Author's note: I promised to let you know today and the good news is, no hiatus! I've been able to write again! I'm very happy haha. Also I don't know if this needs a warning or not but I know emetophobia is a thing and while there is no actual sick in this chapter, there is someone pretending. I'll be tagging that in chapters now and if there are any trigger warnings you guys need please let me know! There is some "adult" humor in this chapter but I don't know if it's the sort of thing that needs warnings for, so if this extent of adult humor does need a trigger warning for you please let me know and I'll do my best. Thank you!
I'll be thirteen in six days, Remus thought as he brushed his teeth on Sunday morning, staring at his pale reflection. It had been about two weeks since the full moon, and he was finally back to his normal weight. His normal light weight. Pomfrey had stopped giving him the weight gain potion several days ago. He rather wished he could still take it. Maybe bulk up a little bit. Maybe not be so… tiny.
He spat the potion out then stepped back, trying to flex his scrawny arms. Right when he started doing that, the door swung open and James came in. Remus jerked his arms down, red creeping across his face, hoping James hadn't seen.
James's grin proved he had seen it, and Remus turned away, burning hotter. It was disgusting, him being caught out like that! And now James was going to tease him mercilessly. Unless, for some reason, James decided to be nice—
James smacked Remus's back roughly. "You'll get there one day, little buddy."
"I w-wasn't—I—I was—it wasn't—"
"I won't tell." James winked at him then moved to the next sink over, dumping some tooth cleansing potion in his mouth. "You know," he said, mouth full of toothbrush, "it's okay to do that, right? Flex? Admire yourself? I do it all the time." He stepped back and pulled his pajama top off, flexing his bare arms. "Hoo-yeah."
Remus covered his mouth, laughing as James flexed and posed multiple times.
"Can you believe we'll be thirteen this month?" he asked when he finally stopped laughing.
"No!" James shook his head, yanking a hairbrush through his unruly mess a couple times, only succeeding in making it messier. "I can't wait though. Can't believe I'm going to be thirteen. Thirteeeeen! We'll be third years soon."
"Six months," Remus muttered. "Then we get to have new classes."
James shook his head, amused. "Nothing. Oof. I dunno what classes I want to take, I mean—it depends what Sirius wants, of course. What are you thinking?"
"I don't know, we don't need to decide for sure for another month," he sighed, uncapping and recapping his bottle of tooth-cleaning potion. "It's going to be hard to decide which to take."
James tapped his hairbrush against his chin. "Let me guess. All of them? I'm thinking at least Muggle Studies. That's supposed to be an easy class. I mean, I don't really care about Ancient Runes or Divination. Arithmancy might be neat but… seems kinda confusing. Mum loves it. But I dunno. Care of Magical Creatures would be exciting though. Muggle Studies and Care of Magical Creatures, I'm thinking. But as I said it depends on 'xactly what Sirius wants."
"What depends on me?" Sirius asked, sweeping into the bathroom.
"Electives, next year," James said, messing his hair up even more. "Thinking Muggle Studies and Magical Creatures."
Sirius perked up, dumping his stuff on a chair. "Care of Magical Creatures is definitely something I'd like to take."
James gave him a thumbs up. "Brilliant."
"What are you thinking, Remy?"
"Whaddaya think he's thinking?" James laughed.
Sirius grinned. "All of them?"
Remus grabbed his stuff, giving a theatrically offended sniffle. "Why not? They all seem interesting."
"Can you even take all of them?" James inquired.
"Er…" Remus bit his bottom lip. "Yes? If… if the student has shown… themselves to be… exemplary and deserving."
James pointed his toothbrush at Remus. "You're the geniusest student in the school. If anyone is examplary it's you."
"I agree," Sirius said, giving Remus an encouraging smile. "Out of everyone in our year, you are certainly the best candidate for that—why are you frowning?"
"Oh, nothing. I—er, I need to finish getting ready." He dove into one of the shower stalls to change out of his pajamas and into clothes for the day, hoping they wouldn't question him further. Grades wise he did agree with their statements. He knew he had the mental capacity and intellect to keep up in all the electives. It was what happened outside his academic interests that worried him. To be exact: his actions as a Marauder.
All right, he didn't get anywhere near as much detention as James and Sirius. However, he still caused problems, the teachers knew he caused problems, knew he was in league with the biggest troublemakers. Regardless of how much they knew, they knew, bottom line, he was a troublemaker.
He knew about ninety percent of all students who took all the electives usually went on to become Prefects, and often Head Boy or Girl. That… wasn't an option for him. All right, that left a select few who didn't become a prefect—but even then they were students who went on to do amazing things. Something he couldn't do.
Plus he was a werewolf. He didn't deserve a 'pass', didn't deserve to be given a chance like that.
Therefore, he needed to make a decision. He figured ultimately he'd just choose whatever the others chose. Or maybe one class with them, and one with Lily. He wasn't sure what she was thinking.
Aegis is going to get his cousin to talk to us soon, he thought as he yanked his jumper over his head. To help us figure things out.
The others were still talking about electives as they swung by the Great Hall to grab some food to take to the Quidditch pitch for James's practice. Sirius, Peter, and Remus were waiting till they sat down, but James munched on bacon as they went. Peter didn't care about the electives, saying he'd go with whatever they went with, though Muggle Studies did seem like a good class for him.
"Maybe I'll finally make an O," he joked, with a bitter sort of laugh.
Sirius jabbed him with his elbow. "You'll probably get an O in Potions one of these days, you're real good in that class."
Peter shrugged, stuffing a scone in his mouth to avoid answering that. At least that's what Remus assumed, since it was the sort of thing he'd do—stuff food in his mouth to avoid saying something. Though Pete did look quite pleased with Sirius's compliment, and continued to do so long after the three boys were in the bleachers watching James's practice.
At two pm Remus, Sirius, and Inkwood met up in a little nook of the common room. Inkwood didn't really see the need to go all the way to the library. So they sat around a small table, Remus trying not to let the sounds of the common room bother him while he set out all his research. He had dozens of pages of notes written down, each section with a title written in large words so he could keep it organized. He rather wished he had multiple colors of ink. He could write biological information in one color, habitat and diet in another, etc, etc. But he only had black ink. The cheapest black ink Lyall could find and he was getting low; Remus wasn't sure if what he had would last for the rest of the school year since he had broken the one bottle in January. If he was very careful with his note-taking and didn't re-write so many essays he'd probably be able to make it last.
He studied his quill, considering the possibility of asking for a better one. Most of the quills the wizarding world used were magicked to hold ink so one didn't have to constantly dip in every other word, but some were better at storing ink than others. More expensive quills had stronger, better spells on them. Perhaps it would be best if they invested in a better quill to save on ink? Of course, the best quills wouldn't be allowed in Hogwarts. They were the ones with multiple spells on them to keep them sharp, intact—all sorts of stuff on them. The only spells on quills permitted to be used in classes were the ones to store ink.
Sirius's loud exclamation jerked Remus out of his thoughts. Sirius had his chair balanced on the back two legs, wobbling a bit as he tried to keep balance.
"Sirius and I have plenty of information," Inkwood said, plopping six pieces of parchment down which looked rather paltry compared to the thick stack Remus had set down. "Did you know in the 19th century, the Swedish Council of Magic held an emergency meeting and had to obliviate an entire village because Henrik Kvastson petitioned to gift King… err, something or other, two Swedish Short-Snouts to help in a Muggle war?" Inkwood flipped through the pages. "He brought the dragons right into a Muggle village. And there's another story about someone from ummmm…" Her finger ran down the paper. "Someone in the 17th century trying to gift a Swedish Short-Snout to the Muggle king."
"What's with Swedes trying to give Muggles dragons?" Sirius asked with a yawn, chair wobbling even more.
"It's a c-common occurrence in several countries, actually," Remus said, tracing his finger along the tabletop. "It's h-h-happened in the UK sev—several times. In the fifteenth century the Wizard—Wizards' Council had to prevent a Welsh community from—from trying to use Welsh Greens in the War of the—the—the Roses."
"Really?" asked Inkwood. "Huh. Did people just not care about the Statute of Secrecy orrrr…?"
Sirius laughed, while Remus snickered. "I g-guess them w-wanting certain side to—to win was t-too tempting. Anyway, well, ri—right, I think we sh-should work on—on compiling all of—"
"I had an idea!" Inkwood cut him off. "A super fun one! I was thinking we could make a scale!"
"A… scale?" Remus asked.
"Uh-huh!" Inkwood nodded excitedly. "We could make it out of paper and turn it to wood, and Sirius can paint it. Make it look as realistic as we can. That'd be so neat, wouldn't it?"
Sirius's chair came down with a thud. "Hey, that's a terrific idea! What do you think, Remy?"
He shrugged; he doubted it would add much to their project but it couldn't hurt. Maybe Prewett would like the extra effort. "That—that would be fine. That's a—a really good idea, Inkwood."
Inkwood gave him a bright smile. "Thank you! Short-Snouts are so pretty. I'd like to see one in person someday. I'm glad we ended up with them."
Sirius folded his arms on the table, resting his cheek against them. His inky waves splayed out across the parchment. "We ended up with them because you and I kept arguing, and Remy had to make a decision on his own."
Inkwood bit her bottom lip, gazing at Sirius through her lashes. "Well, we aren't arguing anymore."
Sirius's eyes glittered, a smirk spreading across his lips. "No, we aren't."
Remus ducked his head so his fringe hid his eye roll. He asked for Inkwood's notes and pulled them close, going through them. There really wasn't much there; he knew there were loads more stories of Short-Snouts throughout history; Inkwood hadn't even included the fable of the Short-Snout and the Troll.
"Sirius, did you do—did you do any work?" he couldn't help but ask, since all the notes were in Inkwood's handwriting.
Sirius was balancing on the back two legs again. "Hmm? Yes, of course I helped! I read while she wrote." Remus glanced at Inkwood who held her forefinger and thumb very close together to indicate he had done very little. "OI!" Sirius complained, while Inkwood and Remus giggled.
"Right, well I—I'm going to compile every—everything together, if that's ok—okay, while you continue t-to do research. Sirius, you should—you two can start on the sc-scale and other art too?"
Inkwood clapped. "I'm so glad you like my scale idea! I was worried you wouldn't."
Remus put all the papers together, straightening them. "No, it—it's brilliant," he promised, and Inkwood beamed. Sirius looked quite happy too. "S-so shall we meet—meet—er, meet later this w-week?"
"Thursday, after Defense?" Sirius suggested, and they all agreed.
Remus took all the papers up to the dorm and spread them out on his desk. He hoped the fact he was writing everything would be all right. That as long as he made it clear the others did a lot of work too, it'd be all right for him to do the writing part—although… perhaps Sirius should copy everything over? He had the best handwriting. Did handwriting count for anything?
He glanced down at his horrible scrawl compared to Inkwood's rather swoopy writing. Nowhere near as pretty as Sirius's handwriting, but a hundred times more legible than Remus's mess.
Something to think about. He pulled out fresh parchment and began making up new notes with everything collected together.
Remus stayed up very late working on the project and was quite tired through a very smelly Potions class. When he trudged to Charms he expected to be pretty out of it, however that wasn't in the cards.
"The engorgement charm," Flitwick announced after he made sure none of the students were absent.
James, Sirius, Peter, and Remus all immediately began laughing. None of them could help it, and everyone in class stared at them. Peter was sliding down in his seat, James was pounding on his desk, Sirius had fallen completely out of his chair, and Remus had his arms folded across his section of the desk with his face buried in them.
"Is there something funny about today's lesson?" Flitwick asked.
"N—no P-P-Professssor!" James gasped out, tears streaming down his cheeks. He yanked his glasses off to wipe them off.
It took a minute or so before they managed to calm down but then Peter whispered, "Told you we'd be learning it soon." which set them off again to the point of Flitwick asking them to please go sit out in the corridor until they could conduct themselves in a proper manner, and removed two points each for disrupting the lesson.
They filed out of the classroom, managing to keep themselves together until they sat down and looked at each other. They promptly began laughing again. Remus pulled his jumper up over his face, wheezing into the wool.
"Come on, we need to calm down—Remy's thirteenth is on Saturday and Jimsy's is only a couple weeks away—we need to learn it!" Sirius exclaimed, and they all wound up on the floor. They were so loud that Flitwick stuck his head out, removed more points, and asked them to sit way down at the end of the corridor.
It took them a while to finally get to the point where they could go back in the class. Every time they thought they stopped laughing they'd simply look at each other and start up again, or at one point Remus said they really should get back which set them off again for some reason. Finally, though, they were all laughed out—Remus felt quite exhausted—and they crept back into the class, trying to pretend not to notice all the curious stares. Lily raised her eyebrows at Remus and he hoped she wouldn't ask him about what happened, though knew she would.
"Are you four calmed down?" Flitwick asked.
"Yes, sir," Sirius said. The other three nodded in agreement.
"I won't go over everything I said already however a quick explanation in case you need it: the engorgement charm is a fairly simple spell which causes the object to swell to various sizes—"
They were kicked out once more for laughing, lost more points, and missed the rest of the class.
"Okay." Lily plopped down next to Remus at the Gryffindor table shortly after lunch began, setting a pile of notes down in front of him. "What was that?"
"Wh—what was what?" he asked, trying to sound as innocent as possible.
She glared. "You missed an entire class because you couldn't stop laughing!"
"Er..." He picked up the notes, pretending to read them though he knew a great deal about the spell already. "Inside joke," he finally settled on, and the other three Marauders began giggling.
Lily gave a long sigh. "I can't believe you missed a class for that. An important one too!"
"Making things swell up is definitely important," Sirius said, somehow with a very straight face.
Remus and Peter began choking, while James spit out his drink all over Remus and, unfortunately, Lily. She jumped back, nearly tripping over the bench, giving squawks of anger. James practically had his face pressed into the table as he shrieked with laughter. Somehow, he managed to raise a hand to give Sirius a high five.
"You absolute twat!" Lily looked down at her damp uniform. "That is disgusting!" She faced Remus who had collapsed against Peter, the two of them clutching each other to stop themselves from falling off the bench. Remus was far too amused and embarrassed to even think about saying anything to Lily—thankfully she didn't know what they were talking about or Remus would have died, except then she said, "You know what, I have the distinct feeling I don't want to know one bit what you lot are on about!"
"You probably don't," Sirius managed to say.
Lily harumphed, and flounced off out of the room.
"Th—that was m-mean," Remus gasped out, trying to get oxygen back in his lungs.
"Please!" James said, shaking his head. "They teach a bunch of 13 year old boys this spell and not expect a few dirty jokes?"
"I wonder if it would actually work though," Peter said.
Remus started to say how dangerous an idea that was but James spoke first. "I know the spell to make someone's head bigger, so it's not like... you can't make specific body parts bigger."
Sirius rose a little out of his seat so he could lean way over the table, practically in Remus's face. "Is there?" he whispered.
Remus shrank back, heat flooding his body. "Ah—I—I highly doubt—"
"What's the Latin word for... you-know?" James asked. "Penis."
He knew he was going red, couldn't stop himself from going red, and hoped he wasn't as red as he felt. He tried to answer, but couldn't. It got worse when Sirius said, "Look how red he is. Breathe!"
"It's—it's n-n-not—not—not—oh!" He yanked his jumper back up over his mouth and lower face, burning up thinking about what they were talking about. Joking about it and the whole... Sirius's birthday expectations were one thing, but this was too much, and he didn't think he could breathe. All he could think about was the pictures in Your Body At Hogwarts and the various penises, and it felt as though his entire body would disintegrate into tiny crumbs of humiliation. He wished he would. He wanted to disappear.
"Is there a problem?" a nearby prefect asked.
"No, none at all," James promised.
"You spit all over two other students," the prefect said, looking down his nose at him.
James smiled sweetly. "I was choking. It was an accident. Remus is fine."
"He looks like he's dying. Are you all right?"
Remus considered bolting out of the Great Hall and realized he had a good excuse. "Y—yes, f-f-fine, just—just need—clean uniform!"
He grabbed his satchel and tripped over the bench trying to get up. There was quite a bit of laughter which made him go redder as he ran from the Great Hall. He ran all the way up to the tower where he dove for the window, throwing it open for some fresh air. Fresh, cool air that felt so good against his burning face.
Merlin. He sank down to the floor, pulling his robes and damp jumper off, fanning himself. Why was he so hot? Just the embarrassment? It had to be—why else would he be like this? He unbuttoned his shirt and pushed it open, letting the cold breeze from the window wash over him until he heard footsteps. He quickly buttoned the shirt back up, finishing the top button as the door swung open.
"Everything all right?" Sirius asked.
"Uhh—yeah, yeah," Remus mumbled, getting to his feet. "T—talking about—I mean, in front of Lily..."
James snorted, scampering over to elbow him. "Embarrass you in front of the missus, eh?"
Remus scowled and elbowed back, a little sharply. "Don't call her that, she's—we're friends, is all! For the millionth time!"
Sirius's lips quirked up. "Your hair is a disaster."
Remus reached up, trying to smooth down his messy hair. "I need to get changed. I've still got James spit all over me."
"Sirius's fault," James said.
"Technically this is all Pete's fault," Sirius said, pointing at Peter, "for being the one to say it in the first place on my birthday."
Peter grinned, fluttering his eyelashes. "You're welcome."
"Ehhh, we all know the spell anyway," said James with a yawn. "Least, I can do the skull version. I've never tried the regular version. Hmm." He scanned the room and grabbed a piece of parchment. "It's just engorgio, right?"
"Yes," Remus said, pausing from getting clean clothes to wave his hand in the proper wand motion. "Like that."
"Engorgio!" James tried, and nothing happened. "Ugh."
Remus got his wand out. "Engorgio." The parchment grew a good bit, going about three times its normal size.
"Show off," James muttered.
"I—I do know how to do it, remember? I did use it last year, on a certain set of yellow knickers," Remus pointed out.
The others laughed at their Dedenne prank while Remus whisked out of the room to get changed. He didn't have much liquid on his trousers but he changed everything anyway, pausing for a few minutes in nothing but his pants to try to cool down. Finally he threw the new uniform on and returned to his friends, glad the conversation was no longer about penises because he didn't think he could deal with it.
That afternoon, James and Sirius played a game during History of Magic where they shot the engorgement spell through Binns, making the pieces of chalk behind him grow bigger and bigger. Remus considered trying to get them to stop, but he was tired and half dozed with his head on his arms while Binns droned on. A year ago he'd never imagine he'd become one of those students... but blimey was Binns ridiculously boring, and Remus was quite tired.
"Would you stop that?" Lily hissed out.
"Stop what?" James asked, flicking the spell making the bit of chalk get even bigger until it clattered to the floor.
"Aren't we supposed to practice anyway?" Sirius asked.
James snickered. "Why does he even need chalk? He can't touch it."
"Don't be rude!" Lily grumbled.
"Wingardium leviosa." Sirius got a piece of chalk floating and began drawing very shakily on the board. Several Gryffindors began giggling. Twycross raised her hand. When Binns called on her, she said Sirius was causing problems. Binns blinked at Sirius who sat quietly with his quill poised over some parchment, face as innocent as an angel. Binns went back into the lecture, and Sirius went back to using the levitation charm to try to draw a lion on the chalkboard; at least it wasn't anything inappropriate, and considering how the day went, Remus was a little surprised.
James and Peter started playing cards while Remus yawned quietly, putting his head back down on his arms, vaguely listening to Binns. Soon a note fluttered onto his desk. you cant engorgio a ghost right? Remus glanced up at a grinning James, and mouthed the word 'no!'. James's grin faded to a frown, and he snapped his fingers.
"How's that?" Sirius asked, letting the chalk drop. When it broke in half, the sound caused Binns to falter in his lecture. He glanced back and saw the fully drawn lion. Everyone waited to see what he'd say... and he just turned back, continuing.
"Does anything interrupt his talks?" Peter asked.
James crumpled up a piece of parchment into a large ball. "Are you kidding? Not even this stops him. See?"
James chucked the parchment through Binns. There were a few gasps from other students, and Binns went silent, staring at James. James stared back, not even breathing. He and Sirius had done similar things before, but not with something so big or through his head.
"Mr. Platter..." Binns looked down his nose at him, "do you have a question?"
"Um. What—what page number are we on?" James asked.
Binns sighed. "493." And he went back to droning.
James, Sirius, and Peter all covered their mouths to stifle the laughter. There were several giggles, and Lily snapping at how rude that was. Remus agreed with Lily, asking how Sirius would feel if someone threw something through him!
Sirius beamed. "If something can go through me, I highly doubt I'd feel anything!"
Remus scowled, unable to really argue that, and grew rather irritated by the smug look on his friend's face. He crumpled up some parchment and threw it at Sirius. Unfortunately it sailed over Sirius's head, hitting Nettle instead. Sirius laughed even more while Nettle gave a furious sort of grunt. She grabbed the ball and threw it back. She had considerably better aim than Remus and it would have hit his face if he hadn't ducked.
"Don't throw stuff at my friend," Sirius said and threw a crumpled ball of paper at Nettle.
Soon paper balls were going everywhere to the point where Binns noticed and had to raise his voice a little. This didn't work at all and balls of parchment kept flying through the air. Nobody noticed when Binns disappeared through the wall until the door swung open and a Gryffindor Prefect came in. Everyone froze, some of the students in mid-throw. Nobody had points removed, however the prefect suggested they please leave the class, and Professor McGonagall would be informed.
It was near enough to Transfiguration that everyone just headed there to wait, most of them irritated at the Marauders.
"Nettle threw it first," James said.
"Loopy did!" Nettle protested.
"He was trying to hit me," Sirius pointed out. "I wouldn't have thrown anything back."
Nettle glowered at him. "Well excuuuuuse me!
A few minutes later the door to Transfiguration opened and the previous class trooped out. The second year Gryffindors slunk in, expecting a lecture and certainly receiving one. McGonagall glared at each of them before launching into a stern talk about how she was informed of what happened, and she was surprised to hear the entire class had acted out like that! She took two points from everyone, resulting in twenty-six points lost. In addition to the ones the Marauders lost from Charms.
Though the fallout from what happened in Charms wasn't over yet.
McGonagall kept all the Marauders behind after Transfiguration, wanting to know what had happened in Charms. James came up with a ridiculous story about some Slytherin attacking them with amphyr petals while Remus put his head in his hands. McGonagall absolutely did not believe him, and Sirius finally admitted they had an inside joke about the engorgement spell. James chimed in with how sorry he was but they couldn't stop laughing.
"And do you care to share the joke?" McGonagall asked, adjusting her glasses.
All four boys sat in embarrassed silence. Remus slumped down in his seat while Peter gave a very faint squeak.
"I see. I regretfully agree with the twenty-four points lost and ask you to please conduct yourselves appropriately in the future. I understand you are the ones who began the... parchment war in History. That is two classes today you've disrupted! I am beyond shocked, and disappointed. You are Gryffindors. Take pride in that, and act thusly."
She took in a deep breath. "I also expect two twelve-inch essays from each of you." Sirius, James, and Peter stared in horror. "Both on why what you did was wrong, and they cannot be identical. One for Charms, one for History. Included in the essays will be an apology to Professors Flitwick and Binns. They are due Friday."
"Yes, Professor," they chorused.
She dismissed them, and they hurried out. James immediately asked Remus if he'd help them, and Remus gave him a slightly exasperated look. "I—it's not... it's easy, you don't need to research anything. There isn't even a—a right or wrong way. It's two feet about behaving appropriately in class."
"Two feet of boring," said Sirius, tossing his satchel over his shoulder. "Least give us a guideline."
"I—I don't think it's a good idea," Remus muttered.
"I agree with Remus," Peter said. "I mean, this is supposed to be from our heart—"
"Ew," James and Sirius said at the same time.
"—and if they're too similar we could get in more trouble. You heard her, they can't be similar."
James groaned. "Fine! I'll write a sincere, heartfelt, profound apology!" He then faked throwing up.
"What is appropriate behavior in class?" Sirius asked with a smirk.
"Maybe not shrieking with laughter for twenty minutes straight?" Remus suggested. "Or starting parchment wars?" Though... technically, he was the one to blame for that one.
Sirius pouted and gave a big thumbs down at that. "Boooo!"
"Fifteen minutes is fine, twenty—" James swept his hand through the air, "—is right out."
"Besides, if you can't laugh about cocks in class, what's the point?" Sirius asked, and James nodded in agreement.
Remus and Peter exchanged looks, both of them rolling their eyes.