rule #1:
learn how to take a hint, mate.


"Please?"

"No."

"But–"

"I said no."

"You're not very nice, are you?" Sirius Black pouts grumpily, placing his chin on his palm as his elbow rests upon the surface of the table. His dark hair falls a bit into his eyes, but he doesn't bother to flip it out of his sight. He knows he looks better like that, peeking through thick locks of hair with steel-grey eyes. Girls describe it as sexy. He doesn't deny it. But he's not cocky about it, of course.

He almost snorts at the glare he receives from his companion, a fellow seventh-year named Stella Griffith. She doesn't appear to agree to the statement he'd just uttered. In fact, in an answer to his rhetorical question, she slams the huge book she'd been reading shut. The rather impressive thud shatters the silence of the library and is enough to make Sirius glance around to see who the sound has disturbed. It's only appeared to startle a few students, who are now glaring in Stella's direction. She doesn't notice as she tucks a strand of blonde hair behind her ear haphazardly.

She's certainly irritable for a Ravenclaw, Sirius notes. Perhaps it's the immense pressure of doing her work all of the time that's getting to her. It can't be because of him, after all.

"I am nice," the girl hisses in fury (more for the sake of the librarian who is only a mere few yards away). "You, on the other hand, are an annoying fuckhole who apparently doesn't have a large enough brain to do his own homework."

He slaps a hand against his chest mockingly, shifting back in his seat as if she'd hit him with a Stun. "How dare you? That hurts, Griffith. It really cuts. Deep."

"Fuck off. Ask your friends for your homework, you enormous infant."

Steely eyes lock onto her. "Did you just call me fat?"

She swings her hazel gaze back to him, momentarily surprised. "I-what?"

He grins at this. "You said I was enormous. You're implying I'm fat."

"You're an idiot. I never said that," she sighs heavily, and Sirius takes immense pleasure in the amount of annoyance he apparently is giving her. "It was a metaphor."

"I can't believe you called me fat. I am not fat."

And yes, he knows he is taking it out of context and being positively infuriating, but he can't help it. Not when it's so fun to piss Stella off. Not when she gives him such delightful reactions.

"Your ego is remarkably fragile, you know," she comments. "You should work on that."

There's a distinct snort from behind a nearby bookcase. Sirius turns his glare from Stella to the noise sharply, and the snickers immediately cease, replaced quickly with an apologetic cough. When he finally revolves back towards the blonde, he sees that she's hurriedly packing up her belongings that had been scattered across the tabletop. Smoothly, he reaches across to wrap his fingers around her dainty wrist. She freezes.

"Are you leaving?" Sirius questions, putting just the right amount of uncertainty and sadness into his voice so that she'll look at him. She does, for about a split second, and he thinks that for once she might be under his spell.

Then she rolls her eyes, and he knows he's lost.

"I don't know why girls fawn over you, honestly," she spits in irritation, wrenching her wrist out of his grasp. It falls to his side. "It's pathetic."

Her chair screeches against the floor as she stands. There's a brief moment in time where her fierce stare meets his own and he looks back with just as much intensity - before he leans back in his chair, puts his feet up on the desk, and breaks out in a smug grin.

She looks like she wants to say something snide - or perhaps she simply wants to deck him - but before she does either of those things she whirls around in a flurry of robes and golden hair and storms away.

"So have we agreed? I'm not fat?" he calls after her retreating back. At first, he's not sure if she heard, but then ever-so-satisfyingly she raises her middle finger and throws it in the air without ever looking back. He knows she hears his laugh, because at the last moment she turns back to look at him, but then disappears behind a corner.

It takes mere seconds before the chairs are screeching again (the librarian turns to shush them) and down plops the rest of the Marauders.

"Nice to see you pricks out of hiding," Sirius says with an easy grin, reaching over to ruffle James Potter's unruly head of hair.

"At least we're not enormous infants," James retorts, running his fingers through his hair in annoyance in an attempt to get it at the exact level of dishevelment he desired.

Remus Lupin smiles easily. "Or fuckholes."

Peter Pettigrew taps his fingers against the table. "Or fat."

This earns a snicker from the boys, and Sirius doesn't miss the pleased look on Peter's face before James speaks again, hazel eyes wide with expectation.

"Well?"

"Well what?" Sirius asks, tilting his head in an innocent manner. He jerks uncomfortably as Remus shoves his feet off of the table. It takes Sirius by such surprise that he smacks to the ground. Peter laughs loudly, getting the attention of the librarian who stomps over as Sirius straightens up.

Remus doesn't care. "It's rude," he explains, shrugging, turning towards the librarian. "We were just leaving."

They do, setting off towards the Common Room instead.

"The essay, Paddy. Did you get the essay?" James says impatiently, bringing their attention back to the matter at hand as they walk along the corridors.

"Oh, right. No."

"No?"

"No."

"Brilliant." James gripes. "What're we supposed to do now?"

Remus stares in disbelief at his friends. "Merlin, it's the second week of the term, and you're already behind on homework? Did you even start the Potions essay?"

The other three exchange a glance before shaking their heads. Remus looks a bit offended as he asks, "Why didn't you just ask me?"

"We figured you were getting quite annoyed with us constantly asking you to copy your work."

The look of disapproval that Remus shoots them is one that they had actually grown accustomed to over the years, but somehow still holds the effect it did when they first got it.

"Stella's not even in our House," he points out.

"We know. She's in our Potions. We have it with Ravenclaw this year, remember?" James replies.

Remus lets out a hmph. "Still need it, don't you?"

"Are you offended that we didn't ask to copy your work first, Moony?" James bites back a laugh. Remus looks at him a bit before grinning wolfishly.

"Nah, it'll be nice to see you three pricks beg for it."

"Kinky," Sirius can't help himself.

Rolling his eyes, Peter ignores his sexually-frustrated friend and turns to the light-haired boy, "Rem, can we please see your essay?"

Remus pretends as if he's contemplating it before he laughs to himself. "No."

They all stop for a second to look at Remus. When had he gotten so...diabolical? Must be a product of being James's friend, Sirius thinks to himself, though he can't help but chuckle at the affronted look on James's face and the grin on Remus's.

James lets out a strangled roar and reaches for Remus. Remus staggers backwards and within seconds in fastened between James's arm in a chokehold.

"James!" Remus struggles against James' hold.

"Don't tease me, Rem!"

"Boys!" a stern voice barks, the sharp tone echoing throughout the otherwise deserted hallway (except for the couple kissing against the wall, but they scatter as soon as they hear the snap). James immediately releases Remus, who staggers away from him, rubbing his neck sourly. Professor McGonagall is storming towards them, a strict expression on her face - which, alright, isn't exactly a surprise in her circumstance. Sirius studies the woman as she approaches. He'd never understood how her hair could stay in place. It thoroughly bothers him.

"Hello, Professor McGonagall," he says instead of asking how she does it. "Lovely evening we're having, yes?"

She's not in the mood for antics, but then again, when is she ever, really?

"No horseplay in the corridors," she orders firmly, turning her attention to James, who had been grinning beside Remus, arm around his shoulders. "Get back to your Common Room. All of you."

"But it's not curfew yet," James protests. McGonagall glowers at him so severely that he actually winces.

"Sorry," he mutters quickly instead of arguing further, "we'll be on our way."

The boys run along, waiting until they're out of McGonagall's eashot before slowing to a leisurely stroll once more.

"McGonagall's especially stern this evening, isn't she?" Peter grumbles, a bit out of breath as he attempts to keep up with everyone else.

"Should've smiled at her, Sirius. That would've charmed the tits off of her," James grins cheekly, even as Remus shoves him and he stumbles a few steps down the corridor.

"McGonagall's not a pubescent witch, James. She wouldn't swoon over Sirius just like that."

"Shame, really. Most of the witch and wizarding population do," Sirius says with a sigh. James sends him a look.

Remus smirks as if he has a secret. "Not all of them."

"No, not all," James says with a roll of his eyes. "There are some that are...immune to his charms."

Sirius can't help but feel a bit offended. "Like who?"

"McGonagall, for one," Peter points out. Sirius waves off the thought with a flick of his hand.

"She doesn't count."

"Stella," Remus continues, and Peter and James let out sounds of agreement. Sirius, on the other hand, is outraged.

"Stella? Stella Griffith?"

"There's a reason she didn't give you that essay today, Sirius," James says. "And that reason is that...well. Frankly, I don't think that she's a very big fan of you."

Sirius gasps - actually gasps. "That's not true!"

"If it's not true, then you're losing your touch on the witches."

The boys take a moment to process this. If Sirius were to legitimately lose his touch, his charm, that would throw the entire world into a frenzy. The world as we know it would be chaos. Earth would be flipped right off of its axis, or completely stop spinning. Whichever would be worse. (Sirius isn't sure about the rest of them, but he's certainly picturing a world with lots of screaming and explosives and death).

"That can't be it," he says in finality.

"I think James is right, then," Remus says as they approach the portrait of the Fat Lady. She looks at them with annoyance (she doesn't seem to enjoy them very much) as Peter recites the password. The portrait swings open and as the boys clamber through, Remus continues.

"You're not losing your touch, she simply hates you."

And this does quite bother Sirius, though he tries not to let it show. "Love and hostility are two feelings often confused," he says in a wise tone as he plops down upon an armchair in front of the blazing fire in the Common Room.

"Yes, but not in this case," Remus replies impatiently as he takes his own seat. "Apparently you can't charm all witches."

"Aw, Sirius," James coos mockingly, reaching out to pat Sirius's hair. "Does this bother you? You seem quite bothered."

He is.

"I'm not bothered at all, my friends," Sirius lies, and the golden embers remind him a bit of the gold in Stella's hair. "Not bothered at all."


AN: So...remember when I started this story in like October of 2011? Then deleted the entire story in 2014? Well, here I am, nearly 5 years after the publishing of the first chapter, and 2 years after the deletion, with a reboot of Rules and Regulations. Hopefully this time, we'll get through the entire story with much better writing and a smoother plot line. Maybe I'll even be able to publish the last part of the epilogue that I had originally planned!

So this IS a rewrite, but a lot of the plot is going to remain the same. I have the old story written up, but I gave it a lil makeover before publishing it again.

I'm not sure if anyone actually remembers this story, but I've recently acquired a lot of muse for Harry Potter, so we'll see how you guys like it and how my schedule allows me to update. Anyway, let me know what you think!