The Marauders' Dormitory
On the seventh floor of a great hidden castle in the outskirts of the countryside of Scotland, there is a small room tucked into a corner. The room has gathered dust, because it has been unused for many many years, because it was built for four and there have not been a year of four boys for quite a few years. Since, as a matter of fact, 1977, when the last inhabitants of the room graduated. Come 1978, there were more students than would fit into the room, so it was quite abandoned. After that, everyone quite forgot about it. Until years and years later.
But if you would go into that room, as Teddy Lupin did, pushing the door open and peering inside with all the fear of someone who is gazing into an endless void, you would see – although perhaps you would not realize it – an entire world that once was; a whole dynasty.
The dynasty, the world, the small encapsulated universe that belonged to the Marauders.
Teddy walked in carefully, trying not to step too hard because it felt, to be honest, a bit like he was in church right now – except somehow more sacred. He looked around, awed, and just by seeing he saw a fair bit.
He could see, even from the far corner of the room, that someone had long ago carved the word Marauders into the back wall. It was in small, neat lettering. He walked over the creaking hardwood floor (again, softly, gently, scaredly) and ran his fingers over the words, tears pricking his eyes. My dad, he thought bewilderedly, my dad wrote these words.
He was right – he'd recognized the scratchy neat print from his father's journals that he'd pried into over the years – that Remus John Lupin had scratched the word into the wall. He didn't know a fair bit. Remus had scrawled it into the wall as a bet, because Sirius Black had been teasing him that he was far too good, and he'd wagered him fifteen sickles that he would never do anything truly, properly bad. When the four came up to the room the next evening, the word was scratched into the back wall and Remus was proudly taking credit, and after much debate, it was agreed that graffiti was truly, properly bad, at least from Remus's perspective, and thus, fifteen sickles were surrendered. Teddy Lupin's father had been fourteen years old.
He revolved slowly on the spot, looking around the room. The window was shut, and he went and opened it, trying to not even shake off the dust that had gathered. A warm spring breeze fluttered through, filling the room with a pleasant scent and a fresh air, just as it had a hundred thousand times.
Teddy didn't know it, but that pleasant breeze had been a great source of amusement for the four boys who had once ruled this kingdom, because Peter Pettigrew's bed had been closest to the window, and he suffered from all sorts of terrible allergies, and whenever that spring breeze blew in it brought some pollen or flowers or whatnot and he would sneeze, usually about forty six times consecutively.
Teddy looked at the beds now, wondering which one his father had slept on. They were all four stripped of sheets now, bare and empty; they hadn't been slept in for over twenty years. He tried to picture what they looked like filled in.
There was, of course, no way of knowing it, but once upon a time each bed had a different set of sheets. The one closest to the window were plain yellow sheets, and the boy sleeping in them would pull bright red blankets over himself every night. James Potter slept there, where the rain could be heard loudest, and he would be lulled off to sleep with it – after, of course, he had spent hours whispering to the bed next to him, the bed almost touching the wall. This bed was covered in red and gold sheets, because the boy who slept there, Sirius Black, was proudest of all of his House. The two's beds were so close they could whisper easily, but often, they were aided with their two way mirrors, simply because it was a cooler way of speaking. Peter Pettigrew's bed was sheeted in green, only because he was fond of the color, and closest to the window. And the boy's father slept in a bed pushed up against the wall, with dark blue sheets and a pale blue quilt, except for the long nights he spent in the Hospital Wing. But his friends would often end up joining him there too.
Teddy leaned against the wall, drinking in it all, trying to imagine what it was like full and alive, when those four boys lived here, happily, together. He could draw some conclusions, and most of them were correct.
There were scratches all over the floor. Seven years of roughhousing had taken its toll on the wooden planks, and so had their heavy bags, walloped on the floor with no regard. There were cracks in the walls in places, because stuff had been thrown about a fair bit, otherwise from the place being old. It was a warm room, and it was always; in the warmer months it would get rather hot, and Teddy wondered what charms they would use to keep it cool, if they fanned themselves with paper airplanes, if they grew lazy and too warm to even think, and the desire to know his father, to know his father's friends, burned in him like no other.
There were things, of course, that Teddy didn't know, because the kingdom of those Marauders held many, many secrets as well. There were tears shed there, because they were at war and people died. There were tears shed because Moony was a werewolf and Padfoot's family sometimes hurt him and Prongs would worry too much about people and Wormtail would be wrenched from sleep with screaming nightmares. There were tears shed because even though they were the Marauders, they would all fall sometimes. But they never tended to all fall down at the same time, and there was always someone to help the other. The main summary of that room, of the Marauders' dormitory, was that no one was ever alone.
Ghosts of laughter echoed still off the wall, though it had gone silent now after twenty years, because though tears fell, there was more laughter in one year than tears in all seven. They were the Marauders. They were the best of friends, and amused themselves in the way people who are the best of friends amuse themselves. They were all witty and amusing, and all four of them tended to take best solace in laughter; laughter was all, at some points, they had. Their pranks on one another and the school would send them bounding into their dormitory, chattering excitedly over each other about what had happened, laughing to tears for recollection and plans for the next and the next and the next and the next.
Plans were made in that room, too. Plans for tomorrow, for the next day. Yesterday was rarely lamented about in the kingdom of the Marauders, because they were a fast moving bunch, and tears could be shed one second, laughter brought forth the next. They were always always dreaming, always always planning. When I get out of my house, Sirius would say – when the cure for werewolfism is discovered, Remus would say – when I get a bit braver, Peter would say – when this war is over, James would say – but there were a lot they shared. When we leave school. When we start lives. When we can finally fight. When we can end this. When, when, when, when.
Those four boys had spent a lot of their lives wishing for tomorrow, which was beautiful in its own extensively tragic way.
But they had lived unmatchably in today, as well. They lived for the moment, those four. They planned a lot for tomorrow, disregarded yesterday, and primarily made sure that everything that could possibly be was wrung out of each and every day. Mornings came early in that room, although Teddy would never know it, and nights ended late.
The sun would shine in and illuminate them. When they were twelve, they found out that Sirius hated thunder, and though initially he was mocked of course, they stopped quickly because it was a sore spot for him, and then after that, whenever it thundered outside, no one would bring it up (except, in the dead of night sometimes James, because James and Sirius were James and Sirius) but they would talk lightly and happily and they'd all go out of their way to make Sirius laugh. Snow would fall like clockwork a couple times a year, and they would wake up even earlier than usual and run outside and seize the day like no other.
There was a lot of day seizing in that room.
Teddy Lupin leaned against the back wall of the dormitory, feeling more peculiar than he ever had in his entire life. He felt as if he was at the brink of knowledge itself, and at the same time teetering dangerously over something horrible.
Then the sun shone in – and all of a sudden, he could so clearly picture four boys spread out across their beds on a warm day with the breeze drifting in, talking and laughing and being together, and though Teddy Lupin had always regarded the story of his father and his three best friends as one of great tragedy, that day he leaned against the wall and smiled. Because even though at the end, nothing ended as it should have, for so many days those four boys ruled their world together. And for so many days, it was so glorious.
HELLO. I am still alive! I haven't posted anything for a while, have I? I shall be trying to change that! :D
Oh, if you're still miraculously keeping up with The Fantastic Adventures: it has NOT been abandoned! It is a very slow going work in progress, and will, someday, be finished. In the meanwhile, I do hope you enjoyed this, and do drop a review if you can!