Note: While I (Soy) have been writing BtVS fic for a long time, this

is my first HP fic. I hope it's decent...

"James, do eat a bit of toast before you go-"

"Mum, there's not enough time!" James protested, ignoring the plate in his mother's outstretched hand and throwing his bag over his shoulder.

"If I want to make it to the station on time, I have to leave now-"

"Well then take it with you." Mrs. Potter thrust the plate at James' stomach, causing him to make an 'Ouff' noise as the wind was knocked out of him.

"Fine." James agreed reluctantly, taking the toast from off the plate and then kissing his mother on the cheek. "Goodbye, Mum. I'll see you at Christmas-"

"And no sooner!" Proclaimed Mr. Potter as he walked into the room.

"I want no owls telling me to pick you up from the train station-"

"I promise-" James said in between quick bites of toast "-that I won't get suspended this year."

"Then come along, the car is waiting." Mr. Potter gestured towards the door. "You did pack your trunk away already, didn't you?"

"Of course." James answered easily before striding out the door.

"Drive safely." Mrs. Potter said quickly to her husband, "After all, you do know how unpredictable those muggle cars can be-"

"I will dear." Mr. Potter said with a nod as he made his way to the door. "I'll be back in a bit!"

James was already situated by the time Mr. Potter got himself to the

car.

"Do try and keep out of trouble this year, James..." Mr. Potter sighed as he started the car and pulled out of the driveway. "I'm not sure your mother can take another year like last year-"

"This year will be nothing like last year." James said solidly. "I'm a self-assured, self-confident fifth year-"

"Well, I have no quarrels with you being confident. It's more the fact that you're a marauder that gets you into trouble-"

"And it's the fact that I'm Gryffindor's star Quidditch player which gets me out of it."

"James..."

"Only kidding, Dad." James looked over at his father and flashed him a smile. "I promise, I won't do nothing wrong."

"Good." Mr. Potter smiled, then paused. "You just used a double negative, didn't you?"

"So my dad gave me an idea on the car ride to the station today..." James looked around the train's compartment to see his three best friends.

"And what was that?" Remus asked, looking up from the book he had been reading. "To stay out of trouble this year?"

"Oh, no..." James smirked, "That's the point he was trying to get across, but..." James let his voice fade. "So, he gave me this great idea. Do you know how we've been trying to come up with a name for ourselves?"

"I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about." Sirius said as he leaned back in his seat next to James and shut his eyes.

"Neither do I, James." Remus said, shaking his head.

"Well, you know how we're finally going to become Animagi this year-"

"We're what?!" Peter asked, stunned. "I thought we gave that up!"

"We did not!" James spat back at him. "Why would you think that?!"

"Because, after your botched attempt to help me transfigure myself last year, I ended up in the hospital wing for a week!" Peter paused. "Plus, I think Dumbledore is starting to catch on to us-"

"No he's not," James shook his head and dismissed the thought.

"Dumbledore may be a genius, but he's not wise into the ways of marauders-"

"Marwhaters?" Sirius asked, opening his eyes.

"I thought you were trying to ignore us..." James said.

"Well it's rather difficult to ignore you when you're sitting right next to me," Sirius pointed out. "So what's a maroater?"

"Marauder." Remus corrected.

"So..." Sirius prompted.

"It's someone who roams about in search of plunder..." Remus paused.

"We really don't do that, James."

"Yes we do!"

"Exception of the one time we raided the Slytherin dungeon - which we got suspended for, by the way - when have we ever plundered?"

"Well..." James thought "We haven't really... Yet. We will this year, though. Once we all get the transformations down. I mean, Sirius and I have nearly got it, and Peter, well-" he flashed a hopeless glance at his pudgy little friend "-with our help, he'll catch on fast enough-"

"You've been saying that since our second year," Remus reminded.

"And yet every year-"

"Well this year will be different." James said firmly. "I swear it, this year will be our best year yet-" He was interrupted by the compartment door being flung open.

The four fifth years frowned as they saw who was standing there. His silver blond hair parted down the middle, his robes neatly pressed, and his empty gray eyes glowing maliciously, Lucius Malfoy stood in the doorway, smirking.

"Well if it isn't James Potter and his sidekicks," Lucius smiled impishly down at them. Sirius started to stand, not liking the idea of being called a 'sidekick', but James pulled him back down, into his seat. "You're planning out how to get yourselves expelled, no doubt."

"What do you want, Malfoy?" Sirius asked through tightly pursed lips.

"Nothing, really..." Lucius shrugged, "I just came round to see who was in this compartment-"

"Why? Can't find any of your friends?" James asked innocently, but then followed it quickly with a "Oh, that's right, you haven't got any."

"I do too!" Lucius let his grin slip for a moment, but then calmed again. "And, anyway, having no friends would be better than hanging around your lousy lot, Potter-"

"Which explains why you're hanging around us?" Remus skeptically cocked an eyebrow.

"Like I said, I was just looking to see who was in this compartment." Lucius paused. "Not like you need to know, but I was trying to find Serveus."

"Ickle Snape-y didn't come back this year?" Sirius asked. "Oh, that's too bad..." He smiled. Lucius just sighed and rolled his eyes. Without another word, he walked back into the hallway, slamming the compartment door behind himself."I hate him." James said, leaning back in his seat again.

"Who doesn't?" Sirius retorted.

"Serveus Snape." Peter answered plainly, inspiring a few annoyed groans from his friends.

The compartment then fell silent, any previous topics having been erased from their minds by Malfoy's unwanted visit. Remus went back to his book and Sirius closed his eyes again, in attempts to get some sleep before he arrived at school. Peter just sat there, twiddling his thumbs and staring

out the window while James went on thinking to himself.

"How great would it be if Snape really hadn't come back this year?" James finally asked, breaking the silence.

"I saw him at the station." Remus said curtly without looking up from his book, "He's here."

"It was just a 'what if' question." James frowned. "You didn't have to actually answer it."

"I just thought that you should know," Remus shrugged. "I mean, it's no use wondering if it's never going to happen."

"Yeah," Peter nodded. "Just like it's no use coming up with a name for ourselves if we're never going to be great plunderers."

"Can all of you just bugger off-" Sirius began, opening his eyes just enough to see the other three "I'm trying to get some sleep so that I won't be so irritable once we get to school."

"You're always irritable." James smirked. Sirius smiled and closed his eyes again. Silence filled the compartment once more.

"So... We're calling ourselves the Marauders, are we?" Remus asked, breaking the quiet.

"I think it fits." James said with a nod. "Or, it will fit..."

"Marauders..." Sirius thought out loud, his eyes still tightly shut.

"Comes from the verb 'maraud'," Remus began, "Synonyms being raid, invade, harry-"

"Like a mustache?" Peter asked, perhaps sarcastically, perhaps not.

"Because I don't want to be thought of as hairy-"

"No," Remus stopped him without lifting his eyes from his book. "I meant harry as in H-A-R-R-Y, not as in hairy: hair on head."

"Oh." Peter said thoughtfully. "Just checking." Remus, Sirius, and James laughed. "Really, I was just making sure-"

"It's going to be a good year..." Sirius smirked.

"Or an interesting one at least." James added. "I can't wait until we get back to Hogwarts... I just have so much planned-"

"And does that plan include doing any schoolwork?" Remus asked, curious.

"Hell no." Sirius answered for James, "Since when has school been about work?"

"Since-" Remus began, but then changed his mind. "What's the point

in trying to lecture you two about school? You'll never listen..."

"Odd," James sighed, "I've known my parents for fifteen years and they still haven't figured that out."

"It's alright, though, Remus." Sirius said, "We may not be the best at actually getting the assignments done, but we're still some of the smartest students in the school, and definitely the best pranksters to ever attend Hogwarts-"

"Long live the Marauders!" James interrupted him.

"Yes," Remus nodded, "Long live us."

"The hairy people." Sirius added with a snicker as he looked pointedly over at Peter.

"I was just checking!" Peter defended as his friends laughed lightheartedly. "Honest!"

It planned to be as James had said, an interesting year...