Chapter 3: The Marauders

Harry knew that he'd eventually end up meeting the three most important male figures in his life again, but he never expected it to be so soon! And to see the three of them (and Peter, who was trailing behind them) so young and full of joy almost brought tears to his eyes.

"Potter!" Lily's beautiful face turned into a fierce scowl. "What are you doing here?"

"Why, my dear Lily, we were bored, so we decided to seek your company and we find you here betraying our trust by hanging onto a new stud? Oh how you broke our hearts," a young man with messy jet-black hair said with a grin. "No offense," he added hastily to Harry.

Harry, in turn, did nothing but raise his eyebrows.

"Hey James, I never knew you swung that way," Sirius commented.

James quickly spun around and whacked Sirius in the head.

"Owwwww," Sirius whined while rubbing his abused head.

Turning back to Lily and the new kid, James introduced himself, Sirius, Remus, and Peter.

Remus, whose nose was currently buried in a book, lifted his head up to nod at the new kid when he actually got a good glimpse of him. His jaw dropped and his eyes bugged out.

"James..." he said slowly, "Do you have a twin or something? 'Cause this guy looks just like you!" the werewolf exclaimed while looking back and forth between James and the newcomer.

James took another quick look before he, too, realized this fact. He was just about to say something when Harry interrupted.

"My name is Harry Porter. This is my first time in a public school, and I came here early to get sorted and get myself acquainted with the castle."

"Right," James said slowly. "That still doesn't explain how you look like me..."

Harry's response was a shrug. "Bad luck maybe?"

"Yeah," James replied. "Hey!"

Harry smiled and Sirius laughed out loud at the subtle insult.

"So what House are you four in?"

The quick change in subject did not bother them, and they informed Harry that all four were in Gryffindor with Lily (much to her displeasure).

The group entered the Great Hall and ate dinner as they each explained the basics of Hogwarts: which kids to avoid, which teachers to avoid, a few secret passageways, which teachers should be fired, and a quick introduction to the four houses (most of which Harry already knew).

Dumbledore strolled in a few minutes later with the Sorting Hat in his hands. He walked right up to Harry and tapped his shoulder.

Harry, who had been living in a time of war, spun around quickly with his wand in hand pointed at the aged professor. "Sorry," he said sheepishly, while the other five students stared at the speed at which he drew his wand.

"Not a problem," the Headmaster replied and pointed at the hat. "If you would put this on, Mr. Porter."

Harry slowly took the Hat and put it on. There was nothing he could do to stop the Hat from reading his mind and telling Dumbledore, but if it did happen, Harry was ready to blow the Hat up and call it an accident.

"Well what have we here? You've already been sorted, Mr. Potter. Hmm...I see, come back to the past eh? Yes, yes...Oh there's no need to worry. I'm not allowed to reveal what I see when I look through people's mind. I can also see that you have enough traits to be in all four houses. A complicated decision indeed. I stand by my original thought of Slytherin."

'Can you put me back in Gryffindor? I really want to get to know my parents this time around, and I really don't like Slytherin. If you put me in that foul place anyway, I'll blast you into tiny pieces.'

"So confident of our powers, are we, Mr. Potter? Yes very well, to Gryffindor then."

"To Gryffindor!" the hat exclaimed, although not in the grand tone as it usually during every sorting.

Lily clapped and squealed with delight. She rushed over to Harry and hugged him tight, making him blush. 'So this is what a mother's hug feels like,' he mused to himself.

"Back to the common room!" Sirius declared after the festivities were over.

The five boys and one girl slowly walked back to the common room while Harry got to know them better. He didn't volunteer any of his past, mainly because he had didn't want everyone to know how bad his life sucked, even though he already told Lily. There was just something about Lily that made him open up...

Harry's deep-seated hatred of Peter was pushed to the back of his mind as he got to know Remus and Sirius all over again, while learning new things about James and Lily.

He found that although Peter was a snivelling little bastard who sold out his parents, the young boy before him had not changed loyalties yet.

Once in the common room, the six headed towards the fireplace where they sat down and dealt out a deck of Exploding Snap cards. Harry used seemingly menial comments like "I wonder how the war's going" to see if they had joined the Order yet. Apparently, they did, since all of them tensed when he mentioned the war, but their eyes stated that they hadn't seen a real battle yet. Harry knew from experience that once you get a taste of war, your innocence will be forever gone, and these teenagers in front of him still had not lost something so precious.

He was glad for them. Honestly. Just because he had to live through a war and see his friends get killed,and then get sent back in time to witness (and more than likely participate) in a second war didn't mean they had to bear his misfortunes.

An hour later of exploding cards, the group went to bed, with Harry following the Marauders, and Lily going up the girls' dorm.

The next day dawned bright and early. Harry was down at five, since he was used to minimal amounts of sleep. His nightmares were a thing of the past (no pun intended) though. It seemed that even though he slept peacefully, he would always wake up very early in the morning. He used the time to exercise outside, with a few laps around the lake. He came back in thirty minutes later to find a red-haired beauty on the couch, facing the window. His first thought was of Ginny, but with a pang of guilt, realized that she was killed and he was alive.

Lily turned around at the sound of the portrait opening and saw a very sweaty Harry Porter. She felt very attracted to both him and James. Well, they did look alike. But the thing was, both of their personalities appealed to her. James with his playful and warm countenance, and Harry with his cool and aloof appearance.

"Like what you see?" Harry asked, amused, despite the fact that this was HIS MOTHER that was ogling him.

Lily blushed, as she hadn't realized she was staring while thinking of the two people she felt an attraction towards. "I saw you running out there," she said, desperate to change the subject while pointing vaguely out the window.

"Yes, it's called 'running'. It's apparently a foreign concept to wizards. You know, 'staying in shape'?"

Lily blushed again, and was saved from replying by the stumbling of one Sirius Black. "Oy, what are you two doing up so early, ya bloody morning people?" he asked grumpily.

Another interruption followed in the form of the arrival of the remaining Marauders. All four Marauders looked shaggy and ruffled, like they just woke up, which is probably exactly what happened.

As the sextet traveled together down to the Great Hall for breakfast, they happened upon Professor McGonagall, Transfiguration Professor and Head of Gryffindor.

"Minnie, my favorite teacher! How are you doing?" Sirius called out loudly.

McGonagall turned around and glared at Sirius. "Just because we are not in session now does not mean you can address me how you like, Mr. Black!"

"Of course! Please accept my most sincere apologies, Minnie!" Sirius proclaimed while he bowed.

Minerva looked at him disapprovingly and turned around, off to the Great Hall. The sextet hurried to catch up.

When they made it to the Great Hall, the other Professors were already sitting at the Head Table, going over their curriculum for the upcoming school year.

The group sat down at the Gryffindor table and a lavish meal appeared before their eyes.

The rest of the day was spent fooling around outside.

The following week and a half passed in a similar manner, with Harry getting up early, meeting Lily in the common room, waiting for the four Marauders, coming down to breakfast, fooling around outside, lunch, outside again, dinner, Exploding Snap and Chess in the common room, and then sleep. Harry grew closer to Lily and the Marauders too. They even considered asking Harry to be the fifth Marauder.

September first arrived, and soon everyone was in the Great Hall, waiting for the first years to be sorted while catching up with friends they hadn't seen over the summer. When the sorting was done, Dumbledore stepped up to deliver one of his usual speeches. After the speech was concluded, the students were ready to dig in to their meals, but Dumbledore had one last announcement.

"To some extenuating circumstances, we have a new student. His name is Harry Porter, and he's been sorted into Gryffindor. I hope all of you will welcome him to out school! Now, let the feast begin!"

As the students ate, some would come up to Harry and introduce themselves. Three such people were Alice Dorea and Frank Longbottom, who were holding hands and basically attached to the other at the lips, while the third was a beautiful young lady named Angelina Black.

As they introduced themselves, Harry remembered his self-memo. "Hey Angelina, are you related to Sirius?"

"Yeah I'm his cousin. His father is my dad's brother."

The feast was quickly finished, and many students leaned back while rubbing their protruding stomachs. Sirius and James especially. Lily and Angelina were about to smack the two boys when Dumbledore stood up again.

"I have one last announcement to make. We will be holding a special Yule Ball and a Valentine's Ball, the first on December 25, and the second on February 14. The special twist is this: the girls will have to ask the guys to the Yule Ball, but the guys have to ask the girls to the Valentine's Ball!"

At first the guys were crestfallen. Another dance? Oh boy, now they'd have to ask some girls to go with them, and that was always a scary deal. But when Dumbledore mentioned the special twist, they all perked up. The guys were huddled together, discussing which guy was going to get asked by which girl. All the boys were ignoring the fact that they had to ask girls for the second ball. After all, don't all boys tend to procrastinate?

Harry kept one ear on the boys' conversation as his trained eyes swept the room. He saw many familiar faces, most as enemies: Lucius Malfoy; Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange; Severus Snape; Bellatrix, Andromeda, and Narcissa Black; two brutes he recognized as Crabbe and Goyle Sr.; Thomas Avery; Theodore Nott Sr.

Each face (except for Andromeda; she's the only good one) brought a bout of anger, and his newfound friends could almost see the aura brought about by his increasing ire.

"Harry?" Lily asked tentatively. "Are you ok?"

Harry brought his anger down as he focused on his mother's words. "Don't worry," he replied. "I'll be fine."

The rest of the group just nodded and looked back at Dumbledore.

"And now," he proclaimed, "let us head back to our dorms to get a good night's sleep. Prefects, if you will?"

The prefects got up and led everyone else back to their respective dorms.

The first week of school was relatively boring. But in the second week, the Marauders struck.

The morning of the 9th, the students of Hogwarts arrived at the Great Hall to find most of the upper-year Slytherins tied up, colored pink, hanging from the ceiling, and wearing nothing but their boxers (no girls were up there, unfortunately). The laughter went on for ten whole minutes before the prank was reversed. The angry Slytherins stalked off towards the dungeons to dress for breakfast.

When Harry sat down at the table with the Marauders and Lily, he asked, "That your work?"

Sirius, who still had tears running down his face, nodded in confirmation.

September passed by quickly, followed by October. On the last day of October, Harry was nervous. Throughout the school year, there were only a few minor attacks on Muggle villages. Voldemort was a creature of habit, though, and Halloween has always been a disaster every year back in his own time, so why should it be any different here? Harry's entire body was tensed as he got ready in case any of those future Death Eaters decided to reveal their allegiances.

Alas, Harry was right. There was a disaster. A big one.

Professor McGonagall burst into the Great Hall. "Albus! We're under attack!"

A/N: For some reason, I see a lot of authors using Mundane instead of Muggle. Anyone know why?

I decided to finish this chapter today as it is almost Christmas time. If it wasn't I might have been working on my other two stories instead, since I like what is gonna be done to those two rather than this one. But never fear, I won't abandon this. I'll come back to this story after a few more chapters for the Ladies of Black. (After rereading my author's note, I just realized it was pretty dumb to make you wait for a battle, but...ah well.)

Happy holidays everyone!