Chapter 5 : Crabs
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I'M IN LOVE WITH MODCLOTH. I mean, I've known about it for a long time, but I've just now started buying stuff. Modcloth is my style. Not this American Eagle preppy crap.
MODCLOTH FTW (for the win... duh).
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Black gave me a lecture about crabs the next day at lunch.
I had sacrificed breakfast for sleep, and apparently so had the Marauders. I woke up around eleven, and Ellen told me that she supposed the Marauders had slept in again, like they seemed to do every now and then.
"They only sleep in when Remus is gone to visit his mum," Ellen had said. "I suppose he's their alarm clock."
The others believed this theory, but I was a bit more suspicious. When we arrived for lunch in the Great Hall I noticed that Potter had a scar running down his arm. Black was walking with a limp, and Pettigrew winced whenever he laughed.
"Why are you limping?" I had asked Black.
"I got mauled by a sea crab," he had responded.
"There are sea crabs here?"
"Yes, Evans, haven't you seen them?"
Black had then launched himself into an explanation of not only sea crabs, but all types of crabs. I ate my lunch ravenously and ignored him.
Cindy Lou Who and PeePee were sitting together a little ways away. I had asked Potter if they were really going to get married, and Potter told me that they weren't, they were just drunk out of their minds. I asked him where Pettigrew got the ring. He said he won it by playing Solitaire against some bloke in the Leaky Cauldron last summer. I had given him a skeptical look, and Potter told me the ring had seven diamonds on it. I had changed the subject, hoping not to give Potter any ideas.
I spent the rest of the day doing next week's homework and completing my Herbology essay that was due next month. Remus returned that night and spent the evening with Leigh outside by the lake. It was starting to get chilly, but that didn't stop Ellen, Brooke, and I from sticking our heads out the dormitory window and spying on them.
"Can you hear what they're saying?" Brooke asked.
The window was not meant for three people to look through. I was uncomfortably smushed between Ellen and Brooke, and my neck was hurting. I could barely see Remus and Leigh, much less hear them.
"Brooke, Gryffindor Tower is the tallest in the school next to the Astronomy Tower," Ellen snapped. Ellen is sass-overload. "Of course we can't hear what they're saying."
The was a wooshing sound.
"What's that?" I asked, trying to crane my neck around. "Did you hear that?"
"It was probably an owl or something," Brooke said.
I frowned and returned my focus to peering down at the specks that were Remus and Leigh.
"Good evening, ladies."
Ellen, Brooke, and I smacked our heads on the top of the window in shock.
"Potter!" I said angrily, rubbing the back of my head. "What are you doing?"
"Spying, of course," Potter said with a grin. He was riding a broomstick and wearing a navy blue jacket that clung tightly to his arms. It made his muscles stand out. I wanted to push him off his broom for being so annoyingly attractive. "I assume that's what you are doing?"
Brooke nodded. "Yeah, but we can't hear anything. What's going on? What are they saying?"
Potter rolled his eyes. "They're talking about school, of course. But as we flew off, Remus was changing the subject to food."
I let out a sigh of relief. Leigh could be awkward sometimes with subjects she wasn't comfortable with. I was glad Remus was talking about things that Leigh could happily yap about.
"We?" asked Ellen, picking up on Potter's word. "Who else is with you?"
"What?" someone said. Black. "I heard my name."
"We're talking about how sexy you are," Potter said as Black flew down to hover beside our window. "Right, ladies?"
"No," Ellen said.
"Where's Pete?" Brooke asked.
"With Cindie," Black answered, rolling his eyes.
Black and Brooke started discussing the wonky relationship of Peter Pettigrew and Cindie Whorton, and Potter and Ellen joined in. I squinted my eyes and zeroed in on Remus and Leigh.
Where had they gone off to? They had been there mere moments ago. I could only see one silhouette outlined by the moonlight. The figure shifted for a moment, and I realized that it was not one person, but two.
"Oh, my Merlin," I said, my mouth hanging open.
"What?" Potter said, looking around. "What's happened?"
"They're snogging." I gazed down at the specks that were intertwined beside the lake. "REMUS AND LEIGH ARE SNOGGING!"
Black looked down at the figures and then back at us. He sent us a quick wink. "It was nice talking to you, ladies, but -"
"Duty calls," Potter finished, and they both flew away and disappeared into a tree nearby the lake.
Ellen, Brooke, and I watched Remus and Leigh go at it for a bit longer.
"Are they ever going to come up for air?" Ellen asked.
"They have a year and a half of sexual tension to snog off," I said, laughing.
The three of us pulled our heads back inside the dorm and closed the window. My nose felt cold.
Brooke flopped onto her four-poster with a sigh. "It's about time for them to get together," she said.
I nodded, thinking about my conversation I had with Remus in the hospital wing. I didn't know that it would be this soon, but I was happy for them, all the same. I supposed Remus felt better. I'm sure he had a rough night last night.
I thought about Potter's scar. Were they really stupid enough to try to take on a werewolf while they were still human?
That got me thinking. I sat down cautiously on my four-poster and thought about the possibilities.
Maybe they weren't human? Maybe they used Polyjuice Potion or something to change into cats or something. Maybe crabs. Crabs could take on werewolves, right?
I sighed. That was a ridiculous theory.
Tabs the tabby cat jumped on the bed and curled into my lap. I pet her head absentmindedly as my thoughts trailed off to that Transfiguration essay I had just finished. Tabs meowed and I scratched her behind the ears. McGonagall could turn into a cat. I bet you didn't know that, eh? She was an animagus. It was pretty cool. She could change from a human to a cat whenever she -
I gasped and stood up quickly. Tabs fell to the floor and glared at me (in a catty sort of way, or course) but I didn't really mind.
"What's wrong?" Ellen asked. "Did you forget it was time for your period to start again?"
"What?" I said, confused. "No?"
"Oh. I do that all the time."
"Um, okay, whatever." I grabbed my bag and headed to the door. "I've got to go to the library."
I was out of the dormitory before Ellen and Brooke could say anything. I hurried to the library while I thought things through. Was it possible that the Marauders were animagi? It was magic far more advanced than a Seventh Year could do. If they were animagi, they would have to be registered legally at the Ministry of Magic. There was a book of all legal animagi in the library, but there was only one copy, and I hoped it wasn't checked out. Why would it be? Who would honestly want to read a book of Ministry legals for fun?
If they were animagi that would explain where they go when Remus is transforming. Instead of helping him while they were humans, they helped him as animals. If they were humans, werewolf-Remus would rip them to shreds and have no sense of control over that action at all. However, if they were animals, werewolf-Remus would think of their advances as play, and they wouldn't be attacked. Wounded, maybe, but Remus would be lacking the bloodlust accompanied by the scent of humans.
But what kind of animals were they, if they were animals at all?
Before I knew it, I was striding into the library. I set my bag down at a table and walked to where the official Ministry books were stored. I searched through all the titles on the spines to see if I found the one labeled "Legal." It was magically updated with any changes, so if the Marauders were legal animagi they would be in the book along with the date they registered. All I saw were historical books about the Ministry, and not the one I wanted.
Crap. Someone had it. I leaned against the bookshelf and sighed, feeling my excitement die down.
"Looking for this?" someone asked.
I glanced around to see Ryan Henke holding up a book that read "Legals: Official Ministry of Magic Material."
Ryan Henke was the Captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, Keeper. He was in over half of my N.E.W.T. classes, but we never really talked. We often made awkward eye contact in the corridors, but that's about it. His hair was dark brown and his eyes were a friendly hazel color. He smiled at me. He was cute.
"Yes, actually," I said with a small smile, "I am."
He laughed. He was very cute.
"I was looking up something for my uncle," Ryan said. "Here, you can have it now." He placed the book in my hands.
"No problem." Ryan scratched the back of his neck. Potter did that sometimes too, when he was nervous. Bloody hell, why am I thinking about Potter? I mentally slapped myself. "So what brings you to the library so late?"
I tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. "Oh, you know." I held up the book. "Just a little fun research."
Ryan chuckled. "You think research is fun? Maybe you should've been in Ravenclaw."
I rolled my eyes. "Trust me, I've asked myself that question many times."
"Because if I was in Ravenclaw, Potter may have left me alone."
"Ah, Potter," Ryan said with a shake of his head. "Wish him my luck with the Hufflepuff match next weekend. Not that he needs it."
"I'll be sure to tell him," I said. "I'll say that you wish he would fall off his broom so that he dies."
Ryan laughed. "This is a message from me, not you."
"Hey, what would you say to a date?" Ryan asked suddenly.
I blinked at him. I knew the kid was bold and all, but I wasn't expecting that! He barely knew me, and I barely knew him. But a date would change that, wouldn't it? Besides, I hadn't been in a relationship in a while. Potter tended to scare off any boys who wanted to ask me out.
"Uh," I flustered, "when?"
"But tomorrow is a school night," I said dubiously.
I rolled my eyes. Did anyone else around here care about school other than me? I guessed not.
I laughed quietly to myself. "Um, sure, a date sounds lovely."
"Cool," Ryan said. "I'll meet you outside your common room around six?"
Smiling, I tucked another strand of hair behind my ear. "Sounds good," I said. "And thanks for the book."
Ryan beamed. "Anytime."
He walked away and I let out a long breath. I was going out with Ryan Henke. Kind of random, but I guess I should have expected it. He could have given me the book and left, but he kept talking to me. I mean, I knew I was a pretty interesting person. I was perfect, or so I thought.
I went back to my table with my bag and opened the Ministry book. I thumbed through it and found the section labeled "Animagi." I scanned through the list, skipping the first several pages with the earliest register dates since I knew the Marauders wouldn't be there. I started searching frantically once I got towards the more recent legals. They weren't there. I didn't see any familiar names except a bloke named Lewis Miller who had graduated a few years ago.
I looked in that book for a little over an hour, searching for the Marauders. They had to be animagi, they just had to be! It explained everything! It would explain the wounds they had after every full moon. I'd always noticed they got hurt after the full moon, but I always thought that was because they liked to beat each other up and Remus wasn't there to stop them. They'd been getting hurt since at least Fifth Year... had they been animagi for that long? Or longer? Were they really animagi at all? Because they weren't in the book. The book never lies. They HAD TO BE IN THE BOOK.
Unless they were unregistered.
I wanted to slap myself. Of course they were unregistered. The Marauders loved to be secretive and mysterious, and they loved to break the rules. Not registering would make them illegal, which, I'm sure, was quite a good thing to troublemakers like the Marauders.
But if they'd been getting hurt since Fifth Year, that meant they had to have been animagi since at least Fifth Year. That's very very very very difficult magic, and they would have had to start learning how to do it around Third Year to be able to master it by Fifth Year.
The Marauders were stupid. Genuises, yes, but stupid. They could have seriously hurt themselves trying to contort their bodies like that!
This was all hypothetical, of course. I wasn't sure they were animagi, but I was pretty damn positive. How would I be able to prove my theory? I assumed I would have to watch them very closely for a while, to discover their habits and mannerisms and all that.
I slammed the Ministry book shut, no where near resolved, and put it back on the shelf where it belonged. Ryan was the last thing on my mind at that point.
I had to admire the Marauders for their loyalty to Remus. They were willing to risk their lives and their health to help him out. I wish I had friends like that. I mean, I had Ellen, Brooke, and Leigh, but I was sure we would never do that for each other. Maybe it was a girl thing. Girl's friendships were different than boy's. But that was beside the point.
The point was, I was one step closer to cracking the secret that is the Marauders.
I knew about the Invisibility Cloak, I knew about Remus's Furry Little Problem, and now I knew the Marauders were animagi.
Three Marauder secrets down, hundreds more to go.
A/N: Is animagi supposed to be capitalized, like a proper noun? Oh, well.
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by Emily Tazen