Unexpected Encounters:- A Marauder's Tale
Disclaimer: Harry Potter, and the entire universe attached to him, belong to J. K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Warner Brothers Pictures, and anyone else who may have a finger in that particular pie. Not me. I barely own my own mind. And my subconscious? Heh, forget it! It's an independent nation all on its own. And don't even get me started on…
But, I digress.
Notes: This is a little drabble about the Christmas Harry spent at Grimmauld Place with Sirius, during 'Harry Potter the Order of the Phoenix'. His godfather is slightly drunk, and is entertaining him with stories of his parents, and crap the Marauder's did during their time at Hogwarts. Out of nowhere, he regales Harry with a tale of an encounter the Marauder's had during their seventh year with…
Well, that would be telling.
It's been sitting on a quiet corner of my hard drive for about a year. I was going to try and shoe-horn it into a fic I'm currently working on, but I decided to post it as a one-shot. Enjoy!
It was late, past two in the morning at least, a couple of days after Christmas. Harry Potter was sitting in the study at Grimmauld Place with his Godfather, Sirius Black, who was reminiscing about the past.
Molly Weasley had long given up on trying to get Harry to go to bed. To tell the truth, her heart wasn't really in the admonishments she'd been directing at both Harry and his man-child of a Godfather. She could quite honestly say that she had never seen Harry looking happier than he was that night, sitting with Sirius in his study, hearing about his long-dead parents. With a last pause to listen to Harry's laughter, she turned in for the night.
"-and that's why his robes billow like that whenever he walks too fast!" Sirius finished his latest tale with a chuckle.
Harry was almost on the floor, he was laughing so hard. "How…how the heck am I supposed to look at that greasy git again without crapping myself laughing now?" He gasped, trying to catch his breath.
Sirius shrugged. "You'll figure something out." He then went quiet for a long moment. Long enough that Harry was starting to get worried.
"Huh?" He blinked. "Oh, sorry pup. Just remembered something."
Sirius looked at him for another long moment. "Did you know that Snivellus is an Animagus?"
Harry stared at his godfather, stunned. "Your shitting me!"
"Language, kiddo." Sirius admonished the teen. "If Molly heard that type of swearing out of your mouth, you'd still be spitting out soap suds two months after you graduated from Hogwarts."
"Good thing it's just you here, then." Harry grinned back at him.
"Yup!" Sirius agreed as he took a sip of his Firewhiskey. "Anyhoo, James came across him one night in our seventh year, while he was doing his rounds. The greasy git was stinking drunk, for some reason. Drunk enough that he didn't want to keep drinking alone."
Harry stared at him in disbelief.
"Hey, it happens, kiddo. Been down that road myself, once or twice." Sirius shrugged. "So, after reassuring the git that he was going to scrounge up some drinking buddies, along with some more drink, Prongs came and found Moony and myself." Harry didn't ask if Pettigrew was present. Neither of them wanted to spoil the mood by mentioning the traitor. "We thought he was trying to pull a prank on us at first. It took him pulling out the map to prove what he was saying was on the level."
He sipped his drink, allowing the memory to flow back to him. "We were still shocked to see the git sitting there when we got to that particular tower lookout, tho. And we damn near fell over when all he did when he saw us was shrug and take another swig out of his bottle." Sirius snorted at the memory. "We'd spent the better part of seven years at each other's throats, and that's all the reaction we got. We almost felt insulted." He chuckled at Harry's expression. "So, half a bottle each later, and the secrets start coming out." He shrugged. "At least, out of Snape. We three were drinking nothing stronger that Butterbeer with a splash of Ogden's finest."
"Your kidding?" Harry was somewhat surprised. He thought they would have jumped at the chance for an excuse to drink, even if it was with Snape.
"Nup!" Sirius shook his head. "Just because he was getting himself well and truly sloshed, didn't mean that we forgot for a second that the greasy bastard was one of the more dangerous wizards alive, even at that age."
"Ah." Harry nodded, finally understanding.
"So, out they spilled, one after the other. Pretty boring stuff, to be honest. Girls he'd made out with. (We decided to avoid the ones he mentioned by name.) Crap he'd done to other Slytherin's. Cursing us for pranks we'd hit him with. (In our defence, a couple of them weren't done by us. Just other's befouling the Marauder's good name for their own reasons.) Yadda-Yadda-Yadda. Then he got a…a look… on his face."
"You know! An 'I've got a secret' look."
"Ah. One of those looks." Harry nodded sagely. "I know it well. I'm not sure the headmaster is capable of any other expression anymore, to be honest."
Sirius blinked. "You noticed that too." Shaking the thought away, he continued, "So, while he's got this creepy, constipated look going on, Prongs, Moony and I are all looking surreptitiously at each other, wondering which one of us managed to hit Snivellus with a bowel-disrupting charm on the sly-"
"Wait! They have one for that?" Harry demanded, annoyed that no-one had ever mentioned the possibility of it to him before now. "Damn, I can think of so many people I'd like to hit with one of those." He muttered.
"-when suddenly, he comes out with it. 'I bet you smug bastards never thought to become Animagi.'" Sirius slurred in an approximation of what a drunk Severus Snape sounded like. "We were naturally stunned. To think that we Marauders might not have been the only unregistered Animagi in the school was a bit of a shock. And of course the smarmy git thought that our shocked silence meant that we hadn't thought of it, so he proceeded to brag for a bit about finally getting one over on us in his final year at Hogwarts." Sirius grinned. "We decided not to enlighten him. The blackmail potential was considerably more attractive to us than whatever satisfaction we might have gained from rubbing the prick's nose in the knowledge that we had, in fact, thought of it, and pulled it off in our fifth year."
"When we had gotten sick of listening to him, which didn't take that long at all, we demanded he prove it." He snorted. "Well! Didn't he go a couple of funny colours then. When he finally collected himself, he began blustering about not wanting to waste his time showing off his immeasurably immense self-transfiguration skills to a bunch of plebeian Neanderthals like us."
Harry groaned. Sirius was unusually good at capturing Snape's superior tone.
"That, of course, set Moony off. He was the brains of our little outfit, and you insulted his intelligence at your peril. It was also just past his time of the month, so he was feeling more than a little aggressive. In the end, it basically devolved down into a lot of name-calling, and a 'put-up-or-shut-up' argument."
Harry was desperately trying to keep in the back of his mind that it was a bunch of seventh years in this story, and not the grown-ups they all purported to be now. Considering how immature they all act as adults, Snape included, it was a lot harder than he thought it would be.
"And so, the greasy git finally gave in. He stood up, staggered a few metre's away, and told us to 'get ready to be amazed.'" Sirius paused dramatically. "Then, he vanished."
Harry blinked. That was unexpected.
"We looked around while Remus was wondering how the hell he'd managed to get around the 'no Apparating' ward that surrounds Hogwarts, when he went suddenly quiet and pointed at the space where Snape had vanished from."
Sirius was fighting hard to speak clearly through his giggles by now.
"Right there, almost invisible in the night, was a black rabbit."
After a moment of stunned silence, Harry lost it completely.
"Yeah, that was our reaction, too." Sirius squeaked out through his own laughter. "And…and the funniest thing?"
Harry paused for a second. It gets funnier?
"He still had that bloody sneer on his face!"