Encounters of the Future Sort
Waldo the Indifferent
A/N: So, despite the fact that I currently have four stitches in the palm of my right hand (which happens to be my writing hand), I still managed to one-handedly whip this up for you guys. I get my stitches out in about a week, but I felt bad about having another slow update, so here you are. All of you are absolutely amazing for all of your lovely feedback-and I really can't stress that enough. Thank you to everyone who has read so far (especially you reviewers): Every one of you kicks some serious ass (unless you'd rather be kissing some Sirius face...either way).
"We should hurry..." Remus said, looking anxiously around.
Sirius put both of his hands behind his head as he strolled at a leisurely pace. "Relax, Moony. Enjoy yourself for once in your bloody life, yeah?"
It was odd—no, odd wouldn't even come remotely close to the right word that could successfully describe this situation. To put it simply, Harry was trying to convince himself that someone hadn't ground up a suspicious leaf from greenhouse seven and put it in his tea that morning.
"Are you all right?"
"Er—yeah..." Harry answered Remus, rubbing the back of his neck. "It's just a bit...odd, seeing you all."
"Odd for you?" Sirius barked out laughter. "We're the same age, mate. In our time Evans hates Prongs, the Cannons still suck, and the newest model broom is the Pluvia 180. What is it here? The Pulvia 5000?"
Harry half-grinned, "I see your point."
Sirius's eyes widened. "Shit."
"Who said that?" Peter asked, glancing up and down the corridor.
It was a portrait of an old, wrinkly man wearing scarlet robes, and though he had a beard that reached the floor, the top of his head was as bare as a baby's bottom (but hopefully not as smelly). His eyes were framed by round glasses with very thick lenses so that his eyes were magnified to twice their normal size. Under his portrait read the title, "Waldo the Perpetually Indifferent" (also known as Waldo the Transiently Zealous and Waldo the Contradicted). Apparently his indifference did not restrain his curiosity (which was where the contradicted title cleared things up).
"Young lad, did you just say you were from the past?" the Waldo asked, jumping out of his armchair and peering closely at the group (particularly Sirius).
Remus burst out laughing. "Yes—that's John—the joker!" He clasped Sirius on the back and wiped away an imaginary tear. "From the past...good one John!"
The man in the portrait continued to peer at them as they rushed down the corridor.
"That was impressive, Moony. Even for you," Sirius commended, grinning. "Why John?"
Remus shrugged. "It's my middle name, my father's name, and relatively inconspicuous. And thank you." He put his hands in his pockets.
Remus seemed, Harry noticed, rather proud of his actions and Sirius's praise (although Harry doubted he would admit it). He was definitely not the selfless man Harry knew him to be. This would take some getting used to.
"Would you two shut it!"
"Calm down, Hermione," George said as he received a death glare from said Witch, which was rarely seen, but quite frightening nonetheless.
"And so then I said to him, 'how the hell are we to know the difference?' and he said, 'well, if you eat one and start to grow massive boils right in the—"
"—you'll know it's the wrong chocolate." Fred continued.
"It was worth the pain," George winked. "Those were the best chocolates I've ever tasted."
"Maybe it was worth it for you!" Ron protested. "You weren't the one who had to suffer with great pussy boils on their—"
"Ron!" Hermione protested again. "I'm sorry, James—"
But James was already laughing.
"Yeah, but you learned your lesson." George said to Ron.
Fred turned to a hysterical James. "Never eaten sweets from us since,"
"Cripes! Fred, George!" someone shouted from the other end of the corridor.
"It's Lee," Fred muttered. "Probably wants to show us that tentacula..."
"We'll catch up with you lot later," George waved as he and his twin turned around to catch up with Lee Jordan, who stood beaming at the other end of the corridor, a suspiciously large box in hand.
Hermione glared after them. "If we weren't doing something far more important, that thing would be confiscated..." She pulled both James and Ron by their shirt sleeves and said, "Come on!"
"It's absolutely brilliant," Harry said. "I use it LOADS..."
"How did you get a hold of the map?" Sirius asked. "Why don't Moony's sprogs, or my sprogs—Merlin! Do I have sprogs?"
"Don't answer Harry." Remus firmly implored.
Sirius put his hands behind his head. "I've always pegged myself as the terminal bachelor type, but—"
"Harry!" Ginny rushed out of a side corridor and grabbed Harry's arm. "What happened to you? Are you..." She spotted Sirius, Remus, and Peter and clasped her hand over her mouth.
Harry rubbed his neck awkwardly. "Ginny, this is Sirius, Remus, and—" he swallowed, "Peter. They're, er...from the past."
Sirius stepped forward and took Ginny's hand in his. "Au chante," he bent down and kissed her hand.
Harry watched in amusement, while Remus looked annoyed and Peter a mixture between awed and impressed.
"Excuse him, he's seen multiple Muggle films where that line actually works on a girl." Remus smiled politely.
Sirius wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"So earlier," Ginny said, connecting all of the pieces in her head, "that actually was...wow."
Ginny looked back and forth between the three Marauders. "How—how did you get here?"
"That," Sirius began, "is a bit of a story."
"What is she doing?" James asked Ron, peering oddly at Hermione's back.
James leaned to his far left, and despite Hermione's efforts, saw a corner of worn parchment. His eyes lit up. "The map! You have the map—don't you?"
Ron shifted nervously. "Er..."
"Is it brilliant? We haven't got it quite perfected yet, but Moony reckons it'll be done at least over the summer—"
Ron jumped and was met face to face by McGonagall, who had just rounded the corner. Hermione immediately stuffed the map in her pocket, and James, realizing who it was, said, "Minnie, you haven't aged a day!"
"Why thank you, Mr. Potter." McGonagall said distractedly. "Now Miss Granger—" Her eyes did a double-take and she turned chalk white, clutching her heart. "My goodness..."
Hermione grinned timidly. "Let me explain, Professor..."