One-shot: The Marauders' First Meeting
Author's notes: This piece was originally written for a writing contest at Obliviate (Harry Potter forum), and I just thought I'd add it to my collection on here.
I realise this isn't edited, and there are a few spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. However, feel free to leave feedback of any kind, thanks.
As I lay on the cold, hard, stone floor of my second home, knowing I only had moments left to live, memories flashed through my mind. Dora, Teddy, Harry and the day I met the greatest friends of my life.
"Good-bye, Dear. Have a great first term," my had mother called from the platform, with tear filled eyes, as she waved her hand vigorously.
Being a Muggle she was trilled to discover I'd followed in my father's footsteps by becoming a wizard and going off to Hogwarts. Growing up, there had been some doubt during my childhood that I'd even be allowed to attend. However, that summer things had changed, with the induction of Professor Albus Dumbledore as headmaster.
I waved back with one hand, the other pulling my batted trunk up the steps of the scarlet steam engine.
Fluttering around in my stomach were butterflies of nervousness and excitement. I was finally here!
Besides my mum stood my father. And, although he was smiling, his face was pale and his joyous expression didn't quite meet his eyes.
Although I knew they were both pleased that I was actually going to Hogwarts, I knew my father was worried too. And it wasn't just the fears of any other parent seeing their eleven-year-old son off on their first day at school. He blamed himself for my condition, and felt guilty that I wouldn't be 'normal' like the other children.
A tear ran down his worn and lined face, as he waved good-bye, and I wasn't sure if it was a tear of pride or guilt.
Before we'd made our way to King's Cross station that morning, he'd pulled me aside, for a talk, 'man to man'.
"Now son, I don't want you worrying that you're not like the other boys," he'd said in a forced cheery tone. "You might have your differences, but that doesn't mean you haven't got a right to be there. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, as well as the nurse Madam Pomfrey, all know about your condition and have made arrangements for it."
The funny thing was, at that moment I wasn't too concerned about my 'condition'. Those who needed to know about it had been informed, and Professor Dumbledore had assured me and my parents that it shouldn't interfere with my school-life. No one else need ever know the reason I had to disappear once a month. No what I was more worried about was making friends. I wasn't really a social person, preferring the company of books to other children my age. And coming from a poor family, having tattered robes and second-hand books, I feared my classmates would tease me. In all reality, I was quite looking forwards to the full-moon. Yes, it meant undergoing a horrible transformation, where I lost all sense of myself, but it also meant I'd have a few days by myself, when I wouldn't have to pretend to be 'normal' for the sake of others.
"I'm sure I'll be fine, Dad," I'd replied, in an equally as forced optimistic voice.
Now my parents were standing on platform nine-and-three-quarters, waving me off, as I boarded the Hogwarts Express.
A whistle sounded in the air, and the scarlet steam engine began to pull out of the station, as one of two children who were running late quickly jumped aboard.
I saw a flash of bright red hair, as a girl my age hastily climbed onto the train, all the while waving good-bye to her mother, father and older sister standing on the platform. I assumed she must be a Muggle-born, as her sister wasn't already a Hogwarts student.
As the train rounded the corner, I caught one last glimpse of my parents, both of them still waving vigorously.
With a lurch in my stomach, I knew this was it. I wouldn't see my home or my mother and father again now until Christmas.
Yes, they'd promised to write to me every week, but it wasn't the same as having them there. My mum wouldn't be around at night to comfort me when I woke from a bad dream, and my dad wouldn't be there to magically heal the wounds I sustained after a particularly horrible transformation. No, I was all alone now.
With a sinking feeling in my heart, I dragged my trunk behind me and went in search of a carriage to sit in.
After pushing open a few doors that lead to compartments that already housed inhabitants, I was starting to think I'd have to pluck up the courage and ask someone if I was allowed to sit with them.
However, when I entered one carriage, all bravery left my heart.
Sitting huggled together were a group of students who appeared to be about sixteen. They were all wearing green and silver ties, and I knew from what my father had told me that those were the colours of the Hogwarts house Slytherin. In the centre of the group was a boy with long, platinum blonde hair. He was wearing a haughty and superior expression, as he chatted to a small boy of about my age, who looked very pale and had long curtains of greasy black hair covering most of his face.
Not wanting to be seen by these people, I quietly backed out of the doorway, and bumped straight into someone.
"Oh... I'm so sorry," I stuttered in apology, pushing my jaw length brown hair out of my eyes, as I turned to face the person I'd accidentally knocked over.
The other boy was now scrambling to his feet, and when he'd finally managed to pull himself upright, I noticed that he was a good few inches smaller than me, with small watery eyes and a mop of straw coloured hair. He too was dressed in Muggle clothes, and I assumed he was a first year like me.
"Are you looking for somewhere to sit?" I asked him kindly.
"Yes," the boy squeaked in reply. "But all the compartments seem to be full already."
"Do you want to look for somewhere together?" I offered.
He smiled, and nodded his head, "I'd like that."
"Ok, then. Let's go and look for somewhere," I advised, hearing the sound of the Slytherins in the compartment behind me, and not wanting to be seen by them. "I'm Remus, by the way."
"I'm Peter," he replied in a small, mouse-like voice.
Peter and I continued searching the train for somewhere to sit, all the while dragging our trunks behind us.
I was relieved to notice that Peter's case seemed fairly battered too, and his clothes were just as worn as mine. Obviously children from all walks of life were invited to attend Hogwarts.
Finally, we reached the last compartment, and pushed the doors open. As we did so, the sound of loud, amused laughter filled the air, and I looked across to see two boys sitting opposite each other, blowing strange shapes with bubblegum.
Both children had black hair, and one was wearing glasses, his hair sticking up in every direction. The other boy's hair falling into smooth curtains falling around his face.
They were both dressed in smart black robes, that actually looked brand new, and I assumed from the fact they weren't dressed as Muggles that they came from Wizarding families. However, I couldn't quite work out how old they were.
The glasses wearing boy was a few inches taller than me, but kind of scrawny too, and I assumed he was a first-year. However, the other boy, who was now blowing a large lion out of what could only be magical bubblegum, was taller still and looked so comfortable sitting there that I wondered if he might be a second-year and the boy opposite him was his younger brother.
"Is it alright if we sit with you?" I asked sheepishly, nodding my head to the available spaces on the compartment's seats, and then back at Peter and myself.
"Sure, the more the merrier," insisted the smaller boy, with a warm smile.
"Yeah, come join the party," added the other boy, with a mischievous grin.
Peter and I pushed our trunks onto the wall hangings just outside the compartment, and then sat down; me next to the taller boy, and Peter besides the one wearing glasses.
"I'm Remus and this is Peter," I offered, extending my hand to no one in particular.
"Nice to meet you," returned the boy with the glasses. "I'm James."
"And I'm Sirius Black, from The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black," the boy besides me exclaimed, and then started sniggering. "Which really means my family is full of in-bred loonies," he added with a bark-like laugh.
James joined in with the laughter, as Peter and I exchanged worried looks. James seemed alright, but I feared this Sirius might be a little crazy.
"So, are you two Muggle-borns?" James inquired, nodding his head towards my worn jeans and the tattered jumper I was wearing.
"No, I'm a half-blood," I replied. "My dad is a wizard and my mum is a witch."
"I'm a Muggle-born. I didn't even know magic existed until a few weeks ago when I got my letter," squeaked Peter. "So, if you're all Half-bloods or something, does that mean you know people who have already been here? Did they tell you what it's like?"
"My cousin Bellatrix said there's ghosts, and dragons and books that attack you in the library, and a teacher with two heads," informed Sirius with a raises eyebrow. "But she's in Slytherin house, so she's probably lying."
"What's Slytherin House?" asked Peter hesitantly.
"My Father told me that students are sorted into four houses, named after the Hogwarts founders, based on different characteristics they have," I returned, and James and Sirius looked at me with impressed expressions.
"Yeah, Remus is right," agreed James. "My dad told me that tonight, at the welcoming feast, every first year will have to put on the magical hat that had once belonged to one of the founders and then it'll sort us into the different houses. There's Gryffindor- which my parents were in, Ravenclaw – where all the smart kids go, Hufflepuff – which is for the hard working, and Slytherin – where..."
James never finished what type of children were sorted into Slytherin, but from those I'd seen on the train earlier and what Sirius had said about his cousin, I guessed they weren't that nice.
"Well, I hope I'm in Gryffindor," announced Sirius proudly, then added defiantly, "And if I am, I'll be the first member of my family ever not to be sorted into Slytherin."
"I think I'll be in Gryffindor as well," continued James. "My parents were, and my grandparents too."
"I quite like the sound of Ravenclaw," I commented, thinking that a house for smart children, who liked reading, sounded pretty appealing.
"I don't care what house I'm in, as long as it isn't that Slytherin one," said Peter sheepishly.
James and Sirius laughed, and I smiled understandingly at Peter.
"So, do you play Quidditch?" asked James after a few moments.
"No, my garden isn't really big enough, but I've heard it's a great game," I replied.
"Yeah, it is. There's nothing better than racing through the sky on a broomstick," returned Sirius, with another mischievous grin.
"I hope they let first-years try out for the team," commented James with a wistful look in his eyes.
"What's Quidditch?" Peter questioned finally.
As James leapt into an in-depth discussion about the Wizarding World's most famous sport, he, Sirius, Peter and I continued chatting about what life at Hogwarts would be like.
James and Sirius, coming from wizarding families, told us lots – some things, like the fact a ghost taught History of Magic – I suspected not to be true. I added to the conversation here and there, using the information my father told me, while Peter listened on in awe.
Half-way through the afternoon, a woman came around with a trolley of sweets, pastries and other confections. I had a little money, and brought a few chocolate frogs, while James and Sirius purchased almost everything on offer. Poor Peter had no money at all, so he couldn't buy anything. However, Sirius, James and I were more than happy to share what we had.
By the time the sky outside was tuning black, the torches around the train had illuminated, and children pulling on their robes, I knew that at least one of my fears about starting school had been elevated. I'd made friends. Now hoping we'd all be sorted into Gryffindor, I looked at Peter, James and Sirius and knew, given the chance the four of us could become like family.
As my head hit the stone floor of a Hogwarts corridor, and I knew death was only seconds away, a tear ran down my cheek. At least now, I knew I'd no longer be alone, and that I'd soon be reunited with my best friends.