Chapter 23

"What the hell!" Derrick cursed as the entire contents of his bag spilled across the floor. He examined it and found it had been split open at the bottom.

Bad luck had happened to him ever since dinner after he had reluctantly sipped some orange juice which felt oddly sour than usual.

He bent down, picking up his belongings. A group of second years in his corridor giggled at the sight of a pair of thongs on the floor.

"They're not mine," Derrick said, genuinely oblivious about the underwear. "For a start, I hate the colour pink--I mean, I don't wear them altogether!" He kicked the underwear away and shot the chortling girls a glare.

"I've had bloody bad luck all day," he complained to himself. "First, getting that buggering sensation in my eye and the other burning sensation up my… well, there was something dodgy about that toilet roll. Then I thought my rectum had exploded because of that blood… but Madam Pomfrey said there was nothing wrong…"

He bent down again to pick up his Charms book, when he heard a loud ripping sound.

"Uh oh."

Slowly feeling his backside, he discovered his trousers had ripped at the bottom and were now exposing his Ravenclaw boxers.

"Wand! Must find wand!" he hissed, searching in pockets. If he had his wand, maybe he could prize the last of his dignity and fix his trousers.

His wand was gone.

It appeared the corridor was filling up with more students.

He quickly shoved the Charms book in his bag, not caring he was flashing many passing students with his underwear. He glimpsed at the floor, checking he'd picked up everything, and spotted his one and only quill rolling across the floor.

Unfortunately, all his other quills had broken that day. That had been rather unlucky.

"Damn it!" He chased after it, attempting to keep a hand on his bottom to cover his showing undergarments. Winding through the snickering students, he tried to snatch for the quill but it only seemed to gain more speed.

"What the hell is going on!" Derrick cried. "No, no! Crap!" He watched the quill spin until it came to a staircase and was now rolling down it. Still determined, he kept a hand firmly covering his bottom and chased the quill down the steps.

He fell in the process.


Staircases did not make comfortable slides.

Derrick whimpered, spread out like a starfish at the bottom of the steps. "Help... someone help me…"

His body was numb but he somehow felt pain at the same time - a lovely combination. He watched fellow students completely ignore his presence at the bottom of the staircase, climbing up the steps with ease. He siezed a passing trouser leg but it belonged to a furious girl who cried 'Pervert!' and kicked him in the gonads.


Someone had mistaken Derrick for a rug.


Remus did not understand why Sirius was dragging him there with so much urgency, all he knew was that their destination was the Room of Requirement.

"I don't like going in there," Remus said tensely. "It's very unnerving how the room moulds itself to your needs, as if it is alive."

"You overanalyze too much," Sirius stated.

The two stopped in their tracks once they got to the seventh floor opposite the tapestry of the Barnabus the Barmy. Grudgingly, Remus followed Sirius' pacing in his high heel shoes, up and down the small stretch of wall three times until a new door appeared.

"How does going in there get back at Snape?" Remus gestured to the room, pulling at black strands of his wig.

"I'll tell you inside, Moony," Sirius insisted, opening the door and stuffing him inside.

The moment they stepped in the room, they were met with a gigantic, luxurious bed with walls covered in… mirrors?

Remus had to hold onto a mirror-covered wall to stable him from his hyperventilating. "What on earth was going though your mind when you were concentrating what you needed?" he questioned, shooting Sirius a horrified look.

Sirius didn't look so abashed and was admiring the room's decor. "Bit tackier than I expected…" He finally realised Remus had asked him something. "Oh, they're just props, Moony."


Sirius rung out his ear and shot him a tired look. Not answering the question, he pulled out the Marauders Map from his trouser pocket and opened up the flaps on the parchment until he found the seventh corridor they were on. He followed Snape's moving dot. "He's on his way here."

"Snape?" Remus cried, biting on his fingernails in agitation. "How does he know we're in here?"

"I sent him a note from you saying that you would meet him in here."

"What? Why? Didn't we come in here to hide from him?"

Sirius snorted, then much to Remus' wailing, whipped off his school robe and pulled his shirt over his head.

Remus averted his gaze from Sirius' pecks. "WHY DID YOU SUDDENLY REMOVE CLOTHING? WHY? WHY?"

"It makes it look more realistic," Sirius explained, and Remus had no idea what exactly was going to come across as 'more realistic', but he could tell he wouldn't like it one bit. "Quick, Moony, get on the bed."


Sirius was getting impatient. "We're doing this get Snape back, remember?"

"Doing what to get Snape back? And how does me getting on a bed for you facilitate in any way in getting revenge on Snape?"

"Moony, get on the bed before I fart on your face!"

At that, Remus shot on top of the bed sheets but scrambled as far away as he could against the headboard for safety. His frantic eyes shot around at the many mirrors and rather fanciful bed drapes. "I don't like this," he said shrilly. "I don't like this at all,"

"Um… Moony?" Sirius started, fingers fidgeting in nerves. "Snape has to catch you and me… I mean, Rhiana… you know… doing… it."

Remus paled. "It? Doing it? What 'it' are you referring to?"

"You know."

"NO, I DON'T KNOW! And will you please put your shirt back on!"

Sirius rolled his eyes. "God knows what you'd be like if I had my trousers off… actually, maybe I should take them off too, to look more authentic." He tugged on his belt but Remus stopped him with a glare.

"If you get any more naked I'm going to bite you!"

Sirius considered this. "Hmm, maybe Snape would take it as kinky…"

Remus threw up his hands in frustration. "I'm getting out of here!" He went to climb off the bed but he froze when the door flung open.

Snape stood at the doorway.

"…Bugger," Remus cursed.

Snape looked between Rhiana, Sirius and the rather tacky bed with a crumbling expression. "Rhiana, what's going on?" he demanded.

The scene was complete.

"I'm sorry for doing this, Moony," Sirius whispered, an apologetic look on his features.

Sirius rarely looked sorry for anything, and Remus replied with a disturbed stare. "For doing whaaa…" he trailed off as Sirius suddenly pushed him back on the bed and kissed him open-widely.

WAAAAAH, Remus thought.

WAAAAAAH, Sirius also thought. His tongue is rather bendy… But back to what I was thinking a second ago. WAAAAAAH.

After a few moments, Sirius tore away from Remus -who was very open mouthed at that precise moment- to send Snape a mischievous smile.

"Hi Snivelly! You just missed me and Rhiana's romping sex!"

Snape turned pale, even more than his usual ghostly complexion, a clear sign he believed the Gryffindor, especially after the vivid kiss he'd been present to see. The devastation -the look of near tears across the Slytherin's face- horrified the boys more than seeing something as haunting such as the Dark Mark. Good Merlin, thought Sirius. He has emotions?

"How could you," Snape snarled at Remus, looking close to spitting on him. Turning on his heel, he ran from the room, his dark, shadowy robes billowing behind him.

"Well," Sirius said, a little stunned. "Er… I think our work is done, right?"

Remus remained motionless, completely stupefied, his mouth still open from the same position when Sirius' lips had pulled off his. He finally managed to find his voice but could only conjure the words: "Ohmerlinohmerlinohmerlinohmerlin."

"Well, I never thought I'd ever go that far for a prank." Sirius's voice shook. It never shook.


Sirius studied Remus. "Don't you have any other input on the situation?" he asked quite hysterically.


"Right," Sirius said. "Well, this has been… fun… Snape's face… harhar… har…" His har-hars lacked energy; he was very aware that he had just crossed a few friendship boundaries in the last two minutes. "I have to go now," he announced. Hurriedly grabbing for his shirt and school robes, he made for the exit. "I promised I'd steal Evans' ring for Prongs… then I'll probably kiss a few nameless girls so I'm secure on my homosexuality."

Remus quavered. "Don't you mean heterosexuality?"

"Fuck! Yes, that one! Buggering similar words," he muttered to himself. "Well, uh, ta-ta!" He gave Remus an awkward wave as he rushed out of the Room of Requirement.


Lily wrapped her wet hair in a towel after having a late-afternoon shower. Stepping outside of the dormitory bathroom in her bathrobes, she heard the sound of rustling and hushed voices. She looked around the dorm and found it empty, no signs of her fellow dorm mates.

Thinking she was just being paranoid, she crossed the room and sat on her bed.

She immediately sat up again when there were audible squeaks which certainly didn't belong to the mattress.

"Nicole, is that you?" Lily asked, swivelling her head round, looking for her dorm mate to pop out behind a duvet cover and shout 'Boo! Got ya! April fools even though it's not April and you totally cacked your knickers!'

"Who's there?" she asks when she got no answer.

Realising she'd looked around the room at only shoulder length; she looked at ankle height and examined the floor. A wad of black hair stuck out from under her bed.

"Oh my GOD!" shrieked Lily. She jumped back, clutching her bathrobe tight around her body as it had been hanging quite slackly. She grabbed for her wand in her pocket but realised it wouldn't be in the pocket of her bathrobes. "Who's under my bed? Who's there, you pervert!"

She dug her feet under the bed and kicked whatever solid object was there.

"Ow! Ooow! Stop it, woman!"

Lily made her own cry of 'Ow!' as whoever was under her bed unexpectedly grabbed her foot and pulled on it.

"Aaargh!" She tumbled backwards and hit the floor with a slam.

Feeling dizzy and disoriented, she massaged the back of her head, not seeing the two bodies under her bed roll from their shelter and get to their feet.

"The ring! Grab the ring!" She heard a voice order.

"This one?" Another voice asked.

"No! That's a sodding keyring! The dodgy ring!"

There were sounds of scrambling, then a noise of glee. "Got it!"

"Woop-de-bloody-do. Now, let's get out of here!"

"Hey!" Lily turned on her side, still lying on the floor as she tried to get her eyesight in focus. "What are you taking? Get back here!" She finally managed to get on to her knees and spotted a flurry of school robes dash from the dormitory.

"No they sodding didn't," she said under her breath. She struggled to her feet as she clutched painfully at her newfound headache; she let her hands run through the clutter of her desk side table, searching for it.

The ring was gone.

Her towel had fallen out of her soaked hair as she'd stormed across the dormitory in rage. The second she got at the doorway, she watched the bodies of the Sirius and Peter descend down the newly changed staircase which had been conveniently changed into a slide due to their manly genes.

"I don't know you how you got up here, BUT YOU'RE GOING TO PAY!" she screamed, pushing up the sleeves of her bathrobe in a threatening manner.

She was going to kill those idiots, and that was only if Derrick didn't kill her first for losing that ring.

She was about to join the slide and chase after the thieve,s but a voice stopped her from open doorway of another girls' dormitory.

"You're only wearing your bathrobe again, Lily."

She quickly stopped her foot which was in the middle of a step and detracted it. "Thanks!" she told the girl gratefully. "Effing clothes," she mumbled, taking a step backwards. "Imagine if I had gone down the slide wearing only my bathrobe…"

Unfortunately she slipped on her soggy towel.

"Oh fu—AAAARGH!" She screeched, sliding down the smooth staircase.


"What do you mean you've run out of pain relief potions?"

Madam Pomfrey merely shrugged her shoulders, completely baffled. She looked through her potions cabinet again but gave Derrick another grim nod that there were none in stock.

"How can you not have pain relief potions?" he yelled, using a hospital bed post to lean on. He was currently sporting a limping leg and many bruises to his arms and face due to Hogwarts hard staircases. "You're a healing witch! You always have pain relief potions!"

"Calm down," the witch shushed him so he wouldn't awaken other sick patients. "I might have a potion to get rid of those bruises."

After a couple of minutes of searching through the potions cabinet again, Madam Pomfrey turned around with empty hands. The witch shrugged her shoulders once more with an 'Oh well, never mind, eh?' expression.

Derrick was seething.

"That's bad luck, isn't it?" Madam Pomfrey said lightly. Derrick grunted. "All I can offer you is a bed to sleep here tonight, I'm afraid."

Derrick didn't even dignify her with an answer, striding as humanly possible with a limp through the oak doors of the Hospital Wing and slamming them shut.

"Bollocks!" He swore, somehow getting his school robe caught in the doors. He pulled on the robe with all his might until he it eventually tore and he fell backwards.

Coincidentally, the fully dressed Lily nearly tumbled in to him as she stormed down the corridor. She was particular moody after the disaster of shooting into the fully packed common room wearing just her bathrobes and flashing a group of first years with too much upper skin. She was planning to find Sirius and Peter, following the trail of cookie crumbs down the corridors and her flowery bra she knew Sirius had probably stolen for James.

"Are you alright?" Lily asked, watching Derrick stumble to his feet. She gasped when she took in his full appearance. "Bloody hell, Derrick. What happened to you?" She furrowed her brow at the dark bruises and wobbly leg. "Your robes torn and your, er, trousers at the back…"

"You don't know how glad I am to see you," Derrick said, yanking her forward with great force so he could kiss her. He needed a stress relief and Lily was handily there to take minimal pain away.

She pulled away curtly. "Derrick, you're injured. You should get some rest in the Hospital wing."

"Oh, that tart won't help me," he referred to Madam Pomfrey. "Let's go." He wrenched roughly at her hand.

"Go where?" Lily asked, her voice tense.

"Broom closet," Derrick replied, as if the answer was simplest in the world.

Lily felt her throat tighten, but she let Derrick drag her along the corridor anyway, pulling her sleeve down over her bare hand.



"Padfoot, I need to be here alone," James emphasised.

Sirius did not understand.

"But…what are you going to do in here?" Sirius waved a hand to the small surroundings of the broom closet. "Jerk off, or something?"

"I'm waiting for her."

The term of 'her' would have sounded rough on any other person lips, but they filled with so much compassion that it almost ran through you.

"But…" Sirius began again, rather thwarted, "We can stick around if you want? Like last time."

"Padfoot, come on," Remus cut in, his practised tone of voice dominative but soothing with puppies like Sirius Black. The earlier situation in the Room of Requirement had been completely erased from his mind under the frightening circumstances - in fact, it didn't happen. Nothing happened.

"Let him do this by himself," Remus added.

Sirius was about to argue but bit his tongue.

"We got the ring."

James' eyes lit up. "You did?"

"Yep," Sirius smiled. Peter scavenged the ring from his trouser pocket and handed it to Sirius. "Heavy bugger," he commented. Sirius twirled the hoop around his finger a couple of times, amused by the spinning and twinkling emerald jewel. "I wonder what it would like on my finger." He slipped it on before any of the boys could protest.

Sirius waved his fingers for all to see. "Oooo! Look at me! I'm Minerva!" All of a sudden, he grabbed Remus' arm and hooked it with his. "And this is my husband, Professor Dumbledore!"

"Alright, you've had your fun, scatterbrains. Now unhook me," Remus said.

Sirius stuck out his tongue but unhooked the poor soul and went to slip the ring off his finger.

"Good golly gosh! The ring is stuck!"


Sirius chortled. "So gullible," he slid of the ring and put it in James' palm.

"Thanks, Padfoot." James was unsure how to show appreciation without coming across as what he thought was a clear homosexual, so sent him a punch in the arm.

"Ow! The thanks would have been enough!" Sirius complained. "Alright, men!" He addressed Remus and Peter. "Let's go play some wizard chess!" The made their way down down the corridor.

"You did say wizards 'chess' and not wizard's 'chest', right?" Remus asked uncertainly.

"Oh, YEAH, Moony. I said: 'Let's go play with a wizard's CHEST.' Jeez…"

"Alright. You don't have to be so melodramatic."

"No, seriously, let's go make Snape's chest hair turn pink! Except he probably doesn't have any because he's no as MANLY AS I! And not to mention he's a girl…"

James rolled his eyes at such a conversation, hearing his friends' voices quieten as he shut the broom closet door.

This is when he realized: he was right back where he started.

"Talk about going round in circles," he muttered.

Standing alone in the darkness of the broom closet was rather… chilling. This time, he had none of his friends' limbs sticking into his stomach or blinding him in the eye.

He was alone.

James wished he accepted Padfoot's invitation of staying with him. He really wouldn't have minded if Sirius cackled like a vampire and tried to groove bite marks into his neck.

He pulled out the Marauders Map from his pocket, muttering the usual 'I solemnly swear…' and unfolded the flaps of parchment until he found his own dot, tracing a finger down the same corridor and finding two more dots coming his way: Derrick and Lily's.

He quickly pressed his eyes to the gap of the door.

"Derrick, I really think you should get some rest in the Hospital wing," Lily told him, on the verge of pleading. She tried desperately again to dug her jumper sleeve over the hand he had latched onto as he pulled her along.

Derrick didn't answer and only stared ahead. He finally took attention of Lily once they were outside the door of the broom closet. Derrick swore he saw flashes of hazel orbs in the gap of the door, but before he could ponder it they were gone.

Roughly again, he tugged Lily's hand as he grabbed for the door handle, so much her hand became completely visible from her sleeve.

He saw her delicate fingers.

He saw her bare delicate finger.

Lily knew she was in trouble from the second her hand came into view.

"Where's the ring?"

Lily debated her answer - she didn't want to get Sirius and Peter involved. Not only did telling Derrick they had stolen the ring inevitably lead to fights, but she was supposed to be detached from the Marauders all together.

"Where is the ring?" His voice sounded harsher due to her twitchy silence. "Why aren't you wearing the ring?"

Lily shrugged, trying to keep the atmosphere as light as possible. "I must've forgotten to put it on-"

"No, you didn't," Derrick cut in tersely. Lily tried a different approach.

"It was kind of tight on my finger," she lied. "So I just-"

He roared, "I told you to wear it at all times!"

"Derrick," Lily began tensely, and was nearly laughing at how he had reacted with so much fury. "I don't think it really matters if I don't wear it for a bit."

"Stupid girl!" Derrick fastened on to her wrist and she made cried out, feeling her hand loose blood circulation.

"You're hurting me!" She struggled against his fixed grip. "Get off!"

Panicking, she continued to wrestle away, until she got so infuriated that she bit on to his hand like a hungry Niffler.

"Aaaargh!" Derrick cried in pain. Instinctively, he hit Lily with a strike across her face.

She quickly felt her legs crumble away from her as she fell to her knees, panting heavily as she clutched her reddened cheek.

"Stupid mudblood," he spat at her.

Those were his last words before he was smacked in the side of the head by the flung open broom closet door - of course, James didn't mind that Derrick was now sporting a broken nose from such an impact.

"What the-" Derrick started, clutching his face and pretty astonished by James' sudden appearance. "Where did the hell did you come from?"

James turned to Lily who was kneeling against the corridor wall with a look of shock. "I'm sorry," he told her as a warning for what he was about to do next.

Wands weren't needed now; it was a fight of pride.

James brought back his fist and struck Derrick's already covered face with his hands. Derrick swore loudly and stumbled back at the force. Enraged, he brought his hands down to his sides, blood trickling down his features; dripping over his teeth.

Unexpectedly, Derrick came at James, giving him a blow to the stomach. James didn't justify him with a throbbing moan, and instead grinded his teeth. He made to punch Derrick again but missed as the boy dodged out of the way, giving him another forceful blow to the stomach. It was if words were not needed; every punch or shove meant something, as if it were a secret language ringing in one another's ear.

James had enough of the prancing about, glancing over at Lily's trembling figure, which got him even more heated and alert. He pummelled Derrick in the face and the boy faltered back again, clearly unstable. James was about to give him a punch to the stomach but Derrick fell to the ground, his unconscious body hitting the floor with an echo that rang down the corridor.

James immediately kneeled to Lily's side, wrapping her arms around her quivering figure.

"Sshh…Lily, it's okay now," he soothed her, stroking her hair.

"I don't even know why I'm crying," she admitted, wiping furiously at her streaming eyes. After what had happened she was embarrassed because she was crying in front of James Potter.

"He hit you. That twat hurt you- he touched you," James put her face in her hands and softly wiped her tears away, stroking her throbbing cheek.

Her green orbs only seemed to glisten more. "I shouldn't be crying - he hits like a girl! My sister Petunia hits harder than he does and she looks like a horse!" she broke into hard sobbing.

"Right," James almost chuckled at that. He rubbed her back and heat slowly rose back in her – warmth had gone when Derrick had hit her, leaving her cold and shivering. Lily found herself clinging on to him, much more than she would admit. She sniffed as her tears subsided and clutched the back of his robe.

"I lub you."

James' eyes bulged. "You…'lub' me?"

Lily's voice muffled against his chest. "My nose is all clogged up with snot so I can't speak properly…" she mumbled.

"That's nice," James commented on her nose clogging. "You still look gorgeous as ever." He continued soothingly rubbing her back. "I 'lub' you too," he murmured close in her ear. Just as he was going to kiss her forehead, Lily moved her head upwards at the last second so their lips met in a deep kiss. They smiled giddily at each other afterwards.

After a while of just sitting on the floor in each other's arms, Lily stood up and helped James to his feet who was clutching sorely at his stomach.

"You're hurt," Lily stated, guilty.

James batted a hand, trying to disguise the unbearable wince on his face. "It's nothing," he wheezed.

Lily stroked warmly at his stomach and James felt undoubtedly better. With another meaningful kiss from Lily, James felt his hand brushing tenderly with her fingers as she grasped his hand.

"Hey…what are you-" James began, aware that Lily was pulling him somewhere.

She hushed him and gave her a warm smile. With a gentle tug, she drew James into the broom closet; both stepping over Derrick's unconscious sprawled out body, and enclosed them inside with a soft click of the door shutting.

The second the closet door fastened, Sirius whipped the invisibility cloak off him and his two friends.

"Oh, that did NOT just happen," Sirius spoke with an arm on his hip, completely baffled. He gave a prod to Derrick in the stomach to check if he wasn't some sort of an illusion, announcing him as real as Derrick made a comatose whimper of pain.

"Oh, it did," Remus confirmed.

"Hmm," Sirius said suspiciously. In one swift motion, he turned the door handle of the broom closet and hurled it open. The three watched their fourth comrade snog inside the enclosed space, most avidly with the redhead, obviously making up for lost time. The boy's heads twisted from one side to the other, observing Lily's hands run through James' wild hair whilst James caressed her cheek and leaned her against the broom closet wall.

They broke apart, flushing, but managed to shout a loud, 'BUGGER OFF!'

"Righto," Sirius said, closing the door at once.

The boys stood in the corridor in silence.

"So," Peter said, conversationally.

"So," Sirius echoed.

The duo looked at Remus.

Remus sighed. "So," he repeated, to the boys' wishes.

Peter knocked his fists together, admiring the way it formed a small rapping sound.

Sirius tapped his foot rhythmically against the floor, obviously bored rigid.

Remus fiddled with his clothing, trailing his fingernails at the corner of his tattered robe.

"Want to go spy on them through the keyhole?" Sirius asked.

"No!" Remus declined, quite appalled.

Sirius pouted. "Why not?"

"Because that would be disgusting."

"And there's no keyhole!"

"Right you are, Pete," Sirius said. "And there's no keyhole."


The next morning, Derrick felt his entire body ache. He woke up and was faced with bed curtains, realising he was somehow placed in his own dormitory, though he had no recollection of even walking up the common room stairs to get there.

He sat up, nasty images of what had happened with James and Lily flashing through his mind. In desperate need of the bathroom, he flung open the nearest curtain of his bed.


The entire dormitory was covered with bleached hedgehogs.


The End

(AN: The sequel to this story is called 'You give me heart palpitations.' Click on my profile if it's easier to find, and thanks for reading, papooses! Love you all nauseatingly!)