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Chapter 5: The Good Luck of Sirius Black
Chapter 5: The Good Luck of Sirius Black
As I walked out of the Greenhouse One with James and Fred, I remembered why I was never big on Herbology. It was because despite everything that Muggle children learn in school and despite what one might think, Plants hit back. HARD.
Neville was fortunately a very capable Professor though and could heal all the wounds James and I collected over the double block of Herbology.
“What class is next?” I moaned to James.
“Hopefully lunch.” He sighed.
“Nope, it’s Potions.” Fred said skipping forward.
He was the only one out of the three of us that enjoyed his time being beaten up by seeds of the Whomping Willow today.
I groaned in unison with James.
“I wonder what we will be doing.” Fred said as we approached the castle. “I brought my books for today so I better have to at least use one of them.”
I also brought my books and was happy to find that everything I needed was in my trunk marked Sirius Lee. So either James was looking over me or I stole someone’s trunk. I had all the first year books though and even extra clothes and robes just my size. Neville pulled me aside quickly today asking if I needed anything else. Right now I was fine, but I don’t really remember what first years needed.
Just as we reached the castle I noticed that James was looking behind us as we entered. I followed his glance as I entered and saw he was looking to the Quidditch Pitch. I swear, he was just like the first James.
“Looking forward to Flying Class?” I asked. I saw last night that he snuck his broom in his trunk. Fred said it was because he thought his mom would hide it if he didn’t. I guessed it was because he was actually planning on using it during this year.
James shook his head. “I don’t want to go to Flying Class I want to join the team.” He pouted. “My dad was allowed to join the team and if I’m good enough I should at least be allowed to try out.”
“Just join next year with me.” Fred recommended opening the dungeon doors.
“I want to join this year…” James continued to pout all the way to the Potions classroom. Earlier in Herbology, I saw him ask Neville to put his name on the tryout list, which apparently had a lot of names on it already. Neville refused, since James was only a first year, but James didn’t stop there. When a girl came in to collect the list he tried talking to her as she was leaving. I’m not exactly sure what happened next because he followed her out of the Greenhouse while Neville was helping some of our other classmates, but James returned looking more depressed than before.
There was one open position according to James, Chaser. James said that he would take anything as long as he got on the team. Although, something told me that James was a pretty good Chaser. Maybe I was being bias because I saw his Father and Grandfather play, but it seemed like playing Quidditch ran in the family genes.
As James, Fred and I approached the front of the class I noted two caldrons up by the teacher’s desk, one still had something in it. Fred ran up to look into it.
“What do you think it is?” He said looking into it.
James and I reached the front of the room and looked into it.
James shrugged, but I recognized it.
“It’s-” I started to say.
“What are you three doing? Don’t touch that!” Fred, James and I jumped and turned around. I almost jumped again when I saw who it was. Professor Slughorn, my old Potions Professor was standing in front of us, although he had gained a few years from since I last saw him, he didn’t appear to change that much.
How the hell is he still alive? He was retired last I heard. Of course, Snape replaced him but I don’t understand how Dumbledore is dead and Slughorn isn’t. Dumbledore could have at least taken this bias old crow with him.
As he looked over our faces, he seemed to lighten up a bit.
“Are you all first years?” He asked. All threat was now gone from his voice.
“Well then I suppose you wouldn’t mind helping me get everything ready for your class. We’ll be doing a simple potion today.” He said cheerfully. “Just to start you off and see who has a knack for it.”
And who you will invite to your private meetings. I added for him in my head. I had the pleasure to attend a few, although I tried to get into detentions on the night he held them.
“Why don’t you two find everything on this list,” He pointed to Fred and me and handed me the list. “It’ll be in the cupboard over there.” He pointed to the cupboard that was currently overflowing with ingredients. “And you can bottle up the rest of this potion, here I’ll help you move it into the other room.” He flicked his wand and levitated it into the other room.
“What is that potion?” Fred asked.
“Hmm…can you guess? I’ll give you points if you can.” Slughorn asked. I think he knew that first-years probably wouldn’t know.
Fred shook his head.
“I know what it is Professor.” I said.
“Do you?” Slughorn questioned. “I’ll give you twenty points if you guess right.”
“It’s not a guess, it’s Polyjuice Potion.” I stated.
Slughorn looked at me with shock that quickly changed to being silently impressed.
“Very good, twenty points to…umm…”
“Gryffindor.” I said with a grin.
“Yes, yes to Gryffindor!” Slughorn said with a smile. “What’s your name?”
“Sirius Lee.” I sadly knew where this was going.
“Hmm…Lee…very common name. Any relatives that I would know?”
“Nope.” I said. I regretted telling him now.
“Hmm…Lee…Yes, well let’s get busy.” He turned to James. “There should be big vials on the shelf in the other room.”
This was the first time I looked at James since Slughorn entered the room and for some strange reason he looked delighted. Like Christmas had come early. I suppose Gryffindor did just get some points, but this wasn’t too big of a deal. He ran off eagerly, to store the Polyjuice Potion for Slughorn, while Fred and I collected the items on the list and Slughorn placed caldrons at each table.
By the time we got done James was just returning from the other room as well.
Fred and I sat down at a table and James joined us, carefully placing his bag on the table away from the caldron and slowly removing his Potions’ book from it. Once he got it out he threw it on the table and fastened his bag tight, but placed it cautiously out of the way.
Before I could asked James anything Fred spoke up.
“What Potion do you think we’ll be making?”
“Something easy and simple.” We are first years after all, I sighed at the simplicity of the task. At times like these I wish it really was my first year and not my honorary eighth. Honestly, this was going to get annoying repeating my seven years at Hogwarts. I then looked across the table to Fred and James.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad though…
After the rest of the class joined us, Gryffindor and Slytherin first years, Slughorn called attention to the front of the room. He then got us started on a Laughing Potion, in the group at our table, fortunately. During the whole class I managed to do most of the work with James’ help, while Fred tried to add Firecrackers to the other caldrons in the room. By the end of the short class, our potion was the only one that turned out perfect. Others got close and the less fortunate ones had Firecrackers added too them.
“Well done boys! Well done!” He exclaimed as we were getting ready to leave for lunch. “Now I know Sirius here, but what are your names?”
“Fred Weasley.” Fred said as he was throwing his book into his bag, still shaking a little from laughing. James and I forced him to try ours since he didn’t help at all.
“Son of George Weasley, who runs Weasley Wizard Whizzes?” Slughorn said as though he was reading from a script.
Fred nodded looking concerned for Slughorn’s health.
“Why boy, that’s brilliant! Never taught your father, he left Hogwarts before I came back, but I know the family. I’m also a personal fan of his business.”
“Thanks?” Fred said.
“Remarkable!” Slughorn exclaimed before he turned to James who was carefully holding his bag and eyeing Slughorn with a worried glance. “And you? What’s your name?” Slughorn grinned at James.
Poor James, he wouldn’t know what hit him.
“That’s a fine name. And your last name?” Slughorn encouraged him.
“I prefer just James.” James said kind of softly.
I suppressed a laugh. It looks like James has been warned about Slughorn. James was probably trying to get out of a big spill about his dad.
Slughorn frowned a bit. “How will I know if I know your family if I don’t have a last name though?”
“I would prefer not to be judged based off the actions of my family though.” James said fairly. It was actually a rather fair point, I had to admit. Even Slughorn looked taken back by it. “You like me as James. I would hate to ruin that if you disliked my family, Professor. For example, if I said my last name was Riddle, who would you be reminded of?”
Slughorn nodded and actually seemed to like James more after his little speech, if it was possible. “These are fair points, but I promise not to judge you based off that.”
James hesitated and looked as though he couldn’t find a way out of it this time.
“Potter.” He said in a soft voice.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you my boy.”
“Potter.” James said slightly louder.
Slughorn froze. “The oldest son of Harry Potter?”
Slughorn grinned. “Why it’s a pleasure to meet you! At last! I can’t believe that Harry didn’t tell me that you were coming this year. I expect your younger siblings will be here soon too! Well, well my boy.”
“Umm…Professor? We should really be going now.” I said, trying to save us from an hour of storytelling.
“Of course, my boys. Of course.” Slughorn said rather cheery. “I’ll see your boys later and James, fell free to come by anytime.”
James nodded slowly as we escaped.
When we were a safe distance from Slughorn, inside the Great Hall, Fred started laughing and mimicking Slughorn.
“My boys, my boys!” He said in a deep voice as he grabbed some sandwiches. “I think he almost died when you said your last name. Maybe he’ll forget about Sirius and me now that he has his hands around you.”
“Lucky bastards, why am I the only one.” James glared at his sandwich as he took a bite.
“Because you have a famous father and family.” I said. I remember my other first day of class with Slughorn back in 1971. He nearly choked when I told him I was a Black and in Gryffindor. It probably would have been better if he did choke. Looks like I’m save with the last name Lee, even if it’s a stupid addition to my name. I grimaced once again at the thought that my new name was Sirius Lee. Couldn’t James pick a better name?
Meanwhile, the other James glared at me like it was my fault he was getting all this unwelcomed attention from Slughorn. “Well if I could I would change my name.” He almost yelled.
I gave him a strange look. For some reason I was picking up a hidden message in what he just said to me. Although I wasn’t sure what it was. I gave him a confused look as he went back to his sandwich.
I didn’t have long to dwell on it because my attention was taken to the crash behind me.
“I’m so sorry.” A young boy, a little older than us just knocked over a tray when he was trying to get up.
Victoire, James’ cousin and from what I gather, Teddy’s girlfriend, was walking by and stopped to make sure he was alright.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” She said in a soft voice.
After she helped him pick everything up she made her way over to us and sat next to James.
“How’s my favorite and least favorite cousins doing?” She grinned.
“Hold on, who’s your favorite?” Fred asked with a mouthful of food.
“Depends, who put my make-up all over my Owl last year?”
“I thought it looked pretty Vic!” Fred yelled. “You can’t hold that against me forever!”
James seemed distracted by the young man who was now getting up and leaving the Great Hall.
“Hey Vic?” James said, not taking his eye off of the boy.
“Who was that boy just now?”
“Eric Davison.” Victoire said.
“He kind of looks like a klutz.” Fred stated.
“Well, he’s not the brightest, but he’s rather nice once you get to know him.” Victoire said in his defense.
“Is he in our house?” James asked.
“What year?” James interrupted.
“Fourth…why do you want to know Jamie?” She looked curiously at her cousin.
“No reason, just wanted to get to know the people in our house.” James told her still looking after him. He then turned to us. “Umm…I have to go back up to the dorm. I forgot my…History of Magic book and that’s up next.”
I got up too. “I’ll come with you.”
“It’s okay Sirius. You haven’t eaten yet.” James said to me in a rush. “I’ll meet you in the classroom.”
James hurried off after that.
I was almost sure that he was lying. I saw him throw all of his books in his bag this morning because we were all unsure what our classes would be and we overslept.
“So you must be their new friend.” Victoire turned to me now that James was gone and Fred was busy shoving food into his mouth. “I’m Victoire Weasley.” I felt her using her Veela charm suddenly. It wasn’t as strong as the other Veela I had the pleasure of meeting, but it wasn’t unnoticeable either.
“Ewww Icky! Op it!” Fred said with food falling out of his mouth. He swallowed and then looked at Victoire. “I don’t want you Veela charming my friends into liking you, like you do with the rest of the school.”
“I don’t ‘Veela charm’ them into liking me. They just do.” She said looking rather annoyed. “Besides not everyone knows that so, hush!”
“Sirius already knows, he guessed this morning when you used it.” Fred said while he grabbed two more sandwiches.
She turned to me. “My mother is a half Veela.” She explained.
“I know. Teddy told me when I asked. I didn’t mean to offend you, it’s actually a complement, they are quite beautiful.” I told her. Hoping she didn’t get offended.
“Op itting on meh cousin Cereal.” Fred said with food in his mouth again.
Victoire rolled her eyes and continued talking to me. “I know, they can also be quite scary, but I didn’t inherit that side luckily.”
“I think any guy that ever dated you would beg to differ on that one Vic.” Fred said with a smile.
Victoire sent a glare toward Fred but he ignored her.
“Did your mother go to school here?” I asked her. I think I would remember if something like that ever happened, but then again I was out of touch with most of the world at the moment.
“No she went to Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, actually. She was the champion for the Beauxbaton during the Triwizard Tournament.” Ah, so Fleur Delacour was her mother. Bill Weasley was her father. Looks like Teddy had his hands full.
“That’s quite impressive. You’re mother sounds amazing.” I remarked. I also decided that now was the best time to see if Teddy and her were dating. “You’re a sixth year right?”
“Yes,” She smiled. “Top of my class too.”
“I suppose that makes sense then.”
“What makes sense?” She asked with a confused look on her face.
“Well you seem very mature for your age, so naturally you would date an older student like Teddy.” I watched as a blush rose to her cheeks.
“Teddy and I aren’t dating.” She said quickly. “We are just childhood friends. He was practically raised by the Potters and naturally, was at all our family gatherings. So we are just really good friends.” She said it like she rehearsed it before. I would have found it believable if she wasn’t blushing.
I nodded. “Oh, I understand.”
“Teddy and Vicky would never date.” Fred said as he got up. “Vicky is too full of herself and Teddy is too popular with the ladies.”
“I am not full of myself.” Victoire huffed at Fred. “Besides, what does Teddy’s popularity have to do with why we wouldn’t date?”
“You would get too jealous, my dear cousin.” Fred said matter-of-factly. “Plus why would he want to give up all his lady friends for you? You’re too much work.”
Victoire looked like she wanted to punch her younger cousin. Fred didn’t seem to notice.
“Come on Sirius.” Fred started walking out of the Great Hall.
Before I left I turned to Victoire, who now looked murderous. Her face was flushed and her long, curly blond hair framed it perfectly.
“Don’t worry. I’m sure Teddy doesn’t think that you are too much work.” I winked at her.
Victoire flushed more, but her expression changed. Before she could say anything I ran off after Fred.
When I caught up to Fred he looked at the staircase and then turned toward the dungeon doors.
“Where do you think you are going? We have History of Magic next. That’s on the fifth floor.” I told him.
“Yeah, but the main staircase is busy, so we are going to take a shortcut to the third floor and then use the main staircase up to the fifth.”
I froze. How did Fred know about the secret passage in the basement?
“How do you know that?” I blurted out without really thinking.
Fred hesitated for a moment and then shrugged. “I suppose you will find out sooner or later. James and I memorized them before we came to school, just in case he couldn’t sneak it away from his father.”
“Sneak what away?” I was really concerned now.
“I’ll have James show you in History of Magic. It’s a magical Map of all of Hogwarts that was made ages ago. It shows you where everyone is in the castle and where all the different secret passageways are.” Fred said as he slipped behind the mirror and headed up the passageway.
I know all of this. I know, because I helped make it.
Dread swept over me. If James knows how to use the Map then he knows that it doesn’t lie. Remus and I explained this before to his dad. This meant that if he looks at the Map and sees my name, he’ll know my identity. I’m almost positive that my name will read Sirius Black and not Sirius Lee.
I had to get that Map somehow.
Fred continued talking all the way up to History of Magic and explained how his father came about it and how it was then given to Harry. I only vaguely paid attention to what he was saying. I was trying to form a plan to get the Map as quick as possible. If James left it up in the dorm, it was easy, knick it when no one was around. If James himself had it, that wasn’t as simple and by the time I got to class with Fred I had absolutely, no plan for that scenario.
James was already in the classroom. He had a goofy grin on his face and looked like he was daydreaming when we sat by him. He seemed to be in a better mood than before. Sadly, my mood had deteriorated.
“Hey James!” Fred said pulling James away from whatever he was thinking about.
James quickly snapped to and turned to face Fred. I sat behind James, horrify by what was coming.
“Hey Fred, Sirius.” James grinned.
“James, I just told Sirius about the Marauders’ Map! Show it to him, you got it on you, right?”
Shit. Shit, shit, shit!
James looked excited for a moment and put his hand in his pocket, then he turned to me and his expression changed almost at once. He looked like he was torn, and quite honestly, he probably looked almost exactly how I felt, between a rock and cliff. He seemed to be trying to climb up the rock so he wouldn’t fall off the cliff. Meanwhile, I was about to give up and just jump.
If I wasn’t so worried about myself at this moment I would have noticed James’ actions a bit more. But all I knew was when he removed his hand from his pocket he didn’t have a Map.
When I saw this I met his eyes and in them I saw something. Something I didn’t quite understand. James seemed to resolve whatever it was and then turned to Fred.
“I don’t think we should be pulling it out now Fred…” James said slowly.
“Oh right, class and stuff, we’ll look at it after in one of the passageways.” Fred said with a grin and a wink at James.
“Umm…I don’t think so…” James said stumbling a little.
Fred shot him an annoyed look. “What’s wrong with you James? You were all excited about stealing the Map from your dad a few days ago.”
“Umm…well…I don’t think we should rely on it too much is all…” James looked as if he was hiding something from Fred. Something that he clearly didn’t want to say.
“Come on James!” Fred said a little too loud. Some of the other students turned and looked at him. He realized this and adjusted his volume a bit. “How else do you plan on sneaking around after dark?”
“I still have the cloak. We just can’t use the Map!” James said to Fred.
“Why not?” Fred looked angry.
“Look it’s my Map, don’t ask!” James seemed annoyed at Fred’s pestering.
“That my dad and Uncle gave to your dad!” Fred retorted. “It’s just as much mine as it is yours!”
“My grandfather and his friends made it, so there! If anyone has a right to it, it’s me!”
“What about Teddy? He has a right to it too! Or should I tell the Head Boy you’re not playing fair?” Fred threatened.
“Go ahead…because…BECAUSE I LOST IT!” James shouted. The whole class looked now.
James seemed to calm down a little now. Fred looked enraged still. I wanted to jump for joy.
“You…lost it?” Fred looked like he wanted to cry.
“Yes. Yes I did.” James said a little less angry.
“When? I thought you used it already.”
“That’s when I noticed it was gone. I think I lost it on the train. Which means it’s gone. For good.” James added before he turned to face the front of the room.
Fred still looked like he was on the verge of tears, but I was relieved.
James lost the Map, which means that they won’t find out my real identity. I sighed in relief and I couldn’t believe my good luck. Maybe James was still looking out for me, even now.
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