Title: Circus

Characters: James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Lily Evans and Unknown (revealed at the end of the story).

Summary: You're caught in the ring, but what boy doesn't want to join the circus?

Notes: I don't know where this came from; honest. I apologise. This story is so jam packed full of metaphors, it's like a massive metaphor sandwich. Therefore, here's a napkin, and enjoy!

Roll up, roll up, to see the Marauders' Circus!

What, no?

Don't they entertain you? Don't they flash with colour, and life, and fire, and aren't their lives full of danger, and daring, and adventure? They could be so much more, of course, but for now, this is their circus, and if you want, the tickets are free!

Take a seat, take a seat; they all have the best view, don't you worry. You're in for one hell of a night, lad.

Roll up, roll up, to see the rise and fall of the Marauders' Circus!

Well, we have our ring leader -

Look, it's James Potter! Isn't he just a star?

- and our ring leader is the best of the best, which is only necessary for the finest circus in town. You see, he introduces the other acts, controls them and when he finally is bored he, of course, drops them.

He's a little controlling, and perhaps he's even arrogant, but he dresses the best, and doesn't he make you laugh? Look, he's telling a joke. He's kissing a girl. He's making a name for himself.

And James Potter doesn't back down, so it won't be the last!

But then! Ladies and gentlemen, you're in for a treat! Allow me to introduce our number one clown, Mr Sirius Black! He paints that smile himself, did you know?

And he makes the costume, too, because who would know better than a Black?

He's the best in the business, and I'm sure I would know. No concern for his safety, of course, because where's the fun in that?

So what if Sirius is hiding behind his clown make-up? He's joking, always joking, and making others laugh, so of course, he's happy! Perhaps, though, he's forgotten how to smile himself...

But he's not tired yet, so don't you worry - clowns aren't supposed to make themselves happy.

Oh, but right here we have one of our main events - Remus Lupin, trapeze artist, didn't you know? Look at him, jumping through that ring of fire, walking that tightrope; sometimes I think he's the most dangerous of the lot. One wrong move, little boy, and he's dead.

But no matter! He knows what he's doing, Remus does. Faking smiles and following orders are only the least of his abilities. He's wilder than he looks - just look at him go!

He's jumping through hoops for them.

He's flying and flipping and falling, because that is the motion of things, and even Remus Lupin can't win against gravity.

You'll miss a treat if you miss this act -

Peter Pettigrew, juggling his way out of trouble, liar, liar, isn't he wonderful?

- because this act is something to behold. Peter, just a boy, juggling his way through life. Juggling friends. Schoolwork. Family.

But that's boring, no?

So soon, (so, so soon) little Peter is all grown up, and he's juggling the Order. Friends. Death Eaters. Just to bring that little touch of adventure - well, he lights his clubs on fire.

Isn't it dangerous, ladies and gentlemen? Isn't he magnificent? Look! Look at the stage, the centre ring!

Peter's playing with fire.

Then there's the final one - not official, yet, no, she's on probation.

Lily Evans, our fire-starter.

The flames lick her hair like fingers, but hey, she doesn't feel it, 'cause dear Lily is numb. And if she feels even a shiver of the heat, well then she's lucky, because most inanimate objects don't feel. She eats the flame, and she's so smart, so radiant, she's on fire, and she's shining!

What are you doing to do about it?

Maybe Lily does it because she likes to feel the danger, or maybe she wants to stand out! She's already a freak, at home you see, so she might as well make the title her own. If she gets burnt in the process, well; no matter.

She won't feel it anyway.

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Marauders' Circus, but please, stay the night, because now we can't let you leave.

You're caught in the ring, but what boy doesn't want to join the circus?

So tell me, kind sir, who do you love?

Who do you hate?

Possibly the ring leader - after all, James is so arrogant, pushing the boundaries, and soon, they're going to push back. He's going to be crushed, did you say? Perhaps, one day.

Or is it the clown? After all, all he can do is play pretend, and he's so fake, and that mask is starting to fray a little - "Hey, Sirius, you're looking a little worse for wear!" Maybe he only escaped to the circus to get away from you, and what, he'll stop smiling soon, do you think? Perhaps, one day.

Of course, you hate the juggler. Peter's playing with fate, and chance, and his momentum is slowing, so he's going to lose his touch, don't you know? Perhaps, one day.

And then Lily, who tempts Death, and just doesn't feel, and maybe James Potter is her fire, and isn't she clich├ęd?

What, you think she's going to explode - she's a firework after all! Perhaps, one day.

But maybe you hate the acrobat even more; after all, you were never good at keeping your balance, were you, Regulus?