For TheRottenGirl, I hope you like it!

Also for Task #1 of Muggle Art: Futurism in Hogwarts. Prompt: Write about something that is short-lived but has a great effect on something else.

Word Count: 601

choices show who we truly are

No one can know what their actions might mean to other people. It is simply impossible to judge such things.

Just one offhand comment might destroy someone's life. A single choice can bring wars and suffering for entire generations.

Five seconds of consideration could change a person for the better.

This is one of those moments.

Newly second-year James Potter was wandering through the dungeons of Hogwarts, trying to remember as much as possible of the layout and taking notes whenever necessary.

He and his friends were trying to make a map of the castle for all of the first years that got lost on their way around. They had split up to get as much of the school covered in record time.

James had been assigned the dungeons.

He turned around the corner and spotted Sirius's little brother, Regulus.

The eleven year old was standing in front of a blank bit of wall—presumably the entrance to the Slytherin common room, going by the doorknob in the form of a snake—and biting his lip, seemingly struggling to make a choice.

James almost continued his way, but something in Regulus' eyes made him stop.

"Hey. Are you okay?"

The Slytherin looked up and seemed to notice him for the first time.

"I...I guess…," he muttered.

The Gryffindor shook his head. "If you answer like this you're not. What's the issue."

Regulus glanced around the corridor, before he whispered, "I don't want to say the password. Sirius told me it's wrong to say that word. The m-word." The eleven-year-old grew progressively quieter and could not have continued if he wanted to, but he got the point across.

The wheels were turning in James' head. They had to spend weeks to get Sirius to stop saying several offensive words. It seemed like he had passed these lessons along.

"I'll tell you what," James said as he slung his arm around the other boy's shoulders. "You, my friend, will come back upstairs with me and you will sleep with up in our dorm."

Regulus looked at him. "You think that's okay?"

James shrugged and smiled at the younger boy. "Anyone who disagrees will have to fight me."

The Slytherin returned his smile and they climbed up the stairs until they stood in front of the Fat Lady.

"Password?" she questioned, her eyes fixated on Regulus' green tie.

James stood his full height.

"Rugitus Leonis," he answered.

The door opened and James almost dragged Regulus into the room.

As loud as the common room usually was, they quieted down in seconds as they noticed the Slytherin.

"What do you think you're doing, Potter!?" some seventh year whose name James had never bothered to remember shouted in protest.

Regulus lowered his shoulders and began to shake slightly.

James noticed that and glared at the boy who had asked.

"Their password is offensive and Regulus here refuses to say it. He's gonna be sleeping with me and my friends. Anyone who has a problem with that can fight me."

"And me," Sirius declared as he rose from his spot by the fire—he had taken the area around the tower and was likely already done. "I'm so proud of you, Reggie. Now, if you'll excuse me for a moment, I have a house elf to bribe."
James nodded in acknowledgement and motioned for Regulus to follow him into his dorm.

"What did Sirius mean by that?" the Slytherin questioned.

The older boy grinned mischievously. "Well, we can't have our honorary Gryffindor's things in the Slytherin dorm while he sleeps here, right? Also, you kind of need a bed."

Please tell me what you think!