Disclaimer: No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. Furthermore, this was written in accordance to the Ministry of Magick's Public Fiction Code Article X and brings no harm or hex to the reader before, after or during the reading of the piece. However, it was not written in accordance with the Ministry of Magick's Public Fiction Code ILII which states that, beyond holding hands, relationships between two men or two women are strictly forbidden.
Pairings: sbxrl, rianxquin, jp(plus)le, jp(plus)pp, jp(plus)ss
Summary: In which three prefects look into the current events
Warning: AU, sap, fluff Okay, so, i read HBP and am slapping a 'AU' tag on my story. i like my canon better, it's more fluent.
In which people learn new things.
A white and black object (later identified as one of the footballs that Peter had transfigured) forcefully hit James' head. Sirius caught it as it bounced and glared to see one of the Slytherin chasers, Lukas Schwartz.
'Cheating Gryffindors,' Schwartz sneered as he neared Sirius and James (Peter was meeting a Hufflepuff for a project). 'Honestly, what did you have to gain by damaging our equipment?' I was with Lily and Perri, walking towards them. Or, rather, we were walking towards the Hall and they were standing at the entrance.
'I did nothing to your precious equipment, Schwartz,' James rolled his eyes as he rubbed his head. 'You've a bad enough team as it is.'
'Care to make a wager on that one, Potter?'
'Boys,' Lily sighed as we watched, just out of their sight.
'We already know who did it,' Perri sighed.
I feigned shock; 'you didn't tell him, did you?'
'Certainly not!' she laughed, 'that would ruin all the fun!' Perri was dating Schwartz. Or something like that. She claimed that he wasn't a normal Slytherin. Well, he didn't bother the Gryffindors much and Snape made a better target. We more or less left him alone. Good thing too, because marauding on Schwartz would cost Perri's friendship. Quidditch, however, was fair game – as long as it remained a fair game.
'Five galleons,' Schwartz repeated James' wager. 'Five for today's game,' he nodded slowly and then held his hand out in an outwardly Muggle fashion. James shook it.
'Hey, Moony, fancy some chocolates?' Sirius called, finally recognising my presence. 'Jamie can buy us some after the game.'
'Now I almost want them to loose,' Lily snickered, 'if only to see their expressions at handing money to a Slytherin!'
'I'm always right, Evans,' James smiled (his Potter Seeker Smile™, it was James' new way at 'winning the girls').
'Let's hit the library while we've time,' I suggested not wanting to see where the situation was heading. Three Quidditch players in two rival houses, a boyfriend of one player and a girlfriend of another and the (not-quite-so) secret crush of the final player. No, it was not a good situation.
Glancing apologetically at Sirius as we left, we made our way to the library. Theoretically students weren't supposed to be there at that time. It was Saturday morning on the day of a Gryffindor/Slytherin Quidditch match, but no one would question the actions of three prefects.
It had been almost a week since the article in the Prophet. Lily had written her parents asking if they would send her the Times and the Herald. I got Quin to send me L'oracle Quotidien and Libération (a French paper). The three of us found what we could about the attacks, following them religiously. Something didn't seem right. We knew that Dumbledore knew more than we did. He always knew what was going on. Besides, he never said that there wasn't anything going on, just that it didn't concern us. However, he wasn't about to tell us anything. Our plan, then, was to go to him with solid evidence and then ask for answers.
Deny not the prefect answers!
The other Marauders were indifferent to the situation. They saw it as a Muggle serial killer on the loose. The authorities would deal with it soon enough. Since when has a serial killer warranted continuous coverage in wizarding newspapers?
We spread the papers out on a table alongside spell books. We knew we weren't supposed to know much about the Forbidden Curses, but, well, we all had a habit of reading much more than good for us. Every account we read, every image we saw only confirmed our belief more. There was some kind of wizard out there flaunting a forbidden curse. Killing Muggles. Neither the Ministry nor the Muggle police could catch him.
Sure some purebloods hate Muggles, they always have. But killing them… That was just. It was beyond our comprehension. Perri lives with her father's family, pureblooded Slytherin pricks to the extreme, and she can't even see them doing it – and she hates them. We came to a realisation, separately but at the same time. I was the one that voiced it:
'There's more than one wizard out there.' The words were like poison on my tongue. One. One was bad. Two. Two was worse. A group of them, though. That was down right scary.
'It doesn't make sense,' Lily protested mildly.
'I honestly doubt they care,' Perri retorted sighing.
'None of us no the… community enough to suspect anyone.'
'Remus, maybe Black…?'
'Sirius is not involved!' I protested.
The girls exchanged a glance. 'I know,' Lily replied, 'but he might have a better idea.'
'He tries not to talk to or about his family. And they don't exactly tell him anything. Besides, he thinks it's just a crazy Muggle serial killer.'
'Ask Schwartz?' Lily suggested.
Perri laughed. 'Lukas is like the pseudo-Slytherin. He's about as likely to know as Black is.'
'Let's think on it then, gather from the Sunday paper and talk tomorrow evening?' I suggested standing. It was almost time for the match and I knew I couldn't let Peter alone in the stands. We made our way then, Perri to the Ravenclaw stands and Lily and myself to the Gryffindor ones.
'I can't help but feel upset over this,' Lily commented as we reached the stands. Peter had saved a spot for us.
'You and me both, Lily.'
In the end, Lukas Schwartz ended up paying for our trip to Honeydukes after the game. At my insistence, James lent me his Cloak so I could poke around the Three Broomsticks while they went to Zonkos. The other Marauders thought I'd finally gone nutters, and perhaps I had, but I needed to know.
'You're obsessed, Moony,' Sirius claimed later. We were cuddled together in his bed. James was tutoring Peter on the other side of the room.
I shook my head, 'I just feel that this is something that I need to know.'
'You haven't stopped thinking about it since the Prophet article.'
'I have, too!'
He kissed my forehead and ruffled my hair, 'let's put it this way, you've put it above schoolwork.'
'It means he's serious about this,' James interrupted. 'You really are serious about this, aren't you, Moony?' I nodded miserably. 'Dumbledore wouldn't keep it a secret if something was wrong.'
'Are you so sure?'
'Hogwarts is the safest place there is.'
'From someone who casts Avada Kedavra as he wishes?' I pointed out.
'But then you'd have to assume that it is, in fact, Avada Kedavra.'
'I do.' James, Sirius and Peter exchanged a glance. 'Hopefully I'm being over paranoid,' I added, 'but the signs all point in that direction.'
'That someone – or a group of people – is using Avada Kedavra to kill off Muggles. This is unheard of, James.'
'Leave it to the Muggles?' That was Sirius.
'That's not fair,' I protested. 'If it's not a Muggle killer, and it seriously looks like it's not, even to the Muggles, then how can they be left to deal with people that have abilities that they are not fit to deal with?'
'That's the Ministry's job,' Peter added, 'and the Aurors.'
'If they know, then they're not telling anyone,' I narrowed my eyes. 'Why is it so bad that I want to know what's happening?'
Sirius smoothed my hair, 'it's not. You're just, not yourself. You weren't even listening when James was outlining some ideas for Halloween mayhem. It's unhealthy.'
'It's true, you can't deny it.'
My sleep was littered with nightmares. Maybe it was because I'm a dark creature or maybe just because I got myself worked up. Thankfully I was sleeping in Sirius' bed, more than once through the night he pulled me out of my nightmares with soothing words, gently running his hands along my back. Quin and Rian were my pack, as were James and Peter. Sirius was my chosen mate and being close to him calmed me down enough. Funny that all he had to do was be there, holding me, and I felt like soaring.