Chapter Seven

Less than an Hour Later

An amusing incident (in which Remus ended up wrapped in Christmas lights like a mummy), three attempts at petty larceny, one near homicide, and five rolls of duct tape later, the house was ready for what promised to be the biggest and best party Hogwarts had ever seen. The only thing missing was....

"My trousers! My trousers! Where are my trousers?"

Sirius was running around the room he and James shared frantically, pulling his hair. He was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt with topless hula dancers on it, a pair of crimson silk boxers that had "Catch My Snitch!" embroidered on them, and black cowboy boots.

James walked in just in time to see Sirius gesture towards his nether regions. "They were right here!" Sirius exclaimed in anguish.

For the first time in his Hogwarts career, James Potter had nothing to say. He just stared blankly at Sirius. "Please don't tell me you've lost what I think you've lost," he said, averting his eyes.

"Yes!!" Sirius exclaimed mournfully. "It's true! My trousers are gone!"

James expelled a breath. "I'm sure you'll find something!" he said hurriedly, running out of the room.

Remus was downstairs, sitting on the empty floor, immersed in Kafka's Metamorphosis. He saw a movement in the corner of his eye, and, correctly assuming it was James, shared his newfound insight. "I know this is supposed to be a deep book and all, but this is a really good idea! I mean, how else can you deal with your enemies, except by turning them into a giant bug?"

James walked over and sat down next to Remus. "Squish," he said in a monotone.

"Where's Padfoot?" asked Remus, looking around. "I wouldn't expect him to miss something like this," he said, leaning over and turning on the music. "People should be arriving any second..."

As if this was the sign, there was a deafening CRACK and one hundred twenty-seven and a half people Apparated into James' living room. This was instantly followed by a shrill scream from upstairs.

"Ah," said James nonchalantly, still sitting on the floor. "People must have Apparated into Sirius' room."

"Shall we help?" asked Remus, still slightly shocked by the sudden appearance of the guests.

They heard a loud bark, a very girlish scream, and a door slam.

"Under no circumstances," said James, thinking about the last two hours.

They got up and looked around, Remus dropping his book onto the floor. He looked at James. "Shall we mingle?"

"Naturally my dear Moony!" he said, as he walked towards a large group of giggling girls.

Remus saluted, then sighed and dropped his arm, mumbling something about the immaturity of his age group. He then headed outside, where the left over hippies were congregating around a large purple fire, toasting marshmallows, and singing folk songs. It had just started to snow (whether or not it was meant snow is still a mystery).

A few minutes later, a hush fell over the party downstairs. There was a voice that resounded downstairs and outside, and sounded suspiciously like Mr. Moviefone. "Ladies and Gentlemen (but especially the Ladies), for your viewing pleasure, Sirius Black will now....walk down the stairs. Please refrain from touching him until he has reached the ground and refreshed himself with a nice cold martini (shaken, not stirred)." There was a silence, and then every single person in the house got as close to the stairs as was humanly possible...which was sometimes more than 20 feet away. James and Remus Apparated to the front of the crowd, looking ready to kill.

"His pride's going to land him trouble one day," said Remus angrily.

"He just doesn't know when to quit, does he?" asked James, his teeth gritted.

But words utterly failed them as Sirius slid to the top of the stairs in his socks (catching himself before he could take a would-be embarrassing fall). He lowered his huge round sunglasses, winking at a few girls in the process. He took a step down the stairs, causing half the girls in the crowd to faint.

James opened his mouth, closed it, gulped, and asked Remus, "Is he wearing shorts???"

Remus just stared and nodded.

Sirius was now halfway down the stairs. He paused for a dramatic effect, his arms out, slowly turning in slow circles. When his back was facing the audience, he paused for effect again, then spun around with a winning smile on his face...only to fall down the rest of the stairs, uttering effective, if brief, profanity. He ended up as a crumpled ball at Remus' feet.

"Hey look," said Remus. "Trip charms really do work."

Sirius grinned menacingly at Remus before leaping to his feet, raising his arms in victory. "I'm okay!" he cried, shaking his fists above his head. "I'm okay!" The audience burst into enthusiastic cries of delight, and then all surged forward. The music began again, and the partying continued.