(blink blink) Jennifer Lovett equals 'Jennifer Love Hewet'? Woo boy! Wait until I tell Jen-Jen about THAT one! (Jennifer and Heather Lovett are twin girls I know in real life. They're MY classmates)

Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with the original Harry Potter. However, Rena, Lori, Ted, Kert, Sirius (James), Corey, Vail, Abby, and all other new characters belong to me. So there.

Marauders - Take Two

Chapter 2: The Parchment

Sirius James Potter was not in the best of moods, but, in his opinion, that was only to be understood.

After all, here he was, a promising Gryffindor third-year, best Chaser on the Quidditch team, top of his class in Defense Against the Dark Arts, and the eldest son of one of the greatest heroes in recent wizarding history…and he still couldn't manage to keep tabs on his own younger sister.

Currently, he was sulking in one of the large, over-stuffed armchair of the Gryffindor common room. His smooth black hair fell into the bright green eyes he shared with his sister, the ones they'd inherited from their father, and he from their grandmother. His eyes, however, were not as bad as his father's or sister's, and thus he did not need glasses. His otherwise-attractive face was pulled into a definite sulk, glaring at the crackling fire in a very bad mood.

"Mate, you've gotta lighten up." Came a voice from his left, accompanied by the sagging of a body into a chair. "It's not all that bad…"

Sirius turned his eyes slightly to find Corey Weasley, his cousin and best friend, sitting cross-legged in the chair beside him. Corey was a tall, thin boy with curly, bushy red hair, a color he'd inherited from his father, who was Sirius's uncle on his mother's side. Corey had brown eyes that always seamed to hold a curious gaze to them, and a light dusting of freckles on his cheeks. His clothes were just a little more worn than the average person, but that was normal: he had three younger siblings at home, and a fourth was on the way.

"'Not all that bad'?" Sirius rolled his eyes. "You can't tell me that, Corey. You know it's bad."

Corey laughed a bit awkwardly. "But Rena seams to be getting along pretty well. She's awfully independent, you know. Like Aunt Ginny."

"I don't mind her being independent." Sirius muttered, though from the look on his face that was just a bluff. "What I mind is her hanging around with that Malfoy girl!"

Corey shut up. He had to admit, he wasn't too fond of the idea himself. Of all the first-year girls his younger cousin could have chosen to become friends with, why on earth had she picked the daughter of Draco Malfoy? She had to know her father's rivalry with him, how much they hated each other, not to mention the man's reputation as a Death Eater. And yet, Serena and Malfoy had been all but inseparable in the past week, and they weren't looking to change that pattern anytime soon.

"Well…at least Lupin and Longbottom are along with them."

Sirius's scowl lightened only a little. "Lupin and Longbottom are boys. They're not in the same dorm with her, bothering her all night."

Corey sighed, closing his brown eyes almost painfully. "You just never give up, do you, Siri?"

Sirius threw a couch pillow at him.

Right about that moment, the portrait swung open, ushering in a pair of feminine giggles and one masculine guffaw. Rena and 'that Malfoy girl' scrambled in through the hole, the blonde trying to cover her mouth daintily with her hand, followed closely by Lupin, who wasn't even trying to hide his laughter. He and Rena paused a moment to help Longbottom, who had apparently glued his hands together on accident, up into the common room.

"It's not funny you guys!" Longbottom exclaimed, his normally airy voice rising into the shriek it changed to when he was upset. He pulled at his fingers, but they remained firmly laced together around his wand. "I can't get them loose!"

"Kert, relax." Rena giggled. One would notice that she carried a rather ink-stained copy of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 in her hands. "We'll just get one of our copies and fix you right up."

"We could've fixed it earlier if you'd been more careful with that ink." Lupin added with a bright, amber-eyed grin.

Longbottom rolled his eyes at him. "It's not my fault! It's hard to dodge the bottles when you're stuck like this."

Rena and Malfoy cracked up again, giggling wildly. Corey laughed as well, but Sirius just scowled and pushed out of the chair in a huff, storming over to the group. "A-hem."

Malfoy, who noticed him first off, suddenly stopped laughing and shrank back just a little, blinking up at the third-year nervously. To say he hadn't been exactly friendly to her the past few weeks would be the understatement of the century, and it gave Sirius a sort of confidence to know that Draco Malfoy's offspring was afraid of him.

Rena, however, simply spun around, and faced her brother with an even expression. "Can I help you, Serious James?"

Lupin and Longbottom suddenly stopped, hovering nearby with the same nervous expression as Malfoy and Corey. The two siblings stared at each other with almost-identical, piercing green glares, so severe that their audience could almost see the lightening bolts flashing between them.

"I told you how I've felt about this situation, Serena." Sirius hissed softly.

"I know that, Sirius James." Rena said calmly, without missing a beat. "I've taken it in to careful consideration and drawn a conclusion of my own."

Sirius bristled slightly. "Which is?"

"Which is this." Rena reached back and grabbed the blonde girl's thin, pale hand. She stuck her tongue out at her brother. "Lori's my friend, and it's gonna stay that way. I don't care what you think about it."

Sirius growled slightly. "Rena…"

"Sorry, Sirius, but there are more pressing matters to attend to." Rena spun around, suddenly smiling again. "Come on, Kert, let's get you fixed up!"

With that, she grabbed Longbottom's wrist in her free hand and dragged him and Malfoy up towards the first-year boy's dorm, Lupin scrambling behind them quickly. Siri glared after them, his face turning a bit red as Rena stuck her tongue out at him just before disappearing.

Several snickers filled the common room. Sirius glared at the lot of them, his green eyes reflected with just the right amount of fire to send them all scurrying back to their original tasks.

Corey glanced at his cousin awkwardly, rubbing the back of his head. "Well…at least it's nice weather for flying."

"Shut up." Sirius muttered, and snatched up his broom to storm out of the common room and down to the Qudditch pitch in a huff.

( - ) ( - ) ( - )

Lori hummed to herself softly, an old wizard lullaby stuck in her head as she clutched a library book close to her chest. The Saturday morning sun glistened in through the pretty pale green-tinted windows of the third floor, making the whole stone hall glow happily.

She was so busy with her own daydreams that she didn't realize someone was in front of her until she ran into them. She stumbled back, nearly dropping her book, and stuttered. "I-I'm sorry…"

A sharp gasp was suddenly drawn into her lips when she registered the person's appearance. Looking down at her was a tall, thin boy with short, straight brown hair and rather dark eyes, glaring down at her with his hand stuffed deep in his green-trimmed Slytherin robes. Just beside him was a slightly-shorter dark-skinned girl with brown eyes and long ringlets of jade black hair, also dressed in the green snake-garb.

Lori's breath caught in her throat in a burst of recognition. The boy looked her over a moment, sneering at her red uniform, then smirked. "Well well well. If it isn't little Miss Pride of the Malfoy Line."

"Or should we say ex-pride?" The girl giggled. "In an outfit like that! All that red!"

Lori gulped slightly. "V-Vail…A-Abby…"

"Don't address us by our first names, Gryffindork." Vail sniffed. He gave his hand a flick and knocked the book out of Loriana's arms, sending it crashing to the ground.

Lori scrambled to pick it up, but 'Abby' immediately moved her foot to step on it firmly. "I wonder how your mother's going to deal with this one, Loriana dear?" She smirked haughtily. "You know, once she's found out about this little mishap, she might even take you out of school…"

"Hey, Lori!"

The two Slytherins stopped and looked up. Lori pried her book loose and turned to find a familiar redhead running up the hall, a broad smile on her face. "Rena…"

"I've been looking all over for you!" Rena slid to a stop and wasted no time in pulling Lori up by the arm. She didn't even bat an eye at the two green-robed classmates staring at her. "Come on! Ted's got this amazing idea, it's going to be so cool…"

"A-hem."

Rena paused and blinked up at Vail. "Yes?"

The boy narrowed his eyes at her, then at Lori. "Are you going to stand there all day, or are you going to introduce us to your…friend…Loriana?"

"Um…yes…" Lori scrambled to get a hold of her book, stuttering slightly. "Th-This is Rena…Serena…P-Potter. My housemate." She gulped at the raised eyebrows and haughty smirks of the two Slytherins. "R-Rena, this is Vail Nott and A-Abimala Zambini."

"Nice to meet'cha." Serena grinned brightly, her pretty green eyes wrinkling up cutely.

"Charmed." Zambini rolled her eyes, but Nott smiled and offered Rena his hand. The red-haired girl shook it, the same almost ditzy smile firmly on her lips.

"So, you're Potter, eh?" The boy's voice held a tinge of disdain. "I've heard of you. Of course, who couldn't? The great Harry Potter's daughter…quite an honor."

Rena shook her head. "Oh…Papa's not all that great. He's a normal guy, and Mum keeps him under the reigns half the time. Nothing ever happens around our house."

"Is that so?" Nott's hand slipped into his pocket, fingering his wand contemplatively. "You know, my father was in school with yours. Classmates, as I've heard. Maybe we should get together some time and see if we have anything in common…"

"Vail!" Zambini exclaimed, an angry red rising to visibility on her dark cheeks.

"Thanks…" Rena released Nott's hand quickly and spun on her heels, seizing Lori by the arm. "But no thanks. I wouldn't wanna be caught dead with a creep like you."

Nott recoiled slightly, his eyes narrowing. "So, already caught up in the old Gryffindor-Slytherin rivalry, are you?"

"Nope." Rena stuck her tongue out at him. "I don't care what color you wear, but I wouldn't forgive anyone who picks on my friends."

Zambini hissed sharply at their retreating backs. "Don't." She muttered, grabbing Nott's wrist before he could pull out his wand. "You'll just get in trouble."

"Cocky little brat." Nott growled, relaxing his fingers from their grip so the girl would let go of his wrist. "With her around, that brat Malfoy will start getting the wrong kind of ideas."

"Oh, don't worry about that." Zambini smirked. "Just wait until Madam Malfoy gets done with them, you'll see…"

( - ) ( - ) ( - )

Rena yawned and sucked idly on the end of her quill, wishing idly it was made of sugar, not feather. She pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and frowned down at the parchment in her lap, sitting somewhat haphazardly on thick red covers. A bottle of ink sat next to her, curtains drawn tight to keep her lamplight from bothering her friends.

"Dammit…three inches short." She muttered in annoyance, putting down her ruler and quill with a sigh. She cursed herself silently for leaving her History of Magic homework until the last minute. How hard could twelve inches on the Great Goblin Gaggle of 1476 really be?

Apparently, a lot harder than she thought.

Rena sighed again, leaning over to her old, worn copy of A Complete History of Magic. It was midnight, at least, and the others were all already in bed. Lori had finished her essay days ago and offered it to Rena when she saw her struggling, but Rena's well-taught pride wouldn't let her copy.

The pages of her textbook rustled as she searched for a bit more information. Her glasses slipped down again, but she was too tired to push them up. She yawned sleepily, her eyes closing slightly…

Something slight heavy suddenly fell out of her book and into her lap with a light thump, startling her awake. "Huh? Wha?"

She blinked at it. It was a pad of parchment…nothing special, just a normal pad of parchment…with her dad's seal on it? Rena blinked and took a closer look at the small seal of green wax sealing the page shut. Yup, that was her father's seal all right, a riderless broom chasing after a Golden Snitch that was being hit by lightening. It was the seal her mother had designed herself and given her father as a wedding present, and he'd been using it to seal letters and documents ever since.

So something important, then, otherwise Father would not have wasted the wax. But then why had it been inside the textbook…?

"I suppose it can't hurt to look." The girl shrugged, grinning to herself. She hooked her thin fingers under the wax and broke the seal. Slowly, quietly, she unfolded the page to reveal…

An absolutely normal folded sheet of parchment.

Nothing written, no pictures, no doodles, no long-lost letters of love, not even a forgotten smudge of ink or dirt. Rena turned it over in her hands, blinking at it, unfolding it, refolding it, and not finding a thing.

Rena, quite simply, couldn't believe it. "What in the name of…?" She groaned, folding it back up to look at the front of the page. "Come on, Papa, you're not like that. Only crazy old men do stuff like that…"

She sighed, setting the parchment down. She leaned on her elbows and idly tapped it with her wand, just to see if it would spark or move or something. "What's so great about this thing, anyway?"

The paper rustled slightly. Rena raised her head and, to her surprise, found ink lines appearing on the page from the point where her wand had touched. As she watched, they swirled and met and merged together until lines of writing began to appear across the brown page. She leaned forward even more eagerly to read…

Mr. Moony would like to remind you, young lady, that it is unwise for one to prod at random objects with one's wand, and that only a complete moron would assume that a piece of parchment was anything remarkable in the least.

Rena's mouth fell open. Northing remarkable? The damn page just insulted her! Oh, but that wasn't all, for another like was forming.

Mr. Wormtail expresses his annoyance at being spoken to without being introduced right off. Girls can be so annoyingly pushy sometimes, can't they?

"You spoke to me first, you stupid page!" Rena hissed in annoyance, scowling.

Mr. Padfoot would like to point out that the girl's wand is annoyingly dirty, and she should really clean it before the snot-nosed little brat goes pushing it into anything else.

Rena's red hair bristled slightly as her body stiffened in annoyance. She resisted the urge to tear the annoying page to shreds and burn it in the fireplace as the last line scrawled across.

Mr. Prongs bids the Ickle Firstie a good night, and laughs at the pathetic attempt at a scrounged-up essay gleaming in the corner. A drunken monkey could do better.

The ink swirled, shifted and vanished, leaving a blank parchment once again. Rena sat there a moment, blinking at it, then snapped the packet closed.

"Bloody hell." She muttered, closing the page in the textbook and dropping it onto the ground. She reached up and tapped at the lamp with her wand. "My father really has lost it. Nox."

TBC…

Yes, of course Sirius (only Corey and Rena call him Siri, the later only when she's in loving-little-sister mode) is named for his grandfather as well as his…er…would you call it a grand-godfather? Never mind. I shouldn't have explained that anyway, it was stupid.

Corey's middle name is Arthur, and yes, he's the oldest in his immediate family. He and Sirius are both in third year. And if anyone can guess who Kert's mother is, I'll give you a cyber-cookie. The two Slytherins are Vail Mardon Nott and Abimala Kelda Zambini.

I decided a while back that Rena has a sweet tooth, and her favorite candies are sugar quills and pocky!

A personal seal seams like a nice wedding present to me…