"Leave her alone."
"I need to talk to her!"
"Don't you think you've done enough?"
"What do you want me to do, McKinnon, beg?"
"As amusing as that would be, Snape, no I don't. Have a nice life." The portrait door swung shut after the Gryffindor entered, and Severus Snape was left alone in the corridor.
It was the beginning of his sixth year's fall term, and time could not pass any faster. This was the fifteenth time he had tried to corner his ex-best friend, Lily Evans, and he was shut down yet again. Each time he had attempted to approach her, swoop! Someone would intercept him and act as if they were her bodyguard, demanding that he leave her alone or they would be left with no option other than to jinx him.
Ha! As if they could. Along with being an excellent potioneer, Snape was very handy with his wand. In fact, the Slytherin was in the middle of creating a book full of spells he made up on his own. Now if only Lily could overlook his accidental slip up and be his friend again, everything would be perfect.
And it's not like he meant to call her a mudblood. It was Potter's fault, like always. The scoundrel and his friend, Black, had ambushed him after OWLs in front of everyone. They had hung Snape up by his ankles (using Snape's own spell, mind you), and pulled down his trousers so that the whole of Hogwarts had a good view of his underpants.
It isn't as if Snape hadn't appreciated Lily standing up for him. He did. It's just that he didn't want to appear any weaker than his state suggested, so he, well, lost it.
Damn Potter to the darkest pits of Hades, thought Snape sourly. If I ever see his ugly face again, I'll…I'll…
"Well, look what we have here, boys," said the devil himself. Snape turned around, and was not surprised to see that he was surrounded by his worst enemies.
"A Slytherin," said Pettigrew, the devil's minion, "and he's in our territory."
Black let out his stupid dog-like laugh and Snape's blood sizzled.
"If you know what's good for you," he said through clenched teeth, "you'll move out of my way."
"Are you gonna make us?"
Potter put a hand on Black's arm. "Ease up, Padfoot, it's too late for this." Potter focused his gaze on Snape, and he offered the Slytherin a tentative smile. "Uh, so I know we've put each other through hell these past few years, but, er, I want to turn over a new leaf. I'm certainly not asking to be friends," said Potter quickly, before Snape could interject, "but why don't we call it even and bury the hatchet?"
Even Lupin, who was leaning against the wall sleepily, straightened up to blink.
Potter smiled, and put out his hand for Snape to shake.
Snape looked at the offered hand with disgust. Did Potter think he was mental? Did he honestly think that five years of torment could be forgotten with just a handshake and a weak promise? Bah! Severus Tobias Snape was not an idiot…but he could be cruel.
With a plan quickly formulating in mind, the hook-nosed boy grasped Potter's hand, a bit too firmly, but not enough for it to be considered uncouth.
Potter opened his mouth, probably to ask for a hug next, or something, but Snape took out his wand quickly from his holster. "Diminuendo," he cried, and silver sparks shot out of his wand, hitting Potter square in the face.
Snape turned around before he could see his brand new spell take its effect and shot the same jinx at Black, who was in the middle of casting a spell. Two more flicks of his wand, and the ever-slow Pettigrew and the now-awake Lupin were hit too.
Snape, with a smile like a proud father on his face, watched his four tormentors shrink down almost to nothingness. At the end of the transformation, they were as tall as ink jars.
Potter's face was the vision of fury as he shook his fist up at Snape from his position down by the Slytherin's shoes. Black was stomping up and down on Snape's too long robes, spewing out a string of profanities. Lupin, however, was one step ahead of them and took out his wand to counter-spell the jinx.
"Uh-uh-uh," scolded Snape, and he picked up the sixth year by the front of his little sweater vest, pinching it between his thumb and index finger. Plucking the wand out of the Gryffindor's tiny fist, he pocketed it, and did the same with the rest of the boys, having some trouble with Black when he tried to bolt.
"Now," he said when he captured the escapee. "I didn't want to have it come to this, but you left me with no choice. Next time you mess with me – oh, what am I saying? There won't be a next time." Snape conjured up a small string and tied the four miniscule teenage boys up.
Pettigrew bit Snape on the finger as he was tying them up, and the Slytherin growled when he noticed the droplet of blood that came out. "You imbecile!" Picking up Pettigrew by the hair, he swung him around.
"Stop it!" cried Lupin, his voice high-pitched.
"Continue? Certainly!" Snape twisted the Gryffindor around some more, but stopped once his hand grew tired.
Pettigrew's head lolled to the side once Snape put him down and tied him again, and there was a mysterious wet stain on the front of his trousers.
"As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted," said Snape, as he strolled leisurely down the corridor, clutching the boys tightly in his hand. "There won't be a next time because that blasted care taker's cat will get to you before help arrives. Hopefully, it won't leave any evidence behind when it eats you; Merlin knows how I'll get out of that one."
Their cries of outrage was music to Snape's ears.
"Caught you," said Lily Evans, triumphantly.
She opened the broom closet's door further to reveal the two snogging culprits. "I'm deducting five points each from Ravenclaw," the prefect said as she wrote them up a slip, "and giving you detention with Flitwick – don't be late."
The love-sick couple began to lose their dazed expressions. "What?" said the girl, shock evident in her tone. "But you never give us detention, Evans!"
"That was then, this is now," snapped Lily, roughly handing them their slips. "And if I catch you again, it'll be ten points and detention with Filch, now move."
The Ravenclaws eventually exited, muttering rude words beneath their breath, but Lily couldn't care less, because today was the suckiest day in the history of suckiest days – for her, anyway.
It all started when Sev – It's Snape now, she chastised herself. He lost that title when he decided to let his Slytherin friends cloud his mind - when Snape had interrupted her breakfast to apologize for the umpteenth time. Lately, it was as if she couldn't go one day without him bombarding her with useless words of regret. As if anything could get her to forget what he had called her, in front of the entire school, no less.
Though, she thought, as she began to patrol the ground floor. I don't think where he said it makes a difference; I'd feel the same hurt if he had called me it if we were alone…perhaps even more.
The next thing that had contributed to her awful day was Potter. And if you're probably thinking, Oh, what did he do now? Well, that was the thing.
He did nothing. Absolutely nothing that annoyed or pestered her, or anything that made her want to pull her hair out.
This made Lily suspicious. Surely, no one (let alone Potter, of all people) could change that drastically over the summer…right?
She shook her head to get rid of her conflicting thoughts. No good came from thinking of Potter. The best thing to do in this situation was to be wary of Potter until whatever foolishness he was stirring exploded. Then she, whilst giving him a boatload of detentions, could be the one to laugh in his face, victorious.
A door slammed, and Lily almost jumped out of her skin. Only when she heard Peeves' cackling laughter sound the corridor did she allow her racing heart to calm down.
She wished Remus hadn't skipped out on patrols, because then she would have company when roaming the halls for curfew-breaking students. It just didn't seem like Remus at all to forget. Usually, he was the one who reminded her when it was to time to perform their prefect duties.
Lily hoped he was OK, and not in detention somewhere for being involved in another childish prank.
That's the price to pay when you're friends with the biggest hooligans in school, I guess.
"It's hopeless," said Peter, slumping against his bonds. "We'll never escape."
James bumped shoulders with him, the only form of comfort he could give due to their current, unfortunate situation, and said, "C'mon, Wormtail, chin up! We're the Marauders. Who're the people who charmed the whole school upside down for a week? Us! Who became Animagi at 15? Us! Who -"
"That's it!" said Sirius suddenly. He turned to his friends, his eyes bright with excitement. "Let's transform into our Animagi forms! I don't know why we haven't thought of this before…it's obvious. Take that, Snivellus!" He began to wriggle around the string, but Remus stopped him.
"I don't think that's wise," said the bookworm. "Padfoot is bigger than you - Prongs, too, for that matter. If you transform, you'll be rendered even more useless. We need someone whose form is smaller…more agile…"
They all looked at Peter.
"Hmm? Oh, right!" Peter closed his eyes, and silently began to mouth the words to complete the transformation. They were still fairly new to the whole Animagi business, so they needed to put all their effort into it to successfully form. Peter, who had the most trouble with it, required more concentration.
But alas, it looked like luck was not on their side this time.
The ground beneath them began to rumble.
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Four furry paws stopped inches before them, and the Marauders gulped. Filch's cat, Mrs. Norris, stared down at them, licking her lips greedily. It looked like she was hungry. Three guesses on what was going to be her dinner.
"HURRY, WORMTAIL!" they shrieked in unison.
Peter screwed up his face in intense concentration. He was trying so hard, his face turned red, then purple, then blue. At the rate he was going, they would be down Mrs. Norris' esophagus when he transformed.
Mrs. Norris was getting impatient. She opened her mouth and picked up the boys by the string with her teeth. Saliva dripped down from the cat's mouth onto the Marauders, drenching them with spit.
"My hair!" sobbed Sirius, flipping his wet locks away from his face. "She's ruined my hair!"
"Forget about your hair," snapped Remus, "We're going to be kitty chow if we don't do anything now!"
"Mrs. Norris," called a voice from behind, "What are you doing here?"
Lily Evans came to a stop in front of the cat, her brows furrowed. Mrs. Norris turned around, surprised, and dropped the Marauders on the floor.
Evans raised an eyebrow when she saw Mrs. Norris' almost-dinner, "Where on Earth did you get these dolls?" she asked, and she crouched down to get a better look. "They look terribly realistic…they even got Potter's stupid hair right."
"Hey! It's not stupid!" shouted James, wishing his hands were free so he could run them through his hair.
Evans yelped and fell down on her bum, effectively startling Mrs. Norris enough for the cat to sprint away. "Hello? Can you hear me?"
"Of course we can, Evans, don't be dim," said Sirius. "Now do us a favour and untie us, would you?"
"H-how - ?"
Remus explained, "It was Snape."
Evans blinked, still confused, but she freed them from their binds. The Marauders stood up gratefully, stretching their aching limbs.
Sirius whistled. "Nice legs, Evans. Maybe this jinx wasn't a bad thing, after all."
The redhead stood up, blushing. "Even three inches tall you still manage to be a pervert, Black."
"I can see up your skirt, you know."
With an indignant shriek, Evans grabbed the four giggling Gryffindors and stuffed them in her robe's pockets.
"Where are you taking us?" said Peter, poking his head out of the pocket to see that Evans had started walking down the corridor.
"To Snape, of course," replied the girl. "This is probably one of his own created spells, so he's the only who can redo this."
The Marauders sent each other silent smiles. Hopefully, they would be able to witness Evans direct her anger towards some one else besides them for once. Now that would be a sight to see.
Minutes later, they found the slimy snake by the Slytherin dorm entrance. Snape's eyes widened when he realized it was Evans. He hadn't spotted the Marauders – yet.
"Lily, thank Merlin you're here," he began, "I've been meaning to –"
Evans held out a hand. "Save it, Snape. I'm not here to listen to you apologize. You've made it quite clear you don't want to be friends anymore, so I don't see the point."
"She said zip it, Snivellus," said James, and he crawled out of Evans' pocket. Evans opened her hand and he jumped onto it. Remus, Peter and Sirius followed suit, but climbed onto her shoulders, instead.
"And to think I apologized to your sorry arse," continued James, a disgusted sneer on his face. "I should have known better. Just wait until you turn us back. I'll give your head to the Beaters for Quidditch practice!"
Snape's lip curled. "And who says I'll change you back?"
James almost leaped from Evans' palm, but the girl held him back. "Relax," she hissed to him. To Snape, she said in a cold tone, "Unless you want me to give you detention from now until the end of the year and notify Professor Dumbledore, you'll undo this curse." Evans sighed. "You know, before all this, I was thinking, maybe sometime in the future, I don't know, I could at least hear you out. But now, I'm starting to seriously judge the likeliness of it all."
"But, Lily –" Snape sputtered.
Evans shook her head, too upset to even meet his eyes.
There was a tense silence. When Snape realized he had truly messed up this time, he said with such venom, the Marauders were sure he would reveal a fork tongue, "The curse will undo on its own. Here are their wands." Snape threw them on the floor, hissed the Slytherin password, and retreated into his common room.
Evans blinked rapidly, fighting back tears. Remus patted her cheek, but the action was so feeble due to his tiny hands, she couldn't feel it.
"Hey, don't cry," said Peter awkwardly. "That's my job. Yours is to yell at us when we do stupid things, it's in the rulebook."
Evans snorted, and the Marauders were happy to see most of her tears were residing. "Has anyone ever told you guys that you're prats?"
"I do believe you're the first to tell us," said Remus, grinning.
Peter said, "How long do you think it'll wear off?"
James was about to respond, but a tingling sensation overwhelmed his body. He looked down at himself to see that he was growing at an alarming rate. Just as he was about to let out a happy whoop, he had realized he was still standing on Evans' hand.
"AHHH!" she shrieked, and she fell down, bringing James down on top of her. Pretty soon, Remus, Sirius and Peter had also gotten back to their normal sizes.
"Get off!" demanded Evans, struggling under their weight.
"Hmm?" said Sirius, not moving one bit. "I seem to recall you calling us prats, and frankly, I'm hurt."
"Well, I seem to recall your wands are still on the floor, whereas mine is here," said Lily, allowing her self a smug smile. "I'll give you to the count of ten. One...two - TEN!"
A/N: WHAAAAAAT'S UP?!
GUYS, I AM SO SORRY THIS WAS LIKE THE LONGEST BREAK IN THE HISTORY OF LONGEST BREAKS AND I FEEL SOOO BAD!
I honestly was just planning to take a week off because homework, you know, but then time seemed to like zzzzzipp away and now it's the end of December oh wow. Feel free to throw tomatoes at me anytime, here I'll wait.
*peeks around corner* OK, coast is clear. THANKS SO MUCH TO: chaosshotgun, Crystalline-Enchantix, Our Mismatched Socks, agryffindorgal, Remus' daughter, BELVISPRESLEY and Guest for reviewing! You guys are the bombdiggity!
Question: What is your favourite spell?
Mine is Accio! It seems so useful, like if I'm on the couch and the remote is who knows where, I can just make it zoom into my hand...pretty handy for lazy people like moi, hahahahaa :))