A/N : Ok I'm lazy and don't like to type what I write in my notebooks…. Hate me if u must. But hey here it is. The last chapter to my story! This makes it I think around exactly 2 years that it has been in progress…. Which goes to show how lazy I really am lol. Like I said Last chapter though, I do have a sequel in the works, the first two chapters written. But they are written in my notes. So how fast they get on here I have no idea. Hopefully soon. In the meantime however I did write, as part of another challenge with Fireless Fly, a story completely about an OC in the Harry potter world. We ended up calling off the contest, but I do have that story completed. And it ended up being somewhere around a 42 page story about Jack Fantom, my OC from this story. I'll be posting that next Friday unless I get quite a few reviews asking for it sooner. Till then however enjoy and tell me what you think about the thrilling conclusion.
The next morning, while walking his new puppy Fang, Hagrid stumbled across the unconscious form of Sirius Black. His body was in bad shape. They were deep cuts and burns covering most of his body and he had several broken bones as well. When he arrived in hospital wing Madame Pomfrey immediately went to work. She started by giving him blood replenishing potions and closing his more major wounds. After three hours of intensive surgical healing with the aid of Dumbledore Sirius was finally stabilized. It was then that Madame Pomfrey turned her attention to less threatening injuries and began stealing his bruises and burns, while Albus ran further tests. After a few moments he turned ghostly white and gasped.
"What is it Albus?" Madame Pomfrey asked worriedly. "What did you find?"
"It would appear Mr. Black has been obliviated," he began. "But only partially." He paused, not even wanting to go on. "He has also been exposed to the cruciatus curse."
Madame Pomfrey gasped. "But that must mean that a student... well the wards should have alerted you! How could this have happened?"
"Calm yourself Poppy," Albus stated solemnly. "He is out of danger at this point. And we do not yet know. It was a student. We found at the edge of the forest. He must have been attacked outside the boundaries of the castle's wards." Dumbledore went to the fireplace and fire called McGonagall's office. "Minerva, please find Mr. Potter immediately, and bring him to the hospital wing." She nodded getting worried wanting to inquire further but hurried off toward the head dormitories to find James.
Albus sighed looking at his student bruised and beaten as he continued the diagnostic spells. It was now more than ever that he felt the weight of the war pressing down on his shoulders.
The news of the attack and on Sirius, like all rumors at Hogwarts, spread quickly and became exaggerated. Soon, stories were being told of Sirius' epic battle across the grounds, fighting off a dozen Death Eaters. These rumors were in no way created, or endorsed by Sirius. Or so he claimed. Other than a week of sore muscles Madame Pomfrey's quick healing work patched Sirius back up with no lasting damage. His memory of the attack however was lost. The last thing he remembered was dinner two days ago. He was still able to recall the pain of the attack, and knew every spell he was hit with. He could vividly recall the pain of the cruciatus curse most of all. The attackers however wanted to leave a message. So they left the pain. The obliviation erased their faces, voices and every other method of identifying them. Sirius had suspects of course, but no proof. For once, Sirius actually decided to let go of a grudge in favor of school work. His decision was of course heavily influenced, if not made, by the Marauders and the girls. He did of course put up a fight.
"Sirius, this is important," James demanded. "Put this vendetta on hold and finish classes."
"I was crucioed James!" Sirius yelled, his voice filling the astronomy Tower. "I can't let this go!"
"I don't want you to let it go mate," James responded. "We have been here for seven years working our way into the Auror program. Don't throw that away now."
"James, do you know what the cruciatus feels like?" Sirius wondered aloud. "I would rather miss out on the Auror Academy to get back at the guy who did this!"
"Sirius! Just focus. Two months are left in classes. Just do the finals, pass them and help kick Slytherin's arse in the final quiddich match. Then when we are Aurors, we are can really do something about this."
"You just don't get it," Sirius said resignedly and leaned against the tower looking out at the night sky.
His gazing was cut short when he was spun around. James grabbed the front of his robes holding him forcefully against the battlements of the top. "I don't get it?" James shouted in his face. "You are my best mate. You are like my brother. You really think I don't want to get even with whichever bastard did this to you? Get real!" James gave him one last shove before letting him go. "We will get them. Why give them here and cast a few schoolyard jinxes at them when we can wait and do it as Aurors? That way we can throw them in Azkaban to rot."
Sirius strained his robes silently thinking about what James had said. "You're right mate. You always are, you?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty spectacular like that." James replied.
Sirius scoffed. "Fine. I'll do it. Let's get out of here."
The next few weeks blew were a blur of last minute essays, tests and frantic studying. They simply blew past and it wasn't long before the NEWT exams were ready to begin. When that fateful day finally arrived every seventh year was on edge. Remus was still frantically studying at breakfast, while everyone else looked tired from the all night cram sessions. Sirius of course was busy throwing muffins at Remus, and the Slytherin table.
"Sirius quit it!" Remus shouted as he picked up and readied himself to throw a large blueberry muffin back at Sirius. He changed his mind quickly after seeing the delicious muffin and began eating it instead.
"If you don't know by now, you won't know it on the test." Sirius' taunt was interrupted by a banana nut muffin to the face. The hit made him fall backward, off his chair. The whole hall began laughing raucously. Sirius quickly got back up to try and find the culprit, but was quickly knocked back down by a barrage of muffins of all kinds from the entire school. After unburying himself from a whole pile of muffins he returned to his seat. He picked up a muffin from the top of the pile and began to eat it as he pouted. "The house elves worked really hard to make these. You shouldn't waste them," he mumbled.
"Now that the great Gryffindor muffin battle is over," Dumbledore began as he vanished the pile with a wave of his wand. "It is my pleasure to introduce Griselda Marchbanks, and her team of teachers who will be conducting the NEWT and OWL exams today. Students applauded politely, while Remus turned green and began studying even faster. "Good luck to everyone exams will start at 10 o'clock sharp," Dumbledore finished.
"Wow she looks strict," Yumi said putting down her books surveying professor Marchbanks. She was a tiny woman and stood hunched over. Her face was lined and quite worn.
"I've never met a teacher I couldn't sweet talk into a better grade," Sirius replied casually.
"What about professor McGonagall?" Peter asked rather puzzled.
"Or Slugworth," Lily added.
"And there is professor Tibbins," Jenny stated.
"And Flitwick," Frank Longbottom said a few seats down.
"And Dumbledore never would do that either," James added.
"Which teacher are you even thinking about?" Remus asked him. "I don't think you have ever talked your way to a better grade.
"Hmmm," Sirius thought hard for a moment. "There has got to be one…" He trailed off.
At 9:30 the four Marauders stood together outside the great Hall where the tests were being held. "Well boys. This is it," James said as if he were a war general talking to his troops. "This is what we have been studying for. Get in there, take no prisoners and leave no question unanswered." Sirius, Remus and Peter stood at attention and saluted. "Now let's get in there and ace some tests!" Each test was composed of a written and shorter practical portion.
10 grueling hours later, students finally began leaving their last test. "That was the worst 10 hours ever," Sirius grumbled.
"What about that for detention marathon we had in fifth year? That was a bad 10 hours too," James reasoned.
Sirius began to laugh, "Heh yea, Flitwick stank for weeks!"
Sirius' reminiscing was interrupted by Remus. "It's finally over." He breathed a sigh of relief. "No more studying. It's over.
"Wait," Sirius said as if suddenly realizing something. "We are done with NEWTs! We're done with school! All of it! Forever!" Sirius whooped for joy and began jumping around. Soon the other students couldn't contain themselves as the reality of the end of school set and. A moment later, every seventh year dissolved into cheers, shouts and hugs.
"Sirius," James began sadly. "You realize this is the last time we are ever going to do this?"
Sirius slung his broom over his shoulder. "Well it wouldn't be if you accepted that spot on England's national team."
"Heh, Auror Academy is more important than that and you know it," James replied. "We are destined for bigger things, you and I."
"Yeah, but it would be more fun... I guess we're just getting up to make the very most of this one," Sirius conceded.
"Okay team. Anything above a 30 point lead when we win and both cups go to us." James informed his team. "Let's go out there and finish this year as champions!"
The whole team cheered and took off. The final match was once again, refereed by professor Sinestra. After an opening lap James landed and faced Lucius in the center. "You both know the rules," the young referee stated. "Shake hands and move into position."
James held out his hand to Lucius. "Sorry Potter," He said curtly. "I just washed my hands. I don't want your mud blood girlfriend's germs on me. A shame you are a blood traitor. Such an old line of pure wizarding blood… It will be sad to see it destroyed."
James' eyes flashed dangerously, but he kept calm. He said nothing and they both turned and walked to their teams. The whistle blew and both teams took back to the sky. The Slytherins came away with the quaffle and charged downfield. Lucius was passed to the ball and fired it through the goal. Gryffindor was not having a good start to the match and was soon down by three goals. The then responded with two goals of their own. James felt enough goals had been given up and began taking control of the game. He called a quick time out. After only a few words of a pep talk Gryffindor's chasers were flying with new resolve. They were passing and shooting better complicated plays and maneuvers they had been learning the whole time they had been on the team were beginning to be put into play. Slytherin was stumbling. The offensive rush was beginning to overwhelm them and demoralized the team.
Lucius looked up at the scoreboard in disgust: 90 to 30 Gryffindor. He finally gained control of the quaffle once again and was streaking up the field the goalposts nearly in range. He never got a chance to shoot however, as he was hit square in the face with a buldger hit by Sirius. Lucius dropped the quaffle and clutched his now bleeding, very broken nose. The blow caused him to reel back. Both hands went to his face and he was left holding his broom with only his legs. Unfortunately for him this allowed a second bludger hit by Jenny to strike him in his exposed ribs. A second later Sirius streaked past him, swinging his bat full force into the already stunned man's right knee. A sickening crunch was heard and the blonde man howled in pain. He tipped his broom forward diving straight for the ground to escape the onslaught. Lucius collapsed on the ground. Teachers and fellow students rushed to his aid. The Slytherin stands erupted in angry shouts and yells people screamed and were vowing vengeance from the attack. The three remaining stands however were filled with cheers while professor Sinestra grabbed the front of Sirius' robes, guiding his broom to the teacher's box, where Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, who had a look of barely contained rage, were waiting. James surveyed the field. After that blatant foul play had been stopped. Slytherin's reserve chaser was taking off, and James signaled to Frank Longbottom to mount up as well and take Sirius' place. Play finally resumed ten minutes later after Lucius was taken to the hospital wing and Sirius was sent to wait in the headmaster's office. However, since Sirius would never miss the final match it was no surprise to James when he spotted a large black dog staring intently up at the field. Slytherin was playing quite well despite the loss of their captain. Unfortunately for them, James was unstoppable. He was flying and shooting like no one had ever seen. The match lasted only 5 minutes after Sirius and Lucius were removed from play. Gryffindor was winning 140 to 60 when they got the snitch sealing both cups for their house.
The cheers were deafening. In celebration James threw the quaffle into the stands. He rocketed to the ground where Dumbledore had magically erected a small platform and was holding the Quiddich cup. James walked over to him, his team following behind. James savored every moment as the headmaster announced the final standings. Even with the points lost by Sirius breaking Lucius' knee they had still taken both cups. Finally the moment James waited for his entire tenure at Hogwarts arrived when he was handed the Quiddich cup. He held it high above his head and cheered loudly. The team rushed up hoisting him onto their shoulders. The cup was his. The house cup was Gryffindor's. And most importantly, Lily was his as well. He looked out at her, they locked eyes. She was clapping proudly and cheering for him tears of joy in her eyes. 'Best seventh year ever,' James thought as he was carried off the pitch.
James breathed deep smelling the fresh ink on the page where he had signed his name. "You know what that smell is guys? That's the smell of seven years of pranks coming to a climactic finish." Sirius took the quill and dipped it in ink signing his name on the last page of a notebook below James' before handing it to Remus.
"And a bloody amazing time it was gents," Remus acknowledged signing his name and passing the quill to peter.
"Great times," Peter agreed. "And great friends, now and forever," the three nodded as Peter signed his name.
They closed the notebook which was nearly the size of a textbook. It had a lock on the page side which James fastened together. The four put the tips of their wands to the keyhole and stated in perfect unison. "Mischief Managed." The golden lock glowed and a red light flowed out of each of their wands sliding across the leather cover creating a crimson M in the center of a gold circle.
"The Marauder Prank Journal and Manual," James stated picking up the heavy book and running his hand across the cover.
"No greater book has ever been written," Sirius stated with a smile. "Now only thing left to decide. Where do we put it?"
"One of us can take it," Peter suggested. "I'll hang onto it."
"Sirius should," Remus reasoned. "He thought up most of 'em."
"No it should be James!" Sirius demanded. "He was the one who made all this happen."
"Not me," James said immediately. "We never would have pulled any of these off if it weren't for Remus. He should have it."
The four boys looked from one to the other a tough decision in front of them. "We leave it here." Sirius decided, "For another prankster to find, just like we did with the map. We can pass on our ideas and legacy to them. Only a true prankster would be able to open this after all."
"That's good," Remus said. "But where?"
"What about with the map?" Peter suggested.
"Nah they should be separated," James said. "The book will lead you to the map anyway and vice versa if you know how to look."
"The library," Remus said as if it were the most obvious choice.
"In the restricted section," Sirius added.
"We can disguise the cover too," Peter said quickly adding his two cents. "So no one will pick it up if they don't need it."
"No," Sirius thought. "It would be a prank in itself to put a locked untitled book in the library."
"We can do it on the way to tonight's festivities," James stated putting the book in his bag. We don't have a lot of time.
With those final words the Marauders left Gryffindor common room to pull their last biggest greatest prank.
Remus yawned as he awoke the next morning and scratched his chin. He smiled as he looked over in the mirror at himself. Sirius awoke as well, "lookin good Rem." He stated rolling out of bed. James and peter were up too each looking in their own mirrors checking for double crosses. Not on the last prank though. This one was their pride and joy. They all got dressed in their black Hogwarts school robes and stood at the doorway to the dormitory. There was now a striking difference in their robes. Where each student's house crest usually was, they now had the gold and crimson Marauder "M."
"Shall we?" James asked gesturing to the door.
"Oh I think we must," Remus said smiling boldly. They opened the door into pandemonium and strolled down into the common room. Every single student had a long white beard exactly that of Albus Dumbledore. Not only that they wore the same glasses as the headmaster. And finally on every person's right cheek was the emblem of the Marauders. Everywhere there were holes in chairs from errant cutting curses being used against the long beards and pairs of ruined scissors lay on the ground. Upon seeing the four unbearded students walking into their midst silence descended. At this moment it became too much for them and the four began dying with laughter, they four could barely even stand up and Sirius actually fell down the stairs he was laughing so hard. Moments later there were mixed reactions. Some younger students were panicking, others were laughing at the good prank but most of the Gryffindor students, and especially the females were glaring angrily at the four boys. They laughed heartily at everyone present but were cut off when they heard a shrill screech. "JAMES POTTER! YOU GET THIS BEARD OFF MY FACE THIS INSTANT!" Lily was tearing down the girl's staircase. James ran for it. He headed for the portrait hole but instead of swinging open like it normally did it stayed firmly shut. No matter how much people yelled and threatened or even hexed the four Marauders refused to remove any beards. The mob of students finally allowed the four boys to leave and everyone headed down for breakfast. Once outside the common room James looked back at the portrait.
The now bearded fat lady gave him a disapproving look. "Is that why you wouldn't let me out?" He asked with a smile. The fat lady refused to answer him and merely turned up her nose at him. James laughed again and went down to breakfast. Every portrait and every student they passed was sporting the same Dumbledore style beard. Even the ghosts, Peeves included had one. Once in the great hall the finally piece of their prank fell into view. Albus Dumbledore himself. He wore no glasses no hat, and was both bald and beardless. In place of his beard on his chin rested the Marauder "M." One could hardly recognize him save for his robes and the fact that he sat in the center chair at the faculty table. Opposed to every other teacher who was angrily tugging at their beard or trying to eat without getting a mouthful of hair Dumbledore was smiling. Upon seeing the four Gryffindors walk in without beards and he noticed the change in their robe crest began chuckling. The Marauders took their seats avoiding thrown food, insults and a few curses. They took their seats and began trying to eat.
Directly behind James at the Hufflepuff table Jack Fantom spun around and addressed him. "Nice prank boys," he said stroking the long beard as he spoke.
James turned around. He had been waiting for this actually. He would finally see Jack without his trademark sunglasses. His anticipation was dashed however when he looked to see them still firmly in place. "Wait, but how?" James pointed at his shades stumbling for words.
Jack merely laughed. "I'm something of an inventor of spells myself. I've got a creative mind just like you," Jack told him twirling the beard through his fingers. "But these," he stated tapping his sunglasses. "Well the spells on these are out of even your league." Jack stated with a smile.
James laughed accepting his defeat. "Well we still got ya with the rest of it."
Jack laughed as well shaking James' hand. "Great prank man." Jack turned back to his table to finish his breakfast.
Dumbledore stood from the head table and cleared his throat. "Good morning students," he began which silenced the boisterous talk and shouting about the beards. "For those of you who don't recognize me, I am in fact Professor Dumbledore." The beardless headmaster said with a chuckle. "It would seem as if the infamous school wide Marauder pranks these past years have not come to a close after all. He stroked his beardless chin feeling a sensation he had not for quite some time. "Now perhaps he culprits would mind providing us with a counter curse?" He eyed the four boys at the Gryffindor table.
"It's just one of those things you have to wait for sir," James stated addressing the headmaster.
"According to my advanced calculations," Sirius began. "It should wear off before graduation. The school looked on in horror from Sirius to the headmaster dreading what 'advanced calculations' had been left to Sirius.
"No more than a day professor," Remus assured him silencing all the gasps after Sirius' remarks.
"Very well," Dumbledore stated sitting back down. The students continued to look at him waiting for either points to be deducted or Dumbledore to uncurse them all. He said nothing however but began eating once more. The stares continued from both students and staff. "Well what's everyone waiting for? Breakfast is getting cold."
The students finally began accepting their fate and continued eating their breakfasts on what soon became called Dumbledore Day.
James could barely stay awake when Sirius' head flopped onto his shoulder. James pushed it off immediately and Sirius reawoke. He looked around; they were sitting in chairs outside the castle listening to the valedictorian's graduation speech. "Merlin's beard, isn't Lily done talking?" Sirius asked, sleepily. "This is unbearable."
"She's been up there talking a total of four minutes," James rolled his eyes. "There is a ways to go mate." Sirius began to whine again, but James cut him off. "At least you can sleep. She is probably going to quiz me later to make sure I was paying attention."
After an excruciatingly long speech Lily retook her seat next to James. At this time Professor Dumbledore began his. Another dry boring speech nearly put James to sleep again. Every time he was close, Lily would elbow him back awake. He looked to his left seeing a peacefully sleeping Sirius his head on now Jenny's shoulder who was dozing as well. 'Lucky.' He thought as Lily elbowed him again. Finally Professor Dumbledore finished speaking and began calling up students for their diplomas. Finally he came to James Potter. As James took his diploma and shook Dumbledore's hand he felt a swell of pride. He had done it. He walked back to his seat looking up at the castle. It looked just as beautiful and magical as it had the first time he saw it from the boat in his first year. In his head flashed his first train ride here, all the trouble he caused and the things he learned. He looked at the three seated Marauders seeing the great friends he had made. He surveyed the crowd Frank Longbottom, Jack Fantom, Arthur Weasly, the girls: allies he would soon side with. He then looked to the Slytherins: Bellatrix, Snape and Lucius, who now walked with an ornate snake's head cane, and saw the enemies he would one day deal with. Then his eyes found Lily, when he looked in her eyes all he saw was true love. He said next to her put his arm around her as the remaining names were called. When everyone had received their diplomas cheers sounded, and all the students jumped for joy. "This has really been an interesting year, hasn't it James?" Lily asked him. James reached his hand into his robe pocket, fingering a small velvet box, which held the ring that once belonged to his mother.
"You know, I had a feeling that was going to be." He gripped the box firmly strengthening his resolve. "Lily, there's something I wanted to ask you."
And so it ends… Hope you enjoyed my first crack at fan fiction writing. And there is more to come because I love to write no matter how bad I am lol. By the by, all you writers like me who don't like to type what you have written down. Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 is the greatest program ever. Anything you say into the mic = text on the page.