Disclaimer: I own nothing…duh!
WARNING: Slash. Remus/Sirius. If you don't like then don't read. Flames will be ignored. There will probably be a bit of strong language too.
A/N: This is the fourth story in the Parallel Worlds series but should stand alone so you don't have to read the others. If you want to read the others anyway the order is Double Trouble, Catch a Quaffle and Triple Trouble. Unlike the previous stories this one won't be just from the points of view of Remus and Sirius. It will be from the points of view of Lily and the rest of the marauders too.
Please excuse the unclear scene breaks - this is the fault of this site which simply refuses to show some of the lines. I have tried using hyphens and the line tool within the site but neither are working properly. It is doing this on all my fics (and from what I have seen around the site, on a lot of other people's too) and is driving me right up the flaming wall. If anyone knows how to fix this please let me know as I am heartily sick of going through every chapter of all my stories in order to try and fix this, only to have the site randomly screw it up over and over again.
Trouble with a Capital T
"I used to have a normal life. Or at least as normal a life as a teenage witch could have. For instance, I used to abide by the curfew and would never have been found wandering around Hogsmeade village after curfew with four boys. And not just any boys…the infamous Marauders.
"I mean just look at them! First there's James Potter, my own personal stalker – really! I feel so special.
"Then there's Peter Pettigrew, whom I like to think of as the Potter cheering squad. When I'm feeling really evil I like to think of him in one of those little cheerleading outfits they wear in America. Hey! It passes the time and don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
"Then there's Sirius Black, arrogant, loud-mouthed, obnoxious and at this particular moment in time, screaming at the top of his lungs because his hair isn't looking quite perfect. It's not even his actual hair; it's a picture for crying out loud!
"And finally there's Remus Lupin. I used to think of him as the most intelligent of the band of miscreants, after all he is the only one of them who actually manages to remember to call me Lily instead of Evans. He's also Black's boyfriend. I was thrilled when they got together, just like most of the rest of the school. I had mistakenly assumed that Remus would be a good influence on Sirius. How wrong can a girl be? Instead I am devastated to discover that Remus seems to be losing IQ points by the day. I'm working on a theory whereby he loses one IQ point each time he kisses Black…By my calculations I figure he'll be a vegetable long before the end of term exams come round.
"Point in question. Clearly the obvious way to deal with Black's hysterics is a good slap round the face. Unfortunately Remus seems to think that gentle coaxing is the answer…purr-lease!"
"Evans? Why are you talking to yourself?"
"Huh?" Damn. I really must stop doing that. When Peter Pettigrew is looking at you like you've lost the plot it's really time to start worrying.
"A little help would be nice," James added as he gestured to Sirius.
Well, since you asked so sweetly.
Lily Evans stalked across the street and gently moved Remus out of the way. Then she delivered a resounding slap to the face of Sirius Black and tried not to grin too widely at just how good that felt. Sirius's head reeled back under the impact and hit the wall behind him. He let out a groan and slumped to the floor.
"Lily!" Remus exclaimed as he sank to his knees and gently took his boyfriend's head and placed it in his lap.
"He was hysterical," Lily pointed out. "At least he's stopped screaming now."
"Well yeah, because you've just knocked him unconscious," James pointed out as he joined Remus on the ground and began begging Sirius to come back to them.
"He's only knocked out," Lily muttered. "It's not like he's dead and passed over to the other side. Look he's coming round already. He's probably just after attention."
"I think attention is the last thing he wants," Remus pointed out as he nodded upwards towards the billboard the boys had gathered around.
"Oh," Lily mumbled. "I guess we've got another psycho Black on the loose then?"
"Apparently," James replied as he helped Remus pull Sirius to his feet. "Now how about we head to Hogwarts and find Dumbledore?"
"If there is a Dumbledore here," Remus whispered. "We don't know if this world even has one."
"Well whoever the headmaster is, they have to help us," Lily pointed out in her best reasonable tone, the one she often used when dealing with small children, somehow it was often the most appropriate tone for the marauders as well.
"Wha'?" Sirius mumbled as he rubbed the back of his head.
"You just had a bit of an accident," Remus lied. "We're going to go up to Hogwarts now and see if we can get help from the Dumbledore here."
"Here?" Sirius echoed. "Here? The future? Tell me I just imagined that?"
"Sorry mate," James whispered. "We're in 1993 and you're an escaped convict. Any ideas what you were in for?"
Sirius glared at James and Lily resisted the urge to bang their heads together. Deciding that putting some distance between herself and the boys might be prudent, Lily set off on the path towards Hogwarts at a brisk pace.
"Evans?" Peter called after her. "You might want to come with us to the tunnel!"
"Tunnel?" Why do they never tell me anything? And why would the little twerp imagine I'd want to be crawling through a tunnel when there's a perfectly good road?
"According to this poster, the dementors are guarding Hogwarts. We'll never get past them through the main gates."
I really hate it when they know more than I do? They always look so smug about it, like yesterday when they made me feel like I should have known all along that they're illegal animagi. I really must remember to let McGonagall know about that too. Perhaps when we get home though, no sense in getting into trouble here…we're in enough of it already.
"Evans? Are you coming with us?" James called.
The way he's leering right now I may just decide to take my chances with the dementors.
"Come on Lily, we'd better hurry," Remus added. "We'll be home before you know it. This is just a little unexpected detour."
Oh good, because those are always so much fun. Pettigrew, you are so going to pay for this.
It wasn't really Peter's fault, and deep down Lily knew that. But it had been Peter who had decided, for reasons she still hadn't managed to fathom, to enlist her help with a small problem he and his friends had.
That same small problem – Hah! Like there was such a thing when the marauders were involved! – had resulted in her being dragged, almost literally, into their latest escapade and into a parallel world. If only the Dumbledore in the parallel world had been as adept at magic as their own…in that case he might have sent them back home properly, instead of catapulting them into the future. She wondered idly if it was the future of the world they had just left, their own world, or another one entirely. She guessed at the moment it didn't really matter, it wasn't like it was home whatever the case.
"Looks like everyone's in bed," Remus commented as they approached the castle. "I can't see any lights on in Gryffindor Tower, not even McGonagall's."
"We'll have to wake someone up then," Lily pointed out with a huff of impatience. Really, do I have to think of everything?
"Maybe we should wait until morning," James suggested.
"And where do you suggest we sleep in the meantime?" Lily asked sarcastically.
"Looks like there's no need to wake anyone." Remus nodded towards the entrance and they saw the familiar, albeit older, face of Argus Filch.
Fifteen minutes later and Lily found herself standing with the marauders in the headmaster's office, Albus Dumbledore sitting at his desk, just the way she remembered him. His hair and beard were a little longer and there were even more lines on his face, but he was the same man.
"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about," Dumbledore stated quietly with a shake of his head. "I remember each and every one of you from your time at this school but I know nothing about other worlds with doubles of people living their lives in them."
"But you must have," Sirius exclaimed loudly. "You were the one who sent our doubles back home when we couldn't. You kept in touch with your own double and invited some of the students to hide in our school when they were in danger. Then you sent them home again…"
Sirius's voice trailed off as Dumbledore continued to shake his head sadly. "I'm sorry Mr Black, but those events never happened in this world."
"But you can send us home, right?" James asked.
"I'll need to look into it," Dumbledore explained. "It may take some time I'm afraid."
"But our Dumbledore knew exactly what to do right away," James argued.
"I guess 'your Dumbledore' has some knowledge that I don't," Dumbledore replied with a small smile. "With so much knowledge to be learned, it is only natural that there will be some things that I don't know. But I'm a firm believer in the fact that it is never too late to learn."
"But what are we supposed to do in the meantime?" Sirius asked quietly. "The posters…they say…they…"
"It's quite all right Mr Black. I am well aware of the posters which are displayed not only in Hogsmeade but around the entire country." Sirius gasped. "I don't mean to alarm you. Merely to say that for that reason it is probably best that you, all of you, remain here at Hogwarts. You can take lessons with the rest of the sixth years until I can find a way to send you home."
Lily nodded, along with the rest, just as a knock sounded at the door.
"Enter!" Dumbledore called and Lily turned to see Professor McGonagall, looking a little sleepy and a little older staring at their party as though she'd seen a ghost. "Ah Minerva, thank you for coming so promptly. As you can see, we have some unexpected guests who will be staying with us for a while."
Lily had never seen McGonagall so flustered, even after the time 'someone' had jinxed the Fat Lady's portrait and sealed everyone inside Gryffindor Tower for the day.
But Minerva McGonagall was nothing if not professional and she soon recovered herself.
"May I ask if these students are who I think they are?" she asked, casting another sweeping glance over them.
"Well if you think they are James Potter, Remus Lupin, Lily Evans, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black, you would be quite correct. These students appear to have accidentally travelled here from another world, one that is rather similar to how this world was in 1977."
"Oh my. How much do they know about…er…events?"
"Nearly nothing," Dumbledore confirmed. "They've only just arrived here and other than seeing the posters in the village they know nothing of the events that have transpired in this world…and may still come to pass in their own."
"What sort of things?" James piped up. Lily kicked him in the shin and glared at him. Of all the stupid things to do – reminding them that they were still in the room. Really the boy could be utterly brainless at times.
"Nothing for you to worry about," Dumbledore replied kindly. "This is after all a different world and any knowledge you obtained here about what you may perceive to be your own world's future may be completely irrelevant anyway.
"Now Minerva, where do we put these extra bodies?"
"I'm sure I can find room for them in Gryffindor Tower. You are all Gryffindors I take it?" Everyone nodded again.
"Professor?" Remus asked hesitantly.
"Yes," McGonagall asked kindly. Lily noted that it seemed that the head of Gryffindor had a soft spot for the boy in this world too.
"May we perhaps stay in the room of requirement?" Remus asked. "We've shared a crowded dorm with our own doubles before and eight in a room is pretty bad. Also the room of requirement may be able to provide us with the solution on how to get home again if we can figure out what to ask from it."
"It is a little irregular," McGonagall murmured. "And I really don't like the idea of Miss Evans rooming with you boys."
"That makes two of us," Lily muttered under her breath.
"The room can be split into more than one," Remus told her.
"Are you sure about that?"
"Very," Remus nodded again and Lily noticed a flush appearing on his cheeks. Hmm, now I wonder what Remus has been doing in the room of requirement? Or should I ask who? Lily cast a glance at Sirius and noticed he looked inordinately pleased with himself. Well that answers that question.
"Well I will leave the decision up to Miss Evans," McGonagall decided.
Lily swore to herself and shrugged. "I don't mind staying the room of requirement," she finally sighed.
"Then that's decided," McGonagall said as she turned to lead them from the room. She paused a moment at the door and turned back to Dumbledore. "What about the rest of the staff?" she asked, a little stiffly. "I'm sure you know who I'm referring to."
"Of course, they will be rather surprised but they're both grown men and are capable of acting professionally."
McGonagall looked doubtful but didn't press whatever issue it was that she had. Instead she nodded thoughtfully. "And Harry?"
"I think perhaps Harry has enough on his plate this term. No need to confuse the boy any more than necessary."
Again McGonagall looked doubtful, but left the decision in the hands of the headmaster.
"Oh one more question," Dumbledore called out. "Mr Lupin, do you have a moment?"
Lily exchanged a meaningful glance with Remus. "It's all right headmaster," Remus said quietly. "I know what you want to ask, and the answer's yes. I do suffer from Lycanthropy, as my friends here know. I can see that the shrieking shack is just as it is in our world. I'll be sure to go there each full moon."
"That may not be necessary," Dumbledore stated quietly. "But it is too late tonight for complicated explanations. We'll speak more nearer the full moon which is still a couple of weeks away."
Remus nodded and Lily nudged him and raised an eyebrow. He shrugged in response, he had no idea what that was all about either.
"I assume you know how to work the room of requirement?" McGonagall asked as she stood in the corridor where the room appeared when needed.
"Yes Professor," Remus replied. "Would you like to check the room when it's appeared?"
"I think perhaps it might be best," McGonagall agreed. "Though I see that both yourself and Miss Evans are prefects, I find that caution is often best."
Lily watched as Remus paced the hall and a few moments later the doorway appeared. McGonagall checked inside the room and beamed with approval. "Perhaps a second bathroom for Miss Evans?" she suggested.
"I can use the prefects' bathroom, can't I?" Lily pointed out. "And Remus too?"
"Why of course. Considering the number of troublemakers in Gryffindor at the moment the extra prefects can only be a bonus."
McGonagall stayed a few minutes longer to make sure that Lily and Remus had the passwords they needed and that they all knew how to get into Gryffindor Tower if they wished to do so. She promised to see them at breakfast the next morning to sort out their timetables and then left them to get some sleep.
"This is perfect Moony," Sirius exclaimed as he looked through the various doors. "I see we've got a room to ourselves. Brilliant!"
"I believe that's my room," Lily pointed out, casually pushing Sirius out of the way before he made himself too comfortable in the room that contained a single large double bed.
"Is it hell!" Sirius spluttered. "Me and Moony need our privacy."
"Well go where you usually go to get privacy," Lily snapped.
"This is where we usually go," Sirius retorted. "And this is our room!"
"And where am I supposed to sleep?" Lily asked. "On the sofa?" she pointed at the offending piece of furniture in their small but cosy common room.
"If you like. But it seems a bit silly when there're two spare beds in there." He pointed towards one of the other doors.
"I'm not sleeping with Potter!" Maybe I could have phrased that better…But in times of extreme embarrassment go on the offensive. "If you want to get some action with your boyfriend and don't want your mates seeing, I suggest you go find a nice broom cupboard to use instead. I'm taking this room and you aren't going to stop me!"
"Padfoot," Remus called. "That room is for Lily, come on we're in with the other guys."
"Don't you think we have other things to worry about right now?"
"Hey! I could get thrown to the dementors any day now. I need to grab my happiness whilst I can."
Lily snickered, earning her a glare from Sirius. "What?" he demanded.
"Nothing," Lily replied sweetly before closing the door in his face.
"What?" Sirius yelled from the other side of the door.
Lily pulled out her wand and cast a spell to lock the door and another to dull the sounds from the other side.
Sirius could be so oblivious sometimes but she'd seen Remus's smirk in her direction and knew he knew exactly what dirty track her mind had gone down. She had a feeling that happiness wasn't all that Sirius would be grabbing tonight…they were teenage boys after all, and highly hormonal ones at that.
She just hoped that a certain other boy's hormones could be kept under control because she didn't like the idea of living in such close quarters with James Potter, not at all.