The Wayward Trio
Being when the trio becomes wayward
"Unfortunate sprog, really," Sirius was spitting through a mouthful of something that had once been both whole and edible.
James looked up in horror. "What do you mean unfortunate? You're the one who went all mad and hurt his feelings in the first place!"
Sirius, with food still shoved grotesquely into his mouth, stood up. "How d'you know I did anything, eh?"
"We've been over this a dozen times, Padfoot! My name is James, your name is Sirius. Whose name was…?" James fidgeted uneasily.
"Pronglet?" Peter supplied. James nodded at him with a terse expression.
"Whose name was he saying? James or Sirius?"
No reply meant that clearly James had won this round. Again. So, he flopped onto the couch and kicked off his shoes. "Look, mate. I'm not saying that you went off and hurt the kid's feelings--"
"Yes, you are!"
"—But you can't ignore the evidence. It's stacking against you, man. You'll crumble before the end."
"Shut up, James," Lily muttered from her half-dead position on the nearby overstuffed chair. She had her face plastered into her hand, and was looking murderous, save for the fact that she did not look nearly as frightening with her face partially smooshed. But it was all in the way her sharp green eyes were narrowing.
Languidly, yes, but they were narrowing all the same.
"Listen," Remus interjected from behind a book. "We'll just have to find out what happened. The concealment charms ought to work, so there shouldn't be a problem."
"Why, Mr. Moony! Are you suggesting that wespy on the innocent young sprog?"
"I think he is, Padfoot old chap."
"I'm not talking to you, wossname."
James pulled a face and imitated Sirius in the most immature and childlike way possible. Immature and childlike was completely natural for James Potter, though. The look on his face was a bit more alien.
"Watch it. It'll stick that way." Remus grinned at James, who stuck his tongue out at his friend.
"And an improvement that would be, really," Lily said, looking torn between being murderous and being tired. Remus sniggered behind his hand, and even Peter smiled widely.
"An improvement," Sirius began. Lily groaned. "Would be blasting him off this ruddy planet, that's what an improvement would be!"
"Oh, shut up, you great prat!" James snapped, standing up and nearly tripping over his shoes. Sirius paid him no mind, and simply flopped down on one of the beds, drawing the crimson curtains shut with a flourish that was as puerile as the pout James now possessed. He kicked his shoe, and it went sailing into the fire.
Lily and Remus rolled their eyes whilst Peter stared at the display in mock horror. James was on his knees, poking into the dying flames with his wand, uttering swear words and hisses of pain.
"Idiot," Lily sighed as she stood up and proceeded to another bed. "Wake me when this is all over." Another set of curtains fell shut.
Remus decided he'd go next. "Good luck. Don't burn yourself too badly, and do mind your hair."
Now it was merely Peter and James, but Peter left without a word, save for a very scared look, and James was still plunging into fire and ash.
Remus and Sirius and Peter and Lily were not speaking to James the next morning.
Because James was nowhere to be found.
"D'you reckon he got burnt up?" Peter asked quietly as Lily cast the concealment charm once more.
"Nah, the room would smell bad." Sirius clapped Peter on the shoulder and smiled. "And besides, we'd've heard screaming!"
"I cast a Silencing Charm," Lily said darkly.
"Er, I did, too," Remus added with a sheepish smile.
"Me too." Peter shuffled nervously.
"Damn. I had hoped one of you wouldn't have done that, because I did, too. Oh, well! Now we can go Prongs and Pronglet hunting! Two of the biggest joys in the world!"
"What if he did something stupid?"
"He always does something stupid, Moony."
"No, I mean far exceeding the usual level of stupid. Like—Oh, my God. His concealment charm will have worn off. He won't be able to see us!"
"But we can still see him," Sirius said with a grin.
"Unfortunately," muttered Lily. "Well, let's get going, then. He couldn't have wandered too far. And if he did, well, it's his problem, isn't it?" She looked absolutely delighted at the prospect of never having to see James again.
"She has a point," Sirius said brightly as he followed behind the red head, falling into step with Remus. Peter trailed along behind.
As the four passed unseen down the corridors, Remus began to worry. Remus had a tendency to worry over things that could possibly have a negative affect on one or more people in the future. Especially easily preventable things, like a lost James.
"You don't think he found Snape and they've gone and killed each other, do you?" he asked slowly. Sirius turned his head and gave him an appreciative look before slinging an arm casually across his shoulders.
"Nah. I reckon Snivelly is hiding out in the darkest corners of the dungeons. Or trying to get into the Slytherin common room." Sirius let out a barking laugh. "Oh, what a riot it would be if Professor Snivelly found himself! Merlin, if that happens, I don't want to miss it."
"I'm sure we'd know if Snape found his childhood self wandering about aimlessly through the dungeons. There would most likely be a bit of an uproar. Or at least laughing Gryffindors," Remus commented as a rather sulky and sopping wet Gryffindor girl walked by, mumbling something about the lake.
"Eh, fair point."
"Ooh, we've missed breakfast!" Peter exclaimed, looking extremely distressed. "I'm starved!"
"We'll knick something later, Wormtail," Remus said softly.
"Always thinking about food, aren't you Worms? Even when Prongs is missing. Tsk, tsk."
Lily stopped and held up a hand, and Remus halted behind her. Sirius was not so smart, and continued to walk, even as his arm was linked with the shorter boy's. The collision that ensued was not entirely a true collision, but both parties treated it as such.
"Black! Watch where you're going, would you?"
"Who bloody stops in the middle of a corridor, eh?"
"Any normal human being, actually! But I suppose that rules you out, then!"
"Oh, shut up you stupid bint!"
"You're the one not paying any attention to things in front of you! Remus stopped, and Peter stopped, but not you!"
"Gone blind and mute, eh? About bloody time!"
"Would you two please stop arguing!" Remus implored with an annoyed expression.
"Make me, Black."
"Prongs'd kill me—OW!"
"Would you two please stop that right—ooh, that one looked a bit painful, Padfoot—OW!"
No one noticed Peter's expression go from pained to wide-eyed, because the other two were attacking Sirius. "Um," he said. "Um, er…look. Er."
"Excuse me?" he asked again, dodging wild fists and words.
Remus turned his head and looked at Peter. "What?" he asked panting. "What's—oh. Oh! Padfoot! Lily! It's him!"
Remus almost hadn't noticed the carbon copy of his best friend. The boy—Pronglet—was surrounded by a tall, gangly red headed boy (probably a Weasley), and a bushy-haired brunette, who was just an inch or two shorter. The two unknown friends weren't looking at the boy in the middle. They weren't talking or smiling or laughing. They were merely looking at each other, over the top of James, Jr.'s head.
The looks weren't at all happy.
A thud made Remus jump, and he looked down to see Sirius nearly tied in a pretzel, helplessly failing on the ground. "Ow."
"Come on," Remus said, grabbing Sirius' hand and hauling him up. Lily raised an eyebrow and pushed Sirius again as she walked past him, alongside Remus.
With a yelp, Sirius fell again.
But there were Pronglets to follow first.
"At least he's in Gryffindor," Remus commented idly as he and Lily and Peter sat slumped beneath the portrait hole. Sirius' predicament—and then his sudden urge to pee—had prevented them getting into Gryffindor tower.
Once the Fat Lady had recovered from her initial shock and regained consciousness, Remus tried every password he could remember, and then a few random ones just for kicks.
"She's gone mad, she has," Sirius commented from his casual, but very bored, sitting position on the opposite side of the hall.
"Er, I think she's just…well, it's been a few years, and uh, technically we should have aged. And not even be here. Anymore. Er."
Sirius merely shrugged and slumped down farther.
It was at exactly that moment that the portrait opened, hitting Remus squarely in the back of the head. He yelped and tripped over Lily, barely making it out of the way of two chatting teenage girls.
But he stuck his foot in the way of the portrait before it could close completely. Lily sprang up, Remus' head hit the stone floor ("Ow"), and the Fat Lady shrieked as Lily squeezed inside.
Remus crawled through next, followed by Peter, and Sirius, who had evidently fallen asleep, had to be picked up and carried into the common room whilst Peter held the portrait open.
"You know," Remus commented as he tossed Sirius onto the floor ("OI!"). "I think that we've just scared a majority of the students in here." And he was right, as even now most of the inhabitants were staring at the portrait hole with their mouths ajar.
Sirius, dusting himself off and giving his hair a quick, and very manly, toss, flopped into an empty armchair. Remus quickly shooed him out of it, and for once, Sirius looked deathly afraid, and complied. "Where is that damn Pronglet, anyway?" he asked with a frown.
"Probably in the dorms," Remus said thoughtfully, looking at Sirius—who was racing up the stairs. Remus gasped. "Padfoot, no!" he called, and Lily nearly tripped over her robes as she saw what was happening.
Remus was now chasing Sirius, who was running down the short hall and had stopped with a halt that could have been screeching had the floor been polished.
Stopping directly behind him, Remus glanced over his shoulder to see if the others were coming. They, for some reason, weren't. In fact they had most likely left Sirius in Remus' charge, as per usual.
Because Sirius tended to do really dumb things.
Such as opening doors into rooms in which his best friend's future son was undoubtedly in whilst under a concealing charm.
"No!" Remus whispered. He didn't know why he was whispering—no one could hear him. "That mightn't even be the right year! Padfoot!" Groaning, made to grab Sirius' wrist, but the other boy had shrieked and jumped so loudly that Remus was absolutely certain that the occupants of the dorm room had heard him.
Darting in as Sirius began to shut the door, Remus could already feel himself breaking out into a sweat. Oh, this was stupid. So, so incredibly stupid. There was the boy, lying on his bed with his back to the door. No one else was in the room.
Remus shut the door quietly, and tiptoed behind Sirius. Again, he didn't know why he was being so quiet, but he felt safer that way, so he continued it.
"Shh!" Sirius had picked up a book from the boy's bedside table. It was a photo album. Flipping it open, Remus peered over Sirius' shoulder as the other boy leafed through the pages.
"Bloody hell. Prongs 'n Evans!" Sirius was pointing excitedly to a wedding picture. "Aha! It's me!"
"Drunk, as is to be expected, I suppose."
Sirius nudged Remus in the side, and the boy on the bed stirred. Sirius nearly dropped the photo album, but quickly placed it back on the bedside table before Prongs, Jr. sat up, took of his glasses, and set them on the bedside table, on top of the photo album. As he lay back down again, Sirius nicked the glasses and looked through them.
He laughed. "Oh, man."
And Remus chided. "Sirius! Put those back this in—Ohmygod."
The world was suddenly spinning again, faster and faster and just as dizzy, if not moreso, than the first trip.
He landed with a thud in the Gryffindor common room exactly twenty four years previous. Sirius had landed face down nearby, still clutching the boy's glasses, and…
And the boy was shaking thick, messy black hair and rubbing his forehead, utterly dazed and obviously confused.