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Chapter 6 : Mispronounced Spells? Yeah, They're Pretty Funny.
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“We’re bloody brilliant!” James bragged one evening over their piles of homework. “There’s no way we’ll loose tomorrow!”
“Hope so, mate,” Sirius sighed, labeling his star chart halfheartedly. “That bloke Marcus Kent tried to hex me today, and I’d like to see the smirk wiped off of his ugly face.”
“Kent... Isn’t that the Slytherins captain?” Remus asked, flipping through his Defense Against the Dark Arts book, trying to find the cure to a Cornish Pixy bite.
“The very one,” James said, nodding.
Suddenly, there was a bang, and they all jumped and looked at Peter, whose wand was smoking. Then Sirius let out a strangled cry, and they all looked back at him and saw...
James burst into a hysteric fit of laughter, falling over and clutching a stitch in his side, books falling off the table and onto him. Remus too choked on laughter, but he tried to silence it unsuccessfully. Peter looked horrorstruck.
“I—You!” Sirius sputtered. “What the—the bloody hell were you—I have—”
“You have boobs, mate!” James burst out, still shaking with laughter.
“I know that!” Sirius shouted, looking outraged. Everyone in the common room was watching them, some joining in on the laughter and others looking confused. “Help me, you nitwits!”
James and Remus stood and grabbed a hold of each of Sirius’ arms and led him to the portrait hole, which Remus swung open. James then gestured towards the hole and wiggled his eyebrows at Sirius.
“Ladies first,” James chortled.
“Ha ha, you’re so funny,” Sirius said sarcastically, stepping through, Remus and James following him. Peter scurried out last, and the portrait of the Fat Lady swung shut behind them. They all escorted Sirius to the Hospital Wing, earning strange looks the whole way there. At one point they almost ran into Severus, but they quickly hid in a secret passageway that was hidden behind a tapestry before he could see Sirius’... condition. When they finally made it to the Hospital Wing, Madam Pomfrey tutted as she sat Sirius on a bed and hurried over to the bookshelf to look up a counter curse. After a moment, she came back to Sirius’ side and tapped his chest and muttered, “Doloroso,” and the boobs disappeared.
“Now, what exactly happened?” Madam Pomfrey asked as Sirius felt his chest and sighed in relief.
“I-I was working on Charms homework, and I think I-I may have mispronounced a spell,” Peter explained, seeming abashed. “I didn’t mean to.”
“Well, I see no harm done,” she assured him with a smile. “But be careful when working on new spells next time, because the result of a mispronounced spell could be much more severe next time.” Peter nodded quickly, and she released them.
As they exited the Hospital Wing, Sirius gestured to the door, letting James walk through first, and he said, “Age before beauty, of course.” James glowered at him.
“Well, since we’re out and about, how about we go and do a little more research in the library?” James offered.
Remus sighed. “I hope that by research you mean for homework,” he said, but James shook his head.
“Of course not! We still need to figure out how to become Animagi, and we haven’t found any books that give enough detail!”
“Maybe it’s a sign, then,” Remus offered hopefully.
“You know what?” Sirius asked, seeming struck by a sudden thought. “Any books with that kind of powerful magic are probably in the restricted section!”
“Well, that’s just great! How will we ever find a book that’s in the restricted section? Madam Redsworth won’t let us just browse!” James complained.
“So give up,” Remus told them. “I’m not worth all of this trouble.”
“Sure you are, mate,” Sirius disagreed. “You’re our best friend. We can’t just let you suffer for the next six years.”
“I would have anyway, if you hadn’t found out,” Remus said.
“Well, then, we figured it out for a reason,” Sirius stated. “It was meant to be.”
All of a sudden, from another corridor, they heard a shriek and a lot of laughing. The four friends changed their direction to go and see what the problem was. Once they had fought their way through the crowd that had gathered at the scene, they saw a boy who looked a few years older than them dangling upside down in the air by his ankle.
“What are these?” a large Slytherin boy was asking, dumping out the boy’s backpack onto the floor. Tons of plugs and batteries were spilling out, and the boy looked like he was ready to cry. “You muggle lover, are these muggle toys? Are you a muggle at heart? You don’t deserve to go to Hogwarts; you’re not a true wizard at all.”
“Stop it, McGregory,” the boy said, trying to grab for his bag.
“Yeah,” said James, stepping forward, followed by Remus and Sirius. Peter hung back, looking unsure.
“Oh, and what are you going to do about it?” McGregory asked menacingly, turning away from the boy, who toppled onto the floor. Remus finally got a good look at him and recognized a fellow Gryffindor. Apparently James noticed this too.
“We’re going to show you why you should never mess with a Gryffindor,” James threatened, and Remus just stared at him. McGregory was a sixth year who knew many more curses than he, James, and Sirius put together.
“I’d like to see you try,” McGregory laughed, and the Slytherins in the crowd chortled with him. The rest of the crowd looked either nervous or excited about the ensuing fight.
James pulled out his wand, and so did Sirius, but Remus grabbed both of their wrists and tried to get them to see reason.
“Guys, you’re going to get yourselves killed!” Remus whispered.
“What, is the little baby scared?” McGregory asked. James tried to take a step toward him, but Remus held him back.
“Just leave him. He’s not worth our time,” Remus told him.
“You’re weak, Lupin. You’re never going to be anything more than a pathetic, whiny, insecure freak,” McGregory said loudly, and the laughs of Slytherins echoed down the corridor.
“Don’t fall for his bate,” Remus warned Sirius, who was fighting desperately to escape Remus’ hold on him.
“I’m not going to let him insult you like that, mate,” Sirius growled.
“Oh, yes you are, if you don’t want to be expelled,” Remus said.
“That’s right, don’t fight back,” McGregory continued taunting. “You’re a pathetic excuse for a wizard. You’re no better than a common werewolf.” That stung, and suddenly a loud boom rang out, and McGregory flew backwards. Remus looked at both James and Sirius, who seemed to be just as confused as he was. Everyone else was looking at McGregory, who was slowly getting to his feet. Everyone began to laugh as he realized what had grown on his chest...
Remus, James, and Sirius looked back at Peter, whose wand was raised and once again smoking at the end. He gave them all a small smile, and James and Sirius whooped for joy. Even Remus couldn’t help smiling.
“Mispronounce it again, did you mate?” Sirius asked Peter.
“What can I say?” Peter asked. “I’ve never been good at spells.”
“Peter, you didn’t stutter!” James exclaimed, and Peter looked shocked.
“I didn’t? I didn’t! I’m still not!” Peter shouted, jumping up and down excitedly.
“Well, today was a very productive day,” Sirius sighed, flinging his arms over James’ and Peter’s shoulders. James flung his arm around Remus’, and they all headed back to the common room. “Now, James, we need to get you some rest so that you can kick some Slytherin ass out on the Quidditch pitch tomorrow!”
The next morning, everyone was buzzing with excitement about the Quidditch match, placing bets on who they believed would win. The normal commentator for the matches had come down with the flu, so Sirius had been asked by Professor McGonagall to fill in. Sirius, however, asked for Remus to help him, and so they both headed up to the teachers’ box where the commentator equipment was kept.
“Thanks for helping me, mate,” Sirius said as they each sat down and grabbed a microphone.
“No problem. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at commentating. I just feel bad that Peter’s alone now.”
“Nah, Hagrid’s sitting with him. See?” Sirius pointed over to the stands, where Hagrid was speaking animatedly to Peter, who also seemed excited. “Oh, look, here come the teams!” Sirius exclaimed, turning his microphone on. Remus followed his lead. “Good afternoon, and welcome to the first Quidditch match of the season!” Sirius announced. “We have an exciting match for you today, pitting rival teams Gryffindor and Slytherin against each other. If we’re lucky, we’ll see some blood—”
“Sirius, you can’t say that!” Remus scolded into his microphone. “Now,” he continued, Sirius looking sour. “on Gryffindor team we have Moore, Davis, Andrews, Lewinski, Gordon, Taylor, and Potter!” A roar of approval rang through the stadium, as every house except Slytherin wanted Gryffindor to win. Slytherin managed to make their booing heard too, however. “And on Slytherin team we have Kent, Fielding, McGregory—”
“McGregory tried to attack us in the corridor last night, the great oaf,” Sirius interrupted.
“Sirius, shut up,” Remus scolded, then continued. “—Watson, Sanderson, Smithers, and Hender!”
“Now, this seems to be a very promising match, as both teams have been practicing hard. And it seems that once again the Slytherins have decided to go for size instead of talent.” That was true, as each member of the Slytherin team was twice the size of any member of the Gryffindor team. “We’ll see if this technique will help them win the match, or make them bite the dust.”
“The players have mounted their brooms... and they’re off! Gryffindor in possession, Andrews has got the quaffle—Sanderson took a swing at her with his bat, but Andrews avoided him!”
“Ha! Go eat hippogriff dung, Sanderson—”
“Sirius!” Remus warned. “Oh no, it seems Fielding has gained possession of the quaffle—Excellent, a bludger hit by Taylor has forced Fielding to release the ball—Andrews back in possession—She’s thrown it to Davis—Davis swerves a bludger—”
“Gryffindor scores!” Sirius shouted. “The score’s now 10 to 0! Excellent play, Davis! Not that Slytherin had a chance anyway...”
“And it’s McGregory with the ball... Oh, it seems he hasn’t gone to Madam Pomfrey to fix his little... problem... yet.”
“Should we call him a her?” Sirius asked, and the Gryffindor supporters laughed. Suddenly, a bludger came soaring into the teachers’ box, right at Remus and Sirius. They both dove out of the way, Sirius swearing.
“That was intentional!” Remus shouted into his microphone, and a foul was called on the Slytherin team, earning many boos from the Slytherins.
“Well, it serves them right, the gits,” Sirius exclaimed as Lewinski threw the quaffle through the hoop and scored. “And the score is 20 to 0, with Gryffindor in the lead!”
On and on it went, the Slytherin team becoming more and more violent as the match progressed. At one point, James had dove for the snitch, but Smithers had run into him, almost knocking him off his broomstick. That had earned another penalty for Gryffindor.
“And the score is 70 to 50, with Slytherin in the lead,” Remus announced. Sirius was swearing angrily into his microphone, and Remus reached over and turned it off. “Wait, what’s James doing?” he asked, suddenly catching sight of his friend diving towards the ground. Hender, the Slytherin seeker, seemed to have noticed this too, and began following him. But it was too late, because James had caught the snitch!
Sirius turned his microphone back on and shouted into it, “Gryffindor won! Gryffindor won! Eat that, Slytherin!” The Gryffindor team landed on the field and encircled James, hugging him and slapping him on the back. The rest of the crowd fought their way onto the field to praise the seeker, but Remus, Sirius, and Peter made their way to the front and applauded him.
“Well done, James,” Remus congratulated.
“That was bloody brilliant!” Sirius shouted. “In a few years, you could play at the Quidditch World Cup!”
“You really think so?” James asked eagerly, and all three of his friends nodded enthusiastically. “Well, thanks!”
“Come on, you guys, party in the common room!” shouted Christopher Davis, one of the Gryffindor chasers. With lifted spirits, the Gryffindors headed up to a party, while the Slytherins sulked. Remus caught sight of Severus, who was looking sullenly at Lilly Evans, who seemed to have abandoned him to join in the festivities. Remus felt bad for him, but he continued on his way, not feeling like being troubled about somebody else’s woes right now. After all, it had just occurred to him with a sinking heart that tonight was the full moon.
Author Note: Okay, so the second chapter (The Sorting) has been edited twice now, because first I had it that Tonks was four years yonger than the Marauders, and then I said she was ten. Luckily, someone kindly informed me that she's actually thirteen years yonger, so, as I wish to be narratively correct (if that's a term), I have taken out any mention of Tonks completely, and she will instead appear later in the story. Thank you very much ekroman for the help!
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