Hullo. Remember me? Yes, I haven't died. I haven't been captured by wild Mongolian gypsies, or attacked by a pack of irate penguins. I know I've left this world for a while, a whole year almost, but now that my life has begun to settle down, I'm ready to revisit something I've enjoyed doing since I was a young'en. I've had the story below writing and waiting for quite a long time, but I've never gotten the chance to spruce it up and post it until now. It's my second Marauder's story ('Party Animals' being my first) which continues where I have left off so many months ago. It features James, Sirius, Remus, Peter, and (of course) Phiona. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. The first chapter was written from experience. Yes, don't ask questions so I won't have to answer them.
Cheers and All the Best,
Ah yes, by the way – The other beast, 'Harry Potter and the Gem of Grogonous', is still in the process. Don't worry, that bloody thing's going to be finished – even if it's the last thing I do. Which would be pretty sad, now that I think about it. Yep, the beau wouldn't like that too much now, would he?
Ooo, just ickle reminder. Please don't steal. Because I don't. Thank you.
James Potter woke up to a sharp pain in his side. He let out a slight whimper before rolling over and forcing himself to drift back to sleep. The pain was still planted firmly in his side, nestled snugly between James's rib cage and liver. His hand tried to swat away the cause of this disruption. It connected with something; a smart smack sounded that could only be attributed to hand slapping flesh.
Slowly, James opened one eye. Then the other.
Apparently, his bed's population had grown considerably during the night without his knowledge.
"Oh sweet Lord, Black! Piss off!"
With a mix of complete horror and utter disgust, James gave the second occupant of his bed a forceful shove. Sirius Black hit the hardwood floor below with a dull thud and several curse words.
"Morin' sunshine," came Sirius's voice from the dormitory floor.
It was much too early for these sort of games. James pressed his face into the palms of his hands and began to sooth his pounding temples. "I'll only ask this once," he said slowly. "Sirius?"
"Yes, m'love?" Sirius rose up from the floor, his chin resting neatly at the foot of James's bed.
"What the hell were you doing in my bed?"
Growing tired of playing sexual predator, Sirius got to his feet and stretched to his full height. He scratched the back of his head, his persona looking much like a tired chimpanzee. "Why don't you try Pete first?" Sirius said through a thick yawn. "He'd give you a straight answer. As apposed to me, who might put forth some homophobic jabs solely to bring you to question your own sexual preferences."
"What do you mean, ask Peter?" James turned onto his side, looking quickly behind him. There lay Peter Pettigrew snoozing soundly, his body folded into the fedal position quietly on the end of James's pillow. With one big kick from James, Peter was flung off the side of the bed.
"Ow . . . my leg," Peter moaned over-extravagantly, pulling himself up from the floor. "What'd you do that for, James?"
James's mouth hung open for a moment, completely dumbfounded. Could the boy have asked a question more dim-witted then that one? No. That was not possible. "Why I did that?" James snapped back. "Why were you sleeping in my bed? And please, Sirius," he continued without missing a beat, "no smart-arse remarks. It's too early."
"Don't flatter yourself, Potter." Sirius finished another wide yawn and then began to stretch his thin frame. A large crack sounded from the base of his spine. Two more came from his neck. "We're just friends, you bint, nothing more."
"Shove off, Black."
Peter rolled his eyes. Immaturity was most certainly the theme of today's story. "Remus was snoring again last night," he explained to James. "And your bed was the farthest away from him."
"Sounded like a bloody fog horn," commented Sirius as he ran his fingers through his tangled, over-grown hair.
"It's not his fault. You know what happens to Remus when he has the flu." James got out of bed and placed his glasses on. "Be nice, he's not feeling well."
"Since when have I been nice to any of you? And why do you think I would start now? He was being so bleeding loud." Sirius glanced over at the bed next to the window where Remus Lupin was sleeping, now silently. "I still can't get the ringing in my ears to stop."
"Fine." James grabbed a semi-clean shirt from the foot of his bed and slipped it over his head. "We'll take Moony to Pomfrey's as soon as he wakes up. Does that tickly your fancy, your majesty?"
"Very much so. Thank you, Jim." Sirius smiled widely, his bright blue eyes brimming with good humour.
"James?" Peter lowered his voice, "Do you think Remus's cold has anything to do with . . . you know," he cleared his throat, "his monthly problem?"
Sirius suddenly snorted, then quickly covered his mouth to stifle any evidence of laughter. "Oh, come on now," he answered James and Peter's inquisitive looks. "Everything someone mentions 'Remus's monthly problem', you can't help but think of –"
"Oh, we all know what you think of." James rolled his eyes irritably. "And we have a couple weeks until the next full moon cycle, anyways."
Sirius shrugged, that crooked grin still plastered on his face. Sometimes puns were the only thing that kept him going in the morning. A poor-man's high-caffeinated tea. "A 'p', an 'm', and an 's'," Sirius continued forward. "It's one big bloody case of Pre-Moon Syndrome, blokes."
Sirius broke into a fit of high-pitched laughter, giving himself congratulations for being such a comic mastermind. Because all great comedians had to have their share of critics, James swiftly shut Sirius up by delivering a smack up-side the Pun Master's head. Sirius, not wanting to reward his friend by allowing him to have the last say in the matter, pulled James's glasses off and held them out of reach. Finally getting fed up, James relinquished with a swift kick to Sirius's shin and wrenched his glasses out of his friend's hands. Peter quickly backed up to the other side of the dorm, not wanting to be caught in the middle when the two hot-headed bulls pummelled each other within a centimetre of their lives. All impending violence ceased to exist when a soft groan of pain and suffering echoed across the dorm, throwing off everyone's concentration. Remus was sitting up against his headboard, knees curled up his chest. He was pale and shaking; an unusual sight this far from the next full moon.
"I set my alarm clock for a reason," Remus said, his voice dry and shaking. "I would have asked if I wanted to be woken up by the sounds of two immature sixteen-year-olds beating the bleeding shit out of each other."
"Er . . . sorry there." Sirius grinned sheepishly as he began to rub his bruised shin. "How're you feeling, mate?"
"I could use several vulgar curse words to describe the pounding pain in my skull," Remus muttered, his hand rubbing his forehead methodically, "but I won't."
"That bad?" James adjusted his askew glasses and walked over to the foot of Remus's bed. Sirius and Peter followed.
"Worse." Remus fell back into his bed, groaning. "This is no ordinary flu. This is a genetically mutated bacteria that's eating me from the inside out, slowly digesting my internal organs on the way. When it gets tired of me, it's going to burst from my chest and have a bloody picnic—"
He suddenly broke into a deep, hacking cough. Peter jumped back, pressing against the window frame.
"It isn't . . . contagious, is it?" Peter asked cautiously.
"Oh yes, Pete." Remus's voice was brimming with both sarcasm and phlegm. "Extremely."
"And, oh sweet Lord, look!" Sirius stuck an arm under Peter's nose. "I'm catching leprosy! I'm falling apart! Look!"
"Ah, we ship him off to a leper colony, then?" James commented. "We finally have a reason to get rid of him."
Sirius stopped acting out his own melodramatic death, his facial expression switching going dead-pan. "I hope you catch Remus's mutant bacteria and die a horrible, painful, and castrating death," he sneered.
"Just as long as you go down with me," James retorted.
"Er . . . I don't think my flu is deadly," Remus said slowly. "At least . . . I hope not."
"You're not going to die. Sweet Jesus, Remus. It's just a cold. You've been through worse," James said. "We'll take you down to Pomfrey's, she'll give you some medicine that makes steam come out your ears, eyes, and bum, and then you'll be cured. Nothing bad will happen."
Remus gave a soft laugh, which quickly turned into a hacking cough. "That's what you said," he choked out, "last week before the incident with the meat pie and Filibuster Fireworks."
James shrugged, trying to keep nonchalant. "Peter's fully healed now and those weasels didn't give us rabies. What more do you want for me?"
"A normal life would be nice for a change," Remus commented, finally stumbling out of his bed.
"Not a chance in bleeding hell that's going to happen," Sirius snorted. "There's a better chance of Pete punching Snape in the nose then the lot of us getting normal lives."
Peter gave an acute pout. "I resent that."
A few more snarky remarks flew across the borders before the Marauders decided to snag a quick breakfast before Remus vacationed at the beautiful and scenic hospital wing. Though the idea of some toast, marmalade, and eggs seemed to be pleasant enough, getting there proved to be much more difficult then first thought. James and Sirius, one on each side, had to guide the woozy Remus down Gryffindor tower. The young werewolf insisted he could steer himself from there on out, but soon found himself leaning over the hand rail of the stairs to the Great Hall, coughing up some not so pleasant mucusy items from his lungs. From there, James grabbed the back of Remus's robes in order to direct him into the Great Hall and down the Gryffindor table. The four boys took a seat, but only three began to exercise their rights as growing adolescents and shovelled food onto waiting plates. The last amigo quietly slid down into his seat, the trip apparently all too much for him, and began to snooze softly.
"Late night for you bints?"
Because their lines of vision were directed exclusively at the toast in front of them, the Marauders didn't notice the frizzy-haired witch whom they had been sitting across from all this time. Of course, throughout the six year the Marauders had known her, Phiona Love usually wasn't found with her pointy nose touching the pages of a text book. In her world, reading for educational purposes was forbidden. She was committing a sin right before the Marauders' eyes.
"Is that a . . ." Sirius clasped a hand to his chest, trying his best to act completely terrified. "A text book? Sweet Lord, don't tell me you've taken up study habits this late in the game."
With her uniquely dead-pan aura, Phiona carefully closed the large, leather-bound book and placed it at her feet. She then picked up a small serving spoon from the table, inspected it closely, and preceded to dip it in the marmalade and fling a spoonful at Sirius. The breakfast spread hit the Marauder square in the forehead.
"Right then." Phiona wiped her hand off on the front of her robes. "What have we learned?"
A bit of marmalade began to creep down the bridge of Sirius's nose. "School work is as good as blasphemy."
"I shouldn't tease my elders."
"Damn straight, you little wanker."
"Go throw yourself under a train, Phinny."
"Love you too, Black." Phiona's crooked grin spread across her pointed face. "Seven years and I've skived through barely opening a bloody text." She picked up the leather-bound she was reading and let it drop on the table, right into a plate of sausages. "This, my fine bastards, is research."
"Is there a difference?" asked Peter cautiously, not wanting to be pelted with marmalade like his companion.
"Of course there is," the frizzy-haired witch replied. "Me mate from the dorms picked it up at the library the other day. It's a list of finishing schools for next year."
Sirius raised an eyebrow, the last blob of marmalade dripping off the tip of his nose. "Finishing schools?"
"Sorry to break it to you, honey, but there's something after Hogwarts."
"I know that," Sirius said irritably. "I just . . . never though that you—"
"Would have the brains to move on in the wizarding world?" Phiona provided lightly.
"No," Sirius bit his lower lip. "I just . . . just thought . . ."
"You're digging your own grave, Pads," James warned Sirius, picking up a piece of toast and scraping off the last of the marmalade from his friend's forehead. "Quit while you're ahead."
"Who says he's ahead? He's about seven and a half feet deep in shit already." Phiona smiled slyly and pushed the book off the table. She didn't even wince when it smacked into the marble floor beneath. "So then, what's new with Lupin? You lot throw one hell of a hard-core tea party last night? Or is it just his time of month?"
Sirius abruptly snorted into a bowl of oatmeal, trying to win the fight against the dreaded Pun Monster. James fought the good fight by smacking his companion up-side the head.
"Stuff it, Pads," He said, then turned to Phiona. "Remus caught a flu. Was snoring up something horrible last night – or so I've been told." James finished up by shooting a long glare at Sirius and Peter.
"Ah, I sense tension." Phiona leaned forward. "I'm listening, Jimmy. I'm here and I want to learn."
James's ears blushed a soft pink, knowing quite well that Phiona Love would never cease to tease him if he told her about the sudden increase of population in his bed.
"Erm, never mind," he said quietly, and then suddenly became quite preoccupied with the plate of eggs before him.
Phiona smiled slyly, glancing at Sirius for an answer.
"Don't look at me," Sirius exclaimed off of his friend's look. He couldn't help but make James Potter's life a little bit brighter. "Ask Jim why his bed was full last night."
Phiona snorted thickly, completely on the verge of hysterics. "Lily finally give in to your masculinity, Prongsey?" she squealed a little Phinny squeal. "You little stallion, you."
James buried his face in his hands, sick with embarrassment. He knew that it was only a matter of time until Sirius joined in . . .
"No, not Lily. She's too smart." Sirius gave Phiona a meaningful look.
"Oh, Jim went behind Lil's back?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes."
"Who should the girlfriend be jealous of, then?" Phiona leaned in towards Sirius. "Oooo, I bet it's that blond bird from Ravenclaw."
"Please, you two," James muttered in-between his fingers. When Phiona Love and Sirius Black worked together, they formed a power that could drive a man into a insanity ward. "Stop, for the sake of my sanity. Please stop."
"Fine then." Phiona leaned back into her seat, her deep brown eyes brimming with good humour. "I'll just fill in the missing pieces with my over imaginative adolescent mind."
James sighed, knowing quite well that he was broken down and defeated. He quickly told the morning's bed-fellows story, stepping on Sirius foot the whole time as a warning to keep his smart-arse remarks to himself. Sirius still snickered uncontrollably, loving the fact that he had placed his best friend in the mother of all awkward situations. Peter, finding this as funny as James did, turned red with embarrassment.
"Oh, this is priceless." Phiona cooed. "The Marauders having a ickle slumber party. You should have taken pictures for black mail, Moony. Lupin? Erm . . . earth to Remus."
Phiona knocked on Remus's skull with an open fist. The young werewolf had fallen asleep, his head resting next to a plate of sausages. He gave a little grunt as he slowly glanced up from his nap.
"Oh, hullo Phin," Remus mumbled, finally raising his head from the table. "When did you get here?"
Phiona pause and then blinked twice. "Just now," she said with a sarcastic undertone.
Instead of replying, Remus had an onset of hacking coughs. A third year who was sitting next to him quietly moved his plate of breakfast over to the other side of the table.
"You sound like you're giving birth," Phiona commented lightly. "Only, you know, through your mouth."
"Thank you for your brilliant powers of description, Phinny," Remus replied, clearly not amused.
Phiona shrugged. "I do what I can."
"Well then," James started to get out of his seat, "I must thank you, Lady Phinny, for an addition to our horribly eventful morning. Sirius, Peter, and I better get Remus up to Pomfrey's before he infects the whole table."
The third year sitting next to Remus got up and left, holding his hands in front of him like a scrub nurse.
"You said it wasn't contagious," Peter squeaked, also inching away from his ailing friend.
"Oh, for the last time, Peter," Remus said irritably, "it's not con – aa . . . a . . . . AACHOOO!"
Remus sneezed before he could finish. Luckily, Sirius, Peter, and Phiona saw it coming and took refuge under the table. James, his ability to tell the eminent future not up to par, served a fate worse then death.
"Erm . . . 'orry 'bout that, Jambs," Remus said through a dripping nose. "It 'aught me off guard . . ."
James slowly took off his glasses, which were liberally plastered with a substance that had come from Remus's mucus ducts. A look of utter revulsion glazed over his face.
"Oh, that can't be good for your heath, mate." Sirius grimaced as James wiped his face clean of the phlegmy substance.
"That can't be good for anyone's health." Phiona added.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Remus said, cleaning his nose with the sleeve of his robes. "I'll go to Pomfrey's now. I'll see the lot of you during break."
Remus, still looking quite light-headed, got out of his seat and slowly made his way out of the Great Hall. As he left, Peter glanced nervously at James, who had begun to clean the lenses of his glasses with the table cloth.
"Maybe you should go to the hospital wing too, James," suggested Peter. "You know, just in case."
"Peter, I'm not going to die from being plastered with nose oysters," James said, putting his glasses back on. "I may be mentally scarred for life, but I'm not going to die."
As James spoke, the class bell echoed through the hall, signalling the beginning of the day's lessons. Peter and James lead the way out of the Great Hall, Sirius and Phiona following behind.
"A bag of quid says that Prongs gets violently ill by the end of the day," Sirius said to Phiona out of listening range of his fellow Marauders.
Phiona's dark eyes flashed. She blessed Sirius with a sly smile before she turned the corner to her seventh year Transfiguration class. "You're on, Honey."