Wow, ya'll are wonderful. Oh, and check the note after the story and before review responses, please.
The Trouble With Life Is There's No Background Music.
The stars shone beautifully, their luminescent points dancing with the cucumbers around Sirius Black's dark head.
"You stupid………going to get us……….darn house-elf…….inspectors!" James Potter's voice blended with the chorus of squid. Sirius reflected on his day, from the tranquil waking to the relaxing afternoon, and decided his conscious was better spent tangoing with the cucumbers. He resolved to stay where he was.
Remus Lupin was also lying on the floor. He was uncertain as to whether his back was broken, or if it just hurt A Whole, Whole Bunch.
It was decided for him when a hand with a bone-crushing grip wrenched him off the ground, quite ungracefully, and left him teetering on his feet, suddenly able to see the stars circling Sirius's head. That had never happened before.
"The cheese is gone. I just don't know what to make of this."
Remus turned, back creaking in a way that brought most horror movies to shame. Peter was staring dolefully into an unmarked paper bag.
"What are you doing with that?"
"I was going to talk to my cheese friend, Monty, but he's gone. He's left me," Peter's bottom lip began to quiver. "I like to tell him my woes. But he's gone now…"
Tell-tale bawling ensuing behind him, Remus creaked his way over to where Sirius was muttering incoherently about vegetables, and James with little more lunacy about bypassing Ministry laws. Remus wasn't sure he wanted to be a part of such rebellion.
"Is Sirius going to be all right?" He quipped gently. Everyone knew Sirius was never all right. It was a common-sense thing.
James sniffed. Or he sniggered. It all sounded the same, as always. "He's better off like this; at least the Minervotaur can't kill him."
Remus sniffed—he was far too proper to snigger—at the statement. "You just love those puerile nicknames, don't you?"
James stared at him as if he'd swallowed one of Snivellus's brews. "You never make any sense."
Rather daunted by such an affront to his intelligence, Remus let his eyes wander around the room.
"Where is McGonagall?" He pulled his arms subtly over his head. And moaned, also with great subtleness. To tempt the temper of James Potter was tempting, but….foolish.
James nodded in appreciation to the subtle fear radiating off his companion. It was fitting, for such a quidditch master as himself.
"Well, after she pulled you off the floor she went somewhere. I'm sure I don't know."
Remus sighed. "That seems to be the predominant response."
James shrugged, poking Sirius listlessly. "I think he might be coming around."
Unable to see any change that may have caused such a comment, Remus sank into his position for depression. Kneel against a banister, and knock one's head against the mahogany. Repeat.
"Monty shall return. And he shall be Monty the White, garbed in the swathing of the true mozzarella he is, and no longer shall he be encumbered in the mortal trappings of cheddar…"
Peter wandered up to the group, head bowed in grief. He carried his cheese bag before him.
James glanced up as Peter hobbled past, chanting mournful nothings. "You know, I think Pete is a cheese racist."
Remus pondered this for a moment. "I don't think cheeses have races," he answered finally.
James' brow knitted. "Well, what about Bleu cheese?"
Sirius blinked. No one noticed.
Remus leaned against the bed frame, rubbing the pink patch on his forehead. "That's just a name. It isn't meant to imply color…"
Sirius rubbed his nose. He was sure there was a doxy stuck inside of it.
"Oh really? I thought it was French or something…" James poked at Sirius, unmindful of the fact that his conscious had already been forcefully drug from its happy little fiesta.
Remus shook his head, rattling a box he'd just found. It clunked.
Sirius sneezed all over James.
McGonagall arrived in time to wrench a ballistic James Potter off his dearest friend, who had happily ridded himself of the doxy and was admiring the horned toad singing karaoke.
A darkness descended upon the room, casting the inhabitants in shadow. A mournful song of cheese-related grief emanated from one side of the room. It seemed twilight had entered the hearts of all.
"Dang…. it looks like rain." James leaned out of the window, scowling at the gale. His quidditch nature protested greatly to the moisture which threatened his perfected training schedule.
"I assure you, Mr. Potter, that you shall have little time for practice today," Minerva towered overhead, glowering at them all.
James huffed. This coalesced even less, if possible, with his view of a perfect world. Surely it was written somewhere that James Potter was not made for drudgework….
Obviously, Minerva was uniformed of the first principles of man, because she continued to glare brazenly at his unguarded form.
"So Professor, what are we supposed to…" Remus quieted even more at her glare, slinking back to cling to his bedpost. He seemed content.
"As you four—" she obviously used the term 'four' in the loosest context, as it was clear to Remus that he was the only one listening "—have managed to waste the morning, wreaking havoc through the castle, mind you; I have brought in reinforcement."
McGonagall's reinforcement came in the form of a house-elf. Now, James had never been one to be daunted by a house-elf—the very idea was laughable!
But he'd never seen a house-elf like this one.
A fire burnt in its eyes, from the ashes of its soul. It was clad in leather—Leather!—and seemed wholly unapologetic of the fact. From the tip of its hooked nose to its spiky boots, it screamed intimidation. The tattoos didn't help.
James glanced down at the Sirius.
The tattoos didn't help at all.
McGonagall was the head of Gryffindor, but she didn't really want to be. She wanted to open a pet store and compete in chess tournaments.
But somewhere, back when career choices had mattered, she had chosen to be a teacher. To think of all the children she could help!
She decided to strategically forget what the road to Hades was paved with. She didn't need to wonder what it was like.
She was there.
And it was an ugly sight indeed.
The unattractiveness of the room was summed up in the revolted look gracing the thin face of James Potter, who was stuffing piles of laundry into respective bags.
"Mr. Potter, I hardly think a Gryffindor need be afraid of a few socks," she tried to sound casual in her comment.
James turned to her. "These socks—" he huffed "—are his socks," James jerked his head toward him, the estranged best friend.
McGonagall glanced around, eyes roaming over towering pizza boxes—she wasn't sure how those had gotten here, and did not wish to find out—and further past empty glass containers and an assortment of athletic equipment.
"Mr. Black, if you'd be so kind as to work now," She called warningly. Grey eyes shot over to her before hurrying back to work.
She let her eyes roam farther. Peter was sitting on the floor, muttering something under his breath. Huffing, she stormed over to him in all her tartan glory, leaving James free to breathe at last.
"So Remus, what's going on?"
Remus knew what he meant. He meant 'Use that brain of yours for something useful now and get me out of this.' Remus had no intention of doing such a thing.
Ignoring James's implication, he leaned over. "Have you asked him his name?" He whispered, nodding to the burly house-elf who was bullying Peter out of his self-imposed mourning.
"Why would I ask him? That's like physical suicide," James replied, leaning back to poke at a large fungus growth.
Remus rubbed at a suspicious spot on the floor. It had traces of something like gum solidified on it.
James Potter prided himself on never committing physical suicide. The reason for the adjective was thus: he had committed intellectual suicide a long time ago, and saw a need to distinguish between the two. He didn't wish to fool anyone into thinking his brain was functioning.
Remus wasn't sure if it (the lack of mental activity) had started with the discovery of air and light, or quidditch, or maybe when he had met Sirius.
He filed it away for later perusal.
"You four have nay an hour before the inspectors get here. I swear if we have to shut down the dorms because of any sort of health threat—" She paused, breathing deeply, "—I will chop you into squid bait and dump your remains in the Owlery."
Clearly she had 'seen the light' concerning her threats. The 'I'm going to owl your parents' one had never worked, probably not since the dawn of the boarding school concept. By the time you were home, your parents had forgotten. Thank Merlin.
The gummy patch on the floor was sticking nobly to the task it had been made for. It was a blemish and a sin in the eyes of Remus Lupin; who was armed with a scalpel from his Potion's kit and had every intention of removing it.
A warning buzz came from somewhere in the space above Remus's head. Glancing up, he was blessed with the sight of the ceiling for several seconds before someone tapped him on the shoulder.
"Now it is your turn to clean out from under your bed." The hollow words hung apologetically in the suddenly frigid air. Remus clutched at his heart.
He turned, struggling not to scream aloud. "He…Hello…" He coughed. "Can I help you, Mr…."
The house-elf glared at him. Remus couldn't fathom it, but somehow in all its three-foot girth it managed to tower.
"My name is Butch."
Remus squeaked. It seemed an appropriate response.
"Why don't we have emergency exit signs posted?" Remus hadsearched overall the walls in the room, and had yet to find one. He was immensely curious as to whether it was a breach of some code.
"I think the only exit right now is suicide," James pointed grimly to Butch the house-elf. "You first."
They were sorting laundry. A daunting task at the best of times, and made all the worse by the howling and gnashing of teeth occurring behind them.
Remus had found the mate to one sock in the twenty minutes he'd been working. James had accomplished less.
"I just can't believe we are trapped in our own dorm, doing our own laundry while a demon elf-thing tortures our friends." James shook his head, leaning in seriously. As seriously as possible with a sock on his head and dark smudges on his glasses. "Are we marauders or not?"
Remus chanced a glance behind himself. Sirius was making a great deal of fuss from under his bed, which was where he'd fled to when he'd been lucid enough to realize he was sharing oxygen with an unrestrained house-elf. A particularly menacing one, but still.
He and James were facing the wall, where McGonagall deemed they could do less damage and where they could be unproductive in relative peace.
"We may have to play along for now," he muttered back.
James looked confused. "You mean like a feint?"
Remus nodded quickly. It was a known fact that James would never actually admit defeat, which was why the one time Slytherin had won the quidditch cup in the duration of the marauder's stay it had somehow ended up buried in six feet of clay with the names scratched off of it.
Another sock met its match.
The timer went off, announcing that they were, well, out of time.
Remus called upon his wits and glanced about the room again. It was a meager vision. Though in all the chaos it seemed most of the particularly distasteful and unique properties had been removed, including the strange bottles off fluid marked hazardous from the trapdoor under Sirius's bed.
Remus thought they might have salvaged their evening.
"That's not a healthy shade, is it? For a human face I mean," James was pointing at McGonagall, who was turning a rather celestial shade of blue. It blended poorly with her robes.
Remus concurred, and they backed toward the door, which lurked enticingly somewhere beyond them.
Minerva began to compose her resignation. It was obvious that, disregarding her lack of happiness, she was a failure in her current state of employment.
She decided that today had displayed as much Gryffindor bravery as a flubberworm displayed intelligence.
"Stop what you are doing," She commanded the room at general. Remus leaned to whisper something to James, Sirius kicked madly from under his bed, and Peter kept moaning.
Shame heaped itself upon her.
"I want everyone of you standing quietly or I'll expel you all!" She shouted.
"I wonder why she didn't use Sonorus?" Remus muttered. James shrugged.
McGonagall had dismissed the house-elf with a thankful sentiment that was not shared by the students in question.
Sirius had finally emerged, looking as though all the dust particles in the room had formed an allianceand attached themselves to him.
Peter was standing. There were tear-tracks on his cheeks, and the marauders had a moment of silence in memory of the countless bits of lost cheese in the world.
They were then subjected to a good deal of cleaning charms, as was the room around them. Remus felt a good deal of bitterness welling up from the deep place in him he liked to call his sanity.
Afterwards they were led into an empty classroom to eat a late dinner while their dorm was inspected. None of them wanted to be there when McGonagall discovered the Green-Slime Thing had not, as she'd believed, been vanquished in the fire of '75. It was to be a dark moment.
Sirius sipped calmly at his pumpkin juice. He could vaguely remember something happening that day…He thought it had been rather exciting. He hoped he'd enjoyed himself quite thoroughly.
"So, who's up for some marauding tonight?" He piped, ignoring the glare Remus gave him.
James shook his head. "No, I missed practice today, remember? I've got hours of wasted time to make up…"
Peter picked at the scab of a scrape he couldn't remember receiving. It wasn't the first time. "I'm up for going to the kitchens, if—" He broke off.
Sirius stared in fixed horror. "Song….elf…..ELVES!" He shouted, spewing innocent tuna at the floor and wall. Remus had a revelation as to how their room had become an environmental hazard.
"That's disgusting, Si," James said lazily. He was lying on the stone floor, using his fingers to practice quidditch maneuvers.
Sirius gave a shiver, before slumping back down and taking another mouthful of sandwich. A content look crossed his face.
Actually, it was surprising that Sirius refused to go to the kitchens. For one, he believed quite fervently that house-elves just took their 'breaks' in the kitchens. Remus had never found the opportune moment to tell him that his adversaries prepared his meals. Secondly, Sirius had never turned down the chance to pull a trick on house-elves, so long as he didn't have to see one. Evidently he'd decided not to push his luck today.
Peter found his wand. It was snuggled happily in his left pocket, and had been there since last August. It had an easy life.
Remus stretched. Life was good when you were locked in an abandoned classroom waiting to see if you were going to be expelled.
Sirius's voice captured, beat and laughed at his content moment. "How many Levitation Licorices do you think it would take to put that monster house-elf on the ceiling for a month?"
Remus was extremely grateful when McGonagall chose that moment to escort them back to their dorm.
He slept extremely well, after returning his contraband chocolate wrappers to their rightful place under his bed. Cleanliness couldn't cure everything.
Sweet relief blew through the minds of the tired comrades, like a fresh dewy breeze from the dark ocean. It lit a candle of peace in—
"I swear Black that if you keep humming I'll get up and box your ears," James threatened needlessly, as Peter stunned Sirius without even sitting up.
Remus commended him on his Gryffindor bravery before beginning to snore loudly.
Yuperoo, for all it's delayed updating, lack of cohesiveness in style and proper grammar among other things, I do believe this story is finished. Plot holes aside, I rather liked it.
And yes, I have every intention of writing more on the marauders, and soon. Please review and tell me what you thought, so I'll know what to write about next!
Next on Silent Planet: Review Responses with Remus Lupin.
Note: Five-second (or month….) time delay.
Remus wandered into the room, limping and slightly cross-eyed. He seemed to be doing rather well till he walked into the table. Rubbing his stomach, he stumbled around before collapsing into his Announcer Chair™. Blowing dust bunnies off the reviews, he began.
"Wow! This response has been overwhelming, thanks so much!" Coughing, he continued. "Of course, Silent Planet grows less merciful the better the re…" He glowered at the table, before jumping several feet as the rogue Goa'uld Silent Planet keeps zapped him in the back.
'Your reward shall be great, Teal'c.'
Remus glared and shifted, rubbing gingerly at his shoulder.
"Obviously, it is up to me to keep this shows ratings up." He murmured.
The camera guy shifted nervously. He wasn't sure if he wanted to be a part of such rebellion.
"On to the responses!" Remus exclaimed. The producer nodded encouragingly.
"To Freja! Why yes, you most certainly can say so in English. And thankfully for our jobs—" The camera shakes as the camera man nods fervently "the author has conceded to continue the lunacy into the responses. Thanks!"
Just then, Sirius Black ran screaming madly into the room.
"She wants me! She wants me!"
Covering his head in shame, Remus conceded the point.
"To the dearest, most loverly and fine BrennQT. I have composed a poem in the honor of thou's soulful review.
"Thou's review is as fineAs these toes of mine
And now I shall dine!"
'And thanks for the advice. I'm sorry about the lack of conversation, I guess I just wasn't in a talking mood…Anyway, I tried to fix that some.
Sirius is pushed off the stage. The producer holds a conference to see if that needs to be edited out. They are outvoted by the Voice From Above.
"ANYWAY," Remus cleared his throat.
"Thanks Athena Diagon Cat. I figure Dumbledore's studied just about everything. He's like, 150 years old, and Supreme Mugwump. A law degree seems fitting." He laughs nervously. "At least, that's what I'm being prompted to say."
Teal'c waves his weapon threateningly.
Remus turned back to the camera and grinned, spilling coffee on the pristine marble-look-alike table.
"And to Vindicated16….Between you and me, if you want to know why Sirius does anything you'll have to ask him yourself. Thanks for reading though!"
"Next to the7bells. We're sorry about the POV mess, Silent Planet tried forever but was being obnoxious. Sorry!"
'I'll try and remember to check out your fic. Sigh…finding time for anything is such a bummer now. Curse school. Thanks so much for reviewing!"
"And to CestMoi-Lily. Thank you so much!" Remus blushes as he reads. "I'm going to forget you thought we were all loveable, since all the others are just deranged. Thank you!"
"Next: Thanks to Mikomi Bansiki! We certainly hope this chapter was to your liking!"
"Thank you to Rosie!" Remus ducks down after his chocolate bar.
'I know Lily isn't in this…I tried to stick her in a bit, but I just don't see her hanging out in a boys' dorm. Sorry! I like L/J as much as anyone…'
"Next to Mio Granger. Thank you so much!"
'Chew, Remus. You're getting chocolate on my pretend furniture.'
"Thank you to Jak Kat! 'Poor boy' isn't the way I would describe Sirius, though…"
'I have plot! I'm ecstatic!'
"And on to Neva13! Thank you, we really love your reviews!"
'Thank you so much! I love being recommended…ah, I can feel my ego swelling…I'll check out your story when I can, thanks!'
"And to Rockabilly. You know," Remus glanced behind himself. "Sirius isn't really cute. He just puts that on for show. Anyway, thank you so much!"
"To her-emness. Thank you so much! Haha…." Laughter turns into choking. "What is it with these people and Sirius, eh?"
"Anyway. To Arianna Leciav. I'll have you know that you scared the author to death….actually it was kinda funny…."
'I thought I was getting a flame! Hahaha…'
"Yes anyway. Thank you so much! I hope you are feeling better."
'I want to rule the world.'
"Yes, yes. You want a lot of things, don't you?" Remus scowled.
"Moving on to Mooncheese. Thank you so much for the review! We were all shocked when she announced a plan to update before July, really…"
"And to Spork Princess. Feel free to inform said parents that 'Moony says chocolate is good.' I think that'll help!" Remus leaned back, looking smug.
"Thanks for the review!"
"And thank you to Yoshimi Wolfspaw!"
'Do any of you, as writers, ever look back on your work unable to even remember what it was about? I do that all the time…often in disbelief that I really wrote it.'
"And to Under-The-Moonlight, a very big thank you! Thank you very much!"
"And to Jeran, hold on…" grabbed a stack of paper. "Gracias ago. Scio non Spanish, sed scio parvus Latinus."
'That is, I don't know any Spanish, but I do know some rather mangled Latin. Thank you! Haha…'
Remus runs off stage to compare notes.
"Okay, well…" He sits back down. "The next reviewer, who shan't be named because she is that sort of soul, just gets a response of "Ni."
'Ni! Ni, Ni, Ni, Ni, NI! Ahem. Don't ask.'
"Anyway. Now onto Bobskull9. Thank you so much! YOU ARE THE ONE-HUNDRETH REVIEWER! Lucky you."
'Well, there are lots of good humor stories. I'd check out TheLittlestElf, Ramification series by Rabbity something on my favs, The Gryffindor Oracle, etc. etc. Many of the stories on my favorites are humor, haha…'
"And to Avalon Estel. Thank you very much!"
'NaNoWriMo was excellent. I encourage everyone to give it a go if they can.'
"And finally to HealerAriel! Thank you so much!"
Remus waited till the light blinked off before groaning and falling on the floor, deciding to sleep the rest of the afternoon.