This is the first chapter of a Hogwarts Marauders story. It's a happy, fluffy, and (hopefully) humorous piece, in which I get to torture James a bit.
THE SPECULUM CURSE
ACT I: JAMES
It all started as they were running down the Twisting Staircase (late for Transfiguration, as usual.) They had vaulted over only a few steps when James, in the lead, made an odd strangled sound. He stopped short, reeling and grabbing for the banister. It did not seem to help: losing his balance, he collapsed by the wall in a contorted heap.
Peter, right behind him, tried to change direction to avoid running right into his friend. Naturally, he overbalanced, and spent a few desperate moments leaning over the precipice, arms waving madly.
It was fortunate indeed that Remus and Sirius both made a quick grab for his robes and were able to pull him upright with only the minimum of ripping sounds and near-strangulation. A brief moment was then spent in readjusting Peter's robes, and forcing Sirius to step off Remus' foot.
Only once this little episode was over did everyone turn their attention back to James, who was still down. Crouched by the wall, hugging his knees with his eyes screwed shut, he was as far from a picture of a confident Quiddich captain as one can normally get.
"James?" Peter asked timidly, touching his shoulder, "Are you alright, James? Your face is as green as an old pickled toad."
"Dizzy", was all James would (or could) say.
Sirius backed away a little. "Don't you look at me," he announced preemptively, "I have not been poisoning him."
"Hmm," Remus rubbed his chin, "Seems more like vertigo than like poison to me..."
"Have not been casting vertigo charms, either..."
"The question of the moment," Remus announced, ignoring Sirius and approaching James, "is, can you stand up?"
"Yes, we're late for class," Peter added, anxiously, tugging on James' arm.
Eventually, they managed to get James into a vertical state, even if separating him from the wall proved too much to ask. Leaning on said wall as well as on Remus, pulled by Peter, and pushed (not VERY roughly) by Sirius, a trembling James made his way slowly down the staircase.
Still, he would say nothing. It was all very odd and troubling.
"Shouldn't we take him to see Madam Pomfrey?" was Peter's question.
"No! No! Are you insane?" Sirius leapt towards him. "What if she makes him stay in bed? Through tomorrow? During the Quiddich game? That's a risk we cannot afford to take!"
"What if he's really sick?" Peter countered.
But Sirius' eyes had taken on a mad gleam. "We're playing SLYTHERIN!" he shouted, shaking Peter by the shoulders.
Remus, meanwhile, was clearly lost in though, his eyes lighting up with suspicion. "Yes, the Quiddich game," he began. "Isn't it slightly odd that the Gryffindor Seeker should feel vertigo the day before we play Slytherin?"
"Those bastards!" Sirius let go of the shaken Peter and clenched his fists. "They've gone and cast a spell on him! Or something!"
"You don't mean this will last until tomorrow!" Peter moaned.
"Not necessarily if it was done by a gormless idiot like Snape," Sirius reassured him. "But, if it is Snape, I'll get him. Actually, I think I'll get him even if it isn't him."
"Yes, very good," Remus murmured, distracted by dragging James down the last few steps. "I suggest we take no drastic steps until we have a better idea of what is going on. Alright, James?" He asked, seeing as they were now back on solid flat ground.
"Uh, yeah. And, thanks for getting me down that, guys. You are all such wonderful pals. I do not deserve you," James stammered out, and the others exchanged still-worried looks.
The worried looks turned out to be entirely justified. James' bizarre behaviour continued throughout Transfiguration. He actually seemed to be paying attention. Furthermore, when Professor McGonagall turned a scrap of parchment into a moth, he jumped up with a little start. It was almost as if he'd been frightened! Not even Peter was that scared of insects!
Fortunately, Sirius was able to distract him before anyone else had noticed anything.
"Wow, that insect looks just like Professor Trelawny!" he exclaimed breathlessly. And accurately. "Think it's deliberate?"
"I wish it was," Remus put in. "But it's probably just a subconscious reflex. What do YOU think, James?"
"Yes... no..." James was obviously flustered by his friends' anxious looks. "I d-don't know."
Unfortunately, this last statement lacked the usual nonchalance and near-ventriloquism that the Marauders had perfected over the last three years. As such it drew the Professor's attention. While Peter attempted to conceal himself behind his hastily open book, she turned her attentive eye on James.
"Potter," she began dryly. "I must agree that there are obviously many things you still don't know, and talking in class will not help to remedy the situation. I do, however, hope that you know at least one of the precautions one must take when turning an inanimate object into an animate one. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject," she finished, gazing at James levelly.
"Erm," was all James could say, turning bright red and looking wildly in all directions but hers.
The Professor was just as confused by this as anybody. "Is this some sort of a game, Potter?" she asked, now starting to look slightly miffed. "I do not recall having ever seen you so lost for words before."
James' only reply was to look more distressed. Almost as if he were about to cry. So, fearing for his friend's reputation, Sirius just had to speak up.
"He's, um, pretending to be Peter, Professor," he explained hastily. "It's a sort of bet we've made - we have to swap personalities for a day. Amusing, isn't it?" He grinned hopefully.
"That's right!" Remus piped up as the Professor looked on suspiciously. "And... I must warn you that I am Sirius, and so I MAY later be setting fire to my moth."
"And I, being Remus," Sirius announced in mellifluous BBC tones, "may later be commenting on how lovely you..."
He was forced to stop before he got to the good part, not by Remus' dark growl, but by Peter's unexpected contribution.
"I... am... James," Peter said, his quivering voice growing firmer with each word, "and so I should answer. And I would say that the main precaution would be to make sure that the transformation is complete enough for the creature to be viable before casting Animo. To avoid unpleasant side-effects like random bloodspurts and such. And," he pushed on in desperation under the Professor's glare, "one should also make sure you can control or restrain the creature, if it's a dangerous one. Finally," he continued, mouth twisting into a slightly insane smile, "it is quite important to make sure that whoever the creature is to resemble is not present in the room."
This pronouncement was followed by shocked silence. Professor McGonagall took a long look at her Trelawny moth, as her expression fluttered between shock, amusement, anger, and pleasant surprise.
Finally, the more positive emotions seemed to win out as she turned back to Peter. "Your little games never cease to amaze me... Potter," she said. "Nevertheless, you are correct. As a punishment, however," she continued, and Peter's spirits sank, "I am afraid I will have to count the answer towards Pettigrew's grade. It might help him make a B, this term."
The boys grinned at each other as she walked away. At least, three of them did. James was still looking utterly shell-shocked.
Peter was beaming as they left the classroom. "Did you see that?" he asked Remus.
"Well, obviously!" Remus answered, "That was some quick thinking, Peter. And some good acting, too. You are the hero of the hour, indeed."
At that point, James seized and shook the hand of the hero of the hour. "Thank you, Peter," he said, emotionally, "I will never, ever forget this. Not as long as I live. And now," he addressed the whole group, "I think I had better go see Madame Pomfrey. I feel a bit... faint."
"You will do nothing of the kind," Sirius barked out, pulling James towards the History Of Magic classroom. "Think of Gryffindor, you idiot!"
To everyone's resigned surprise, James did not object, not even to the insult. So they all walked on, pondering the sad fact that life would lose quite a bit of spice without regular Sirius-James fights.
"Incidentally, Sirius," Remus said at some length. His tone was tense: perhaps he was aiming to start a new, alternative, fight tradition. "Did you really have to compliment the Professor in my name? Your little joke is getting quite stale, and I do not appreciate having it made public."
"A real man is not afraid to speak of his love," said Sirius, his hand on his heart. The dramatic effect was spoiled somewhat by the sudden movement he had to make to dodge Remus' fists.. "Anyway, you're the one who was trying to delve into the depths of her subconscious," he explained, running into the classroom.
Remus gave up on protecting the (alleged) secrets of his heart, and decided to address a few comforting words to James. "Don't worry, it's only Professor Binns now" he said, "You can pretend to sleep, if you like. And afterwards, we have a free afternoon. We'll try to figure out what's going on - maybe at the library."
"You think the library is the solution to everything!" Peter exclaimed, rolling his eyes. "I'm still being James," he explained in answer to Remus' puzzled look.
Well, where else could they start looking? Perhaps within James' memory, Remus decided, as they made their way towards the library after class.
"Um, James," he said as gently as he could, though still provoking a slight jump, "Do you remember anything unusual happening before we went down That Staircase?"
"Well, we had a fight with the Slytherins," James suggested timidly, after some thought.
"Remus did say unusual," Sirius pointed out, helpfully. "One thing about that fight, though," he continued, "We do know you were acting normal (normal for you, that is) up until virtually the last moment."
"Yeah," said Peter, admiringly. "After Niccolo slapped you with that mirror he was carrying, I thought you were going to break his nose. The nose he'd inherited from his ogre father and unchoosy goblin mother, I believe you said," he continued, in an attempt to remind James of his more glorious past.
"That mirror," Remus furrowed his brow, "I wonder why they needed that mirror?"
"Well, they did explain they wanted to give him one last look at his face before it was destroyed by bludgers," Sirius answered. "You're right though, it does seem unusually thoughtful."
"Yes, I do think we should keep an eye out for mentions of mirrors," was Remus' conclusion.
This was followed by a few minutes of discreet silence as they passed a group of studious Ravenclaw sixth-years with bulky backpacks. A clear sign that the library was drawing close.
"What else should we be looking for, though?" Peter re-opened the discussion once they were alone again. "James?"
The query, most likely made only out of long-standing habit, threw James into another tizzy. "I don't know," he said earnestly, "You know I'm an absolute duffer at the idea side of things."
Sirius, who had accused James of exactly that on numerous occasions, was obviously worried: with unusual tact, he did nothing to express his agreement. Instead, he made a suggestion. "I think we should check out the Quiddich section. Since we believe it's an anti-Quiddich spell. After all, the Slytherins must have found inspiration somewhere."
"Good idea," said Remus appreciatively. "I hadn't thought of that! My idea, inspired by our Transfiguration cover story," he explained, "was that it is some sort of serious personality-altering curse. We did them in Defence Against the Dark Arts. Of course," he added resignedly, "that was the day when you were trying to charm that toad so it would go up Snape's robes."
"How were we to know that it was a toad of taste?" Sirius sighed.
"Yeah, I don't think I've ever seem a toad hop away so fast," Peter said wonderingly. "Or look so repulsed. And that includes the one you flushed down the prefects' toilet."
"Oh, right. I forgot about that!" Remus exclaimed, turning towards Sirius with a smirk. "See, I told you it was not going to grow abnormally large and return to take its revenge."
"Have some faith!" Sirius suggested. "It's only been two years."
"Oh!" James was, again, flustered. He glanced over his shoulder, as if expecting to see a giant toad. "What if it comes back and takes its revenge on us?"
"That personality-altering curse seems to be pretty powerful stuff," Peter whimpered.
"Don't worry, the curse is just the worst-case scenario," Remus reassured him. "It's quite possible that it's some sort of simple, er, wimpyfying charm," he said with an apologetic look at James, who only shrugged meekly in reply. "But it seems a bit more complex than that, if we look at all the symptoms..."
"Yeah, the symptoms! I almost forgot," Sirius exclaimed, "I wrote them down during class!" Pausing at the library door, he rifled through his bag, eventually extracting a crumpled piece of parchment. "I'd better get started on the Quiddich section, then," he announced, making as if to enter.
"You seem awfully eager. Make sure you don't get lost in reading 'The Snitch And Its Snatchability' or something," Remus advised.
"Yes, Mother! Honestly, Remus, are you kidding? The QUIDDICH CUP is at stake here!" Sirius shot back, before disappearing.
"I'll go and look up charms if you handle curses," Peter suggested. "Remember, I've looked at courage charms before - this could be a simple inverse or something."
"Perfect," Remus answered, "What about you, James?"
"I don't know why you guys are even bothering," sniffed James, staring at Sirius' list. "Just look at this: I'm hopeless."
So they all looked at the list, which read:
Whines like a little girl
Is as cowardly as a girly mouse
Follows suggestions like a sheep. Girly sheep, I mean.
May have turned stupid?
Note to self: read up on exorcising Professor Binns.
A further entry had been added, in scribbly, tentative handwriting that still bore a shadow of a resemblance to James':
is pathetic and worthless
"Hmm. I think Sirius my have missed one out. 'Has an inferiority complex'.", Remus murmured. "Anyway, James," he continued with a smile, "perhaps you could look through the basic texts? There's always a chance it's something really simple."
James didn't even bother to answer. He just grabbed several oversized, large-print books filled with colourful, friendly pictures of cute critters, and slumped down at a library table quite far away from Madame Pince.
His friends disappeared among the stacks.
For hours and hours, they toiled among the dusty volumes. Peter was starting to develop quite a cough. Sirius was also making odd noises, but in his case they sounded more like suppressed laughter.
Fearing that his friend had lost focus as predicted, Remus decided to check on him. He was right: no sooner had he entered the relevant aisle that he was grabbed by the shoulder, an open book thrust into his arms.
"Just look at this!" Sirius giggled, pointing at a picture. "Living goal-posts! You throw a quaffle at them, and they throw it back! And here," he continued "is an action-shot of a bludger enchanted to go for the, um, family jewels of all the male players on the opposing team!"
"Hilarious," a stone-faced Remus said. "And very relevant."
"Oh, keep your fur on!" Sirius said. "Actually, it turns out that mucking about with the players' heads is not a very popular form of Quiddich distraction. Their bodies, yes; the equipment, yes; and, as we have seen, combinations of bodies and equipment, definitely. But, psychologically, the only really interesting event took place during the 1974 World Cup play-offs. French Seeker Vichy was bewitched to fall in love with Bulgarian Beating Champion Popova! Unfortunately, this Bulgarian plot backfired slightly, as the French national team has since been greatly improved by the addition of four of the Vichy children... "
"Go on," Peter, who had decided to join them, seemed very interested.
"Not you too, Peter," Remus sighed, "is anyone here even looking any more?"
"No point," was Peter's sad reply, "you were right: charms tend to be less complicated. And I guess you aren't having any luck, either?"
"Actually, I am having too much luck," Remus explained. "There are many curses that make people act out of character. The Imperius curse for one; personality swaps, for another. Also, a curse that makes people regress in terms of mental age," he added with a pointed look at Sirius, "and a wide assortment of more specific spells. No idea which one we're dealing with, though, without further information. I have thought of a few experiments we could try..."
"Experiments?" James, who had just walked up, seemed rather alarmed.
"Remus, shh, you're alarming James," Peter whispered.
"Yeah, Remus, stop it." Sirius said. "Alarming James is my job."
To make his point, he suddenly turned towards James, making a hideous face and emitting eerie moaning noises. James stepped back, covering his eyes with his hands.
The effect on Remus was similar: he passed a hand over his eyes with a sigh.
"Anyway," Sirius announced at this point. "I suggest that we make use of some of my discoveries by, to begin with, enchanting some bludgers. Then, our time will not have been wasted, even if we haven't really found anything..."
"Oh, I found something a couple of hours ago," James said quietly.
"Really? What is it?" Remus asked quickly before the others could barge in.
"Something that makes no sense," James was obviously made uncomfortable by all the attention. " I've got this weird symbol on my arm..."
And so he did! It was so weird, in fact, that looking at it made them all dizzy...
"Hey!" Peter noticed, "It's right where that mirror hit you!"
"Some curses do leave a small mark on their victim... " Remus mused.
"Yeah, it's to help evil wizards remember what they've cast on whom," Sirius explained. "Hey, don't look at me like I'm making it up, it is what Binns said."
"I'm shocked. You were listening to Binns?" Remus was looking shocked.
"Well, it was a slow day. You were... off sick, and James and I were having a minor disagreement, over that dye I had put in his shampoo."
"Well, some people are still calling me Potter the Purple," James whined apologetically.
"But what is it a mark of?" Peter had obviously (and wisely) decided to tune out all squabbles.
"Wait a moment," Remus said. "I think there is a list of marks in 'Curious Curses'!"
He rushed off, back to the Curse section.
The others, meanwhile, decided to wait by the interesting Quiddich books.
"Incidentally, James," Sirius just had to know, "Couldn't you have told us about this earlier?"
"Well, yes," James explained, "But I thought you'd rather figure it out for yourselves."
He clearly meant it, and kindly. Somehow, that only made it all the more irritating.
"If you were a man, I'd hit you," Sirius growled, but depressingly enough even this extreme insult failed to rouse his old sparring partner. He started wondering what effect a knock on the head would have.
Fortunately, right at that dangerous moment Remus reappeared. He was stomping, his eyes were narrowed anger: this had to be serious.
"Someone's ripped out some of the pages!" he growled. "Slytherin scum! Imagine that - ripping pages out of a book!" To make his point, he held up the mutilated copy of 'Curious Curses' which seemed to be moaning softly. It was obviously fishing for attention, as it had been entirely quiet earlier.
"You'll help me enchant the bludgers, then?" Sirius asked, trying to strike while the iron's hot.
"I hope no-one thinks it was us who hurt the book," Peter said, half to himself.
At that point, before Remus could make any further comments, James raced out of the stacks.
"Ah, I hope you two are very proud of yourselves." Sirius declared. "You've gone and scared him off."
James did not, however, look scared off at all when they finally caught up with him. Which was a nice change, considering the day's events. Instead, he was lost in one of the colourful books he'd been reading earlier. The title filled them with hope: it was "Curious Curses: a Children's Compendium." They crowded behind him, trying to read over his shoulder (quite difficult, as he was the tallest.)
And there they saw it: there on the page, right beside the mark on James' forearm, was the identical mark, together with the caption:
"The Speculum Curse: rather icky."
Even Remus had to agree that it was a start.
The library closed soon afterward, but this was not a bad thing. They were fed up and hungry, and it was becoming increasingly obvious that every relevant book in the Curse section had been either taken out or mutilated. The restricted section was their remaining hope.
"That's fine. The restricted section is more likely to be helpful, anyway," was Remus' opinion.
"That's great! The restricted section kicks ass!" was Sirius'.
They decided that the two of them would visit it that night, wearing James' invisibility cloak.
In the meantime, however, they needed some food. As the general consensus was that James should be kept far, far away from any and all Slytherins, they couldn't well all go to dinner. It was decided that only a party of two should go down there and steal enough to feed the others.
This party was made up of Remus, and, at his own emphatic request, Peter. Sirius was left behind to "keep an eye on things". This was rather wise in retrospect, given his tendency to attack any Slytherin who looked at him funny.
Throughout dinner, Remus and Peter had to put up with malicious glances and sniggers coming from the Slytherin table. The former actually made it pretty hard to sneak potatoes and sausages into their pockets, and the latter really got on their nerves. What was even worse was the group of Slytherins who accosted them as they were leaving.
"Where's the great Purple Potter, then?" D'Uberville, one of the Slytherin beaters, asked with a sly grin.
"Extra Quiddich practice, of course," Remus replied, walking on briskly. Unfortunately, the Slytherins followed.
"Oh, Potter is flying right now, is he?" Snape sniggered. "I wish I could see that... But what about his insane friend, Black? You're not telling me he's at the practice, too?"
"Yeah, not very likely, is it?" D'Uberville commented. "Not after being kicked off the team for repeated frivolous fouling..."
"Some might assume from his absence," Remus answered evenly, "That he's been reinstated as a Beater."
This statement had the intended effect of making D'Uberville, and, indeed, the rest of the Slytherin squad, rather nervous. Peter smirked.
"Yes, of course," Snape said, after a moment's thought. "You Gryffindors may well need all the reserves you can get. Anyway, we'll see who's laughing tomorrow, after we slaughter your little team. You'll never get the Cup, now." He smiled in a very oily fashion.
It would not have been all that upsetting had it not seemed so probable. Peter, for one, could not bear it.
"Yeah! Right!" He yelled out shrilly, surprising Remus. "Not likely! None of you Slytherin... Quiddich guys can tell your ass from your... BUTT!"
He really looked rather triumphant. Remus pulled him away.
Peter's sense of triumph soon faded. Left behind in their tower bedroom with James, he was having a hard time coping. James, sprawled out on his bed, seemed to be sinking into depression, and cheering him up was an impossibility.
"Cheer up, James," he smiled encouragingly. "The guys will soon sort it out. They're so smart."
"I'm not sure I want them to," James moaned in reply. "I don't know if I can back to living this... shallow, meaningless existence." Here his gaze swept over his possessions: Quiddich trophies, school prizes, and gifts from his many friends and admirers. "My eyes have been opened, you see..." he continued. "For once, I see myself as I really am!"
Peter looked at him in confused fascination. "You don't mean, smart, brave, noble, and popular?" he asked. "Because, you know, that's how many people see you. Me, for one," he confessed. "Even the teachers say you are Headboy material."
"I bet that all they mean is that my head is big!" James wailed. "Oh, I know I get good grades, but I do not work nearly as hard as I could! I am wasting my gifts! As for my courage - when has my courage ever been tested? Except for the courage to break school rules, oh yes, I like to do that, just to satisfy my curiosity and feed my bloated ego. Where's the nobility in that? I tell you, I am not admirable - just lucky..."
This display of eloquence reminded Peter of a bad broomstick accident he'd once seen: it was horrifying to watch, and yet impossible to turn away from. He felt a bit guilty about that. Moreover, the thought occurred to him that listening to James' wails so attentively was a little bit like staring at his naked body. Edging away a little, he tried to shake off the image.
James didn't notice, and wasn't done talking, anyway. "Only an idiot would admire me..." he sighed.
Now, this had the effect of making Peter mildly annoyed. "But I admire you! And so do Sirius and Remus!"
"Yes, yes, I know you all claim to... But, really, I don't know how you put up with me and my bigheaded ways." James shook his head in despair. "Of course, you are forced to, as we share a room..."
Peter's mood shifted back from annoyance to fascination. That had been a pretty accurate description of his own feelings - apart from the bigheaded part, that it. But how was he supposed to react? Sirius' parting words of advice, "Just ignore him. If you try to joke him out of it, he'll only get worse, I've tried it," didn't seem all that helpful.
Peter's pensive silence had no effect on James and his continued self-loathing. "And you, Peter - I can't tell you how sorry I am for all the times I made fun of you. And especially for that time I shrank your robes so you'd think you'd gained weight..."
This was news to Peter. He wasn't sure if he should be upset at being toyed with, or happy that his weight gain had been imaginary.
Deciding to ignore the issue for now, he walked over to James and patted him awkwardly on the shoulder. James should appreciate that - he was a great believer in back-slapping and similar gestures. "Just... calm down, James," he said slowly. "We will sort it all out. We want to help you!" As he said this, he was struck by an idea. He looked over at James' trunk, where, as far as he could recall, James' teddy bear Mr.Paws was still in exile under an old pair of boots.
James, meanwhile, seemed to be considering the last statement. "Well, I would be happy not to be such an embarrassment to you all anymore. I have seen you three giving me that stare you usually reserve for your parents."
This was getting really irritating. "That's not what I meant! James, you are talking nonsense!" Peter had made up his mind. He knelt down by James' trunk, picturing in his mind's eye the comfort a stuffed toy could provide...
Fortunately, at that point he heard two dueling voices on the stairs. And, a moment later, Sirius burst in. To be more precise, Sirius' head and Sirius' legs burst in, separated by what could only be James' invisibility cloak. The head bore a secretive expression he had picked up from old pictures of undercover agents, while the legs moved in a quick, furtive manner. Only once he had reached the middle of the room did he pause, and toss off the cloak with a dramatic flourish.
"Hail the conquering heroes! We've done it again!" he exclaimed.
Remus, coming in behind him, had to put down the books he'd been carrying before removing the cloak from his head. He started to fold it, his expression neutral with just perhaps a tinge of annoyance.
"No, Sirius. We haven't 'done it.'" he said. "We have made a start, though," he explained, seeing Peter's crestfallen look.
Sirius rolled his eyes and picked a book titled "The Self Bespelled."
"Judge for yourselves," he announced, before reading out loud in a deep, booming voice:
"The Speculum curse takes the spirit of the cursed and reflects it as if in a mirror, revealing much that had before been hidden. While far from uncomplicated to cast, it is not unsimple to break."
While the others tried to work that out, Sirius looked up. "I found that," he added, modestly.
"Easy to remove! Yay! Well?" Peter asked, "Go on, Sirius."
Sirius made a face. Looking back down, he put on a very good impersonation of a man reading nothing, lips moving uselessly.
"We need a fish!" Peter decided. He looked over at James with concern: what if fish were one of the things that his friend not found frightening? Peter himself had to admit that a glassy-eyed stuffed fish hanging at his uncle's house had once given him nightmares.
"Well, a fish might be more useful than Sirius in our current predicament," Remus murmured. "Because the fact is, the book stops right there. We still have no idea how to remove the curse for good."
"But you came back?" James was confused.
"For that, you should blame Remus," Sirius informed him. "He's found something too, and he's being very pushy. Should have expected it, really," he continued philosophicaly, "Now that James is... unavailable, poor Remus is quite desperate to assume the position of alpha male."
Remus decided to ignore this slur for now. "What I've found," he explained, "is a way to move the curse onto another person. It's kind of like a standard Magic Transfer..."
"Oh yeah, and we all know about those," Peter whispered to himself.
"But, " Remus continued, "It requires that the two people concerned be in physical contact for at least six hours. Which would let James make the Quiddich game, but only if we start pretty soon."
"You know, Remus," Sirius frowned, "Now that you say it in here, it makes perfect sense. We can just tie the two people together, and get some sleep. I presume," he yawned, "that you'll be volunteering to take on the curse?"
Remus shrugged resignedly. Peter, meanwhile, had been thinking hard.
"No, I'll do it," he said, "I'd be happy to. Really."
Sirius grinned at him in surprise. "That's why I like you, Peter," he said. "You seem all quiet and normal, but occasionally you reveal your true, weird nature. You'd better hope, though," he added conspiratorially, "that no-one comes up to our tower tonight, or they might get the wrong idea..."
Will anyone come up to the tower? Will the transfer spell work? And, if so, how will Peter be affected by the Speculum Curse? Most importantly, will Gryffindor beat Slytherin at Quiddich? Read the next chapter, and find out...
You could also go read one of my other stories. They're all at least mildly humorous, and they all feature characters belonging to J K Rowling. And I do NOT intend to make any money off any of them.
Oh, and do write reviews! Criticise me, certainly, but also tell me what you'd like to see more of.