Disclaimer: I do not claim to have ownership over Harry Potter no over Spongebob Squarepants, so just remember that this is a silly ol' fanfiction and move on with your life.
Chocolate With Nuts
Sirius Black had his face pressed directly into the wooden Gryffindor House table in the Great Hall. His shiny black hair was splayed out all around him and although James didn't tell him as the Quidditch player slowly ate this bacon, some of Sirius's glossy locks were sitting in a plate of scrambled eggs.
A disgruntled Remus walked in slowly, sat across from his indisposed friend, and was about to patiently inquire about the situation when he heard a series of hoots above him. He looked up to see the large wing spans of hundreds of owls swooping down and dropping envelopes of all shapes and sizes and colors onto the breakfast dishes of students, and scanned the area for an owl that looked vaguely like his.
Remus was reaching for a wobbly stack of toast at least two feet high when four owls simultaneously flow down and dropped a series of envelopes and packages before Remus, James, and Sirius's head. They all, to Remus's confusion, landed in a perfectly straight pile rather than scattered around the eating area. Remus lightly put down the plate of toast and began to reach towards the stack of envelopes to sort out the Marauders' mail, Sirius's head flew up and he screamed, "HI, OWLS!"
The birds scattered in all directions and Sirius's hands darted out at lightning speed to grab the pile of letters before Remus had a chance to. Momentarily stunned, Remus shook it off, rolled his eyes, and once again picked up the stack of toast, is tired eyes scanning the nearby area.
"Why don't they ever have Nutella?" Remus said mostly to himself, grumbling about having to substitute the delicious chocolate-y spread with stupid things like jam and butter.
James was still staring at the part of Sirius's hair that had scrambled eggs clinging to it as he ate his bacon.
Sirius regarded the stack of envelopes before him. "Moony," he muttered, throwing the envelope behind him. It hit a Hufflepuff square on the back. "Moony, Moony, Prongs, Wormtail, Prongs, Moony - oh, a magazine!"
The small piece of egg fell from Sirius's hair onto the bench so James was finally able to focus on the events around him. He peered over Sirius's shoulder. "I don't remember any of us ever subscribing to... Fancy Living Digest."
Sirius flicked open to a random page. His eyes widened in dramatic shock. "Look at these glossy depictions of a higher standard of living. This guy's so rich, he's got a swimming pool in his swimming pool?"
"That guy's got shoes!" Remus exclaimed in sarcastic wonder as he scraped things on his toast that were very much not Nutella.
Sirius flicked across a couple more pages before he felt the magazine snatched from his hands. He looked up, and saw Peter sit down across from him with a scowl, smoothing out wrinkles of the magazine.
"Stealing my mail, eh?" Peter said, peering down at the cover. There was a strange sort of light in his eyes. "You're lucky I don't report you to the wizard cops."
Sirius shrugged this off. "How do the people in that magazine get all that money?"
James was eating more bacon as he said, "Yeah, even we don't have a swimming pool in our swimming pool." Remus glared at James for a moment.
"They're entrepreneurs," Peter said uninterestedly, "They sell things to people."
"What kind of things?"
"How should I know? Thinks people want to buy! Now keep your grubby dog paws off my mail." Peter then buried his nose in his Fancy Living Digest magazine and tuned them all out.
Sirius turned to James, who was on his fifteenth piece of bacon. "That's it, Prongs - hey save some for me."
"We've been low on Galleons recently, this is perfect! We need to become entrepreneurs!"
"Is that gonna hurt?" Remus said mockingly, pulling out his Transfiguration textbook. Sirius ignored him, as usual.
"Quick, Prongs, without thinking. If you could have anything in the whole world right now, what would it be?"
"No, God, something more real. An item. Something you would pay for."
"A chocolate bar?"
Remus twitched as though he was about to jump out of his seat but he was able to restrain himself.
"That's a great idea, mate! We'll be - traveling chocolate bar salesmen!"
Immediately after breakfast, James and Sirius dashed up to the common room, collected all the money they had, and successfully snuck down to Honeydukes in Hogsmeade village. They bought as many simple bars of Honeydukes top quality chocolate they could manage, paid for the lot, and jolted back up to the castle to begin their endeavor.
As they ran back up one of the passageways, armfuls of chocolate bars each, they sang in unison:
"Fancy living, here we come! Laa, la la la, laaaaa!"
They resurfaced on the seventh floor and first made their way back up to the dorm. They deposited some of the chocolate bars so they could each carry a reasonable amount and then strode confidently down the boys' staircase, discussing their route. On the way, the boys passed a familiar face.
"Oh, hey, Moony." The werewolf stiffened as he glanced at them, his eyes quickly darting from their faces to the things the were holding. His eyes widened to the size of the Galleons they were hoping to collect and James could have sworn he looked as if he were suddenly sweating.
"Do you uh...wanna buy some chocolate?"
Remus blinked. "Chocolate?"
Sirius and James exchanged their usual glance.
They all stood there, waiting. Remus was taking deep breaths, seeming to absorb the situation - or was he breathing in the sweet scent of chocolate with his advanced werewolf sense of smell?
"Chocolate - chocolate!" He finally screamed. "CHOCOLATE! CHOCOLAAAAAAAATE! CHOCOLAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE! CHOCOLAAAAAAAAAAATE!" Unsure what to do, Sirius and James exchanged one last chance before darting around Remus on either side, hastily knocking aside first years like they were bowling pins, and forcibly bushing the Fat Lady's portrait open. They sprinted down the hall side-by-side as their strange friend darted after them, screaming a bloodcurdling "CHOCOLAAAAAAAAAAATE!"
"O-okay," Sirius said shakily. "Remus didn't count as the first guy. This is our real first step." James nodded, ready. Sirius knocked on the door that was in front of him, hoping someone was in there. Immediately, the door swung open to reveal - Severus Snape in a semi-formal suit. He sneered at his two rivals.
Sirius, resisting the great urge to go for his wand, narrowed his eyes. Just because this was Snivellus Snape doesn't mean that he might not want some chocolate. (Although Snivellus Snape doesn't deserve their chocolate.)
"Good afternoon, sir," Sirius sneered. "Would you like to buy some chocolate?"
Snape surveyed them with his cold black eyes. "Chocolate bars, eh?"
"We are chocolate bar salesmen."
Snape scoffed. "A couple of mediocre salesmen if you ask me." His eyes lingered on the stacks of chocolate in their arms. "That is no way to carry your merchandise. No no, wrong. You idiots want to be good salesmen, right?"
In unison they responded, "Oh, most certainly, idiot!"
"Well, no self-respecting candy bar salesmen would be caught dead without one of these!" Snape pulled an orange pouch-like bag out from his billowing cloaks.
"WOOOOOW-" Sirius and James marveled at the bag before they suddenly remembered who they were with and collected themselves. "What, uh, what is it?"
"It's a candy bar bag, you idiots! It's specially designed to...cradle each candy bar in velvet-lined comfort. But-" Snape said, his dark eyes looking confusingly mischievous, "I'm wasting my time. You don't need these bags."
He turned slowly around and began to recede into his pitch-black empty classroom that he was, for some reason, apparently inhabiting. Sirius and James turned and, after a heavy and very silent argument, stopped him with a shout. "We need them, we need them!"
Snape's lips warped into a twisted smile.
"Let's try next door," Sirius offered, shifting his candy bar bags to one side. James nodded in agreement and they walked a few feet before tapping on the next classroom door. It opened to reveal another Slytherin in billowing black robes. His hair hung greasy and black around his very large nose - but it definitely wasn't Snape himself, because this guy had a mustache.
"Yes?" this ambiguous man with a large hooked nose and a mustache who was suspiciously living in an empty classroom in Hogwarts Castle said curiously.
Sirius and James gasped in unison. "Say," said James. "You look a lot like an idiot that we just got these candy bar bags from, except you have a mustache."
The man raised an eyebrow the same way that Snape always did. "Hm, that is certainly interesting. But - it looks like you idiots - ahem, I mean, it looks like you guys have got a lot of candy bar bags. You lady-killers are too smart to be without my - candy bar bag carrying bags."
He pulled a larger scarlet version of their candy bar bags out of his billowing black cloak. James's eyes widened behind his glasses and he immediately said, "We'll take twenty!"
The Marauder pair found themselves at the hospital wing. Without any hesitation, they glanced around for the Hogwarts nurse before knocking on her office. She opened the door sharply, sizing up the boys with their large scarlet bags, assuming at first that they were injured, again. However, she said, "What can I do for you two nice young men?"
Sirius put on his nicest face. "We're selling chocolate bars. Would you like to buy one?"
The nurse put her hands on her hips. "That sounds heavenly! I'll take one!"
The boys shared a grin before zipping open their bags. Sirius pulled an orange candy bar bag from inside the red candy bar bag carrying bag, and then zipped open the orange one. He reached his hand inside.
However, he didn't feel any sort of rectangular bar, so he reached his arm in deeper - and deeper - and deeper until he realized that his arm was completely submerged in the bag, all the way up to his shoulder. With a confused look at a confused James, he continued to feel around inside the bag.
"Wait - I know - huh - wha - wait - I - what?"
The nurse sighed and looked at her watch.
"No wait - I - wh - uh - I don't - I can't - huh?"
James had a puzzled look on his face as he continuously zipped open and shut the candy bar bag carrying bag he was holding.
Over Sirius's grunts and groans, the nurse muttered, "I don't have time for this." and slammed the office door on them, but Sirius continued to search. "I know it's in here somewhere!" he shouted, apparently not aware of the nurse's disappearance.
"AaaaHA! I FOUND ONE!" Sirius shouted, pulling his entire arm's length out of the red pouch. He waved it around before he heard a very familiar scream behind him and with a light-speed glance at James, the two sprinted out of the hospital wing after a berserked Remus shouting "CHOCOLAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE!"
James ran his hand through his hair, mussing it up a little in frustration. "Padfoot," he said over a plate of bacon that Sirius was devouring without his hands. "We're not doing so well, buddy. We need a new approach. A new tactic."
Though a mouthful of bacon, Sirius said very seriously, "Let's get naked."
"No, let's save that for when we're selling Black Lake real estate. We need something more..." James slammed his fist down on the table. A few pieces of bacon briefly flew into the air and Sirius made a "Nooo!" sound. "What's the reason that we bought those bags?"
"Snape said we were mediocre."
"That's it! He made us feel special!"
"Yeah, he did," Sirius said dreamily, before snapping out of it. "I'm going back to buy more bags!"
"No, wait, Padfoot!" James stopped Sirius as he was in mid-sprint out the Great Hall doorway. "Why don't we try...being nice!"
Sirius blinked at him. "Oh, okay."
"Remember, Prongs," Sirius said, switching roles, giving James his own advice. "Flatter the customer. Make him feel good."
James nodded, concentrated, as they knocked hard on the door. A feminine sigh came from inside, as well as footsteps - and then the door opened.
To reveal Lily Evans.
"What do you two want?" she snapped as James's hand went quickly through his hair. Even Sirius rolled his eyes.
"I love you," he said, very seriously, staring at her.
Flattering the customer was easy.
Lily slammed the door in his face.
Sirius smacked his hand to his forehead. "I...think you laid it on a teensy bit thick there, mate. Let me try."
He rapped on the door again. It opened just a crack, revealing a strand of red hair and an emerald green eye.
"Go away, idiots."
Hastily, Sirius held up his hand and said, "H-how are ya doin'?"
Lily opened the door. She had a red eyebrow cocked as the stared at Sirius, refusing to acknowledge James's presence. "How am I doing?"
"I've got her now," James hissed gleefully.
"We're, er-" Sirius said, with a sideways glance towards his best mate. "We're selling chocolate bars. Wanna buy one?"
Lily scoffed. James squirmed. "Sorry," she said, flipping some hair over her shoulder. "But chocolate has sugar, and sugar turns to bubbling fat. Isn't that right, lover boy?" She sneered at James.
"These are muscles, Evans. From Quidditch. You should come watch me play sometime."
Lily shoved a photograph in James's face. "As you can see, me and chocolate no longer hang." James was staring at the photograph. Lily waited a moment, before she said, with a smirk, "You can keep that for five Galleons."
"I'll take ten."
Sirius rolled his eyes.
"We haven't sold one chocolate bar," Sirius was saying. "I have a feeling we're too easily distracted."
"Huh?" James said, staring glossy-eyed at the pictures of Lily he had bought for what would be an overwhelming amount of Galleons for someone who wasn't James Potter.
"Let's make a pact that we will remain focused on selling them at the next door, okay?"
"Let's shake on it."
"Did you say something?"
Sirius noticed a new door next to them, and said, "Remember, Prongs - focus."
He knocked on the wood of the door and someone opened it. Before Sirius had a chance to start, however, James pushed him aside, adjusting his glasses.
The guy who opened the door, some Ravenclaw a year below them, looked unnerved. "Why is Potter staring at me?"
James took off his glasses and held them in front of the kid, physically moving them out and then back towards him.
"Focusing..." he said. The kid stared for a moment, obviously creeped out, before stepping backwards and slamming the door in James's face the same way Lily had done. James blinked at the door, and said, "Nice door you got here."
Putting his glasses back on his face, he glanced at Sirius, whose expression was of flat irritability. James offered a sort of apologetic shrug and a half-smirk.
"I can't understand what we're doing wrong," James said, walking down the hallway with Sirius dragging his feet and a candy bar bag carrying bag behind him.
"I can't understand anything," his friend said tiredly.
"We're missing something in this selling game." James looked around for some sort of divine suggestion to help him along. To his half-pleasure, he saw a large sign in front of him for Cockroach Clusters, one of the most infamous kinds of candy that very few humans actually liked. "Other people can do it, look at that!" he continued.
Sirius read slowly the words on the advertisement. "Eat Cockroach Clusters. They're delicious."
"They are most certainly not delicious!" James said, sitting against the wall in exhaustion.
"Not the way I use them," Sirius muttered, moving next to his friend.
"Yet they sell millions of boxes a day."
"Well," Sirius considered, looking out the window opposite them, "Maybe if they didn't stretch the truth, they wouldn't sell as many."
"That's it, Padfoot! We've got to stretch the truth!"
They looked at each other in admiration before a familiar call made them abandon their sitting position and run down the hallway away from Remus.
Sirius took charge this time. "All right, Prongs," he said. "We'll work as a team this time. Let me get this customer warmed up, and then you come in for the kill."
James nodded. "The kill."
Sirius knocked hard on the door. In all his excitement, he did not register that this was the door of the office of Professor McGonagall, which was weird because he had spent over a hundred hours in here in detention.
Professor McGonagall opened the door. Sirius, who was a little shocked, gulped a little but refused to stand down.
"Hello - young lady," he said, sharing an obvious wink with James. McGonagall's lips thinned. "We're selling chocolate bars. Is your mother home?"
McGonagall blinked at her student for a moment, considering. Finally, she said, "No, but... Headmaster!"
Albus Dumbledore met her in the doorway, peering down his crooked nose at his two students, who after a long, confused, meaningful exchanged glance regained their suddenly wavering confidence.
"What is it?" Dumbledore said, looking from the students to Professor McGonagall, who had a stern and very annoyed expression. "What's with all the yelling? You just can't wait for me to die so you can be the headmistress, can you?"
"They're selling chocolates, Dumbledore."
"What? What are they selling?"
"I can't hear you!"
"They're selling chocolates!"
"Chocolate," Dumbledore murmured, with suddenly a peaceful expression. "I remember when they first invented chocolate. Sweet, sweet chocolate. I always hated it!"
Sirius faltered, but recovered quickly. "But, this isn't ordinary chocolate." He glanced at James, who took the hint.
"Yeah, you rub it on your skin and...it makes you live forever!"
"Live forever you say? I'll take one!"
McGonagall clapped her hand to her forehead as Sirius handed over a chocolate bar with a shaking hand. James accepted McGonagall's furious Galleon.
"Come on, you lazy Minerva!" Dumbledore called, retreating into the office. "Start rubbin' me with that chocolate!"
McGonagall, with the door half-shut looked at them through narrow slits of eyes and whispered, "Detention for the rest of the term." She slammed the door.
The boys glanced at each other, before Sirius said, "If we keep exaggerating the truth, we'll be fancy living in no time!"
"Hooray for lying!"
An hour later, Sirius and James were standing in the center of the entrance hall of the castle surrounded by a mob of shouting Hogwarts students and teachers. They were on a raised platform, waving chocolate bars in both hands and shouting advertisements.
"It'll make your hair grow!" Sirius told one Hufflepuff with thin blonde hair.
"Great! My sister's trying to grow a beard!" the Hufflepuff exclaimed merrily, trotting off to the greenhouses.
"It'll make you sound smart!" James told a group of ugly Slytherins, who hardly seemed to comprehend what he said.
"I'll take twenty!" one of them said.
"It'll keep your face from getting any uglier!" Sirius said, handing a few to a kid who paid some Galleons in return.
"Just in time!"
"They'll make you fly without a broom!" James called.
"You'll fall in love!" Sirius yelled.
"They'll bring world peace!"
"You'll walk through walls!"
"You'll rule the world!"
The students of Hogwarts were eating it all up, practically throwing Galleons at them. Their grins mirrored each other's.
James slipped the Invisibility Cloak off their heads and stuffed it into the pocket of his robes as Sirius finished wrapping a bandage tight around the former's left arm. They looked properly beat up and bandaged, and anyone knows that seeing Sirius Black and James Potter looking uncannily beat up is not an unusual sight.
"Heheheheh, this will be the best lie yet." James added a finishing touch by knocking his glasses a little askew on his face.
"Yeah," Sirius agreed, glancing around to make sure no one was there. "This guy will feel so sorry for us, he'll have to buy all of our chocolate!" He knocked on the door.
It opened just a crack, to reveal someone with dark eyes looking at them. "What...can I do for you boys?" the man behind the door said with audible effort.
"Hello, sir!" Sirius said, as cheerily as he felt appropriate for this costume. "Would you like to buy a chocolate bar? We need funds to help the nurse pay for all the potions we need."
"Boy, small world," the man said, coughing, and he edged open the door by inches at a time. Sirius and James were alarmed to see that this man looked in a worse state than they did. "So what's the matter with you guys?"
James stuttered, "We've got some...head trauma and eternal bleeding."
"Ugh," the man sighed, his black eyes wincing behind the oxygen mask covering much of his face. "Some guys have all the luck. I was born with glass bones and paper skin. Every morning I break my legs, and every afternoon I break my arms. At night, I lie awake in agony until my heart attacks put me to sleep. I- ah!"
He was about to continue, but he wobbled dangerously and finally fell flat on his stomach. Sirius could have sworn he heard the sound of glass breaking somewhere. His eyes were wide. James bent down immediately, forgetting all his injuries. "Quick, Padfoot - we have to help him!"
Together, they carried the man inside the classroom that he was strangely living in.
"Gently now," James said, and they placed him down on the floor - honestly in not much a better spot than he was when he fell. "You poor guy... If there's anything that we can do, anything at all to help you..." he trailed off, hoping the man would be able to finish the thought. With a cough, he did.
"Well, there is one thing..." he said, and he winced before he elaborated. "As you can imagine, my medical bill is extremely high. But luckily, I'm able to keep myself alive by selling...chocolate bars."
James and Sirius blinked at each other.
A few minutes later, the Marauder pair were walking away with arms full of boxes containing the very same chocolate bars that they had been trying to sell all day.
The man watched them as they walked away, waiting until they were far enough until he closed the door, chuckling.
"Ah, it does my heart good to con a couple of first class suckeroonies like those two idiots!" Severus Snape said as he ripped off his fake bandages and went to count his Galleons.
James sat against a wall again. "Don't get me wrong, Padfoot. It's great that we helped that guy out, but - but there's no one else in the castle to sell chocolate bars to! Let's face it, mate. We're failures."
His friend considered this as he went to sit next to James. "I can live with that," Sirius said finally.
"Let's change our names to Why and Bother."
The two of them sat staring dully at the identical crates of chocolate bar after chocolate bar. Their candy bar bags and candy bar bag carrying bags were abandoned somewhere a few moving staircases away and their moods were as dark as the shadow that slowly crept across the floor. Slowly, very slowly, the two boys looked up to see Remus standing before them both, apparently seething, his fists balled up and his eyes on fire.
He let out a scream.
Sirius and James immediately grabbed each other and huddled, trying to plead with Moony not to kill them because of his furious crazy werewolf outrage.
"No, no - Moony please - come on hey Moony it's okay we're all okay, come on calm down mate-"
"NO!" Remus roared. "I'VE BEEN TRYING TO CATCH YOU BOYS ALL DAY! AND NOW THAT I HAVE YOU RIGHT WHERE I WANT YOU-"
The cowering Gryffindors on the floor looked up at him, terrified.
"I want to buy all your chocolate."
James and Sirius exchanged a look that lasted a long time before turning once again, still shivering, to Remus.
"Thank you for your patronage."
Laughter rang down the boys' staircase into the Gryffindor common room. Long laughs, full of a strange mixture of malice and delighted, complete bliss and unending joy. Students of all ages sent uneasy glares in that direction, genuinely terrified.
Up in the dormitories themselves, the maniacal laughter was coming from Remus Lupin. He was lying flat on the floor, rolling around in a daze atop a huge pile of chocolate bars, pretending that his wildest fantasy had come true, that he was swimming in an ocean of chocolate with chocolate fish and chocolate whales, jumping and dancing with chocolate dolphins as he swam towards a chocolate waterfall down a chocolate cliff. Running through fields of chocolate grass, picking chocolate Coco Puff berries, celebrating his eternal youth and eternal health because chocolate was Remus Lupin's cure for EVERYTHING.
"Chocolate is life," Remus whispered, burying himself in chocolate bars and falling in a contented sleep.
Peter Pettigrew strolled down the main road of Hogsmeade amongst the hustle and bustle of an average Hogsmeade evening. He knew he was out here illegally, but no one would ever recognize a Hogwarts student in a fancy suit, strolling merrily and patting the copy of Fancy Living Digest in his pocket. He skipped merrily to the double doors of the fanciest restaurant in Scotland, the Magical Seahorse.
He walked with supreme confidence to the head waiter and said boldly, "Hello, good sir. A table for one, please."
The man blinked, bored. "Sorry, but the whole restaurant has been rented for the evening to a private party."
Peter gaped. "But it's my only night to be fancy! Who could afford to rent out the entire restaurant?"
"Oh, but a couple of entrepreneurs! And their dates!" The waiter winked knowingly at Peter's astonished and rage-filled face. Someone would pay for this.
At the center of the Magical Seahorse in Hogsmeade sat four people. In a square were Sirius, James, McGonagall, and Dumbledore.
Grinning, Sirius popped his elbows un-fancily on the table. "So...how long have you two known each other?"