Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
"What the hell Moony?! Why are you so late?" A very handsome boy with raven black hair hissed at the slumped brunette that had just walked through the door.
"Come on Padfoot, give it a rest, he's only fifteen minutes late! And it's not as if you have ever been known for your punctuality." The placating voice came from the very attractive man leaning casually against the wall who was pushing his wire frame glasses back up his nose which had slipped down.
"I know, I know. Sorry Moony, I'm just impatient I guess. We can only use this spell before Midnight and well...sorry." The black haired man gave his tired looking friend a sheepish half smile in apology.
"It's alright Sirius. But next time why don't you be the one to break into the school's library at eleven at night and try searching for an obscure spell only found in the restricted section." Remus Lupin stated pointedly, looking at his excited friend in expectation.
"Na, I think I'll leave that to you, Moony old pall. You always do it so well and why change a good thing?"
The brunette merely rolled his eyes heaven ward at his friend's familiar antics.
The bespectacled man pushed himself off the wall and enthusiastically stepped forward, toward his best friends.
"So you got it I assume?" He spoke eagerly, twisting his body left and right as he searched his friend with his eyes, as if that would get the spell to pop into existence.
"Of course Prongs. Do you really think I would come here without the Metamorphosis spell just so I could be killed by you two lunatic's in your bitter disappointment?" Moony drawled sarcastically.
Sirius by this point could hardly contain his happiness and was bouncing on the spot like a small child waiting for a treat from his parents.
"Ahhhh, Moony," His whined pathetically, "Come on give us the spell we only have..."he glanced down at his watch quickly and looked up in alarm, "five minutes! We only have five minutes to do this thing! You know the conditions we need for this spell, are very specific and only come once every fifty years! So if you two don't mind, can we get a move on!" His arms flayed about wildly, while his eyes darted between the other two in a panic.
"Padfoot! Calm down. Of course we know about the conditions we need; it has to be Summer, correct planetary alignment and something about it having to be a Friday. We know. We did the research with you. We also want to become Metamorphmagus's okay?!" James Potter's frustrated voice reverberated around the empty classroom, his face barely visible in the lights glowing from the tips of all three of their wands.
Remus Lupin quickly defused the growing tension between the two volitile personalities of his best friends by reaching deep into the right pocket of his robes and extracting a single piece of parchment.
"Alright guys, it's in Latin but that shouldn't be a problem for us," All three boys were brilliant academics. By their fourth year in Hogwarts they had basically learned Latin by themselves in order to stave off their boredom from the material they covered in classes, which never seemed to give any of them a problem.
"Yep, yep, got it Remy. Latin and all that jazz." Sirius muttered uninterestedly as he forcibly ripped the parchment with the spell on it out of his friend's stunned grip.
Impatiently, he unfolded the paper and studied the words with James who was now behind him reading the spell over his shoulder, quickly familiarising himself with the order of the words by miming them to himself.
"...don't you think Wormtail should be here for this?" Remus said in a tone which revealed that he said these words out of loyalty rather than sincerity. In any case his words caused the other two to raise their heads quickly and stare at him as if he'd just gone off the deep end.
"First of all Remus, it's not as if we're hiding this from him. We told him what we were doing and he had detention already, so we're not excluding him or anything... And let me ask you this. Do you really think Peter could say this Latin without stuffing it up? Because Padfoot was right you know, this only comes once every fifty years, we can't afford to have anything go wrong." James voice reasoned while Sirius nodded frantically beside him in support.
Peter Pettigrew was the missing fourth member of the Marauders. He had also been the odd one out since first year. Where the other three; James Potter, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were all very bright and breezed through school, taking all the advanced classes, Peter struggled and relied heavily on the help of his three other friends.
All four boys had just begun their seventh and final year at Hogwarts. And the differences between the fourth member of the group and the other three had only become more apparent as they grew older.
James Potter was one of Hogwarts's most popular as Quidditch Captain for Gryffindor and this year's Head Boy. He was a very handsome individual. Quidditch training had added lean but obvious muscle to his tall frame, inky black hair was in constant disarray giving his look a casual charm. Intelligent and wicked hazel eyes were not obscured by rectangular framed black rimmed glasses. Combined with a heart melting smile James Potter was known to be able to get any girl he wanted...well except one.
Sirius Black was the school's resident lovable playboy. One could only ever describe him as gorgeous. His pure blood status was obvious through his elegant and classic features. Ebony black hair which held a curious blue tint in the sun fell gracefully to his shoulders, framing a devilish grin which made girls weak at the knees. Large piercing sapphire eyes which always seemed to be laughing held an undeniable strength. He was very tall standing at 6'1, his body agile and fit, moving with a feline grace.
The only werewolf of the four, Remus Lupin, was also highly sought after by the female population of Hogwarts. Pensive stormy grey eyes held a wisdom and magnetism which drew people to him like bees to honey. He had light brown hair with natural blond highlights and a gentle yet confident smile which could charm even the most hardnosed of teachers and other authority figures.
Most of the school and indeed any person which saw all four boys together couldn't help but think about how...odd... it was to see Peter Pettigrew as the fourth Marauder. Where the other three boys were all tall, well-built, magically powerful, intellectually gifted and the source of every boy's envy and every girl's fantasies, Pettigrew was not. He was ordinary. Short and fat with unattractive watery blue eyes, a pasty complexion and stringy blonde hair, did not seem to hold the same attraction for girls as the other boys features did.
James Potter had come across a reference to the Metamorphous Spell when he was flipping through the books in the Potter ancestral Library in the Summer holidays. He and Sirius had spent the remainder of the Summer, along with Remus, tracking down a copy of the spell. Through various enquiries and countless hours of research, the boy's had figured out that a print of the actual spell was in a book in the restricted section at Hogwarts. It was their first night back to school and Sirius and James, after his Head Boy patrol duties, had spent the last half-hour waiting anxiously for Remus to return with a duplicate of the highly illegal spell.
"Okay Prongs, I see your point. Wormtail probably would have had trouble with some of the pronunciation," Sirius snorted in amusement at Remus's words. All three knew that it wouldn't be just the Latin pronunciation, Peter would have problems with.
"Good. Now hurry, we don't have much time left. You're sure that after we say this spell we'll all become Metamorphmagus's? We'll be able to make ourselves look like anybody?" James checked.
"Right you are Prongsy! That's what the book said. So let's get this show on the road shall we?" Sirius's tone was filled with bubbling happiness and impatience.
All three boys, painfully aware of the time, quickly crowded around the parchment and started chanting the spell while Remus preformed the complicated wand work.
All three boys glanced up from the parchment, not halting their recitation, when the sound of a clock's chimes floated into the room announcing Midnight. When the sound of the clock's last strike faded, the three seventh year Hogwarts students fell silent.
"...did it work?" Sirius's question pierced the eerie silence which had dominated the room for several long moments.
They all exchanged bewildered looks, no one wanting to voice the strange and unfamiliar atmosphere which had engulfed them.
"I don't know...How can we tell?" James asked in an uncharacteristically cautious tone. Something felt different to him and he was feeling strangely out of place and uncomfortable.
Remus shook his head slightly, trying to right himself. He felt peculiar.
"If it did work, we should be able to just concentrate on somebody's features and will our bodies to change." Remus's said, distracted by the unusual feelings he was experiencing.
Sirius determinedly scrunched up his face in concentration but nothing changed. He was still himself.
"It's not working Remus! ...Did we do something wrong?" Sirius griped. Letting his arms collapse beside him, he turned frustrated and confused eyes on his friends.
"I don't think so..." James said slowly while he looked around the room carefully. "Hey,...do you guys...I don't know, feel...weird?" He asked, grimacing at his pathetic choice of words. 'Weird' isn't really what he meant. He just felt different.
Remus nodded slowly while Sirius just looked at him as if he'd lost his mind.
"Come on, both of you. Nothing is weird. You're just disappointed that it didn't work. Let's just go to bed, okay?" Sirius said while running a hand through his hair in frustration.
James and Remus both voiced their agreement and they all made their way out of the room and into the cold, stone corridors of Hogwarts.
They had been walking for several moments, Remus and James shrugging off their discomfort, before Sirius's need to talk and be heard made its appearance.
"It sucks that it didn't work though, doesn't it? I was already thinking up new pranks and mischief we could have unleashed on the unsuspecting population of Hogwarts. Even the beautiful Miss Evan's wouldn't have been able to pin it on you Prongs." Sirius winked over his shoulder at James while his friend just rolled his eyes and glared at him.
Both Remus and Sirius thought it was hilarious and the ultimate irony, that the one girl James wanted and was head over heels for, seemed impervious to his charms.
James and Sirius bickered between themselves as they moved through the school to the Gryffindor Common Room.
"...I promise you, Evans will one day give in to me and realise what a great couple we would make." James stated with a self assured tone.
Sirius let out a bark of disbelieving laughter, "Sure Prongs...Keep dreaming. Evans can't stand you, and I think the slap she gave you at Welcoming Feast tonight is proof enough, that her feelings towards you have not changed over the course of the Summer." Sirius teased.
"Yeah? Well..." James's defence was interrupted by Remus's restraining hand on his shoulder.
"What Moony?" James's snapped, angry that Moony's action had allowed Sirius to win their verbal spar. He glowered at Sirius angrily when he poked his tongue out at him in a childish show of triumph.
"I can't get the portrait to the Common Room to open." Remus explained with a casual wave of his hand to the Fat Lady.
"What do mean? As Head Boy Dumbledore told me the password himself, how could it be wrong?" As James said this Sirius had stepped forward and started yelling at the Portrait to let them, with no result.
"Would you let us in, you stupid piece of paper! It is twelve thirty and I'm tired. So stop being stubborn. You know we're Gryffindor's so open up!" Sirius was shouting furiously at the top of his lungs.
Suddenly, the portrait creaked open, light from the fire inside spilling into the corridor. The door was pushed further open and a petite redheaded girl, about their age, stood blocking the entrance.
"What do want? It's late and you're waking up the whole tower with your screeching!" The girl demanded glaring up at the three stunned males.
"Screeching?!" Sirius cried in a strangled voice, highly offended by the dig at his masculinity. Determined to prove himself the ultimate 'man's man', he quickly explained his actions in a cool, calm and collected manner which inspired confidence and respect. "This stupid, idiotic, tone deaf, fat, baboon look-a-like portrait wouldn't let us in! What did you expect us to do?! Sleep in the cold corridor? Catch pneumonia for fun?" Sirius exclaimed, astonished, firstly, that he didn't know who the pretty red head was, as he had dated almost all of the good looking girls in Hogwarts and secondly, that she had the guts to reprimand one of the most popular boys in the school.
The unknown girl crossed her arms across her chest, unimpressed by his anger and narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the three of them.
"Why don't I recognise you?" she said, distrust prominent in her brown eyes.
Sirius started spluttering incoherently at her comment, his ego unable to comprehend a girl in Hogwarts not being able to recognise him, so Remus stepped forward, lines of irritation appearing around his mouth, to take over.
"Very funny." Remus mocked. "Now, you've had your fun. Can you move out of the way? You're blocking the entrance." He asked, his grey eyes bored into her fiery ones.
But she didn't budge an inch. Her mouth just hardened in determination.
Hidden by the two tall frames of his friends James let out a loud sigh of exasperation before roughly shoving them both aside so he could speak with the annoying pixie that was getting on his last nerve.
"Look, I don't know who you think you are?! But you can't just..."
"...Harry?" The girl's arms slowly uncurled from their stubborn position and she leaned forward in confusion while James stood there in shock.
"...Harry? You know these guys? What are doing out here? I thought I saw you go up to your dormitory..." Her words slowly faded and in the silence she studied James intensely, her eyes taking in every detail of his face.
Without taking her cinnamon eyes off of him she tilted her neck backwards slightly and called to a person within the common room, hidden by door.
"Lucy? Would you happen to know if Harry went up to bed or not?" she called her eyes still scrutinising the three older boys in front of her.
"...Harry? As in Harry Potter? He went up hours ago. Why?" A girl's voice answered in a puzzled tone.
James, Sirius and Remus all started in confusion at the mention of Potter, exchanging baffled looks.
The redhead was silent for a few moments her expression carefully guarded before she opened her mouth to answer.
"Lucy? Do me favour and go up to the seventh year boy's dormitory and get Harry for me would you?"
"Get Harry? Me? Ginny I couldn't do that! He's Harry Potter! You don't just walk into the Harry Potter's dorm and tell him to wake up! I mean...he's Harry Potter!" the girl's nervousness was obvious in her trembling of her voice and the awed tone she spoke the man's name.
The redhead rolled her eyes and took a deep breath before answering, "Yes Lucy, I'm clearly aware of who he is. If you're that uncomfortable with it, can you at least go get Hermione?" She pleaded.
By this point all three boys had overcome their shock at the unknown girl's words and were now growing steadily angrier.
"Look, Ginny is it? This isn't funny. We're seventh years, so we would know of a Harry Potter if there was one, okay? Would you just let us in? We just want to go to sleep!" Remus attempted to say calmly, not succeeding. His furious frustration was evident in the white knuckled pressure he was applying to his fists.
"No. You Look." Ginny snarled leaning towards Remus with a fierce expression, "I don't know who are, I've never seen you at school before and you are most definitely not Gryffindors. That's all I know. That, and one of you could be a twin of one of my friends just wanting access to the seventh year boys's dorms where he just happens to be sleeping right now. So excuse me. But in the circumstances, I'm not letting you in until Harry comes down here and tells me to." Her eyes flashed dangerously in warning and all three boys took one large step back from the intimidating girl simultaneously, finally convinced that even if, what this girl was saying was crazy. She certainly believed it and looked unquestionably capable, of bringing them a lot of pain.
Footsteps could be heard inside the room and a different voice filled with weariness called Ginny's name in question. Ginny, asked this girl, Hermione she called her, if she could get Harry up and ask him to come down to the Common Room. After it became clear that Ginny would refuse to answer any of her questions, this Hermione girl, did as she was asked.
Sirius let out a little huff of indignation, his bottom lip jutting out in a pout when he heard the polite way Ginny spoke to this girl. He was clearly put out that she was not bending over backwards trying to make him happy, completely worshiping the ground he walked on.
Ginny never once took her burning eyes off the three of them and soon James was shifting feet and avoiding the intimidating stare of a girl half the size of him.
Only when the sound of a male voice was heard did Ginny release them from her glare and turn her body so that she was looking into the common room.
"Ginny, what's this about? Hermione woke me up saying you needed to see me right now."
"It's a little hard to explain. There are some people here that say they're from this house but I've never seen them before and...one of them looks an awful lot like you." Ginny's voice had altered and an underlying current of respect was present in her tone as she spoke to this person.
Footsteps could be heard coming closer to the portrait hole and without a word of enquiry or protest; Ginny stepped smoothly aside as a tall, large frame took her place.
"...Bloody Hell Prongs! He looks just like you!" Sirius's astonished exclamation echoed everyone's thoughts and silence descended swiftly over the four individuals.
They had the same height, build, hair, nose, mouth...the light wasn't very bright so the details of his features could not be seen. However, the liking, although not identical, was striking.
Harry regarded them silently for several long moments before confidently stepping fully into the corridor, firmly shutting the portrait behind him.
His green eyes were intense as he stared at them...
"Follow me." His words were sharp but filled with authority as he spun on his heel and stalked off down the hall, not bothering to look back to see if they followed. The three boys couldn't work out if it was foolishness or confidence which allowed him to expose his back to three strangers.
Remus, James and Sirius scrambled to chase after the figure, who was already half way down the corridor. Once they caught up, James grabbed hold of his forearm tightly and spun him around. Only once they were facing each other did he demand to know where they were going, who he was and why they should follow his orders.
Unique emerald eyes smouldering with unmistakeable power slowly studied each of them carefully.
Staring into their eyes, as if judging their worth.
In one move Harry effortlessly broke the restraining hold on his arm. He locked eyes with James and answered only answered one of his questions before, again, turning his back on them and stalking through a sleeping Hogwarts.
"I'm taking you to Professor Dumbledore."
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