Chapter 24 : Boomerang
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"Ouch! Ouch! Let go of us. My dad's going to hear about your treatment of us!" James threatened as Filch forced them to come with him, still holding tightly to their ears.
Filch dragged Potter and Black, dripping smelly slime, to McGonagall's office. He looked down at Mrs. Norris. "Please go and get Professor McGonagall, dearest," Filch said. She streaked away in the direction of Minerva's quarters.
Five minutes later Mrs. Norris came back with Professor McGonagall following closely behind dressed in her tartan robe, wearing slippers and her hair braided into a plait. She stopped short as she saw James and Sirius. "Mr. Filch, what in Merlin's name …"
"Found them in the Entrance Hall this way, Professor. Looking and smelling like they fell into a pig-sty!" Argus said. He hoped these two spoiled brats were finally going to get what they deserved. "They had this too!" He added gleefully holding up James' invisibility cloak.
Minerva glared at James and Sirius. She hadn't any doubt that Charles and Mavis had allowed their son to bring the cloak back to school with him, but this was evidence enough to seize it and owl it back to them. "Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, explain yourselves!"
"We weren't the only ones out of bed, Professor," James whined. "Evans, Pettigrew and Sniv …Snape were out of bed too!"
"Snivellus and Evans did this to us when we caught them," Sirius protested. "We ought to be rewarded for catching them!"
"Excuse me, Mr. Black, but I do not see Mr. Pettigrew, Miss Evans, or Mr. Snape. I only see you and Mr. Potter with no explanation as to why you're out of bed and in this condition."
"They've been sneaking around and we wanted to know what they were doing. We figure those rotten snakes are up to no good!" Sirius snapped angrily.
"Mr. Filch, did you see anyone else in or about the Entrance Hall when you arrived?"
"No, ma'am, only Potter and Black," Filch replied. "Peeves let me know they were out after curfew hiding under this cloak and causing trouble no doubt. I have a mind to lock this up in my file cabinet for the rest of the year."
Minerva took the cloak Filch handed her. "No need, Mr. Filch. I'll see that it's owled to Mr. Potter's parents first thing in the morning."
"What's to stop him from bringing it back when he goes home for the holidays?" Filch grumbled.
"If he does, I'll give it to you and you can lock it in your file cabinet for the remainder of the year," McGonagall promised. She turned back to James and Sirius. "As for you two; you have a week's detention with Mr. Filch and 40 points will be taken from Gryffindor." She glared at them. "Now get back to the dorm, shower, and go to bed."
James and Sirius made their way up to Gryffindor Tower, leaving a trail of slime behind them as they walked. "I sure hope this will wash off," James said to Sirius. "I can't be seen in like this. Everybody might think I'm related to Snivellus!"
"We've got to think up something really good to back at that lot," Sirius swore. "Maybe Bella knows a hex we could cast that would really make a joke out of all of them."
"Why don't you owl her, Siri, and see if she know any really embarrassing hexes."
"I will first thing in the morning," Sirius replied fervently. "In the meantime we can ask Mary to look for that scroll case we saw Silly Lily with."
Peter had woken Frank and Remus as soon as he gotten back to the dorm, told them about finding the scroll case, and what Sev and Lily had done to Potter and Black. He had gone to bed and fallen immediately to sleep, but Frank and Remus had other plans.
When James and Sirius walked into their dorm room after showering, Frank and Remus were sitting up in bed wearing Muggle World War One style gas masks. Remus, who loved history and was very talented at Charms and Transfiguration had conjured them, recalling them from his reading about the first Muggle world war.
"We wanted to be able to sleep without getting sick from the smell of manure," Frank said, his voice sounding muffled as a result of the mask.
"Oi! You three bastards are going to be sorry!" Sirius growled. "You and your slimy Slytherin friends are going to wish you'd never started in on us!"
"We're the victims here!" James whined.
Remus pulled off his mask, threw it aside, and said angrily, "Victims? You thought it was a hysterically funny prank to cast that hex on Pete in Bones' class and make Sev and Lily forget everything for the whole day! What they did to you tonight isn't anywhere as bad as what you've done to them!"
"You'd all better watch your backs!" Sirius warned as he got into bed and pulled the curtains shut.
The next morning Remus, Pete and Frank got up earlier than usual. They decide to warn their friends about Sirius' threats. "I guess we all better make sure we practice that Boomerang Charm," Frank said as they went downstairs to the Great Hall.
James and Sirius got up early and went up to the Owlry to send off Sirius' letter to Bella. He was certain she would come up with something really good again and then they went to see Godfather Albus before going down to breakfast.
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Albus strolled into Minerva's office. She had been expecting him. No doubt James went whining to him first thing this morning. Fortunately she had already sent off the invisibility cloak back to the Potters with her Tawny Owl, Mystic. "You're too late, Albus," she remarked as she heard him enter her office.
"Too late for what, my dear Minerva?" Albus asked innocently.
"I've already sent Mr. Potter's cloak back to his parents."
"James told me what happened. He and Sirius were the victims of a rather vicious attack on the part of Miss Evans and Mr. Snape Why haven't they as well as Mr. Pettigrew been given detention for being out of bed after curfew and their casting of an illegal hex?"
"I have no proof any of the three of them were actually out of bed, Albus. Frankly, Mr. Potter has lied so many times about Miss Evans and Mr. Snape that I'm reluctant to believe anything he says about them. Without seeing them out of bed after hours with my own eyes I will not punish them.
"Well, I don't like the students to get away with casting nasty spells and hexes on each other," Albus huffed.
"Albus, you are such a windbag!" Minerva snapped. "You've allowed Potter and Black to get away with casting hex after hex on Miss Evans and Mr. Snape and not cared in the least if they were hurt in the process! Now you're complaining because they and their friends are retaliating and suddenly they're the villains?"
"I am going to put a stop to it this morning, Minerva," Albus decide.
"Well, Headmaster; it had better be directed at all the students," Minerva warned.
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Albus stood up during breakfast, raised his wand, and shot purple sparks out of it. The students stopped talking and looked up at him questioningly. "In the last two days there's been a lot of hexing in the hallways and after hours and it appears that only certain people have been targeted. This going to stop right now! Any student or students caught hexing another student will receive detention, lose house points, and a letter will be sent home to their parents. I hope you will show me that you're all the fine witches and wizards I believe you are and make me proud."
Minerva and Pomona both rolled their eyes while Filius and Horace both shook their heads.
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James and Sirius sulked in the back of the classroom during all their classes with the exception of Bones' class. She made them sit in the front row after what they had done to Peter so she could keep an eye on them. They sent dirty looks at Lily, Severus, Remus, Pete, Frank, and Alice, blaming them for all their problems and the detention they had received from McGonagall.
Meanwhile, the friends met every night in the Room of Requirement to practice the spells they'd learned in Charms and Transfiguration that day. They practiced the Boomerang Charm until everybody could cast it perfectly. The incantation for it was Reversario. Severus made sure he taught it to Reg and warned him to start casting it on himself every morning. Lily decided to hide Rowena's scroll case in this room so it would be safe until they had a chance to study whatever was inside.
It was the second week in October already. All Dorian and Tav could talk about was being able to visit Hogsmeade on Saturday, October 28th. Everybody else was looking forward to the Halloween Feast. Lily was especially looking forward to it as she had not been able to attend it due to being in the hospital wing last year. Severus was also looking forward to it as he had also missed it because he'd been sitting with Lily in the hospital last year. Dorian and Tav promised to bring everybody samples of the candy from Honeydukes.
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James and Sirius took Mary aside and told her about what they had seen before Snivellus and Lily had hexed without warning and gotten them in trouble with Filch and McGonagall conveniently forgetting to mention the fact that it was Peeves who has summoned Filch in the first place.
"Silly Lily was carrying this silver scroll case and she was with Snivellus and Pettigrew," James said. "The case looked really old; it was filigreed and stuff
"Yeah and all three of them were acting mighty suspicious," Sirius added. "We need you to find out where Evans is hiding it so we can get it and take it to Dumbledore. He'll probably reward us for putting a stop to whatever those Slytherin gits and their allies are planning." Sirius bragged.
"Yeah! I imagine we'll all get a Special Service to the School Award and Snape, Evans, and the rest of those creeps will be expelled and sent back to the gutters they crawled out of!" James declared. "My aunt will be totally mortified when old bookworm bed head gets expelled, but she deserves it. The Goshawk's are the biggest bunch of snobs ever! That'll take her parents down several pegs!" James boasted.
"She's probably got it hidden in her trunk. She's also got a journal and that stupid doll of hers locked in there. We could read her journal and throw her doll into the fireplace. My brother showed me how to get a trunk open using a nail file. I don't have one, but I'll bet I can get it open using my barrette."
"It's probably full of crap like what a handsome prince Snivellus is!" Sirius said sticking his finger in his mouth and making a gagging sound.
"I'll hide in the bathroom and wait until Evans, Starkey, and my other roommates go down to dinner and I'll try it then."
"Good going!" James said high fiving both Sirius and Mary.
Mary waited until a little past five and then sneaked out of the bathroom where she'd been hiding. She peeked into the dorm room and saw everybody was gone. Mary smiled evilly. She couldn't wait to see Lily's face when she saw her precious Belinda burning in the common room fireplace! She took her barrette out of her hair and bent one of the prongs into a loop, stuck it into the keyhole of Lily's trunk and began twisting and turning it while listening closely for the click that would indicate the trunk was unlocked. Suddenly, both of her hands felt very warm and when she looked down at them she saw they had turned bright red. Mary screamed, jumped to her feet and ran into the bathroom. She began frantically scrubbing her hands without any result; her hands were still bright red. That bitch Evans must have put some kind of dark spell on her trunk! Mary wondered what to do. She couldn't go down to dinner this way. She rummaged in her trunk for the pair of leather gloves she'd gotten for Christmas last year and put them on.
Alice watched as MacDonald came into the Great Hall and sat down next to James and Sirius. They began whispering frantically. She nudged Lily and said. "Why's MacDonald wearing gloves? It's getting colder outside, but not that cold."
"I'll bet I know why," Lily said, taking out her wand. "Accio MacDonald's gloves!"
Mary cried out as the gloves flew off her hands and over to Lily, revealing her bright red hands.
"You cow!" Lily yelled jumping up out of her seat. "You were trying to get into my trunk and snoop! I cast the Snoop's Retribution Charm on it so I'd know right away if you were trying to snoop."
Everybody was laughing and pointing at Mary's red hands. Many of the students were familiar with the charm and what it did. "Snoop! Snoop! Nosy Biddy!" Some of them chanted.
"Take it off me this minute, you worthless Mudblood!" Mary yelled storming over to Lily.
"Miss MacDonald, Miss Evans my office immediately," Minerva ordered.
Lily trudged up to Professor McGonagall's office looking glum. She hoped she wasn't going to get detention. After all, didn't she have a right to protect herself from a roommate who wanted to snoop through her belongings?
Minerva was seated behind her desk when Mary and Lily walked in. "Please have a seat, Miss Evans and Miss MacDonald."
Lily sat down uneasily, but Mary sat down with a self-righteous attitude surrounding her.
"Now, what in Merlin's name is going on?" Minerva demanded.
They both started speaking at the same time, but Minerva held up her hand to stop them. "Miss MacDonald, how did this happen?"
"I was running late and hurrying, I tripped and put my hands on her trunk to steady myself and the next thing I know my hands are bright red. You have to make her take it off me, Professor! I can't go around like this and have everybody laughing at me and thinking I did something wrong when I didn't!" Mary protested.
Minerva frowned. She was familiar with Snoop's Retribution Charm and how it worked. "Miss Evans, what say you?"
"I cast that charm on my trunk; I freely admit it," Lily said. "She snoops in Alice's and my trunks. We've come back to the dorm and found things in our trunk have been rearranged. One time last year she stole my Defense homework out of my trunk and got me in trouble with Professor Hardbroom. That's why I cast the Snoop's Retribution Spell on my trunk this year."
"That's a lie! She lost it and just didn't want to admit it!" Mary screamed. "She hiding something in her trunk that her, Pee-Pee Pettigrew, and Snivellus found when they were out of bed the other night! Both James and Sirius saw it. It's a silver scroll case and it probably contains some horrible dark arts curse!"
"Is that why you were trying to snoop through my trunk, because of something Potter and Black supposedly saw?" She turned back to Professor McGonagall. "If you want to check my trunk for this mythical whatever that those two gits were supposed to have seen, you can."
"That won't be necessary, Miss Evans. Miss MacDonald, I'm fully aware of the Snoop's Retribution Charm and I know very well it did not activate by your falling on Miss Evans' trunk. I'm aware it can only be activated when someone is actively trying to break into someone else's locked trunk. I'm giving you three nights of detention, taking thirty house points for snooping and for lying to me, and another ten points for calling Miss Evans that foul name. I'm also owling your parents. You may both go."
Mary burst into tears and ran out of the office bawling at the top of her lungs with Lily following her
Minerva sighed and slumped back into her chair. She and Horace had a standing bet for the Gryffindor/Slytherin game in November. By the time Potter, Black, and MacDonald were through, Horace would end of winning by default simply because there would be no rubies left in Gryffindor's hour glass.
Lily went to the Room of Requirement where she suspected her other friends were waiting. When she came in they all started applauding. Severus offered her a piece of chocolate cake he had saved for her since she'd left with Professor McGonagall before dessert appeared.
"Thanks, Sev," Lily said.
"So what happened with McGonagall?" Alice asked. "I hope she didn't give you detention."
Lily took a bite of the cake and shook her head. "No, she took forty points from MacDonald, gave her three night of detention, and is going to owl her parents."
"Serves the cow right!"
"I hope she punished her for calling you that foul name," Severus said darkly.
"Yes, she did. She knew all about the charm I put on my trunk because MacDonald tried to say she tripped and fell against it and that's how she wound up with red hands. Some of the points she took were for lying."
"The stupid cow hasn't figured out yet that McGonagall has x-ray eyes and can smell a lie a mile off!" Dorian snorted.
"Undoubtedly my idiot cousin has written his parents. I expect to see Uncle Charles and Aunt Mavis any time now," Irene said.
"What was she looking for in your trunk?" Caddaric asked. He couldn't believe what went on in Gryffindor.
"I expect she was looking for this," Lily replied getting up and taking the scroll case out of its hiding place. She took opened it and passed it around with the parchment still inside. "Try not to handle the parchment; its very old and we don't want it to crumble."
It was passed around so everybody could examine it. Everyone admired the beautiful and intricate craftsmanship of the case. Emily and Jane examined the case and Jane read the riddle aloud.
'Kings and lords and christians raise them
Since they stand for higher power
Yet few of them would stand, I'm certain,
If women ruled this world of ours'
"But what does it mean?" Emily asked.
"That's what we've got to figure out," Severus said.
"We won't have much time this week with revising for mid-terms," Frank pointed out.
"It's waited for hundreds of years so I expect it won't hurt to wait for a few more weeks," Tav said.
They were all reluctant to leave the mystery, but Frank was right. They needed to study for their mid-term exams that were scheduled for the next week. Everybody wanted to get top grades.
The next morning at breakfast an owl flew in carrying a red envelope and landed in front of Mary. Lily nudged Alice and pointed down the table. Alice laughed. "She's really in for it now!"
Mary gave a cry of shock and covered her ears as the owl dropped the envelope and flew off. It transformed itself into a wide open mouth which immediately commenced to scolding her:
"Mary Louisa MacDonald! We just received Professor McGonagall's letter telling us you were caught trying to break into another student's trunk, calling the same student a very foul name, and lying to Professor McGonagall on top of everything else! We have sent a letter to her telling her to punish you in whatever way she deems fit! We never had anywhere this much trouble from your brother in all his seven years at Hogwarts! If we receive anymore letters, you will not be returning to Hogwarts after the holidays!"
The letter exploded into confetti when it was finished. Mary burst into loud sobs while James and Sirius awkwardly patted her on her back. "Now see what you've done, Evans!" He yelled down the table. "This is entirely yours and Snivellus' fault!
"Well I guess you shouldn't have told her to snoop in my trunk, Pothead!" Lily yelled back.
"Cheer up, Mary," Sirius said. "James and I are going to find such a good hex it will make all of them sorry they messed with us."
"Really?" Mary asked sniffling.
"You bet!" James added. "We owe them for all the trouble and humiliation they've caused us!"
The hexing died down as everybody studied for their exams, but James and Sirius could be seen whispering and laughing in the library and at the table.
Severus glared at them across the room. "They're up to something. Don't let your guard down," he advised everybody.
"Frank, Pete, and I have been casting the Boomerang Charm around our beds every night in case Potter and Black try something in the middle of the night," Remus said.
"We should do that too, Lily," Alice said.
"We can, but I really think MacDonald's too stupid to pull anything successfully," Lily answered. "And her parents did threaten to pull her out of Hogwarts if they got another letter from McGonagall."
The mid-term exams were tough. Severus was uncertain about Charms and Transfiguration, but hoped he could retain his 'E' standing. He felt he had done really well on Professor Fleinhardt's exam and maybe had managed an 'E', but at least he knew he had done his very best.
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After their last exam, James and Sirius returned to their room to find an owl waiting for them. Sirius grabbed the letter off the owl and tossed it out the open window. "It's from Bella. Finally!" Sirius said.
"What she say?" James asked eagerly.
"This is gonna be good!" Sirius chuckled and proceeded to tell James what his cousin had come up with.
The next morning was the first Hogsmeade visit of the school year. Dorian and Tav eagerly handed Filch their permission slips and took off running down the road leading to the village. The rest of the friends met in the Room of Requirement to try and figure out what the riddle meant.
"What does the first line mean?" Remus asked knitting his brows. "That's the key to understanding it."
"Something kings, lords and christians build," Lily muttered.
They worked on the riddle until they were interrupted by Dorian and Tav retuning from their visit to Hogsmeade.
"How was it?" Severus asked as he bit into a Chocolate Cauldron.
"Fantastic!" Dorian replied. "There's the Three Broomsticks Inn where you can buy a butterbeer. And Honeydukes that has every kind of candy you could wish for like Chocoballs that comes in strawberry or clotted cream flavors, chunks of creamy nougat or treacle fudge."
"They also have stuff like Acid Pops, Cockroach Clusters, and Blood-flavored Lollipops," Tav added.
Alice and Lily who were sharing a Cauldron Cake made a face.
"Look at the time!" Frank exclaimed. "We'd better be heading down to the feast."
They all went down the stairs to the Entrance Hall and joined the rest of the students headed to the Great hall for the feast. James, Sirius and Mary were already seated at the table when the friends entered and split up to go to their house tables.
"Now remember our plan, Siri," James whispered. "I'll hex Snivellus, your bratty brother, Andrews, and Deluca, Irene, and Caddaric.
"And I'll hex Silly Lily, Starkey, Lupin, Pee-Pee, and Longboob," Sirius finished.
You got it!"
"Let the feast begin," Dumbledore said and then stepped down to greet Minister Bagnold whom he'd invited to the feast and was just coming through the door.
"On the count of three," James said. "One …two …three, Anguicomus!" James said casting his wand at Severus, Regulus, Dorian and Tav. Unfortunately for him all four of them were protected by the Boomerang Charm. The hex bounced off them and would have returned to James had not Albus and the Minister been walking between the Slytherin and Ravenclaw tables at that very moment.
Minister Bagnold screamed as her hair began coiling and slithering around her face and hissing. She looked like the Medusa with snakes for hair. Albus' hair and beard were both attacking him. It looked as if he had a head and face full of white snakes.
Sirius had cast his hex the very same time as James and it also rebounded and hit several people at their end of the table including James, Mary and himself. Sirius jumped up out of his seat as his hair began winding, coiling, slithering and hissing all over his head and face. "Ahh!" He was dancing around tearing at his hair.
Lily, Alice, Frank, Remus, Pete, Irene, Caddaric, Severus, Reg, Dorian, and Tav all cracked up, laughing so hard they were practically breathless.
"Help me! I'm being attacked!" James screamed.
Mary was screaming louder than James as her hair coiled and hissed all around her.
"Silence!" Dumbledore yelled.
"This is outrageous, Dumbledore!" Minister Bagnold snapped. "I've heard from some of your Board of Governors how this school is being run. I didn't believe them, but now I can see where their concerns may be valid!" She turned to glare at the students. "I want whatever student or students are responsible for this …" She pointed at her hair. "I want the counter-hex and …" She was interrupted by someone calling her.
"Minister, it was them," Elena Markham called pointing at James and Sirius. "Potter was trying to hex the Slytherins and Black was trying to hex Alice and her friends." Alice was Elena's heroine because she had stopped Sirius from hexing her.
"James, Sirus get over here this minute!" Albus said in his most severe tone. "Professor McGonagall, please join the Minister and me in my office."
James and Sirius walked over to Albus, the Minister, and Professor McGonagall with their heads down. They knew they were in trouble and there wasn't going to be anybody's godfather to get them out of it.
A/N: Anguicomus: Snake Hair. Counter-Hex: Reconcinno: to restore or repair. Also, since there was no Minister listed for the dates when Lily and Severus went to school, we decided to have Minister Bagnold be the Minister for those years as well. She was listed as Minister for 1980-1990.
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