The Snitch of Secrets Three

The Welcome Feast

The train pulled into Hogsmeade station. The Gryffindors made their way towards the carriages that were waiting to take them up to the castle. The five boys and four girls jumped into the first available carriage, James holding the carriage's door open for the girls. James briefly saw Lily getting into a carriage with none other than Severus Snape. James frowned, shaking his head slightly. He stepped into the carriage, "well that's it then – Evans is back with Snape."

"Excuse me?" Alice asked.

"Lily – I just saw her getting into a compartment with Snape," James explained.

"Well that was to be expected," Kate sighed.

"She's so naïve!" Sirius complained.

"No she's not – she's just overly trusting," James responded patiently.

"And only when it comes to Snape," Marlene laughed bitterly.

James decided not to comment. He still felt hurt that she didn't trust him. He looked out of the carriage window at the approaching castle. There was a loud crash of thunder in the distance and a great flash of lightning that illuminated the castle. It quickly began to rain heavily, "perfect timing," James muttered.

The carriage pulled to a stop at the front steps of the castle. Each of the Gryffindors pulled their cloaks over their head to shield themselves from the rain. "Oh, the weather was so lovely when we left London," Mary complained as she stepped out of the carriage and into the rain.

The nine friends practically ran into the entrance hall. Sirius began performing drying spells on all the Gryffindor girls. Several girls screamed as Peeves threw waterbombs at the already wet students. "Silly, silly boys and girl… come to Hogwarts… all spotty nosed and messy haired… smelly little students back again…" Peeves sang happily.

"Mr Peeves!" James called.

"Yes Mr Marauder Sir," Peeves replied, bowing slightly.

"We the marauders award you ten marauders points for your silly endeavours to cause mischief," James replied.

"Why thank you sir," Peeves smiled, "I is much pleased to accept your generous award."

"Very well – proceed," James nodded.

The marauders began to make their way towards the Great Hall through the crowd of returning students. "POTTER!" Professor McGonagall called.

James smiled at his teacher, "Professor?"

"Potter – in fact all four of you!" McGonagall called them over to herself. James quickly realised that Professor McGonagall was not alone. The four boys quickly made their way over to their head of house. "Misters Potter, Black, Lupin and Pettigrew, Miss Evans has informed me that you were rather troublesome on the train today. You will wait here until I am able to speak to you." Lily grinned at the marauders before making her way into the Great Hall to watch the sorting ceremony.

James and the other marauders leant against the wall as the entrance hall began to empty. Several minutes later there was a knocking at the front door. The marauders frowned, should we open it? But Professor McGonagall quickly returned, opening the door allowing the new first years into the school. "In you come… quickly, quickly…" The first years looked terrified. One boy looked like he might faint. "Thank you very much Hagrid." Hagrid smiled before making his way into the Great Hall. "Very soon we will be joining the rest of the school for the welcoming feast but before that you must be sorted into your houses. There are four houses at Hogwarts; Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. Your house will be your family whilst you are at the castle. If you are ready, we will proceed. Follow me…" The first years followed the stern looking teacher into the Great Hall.

"Looks like we're going to miss the sorting," Sirius yarned.

"Shame," Remus frowned.

"Not at all," Peter squeaked, "it's awfully dull."

"Peter – that's absolute poppycock," Remus laughed.

"I hope we don't miss Dumbledore's speech," James complained.

"It would serve you right if you did Mr Potter," Professor McGonagall said as she walked into the entrance hall, "I am very disappointed. You haven't been back two minutes and I yet I find myself needing to write to your parents. What do you say for yourselves?"

"Only that everyone needs a little laughter in their lives," James laughed.

"And that if you keep up with all this seriousness Minnie, we might have to take away points from you," Sirius winked.

"Excuse me?" her eyebrow raised high up her forehead.

"We have began a new system of points," Remus explained, "they are marauder points. Given to those who are witty or mischievous or particularly entertaining. They are taken away if one is two serious or dull."

"Well – I would ask that you stop this rubbish immediately," Professor McGonagall frowned, "You will each have detention this week with Mr Filch. Now get going…"

The marauders quickly made their way into the Great Hall. The other students were happily eating the amazing feast that the house-elves had created for them. James quickly grabbed a large slice of pie and some chips whilst Sirius covered his plate in a wide variety of different meats. "You really are a bit of a dog," James joked. "I've never seen anyone eat quite like you, Sirius."

"Yeah – close your mouth," Remus complained.

"Is that the new defence teacher?" Peter asked pointing at the teacher's table.

"Quit pointing," James chastised him. "It must be."

"Well there weren't any other vacancies on the staff were there?" Remus asked.

"I wish Bartlet had stayed," Sirius complained, his mouth full.

"He wanted to retire though," Remus frowned, "I mean – he was getting a tad old."

"He only taught last year as a favour for Dumbledore," James sighed.

"Yeah but who is he?" Sirius nodded back towards the table. "He looks slightly creepy."

"Sirius you can't call people creepy," James laughed. "At least not quite so loudly."

The tables suddenly emptied of all food but were just as quickly covered once more but this time with different types of deserts. James smiled before grabbing a large slice of cheesecake. Remus sighed, "Chocolate cake!" The boys laughed. Everyone knew that Remus Lupin was slightly addicted to chocolate. Peter piled his plate high with all the different deserts on the table whilst Sirius had a bowl of jelly and ice cream. The Gryffindors sat together laughing happily as they discussed what the new defence against the dark arts teacher would be like. Lily frowned looking at him, "he's awfully sour looking."

"I don't think we're going to like him," Alice scowled.

"I think you might be right Ali," James called across the table.

They also discussed the new classes each of them was taking up this year. "Alice – what classes are you taking this year?" James asked happily.

"Divination, arithmancy and muggle studies," Alice replied smiling, "what about you?"

"Care of magical creatures, divination and muggle studies," James smiled, "We'll have at least two classes together."

Alice grinned widely, "What about you Lils?"

"Erm, care of magical creatures, divination, arithmancy and ancient runes," Lily answered.

"What? Why on earth would you take four classes?" James asked. "I thought I was taking a lot – three is more than average but four… that's just ridiculous."

"Are you calling me ridiculous?" Lily asked angrily.

"No, not at all," James frowned before turning away, "Rem – what are you taking?"

"Care of magical creatures, arithmancy, ancient runes and muggle studies," Remus explained.

"See Evans – Remus is just as ridiculous as you," James laughed.

"Arrogant toe-rag," Lily replied, her eyes expressing her anger.

James merely laughed before turning back to his friends.

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