Title: Party Animals (08)
Author name: PezMaster
Author email: email@example.com
Sub Category: Action/Adventure
Keywords: Marauders Sirius Remus Phiona Hallowe'en
Spoilers: SS/PS, CoS, PoA, GoF, My own work on Schnoogle, 'Harry Potter and the Gem of Grogonous'. (Check it out)
Summary: Our climatic story finally draws to a close after an eventful Hallowe'en ball. Will Sirius finally reveal his inner-amorous Marauder? Will James get his companions out of the Great Hall without facing certain doom? Will Remus lose complete control of his lycanthropic form? Will our dear sweet Phiona get out of the ball . . . alive? These questions and more will hopefully be answered during the last chapter of 'Party Animals'. So what are you waiting for? Get partying!
DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I own Phiona and her exploding pineapples. Kapeach? Beautiful.
Author notes: Huzzah! Look at me! Stamp a steal on this piece because this little berk is done. I'd love to thank: my dear Annoying One, who shall always be one author I hold high. The SIDL, who gives melodramatic Sirius fans a last hope. And, finally, to my Tito, who shall make me laugh and smile forever(Badger). Now then, what are you lot waiting for? Read, laugh your arse off, and review!
* * * * * * * * * *
'All's Well That Ends Well'
Everything in Phiona's world had shifted into a deep shade of black. She lay there, in the far corner of the Great Hall, not even looked twice upon by any of the tanked partygoers. The pain was almost too unbearable; the effect of being thrown into a wall had finally caught up with her with complete vengeance.
Quite suddenly, Phiona felt herself being lifted off the hard ground.
'Oh, this is it,' a small voice in the very back of her mind moaned. 'I must really be dying . . . Ah, shit. . .'
Phiona squinted, trying to force her lens to focus on the Angel of Death who was so swiftly carrying her on to her final resting place.
Wait a moment . . . Since when did the Angel of Death smell like sweaty boy and cheep cologne?
"Hullo, Phinny. I thought you could use some fresh air."
A very worn-out Sirius Black slowly sat Phiona down on one the park benches outside in the rose garden. He took a seat besides her and leaned back, eager to relax a bit.
"Wait - Remus!" Phiona slowly became fully aware of her surrounding for the first time. "We've got to - He's still -"
"The werewolf is happily snoozing under the willow as we speak," answered Sirius calmly.
"What about James? And Peter?"
"Everyone's fine. No one got decapitated while you were sleeping on the job. I promise."
"Oh, thank God." Phiona exhaled deeply. To Sirius's surprise, she let her head drop onto his shoulder, leaning comfortably on him as if he was a pillow. "Thank God this whole thing is over."
"How about everyone in there?" Sirius nodded towards the castle and the Great Hall. "That punch wasn't really poisonous, was it?"
"No, of course not. I would never let you loose with anything deadly." Phiona closed her tired eyes, feeling extremely comfortable on her friend's shoulder. "They'll just all have hang-overs from hell tomorrow. They won't remember anything."
"Maybe we should drop Remus one of those pills, too," suggested Sirius, closing his eyes as well. "He wouldn't like to have tonight's events on his conscience. You know Remus, he's quite neurotic about those things."
"I have one more bag in my trunk," said Phiona. "We'll give him one in the morning. Right now, I just want to toss off to bed. Remind me never to pick a fight with Moony again. That little berk plays dirty."
Sirius and Phiona went silent for a while. The cold air flowed softly, coursing several bushes besides them. If it wasn't for the lycanthropic fiasco, Sirius would have been glad that the night carried a full moon with it. This very lunar phase carried a certain mystic quality about it, giving Sirius a brief chill of excitement. As an extra bonus, Phiona was with him and (for one brisk moment) they weren't ruthlessly bickering with each other. This was one of the best moments of Sirius's life; it even topped the peanut butter incident in the girls' loo.
The Marauder glanced down to his right, taking in the full sight of the wiry witch besides him. There was something about Phiona Love . . . Mind you, she was completely off her onion, but there was still something wonderfully different. None of the girls Sirius had sifted through had the brilliance and luminosity that Phiona radiated tonight. Sirius would never find someone remotely close to his Phinny.
The blue-eyed Marauder suddenly realized why he had been so jealous of the boys who had been hanging on Phiona all night. She was his. His Phinny.
"My Phinny," he murmured under his breath. It took him a minute to realize that he rather liked the sound of it, so he said it once more.
"Mmm?" Phiona stirred, opening her dark eyes to face her companion.
A brief fit of guilt washed over Sirius, causing his ears and cheeks to burn a soft red. Good thing it was dark out. "Phiona, I've got a bit of apologizing to do."
"Apologize away. And don't call me Phiona. You make it sound like I'm dying."
"Phin, I'm sorry for being such an arse." Sirius's eyes skirted away from his companion. "You know, taking the Remus thing too far. I was a bastard."
"Arse. Bastard. Kapesh. Anything else?"
"Er . . . no."
"Good. Apology accepted." Phiona seemed utterly bored, but her tone had softened incredibly. The apology, Sirius knew, was quite accepted. "Now that that's done, I've got to get something off my chest. Ready for this one, Sirius?"
"Don't call me Sirius," the blue-eyed Marauder mocked. "I'm not dying."
Phiona, frighteningly, did not choose to retort. "Padfoot?"
"Thanks for saving me tonight."
That was unexpected . . .
Sirius turned to Phiona in surprise. Her hair was frizzy again, no longer neat and smoothed down. Blood caked around her forehead, making it look like someone had covered her face with a sick, red icing. But, to Sirius, Phiona Love still had something hauntingly beautiful about her.
"Well . . . it was nothing, really," Sirius mumbled uncomfortably.
"Honey," Phiona smiled slightly. "If you and James hadn't come around, I would be werewolf tucker by now."
Sirius winced, not liking to think that his friend was that close to a horrible death. "Phiona I . . . Oh, what did you expect me to do? Bolt the other way?"
"Like Peter," Phiona muttered darkly. "That little piker."
Phiona shook her head, as if nothing was amiss. "Forget it, Sirius. It was probably a big misunderstanding, or something."
" . . . or something . . ." Sirius repeated, not really listening to what his friend was saying.
Phiona suddenly threw her head back and laughed out loud, causing her frizzy hair to flow back over her shoulders. Moonlight flowed across her face, giving back her wild appearance. "Well, come on then." She got up off the bench, grimacing slightly as she put weight on her left leg. "We better go check on Lily and the rest. If any one of them starts yodelling, I'll disembowel myself with a plastic spoon."
With a slight limp, Phiona started to make her way back to the castle. She made it about seven paces before letting out a soft gasp of pain. The frizzy-haired witch dropped to the ground, landing with a soft thud and several curse words into a rose bush.
"Jeez, Phinny." Sirius jumped to his friend's aid and pulled her out from the shrubbery. "Maybe we should get you to the hospital wing. You must have hit that wall harder then I thought."
"Stop mothering me, Black," Phiona grunted as Sirius pulled her up. "It's only a bit of a bruise. Nothing to mope over." As if wanting to prove her point she put weight on her bad leg once more. A deep grimace of pain spread over Phiona's face and she quickly collapsed back into the rose bushes.
Sirius stood over Phiona, a slight smile of triumph crossing his lips. "Only a bit of a bruise, eh?"
"Wank off," Phiona retorted and, with her good leg, then proceeded to swiftly kick Sirius in the shin.
The Marauder's knee gave out as a hot pain spidered through his leg. After spitting out a string of rude comments directed exclusively at Phiona's mother, Sirius gave into the pain and collapsed into the bush besides his companion.
"That bloody hurt."
"You utterly deserved it, my dear," Phiona replied airily.
"And why is that?"
"That's the price for mocking me."
"Really?" Sirius arched an eyebrow.
"Well, actually, you had to pay more."
"And why is that?"
"You're a heartless bastard," Phiona promptly answered.
"Thank you, Phin. 'Heartless' is a little strong, though. I prefer 'egotistical'. I'll even go with 'wanking'."
A small smile worked its way across Phiona's face. "Damn you, Black."
"What is it this time?"
"You always suck the fun out of mocking you."
"It's a curse."
"You ruin everything."
Sirius shrugged. "Sorry."
"Ah, well, you didn't ruin everything," Phiona put her hands behind her head, concentrating hard on the heavens above. "At least you can see the stars tonight . . . and that moon . . . beautiful, that is."
"Beautiful . . ."
Sirius watched Phiona carefully, her chest slowly rising and falling with each breath. Dried blood speckled her face, giving her dark crimson freckles which picked up and reflected the moonlight. Of course, to Sirius, everything about Phiona was illuminating - from her wild main of hair to her dark eyes. Swallowing a lump that was forming at the back of his throat, Sirius propped himself up on his elbow, looking down at Phiona Love with soft blue eyes. Maybe the feeling of his stomach twisting with nausea was the after-effects of that night's events. Maybe the strain had finally gotten to him. Maybe he was just exhausted . . . or maybe . . . . maybe it was something else . . .
Or someone else . . .
Phiona suddenly tore her eyes away from the stars and let them connect with Sirius's. "Happy Hallowe'en, Padfoot," she whispered.
"Happy Hallowe'en, Phinny."
Sirius was hit with one of the worst male impulses known to man. He was ready to take the final leap and kiss the frizzy-haired witch, never mind the death-sentence he would then place on his head. In his fantasy world, she would return the emotion. However, this was the real world and, in the real world, he would be lucky to only receive a black eye or a broken nose.
Testosterone, unfortunately, blinded both his conscience and judgement. Sirius began to lean forward . . . .
"--You've got to come see this! Someone strung Snape up by his pants and now they're using him as a human piñata!"
James Potter had come running out of the castle, bolting towards Sirius and Phiona. He had a bulbous bruise on his forehead from where he had hit the door when he rammed it open during his brief exit as a stag. Sirius hoped it hurt. A lot.
"Come on you two," he ordered excitedly. "Brinker Hadley and Tom Benecke are trying to knock the bloody kippers out of that slime ball and I . . . er . . ." he paused, looking from Phiona to Sirius. "Did I interrupt something?"
"Not at all," Phiona said quickly, almost sounding cheerful. "I tripped and then kicked Sirius in the shin."
"We were just noticing," Sirius continued with a glare, "how beautiful the stars were tonight."
"Right then," James said slowly, apparently not picking up the hint Sirius was so desperately trying to past him. He then grabbed Phiona by the arm. "Come on, Phinny. Three Galleons if you can hit Snape in the head with the Beater's club."
Phiona smirked, not even giving the amorous Sirius Black a second look. "You're on, Jimmy."
James practically dragged the limping Phiona back inside the castle and into the Great Hall, leaving Sirius leaning on one elbow alone in the bushes. His mind was spinning franticly out of control. What had just happened? Why on earth did he have the sudden desire to snog Phiona?
It was well known around the school that Sirius Black could have any girl at Hogwarts. He just happened to want the one that was unattainable.
* * * * * * * * *
"So it's a black ink cuppa, right?"
"We could add a little laxative in there, too. She deserves an extra surprise."
"Oh, Sirius, would you give Professor Gemar a break?"
"He can't, Peter. Sirius's goal in life is to fix that old bat's wagon and then push it down a steep hill with her in it."
"Well put, Moony. I do love the sound of that."
It was early November and the Hogwartian grounds had experienced its first snow fall of the season. This sudden change in the weather meant a new level of chaos inside the castle. Many people were trying to burn off their extra energy from staying inside all day by turning towards the Marauder's approach on life. Almost every hour, something was either spontaneously combusting or turning into big piles of dragon dung. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, however, found this new competition to be quite invigorating.
"But how are we going to sneak into Professor Gemar's office?" Peter asked his friends, taking a seat at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall, which was, at that time, completely empty.
"Er . . . Peter's got a point." Remus glanced at James and Sirius. "That woman never leaves her classroom."
James shrugged, chewing on the end of the sugar quill he was holding in deep thought. "A well placed rhinoceros or elephant might do the trick nicely."
"Toss off, Prongs." Sirius leaned back in his seat, shaking his head. "Why on earth would you conjure up a couple of bloody giants when you could just give me the keys to the girls' lavatories, a jar of peanut butter, fifteen minutes, and I can-"
"Why do you obsess over that disgusting stuff?" Remus gave a slight grimace. "You've only had one jar, and even that one you had to skive off of a tourist from the Old Colonies. Why don't you stick to something simple, Sirius? Like marmalade?"
"The birds don't look as good covered in marmalade. Now, as for peanut butter . . . that's some tasty--"
As Remus cut off Sirius by delivering a swift smack up-side the head, Peter spoke up. "Why don't we just slip Professor Gemar some of Phiona's little pink pills?" he suggested. "They would- OWF!"
Sirius and James both threw an elbow at Peter simultaneously, making the smaller boy squeak in pain. The Hallowe'en ball, Remus's werewolf incident, and the little pink pills had never been purposely forgotten until moment. Only James, Sirius, Peter, and Phiona could recall what had happened the night of the ball; the rest of the Hogwartian personae had their minds wiped clean from the 'spiked' punch. Even Remus, who had been slipped one of Phiona's contraband pills, had no recollection of that night in which he had almost ripped apart one of his good friends.
"What's Peter going on about this time?" Remus raised a suspicious eyebrow.
"Nothing," the rest of the Marauders sputtered at once.
Before Remus had a chance to pry further, the bell echoed along the hall, signalling the start of classes. As if trained by Pavlov himself, James grabbed his pack and jumped out of his seat.
"Well then, let's finish this off in the common room tonight," he said quickly. "I've got to walk Lily to Herbology now."
A loud, fake cough, which sounded distinctly like the word 'whipped', came from the general direction of a scoffing Sirius Black. In retaliation, James smacked the blue-eyed Marauder up side the head then walked off towards the entrance hall.
"Ah . . . that man never changes," Sirius commented airily, rubbing the back of his head where a bruise was already forming.
Remus smiled, also getting out of his seat. "Well, come on then, Peter. We've got Astronomy up in the tower."
"Oh, I'm glad I dropped that wonky class last year." Sirius winced. "If Professor Rosenkranz had told me to find the ring pattern of Uranus one more time I would have gone stark raving mad."
"Sorry to break it to you, Padfoot," Remus shrugged, "but you've already surpassed the 'stark raving mad level' and are swiftly travelling into the 'psychotic bastard' limbo."
Sirius heaved a golden goblet at Remus and missed, giving the other two Marauders a chance to escape the Great Hall bruise-free. Exhaling deeply, Sirius gathered his own Transfiguration supplies and started down the hall, past the tables of the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws. Far off he heard a loud explosion, followed by several clucking noises coming from the Entrance Hall.
Sirius snorted thickly. 'Ha, turning people into chickens,' he thought to himself. 'Bloody amateurs . . . they taint everything the prankster name stands for.'
As Sirius drifted off in deep thought, he casually glanced up at the far wall where the four house banners hung proudly. The Slytherin's, with a green and silver serpent slithering across the fabric, flickered in the cold draft moving through the castle. It was waving at Sirius, as if seductively inviting the Marauder to do something horrible to it. Sirius, gleefully excepting the invitation, took out his wand and twiddled it in-between his thumb and forefinger.
"I better set an example for all those novices out there . . ." Sirius mumbled to himself as he pointed his wand at the green and silver Slytherin banner. "Expellimellius."
The banner suddenly burst into bright red flames. As great plumes of smoke poured off the Slytherin's emblem, Sirius stepped back to admire his handy-work, smirking triumphantly.
"Yet again, Mister Black, we must meet under such circumstances. Trying to break Miss Phiona Love's record for most detentions in one week, I see."
Sirius jerked his head back from the aflamed pennant. There, once again, was Head Master Albus Dumbledore, a thin smile plastered on his lips.
"Er . . . no sir, Professor," said Sirius truthfully, "but, if I did, it would be an extra bonus for me."
Dumbledore chuckled lightly. "That it would, Sirius. That it would." The Head Master cleared his throat. "Now then, I better put this fire out before you're officially labelled a pyromaniac." With a swift flick of his wand, a shrill wind blew through the Great Hall, extinguishing the fire. What was left of the Slytherin banner was black and smouldering, hardly recognisable.
"I suppose I'll have to take five points away from Gryffindor," Dumbledore said, still looking at the smouldering banner. "This hasn't been the only joke pulled on the Slytherin house, you know. I believe I remember a night in which young Severus Snape was hung up by his undershorts and used for Beater practise."
"You remember the Hallowe'en ball?" Sirius blurted out suddenly.
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "Of course, my dear boy. I'm not as old as to lose my memory yet. But, still, there was one night in which I forgot where my study was and ended up in a room full of disgruntled weasels. Quite a surprise for me."
Sirius wasn't even listening to the Head Master's tale of weasels. He was too caught up in the fact that someone, other then James, Phiona, Peter, and himself, had any recollection of the night of the Hallowe'en ball.
"Hmmm . . . platypus got your tongue, Sirius?" Dumbledore asked, "Or would that be platypi? Or platypuses? I never quite-"
"Professor? Do you remember . . ." Sirius paused, swallowing the lump forming in this throat, and continued. "Do you remember the entire Hallowe'en ball?"
Dumbledore raised both of his eyebrows, forming a light expression on his face. "Ah, yes . . .well . . . I can recall having a conversation with you on something of the sort. Then, I believe, I sampled some of that delightful punch you spiked for us. Soon after, I had several shoes heaved at my head. Then Miss Abree Willams bit me, pretending she was some sort of seabird with rabies, if I remember correctly . . ." The Head Master trailed off, his clear, blue eyes examining Sirius for a while. "And then I saw several wild animals exit the Great Hall, but that could have just been the punch, couldn't it?"
Sirius nodded slowly, knowing perfectly well that Dumbledore knew it was not just the punch.
"Well then, off you go. Before Professor McGonagall has my liver for keeping you up." The Head Master gave Sirius a wink and then walked off towards the owlery, leaving the Marauder to bolt out off the Great Hall to Transfiguration.
An acute panic spree rushed through the Marauder's mind. As he rushed through the halls, Sirius took the time to notice something odd and out of place. At each and every door lay a single pineapple, as if they were suppose to be there all along.
"Oh . . . Damn it, Sirius. Keep down!"
Someone grabbed Sirius by the robes and pulled him down into a corner. Before he had a chance to look at his captor, Sirius was dragged behind a table at the end of the hall.
"Phiona?!" The Marauder finally caught sight of his abductor. "What the hell-"
"Shhh! Would you keep it down?" Phiona whispered harshly, pressing a finger to her companion's lips. "Just sit back and enjoy the show . . ." She smiled slyly, her hair frizzier then ever, her eyes glittering excitably.
"What's going on, Phinny?" Sirius asked, somewhat exasperated.
"You see those pineapples out there?" Phiona nodded towards on of the classroom doors.
Sirius rolled his eyes, leaning his head against the table in complete exhaustion. "No, I didn't happen to notice those tropical fruits laying suspiciously in front of the doors."
Phiona blinked as if she was just smacked across the face. "Sirius? Is that a hint of sarcasm in your voice?" she asked.
"No." Sirius replied shortly, starting to get up from the floor. "Now, if you don't mind, I have to get to class."
Phiona grabbed the Marauder by the arm and roughly pulled him down again. "You never used to be worried about being late to class." She raised an eyebrow, eyeing Sirius with her unbelievably dark eyes.
"I've never been forced behind a table against my will, either."
"I'm surprised. I thought you of all people would have been down here with one of your female lackeys. Don't the girls love it when you take them behind a table, into a dark corner?"
"Toss off, Phiona."
"Jeez, aren't we a little snippy today . . ." Phiona recoiled. "What's the matter, honey? James put extra strength itching powder in your pants again?"
Sirius shook his head irritably "Phiona, I've got Transfiguration. I've got to-"
Phiona cut off Sirius' comment by clamping a hand over his mouth. "Look," she whispered angrily. "I don't know who you are, or what you did to Sirius Black, but rule number one with Phiona Love is: Don't. Piss. Me. Off."
"Oh, God Phin . . . I'm sorry." Sirius brushed his friend's hand away from his mouth. "I'm a little preoccupied with something."
"The itching powder?"
Sirius chuckled hollowly. "No, it's Dumbledore."
"James put the itching powder in Dumbledore's underpants?" Phiona smiled wildly. "I always knew that boy would go far in the world of pranking."
Sirius closed his eyes and exhaled. For once, he had grown tired of Phiona's running gags. "Dumbledore knows everything, Phin. The Hallowe'en ball, the pink pills, Remus's transformation, everything . . ."
"Sirius, honey, listen to me," Phiona put a hand on the Marauder's shoulder. "If Dumbledore knew everything that went on around here, James would be kicked off the Quidditch team, Remus would be locked underneath the Whomping Willow forever, Peter would be out on the Muggle street, you would be put in St. Mungo's, and I would be thrown in Azkaban for . . ." she paused for a moment, biting her lower lip. "Well, let's not talk about me right now . . . Anyway, like I was saying, Dumbledore can't know everything that went on during the ball. Hell, even I don't remember everything that happened that night."
"But he knows about James, Peter, and I," Sirius said, rubbing the side of his face. "He told me he saw 'several wild animals exiting the Great Hall'. He knows Remus was at that ball and he knows that Prongs, Wormtail, and I are unregistered Animagi."
"Woah, woah, woah," Phiona shook her frizzy head. "He said he saw 'wild animals'. Did he ever mention anything to you about a werewolf, a stag, a rat, and a big black dog?"
"But nothing," Phiona interrupted. "Dumbledore's not that dense, you know. If he suspected something, he would ask you up front about it, wouldn't he?"
Sirius remained silent; his friend made a good point. Dumbledore would have confronted the Marauder if he suspected something illegal was afoot. The Marauder took a great sigh of relief. The four boys respected the Head Master and, therefore, the Head Master respected them.
"Thanks, Phinny," Sirius said quietly, closing his eyes and leaning back against the table. "For everything . . ."
"My pleasure, Padfoot," Phiona softly patted Sirius on the knee then glanced around the table, down the hall. "I hope this makes up for the conversation we lost in the rose garden.
'Ah, yes . . . that fateful conversation . . .' Sirius bitterly thought to himself. 'The conversation where I was finally going to take that final testosterone-filled leap, Phinny . . . but then we got cut off by the adventures of Snape, the world's greasiest piñata . . . Oh, the complete and utter irony of it all . . .'
"Phiona," Sirius started, his voice suddenly cracking. "About that conversation we were going to ha-"
"Oy, sorry we're late. Remus took a wrong turn and we ended up walking in circles for half an hour."
"Well, if you would have just let me stop and ask for directions . . ."
Something brushed past Sirius, bumping into the table. Suddenly, James, Remus, and Peter appeared in-between Phiona and the other Marauder. James was holding his beloved invisibility cloak in his hands, glancing around the table.
"How much time, Phinny?" he asked.
Phiona quickly checked her watch. "Just a couple more minutes, but I'm really not sure when-"
"Woah, woah, woah!" Sirius exclaimed irritably, looking at his fellow Marauder in confusion. "You three know what's going on?"
"Er . . . yeah," Peter said slowly. "We helped Phiona set it up."
Sirius threw a glare at the frizzy-haired witch. "Why didn't I know about this, Phin?"
"I told you before, honey," Phiona pinched Sirius' cheek. "I wouldn't let you handle anything this dangerous or highly explosive. I really don't feel like getting blown up before I reach twenty-one, thank you very much." She paused then added, "Besides, you're here now, aren't you?"
Sirius crossed his arms, "Yeah, well . . ."
"Padfoot hates being left out of a prank," James whispered to Phiona. "Call it egotistical if you like, but we live with it."
Phiona rolled her eyes and climbed over James, Remus, and Peter to get to Sirius. "If you want to, Pads, we can blow up some toilets in the girls' loo later. Just you and I."
Sirius raised an eyebrow. "You're just trying to make me feel better."
"Yeah," Phiona smirked. "And your point is?"
"I'm not joking, Phinny."
"I'm not laughing, Padfoot."
Sirius examined Phiona for a while with interest. The witch was truly trying to make him feel better. He guessed that the Dumbledore scare had frightened him more then he thought. Just the presence of Phiona Love had calmed the Marauder down; he was very thankful for it.
"Fine," Sirius said suddenly.
Phiona raised an eyebrow, as if she had no idea of what her friend was talking about, "Fine what?"
"I'll take you up on that offer," Sirius smiled, grinning like his old, mischievous self. "Honestly, Phin, I'll do it. Just get me a jar of peanut butter, keys to the girls' toilets, a couple of minutes, and I can throw together something that would make even your head spin . . ."
Phiona smiled, even more evilly then Sirius (as imposable as that may seem). "I thought James and Remus banned you from peanut butter along time ago."
"I'm a Marauder," Sirius commented proudly. "The whole world is my playground."
"Even peanut butter?"
"Especially peanut butter."
Phiona took Sirius' hand and gave it a soft squeeze, her dark eyes sparkling wildly. Sirius' smile widened, wishing that his other friends would just disappear, leaving him and Phiona alone for a while. However, the Marauder and the frizzy-haired witch were both startled from their 'moment' by the sound of the class bell.
"Oh, this is it!" Phiona exclaimed, peeking over the side of the table. "Okay, boys, sit back and watch all that is Phiona T. Love."
"T? What does the 'T' stand for?"
"Shhh! They're coming out."
Hundreds of Slytherins, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, and Gryffindors had started to flow out of the classrooms, but stopped short as soon as they caught sight of the pineapples. Many years' experience at Hogwarts advised them to not touch anything that didn't belong, especially tropical fruit. Of course, there's always one idiot in the crowd that ignores this advice. This time, said idiot was a greasy Slytherin named Severus Snape.
James could hardly contain his giddiness. "Oh, Sweet Jehovah," he mumbled quietly as Snape picked up a pineapple. "This is going to be so beautiful . . ."
"Five," counted down Phiona, who was staring at her watch. "Four . . . Three . . . Two . . . One . . ."
Suddenly, all at once, the pineapples burst in a loud and spectacular explosion. Tropical bits filled the air while the hall filled with a thick, yellow smog.
"Don't breath in," Remus advised Sirius quietly. "Wait for the smoke to clear."
Sirius plugged his nose as he heard several people screech through the fog. Soon, yells, screams, and curses filled the hall. Someone's wand went off, clearing all the smoke made by the explosion, finally revealing the finished product . . .
"Pineapples," Sirius mumbled, his nose still plugged. "They all have . . . pineapples . . ."
It seemed that the screams had been well thought out; each and every Hogwartain in the hall had bulbous pineapples sprouting out from their bodies. Snape, who looked as though he had gotten the worst of it, had several of the tropical fruits growing out of his face, making it look horribly deformed.
"Everyone to the hospital wing!" wailed Professor Rosenkranz, who had a pineapple sprouting out of his lower lip and one growing above his right eye. "We'll get this all sorted out there!"
There was a mad dash out of the hall. Several people got bowled over, several pineapple faces were squished, everyone was screaming madly.
When the hall had finally cleared out, the four Marauders and Phiona Love stepped out from behind the table, all pineapple-free and laughing hysterically.
"This was . . . pure . . . and utter . . . genius!" Sirius choked out between fits of chuckles.
"Definitely one for the record books," agreed Peter, wiping a tear from his eye.
"We'll show all those novice pranksters," James exclaimed gleefully, putting an arm around Phiona. "This is the era of the Marauders and the great and powerful Phinny Love."
"Disorder, panic, and utter chaos." Phiona smiled, her eyes simply brimming with happiness. "Yes, I do believe my work here is finished."
"Makes you proud to be a prankster, doesn't it?" Remus grinned triumphantly. "The perfect practical joke and, more importantly, the perfect clean get-away . . ."
"It's not so perfect, Mister Lupin."
The Marauders and Phiona slowly turned around to face the new Transfiguration teacher, Professor McGonagall. She looked extremely angry and threatening, even though she had a particularly large pineapple growing out of the end of her nose.
"Ten points each from Gryffindor! Now, all of you, detention!" McGonagall pointed down the hall. "MARCH!"
The five Gryffindors slowly started down the hall, their shoulders slumped, their pride ripped out from under them.
"There's always a flaw in the plan, isn't there?" Remus stated bitterly.
"Of course, Moony. That's how it works," Phiona said, still smiling wildly. "We pull a prank, we get caught, we get detention and are faced with some sort of cruel and unusual punishment. It's the circle of life."
"Well, at least I broke your record your most detentions in one week," commented Sirius lightly.
Phiona winced. Everyone knew that she was quite proud of that record. She suddenly relaxed, a sly grin glazing over her face.
"Are you serious, Sirius?" she asked.
Sirius growled threateningly as Phiona stuck her tongue out at him. James shook his head with disgust.
"Even with all that has gone on," he murmured to himself as Sirius and Phiona started throwing curses at each other, "our regular routine always gets back on track . . ."