Chapter 5 : Animal Nights
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The Marauders were huddled under James’s Invisibility Cloak, heading towards the deserted classroom were they had been working on their long- term project for over two years. Sirius had said it would be simple. Becoming Animagi. So simple they had to work on it for two years.
“Come on Peter, keep up!” James hissed. “You wouldn’t want Filch to see a leg floating in midair, would you?”
“No,” Peter squeaked, a bit too loudly.
“Peter, please keep your voice down. One of the ghosts could hear us.” Remus said kindly.
Peter mumbled an apology, and pressed himself farther from the edge of the cloak and closer to the group. Unfortunately, this caused some discomfort.
“Peter, could you please remove your hand from my butt?” Sirius said icily.
Once again, Peter found himself squeaking out an apology, and moved to a less compromising position.
They soon arrived at the doorway to their ‘lab,’ as the Marauders liked to call it, and eased the creaking door open.
“Finally!” Sirius exclaimed, and flung off the cloak. “Sorry mate, but either your cloak is getting too small, or we’re getting bigger.”
“I think the problem is that we’re getting bigger, Sirius.” Remus said.
“Can we get on with it, or at least continue this discussion later? I want to see if this batch will work.” James was crouched over a cauldron in the middle of the floor, and stirring the contents with a big wooden ladle.
Remus scanned a book that was lying on the table. “I’m pretty sure we have it right this time. Just make sure you don’t spill anything again, like before.”
Peter flushed at the comment directed his way. “It wasn’t my fault! Someone called my name and I turned and-”
“We know Peter, we know. No need to recall the unpleasant memory, is there?”
“Guys, come on! Let’s do it! I’ll go first.” James ladled some of the watery liquid into his cup and pinched his nose. “Well, here goes nothing!”
He drank the potion in one gulp. Instantly, a bright blue light shone around him, wrapping him in a tight cocoon. James was raised into the air, as brilliant beams of light burst out of his eyes, ears, mouth, fingers, toes, and every part of his body. The Marauders looked on in fascination and anxiety as the streams of light erupting from his fingers and toes combined into four. Then, a stag landed in a heap on the floor at their feet. It rose shakily on four hooves, until it stood tall and proud.
Had any of them been Muggleborn, they would have said, “Kodak moment.”
However, the picture of pride and majesty seemed slightly ruined as James took a step forward... and landed on his snout.
“Smooth James, real smooth.” Sirius muttered.
In another flash of blue light, a teenage boy appeared where the stag had lain, rubbing his nose. “Did you see that guys? Did you see that?” James asked, eyes shining and filled with excitement.
“That was awesome. Me next!” Sirius said.
Remus inquired, “What was it like?”
“It was like... being hit with a thousand Cheering Charms, and being... scrubbed clean. Completely clean. Like there was absolutely nothing the matter with you, and being in total absolute bliss. Then, every single part of you is aware of what’s going on and you are just... alert like nothing you’ve every experienced.”
“Enough with your rambling mate. Let me have a go.” Sirius grabbed another cup and poured the liquid down his throat.
Once again, the room was filled with brilliant blue light, and soon a big black dog was dropped at the feet of the Marauders. Sirius changed back hurriedly. “That was the best thing I’ve ever experienced! Come on Peter, it’s your turn.”
Peter took the potion with a little hesitation, and a rat was soon deposited on the floor. He changed back, a bit put out. “A rat? Why a rat?”
No one had an answer, so James cleared his throat. “Remus? It’s your turn.”
But Remus shook his head. “No thanks.”
“Why not?” Sirius asked.
“When you guys change, I won’t be able to, remember?”
The uncomfortable silence was broken by Sirius. “Mates? An accomplishment such as this requires... nicknames. James is easy. Prongs, due to those delightful little buggers on top of you head. Me, I’ll be Padfoot because of, well, my padded feet. Peter’s Wormtail, because his tail looks like a worm, and Remus... he’s Moony, because... well, just because.”
The three Marauders were now staring at Sirius in amazement.
“What’s the matter?” Sirius asked meekly. As meek as Sirius can get, that is. “Don’t you like them?”
Remus spoke for then all. “I think that that’s about the first time you’ve made an... intelligent- of sorts-... deduction.”
Sirius looked proud. “That I did.” He caught on to the full meaning of Remus’s words. “Hey!”
James checked his watch. “Hey, people, I think we’d better be getting back. It’s after two o’clock in the morning already.”
Remus turned to go, paused, and turned back. He muttered a quick Vanishing Charm under his breath, causing the cauldron, cups, and remaining potion to disappear, and grabbed the Potions book.
James smiled. “Nice going, Re- I mean, Moony.”
Sirius had already grabbed the cloak. “Come on, let’s go! And this time, please keep your hands to yourselves. I may be incredibly sexy, but for the ladies only.”
As he went under the cloak, James muttered. “In your dreams, Padfoot, in your dreams.”
chryblosom- Wow, thanks! You're the first reviewer I've had!
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