This sprang fully formed from my head while I was trying to figure out the intricacies of setting up a Netgear usb wireless NIC with a brand new install of Ubuntu 11.04 on a truly ANCIENT laptop. (Pentium 3 w/512 MB RAM, from circa 2001; if you really want to know. Works pretty good all told, but a tad slow when dealing with some things, and I can't figure out what happened to my sound. It was working, I wanted it to mute, and now I can't get the thing back!) Alas, I gave away all past, present, and future rights to Harry Potter in exchange for information how to get the danged thing to work. Just after signing them away, I stumbled across something that worked on Google. *sigh* Well, at least I have wireless networking now.
I know I haven't been writing in years, and it will probably be a while before I return to Consequences and Ghost (gotta re-read them to figure out where I was going!) but, as I keep telling everyone, they are NOT abandoned! I will get back to 'em! I've also got a 3-shot that needs a bit of polish before I put it up, but expect it soon (well, within the next few months. Soon in comparison, shall we say?)
The Marauders' greatest prank in fanfiction (or at least the one most tauted) was turning the Slytherin common room into a swimming pool. I just came up with a way and a reason for them being able to do that. And now, without further adieu, I give you:
The Hogwarts Swimming Pool
Never let Sirius watch Mission Impossible
Peter staggered into the common room just after the prefects left for their rounds. James looked up from the couch to see who was coming, and saw that Peter looked like, well, a drowned rat! He was soaked completely through, his nose was broken and bleeding, and he was walking with a pronounced limp. But there was a grin on his face that not even a year's detentions would get rid of. "Wormy! What happened to you? I thought you had a date."
"I did," a still grinning Peter replied. "And it was going so well, too. I had Trixie in the broom closet, and my hand was just going under her -"
"Hold it!" Sirius yells. "That's my cousin you're scoring with. And I'm happy for you, but I really, REALLY don't need to hear the details."
"Gotcha, Padfoot. Sorry about that. Anyway, things were going well, and suddenly the door flies open and it was like all the snakes in the world were looking at me. I mean, there was Rudy, and Rasty, and Lucy, and Tommy, and Sevvy – the whole gang. It seems that Rudy is now betrothed to Trixie, and he took offense to my sampling of her... err. Never mind. Sorry, Padfoot.
"Anyway, they proceeded to hold me down, and pound the living snot out of me. Trixie tried to help, but Rudy slammed her head against the wall and had Narcissa take her back to the dorms. After they were done beating on me, they took me out to the 5th floor parapet that looks out over the lake, stuffed me in a sack, and threw me out of the castle, and into the lake."
James and Sirius were outraged at this action. They looked like they were about to relocate the entirety of Slytherin to the Hospital Wing, one broken body at a time. Remus knew this wasn't the whole story, though. It explained the sodden mess Peter was making of the rug, and the injuries, but what about the grin?
"Peter, if all that happened, why are you smiling?"
"Because. I now know exactly what Narcissa Black looks like naked. Oh, and I already have the perfect prank figured out for a payback."
It was a rather off-key trio that replied with "WHAT!"
"You see, when they threw me in the lake, they did it right over the Slytherin dorms. Did you know they have a huge plate glass window that looks out into the lake in their common room? And the girl's dorm has a water covered skylight? Also, did you know that a rat can hold it's breath for several minutes when it has to?
"I woke up while they were dragging me up there. As soon as they threw me over the side, I took as deep a breath as I could, and after the bag was in the water, I transformed. It took me a while to chew through the bag, and when I did, I saw I was right in front of the Slytherin common room. I was on my way back up when I saw another light, and discovered it was the 7th year girl's dorm. I hung around a little while after that, let me tell you! It was glorious! I finally got out of the lake, and came here. While I was walking, the perfect prank came to mind. We flood out the Slytherin common room!"
James and Sirius exchanged looks. Slowly, the matching grins that spelled disaster for either the Marauders or their targets began to come into view. Remus groaned, as he knew this meant time away from NEWT preparation for him. Unfortunately, this brought him to the attention of the pair.
"Remus. We cannot let this dastardly deed go unpunished," James said.
"It's a moral imperative!" Sirius added.
Remus looked at Sirius in shock. "Sirius, you have no idea what an imperative is, and have never had any morals."
"Completely irrelevant, my good man. This simply must be done. They must learn that there are consequences for messing with a Marauder. When they attack one of us, they attack us all; and we will respond with equal or greater force."
Peter, knowing how to convince the werewolf, added in, "Besides. I'm pretty sure that we can get another look at Cissy's boobies while we're setting this up!"
This last statement melted the were's resistance. Those globes were the stars of more than ninety percent of the males at Hogwarts' dreams. To have a chance to see them live and not take it would be sacrilegious to any hormonal straight teen. "All right. I'm in. What are you thinking, Peter?"
HSP HSP HSP HSP
The next week saw the Marauders in the library, studying heavily. Albus Dumbledore was worried. He had, of course, found out about the assault on Peter, but had expected the retaliation to have happened immediately. He slowly approached the table, and took it in at a glance. Sloppily arrayed around the boys were books on arithmancy, charms, history, runes, defense, and transfiguration. They had even somehow managed to dig up some books on Euclidean geometry and physics! Parchment seemed to be disappearing by the mile under the fevered scratching of their quills.
"Good evening, gentlemen. It's so nice to see you all studying so hard for your upcoming NEWTs."
James looked up at him, and plastered a smile on his face. In fact, the exact thought he had in mind to cause that smile was a memory of his fiancé's tight, naked butt getting out of the Head Boy's bed this morning. Albus quickly shut down his mental probe. "Thank you, sir. It's nice to know that our work is being noticed. We're hoping to have something that will really impress the exam proctors. Peter came up with the idea, and now we're trying to see if it's ever been done before, and what the results were. Even if it failed for someone else, at least we'll know not to try it the way they did."
"Ah, yes. An inventor once said he never failed. He simply devised ways of not doing what he was intending. Might I ask what you are intending?"
"Exactly, sir. Just because the first try doesn't work, doesn't mean something is impossible. As far as what we're trying for, we'd rather not say, just yet. Believe me. If it works, you'll probably be the first to hear about it." The other three boys were amazed that James had just said that with a perfectly straight face.
"Well, boys. I must be continuing on my rounds now. As you know, my door is always open if you find something I should know about. Have a good evening, and good luck in your pursuit of knowledge."
All four boys mumbled "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."
The following week saw the four taking up a new hobby. Diving. From the back of broomsticks. They defended their sudden hobby by informing their head of house that, as Remus had recently been classified as a creature, he wanted to get in touch with some of the other sentient "creatures" around Hogwarts, starting with the Merfolk. At Minerva's raised eyebrow, Sirius and Remus cast quick translation spells on each other and screeched out a quick "Hello" to the chief lion. All of the humans were wincing at the volume and pitch.
Of course, the boys were actually studying a pair of windows. One, they discovered was hard as the stone of the castle itself, and the other, well, it was clear as a bell to the four bubble-headed boys. They soon had the shapes and actions of a half dozen young pureblood girls permanently embedded in their minds.
HSP HSP HSP HSP
The beginning of that weekend saw the end of the reconnaissance and the planning truly began. The boys were in their dorm room, kicking around the various problems they'd come up with during the past two weeks. "The glass is charmed unbreakable. How are we going to get around that?" "I was more worried about how we keep the girls from drowning. I don't really care about the guys, but it'd be a shame if something happened to those beautiful bodies!" "How do we keep the water sealed in the room? What happens when the door opens?" "Anybody else hungry? Let's sneak down to the kitchens for a snack." "SIRIUS!" "What? I always think better on a full stomach."
After much whining, Sirius won out. As it was now after curfew, all four of them crawled under the cloak, grabbed the Map, and set off down to the basement, and the kitchen. About half way to their goal, James heard a soft "dum-dum-Dum-dum, dum-dum-Dum-Dum" begin. A quick glance at the map showed the floor to be empty. "Pads, shut up. You're going to get us caught. Moony, I told you it was a bad idea to show Padfoot those reruns of Mission Impossible."
"What? That Phelps guy has that music going all the time and he never gets caught!"
"Padfoot, that's called mood music. It's used on the telly to let people know that there's something suspenseful going on. The characters on the show don't actually hear it."
"Oh. Well, I'm in the mood for some music. Does that count?"
HSP HSP HSP HSP HSP
Rather than risk getting caught, the four friends continued their plotting through the night while in the kitchens. It was a tired, but happy set of pranksters that were the first ones to the breakfast table that Saturday. Albus managed to catch Peter's eye, and was immediately treated to the knowledge that Sheila Nott had mastered a wandless engorgio spell, at least for use on her wand. Needless to say, the contact was quickly broken.
Sunday morning saw a delivery to Sirius from Gringott's, while James received one himself. After signing the receipt, Sirius took the box and grinned at his co-conspirators. "Writing materials," was all that was said about it at the breakfast table. That afternoon, the boys looked in the box. Diamonds. Hundreds of thousands of galleons worth of diamonds. "Sirius, I thought you were disowned?" Peter asked.
"Sort of. Mum threw me out of the house, but she isn't the Head of House. My grandfather is. So long as I keep him happy, and he doesn't kick off, I'm good. Even if he does, It'll take quite a bit of talking to get Orion to cut me loose. He's a big believer in 'an heir and a spare,' and that means he'd have to have sex with mum again." Having seen Walburga Black, all four boys looked green at that thought. "Yeah. I don't see that happening unless I do something disgraceful like save the queen's life or something."
HSP HSP HSP HSP
That afternoon silent disillusioning spells were added to the boy's practice with the bubble-head charm. That evening saw Peter slipping unnoticed into the Slytherin common room with a pair of firsties, and out with the prefects as they went to their meeting.
That night, after the prefect rounds were completed, the foursome met up in the common room to make sure the plan was ready to go.
"Big, brass, hairy ones. Let's do this." Sirius smirked.
For a second time in less than a month, Peter Pettigrew found himself plummeting down from the fifth floor parapet. He was chosen for this task because his banisher was weak, and his permanent sticking charm wasn't. His abilities with a bubble-head and a messenger spell, however, were first rate.
Sticking charms being something of a Black specialty, Sirius applied a sticking spell that could hold several tons to a piece of acromantula silk rope while James was transfiguring a gargoyle into something that looked like a WWII mine, and weighed in at several hundred pounds. Remus applied a charmed diamond to each of the spikes around the ball, before Padfoot duplicated his feat with the other end of the rope. A dragon couldn't have broken the hold between the three objects.
Taking a deep breath, Sirius levitated the mine out from the castle walls, while Remus and James took a position just above and behind it. After it was in position, Sirius counted down from three, and dropped his spell, while James and Remus cast simultaneous banishers at the mine to give it more momentum.
The stone shot out another thirty feet before gravity and physics took over, causing the object to drop and swing back in towards the castle. Peter felt the disturbance in the water and watched as the unstoppable force hit what was thought to be an immovable object. It probably would have been, had not the boys been creating what amounted to a runic bulls-eye in the middle of the glass all day. As it was, the small diamond hit the center of the glass, causing it to shatter.
Peter had taken up a position by the dorm skylight, naturally. He was watching Bellatrix sleep, and dreaming of a possible day in the future he could get further than just his hand up her skirt. It might take time, but accidents did happen to husbands, after all. If he stayed close to her, she might turn to him for comfort...
Suddenly, Peter could feel the current that formed as thousands of gallons of water poured into the common room. He'd almost lost his grip when, just as suddenly, it stopped. Looking back, he saw that his charms had worked perfectly.
There was now water standing in the Slytherin common room to a level a foot lower than the top edge of the window casement, about five feet deep. Then the mine's secondary, timed transfiguration was triggered. There was now a pane of glass back in place as hard as any of the diamonds Remus had applied to the stone.
Peter sent a "mission accomplished" message, and then began to swim for the surface. Remus picked him up while James picked up Sirius on their brooms, and they headed for Gryffindor Tower and an alibi. Sirius cast a drying spell on Peter, then James transfigured all of their clothes back into the pyjamas they had originally been. (For some reason, Sirius' had moving flames up the legs and "The Terror" was written across the butt of his.) The boys were in through the window and had cast a "Somnus" spell on themselves long before McGonagall had a chance to come and check on them.