Chapter 1 : Smack in the Face
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Cool. Popular. Smooth. Trickster. These are some of the words that might describe Sirius Black, the most known guy in Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is also the best chich-picker-uper on campus. And why wouldn’t he be? He is only the most handsome guy that girls would kill to date. Well, most of them have already. It was getting hard for Black to get a decent girlfriend.
There’s just one more word to describe Sirius Black: failing. Failing Defense Against the Dark Arts, that is. The teacher had finally found out about his various cheating methods, so he’s been watched over very closely from then on.
His grades went down.
It was obvious that he needed help. His friends weren’t doing anything good for him in that department. James and Peter didn’t exactly have the best grades, either. And when Remus tried to give him lessons, Sirius wasn’t acting very, well, serious. No one could learn much if they were shooting spitballs at random birds.
It is the middle of autumn. This is already the marauders’ third year. Leaves of orange and red were falling from the trees. They were getting help with that from those mischievous boys.
“This isn’t going to work. I’m telling you!”
“Oh, stick a sock in it Moony. This plan is pure gold!”
“Padfoot, shaking the tree won’t make the squirrel give back your book. If you just look at it logically-“
“I know what I’m doing! Now stop nagging me!”
Just then, Professor McGonnagol came through the courtyard to see what all the ruckus was all about. “What would be the problem, boys?”
Sirius made his face look very sad and childish and started speaking baby talk. “Dat evil squirrel took away my book!”
Their professor gave him a weird look and took out her wand. She pointed it at the book clutched in the creature’s paws. She did a simple levitation spell, and brought the book down to Sirius’s arms.
Remus pointed at Sirius and gave out a yell. “See? I told you, Padfoot! If you would just listen to what I ever say, the answer would have been obvious!”
I will not go to the details of that fight. Let’s just say it involved a couple of bruises, a detention, and one very wet James Potter.
After that little wrestling match, Professor McGonnegal remembered the other reason she came to see the Marauders.
“Mr. Black, I need to see you in my office. Strait away.”
As Sirius followed his teacher, he could hear the long, “Oooooooooooo” coming from his friends behind him.
After a long walk across the school, they both made it to the professor’s office. This wasn’t a new room to Black. He had come here a lot, after all the pranks and schemes he had pulled. But that is not why he was here this time.
Professor McGonnegal’s voice went stricter than it usually went. “I understand that this subject is a little early to bring up,” she gave a pause. “But it is quite urgent to you, Mr. Black.”
Sirius wasn’t really sure what she was talking about until she mentioned it. “Your grades need improving.”
Sirius had known that his Defense Against the Dark Arts grades were… to put it… mediocre. But he really didn’t care that much at all.
His professor had a different idea of the matter. “Have you done anything to try to improve yourself? I am getting quite worried that you might not pass for this year.”
Sirius gave a slow, uncaring shrug. This troubled the professor.
“We’ve given you a lot of chances.” She stood up and paced around the room. “Giving the class extra time on assignments. Extra Credit opportunities. The whole package, and none of it has worked!”
She stopped right in front of him and looked him square in the eye. “ You leave me no choice. I am assigning you to a tutor to help you in your free time.”
Sirius couldn’t believe it. A Tutor? In his free time?! “Professor, there must be some kind of mistake! I can’t have a tutor! It will cut into all my free time! When will I-“
“That will be enough! I will find a student willing to teach you some of the basics of the subject you are failing. When I find someone, I will send an owl with the name of your tutor. Good day, Mr. Black.”
A tutor. A TUTOR! Has Professor Cu-Cu-Nuts gone mad?! I will have no time for myself!
That is what was going through Sirius’s mind at the moment he walked out of the office. He went back out to the courtyard where all his friends were waiting for him.
James decided to tease him. “Sent back to the big house, huh Padfoot? What’s it for this time.”
Remus, being more sensitive, noticed that something was wrong. “Are you all right, Padfoot? You look like you’ve been told that you were going to military school.”
Sirius gave him a horrible stare. “’Tis a fate worse than that. It’s… it’s…”
Sirius brought them all into a huddle to tell them the news. Two seconds later, they all jumped out.
Peter screamed out. “A TUTOR?!”
Sirius tackled him down to the ground and gave him an angry whisper. “Are you bloody MAD?! I needed to keep that a secret! I can’t believe-“
Sirius was in sudden shock. He just realized that half the school had heard Peter’s yell and surrounded them. Sirius then stood up and gave Peter a smack on the head. “You dumb old block!”
After that, whenever the marauders walked by, they could here whispers, snickers, and giggles. They faced a lot of humiliation in class, too. Kids kept tossing notes to him that said things like, “Not smart enough to learn on your own, huh?” That went on for about a week.
Then, it came.
The Great Hall was filled with students at breakfast time, as it always was. There were pancake stacks three feet high and as mush French toast as far as the eye can see. Scrambled eggs and sausage links were on every platter. Until all the students took them for themselves.
Right when just about everyone had what they wanted on their plates, the mail came. Dozens of owls came in through the many windows, dropping papers and packages to every student.
Right when Sirius was about to stab a piece of sausage, a small envelope had landed on it. Curious to see what it was, he ripped it open with all his force.
In it was a small letter. It had very neat handwriting, the handwriting he recognized as the one that he always gets on his detention slips. It was from Professor McGonnagol.
I am pleased to inform you that I have found a tutor for you that I am sure will get you better grades. Your tutor will meet you in the courtyard at 7 o’ clock sharp. Don’t be late. The name of your tutor is on the bottom of the letter. Good luck.
7 o’ clock? Tonight? That was very annoying for Sirius, but he had to go. His teacher told him to.
He took a look at the bottom of the letter to find the name of his tutor.
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