Chapter 1 : A Contraceptive Controversy
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James Potter was quite brilliant, or at least he’d like to think so. He had some of the best grades in the sixth year- they would probably be the best if he did his homework regularly. The Marauder’s Map had been his idea- even if he wasn’t brilliant, the Map certainly was. He was also an animagus. An (illegal) animagus at sixteen was something brilliant indeed.
So if he was so brilliant, then why was he incapable of identifying the object before him?
It’s not like it was particularly complicated looking: all it was was a little piece of rubber, really. There’s nothing complex about that, is there? No, not at all.
To James’ good fortune, his best friend and partner in crime walked through the portrait hole at that moment.
“Sirius!” he greeted him. “I have a dilemma!”
“A dilemma?” he asked. “What sort of dilemma?”
“Do you know what this is?” James inquired, passing the rubber circle to Sirius.
His friend inspected the object, poking it and what not, and came to the conclusion of, “I have no idea.”
“Well you’re no help,” James said in reply. He crossed his arms in a huff and racked his brain for what the little rubber thing might be.
“It’s a muggle object, I think,” Sirius informed him, upon his further inspection of it.
“Duh,” Jams couldn’t help but say. “If it was a wizarding something, I would know what it is!”
“Well you didn’t have to get shirty with me.”
“Oh shut up and think.”
As the two boys put their heads together, another young wizard, by the name of Frank Longbottom, entered the common room.
“Hey guys!” he said, seemingly in a good mood. “Whatcha doin’?”
Since he continued to draw a blank, James decided to ask Frank what he thought the object may be. Frank took the little rubber circle, stretching it and poking it as Sirius had done, and then…
“Oh! I think I know what this is!”
“What?!” the Marauders asked him eagerly.
“Well I don’t know what exactly it is, but you know how my uncle works in the muggle artifacts office at the Ministry? Well I think he had one of these at some point. Something to do with bananas,” Frank explained. So, curious as they were, they conjured up a banana and proceeded to try and figure out how it had to do with bananas.
After several minutes of failure, Sirius had the bright idea to place the circle over top one end of the banana and pull down on the rubber. Now the poor banana was trapped in what appeared to be a skin-tight rubber sleeve. “Now what’s the point of that?” Sirius couldn’t help but say.
“I don’t know!” Frank said defensively. “Muggles are weird! Maybe it’s some sort of banana protection device.”
“I seriously doubt that a flimsy piece of rubber would protect your banana,” James remarked, staring at the fruit in question pensively. “Maybe it’s supposed to keep it from rotting or something.”
“That’s no good,” the other Marauder disagreed. “See! The end sticks out. Part of your banana would rot right off.”
“Yeah, that would kind of suck.”
At that moment, Peter Pettigrew came through the portrait hole. “What’s with the banana?” he asked his friends, reasonably confused. “And what the heck do you have on it?”
“Well it’s some sort of muggle device that I found,” James informed him.
“And Frank reckons it has to do with bananas,” Sirius added.
Peter investigated the rubber-coated banana and shook his head. “Nah, I think you lot are wrong.”
“What do you propose it is, then?” Frank asked, irritated to be called wrong.
“Well my Gram’s a muggle, so I know a bit about muggle junk,” Peter told them, puffing out his chest a little, glad that for once he knew something that James and Sirius didn’t. “Unless I’m mistaken, I think that’s a sock.”
“A sock?” James said cynically.
“A rubber sock?” Sirius said in disbelief.
“Of course!” Peter assured them. “You know how they have latex gloves, for hospitals and other sanitary places? Well this has no fingers, so it’s obviously for your foot.”
“Oh!” the other three boys chorused in understanding.
“That does make sense,” Frank couldn’t help but agree.
To demonstrate, Peter whipped off a sock and shoe (causing the others to want to retch just a bit) and after having removed the rubber from the banana, he proceeded to wrestle it on to his foot. It was a tight fit, but the piece of rubber stretched to accommodate it. As the three boys oohed and ahhed over their friend’s stroke of genius, another boy entered the common room.
“What are you lot up to?” Kingsley Shacklebolt asked.
“I found this weird muggle sock,” James explained, showing to him Peter’s foot.
Kingsley gave the rubber “sock” an odd look, then replied, “I don’t think that’s a sock.”
“Of course it is!” Peter said angrily. “What else could it be?”
“Well…” Kingsley examined Peter’s foot closely (with a hand pinching his nose shut, of course), clearly trying to come up with a better use for. After a few moments more, she suddenly said brightly, “Puppets!”
“Puppets?” the others said incredulously. It was indeed a rather frivolous suggestion coming from the typically somber Kingsley.
“Yes, puppets! Finger puppets most likely. It’s blank so you can draw faces and clothes and stuff on it!”
Since they had tried the other suggestions, they decided to give Kingsley’s a shot. They had nothing better to do, after all. So Sirius, after Peter had removed if from his foot, pulled the rubber over his left index finger. Kingsley dug around in his bag, and curiously, procured a box of muggle markers.
“Why do you have these?” Sirius asked as he drew a mini version of James on the rubber. “Or do I even want to know?”
“I like to color,” Kingsley answered him, smiling. “They’re so much easier than using a quill, don’tcha think? Not to mention the bright colors are perfect for flowers!”
As he tried to banish the idea of Kingsley Shacklebolt coloring pictures of tulips and whatnot, Sirius held the finger puppet up and said in a high, squeaky voice, “Look! I’m James Potter! I’m full of bollocks and I stalk Lily Evans!” Sirius sounded so ridiculous, that the other boys couldn’t help but burst out laughing. “She’d probably kill me,” he continued, “if she ever found out that I raided her panty drawer and swiped her purple polka-dot bra!”
“Shh, Sirius!” James hissed, smacking his friend rather hard upside the head.
“You really did that that?!” said Frank, choking back more laughter.
“It was a dare,” James replied defensively.
“But you kept it is the point,” Sirius told him, still using the squeaky puppet voice.
As the boys continued these antics, the final Marauder, Remus Lupin, entered the room. Curious to see what all the ruckus was about, he came closer to scene, unnoticed by the others who were too busy egging on James, who was attacking Sirius as he continued to spill his secrets by use of finger puppet. Once he realized what was on Sirius’s finger, his presence was announced by the uncontrollable laughter coming in waves from him.
“What’s up, Moony?” Sirius greeted his friend as he dodged James’s fist.
“Sirius,” Remus managed to say, as he was laughing so hard, “do you know what’s on your finger?”
“We think it’s a finger puppet,” Kingsley told him.
“Or a sock!” Peter interjected.
“Or a banana protector!” Frank added.
At “banana protector” Remus lost what little self-control he had left as he fell to the floor, absolutely howling. The others were certainly confused as to what Remus found so hilarious. “I didn’t think the finger puppet was that funny,” Peter remarked as he watched his friend’s continued hysterics.
“Hey!” Sirius exclaimed, suddenly remembering something. “Remus’s dad is muggle-born! Maybe he knows what it is!”
“Ya think?” James said sarcastically.
When their friend had appeared to have recovered his senses, Frank asked, “So what is it exactly?”
Remus looked at them and said, quite seriously, “It’s a meat holder,” and then burst out laughing again as he headed to the boys’ dorm.
Now as mentioned before, the boys had nothing better to do, so of course they procured some meat and stuffed it into the piece of rubber. “I don’t think this is a very good meat holder,” James observed as they had difficulty keeping a grip on the edges.
“But that’s what Remus said it was!” Sirius exclaimed as some of the meat fell out.
“I think it’s because Peter stuck his foot in it,” Kingsley said, shaking his head. “It’s ruined, I bet.”
“No, no,” Sirius disagreed. “We just need something solid to hold up the edges.”
The boys thought for a few moments in silence, before Sirius suddenly exclaimed, “Potatoes!”
“Meat and potatoes! It’s perfect!”
“Now you’re making me hungry,” Peter remarked as they shoved a couple of potatoes into the opening of the now thoroughly stretched rubber sleeve.
“You can eat the meat and potatoes later, Peter,” Sirius replied, “but right now I need them.”
Now at that moment, a certain red-head walked into the common room. As you can imagine, she found the scene before her rather disturbing. “What are you doing with those meat and potatoes?” she asked.
Before the boys could reply, she came closer and reddened as she noticed what they were stuffing the aforementioned food into. “Is this some kind of sick joke?” she demanded, causing the boys to cower just a bit.
“No!” James assured her. “I just found this weird muggle thing, and Remus said it was a meat holder so we…”
He trailed off as Lily started to laugh in a manner quite similar to how Remus had laughed upon finding them. “He seriously told you that?” she asked, still laughing.
“Yes… What is it, Lily?” James asked, under the distinct impression that Remus had been less than honest with him.
“Potter, it’s a condom,” she replied, only to receive blank stares.
“A condom.” Her face reddened again as she tried to find words to explain it’s… function. In the wizarding world, they used a spell, so it made sense as to why the boys were clueless. “It’s a… contraceptive.”
“A contraceptive? What’s that?” Sirius asked, the others appearing just as in the dark.
Lily shook her head, fed up with tact. “It’s what muggle guys use to keep girls from getting pregnant when they have sex,” she told them bluntly. This time, it was the guys’ turn to blush.
“So it goes over-”
James looked at the ruined condom before him and then up at Lily, the sight of the two causing him sigh deeply.
At that, Lily started laughing again as she replied, “Not on your life, Potter.” With that last sentiment, she continued up to the girls’ dorm, leaving behind five very embarrassed boys.
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