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Chapter two

Since the date of the next Quidditch match had been announced a few days ago, the trainings were intensified. Sirius Black and his friend Remus Lupin were heading once again toward the stadium. This year, November was particularly icy. As snow fell, there was nothing around them but silence. Only the sound of their footsteps on the thick snow layer creased this hymn to the winter.

"I don't understand why Wormtail doesn't come along to see Prongs' trainings. He likes Quidditch as much as we do."

"That's because he always comes with working excuses." Thought Lupin. "So, how many did you bring today?"

"Twenty-six." His companion answered, proudly. "But there are still a few at the castle." He added speedily. Moony shouldn't think that the mail was getting low.

"I wonder what you do to get so many all the time…"

"And I wonder how it is possible for you to never get any! I thrash out the question, I still don't understand. Maybe it's about your gait… If you would, for example, hold up your head a bit while walking in the corridors!"

"It's alright… like this… if people stop for these kind of details."

Remus didn't dare to go on, fearing to offend his best friend. Of course he would try to make an effort to raise up his head next time he'd be walking alone in Hogwarts. Sirius and he didn't share the same temper; he was much more quiet and thoughtful than the rest of the Marauders, he wanted to be appreciated by his friend, not to make an exhibition of himself in front of the whole school. Although he thought as funny, the fact that Sirius received so many admirers from every year and from every house; it was impossible for him to picture himself with the same part.

Indeed Padfoot was to hold the popularity record among the witches in Hogwarts, he never dated any of them and yet he was still receiving love letters in quantities. The light-brown haired Gryffindor thought he would not envy him, most of the time it would never occur to him. Why should he think about it when is werewolf state forbade him that kind of relationships?

The Ministry of Magic had established all sorts of extremely strict rules and restrictions concerning werewolves. The right to work, marriage, even these things were forbidden to him. The Ministry had every single werewolf registered in a database, and as they grew older the discriminations they suffered from grew bigger. Things would change in a few years for Remus, he would probably have to live a secluded life, something he couldn't do, but above all he wouldn't impose on anyone.

Basically these rules were there only to ensure the security of Wizards and Muggles, he himself feared to hurt somebody or even worse when he was taken prisoner by the wolf's rage. He couldn't agree to put the life of others in danger, although he held the desire of a free life. Dammit, he transformed only a night a month! Even during that time he would fight with all his strength against the beast that entirely covered him with his shadow. He wasn't a criminal! Nor was he a murderer! It was the werewolves' behaviour who turned toward dark arts that had pushed to taking such measures.

"If we could not delete the threat, at least we could contain it?" That was their policy. Remus could become as sly, and as strong as he wished the fight was over, it was an already lost cause. The young man knew that kindness would not settle problems.

At least now he wasn't as chained as he was before. He shared this secret with his friends, Prongs, Padfoot, and Wormtail. Each of these nights, the Marauders would join around the moon's son. He was then shielded from others' look; he didn't risk to injure anyone.

"Oh, but aren't you the lady from last time!" Suddenly cried out Sirius; pulling Lupin out of his torpor with a nudge. "Hime Esper, that's right?"

"Yes. Thank you again for having showed me the way."

Hime had put on a long black coat with a collar, which gave her the smart bearing of a queen. The tails of her coat grazed the snow as she was changing her leaning foot. You'd have thought she had been prematurely crowned, as her clothes contrasted with her rather short height and her big innocent eyes. Her loose hair was beaded with flakes.

"I don't recall having introduced myself yet. My name is Sirius Black, Sixth year Gryffindor."

"Remus Lupin, same." His neighbour added.

"I'm fourth year in Ravenclaw, pleased to meet you."

"We're going to the stadium to watch our team's training. You like Quidditch?" Asked Sirius, obviously about to invite her to join in.

"Mm… a little… I rather like ancient fencing."

"Oh? Isn't that a Muggle sport? Have you got Muggle origins?"

"Er, no not really…" Hime answered looking at her feet. "Well er, I'm awaited. Next time maybe."

Sirius didn't get the time to tell her goodbye that the Ravenclaw had already turned her back. He remained silent for a moment, then they went on with their walk.

"She's adorable, must have been because she didn't know my name that I've yet receive a nice letter from her… AH!! Found it! That's because you're too tense!" He exclaimed, pointing Moony.

"What? M… me!? But what have I to do with this story?"

"But of course! It's because you don't relax that girls didn't notice you all this time. You're frozen solid!"

"Wh… what are you implying?" The young man stammered, still unable to believe his ears. "Don't even think of me tearing up my shirt and starting to sing "I'm too sexy" while wriggling on the tables?"

"No, of course not. You don't need that. However…" Whispered Sirius with a mean tone. "Maybe we should have a word with Snivellus about it, surely it'll be useful to him!"

The two Gryffindors exchanged a glance, then burst into laughter.


Hogwart's headmaster, Albus Dumbledore was in the habit of cleaning his office when his pet phoenix went away "for a walk" around the castle. Books were dancing on a muted melody, using all the space available. It was quite soothing to see them coming to life, swinging in the air.

Dumbledore readjusted his half-moon shaped spectacles; then someone knocked on the door. He hastened his cleaning session with a little wave of his wand as the door slowly half-opened. A book that was trying to escape cleaning jumped toward the exit, but a sharp slamming between two gloves put it back to its former lifeless self. It was that, or receiving the tome right in the middle of one's head; cultural shock as some would say. Hime Esper from Ravenclaw entered.

She moved smoothly toward the desk and shyly handed over the book to the old man.

"Not only men fear cleaning chores!" He said as he put back the volume on a shelf behind his chair.

The student let out a giggle. The headmaster was truly gifted in putting people at their ease. He invited her to take a seat as he sat at his desk.

"It has been around two weeks since you came studying at Hogwarts. How is your stay? Do you like it here?"

"I'm really happy." Said Hime, simply while resting her hands on her knees. "I want to improve on myself everyday, it's fascinating there's so much to learn."

"I wish every student could attend classes with such enthusiasm."

"He he… thank you. But you know… magic wands are still making me feel strange."

"Really? Is it…"

"No, not at all!" The student hastened to add. "It's just that I found them much more suited for fairy godmothers instead of some strapping guys I can meet in the corridors! In any case… you were right; everyone should be able to choose freely."

"I am glad you said it, although I did not have any doubts concerning your opinion on the subject. By the way, the man who took care of your transfer, Gale Middleglow, will be visiting us in a few days. He is working at the Ministry's Department of International Magical Cooperation."

"I've met him before, he offered me this project. I wonder if he'll be happy about my progresses."

"Why would he not? It seems to me that teachers have only reported excellent results about you."

"I hope so…" Whispered Hime, lowering her gaze.


James Potter had been the first of his friends to enter the great hall. Today was Quidditch day, and once again he would demonstrate that he was one of the best, no! THE best Seeker of all Hogwarts, the one who never lost a single match. It was a challenge, his team would stay a winning one as long as he'd be at Hogwarts.

"Lily will you come to applaud me this afternoon?"

The one named Lily, Lily Evans was, to her great displeasure in the same house, same year as James. She, a smart and loved by the students as well by the teachers, was seeing that big squid-headed beanpole, a boy who never missed a chance to draw attention on himself. Self-confident to an extreme point, without any diplomatic sense, a dork whose past-time was tormenting students whom he didn't like. And the worst in all was that he seemed to become even more idiot when next to her. Why her?

"Is my life depending on it?" She asked coldly.

"…no." Was James' answer after he hesitated.

"Then the answer is no."

"It is!" He resumed, agitated. "It's a matter of life and death!"

"That's a no, then."

He was about to argue when somebody put a book between the two of them. A Gloved hand.

"Thank you for lending me your Potions notes."

"Don't mention it, Hime"

A complete transformation, James could see the Lily who just gave him a tremendous hammering, showing an angel's smile, talking to this Ravenclaw only with a sweetened voice. He loved her even more. She was truly perfect, beautiful, intelligent, refined…

"Are you going to watch the Quidditch match this afternoon? She asked on a tone that could have melted the toughest stone heart (in James' opinion, that is).

"No, I don't think so."

"But it's Ravenclaw against Gryffindor, you'll miss your own house's match?"

"Although this sport is very interesting, I just don't go for it. Furthermore… er, I heard your house remains unbeaten for years."

"Oh… is that so?" Murmured the Gryffindor girl, hoping that this foolish Potter wouldn't show off. "Well, I'm not too fond of Quidditch myself, we could go together."

"I knew it!" Yelled a triumphant James. "You'll be coming, she's going to cheer for me!"

"I'll sit with the Ravenclaws." She cut off, glaring icily at him.

"What's up?" Suddenly interrupted Peter's voice.

The Marauders were all present. Lily didn't hate them, not as much as that moron it went without saying, however she couldn't stand the fact that they would always follow James Potter in his slightest adventures and rubbish. Ah, they were all the same!

"Lily's going to come to see me at the match, she promised she'll only cheer me!" Explained James to them, he was all excited.

"That's great!" Exclaimed Sirius. "We can sit in the same row!"

"Don't even think about it." Broke off the girl with blazing hair. "In fact, I'm going with a friend."

"Ah, even better! Who's it?"

"The new kid from Ravenclaw." Answered James with a dismissive tone; the conversation was loosing great interest in his opinion.

"No kidding?! Remus, we'll take seat next to them! We can't make you miss a chance to spend time with little Hime."

"What? What!?" Questioned Potter, sitting up straight all of a sudden. The subject was getting exciting again. "He thought she was striking? Why didn't you tell me!?"


"… because it's not true." Lupin said, defending himself as he could. "I don't have anything to add. Sirius got it into his head that…"

"No, no guys, seriously." Black cut in, taking his friends by their shoulders. "Let's take a look at our charmer, then another one over there, at Ravenclaw's table. Don't you find them perfectly matched?"

"True, if you put it that way… yeah…"

Remus was taking the shade of a tomato during summer time, unable to stop his friends from commenting. Lily sighed, even between them these guys didn't seem to respect one another. It was quite by chance that she had over heard the whole conversation (being seated just next to her) and she never meddled in other people's business… yet she swiftly glanced toward Hime… "Yes, why not." She caught herself thinking.

"May I have your attention, please." Called Dumbledore's voice.

The students all went silent, next to Hogwart's headmaster were standing two men from the Ministry of Magic.

"Dear students," announced the shortest. "I am Gale Middleglow, working at Department of International Magical Cooperation and here is my assistant, Aaron Suddenlit. We are honoured to spend a few days in your so famous school of magic. We are only here for some material questions, we weren't asked to search for the student with the most every flavours beans in his desk! Ah ah ah, don't worry, you won't even notice our presence."

"I am counting on you to make honour to our school." Resumed Dumbledore. "Follow their instructions as if they were mine. Now, may you all have a nice day."

His words were followed by a deafening noise, which usually took place after each of the students' sacred listening.

The Marauders examined the two Ministry's men, they sometimes appeared in the newspapers. Gale Middleglow, an average height wizard, rather stocky for his age. Wasn't over forty. He was wearing a monocle he always adjusted very closely to his right eye, he had a square face and a muscled neck. His strawberry blond hair was combed back, his green iris seemed deserted from all spark.

The other one, Aaron should be around fifty five years old. He was much more tall and slender than his superior. His head was almost completely bald, his hands were long and gnarled. But the most striking detail remained his gaze. Eyes of different colours, one blue, the other green; which could have pierced through you with a single flutter of his eyelashes.

Interesting characters… classes will surely be shaken up with these two, that went without saying. "That'll be fun." Thought James as he stood up from his chair.


To be continued

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