"I own Harry Potter!" I roared to world-wide applause last February.
Then I woke up.
He thinks he will surely turn insane.
Some day. Some day soon.
After all, it is unavoidable when you live with the infamous Marauders.
"Oh, another one! How many does this make, Sirius?" Peter exclaims, eyeing the bright orange sock in distaste. He is holding it at arms length, pinched between his index finger and his thumb. Like it is poison—it smells deadly enough, Frank thinks.
Sirius rolls over onto his stomach. He is lying on his four-poster, feet on the pillows and his hair falling off of the end of the bed. He is elegant in his boredom, but it is obvious (even to Frank, who does not know him well) that he is in need of something to do. "Four," he says, after a quick minute of consideration.
"This is getting out of hand. What do you think, Remus?" Peter flings the sock out of the open window, and turns to the fourth boy in the room, who is merely a human-shaped lump underneath the sheets.
"Yes, I think so, too," Peter says brightly. "And you, James? What do you think?"
Sirius lifts his head, interested; Remus groans a bit underneath the weight of the sheets, but Frank can tell that he too is listening. When James Potter talks, everyone listens—something about his voice enraptures minds, although Frank cannot imagine what. But he cannot deny it; his ears have perked at the mention of the boys' name.
James looks up from his Transfiguration essay, and smiles easily. His mouth opens…
…and a bubble comes forth, floating through the dormitory air and out through the open window.
James looks down again, and his quill begins to fly across the parchment once more.
"Oh, er, alright." Frank cannot help but notice that Peter looks slightly putdown. "Frank, then? What do you think?"
"I want gum," Frank says decisively. And he does, too. Alice Trent blows bubbles. James Potter blows bubbles. He thinks that he has even seen Professor Dumbledore blow a bubble, once, but he cannot be certain because Dumbledore also wears blue wizard hats with orange stars and likes to tell everyone he meets that he has a very interesting scar (although Frank himself has yet to see it.) So why can't he, too?
"So do I," Sirius decides. "Chuck us some, Prongs."
Peter glares at Sirius from underneath long lashes. He is clutching a red sock to his chest rather protectively, and Frank vaguely recognises it as a Christmas present from someone-or-other in first year. "This is the fifth sock!" he announces, and his voice is slightly higher pitched than normal for a sixteen-year-old boy. He frowns slightly. "And I want some gum, too."
James looks up from his essay, and opens his mouth. Frank's ears perk, again, and he can see Sirius looking at the boy, waiting for a comment. Peter is glancing between James and his sock, apparently caught between which to give his full attention. He settles for the former.
A pink bubble escapes his mouth, and within twenty seconds it is passing through the open window.
James' attention is once again focused on the parchment in front of him.
"Sixth!" Peter cries in exasperation. A blue sock with a very noticeable hole in the toes is thrown onto the floor, and Frank can't help but think that the boy has a lot of mismatched socks.
"Where are others?" Remus' voice comes as a shock to all. It is soft and grainy and punctuated, at the end, by a loud cough—Frank winces.
"Wormtail probably ate them," Sirius dismisses easily, looking at his sick friend with his eyebrows raised (he never could train one to stay behind). "Are you… sure you're okay?"
"I did not," Peter scowls, as Remus has another coughing fit.
An orange bubble floats merrily in the space between the three friends, and Frank glances over at James. He is frowning down at his parchment; scowling; crumpling it into a ball and throwing it on the floor. Huh. He could've, just as easily, placed it on the floor, Frank thinks, without the extra effort of making it into a ball. But James is dramatic—he takes things to the extreme. There never is a "sort of" when it comes to him.
And his essay, apparently, was a "sort of" thing. It would not do.
"—and you should really take better care of your socks, Peter," Remus finishes. Frank doesn't know when he came out from his hiding place, but he is now sitting on the edge of his bed, looking every bit the ill schoolboy. "I'm sure James will let you borrow one of his pairs for the time being, though. Right, James?"
Three heads swing around in unison; James looks up, raises an eyebrow (Sirius scowls), shrugs, and looks down again. Three heads turn to face each other. Frank marvels at it all.
It is only when James' trunk is opening that Sirius deems it fit to cry out 'no!' Perhaps, Frank thinks, he was going for the dramatics (James would surely approve). Peter yelps and leaps back from the trunk as if it is poisonous—for perhaps one of Remus' potions—and the lid shuts with an echoing bang. Remus scowls.
"What?" Peter demands of the Black boy. He has spent too much time around them, Frank thinks, because while he looks slightly wary, he does not look at all surprised.
"Prongs' feet are larger than yours," Sirius shrugs.
"So the socks will fall off of your feet," Remus helps.
Frank watches Remus watch his friends, bemused, and over on James' bed the boy is choking (it is not advisable that you laugh while chewing Drooble's). Frank thinks that James looks best while choking—not focused on keeping up appearances (only on living)—but he does not say.
"I'm not going to ask one of the girls for a pair of socks, Moony!" Peter squawks.
Sirius nods wisely. "That's pushing it, Moony."
"More than pushing it, it's below the belt!"
"—and who has feet as large as Wormtail's, anyway? No one. They're all tiny little—"
"Don't continue, Sirius," Remus warns, sounding frail and weak and looking the part, too. But Sirius obliges, anyway, because Remus has always been incredibly strong, and being friends means knowing weak spots. "And Alice does, I think. She's rather tall, isn't she?"
"Being tall doesn't automatically give you large feet, though, does it?" Peter seems to beg. "It doesn't, right?"
Sirius rolls his eyes, and prods a passing bubble. His finger is soon covered in green goo; it isn't very attractive, but then again, Frank isn't one to ogle fingers. Really.
"Sorry, Peter," Remus says not-so-sympathetically. "Alice has feet that are about your size. I'm afraid you'll have to ask."
"I will," Frank volunteers. It's the noble thing to do, after all, and really, anybody would have, after seeing the look on Pettigrew's face. It isn't because he likes Alice Trent, or anything. How could he, when she never talks to him? Sort of illogical, liking someone without even talking to them.
Frank is a logical bloke.
"Thank you, Frank!" Peter sighs. "I'll make it up to you, I swear. What d'you want? I can get you anything, really, as long as it isn't expensive—"
"Not really much to choose from, then, is there?" Sirius drawls.
Peter blushes furiously; Remus sighs, and crawls back under his covers. Frank thinks he can hear James choking, again, but he is too busy staring at a passing bubble to turn around and look.
"You can just buy me some gum," he says decisively. "Drooble's Floating Gum, isn't it?"
"I like Best Blowing, myself," Sirius offers needlessly. "When I use Floating, everyone always tries to burst the bubbles."
Sirius chews gum, too, Frank notes.
"Okay," Peter nods. "We have a Hogsmeade trip next weekend, so I'll just get some then—"
"Do we really?" Frank hears Sirius asking as he slips out the door.
It is half an hour later that Frank finally finds her.
She is sitting with a
blonde and a red-haired girl who Frank does not know the names of.
The redhead is scowling while the blonde smiles and Alice's round
face is flushed from laughter
(Frank chides himself for not running when he saw her.)
"Er, Alice, is it?" he says. He knows perfectly well who it is, of course, but if he was too sure on her name then she would think that he was stalking her, and only illogical people are stalkers.
Frank really should not have to remind you again that he is a logical man.
He gulps, trying not to look at the blonde, who is giggling into her fist, or the red-haired girl, who is still scowling heavily (it does not suit her). Instead, he focuses on Alice, who is looking at him with an eyebrow raised.
"Er… Peter wanted to know if he could borrow a pair of your socks."
"Well, sure," she shrugs. "Why does Peter need my socks, anyway?"
Franks breathes a sigh of relief that does not go unnoticed by the blonde girl, whose girls intensify ten fold. "Half of them have holes in them," he admits. "The other half are lonely, I think."
"I see," Alice repeats, smiling now.
"Yeah. And, well, Sirius thinks that Peter ate them, and Remus is too sick to give a damn, really, although he was the one who suggested borrowing a girls' socks, and James was blowing bubbles and being a perfectionist, so he wasn't really participating in the conversation, but he's the reason that I'm asking you, I suppose, because his feet are larger than Peter's, and—" Frank notes with interest that the blonde is now clutching at the red-headed girl's shoulder in support. Her companion is scowling heavily, still. Alice merely looks amused.
"Why would Peter eat his socks?" she asks, stepping towards Frank. He feels himself shrink back a bit.
"I don't know," he admits after only a moment of wondering whether he could pull off creating an exciting scenario. "But, er, I think Peter would like the socks before dinner…"
"It's only nine," Alice dismisses with an easy grin. It looks odd against her round face, but Frank thinks that he hasn't ever seen anything more lovely.
But that's illogical thinking.
"Anyway, we'd better get those socks. I'll see you later, Marlene—Lily—" The blonde, who is wearing a Ravenclaw scarf and is still giggling, Frank notices, waves her hand at nothing in particular. The red-head only sighs.
Two minutes later, they are walking in companionable silence. Well, Frank thinks, it would be companionable if his palms weren't sweating and his hands weren't shaking and bubbles weren't floating in front of his vision consistently with nerves. For a moment, he thinks that James is mocking him from his memories—he hears a strange choking sound.
"Are you alright?"
"James is a bloody wanker."
"Of course," Alice says after a moment's hesitation. "But he's a nice wanker, don't you think? He gave me some gum, last Tuesday."
"Yes," Alice says, and her fingers dart into a pocket of her robes as they round a corner. From within she pulls a stick of what is clearly Drooble's Best Blowing Gum. "He says he likes Floating Gum better, and I agree that it's nice, but everyone keeps trying to burst the bubbles when I chew it… d'you want some?"
"Thanks," Frank nods, and their fingers touch as the gum exchanges hands.
"Well," Alice beams.
"Well," Frank echoes.
"James is a rather nice wanker, don't you think?"
"Yeah," Frank says, and he can't help but think that, for once, he is thinking logically.
And that maybe, just maybe, living with the Marauders could turn out to be a good thing.
Even if he does end up insane.
Sorry for mix-ups with the tense. Present Tense is so... difficult to write, at times, and yet whenever I write past I accidentally slip into present. Hm. Anyway, reviews are god and chocolate is, too. You review, and I get chocolate! Or, er, you review and... you get chocolate. Or a cookie. Or Frank. All, maybe, if your review is that great. So. Review, please?
And, yes, I am aware that Frank wasn't in the Marauder's grade at school, and Alice probably wasn't, either. But the bunny came and would've leave me alone, so there you go.