The morning was bittersweet for the eight fifth years lounging under the shade of a tree on the shores of the lake. These eight were commonly known as 'marauders' although the four girls didn't consider themselves to be part of the legendary group, most of the school knew exactly how much input they gave to the infamous pranks they were famed for. It was a lot.

It was the last day of the summer term, they were all capturing the last rays of Hogwarts sun and moments of each other's company before they embarked off on the train at midday, back to their families for six long weeks until they got to see one another once more.

The first of the notorious gang was James Potter, the bespectacled boy was effortlessly handsome and had a windswept look about him, achieved by almost constant ruffling of his black hair. He was sat with his arm around Lily Evans, dressed in blue jeans and a grey t-shirt, usually Lily did not indulge him the pleasure of sitting next to her, but she had given in, finally realizing that actually, she was going to miss him when he was gone, they were friends after all and she was quite fond of him, whether or not she wanted to admit it. Which she definitely did not. James was going to home to his elderly pureblood parents for a summer of touring Europe's greatest landmarks and increasing his so far unrequited love for the redhead beside him. Lily was beautiful, no question with fiery red hair, porcelain skin and sparking green eyes she had captured James' interest from the moment he met her. Her and Remus, another of the group were Gryffindor prefects being the most responsible of the year they had been given the badges in the hope they would calm everyone else down a bit. Unfortunately the opposite happened; the group now had more power than ever, and with two prefects in the fold, there was no stopping their devilish practical jokes. Remus was tall with blonde hair and faint scars littering his handsome face, he looked older than the other boys; there was something in his eyes, a hint of maturity and understanding no one else so young possessed. Sirius was handsomest of them mind you, with stormy grey eyes and thick, dark hair he was known as player for his previous conquests. Although for some reason this only increased the attention given to him by the female population of Hogwarts, every girl wanted to be 'the one to tame the untameable, Sirius Black' of course none of them had managed and had each had their hearts broken in the same way as the one before. Not that Sirius was unkind in anyway, he was just a charmer and a Black. The Blacks were known for their aristocratic good looks, money and power. Coupled with the immense amount of charm, how was any girl supposed to resist? Sirius was like James in being a pureblood, except James was going home to loving parents who doted upon him, and spoiled him rotten, whereas Sirius was going home to cruel parents where he would be ignored all summer, as he had been ever since he was sorted into Gryffindor and not Slytherin all those years previous. He was dressed in dark jeans and a dark button up shirt. James had dared him to wear Kate's short shorts and a crop top to meet his parents on the platform but he had valued his life too much to accept James' dare, if you think for a moment that is a melodramatic statement then you have obviously never met Lady Black. Besides Kate was perfectly happy wearing her own shorts, paired with one of Sirius' old 'kinky merpeople' band t-shirts. She thought showing a lot of flesh and flouting her magic was a fantastic way to arrive. She too was going home to less than courteous parents, her mother was a squib from a pureblood family and her stepfather a muggle of the worst kind, they both resented her and her magic, and she didn't think much of them either. She had long beach blonde hair and huge sparkling blue eyes, she was one of those people you could imagine being either sickly sweet 1, or extremely slutty. Though both were far from swearing and sarcastic Kate. Morgan and Alice were also showing far more flesh than conservative Lily, in her knee length floral dress. Morgan was going back to the orphanage where she grew up, so she wasn't dressed to make any kind of impression. Her auburn, curly hair was at her shoulders and her dark eyes were scanning round the group. There was one word to describe Alice, sweet. With her chubby cheeks and infectious laugh she was the only one of them to have a long term boyfriend or girlfriend; she had been dating Frank in the year above for two years now. The last of the group was Peter, unfortunately he did not share the same good looks as the rest of the group, though he did attract female admirers, he was comparably plain to his exuberant companions.

They were all very close, almost like a family three weeks into first year they had devised a way for the girls to sneak into their dormitory unnoticed. Of course this method was generally only used by Kate and occasionally Morgan as shimmying across a thin, invisible bridge god knows how many feet in the air was not really Lily and Alice's forte. Especially not when there was stairs. Lily had charmed it so the boys couldn't use it, she did not want James Potter jumping through the bedroom window when she was changing thank you very much. Once was enough.

"Pass the bottle fatty," Kate said with a smile gesturing to James, who rolled his eyes and passed her the butterbeer after taking a long swig himself.

"Promise you'll write," Lily said, her brow furrowed.

"We write every year, don't we?" Sirius asked rhetorically.

"Yeah, every year we get to read lovely long letters about Sirius' two problems. His family, and the fact he's not getting laid," Morgan said with a wink in his direction.

"Oh shut up," he replied, trying to laugh and taking the butterbeer from Kate, who was laid with her head on his stomach.

"Well I'll offer you a distraction this year, Sirius," Kate said, taking the butterbeer back before he had a chance to drink any. "Surrey's not far from London, sneak out and meet me somewhere, I'm not going to promise you getting laid, but a distraction might be do you some good." The others laughed.
"Oh very funny," Sirius said to them. "Good idea Kate, I'll owl you."

"Hey Remus," Morgan said coyly. "Northumberland and Cornwall are pretty close, we should meet up too. I can promise on getting you laid." Everyone laughed again, as Cornwall and Northumberland could not be further away from each other.
"Are the little furry problems away?" James asked.
"All but one," Sirius said. "And he's getting on my fucking nerves." Remus smirked and shook his head.

Lily rolled her eyes, "Yes Bear and Michael are with the trunks." The two cats, Bear and Michael were shared between the eight of them, Michael was going home with Alice, and Bear with Kate. They often used the term 'furry little problem' interchangeably between them and Remus' lycanthropy so no one would discover the true nature of what they were discussing.

"It's almost noon," Sirius sighed.

"Urgh, can't we just stay here forever?" Kate groaned.

"At least you're not going home to an orphanage," Morgan remarked.
"Morgan, please come home with me," Lily begged for the hundredth time. "I hate to think of you in that wretched place. My parents would love to have you!"

"I couldn't impose Lils, you know that," Morgan said, squeezing her hand reassuringly. "It's not that bad, I'll be fine. I always am."

"Sneak out with me and Kate," Sirius said.

"Unlike you two, I am allowed out. It's an orphanage not a prison camp," she reminded them. She had told them countless times that her parents had been wealth and had not skimped on their life insurance or plans for their only child. "It's not a bad orphanage, has anyone got any cigarettes?" Everyone shook their heads.
"I wish," Sirius muttered. "I'll never be able to leave and buy any either. It's going to be a long summer."

"Don't worry, I'll send you some cigarettes and some fire whiskey," Kate laughed. "How else will you get through your sexless summer."

"I don't know," James pondered, waggling his eyebrows. "I've heard rumours about 'the noble and most ancient house of Black."

"Oh God," Sirius said in disgust.

"Maybe you should go and ask Narcissa and Bellatrix if they've been getting it on, James," Kate laughed.

"Then beg them to sort out old Padfoot here," Morgan giggled.

"And on that incestuous note," Lily said loudly as she rose from the grass. "Let's go board that train."

"You guys are all sick," Sirius muttered.

"Just looking out for you man," James said with a wink. "Do you reckon your cousins have gone at it?... Do you know if-"

"Stop talking." Sirius interrupted loudly, the others laughed silently.

They said their goodbyes on the train.
"Now no killing any family members," Morgan told Sirius, kissing him on the cheek. "Have a… well just don't kill anyone over summer, sweetie."

"I promise," he told her as he squeezed her tightly. "Don't let the other orphans eat you." Morgan rolled her eyes. "Oh and Kate, don't let those muggles get you down."
"I wouldn't worry," Kate said, a smirk creeping across her face as she hugged Sirius. "They still have no idea I can't do magic outside of school." Everyone snorted.

"Clueless," they chorused.

After they said their goodbyes they wall walked out onto the platform.
James, Lily and Alice to loving parents.
Remus and Peter to just as loving mothers.

Sirius and Kate to parents they resented.
And Morgan to no one at all.