A Day In The Park

A Walk In The Park

May 14, 1979, outside Hogwarts gates.

            "I can't believe we get to do this!"  Exclaimed Lily.

"Me either, I mean I've never been anywhere like it." Erin said.  The two were waiting for the bus, watched their four friends chase each other and throw things at Snape.   The Muggle Studies class at Hogwarts was taking a trip to an amusement park for the afternoon.  None of the Marauders, except Sirius and he had never been to one, were very certain of what an amusement park was.  Lily, who was a muggle, however, insisted that they were fun.  She snapped a picture of the boys just as Peter tumbled to the ground and the others pounced on him.

The old rickety school bus pulled up in front of the gates and the muggle driver looked suspiciously at the small group of kids. Their teacher had insisted they dress like muggles, for this trip. And so  Sirius and Lily had done some serious lending of clothes to their friends.

            "So what exactly is an amusement park?" asked Remus, as they piled on the bus.

            "Duh, Moony!  It's only the best thing ever.  They have roller coasters and water rides…" said Sirius. He flopped down in the back of the bus. Erin sat down next to him. James sat a seat ahead with Lily and Remus made a face as he got stuck with Peter, who insisted on having the window seat.

            "What's a roller coaster?" asked Peter.  Sirius looked at him in disbelief and continued describing the amusement park.

            "Well, you know, Padfoot, we're not all muggles," said James.

'So why are we sitting back here?" Remus asked.

"Because, Moony, the back is the best. Only losers sit in the front. See?" Sirius informed him, pointing to Snape who had taken a seat behind the driver. Suddenly the bus jerked and everyone was thrown out of their seats.

"Stupid bus." Remus muttered. Sirius shrugged.

"You should have seen my school bus." Sirius told him.

"You rode this to school?" James asked in shock.  Lily nodded.  He sat back, his eyes wide.  They watched the countryside pass in silence for a while. Then Snape's voice filtered from the front of the bus.

"Why can muggles figure out ways to find safer modes of transportation? No wonder mudbloods are so dumb." Snape said, rather loudly, glaring back at Sirius.  Sirius ignored him with extreme difficulty.

"Now, Mr. Snape. We do not use that word."  Professor O'Flaherty scolded.

Just then the bus stopped.

'Are we there yet?" Sirius called.  The Professor glanced. 

"No, Mr. Black. We are here to pick up a few more students. "

"More students? Who?" the kids asked.

"There will be a few muggle students joining us.  There was a shortage of buses." She said, stiffly.

"Muggles? This out to be good."  Sirius rubbed his hands together evilly. Lily got him in another picture.

"Padfoot. Stop plotting." Remus told him.  Sirius faked pouting to make Remus feel guilty. When that didn't work, he recovered, hit Remus, and was shoved into the isle. After getting up, he glared, turned Remus's hair blue and watched the muggles get on with a gleam in his eyes.

James sighed and changed it back, just as several muggles sat in the seat in front of Remus and Peter. The two groups eyed each other. Then one boy leaned over the seat.

"So where are you from?" he asked.

"Texas." Sirius told him. The boy's eyes widened.

"Are you serious?"  Not knowing just what he had said, he was very confused when all four boys and two girls burst into laughter.  He decided not to talk to them anymore.

An hour later   Peter announced, "I don't feel so good." He clutching his stomach and looked slightly green.

"Uh oh. Wormtail, sit over there. Closer to Snape. And away from me."  Remus said. Then he got out, pulled Peter out and helped him stick his head out the window. . 

"Oh that is gross! Peter!"  James howled.

"Sirius, that's not nice." Erin scolded.  Sirius grinned.

"What? What'd I miss?" Remus asked, turning around. 

"Sirius just threw popcorn at the muggles." James told him.

"Oh." Then he frowned.

"Where'd you get popcorn, Padfoot?"

"James's bag."

"What!?" James tried to strangle him for taking his precious popcorn, but Remus restrained him.  Just then Peter reemerged from out the window, then  sat down. Then  he jumped up and stuck his head out the window again. They all winced as he proceeded to spill his guts, literally.

"So who's up for a game of spoons?" James said, pulling out cards. 

After several hours, in which James lost a good amount of money, Remus lost a good amount of candy he had brought, Wormtail got sick several more times, Lily and Erin discussed beauty tips, Snape got hit a lot from bombarding cards that happened to hit him on the head, several muggle kids were terrified, and Sirius won a lot and ate the candy he won from Remus against the wishes of the rest of the bus, the bus pulled up.

It jerked to a stop and threw everyone out of their seats again.  Grumbling and stumbling, they made their way off the bus.  There they were greeted with an amazing site.

A large wall was looming before them. Tall layers of tracks stuck up above the wall, hinting at the fun and excitement to be had.

The Professor herded her charges towards the gates.  They watched amazed, as the workers took their tickets. James stared in amazement at the punching tool they used, until Lily shoved him through the turnstile. Remus and Sirius followed, but Peter had less luck. He got stuck and security had to be called.

"I hope this won't be a reoccurring theme today, Mr. Pettigrew."  Professor O'Flaherty called.

"No, Professor." Peter mumbled.  He glared at his friends, trying to hide their laughter but failing miserably. 

"Now stay in your groups, everyone," said Professor O'Flaherty.  "Mr. Black, Mr. Potter, Mr. Lupin, please refrain from blowing anything up as I would like to return next year."  The three of them gave their most convincing innocent looks.  Then they scattered, pulling Lily and Peter along with them.  Once out of sight of the Professor, they had to decide where to go.

"Well, what should we do first?" asked Remus. 

"Roller coaster!" shouted Lily.

"Water ride!" shouted James.

"Food stand!" shouted Peter.

"Carrousel!"  Everyone looked at Sirius who didn't appear to be joking.

"What?" he looked at them, shrugging his shoulders.  They only shook their heads.

"Why the carousel?" asked Lily.

"Because it looks fun!"  Sirius clapped and jumped up and down with excitement. Peter shook his head in disbelief.

"Are you serious?"

"YES!" Everyone shouted at him, and Peter sulked.

"In more ways than one." Sirius added as he pulled James towards the carrousel.  Remus threw his hands up in defeat and followed his friends. Lily and Erin, not wanting to be left out, ran after them. Peter sighed and followed his friends.

They piled on the carrousel, and each picked out a horse.  Peter frowned as he was left with the little pink pony.  They laughed and acted like five year olds as they rode up and down, with Lily taking pictures. When it was over, Peter  felt ill again and hurried to find a bathroom.

When he returned they looked around, trying to decided what to do next.  As they wandered around they spotted something amusing.

"look, up there on that roller coaster. That's Snape." Remus nodded.

"So that's a roller coaster." He said, in reference to the giant track of twisting steel and gears.

Sirius grinned evilly. "And it goes upside down too. Are you guys plotting what I'm plotting?" they all grinned and with wands  behind their backs, they whispered the curse.

"Hey Snape!"  James called.  The greasy victim of their newest prank glared down at his archenemy. James waved. Then they ran off. But not before Lily took a picture.

Snape had little time to wonder about it as the ride he was on began to assent the loop.  It streaked up the side, then just as it reached the top, and everyone was completely upside down, it stopped.  Hanging suspended in midair, Snape shouted the only thing that came to his mind.

"POTTER! BLACK!"

 As he was hanging, the two namesakes were waiting in line for the nearest water ride, a  water ride, complete with inner tubes in which you sat and floated around in a plastic river. Adding to the fun were several waterfalls and at least eight rapids.

Sirius, James, Remus, Lily and Erin had already stripped down to their bathing suits, but Peter was more reluctant.  He insisted that he was cold, and they let it go at that.

After waiting for the total of five minutes, the Marauders began to get impatient.

"How long is this stupid line going to take?"

"Relax guys. Sometimes you have to wait for hours to get on these rides."  They stared in shock at Lily and frowned.

"Well, we can't do that. Why waste time waiting when we could be having fun?"  James said. Remus and Sirius nodded. Lily and Erin groaned.

"I have an idea." Sirius said, grinning.

"Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph." Erin moaned.

"Stop with the praying, Eri. It's not that bad." Erin glared at her explosive happy friend.  Her green Irish eyes stood out against her red blond hair. 

"Quit looking at me like that. You look like a fairy."  Sirius said.

She only shook her head.

"Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by the Religious fairy over there,"

"Ahem!"

"Sorry, Erin.  Why don't we cause a distraction?"

"A distraction?"  Remus asked.

"A distraction." James said, getting the idea.

"A very big distraction that results in many peoples no longer wishing to wait in line." He laughed. And they nodded.

"On three. Ready? One, two, three!"  Each pulled out their wands from their bags and whispered the incantations.

Suddenly there was an explosion at the front of the line. People screamed and ran.  The four Marauders waited nonchalantly as the crowd diminished, then wandered to the front of the line as if nothing had happened.

Once on the ride, things became worse.  James, Sirius, Remus and Peter delighted in charming the water so it rose in large waterfalls and collapsed on various people. The girls were their favorites. Unfortunately, they soon learned that the girls were very good at the same trick and got very wet themselves. Then they turned to simply knocking each other off the rafts, dunking each other and   just having a good time, until they were yelled at by a park worker.  Sirius was tempted to turn him into a fish, but was restrained by James and Remus.

            After they were done with that ride,  they noticed Snape. He was sneering at several large cartoon characters running around giving out autographs and hugs to small children. 

"I have an idea." Remus spoke up. James and Sirius looked at him, shocked.

"You have an idea? Praise the lord!" Sirius shouted.

"Shut up, Padfoot. Now does Snape look very happy to see those cartoon thingies?"

"No."

"Well then, I think Mr. Grouchy Pants over there needs a hug."

"Or Two." Peter said.

"Or ten." Sirius added.

"Oh Moony, you are devious! I knew  it was in there somewhere!" James said,  grinning.  He pulled out his wand again and cursed the characters.

Suddenly they all dropped whatever they were doing and turned to face Snape. Snape looked confused, then he backed away, scared. But they kept advancing.

"No! Leave me alone! No! For God's sake, anything but that! Noooooooooo!!!"  he shouted as they proceeded to hug him all at the same time.  Lily stole time to take  a picture, with the Marauders in the background. The Marauders laughed and turned to find their next adventure.

Unfortunately, it was the nearest roller coaster.    It was  a twisting and turning track of death, with three loops,  and two corkscrews.  Sirius couldn't wait and preformed his blow up the place where you get your picture stand, and the crowd was suddenly diminished.

The six friends strapped themselves in, Sirius in front with Remus, James and Peter behind, then Lily and Erin. 

"Um, Wormtail? How many seatbelts do you have?" James asked.

"Not enough." Peter replied.

"Well, I can't find mine." James said.

"Uh oh."  Remus muttered as the  car began its ascent  up the steep hill.   Slowly, it climbed it was to the top of the hundred foot drop, then tittered at the top for a few seconds, teasing the occupants, then it dropped.

"Wahoo!" Sirius yelled.

"I want my mummy!"  Peter's voice joined Sirius.  Remus just screamed, along with the girls.

 But as it began its run, the other riders failed to notice they were short one person.  James  hovered for a second in cartoon fashion, then dropped faster than the car.  He yelled as he fell, then  swore as he hit the ground and bounced.  He got some very strange and awed looks from passersby, who stared at him as if he  were some sort of angel, falling from heaven.  Then as they listened to his string of VERY descriptive phrases, they decided against it.

 He climbed back up the ladder to wait for his friends.  Finally  the car pulled up. Sirius, Remus, Lily and Erin looked as if they'd had the time of their lives, still whooping and hollering as the car pulled to a stop. Wormtail looked as if he was permanently glued to the seat.

"Prongs! How'd you get there?" Sirius asked, the grin still plastered on his face as he climbed out.

"Wormtail stole my seatbelt."  Peter's eyes moved towards James but that was it. 

"Wormtail!" Remus and Sirius both said at the same time. Then they turned to each other and pointed at each other. "No!"

Lily shook her head.  They were always saying the same thing at the same time and it drove them insane. 

"Are you alright, James?"  he nodded and grinned.

"I bounced." 

"Well, that's good."  Remus agreed. Sirius had his hand clasped over his mouth in case he and Remus did it again.  But everyone knew the silence couldn't last and it didn't.

"I'm hungry." He announced.

"Well, then. Let's go get something to eat."

"How can you think of food after that?" Erin asked.

"Honey, I can think of food anytime." Sirius  replied, already on alert for food.

"Um guys?" Peter called. They turned back. He had come out of being paralyzed, but was still in his seat, fiddling with his seatbelt clasp.

"I think I'm stuck."

"Oh Wormtail!" Sirius moaned.  Remus went over to him and pulled. 

"OW!" Peter shouted as the  restraint tightened. Lily took the opportunely to snap a picture.

"Yep, he's stuck."

"Great, now I'm blind and stuck."

"What's the problem?" The man running the ride had come over. "Come on kids, there are other people waiting."

"He's stuck."  James told him.  The man glared at Peter, who gave a small whimper. 

"How on earth did you get stuck?"  the man asked.

"Maybe cause he has two seatbelts on?" Sirius  supplied. The man  stared in amazement at  Peter.

"How on earth?" he began, completely lost.

"Don't ask. Just get him out." Remus advised. The man decided to listen and   after several minutes of trying to figure it out, he managed to undo the straps that held Peter captive.

As they descended the stairs, they heard a laugh. It was the muggle kid from the bus.

"Ha! You idiot! How on earth could you get stuck on roller coaster? You must the dumbest person on the planet!" he said, causing his friends to laugh, as he pointed at Peter. 

He wasn't laughing for long, though. Sirius crossed the few feet that separating them, grabbed the boy by his collar, and lifted him off the ground.

"What did you say to my friend?" he growled.  Sirius was tall for his age,  the tallest of the Marauders, and so  to lift this boy to his face level put the boy at least a foot off the ground. He was not very fond of heights, and Sirius growling in his face didn't help much.  But suddenly Remus was at his friends shoulder.

"No! Padfoot, down! Put him down now!"

"But Moony,"

"Down!" Remus ordered, sounding like someone ordering a dog to put down  a chew toy. Sirius growled again, but set the boy on his feet.   Then Remus pulled him away.

"Thanks." Peter said.

"Hey, no problem." Sirius said, the  ever-present grin now returning to his face, "You'd have done the same for any of us." Then he   threw his arm around James and  the two began to  wrestle.

"Yeah, sure." Peter said softly, as he watched Remus join in the fun.

"Swings!" Sirius shouted.

"Why do you get to decide what we do next?" Remus asked.

"Because I say so." Sirius responded as if this was a perfectly acceptable answer.

Remus sighed, but did not question his friend's strange and twisted logic.

They raced towards the swings. Luckily, the line was  not long and so Sirius was not required to empty it.  they managed to get on and the giant  machine lifted into the air.

"Whee!" Sirius shouted, "I can fly!" 

"He can fly!"  Remus shouted.

"He can fly!"  James  joined in.

"He can fly!" Peter finished it.

"Think of the happiest things, it's the same as having wings."  Sirius sang as he flew through the air.

"Sirius, I didn't know you saw Peter Pan." Lily shouted.

"Are you kidding? My dad has every Disney movie ever made!" Sirius called back.

"What's a Disney?" Remus shouted.

"Never mind. I'll tell you later" Sirius told him.

'Does anyone else think this things going too slow?" James shouted. He got nodded from the boys and  furious shaking of the head from the girls.

"Four against two. We speed it up." He muttered something and the swings began to go faster and faster until everything was blur.

 Sirius was having a load of fun until Remus went crashing into him, spending him back into Peter and so on.  Once the ride slowed down and stopped, it was a very sore and bruised bunch of kids that got off.

"Food time now! I'm hungry!" Sirius shouted.  The others hook their heads. Only Sirius could think of food after something like that.

"No, games!" James shouted back.

"Food!"

"Games!"

 "Food!"

"Games!"

 "Food!"

"Games!"

 "Food!"

"Games!"

"Food!"

"Games!"

"Guys!" Remus dove in before physical violence occurred. "Why don't we get Sirius an ice cream cone, play some games, then go have lunch?" They looked at each other, then Remus, then back at each other, then shrugged and agreed.  Remus shook his head.

"Let's try this one." James said, pointing to an old fashioned  booth with  five milk bottles set up.

"How do you play?"  the man running the thing, smiled.

"You simply hit the bottles with a ball and try to knock them over. It's easy and it's only  a pound."   James frowned.

"Lily." He moaned. "Help me." He pulled out a small amount of muggle money and   looked through it. "Which ones a pound?" Sirius and Lily both rolled their eyes.

"This one, James. The one with the little number one on it."  she said.  "The coin."  She added after he looked even more confused. 

"Oh, okay." And he handed the pound to the man.

"Here are your five balls. Give it your best shot."  James aimed and hit the  bottles straight on, but they  didn't move. He frowned and  aimed again. Again the bottles didn't move.  James narrowed his eyes and glanced at Sirius and Remus who nodded.

 Then he aimed again. This time, when he hit them, the bottled tumbled down, shattering to the  shock of the  owner of the rigged game.

Sirius took the next shot and  sent the bottled tumbling. Remus   sent them shattering. 

"James! Sirius, Remus! That's cheating!" Lily scolded.

"If I give you a bear, will you forget it?"

"Yes." She took it.

"What about me?" Sirius handed Erin his bear and she gave him a smile.  Remus did not fail to see his friend blush slightly.

Remus held on to his to send to Addi when they got back to school.

"Really? How the heck are you going to send that to my sister?" Sirius asked.

"I was thinking of borrowing a few owls."

"If we can get food now, you can borrow Ernie." Sirius told him. Remus  grabbed James and pulled him to the nearest  food stand.

Once there they had to decide what food to get. Lily  went first.

"I'll have  a small hot dog and an order of French fries. Oh and a small coke."

"Um. I'll have the same." Erin said, not entirely sure what she was getting.

"Yeah, same for us."  The boys said, eyeing the muggle food suspiciously.

"And  the biggest bag of cotton candy you have!" Sirius added.

"Oh Lord." Lily groaned.

"What's cotton candy?"  Erin asked.

"Pure sugar."  Lily told her. Erin's eyes widened in fear at the thought of Sirius and pure sugar.

            They picked up their food and settled at a nearby picnic table.

"Isn't picnic the strangest word?"  Sirius asked, as they dug in.

"What brought this random thought on?" James asked. Random thoughts were common around the Marauders.  Sirius shrugged.

"Smile!" Lily said.  James and Sirius grinned as she snapped the photo.

"It's picture time." She announced.

"Lil, you've been snapping away all day."  James told her.

"Well, I want to remember this day. Now  you three get together.' James, Remus and Sirius grinned.

"Good, now Sirius, you put your arm around Erin. Just like that. Good."  She took a picture of Sirius and Erin, grinning and looking extremely cute.

"Now get one of me and James." Remus took the picture.  And they sat back down.

"You know what's strange?  Why are they called French fires? I mean, they don't look French, they don't speak French, why are they French?" Remus asked.

"Maybe  German fries didn't have the same ring." James offered.

"Here's one. Why are they called hot dogs?  They don't look like dogs, they don't sound like dogs, are they made of dogs?" Peter asked.  Everyone how was eating this food stopped.  James  looked like he really didn't want to swallow the bit that was in his mouth.   Lily pushed hers away,  Erin replaced hers in the holder and Sirius's  stopped on it's journey to his mouth.

"That is just wrong, Wormtail. Really really wrong."  Sirius looked as if he were about to be sick. Only the Marauders knew why. 

In the anamgi potion they were brewing, or had been for the past   two years,  Sirius's form would be a dog. The thought of eating one of his own kind was just too  gross for him and he  replaced his hot dog, then turned on the coke and cotton candy.

"What's that?" Remus asked in response to the bright pink fluffy  ball Sirius had.

"It's cotton candy. Want a bite?"

"Sure." Remus took a piece, and his eyes lit up.  "That's great! Give me another piece." He then preceded to eat the whole bag and Sirius was forced to buy three more bags, just to satisfy him and his friends.  When Remus got too thirsty, Sirius made the biggest mistake of his life and introduced Remus to the wonderful world of caffeine addiction.

With  the help of that, it did not take the boys more than five seconds to decide where to go next, another roller coaster.

This one was much less crowded and so they were on very soon. Luckily, it was a six-person car and so they were all able to get on at the same time.

"Hey Padfoot, " James said, as the climbed the first hill,  still laughing at the picnic table incident, "I dare you do get off and take over the ride."

Sirius grinned. The maniac look was in his eyes, the one he always had after consuming large amounts of sugar. 
            "You're on." 

"No, Sirius!" Erin shouted. But it was too late. Sirius had undone his seat belt, climbed out of the car, down the  track, and  had now blown up a nearby concession stand.  People ran, including the guy working the controls. Sirius pounced on them, and stared.

"Now what. Hm hm hm, well, let's just see what this button does."  He pressed the first button he saw, a large red one. The car began to pick up speed and shot down the track.  "Oh it does that. Now this one."  The car slowed down.  Unfortunately, it was on it's way up a loop. "Oops, can't have that, now can we?" he said, laughing like a maniac.  He fiddled with a few more buttons then brought the car back.  His friends were gasping with delight and  excitement.

"That was the best!" James shouted as he got out. Remus and the girls were a little less steady and Peter made a brake for the bathroom.  But all in all they loved it.

Then they heard a sharp whistle. Professor O'Flaherty was signaling them to return to the busses. Grudgingly, they boarded the buss and watched as the  amusement park faded into the  growing darkness.

Still on their  giant sugar high, the Marauders  entertained themselves by throwing things at Snape who tried to curse them, but got his wand taken away by the professor. Sirius succeeded in scaring the crap out of the muggle boy in front of him, and Erin, Lily, and Remus  turned blue from laughing so hard.

            After about an hour, the aftereffects of the sugar began to wear off.  On that low that always hits after a gigantic sugar high, the Marauders  nodded off.  Lily fell asleep on James's shoulder, the bear he had won still held tight in her arms, while Erin was laying on a snoozing Sirius.  Peter  was dozing and snoring on the windowsill. Only Remus was awake.

He  watched his friends sleep, and wondered at the amazement of it all.  Three years ago, he had had very little hope for the future,  having no friends and being stuck with his… "condition."  Even when he got his letter, things were still looking bad.

It wasn't until he met his three great friends that everything had changed. His life was no longer dark, but shining.  True, no one knew his secret aside from his three best friends, and he planned to keep it that way.  But of all things, he never expected them to do what they were doing for him.  To risk it all for him.  But they were and they did.

            It was days like that that made him glad to be alive. He settled back in his seat and closed his eyes, a contented smile on his face.