with a smile, "she hasn't expelled us yet. So I say we give her a break. What do you say?"
"What?" Sirius asked with a horror-filled face, "No pranks!?"
"No, we'll still have pranks," James said trying to console Sirius, "let's just not do as many? What do you say?"
"I can deal with that." said Remus as he looked at Peter.
"Me too." Peter said without a second thought, then glance at Sirius.
"Fine!" Sirius yelled then added quite hastily, "But we still have to pull off our 'Grand Prank', okay?"
The other Marauders all nodded their head in agreement, while Lily looked on in shock and thought that she might be witnessing history being made. 'The Marauders are growing up?' she thought then looked around the room while thinking and giggling to herself, 'I hope the world doesn't end!'
Opening the book where he left his finger James began to read the next sentence, while the other Marauders moved closer so they could hear better.
Harry and Ron headed upstairs, smothering their laughter at Malfoy's obvious rage and confusion.
"Well, it's true," Harry chortled as they reached the top of the marble staircase, "if he hadn't stolen Neville's Remembrall I wouldn't be on the team..."
"So I suppose you think that's a reward for breaking rules?" came an angry voice just behind them. Hermione was stomping up the stairs, looking disapprovingly at the package in Harry's hand.
"Who does she think she is? Head Girl?" said Peter, obviously still holding a sort of grudge against Hermione.
"I wouldn't know, but she's starting to really get on my nerves." said Sirius, while Remus only stared into space and said nothing.
"Moving on." said James, choosing not to join in because he was more interested in Harry learning Quidditch.
"I thought you weren't speaking to us?" said Harry.
"Yes, don't stop now," said Ron, "it's doing us so much good."
Sirius and Peter both bursted out laughing in unison, while Peter took that moment to say, "She had it coming. Honestly, sticking her nose where it isn't wanted?"
"Yes, but she's just trying to show them that it might not be a good to think like that." said Remus slowly, as if picking his words carefully. Lily gave Remus a smile from across the table, which told him that she heard and approved of what he had just said.
Hermione marched away with her nose in the air.
Harry had a lot of trouble keeping his mind on his lessons that day.
"So would I, if I had a new broom waiting for me." James stated while shaking the book slightly.
Sirius let out a small snicker as he watched James yell at the book. 'I wonder if Harry's going to be any good?' thought Black as he replayed the chapter where Harry caught the Remembrall in his hand. Sighing and turning back to James' storytelling Sirius said to himself, 'I hope he is.'
It kept wandering up to the dormitory where his new broomstick was lying under his bed, or straying off to the Quidditch field where he'd be learning to play that night. He bolted his dinner that evening without noticing what he was eating, and then rushed upstairs with Ron to unwrap the Nimbus Two Thousand.
James, beginning to hop up and down in his seat, said with a hint of suppressed excitement, "Please, oh please! Give me a description!"
"Will you calm down." Lily said in mild irritation, as James antic had begun to grate on her nerves. James turned his head slowly towards Lily's and when he was staring her in the eye, he made a face and went back to hopping up and down.
Lily was so surprised at James' action that she didn't know what to do first, burst out laughing or be upset. In the end she chose the laughter, as did Peter, who had seen the exchange between the two of them. James flipped a page, and he began to read on after Lily's light laughter had subsided and the Nook took on a peaceful setting.
"Wow," Ron sighed, as the broomstick rolled onto Harry's bedspread.
Even Harry, who knew nothing about the different brooms,
"A shame, really," said Sirius while meeting James smiling face.
thought it looked wonderful. Sleek and shiny, with a mahogany handle, it had a long tail of neat, straight twigs and Nimbus Two Thousand written in gold near the top.
"Ahh, that's it!? That's all their going to say about the broom?" questioned a livid James who look as if someone had cheated him out of something important.
"What difference does it make, James? If you've see one broom you've seen them all." said Lily, as the other Marauders groaned inwardly.
"What did you say!? It makes all the difference in the world!" James asked softly with a insane look in his eyes.
Lily looked from support from the other Marauders, but they all were currently shaking their heads or covering their eyes. Lily watched as James began to inch closer to her, all the while sputtering something about "broom length, width, type of wood and straw, charms and finally something about aerodynamic shape." To which Lily emphasized in a rather harsh tone, "I'm sure Quidditch wouldn't be any different if it were played in the air or on the ground."
Looking as if someone had slapped him across the face James stood straight. The Marauders began to cringe at what they thought he was going to say. However, all that James said was, "Then you have a lot to learn about Quidditch, and that goes double for knowing me." Spinning around, he stomped his way back to his seat and continued on with the book.
As seven o'clock drew nearer, Harry left the castle and set off in the dusk toward the Quidditch field. He'd never been inside the stadium before. Hundreds of seats were raised in stands around the field so that the spectators were high enough to see what was going on. At either end of the field were three golden poles with hoops on the end. They reminded Harry of the little plastic sticks Muggle children blew bubbles through, except that they were fifty feet high.
Trying to lighten the mood Sirius said, "Ha, Harry is comparing the goal posts to children's toys." However, James ignored him and his frown just deepened as he read on, while he sent a disappointed look Lily's way.
Too eager to fly again to wait for Wood, Harry mounted his broomstick and kicked off from the ground.
James' frown disappeared at the mention of this, and he began to smirk as he thought, 'Couldn't resist it, could you?'
What a feeling — he swooped in and out of the goal posts and then sped up and down the field. The Nimbus Two Thousand turned whenever he wanted at his lightest touch.
"Wish I had one," James could be heard saying softly. However, when Lily looked him in his eyes he sighed, stuck his nose in the book, and continue on.
'What is his problem?' Lily thought angrily.
"Hey, Potter, come down!"
Oliver Wood had arrived. He was carrying a large wooden crate under his arm. Harry landed next to him.
"Very nice," said Wood, his eye glinting. "I see what McGonagall meant...you really are a natural."
James seemed to glow with the compliment, but again he could be seen suppressing his mirth when Lily said, "So what does a seeker do?" Frowning again he began to open the book to read on, but Lily placed her hand on the book and said, "I asked a question, James."
Looking up at her he closed his eyes and looked to be severely tired. He stood up and walked over to a small oak book shelf with all manner of books and magazines. Pulling a small green covered book he walked back to the couch and handed it to Lily, while he picked up the book and tried to find the page where he left off. Looking down at the book Lily noted its title "Quidditch Through The Ages".
Remus shook his head and Sirius mimicked him as they looked at Lily's confused expression. Peter snickered softly, which only added to the tension in the room. James cleared his troat and then began to read before anyone could say anything.
I'm just going to teach you the rule this evening, then you'll be joining team practice three time a week."
He opened the crate. Inside were four different-sized balls.
"Right," said Wood. "Now, Quidditch is easy enough to understand, even if it's not too easy to play. There are seven players on each side. Three of them are called Chasers."
"Three Chasers," Harry repeated, as Wood took out a bright red ball about the size of a soccer ball.
"This ball's called the Quaffle," said Wood. "The Chaser5 throw the Quaffle to each other and try and get it through one of the hoops to score a goal. Ten points every time the Quaffle goes through one of the hoops. Follow me?"
"The Chasers throw the Quaffle and put it through the hoops to score," Harry recited. "So — that's sort of like basketball on broomstick with six hoops, isn't it?"
"Huh?" grunted Sirius in confusion as James followed suite.
"Basket-ball? What's that?" James pondered out loud.
"It's..." Peter started to explain but thought better as he saw Remus waving him off, "um...never mind. It just a Muggle sport, okay?" Nodding their head in compliance, James and Sirius both, simultaneously — without noticing each others movement — shrugged their shoulders while James began to read on.
"What's basketball?" said Wood curiously.
"Never mind," said Harry quickly.
"Smart kid." Peter chortled
"Now there's another player on each side who's called the Keeper — I'm Keeper of Gryffindor. I have to fly around our hoops and stop the other team from scoring."
"Three Chasers, one Keeper," said Harry, who was determined to remember it all.
James' smile broke through his frown again, as he saw just how hard his son was working to learn about the game of Quidditch. Turning his head he witnessed the weary look that had appeared on Lily's face and then quickly disappeared as she realized that he was looking. 'What am I doing?' he chided himself, 'I don't want to hurt her.'
Fighting with himself he them said, 'But she was the one who started this. If she only knew how much I loved Quidditch...' Still angry James sat back, opened the book, and thought, 'I don't see that happening anytime soon though.'
"And they play with the Quaffle. Okay, got that. So what are they for?" He pointed at the three balls left inside the box.
"I'll show you now," said Wood. "Take this."
He handed Harry a small club, a bit like a short baseball bat.
"Baseball?" questioned Remus, "Isn't that an American game?"
"Oh wonderful!," Sirius said sarcastically as he ticked off fingers, "This is a story about a British boy, set in England, but it has Western references? Why couldn't it have been cricket or..."
Sirius stopped when he was interrupted by a playfully tossed pillow that Peter had thrown, "Oi, shut up over there!"
"Shut up!?" Sirius repeated with mock surprise. Shaking his head and setting is face into that of bewilderment he stated, "The nerve of some people!" Remus chuckled while James coughed lightly, hiding his laughter from the others, while Peter sent a dirty look Sirius way. In response, Sirius let loose a silly grin and mouth the words 'I love you too!', after which James began to read again.
"I'm going to show you what the Bludgers do," Wood said. "These two are the Bludgers."
He showed Harry two identical balls, jet black and slightly smaller than the red Quaffle. Harry noticed that they seemed to be straining to escape the straps holding them inside the box.
"Stand back," Wood warned Harry.
"Listen to the man, Harry." said Remus while he grabbed his jaw and winced slightly as if reliving a sharp pain.
"Are you okay, Remus?" asked Lily.
"Yeah," Remus replied with a bit of a groan, "I'm just remembering an incident we had when we watched James at practice."
"Really?" asked a curious Lily, "What happened?"
"Well, you'll have to ask James about that. See, I was unfortunately rendered unconscious, so I wouldn't know what really happened."
Turning towards James, Lily asked in a measured tone, "So, James? Can you tell me what happened to Remus?"
The Marauders were all floored by their friend when he said in a careless voice, while a expressionless look came over his face, "It's just Quidditch stuff. Nothing you'd be interested in."
The comment struck Lily like a hot iron sliding into her chest and rendered her speechless, while the others gawked at James' in shock. Quickly regaining her composure Lily turned away from James and steadied her voice as she replied, "Guess you're right."
"Yes, I am." James said agreeing with her, but not seeing the crushed look on her face as she look the opposite way.
Lily couldn't believe that James could be so cold. Sitting on the edge of the couch she could actually feel his indifference towards her. It was almost as if a switch had been flipped and his fun loving demeanor had been shut off. 'Is this all coming from my comment about Quidditch?' she pondered as she turned her face back to the group, 'Was what I said that insulting to him?'
Feeling awkward, Remus began to finish the story, but Lily held up her hand and said, "Never mind, I don't want to know." Huffing loudly, James read on without even a warning.
He bent down and freed one of the Bludgers.
At once, the black ball rose high in the air and then Pelted straight for Harry's face. Harry swung at it with the bat to stop it from breaking his nose, and sent it zigzagging away into the air —
"Maybe he'd make a good Beater." James said softly to himself ignoring everyone's gaze, while flipping the page and continuing on.
it zoomed around their heads and then shot at Wood, who dived on top of it and managed to pin it to the ground.
"See?" Wood panted, forcing the struggling Bludger back into the crate and strapping it down safely. "The Bludger rocket around, trying to knock players off their brooms. That's why you have two Beaters on each team — the Weasley twins are ours — it's their job to protect their side from the Bludgers and try and knock them toward the other team. So — think you've got all that?"
"Course he does." Sirius said absentmindedly while earning a smile from James.
"Three Chasers try and score with the Quaffle; the Keeper guards the goal post; the Beaters keep the Bludgers away from their team," Harry reeled off.
"Very good," said Wood
"Good!?" Peter said excitedly, "It took me a week to remember all that! It's absolutely brilliant that he can remember all that junk." Remus only shook his head as Peter began to babble on about how he had to take out a book from the library to help him understand Quidditch.
"Moving on," said James as he smirked while playfully rolling his eyes at Peter.
"Er — have the Bludgers ever killed anyone?" Harry asked, hoping he sounded offhand.
"Never at Hogwarts. We've had a couple of broken jaws but
It was that moment that Sirius said, "Yeah and one of those people who are a part of those casualties is currently gracing us with his presence."
"Ha, ha." Remus said in a flat and unamused voice, "No wait. Don't make me laugh any harder, I might just hurt myself."
Sirius raised an eyebrow as he said with a shake of his head, "Has anyone told you that you suck the fun out of a room?"
"Actually," said Remus in a serious tone, "I have been told that several times." However, suddenly Remus clapped his hand together and smiled while saying, "Oh, wait! I remember now! It's you who keeps telling me that, isn't it?"
"Smart aleck!" Sirius growled. As he turned to James and pleaded for him to move on with the book.
Now, the last member of the team is the Seeker. That's you. And you don't have to worry about the Quaffle or the Bludgers —"
"— unless they crack my head open."
Sirius almost laughed at Harry comment, but a hard gaze from both James and Lily set him back in his seat while he grumbled about "people not being fun" or something like that.
"Don't worry, the Weasleys are more than a match for the Bludgers — I mean, they're like a pair of human Bludgers themselves."
"The same could probably be said of Peter," Sirius said while Peter raised an eyebrow in confusion. "I mean," Sirius continued with a large grin, which worried Peter, "he has a habit of destroying everything around him with his patented 'clumsiness'."
"Do not!" Peter said in his defense and began to retort in a similar fashion, however he was interrupted. when Remus said in a stern voice.
"Will you two cut it out!"
James only shook his head in amusement as his three teenaged friends ended up making faces at each other. Rubbing his neck, James finally said, "I'm moving on!", in hope that it would stop the three from fighting. Sure enough, they all settled down and James started to read the paragraph in the book.
Wood reached into the crate and took out the fourth and last ball. Compared with the Quaffle and the Bludgers, it was tiny, about the size of a large walnut. It was bright gold and had little fluttering silver wings.
"This," said Wood, " is the Golden Snitch, and it's the most important ball of the lot. It's hard to catch because it's so fast and difficult to see. It's the Seeker's job to catch it. You've got to weave in and out of the Chasers, Beaters, Bludgers, and Quaffle to get it before the other team's Seeker, because whichever Seeker catches the Snitch wins his team on extra hundred and fifty points, so they nearly always win. That's why Seekers get fouled so much. A game of Quidditch only ends when the Snitch is caught, so it can go on for ages — I think the record is three months, they had to keep brining on substitutes so the players could get some sleep.
'That's idiotic!' thought Lily while look at James smiling and recount the stats of that game to his friends who all seemed interested, 'But...he likes it. Maybe...maybe, I can give it a chance.' Picking up the book that James had handed her, Lily thumbed through the first few pages with a bit of skepticism, but a open mind none the less.
Lily's Actions were not lost on James who saw her looking through the book and sighed slightly while thinking to himself, 'At least she's trying to understand.' Smiling even more brightly James walked over to where Lily was sitting and flopped down next to her without saying a word. Lily looked a him and he smiled.
'Okay, here comes the comment,' thought Lily as she steadied herself and held her breath, but when nothing came Lily was almost shocked to see James smiling as he was busy finding where he left off.
"Well, that's it any questions?"
"Ooo, Ooo, I have one." said Sirius stretching his hand up to the ceiling as everyone rolled their eyes and gave him looks that said, 'Cut it out!'
Harry shook his head. He understood what he had to do all right, it was doing it that was going to be the problem.
"We won't practice with the Snitch yet," said Wood carefully shutting it back inside the crate, "it's too dark, we might lose it. Let's try you out with a few of these."
He pulled a bag of ordinary golf balls out of his pocket and a few minutes later, he and Harry were up in the air, Wood throwing the golf balls as hard as he could in every direction for Harry to catch.
Harry didn't miss a single one, and Wood was delighted.
"Of course," said James proudly while smiling at the book, "he's a..."
"Potter," everyone finished for him, "we know!"
"Spoiled sports." James grumbled, while the others were all laughing and snickering at the face that he made.
After half an hour, night had really fallen and they couldn't carry on.
"That Quidditch cup'll have our name on it this year," said Wood happily as they trudged back up to the castle. "I wouldn't be surprised if you turn out to be better than Charlie Weasley, and he could have played for England if he hadn't gone off chasing dragons."
"What!" James gawked in surprise the retorted, "If my son does that I thing I'll..."
"You'll what?" asked Lily with a bit of menace in her voice, almost as if she was bating James to say something inappropriate.
"Um...I'll tell him that Quidditch is much better," James said out loud, then smiled as he thought, 'And I'll brainwash him if he doesn't think so too!'
'I can feel it,' said Lily as she look warily into James' face, 'he's up to something.'
Setting the book on the table James then finally said with a sigh, "I'm finished, who's next?"
"Oh, so now that the Quidditch is done you don't want to read anymore, huh?" said Remus while his eyebrows shot up in mock surprise.
Smiling confidently and stretching his arms around, James said, "That's right. So glad that you understand me so well, Remus. Who's next?" Snatching the book from the table Remus grumbled a bit before sitting back in his chair and reading on from where James had left off.
Perhaps it was because he was now so busy, what with Quidditch practice three evenings a week on top of all his homework, but Harry could hardly believe it when he ralized that he'd already been at Hogwarts two months. The castle felt more like home than Privet Drive ever had.
James mumbled a curse as the mention of Privet Drive, while Lily sighed mentally and hoped that he sister would never grow to become that bitter person.
His lessons, too were becoming more and more interesting now that they had mastered the basics.
"Nooooo! Harry! Don't go to the dark side!" howled Sirius as he dropped to his knees from the seat that he was in and clapped his hands together, as if begging, while scooted over to James.
When he reached James, his friend gave him a sight slap on the head and said , "What are you doing?"
"Saving your son from the perils of geek-dom," Sirius said with a hint of indignation, "that's what I'm doing!"
"So wanting to have good grades and a great job later in life is being a 'geek'?" questioned Lily, while Remus and she stared down at Sirius while a little more than annoyance.
"Uh...," thought Sirius while scratching his chin and cocking an eyebrow, "...yes?"
James winced as he saw Sirius being pummeled by the two, with what looked like the seat covers that he mother had made for the library's chairs. Clearing his throat, James tried to distract the enraged duo from killing his best friend by saying, "Are you going to read on, Remus?" Pulling away from a chuckling Sirius the two sat back down and eyed him dangerously before Remus nodded his head and read on through clenched teeth.
On Halloween morning they woke to the delicious smell of baking pumpkins wafting though the corridors. Even better, Professor Flitwick announced in Charms that he thought they were ready to start making objects fly, something they had all been dying to try since they'd seen him make Neville's toad zoom around the classroom. Professor Flitwick put the class into pairs to practice. Harry's partner was Seamus Finnigan (which was a relief, because Neville had been trying to catch his eye)
James and Sirius laughed at that while Peter glared hard at them and said, "I don't think that's funny. Poor kid's trying to get help and no one's willing to helping him."
At that James, Sirius and Remus looked at each other seriously for a moment before laughing even harder. Peter threw his hand in the air in frustration, while Lily curled the corner of her lip and coughed once to hide her amusement.
"Aw come on Pete!" said Sirius while grabbing hold of Peter and in a friendly one armed hug and shaking him lightly. "We're just playing." Peter just rolled his eyes and let a small smile out as his friends stared at him with grins on their faces.
Ron, however, was to be working with Hermione Granger. It was harder to tell whether Ron or Hermione was angrier about this. She hadn't spoken to wither of them since the day Harry's broomstick had arrived.
"I feel for Ron." commented Peter, while rubbing his wrist.
"I feel for Hermione." said Lily, as the others sent questioning glances in her direction. "What?" Lily asked defensively, "Well, I do. All she's trying to do is trying to help them..."
"Sure Lily, and Professor Gattagan yells at us because he 'cares' so much for us." Peter retorted while Lily stared him down. Sensing the tension between the two rising Remus decided to intervene, and began to read.
"Now don't forget that nice wrist movement we've been practicing!" squeaked professor Flitwick, perched on top of his pile of books as usual. "Swish and flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words properly is very important, too — never forget the Wizard Baruffio, who said 's' instead of 'f' and found himself on the floor...
"...with a buffalo on his chest." Lily repeated in reply to the story. Peter, still having a angry look on his face, was quiet as he stared at Lily.
Feeling the his eyes on her Lily stood up and snapped in a harsh manner, "Do you have something to say to me Pettegrew? Cause if you do I would like to hear them right now, instead of feeling your eyes on the back of my head like a petulant little child!"
That had done it, Peter stood up anger blazing in his eyes as he started sputtering nonsense from his mouth about how she treated him and where she could stick her attitude. In turn Lily began to tongue lash him with the efficiency of a practiced surgeon. Things began to get out of control when James, not knowing which side to chose, began to defend Peter and Lily in her anger attacked him too.
Sirius rolled his eyes as James furrowed his brows deeply while the beginning of an insult made it way to his mouth. In that time Sirius grabbed a hold of Lily's wrist and literally 'dragged' her into the den with him and then closed the door, while Remus stepped in front of James and Peter while telling them, "Cut it out!"
When they entered the den Lily began to take out her anger on Sirius too, but Sirius leaned heavily on the doorway and whistled while paying her no attention. When Lily calmed down enough Sirius pulled up a chair from the desk and said in a stern voice, "Sit."
Begrudgingly, Lily sat stiffly in the chair as Sirius pulled another close to it. Seconds stretched into minutes as Sirius stared at her, then he finally said, "I'm complete rubbish at the whole 'talk' thing so let's get some things straight, shall we?"
"Fine." Lily said coolly, while pushing some hair out of her eyes.
"First and foremost, I am James' friend. Then comes Remus and Peter, and finally you," Sirius said with a straight face, which seemed to bother Lily. It was as if he was a completely different person, than the Sirius Black that she seemed to know. "As for what was said between you and Peter, that your business. I know he can be a pain at times, and I have no qualms about what you said to him. As far as I'm concerned, he deserved it." Sirius said while looking away and resting his elbows on the arm rests of the chair he was sitting in.
Taking in what Sirius was saying made Lily feel a bit more at ease and she finally voiced something that had been bothering her, "And what about the way James' been treating me? Or are the 'rules' different with him?"
Placing his hands together and tilting his head backward while closing his eyes, Sirius said in calm tones, "I would think that if someone you trusted, insulted something that you loved to do, that your reaction would've been the same." Lily's look made Sirius sigh as he spoke on, "Look, we all know that James becomes a bit overbearing with the Quidditch 'thing', but all in all he's a stand up friend and great person. And when it comes down to it, he's just trying to share his love of the game with us."
"What I'm trying to say, Lily," Sirius said while turning to her and getting up out of his chair, "is that we each have our little 'quirks'. Some of them are really obvious, like Remus' need for order and his attention to detail. James and his Quidditch. Me? Well, I'm sarcastic, very good looking, and can be a wanker at times, and Peter...well Peter's just insecure, a tad bit emotional, plus he can hold a grudge."
Reaching the door Sirius opened it and began to passed into the next room while saying to a still sitting Lily, "We each learned to 'deal' with each others quirks, and I can only hope that you will too. Come join us when your done thinking it over."
After he had left the room Lily shed a single very small tear as she thought, 'How idiotic and callous could I've been!' Sitting up, Lily brushed away her tears and set her shoulders, determined to apologize for what she had said.
However, little did she know that while she was getting a 'talking to' from Sirius, Remus was laying into the others with a piece of his mind. "What are you thinking, Peter!" Remus said in a quiet but furious voice.
"What do you mean?" asked Peter, looking confused and taking a step back as he faced and obviously angry friend.
"What I mean," said Remus lowering his voice, "is why are you attacking someone who is suppose to be our 'friend'?" Then unexpectedly he turned on James and asked, "And why are you interfering with their argument? Or did you forget that we all agreed to let each other handle our business, unless we really needed help?"
Peter's gaze fell to the floor and a look of guilt fluttered over his face, while James stared back in Remus eyes and sighed while saying, "Sorry about that."
"I don't need the apology, James. But I can think of someone it would do wonders for." Remus said quietly, as Sirius walked into the room shaking his head while gazing at Peter angrily.
"Honestly!" growled Sirius, "Can't we get through one day with out something like this happening?"
Remus looked at Sirius and nodded as the two sat back in their seats, only to watch as Lily entered the library from the den that Sirius just had emerged from. Lily's eyes were decidedly turned downward towards the ground as she strode up to the two standing Marauders.
"I'm sorry," all three of the young adults said with heavy hearts resounding through their voices.
Taking the advantage of the small break, while James and Peter seemed shocked at what they heard, Lily said, "I'm truly sorry for saying what I said to you Peter. I didn't mean it to come out like that...it just that I had other things on my mind and...well, I got carried away. Sorry."
Peter's frown deepened, as he realized just how much of a sodding git he had been towards Lily. "I'm sorry too, Lily." he said after some quiet deliberation, "I guess, that I too lost my head back there, and I said some pretty mean things." Turning away from Lily Peter shuffled back to his seat and sat down. He looked as if the guilt at 'what he had done' was plaguing him as he sat there quietly staring at the floor.
James stood his ground as he, stared at Lily and ruffled his own hair til it was sticking out in an even wilder manner. Lily began to speak but James interrupted her by saying, "I know you are, let's just try and understand one another a little better from now okay, alright?"
"But you don't even know what I was going to say." Lily said rolling her eyes in exasperation.
"Sirius talked to you, right?"
"Yes," Lily conceded, while trying to grasp James logic.
"Then I know what you were going to say." said James confidently while adding, "You don't become best friends with someone with out learning something about that person. And I know Sirius."
Lily looked stunned, the thought had never crossed her mind that Sirius and James were almost like brothers. And like brothers, each of them never wanted the other to be hurt or in pain. Sensing that Lily was getting the gist of what was going on, James patted her shoulder and said, "I'm sorry for doing what I did. I had no right to get in between you and Peter. Please accept my apology."
Smiling, Lily tilted her head while tapping her finger to her cheek as she said, "Hmmmm...I don't know..." James' face fell as Lily looked to be actually think over his apology, until she said, "...maybe if you give me you broom I'd think about it." James mouth dropped to the ground, as Lily wrinkled her nose and smirked while walking back to the library couch, leaving James to recover from his shock.
'We're definitely a bad influence on her!' James thought as he suppressed a chuckle. Remus, seeing that everyone had seated themselves, continued on with the book by clearing his throat and reading from where he left off.
It was very difficult. Harry and Seamus swished and flicked, but the feather they were supposed to be sending skyward just lay on the desktop. Seamus got so impatient that he prodded it with his wand and set fire to it —
"Who does that sound like?" grinned Remus while looking at Peter.
"It wasn't my fault that the stupid feather would move!" said Peter defensively
"True," Sirius agreed with Peter, but before he could feel comfortable Sirius added, "then again, you didn't have to go and explode it either."
James chuckled, while Peter eyed his surroundings for something to throw at Sirius. Sure enough, a sandwich from the tray that they had brought in flew across the room and missed by about a foot and a half. Staring at the waste of a perfectly good sandwich Sirius said, "Hey! No using the food as a weapon!"
"Fine! Then stop making fun of me!" Peter shot back.
"Pete, we're not..."
"Who's this 'we're' business?" interrupted James and Lily at the same time.
"Okay, alright!" Sirius said rolling his eyes, "I'm not making fun of you. I'm laughing with you."
"I'm not laughing." a straight faced Peter said while his eyes narrowed.
"But on the inside you are!" said Sirius jovially, while he let out several short bursts of laughter.
"Moving on!" yelled Remus, tired of the exchange between the two.
Harry had to put it out with his hat.
Ron, at the next table, wasn't having much more luck.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" he shouted, waving his long arms lake a windmill.
"You're saying it wrong," Harry heard Hermione snap. "It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long."
"Ooooo, Merlin! I hate people like her!" Peter growled out while saying some other things under his breath.
"It is a bit much, isn't it?" agreed Lily, which earned her a smile from Sirius and Remus.
"You do it, then, if you're so clever," Ron snarled.
Hermione rolled up her sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand, and said, "Wingardium Leviosa!"
"Hold on a tick!" said Sirius realizing something. "This book is teaching magic to Muggles!" he blurted out with a incredulous look on his face.
"I don't think that these books would be distributed in the Muggle world, Sirius," said Remus with a raised eyebrow. However before he could act Sirius took the book and opened it to the front.
Then what 'in the name of all that is magical' is that," said Sirius while pointing to the gold lettering at the top of the book cover reading "The Extraordinary New York Times Bestseller".
The room was silent for a short while as they all thought about this small insight. "Muggles don't have enough magic to cast spell, besides," said James confidently, "they probably believe that this is nonsense anyway."
Slowly the room began to nod their head as James explanation made sense. However, Sirius was still a little worried for the future, especially if Muggles began to learn how to cast spells.
Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.
"Oh, well done!" cried Professor Flitwick, clapping. "Everyone see here, Miss Granger's done it!"
Ron was in a very bad mood by the end of the class.
"I would think so!" said Peter while James rolled his eyes.
"Peter," said Remus in a warning filled tone.
"What? I'm just saying that I would also be in a bad mood, that's all." squeaked Peter as he smile sheepishly.
Shaking his head and looking dan at the book Remus continued to read as the other settled back into their spots.
"It no wonder no one can stand her," he said to Harry as they pushed their way into the crowded corridor, "she's a nightmare, honestly."
Someone knocked into Harry as they hurried past him. It was Hermione, Harry caught a glimpse of her face — and was startled to see that she was in tears.
The group was quiet as their gazes all fell on Peter. "What?" Peter said defensively, but then his shoulders slumped as he looked into Lily's eyes and said with a sigh, "Fine, I think that was a bit uncalled for..."
'Especially since I know what it's like to be treated that way,' Peter thought while wringing his hands slightly and again finding his gaze lowered to the ground.
"A bit was uncalled for?! That was totally inappropriate," stated Remus vehemently, while gazing at Peter in disbelief.
However, Sirius took up Ron's cause and said, "But if she'd only stop trying to be a disciplinarian then maybe he wouldn't have had to be so callous."
James shot up from his seat and felt Sirius head with the back of his hand, smirking he said, "He's feverish! It's the only explanation for the large words and serious manner."
Lily couldn't help but laugh, which made Sirius stand and shout, "Oh, so you'll laugh at hisjokes, but not mine!" Lily shrugged her shoulders and tried to keep her composure, while James continued to make funny faces behind his best friends back.
Sensing that James was doing something behind his back, Sirius quick spun around and latched his hand on James head and began to ruffle his hair very hard. When he was done James hair looked like it always did...just much more messier. "I'm gonna kill you!" James shouted as Sirius leapt back and took off running in the direction of the two book shelves right next to him.
For the next moments, all that should be heard was Sirius laughter and James angry growl as he chased Sirius around the room. Finally, tiring of this little 'game' that they had going, Remus shouted, "I'm going to read on!" Sure enough as soon as those words weresaid the two of them zipped back into their seats with smirks on both their faces.
"Think I'll forget? You just wait," James said menacingly while eyeing Sirius and patting down his hair as best he could, "you'll get yours!"
"James, what ever do you mean?" Sirius tried to pull an innocent act, but was failing fast as his smirk soon grew into a full blown smile.
"When I get a hold of you they're gonna change your name to Sirius Black-and-Blue!" said James cracking his knuckles, as Remus started from where he left off.
"I think she heard you."
"So?" said, Ron but he look a bit uncomfortable.
"Serves him right!" added Lily.
"She must've noticed she's got no friends."
Hermione didn't turn up for the next class and wasn't seen all afternoon.
"Crikey! You don't think she'd..." Peter began to say but was stopped from speak further by Remus' extended hand.
"Let's just read on and we'll leave the questions for later, okay?" Remus said solemnly. Peter nodded in affirmation. However, Peter wasn't the only one think along those lines, and if he'd had looked around the room he would have seen that the others also had a far away look on their faces as they thought along the same line as he was.
On their way down to the Great Hall for the Halloween feast, Harry and Ron overheard Parvati Patil telling her friend Lavender that Hermione was crying in the girls' bathroom and wanted to be left alone.
Peter let out a deep sigh and swiped his hand across his forehead, as the others all relaxed, a bit, with him.
Ron looked still more awkward at this, but a moment later they had entered the Great Hall, where the Halloween decorations put Hermione out of their minds.
A thousand live bats fluttered from the walls and ceiling while a thousand more swooped over the tables in low black clouds, making the candles in the pumpkins stutter. The feast appeared suddenly on the golden plates, as it had at the start-of-term banquet.
Harry was just helping himself to a baked potato when Professor Quirrell came sprinting into the hall,
"Probably forgot where the banquet was being held," James laughed while Sirius grinned at him.
his turban askew and terror on his face.
"Terror?" asked Lily as the other picked their heads up and stared at Remus with questioning glances.
"What could he be afraid of?" wondered Sirius while a confused look had overtaken his face.
Everyone stared as he reached Professor Dumbledore's chair, slumped against the table, and gasped, "Troll — in the dungeons — thought you ought to know."
He then sank to the floor in a dead faint.
"Troll!?" gasped Lily while holding tightly to James arm.
Peter expressed his worry by saying, "But how did it get into the dungeons?"
"Yeah, just the fact that it's in Hogwarts is a mystery in itself." Remus said with a frown.
"Read on, Remus. I want to know what going to happen," said James, who worry could be seen building in his eyes.
"Right," answered Remus picking up from where he left of in the book.
There was an uproar. It took several purple firecrackers exploding from the end of Professor Dumbledor's wand to bring silence.
"Prefects," he rumbled, "lead your House back to the dormitories immediately!"
Percy was in his element.
"Follow me! Stick together, first years! No Need to fear the troll if you follow my orders!
"I surely hope he doesn't believe that." Remus commented with a look of disapproval.
"Just read on," Lily said quietly as he grip on James arm tightened.
Looking back at her, James began to asked her, "Do you think..."
"Don't! Don't say it." said Lily almost knowing where he was going with that sentence.
The other Marauders sent quizzical looks their way, but when James just waved them off the returned to read and listening to the story.
Stay close behind me, now. Make way, first years coming through! Excuse me, I'm a prefect"
"I'll tell you right now, he a piece of work," Sirius said then speaking in a snooty voice he said, "Make way! I'm a prefect."
"How could a troll get in?" Harry asked as they climbed the stairs.
"Don't ask me, they're supposed to be really stupid," said Ron. "Maybe Peeves let it in for a Halloween joke."
"Some joke." said Remus seriously.
They passed different groups of people hurrying in diffrent directions. As they jostled their way through a crowd of confused Hufflepuffs, Harry suddenly grabbed Ron's arm.
"I've just though — Hermione."
Both James and Lily groaned lightly as Remus stared at them from over the books top, "Care to let us in on your secret?"
"It's no secret," said Lily while still hold on to James arm, "I'm just worried about Harry going off with just his friend. Plus, he'd be breaking another rule."
James shook his head and rolled his eyes and said, "I just don't want him to get into too much trouble."
Sirius kept his comments to himself as he thought, 'Just how much trouble can the kid get himself into?'
"What about her?"
"She doesn't know about the troll."
Ron bit his lip.
"Oh, all right," he snapped. "But Percy'd better not see us."
A smile lit Lily's face momentarily as she thought, 'So you do have a heart, don't you, Ron?'
Ducking down, they joined the Hufflepuffs going the other way, slipped down a deserted side corridor, and hurried off towards the girls' bathroom. They had just turned the corner when they heard quick footsteps behind them.
"Hide!" yelled both James and Sirius.
"Percy!" hissed Ron, pulling Harry behind a large stone gryffin.
Peering around it, however, they saw not Percy but Snape. He crossed the corridor and disappeared from view.
"What's he doing?" Harry whispered. Why isn't he down in the dungeons with the rest of the teachers?"
"Because he's too worried about his own safety than anyone else's!" Sirius said in a scathing voice filled with anger.
"I second that!" said James, then yelped as Lily gave his already tender arm a squeeze.
Quietly as possible, they crept along the next corridor after Snape's fading footsteps.
"He's heading for the third floor," Harry said,
"Hold on," Lily said realizing something, "wasn't the trapdoor and the dog on the third floor?"
The Marauders all became quiet and thoughtful as her words soaked into their minds. Peter was the first to speak, and he asked, "But why would Snape be going in that direction, unless..."
"Unless," said Sirius pick up from where Peter left off, "he's the one whose been looking for what ever was in that package."
"But there is no way that just Snape could have gotten through the wards and security of Gringotts," stated Remus while scratching his head in frustration. "So that means he's work 'with' or 'for' someone else."
"A powerful Dark Wizard could have managed to get through the banks security," said James quietly, while everyone else took in that bit of information.
Peter was very confused, and when he spoke he was very unsure of his statement which turned out to be more of a question that a fact, "But he's dead...isn't he?"
"I'm going to read on," Remus said matter-of-factly as he found his place again.
but Ron held up his hand.
"Can you smell something?"
"Dear, Merlin!" Lily exclaimed while holding on to James arm even tighter.
Harry sniffed and a foul stench reached his nostrils, a mixture of old socks and the kind of public toilet that no one seems to clean
And then they heard it —
"Bloody hell! I thought that thing was suppose to be in the dungeons!" said Sirius as he shot up from his chair and began to pace around the library. James was the exact opposite of Sirius as he sat in his chair tense and waiting for the story to continue.
a low grunting, and the shuffling footfalls of gigantic feet. Ron pointed — at the end of a passage to the left, something huge was moving towards them. They shrank into the shadows and watched as it emerged into a patch of moonlight.
It was a horrible sight. Twelve feet tall, its skin was a dull granite gray, its great lumpy body like a bolder with its small bald head perched on top like a coconut. It had short legs thick as tree trunks with flat, horny feet. The smell coming from it was incredible. It was holding a huge wooden club, which dragged along the floor because its arms were so long.
"This," said Sirius looking away from his friends, "is not good."
The troll stopped next to a doorway and peered inside. It waggled its long ears, making up its mind, then slouched slowly into the room.
"The key's in the lock," Harry muttered. "We could lock it in."
"I say you should get the hell out of there!" stated Peter through his hand as he was holding his chin in worry with his right hand.
"Good idea," said Ron nervously.
They edged toward the open door, mouths dry, praying the troll wasn't about to come of it. With one great leap, Harry managed to grab the key, slam the door, and lock it.
"Yes!" cried out all entire group, while Sirius sat back down in his chair.
Flushed with their victory, they started to run back up the passage, but as they reached the corner they heard something that made their hearts stop — a high, petrified scream — and it was coming from the chamber they'd just chained up.
"Oh, no," said Ron, pale as the Bloody Baron.
"It's the girls bathroom!" Harry gasped
"Hermione!" they said together
"Dear lord!" screamed Lily clutching James arms so tightly that he winced in pain, while Sirius — who had tried to get up from his seat to resume his pacing — shot up so quickly that he toppled over and smacked his head on the wooden floor.
"Come on Harry! Go help her!" James said yelled at the book, while Remus as still in shock at what had happened.
"No, Harry!" cried out Peter. "Run away! That thing will surely kill you!"
James looked up at Peter in astonishment, and the realization hit him. Harry wasn't him, he was an eleven year old boy who wasn't nearly prepared to fight a troll, or anything like it for that matter. In his mind was a maelstrom of conflict, as one side wanted Harry to be safe, but the other was saying that Harry was responsible for locking the thing in the room with the girl. Not knowing want to do, James did the only thing that could make him feel a bit calmer...and so he began to bite his fingernails.
"That's not good." said Remus with a hint of worry while looking at James. Looking down at the book Remus wondered what would have happened if the roles were reversed and James was in that situation. Freeing himself of that thought Remus picked up the book and began to read on as the other all stood on pins and needles, straining to hear what was going to happen next.
It was the last thing they wanted to do, but what choice did they have?
Peter was about to say something in response, but when he saw that James was still biting his fingernails and that Lily had a horrific expression on her face he decided to hold back. Sirius gave him a approving nod when Peter met his eyes, and the story continued on.
Wheeling around, they sprinted back to the door and turned the key, fumbling in their panic.
'Please make it in time!' pleaded Lily silently, while he vice-like grip on James' arm became tighter.
Harry pulled the door open and they ran inside.
Hermione Granger was shrinking against the wall opposite, looking as if she was about to faint. The troll was advancing on her knocking the sinks off the walls as it went.
"Confuse it! Harry said desperately to Ron, and , seizing a tap, he threw it as hard as he could against the wall.
The troll stopped a few feet from Hermione. It lumbered around, blinking stupidly, to see what had made the noise. Its mean little eyes saw Harry.
After the passage had been read, the four Marauders all stood up with the same frightened expression on their face. "Shite!" growled Sirius, while Remus was staring at the book in disbelief and Peter was mumbling to himself
James arm was going numb, but he couldn't feel it because his mind was on something completely else. 'This is a troll Harry,' James screamed in his mind, 'what are you thinking!'
It hesitated, then made for him instead, lifting it club as it went.
"Harry." Lily said quietly, but with enough worry that the other Marauders could only stare at the ground as Remus continued.
"Oy, pea-brain!" yelled Ron from the other side of the chamber, and threw a metal pipe at it.
"Does he have a death wish?!" asked Peter with wide eyes, as he imagined a small first year facing off with a huge troll.
"No," said Remus in a barely audible whisper, "he's helping his friend."
The troll didn't even seem to notice the pipe hitting its shoulder, but it heard the yell and paused again, turning its ugly snout toward Ron instead, giving Harry time to run around it.
"Come on, run, run!" Harry yelled at Hermione, trying to pull her towards the door, but she couldn't move, she was still flat against the wall, her mouth open with terror.
"Damn it all! What good is rescuing a person if they don't cooperate with you?!" yelled Remus throwing the book on the ground and stomping away angrily. The fact that everyone was feeling the same way was obvious, as one voiced their opinion about what he said.
Pulling out his chair and walking over to where Remus had thrown the book Peter scooped it up into his hands and walked back to the table flipping through its pages. Finally finding the spot where Remus had left off, and waiting for Remus to return Peter sat quietly staring at the table.
A knock at the door interrupted the groups collective thought as James' father opened the door and took in the scenery. "Who died?" he asked after seeing the serious expressions on the teens faces.
"Nobody yet, Mr. P," answered Sirius, while pulling his gaze from the ground and giving a smirk that would fool anyone into believing that he was just joking.
"Well," said Mr. Potter with a confused look on his face, "Gwen has made some sandwiches and just asked me to inform you that they'll be on the table when your ready.
"Okay dad," answered James while still in a bit of a daze will be down as soon as we finish this chapter."
Nodding, while smiling at his son, Harold Potter closed the door quietly while he suppressed and itchy 'feeling' that he had. Something was going on between the teens, but for the life of him Harold couldn't figure out what it was. "None of my business," he finally said to himself as he walked to the den with his paper in his hand.
Back in the library, Peter picked up the book as Remus sat next to him still fuming about the situation that the kids were in. Peter read on when he noticed everyone looking at him in anticipation.
The shouting and the echoes seemed to be driving the troll berserk. It roared again and started toward Ron, who was nearest and had no way of escape.
Harry then did something that was both very brave and very stupid:
"Merlin." was all Lily could get out as a painful lump formed in the back of her throat and threatened to cut off her air supply, while James looked as if someone had hit him in the gut.
He took a great running jump and managed to fasten his arms around the troll's neck from behind.
"What the hell are you thinking!" yelled James while shooting out of his seat and letting the couch that he was sitting on skid back a few inches, while Lily's nails bit deeper into his skin as she desperately tried to hold on to him. However, Lily could no longer hold on after he shook free of her hands.
Pacing up and down the floor, James was completely unaware of the red welts that had begun to form on his arm or the fact that Lily had even drawn blood. Instead, James was too worried and too frightened to think about such trivial things.
Prodded by everyone to continue with the book, Peter shot James a wary glance before saying,"...
The troll couldn't feel Harry hanging there, but even a troll will notice if you stick a long bit of wood up its nose, and Harry's wand had still been in his hand when he'd jumped — it had gone straight up one of the troll's nostrils.
Howling with pain, the troll twisted and flailed it club, with Harry clinging on for dear life;
Sirius was now also emulating James as he paced the room in tandem with his friend. The tension in the room was thick, so thick in fact, that it seemed that the rooms temperature had climbed several degrees in the past couple of seconds as a haze descended on them all. Lily had brought her legs to her chest in an attempt to comfort herself, but was stilled filled with fear for a son who she knew wasn't even born yet.
Any second, the troll was going to rip him off or catch him a terrible blow with the club.
Hermione had sunk to the floor in fright; Ron pulled our his own wand — not knowing what he was going to do he heard himself cry the first spell that came into his head: "Windargium Leviosa!"
The club flew suddenly out of the troll's hand, rose high, high up into the air, turned slowly over — and dropped, with a sickening crack, onto its owner's head. The troll swayed on the spot and then fell flat on its face, with a thud that made the whole room tremble.
In the library, that tremble was felt as Lily sprawled out on the couch in near exhaustion, while she released her breath and closed her eyes. Sirius had pulled out a chair and flopped down on it with a smile as he realized that Harry had tried protecting his friend, and vice versa with Ron. "Damn kids!" Sirius muttered while grabbing his forehead and rubbing his temples.
Remus was staring at the ground going over what had just happened in his mind and was astonished that they had made it out in one piece. His face went pale at the realization that if something had gone wrong, one or all of them could have been killed.
Peter was staring at the book and finally tore his gaze away to look at his other friends. Not knowing what to do and feeling a bit disorientated himself, Peter just sat quietly and mulled over how much Harry was like James.
James had fell to the floor about the same time the troll took its trip to the ground. Laying on the floor, James had felt like he had ran a marathon and was breathing in and out while finally coming to the conclusion that Harry had done the right thing. A stupid and foolish choice, but the right thing none the less. "I'll kill him!" James finally declared loudly, "If he ever does something that foolish again, I'll kill him myself!" That only led to Remus, Peter, and Sirius snickering softly to themselves, while they remembered that James, himself, had been known to do several 'foolish things' every year.
"Maybe we should have a girl?" Lily offered weakly as she sent a smile his way.
"Are you kidding?!" James said flabbergasted, "And have me going around and threatening every boy from here to Zimbabwe to not even look at her crossed eyed? Thank you, but no!" Sirius guffawed at James reply and just shook his head while looking at Peter.
Nodding his head at the silent indication to continue on Peter picked up the book and read out loud.
Harry got to his feet. He was shaking and out of breath. Ron was standing there with his wand still raised, staring at what he had done.
"So," interrupted Sirius, "anyone want to make a bet on whether or not they get expelled or how many point they get taken off? I say fifty each."
Lily gawked at Sirius, while she said in confusion, "What do you mean? They just saved another students life!"
"Won't matter if Snape is the first Professor on the spot, now will it?" said Remus darkly while the other Marauders all groaned.
"I say one hundred all together." Peter said from behind the book.
"If it isn't Snape, I'd say twenty. If it is...well, the maximum is what I'm thinking." Remus sighed then turned towards James.
"No comment." said James while still lying on the floor and staring at the ceiling.
"Lily?" questioned Peter. "What do you think?"
Holding her head up high Lily said in confident tones, "I think they're gonna be rewarded."
'Fat chance.' thought Sirius as Peter began to read on.
It was Hermione who spoke first.
"Is it — dead?"
"I don't think so," said Harry, "I think it's just been knocked out."
He bent down and pulled his wand out of the troll's nose. It was covered in what looked like lumpy gray glue.
"Eeeeewww," Lily squealed while a disgusting look came over her face and she shook her head to get the mental picture out of her head.
Sirius smile at the opportunity to make Lily squeal even louder as he said, "Well, that'll make a bloke think twice about bitting the end of his wand." Sirius smile grew wider as a loud groan, along with a few choice words, reached his ears.
"Stop it, Sirius! That's just too disgusting!" chided Remus, as he himself was have a bout of overactive imagination. Sirius only shrugged, while James signaled Peter to continue on.
"Urgh — troll boogers."
He wiped it on the troll's trousers.
A sudden slamming and loud footsteps made the three of them look up. They hadn't realized what a racket they had been making, but of course, someone downstairs must have heard the crashes and the troll's roars. A moment later, Professor McGonagall had come bursting into the room, closely followed by Snape,
The united groans of all five young adults echoes and reverberated through the small library. "That's all they need." James spat angrily while thinking of how Snape would twist their actions against them.
Sirius shot a glance at Remus who said in a quiet voice, "Let's hope it McGonagall who doing the punishment, because if it's Snape who assigns the punishment...they'll all be taking a ride home tomorrow."
with Quirrell bringing up the rear. Quirrell took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper, and sat quickly down on a toilet, clutching his heart.
Snape bent over the troll. Professor McGonagall was looking at Ron and Harry, Harry had never seen her so angry.
"Um...," announced Peter in a frightened voice, "Maybe Quirrell should do the punishing?"
"Too late!" replied James. "When she locks in on you like that...you're done for!"
"She isn't that bad," Lily said calmly, then setting her jaw she said, "Besides I can see why she's angry with them, however, I still think they are going to come out on top."
"Aren't we optimistic." said Remus with a friendly smile, while Lily playfully stuck her tongue out at him. Reading on, Peter quieted the room quickly and had all of his friends attention on him.
Her lips were white. Hopes of winning fifty points for Gryffindor faded quickly from Harry's mind.
"At least we know he has an active imagination," Remus said snickering lightly.
"I wonder who he get that from," chuckled Peter while looking between Lily and James.
"Keep it up..." threaten James while he shook a fist Peter's way.
"What on earth were you thinking of?" said Professor McGonagall, with cold fury in her voice. Harry looked at Ron, who was still standing with his wand in the air. "You're lucky you weren't killed. Why aren't you in your dormitory?"
Snape gave Harry a swift, piercing look.
James tightened his fist while thinking, 'You better not say anything about him not being where he should!'
Harry looked at the floor. He wished Ron would put his wand down.
Remus snorted lightly in amusement. However, the whole idea of McGonagall dressing down Harry and Ron after they save Hermione, left a bitter taste in the others mouth that had them unnaturally quiet at the moment.
Then a small voice came out of the shadows.
"Please, Professor McGonagall — they were looking for me."
Peter's eyes bulged, as he thought in frustration, 'Here we go! She's going to side with the teachers, trying to look good in front of them.'
Hermione had managed to get to her feet at last.
"I went looking for the troll because I — I thought I could deal with it on my own — you know, because I've read all about them."
Peter, Sirius, and James all stood there blinking at each other, while making perfect imitations of a fish out of water. "Did I just hear you right, Pete?" asked Sirius while poking his pinky into his ear and wiggled it around, obviously trying to clean it out. "Did Miss Brainy just tell a whopper of a tale to her teachers without batting an eye?"
"Looks that way, mate." answered James when Peter just kept looking on in disbelief.
"Well, I'll be...," Sirius said, completely floored by the turn of events.
"Peter?' asked Lily tentatively, "Are you going to continue?" When he didn't answer and instead sat back in his chair and waited, Lily picked up the book and began to finish the chapter.
Ron dropped his wand. Hermione Granger, telling a downright lie to a teacher?
"If they hadn't found me, I'd be dead now. Harry stuck his wand up its nose and Ron knocked it out with its own club. They didn't have time to come and fetch anyone. It was about to finish me off when they arrived."
Harry and Ron tried to look as though this story wasn't new to them.
"Well, at least they're trying to say out of troubles way." James said as he held his head with both hands feeling a quite painful headache coming on.
"Well — in that case..." said Professor McGonagall, staring at the three of them,
"Here it comes," said Peter scrunching his face up and turning his head away.
"Miss Granger, you foolish girl, how could you think of tackling a mountain troll on your own?"
Hermione hung her head. Harry was speechless. Hermione was the last person to do anything against the rules, and here she was, pretending she had, to get them out of trouble. It was as if Snape had started handing out sweets.
"Haha!" Sirius barked out laughing, while he held onto his stomach.
"Yeah," Remus said sarcastically, "Hexed sweets, that is."
Not paying any attention to the two carrying on with making fun of Snape and his hygiene, Lily moved on and read the next paragraph.
"Miss Granger, five points will be taken from Gryffindor for this," said Professor McGonagall. "I'm very disappointed in you. If you're not hurt at all, you'd better get off to Gryffindor tower. Students are finishing the feast in their houses."
Professor McGonagall turned to Harry and Ron.
"Well, maybe it's good that they learn — ahead of time — just how bad she can be." said Peter trying to make light of the situation.
"Lot good of help that will do them if they get expelled." Sirius shot back coldly, then banged his fist on the table and said, "I just hate it that Snape has a front seat to see them get disciplined!"
Smiling brightly, Lily said in a sweet voice, "Let's just read on and see, shall we?"
"What are you so happy about?" asked Remus, looking a Lily suspiciously.
"Nothing," Lily replied, and picked up the book to read on. Remus, however, didn't buy her little act and sensed something was out of place as she read on.
"Well, I say you were lucky, but not many first years could have taken on a full-grown mountain troll. You each win Gryffindor five points. Professor Dumbledore will be informed of this. You may go."
"Who are you?! And what have you done with my transfiguration teacher!" yelled James and Sirius together while giving Lily a perplexed expression.
"There is no possible way that she just 'gave' them points!" Sirius said in confusion.
James was furiously rubbing his hair and seemed to be on the verge of saying something when Remus interrupted him by telling Sirius, "That's only because your always on her 'bad side'."
"Maybe she not really McGonagall," said Peter in a worried voice, as the excitement began infecting him as well.
"Hey!" yelled Lily trying to get a grip on the situation. When she had everyone's attention she said, "Can this wait? We're almost done, and I for one feel as if this has dragged on." When the other nodded in agreement, Lily picked up the book and went on reading.
They hurried out of the chamber and didn't speak at all until they had climbed two floors up. It was a relief to be away from the smell of the troll, quiet apart from anything else.
"We should have gotten more than ten points," Ron grumbled
Sirius slapped his forehead, while the others were shaking their heads in disapproval. "Be thankful she didn't expel you!" Peter spoke at the book, as his hands waved in the air in an animated fashion.
"Five, you mean, once she's taken off Hermione's."
"Good of her to get us out of trouble like that," Ron admitted. "Mind you, we did save her."
"She might not have needed saving if we hadn't locked the thing in with her," Harry reminded him.
"Was I ever that mature for my age," asked James without a hint humor.
Lily turned her head to regard James, and she saw that he was in deep contemplation. Not wanting him to think too much of it she said, "He's far more mature than either of us were at that age."
Slightly tilting his head, James gave Lily a smile as he stood up from his spot on the floor and sat next to her while she continued on with the book.
They had reached the portrait of the Fat Lady.
"Pig Snout," they said and entered.
The common room was packed and noisy. Everyone was eating the food that had been sent up. Hermione, however, stood alone by the door, waiting for them. There was a very embarrassing pause. Then, none of them looking at each other, they all said "Thanks," and hurried off to get plates.
But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.
Lily closed the book and placed it on the table, as the other sat back and relaxed with the information that they had just gleamed from that chapter. Sirius had his arms crossed while he tilted the chair he was on back and forth in a rocking motion. Remus was currently rubbing the back of his neck as if it was going to help him think. Peter was looking expectantly between James and Sirius, expecting that they would come up with something to say. James had closed his eyes and was currently fighting off a headache that seemed to come out from nowhere.
A voice shattered the solemn silence that the library had taken on, as Mrs. Potter could be heard calling for them from down stairs, "Come and eat! Food is ready! And wash your hands!"
"I am a bit famished," said Remus as a grumble from his stomach alerted everyone that the last time they had food was when they started.
"Me too!" Sirius agreed.
"Your always hungry." stated Peter while Sirius short him a dagger filled glare.
"Yeah?" asked Sirius while quickly pulling out his wand and casting a spell, "At least I don't have hairy palms!" Sure enough, when Peter looked at his hands hair was grown from them. Screaming angrily at Sirius, Peter ran after him as he took of out of the library and down the stairs.
"I'm going to kill you, Sirius!" could be heard from down stairs.
"You have to catch me first chubby!" Sirius laughed.
Remus laughed, and looking at James and Lily he finally said, "I'll see you." When he left his voice joined the other two as he tried to calm things down between them. Lily stifled a laugh as Sirius could be heard telling Remus to "stuff it".
James sat back and when he felt the headache receded a bit he opened his eyes only to see Lily look at him. Smiling he said with raised eyebrows, "Find something you like?"
Looking away from his face and blushing a bit, Lily said quietly, "James, you never gave me the chance to apologize."
"And I told you that you don't need to."
"But I do!" Lily said passionately, and then became quiet, "I never knew that you loved Quidditch that much. I thought that you were just doing it to annoy us. If I had know..."
"Water under the bridge, Lils. There's nothing you can do to take it back, except move on."
"No, your wrong," Lily said with a smile.
"I," said James in his old haughty tones and with a confident smile, "am never wrong."
"Oh? Then I guess you wouldn't mind tutoring me in Quidditch, would you?" asked Lily calmly as James face lost all of it luster and became very serious.
"Yes." Lily answered with a smile.
Standing up James wrapped a arm around Lily shoulders and said, "I do believe this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship!" Lily felt a warmth spread over her as she felt James arm around her.
As the two walk down stairs they heard the troubled voice of Sirius calling from outside, "James, mate! Red alert! I'm being double teamed...ahhhhh!"
The sun had set on another day as Lily made her way back home, as she turned the corned and made a bee line to her house Lily noticed that her father wasn't home and the only light on was Petunia's. Wondering what was going on Lily rushed to the door and used her key to enter.
Flipping on the lights, Lily called out softly to see if her mum was around. When no answer came forth she went into the kitchen and saw a note sitting on the table. Walking carefully towards it Lily picked it up and read...
Your father and I have gone to see the doctor. Your father has been having pain in his chest, and I wanted sorted out right now. Sorry about not telling you, but I still don't know how to use you owl. And you father is downright terrified of it, we'll be back later. There is food in the icebox, just reheat.
Lily laid the paper on the table and sat for a while on the seat as terrifying thoughts ran through her head. Finally, unable to stand it, she shook herself and wandered back to the from room where she heard a half sob coming from upstairs.
'Petunia.' thought Lily. Walking up the stairs Lily stood in front of her big sisters room and knocked lightly.
"Go away!" said Petunia through a sob and a sniffle.
"Petunia? Are you alright?" asked Lily, her voice filled with concern.
"No. So just...just go, please!" coughed Petunia as she began to again sob silently.
Brow furrowing in confusion and feeling for her sister Lily said, "I coming in!"
"NO! Stay out! I didn't give you permission!"
"I don't care! You're obviously..." Lily said as she opened the door, but stopped and gasped at what she saw.
Sitting at her vanity dresser was Petunia crying softly while holding a pack of ice on what looked like a bruise that took up her entire side of her face. "OH MY GOD! Petunia! What happened?!" Lily choked out, as she ran to her sister and inspected her face.
Petunia face seemed to begone more miserable and her throat tightened up as she tried to explain. However, the emotions and tears were choking her and she could for the life of her speak properly.
Finally gaining some self control she managed to utter one word, "Vernon."
It was as if Lily had been punched in the stomach, when Petunia said the name Lily face became stony and her eyes opened wide when she whispered with barely controlled anger, "He did this to you?"
Petunia's nod only made her anger turn to fury, as the image of the fat bastard slapping her sister play over and over in her head. "He told me," said Petunia stuttering horribly, "He told me that if I...I was to be his girlfriend that I c...couldn't be associated with you, or mum and dad. That you were too weird, and that would hurt 'our' image."
Lily's knuckles were while and shaking slightly, while Petunia carried on, "That's when I told him that you were my family and if he couldn't accept that then he should leave. That when..." As if remembering something painful, Petunia grabbed her face and winced. "That's when he called me a gold digging whore and said that all I wanted was his money. He got very angry, grabbed my arms, and shook me. And when I told him to take me home..."
This pause was the longest that Petunia made since Lily entered the room, and she placed the ice pack over her face and dropped her eyes to the ground when she said, "That's when he hauled off and backhanded me."
Seething with rage, Lily came over to her sister and wrapped her in a hug while patting her head. Petunia latched on to Lily and seemed to shake underneath as she began to bawl and let out all the emotion that she had pent up inside her.
Lily was holding her sister until she had cried herself asleep in her younger sisters arms. Taking out her wand, Lily levitated Petunia and laid her in bed. She covered her sister and placed a kiss on her forehead. As soon as she was out of her sisters room Lily marched furiously to the kitchen made a note and left it on the table. She then put on her coat and trainers and made her way back to The Hungry Lion, fury and anger pumping through her veins as she thought, 'First the book tell me you hurt my son. Then you hurt my sister. Payment is due Vernon Dursley!'
When he opened his eyes, all that greeted him was a familiar inky blackness that he always seemed to wake to. However, when a breeze danced over his chest he realized with a start that he had no shirt on. 'Great,' though Harry as he rolled his eyes and sighed deeply in the darkness, 'where am I now?' Feeling around him, Harry deduced that he was in a bed — probably his — and it was night time. His sheets covered him only up to his waist, and he felt comfortable under them.
Unexpected and suddenly, the bed creaked as an arm slid over his waist and a warm body cuddled closer to him. Harry's heart hammered while almost bursting out of his chest, as he felt the woman shaped form cuddled closer to him while humming happily. Having a woman this close to him shocked him and his stomach perform acrobatics, while his face probably colored so brightly that he would be surprised if he was giving off a glow.
"Umm...," Harry tried to speak but kept tripping on his own words. 'What should I say?' wondered Harry in extreme confusion and embarrassment.
"Mmmm...Harry? Are you alright?" asked the familiar voice that made Harry almost latch onto the ceiling from fright. As she was saying these words, the woman's hands were tracing a path from Harry's abdomen to his chest, and it was quiet literally driving Harry insane.
Pulling away from the voice Harry and standing up Harry noticed another thing that was different in this world...and that fact was more prevalent when he threw off the covers and stood up. For when he stood up he noticed that he was stark naked, and when he heard a giggle from behind he quickly sat back down and covered himself.
"Harry? Is something wrong? Are you okay?." ask the concerned female voice again.
'That voice,' thought Harry as he turned in the darkness and softly he called out a name that he had accustomed to saying, but now was afraid of saying..."Hermione?"