Five Minutes

Chapter 9

Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.

Hello reader!

Here's chapter nine!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Nine

James was sat in the common room by the fire. He was doing a three foot essay for Charms when a cat jumped up on the table he was working at and knocked his ink bottle all over his work.

'Ah man!' James said under his breath and he petted the cat, 'Now why'd you do that?'

A second year girl rushed over seeing what her cat had done. When she saw who was petting her cat, her breath hitched. 'I'm sorry!' she flushed, shaking as she reached out to grab her cat. She picked him up, flushed deeper, and walked away from James, glowing at the fact that she had just spoken to him.

James shook his head. He was used to girls doing that when they spoke to him. He no longer took notice of them as there was only one girl he wanted. With Lily in mind, James had an idea and took out his wand and started to lift the spilt ink magically from his parchment.

When he had done, a fourth year girl came over to him and gave him a role of parchment which she said had come from Professor Slughorn. He thanked the girl who just stood watching him and batting her eyelids. He was about to ask her, politely, to leave when Remus and Sirius walked into the room with Peter trailing behind them.

'If you keep doing that your eyes will fall out!' Remus said to the girl as he flopped down next to James. The girl scowled at him for interrupting her James-gazing time, before turning around and flouncing away.

'What's this?' Sirius said reaching over and grabbing the roll of parchment which James still had in his hand.

'Mine?' James said his hand still in the position of holding the parchment.

Sirius just stuck his tongue out at James, unrolled the parchment and read the letter in a fancy voice. 'James, I would be delighted if you would join me for my annual Halloween party in the dungeons. Sincerely, Professor H. E. F. Slughorn.' Sirius handed the letter back to James, 'You'd have thought that after five years of ignoring his stupid little parties, he'd have realised that you don't want to be part of the 'slug club'!'

'Well you have to admire his persistence!' Remus said, looking at the letter in James' hands, 'You gonna put him out of his misery and finally go to one of these things?'

James tossed the letter on the table. 'Can't,' James carried on siphoning the ink from his charms homework, 'On the same day as…' he gestured to Remus.

'Ah…' Remus said nodding in realisation. In three days not only would it be Halloween, it would be the full moon meaning that he would have to undergo the painful transformation into a werewolf. 'Well that should be fun!' Remus grumbled sarcastically.

'Course it will! I'll be there!' Sirius said happily with wide arms, 'What could be more fun?!'

'Oh I can think of many things!' Remus said with a wicked smile.

'Like cleaning the Owlery!' James muttered under his breath as he began rolling his Charms essay up.

'Don't tell me you've actually done that homework!' Sirius said scandalized, not hearing his previous comment.

'Yeah…' James said putting his homework in his bag before Sirius could grab it.

'WHY?' Sirius yelled dramatically.

James rolled his eyes and shook his head. Something then caught his eye. 'Pete,' he said slowly, 'aren't you meant to be in an astronomy class now?'

Peter expression turned to shock as he scraped back his chair and staggered through the common room before clambering out of the portrait hole and out of sight.

'Did you two not remember?' James asked his friends who were kicking each other under the table.

'No, I'd forgotten.' Remus said apologetically.

'What about you Padfoot?' James said turning to Sirius who was now folding up a piece of parchment to make a paper broom.

'Why should I have to memorise his timetable? I have a hard enough time remembering my own!' he grumbled moodily. He then took out his wand and charmed his paper broom to fly around the common room. Moments later, James saw Sirius paper broom being torn to shreds by the cat that had spilt ink over his Charms essay.

'So!' Sirius said.

'So?' James repeated.

Sirius leaned in towards James and Remus who mirrored his actions. 'What we gonna do about old Snivelly following us around.'

'I've told you we're not gonna do anything!' James said exasperatedly.

'We've got to do something!' Sirius said as if it was obvious, 'We can't just let him carry on following us! How are we supposed to, you know…' Sirius paused trying to thing of the right word, 'maraud?'

'Maraud?' Remus said with a raised eyebrow.

'It's a word!' Sirius said pompously.

'No it's not!' Remus sighed.

'Well if it's not a word…then how come I could use it in a sentence? Hmm?' Sirius said matter of factly, believing he had won this argument.

'Fine.' Remus said giving up, knowing that Sirius wouldn't drop this topic for ages if he didn't agree.

'Yay! I win!' Sirius said happily before suddenly turning deadly serious, 'What are we gonna do about Snivellus trailing us around?'

'Nothing!' James said through gritted teeth before gathering his things together and walking away from his friends, up the staircase to the boy's dormitories, and out of sight.

'Well I'm gonna do something!' Sirius said to Remus who sighed and shook his head.

'Don't Sirius! You'll just make things worse. Just let it lie!' Remus said getting up and following James to the dormitory.

'I'm still gonna do something!' Sirius said to the chair next to him, 'Now I just need to figure out what…'

First thing Thursday morning, the Gryffindor's had Herbology with the Hufflepuff's. Usually, they would have all moaned and groaned about having to be out in a freezing cold greenhouse at nine thirty in the morning, but today was an exception. As the Snargaluff plants they had put into dragon dung last lesson hadn't began to pulsate yet, therefore they weren't ready to be picked, Professor Sprout had prepared them a special activity. Ok it wasn't so much a special activity as a job she hadn't finished in time, (time management wasn't her strong point), but it was still fun. The sixth year Herbology class of Hufflepuff's and Gryffindor's were to help her carve the pumpkins for the festivities of Halloween which would commence the next night.

Remus hated Halloween. It was the one day of the year that people were the most interested in dark creatures and scary monsters. It was the one day of the year which he always feared because he thought his lycanthropy might be revealed. This Halloween would be even worse because the full moon fell on the thirty first of October. Halloween. So whilst everyone else would be enjoying the Halloween feast, he would be in the shrieking shack just waiting to undergo the painful transformation of becoming a werewolf.

James and Sirius were major fans of Halloween because, apart from April fool's day, it was the one day of the year they could pull pranks without disrupting the everyday life at Hogwarts. Not that this usually stopped them. I was just nice to know that for once, their practical jokes wouldn't be condemned as bad behaviour, just written off as high spirited Halloween fun.

Peter had no personal feelings towards the holiday. Instead, every year, he would change his view towards the festivities depending on who he was with. If he was with James and Sirius, he would put all the energy he could muster into planning the Halloween pranks they would pull. If he was with Remus, he would shun the holiday and moan about it. He was a very fickle boy.

Living in the muggle world, Lily hadn't particularly celebrated Halloween an awful lot, but since entering the wizarding world, she had grown to love it. At least, she had grown to love how Hogwarts celebrated Halloween such as the pumpkins that would be placed on the tables. Not really the bats flying around the school but the cauldrons filled with sweets everywhere you looked. She also loved the way the ghosts threw themselves into fulfilling the muggle stereotype. And now she was helping to carve the pumpkins. Being a part of the preparations made Lily feel like she belonged. It was a nice feeling.

Hestia, Lily's best and closet friend, loved Halloween. As an aspiring journalist for the Daily Prophet, she found that Halloween had proved to be the night when the most newsworthy things happened. People usually became hooked on sugar and began to do crazy things. Hestia loved it and was always ready to write her idea's down. She would send them off to the Daily Prophet every so often. This way, they would know who she was so when she graduated from Hogwarts, they would want to hire her. Halloween was perfect for a new story.

Emmeline didn't mind Halloween. Emmeline liked it because on this day, people took a keen interest in divination which was her favourite subject. On this day, people could see her side of things and they didn't just see her as an airhead who randomly spouted philosophical prophesies. Now Emmeline didn't claim to be a seer, nor did she want to become one. She just liked believing that there was something controlling your fate and that everything happened for a reason. Also, she loved the Halloween feast.

Alice, like Remus, hated Halloween. She could never see the point in endorsing the holiday which had originated from a muggle tradition. Especially when this tradition was, in her eyes, mocking all that the wizarding world stood for. She was one of the few who refused to celebrate the festival. However, she was partial to the sweets in the cauldrons and the Halloween feast. For these portions of the day, she always managed to set aside her feelings. Today, she had decided to do the same whilst she carved some pumpkins. She was rather enjoying herself.

'Mine's got buckteeth!' Alice said taking a step back and viewing her pumpkin from a small distance. Her three friends stepped back with her and assessed her buck-toothed pumpkin.

'If you squint your eyes it doesn't look too bad!' Lily said, her face contorting into a squinting frown.

'Yeah!' Hestia said, doing the same as Lily, 'It kinda looks like you!'

'I don't have buck-teeth!' Alice exclaimed.

'Course you don't!' Hestia said putting a sarcastically sympathetic hand on Alice's shoulder. Alice glared at her.

'At least your face is symmetrical!' Lily said to Alice.

'Everyone's face is symmetrical.' Emmeline said softly, 'it has something to do with human analogy or -'

'I meant the pumpkin!' Lily said slowly.

'Oh…' Emmeline said in quiet surprise, 'Continue.'

Lily rolled her eyes before looking at her watch. They had five minutes left of the lesson and they had spent the whole of it carving their pumpkins. Why they hadn't used magic she would never know. All she had to go on was that Professor Sprout had told the class, Professor Dumbledore preferred the pumpkins to be hand carved. Lily suspected it was because it made them feel more personal and homemade. Dumbledore had a soft spot for both of these things.

'Oh no!' Hestia whined slamming down the chiselling tool she had been using to carve her pumpkin with.

'What's wrong?' Lily said looking at Hestia's pumpkin before taking an almighty gasp and bursting into laughter. The sound filled the greenhouse.

James looked up and smiled at the delicious sound of Lily's laughter. He looked over to where she was stood looking at Hestia's pumpkin, her hair bouncing about happily. He sighed contently before returning to his own carving.

'Don't laugh!' Hestia said grumpily, hating the fact that the joke was now turned around on her.

'It's karma!' Emmeline said to Hestia nodding her head and shrugging her shoulders.

'What?' Hestia said thoroughly confused, 'What in Merlin's name is karma?'

'Karma is the theory of what goes around comes around.' Emmeline said with a small smile.

'And how does that relate to me ruining my pumpkin?' Hestia said placing her hands on her hips and narrowing her eyes.

'Simple!' Lily said, 'As you said Alice had buck-teeth like her pumpkin, your pumpkin suffered for it.'

'Whoa!' Hestia said holding up her hand in a stopping motion, 'My pumpkin has a mono-brow because I said Alice has buckteeth? Why do I get punished for telling the truth?!'

'Sure. Dig yourself a deeper whole!' Lily said rolling her eyes.

Hestia shot her an evil look whilst Alice laughed and Emmeline sat staring out of the roof of the green house dreamily.

'Thank you class! Next lesson we will return to your Snargaluff plants! Leave your pumpkins on the table and off you go!' Professor sprout said happily opening the greenhouse door and letting the students out.

Lily and her friends exited the green house.

'We had divination now.' Emmeline said smiling sadly at Lily who shrugged.

'It's ok!' she said to her friends.

'So are we still hanging around with the infamous marauders then?' Hestia said waggling her eyebrows.

'Yes.' Lily replied through a stiff jaw. 'They aren't as…bad…as I thought!'

'High compliment!' Sirius said as he and the other marauders appeared behind them.

'Yeah Evans!' James said smiling, 'Didn't realise you thought so highly of us!' he put his hand on his heart and wiped away a fake tear much to Lily's amusement.

'Don't flatter yourself too much Potter!' Lily said trying to bite back her laughter, 'I only said you weren't as bad as I thought.'

The four boys looked at her with blank expressions drawn across their faces. They then all looked at each other before Sirius said, 'I still think that is high praise.' The other three nodded quickly.

'Well we've got to be off!' Emmeline said hugging Lily goodbye.

'Yeah. Can't be late for divination!' Hestia said sarcastically. She too hugged Lily before releasing her into Alice's arms.

After they had all hugged goodbye, Hestia, Emmeline and Alice departed for divination leaving Lily with the marauders and, unbeknownst to her, Severus as he was still tailing them. (He had waited, out of sight, for them to finish Herbology so he could continue with his task.)

'Why do girls always hug each other good bye?' Remus asked Lily as the five of them began to walk up to the castle.

'I don't know really.' she replied now wondering herself why girls did do that, 'What do guys do when they say good bye?'

'The can-can.' James said seriously looking Lily straight in the eyes. She burst into laughter.

Behind them, every laugh sounded by Lily was like a stab in Severus' heart. When he had saw Lily's friends leave, he had hoped that Lily would soon follow them. This would mean that his worst fears weren't true. Unfortunately, they were; Lily was friends with the marauders.

'Does he think we're blind?' Sirius said in an outraged whisper to James as they walked down to dinner the day before Halloween. He kept glancing behind them because Severus was still following them. 'Yesterday he followed us all day! Even when we didn't have any lessons or anything with the greasy haired bat, he still managed to find us and follow us! Why don't you want to do anything about this?'

'Just, please let it run its course!' James said bored. It was the eighth time they had had the same conversation this week.

'No!' Sirius said angrily stopping in the middle of the corridor causing some second years behind them to crash into their backs. 'Watch it!' Sirius snapped. The second years looked scared and quickly scampered away from Sirius frightening gaze.

'Padfoot.' Remus said warningly, 'Was that really necessary?'

'Yes. I'm angry and annoyed and agitated and a-a-a-angry-'

'You already said angry.' James interjected.

'Well I ran out of words beginning with a!' Sirius whined returning to his usual self.

'I know!' James said sympathetically, 'I'm just shocked you were able to think of the word agitated.'

'Why?' Sirius asked confused, 'It's a real word…Isn't it?'

James and Remus shook their heads fondly. Peter copied them.

Remus then leaned into his friends and whispered so quietly no-one could possibly hope of hearing, 'As he is following us, maybe this month you shouldn't come with me.'

'Probably best.' James said, a little bummed out. Sirius also nodded in agreement before moving into his mind.

He decided not to return to his topic of conversation that day but at the back of his mind, his desire to know what Severus was up to still burned. If the moment arose, Sirius would try to put a stop to Severus' creepy stalking, he would seize it with both hands. He was doing well to abstain from doing something to stop him so far, per James' request. He wouldn't be able to for much longer. But for now, he was just going to try and enjoy the preparations for Halloween the next day. After all, as a marauder, James, Remus, Peter and himself had some Halloween planning to do of their own.

At lunchtime on Friday, Lily was in the dungeons at the first slug club meeting of the year. Professor Slughorn had really gone all out with the decorations this year. There were orange streamers everywhere which whistled when you walked through them. Six pumpkins floating in a circle near the ceiling. Giant cobwebs which adorned the darkest corners of the room. And a sarcophagus which was against the far wall which, when opened, either spouted out sweets or gave the person who opened it the fright of their life.

Yes Professor Slughorn did know how to throw a good party. Unfortunately he wasn't a very good host. Instead of circulating around all of his guests, he usually just spoke to his favourite students and avoided those who he only invited because of who their family was and not because he thought they had potential. As Lily was one of his favourites, she usually had the unwelcome pleasure of enduring his company for almost all the party. It wasn't that she didn't like him. On the contrary, he was one of her preferred teachers, but outside the classroom, she found that he was consumed with bettering his own situation by pushing others into positions of power. That way he didn't have to do any of the hard work but still was able enjoy all of the perks. Luckily, on this occasion, his party only lasted for the lunch hour so she didn't have to converse with him for too long.

'Now then Lovely-Lily I see you as a healer. I'm actually very close with the head healer at St. Mungo's, lovely chap, came from Italy originally I believe. Yes, well I am very good friends with him and I'm sure, on my recommendation, that he would be willing to give you a good position of authority straight away. Perhaps, in the potions and plant poisoning ward. Yes, yes. That would suit you just fine. I'll have a word with him. As I say, lovely chap. Always gives me a free check-up when I need it.' Slughorn rambled to Lily as she stood there smiling stiffly and watching the clock as the seconds ticked by.

'Well professor, I'm not sure if I want to be a healer actually.' Lily said meekly. She wasn't certain yet but it was definitely in her top five.

'Oh yes, yes, I quite understand. All that guts and gore. Who needs that? Yes I think your right. Perhaps you would do better in the ministry. An auror perhaps. You're good with a wand. I could really see you doing a bit of damage there. Not to the ministry of course. Just any dark wizards or criminals you ever go up against. Yes, actually. I do believe you'll make a fine auror. I actually know the head auror in the ministry at the moment. Man named Rufus Scrimgeour. Only got the job a few months back. In June I think it was. Was in all the papers you know, so you'll probably have heard of him. Only left Hogwarts a few years ago. Don't know if you'd have known him. He was a fifth year, I think, when you joined the school. Very bright boy. Didn't take to well to instructions for the first few years of his education. Then I sat him down, gave him a good talking to. Was a model student from then on. Went straight into the auror's office after Hogwarts. Kept his head down and worked hard. Now he's head of the auror's office. Just shows what you can accomplish with some hard work. Anyway, he always takes a look at any object I find suspicious. Checks out any strange goings on that I alert him too. Values my opinion you see. Except with his hair. Looks like a lions mane. Won't cut it no matter what anyone says. Just one of life's uncontrollable things I suppose.' Slughorn had been talking to Lily for almost twenty minutes now and she was extremely bored. His presence around her did keep away certain unwanted guests but she was too fed up to care that much about anyone else bothering her right now.

'Oh look sir!' She said suddenly motioning to a girl who had just walked through the door to join the party, 'Isn't that Amelia Bones?'

'Oh yes, yes it is. Brilliant student. Very good at making a point. Winning arguments without violence that sort of thing. Very gentle as well. Wonderful girl. A Hufflepuff you know. Now, she would really excel in the department of magical law enforcement. I think I'll tell her that.' he said hurriedly before calling out to Amelia, 'Ah Miss Bones! I believe you would do well in the department of magical law enforcement. I know the head of the department and would just be delighted to introduce you…'

Lily breathed a sigh of relief as Professor Slughorn walked away.

'Goes on a bit doesn't he!' a voice said from behind her. She turned around to see Severus smiling at her sheepishly. Before he could say another word though, Lily whipped around, her long hair almost smacking him in the face, and left the party inconspicuously.

Everyone was seated in the great hall ready for the infamous Halloween feast. The room was filled with excited chatter. The anticipated feast would soon cover the table before being devoured by the hungry students.

Lily, Hestia, Emmeline and Alice were sitting at the Gryffindor table, all of them with rumbling bellies.

'Why hasn't the feast stared yet!? I'm starving!' Hestia whined.

'It'll start when everyone's here.' Lily said calmly to her best friend.

'Everyone is here!' Alice said looking around just as her belly gave an almighty roar.

'Everyone but-'

Before Lily could finish what she was about to say, the doors to the great hall swung open and thudded against the walls. Nearly a thousand heads whipped round to see who had delayed the feast.

All four marauders were stood in the door way. All of them had long white beards tucked into a belt on a purple robe. All of them had half-moon glasses on. And all of them had a long pointed purple wizard's hat on top of their heads.

Through the silence which their entrance had caused, James said, 'Sorry we're late!'

The hall burst into laughter. James, Sirius, Remus and Peter looked at each other pleased and proud. However, when James gaze landed upon Remus who was stood on his left, his expression fell. Sirius, who was on the other side of Remus, was also looking at Remus with a disappointed gaze.

The whole hall noticed how James and Sirius were looking at Remus and soon quietened down enough for them to hear the conversation that followed.

'What are you wearing?' James asked at the same time as Sirius raged, 'That's what you call a Dumbledore costume?!'

At this point the hall noticed Remus' costume in all its, well, not glory. His robe was above his ankles showing a ridiculous pair of yellow boots. His beard had barely gone past his armpits and was tinged grey instead of pure white as it was supposed to be. And his wizard's hat resembled that of a muggle top hat.

Sirius and James looked at each other and shook their heads.

'We're sorry Remus old pal-' James began.

'But you're a disgrace-' Sirius continued.

'Not just as a Dumbledore-'

'But as a marauder as well.'

'Goodbye!' they said in unison as both of them took out their wands. James placed his wand on Remus head as Sirius pointed his at Remus feet. There was a flash of smoke. When it had cleared, everyone in the hall had seen that Remus had disappeared. They turned their heads to Sirius and James who were looking very pleased with themselves, their wands still in their hands.

'Sorry you had to see that!' James said to the hall at large.

They all still looked at the two boys in total shock that they would do such a thing to their friend. If it was Peter, who still stood meekly almost behind them, then they would understand. But Remus? What they didn't know was what they saw happen and what had really happened, were two very different things. They had seen Remus disappear in a cloud of white smoke and although this was true, the mechanics of his disappearance were more complex.

Earlier that day, the marauders had been trying to figure out a plausible reason for Remus to not be at the feast that evening. It was the full moon, but because it landed on Halloween, it would be even trickier than usual to hide Remus' disappearance. Usually, he would just quietly slip away and if anyone asked, his friends would just say that he was visiting a sick aunt. Unfortunately, his aunt had been killed by Voldemort and his followers during the summer and it was widely publicised meaning he had not only had he lost his aunt, but his excuse as well. Ever since, he and his friends had been even more worried that Remus' secret would be revealed. So, for Halloween, the second full moon of the school year, James, Sirius and Remus had created an idea that would mean not only that he could miss the Halloween feast, but where everyone in the school would have their curiosity settled as well. When they all entered the hall dressed as Dumbledore, James would silently cast a disillusionment spell whilst Sirius made a giant cloud of smoke, creating the illusion that they had banished Remus to an alternate plane. Whereas, in reality, Remus had just walked off to the whomping willow to await his transformation.

In the hall, everyone was still looking at the three remaining marauders in shock. At seeing their faces, Sirius said, 'Don't worry! We sent him somewhere nice!'

'We hope…' James completed much to the amusement of the people around him.

James and Sirius began to walk down the centre aisle of the great hall with Peter trailing behind them trying with all his might to copy their swagger. As they went past, James and Sirius pointed their wands at the pumpkins on the tables either side of the aisle and animated them. The pumpkins began to sing the Hogwarts song to a delighted and mesmerised hall.

They soon passed Lily and her friends who were sat in stitches of laughter. As they passed Peter tripped over his 'Dumbledore robe', but Sirius and James didn't notice and continued through the great hall in their own little world. So instead of continuing to follow them, he just sat down next to Lily and her friends at the Gryffindor table and watched what James and Sirius did next.

They soon reached the high table at the front of the hall where the teachers sat. They stopped in front of Dumbledore, who was laughing silently with tears twinkling in his eyes. James and Sirius looked at each other before peering over their half-moon spectacles at Dumbledore.

'Excuse me.' Sirius said to Dumbledore. Everyone in the hall started to stifle their laughter.

'I do believe you are in my seat…' James said smiling at Dumbledore who smiled in return.

'You're seat?' Sirius said in astonishment, 'I do believe my friend, that this is my seat.'

The whole hall was giggling and laughing at this exchange but were trying to do so quietly so they could hear what was going on still.

'Oh Sirius.' James said shaking his head and placing his hand on his shoulder sympathetically, 'Poor delusional Sirius. I think you will find that this,' he motioned at Dumbledore's chair 'is my chair.'

They then began a childish back and forth.

'It's my chair!' Sirius said.

'No it's not.'

'Is so!'

'Does it have your name on it?'

'Does it have your name on it?'

'Don't repeat what I'm saying!'

'Don't repeat what I'm saying!'

'This is ridiculous!'

'You're ridiculous.'

'Boys, boys, boys.' Dumbledore said calmly looking between the two boys in amusement. James and Sirius stopped their bickering and turned to their beloved headmaster. Dumbledore took out his wand and quickly conjured up two chairs identical to his. He placed them either side of his own chair and extended the high table. He then smiled at the two boys, his ice blue eyes twinkling happily, and motioned for them to join him at the high table.

James and Sirius held their heads high as they walked around the table and sat next to Dumbledore.

'Would you like to do the honours?' he asked James and Sirius who nodded and stood up importantly.

'May the feast begin!' they said in unison.

No sooner had the words left their mouths, the gold platters on every table filled with a massive variety of Halloween themed food. There was hot and cold food available to the students. Some sausages which looked like severed fingers, some pumpkin pasties and pies, there were even some small onions which were made to look like eyeballs. The tomato soup was decorated to perfection with a pumpkin face adorning the skin and the bread was carved to look like a figurine of a mummy. At Halloween the house elves were allowed to be as creative as they liked and this year, they had obviously indulged themselves in their work.

'I trust Remus has gone to the whomping willow to transform?' Dumbledore asked James quietly as he took a bite out of one of the severed sausage fingers.

He had known since their first year that Remus' friends knew about his infliction. When they had discovered Remus' lycanthropy, Remus had rushed to Dumbledore sick with worry that his friends had found out and would be disgusted with his condition. Dumbledore simply told Remus to have more faith in his friends. As Remus had never returned with the same problem, Dumbledore assumed all was well. Also, as Remus had a brighter smile the next day and his friends were still with him, he guessed that they had discovered Remus' secret and were all right with it.

'Yeah he did.' James replied as he took a slice of pumpkin pie. Before he took a bite however, he stopped in realisation. 'You know we know?'

'My dear boy, at this school, there is little I do not know about.' Dumbledore replied. As he did so Sirius laughed into his goblet of pumpkin juice, knowing full well that he and his friends had done one thing that Dumbledore knew nothing about; become Animagus'. They had also created the marauders map and had found all the secret entrances out of the castle. They had found the room of requirements permanent residence. Sirius also had a feeling that Dumbledore knew nothing about James' invisibility cloak. So, contrary to his belief, Sirius was sure that Dumbledore didn't know the half of what was going on in his school.

'I assume your show earlier was designed to smuggle him out safely?' Dumbledore asked serenely.

'That it was sir!' James replied with a smile.

'Then I must say, you have a very impressive disillusionment charm Mr Potter. If only you would focus your energies on your school work instead of your practical jokes. Then again, I have noticed a change this year. You are improving every day.' Dumbledore said raising his goblet to James who was blushing slightly at Dumbledore sought after praise.

'Thank you sir!' James said. They finished the feast with light meaningless chatter, all the while James feeling a great bubble of pride well up inside his stomach.

Severus was walking the halls near the Gryffindor common room waiting for any sign of the marauders. His deadline was creeping up on him, and he was becoming impatient and a little scared. If he couldn't complete the task Voldemort had set for him, he didn't know what would happen. He didn't know what would happen when he had completed the task but he was sure it would be a darn sight nicer than what would happen to him if he didn't.

He didn't have to wait long before one of the marauders appeared around the corner. Severus could feel in his bones that tonight he would be able to find out the information he desired. Mostly because this was the first time he had seen a marauder out on his own. He followed him a through a few corridor and down one flight of stairs before he was seen. When he tried to follow the boy around a corner, the boy turned around and saw him. He whipped out his wand and levitated Severus up in the air, dangling him from his ankle. Severus just hung there unable to move. The boy walked closer and Severus found himself face to face with Sirius Black.

'Well, well.' Sirius said with a small smirk, 'What do we have here? It's an overgrown bat hanging upside down. Good job really. Don't want you dirtying the floors!'

Severus had no time to retaliate. He was becoming impatient and just wanted to find out the information Voldemort wanted. 'Where are you going?' he said quickly.

'The kitchens.' Sirius said nonchalantly. 'Why are you following me? Why have you been following us for almost a month?'

'One of you goes somewhere every month and I want to know who and where!' Severus said without thinking.

'Well. If that's all you want to know,' Sirius said with an evil grin spreading across his face, knowing that he was about to get Severus back for everything he had done to James that month and for following them all around, 'I'll tell you…'

At ten to eleven that evening, Sirius waltzed into the Gryffindor common room with a triumphant look upon his face. He walked over to the fireplace, where James and Peter were sitting and plonked himself down into the middle of their conversation.

'It's just a shame he'll be alone tonight.' James sighed as he leant back into his armchair.

'Yeah.' Peter said in a pathetic voice.

'Who's alone tonight?' Sirius asked James, ignoring Peter completely.

'Moony.' James said with a sad face.

'Oh.' Sirius said smiling evilly, 'He won't be alone for long.'

'What do you mean?' James said a little concerned.

'Let's just say that a certain Slytherin will join him shortly. That is if he follows my instructions precisely.'

'You didn't…' James said breathing quickly, panic covering his face.

'Oh yes I did.' Sirius said proudly nodding his head and not taking any notice of James' worry, 'Snivellus won't want to follow us around anymore!'

'SIRIUS YOU IDIOT!' James shouted jumping to his feet, 'HOW COULD YOU DO THAT!'

'Well I just thought-' but Sirius couldn't finish as James had cut him off and jumped straight into mission mode.

'Peter, go tell Dumbledore. Tell him it's an emergency. Use the map to find out where he is.' James said quickly and seriously to Peter who jumped up at his words, grabbed the marauders map and hurriedly exited the common room. 'Sirius you stay here.' James continued in an angrier voice. 'I'll go fix your mess.'

And with that James left the common room leaving Sirius all alone, for the first time, realising what he had done.

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