Qui tacet consentire.
- medieval maxim of English
In the grand
scheme of things, it really wasn't that big of a deal. Really, it wasn't. Although Sirius Black
always maintained it made up 20 of the longest minutes of his life. Which is
saying a lot, considering.
constabulary decided to write the entire incident off, seeing as there was no
real proof of what constables Adams and Pershing swore on their oath of office
had really happened. Their Chief
Superintendent gave them the next week off (with pay) and told them to 'relax,
and let's just not talk about it again, shall we?"
No evidence of
the alleged article in question was found by the Wizards, either, even though
after reading the tabloid interview Constable (soon to be permanently relieved
of active duty due to 'nerves') Pershing gave, several members of the
Enforcement Arm descended upon Devon. And of course Mr. Lupin had looked very
relieved once he confirmed that no, nobody had given Remus a ruddy great black
dog for his birthday, so that was something.
Best of all was
the fact that Remus had had a wonderful birthday party, and since that was the
point all along, that was all that mattered.
Sirius sat on
his bed in the dark trying not to fidget, but seeming not to notice himself
tapping a foot impatiently as he waited.
He could hear Peter's faint snores, Scott mumbling in his sleep, and
Houghton thrashing faintly as he lived through yet another death-defying
Quidditch feint in his dreams. Remus didn't make a peep, but Sirius had made
sure he'd gone to sleep quickly and soundly once he got back to the dorm with a
mild, but effective, sleeping charm.
heard the unmistakeable sounds of very soft footsteps creeping to the far side
of his bed.
"James, shut up,
or they'll hear you!
James gave him
an exasperated look as he quickly climbed onto Sirius' bed and pulled the
curtains tight behind him. After a
moment he lit his wand very faintly, much to Sirius' annoyance.
"Don't give me
that look, you git. Right, I've got it
all settled in the kitchens," he whispered, wiping his somewhat sweaty bangs
off of his forehead and giving a small huff as he did so.
"What's up with
grimaced. "I had to run back here. Peeves caught me talking to the bakery elves
and soared off to find Filch. That's
what I get for lending Remus the cloak."
and wiggled his eyebrows. "Well, I can
promise you from what very little he said when he got back that he put
it to good use."
Sirius a small smile and shook his head.
"Yeah; but he didn't let the lovely Miss Carrington see him using it,
never saw me use the cloak, she simply commented that I had a habit of
appearing out of nowhere. Stop being paranoid."
"Must be my
exhaustion and faint brush with death speaking."
is dead, right?"
stretching it, old man. So the elves
agreed to make the cake?"
"Yes. And they sent this back," James added, now placing a large bundle in
front of Sirius. He looked puzzled.
the bundle to reveal a pile of treacle tarts, fudge, chocolate pies and some
lemony-looking thing Sirius couldn't quite place.
nice. Um, exactly how are we going to
explain how we got this?"
James gave him
an aggravated glance and picked up a treacle tart.
possibly think that even the two of us will finish this lot off tonight!"
James shook his
head. "No," he mumbled through the sticky filling, "we'll have to get rid of it
some other way. But I couldn't refuse
it, 'cause I didn't want to upset them, and I think I've earned a few bites."
the food. "Good luck getting to sleep after eating that. Perhaps you should make Lily eat it, since
this was her idea in the first place!"
faintly, causing crumbs to fly from his mouth onto the covers. Sirius whacked him, softly, on the head.
"Oi! Do you
mind, Prongs! I've got to sleep
his mouth with his hand and rolled his eyes as he managed to finish chewing and
swallow the tart. Then he gave Sirius a
Padfoot. Lily's still miffed that Cassie called her 'chunky' last week."
James' gesture as he too rolled his eyes.
"Lily is being silly. She's
adorable and she knows it. And Cassie
looks like a vampire, she's so thin. Nasty."
not eating any desserts at the moment.
So I suggest we smuggle this lot out to Hagrid and let him feed it to
evidence should be destroyed within 6 seconds.
We can finalize the plans for our little 'surprise party' while we're at
it. Once again, I have to comment that Muggles have quite a few excellent
swallowing another bite of the tart.
"Lily says even Petunia was happy when the Evens' threw her a 'surprise
party' last year, so this should be fun!"
"And thank the
gods Remus is finally going to be 16.
He would have to be the youngest, wouldn't he? Anyway, now we can all get into Muggle pubs!"
James cover his mouth again (thank you) to laugh silently at this. Despite Sirius managing to magic Remus a
Muggle ID that clearly stated he was 'of age', Remus refused to use it while he
was still only 15, stating that if Sirius' little ruse backfired, Mr. Lupin
would be furious about it. Sirius
didn't push the point, knowing that Remus would never relent, and not too
pleased with the idea of (for whatever reason) angering Mr. Lupin, who was all
in all a very good sport about most things. And the Lupins, after all, were
letting them stage this little ruse to begin with.
birthday fell right around the last day of term, after exams had finished and
just before they all left for the summer.
This year, unfortunately, Remus' birthday coincided with the second to
last day of testing, then the next night was a full moon, and then they all
left for the holidays before Remus was feeling up anything, well, fun. His friends had already decided just to have
a quiet celebration the actually night of June 22nd, but had (for a
good reason) conspired against Remus' suggestion that they all come to Devon
the week following the start of vacation to celebrate properly. Sirius explained that he was being dragged
off to America to visit relatives; James explained that he'd love to, but had a
family wedding in France that his parents demanded he attend. Even Peter had come up with the reasonably
plausible excuse that he was going directly from Kings Cross to Basingstoke to
join his mother for her own birthday, and then off to the coast for a small
holiday with her and his aunt and uncle as a treat. It was pure luck that Remus didn't remember that Mrs. Pettigrew's
birthday was in October.
Lily had come
up with the plan of throwing Remus a 'surprise' party.
"Sirius! Come here!"
Lily a curious look as he noticed her waving him over to the direction of the
usually deserted girls' lav on the second floor, but dutifully followed her
into room without question. He wasn't
particularly surprised to find James and Peter already standing there. James looked rather nonchalant leaning
against the sinks, but Peter was blushing and kept his gaze on the floor,
causing Sirius to grin. Exactly what
does he think he's going to see?
started Lily, crossing her arms and giving Sirius a rather dark look, "you are
a moron for making that comment and getting 10 points taken from
Gryffindor. It's only three weeks until
the House Cup is awarded, you know we're practically tied with Ravenclaw, and
you just can't resist getting in
one last shot at MacMillan, can you?"
to say something but Lily's scowl kept him mum. "I'm completely uninterested in what you have to say for
yourself, Sirius. Now, what I really
wanted to talk about," she started, reaching down into her book bag and pulling
out a piece of parchment, which she waved triumphantly in front of the boys, "is this is a letter from Mr. Lupin."
Sirius saw James
raise an eyebrow in perfect time with his own.
"What are you
doing with a letter from Remus' dad?"
"He sent it in
response to the letter I sent him, of course," she said crisply, unfolding the
parchment. Peter finally looked up to
give her his own confused glance, but she simply smiled at them all happily.
"I was thinking
about how unfair it is that this year, of all years, we aren't going to get the
chance to celebrate Remus' birthday properly.
I mean, it's his 16th, and I think that we need to celebrate
it appropriately, though perhaps with a little more care than we did
Sirius'. Spending the rest of February
helping Hagrid clean up the weeds around the edge of the lake was rather
and grinned. "Oh, I still think it was
worth it. Snape and Avery didn't live
it all down until March."
Lily just gave
him another rather thin-lipped glare and waved the letter from Mr. Lupin
again. "Be that as it may; I thought it
would be fun to give Remus a surprise party."
"A what?" asked
Sirius, James and Peter all at once.
party. Muggle thing; we don't tell
Remus what we're doing, then we surprise him with a bang-up party."
"If he doesn't
know he's having a party, how will he know to be there?" Peter asked. James cuffed him on the ear as Sirius
groaned, but Lily smiled and continued.
"We just have
to arrange it so he is. That's why I
wrote to the Lupins. First of all, I
figured we'd best have it there. My
house is right out, as Petunia will be back by then and you know how she gets,
and although daddy would be happy to host, Petunia sulking about like a weed
isn't on. It's no wonder she's no friends, and how she managed to get herself a
boyfriend is beyond me. That's assuming
this Vernon really exists and she's not making it up 'cause she's jealous of
James." Lily winked at James who blew
her a kiss with a smirk. Laughing, she
continued. "I could just imagine the
expression on Mr. Black's face over the idea of having 30 odd teenage witches
and wizards loose in his house," here she looked at Sirius who did laugh and
shake his head, "and the Potters would work very hard to make sure it was,
well, a very dignified affair, bless them, and fully up to Wizarding
birthday traditions which, frankly my Wizard-raised comrades, are dull as dry
toast. The Lupins, however, are sports
of the top sort, and I figured they'd love the idea. Which has proven to be the case."
his hands and gave Lily a small bow. "Excellent strategy, Miss Evans. And you're quite right about the
Lupins. I take it they agreed to let us
throw one of our standard fêtes under their indulgent supervision?"
better. Mr. and Mrs. Lupin are going to
clear out and let us have the place to ourselves. They ask only that we don't destroy their home,
and do not, under any circumstances, bother any Muggles. Read for yourself,"
she said, handing the letter to James.
Sirius and Peter stood on either side of him to read it as well.
Lily (et. all)-
mother and I are delighted with your suggestion, and I think Remus is going to
be very 'surprised' and very, very pleased.
He's feeling a little sad that this year his birthday 'can't be
celebrated properly', though (of course) he hasn't said much on the subject.
wife and I will take Remus out for the day, for our own celebration with him,
which should give all of you time to get here and get ready. After we bring him
back, Mrs. Lupin and I will retire to the village for dinner together, and
leave you to your celebration until midnight. The only stipulation I have to
this (other than you leave the house standing, please) is that you are not,
under any circumstances, to allow this party to leave the property and
go anywhere near any Muggles. Sirius Black, this means you.
sighed. "Mr. Lupin knows me too well, I
asked what Remus' favourite cake was; as you well know, if you put anything
chocolate within 10 metres of him he will eat it post haste. However, he is particularly fond of a cake
that is prepared at Hogwarts for the larger feasts. As to what is in it, I can only speculate, but Remus gets a
rather dreamy look about him when he tries to describe it. The bakery elves
have improved from the days I was up there, it would seem. Mrs. Lupin will gladly make a torte Remus
loves, but perhaps you might be able to persuade the elves to make this
particular cake, if you know what it is.
Looking through my ever-expanding Hogwarts file here, I do see that you
have in fact managed to figure out how to get into the kitchens, as I believe
James and Remus spent a week scrubbing out potion cauldrons for obtaining that
bit of knowledge. I don't want to hear
how you manage it.
forward to seeing all of you. Please
let us know if you would like us to prepare anything before hand, and forward
me a list of who is going to be here, as I do want to make certain that this is
all right with their parents, especially as we are going to leave you
unsupervised. Don't worry Sirius, I'll
figure out a way to convince your father and mother that I am not out of my
mind for allowing this. James, please
let me know the best way to contact your parents, as I am aware they are
currently on assignment for the Department of Mysteries. Peter, I will speak to your mother directly
tomorrow when I see her at work. Lily,
is it appropriate to owl your father, or does he find that a little
off-putting? I know your sister finds it horrifying, but she should still be
away at University now, so my owl won't be in her way.
closing, I just want to say how very touched we are that you are doing this for
Remus. You, James, Peter & Sirius
mean the world to him, and I know he will be very happy. The only thing Mrs. Lupin and I treasure as
much as Remus himself is your friendship with him, and the happiness it has
brought to him.
love to you all,
If I don't get any more owls announcing a detention of some sort between now
and the end of term I'll stake the party a case of Butterbeer.
organized the party with her customary thoroughness. She assured the Lupins that they had promised enough simply by
letting them have the party at their house in the first place, and by
'handling' Remus for the day, and that she and the others would see to the food
and drink. She made James promise to
see about the cake. Finally, Lily had managed to convince her father to provide
a rather large amount of food, and told James and Sirius that they would be
responsible for helping her get it ready once they got to the Lupins.
Peter?" whined James.
with Peter in Potions for five years now and you want to trust him to cook you
point. Tell Peter he's responsible for
getting the drinks."
managed to invite the rest of the Gryffindor fifth years, and the assorted
Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw classmates they considered friends, without a single
wind of what was up getting to Remus.
my dear? However shall we entertain
responsibility, Sirius Black. Keep it
legal. Wizard and Muggle laws, please."
Sirius, the expression you're looking for is 'party-pooper'."
"Lily! That's disgusting!"
the only one looking exhausted as they dragged themselves onto the Hogwart's
express to go home that year, although he was the only one who fell asleep the
instant he sat down. Sirius laughed and
shoved Remus' dead-weight around so that he was lying on the bench in a more
comfortable looking position before picking up his feet so he could sit down
himself, resting Remus' legs across his lap.
whispered Sirius, "he should be rested for the you-know-what", he told the
others, watching Remus closely as he said this. Remus didn't twitch and only gave a very soft snore out of his
slightly open mouth. Lily smiled and
brushed Remus' bangs back off of his forehead before she sat down next to James
and put her arm around him.
word about it. Let's just get some rest
with a start as he felt someone shaking his shoulder. He opened his eyes and blearily looked over at Remus, who was
upside-down for some reason, and giving him a rather amused look.
"May I have my
legs, back, Padfoot?"
he'd fallen forward over Remus' legs once he'd gone to sleep and straightened
up with a groan.
"Oh gods, my
as he stood up and stretched himself, though he still looked tired.
"Get up, old
man, we're in London."
Sirius saw now
that the train was no longer moving and glanced out the window to see that
James and Lily were already on the platform, speaking with James' parents. They looked up at that moment, and seeing
Sirius, each gave a wave and a wink, pointing at Remus.
Remus hadn't noticed them, Sirius quickly busied himself with getting his trunk
and his cat down, blocking Remus' exit.
"I'm going, I'm
By the time
they had both dragged their trunks and their pets out, the Potters had
disappeared, much to Sirius' relief. He
caught sight of the Lupins on the far side of the platform, and waved himself
now, pulling his things behind him as he and Remus went over to greet them.
hugged Remus tightly for a long moment, then stepped back to smile at Sirius as
Remus turned to his mother.
yourself, Sirius. Have a good year?"
you," Sirius replied, glancing over his shoulder to make sure Remus was still
busy talking to his mother. He then
leaned in close to Mr. Lupin and smiled. "All set? Everyone says they've made sure their parents got back to you
saying it was alright for them to come."
"All set, yes;
I've spoken with everyone. Mrs. Lupin
and I will spend the evening down at the village, and get back around midnight.
I take it I don't need to remind you that magic is not allowed during
"Now why on
earth should you feel the need to remind me of that?"
laughed and smiled at Sirius, then looked over his shoulder.
"Here come your
mum and dad. Your father thinks I'm
absolutely stark raving mad for doing this, you know."
"Yeah, I can
Mr. and Mrs.
Black walked up to the Lupins and Sirius at this point and smiled at
everyone. Mr. Black shook Mr. Lupin's
hand even as Mrs. Black embraced Sirius and kissed him on the cheek, much to
Gwendellyn, good to see you both.
Remus, how are you?"
exhausted, son; exams do take it out of one, don't they?"
himself to keep a neutral expression even as Remus murmured a soft agreement.
"Sirius? Your mother and I thought it might be nice
for all of us to have dinner here in town before we get home. Perhaps we can persuade the Lupins to join
Remus' parents give him a concerned and questioning look, and Remus nodded then
smiled softly at Mr. Black.
"Thank you very
much, Sir; but I am rather tired and must admit I've been looking forward to
some of my mother's leek soup and my own bed for about three days now."
chuckled and patted Remus on the shoulder even as he reached down to pick up
Sirius' cat. "Understandable. I'm sure we shall see you later in the
summer after you've had a good rest."
The Blacks and
the Lupins walked off of Platform 9 and ¾
chatting about nothing in particular.
Everyone said various goodbyes, and then Sirius followed his parents out
of the station opposite the direction the Lupins were headed. Mr. Black smiled once he'd caught up to walk
level with him and put an arm over Sirius' shoulders.
you're almost eye level with me now! We're happy to see you, you know."
hasn't figured out anything about this 'surprise party' you're planning?"
"I still think
the Lupins are asking for trouble, but it seems a nice thing to do for your
saying "It was Lily's idea."
Mr. Black gave
him a sideways glance, then with a small sigh took his arm off of Sirius'
"I was hoping
you and I might be back on speaking terms, Sirius."
Sirius gave him
a rather puzzled look.
"You seem to be
reduced to responding to me in monosyllables; I happen to know this is not your
sorry. I'm tired too, you know. I promise to chatter your ears off tomorrow,
excellent," he deadpanned, then winked at Sirius.
and decided that maybe this summer wouldn't be so bad after all. Provided his
father never found out what Sirius was really planning to do for Remus'
birthday that was.
barely sleep the night before the party.
He'd spent the last several days making sure his 'present' was ready to
go, which had been exhausting, but now that he was reasonably certain
everything was set, he could barely contain himself. As the first rays of sunlight finally appeared on the morning of
the party, Sirius jumped up and got dressed, then raced down to breakfast,
nearly tripping over the Black's house elf who was cleaning the stairs at an
hour she assumed nobody would be about.
He apologised profusely, then continued into the kitchen. Wolfing down some toast and milk, Sirius
scribbled a hasty note to his parents, explaining he had to leave early to get
to Lily's house and help her with the food as he had promised, then ran out
just as the sun finally rose over the trees.
It as going to take a while to get down to Exeter and get ready, but it
was going to be so very, very worth it.
that no movement could be seen in the house, Sirius snuck around to the shed
where he kept his broom. He collected
what he had stashed there, then silently made his way through the back garden
and across the river out to the Muggle road behind the property so as not to be
seen leaving. Finally, making sure the
coast was clear, he set out for Devon with a very large, very happy, and very
Sirius kept an
eye on the Lupin's front door from where he sat up in the branches of a large
elm across the road from their house. He entertained himself by writing a
letter to Phoebe, primarily chastising her for missing tonight's festivities,
but remembering to put in a few nice things about her eyes and sense of humour
so she'd still be speaking to him by the time she got back from her
holiday. It was nearly time for the Lupins
to be leaving, and then he could get ready, get into the house, meet James and
Lily, and tell them he'd arrived just before they had and nobody would be the
wiser. He'd watched Mrs. Lupin come out
to the front garden once to collect several armfuls of flowers, then vanish
back inside. At last, the three of them
appeared together, dressed to go out.
Sirius smiled, watching Remus laughing with his mum and dad, as they
walked up to the edge of the road, and then vanished.
Sliding down as
quickly as he dared to, Sirius got out of the tree and collected his things
once more from where he had hidden them in the ferns. He then crossed the road and went around the side of the house to
let himself into the paddock there. He
was a little miffed that he couldn't cast a simple 'not here' charm to hide his
handiwork, but there was nothing to be done.
Finally, having stowed his things up against the far wall and
successfully concealed them with the bushes and tall grass, he picked up one
bundle he had not hidden and went into the house.
The flowers Sirius
had watched Mrs. Lupin collect were all lain out on the kitchen table with a
note to put them in water soon, and telling them that the vases were stored on
the top left cupboard over the last fireplace.
Sirius immediately went and pulled out a number of vases, filled them
from the tap, then stuck the flowers in.
He figured Lily could arrange them herself into more tidy and attractive
arrangements once she got there. Then he
saw two more notes on the kitchen counter.
One was addressed to Lily, the other to himself. He picked up his note and read it.
you do, whatever you get up to, you have until midnight to destroy the
evidence. I've already warned Mrs. Noyes that you are here. If the Ministry of Magical Law Enforcement
gets involved, you're on your own.
and tucked the note away into his pocket, now especially pleased to have
arrived before the others. Mr. Lupin
had just given him the silent consent to do what he had planned with a clearer
conscience as Sirius had hoped he would.
Whistling, he wandered into the front room and sat there doing the Daily
Prophet crossword until Lily and James stepped out of the fire, laden down with
boxes and baskets.
Padfoot. When did you get here then?"
when he got here, James. Sirius, take
these, would you? I've got to go back
and get the rest."
Sirius took the
armfuls of packages from Lily and led James into the kitchen, where they
dropped everything onto the table.
many people are coming again?"
start. My mum decided to have a
momentary fit of domestication and cooked up a load of food for us, in addition
to what Lily's dad already got us."
"Your mum cooked?"
worries me too. I haven't even dared to
open some of the boxes yet."
returned with even more containers of food, the three of them set to fixing up
everything. James and Sirius were not
allowed to handle anything more complicated than sandwiches, while Lily busied
about baking up meat pies, pumpkin muffins, and other assorted what-knots. Around four Peter appeared with the first
load of drinks.
"Hi. Can someone give me a hand here? The rest is in the fireplace," he said in a
rush as he ran in carrying a large box, which he promptly dropped near the sink.
"We'll have the
Lupins charm that lot with a chilling spell when they get back before they take
off. James, Sirius, help him with the
rest, then let's get the house ready."
As James and
Sirius followed Peter back to the front room to haul the drinks out of the fire
where he'd left them, Sirius saw James give him an amused look.
"You look like
you're up to something."
"I am, I'm
helping to throw a 'surprise' party."
"Hmmmm. Well, we'll have to see, won't we?"
"You're not going
to embarrass Remus, are you?"
"So you are up
"I didn't say
"Should I be
"What on earth
makes you nervous?"
"That grin you've
got generally does the trick."
"You're one to
James let the
matter go, but kept giving Sirius odd looks while they got the house ready for
the party. Sirius pointedly ignored him
and spent most of the time talking with Peter about the current Quidditch
standings. James finally gave up
shortly before the rest of the guests were set to arrive.
Scott appeared first, bringing a large banner with them.
we've got a little something here for the birthday boy."
They unveiled the
banner to show a large sign in the Gryffindor colours that blinked "Happy
Birthday Remus" and gave off little pops and whizzes as miniature fireworks
nice. Exactly how did you get that done
"Had it made up
at Zonko's. Wait until you see what it
does when we sing 'Happy Birthday'."
groaned. "Let me guess; it
explodes. What is it with you lot and
blowing everything up?"
Scott just grinned, then waited for Lily to clear off and greet two others who
had just arrived before looking back at James and Sirius.
blow up, mates. It puts on a little
show. A little one, seeing as
there will be ladies present."
"Oh are you two
asking for it!" laughed James, looking at the banner with renewed interest.
"Hey, it's Remus'
birthday, not Lily's."
Let's get it up over the mantle so we can all have a good look when the time
everyone had arrived per instruction.
Sirius watched Lily in her element as she carefully organized everyone
and explained what they were going to do when Remus walked in. Scott included
his own instruction that they were not to sing 'Happy Birthday' until later
when they brought out the cake. Lily
gave the suspect banner a long glance, but said nothing. Everyone chatted quietly while they waited
until Peter, who had been sent to keep an eye out for the Lupins, came back in.
instantly got quiet and faced the door, keeping away from the windows, and
listening. Soon they heard voices, and
the front door opening and shutting again.
Mr. Lupin's voice, "do me a favour please and see if I've left the paper in the
front room, would you?"
have asked for a better expression on Remus' face when he opened the door and
was instantly barraged with a loud scream of
'surprise' as his friends all jumped forward at him. He stood there stunned, until Sirius called
out that unless he wanted all of his birthday pictures to feature him with this
stupid look on his face he'd better smile.
Remus did laugh at that and Sirius got a nice shot of him giving Lily a
hug as she explained what was going on, and a superb one of him turning as red
as a Gryffindor Quidditch robe when Stella Carrington gave him a rather saucy
kiss in front of everyone, amid cheers and cat calls, though he was still
The party took
off as soon as the Lupins said goodnight and left. Noisy, boisterous and fun; exactly what they'd planned. They spilled out into the garden as it got
dark, the lights Mr. Lupin had enchanted casting a glow over the lawn. Once Sirius and James figured out how to get
them out of the trees, however, they all took the lights out to the paddock
where a friendly 'girls vs. boys' tag Quidditch game kept them occupied for a
good hour. Finally they decided they
were all getting a little too shaky on their brooms and moved indoors, where
Scott and Houghton signalled for quiet as Lily went to get Remus' cake.
we've got you a little something, now that you're 'old enough' for it. Lily, where's that cake? Now, everyone, when
we sing….good gods, Lily, why is the cake on fire?"
birthday candles, Scott," said Helen Ferris, another Muggle-born Hufflepuff
classmate. "One for each year. Remus,
you have to blow them out and make a wish.
But you have to blow them all out with one breath, and you can't tell us
what it is, or it won't come true."
wonder Muggles don't believe in magic if they think that'll work," commented
Scott. "Right then, go for it Remus.
But don't anybody sing just yet!"
amused as he dutifully blew out the candles, then inspected the cake.
"Is this…?" he
said, looking rather surprised and pleased again.
James, triumphantly. "I had the Hogwarts' elves make it for you just before we
left. It's been enchanted at the bottom
of my trunk for a week, but I think it's still good. We've got a back up, though, in case I messed up the spell."
you messed up a spell," drawled Sirius, amid laughter as James flushed
his arms to get everyone's attention again. "Okay, okay. Now, everyone, I want to hear 'Happy
Birthday', good and loud and don't worry about the tune too much. Remus, keep your eyes on that banner, won't
turned to watch the banner as everyone started to sing 'Happy Birthday'. At first, it just seemed to flash a little
brighter. Sirius noticed, however, that
after a moment the letters started to shimmer, then dissolve. They were replaced with an image of a line
of rather attractive witches wearing very tight robes. The song faltered a bit as everyone started
to laugh, but was picked up again, and the witches started doing some sort of
rather slinky dance. Remus started
laughing so hard tears formed in his eyes.
The singing stopped completely amid the screams of laughter and
whistling as the witches started doing a slow, but obvious, strip tease. It
wasn't anything too terrible, and the witches vanished in a puff of smoke just
when it seemed it was going to go a little too far. A chorus of boos sounded, but died out quickly amid renewed
Houghton, Scott," laughed Remus. "Thanks for keeping in mind we had mixed
problem. Happy 16, Remus."
laughing as hard as Sirius.
"Horrible! Really horrible!" she
choked out, but still laughed.
continued until shortly before 11, when Sirius stood up to thank everyone for
coming, and commenting that sadly, the evening was over. Lily pulled him over once he got back down
off of the chair he'd climbed up on, looking surprised as people started
gathering their things.
only 10:45, we have until midnight!"
had fun, but now I want to just have us about so I can give Remus his present!"
already…oh, gods; Sirius Black, what are you planning?"
Lily; there's no need for that look.
Look, you did an incredible job with this, and it's been great, but
let's leave the last bit for just us, his best friends. Right?"
"I don't trust
you at all, but," here she reached into her pocket and took out the note
addressed to her that Sirius had seen earlier and handed it to him.
Just let Sirius get it out of his
system. I've no idea what 'it' is, but
I can not for one moment imagine there isn't an 'it' to be set free. Do please remind him he's got until midnight
to get 'it' over with.
know what you're up to?"
Mr. Lupin no Muggle baiting."
absolutely nothing to do with baiting Muggles. Well, not directly."
"What does that
"I don't think
Remus wants an arrest record for his birthday, Sirius."
"No, I doubt
Lily gave up at
that and moved to say goodbye to everyone.
Sirius snuck back out to the paddock and retrieved what he had stored
there earlier, bringing it up to the back porch and leaving it there before
going back inside. Peter left with
Scott and Houghton, and Sirius didn't stop him as he wasn't sure Peter was up
to what he had planned next. Finally, it was just Remus, James, Lily and
Sirius. Remus looked very happy and
hugged Lily again.
really wonderful, Lily. Thank you."
"Remus, we all
did this for you. I'm glad you liked
nodded and sat down, as Sirius went to retrieve the one package he'd brought
with him into the house earlier that day.
started, "I have a little something for you myself. Three things actually, but start with that."
warily at the package Sirius held out, then stood up and took it, giving it a
"Open it, you
clod, it won't explode or bite."
the paper away, then held up the contents of the package with a surprised look.
outfit. Nothing fancy, just a pair of
trousers and a shirt."
jacket. Keeps you warm."
jackets tend to be for that purpose.
Thanks, but why…." Remus stopped
as Sirius held up a hand, then reached into his robes and pulled out a very
small flat package wrapped in the same paper.
this package, looked at the contents for a moment, and then gazed back at
Sirius slowly with a wicked grin.
"You just couldn't
wait for this, could you? I should have guessed."
Lily looked at
what Remus held. "I knew it, that
Muggle ID card. No, no, no, you are not
going…." She stopped as all three of the boys gave her a mock pouting look.
"Now look, we
told Mr. Lupin we'd stick to the property…."
"We told Mr.
Lupin we'd keep the party on the property. The party is over.
And we have one more hour, more or less, until midnight."
on," smiled Sirius, "Mr. Lupin made it clear that he was keeping a blind eye on
us until midnight. All I am going to do
is take Remus to have one drink, and get back by midnight. No harm, no foul."
her arms, but said nothing further.
After a moment, Sirius clapped his hands and motioned for the door.
qui tacet consentire."
consent'. Remus, go change, then meet me by the back door, and I'll give you
your last present."
As Remus ran
upstairs, Sirius pulled his own robe off over his head as he went into the
kitchen, revealing the fact that he was wearing Muggle clothes himself. This
caused Lily to finally laugh, even as she shook her head again and poured
herself another glass of Butterbeer.
planning this for weeks, haven't you?
Well, who am I to point out that this is probably not the best
plan. Keep in mind the Lupins are in
that village, and had better not see you."
problem. There's a pub at the end of
the High Street away from any place they might be having dinner. You two can join us, you know."
Now James shook
his head. "Not a chance. You go have
your little adventure and we'll wait right here."
"Have it your
Lily looked up
at Sirius now with an amused expression. "I'm terrified to ask this next bit,
but exactly how are you getting to the village?"
"Ah. And you'll just carry your brooms into the
pub with you over your shoulder?"
wouldn't leave those about, Sirius," started James, but he trailed off as
Sirius grinned at him. Then his eyes
got wide. "Oh, bloody hell, Sirius, you got it to work?"
"Got what to
work, Sirius," asked Lily, watching James start to grin as dangerously as his
continued James, ignoring her. "Where is it?"
"Out back. Flew like a dream coming down here. Remus
gets the first ride, then I'll take you."
out back, Sirius?" said Lily, her voice now rising a bit.
continued to ignore her as Remus walked in dressed in his new clothes.
"Well, do I
look Muggle enough, Lily?"
Remus," she said absently, still watching Sirius closely. He just blew her a kiss then made for the
Moony, you ready? I have a very special
treat now. To get us into town," he
said opening the back door and stepping out.
He moved aside to let the others past and watched for their reactions. Remus gaped, James cheered and Lily let out
"What do you
"Is that a
can't tell me that that thing flies…."
"So which charm
yourself! And Remus!"
"Where do you
keep it so your dad doesn't see it?"
at Sirius as he pulled on his own jacket and got onto the bike.
answer all questions later, but right now we're running out of our precious
time. Lily, I am not going to kill
anyone with this. I got it last summer
and have been working very hard to make certain it won't kill anybody. Remus?
hesitate before getting on behind him.
"You have flown
this before, yes?"
the bike. "Yes. I flew it down here
this morning. Get on."
on behind Sirius, now grinning himself.
Sirius gave Lily one last look, but didn't say anything when he saw she
it's just so you. Alright, please
be careful. Have you got any Muggle
money? And get back here on time; Mr. Lupin may be aware that you're up to no
good, but he was pretty clear that it all better be over by the time he gets
back here with Mrs. Lupin."
"Will do. Remus, hang on."
pushed them off and slowly made his way down the path around the house and out
onto the road. He paused for a moment,
then gave Remus a smile over his shoulder.
"We've got to
get a little speed up before we take off.
"Go for it."
As Sirius and
Remus leaned against the bar of the pub, nursing their pints, Sirius watched
the Muggles with his usual fascination.
He knew that he and Remus were grinning like idiots, but he could care
"We do some
awfully silly things, don't we?"
silly, yes. And with such flair," he laughed. Sirius knew he was referring to
the motorbike, now parked innocuously across the street from the pub.
brilliant, isn't it?"
noisy, but it is rather brilliant.
Where did you get it?"
woman who lives on a farm near our house.
I'd seen it sitting against the side of her barn for years, never
moving. Last summer I finally got my
nerve up and went over there, and offered to help her around her farm in
exchange for the bike."
"What on earth
do you know about farming?"
thing. Luckily, she said she didn't need
any help, thank you, but if I wanted the bike I was welcome to take it and get
it off her property. Called it an
'eyesore', and assured me that it probably would never run again."
"When did you,
um, modify it?"
before last. I've spent all school year
working out exactly what enchantments to use…."
"Hang on, hang
on; you can't do … anything…during the summer."
smiled. "I can't, no, but Harold can."
to look horrified. "You let me run
around on something enchanted by your cousin?"
"It was all
done under my strict supervision.
Harold's a bit of an idiot, granted, but he's a good natured one and
knows how to keep his mouth shut."
his glass. "To Harold, then."
their drinks, then Remus waved his watch at Sirius.
had our little adventure, but we've got to go back."
20 minutes! It'll only take us 10 to
move. We've the rest of the summer to
get into trouble. Do it now, and we'll
never be allowed out of the house."
argue with that, so they left the pub. Sirius hadn't made it two steps onto the
walk before Remus grabbed him and dragged him quickly up the street then around
the side of the building.
"Oi! What are
silent while he watched Remus peer around the corner carefully, then step back.
just crossed the road."
groaned. "What's she doing up at this
Remus shook his
head. "Probably had to see to someone who's sick. But why is she out this way with the Muggles?"
"Does it matter?"
Remus shook his
head, then peered around the corner carefully.
Sirius leaned around him to get his own look. Mrs. Noyes, the Wizarding community's healer, was standing not 15
metres away from them, chatting with two people. She showed no signs of leaving.
Remus in the back, and Remus swatted at him without taking his eyes off of the
hissed. "You must be mad. She knows exactly
who we are and if she sees us, we're done for."
Remus back. "Listen to me! Okay, if you and I both wander out there,
yes, she'll most likely recognize us. But the light isn't that good, so would
she recognize a Muggle out walking their dog?" he whispered.
looked confused for a moment, then he realized what Sirius was suggesting. They were all still getting to the fact that Sirius, James and Peter had
finally worked out the Animagus transformation.
"Brilliant! Okay, what's the plan? We can't just walk off and leave your
we're not going to leave it! You and Padfoot are going to walk across that
road, collect the bike, and carefully walk it back this direction, then around
the corner to the little road we came in on.
Then we're off."
back at the street and considered the plan.
"I realize you
are the Grand High Mugwump of 'what can go wrong' but spare me this time and
just do it!"
transformed, and he and Remus carefully walked out onto the sidewalk. It would have worked, had not some Muggles
chosen than moment to run out of the pub and start a fight. It seemed that everyone in the bar followed
them out to watch and egg the combatants on.
Sirius and Remus' escape route became more complicated, as they had to
shove their way through the crowd to get across the street. Sirius' nerves started to fray as he kept
getting his paws trodden on, and his flanks accidentally kicked. He growled loudly, and found to his pleasure
that this moved people away from him very quickly. As they eventually made it across, however, several Muggle police
cars arrived. People ran in all
directions, and Sirius finally lost his temper completely when some man ran
into him and fell heavily across him. Canine instinct took over, and Padfoot
bit the man on the leg, reasonably softly, ignoring Remus' cries to control his
'bloody temper'. The man took one look at the size of Padfoot and screamed for
As two officers
appeared from the crowd at the sound of the screams, Sirius froze. He and the Muggles stared at each other a
few seconds, then he did the only logical thing. He ran.
they were so young, the officers didn't really have the experience or
wherewithal to realize that chasing a dog away from pub brawl wasn't the most
productive use of the taxpayer's money.
Perhaps they were too caught up in the moment; after all, not much
really happened in this quiet corner of Devon and chasing a dog the size of a Shetland
pony looked like the most entertainment their job would provide them for
several years. Whatever their
motivation, they took off after Padfoot at top speed.
really care what these two thought they were doing, and simply ran. He concentrated on figuring out how he was
going to circle back to Remus, and praying that Remus had had the good sense to
grab the bike and move it up to the side road as they had discussed. He and Remus had been through enough
situations like this to know that in such predicaments, you still had to carry
out the plan as best you could. Because
he was so caught up in his own issues, Sirius missed a few things.
seeing Mr. and Mrs. Lupin glance up at the sight of 2 Muggle policemen racing
past the window they sat next too, chasing after a disturbingly large black
He missed Mrs.
Lupin taking her husband's hand and giving it a small squeeze as she said
quietly, "Why do I have the sudden feeling that whatever that was just now has
something to do with what's going on at the house?"
He missed Mr.
Lupin raising his wife's hand to his lips to give it a small kiss and then
responding, "Sweetheart, if it is, they have about 15 minutes to sort it out,"
then raising his wine glass with his other hand and saying "Here's to their
sorting it out. And that dog had better
not be one of Remus' birthday presents."
Sirius ran off
the high street, around a building, and waited in the shadows for the Muggles
to run past. He then jumped back out
and ran back in the direction he had come.
He didn't notice that the men had come to a halt a the far street
corner, and looked about for him. They
saw him, racing back in the direction they had come, but were much farther
behind at this point.
Sirius made it
back past the pub, and around the corner.
There stood Remus with the bike.
transformed back so quickly he didn't have time to stand up properly, and fell
over. Remus reached down to grab him
and pull him to his feet. Sirius
couldn't believe he was laughing.
"GET UP! START THIS STUPID THING!"
Sirius got up
and jumped on the bike, Remus right behind him. At that point, they heard the siren. Remus actually laughed harder.
Sirius got the
bike going just as the police car came around the corner. He opened the throttle and shot off down the
road. As soon as he was clear of the
headlights, he took the bike into the air, and made a sharp turn back in the
direction of the Lupins' home.
directly into the paddock, and threw the bike into the bushes. Remus and Sirius took off racing for the
back door, throwing it open and hearing the clock strike as they did. James and Lily jumped up from where they had
been sitting and stared at them.
Sirius or Remus could answer James, they all heard the front door open. They stood there looking at each other,
Sirius and Remus now giggling like mad, as Mr. and Mrs. Lupin came into the
kitchen. Sirius and Remus tried very
hard to stop laughing, but were having little success. Mrs. Lupin looked at them, then smiled and
left quickly. Mr. Lupin remained,
crossing his arms and looking at Sirius and Remus with a vague smile on his
"Why, dare I
ask, are you wearing Muggle clothes?"
present-t-t-t," Remus managed, barely.
watched as even James and Lily started to giggle, both putting their hands over
their mouths and trying to look innocent. Mr. Lupin watched them for a few more
moments, before trying again.
"Have a good
time?" he asked casually.
you," said Lily.
looked like he was going to continue, but he was interrupted as a police car
pulled up sharply in front of the house, it's lights flashing and it's siren
blaring before it was abruptly turned off.
Mr. Lupin gave them all one long look before going to answer the front
bell. They all followed, anxious to see
what was going on. James and Lily were
dying to hear what was up, while Sirius and Remus were just as anxious to hear
what the Muggles had to say about everything. Sirius couldn't believe that they
had managed to follow them here.
opened the door, and smiled at the two young constables standing there.
gentlemen; may I help you?"
Sir," began the rather stupid looking blonde one. "Um, have you had any disturbances here?"
raised an eyebrow, gave the young people a quick glance, and then smiled at the
Muggles again. "Disturbances? No, I don't believe so. Have any of you," he said, now turning to
look fully at the young wizards and witch who stood behind him, "heard any
"No," they all
answered in unison. Mr. Lupin faced the
constables again. "It would seem
not. Is there something I can help you
there was a small incident in town," started the redhead. Mr. Lupin continued to smile, and the
constable stammered on. "And we followed two individuals this direction who we
suspect may have had something to do with it."
"Well a man and
… his dog."
There was a
noticeable silence before Mr. Lupin encouraged them to continue.
"His dog, you
"Yes. They…they fled the scene on a
motorbike. Headed in this direction."
"A dog that
rides a motorbike? Perhaps the circus
is in town?"
gave a nervous laugh. "Well, this was a
rather, um, unique, motorbike," continued the redhead.
"Oh? How is that?"
"Yes sir. Right off the ground like an airplane or
"You are asking
me if I've seen a man and his dog on a flying motorbike come past my house?"
"Well, I can
safely say that I have seen no such thing.
mumbled the constables in unison, looking at each other.
"No. Now, will there be anything else?"
The two young
policemen visibly slumped, obviously realizing how incredibly ridiculous they
sounded, and stared at the flagstones on the front porch.
"No, sir, Sorry to disturb you, sir."
alright. I do hope you get…whatever it is you are after…sorted out."
their caps, then beat a hasty retreat back to their car. Mr. Lupin watched them leave, then closed
the door. He did not turn back around, but stood there looking at the door for
a long moment.
"Can I assume,
gentlemen, that the reason I did not see a flying motorbike come past my
house is due to the fact that the object in question is, in fact, concealed near
There was a
long silence. Finally Lily started to
giggle again, and Mr. Lupin turned to look at them, although with a smile. Lily looked at Sirius.
"What was that
you were saying to me earlier, Sirius?
Qui tacet consentire?"
tacet….?" Mr. Lupin looked at Sirius,
then laughed quietly. "You know,
Sirius, a very great Muggle statesman once lost his head because of that little
legal precedent. Lucky for you, the
maxim of the law has changed."
"Yes. 'Innocent until proven guilty' is now the
standard of things."
another long pause, before Mr. Lupin moved past them and headed up the stairs.
"I am retiring
for the evening," he said in a very pleasant tone. "Tomorrow I shall make a thorough search, as a flying motorcycle
would be a rather interesting thing to find.
Just the sort of thing I would have been particularly taken with when I
was, oh, 16, shall we say. Goodnight."
vanished upstairs, and Sirius looked at Remus, James and Lily.
Lily quietly, staring at Sirius with a smile, "are a total, complete,
un-equivocated, on the grave of Godric Gryffindor, menace to society."
grinned. "I know. Who wants a ride then?"