"Honestly James, could you stop staring at Lily for a momentand focus on the potion?"
"No Moony, I really couldn't."
Remus let out a sigh. "Come on, even Padfoot is paying attention... Padfoot? Oh! God Sirius, it's bad enough that you atract so much female attention outside of class, but do you really have to do that right in the middle of Potions?"
After a few seconds, Sirius's face appeared from behind some girl-
"Oh you're just jelous Moony!" he huffed, and went back to kissing the giggling girl teasingly. Remus muttered something under his breath, turning back to the bubbling cauldron in front of the three friends. He procceded to drop three snakeskins into it, stirring the now orange liqiud gently. Suddenly, he heard a small shuffling sound, and beside him appeared Peter Pettigrew.
"A-am I very late?" he asked nervously, wringing his small, chubby hands. James, who hadn't noticed Peter's arrival, shrieked at the sound of his voice, exclaiming-
"Merlin's beard Wormtail, you nearly gave me a heart attack!"
"Oh, I'm s-sorry, I just..."
"Never mind him Pete, he's just upset because Lily won't go with him to the ball." Remus explained, a smile playing on his lips.
"What does she see in that greasy git Snivellus? I mean, I'm obviously more handsome and intelligent..." James whined, uncontiously running his fingers through his messy black hair.
"Put that ego away Prongs, you're gonna hurt somebody!" teased Sirius, who had just sent the girl away and was now turned towards his friends.
"Alright everybody, time to test those potions!" Professor Slughorn, the Potions teacher, called out giddily, and numerous groans could be heard from the student body.
"What's this potion supposed to do anyway Moony?" Sirius asked, turing to the smartest of the Marauders. Remus sighed again, making a note to himself to force some more study-time onto these three.
"It's called the 'mentem permutabuntur' potion, which translates as 'mind exchange'. It allows two people to literaly 'exchange minds'- like for example; if Peter and I were to drink it, my mind and thoughts would be transfered to his body, which I would now be able to control, and vise-versa."
"Yea... I'm just going to pretend I understood all of that, okay?" James chuckled, turing back around to face Lily. Remus rolled his eyes, but said nothing- this behavior was not unusual for the Marauders, and he was used to it by now.
"Okay, who would like to demonstrate fist?" Slughorn inquired, looking around the class. "How about you, Mr. Snape?"
Snape smirked, standing up. James muttered something that sounded like 'greasy know it all', looking down at his own potion.
Snape looked over the two rats that were presented to him for the demontration- one white and one black, playing a fast moving game of cat and mouse. The black rat was clearly in the role of 'cat', chasing the other around with astonishing speed. Snape quickly cast a spell to make them stand still; he then continued to pour a few drops into their small throats, releasing the spell and allowing them to move once more. The two rats went completely rigid for a moment, put it soon passed and they resumed their usual 'chasing each other' routine- but now it was the white rat that was going after the black one, baring it's small but sharp teeth; Snape grinned- the potion had obviously worked.
"Good job, my boy- twenty point to Slytherin!" Professor Slughorn exclaimed, patting Snape not-so-gently on the back. The black haired boy nodded, heading back towards his seat- but before he could lower himself into the chair he was lifted high off of the ground, now floating upside down in mid air. The rest of the students gasped, but their frightened expretions were soon replaced by amused ones, noticing that this was in fact the doing of a certain Gryffindor Quidditch player in the back row, who had his wand raised and his brow furrowed in concetration.
"Nice one Prongs!" Sirius exclaimed, applauding vigorously.
"Put him down, you arrogant toe-rag!" This shout came from Lily, who had gotten up and was now marching towards the Marauders with a murderous look on her face.
"But Lily-flower!" James replied, turning to the red-haired girl and puting on his best puppy-dog eyes- this was usually Sirius's area of expertise, but James managed to pull it off.
"PUT HIM DOWN!" Lily shrieked, her hand balling into fists. James decided that he would rather not enrage the girl of his dreams any further, and lowered Snape to the ground. Actually it was more like 'dropped roughly to the ground', but whatever.
"And this is why she won't go to the ball with you Prongs..." Remus remarked matter-of-factly. James merely rolled his eyes in reply, his hand once again shooting up to his hair.
"Don't worry James, I'm sure she's see sense some da-" but Sirius was interrupted by a blinding flash of light, which had unmistakably come from Snape's wand. All four Marauders were on the ground, and James thought he tasted some kind of liquid on his mouth, but he shrugged and decided it was blood.
"Why you little- AHG!" Once again Sirius's sentence was cut short as he doubled over, clutching his stomach in pain. "What the...?" he hissed.
"Padfoot?" came Remus's voice. Sirius turned to face his friend, but stumbled back at what he saw- there, standing right in front of him was Sirius Black, in the flesh.
"Am I seeing things Sirius?" the other Black asked- and Padfoot flinched- that was Remus's voice! Suddenly the class was filled with laughter, coming from the Slytherin table-
"Could you be any thicker Black?" Snape spat, "It's the 'mentem permutabuntur'! You've been beaten at your own game!"
Realization formed on Sirius's face, and his confused look quickly turned into a death glare. "Just wait untill I get to you, you greasy little git!" he yelled in rage, causing everybodys' mouthes to drop open. Sirius was confused for a moment, but then it hit him- it wasn't often you heard Moony shouting things like that. Or even shouting at all!
"They may not be mine, Snivellus, but I still have two fists!" Sirius cried out in rage- though honestly, he didn't feel like fighting at all; his whole body was sore, he had a spitting head ache, and the pain in his chest was almost unbearable. But he didn't let it show, advancing on Snape menancingly.
"That's quite enough, Mr. Lupi... er, Black!" The voice belonged to Slughorn, who had recovered from his state of shock and was now walking towards the four Gryffindors and a frightened-looking Slytherin. "Sit down, all of you!" he shouted authoritatively, gesturing for the crowd to disperse. "Now, what seems to be the problem?"
Yea, like he doesn't know... Sirius thought angrily to himself, but out loud he said-
"It was Snape, Professor! He jinxed us into drinking that 'mental perma-thingy'!" This explanation earned him a few chuckles from his classmates, which he chose to ignore.
"I see... and who else is affected?"
"Uh..." Sirius trailed off, suddenly feeling quilty for not checking on his friends. He turned to face them- or rather to face him, James and Peter.
"I... I'm okay!" Peter sqeaked. Everybody froze in shock- had James Potter really just said that?
"Great Merlin James, you're Pete! Or rather, Pete, you're James, or..." Sirius trailed off again, feeling a shooting pain in his head. He then turned to Remus- well, to the Remus inside Sirius Black's body- asking:
"How about you Moony?"
Remus looked at his hands, a somewhat shocked expression on his face. Finally he spoke, saying somewhat shakily-
"Yeah... yeah, I'm fine..." He turned to Peter, inquiring if he was okay- only to get a 'of course I'm not bloody okay! Look at me! I have no muscle whatsoever!' in reply. Remus took this as a yes.
"P-professor?" Peter asked from inside James's body, "how long will this l-last?"
"I'm afraid... I'm afraid it will last for rather a long time. A week or two I'd say, judging by the amout of potion you swallowed."
The four Marauders stared at Slughorn, mouthes hanging open. They all spoke at once-
"But the ball is on saturday!"
"What about the game against Ravenclaw!"
"B-but I can't p-play Quidditch!"
"This can't end well..."
Slughorn chuckled, but stopped momentarily- almost quivering under the fierce glares of James, Remus, and Sirius. Peter's glare still needed some work- it came out as more of a 'pained' expression than a menancing one.
"Now now, no need to worry- I'm sure you'll be just fine. Now, off to the next class with you!" the Professor said quickly, a nervous note in his voice. With that, the third-year students stampeded out of the classroom, as was the tradition. But Sirius, who was usually the one shoving anything that moved during the stampede, found himself being tossed around violently, clutching his stomach in pain.
Is this really how Moony feels most of the time? he thought to gimself, gritting his teeth.
The crazed mob of students soon dispersed, everyone heading off in their own direction.
"Sirius!" Remus called out, from somewhere nearby.
"Over here Moony!"
"Padfoot, are you alright?" Remus had found... well, himself among the crowd, and was now advancing towards Sirius.
Is that really how I look? God, I'm surprised people aren't frightened by me! Remus thought bitterly, looking over the scars on his own face.
"Sure, I'm... I'm fine." Sirius replied, but his tone of voice revealed otherwise. Suddenly someone shouted, causing both boys to jump-
"Moony! Padfoot! Where the bloody hell are you guys?"
"Here, Prongs!" Remus and Sirius called out simultaniously. The four Marauders approached eachother, and an awkward silence lingered for a moment- James was relieved when Sirius finally spoke:
"Merlin Remus, how can you stand it? I can barely think clearly!" there was an amused edge to his words, but they were still truthfull-
Remus chuckled uneasily, guilt spreading over him.
"I'm so sorry Padfoot, I didn't realise..."
"It's not you fault Moony, I just- AHG! Bloody hell!" Sirius doubled over in pain once again, causing James, Remus, and Peter to exchange worried looks.
"I'm fine..." Sirius growled, but must have realised how rough he sounded and said straight away-
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry... honestly Moony, how are you not dead already?" His voice was dripping with sarcasm and all four boys laughed, gratefull for the lessened tension.
"Oh GOD!" Remus cried out suddenly, causing his three friends to flinch.
"What is it Moony?"
"Exactly! The full moon is in three days!" A silence fell over the group.
"Well," Sirius started, "I'll just have to... deal with it." He put on a brave face, but his friends still caught the fear in his voice.
"No." Remus replied flatly. "No. We'll go to Dumbledore- he always knows what to do." With that, Remus set off at a surprisingly quick pace towards the Headmaster's office, three friends close behind him.