All right, before you begin reading, you'll have to know something..if you are OBSESSED with getting the ages exactly to canon, then you will go insane reading this. :D Because, despite what it clearly states in canon, Lucius Malfoy is..magically..a year older than the Marauders. I am very very sorry. So I suppose it's safe to say this is something of an AU. Also contains very mild OOCness, but mostly everyone is about how they would be. Also some Peter-being-mean-to because he's just annoying. :) All right that's all for now. On with the story!..Or, you know, the disclaimer..
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except four Harry Potter books, a laptop, and the clothes on my back. :D
Lucius Malfoy had been having a bad day. Yes, a very bad day indeed. He knew he was the most awesome 16-year old in the school, but apparently, even awesome people had bad days. This greatly infuriated Malfoy. First he failed a Transfiguration test. Then the House-elves got mad at him for jumping on the bed right after they made it, master! and pelted him with, of all things, cookies. Annoying little things. When his father hears about this..! And then, as if nothing could make anything worst, his hair wouldn't lay straight. For Salazar's sake!
In the half-hour period between lessons and dinner, Lucius began stalking the halls of Hogwarts, sneering at Hufflepuffs, leering at Gryffindors, jeering at Ravenclaws, cheering at Slytherins, and occasionally throwing erasers at people.
"GRR!" he yelled down the hall as a wide pink eraser slapped Arthur Weasel on the back. The fifteen year old redhead turned around and glared at Lucius, but shrank away and ran down the halls at the Slytherin's evil look.
"I need someone to bother," Lucius said. "Grr."
He stalked around some more, then spied that bookworm Remus Lupin climbing out of the Gryffindor Common Room, fat book under one arm, three quills and some parchment under the other, school bag over one shoulder, smiling at that stupid fat painting.
Malfoy veered round the corner and hid behind a big statue, then, as Remus came closer, buried in the huge book, jumped out.
"BOO!" he yelled, jumping out, hands raised, at the bookworm.
Remus had had a fairly good day. He got an E on his Transfiguration test, got four cookies from the House-elves, and his hair was lying perfectly flat over his ears. Plus, Peter had a cold and was staying in his dormitory today.
Remus never liked Peter, for some reason. He pretended to, but the scrawny little thing bothered him. He never felt quite at ease with him around, and much preferred the company of James and Sirius. And that Arthur Weasley was nice, too. Everyone in the school knew he was going to marry Molly Prewett, and everyone bothered him. Remus could relate to being friendly-bothered. It was dreadfully vexing..
Submerged in his thoughts, Remus absently plucked a fat book off a Common Room shelf and settled into an armchair near the fire. He quickly learned an important life lesson: If your best friends are experimenting, trying to turn a lizard pink, it will not be easy to read. You cannot even peek at the title. Oh well.
With a great sigh, Remus picked up his book and tucked it under his arm. He picked up some parchment and a few quills, too. He'd go to the library, where he was always comfortable. As an afterthought, he picked up his schoolbag. Maybe he'd work on his Potions essay.
The Fat Lady rolled his eyes at him as she swung open. "Get your nose out of those books, what I say, or else you'll turn into a picture, swinging all day," she grumbled. Remus laughed and the woman in pink's lips twisted into a warm smile. He'd always liked Nelly. The Fat Lady had a name, you know. Nelly Einglbytock Rowpindot Fortom II. It was printed on the bottom of her dress in miniscule letters, but you could ask her.
Remus finally looked at the book. Hogwarts, A History. Drat. He'd read this fat book multiple times and knew it by heart, almost. When he was younger, he remembered, ten or so, it was his favorite book and he would sneak it under his covers. He'd whisper random words, trying his hardest to do spells, thinking that he could get into Hogwarts despite his... malfunctioning, if he could do spells. It was strange, thinking back. It used to be a normal thing to carry it around. Now it was "odd." He had somewhat half-given up on reading it a few years ago, and up until fourth year he only used it for reference. Now, he hardly ever looked into it.
Chapter One: Godric Gryffindor. Just the way he remembered. He buried himself into the depths of the pages, forgetting all around him. But he could get to the library. He knew the way by heart..
As he rounded the corner, someone jumped out from a statue and yelled. Unpleasantly jolted from his book, Remus let out a yell of shock before letting his eyes focus.
Drat. Malfoy. The one thing that could spoil his day.
"What do you want?" Remus wanted to say coolly. But he didn't. He was quite frozen. His book fell to the floor with a heavy flud.
"Oy, Lupin," said Malfoy loudly. "What are you doing here?"
Remus remained silent as curious Slytherins, some Ravenclaws, and a Hufflepuff gathered round. He bent to pick up his book.
"OY, LUPIN!" yelled Malfoy. He stepped on Hogwarts, A History and somehow kicked it into the air, balancing it in midair on his wrist, and flicking it into his arms. Much as he hated to admit it, Remus knew Malfoy was an awesome Quidditch player. What other Seeker could do that, for heaven's sake? Of course, Sirius was a much better Beater, and James could out-Chase him any day.
"Hogwarts, A History?" called Malfoy. "Haha. Now how many times have you read this?"
Remus moved to get it, but Malfoy was too quick for him. He threw it into the air and his friend, Crabbe, caught it.
Remus sighed. This was going to be a long day.
"Don't you do anything but read?" continued Malfoy loudly. "Don't you talk? Or
do you just read all the time? No wonder no one likes you."
Remus remained quiet.
"No one except your mad friends, anyways," went on Malfoy. "An outcast of his family...a conceited git...and..a worm."
Remus didn't move, but inwardly panicked. Ohdearlord. Worm. Tail? Wormtail. Wormtail=Marauder's Map. Map+Malfoy=trouble. Trouble+Remus=X. X=N. N=NO. (Remus did indeed love math. Get over it.)
But his thoughts were false, he soon figured. If Malfoy knew about the map, he'd do something. Drastic. And nothing had yet happened.
Remus finally moved to make his way out of the tightly knotted pack of laughing Slytherins, puzzled Ravenclaws, and now two clueless Hufflepuffs. He did not succeed.
Crabbe and his friend Gregory Goyle (the First) blocked him. Another Slytherin grabbed his schoolbag. The seams split and everything spilled out.
"Great," he muttered under his breath as he knelt to rake his things into a pile. Malfoy picked up a book with a leather red cover.
"Fascinating," he said loudly. "What could this be?"
Remus's heart skipped a beat. It was The Marauder Notebook. Last year James, Sirius, Peter, and himself had invented it. The Map was hidden in the back cover in a manilla envelope, and the pages were filled with secrets of the school and notes the four had passed around in class, or memoirs, or records, or rants, or dreams, or various other Marauder-related things. Malfoy reading it would basically like Malfoy poring Veritaserum down Remus's throat. It had everything. Sirius's angry, more-hurt-than-he-let-on rants about his family that he kept so carefully hidden from the rest of the world. James's obsessions over Lily that he did not keep hidden at all. Complicated notes on becoming Animagi. Peter's shaky handwriting and the fact that he could not spell werewolf.
If anyone read that, they would Know All.
They would know his secret and he would probably be expelled. Booted from the school. He'd have to study abroad or not study at all. And he had such plans. And it wasn't just him. Malfoy would torment his friends too — James and Peter and Sirius. And, for the illegal Animagi part, they'd probably be thrown out, too. Maybe even sent to Azkaban, for all he knew. After all they'd done for him, it made him feel like a ratty traitor.
But he still could not move.
Now, it is times like this it is completely useful to have two insanely loyal friends.
James Potter's day had been one of the best around. For the first time in his natural life, he had beaten out Remus on an exam, earning a perfect O. He'd also found time to nip down to the kitchen and get several sweets and a few cookies. Above all,he had succeeded in turning a lizard pink.
"Now this, Pads," he said cheerfully as the two bounced down the halls, "is a letter-A day."
"Yes, it certainly is, my friend," answered Sirius just as cheerfully. "Hey, where's Moony?"
"Prolly in the library," James said carelessly, waving his arm around as if he was shooing away nonexistent troubles. "Can you believe it, Padfoot? Two days without detention."
"Hey, what's going on there?" asked Sirius, pointing to a gathering of some sort in the halls.
"Maybe Peeves blew something up!" exclaimed James. "C'mon, our chance to get a detention." And the two Marauders raced each other down the halls.
"Hey, what's going on?" yelled James loudly.
Everyone looked up at James, then slowly backed away. Mutters of Lupin's friend.. and he might kill us.. swept the crowd.
"What's going on?" shouted Sirius, louder, as they pushed their way through the quickly untying crowd. When they reached the center, they found Crabbe, Goyle, Malfoy, and of all people, Remus. Crabbe was holding Hogwarts, a History out of reach of..anyone. Goyle was eating a doughnut, although no one knew where he'd gotten it from. Remus stood, as though rooted to the spot, looking absolutely helpless and terrified. Malfoy held a book, hands tilted as if to snap it open.
"Hello, Remus," said Sirius cheerfully. "Whatsagoin on here?"
Remus just shook his head.
James stared, brow furrowed, at the book in Malfoy's palms. Was it what he thought it was?
"Is that what I think it is?" he half-muttered to Sirius.
"If you think it's the Marauder Notebook, it's what I think it is," half-muttered Sirius back out of the corner of his lip.
"It is, then," half-muttered James back. Then, in normal tone, he demanded, "What're you doin' anyway, Malfoy?"
"Bothering him," replied Malfoy, pointing to Remus. "What else? Just asking why he's friends with an outcast of his family and a conceited git." He smiled sour-sweetly.
James and Sirius smiled even more sour-sweetly back.
"And also," continued Malfoy, "why he's always reading and why he's such a strange human."
James fought back a rather mean thought, and a grin. The irony..
"I don't quite understand why you're friends with..him," went on Malfoy in the same sour-sweet voice. "He's quite..irking." He shook the book in his hands. "Perhaps I should read this. What could it be? A journal, perhaps? A dear journal with all of Loopy's secrets?" He tipped back his head and laughed.
Crabbe and Goyle laughed, too.
Everything next happened very quickly.
James whipped out his wand and yelled as loud as he could, "Wingardium Leviosa!" and Hogwarts, a History flew out of Crabbe's hands and winged Malfoy on the head, causing him to drop the notebook. Sirius somehow stole Goyle's doughnut and threw it down the hall, causing both him and Crabbe to run as far as their fat legs could carry them, chasing it.
Remus finally found the feeling in his legs, swiftly caught the notebook before anyone could do it, and then performed an act that would forever be remembered in the halls of Hogwarts.
He reached up, looked sweetly into Malfoy's eyes, and punched him straight on the nose.
For what seemed to be an everlasting moment, everyone in the hall fell silent.
Then everyone — minus the Slytherins — burst into rapid applause and cheers, led by James and Sirius. Instantly, the poor werewolf was surrounded. People thudded him on his back, punched his arm, and generally tried to hurt him in way of congratulations. He wove his way out of the crowd and finally got to the library, a grin on his face, his heart bulging with uncontrollable pride. He knew his friends would eventually catch up with him. They'd probably be congratulated too, and with much deserving.
Finally, a quarter hour later, James and Sirius bounded into the library and began calling for Remus so loudly that the librarian tossed them out, livid with rage. They bumbled back up to their dorm for the remainder of the free period, all talking at once.
"Smack in the middle of the face!"
"All thanks to you, Prongs!"
"And you, Pads!"
"Do you think it's broken?"
"Dunno, hope so!"
They finally found their bedroom and each collapsed on their beds. They filled in Peter, who was sprawled over his bed, reading a Potions book, on the awesomeness of the day.
"And it was just so, so brilliant," finished Sirius. A silence descended on the room then, each boy thinking their own private thoughts.
Remus was thinking, "Malfoy so deserved that. I'm awesome. But then so are Sirius and James. This might be the best day of my life. Except for that one where they became Animagi. Or that one where Rebecca Tonison asked me out. Or..or..or.."
James was thinking, "I wonder if rescuing Moons like that will put me on better terms with Lily? Maybe..maybe..maybe.."
Sirius was replaying every detail of the wonderful events.
"Huh?" Peter was wondering.
"I think you're a real Marauder now."
"Me too. Me, too..."