Disclaimer: I do not own Harry James Potter or any of the Potty-ness related to J.K. Rowling.
A.N. Sorry there was such a long gap between updates. As some of you may have noticed, I now have a new story for Inheritance Cycle which is taking up some of my time, the rest I've been spending between work and writing chapters for the sequel. I'm actually a bit disappointed in the first few chapters of this story. Has anyone else noticed how sucky my writing was at the beginning, or is it just me? I promise guys that there will be no more re-loading until I've completely finished both this story and the sequel. Cross my heart.
We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.
- Maurice Maeterlinck
Sirius froze. Then, turning on the spot, with a look of dawning horror on his face his mouth opened and he started to sing.
We're happy little Vegemites
As bright as bright can be.
We all enjoy our Vegemite
For breakfast, lunch, and tea.
Our mother's say we're growing
Stronger every single week,
Because we love our Vegemite,
We all adore our Vegemite,
It puts a rose in every cheek!
Sirius dipped into a curtsy at the end, the now crowded library giving him a standing ovation.
"Black!" snapped Madam Pince, coming around one of the shelves of books. "Get out of my library!" Sirius tried to protest but nobody wins an agreement against the strict librarian. He eventually bolted; pulling James along with him as he fled the Librarian's darkening expression.
Ally sighed as she put her head on the table. She was going to pay for that later she knew. With another sigh she looked up at the others still standing there.
Lily spoke first. "I'm sorry. That was way out of line; even for Sirius."
"There's nothing for you to apologise for Lily." Ally said, giving her friend a tight smile. She then noticed Remus; pale, dark bags under his eyes, looking as though he had slept in his clothes, and she realised suddenly that tonight was the full moon. "Remus, are you alright? Why don't you three join us?" she said including an awkward looking Peter. "Sev and I were just about to start on Charms." She indicated her open book.
"Sure, why not." Lily said pulling out a chair across the table.
"Now we add the nettles and stir counter-clockwise three times. It should go blue." Snape said as he and Ally looked down at the instructions. It was Thursday night, a week after the incident in the library and Ally and Severus were busy mixing up a batch of mayhem while Professor Roach was doing paperwork in her office next door. She would glance through the open door every few minutes to check on the whispering duo, a slight smile pulling at her lips every time she heard a snigger from the room. She knew which potion was being brewed as she had them submit a copy of their plans for each potion a week before brewing. It didn't take a neurohealer to figure out what they were up to.
She had spoken to Severus after a potions class earlier in the week, asking whether he understood the repercussions that could arise from such pranks. As a teacher she had felt obligated to admonish him for such behaviour and tell him that involving any member of the staff would result in detention, but it didn't stop her supplying a few of the more hard to come by ingredients.
"That's it." They looked down at a lightly bubbling cauldron of what appeared to be murky pond water; somewhat green, with clouds of little specks floating through it.
"Okay," Ally said as she filled nine vials with the potion, "If the Marauders try anything we'll be ready for them. If they prank either one of us I'll give these to the house elves, you hide yours somewhere as a backup supply." She separated the vials into two lots of four, labelling only the ninth vial which would go to the professor to be marked.
Severus lips turned up in a sly grin, "I'll see you at breakfast then." Ally returned his smile as she let herself out of the room.
Severus walked over to knock on the Professor's door. "We're all done now professor," he said as he handed her the labelled vile.
"Alright Severus, goodnight. Just remember my warning."
He nodded. "I will Professor, goodnight."
Severus slowly made his way to the Slytherin dormitories, a warm feeling in his chest. It was nice to have friend; he didn't consider himself close to any of his dorm-mates and Lily had not been his friend for quite some time now. It was unfortunate that the house rivalries made any open friendship with a Gryffindor impractical. He wouldn't say it was impossible but it would not be pleasant for either of them, look at what had happened because he and Ally had been seen talking together. The Marauders were somewhat feared, and rightly so. If you found yourself on their bad side you might have boils or purple skin for a week, or both. Severus rubbed his arms at the painful memory, freezing as he turned the corner.
"Well now, what have we got here? Looks like a snake out of its hole." Three figures stood in the hallway; two tall and dark haired, one short and mousey brown.
"Potter, Black," Severus said shortly, trying not to show how nervous he was. "Get out of my way."
One of the dark haired boys skilfully twirled his wand between his fingers. "What's the rush Snivillus? You haven't got a date have you?" Severus just glared, his fists clenching by his sides. He was outnumbered and they all knew it. The boy's expression turned contemplative and he stopped spinning his wand. "She's far too good for you, you know. What would someone like her see in a no-good Slytherin, like you?" He had tilted his head to the side as though he were truly curious.
"Jealous, Black?" Severus asked with a sneer.
Sirius's face grew red and he whipped his wand up to point at the Slytherin's chest. "Ranunculus!" Severus cried out as the spell him, feeling a crawling sensation all over his skin. "Snape the Shrubbery. Has a nice ring to it don't you think, James?" The three Gryffindors laughed as they pushed past Snape and headed back to their own dormitory.
Severus looked down at himself and sighed in resignation. Little flowers had sprouted from his skin, covering him in a multitude of green stalks and coloured petals. His frown soon turned into a vengeful smirk. Waving his wand to dispel the majority of the flowers, Severus turned on his heel and set off for the owlery. Penning a letter in his mind as went; she would see to it that the house elves received the vials and tomorrow the Marauders would get what they deserved.
A shadowed figure, concealed in a heavy cloak, tickled the image of a painted piece of fruit. An arm extended from the folds of the cloak. "You know what do?" asked a sinister sounding voice.
"Oh yes! Minky knows," exclaimed a short creature with a decidedly cheery voice, as it took the offered vials. If the face of the cloaked figure could be seen, passersby would have seen it grimace at the happy elf.
"Excellent," the shadowed figure rubbed their hands together then let loose with an exceptionally superior evil laugh. "Our plan is in motion. Mwahhuhhuhhuhha".
Ally looked up from her breakfast as four boys flopped into chairs across the table. "Good morning!" said Ally in a sing-song voice. Remus nodded his head slightly, tilting it in her direction. The others just grumbled unintelligible replies, looking as though they would fall asleep in their breakfasts at any moment. "And how are we this wonderful, bright, sunshiny day?" she asked happily. Ally received a several scowls in answer, not just from the Marauders, but from students sitting nearby as well; no one was too pleased with her chipper, morning-person attitude. She knew the boys had been up until the early hours of the morning plotting; because she had been too. It is really interesting what one can hear if they take the time eavesdrop of their man. The boys were getting suspicious and thought she might be planning a prank of some sort in retribution.
This is perfect, Ally thought gleefully. She was so excited about Severus's and her plan that she was finding it hard to keep a straight face. Fortunately for her she was well known as one of those weird morning people that are happy to be awake and ready to go before the sun's even up; no one was giving her a suspicious look.
Ally leant across the table and took something from each serving dish in front of the Marauders. Humming, she sat back down to eat having now led the boys into a false sense of security. From her seat Ally could see the rest of the Great Hall, Severus had come in moments before the Marauders and she hoped they hadn't given him anymore trouble. From the hastily written letter she had received last night, Severus was going to enjoy this. Ally sighed; she just wished that the boys could do without the fighting and pranking. She had to admit that she would enjoy the prank too, but it would be nice to be able to do this just for the fun of it and not as retribution.
Thankfully none of the other Gryffindors bothered with the plates around the Marauders; usually there was nothing left in the bowls anyway, so when Ally quietly muttered the activating spell only the prime targets were affected.
It took a minute for anyone to notice the changes that were slowly taking place; a giggle and some open mouthed stares. The boys ignored this as they were used to such behaviour regarding their eating habits. Finally, Ally couldn't take it anymore and snorted, spitting a mouthful of scrambled eggs across the table and splattering the shell-shocked boys. The Marauders went to exchange confused glances and screamed. Everyone else now began to laugh, the other houses looking over to see what had happened.
Where the infamous pranksters had been sitting there was now a motley crew of strange animals. Their hair had turned pale pink, their skin had developed a scale-like covering in a shocking lemon yellow with blue patterning and, resulting from another quick spell, they each on a blue leotard and pale yellow tutu to complement their new skin tone.
The boys were still screaming and pointing at each other, trying to assess the damage that had been done. Catching Sirius's eye, Ally winked then stood and left the Great Hall to the sounds of hysterical laughter. She didn't stop giggling until reaching their first class of the day; Care of Magical Creatures.
The day had been wonderful. The Marauders had been asked to sit at the edge of the class because their new appearance was scaring the litter of crup puppies brought in especially for the lesson, then Professors Roach and McGonagall had sent them out of their classes for failing to wear the correct school uniform, Professor Roach was itching to give them a detention but decided it would be too unfair considering her earlier knowledge of the prank and had settled for docking house instead. Sadly for them, the spell was permanent for twelve hours and the potion would only wear off as it left their systems, Severus had figured about eight to fourteen hours depending on metabolism and physical activity.
Sirius had cornered her that afternoon in the hallway outside the library. "Did you do this?" he asked, motioning to the yellow scales on his arm.
Ally looked at him for a moment then shook her head. "No. I wanted orange and green feathers but Severus one the coin toss." She shrugged and made to enter the library but had to stop when she felt his hand on her arm. He wasn't gripping her tightly like he had those several weeks ago, so she easily brushed his hand off as she turned to face him.
"Why? How?" he spluttered. He had been sure she was responsible but it was still hard to get his head around the fact the Marauders, pranksters extraordinaire, had been pranked. This hadn't happened since he and James were second years.
"To show what would happen if you tried to mess with Severus again. And don't even think about coming after me, you'd find yourself committed to Saint Mungo's." with that, Ally turned again and headed into the library for a study session with Lily.