Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything from his magical world.
The Marauder have arrived for their sixth year of studies at Hogwarts School. Insults, spells, jokes and mashed potatoes fly in what will be the start of another interesting year.
This chapter marks the beginning of the Marauders’ sixth year. Also, you’ll notice that James is missing his glasses. Well, it isn’t known if he definitely had glasses during his school years, so I made the decision to give them to him towards the end of his schooling. Also, because they are in their sixth year, the professors will be using the letter marks that you see on the O.W.L.’s and N.E.W.T.’s exams. As a reminder they are: O-Outstanding, E-Exceeds Expectations, A-Acceptable, P-Poor, D-Dreadful, T-Troll. I also want to give a special thanks to xelusive memoriesx for beta reading this chapter!
~Hoggy Woggy Hogwarts~
The train slowed to a stop in the early darkness of that September evening. Dazzling clouds puffed across the platform as a shrill whistle pierced into the distant night. The sound of doors clanging open soon echoed through the small and magical village as the Hogwarts students emerged for another year of studies and adventures. These students had spent the day on the majestic, scarlet express chatting, flirting and fighting together. New friendships and hatreds had been forged while old ones had strengthened.
Two dark-haired boys laughed together as they walked across the busy platform to the old-fashioned, horseless carriages that would deliver them to the castle doors. They wore the noble robes of Gryffindor house and, the two with the bond of brothers, had followed the ancient tradition of pranking, humiliating and aggravating their slimy-haired target of a Slytherin. For a moment, they straightened and, with impish smirks, watched a group of girls walk by. One boy, slightly shorter than the other, messed up his untamable hair and stared after a lovely redhead from his house. The slightly taller one shook his head playfully and laughed a bark-like laugh.
“Prongs, we’re not even to the castle yet,” he grinned. “Yet another new record for the year.”
“Quiet, Padfoot,” the boy called Prongs retorted as he boarded a carriage, grinning at his friend.
Padfoot and two other boys of their house and year, Moony and Wormtail, got in behind him: Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs; the Marauders of Hogwarts School. He, Padfoot, the most handsome and dashing one of the group in his unbiased opinion, leaned back in his musty seat, kicking up dust and straw as he put his feet up, watching his three closest friends and fellow Marauders.
Across from him was Remus Lupin, or Moony, as they had nicknamed him. He was tall, thin, and sickly looking with golden brown hair, dark brown eyes and a slightly hoarse voice. Moony was the quiet one of the group, but just as mischievous as the rest of them and was often seen with a book at the end of his nose, just like now. Many underestimated Moony because of his quiet nature and his status as Prefect, which had been used several times to bail them out of trouble with McGonagall. Of course, beneath this was the monthly “furry” problem…
Clapping distracted Padfoot from Remus; Peter Pettigrew, or Wormtail, was almost wetting himself over Prongs’ antics. He was the smallest in the group, barely hitting him at the shoulders, and had light blonde hair with watery eyes. Peter seemed aloof from reality at times and followed the three of them around everywhere. To be truthful, Padfoot really didn’t know all that much about Wormtail.
Prongs…now what did he know about Prongs? Simple; everything! James Potter, only child and pampered by his parents, hazel eyes, windswept black hair and knobby knees that he claimed were the bane to his existence. Chaser extraordinaire, only of the Quidditch variety since dear James became determined to capture Lily Evans’ heart. Brilliant at Transfiguration, King of Jokers and Pranksters and tied for most detentions in Hogwarts history; yup, that was James all right.
Then there was Padfoot, Sirius Orion Black. He was the eldest and disowned son of the most Ancient House of Black and the all but adopted son of the Potter family. Very good looking, with dark black hair and fathomless gray eyes. James’ fellow King of Jokers and Pranksters, tied for the detention record and one of the best at Transfiguration. If he didn’t cause her so many problems, dear old McGonagall would positively adore him! Plus there were his talents in Quidditch and with the ladies. Yup, that was him alright.
Sirius grinned and stretched his arms above his head as he watched the black silhouette of his Hogwarts home grow taller until it loomed high above them, the towers lost in the black clouds of the night.
“So, James,” Sirius yawned, bored. “How many times did you ask Lily out this summer?”
James stopped conjuring things and blinked several times. He stared at his friend for a moment and then proceeded to count on his fingers, mumbling under his breath.
“Ninety-three times,” he finally said grinning, “plus the one on the platform, so ninety-four.”
The three boys started laughing over this as the carriage came to a stop. They piled out, still laughing, and proceeded into the castle with dozens of other students.
“What’s your favorite number?” Remus asked suddenly, as he put his book in an inner pocket of his robe.
“Okay…” Sirius laughed. “Winner of the Random Question Award goes to Moony! Why do you want to know that?”
“I don’t know,” Remus shrugged.
“I like fourteen,” Peter told him.
“Three would be mine,” Remus said. “Sirius?”
“Forty-two,” Sirius said, grinning. “Its random and crazy. Prongs?”
“Everyone knows what Potter’s is,” interrupted the booming voice of Rodolphus Lestrange. The Marauders spun around to face the burly, dark-haired sixth year and his fellow Slytherins. Sirius glared at them with pure hatred.
“300,000 is Potter’s favorite number,” Rodolphus informed them, smirking at his brother, Rabastan.
“And why is that my favorite, Lestrange?” James snapped his hands clenched into tight fists.
“That’s how many times you’ve been rejected by that mudblood,” he laughed, causing the Slytherins to roar with laughter as well.
Sirius barely had time to grab his wand before James caused Rodolphus to hang upside down in the air.
“Don’t call her that!” He warned through clenched teeth, face red with fury.
Another Slytherin, his brother no doubt, lowered Rodolphus no doubt, and in retaliation, Snape shot a curse at James, cutting his cheek open…again. In defense for his best friend and brother, Sirius jinxed Snape.
Sirius cursed loudly as he turned in time to see McGonagall approach them, lips thin in anger.
“The new students haven’t even arrived yet and the two of you are already fighting,” she scolded angrily. “Detentions, both of you; tomorrow evening in my office! Now leave while I deal with those two.”
The four boys stormed off as James tried to stop the cut from bleeding. A short thing of a girl stopped him and patched it up quickly.
“You were wrong, Prongs,” Sirius said gruffly, hands balled in his pockets, after James caught back up with them.
“You’re wrong,” he repeated. “We set three new records and term hasn’t started yet,” Sirius clarified, grinning madly.
James started laughing, immediately lightening the mood of the group. The four sat at the table, heads bent down close together and started plotting their revenge upon the Slytherins during the sorting and Dumbledore’s traditional speech and announcements. Finally, with Sirius’ stomach loudly making its presence known, it was time to eat!
Chatter, and the surprised gasps of the first years, filled the hall as the long tables became laden with the Welcoming Feast. The heavenly aroma of fried chicken, potatoes and foods Sirius couldn’t name wafted through the air like sensuous mist. Sirius dug in quickly, he was a growing boy after all.
While he ate, he noticed those around him. The fiery red head, Evans, was almost across from him, talking to Amelia, a fifth year girl Sirius dated last year. The girl across from him had turned around to talk to someone at another table, her braid hanging down her back. Sirius grinned, James shook his head at him knowing what he was about to do; Sirius just couldn’t resist the temptation. Reaching forward quickly, he grasped the tight brown braid and tugged. The girl’s head fell back and, from habit, she grabbed the braid from his hand as she turned.
“Sirius, you’re a prat,” she informed him, pulling her braid over her shoulder.
Sirius clutched his heart dramatically. “Juliet! You wound me!” He gasped loudly. Several first years were watching him cautiously, while the older students merely rolled their eyes.
“You’re a big baby,” Juliet sighed, rolling her eyes. “How was your summer though?”
Sirius grinned as he ran a hand through his hair. Juliet Tilmitt, Jules. She was even shorter than Peter, hitting Sirius at the top of his chest, with very pale skin and long black hair; Sirius couldn't think of a time he had seen it unbraided. She was quiet around most people, a habit he supposed from her childhood, but around others she was happy and carefree. Sirius could easily say she was like any other pureblood witch, except for the fact that she was the half-breed daughter of a vampire and a witch...with a very entertaining braid.
“Always forgiving, you are,” Sirius told her playfully, causing her to shake her head. “My summer was…interesting,” Sirius said slowly. “Spent plenty of time with Prongs, I did.”
“I heard you ran,” Juliet mentioned quietly.
Sirius frowned for a moment. “How did you know that?”
“Lily,” she said, shrugging. “James wrote her faithfully, as you know, and Lily read them to be polite. James mentioned it briefly and she mentioned it in my letters,” she explained.
Sirius shot a glare at James, who had looked up at the mention of his name. He grinned sheepishly and ruffled up his hair.
“She’s bluffing, Padfoot,” James defended. “If I had written Evans, she’d be all over me by now, you know that.”
Sirius heard Evans’ choke on her juice as she tried not to laugh.
“Sorry Potter,” Lily Evans finally managed to say. “That type of mushy junk only works on Petunia, not me,” she told him.
Juliet laughed at that comment. “Is she still with the walrus?”
“Yes,” Evans said glumly.
Sirius had no clue what they were talking about and it showed. “Anyway,” he said loudly, bringing the attention back on him. “Yes, Jules, I did leave. I finally got tired of them and their almighty ways,” he told her, disgust in his voice. “But how was our sweet Juliet this summer? Looking pale as always, I see.”
“Hey now,” Juliet said, pointing a finger at him in warning. “Don’t call me sweet, Black. Besides, Mr. Sun and I don’t get along,” she said in defense. “But my summer was fine, just one vampire village after another, just like every other summer of my life,” she answered; Sirius caught a hint of boredom in her voice. “The perks of being an ambassador’s kid,” she said sarcastically.
“It can’t be that bad,” Sirius grinned trying to bring up her mood. “Think of all the perks you have.”
“And what kind of perks would they be?” Juliet asked him, rolling her eyes, but still indulging him.
“Well, you probably have all these connections,” he started, making it up as he went, “and can get all sorts of things smuggled into the castle.”
“You mean like what you boys do with all that firewhiskey,” Juliet said, teasing him slightly.
“Good point,” Sirius laughed. “How about access to different things, like cool swords or staffs or, or…” he trailed off as something fell past his shoulder and into the massive dish of mashed potatoes. “Dungbombs.”
“Dungbombs?” Juliet questioned, confused.
“No, dungbombs!” Sirius shouted, pointing to the bowl where three of the common pranking objects were stuck.
Sirius’ shout got the attention of several others sitting nearby. He rose quickly alongside James as they reached for the dastardly dungbombs.
The silence that followed in those moments was deafening, but it may have been the mashed potatoes in Sirius’ ears. No sooner did they reach for the bombs did they explode in their fluffy tomb of potato clouds. Sirius opened his eyes slowly, flinging the mash off his hands and inspected the damage of the table.
Potatoes were plastered across the table, covering the untouched deserts. James’ chest, hands and face were pasty white in large clumps; Sirius guessed that he looked the same no doubt. Remus and Peter, further away from the massive bowl, where only partially covered on one side. Lily and Juliet, however, were plastered in the starchy goo explosion. Sitting down, they were closer to the bowl. Sirius couldn’t make out their expressions, but he guessed that they were looks of disgust and fury. Lily slowly wiped off globs from her face while Juliet tried to de-potato her hair.
The silence was broken by a suppressed laughter from behind their table. Sirius turned around slowly, still covered in the potatoes, and could see both the younger Lestrange brother and his own…brother…Regulus, standing there with red faces from laughter.
Sirius just stood there quietly, speechless that the impossible had happened to them; the Marauders had been, been, Sirius’ couldn’t bear to even think it…pranked!
Regulus smirked and opened his mouth; Sirius could foresee it coming and quickly grabbed a handful of mashed potatoes from the table and flung it into his brother’s surprised face.
Sirius grinned broadly and looked over to Prong, then Moony and finally Wormtail. Quickly he grabbed a slice of cake and shouted the two most magical words ever cast in the school.
Chapter two of Beautiful Oblivion is ready to read. I hope you enjoyed it and reviews are always nice. If you have any questions or comments, put them in a review or an email; the address can be found on my Author's page. If you'd like me to inform you when this story is updated, just tell me and I'll be sure to contact you. Thank you for reading!
January 17, 2007