Disclaimer: Not mine.
Once again…this was written for the Hogwarts Online Forum. The prompts given were 'Late' and 'Detention'
Late for Detention
"He's going to bloody kill us," Potter laughed as he ran, one hand on his cap the other holding the strap to his backpack to keep it from slapping into him.
"We are screwed," Sirius yelled ahead to Remus, "all because you fucked up on the time."
"Did not," Remus called back over his shoulder. "It was your job."
"Knock it off," Peter whined, suddenly stopping in the middle of the road. "Hey guys, wait…it would be better if we didn't go at all."
The other three pulled up short and turned to look at him, waiting for him to continue. "You know, say he got the time wrong. Just show up at seven and pretend we're on time."
James looked at Sirius and smirked. "What d-ya think?"
"I think he's crazy," Sirius snorted. "He'll see through that in a minute. Come on, if we're all late what's he going to do?"
"Why not try it?" Remus shrugged. "Listen, we show up late and we get another detention. We show up at seven instead of six and we got a chance. We're no worse off than we are now."
"Okay, but we get there at different times, you know, don't walk in together." Sirius said, a smile playing at the corner of his mouth. "Remus, you say you were in the library and Peter was down in the kitchen nicking some more cake."
"I'm going up to the common room," Potter said. "What? I'd be there if you guys didn't keep dragging me off."
"Right," Sirius smirked, starting back up to the castle at a leisurely pace. "I'm just flat out going to refuse to give up which Ravenclaw I was snogging."
"Better make her a Hufflepuff. No decent Ravenclaw would get caught dead with you," Remus shot back.
"Who said I wanted a decent one?" Sirius said in mock horror. "You wound me thinking I would corrupt an innocent."
"You muck this up and I am going to wound you," Remus muttered.
"Fuck," James said, stopping and nodding to the main doors. "Just our luck."
They stood together watching the Headmaster talking to a couple of students, pointing toward the Forbidden Forest and shaking his head.
"What do you think that's all about?" Remus asked, stepping off the path and pulling Peter's arm until he was out of sight as well. "Would you two get over here before he sees you?"
"Too late," James spoke from the side of his mouth, lifting his arm and signalling to Dumbledore, returning the gesture the old wizard had just given them.
"Great," Sirius muttered, running his hand through his hair as he lowered his head, trying to hide that he was talking. "The old fart's smiling."
"Shite," Peter spat. "Now you're in for it."
"Me? What about you?" James said incredulously.
"He didn't see us, right Moony?" Peter said innocently.
"Umm," Remus peeked between the branches of the bush they were standing behind, "don't think so. No…he wouldn't be smiling if he saw all of us."
"He shouldn't be smiling now, that's what worries me." James said, swallowing hard. "Come on, Black, let's get it over with."
Remus and Peter knelt down on the ground, watching what was happening under the branches. Remus waited until they went inside with the Headmaster and then told Peter to sneak in the side entrance and get down to the kitchen while he took the back way up to the library.
"I think we better change our story," Peter said. "You know Black can't stick to anything. As soon as he gets talking he's going to save his own arse."
"It was your idea, idiot. Anyway, if he changes his story it may still work…we just say we thought it was at seven but never talked it over with them. "
They peeked back under the bushes one last time, before they started to run, keeping low to the ground and skirting around the perimeter of the courtyard. Parting, as soon as they were inside, they waited until it was almost seven and made their separate ways to the Headmaster's office.
Remus walked in first, joined Sirius and James who were already at the desk, and sat silently with the others waiting for Peter. At half past seven, when it was obvious Peter was not coming. Sirius began to squirm, shooting questioning looks at James and smirking at Remus.
"Where is he?" James whispered.
"How should I know?" Remus coughed into his hand.
"Gentlemen, it appears that Mr. Pettigrew has decided not to join us." The Headmaster sat down at his desk slowly, studying each face in turn.
Sirius turned to James and stared at him blankly. "Mr. Potter? Have you seen Mr. Pettigrew?"
"No, Mr. Black." James said seriously. "I do hope he's not in any difficulty."
"He could be," Remus said, placing his hands on the arms of his chair, preparing to stand, "I'll go check on him."
"And, tell me Mr. Lupin, exactly where will you be checking on him?" The Headmaster asked sweetly.
Remus lowered himself back into the chair, shrugging meekly. "He likes to raid the kitchen."
"Indeed?" The Headmaster peered over his glasses.
Just then, Peter came in, strode up to the desk and handed Dumbledore his release slip. "Professor Slughorn sent me out early. I had to clean the cauldrons, but only two needed it."
Sirius snorted and sat straighter in his chair, glaring at Peter, while Remus could only shake his head and feel his stomach sink.
"Peter?" James had the audacity to ask, "Why were you down in potions?"
"What? Didn't we have detention?" Peter asked innocently.
"You most certainly did, Mr. Pettigrew," Dumbledore said evenly. "However, you were to report to me."
"Sorry, sir." Peter sat in the empty chair, managing to look wide-eyed and innocent. "I thought since the detention was for skiving off potions class the detention would be with Professor Slughorn."
James snapped his head up and studied Peter closely, as Sirius coughed into his hand, turning red in his effort not to choke. Remus closed his eyes, wondering where it all had started.
"You are excused, Mr. Pettigrew." The Headmaster nodded solemnly, watching the slight boy scamper off to the stairs. "I do not believe I need to go over why we are here at this late hour, nor will I take more of your time, since you seem so diligent in your studies. Suffice to say that this weekend you will report to our gamekeeper. I am sure he has enough work to keep your occupied from Saturday, shall we say eight in the morning, until dinner time on Sunday?"
The three nodded their understanding, and after listening to Dumbledore talk, for a full half hour on how he was not going to lecture them, he finally allowed them to leave. They jostled their way down the staircase, each one more anxious than the next to find Peter.
"What the fuck was that?" Sirius yelled before they were fully in the room. "Blimey, I thought we had a plan."
"Felt like a bloody idiot sitting there," James said, tossing his backpack on the bed. "Shite, Peter, you could have let us know."
"I tried, I really did. But Professor McGonagall scared the crap out of me. Should have seen her stalking the halls and all, she has the biggest claws I've ever seen. Right mean she is."
"Gods," Remus moaned. "She saw Wormtail?"
"Well, yeah, but she didn't know it was me. She thought it was just a big ole rat."
"I wonder how far she takes it. You know, cats eat rats," Sirius smirked.
Peter blanched and sat down heavily, looking suddenly ill. "She wouldn't do that."
"How do you know?" Remus said incredulously.
"We could make him change back and test it out," James sulked.
"She took the cake but didn't touch me," Peter explained, feeling glad to have gotten away.
That Saturday the daily owls swooped into the Great Hall, dropping packages and letters in their familiar circle around the magical ceiling. Peter was surprised when a piece of stale cake landed in front him until he saw the sender's name etched across its surface. Looking up to the dais, to where the professors sat, he swallowed hard.
"Hey guys? How about I help ya out today? You know, we should stick together on this."