“Come on mate let’s see it,” demanded Sirius. The other two Marauders were leaning in towards the table.
“Not here, upstairs in our dorm,”
“All right lets go,” squeaked Peter.
The three Marauders that had waited for James to return all jumped up and started towards the sixth year boy’s dorm. James was following them. They had spent the Christmas hols staring at the footprints moving through the castle. There had been only a few people moving about at that time, but now there was an entire school of people moving about.
Sirius took a detour to tell their fifth dorm mate to not come up stairs for some time. He was the last to enter the dorm and he sealed the door from unwanted intrusions.
James had laid the map out on his bed. He still hadn’t activated it until Sirius was there. Looking at the other Marauders, he pressed his wand against the parchment of the map and said the magical password. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
The other three Marauders had laughed at the statement, then they all “oohed” and “ahhed” as the map became visible. It seemed to start with Gryffindor common room. The rest of the castle became visible slowly filling all of the area on the parchment. Footsteps were everywhere accompanied by the names.
“Is it accurate?” asked Remus.
“Dead on, mate,” replied James.
“Let’s see,” Sirius said as he stared at the map then went to the dorm’s door. He pulled the door open to reveal Dennis Quigley standing there.
“Can I come in now mate?” asked Dennis.
“No!” said Sirius firmly, before slamming the door in his face. He cast a Charm on the door as he walked back to James’ bed.
Sirius stood and looked down at the map for several seconds before throwing his head back and letting out a loud barking laugh. “Everyone is where the map shows them to be. We will rule Hogwarts!” he shouted.
James stood up and was hugged by Sirius. Remus joined in the celebration, but was interrupted by Peter’s incessant giggling. They all turned and saw Peter sniggering uncontrollably.
“What’s gotten into you mate,” asked James.
“Fran – Francine Copperbottom is showering,” he said, as he broke out in uncontrollable giggles.
“Bloody hell, mate,” exclaimed Sirius. “She is a dot, just two footprints on a piece of parchment. It isn’t like you can actually see the water running over her large white arse.”
Peter turned bright red and started sniggering even louder and almost uncontrollably. “I think I will go to sleep now,” he said sheepishly.
“I want Silencing Charms,” ordered Sirius at Peter’s retreating back.
“Why do you treat him like that?” asked James.
“Don’t you remember the last time he got himself this wound up?”
“Yeah, I remember,” sighed James.
“He didn’t use Silencing Charms,” stated Sirius.
“We hadn’t learned them yet,” countered Remus.
“Still he kept us awake all night,” stated Sirius again. “I want to see something,” he said as he started searching the map again. “Here it…,” he stared open mouthed at the map. “Is that actually her name?”
“Whose name?” asked Remus.
James knew who he was talking about. “Yes, I thought it was rather funny; Sunshine Ray. Who would name their child that?”
“Sunshine Ray?” asked Remus incredulously. “That is a horrible name.”
“Wait until I tease her about that,” barked Sirius. “I’ll…,”
“Be cursed into Oblivion,” said James. Professor Ray scared him. No woman should be able to fight like she does. “She could paint the walls with you, mate.”
“Not once I turn on the old Padfoot Charm,” bragged Sirius.
“She’s a Professor,” snapped Remus.
She’s …,” James stopped talking. He was going to reveal that she hasn’t even been born yet, but Sirius wouldn’t believe him. “There is a huge difference in your ages, and she is a Professor and you are a student.”
The three remaining Marauders continued to argue for another hour, which time James cancelled the map’s enchantment. It went back to being a bit of parchment. They all retired to their four-poster beds. James Potter couldn’t get to sleep. All he kept thinking about was that Lily Evans would be dead in a few years. He had to stop being a prat around her, and making sure she realized how much he cares for her.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Lily Evans walked to the great hall for breakfast. She wasn’t watching where she was walking, because her mind was filled with the thoughts of James Potter’s apology. She had never heard him sincerely apologize to anyone in her life. What caused him to apologize to her?
The hum of mumbled conversation filled the great hall and spilled out into the entrance hall. It seemed that all the students were talking about their Christmas hols. Slipping past fellow students, she sat close to her dorm-mates. Their relationship had become strained. She was sure they were the ones spreading the rumors about her and Professor James. Looking up at the head table he was sitting there eating his breakfast. It made her feel much safer knowing he was there.
“I think you-know-who kidnapped him,” said Francine.
“No, he ran off to another country,” said another girl.
“Do you think he went back to France?” asked still another.
“I think he went to South America,” stated Cassie.
“Who are you talking about?” asked Lily.
“Theodore Lefevre, of course,” replied Cassie imperiously.
“Oh him, I think he went to where his parents are living now,” replied Lily.
“Oh you are so brilliant, so where are they living?” said Francine sardonically.
“Anywhere, but here,” stated Lily, as she got up to leave. She didn’t see the person she ran into until she was standing with her face buried into his chest.
“Good morning Lily, I know as prefects were to form a bond, but this may be too close,” teased Remus.
“I know that Remus,” laughed Lily as she stepped away from his chest. “I didn’t see you coming.”
“Where are you going to? You just arrived for breakfast,” he asked her.
“I was thinking about going to the library to study some more about Patronuses,” she said to him. “That is the spell for today in Defense class.”
“Mind if I accompany you? I am also going to check on a few things about Patronuses.”
As they walked towards the library, Lily kept trying to think of an inconspicuous way of asking Remus about Potter.
“How were your hols, Lily?”
She smiled at him starting up the conversation. “Oh they were good, nothing too eventful.”
“It sounds like something must have happened.”
“I just had to tolerate my sister and her boyfriend. How about you, did you have a good holiday?”
“Just spent most of my time at James’s home with Sirius and Peter, nothing too eventful, but I had a lot of fun.”
“I can just imagine,” she groaned.
“We are not that bad, Lily,” stressed Remus. “We just like to stretch the rules a little.”
“That’s a huge understatment,” said Lily loudly.
They had reached the library and were immediately shushed by Madam Pince.
“Anything happen unusual to James over the holiday?” she questioned Remus with a whisper.
“He seems different,” stated Lily as she pulled a tome on Patonuses and positive energy spells off the shelf. Remus took another book that dealt strictly with the Patronus spell.
“I noticed he seemed a little different, but didn’t put much thought into it. Are you considering dating him?”
They had reached a study table and she nearly dropped the large tome at his comment. What was bothering her was that she wasn’t completely repulsed by the idea of dating him. “No, he apologized to me about somethings he said before Christmas break. I don’t think I ever heard Potter apologize for anything he ever did.”
“I see,” whispered Remus with a knowing smile.
Lily felt uncomfortable with his reaction, so she used her wand to search for the section of the book that covered the Patronus Charm. She was trying not to think about Potter as she leafed through the pages. She quickly looked through the section on Patronuses, and decided to look for her answer at another location in the book. After another ten minutes, she had still been left without an answer.
“Lily we need to go,” stated Remus.
They both quickly got up and dropped off the books at the location for refiling, before leaving the library for the defense classroom.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” he asked her.
“No, did you?”
“Nothing definite, but some references to my question,” he responded calmly as they wove through the students heading to their first class of the day.
“What were you researching?”
“If one can determine or change the shape of their full corporeal Patronus.”
“No, it seems to be determined by the individual’s personality,” he said sadly.
“Yours should be a teddy bear,” Lily teased him. He looked at her with a sad expression.
“I can only hope,” he responded. “What were you researching?”
“I wanted to see if a person can send a message using their Patronus?”
Remus chortled at her statement.
“I am serious,” responded Lily.
“No, I am Sirius, Evans,” laughed Black from behind the two of them.
“Can you send a message with a Patronus, Black?” questioned Lily.
“No, I don’t even know how to do one yet,” replied Sirius as he walked past her and into the Defense Classroom.
“Hi Lily, lovely day,” said Potter as he walked past her.
Lily was so taken back by him just walking past her without asking her out or announcing for the world to hear that he loved her. Walking to her desk at the front of the class, she sat down and pulled out the homework that was due today. She quickly read it over, and was satisfied with what she wrote. She would wait until Professor James asked for questions to ask him how he sent a message by Patronus.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
James sat down and stared at Lily in the front row. He was so engrossed with watching her that he didn’t notice Remus, Sirius, and Peter talking to him.
“Hey,” shouted Sirius as he shoved James’ left shoulder from behind. “Did you get hit with a Confundus Charm?”
“What? No. I was just watching…,” he replied not finishing his sentence.
“You are acting odd, James,” said Remus from beside him.
“No I am not.”
“Yes, you are. Lily noticed and asked me about it.”
“She what?” said James with a great excitement.
“Merlin, you still are totally in love with her,” moaned Sirius.
“Yeah, I am,” said James sadly. He couldn’t help but think of the tragic news he had heard from his son.
Thinking about his son, James looked up to see him enter the classroom. He had that large brimmed hat on and with his long hair James could barely see any resemblance to him. He saw it last night, even though he still had a beard. He was a Potter, and his son.
A murmur went through the classroom. James noticed his son looking at the doorway to the classroom with a surprised look on his face. It was then that Professor Dumbledore entered the classroom.
“Headmaster is there something wrong?” asked his son.
“No Professor James, I like to observe all the Professor’s classes at least once. Today I have the time to observe yours.” The old Headmaster said as he walked in and took a seat in the back between the Slytherin group and the Marauders.
“He has never observed any other classes since we have been here,” whispered Sirius from behind James.
James nodded his head. He was afraid of talking for fear that the Headmaster had it out for his son.
The sound of the door closing filled the silent room.
“Welcome back class,” said Harry. “I hope you all had a good holiday, and were able to get today’s homework done. So let’s all please hand it in.”
The sound of rustling parchment filled the room as everyone passed their homework to the front of the row of seats. Harry and Ray waved their wands and the homework flew neatly onto their desk and stacked itself up.
“The Patronus Spell, can anyone tell me about it and what you can do with it?” asked the Professor.
Lily raised her hand, but Harry overlooked her to ask Francine. After about a couple of minutes of vague explanations, he moved to another student. After about three or four students had answered, James figured that everything had been covered concerning Patronuses. They were useful for only about one thing and that was keeping Dementors and Lethifolds at bay.
“You seem to understand the uses for the Patronus Charm. The one thing I want to tell you is the memory you use, does not need to necessarily be a happy one. When I first started trying to cast a Patronus, I used the first time I rode a broom. It was a happy memory, but it wasn’t strong enough. I was able to succeed when I used another memory that wasn’t necessarily happy, but it was very strong.”
James could have sworn that his son had looked straight at him, when he mentioned the strong memory.
“This doesn’t mean you can use anger to create a Patronus, because that won’t work. I need you to split up…,”
“Professor James,” interrupted Lily.
“Yes, Miss Evans.”
“I have heard that one can send a message using a Patronus, but I couldn’t find any reference to how one does that in any of the books in the library.”
James could have sworn that the Headmaster had sat up a little straighter when Lily asked the question.
“Well Miss Evans it is true one can use the Patronus Charm to send a message, but that is very advanced magic,” he said as he leaned against his desk top. “When you create the Patronus, you must think of the message that you want to send. It must be brief, only a few words.”
The Professor stopped talking for a second. A silver streak shot from his wand. It erupted into a magnificent glowing silver stag. Everyone in the room gasped. James heart leapt into his throat. His son’s Patronus was his animagus form.
The stag started to speak in his son’s voice. “You must be able to produce a Patronus silently first.”
The stag dissolved into silvery vapor after delivering the message. It seemed everyone in the room was shocked at the magic the Professor performed. The Marauders had all turned to look at him. It was Remus who spoke first. “His Patronus looks exactly like Prongs. I mean exactly.”
“I am sure there are other stags in this world,” said James in reply. His voice was tight and his throat was constricted with emotion, because his son’s Patronus was a stag. Lily’s voice brought him out of his thoughts.
“What a noble looking Patronus,” she gushed aloud.
“Thank you Miss Evans, all of you do not be discouraged by what form your Patronus takes. The size of the Patronus does not indicate how powerful it is. I doubt if any of you will be generating full corporeal Patronus’ in this classroom. It is said only a small percentage of magical people can even generate one. It will take time and practice to channel your emotions necessary. Your Patronus may also change as you mature and change. It depends on the caster’s emotional state.
“Now I want all the men on this side with me. All the women on that side with Professor Ray, let’s start practicing.”