-1Chapter Four: We're Supposed to be Respectful Now
The four boys quickly unloaded the carriage and walked up the stairs and into the foyer. Sirius smiled widely and for the first time all day was completely silent. He quickly led the way into the Great Hall and took a seat towards the middle of the Gryffindor table. Sirius noticed instantly that Remus was glancing up at the moonless sky with a slight smile before he turned his attention back to the group, "You know you really shouldn't have tripped Snape."
"He pushed me first! And besides he's a sniveling, whiny git anyway. He had it coming."
Three pairs of eyes turned to Peter who'd instantly gone quiet after emitting a series of soft intimidated chuckles.
"Exactly!" James exclaimed.
"Snivellus. Oh, brilliant!" Sirius stated, "That's exactly what we've been missing: a nickname for the stupid sod!" Sirius looked up over at the Slytherin's table just in time to see Snape walk in with his cronies that persistently pretended to be his friends, "Oy, Snivellus!" he shouted across the room. Sirius noticed that Remus slouched more in his seat the moment he'd opened his mouth, but ignored it, "When are you going to exact that revenge? I'm really looking forward to it!" he stated sarcastically.
"Do you really have to agitate him like that? Do you think that's wise?"
"Oh come on, Remus- it's just a little bit of fun," James stated.
Remus shook his head at James for encouraging the events that were unfolding, "Yeah, it's real fun every time we end up in hospital because Snape slipped a potion or a hex on us when we we're not paying attention."
"And how many times has that happened to you?" James asked with his brow cocked upwards.
Remus sighed, "That's not the point."
"No, the point is you're stressing over something that hasn't even happened yet." Remus looked at Peter as he interjected, and shrugged resigning any further comments.
"What hasn't happened yet?"
Sirius furrowed his brow and looked to his other side, "Evans, do we have to go through this every year? Eavesdropping is a bad thing."
The red head glared at him, "I merely caught the last comment because I just got here. And I wouldn't have bothered saying anything if Chris was here. But he's still in the Foyer." She rolled her eyes before she went on, "He's probably telling the first years how horrible the Sorting will be-"
"Brilliant! Oh, how we love that Weasley."
Lilly rolled her eyes at Sirius and muttered, "Boys."
Remus laughed slightly, "Its okay Lily, I think we can forgive you just this once."
She smiled at him and shortly thereafter the first years started marching in and Chris ran to his seat. They fell silent and watched as the nervous first years walked past, "There is no possible way we were that nervous," Sirius stated.
"Sure, you were," Lily stated.
"Well, I certainly wasn't," James said. "I knew what was coming."
"Of course you were, Peter, you get nervous practically every time we look at you."
"That's not true!"
Sirius shook his head at his friend, and turned his attention to the front of the room. McGonagall had begun informing the students what they had to do and shortly after the hat began to sing. When it had finished McGonagall called the first name. "Alton, Drew."
The eleven year old walked up tentatively picked up the hat before he sat on the stool and put it on his head. The hat quickly engulfed the boy and a few moments later it called out Hufflepuff. The Hufflepuff table erupted in celebration as the relieved boy took his spot. McGonagall called the next name and a young girl stepped forward and placed the hat on her head. "Do you ever wonder that if you were to put the hat on your head now it'd shout out the same thing that it did back then?"
The remaining marauders, Lily and Chris quickly turned their attention to Remus. "Why would you want to? Do you want out of Gryffindor, Remus?"
"Hardly, I love our house. I'm just wondering that if I put it on now, would it put me somewhere else? Would it look at me and think Ravenclaw, and place me there, or Hufflepuff," he paused for a second, "or Slytherin."
"It'd never put you in Slytherin." Remus looked at Sirius, who what chuckling at the mere suggestion, "I'm inclined to agree with you." Remus smiled slightly before he finished, "I'm just wondering that's all."
Sirius nodded slightly, not really liking Remus' question when James answered, "I don't think it works that way. I mean it does see your qualities but if you didn't want to change I don't see it changing it. It'd just acknowledge that you would fit fine in that other house now."
Remus thought on that. "You're probably right. It's not like anyone has ever switched houses before."
"But then it's not like they give you the chance either," Peter interjected. They all nodded solemnly before they turned back to McGonagall and the little girl now sitting on the stool. The hat called out Gryffindor and the five students screamed loudest from their table. They sat down in their seats once more and Lily turned to Remus, "What brought on that philosophical moment anyway?"
Sirius looked from Lily to Remus waiting for an answer. "Not much, just the fact that the odds we're going to be just like this when we reach seventh year are unlikely. We'll change. It's inevitable."
Lily smiled at him, "But maybe that's the point. We're supposed to grow up and change, gain other useful qualities as well as bravery. There's nothing wrong with that."
"Well put," James retorted. Sirius glanced at James who was openly staring at Lily as if he'd seen her for the first time. Quite frankly, it worried him a wee bit. He cleared his throat a bit, gaining James' attention once more, "You know we're supposed to be respectful right now and watch the ickle first years get sorted."
"Right," James said at the same time that Peter stated: "Since when do you care about being respectful?"
Sirius ignored the comment and faced the front of the Great Hall once more. McGonagall called out another name and a very small mousy boy stepped forward. He followed the others that went before him, and a second later the hat yelled: "Slytherin!"
The ceremony continued until only one child was left. McGonagall called his name, "Tebow, Josh." The boy stepped forward rather cockily, took the hat in his hands and placed it on his head. The hat took a short moment to contemplate before it screamed, "Gryffindor!"
The marauders stood up and cheered with the rest of the table making sure that they were once again the loudest of the bunch. Once they were settled down (which took a fair amount of time) Dumbledore stood up and the Great Hall fell completely silent. The entirety of the room stood on tenterhooks as they awaited his announcement. Then he spoke, "I have but one thing to say: Tip. Tap. Toop," and then the ancient man sat down.
Sirius shook his head, "It's official: that man is completely mad!"
"Ah, but brilliantly so," James stated.
Sirius picked up his goblet of pumpkin juice, "Hear, hear," and the four clanked their glasses together in a toast before they began to pile endless amounts of food onto their plates. Sirius stuffed a spoonful of mashed potatoes in his mouth, turned to James, and started talking about Quidditch. He swallowed, "Hey, do we have to try out again if we've already made the team once?"
"I dunno. I don't think so. I wonder who the captain is this year?"
James nodded, "Probably."
Sirius noticed that Lily shook her head at them but ignored it. She didn't have to approve of Quidditch. She didn't understand it anyway. He continued to stare at her until she appeared to get the message and turned her attention to Remus and Chris and started talking about some book she'd read over the summer.
They continued like this, stuffing their faces with food and switching conversations, as well as partners to talk with, until they met somewhere in the middle and talked to each other as a whole group. When all the students had finally reached a bursting point in their eating, Dumbledore stood up once more. Again, the hall fell silent. The ancient man smiled at the students, "Welcome, to another year at Hogwarts, and for those who are just joining us, it is merely a: 'Welcome.'
"Now, some warnings for those who have just joined us, and a reminder to those who are now veterans at our school, the Forbidden Forest and the Whomping Willow are strictly off-limits. Also, a number of items have been added to the list of banned items. If you wish to know what these are they are posted on the door to Mr. Filch's office." The old man surveyed the students before his eyes rested steadily on the marauders who didn't flinch under the playful accusation of his gaze.
Dumbledore looked away and continued his speech. "There is also a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Professor Pike has resigned and in his place we have Professor Bereas." A portly man stood up. This man wore thick brown robes. His hair was long and messy, which he seemed to try to tame by pulling it back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. Bereas' eyes were cold and seemingly unfeeling and his mouth was turned down in a frown, which Sirius reckoned was going to stay that way all year.
Sirius watched the man as he gazed at the many students around him, when it dawned on him that he'd met this man before, "Oh no…" his friends turned to him just as Bereas sat down.
"What?" James asked. Sirius shook his head, "I'll explain later."
James furrowed his brow before he turned back to Dumbledore. "I believe that is it for announcements, so I bid you all goodnight." Sirius stood up from his seat and noticed that some of the first years were questioning if that was really it before he walked out of the hall and made his way up to Gryffindor tower. James shook his head, "What was the 'oh no' about?"
Sirius looked over his shoulder as if he just remembered that his friends were there. In return he gave James a pointed glance stating, 'not here.' James grunted a bit and walked in front of Sirius, and led them up to the common room. They reached the Fat Lady's portrait and gave her the password before she could say anything to them. The portrait flung open and they stepped inside. They walked around the gawking first years and made their way straight up to their dormitory. Once inside James shut the door and looked at Sirius, "So what was the 'oh no' for?"
"Huh?" Peter asked completely confused by James' outburst.
Sirius looked at him quickly before he turned his attention back to James, "What if it was just an 'oh no?'"
James glared at his friend, "What does that mean?"
"What if I meant 'oh gee' or 'wow?'"
"Sirius, 'oh no' never means that. And it coming from you is never a good thing. I can't see starting off the year with an 'oh no' from you being a good thing."
Sirius smirked a bit, "Technically, we started off the year with Snape-"
"Snivellus," Peter corrected.
"Excuse, Snivellus, with his face in the mud. I personally think that bodes very well for us."
"You know what I mean Sirius! Will you please just come out with it?" Sirius looked James in the eye and suddenly there dawned a very serious demeanor on his person, "I've met our new professor before."
"Huh?" Peter repeated. Sirius resisted the urge to laugh at his friend, "It was a long time ago, my dad had to pull babysitting duty for me and Regulus so he took us to work with him. He stopped to talk with him about something. I just remember not feeling" he paused trying to find the next word, "safe around him."
Their dormitory fell silent for a moment. "What department did he work for?"
Sirius turned to Remus and made a solemn face, "I don't remember," he lied.
"I don't have a good feeling about this," James stated. Sirius smirked even though he knew that it was an inappropriate moment for such a gesture, "Yeah, well, anyone who is friends or even associates with Orion Black should probably be left alone."
James looked at Sirius before he sat down on his bed and ran his hand through his hair, "I just want to know what Dumbledore is thinking."
Sirius looked at James intently, "I don't think that's possible."
"He has to have a reason right?" Remus stated, "He'd never hire someone evil or anything. Maybe, this new Professor isn't that bad."
Sirius spat out a short chuckle, "Yeah, maybe," he stated his voice full of doubt.
He turned his attention back to James, who was deep in thought. He smiled at him and James returned the gesture. "I guess we'll just have to wait until we have class. I think it's best that we don't judge until then," James said rationally.
Sirius saw Remus nod at the logic of it. Sirius merely shook his head and pulled off his shirt. Sometimes, James didn't make any sense. He pulled on his pajamas and walked over to his bed. He listened as James and Remus talked over something about tomorrow. He really didn't care about what they were saying so he pulled his sheets over his body and rolled over.
He continued to listen intently to the words of the conversation but not the meaning of it. Periodically, he would roll over in his bed, until he managed to find a comfortable position on his left side and closed his eyes, before he finally fell asleep with, for what reason he could not say, the old windbag Bereas was the last conscious visual thought his mind let him have before he gave over completely to sleep.