Chapter 7 : Rule #7
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James looked around the room and saw that all Marauders were present except Remus, who was out doing Prefect rounds. So now was as good a time as any to bring up a most pressing matter.
“So,” he asked without moving from his bed, “what did you two get Moony for his sixteenth birthday? You know, so we can be sure he’s not getting three of the same thing.”
Peter looked up from his Transfiguration essay. “I convinced the owners of Honeyduke’s to whip up a batch of their special Christmas fudge that they said they would never make any other time. But because Moony loves it and he’s one of their favorite customers, they decided it was no problem for ‘that darling boy’s birthday!’” he finished with a squeaky voice that sounded like the witch who ran the counter.
“Excellent,” James smiled. “I got him a book of Shakespeare sonnets. He said something about them making a girl go weak at the knees every time. I figured I’d give it to him to use and maybe learn a few for Lily.”
“Prongs, does everything you do revolve around Evans?” Sirius asked from where he was hanging upside down off the edge of his bed.
“No,” said James indignantly. “Sometimes it revolves around food. So, what did you get him, Padfoot?”
Sirius slid off his bed and hit his head on the floor. “Ow. I haven’t gotten him anything yet. I still have plenty of time. You two are just getting ready way ahead of the fact. That fudge will go bad.”
“You do know what day it is, don’t you?” asked Peter.
“Of course I do! It is…” Sirius reached under his bed from his spot on the floor and pulled out a calendar, “the eighth. So I have,” he muttered, “today, tomorrow… Oh, crap, I have today and tomorrow to find him a birthday present!”
“You don’t even really have today, seeing as you have detention with Minnie in fifteen minutes,” James reminded him.
“Oh, crap, I have detention in fifteen minutes!” Sirius ran out of the dorm and into the common room, barreling straight into Lily.
“Watch where you’re going, Black,” she asked from the ground.
“Sorry Evans. Detention in fifteen minutes.”
“What’s this one for?” she asked. “Another attack on Severus?”
“No,” Sirius replied. “I…never mind. Are you getting anything for Remus for his birthday?”
“Oh, yeah, I found this cologne in Hogsmeade last trip that I thought he’d like, so I picked some up for him. Why, you didn’t forget, did you?”
Sirius feigned offense. “Of course not! How could I forget the birthday of a fellow friend and Marauder? That’s absolutely horrible of you to suggest. Now, I’m off to detention.” He turned his back on her and strode away toward the portrait hole with his nose in the air.
“Minnie, can I ask you something?”
“Only if you address me as Professor McGonagall,” she said without looking up from the essays she was checking.
Sirius put his quill down on the parchment on which he had already written ‘I will wear pants at all times, as they are an important part of the uniform’ fifty times. “Professor McGonagall, can I ask you something?”
“Certainly, Mr. Black. Although, if the question is ‘can I call you Minnie?’ I will be forced to add fifty lines of, ‘I will address staff appropriately’ to your punishment of two hundred.”
Sirius shrugged. “Fair enough. “Now, I have this friend. His name is . . . Mirius. And he forgot the birthday of his friend…Temus. He has tomorrow to get him a gift and no idea what to get. What should he do?”
McGonagall put down her quill and looked at Sirius. “Well, Mr. Black, I recommend that Mirius get Temus something that he can use. Something from the heart. Is that all?”
Sirius thought, then asked, “Can I call you Minnie?”
Professor McGonagall barely restrained rolling her eyes. “Fifty lines, Mr. Black. You know the sentence.”
“Only too well, Minnie.”
“Make it seventy-five.”
March the 10th dawned clear and Remus jumped at the pile of presents sitting at the end of his bed. Books from James and his parents, his favorite Honeyduke’s Christmas fudge from Peter, some cologne from Lily, and a circular package from Sirius. He opened the card.
I love you man, and I thought you could use this on full moon. I considered getting one for myself, but decided it was your special gift.
Remus smiled and tore off the paper. His face fell dramatically when he saw what was in there. “Flea-B-Gone! Make man’s best friend itch no more with this collar, enforced with a Flea Repellant Charm!”
Remus couldn’t believe it. A flea collar? Then he decided what Sirius’ present to him could be.
Lily stared at Sirius. “Why do you have a collar on?”
Sirius glared at Remus. “I don’t want to talk about it. But if you can get it off please do so soon. It’s starting to itch.”
A/N2: So, I'm hoping having a co-author will encourage me to remember this lonely unfinished story. Let's give a 'holla' to GrayLady for being fricken awesome!
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