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Chapter 3: Planning Pranks
The train ride wasn’t the same without Remus being there. He was always had the logic input into our prank planning, and it was odd feeling have to think of all the other things other than the fun stuff. Of course he got the prefect’s badge; James and I spent most of our lives in detentions or plotting what our next prank would be, so there was no hope with us.
Peter was nowhere near prefect material either, as he was too forgetful. He would end up patrolling the wrong corridor so all the first and second years would be running riot behind his back. Actually, that would be pretty fun to watch so perhaps Dumbledore should have made him it. Dumbledore was always up for a good laugh, after all.
I paced up and down the platform, gazing around. Though it was only the beginning of September, it was still freezing up in Scotland. I wouldn’t be surprised if I awoke to find everything covered in frost tomorrow. Then again, I was used to a chilly awakening living with my family.
“Wait, so Sirius, what’s the plan again?” Peter cried out. I let out a small groan. We had literally just gone through it all.
I ambled down the platform, kicking the fallen leaves out of the way as I did so. James had introduced me to some muggle game called football last Easter, and I had grown addicted to it since. Unfortunately, no one really wanted to play with me, so this was the best substitute for it.
“All you have to do, Peter, is get the house elves to put the potion in all the Slytherin drinks and then wait for the results, which should be pretty spectacular,” I reminded him. I laughed internally, imagining the Slytherin’s sour faces in reaction to it. That would get my brother back for being a git this summer. Of course, he went and told Mother and Father how many detentions I had gotten that year. To say it was unpleasant when they found out would be an understatement. Not that I cared about what they thought. I had long since given up on that.
“Alright, but what if I get caught?” Peter asked, looking frightened for his life at the thought of a detention; I sometimes wondered why he got so scared, considering James and I were the joint kings of detention. Nothing too bad had happened to us. If anything, we enjoyed holding the title, as we considered it a reward for all our good work.
“That’s what we’ve got dear old Remus for, isn’t it? He’s a prefect, so he’s bound to be able to get you out of trouble,” James replied with a smile. “And you’ll have the map and the cloak. With those things nothing could ever go wrong."
“James, I’m not really sure I’m meant to be abusing my position on the first night. Besides, we can’t always rely on the cloak and the map, we might not always have them on us,” Remus said out of nowhere, his sudden appearance startling us. He looked slightly worried at the implications we were throwing around.
“Relax,” James said, patting Remus on the back. "That’s why Dumbledore probably made you one, so our detention record will go do. Your other point is null anyway. I told Peter he would have them so I don’t see how it make sense.”
James then ran over to me and gave me a quick high five. Whenever one of us managed to outwit Remus it was always a reason to celebrate. Remus pulled a pained face, but it didn't deter James who then ran after Peter.
“Where did you come from, anyway?” I added. “I thought you’d still be helping the first years off the train.”
“Sirius, I’ve been standing here for the past five minutes. Honestly, you need to pay more attention.” Remus sounded rather annoyed. “Also, if you had been paying attention you would have noticed that we are the last ones on the platform. Unless you fancy walking back, I suggest we leave now.”
I scanned the surroundings and saw that Remus was true. The small lamp on the side of the track had now begun to flicker, and as I ambled away from the sheltered area I could feel the rain spitting down on us. I heard the others begin to pick their bags off of the floor and head over to the carriage and I quickly followed. The thought of trudging up to school in the rain didn't sound very appealing. That was unless I could use what I perfected over the summer.
Even once we had exited the station it had an eerie feel to it. Everything was dark and with the rain now being accompanied by a soft wind I felt as if I was part of some horror book. With Peter noting that there was only one carriage left, we ran towards it, not wanting to risk the start of the feast. That was about the one thing we took seriously. That, and I had feeling the others didn’t like the atmosphere here either.
Through all of that hassle, we hadn’t been paying attention to the pair of girls who were climbing into the carriage. Fortunately, it was James who had been the one pretending to be a battering ram and got the brunt of their anger.
“Potter, for once in your life could you please stop acting like a little child? A three year old would be more mature than you,” spat out a voice who abused James on a regular basis. Oh great. I really hated these scenes. At least, when I had a small altercation with Thalia earlier she knew how to laugh about it. With Lily, none of us were even close to laughing with her.
“Hello, Evans. How was your summer? You never replied to any of my letter!” James sounded like a child who had just been told they couldn’t go to Honeydukes. I often worried whether he would ever mature. I really hoped it happened soon. Then we could get this ‘will they, won’t they’ thing between he and Lily over with.
“Well, if you honestly think I had the time to reply to approximately five letters a day, you’re deluded,” Lily Evans retorted. “Besides, there wasn’t anything to reply to. All that your letters contained was mindless drivel.”
I had to try and stop myself from laughing at the pair of them. Even if James was close to professing his love and Lily her hate, they were still so similar. There stubbornness was unstoppable. I looked around, trying to find the other person who was with Lily, but it was to no avail. How peculiar.
Not wanting to stand in the drizzly rain and listen to James and Lily ague for any longer, I climbed into the carriage. I could hear Remus and Peter try to edge round the pair of them too, but it seemed as if they had blocked the door to it, barring their entry. Oh well, the longest this went on for was three hours so they shouldn’t have to wait too long, I thought gleefully.
I was greeted by an amused looking Thalia Longwood. Though she didn’t respond to my cheering earlier, I hoped that wasn’t a bad sign. For some reason, she had always intrigued me. I think it was with the way she drifted off into her own world at times, oblivious to anything else. Like this morning really. It was just because of that bloody situation between James and Lily meant I couldn’t get closer to her.
“Black,” she said with a curt nod.
“Longwood,” I replied. “How are you doing on this fine day?”
“Not very well, as James gave Lily the courtesy of having the same experience I endure this morning.” She gave a small smirk before continuing, “We would probably be half-way to the castle now if it wasn’t for their arguing.”
“Yes, things do seem to take longer when those two meet.”
She let out a light chuckle before resting her head against the window. I didn’t know whether to take that as a sign the conversation was over or not. I simply decided to carry on rambling. She could join in if she wanted to. After all, this lull provided us with the opportunity to hear into Lily and James’ shouting which wasn’t much fun.
“Anyway, why aren’t you two with the others?” I thought you girls were inseparable?”
“Well, I was looking after Lily’s cat,” she said, indicating to the ball of grey fluff nestled in the furthest corner of the carriage. It was almost as if it was avoiding her. “Then Lily came back, and Calliope tried to run to her but got lost in the process of doing that. So Lily and I just spent the past twenty minutes trying to find her in the darkness. The others decided not wait, as the rain had already started. Not that I blame them, to be honest.”
As soon as she finished talking, she closed her eyes. This was what I meant, this closing herself off. I wondered if anyone else had noticed it too. Or maybe I was paranoid. That was a possibility. It could be one of the rare traits I picked up from my mother. She always thought I was up to the things when I wasn't. I blamed her bad hearing and vivid imagination for that.
My thoughts were cut off due to the commotion James, Remus, Peter and Lily were causing while trying to climb into the carriage, all pushing and shoving in an attempt to be the first one in.
Lily succeeded first, probably due to James pushing her forwards, hoping that this would help him recover from his faux-pas earlier. I didn’t think it worked as the girls didn’t want to chat. We all spent the remainder of the journey sitting in a stony silence. Anytime one of us tried to speak, Lily would glare and Thalia was motionless throughout. In the end, I resorted to tapping my fingers on the window.
As soon as we arrived at Hogwarts, Thalia and Lily practically ran out of the carriage in a bid to flee us. Were we really that bad? Maybe they didn’t like the song I was tapping to. It was a Celestina Warbeck one, mind. I would have thought they would have liked it. I could remember seeing masses of squealing girls when she was in Diagon Alley one time. Even my mother, the cold hearted, Walburga Black, got swept up in it all.
I had forgotten all about them by the time I approached the Great Hall. The thought of food had taken over my mind completely, so all that worrying about Thalia had gone out of the window. However, we were so late that the first years and McGonagall were already lining up outside it. All the first years looked petrified, the silly things. All they had to do was sit on a stall and have a hat on their head. It wasn't that bad.
McGonagall was looking as stern as usual and had a grim expression on her face when she noticed our arrival. I would have thought a holiday would have cheered you up, but I guess it wasn’t the case for her.
“Potter, Black, Lupin, Pettigrew. What is the meaning of this? You've just set a terrible example for the first years! You think it’s acceptable to turn up whenever you want? Mr Lupin, I expected better from you. Considering you’re now a prefect, we thought you would exert some of your more responsible influences onto your friends,” McGonagall said, finally finishing her rant. Oh, I missed you, Minnie.
“Sorry, Minnie. We just missed you so much over the summer, and wanted to have a quick catch up before our next Transfiguration lesson.” I earned a thumbs up from James and Peter and an annoyed look from Remus. That guy really needed to lighten up.
Remus cleared his throat. “What we mean to say Professor, is that James lost his school robes on the train. We were helping him look for them, as we knew you wouldn’t appreciate him turning up in muggle attire. This took a long time, and that’s the reason we were delayed. We really are sorry.”
“Thank you, Mr Lupin. I see I don’t have to lose faith in you yet.” McGonagall turned her eyes to the rest of us. “Your friends, to my great dismay, haven’t changed their ways over the summer. Now get into the hall right away, unless you want to receive detentions for the entire first week.”
We knew McGonagall meant what she said, so we hurried into the hall. We did try to avoid detentions in the first week back; we did have some standars. McGonagall was lying about us being later either. Lily and Thalia were already seated at the far end of the Gryffindor table, and they were probably the last people to arrive before us.
We hurried into a free spot and earned a disapproving look from a prefect sitting near us. I really hoped Remus didn’t turn into one like him. As the first years trundled into the room, I wiped the droplets off of my robes which created a small puddle on the floor. The ceiling of the Great Hall added to the cold I was feeling with the grey clouds and crackling thunder.
While the first person, a girl called Marietta Jones, stood on the stool, I whipped out my wand and cast a warming charm. There, that was better. I glanced around and saw that the others had done the same. It was weird how we were like that at times, so in-synch. It was like we were quadruplets or something.
Marietta Jones skipped off of the stool and ran over to the Slytherin table, a future Death Eater’s wife probably. I really hated sorting, it was so tedious. Nothing ever interesting happened. Well, apart from when I was sorted. I could still vividly recall the awkward silence after the sorting hat pronounced I was in Gryffindor. Those looks my cousins Narcissa and Bellatrix sent me could have killed. I didn’t think my eleven year old self fully understood the gravity of the situation, as I merely laughed them off and happily scampered over to the Gryffindor table.
At least Andromeda was still nice to me that year. But, then again, she had been in her seventh year and had begun dating Ted Tonks, who was a muggleborn. When her parents found out, there was a family crisis, which resulted in her running away and eloping with him. Sometimes I thought about running away too. Andromeda seemed so much happier now that she was away from the poisonous Black family.
I only paid attention to the last person which was a timid looking girl. Once “Yew, Ella,” had been sorted into Ravenclaw and had trundled over to the table, it was finally time to eat. The best part of the evening, frankly. I always loved this part of magic. I could almost say it was the best part, when the food miraculously appeared out of nowhere. Moony brought up something about Gamp’s Law and how food couldn’t appear out of nowhere, but I paid no attention. It would just spoil my fun.
I immediately pulled things from all the platters around me. Soon it was covered in a variety of food from salmon fillets to mint humbugs. It could be considered heavenly compared to the food at home. Our house elf, Kreacher, strongly hated me, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he made it deliberately horrible. Or he could be untalented in the kitchen, but somehow the other option appeared to be the more realistic one.
Throughout the meal the four of us barely talked. It was as if the opening feast was something sacred for us. Even when Nearly Headless Nick tried to start up a conversation with Peter he was ignored. That was saying something because Peter had this odd fascination with ghosts and always loved talking to them.
Once I was fit to the burst, it was time for Dumbledore’s speech. It probably was a good thing the food disappeared then, because I would have carried on eating no matter what. His speech was the usual tedious talk of not going into the Forbidden Forest, not bringing in any of the objects on Filch's list and no magic in corridors.
For some funny reason, Dumbledore was looking at me and James in particular while mentioning all of these things. Honestly, who did he think we were? We were probably the most rule-abiding students out of anyone, well in the first week back at least. James winked at me at that part.
I had begun to drift off into a food-induced lethargy, when the scrapping off chairs could be heard and the masses began to converge towards the door. I could hear the cries of Remus yelling for the first years to follow him upstairs. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them got trampled on in the stream of people.
“Come on, Sirius!” Peter called. “You don’t want to spend the night down here, do you?”
James let out a laugh, as I stumbled out of my chair. “Being tired isn’t a laughing matter, James,” I retorted. “Remember when you fell off of your broom due to it.”
That instantly shut him up. He headed out of the hall, and Peter and I followed. With my stomach acting like a weight, I was glad that there were crowds so I could use that as an excuse for a much needed rest. As I stumbled up the stairs, I cried out, “I’m never going to eat this much again!”
“Sirius, you say that every year!” James replied.
“You say that Lily will finally agree to date you every year!”
“Yeah, but mine’s more likely going to happen.”
I gave him a soft punch on the arm, and he ran up the stairs to the Fat Lady. James said the password and she quickly swung open. Peter and I didn't have nearly enough energy as James, and ended up practically crawling into the common room.
As soon as we entered our dormitory, I collapsed onto my bed. I didn’t bother to unpack as I knew it would be futile, as I was too tired, and full up to do it. Instead, I let my mind drift in and out of consciousness. It was good to be home, I thought, while listening to the murmurs of Peter and James, as they unpacked their trunks.
Author's Note: This has now been updated as well, thanks to my wonderful beta pixileanin! Did you like this chapter from Sirius' POV? You got to see more of the boys in this chapter, so how was that?
If you want to be lovely you could leave me a review!