Chapter 2 : Another Year
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Disclaimer: I do not own the creations from the mind of J.K. Rowling.
Summery: The sixth year has begun for the Marauders. Pranks are planned, detentions abundant, but…could something destroy the carefree attitude of these pranksters world?
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First weekend of the year and already the sixth years were swamped with work. Sirius had already done his Transfiguration and was flirting with a little thing of a fifth year with a cute button nose. Several first years were playing a rather loud game of Exploding Snap near one of the tables.
“Will you shut UP!” Sirius heard Juliet shout as a heavy book hit the back of his shoulder; she missed her aim of the ickle firsties and nailed him instead.
Sirius abandoned his flirt for a moment and picked up her obvious weapon of choice.
“You know,” Sirius said, approaching the table, “you throw pretty hard. Ever thought about being a Chaser?”
“Not now, Sirius,” Juliet snapped, balling up the piece of parchment she had been using. Sirius noticed the piles of sacrificial parchment balls. “This essay is due in the morning and I can’t even figure out the topic. I’m three seconds from burning my book,” she told him, putting her hand where the book had rested moments earlier. “My book! Where is it?”
Sirius watched with a grin as Juliet frantically searched through the piles for her textbook, the same book Sirius was tossing up and down in his hand.
“You threw it at the first years,” Sirius told her with a chuckle, “and hit me instead.”
Juliet snapped her head up and stared at him, her cheeks a soft red. “Oh…” she mumbled quietly, reaching for the book. “I’m sorry,” she apologized.
Sirius handed the book over to her and stood over her, like a shadow, and watched as she struggled hard with the assignment; several more parchment balls were added to the piles.
“Let me help you,” Sirius said finally, drawing up a chair next to her.
“That isn’t necessary,” Juliet mumbled, scratching out more mistakes.
“I know that,” Sirius smirked, taking her quill and, while keeping her from snatching it back, started scribbling notes to help simplify it for her. Juliet was one of the worst Transfiguration students McGonagall ever faced, but the girl still tried hard; she even managed to scrape by with an A on her O.W.L.’s exam…barely.
Several hours passed with the two at the table, the teacher and his diligent student. As Sirius explained and simplified the spells, theories and methods to her, curious stares were upon them. The students of Gryffindor House were bewildered as to why Sirius Black was willfully studying a class he had mastered. But, despite the odd looks, Juliet did manage to get her essay done without burning her book again.
“Sirius, this is wonderful,” Juliet cheered happily, rolling the parchment up tightly. “I can’t thank you enough.”
“No need,” Sirius grinned as his stomach growled. Snack time…
The week went by slowly for the sixth years. Even though they wouldn’t be taking their N.E.W.T.’s for another year, the teachers were giving them more work than they had had in the past five years. Some of it even made Sirius think about doing his homework earlier than the night before it was due, but he hadn’t cracked down yet.
The day of their next Transfiguration lesson seemed to drag by so slowly; time seemed to be at a standstill. He fell asleep during History of Magic; nearly exploded his cauldron during Potions, hexed Snape for him laughing about it and almost had his hand bitten off in Care of Magical Creatures. Eventful, but slow and Transfiguration was no better. McGonagall was continuing her lecture on Animagi and was all review to Sirius. He could barely keep himself focused on watching the clock, waiting for the bell to ring.
Finally! Low tolling bells rang through the castle, signaling the end of class. Their essays flew to the students as McGonagall dismissed them. Sirius threw his into his bag indifferently and walked out beside James as they began to discuss the plans for their latest prank when a loud scream of excitement came from ahead.
“I got an A! This can’t be-I can’t-an A!” Juliet rambled, overjoyed with her high mark of Acceptable. As she turned, Sirius could see her face was flush and lit up with a bright smile. She took off at a run, sliding past him and then doubling back.
“Thank you, Sirius!” She cheered, happily kissing his cheek before running up the stairs and disappearing behind a tapestry.
The moment the realization that Juliet had kissed him occurred, Sirius felt James’ elbow digging into his ribs sharply with several people snickering; one was either James or Peter, he wasn’t quite sure.
“Isn’t that sweet?” James crooned, fluffing Sirius’ hair.
“I think he has a crush,” Remus smiled, teasing him gently with arms crossed over his chest.
“Look!” Peter exclaimed. “He’s blushing! Sirius is blushing!”
“Oh shut up,” Sirius snapped, pushing James’ hand from his hair. He smoothed his silky raven locks. “I don’t have a crush and I am not blushing,” he informed them. “End of story.”
Sirius scowled at them and sulked off towards the tower, leaving his friends laughing behind him. Time did seem to fly by after that though.
The days and nights of school seemed to blend into one. Parties, Quidditch planning and pranks kept the Tower on its toes. For several hours after everyone was asleep, Sirius would finish his homework by the fire, that way no one would suspect that he, Sirius Black, actually did homework before time.
The excitement from the start of term seemed to wear off as September continued. A new excitement was spreading though, Quidditch. Sirius and James were the Co-Captains of the Gryffindor Team and it was bound to be interesting this year. After last years embarrassing defeat and loss of the Quidditch cup, winning was planned.
“How are you holding up, Moony?” Sirius asked as he sat in his chair, lounging comfortably with his feet up on the table, he had just posted the announcement for Quidditch try-outs and students were flocking around the notice board.
“Not too bad, Padfoot,” Remus said wearily, rubbing his temples after he set down his quill. Sirius frowned for a moment, knowing the full moon was near.
“Don’t over do it, Remus.”
“I won’t, promise,” he assured him with a smile. “So,” he said, changing the topic quickly, “where are James and Peter?”
Sirius shrugged. “James is in the dorm, plotting his next attempt of wooing the fiery red head over yonder,” Sirius told him, pointing over to where the prefect was helping a group of third years. “The boy needs some help. As for Peter, no idea.”
“Think he’ll ever relent?” Remus asked about James.
“Not until the day she says ‘I do’,” Juliet said as she walked by. Sirius looked over his shoulder and saw her walking as she read a book, her braid swinging gently behind her.
“And what are you implying, Juliet?” Sirius asked, leaning back slowly to try and reach the braid.
“He asks her out daily for 365 days and has long passed into obsession. James Potter will probably not relent until the day they are married,” she explained, sidestepping Sirius’ reach. “I’ll admit I’m a supporter of James; he’s got heart…and guts.”
Sirius gasped in mock horror. “What would Evans say if she heard that?”
“Tell her and I shave your head bald in your sleep, Sirius,” Juliet warned, glancing at him. “How are you feeling, Remus?” She asked kindly.
“I’m fine, Juliet,” Remus assured her. “Thank you for asking.”
Juliet smiled and lowered her book briefly and took something from her pocket. “Eat this, Remus. It will make you feel better,” she told him as she handed him a large chocolate bar with a smile.
“Thank you, Juliet.”
Juliet smiled and then disappeared up the girls’ staircase. Sirius thought about something for a moment.
“Moony, what are the chances that she knows?” Sirius whispered.
“Padfoot, I’d be more surprised if she didn’t know. I mean, I knew she was at least a half-breed the moment I met her,” Remus responded. “It’s hard to explain, but there is a type of alarm inside of us that tells us when we’re near someone like us; we can sense it.”
“That’s confusing, Moony,” Sirius laughed.
“I said it was hard to explain.”
Sirius merely threw his head back and laughed with his friend.
It never failed. The first full moon of the school year and Sirius managed to get a detention with Filch. Amazing, his brilliancy was. He ran through the corridors, using every secret passage and short cut to his advantage, knowing the others had already transformed. Once he was a safe distance from Filch’s office, Sirius transformed into his dog form, his secret behind the name Padfoot and ran through the corridors. It was several corridors and one level later, that the large black dog became worried.
A strange feeling had overcome him the moment he ran into the dark corridor; all the torches were unlit. He slowed his run as he moved farther down the corridor and, where the moonlight had pooled in a silver glow, he could see broken glass sprinkled across the floor a mirror image of the midnight sky outside. Looking around, he could see that the portraits were empty of their occupants and several suits of armor in pieces, strewn across the marble floor. Careful to avoid picking up glass in his large paws, Sirius moved slowly across the floor, a strange yet familiar metallic scent filling his sensitive nose. As he snooped around with his large nose, he found the cause; small traces of blood. Panicked, he stepped back quickly, spotting a bag and scraps of cloth that looked like it had been ripped apart.
“It came from down here, my sweet,” Sirius heard Filch say in his raspy, gruff voice; his ears perked up at the sound. Not wanting to be caught by the caretaker or his mangy cat, Sirius hid behind a large statue. Moments later, Filch appeared with a lantern held high to cast light upon the strange scene.
“This doesn’t look like Peeves’ work,” he muttered to himself. “What is this?”
Filch proceeded to shuffle over to the spot Sirius had left seconds earlier, when he heard the old coot approaching, and peered down at the things Sirius had discovered.
“A handbag? Careless girls,” Filch grumbled. “A Ravenclaw nonetheless,” he noted as he picked up the scraps of cloth and seeing the blue coloring on one side. “What…”
Sirius watched as Filch crouched down slowly onto the marble ground, the lantern near his knees. There was blood on his hand, transferred from the cloth, and had found the spots of it on the floor.
“Come, my sweet,” Filch ordered, quickly trying to rise. He dropped the items and shuffled down the corridor to find the shortcut to Dumbledore’s office. “We must get the Headmaster.”
Filch was out of sight and Mrs. Norris’ scent was no more when Sirius emerged from his hiding spot and bounded down the stairs. He couldn’t be caught here, instinct told him that. Something was wrong at Hogwarts, something terribly wrong. Question was…what?
This was chapter three of Beautiful Oblivion. As always, I hope you enjoyed it! I’m off to work on more writing now. Don’t forget to leave a review; I always love reading them.
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