Hey, it's Maraudette! This is one of the first fanfics I've done, so any reviews would be completely appreciated. And, as always, requests are taken for other stories! ***
They gave me that bike.
It was a present from Prongs and Tiger and Moony for my seventeenth birthday, a shiny black bike that roared when I hit the throttle. I loved it more than I could tell them, so I just punched Moony and Prongs, and I gave Tiger a hug. It was more than I'd hoped for.
We went out on it that night, all four of us. Wormtail had some other commitment, I don't doubt it was with his filthy Death Eater buddies – what did they ever do for him? Where were they when his mum died of cancer? Where were they when he was too poor to buy his own books? It was Prongs and Moony and me that helped him, and he turned on us like the rat he is – but this isn't about him.
The four of us rode around on the bike all that night, to Tiger's sisters to throw tomatoes at her walrus of a husband, to the Leaky Cauldron, to my cheery old parents' house to graffiti the front door with a lion. I never forgot that night.
Prongs's parents adopted me after that. It was never legally recognized – there was too much going on at that point with the uprising to have the law deal with the adoption of an overage kid. But the Potters always taught me to know that they weren't my parents, even if I considered myself Padfoot Potter. Prongs's dad told me, the day they adopted me, that they were like my guardians. "There's things thicker than blood, Sirius," he said.
Mrs. Potter said that Prongs was one of them, for giving me my bike. She said I'd figure out a way to make it more dangerous than You-Know-Who himself.
So I made it fly. I didn't want to disappoint her.
That bike was the epitome of Marauding. It was who we were, the essence of the spirit of the Marauders. Back in seventh year, we purposely missed the Express in order to fly ourselves to Hogwarts – well, me and Moony and Prongs anyways. It was funny to watch Tiger's face after we got back – Prongs forgot he was head boy, and me and Moony were in stitches when he had to apologize. Tiger was ready to kill him.
We smuggled the Beast past Dumbledore (in all honesty, I think he just wanted us to enjoy ourselves for our last year), hid it in the Room of Requirement, and kept it there.
The poor Beast didn't get too much time out of that place during NEWT year. I was already guarenteed a job with Prongs at the Auror Office thanks to Mr. Potter, so I didn't work too much, but McGonnagall wasn't quite as... forgiving as Dumbledore was. We were guilty cause of Moony, but he was happy with his job in the Order. He said it paid well enough, three squares a day and all his necessities taken care of. I always watched out for him even when he said he didn't need it, though. He needs it more than he thinks.
My speech at graduation wasn't supposed to happen. It was supposed to be Prongs, and then Tiger, then Moony as top of the class, and then Dumbledore, and ta-da, we'd graduate – no. Padfoot Potter does not go out without a bang.
So my bike came in.
Dumbledore always loved sentimentality, the bugger. He told me once that there's always a place for that, and I decided that graduation was not the place. So I took my bike, and I rode in with a box of modified Filibuster's fireworks. You should've heard them scream, Filibuster, mate, you'd be proud of me.
My bike held up well, all things considered. I blew the tail pipe off, but it was worth it. Flew right around the ceiling, trailing sparklers behind me, and then bam – gorgeous. One big old crest in the middle of the sky, and the badger was crawling about, and the raven crowed, the snake slithered, and the Gryffindor lion roared like you wouldn't believe. And then - oh, man - this huge gold star, with our year in it, and it exploded, and showered stars the size of your fist that tasted like powdered sugar. Tiger took a week trying to get the stuff out of her hair.
My old beast became my life after Hogwarts. It came everywhere with me – Tiger was kinda sarcastic about it, I guess. "You'd better invite Sirius and that bike over soon, or he'll bust thru the front window," she told Prongs when they finally moved in together.
I bust thru the front window anyways. She wasn't happy. She turned me into a newt. Come to think of it, it must've been Prongs that turned me into a newt for her, 'cause Tiger was never any great shakes at Transfiguration.
Prongs and Tiger's flat was my home away from home. It was a little place, cozy for the two of them, with a spare room and one bath overlooking both halves of Diagon Alley. I don't think Prongs was ever really honest about how much he paid for that place.
I rented a space nearby, a couple miles from a junkyard that I could scavenge for parts for my bike. I never liked magical meddling. I always wanted to be doing something with my hands, and fixing my bike was top of my list.
Moony got sent away on business for the Order under the name of Jacob, a long-lost cousin of my brother Regulus, who died a few months after Moony got into spying for the Order. We thought he was always in danger, but his letters - when he could send them - were as quirky as ever.
Sorry I can't write anymore than this. Trying to keep low. Not working very well. I'm sure you remember how my temper makes me stick out sometimes. Give the Beast a few new parts and enjoy yourself for me. It'd make me feel better. And never forget what Prongs and I taught you: if it's popsicle, it's possible.
Well, Moony got found out a few weeks after Regulus was killed. I personally got to pick him up from his hiding place on the Beast. Had to fight my way thru fifteen Death Eaters and two PMS ing wives to reach him, but I did, and we took off towards Prongs's place to camp out like the good old days. I remember Moony holding onto my leather jacket to stop himself from falling. He told me, "I didn't think we were gonna get out of there alive, Padfoot."
(I handed him a popsicle.)
I was working on the Beast a few months later when Prongs came over. He didn't really come over to my place as often as I came over to his, so when I heard his voice, I hit my head on the muffler.
"Damn it, Prongs!" I hollered at him. My curse missed by a few feet and broke the clock my uncle had given me.
"Pad, take a calming drought!" he laughed at me. The bugger was laughing at me. I remember threatening to break his wand in half.
He'd come over nervous. His hands were shaking and bouncing around and I couldn't quite keep an eye on him from where I was cleaning the leather of my seat. He only told me what he'd come for when I told him I was going to break his other wand in half if he didn't shut it.
Proposal. Marriage. Old.
I nearly cried from laughing so hard. Prongs hit me. I took the ring from him, and I'll tell you what, as much as I used to tease him about his fashion choices, he knows what his tiger likes. It was... damn, I'm bad at talking about jewelry. It was silver, and it had a pink little stone in the middle, with two little diamonds on either side. That's all I can remember – no, wait, it said Tiger on the inside of it.
Two months later, I got this in the mail.
To the Beast:
Announcing the Marriage of Lily Evans and James Potter
This May, on the Thirteenth.
You may bring Sirius if you wish.
Love from the Happy Couple
It was simple, and stupid, but I was so happy. For them, I mean. And when Prongs told me I was going to be best man, I nearly pissed myself.
May came really soon, and the Beast was happy to keep up with the date of the wedding. Prongs was nervous, of course, but me and Moony kept him in check for most of the time.
Tiger had Moony "walk" her down the aisle, cause her father was... well, gone. But the Beast thought that the aisle was much too long for such a delicate lady to go, so Moony took Tiger to Prongs on it. She was so happy. That bike was our everything, so it was fitting it was here too.
Moony gave her away. I don't remember too much else about the wedding, just the party afterwards. The Beast was there too, right behind the new Potters as they ate their dinner. Moony and I teased them mercilessly about how cutesy-wootsy and how shmoopy-woopy they were. Prongs didn't hex us, but Tiger charmed my ear off halfway through cake.
It was worth it.
The Beast got put away for a while after that, me and Prongs being so busy with the Auror offices. Tiger started getting lonely without Prongs home every night, so she had her friend, Morgana, move in during longer missions – you know, the ones that took a week or two. Morgana was sure to yell at us when we came home smelling like other people. Moony teased us. Prongs told everyone he never cheated, and it was true, but it was fun to see Tiger work herself into a fake hissy-fit.
It was only three months after they got married that it happened.
She was my third cousin twice removed. A pureblood. He wanted her for her ruthlessness as an Order member, but of course she didn't go over. She was too much like us. She and Tiger were like the female marauders. Maraudees, I guess.
Anyways, we didn't know until Mad-Eye told us a day after it happened. She was ambushed when working for the Order by Malfoy and his little cronies. Snape was one of them. Tiger cried about it. I punched a wall.
We gave her the best memorial that we could in the circumstances. There were plenty of people that sent flowers and wreaths, and a few showed up to give speeches, including my aunt and uncle. Everyone was dressed in white, because, well, Morgana always wanted her funeral decked in white. White roses, white ribbons, white chairs and tables and podium – even an empty white coffin. We didn't have a body to bury: she was never seen again. The way Prewett told it made it sound like she was burned after her murder. Tiger cried again. We didn't know why she was crying so much, but we chalked it up to grief.
It turned out that she wasn't just crying because of Morgana. She couldn't help it. She even cried over the wrong type of butter. Moony made the connection first, and Prongs was annoyed cause he didn't realize it straight away.
Tiger was pregnant.
The Beast was happy about that one. Prongs took it joyriding with Tiger when she announced it, and then forbid her from doing anything dangerous while she was laid up. Those were his exact words: "laid up".
She threw a fit. Well, if cursing a cat to glue itself to Prongs's nose is considered a fit.
After that, he let her do what she wanted. Which often included stealing the Beast without my permission. He did, however, forbid me from doing anything to her in retribution.
It was in July that it happened. Me and Moony were spending a lot of time with them as July went on, 'cause neither of us wanted to be gone when she finally went into labor. Prongs had gotten to be overbearing. I had to sit on him to let Tiger get up to get a drink.
I remember it perfectly. Tiger walked into the kitchen. Moony said, "And then Mad-Eye took that big Death Eater and turned him into a chicken, and then shot him up Lucius's–"
And Tiger screamed.
Prongs threw me off him and the three of us rushed into the kitchen.
Tiger was standing there, holding an empty glass and an open jug of apple juice in front of her. The floor was wet. Prongs sighed from relief.
"It's okay, Tiger," he said. "I'll clean it up."
She stared at him. "Honey –"
"It's not that big a deal, it's just apple juice. You might want to change your pants, though."
I remember exactly what happened next. Moony gasped. Prongs went to the cupboard to get a mop; and Tiger screamed: "Why would I change my pants if I have to put on a hospital gown anyways?"
"My water broke."
I remember passing out.
Moony told me later that Prongs passed out too. I laughed at him. He hit me. Moony had the "presence of mind" (bugger) to grab the Beast, put Tiger in the side car, stick Prongs behind her and hold onto me as he drove us to St. Mungo's. The staff still made fun of us a year later. I was conscious at that time, so I was pushing Tiger in a wheelchair. Moony had Prongs in a fireman's hold.
He was stronger than I thought.
Well, Tiger was in labor for a grand total of 13 hours, straight from ten in the morning to eleven fifty at night. I tell you what, that little boy was a shitload of work to get into this world. Tiger was nearly unconscious from effort. But you know, the sparkle in her eyes was everything. That little bundle of helpless blankets was worth it.
Prongs held him second, after her. I couldn't stop grinning. "Why hello there, Padfoot Maximus Machete III!" I cooed.
Tiger nearly had an aneurism, poor mama. But Prongs laughed and smacked me in the head and wiped his eyes cause he was crying, the pansy.
...Okay, so I was crying a little bit too.
"Harry James Potter," Tiger said softly. That little bundle gurgled. Best sound ever.
"Moony? Padfoot? You'll be godparents?" Prongs asked, looking up at us. I made my eyes real wide.
"Well, as long as I don't have to go gay..." I said.
Tiger gaped at him. Moony shoved his hands in his pockets. "I wouldn't feel right if I raised your son, being what I am," he said. He looked real sad about it.
"Shut up, Moony," Prongs growled.
"Really, Remus! Don't be silly!" Tiger said.
But Moony only shook his head.
"You sure, Moony?"
"At least hold him."
"Hey!" I yelled. "My godson, I hold him first!"
Tiger snarled at me and handed him to Moony. That baby had never looked happier.
Yes, I realize he was only born a half-hour before that. Shut it.
Point is, Harry loved Moony. He giggled. He grinned a toothless sort of grin. He waved his pudgy little hands.
"Moony! I want a turn!" Yes, I whined.
He handed the bundle to me real slow. It was lighter than I thought. His face was covered. I pushed back the blanket.
There was about a second where I thought that Prongs was a baby again and he was in that blanket – before Harry started bawling and screaming at me.
"Give him back! Give him back!" Tiger screamed. I practically tossed him at her.
"Moony," Prongs said grimly, "I think you might have doomed my child to life with a torturous hugger if we die."
"There are worse things to be," he said.
Prongs and I agreed on one thing when it came to Harry. Tiger was for it, but Moony refused with every fiber of his being. And when Moony opposes something, that wolf-y bit comes out in him. "Don't you dare," was his constant refrain. I was actually kind of scared. A little.
In the end, Harry's first ride home was, of course, in the Beast, cuddled up in endless blankets in the sidecar with Tiger. Prongs drove; I sat behind him, and Moony sat with Tiger.
I told Tiger that Harry'd get heat stroke in all those blankets. She hit me.
He liked home life. He absolutely adored his parents and Moony, and he loved his room and his stuffed bear, Tabby. He even loved the cat, because it jumped when he hit it.
But he didn't really like me for the first few weeks. Not until he realized my hair tasted even better than old mushed carrots. After that, whenever I was in the room, he wanted me to hold him.
The Sam's Club lady made fun of me for buying extra-strength conditioner in economy size.
Christmas was nice that year. The five of us, plus Alice and Frank and the Beast, of course, all cuddled around the fireplace in Moony's little villa. The tree was beautiful. Neville and Harry were asleep in two of those little whatchamacallems– Pack - n - Plays, or something like that. Tiger was asleep by one in the morning, tired old woman, with her head in Prongs's lap.
It's one of the best memories I have left of them. Sure, there are others: washing the Beast in the front yard of my mother's house; Harry's first Snitch; and, of course, crashing the Beast with James into the insane ward of a nearby Muggle hospital.
(We only just got away with that one. Pled temporary insanity. Dumbledore vouched for us. 'Course, it helped that the sole witness said we were two kumquats riding a cooked carrot. You have to love muggles...)
I don't really remember the in-between time when they were hiding. I blocked it out. But I remember being Padfoot, and running rounds around Godric's Hollow to make sure that they wouldn't ... well, that they'd make it through the night.
The one night I took off was the one I'd take back if I could.
I'd gone to Moony's for a night to cheer him up. He'd been depressed. I was worried that he'd start going gray, and I told him so, and he laughed. But then he started getting into the firewhiskey, and I couldn't just leave him like that. Moony is a weepy drunk.
So I spent the night there – in the guest room next to his, you perverts – and the next afternoon I woke up, fought off a migraine, and cleaned up the Beast before heading to Prongs's for a check-in.
It was dark. I rode the Beast up to the house and I could feel my eyes pop. The entire upper section of the house was blown apart, bricks everywhere, but what scared me most was the lack of light. Tiger always kept a light on for me.
And then I found them.
I remember ... snapshots. The Beast falling over. Me cradling James in my arms, begging him to come back from a place no one can come back from; then Lily, and me stroking her hair so softly, because it was her essence, her fiery spirit that I just couldn't let go of. Wiping my tears from where they fell on James's face. Straightening his glasses. Closing Lily's eyes.
Hagrid showed up after about a half-hour. By then I'd found Harry, and I was holding him, and he was asleep, and I was sobbing. Hagrid took him.
"No." I remember it clearly. "No, Hagrid, I'm his godfather, let me have him."
He shook his head. Dumbledore wanted him, he said, Dumbledore had a place for him.
I stood up to go. I couldn't – I couldn't deal. I couldn't cope. I still can't, today.
"Wait! Sirius! Yer bike!"
I looked back. The Beast stood there, and I remembered when it stood for something. It used to be me, James, Lily and Remus, together, strong and powerful and young and fast and free.
I didn't need the Beast anymore.
I'd never be free again anyways.
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