The Marauder Legacy
Warnings: Slash, a bit of bad language
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognise. J K Rowling retains all copyright.
Summary:What would happen if the Marauders decided to leave portraits of themselves at Hogwarts? A teacher's worst nightmare and a prankster's delight...but have they really thought this one through?
Author Notes: This is a loose sequel to The Oracle of Gryffindor but does stand alone as well. Will be cross posted at my LJ (fullmoon underscore dreams) and maybe at blacklupin dot org too. This one probably won't be that long, but a couple of people have been asking about it, so I figured I should at least post the first chapter (since it has been on my hard drive for a month or more) or I may never get around to it.
"Hey, Prongs! You awake?" Sirius Black stuck his head out from the bed curtains and called across the Gryffindor boys' dormitory in a far from hushed whisper.
James 'Prongs' Potter merely gave a grunt before turning over in his sleep.
Sirius frowned and looked about for his wand. He swore under his breath, when he realised it was still on his own bedside table, across the other side of the room. Since he was too warm and too lazy to get out of bed and get his wand, he grabbed the nearest thing to hand, which happened to be one of Remus's slippers, and threw it at James.
"What the hell?" James sleepily muttered as he sat up, looked at the missile that had awoken him, then glared at the git who had dared to wake him at the unacceptable hour of half past three in the morning.
"You awake?" Sirius asked again.
"I am now, you bloody git!" James replied. "What do you want that can't wait until morning?"
"I need your help," Sirius replied.
"At half past three?"
"No, not right now. Tomorrow."
"Tomorrow's Saturday," James pointed out. "Nothing can be that bloody urgent it can't wait until morning."
"I sleep in on Saturdays," Sirius reminded him.
James gave him a look that told him that there was no possibility of that happening on this particular Saturday, and that Mr Sirius Black was in for a very rude awakening of his own.
"Go to sleep Padfoot," James muttered and he lay back down again, determined to get a few more hours of sleep.
"Prongs," Sirius whined. "I need your help with number twenty four."
James groaned and cast his mind back over the previous week's homework assignments. The number twenty four wasn't ringing any bells since most of the homework had been of the essay variety and the only one with questions was Astronomy and that had only twenty.
"Prongs!" Sirius hissed. "You've got to help us."
"Us?" James asked. "Who's us?"
"Me and Moony, of course," Sirius replied. "We're having trouble with number twenty four."
"What are you blathering on about?" James asked with a heartfelt sigh. He knew he wasn't going to be getting back to sleep whilst Sirius was in this sort of a mood.
"Number twenty four on our list!"
"What flaming list?" James snapped. He was really too tired to have to put up with this sort of nonsense, especially in the middle of the night.
"The List!" Sirius replied. "The list you had the visual version of."
James let loose a squeak that was rather reminiscent of sounds Wormtail might make whilst in his animagus form. "Are you kidding me?" James snarled as he waved Remus's slipper threateningly. "You're asking me for help in shagging your ruddy boyfriend?"
"I prefer to call it 'making love' actually," Sirius replied with a haughty sniff, unfortunately the effect was rather ruined by the leer that was gracing his face.
"I don't care what you bloody call it," James muttered. "Whatever problem you're having, I can promise I'm not helping out with it. Even if you don't know what's what or what goes where, I can guarantee that your boyfriend does. I've seen it for myself, in full, hideous detail!"
Sirius rolled his eyes at James's complaints; he had heard them all already after all. In fact, James was known to whine about the 'visions' he had had of Remus and Sirius in various states of undress, in various locations around the school, on a very regular basis, usually when he wanted something from Remus.
It had been a simple little prank, engineered by Remus, and executed by him and the surprisingly mischievous Lily Evans. Remus had intended for James to see a few set-up visions of the future and for him to believe himself to be a seer. What he hadn't accounted for was some apparent seer blood in his own family line, the result of which had caused his own subconscious thoughts to be seen by James.
That Remus's subconscious thoughts centred on his crush on Sirius had embarrassed Remus, thrilled the equally smitten Sirius, and – according to the reluctant seer – traumatised James for life.
Finally James finished his whining and Sirius explained that it wasn't that sort of help he wanted. "Number twenty four is Filch's office," he explained patiently. "But we can't seem to find a way to sneak in there without him or his ruddy cat catching us."
"Filch's office?" James echoed, and his shook his head to try to clear out the memory of the vision of two of his best friends up against the filing cabinets doing things to each other that he really had no wish to see.
"Tomorrow's a Hogsmeade weekend," Sirius reminded him. "Filch will be checking no one has brought back stuff they shouldn't from about half an hour after everyone goes down to the village. I need you and Peter to distract him and Mrs Norris whilst me and Remus…you know."
"Distract him how?" James asked.
"You're a marauder," Sirius huffed. "You'll think of something. Peter can distract Mrs Norris by having her chase him around the school."
"Mrs Norris doesn't really chase boys around the school," James pointed out.
"She will if he's a rat," Sirius replied with a smirk.
Under normal circumstances, James would not have considered such a suggestion. Sirius knew however that Peter was not in the good books of James Potter at the moment. He had fallen into some disfavour after he had been told how to trigger the visions and had taken a great deal of pleasure in making use of that knowledge. Sirius knew that James was dying for a little payback for that, and he could see that his suggestion was being given all due consideration.
"If I agree, will you shut up and let me go back to sleep?" James asked with a sigh of resignation.
Sirius sniffed with mock tearfulness. "You don't like my company?"
"Not at stupid o'clock in the morning, no," James replied and he threw Remus's slipper back at Sirius with a force that he normally reserved for the Quaffle.
Sirius dived to the side to avoid the slipper and slipped from the bed, pulling the bed curtains down with him. He landed with a loud thump and a lot of even louder swearing. The noise was enough to wake Peter from across the room and he sat up and looked at the mess.
"Padfoot, you and Moony had all Christmas break to get up to whatever kinky stuff you like in the dorm without me and Prongs being here. Either take your games elsewhere, or keep the damn noise down."
"We're not doing anything," Sirius muttered as he struggled out of the bed curtains and sat on the edge of the bed again. "We didn't even do anything earlier, if you must know. That time of the month." He added the last as a loud confidential whisper with a nod towards what he thought was the still sleeping Remus.
That he was mistaken in his assumption about Remus's sleeping status became clear when a forceful kick from the young werewolf sent him flying to the floor once more.
"You're awake?" Sirius remarked as he rubbed his elbow and stood up once more.
"Sirius, you're making more noise than a herd of stampeding hippogriffs. Did you expect me to sleep through the racket?"
"So, how awake are you?" Sirius asked as he climbed back onto the bed.
"Padfoot! Curtains!" screeched James, one hand over his eyes as he tried to dive back under his own covers once more.
Remus sat up and looked at the clock on his nightstand. It was quite clear that he wasn't going to be getting back to sleep any time soon. "I think I'm going to take a bath in the prefects' bathroom," he announced. "Can I borrow your cloak, James?"
James grunted something that might have been a yes and Remus pulled the invisibility cloak from his trunk.
He swung the cloak around his shoulders and turned to Sirius. "You coming?" he asked.
"Really?" Sirius asked. "You're letting me into the sacred sanctuary of the Hogwart's prefects?"
"It's number thirty on the list," Remus said. "You didn't think I'd plan on trying that one without you, did you?"
Sirius grinned and hurried over to the doorway. "See you later Prongs, Wormtail," he said as he joined Remus under the cloak.
"Later had better mean morning," James warned.
Sirius laughed and he and Remus slipped out of the dormitory.
"A week of detentions," Sirius complained as he threw himself onto one of the common room sofas. "You were supposed to be keeping Filch from coming back to his office, not coming back with him."
James, who had got his own week of detentions, was not sympathetic in the slightest. In fact, he was still feeling rather nauseous, having seen one of his 'visions' come true not more than an hour before.
"It wasn't Prongs's fault," Peter interrupted. "It was that portrait of Armand the Amorous."
"You'd think he would be an ally to those of us pursuing romantic pursuits," Sirius stated miserably.
"He probably would have been, if you hadn't set fire to that painting of his favourite inn back in four year."
"It was an accident!" Sirius yelled. "One little accident and he has to sneak around reporting us to Filch every time he sees us doing something we shouldn't."
"The portraits are all bound to the school," Remus pointed out. "Any of them could report us, if they wanted to."
"Only that nasty little git actually does," Sirius muttered. "I wish I could get my hands on him for just five minutes."
"He's a portrait," Remus reminded him with a laugh. "You can't cast spells on the portraits, they're magically protected."
"Pity no one thought to make them flameproof," Peter commented.
"Or Sirius-proof," Remus added with a chuckle.
Sirius grabbed at Remus and tugged him closer. "I'm glad you find this so funny. You won't be laughing when the entire school finds out you got caught having sex with another boy in Filch's office."
"I think the school might be more shocked at hearing about you," Remus commented. "I think most of the female population are convinced your constant pawing of me is some sort of elaborate prank, and they're waiting for the big reveal."
"Would that be the reveal that Filch and Prongs saw?" Peter snickered whilst James wailed again.
"Good Godric!" Remus exclaimed. "Prongs, get over it already."
James shot him a look of alarm and scrambled around for a way to quickly change the subject. "So, Remus, about the portraits…what else do you know about them?"
"Not much, only that most are donated to the school, but the ones in the headmaster's office magically appear on the death of a head teacher so that they can advise and guide the heads for as long as Hogwarts is standing."
"You got that straight out of Hogwart's: A History, didn't you?" James asked.
"Paraphrased slightly, but yeah, what of it?"
"I wonder…" James sat back in his seat and gazed up at the ceiling thoughtfully.
"He's got that look again," Sirius whispered loudly into Remus's ear. "You've not been slipping him any more potions, have you?"
"That's not his 'I'm having a vision' look, that's his 'I'm thinking up mischief' look. Surely you know the difference by now?"
"Sadly, I only have eyes for you these days." Sirius fluttered his eyelashes at Remus in a manner that only produced a great deal of snickering from both Remus and Peter. "From now on I shall be blind to the looks of Prongs and shall be unable to tell what it is that he is trying to silently convey to me. I shall be unable to tell his Lily induced coma look from his slightly constipated look. I shall be immune to his can't wait for dinner look and shall forever wonder if…"
"Sirius, shut the hell up!" James interrupted. He looked about the common room with a thoughtful expression and on seeing it empty he turned to Remus with a grin. "Remus, how exactly do the magical portraits appear?"
"I don't know, only that it happens at the moment of death. Why do you ask?"
"I was thinking that with all the portraits around the school it might be interesting if we left the school portraits of us. You know, to remember us by?"
"You think McGonagall will ever forget us?" Sirius asked, aghast at the very idea.
"I was thinking more of the students learning from us," James explained. "We can help the pranksters for generations to come, instead of shushing those who wander the corridors at night or worse, tattling on us to Filch and the professors."
"You think the teachers would like us hanging around after we've left?" Remus asked. "I imagine that they're already planning a party to celebrate after we've gone."
"But is it possible?" James asked. "Portraits of the marauders would be perfect. The ultimate prank on the teachers. Just when they thought they'd got rid of us, there we would be, back again to torment them."
James grinned round at the other three boys, none of whom looked particularly enthusiastic at the idea.
"I'm not sure I want to be a portrait," Remus said. "Most of them don't seem very happy."
"Most of them look bloody miserable," Peter agreed. "Take that old git near the staircase to the astronomy tower, he moans all the time when the classes go past him, waking him up. Well, what does he expect when he's near the astronomy tower? It's not like they can hold the classes in the morning."
"Some of them aren't too bad," Sirius commented. "There's a nice looking little witch over near the Charms classroom."
"There is?" Remus asked with a raise of an eyebrow and a suitable smirk.
"Not that I've noticed," Sirius hurriedly back-tracked. "No, not at all. Regulus happened to mention her a time or two."
"I thought you weren't speaking to him?" James asked.
"I'm not, it was a while ago, ages really. So long ago I can barely remember the conversation."
"But you do remember that she's a looker?" Remus asked.
"Yes, er, I mean no, I mean I…oh bugger!" Sirius, realising he was digging himself further into the hole with every word he uttered, folded his arms across his chest and shut his mouth purposefully.
Remus chuckled and planted a soft kiss on the pursed lips. "I'm just teasing," he said. "You're right, she is a looker."
Sirius decided to put a stop to that line of conversation by kissing Remus again and again until the other boy had forgotten what it was they were even talking about.
Thankfully, or not, as the case may be, James was there to insist they prise themselves away from each other and to steer the conversation back towards the portraits and the idea he was now clinging to like a drowning man holding onto his life preserver.
"I'm not saying it would be impossible," Remus finally stated. "But the books that detail the spells on the school are in the restricted section, written in ancient scripts and languages, some of which have been forgotten, and – since you've probably forgotten – we've got NEWTs in less than six months. I'd rather spend my time studying for those than digging about in the library for a prank that wouldn't be carried out until years after we've left."
"Is the restricted section on our list?" Sirius asked. "We could kill two birds with one stone if it is?"
Remus gave him a droll look and sighed. How did he get himself talked into these things?
A/N: Comments are very much appreciated.