Yet another story that arose from my imagination while I was half-asleep.

Disclaimer: Yeah... no. I'm not JKRowling. I can only dream about owning James Potter...

Note: This story takes place in May(ish), 1977. According to HarryPotterWiki, Tonks was born in 1973, but we are not given a date. So I'm going with May. That means that it is the end of the Marauder's 6th year at Hogwarts.

"Where have you been all day?" James Potter demanded. He was lounging across his friend's bed, a look of pure boredom on his face.

His friend Sirius Black had just walked into the room, holding a brown box in his arms. Sirius had been missing for the better part of the day. None of his roommates knew where he had gone.

"So you missed me?" Sirius asked, smirking.

"Wormtail and Moony –" James pointed to their friends who sat on the other side of the room, looking mildly interested in their conversation "-decided that the most beautiful day of the year was the day to study Potions." James rolled his eyes. "And you disappeared, so I was stuck here."

It was a beautiful day out. The sun was shining down brightly on the Hogwarts grounds. Many of their classmates were hanging around the lake, laughing and enjoying the sign that summer was to come.

"After you followed Lily around for an hour, you mean," Peter pointed out, pushing his schoolwork off to the side.

James made a face. "She told me that she had better things to do than put up with a messy-haired stalker," James complained to Sirius.

"And Prongs has now recounted this story fifteen times," Remus added.

Sirius smirked again as he walked over to his trunk. "Well, it sounds like you all had an interesting day."

"Where were you, Padfoot?" James demanded.

"The kitchens. Dilly says hi, Remus."

Remus blushed. Dilly was the house-elf that seemed to have a massive crush on him. She always spent extra time cleaning up his bed and often left him sweets.

"So you were eating?" Peter asked. He was slightly jealous. He hadn't had anything to eat since lunch.

"No, I was baking," Sirius said simply.

The three other Marauder's eyes flew to him. Each displayed a similar look of disbelief.

"You were baking," James repeated.

"And you didn't blow up the school?" Peter asked.

"Is it edible?" Remus said.

"Your lack of trust in my cooking skills is astounding," Sirius murmured, rummaging around in his trunk for something. "If you must know, today is my cousin Dora's fourth birthday."

"She's the Metamorphmagus, right?" Remus asked.

Sirius nodded. "And her mother is one of my only decent relatives. So I baked her this cake and made her this card," Sirius told them, pulling a card out of his trunk.

Remus' eyebrows were still raised. "This is surprisingly nice of you, Sirius," he said, appraising his friend.

Remus and Sirius locked eyes for a long moment.

"Yes, good doggy," James teased.

Their eyes broke away.

"Padfoot, I hope you aren't planning on forcing your owl to carry that package. It looks much too heavy," Peter said, worried.

A huge smile grew on Sirius' face. It seemed to spread all the way up to his dark hair. "I was going to. But then I thought of a much better idea."

James turned to Peter and Remus. "I'm scared," he told them.

Both boys agreed with him.

"Oh, come on. This plan is completely foolproof and harmless," Sirius said. Sirius had claimed this a few times before, and each time the plan had turned out to be dangerous and error-filled. "Watch and learn." Sirius stood up straight and then snapped his fingers. "Kreacher," he said loudly.

Nothing happened.

"Kreacher is your… house-elf?" Remus asked.

"Yes, and he should be here." Sirius frowned and shook his head. Then he tried again. He snapped his fingers together sharply and said, "Kreacher."

But still nothing happened.

The other boys fidgeted as Sirius stared at his hand as though it had failed him.

"Maybe he can't get into Hogwarts?" Peter suggested.

"No, I summoned him once in First Year," Sirius said softly, still frozen.

Remus cleared his throat. "Perhaps he's busy?"

James shook his head, being the only other boy there who had a house-elf, though the Potters did treat their house-elves with much more respect than the Blacks did. "If a house-elf is summoned by one of their masters, he must go, no matter what."

The three boys sat on different beds and thought for a long moment.

"You know what this means, don't you?" Sirius said, his voice barely above a whisper. "Do you know what this means?" He turned around from his position to glare at the boys.

"Sirius…" James looked frightened.

"Do you know what this means?" Sirius screamed, and the cake box flew out of his hands and hit the wall. The box opened on collision, and the cake slid out, covering the wall and the floor in a slime of frosting.

The other boys didn't know what to say, because they really didn't know what it meant that Sirius' house-elf hadn't shown up.

"It means that my family went and bloody disowned me!" Sirius bellowed, the room practically shaking from the force of his voice. Sirius himself was shaking horribly, so that the card he still held whipped through the air and made a flapping sound. "It means that they took me out of the will, they blasted me off of the family tree. It means that I'm not a member of the Black family anymore!"

The card began to smoke, and seconds later, it was in full flames. But Sirius didn't seem to even notice. He was still glaring at his best friends.

"This is your fault! You were the ones that convinced me being a Gryffindor was okay. You were the ones that told me I should stop worrying what they said. You were the ones who made me change."

Sirius fell to his knees, still shaking. The card had burned to ashes, and the ashes had slipped through his fingers. His body looked small suddenly, like a child – like the child they had met when they first came to Hogwarts. The child who had gone out of his way to disobey and anger his family. The child who now began to weep because they didn't want him anymore.

James stood up cautiously and walked over to his best friend. "It's okay that you're in Gryffindor, mate. Being in Gryffindor doesn't make you bad," he whispered, crouching next to him, but not touching him. He didn't know how Sirius would react if James touched him.

"That's not what they think," Sirius said through clenched teeth and falling tears.

"You told me yesterday that you thought Slytherins were bad," Peter said, but his words got only a glare of anger and a doggish snap.

Remus got up from his bed and walked over to Sirius and James. "You're not alone, Sirius. We're your family now. I know it's not… it's not perfect. But we're going to help you through this."

Peter, following Remus, came over also.

"We're here for you," James told him.

Sirius looked up at the three of him through his tears, and as upset as he was, he knew that he was much better off having them as a family than the members of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.

Please let me know what you thought! Thanks for reading!