"I'm going to KILL him."
"KILL him, do you hear me? KILL HIM!"
"Sirius! SIRIUS! Oh, Merlin – SIRIUS!"
"Where's he going now?" asked James, entering the Gryffindor fourth year dormitory.
"He's going after Regulus!" moaned Remus. He called down the hall once more. "SIRIUS!" The answer was only the echoing of clattering footsteps as Sirius raced down the staircase and out the common room.
"Regulus is dead," predicted Peter, flopping down across his bed.
"Will someone please tell me what in the name of Merlin is going on here?" shouted James.
Remus heaved a sigh. "Well, since there seems to be absolutely nothing I can do to stop the murder of Regulus Black, I suppose so."
"Stop using fancy words, Moony, and talk."
"Well, it all started earlier this morning," began Remus, sitting down on his bed. "when you just went down for Quidditch practice. The rest of us went down to breakfast like normal human beings – "
"James, you schedule practice for four in the mornings."
"..Point taken. Carry on."
Remus sighed and slowly recounted the morning's events..
"Sirius, would you hurry up?" Remus said impatiently, tapping his foot as his friend slowed down almost to a stop.
"No, this is the Slytherin common room," insisted Sirius.
"Exactly," squeaked Peter.
"I wanna play a prank."
"You can't play a prank before you eat, Sirius," moaned Remus.
"James'd kill you if you played a prank without him!"
"But I want to.."
The arguing boys stopped in front of the Slytherin portrait hole, and luck be have it – just then, it clattered open and a black haired boy literally fell out. He blinked when faced with the two Gryffindors.
"Sirius? What are you doing here?"
Sirius spun around. "Reggie?" Regulus glared at him. "Sorry – Regulus?"
"Hullo, Regulus," said Remus.
"Hi," said Peter.
Regulus nodded at his brother's friends, who he was barely acquainted with, except for few brushes in the libraries and a rather memorable day at Diagon Alley.
"I see you still can't get out of a portrait hole properly," commented Sirius.
Regulus glared at his brother. "Shut up, Sirius. What are you doing here, anyways?"
"I'm going down to breakfast, ever heard of it?" said Sirius.
"And you took this route because..?"
"Because I was going to play a prank on Snivellus."
"Snivellus – ?"
"You must know him. Tall, greasy little kid, with a long nose?"
Regulus blinked. "Severus Snape?"
"And what," said Regulus, crossing his arms, "did you plan to do to, excuse me, Snivellus?"
"Regulus," said Sirius. "You sound like Mum."
Regulus rolled his eyes. "Tell me."
"I was only going to put a timer spell on his bed that turns him into a toad!"
Remus choked on air. "What?"
Regulus sighed. "Sirius, Sirius, Sirius," he said in an uncanny imitation of the boys' father.
"Yes, Father?" said Sirius, grinning.
"You can't go around turning people into toads!"
"Morals!" Sirius blinked. "Come on! You must know what morals are!" Sirius shook his head.
Regulus sighed. "Must I do this the hard way?"
"Oh no," said Sirius, backing away swiftly. "Oh no, no, no, no. I hate it when that phrase comes out of your mouth."
"This," said Regulus grimly, "is what morals aren't." And with a flick of his wand, Sirius was a toad.
Remus and Peter doubled up laughing. Regulus smiled.
"Croak," said Sirius angrily.
"You have only yourself to blame," said Regulus, "because you're the one who taught me that."
"CROAK!" shouted Sirius.
"And this," Regulus informed his brother, "is what morals is." He stopped. "Wait. This are what morals is. No, these are what morals are?"
"I believe it's "this is what morals are"," supplied Remus.
"CROOOOAKK," bellowed Sirius.
"Demonstrate morals already, Regulus," pleaded Peter.
"All right, all right," said Regulus. He flicked his wand again, and Sirius reappeared before him.
"That, elder brother," said Regulus, smiling serenely, "is what morals are."
"No," grumbled Sirius, "that was revenge for every prank I've ever pulled on you."
Regulus considered. "That too," he conceded.
"But he turned him back," said James confusedly. "So why is he going to KILL HIM?"
"Because," Peter supplied, "when Sirius came back up here he discovered that he had a wart on his toe, which he insisted was left behind from being a toad. And so now he's going to go kill Regulus."
James began to laugh. Very, very hard. Reluctantly enough, Remus and Peter joined in.
"Sirius will never learn, will he?" James said weakly. "Regulus was only trying to teach him what morals are.."
Just then, Sirius burst back into the room, looking like the cat that swallowed the canary.
"What did you do?" said Remus, the laughter immediately falling out of his face.
"To who?" asked Sirius innocently.
"To your brother," put in Peter.
"Oh him," said Sirius carelessly.
"Sirius, cmon, WHAT DID YOU DO?" shouted James.
A grin broke across Sirius's face. "I turned him into a canary!"
There was a silence.
"Yeah, because there was this whole thing last summer – " Sirius waved his hands around as if to dismiss the question. "Yeah, Regulus had this canary, and every morning it'd wake me up with this horrible squeaking, and so I – "
Remus banged his hand against the desk. "Do. Not. Continue," he said through gritted teeth. "You know, most people enjoy the song of the canary.."
"Yeah, well, now people will enjoy Regulus," explained Sirius, grinning.
Remus, James, and Peter collectively sigh. "Moony?" said James.
"I don't think we should even bother with the boy anymore."
"Me neither, James. Me neither."