Disclaimer: I own nothing - duh!
Warnings: Slash and some slightly strong language.
The Oracle of Gryffindor
Sirius Black loved Divination. On some occasions he even considered it to be his favourite class.
It wasn't his best subject – that was Transfiguration.
It wasn't the subject he had the most interest in – that was Defence Against the Dark Arts.
It wasn't that the subject was going to be any use to him in the future either. He certainly didn't have any plans to make a living telling fortunes, it just wasn't a profession men were generally accepted in. Though the look on his mother's face if he took that particular route might be amusing.
But Divination was his favourite class.
For one thing, it was the only lesson, apart from Defence Against the Dark Arts, that all four marauders were taking at NEWT level.
For another thing, it was held on Friday afternoons which meant that the weekend practically started straight after lunch because no one took any notice in Divination.
In fact the timing of the class was the reason the marauders were in it. A prank on the first night of term in the sixth year had seen the four boys sneaking into McGonagall's office. Despite what the head of house said to the contrary it was never too early in the year to start pranking. Their prank had been a spectacular failure but they had been fortunate enough to see the NEWT timetables and James had immediately declared that Friday afternoon Divination was the subject for them.
Sirius and Peter had agreed instantly and it had taken surprisingly little to persuade Remus that joining them was a good idea.
Friday afternoons from that term onwards were thus spent in sipping tea, gazing into murky crystal balls and generally larking about. Even Remus had a tendency to skive off in Divination, after all, you either had the gift or you didn't and nothing you did in class would make any difference. You could look into the cracked crystal balls until you were cracked yourself but you wouldn't see anything more than reflections. So it was just a question of making things up and hoping for the best. Thankfully the marauders each had excellent imaginations, which they readily admitted probably came from the number of lies they told to try and get out of trouble, and consistently gained high marks in the class with very little effort.
Friday afternoons were good. Sirius might even go so far as to say they were the best afternoons of the week, not including Saturdays and Sundays of course.
"So what do you see Moony?" Sirius asked as the other boy leaned over the crystal ball and gave every impression of intense concentration. Only the rest of the marauders would be able to tell he was faking.
"I see…" Remus murmured. "A prank being plotted."
"Tell us more," James said with a grin from the next table.
"The details are murky," Remus replied seriously.
"Does this prank involve the humiliation of Snivellus?" Peter asked with a grin.
"I don't think so," Remus replied as he tapped at the crystal ball. "I think it's a prank on the marauders."
"At least a prank on those who don't have 'the sight'," Remus amended with a smirk.
"That's enough for today I think," Professor Delphi called out to the class. "It's best not to put pressure on the inner eye. I don't think the headmaster will mind if the class finishes ten minutes early. Off you go and don't forget your essays on the pros and cons of tarot cards is due today so leave them on my desk on the way out."
"I love this class!" Sirius exclaimed as he leaned back and stretched. "Have we ever finished on time?"
"Nope," James replied with a grin.
"So, Moony," Sirius asked as he swung his arm round the other boy's shoulder and whispered conspiratorially in his ear. "What's this prank you're plotting?"
"Didn't you hear?" Remus asked innocently. "It's best not to pressure the inner eye."
"You're not going to tell me?" Sirius asked in a mock hurt tone.
"Not at all?"
"I might, I repeat might, tell you before the others but not right now."
"Some consolation," Sirius muttered. "Some friend you are."
"Ah come on," Remus teased him. "You know I love you really."
The name calling continued right up until they reached the common room, by which point both boys were laughing so much they could barely form coherent words.
Sirius collapsed into one of the chairs and Remus headed upstairs to put away his textbooks before dinner. Sirius's eyes followed the other boy until he was out of sight. Only when Remus had vanished completely did he turn back to James who was watching him intently.
"What?" he asked, hoping it sounded like a casual question.
"Nothing," James replied with a shrug. "Just thinking."
"Well don't overdo it," Sirius warned with a grin. That James didn't return it immediately worried him a little and he shifted in his seat a little, wondering if his best friend had finally figured out about his secret obsession with their roommate.
"Where have you been?" Sirius scolded as soon as Remus walked into the common room on Saturday afternoon.
"And don't say the library," James warned. "He checked there first."
"I was in one of the potions labs," Remus replied with a shrug.
"Why? You don't take NEWT Potions."
"I'm not telling," Remus smirked as he pushed Sirius's legs out of the way and sat down on the sofa.
"Did you take the map with you so we couldn't find you? Is this something to do with that prank of yours?" Sirius asked with a grin. "Are you going to tell us about it yet? Are you going to tell me?"
"Yes, yes, no and no."
"Yes, you're going to tell me?" Sirius asked hopefully.
"No! And stop pouting."
"He's been pouting all afternoon," James muttered.
"Ah, did ickle Padfoot miss me?" Remus teased.
"Only 'cause I needed your help with the Defence homework," Sirius insisted, though he could feel his face flushing in embarrassment. He really had to stop doing that, to stop wanting to know where Remus was every minute of every day. To stop wondering with jealousy what his friend was doing every time he left his sight. To stop imagining what it would be like to have Remus feel the same way about him. Ah hell, there was no chance of that so what was to stop him from at least thinking about the possibility? It's not like he was ever going to get to do any more than think about it.
"Can we at least have a hint at what this prank is?" Peter asked.
"Can we at least know it isn't going to cause us a lot of embarrassment or get us detentions?" James added.
"It won't," Sirius replied before Remus could open his mouth.
"You sound very sure about that," Remus said with a smirk.
"You won't risk getting a detention," Sirius stated with a confident grin. "Since becoming a prefect you've been very careful about just how far you go with pranks. That badge ruined you for any truly great pranking."
Remus grinned back. "You know me so well," he finally sighed.
"So any hints?" Peter asked again.
"Only that it will surprise you all and Sirius especially," Remus replied with another smirk in Sirius's direction.
"Tea-reading this week," James said with a grin. "Good job I'm prepared this time." He pulled a small flask from the pocket of his robes so that the other marauders could see.
"Firewhiskey?" Sirius whispered the question.
"What else?" James replied. "Medicinal purposes."
"To save us from dying of boredom," Peter sniggered.
Remus shook his head in mock disappointment at James whilst silently thanking the powers that be for James's predictability. He casually checked the small flask in his own pocket and decided in that moment that today was the day, especially since he knew that James's firewhiskey would disguise the flavour of the potion he was planning to slip into his friend's drink himself.
"As my NEWT students, reading the leaves should be second nature to you now," Professor Delphi declared as she walked around the room, filling the students' cups with tea. "You should now be able to 'see' and recognise all the universally recognised symbols, which is why today you will not be using textbooks to assist you in your readings."
A collective groan went up around the room at that. It meant, of course, that they would have to actually try and remember something about what the images in the soggy leaves meant.
"I see," Sirius intoned in a low voice as he reached for Remus's cup. "I see…that your teabag burst."
Remus snorted and tried to hide his grin from Professor Delphi who was unfortunately hovering nearby. As the only four boys in her NEWT class she seemed to think that this meant that one or more of them was exceptionally gifted and had been dropping subtle hints ever since the first sixth year lesson that she hoped one of them had 'the sight'. It was her obsession with that particular topic that had given Remus the idea for the prank he was about to put into motion.
As soon as Professor Delphi had moved on, Remus pulled out his wand and pointed it at his cup, still held in Sirius's hand.
Sirius looked at the message in the tea-leaves then looked at Remus with a raise of one elegant eyebrow. Remus grinned and gave a small nod. Sirius smirked back and winked.
"It's the grim!" Sirius screamed at the top of his lungs as he threw Remus's cup across the room and continued to holler about what he'd supposedly seen in the cup. Remus pushed his chair back out of the way, knowing from past experience that Sirius at his most dramatic was best viewed from a distance.
James and Peter roared with laughter as Sirius grabbed hold of Professor Delphi's robes and continued to screech about the leaves, the grim and the impending death of one of his best friends.
Remus made sure to keep an eye on James and Peter and once he was sure that no eyes were on him he poured the carefully prepared potion into James's cup. He hoped that it worked. Potions had never been his best subject and this brew was far more complicated than anything he'd had to make for his OWL. Thankfully he'd had a little help from Slughorn's prize pupil, Lily Evans.
Providing she was as brilliant as Slughorn claimed, and providing the additional spell on the potion had been done correctly it would be entertaining for all of them, James included.
Finally he caught Sirius's eye and winked at him, silently communicating that the distraction had worked and he could sit back down again. Not that Sirius took any notice and continued to waste as much time as he could whilst wailing about how he could never cope with the loss of poor Remus before launching into an impromptu speech about what a good friend he'd been et cetera, et cetera. No sense in settling back down to work too soon when a perfectly good distraction was working so well.
After fifteen minutes of Sirius Black crying on her shoulder, Professor Delphi decided that enough was enough and guided the apparently distraught boy back to his seat, mumbling to Remus about how loved he was by his friends and how she hoped he appreciated them all, especially Sirius.
"So do you appreciate me?" Sirius whispered across the table.
"Well I certainly appreciated the distraction," Remus whispered back. "Nice work."
"Appreciate it enough to tell me what you poured into Prongs's tea?"
"Not that much."
"You'll see in a few minutes anyway," Remus said. "Just watch and see."
Partially appeased, Sirius turned his attention to James who had added to his tea from his own flask and was now gulping down the tea.
"Nothing's happening," Sirius complained.
"It will," Remus smirked. "It just has to be triggered. Ah here's Lily now."
"What's she doing here?"
"Delivering me my Divination textbook," Remus explained. "I accidentally left it with her books in the library this morning so that she could come and watch the show."
"Why does Evans know about the prank and not me?"
"Because she helped me."
Sirius looked at him in astonishment. "You got Evans to help you with a prank?"
"She's not that much of a stickler for the rules," Remus replied. "She likes a bit of fun as much as the rest of us."
"Lily!" James, who had been topping up his tea again, was a little slow on the uptake and had finally noticed the redhead entering the room.
"Yeah, Prongs," Remus replied with a teasing smile. "Your future bride has just arrived."
Suddenly James stilled and his teacup fell from his hand and smashed on the floor. Professor Delphi looked dismayed, having already lost one cup at the hands of Sirius Black.
James sat in his chair with a glazed expression on his face. However, unlike his usual glazed expressions when Lily was in the room this one was not directed at the girl in question. He sat as still as a statue for several minutes.
"So far Moony, I have to say I'm not that impressed," Sirius muttered. "This expression isn't that much different from his usual Evans-induced comas."
"Patience is a virtue," Remus replied with a smirk. "He's coming out of it now."
"Oh Merlin!" James gasped and he gripped the edge of the table. "I had a vision!"
"What?" Peter squealed. "A real one?"
"A honest to goodness, totally real, vision! Professor Delphi! I had a vision!" James leapt from his seat and launched himself at the Professor, who after her experience with Sirius earlier managed to jump out of the way just in time. James landed in an ungracious heap on the floor as he continued to declare that he'd had the vision to end all visions.
"Mr Potter, please control yourself," Professor Delphi told him as she tried to edge away from his outstretched hands.
"But I had a vision!"
"In case you weren't aware, this lesson is about reading tea-leaves, not about having visions. We won't be covering visions until after Easter."
"But I had a vision!" James repeated for the third time.
"Then I expect an excellent essay on it to be handed in next lesson," Professor Delphi stated with a bright smile. "But for now, the tea-leaves are waiting."
James clambered back to his feet and made his way back to his seat, somewhat deflated by the teacher's lack of enthusiasm for his vision and the extra homework he'd suddenly found himself landed with.
Remus winked at Lily who had been just as amused as anyone else at seeing James Potter make a complete idiot out of himself.
Sirius could tell that James could barely contain himself and as soon as the class was dismissed he dragged his three friends up to the Gryffindor common room so that he could tell them what he had seen.
"I saw my wedding, to Lily!" he announced with a grin that looked almost painful. "It was perfect. It's going to happen. I saw it."
"This would be the same Lily who won't even go to Hogsmeade with you on a single date?" Peter asked sceptically.
"She was dressed all in white," James continued, almost as though Peter hadn't spoken at all. "Padfoot, you were best man."
"Of course," Sirius replied. "Who else would have that dubious honour?"
"We got married in a little muggle church." James sighed dreamily. "I think her sister was there. That one that looks like a horse."
"She only has one sister," Remus pointed out. He appeared to be trying not to laugh at the rather apt description of Petunia Evans.
"It was perfect," James sighed again. "I'm going to go ask her out again. She has to say yes now that I've seen us getting married." At that, James rushed from the common room as he went to track down the elusive Lily Evans.
"When do you think he'll remember the map?" Peter asked quietly.
"Probably after he's covered half the school without it," Sirius chuckled. "Maybe you should go get it from upstairs and take it to him?"
Peter nodded in agreement and disappeared up the stairs to the dorms.
"So what did you put in his tea?" Sirius asked with a smirk.
"A potion that was once used by seers to assist them in getting visions when they were drying up a bit."
"Come on, you can tell me," Sirius whined as he inched closer to Remus and rested his chin on the other boy's shoulder and stuck out his lower lip in a pout.
"It might have a tiny, tiny, variation on that original potion," Remus admitted with a guilty flush.
"Tell!" Sirius demanded.
"Well the original potion was kind of designed for actual seers. This one has been modified so that non-seers can have visions. Just not actual visions, these manifest themselves when key words trigger them."
"You mean you made James have a vision about his wedding to Lily?" Sirius asked.
"Yep. I had to do a spell whilst brewing the potion and those, combined with a few mental images of a church and Lily's family of my own…well it enabled me to set up the vision for James to see. You could say that he saw what I wanted him to see."
"You do realise that he's going to be even more impossible now than he was in the first place?" Sirius shook his head and buried his face in his hands. "I thought you said I'd like this prank?"
"I believe I said it would surprise you," Remus corrected.
Sirius snorted. "Well surprise is right," he muttered. "I thought you'd have had more sense than to encourage James in his Evans obsession."
"That's just the first vision," Remus smirked. "There's more to come."
"Please tell me it's not their wedding night!" Sirius screamed as he grabbed Remus by the shirt and practically climbed into his lap. "Tell me it's not!"
Remus laughed and shook his head. "I can assure you that I've no desire to Lily naked, and even less desire to see James in the buff."
Sirius breathed a sigh of relief and leaned forward so that his forehead was pressed against Remus's. It was only when the initial panic had passed that he realised he was straddling Remus and that if he moved his head forward a mere inch he would be able to taste those lips that he'd been dreaming about for months.
"Padfoot?" Remus whispered.
"Moony?" Sirius whispered back, not moving from his spot.
"We have an audience."
"An audience," Remus repeated, pushing Sirius back slightly and nodding towards a group of fourth year girls who had just come in through the portrait hole.
"It's not like we're doing anything," Sirius muttered as he pulled back and re-positioned himself beside Remus once again. Chance would be a fine thing.