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Chapter 13 : Of Presents and Marauder Operations
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Of Presents and Marauder Operations
The day after Abbie and Rachel had their fight, Will was tucking into some hot pumpkin juice whilst reading the Daily Prophet. He had been slightly worried by the increase of deaths around the place – but the mindset he had made was to enjoy school for as long as he could. He could worry about Voldemort and dying when he needed to, but whilst he didn’t he may as well not. He reached over the table and grabbed a slice of toast from the plate in front of him and began to munch loudly, not noticing the two boys settling into places opposite, as he was too caught up in the sports section.
“Tornadoes won any games, Crockford?” Will looked up to see James and Sirius sitting there, Sirius being the one who had spoken. He took another swig of his pumpkin juice before folding the paper and placing it down in front of him.
“Tornadoes are the least of my problems.” Will frowned massaging his temples as the appearance of these two Marauders had reminded him about the fight that had happened the day before.
“No, Crockford… the team?” Sirius put in, taking the paper as Will’s eyes widened in realisation.
“No, no they haven’t.” He forced a laugh. “Why not ask about a decent team, Black?” He grinned and Sirius stuck his tongue out.
“Mind?” He asked, as he opened the paper.
“It’s all yours.” Will replied drily. “Can I help you, gents?” He carried on wearily.
“Are those worry lines I see?” James asked, dumbfounded. Will just glared. “Careful, or you’ll get wrinkles.”
“Coming from you.” Will shot back tiredly and Sirius whistled, earning himself a glare.
“Listen, Crockford… a little birdie told me that it’s your birthday in ten days.” James carried on.
“On Halloween.” Added Sirius, who was obviously not reading the paper. Will took another piece of toast and began munching.
“Another little birdie…” James frowned. “No, my mistake, same birdie told me that a couple of your friends had a fight last night.”
“I’d like to meet this birdie of yours.” Will laughed; unnerved at how fast news travelled around Hogwarts – but then again, Alice Summers was one of the biggest gossipers around. Not to mention that Abbie and Rachel were usually close as… close as close things!
“You really wouldn’t.” James muttered. Sirius threw down the paper again before clasping his hands and leaning over the tabletop.
“Maybe a party is what’s needed to spur the ol’ reconciliation, if you get what I’m saying.” He raised his eyebrows. Will looked bemused.
“Your birthday… friends that need making up… party?” James offered casually and Will caught on.
“No… I don’t need a party. Plus there’s the feast on Halloween – I’ve always counted that as my birthday treat.” Sirius flapped his hand in dismissal.
“Feast, Shmeast – we’ll make it a small one, promise.” Sirius pleaded, a childish innocence to his begging that took Will aback.
“Go on, Crockford. A nice, lax party – that’s all!” James added.
“With lots of candy.” Sirius put in and James turned sharply around to face him.
“None for you after five – you turn into a little monster!” James narrowed his eyes. Sirius merely grinned innocently and Will laughed.
“Alright… I permit you to throw me a nice and lax party, so long as I get to see Black on candy after five.” Sirius’ eyes lit up along with James, whose were hesitant.
“Just leave it to us.”
“What have I signed up for…?”
“So have you got Will a present yet?” Lily asked casually as she and Rachel walked out of the common room. Rachel froze.
“P-present? For Will? Why?” She asked alarmed.
“It’s his birthday on Halloween, remember?” Rachel covered her mouth with her hands and gasped, obviously remembering at that moment.
“Ohmigod I forgot!” She cried.
“I can see that,” Lily replied unhelpfully. “Any ideas what you’ll get him?”
“Damn – I missed the Hogsmeade weekend!” Rachel cried in frustration, her thoughts turning back to the trip they took.
…When she ran into Andy. Where she had been told he’d asked Abbie out. Which then steered her thoughts towards her fight with Abbie the night before and a familiar cold sensation twisted around in her stomach and she felt queasy. Lily seemed to sense this and quickly moved the topic onwards.
“So it has to be something inside Hogwarts that you can give him then. Any ideas?” She asked.
“Well what did you get him?” Rachel asked exasperatedly. To this Lily smiled smugly.
“That new camera that he wanted.”
“NO. WAY.” Rachel gasped. “When? Where? How? That thing costed a bomb!”
“I ordered it from the place where we went to get Abbie’s present last year – the place he saw it. Halways Department Store for Everything Wizardical - that really big one in London that looks like it’s a muggle office thing?” Rachel nodded. “And I borrowed money from a couple of people who owe me favours. It arrived today!” She clapped her hands gleefully and Rachel smiled. But that didn’t take her any closer to finding a present for him.
“Well… what can I get him that won’t be horrendously outweighed by Lily’s Marvellous Gift then?” Lily shrugged.
“I’m not sure. Maybe a couple of crates of those disgusting liquorice wands that he likes?”
“But I can’t go to Hogsmeade!” Rachel cried. “I’ll never get out of the castle.”
“Well then I don’t know.” Lily paused while they were walking. “Although… the Marauders always get all that firewhisky for those horrible parties they throw, don’t they? I’m sure they know a way to get hold of some.”
“But how am I going to get them to get me some?”
“Well…” Lily grinned slyly. “I hear you’re on pretty good terms with that tall, handsome, quiet one who always has his nose in a book.” Lily pushed Rachel’s shoulder lightly before turning to head into the Great Hall. “I saw him up in the library a couple of minutes ago. Good luck!” She waved and walked into the Hall.
With a gulp, Rachel prepared herself to go talk to Remus. She’d been avoiding it since selfishly asking him to “wait”. And now with the blow out with Abbie… she wasn’t sure if she could face him.
But she’d have to. For Will.
After leaving Rachel in the Entrance Hall, Lily walked in and plonked herself down on the bench next to Abbie, who was moodily poking her eggs with a fork. Her aura radiated a depressed one, and Lily knew she didn’t like fighting with Rachel. And after hearing the story from both sides… Abbie was well within her rights, but probably went about telling Rachel in the wrong way. For Lily for one, knew that Abbie had denied herself the opportunity to go out with Remus for Rachel, and Rachel had not done the same. Rachel just wanted to be happy… and that was very – well, very Rachel of her.
“So, Abs, you got a present for Will?” Lily asked, taking a piece of toast and scraping some butter onto it. Abbie sighed and out down her fork.
“Obviously. But… I feel like I need something else too. He wouldn’t look at me this morning and I think it’s because of what I said in the Hospital Wing yesterday.” Abbie replied miserably.
Oh, shut up Will – you think you’re funny, but you’re not!
Lily patted Abbie on the back sadly.
“I’m sure it’s not something he’ll take to heart for too long. He was just a little hurt, that’s all.” She added soothingly. Abbie half nodded, but ended up frowning.
“That’s why I feel like I need something else.”
“Well let me know if you think of something.” And Lily began to tuck into her toast. After a couple of minutes of silence Lily hesitantly brought up the topic she was desperate to talk about. “Abbie… have you thought about… have you thought about talking to Rachel?”
Abbie’s face instantly hardened and she swallowed what she was eating. “I have nothing to say to her.” She replied stonily, not looking at Lily.
“I know you don’t mean that, Abbie… you two are such good friends…”
“Were good friends, Lily, the key word is were. Before she turned into a backstabbing traitor and I really don’t want to talk about it.” She snapped back fiercely, before shoving some egg into her mouth forcefully. Lily could see the skin around her eyes was already red from crying and her eyes were looking pretty moist now.
For fear of a flood, Lily dropped the subject. But she vowed it would not be the last time she and Abbie discussed it. They would make up. Definitely.
Peter loved to read. He may not have been the sharpest tool in the box, or the brightest bulb in the world – or the sharpest crayon – but he did love to read. Poor Peter knew he was a bit thick, but ever since he was little he’d loved to read. When his father left and his mother took to drinking, it was the only place he could really escape to and forget all his worries. A good book; that was what Peter loved.
He couldn’t really manage the big thick ones that Remus read, like… Charlie Dickens or whatever his name was – but when explained to him, Peter decided he really liked the story of Oliver Twist. That was Remus’ favourite, and Peter was at this present moment in time searching in the muggle books section of the library to try and find a simple version. It was more difficult than he’d anticipated, as the muggle selection was quite limited – but he was almost there, if only –
Wait. He could hear muffled voices on the other side of the bookshelf, and they sounded urgent. Doing what Peter did best, he began to listen for anything that could be of use to the guys. He removed the book on his side and could just see through a small hole, the people on the other side.
He was surprised to see Remus sitting there, a book on his lap that he was reading – although he really shouldn’t have been surprised. But next to him stood Rachel, leaning against the bookshelf opposite. Peter thought about how proud Sirius would be if he came with information about them… it was wrong to spy but… who cares?
“… So I need them. Please?” Rachel was just finishing, not looking at him.
“You want me to reveal a crucial Marauder secret.” Remus replied blankly, not looking at her.
“Well you don’t have to tell me – just get some for me.” Rachel added quietly. Peter could sense the awkwardness.
“Can I… expect something in return?” Remus asked, lifting his head up, but not turning around. Peter had to duck out of sight to stop him from being seen. Rachel huffed, she sounded taken aback.
“Well, I thought that I could ask –“
“And I’d just run and get it for you?” Remus replied rather uncharacteristically. Rachel didn’t say anything. “Well maybe you don’t know me as well as you thought.” He sighed and Peter could hear the scraping of a chair. He moved back to the hole to continue looking through – Remus had gotten up.
“For example,” Remus pushed on. “I am not nearly as patient as you think I am.” He rested his arm against the bookshelf above Rachel’s head and she looked down, blushing admirably. “How much longer do you expect me to wait?” Remus murmured, and Peter knew he should look away, but he couldn’t pull himself too.
“Just… just a bit longer.” Rachel breathed.
“But when you’re standing here, talking to me as if nothing’s changed…” Remus trailed off leaning down, Rachel lifting up her face to meet him. “I’m tired of waiting.” And their lips met in a slow kiss. They moved against each other for barely a few seconds before Rachel suddenly pulled away.
“I’m sorry…” She gasped, not looking at Remus, as red as a tomato.
“Don’t be… it’s me. Sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.” Remus pulled his arm away and settled back into his chair, picking up his book. “I’ll get those liquorice wands for you.” He replied curtly, as if it were the end of the conversation. Rachel stood there, frowning, most likely wondering what had just happened. Or maybe she felt a bit unsatisfied… in any case, she bit her lip, glanced at Remus who was once more engrossed in his novel before darting away.
Peter was standing there, his jaw dropping to the floor. Remus had just… just… initiated! He was completely shocked, and he turned to look at Remus who in turn threw down his book and massaged his face. It was then that Peter noticed he was blushing bright red. Peter smirked, but his heart was thumping hard.
This was something he shouldn’t have seen… but in any case, he might as well shake Remus a bit whilst he had the advantage.
“Hey Moony!” Peter turned the corner into the next aisle and Remus nearly jumped out of his skin. Had he seen? What the… his mind a complete whirl and his heart beating like a timpani drum he found it quite hard to think straight. He. Had. Just. Kissed. Rachel.
What the hell was he thinking?!
“H-Hi Wormtail.” Remus blew out a large breath, puffing up his cheeks as Peter slid into a seat next to him.
“So I just saw Sanderson leaving just now.” Remus’ head shot up so fast he cracked his neck, alarmed at Peter’s smug tone.
“R-really…? I didn’t know…”
“She was coming from here…” Peter frowned.
“Oh, I mean, I did know – but I didn’t know you knew she was coming from here.” Remus flustered, desperately trying to keep his composure, and failing. Peter laughed.
“What’s gotten into you, Moony? You’re as jittery as Filbert the Fearful!” Peter was pleased to take the opportunity to show off a little of his knowledge from History of Magic. Remus couldn’t help but agree with him, and found himself merely nodding. “So what did she want?” Oh god, Remus couldn’t remember! Why had she come here again? To kiss him…? No! That wasn’t the reason she came, just what she ended up doing. Well he did all the kissing, but… “Moooony…” Peter waved a hand in front of his face.
“Wha… Oh! She wanted me to get some liquorice wands from Hogsmeade. For her birthday. Er-no! For Crockford’s birthday. It’s on Halloween.” Remus was starting to feel a little light headed as all his words came out in a rush. Peter smirked knowingly, and Remus didn’t like the look of “knowingly”.
“Then I guess we’ll be taking a trip out tonight.” He got up from his seat and tucked the chair in. “I’ll go tell the guys…”
“Y-yeah…” Remus didn’t even notice Peter slide his copy of Oliver Twist from the tabletop.
“Well we wanted to get stuff for Crockford’s birthday bash anyway, so it’s kinda lucky.” James commented as the boys made their way to the statue of the one eyed witch. Remus raised an eyebrow.
“We’re hosting Crockford’s birthday party?”
“Yep! And it’s going to be fun! Yipeeee!” Sirius skipped gleefully on ahead and the boys were very glad that it was a Saturday. Whilst everyone was outside enjoying the sunshine, the boys could sneak away to Hogsmeade to gain the supplies they needed and be back in time for tea.
It was also quite helpful that no one saw Sirius acting like a loon. It would completely ruin his image – how he’d even managed to build up the serious image of the alluring playboy, the other guys would never know.
“As Sirius said… it’ll be cool.” James grinned.
“But why the sudden interest?” Remus raised an eyebrow. “His birthday’s been on Halloween every year.” James nodded thoughtfully.
“I suppose it’s because of Peri – she’s friends with him an’ all. She asked me too, actually.” A soft smile crept onto his face and Remus couldn’t help but smile too.
“You really care about her, huh?”
“Yeah. It’s like she’s my little sister – I was psyched when I realised she’d come back to England. Leaving us like she did.” Remus supposed by “us” he meant his old friends. Remus had been the only one taken into his confidence on this matter about James and Peri and their friends Lin (Colin Bell) and… Trixie. James looked so caring and Remus shook his head.
“If only you could show Lily that kind of conviction.” James looked up sharply as Remus jogged to catch up with Peter.
“Huh? What about Lily?” James asked as he ran up. Remus smiled secretively and shook his head, and before James could retort he was cut off by Sirius.
“Come oooon guys! We wanna get to Hogsmeade, right?” He stuck out his tongue and darted behind the statue of the one eyed witch, the others sighing wearily before following him.
The tunnel was long and dark, and Remus had always hated going along it – even if it did happen to lead into the cellar of his favourite shop. But back when they discovered the tunnel (around their fourth year) he’d had a run in with a colony of bats – completely scaring him when he had been in the tunnel alone one day. Ever since then, he’d never let on, he’d been terrified of going alone. It was just one of those things he just couldn’t seem to get over. Like his low self esteem.
A drop of water from the ceiling landed on Remus’ hand and he almost jumped out of his skin, before scolding himself. It’s just water! But he could see a small light at the end of the tunnel so he gritted his teeth and quickened his pace. Once the boys had left the tunnel and departed Honeydukes, James had immediately pulled his invisibility cloak out and slung it over them.
... But it wasn’t really that effective.
They’d been using the trusty cloak for years, even way back in first year – but they’d been a lot smaller then, and the cloak had seemed a lot bigger. Now, however, being seven years older and almost fully grown the boys had a lot of trouble fitting underneath it. It clearly didn’t shield all four of them from their knees down; and in their most recent prank excursions, only two of them had been under the cloak at any one time. And unfortunately they’d have to do that now.
It was the first time all four of them had been to Hogsmeade together in ages (apart from when they were allowed to be there) because usually just James and Sirius went, or Sirius and Remus – but it usually had to be Sirius, as he was the one who could charm crates of butterbeer and/or firewhisky away from Madame Flossie. Literally; that wasn’t a phrase. James dragged the four boys into a small alleyway next to Honeydukes, frowning in thought.
“Look... we’re not all going to fit under this.” He gazed at the silky cloak in his hands affectionately. “I suggest me and Moony stay out from under the cloak, Wormtail and Padfoot stay under.” The other’s nodded in agreement. Sirius would have to go into an incredibly popular pub where he could be easily recognised and Peter... well, Peter wasn’t particularly fast at running in case they got caught.
“Okay.” Remus carried on for them. “You and Wormtail go to Madame Flossie and try and get some butterbeer. Not firewhisky, butterbeer. From what I hear, Crockford wants a relaxed party; not a proper all-out Marauder party.” Sirius groaned, but then grinned.
“Understood, Moony. Although maybe I could coax her to give us some of that punch that she adores so...” He licked his lips. Remus’ facial expression was priceless and he held up a hand in front of Sirius’ face.
“Save it for Flossie, Padfoot. I really don’t wanna know...”
“So me and Moony will get the snacks from Fleuette’s, the party stuff from Zonko’s and Sanderson’s liquorice wands from Honeydukes on the way back. Meet you guys in the tunnel in, oh, about an hour and a half?” James took out his watch from his inside jacket pocket and glanced at it fleetingly. Sirius just rolled his eyes. It was the watch his parents had given him for his seventeenth birthday (as was tradition) and he was still immensely proud of it; even when it was seven months after he was given it.
Peter saluted the affirmative and Sirius took the cloak from James before flinging it over himself and Peter, not commenting. Fact number one: when the Marauder’s were on a mission, it was not quite right to make jokes. James assumed that the two had left, as there was no sound around him and turned to Moony and nodded.
“Where do you –“
“BOO!” James and Remus jumped about five feet in the air as Sirius and Peter re-emerged from under the cloak. Remus immediately growled at their laughing and told them to stuff it. Fact number two: when the Marauder’s were on a mission, it was impossible to keep Sirius quiet.
Once Remus and James had made sure that their other two friends had left, they decided to hit Fleuette’s Catering for Witches and Wizards. It sold a wide range of food, for anything from parties to feasts; so they were pretty sure they wouldn’t have any trouble finding the right kind of stuff. But it was getting there that would be the problem. Without the invisibility cloak, they could be seen by anyone as they made their way through the streets, so they tried to stick to alleyways, and when they had to venture in the main streets, running from door to door of the shops; constantly on the lookout. Occasionally a store owner would either tell them to shove off, or recognise the two charming boys from the school and allow them to take refuge in their shop for a few minutes before jumping out into the street again. Who knew what would happen if they were caught by some teachers? They had never been caught before, so the boys honestly had no idea.
The bell tinkled as Remus pushed open the door to Fleuette’s slowly, peeking in before letting him and James inside. Once in they immediately dived towards the wall next to the counter. Remus stood on the lookout for anyone entering the shop whilst James pulled out his wand and tapped the wall three times. The patch of wall immediately transfigured into a door and the pair darted inside.
Once in, their faces almost immediately lit up with grins as they recognised the familiar kitchen that belonged to Mathieu Fleuette, another member of their extensive allies in Hogsmeade. Fleuette immediately noticed them, and rushed over to them crying out in French. He reached Remus first and kissed him on each cheek, and then James. James forced a smile, rubbing his cheek grumpily as Fleuette began to speak.
“James! Raymus! It eez so good to see you! You ‘ave no idea ‘ow lucky it eez – magnifique! Excellente! Super!” He immediately grabbed their arms and dragged them further into the kitchen. His French accent had worn off some since they first met him, but it was definitely still there. All around them there were floating pots and pans, wooden spoons mixing up delicious recipes, dishes washing themselves, cakes baking themselves, and two or three diligent workers operating them with their wands. It was busy with the usual loud clatter that made it difficult to make out what Fleuette was saying, but they could get the general gist as he led them through to his private study.
“I ‘ave been workeeng on a new recipé for my chocolat soufflé – won’t you try some?” Fleuette’s face was glowing so much, that the boys didn’t have the heart to point out that his last three tries had all been... disappointing.
“You first Prongs.” Remus brightened and James glared, before forcing a smile at Fleuette.
“Why thank you, Moony. I will have to pay you back sometime, won’t I?” He smiled sweetly before reluctantly following Fleuette to the stirring pot on his desk. Fleuette reached inside and pulled out the ladle that had been stirring the mixture and held it out to James to taste. James leaned forward and licked it gingerly before smiling contentedly.
“Mmm.” His eyes brightened as he took the ladle from Fleuette to try some more. Fleuette clapped his hands gleefully.
“Tu l’aime? Tu l’aime! Magnifique! Fantastique! And you, Raymus, you must try thees!” And he hauled Remus over to another pot, grinning gleefully. And so it carried on for a few more minutes before Remus dragged himself away from a particularly exquisite cheese sauce.
“This isn’t why we came, Mathieu.” Remus sighed. “We’d love to stay and try your food but we came here to place an order.” He smiled. “Didn’t we Prongs.” No answer. “Didn’t we, Prongs?”
“What? Oh!” James whirled around from some bread rolls. “Yeah. ‘Course – what he said.” He grinned, stepping towards them.
“Orders? Que puis-je fais pour vous?”
“You let them do what?!” Will saw two arms slam onto the table in front of him and he flinched. He had decided to try and invite his sister to his ‘birthday party’ but now he was certainly seeing the great amount of flaws in this plan. He was standing in her ‘office’ that consisted of a desk, two chairs and lots of paperwork in a small out of the way room at the far end of the castle. He was beginning to doubt the legitimacy of how much she was needed after all...
“They’re just organising a little party for me, it’s really nothing to worry about.” But seeing the look on her face Will immediately changed tack. “Well see, it’s not really a party. More of a get together of people with snacks.” And probably alcohol, Will thought. But he didn’t want to drink any alcohol; just a nice, relaxing break was all he needed.
But that wasn’t what his sister thought he needed.
“I’m afraid I cannot permit this, William.” Doris shook her head grumpily. “I will inform Professor McGonagall immediately and-“
“Wait, Dorrie please!” Will persisted. Doris tensed up at the use of a childhood nickname. “I just... this is my birthday Doris. I know you’re really into your new job, and I’m really happy that Professor Dumbledore hired you but... please. Can’t you overlook something just this once?” And maybe even enjoy yourself...?
“But if I let one go – what about the next one? And the next one? I can’t keep making excuses for you the next time you want a little party!”
“No! I won’t have any others. For god’s sake Doris I’m seventeen. I’m gonna hold a party for my birthday, and there’s not a lot you can do that’ll change my mind anyway.” Doris growled, but made no further move towards the door.
“You’re seventeen – exactly, William! You should be studying, getting ready for your NEWTs and making sure you pass with good enough grades to get a good enough job rather than mucking about with your little friends and going to birthday parties!” Will’s eyebrow twitched. Why was she being like this? Although, he had to admit, this was probably one of the first times ever that he’d fought this hard with her for something he wanted; he was usually fairly submissive towards her.
“To get a good enough job – like yours you mean? What is it that you actually do? Make the tea?” He shot back and Doris bristled dangerously.
“At least I’m making an effort to support this family, even if you’re just flouncing around on your every whim!”
“What family?” Will laughed outright. “I haven’t got a family! No dad, practically no mum, and you! You, who won’t let me do a thing unless it’s beneficial to my future! What about being young and – and free? Being able to do what I like – those things that you just won’t let me have!” He took a deep breath. “I have friends. I have people who care about me. I have an education and a pretty decent upbringing. I have all that because of you, I know I do.” He continued more softly.
Doris was about to add something when Will held up his hand, signalling for her to let him finish.
“But what I want to know is when I lost my sister and got a mother. I know you sacrificed a lot of what you should’ve been doing at my age to help raise me, but I don’t need a mother anymore. I want a sister.” He sighed. “So I’m having a birthday party in 5 days. If Professor McGonagall walks in; I won’t think anything of it – for you. But there will still be a party, and you know what? I’d really appreciate it if my sister could attend. Catch you later, Doris.” And he left the room without another word.
Doris stood there alone, fists clenching and unclenching to try and release tension. Was that... was that really what he thought? Had she turned into a mother? Doris choked, and felt tears begin to cloud her vision. Not disappointed tears; not unhappy tears. Will had thanked her. For all the years that Doris had helped him grow up he had thanked her.
But he didn’t need her anymore. That was what he had said. An empty hole began to open in the pit of her stomach, deepened by the fact that she couldn’t stop the plans that were already in motion. I’m so sorry William...
James darted into the doorway of Gladrags Wizardwear watching around him intently. He gestured for Remus to run up as he then ran into an alleyway down the side of the store. Remus moved into the doorway before eventually joining James in the alley. He glanced around him warily before speaking.
“I hate all this sneaking around,” he grumbled.
“We sneak around all the time, my dear Moony.” James chuckled.
“Yeah... but it’s different under the cloak.” Remus paused. “No, in fact, I hate sneaking around – fullstop.” He grinned. James took the bag that Remus had been holding from him.
“So what’ve we got from Zonko’s?” He poked around inside the bag with his wand. “Streamers, poppers, a few balloons –“
“Well if it isn’t James Potter!” James froze, turning around slowly, thinking it must definitely be a teacher who’d spotted him. At a glance from James Remus immediately shrank back into the shadows so he couldn’t be seen. However James' knees almost gave with relief when he saw that it wasn’t a teacher who had found him, but someone he knew quite well.
“Mr Tennant, a pleasure seeing you again,” James grinned, his face brightening. Clef Tennant, the man in front of him, had been friends with his father for years – not to mention he was the manager for the club Quidditch team the Falmouth Falcons.
“Pleasure’s all mine, Potter. So what are you doing in a dark alleyway on such a beautiful Saturday such as this?” He asked, cocking an eyebrow. James squirmed uncomfortably, definitely not willing to lie to this man in case he told his parents – or worse, found out he was lying. James greatly valued Clef’s respect.
“Well...er. Hm.” James breathed out before putting on his most charming smile. “Well you see, Mr Tennant sir, I’m not er... actually meant to be here.” He winked.
“Here?” Clef raised an eyebrow.
“Off school grounds, if you know what I mean.” He whispered melodramatically. “And I’d er, really appreciate it if you kept this little, um, meeting between us a secret. Y’know, without mentioning it to my teacher’s or...” He gulped. “My parents.” Clef laughed.
“I see Charles’ still got one up on you. Tell you what, I won’t tell anyone you were here; so long as you get a drink with me. I’ve been wanting to talk to you for ages.” James nodded hesitantly, glancing behind him briefly at where he thought Remus was hiding. A drink meant the Three Broomsticks – without the invisibility cloak, making him easily recognisable. And, Clef Tennant was pretty famous in his own right. Clef squinted in the direction James was looking.
“What is it?”
“Nothing.” James replied abruptly. “Deal – I’ll go with you. Let’s go.” And James dropped the Zonko’s bag onto the cobbled floor and began to walk with Clef.
“Don’t you want your bag?” He laughed and James shook his head.
“It’s er... not mine.” He grinned weakly before grabbing Clef’s arm and dragging him away. “You said you wanted to go; let’s go!” His voice faded away and when he could no longer hear them, Remus emerged from the shadows and grabbed the bag, ready to go to Honeydukes without James. He reached inside the Zonko’s bag to continue the checklist that James had started. It was then that he froze. His fingers closed around a small wooden stick... and Remus' insides began to twist.
How was James going to get back from the Three Broomsticks without the invisibility cloak or his wand?
Oh gee. LOOOONG time. I know. I'm so sorry! >_< okay, so if anyone saw my bio a couple of months back you'll know I was having a lot of technical issues. But now, you'll be glad to know they have left - but the moment they left Gary abandoned me! (Gary's my muse). I tried and I tried but I just couldn't get anything down on paper that was actually good. But he came back, so now I am posting again :)
My special thankyou's from a LONG time ago are queenspuppet, Winna and LoveTomRiddle for adding this story to their favourites, and my fab reviewers: aussieginny, jplove4evs, and hagcludge - and my wondrous LoveTomRiddle for leaving me three fab reviews and the good ol' Sweets-Caandy and padfootreturns. You guys make my day! So now I'd really love some of you to leave (even a little comment) in that small box. Over 3,500 people have read this story, and less than 45 of you have chosen to review - no matter how small, I would REALLY be so grateful if you'd leave me a comment :) Thanks :'D
Until next time,
And for anyone who's wondering - yes, there's no Peri really in this chapter. We'll find out what she's been doing next chapter :P
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