Author's Note: Hey everyone! I can't believe we're here already! The end of Book One! It's been quite a journey and I really hope y'all have enjoyed it as much as I have! I also really hope that everyone enjoys Book Two just as much! I'll be posting the first chapter (aka the prologue) right after I post this chapter so please check out my profile to start reading his second year! If you're reading this immediately the second year might not be posted quite yet as it can take a couple hours to go up.
Then it was Friday. Herbology was the last class of the day for the first year Gryffindors, then they had the entire afternoon ahead of them before the feast... before BounceIt. Remus felt rather jittery as the time grew closer, still excited, also very nervous. Peter was rather twitchy while Sirius kept running his fingers through his hair. Only James seemed confident they wouldn't get caught. This wasn't as fun a prank as the bat-bogey one but... hopefully it'd be their biggest one. If they could get away with the bat-bogey one and the Valentine's prank, James said, they could get away with this one.
The Great Hall was decked out in yellow and black, and Dumbledore announced that Hufflepuff had won the House Cup. The badgers all cheered wildly while most the lions glared at James and Sirius who pretended like they didn't care.
"We definitely could have won if it wasn't for you two," Inkwood said rather darkly.
"Honestly!" Lily agreed. "You two lost us the cup."
"La dee da!" James retorted while Sirius gave a two finger salute along with a raspberry. "There are more important things than points. Like, having fun. Which I had in aboundance this year, thank you very much!" He gave a nod then bent in close to Remus whispering, "Did I use that word right?"
"Er, almost," replied Remus. "It's abundance."
"Ooh, right, yeah."
About fifteen minutes before Dumbledore would make his final speech, James and Peter set off the rockets. They whizzed through the air, exploding over the high table. Remus and Sirius quickly slipped out the door as quietly as they could, hoping nobody would notice them. Immediately they began working. Remus shot out the webbing spell all over the ceiling and walls, while Sirius worked on spongifying the floor. They worked hard and fast, getting quite sweaty before heading back in. The rockets were still going off so most the attention was on there. They got back into their seats, giving low fives to each other.
Once the rockets died down Dumbledore gave a small speech about another year gone, how he hoped everyone enjoyed their time there, congratulated all the seventh years on their graduation, then the feast was over.
The results weren't as spectacular as the four had hoped, but they were still pretty great. Almost immediately there were shrieks from outside the doors which made more students hurry to go see what was going on, which meant more shrieking. Too many students hung back, not really joining in on the bouncing fun, but there were plenty who did go out. The four Marauders hopped up, trying to look. They caught a glimpse of a couple students stuck up on the ceiling in the webbing. James covered his mouth, trying not to laugh. They could hear students bouncing, yelping as they went, some cursing.
Then Sirius gave a gasp. He yanked the other three close, telling them his idea, then he and Pete began grabbing stuff off the nearest table. Because of the crowd nobody really saw them as they put various dishes down on the ground where James and Remus promptly began transfiguring them into mice which promptly took off into the crowd.
There were screams of surprise and some fear, then a surge towards the door, pushing more students out into BounceIt. That was about as much as the Marauders could take as they finally gave in to their laughter.
"Remus?" Lily pushed her way over. "Is this their fault?!"
"Why must you think the worst of us all the time?" James asked, adjusting his glasses.
"Because there's no best about you at all!" she said. "You did do this, didn't you?"
"I can assure you I have not set foot outside the Great Hall since the feast began," James said, putting a hand over his heart. Lily's eyes immediately went to Sirius.
"What makes you think we did anything?" he asked, grinning broadly. "There's literally hundreds of other students in this castle."
"Yes but when something happens it's you two, always it's you two!" she snapped. "You are going to be in so much trouble!"
"We didn't DO anything!" James snarled right back.
"You're a liar!" She turned and huffed off to her friends while James and Sirius both made rude gestures at her back.
The teachers were trying to get everyone under control, shouting orders for the students to please back away from the doors! Finally kids began obeying the orders, coming back into the Great Hall. As the crowd thinned, they could see out into the hallway, at the students still bouncing around, at the students stuck up in the webbing. One boy was flipped completely upside down, face going a bit purple. Remus shoved his fist in his mouth to stop from laughing more.
"Bloody brilliant!" hissed Sirius, falling against James.
They backed away as well, not wanting to be the only ones there. McGonagall and Flitwick got to the doorway and right away both of them turned to eye James and Sirius who put on their most innocent faces possible. Then they began working. First they returned the floor to its normal state, slowing down the falling students so they wouldn't smack stone. Next they got the students down from the webbing, drifting them down to the floor.
"Next year we'll have to do something in here, so we can better see the results," James whispered. Sirius and Peter both nodded in agreement.
Finally the hallway was back to normal except for bits of webbing still in some corners. Everyone began heading back to their common rooms but McGonagall apprehended James and Sirius as they tried to leave. She waved Remus and Peter on, so the two reluctantly left their friends, not sure what else to do.
"Least she doesn't blame us," Peter murmured.
"I wonder what she's even going to do?" Remus looked over his shoulder just before they went up the stairs, seeing McGonagall's finger in James's face. "We leave tomorrow."
"Maybe they'll have detention when we come back!"
"They'd like that."
On the second floor Remus took Peter to Myrtle's bathroom because he wanted to say goodbye to her, figuring he wouldn't have time the next day. He had already said goodbye to his other ghost friends. Theodore and the Fat Friar the evening before, and Sir Nicholas at lunch. As soon as they went in he could hear Myrtle sobbing loudly. He called her name a few times, tapping at her stall door.
"Oh, hullo," she said, popping out of the stall, ghostly tears falling. Then she glared at Peter. "Oh. You're not the good-looking one."
Peter gave Remus a 'really?!' stare. "Um, this is my friend Peter."
Myrtle completely ignored Peter. "How come you didn't bring the good-looking one?"
"Erm, ah, well," he mumbled, "I came by to say goodbye, and see you in the autumn."
Myrtle's eyebrows shot up. "You actually thought to say goodbye to me?"
She floated close to him, sending cold chills through his body as her arm bumped into his. "That's so kind of you. Not everyone's as nice as you are, Naughty Boy." She'd been calling him that since helping out with the alibi for the Valentine prank. "You will come see me when you come back? You won't forget about me over the summer?"
"I promise I won't forget you," he said solemnly.
She giggled and then flew up to the top of her stall, perching there. "You better not, Naughty Boy."
They left the bathroom and almost immediately Pete went, "Not the good-looking one?!"
Remus tried not to grin. "She's got a bit of a crush on-"
"Sirius," he grumbled. "Yeah, I figured. But really? Not the good-looking one? What kind've-stupid description is that? 'Oh he's not the good-looking one'. Hmph."
Remus pat his shoulder "Look on the bright side of things. I bet Sirius never got his finger kissed by a second year girl."
Peter scowled then slowly nodded, mollified. "Yeah. You're right about that."
As it turned out all Sirius and James got was a severe lecture as well as letters sent home to their parents. McGonagall had been livid, not believing them when they insisted they were innocent. She made it clear she knew perfectly well the fireworks had been a distraction. She also asked if they had involved 'the other two'. They just adamantly denied doing the prank at all so 'how could Remy and Petey be part of it too?'. At the very least McGonagall seemed to think Remus and Peter were innocent.
"You're so lucky," James told Remus as he began stripping off. "You just seem so innocent so you get away with stuff we couldn't."
"Probably because he's like a puppy," Sirius said with a smirk. "Really small with big eyes. Just, too cute."
"I-I am n-not a puppy!" Remus protested angrily.
"Anyway, guess that's it then," James said, ignoring Sirius and Remus both. "Once the feast is over, no more getting into big trouble. That's good to know."
Remus had a bad feeling about that.
Spinnet and Struthers came to the dorm shortly after, Spinnet complaining loudly. He had been one of the victims, having bounced around the hall a lot before getting caught in some of the webbing. He shouted at James and Sirius for quite a bit, telling them they were absolute idiots, and he didn't understand why they weren't expelled by this point.
"You get away with EVERYTHING! It's not RIGHT!"
Then Spinnet stormed out to get a shower to get webs out of his hair. Struthers said he agreed with Spinnet in this case, they they went too far. He hadn't gotten in the webs but he had been bounced around and nearly threw up from all the food churning in his stomach.
"Can't you ever just... not cause trouble?" he asked before going to the bathroom as well.
James, now in his pajamas, flopped back onto his bed. "Why is everyone against pranks?"
"They're boring, that's why," said Sirius, disappearing behind his curtains to get changed.
Remus had done some of his packing the previous night but now he began packing away everything that remained, suggesting to his friends that they did the same. James complained that they'd have time in the morning. Remus rolled his eyes, not saying anything more on the matter. If they wanted to rush around last minute, so be it.
Remus took his exam paper, a joyful smile spreading across his face as he saw his Defense grade. E, he thought, carefully folding the paper and tucking it into his satchel. Did that mean he'd be getting Es with a different teacher? "I wonder who our new Defense teacher will be," he mused out loud as he began searching under his bed for any stray books.
"Someone better than Dedenne!" James exclaimed.
"A stick is probably better than her," Sirius complained.
Remus kept smiling since he knew they really didn't have any problems with her aside from the fact she had mistreated him. Their vehemont dislike was solely because of that, and it made him feel rather good. He slithered out from under the bed, dropping the last of his books into his trunk, glad that he was all packed up.
That night they stayed up late. Eventually they moved to the common room so they wouldn't bother the other two, bringing down snacks and board games. They weren't the only ones still up, there were a few others in the dorm but they were all scattered about so nobody bothered each other with their last night celebrations.
Sirius had nicked some butterbeer from some other students. Only two bottles so they figured they'd just share. Remus did not want anyone drinking after him. He doubted human saliva would do anything buuut... he fetched some cups and thankfully none of them seemed annoyed by this.
Sirius poured out the butterbeer then they all took their cups.
"To an amazing year," James said, lifting his cup.
"To our upcoming amazing year," Sirius said.
"To... errr... all the amazing pranks we pulled and, um, will pull!" Pete said.
Remus had no idea what to say. To the fact I should be putting space between us? "To amazing friends," he finally settled on.
They clinked their cups together then Remus took a swig of his butterbeer. He hadn't had it the first time around, when James and Sirius had bought some in Hogsmeade. It was... quite good, actually. He took another sip then they began playing Hippogriff Flip. After that they went into card games, going through the last of all their candy piled together, well into the night. Eventually the others in the common room left until it was finally just the four of them. James played his record player (not Kaeso, thankfully!) and they lot rather rowdy since at about three in the morning one of the prefects came down to tell them to shut up and go to bed. They all murmured apologies then simply returned to their card game, not returning to the dorm until after four.
As tired as he felt it took Remus a long time before he finally drifted into sleep, too much anxiety about what going home would be like.
James, Sirius, and Peter were rushing around in the morning while Remus sat on his bed, watching with amusement just as he had before Christmas. His pajamas and bathroom supplies had been packed away, the only things he had had left. Finally they were finished (all of them scrabbling around to make last second checks under furniture) then they left the dorm. Remus felt a little sad to be leaving the dorm which looked so weird and empty without all their stuff everywhere, except for one of Sirius's drawings which he had accidentally somehow used a permanent sticking spell on to put on the wall.
They didn't have a whole lot of time for breakfast though Peter did stash away some of the food in his bag before they went outside, joining the first year queue so their names could be checked off before they climbed into a carriage. Those creepy dragon-horse things were hooked up and Remus tried his best not to look at the one attached to theirs as he climbed in. The trip to the station was relatively quiet and on the platform James and Sirius bid Hagrid farewell before the four of them went searching for a compartment to call their own. They managed to find one and took over the place, their bags flung about, legs sprawled.
"Too hot in here," James said, finagling the window open. "Much better."
"So what do we have left for the train?" Sirius asked.
"Not much. Some frog spawn soap, I got some Drooble's still I thought we could put loads of bubbles down the train..." James went through his bag, looking at his abysmal remainder of pranks."Got some itching powder I was saving for Snivellus. You?"
"One firecracker," Sirius said, eyes glittering. "I wanna chuck it into a stall."
James beamed back at him, giving a thumbs up. Remus couldn't help but giggle, remembering the train ride to Hogwarts. They had to explain to Peter who hadn't really met them until they happened to share a boat across the lake.
Half an hour after the train started Remus excused himself to go find Lily, intending on sitting with her for a bit. Unfortunately she was with Snape, not the Gryffindor girls. Snape glowered as soon as Remus opened the door, hand twitching towards his wand.
"Um, er," Remus coughed. "I j-just wanted to say goodbye to Lily."
"Well, you have. Now leave," Snape growled.
"Severus!" Lily hissed out. "I-I'll be back in a moment." She got up, going out into the corridor with Remus. "Sorry about that-"
"It's all right," he replied. "I'm glad you're able to spend some time with him." Not really.
Lily smiled and then hugged him tightly. "I'm going to miss you this summer. You better write."
"I-I'll try to, as much as I can," he replied, then nervously hugged her back.
There was loud hooting and 'ooooooooooh's from down the corridor and they sprang apart, seeing the other Marauders. Remus glared, hoping they wouldn't start up the stupid kissing-on-a-broom song again.
"Can I have a hug toooooo?" James laughed.
Lily folded her arms. "Go stick your head in a cauldron, Potter! Preferably one that's already boiling!" She turned to Remus. "If I don't see you again before the train gets there, have a good summer." Then she stormed back into her compartment, slamming the door shut. Remus could hear Snape asking what the matter was and Lily replying with 'dumb Potter and stupid Black'. Snape said, 'You mean Pratty and Barmy' to which Lily laughed.
"Guys!" Remus went over, blushing a bit. "Th-that wasn't nice."
"She sure hugs you a lot," Peter said, eyes twinkling.
"Yeah," James agreed. "A lot a lot."
He sighed. "Because she's my friend. What are you doing out of the compartment anyway?"
Sirius held up the firecracker. "Thought we'd go ahead and do this. Want to join?"
Unfortunately none of the bathrooms were occupied. They were going to give up but Remus had the idea of putting the firecracker in the toilet with the lid down on the wick. It was a wet-start firecracker, so when someone lifted the lid the rocket would slide into the commode and then go off.
Once that was set up they retreated back to their own compartment, just in time for the treat trolley to go by. James bought pretty much the entire thing, dumping the giant pile onto the seat between him and Peter.
"They should have a jokes trolley," Sirius said as he took one of the cauldron cakes. "Instead of candy they sell pranks."
"That'd be super," laughed James. "I am going to save my entire summer's allowance for Gambol and Japes."
Later in the trip James and Sirius went to use up the rest of the pranks they had while Remus and Peter played some card games. During this time there was a knock at the door, and it was Silverlocke. He came in, awkwardly sitting next to Remus so they could say goodbye. Remus felt bad for not searching him out. He thought briefly maybe next year they'd be able to get to know each other a bit better then realized it was probably best if they didn't. Still, they chatted for a few moments then Remus and Silverlocke said goodbye to each other before he left.
"It's weird, seeing you chat with a Slytherin," Peter said.
"Not all Slytherins are awful," Remus replied as he picked his cards back up.
"You think so? Hmm."
James and Sirius returned and the four of them played Jarvey for ages, listening to the radio, giving themselves stomachaches as they ate more candy than they should have, then finally London drew close. They put everything away, Peter and James kneeling on the seats to watch the train go slower, slower, until they pulled into Kings Cross.
"Bloody hell, nine weeks," Sirius moaned as the train shuddered to a stop.
James bounced off his seat and hugged Sirius tightly. "It'll be all right. It's only a few weeks."
Sirius hugged him tightly back, and Remus could sense that Sirius was extremely sad. Then James hugged Remus and Peter both too, then Peter hugged Remus and Sirius, then Sirius and Remus gave a rather awkward hug as they were the two least huggy ones.
After they got their trunks Sirius got off the train first, by himself. Right before he stepped off he straightened his back, put his shoulders back, and marched off the train. Remus saw out the window him going over to that same snooty woman as before. She leaned in close, lips curled back in a sneer as she hissed something in his ear, then she seized his arm, dragging him to the Apparation section.
James and Peter got off the train and Remus started to, then hung back. He watched his two friends go to their parents, both of them getting loads of hugs and love. James turned, eyes going wide as he realized Remus wasn't with him. He poked Peter and Peter looked around then shrugged. Remus drew back from the window.
Come on, leave.
He saw Lily being swept into the arms of a tall blonde man with a mustache.
Please leave, he thought, glancing back at James. The Potters and the Pettigrews were talking. Beyond them he could see his mother, craning her neck as students got off the train. Please, please, please. James gave another look round then gave Peter another hug before finally leaving. Then, thankfully, Peter and his parents left too.
Remus hurried off the train, running over to his mother who gave a shriek of joy, hugging him tightly, the two of them nearly falling down from impact. "Baby!" she sobbed. "Oh, Remus, darling!"
She cupped his face in her hands, kissing his forehead multiple times. "You've gotten a little taller," she said, putting her hand on top of his head. "Look at you."
"C-can we go home?" he asked, worried Lily might still be lurking somewhere. "I'm pretty tired. It's been a long day."
"Of course." She took his hand and he curled his other hand around the handle of the cart his trunk was on, and they walked through the barrier. Remus didn't feel safe until they actually got into the car and pulled out of the car park; only then was he able to relax. "I missed you so much," Hope said.
"I missed you too," he said automatically, resting his head back, closing his eyes. My first year at Hogwarts, he thought as Hope turned the Muggle radio on which was just starting playing a new hit.
Well we got no choice, All the girls and boys, Makin' all that noise, 'Cause they found new toys!
Remus pressed his forehead against the glass, feeling rather buzzy despite being so exhausted. It had been such a crazy trip, the past ten months. He couldn't believe it, thinking back, how strange everything had been. But he couldn't talk about pretty much ninety percent of everything that happened. He had to keep everything bottled away, hidden from his parents. Lying through letters was one thing... would he be able to get away with two months of lying?
Well we can't salute ya can't find a flag, If that don't suit ya that's a drag!
He looked up at the sky, wondering what his second year would have in store for him. And if he'd actually be able to go through ending things with the Marauders because right here, right now, he very much so doubted he could.
School's out for summer! School's out forever! School's been blown to pieces!
Hope made a disgusted noise, turning the station. "Honestly, music has gotten so strange lately," she sighed.
Remus closed his eyes again. "Yeah," he agreed softly, then eventually drifted into sleep, dreaming about Hogwarts, and the Marauders.