Disclaimer: You can't possibly believe this all belongs to me…
A/N: Ha, I bet you
thought I wasn't going to finish this in time. Ok…I was a bit
worried too, but well here it is. I'm about 90 percent happy with this
chapter, but I don't have any more time between now and Friday to
fix anything. I do think I got across though what I want the readers
to get, so that is what's important. Well here it is, the
conclusion to the Marauder's first year.
James slowly opened the vividly red curtains to take a peek outside. He then fastened the shutters more tightly together. The wind blew again causing the shutters to rattle once more.
James walked across the room softly back to his bed. It wasn't the noise that was keeping him awake anyway. It was those peculiar dreams he kept having. At first he couldn't remember what he was dreaming about. At first he would just wake up his heart beating fast and his body covered in sweat. Now he had some understanding about the dream, but that didn't stop it from reoccurring every night.
The dreams had started a day after he overheard two of his teachers conversing about a stone.
The Stone of Het Lot.
The Stone of Fate.
And this stone kept appearing in his dreams.
The strange thing was when he first heard the Stone of Het Lot mentioned, the stone had sounded interesting, but after that James had forgotten about it. Their Professors had promptly entered Dumbledore's office without giving away more information and with their hands laden with drinks and food, James and Remus had continued back to the common room.
As strange as it sounded, he knew the Stone was responsible for the dreams.
The dream was very abstract. James would find himself walking on a solid foundation, but surrounded by a very dark blue color. He couldn't see what he was walking on and he couldn't see where he was going or where he came from. It appeared no matter how far he walked he was getting nowhere.
Random objects would constantly fly by him though, such as his mother's teapot, his grandfather's clock, or his neighbor's mailbox. Five specific objects did appear in every dream he had.
The first was three shadowy figures. They appeared to be human, though one looked as though it were sprouting feathers like the tail of a rooster, one had this strange square object on top of its head and the other appeared to have this huge lump on his back.
The second thing was this clump of very pretty glittery yellow rocks.
The third thing was a strange looking tree. The leaves had three shades of color: a deep purple, maroon red and blue green. The trunk's bark was extremely thin and had swirls all throughout it. James had never seen a tree like it before.
The fourth object was small body of water with a small wooden rowboat in the middle of it.
The fifth object to appear was a bright light. He could barely make out, but it would start off dim and become brighter and brighter until he couldn't see. His eyes and skin would start to burn and he'd be jolted awake.
James tried to forget about the dream and the Stone, but it proved to not be so easy. The other day when James was looking up information about a potion in a book on the very top shelf in the left corner of the library, he saw a large book. The title was: Dictionary of Magical Gems and Stones. He took the book placing it carefully on the floor. The pages were all yellowed and brittle. In the index was a very surprising find: the Stone of Het Lot.
James quickly read the two pages on the Stone absorbing the information rapidly.
The Stone of Het Lot had first appeared in documents dating many years before Hogwarts had been built. The Stone had powers beyond imagination; powers that could affect ones fate and destiny. The Stone's powers were strongest at night. The Stone worked by creating a bond between the things in front of it. A bond that was unbreakable and unchangeable for eternity.
There were countless stories of wizards and witches of all ages searching for the Stone of Het Lot in hopes of creating the destiny they desired.
One was of young poor man who wanted riches for the rest of his life. So he brought a few bags of gold with them to the Stone. Another was of a mother who wanted the perfect match for her toddler so she brought her child and an item of the intended suitor to the Stone.
The problem, as on witch explained, was some things were never meant to be and changing your destiny through magic could have disastrous outcomes. It was essentially giving up some of your free will for a fated destiny, if you believed there was such a thing as freewill in the first place.
The poor man did indeed become rich but then he was murdered when his house was robbed. The one thing he believed would bring him happiness had caused his death.
And daughter married the suitor her mother wished, but died a year after during complications in childbirth.
There were many ways to look at the sad occurrences mentioned above and many questions to think about.
Would the man and woman's destiny have changed had they not visited the Stone? Would the young man still have become rich? Would the young woman have married someone else? Had they really given up part of their free will? Could they have still made a change at one point?
Some people declared the Stone changed their lives for the better. Some people cursed the powers of the Stone to the point of dedicating their whole live on finding it to destroy it. And then other people believe the Stone held no magic and that everything documented may have seemed real to the people telling them, but in the end it was all in their heads and imagination.
The Stone had been tested at one time for evidence of magic and according to the wizards examining it; the stone gave off vibrations of magic. At the time the Stone had been examined they did not have the technology to figure out the strength of the magic the Stone was giving off.
The Stone had apparently been missing for 30 years. The one thing all wizards and witches agreed on was if it did contain magic, it was a very old magic. The type of magic that had been long forgotten and misjudged. The book stressed that this meant that it was foolish to dabble in it as a joke or as a quest to verify the rumors. If you were going to seek the Stone you had to accept that your life may be changed forever, for better or worse.
With this new knowledge, the intensity of the dreams immediately increased. He would always wake up feeling intensely unsatisfied, as if he had just been denied the greatest thing in the world.
After reading the passages of the book, he quickly decided that it would be foolish to search for the Stone. He thought about telling his friends but it never really seemed the right time to breach the subject. He couldn't tell the teachers because he had a feeling he might be in trouble for it.
He couldn't figure out why the Stone was so focused on him. He was after all only a first year. It was puzzling and a bit frightening. What exactly did it want? What was the purpose of the dreams?
James descended down to the common room. The fire always soothed his nerves and he didn't want his tossing and turning to wake anyone else.
He was about to sit down on his favorite chair when he noticed someone else curled up in one of the other chairs. She sniffled as if she had been crying. She gasped when she saw him quickly drying her face in embarrassment.
"Uh…hello Evans," he said looking away pretending he hadn't seen her upset.
"What are you doing here?" she asked softly.
"I couldn't sleep…" James said, "Are you alright?"
"I couldn't sleep either," she muttered.
"Care to share why?" James found himself asking because Lily looked so unhappy and alone. He wished she wouldn't so he could go on worrying about his own problems.
"It's my sister!" she stated miserably. Apparently she did need to share.
"Is she a muggle?"
"Yes and she thinks I'm a freak just because I'm a witch. She hates me! She just sent me this horrible letter about how I better come up with a good story about why I've been away. Do you have any siblings?"
"No." James didn't add that he knew his mother wanted another child, but their jobs made it practically impossible at the moment to care for a baby.
"Its hard for you to understand being born into this world. You think having magic is the greatest thing in the world, but in the muggle world people fear anything they can't explain. And magic falls directly in that category. It really isn't fair. I sometime wish I never learned of Hogwarts and that my sister and I were still friends."
"You shouldn't wish that. I bet tons of muggles wished they could make things fly and appear at the flick of a wand. And as bad as it might be to the only witch in your family, its better than being a squib..."
"What's a squib?"
"Someone who even though has two parents that are wizards is not magical. Just imagine knowing about this world and all the spells you can learn, and being unable to transfigure a match."
Lily was silent for a few moments, "Yea, I guess it could be worse. So why can't you sleep?"
"Oh…just a headache," James lied.
Lily stayed silent a few more moments, and then she yawned loudly and quickly went back to her room. As much as he would have liked to unload his problems, there was no way he could explain this all the Evans. No way.
Sirius should have noticed that James was acting strangely. He was usually good at reading people and noticing things. He noticed small changes in Remus a few days before he suddenly disappeared for those visits to his 'sick mother'.
He noticed James seemed glued to the library lately. He noticed James seemed jittery around the teachers. Sirius would be talking to him and suddenly James was off in the world of his mind.
Though he noticed these things, he never really put them together as something to be worried about. It was as if all those things had been happening independently with no connection to each other.
It happened after Herbology that they all began to worry about James.
They were growing these plants that gave off a chemical at night to help people relax. Many wizards had these plants by their bedside to help them fall asleep. I
Peter and Sirius were partnered for this plant growing project. Usually Sirius strayed away from partnering up with the boy, but sometimes it couldn't be helped.
As Sirius was getting more of the special soil, he wondered how someone could really have no confidence.
Peter did have trouble sometimes picking up new spells, but he wasn't as horrible as he acted. If the teachers actually allowed them to pick their partners, he would duck his head and make himself as small as possible so he wouldn't grab anyone's attention. Since he had no confidence in himself, how could Peter expect others to?
Sirius was lucky this time around. Peter did have a knack in this class. It wasn't as if the plant caring wasn't really hard. It was just that Peter, well cared for the plants. Sirius on the other hand thought it was pointless work to make sure the plant got exactly 15 drops of water every 5 minutes for 15 minutes. Peter clocked it to the second.
So when the Professor praised the great condition their plant was in to the whole class, Peter basked in the praise. His round face was lit up with excitement. His watery eyes shined with happiness. Sirius gave the Professor a half-grin. It after all was only a plant.
They were even allowed to take it home. Sirius couldn't imagine his mother taking care of a plant. Peter asked him excitedly, "Can I send it home, Sirius? Please! I really want to take it home. Can I? Can I send it home?"
"Yea, sure. I really don't care," Sirius said off handedly.
"I might even name my plant!" Peter said proudly.
"You don't name plants," Sirius stated exasperatedly.
"Why not?" Peter asked, "They are alive. Right, Remus?"
Remus shrugged, "Well people name all sorts of things, even things that don't grow."
As they left the greenhouse, two Hufflepuff girls came up to Peter to praise his plant. It was rather entertaining to watch Peter try to have a conversation with them.
The girls left and Peter was grinning so widely that it began to annoy Sirius. It was only a stupid plant. He didn't understand why everyone needed to praise Peter. So the boy was good at one thing. Sirius was great at a lot of subjects and so far no one had praised him even a little. His parents didn't even care; they just expected he do well in all his classes. The jealousy was so abrupt that Sirius didn't even know why he felt it.
He suddenly said, "I bet you can't balance your books on your head."
To show Peter and everyone around them how skilled he was on other things than gardening, he took his books out of his bag. He placed them on his head and walked around without a problem. He even threw in a few skips and hops.
"I-I-I can do that too!" Peter exclaimed, "Can you hold my plant?"
Sirius rolled his eyes taking the plant. Peter asked Remus to hold the sack of special food and soil the teacher had given him as well.
So while Peter was placing the books on his head, James came out of the greenhouse. He looked a bit spaced out. It was the second time that day a teacher had asked to talk to him about not paying attention in class.
"Oy! Potter! Over here!" Sirius called startling the boy. That's when James's mouth fell open and all the books in his hand dropped on the floor. He stared at the three of them as if he had never seen them before.
Professor Sprout had heard the clamor and had rushed out to see what had happened
James was still in a daze when she walked over to him. She felt his forehead and his pulse.
"Mr. Black, escort Mr. Potter to the hospital wing right away. He may have had some sort of reaction to something in the greenhouse. Quickly now!"
Siirus pushed the plant back into Peter's hands who now dropped the books he was trying to balance all over the floor. Sirius bent down to retrieve some of the fallen books.
"Don't worry about it; just get Mr. Potter to the hospital wing."
The nurse looked over James for longer than Sirius thought was necessary. Eventually she just made him swallow some pepper-me up potion saying it was best he just rest. He was excused from all classes.
While Sirius was telling James he would visit him again after class, James interrupted him.
"Would you ever go back in the Forbidden Forest?" he whispered.
"I don't know…I guess if there was an important enough reason."
"We have to go," he said very seriously.
"Mr. Black, it's off to class with you," the nurse said before James could elaborate.
Sirius had only a few seconds before class started to fill Remus and Peter in on the strange conversation.
Before they could have a proper conversation about James, he appeared from the hospital wing very like himself. Except for one thing, he was obsessed about making a trip into the Forbidden Forest, though every time one of them asked why he became very vague. He was looking for something. Something only he apparently needed to know about.
James tried to persuade them all sorts of ways. James said it would be one of the last times, if not the last time the four of them could go on an adventure like this…since well Sirius might very well be in Slytherin
Well that would have been enough to convince Sirius to go. He felt guilty enough about it, but James continued without giving Sirius a chance to say he'd go.
"I understand you are scared…"
"I'm not scared."
"You don't have to lie to me…it is rather frightening, just because you are in Gryffindor…You can keep Peter company I'm sure he'll appreciate it. Remus and I can handle it…"
"Remus said he'd go?" Sirius asked surprised.
James nodded. Sirius didn't find out until later that James had lied and had told Remus the same thing.
So Sirius found himself agreeing to something he didn't entirely understand "I'll go. I wouldn't trust you two all alone in the forest." At least he would prove to James he wasn't scared.
Peter, who always hated to be left out of anything, made it seem as if he was doing them a favor by going too. This didn't seem to bother James. It appeared nothing would bother him as long as they were all going to go.
James felt like a complete fool. He had felt fine after he had dropped the books, but he had feigned dizziness so that he wouldn't completely embarrass himself.
He had reason to be embarrassed. He had completely freaked out over shadows. Where on earth was his Gryffindor courage?
The shadows his friends had cast near the greenhouse had looked identical to the ones he kept seeing in his dreams. The plant in Sirius's hand made it look as if a tail feather was attached to him. The books Peter was balancing had made it look like he had a strange square head and the sack swung over Remus's shoulder made him appear to have a large hump on his back.
It had come so unexpected. It was too much of a coincidence.
He now had a feeling the dreams wouldn't stop unless he went to look for the Stone. The dream was giving him clues. He was sure the Stone was instructing him to bring his friends. Was he to create a bond between the four of them? Why was a bond between them so important?
The dreams were taking a toll on his health, both mental and physical. He constantly felt tired and dazed and even Quidditch didn't excite him as it used to.
For example, he was walking to the Great hall for dinner when the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain called out to him.
"Hey Potter, wait up…looks like I'll be Quidditch Captain again next year," the boy said with a grin.
He continued, "I saw you flying the other day…not bad, not bad at all, with a little training you could just be what the team needs."
"I expect to see you at tryouts next year," he said patting James's shoulder and went off to sit with the other sixth years.
After that conversation James knew he had two choices: let the wizards in white lock him up in a room where he would never have contact with anyone else or look for the Stone.
He picked the second choice. It took a little bit of lying, but he convinced Sirius, Remus and Peter to go look for the Stone.
They didn't know exactly that they were looking for the Stone of Het Lot. They were looking as it as their last adventure of their first year, which in a way it was.
Without much of a plan and with only four small knapsacks, the four boys stepped into the Forbidden Forest the last Friday afternoon before the exams began on Monday. James wanted this over before they had to concentrate on school.
They entered the forest quietly. The forest to James didn't exactly look as forbidden as it usually did. The sun though it was starting to go down was shining down on the dirt path giving it an inviting look. A cool breeze ruffled his hair.
James began to feel confident on his choice. The birds were chirping and so far they hadn't heard any unearthly noises. His nervousness was ebbing away.
Suddenly, he almost crashed into Remus who came to an abrupt stop.
"Which way do we go?" Remus asked. The direct path they had begun on had diverged into to directions.
James pretended to study the ground as if he was looking for a clue. He had to make sure they kept thinking he knew exactly where they were going.
Since one road curved in the east direction and the other continued in the direction they had started going, he proclaimed they would continue following straight.
"You have no idea where we are going," Sirius stated.
"I do to…I mean going straight would be the best route, it would be easy to follow back…"
"And who told you that, the pile of dirt you've been staring at?" Sirius countered.
James ignored him and began walking. He breathed a sigh of relief when he heard three sets of feet following him.
He glanced around anxiously. Nothing in the forest indicated they were going in the wrong direction. He was sure there would be some kind of sign if they were.
No one made conversation. It was as if they all secretly understood the importance of the mission. This allowed time for James to think and question his decision.
What if he was bringing his friends directly into danger?
Signs, he kept telling himself
He had to keep a lookout of signs.
His heart began to beat slightly faster.
What if he really was insane? Just because the shadow his friends had cast for maybe three seconds didn't mean there would be other signs. It must have been a coincidence. The items in his dream probably meant absolutely nothing.
After trudging through the forest, the path was slowly becoming narrower, James was about to turn it around. He was about to tell his friends it had all been a terrible mistake when…
"Oh look! Something sparkly!" Peter cried and ran over a bridge located after the large boulder. The bridge shook and rattled, though Peter didn't realize it until he was halfway across. He suddenly stopped a look of fear on his stricken face.
"Help me," he cried standing still as a statue.
James rolled his eyes. They didn't have time to coax Peter across. He gingerly walked across to where Peter stood and forcefully got Peter across.
Peter once on stable ground continued toward the glistening pile of rocks. James picked up one of the stones. It was warm to his touch from the sun. Then James gasped out loud. The pile looked exactly like the one in his dream.
"This way," he cried hoarsely, "We have to go this way."
Sirius and Remus stumbled across the bridge.
"Are you sure?" Remus asked looking ahead warily, which was understandable. This trail looked a lot more overgrown than the other one.
"I know these rocks;" Sirius said all of a sudden, "My grandfather has one in his office. He said they never grow cold even if you throw them in a freezer. He found one when he was far up in northern Asia; that's where these are usually found."
"I have to tell you guys something," James muttered. If they were all looking for the clues they were sure to find them all he reasoned. If it hadn't been for Peter, they would be going in the wrong direction.
James began about first hearing about the Stone of Het lot. Then about how the strange dreams had started.
"So we're looking for some stone that's supposed to change our fate?" Remus asked, "This sounds dangerous, we should turn back."
"Sounds like a treasure hunt to me," Sirius said looking pleased by the revelation, "Though you should have told us sooner."
"Look Remus, you have to understand I couldn't just forget about it, the dreams were intense and I'm pretty sure whatever will happen, won't harm us."
"Pretty sure? I'm not gambling with my fate, Potter," Remus said turning around.
"You can't just go back on your own," James called.
Remus glared knowing James was right. It was better if they stuck together. Safety in numbers.
"It wouldn't be wise for you to leave anyway; we all have to be there. I'm sure of that," James stated fervently.
The four of them began walking again when two centaurs galloped in front of them. They came into a screeching hold, looking at them curiously. Their coats were a shiny tan color.
"Trespassers!" one of them muttered.
"Calm yourself, they are young, from the school I suppose."
"They shouldn't be here!"
The centaurs continued to talk as if they weren't even there.
Sirius apparently didn't appreciate being ignored.
"Excuse me! Can you…"
The younger one turned suddenly staring directly at Sirius who halted. He had deep blue eyes.
"The Stone of Het Lot," the younger one murmured with understanding.
"You know about the Stone?" James asked in surprise.
"We should!" the older one said haughtily, "You humans wouldn't even know about its whereabouts if it wasn't for us. So Dumbledore sends children out to find the precious gem. We may leave you unharmed because you are so young, but there are other creatures that wouldn't show you the same courtesy."
"They have nothing to fear," the younger one said glancing up at the stars.
"Tonight maybe…but should they venture into here once again…"
"Can you help us find the Stone?" James asked trying to keep the tremor out of his voice.
"I'm afraid it is against our belief to interfere," the younger one said, "Remember to stick to the path of the moonlight, even though one of you may at times shy from its rays."
James saw Remus's face color a bit, though he pretended to have no idea what the centaur was gabbing on about
"Onwards!" the older one said and the two of them disappeared into the distance.
"A lot of help they were," Sirius muttered.
"Let's keep going, the sooner we find this stone the better," Remus reasoned.
"I've read a lot about centaurs. I have an Aunt who finds them really fascinating," Peter exclaimed.
The clue about moonlight showed itself sooner than they expected. They walked for only another 15 minutes, when they spotted an old knurly tree.
As the rays of moonlight filtered through the canopy above them, the tree transformed. The leaves turned from a bland brown color to deep purple, maroon red, and evergreen green colors. The battered bark disappeared to form the swirl pattern he had seen in his dream.
"Is that...?" Sirius gulped.
"Yes," James said softly.
"It's exactly like the one you saw in your dream?" Peter asked looking astonished.
Remus walked up to the tree feeling the bark with his hands, "It's as if we were meant to be here. What else have you read about the Stone?" he demanded.
"Look I told you mostly everything I know. You see no one is really sure exactly how much power it has and when it comes to fate and destiny it would be hard to prove either way."
From out of the branches of the tree two yellow butterflies flew down towards him. They danced around each other finally coming to rest on the rocks.
Remus's taunt face relaxed a bit and he let out a laugh.
The three of them looked confused.
"I spotted another sign," Remus said.
"I never dreamt about butterflies."
"The sign was only meant for me. Let's continue."
James still didn't understand, but he didn't press.
The forest began to change drastically with each step they made. The ground went from a dry and hard, to a spongy soft material. A mist began to form around them and drops of dew formed on the surrounding trees and plants
They abruptly came upon the fourth sign, the small lake with a wooden rowboat that was in terrible condition. There were holes and it was leaking.
"I guess we're not supposed to use the boat," James said. Peter's stomach suddenly growled. They all chuckled.
"Let's rest at that overhang over there," Sirius said, "I'm getting hungry myself. We could use the rest."
They waited for James to agree and once he did they all scrambled to take a seat.
"I can't believe how far we've walked," Peter said wiping his sweaty forehead.
"So what's the last sign?" Remus asked taking a bite out of a sandwich.
"It's just a light…"
"Well I suppose we'll just keep walking, since all the other signs appeared to us, this should to," Sirius said scuffing the top of his shoe on the rock in front of him.
James quickly ate the food he had brought. He swallowed a canteen full of water and then leaned back to close his eyes for a second.
It must have been more than a few seconds because he was startled awake when he heard Sirius say, "James…"
"What?" he stood up quickly. Sirius just pointed to a spot about 20 meters away. There was a shining light.
James grabbed his stuff and quickly broke into a jog. As he got nearer he slowed down. He glanced back Sirius was directly behind him, but Remus and Peter were farther behind. He waited patiently for them to catch up.
He indicated them to keep silent and then to follow him. He crept slowly toward the light. He kept low to the ground and then crouched behind a grayish rock; he slowly lifted a fern leaf to reveal an open clearing.
Sirius was on his hands and knees under a large leafy plant a few feet to the left of him. Remus silently took a place next to Sirius and Peter crawled next to James.
The clearing was barren except for a tree trunk placed directly in the middle. The light they had seen was coming from inside the trunk. The light was strong and went straight upward until it radiated outwards.
James moved closer to Sirius's position.
"Wands out, do you reckon?" Sirius asked just as James had been reaching for the one in his pocket.
"I'll approach it alone," James said quickly.
"No, we came with you because you said we all had to be here. We all should approach it."
"Alright, but lets spread out. Remus and I will approach it from the left side; you and Peter can approach in from the right."
Once they were in position they began to slowly approach the trunk. With each step James felt his heartbeat quicken. Remus was staring intently at it. The reflection of the light was causing his eyes to glisten.
The trunk was rather large. An average adult wizard wouldn't have been able to put its arms around it. The trunk came up to their waist. James took a deep breath and looked over and into the trunk. It was hollow inside and an oval object was inside. The oval object was not creating the light though. It was whatever was under it. James reached inside and picked it up. It felt cold like a stone should at night. The light was not creating any heat.
James could just fit his arms around the stone to carry it and even though it was large it weighed practically nothing. He suddenly felt a prickling sensation. He placed it on the ground near the trunk. The stone was a black with gray and white spots covering it. It wasn't practically interesting looking.
"So this is the Stone of Het Lot?" Sirius asked kneeling next to it.
"It must be."
"What do we do now?" Peter asked.
Sirius reached over and placed his palm over it. He quickly took it away is if he had received a jolt.
"It shocked me," Sirius complained.
"How do we turn it on?" Peter asked.
James stared at the stone with great concentration willing something dramatic to happen.
The air around them became heavy. The droplets of dew on the grass they were standing on began to glisten from the moonlight and to float upward. The droplets danced around them to an unsung tune.
Two beams of light shot out of the stone unexpectedly, one red and one gold. It came toward James circling around his feet at first and continuing upward until his whole body was encircled by the strange red and gold light. The light twirled in the same manner around Sirius, then Remus and lastly Peter. It then entwined around the circle the four of them had created around the stone as if forming barrier between them and the world.
James suddenly began to feel really hot and a jolt of pain racked through his entire body. It started at his toes traveling straight up his spine exploding in his head. The pain was gone as suddenly as it had appeared. The swirling light continued until it slowly began to fade.
That's when the images appeared in his mind; one after another. He saw a broomstick, an old battered book, back of a someone with long red hair, then a baby, the same baby crying with some sort of cut on its head and then he saw a frightened teenage boy holding his wand up at an evil creature dressed in black robes, his face was masked, but his eyes were a gleaming red. The boy's robes were torn, blood was dripping down his sleeve, and he didn't look as if he was winning the battle.
James cried out and the image vanished. A blast of wind knocked him to the ground. He felt the world go black.
Sirius felt something licking his face. He opened his eyes to only see a large red tongue. Sirius yelped instinctively scaring away the creature that had awoken him.
He closed his eyes wishing all the trees that were around him would block the sun.
Wait a minute, there weren't trees in their dormitory?
Sirius bolted awake. The events that had transpired the last night slowly came back to him.
Sirius scanned the ground around him. There lay James unconscious. He noticed both Remus and Peter were starting to stir.
The clearing was covered in a very thin layer of frost and Sirius felt himself shiver involuntarily.
Remus awoke first, "Is it morning already?" he asked groggily.
"Yea, we must have been here all night."
"I hope no ones looking for us," Remus said worriedly, "We really need to get going."
Peter woke up next. It took a few minutes to calm him down. He was rather worried about what had happened.
After waiting for sometime, probably shorter then it had felt, Sirius threw a cap full of cold water at James's face.
James woke up sputtering. It took him a few minutes to take in the surroundings.
"We thought you'd never wake," Sirius said helping James to his feet.
"Why am I all wet?"
"Sorry, I had to wake you somehow. It's late…well early, its morning already. If the teachers find out we're missing…well you get the picture."
Without another word the four of them started on their way back to Hogwarts. Except for commenting on the weather and the time, no one spoke otherwise.
Sirius couldn't believe how easy it was for them to sneak back into the castle and then back to the Gryffindor Tower.
Cory was sitting on his bed trying to tie his shoes. He gave them an appraising look, "Where were you guys?"
"Nowhere," Sirius replied coldly hoping Cory would just forget about their absence.
"Don't give me that. Look at the state of your robes?"
Sirius looked down at his mud splattered robes. His mother wouldn't be thrilled that he had gotten mud all over one of his more expensive robes.
"Look…" James began, but Cory looked rather furious, "You know, I don't even want to know!"
He slung his bag over his shoulder and he slammed the door behind him.
"He won't tell anyone will he?" Peter asked nervously.
"Maybe we should go talk to him," Remus added.
"I wouldn't worry about," James said carelessly, "He wouldn't tell anyone."
They found out later that James was wrong about that. Cory didn't tell a teacher, but he did tell the Gryffindor first year girls. Even though the girls harped on the four of them about their absence and threatened to tell McGonagall, in the end no one wanted to be known as a tattletale.
With exams imminent, the whole school turned into a library. You couldn't laugh out loud without someone telling you to be quiet. Sirius felt the exams could have been worse. Some of the written questions were tricky at times, but all the hands-on parts were relatively easy.
Remus took the exams more seriously. One night when the four of them were studying, James had only been looking through his notes for ten minutes when he closed them and retrieved a magazine to look through.
"You can't possibly be done studying?" Remus muttered.
"I know it all," James said confidently and added "Test me," when he saw Remus wasn't convinced.
James did know it all. After he answered six questions in a row right, Remus gave up muttering about how he wished he had a photographic memory.
Though Sirius hadn't forgotten about the events in the Forbidden Forest, it wasn't until the last night in their dorm that they even breached the subject.
James was rolling up one of his Quidditch posters when he said, "After that whole thing that happened do you feel any different?"
"What was with that strange light?" Sirius asked suddenly.
Remus looked up from where he was sitting Indian style by his trunk, "I think that's what the light was doing…you know creating a bond between us."
"I don't feel any different," Peter said, "I only feel dumber after that Transfiguration exam."
James cleared his throat, "Well at least no harm came to any of us…and I've been meaning to ask…did anyone see that…"
"…vision of the boy fighting that horrible snake-like creature?" Sirius finished for him.
James nodded, "Did you see it too?"
"The boy had black hair and I don't think it was a creature, he had some human-like features…but those ghastly red eyes…" Remus grimaced.
"What could that mean?" James asked, "What does it have to do with us?"
"I don't think we'll ever know…" Remus said closing his trunk with a snap.
"Maybe we aren't meant to know," Sirius said quietly, "Lets talk of something cheerier, since it is our last night together."
The conversation turned to a lighter topic and Sirius for awhile was able to forget not only about the vision, but about going back home.
The next morning, Sirius could barely swallow a piece of dry toast. At one point he caught Bellatrix staring at him with a gleeful look.
Everyone around him was in a good mood. Other students might miss their friends, but they wouldn't have to deal with his mother and father. His friends caught on to his mood and left him to brood for the most part, which he was grateful for.
"I don't really want to go home either," Remus said to Sirius later on in the morning.
"Why not? Won't you see your sick mother daily now?" Sirius asked suspiciously though he knew Remus was only trying to make him feel better.
"Oh...yes…well I will but she's very overprotective. Both my parents are very overprotective."
Professor Dumbledore did a quick end of the year speech. Ravenclaw was awarded the House Cup. Slytherin trailed behind by only a seven point difference. Gryffindor and Hufflepuff were tied for third place.
On the train, they found a compartment all to themselves. Cory came by at one point to say goodbye to them.
The knot in his stomach that had been growing tightened with every minute. Sirius found himself at a loss for words and he stared gloomily outside for most of the way.
Sirius felt they reached the platform in record time. When the train came to a halt, he swore they had been at Hogwarts only seconds ago.
They found their trunks and assembled out of the train. Sirius started looking around for his mother. She had owled him the day before that she was picking him up personally.
Sirius felt his robe sleeve being pulled, "Wait I want you to meet my parents."
Sirius had enough on his mind, without having to worry about his impression in James's parents. Though before he knew it, he was shaking hands with Mr. Potter.
James's father had the same messy black hair as James. Sirius could tell he was trying to be as polite and friendly as possible. James's mother on the other hand went out of her way to be friendly. He was even invited to spend a few days at the Potter manor over the summer vacation.
Sirius felt himself begin to relax when a shadow was cast over him.
"There you are, Sirius. I don't have time to dawdle, especially here."
"Pleasure to see you again, Mrs. Black," James's mother beamed holding her hand to shake his mother's
His mother ignored his parents, "Sirius! I won't ask you again. You don't want to anger me any further"
"Bye, James," Sirius said dismally.
"Have a good summer, Sirius," James said frowning. He looked really worried.
Sirius followed quickly behind his mother. He didn't want to add to the anger his mother had been storing all semester. He glanced behind once to see the Potter's watching him. He waved quickly and tried to smile.
His mother led him to one of the floo gates.
And as he stepped in, grabbed some floo power and stated, "Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.
Welcome home, Sirius…he thought…Welcome home…
A/N: Well Sirius's first year is over. I will be continuing the story to their second year. The beginning of the story will cover Sirius's summer and James's as well. FYI, Het Lot is fate/destiny in Dutch. I can't believe I finished this part of the story. It's a great feeling and I couldn't have done it without all my readers, whether you just started reading my story or have since the beginning.
Thank you so much for reading and please review and let me know what you thought of the ending. Also if you want let me know what you thought of the story as a whole. All suggestions/comments will be appreciated.
Enjoy Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! I will be attending a midnight party at Borders. I'm not sure how soon after HBP I will be posting the sequel. I will be going on vacation soon, so it probably won't be until the middle of August. Thank you again.
Mykah Leigh: well I hoped you figured out what's going on…or maybe you just reread it like you said you might…and it has never been stated in cannon that there is no such thing as being able to be resorted, so in my story I'm just pretending that it is a possibility. I've actually read some theories about people thinking in the 6th book that a Slytherin student might want to be resorted, so who knows.
BrennQT: Yea I hate when people always make Gryffindor win, but wait until James gets on the team, they will start playing better and winning more, but I like to keep it as realistic as possible
JoJo: Thanks for your review!
KyLaaa: Yea I can't believe I'm actually finishing this story, when I first started writing it I really how no idea where it was going. I think they figure out about Remus in second year, though I've read a lot of fics that have them figure it out in first year. It makes sense 2nd year because you figure they decided to become Animagus then and we know it took them 3 years to do that and they could change at will by 5th year so having it occur in 2nd year would work fine. I can't wait to write that scene though.
Shadow929: I kept my promise! I mean how could I resist your big puppy dog eyes, lol, thanks for reading!
Kelly: Yea I don't think I've done many, if any cliffhangers in this story, but I had to throw in at least one. I'm happy you enjoyed the chapter
Moony391: It is hard to feel sorry for Snape, but I do slightly. Sirius has a tough summer ahead of him and his good memories in Gryffindor will help him through
SeekerGirl17: Well you find out what the Stone of Het Lot is (its not a who). Thanks for your review
Dweem-angel: Slytherins covered in glitter will never cease to bring a smile to your face, haha.
Siriuslyobsessed: thanks for reviewing and I will be writing a sequel.
STLPurpleGirl: interesting penname…Thank you and its fun to write from different points of view