December, Maya’s 3rd Year and
Marauder’s 4th Year
“This is a two-way mirror. I’ve got the other. If you need to speak to me, just say my name into it; you’ll appear in my mirror and I’ll be able to talk in yours. James and I used to use them when we were in separate detentions.”
- Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 858
“You’re taking Mum seriously then?” Regulus asked Sirius.
“She sent me a Howler, Reg,” Sirius said flatly. “If she doesn’t want to see me until the summer then she won’t see me until the summer.”
Regulus frowned but couldn’t argue with that. After Sirius’ latest stunt involving broomsticks that couldn’t fly unless you told them a password that they had conveniently forgotten to tell most of the school, Potter and his best friend had detention for a month. Their mother had finally followed through on sending her older son a howler and had shouted her disapproval to the entire school. It had culminated in a screeched desire to not see Sirius for several more months and he was taking that command to heart. “You’ve never listened to her before,” Regulus told him.
“I won’t make a habit of it,” Sirius said with a handsome smile.
The train began to slow and James Potter peeked his head into their compartment. “Ready, Sirius?”
“Ready, mate. Happy Christmas, Reg.” Said Sirius.
“Happy Christmas, Sirius,” said Regulus half-heartily. He wouldn’t admit it aloud – he refused to admit it aloud – but he wanted his big brother to come home with him for the holidays.
Sirius grabbed his bag and was halfway out the door when he turned around. “Hey, Reg.”
“Don’t let Bellatrix get to you, okay?”
Regulus nodded. “Don’t worry. I won’t make her mad.” Then Regulus hopped out the door and onto the platform. He didn’t notice Sirius frowning after him.
“Sirius?” Asked James. “You okay, mate?”
“That’s not exactly what I meant,” Sirius said, watching as his father greeted his younger brother. “Bellatrix has been...there are rumors that she’s been mixed up with all the creepy stuff that’s been happening lately.” Sirius shook himself, “Never mind – Reg is too smart to get himself tangled in our family’s business.”
James and Sirius tugged hard on either side of a Christmas cracker. With a “BANG!” out came a new set of Wizard’s Chess and a fine set of leather gloves that James and Sirius had a fierce, but good-natured tussle over who would get what. That had James’ mother protesting loudly and his father laughing.
“There are more, boys!” Mrs. Potter told them. “There are more!”
“Boys will be boys,” Mr. Potter told her. “Boys will be boys. Here, James, catch!” He threw another three crackers at him. Sirius caught two and James snatched at the other. They cracked them open – revealing silver sickles, a leather notebook and a good pack of Zonko’s products.
A timer went off and Mrs. Potter rushed to grab apple pie out of the oven and James smiled at his best friend. The doorbell rang and Mr. Potter went to let in his brother and parents.
“James,” said Sirius softly.
“I love your family.” Sirius’ voice was hoarse with longing. Why couldn’t he have been born into this family instead of his own? A family where everyone was accepted, where they were on good relations with their muggle neighbors and laughed along as James told story after ridiculous story.
James grabbed his friend’s arms and gave him a small shake. “You’re my brother, Sirius. Even if we aren’t related by blood. You’ll always be wanted here.”
Sirius gave him a fierce hug. “You’re my best friend, and my brother forever, James,” he whispered.
“Hey,” said James, jumping back and finding something under the tree. “This is for you, mate.” He handed him a small square package.
“Presents happen tomorrow,” said Sirius, a bit surprised.
“Since when do we follow rules?” James asked, trying and failing to look innocent.
Sirius grinned and ripped open the paper. Inside was a small square mirror that fit comfortably into his palm.
“A mirror?” he asked, surprised.
“It’s a two-way mirror,” said James proudly, pulling an identical mirror out of the inside of his jacket. “We can use them to communicate no matter where we are. Just say my name into yours and mine will warm up. Then I can say your name into mine and we’ll be able to talk. They belonged to my grandpa and his brother.”
“Wicked,” said Sirius. “Let’s test it!” He ran up to James’ room and looked into the small reflective piece of glass. “James Potter?”
The mirror fogged over and then James’ hazel eyes and wide smile were looking out at him. “Hi, Sirius!”
Sirius started laughing. “This is amazing! Too bad you don’t have a third for Remus…and another for Peter, too.”
“They’ll get over it,” said James. “We can always pass them around to each other depending on who is doing what.” The mirror fogged over again and Sirius was looking only at his own reflection. James’ bedroom door opened and he ducked under his bed to pull out another wrapped packaged.
“What’s this?” asked Sirius.
“A present for all of us,” said James. “Take a look.” He handed Sirius the packaged. Sirius unwrapped it, and a thrill went through him when he read the title of the book.
“A Complete Guide to Animagus,” Sirius read. “How did you..?”
“Belonged to my great-grandpa,” said James. He sat down on his bed and gave his best friend a serious look. “He could turn into an owl. I think we can do it, Sirius.”
“This is the best gift you could ever give Moony, you know that right?” Sirius told James in the same tone.
“I know,” said James, grinning. “This is going to be amazing!”