Five Minutes

Chapter 1

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!

Ok. Prologue down, this is chapter one and it's prety obvious where things start from so please read and enjoy and, if you feel the need to, tell me what you think! (And just remeber that I'm not too great with spelling and grammar so...yeah)

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter One

Lily Evans entered the entrance hall of Hogwarts castle, crying. She was attracting many stares because the sobs she was letting escape her lips were bouncing of the walls and creating a rolling echo. She was so upset, that she didn't think she had any more room in herself for any other emotions. She was proved wrong when she heard the whispers follow her down the hallways and up the staircases. She then was overcome with embarrassment. No-one had ever seen her as distraught as this before and nobody was making it any easier on her. 'Lily Evans is crying', 'What do you think the Marauders have done now?', 'What's Potter done now?' were the murmurs she was able to catch wafting through the hallways before the taunts began. 'Cry baby!', 'Want your Mummy?!', 'What happened? Forgot your exam was today?!' people scoffed as she ran past them weeping. She slipped constantly on the stairs and in the halls, blinded by her tears, until she reached the entrance to the Gryffindor common room.

After eventually squeezing out the password between her many sobs, Lily stumbled through the portrait hole, attracting many stares and odd looks, and raced quickly towards the girl's stairway. She was crying buckets and could hardly see where she was going, if she was putting one foot in front of the other, but that didn't stop her. All she knew was that she had never felt more betrayed in her entire life. More hurt. More upset. More vulnerable. She just couldn't believe it. Couldn't believe him. How could he do this to her? Lily just wanted to hide her face.

After falling over many times because she couldn't see through the tears which were toppling down her face uncontrollably, Lily finally made it to the fifth year girl's dormitories. She slammed the door behind her and flopped, face down on her bed, crying helplessly into her pillow. There was a deafening ringing in her ears. She kept hearing that awful, awful word, over and over again. Usually she could just grit her teeth and ignore the name calling and the taunts which had stemmed off of her birth status. She was used to it like all the children of her heritage in the school were. She was used to the prejudice and the insults, especially from the Slytherin's. She knew that they thought they were better than her. That they thought birth status mattered and if you weren't a pure-blood, you weren't worth knowing. That they thought she was scum. She'd been called that terrible name by them many times in the past. But this time it was different. This time, it was her best friend who had uttered that unforgivable word.

Lily just didn't understand it. Why would Sev hurt her like this? They'd known each other since they were little. They had played together. He was the one who told her who she really was. He was the one who told her she was a witch. He taught her everything he knew about magic. They were best friends. Lily thought that would've counted for something. Evidently not. All she'd tried to do was help him. Any friend would do that. Any good friend would appreciate it, even if they didn't want it. It was usually comforting to people to know that their friends were with them, supporting them, helping them. So why didn't Sev?

Lily knew that Sev had a thing about proving himself. Especially against Potter. He just had to be….better. It seemed stupid to Lily, but she'd never pointed that out. Firstly because she thought Potter was an insufferable toe-rag and believed that if by some miracle Sev proved himself better than him, Potter would learn a lesson and stop being such an arrogant and cocky idiot. And secondly, she didn't want to ruin her friendship with Sev. She guessed that didn't matter now. They were no longer friends. At least, she was no longer friends with him.

There was a timid knock on the door. Lily quickly sat up and wiped her tears away leaving raw red eyes behind. She then took a deep breath and tried to compose herself. She didn't want anyone to see her like this. Vulnerable.

'Come in' Lily croaked. Two of her dorm mates and friends, Emmeline Vance and Hestia Jones were the ones behind the door. Lily was hardly surprised. They had always had a suspicious knack for knowing when Lily was upset.

'I thought you'd be here. Are you alright?' Hestia spoke softly.

'Yeah' Lily replied with a quivering bottom lip. Hestia raised her eyebrows at Lily and gave her a sceptical look. She knew she was lying. She always did.

'No!' Lily cried, bursting into fresh floods of tears. She couldn't help it. Emmeline tipped her head on its side and gave Lily a sympathetic look whilst Hestia walked over to Lily's bed and sat down, pulling her into a comforting hug. She let Lily cry into her jumper for several minutes gently rocking her back and forth, back and forth, back and forth in a very soothing manner.

Suddenly, Emmeline's soft, dreamy voice broke through Lily's tears, 'You know Lily, when the phoenix finally breaks free from its cage, it is free to find a new master.'

Lily looked up, her tear stained face now holding a look of confusion. She then began to laugh. It was just like Emmeline to say something like that. A philosophical analysis of the situation at hand. Her diagnoses' always cheered Lily up.

'Thanks Emmeline.' Lily said compassionately. 'I really needed...that.'

'No problem Lily.' Emmeline replied with a simple smile. 'You know I'm always here for you.'

'What about me? I'm your best friend!' Hestia said making Lily laugh even more.

'You too!' she giggled

Lily smiled back at Hestia as she got up and walked with Emmeline out of the room. She then flopped back down on her bed and curled up into a ball, just wishing today hadn't happened. Wishing Severus hadn't said what he had said. Wishing they could still be friends. Best friends. Like they'd always been. Wishing there was a way, anyway, she could forgive him. But there wasn't. She quickly fell asleep, her thoughts whirling around her head, with the word 'Mudblood' ringing in her ears.

'Ok. So now our O.W.L's are over and done with, I suggest we have a massive party in the Gryffindor common room! Who's with me?' Sirius, a tall, thin, toned and handsome boy, asked the group as a whole, his arms stretched out in front of him expectantly. The giant grin on his face suddenly slipped away as he realised his friends were hardly paying attention to him. Peter Pettigrew, a small plump boy with watery, blue eyes and blonde, straw-like hair, was sat picking grass and tearing it to shreds, thoroughly amused. Remus Lupin, a tall, thin but muscular boy with light brown hair, light brown eyes and more scars then you could care to count, was laying on his front reading a book. Lastly, Sirius' best friend, James Potter, another tall, thin, toned and handsome boy, with scruffy jet black hair and hazel eyes framed by black circular glasses was leant against the beech tree, asleep.

Sirius quickly shook him awake.

'It wasn't me!' he shouted as he came to with a shocked but sleepy look on his face. Sirius burst out laughing at his best friends' reaction and James pushed him over annoyed that he had woken him.

'That's a guilty conscience if ever I've heard one.' Remus muttered without looking up from his book.

'Well can you blame me?' James replied, a little irritated.

'Good point.' Remus said with a little smirk and a nod of his head, 'especially after what you've just done.'

'Yeah. Good point.' Peter, who had stopped playing with the grass, repeated, now paying full attention to what was going on around him.

'Stop being a suck up Wormy!' Sirius snapped at Peter. Peter looked down miserably. Sirius rolled his eyes and tried to make his point to the rest of the group the only way he knew how.

'Guuuuuuuu-uuuuys! Come ooooonnnn!' he whined annoyingly, 'Let's celebrate! The exams are over!'

'No they're not.' Remus said, finally looking up from his book, 'There's still the practical DADA, Potions and Divination for those who took it. They're nowhere near finished.' After looking at Sirius disgruntled face, chuckling and smirking, he returned to his book, shaking his head.

'Ha! Well that told you!' James said, standing up and stretching, 'You're an idiot sometimes, you know Padfoot.' he continued stretching and yawning. He then gave a huge shiver, ruffled up his hair again and leant against the beech tree, arms folded, legs crossed.

After a few seconds, Sirius bounced back. 'Ok then, let's have a practice end of exams party! Who's with me?!' Sirius shouted attracting the attention of many other people surrounding the group.

'I am!' Peter said immediately, looking up at Sirius with a strangely mixed look of adoration and admiration. Sirius looked at him, creeped out. He then rolled his eyes and waved Peters support away.

Sirius then turned expectantly towards Remus, 'Moony? How about it? Little pre-party? Hey? Hey?'

Remus sighed, marked his place in his book and threw it down on the grass. 'Yeah why not?' He said sitting upright and stretching his arms. 'Anything to shut you up!' he snickered.

'Great!' Sirius shouted, ignoring Remus' last comment, 'That's what I like to hear!' He said grabbing hold of Remus' shoulder and shaking roughly.

'So, only you left Prongs!' Sirius exclaimed shaking his shoulder length black hair out of his glittering grey eyes. 'Prongs?'

But James was nowhere to be seen.

Furniture was flying everywhere. The drapes on the four-poster beds were ripped in several places, trunks were strewed across the floor. Almost everything was broken. The pillows were slashed and the duck feathers that had previously filled them were everywhere. The treasured possessions owned by the other boys in the dormitory were either broken, torn or destroyed with no possible way of repair. Severus Snape was in a storming rage. He was tearing the room apart in fury at his own stupidity. A few ours ago, he had called the only girl who had ever stood by him, his best friend, the girl he loved, a filthy name. He'd been regretting it ever since.

'Ahh!' he screamed kicking the post on his bed and shaking his greasy curtains of hair out of his sallow skinned face, 'Why?' He carried on screaming and punching every available object in sight. He then picked up one of his dorm-mates Charms book and ripped the pages out throwing them in the air and then throwing the binding so hard there was now a dint in the wall.

He flopped down onto the nearest bed with his bony elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. Lily's face kept popping into his mind. The hurt look on it made him angry. His own stupidity made him angry. Her voice was ringing in his ears. All he could hear was her saying that awful name Potter and his gang made up, 'Snivellus'. Just thinking the name made his hooked nose wrinkle and brought a sneer to his mouth. Every time he repeated it in his head he hated it more and more. He hated the name when Potter and his gang said it, but to hear it coming out of Lily's mouth? It was like a knife cutting out his heart. Severus didn't think he could ever un-hear it.

He had no idea what to do. No inspiration had struck him. He wanted to just go back in time to right before he made that terrible mistake and make sure that the incident had never happened, but he had no way of doing it. He had no idea how to make this right and even if he did have a way, he wasn't sure Lily would forgive him so easily. But she had to! They'd been friends forever. He loved her and she would one-day, in Severus' mind at least, love him back. They'd be together always and he would protect her from Potter and his gang. He had to make this right, but how?

The fact he didn't know how made him fly into a rage again. He shouted and yelled. He kicked and punched. He broke things and tore them apart leaving only shards of remains.

He was about to throw his tatty second-hand transfiguration book at the door when one of the boys who he shared the dormitory with walked through the door whistling happily and holding a Fanged Frisbee. He suddenly stopped dead and took a look around what used to be a rather neat dormitory, in total shock.

'What you been doing Snape?' he yelled loudly and angrily gesturing to the room in shock. 'This isn't even your stuff!'

Severus stormed across the room and pulled out his wand. He pushed the boy roughly up against the wall and poked his wand, hard, to the boy's neck, his black eyes shining dangerously.

'If I were you,' he whispered very, very softly but extremely threateningly, 'I'd leave now, unless, that is, if you want to suffer immense pain and torture!' Snape stepped away from the boy still pointing his wand towards his neck. The boy quickly backed out of the room with one last look of loathing pointed towards Severus.

Severus turned away from the closing door and looked down towards his wand. He tucked it away in his robes and began to pace the room. He was thinking. He was trying to think of a way to make this right. To undo what he had done. But he kept drawing a blank. He had no ideas, no way to resolve the situation. His brain just wasn't working. He had no inspiration. Lily was always his inspiration. Lily. His mind finally kicked into action. All he had to do was think about Lily. What she would do. What she would want him to do. He had finally realised what he had to do to fix this. Only, he didn't want to. He had never wanted to do this. His reasoning behind it was silly. Childish. He didn't want to say sorry because he saw it as a sign of weakness. But if it meant regaining Lily's friendship, he would do it. This was his best friend. The girl he loved. The only one who accepted him for who he was. The only girl he wanted to be with. And because of this, he would apologise to her and beg for her forgiveness. And he would get it. One way or another.

Mary Macdonald had just reached the entrance to the Gryffindor common room when out of the shadows, Severus Snape emerged.

'Where is she?' he asked Mary quietly, a little bit of a desperate glint in his black eyes.

'Where's who?' Mary replied just as softly, a twinkle of braveness in her eyes.

Severus marched forwards forcing Mary back against the wall. 'You know who I mean!' he said dangerously, 'Where is she?'

'Upstairs I expect.' Mary said back daringly. She didn't want to say too much. She had never liked Severus Snape and couldn't stand talking to him. She didn't like to waste her time.

'Go get her.' Severus muttered demandingly to her, moving to the side so she could get to the portrait of the Fat Lady which hid the entrance to the Gryffindor Common room.

'No!' Mary said with a note of resolution in her voice. 'Haven't you done enough? Just leave her alone now.' She stalked off towards the painting of the Fat Lady leaving a stunned Severus behind her.

'Password?' the fat lady said dully.

'Transmogrification' Mary whispered so Severus wouldn't hear her. As soon as she had said the password the portrait of the Fat Lady swung open revealing the Gryffindor common room. Mary was just about to step over the thresh hold when she heard Severus behind her say, 'I'll sleep here then! If she doesn't come out, I'll sleep here until she does!'

Mary closed her eyes, paused and the turned around. 'Fine.' she said, giving in and just wanting to walk away, 'I'll go tell her you're here, but I'm not promising you anything' she turned back towards the common room and walked through. Before the portrait hole closed she sneaked a look back and saw Severus begin to pace back and forth. She then knew he was serious about sleeping outside until Lily came out.

Sighing and rolling her eyes at what she had to do. She looked around the common room in search of any sign of Lily. After searching thoroughly for ten seconds, Mary concluded that Lily wasn't in the common room. She decided to check the fifth year girls dormitory thinking Lily had probably gone to bed early. She made her way through the crowded common room towards the girl's staircase. She climbed the spirals with heavy feet until she finally reached the dormitory she was after.

Mary gently pushed the door open to see Lily asleep on her bed still in her schools cloths. She looked over at her sympathetically. By the look of her eyes, Lily had been crying and had probably fallen asleep whilst doing so. Mary made her way silently over to Lily's bed and sat down on the edge of it.

'Lily. Lily. Lily?' Mary whispered quietly, gently trying to shake Lily awake. Lily moaned softly and rolled over in her sleep.

'Lily?' Mary tried again, desperately attempting to break through Lily's state of unconsciousness. She looked around the room searching for something to help wake Lily up. She knew Lily was a deep sleeper. She had shared a dormitory with her for five years now. Mary knew it was almost impossible to wake Lily up if she didn't want to be woken. She sighed. In all honesty she didn't wish to disturb Lily. Mary had seen what had happened earlier that day and didn't want to be the bearer of bad news. Or what Mary thought would be considered as bad news. Lily just looked so peaceful when she was asleep. Like all her troubles had gone away. Like the day had never happened.

If she doesn't wake up this time, Mary thought, I'll leave her and Snape can just make himself comfy outside!

'Lily.' she said one last time defeated. Lily didn't respond so Mary got up, patted her gently on the shoulder and started to walk out of the room. Before she could reach the door however, she heard a quiet voice behind her call her name.

'Mary?' Lily whispered softly with a bit of a crack in her voice. Mary turned around to find Lily sat up on her bed and rubbing her already red eyes.

'Hey Lily.' Mary said quietly, 'Sorry I woke you!' she apologized sincerely.

'Don't worry about it!' Lily yawned, 'Did you want something?' She asked Mary giving her a very curious look.

'It can wait. You go back to sleep' Mary smiled kindly.

Lily gave a little laugh. 'You know as well as I do that that is not going to happen! You've peaked my curiosity and you know I'm going to annoy you until you tell me what you wanted! Now, what was it?' Lily asked giving a small chuckle and looking Mary straight in the eyes with raised eyebrows.

Mary began to shuffle uncomfortably, looking down at her feet and avoiding eye contact with Lily. She gave a massive sigh and quickly blurted out 'Snape's pacing up and down outside the portrait hole waiting for you so he can talk to you and he's threatening to sleep out there until you come out. He's saying he'll stay outside all night if he has to!' Mary finished talking, regretting every word she had said, regretting she had told her for Lily's face had changed dramatically. From a face full of curiosity, laughter and friendliness to a face of worry, sadness and vulnerability.

'I'm sorry Lily. I should have just left it. I'll go tell him to go away if you want.' Mary said to Lily's blank face. She began to walk out the room with all intentions of going back outside the portrait hole and telling Severus where to stick it and to leave Lily alone. But once again she was stopped by the sound of Lily's voice. Only this time, it wasn't a soft whisper layered with sleep. It was a harsh voice full of anger.

'No.' Lily said with as much conviction as she could muster. 'No.' she repeated, 'I'll go talk to him. I'll tell him to leave me alone from now on. I will.'

And with that she grabbed her dressing gown, quickly put it on, reached round the back of her head, pulled her hair out from where it had been tucked into her robe and flounced out of the room leaving an utterly stunned Mary behind.

At eight o'clock that evening, you could still find three of the marauders underneath the beech tree by the lake. Peter Pettigrew had fallen asleep on the grass, Remus Lupin was still reading his book, and Sirius Black was pacing back and forth stroking his chin with his thumb and his forefinger looking around in mock suspicion. He had just finished a long line of questions aimed at Remus regarding James' sudden disappearance.

'Well he can't have gone too far Sirius.' Remus said for the tenth time that evening in a non-committed fashion, not really paying attention to Sirius' antics.

'But he's probably lost without us!' Sirius yelled dramatically with an over the top look of worry on his face, 'He's probably, wondering around somewhere in that big, bad world, all alone, waiting for us to come and find him!'

Remus looked up at Sirius from where he was lounging on the ground, 'Sirius?' he asked with an exasperated expression, 'It's Hogwarts. He knows this place like the back of his hand. I doubt very much he's lost and waiting for us to find him. Plus, it's been two hours! If you were that worried you would have gone and found him yourself by now.'

'Well…..well,' Sirius sputtered trying to find something else to say back. Something witty. Something clever. 'Well, maybe he's fallen into a hidden pit of snakes!' he stated as a matter of fact.

'Again Sirius,' Remus repeated with a great sigh, 'It's Hogwarts! Where would he even find a hidden pit of snakes to fall into?'

'The Slytherin Common room! Duh?!' Sirius said with a wave of his hand as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

'Come on, Sirius! James wouldn't go down to the Slytherin Common room. He hates it down there! Says it's full of scum and cowards. You know that! Plus, it's not a really a hole you can fall into. First you need a password and secondly…'

'Well….' Sirius interrupted. 'Maybe….what if…' Sirius stammered.

Remus shook his head and marked his place in his book. 'OK!' he said, giving in, 'If it'll shut you up we'll go with you to find him.' He then stood up and shook Peter awake from where he was sleeping on the grass. 'Let's go then!' He concluded.

'Good!' Sirius replied as they set off looking both relieved and worried, 'Let's check the lake first because he may have been kidnapped by the giant squid!'

'LILY! OPEN UP! LILY! DON'T IGNORE ME LILY! LILY!' Severus bellowed at the portrait of the Fat Lady, hammering his fist on it angrily.

'Really young man! I'm trying to sleep!' the Fat Lady said in a very shrilly fashion.

'Stay out of it!' Severus snapped sharply and continued banging on the portrait loudly.

'Humph!' the Fat Lady muttered haughtily before walking out of her frame to go and visit her friend Violet and complain about Severus Snape.

Severus didn't notice her disappearance and kept hitting the portrait violently. 'LILY! I KNOW YOU'RE STILL THERE LILY! ANSWER ME! GET BACK OUT HERE! LILY!'

'Lily's not home at the moment. Can I take a message?' James Potter said appearing a few feet from Severus leaning against the wall with his arms folded, legs crossed and a mischievous sparkle in his eyes.

'What are you doing here Potter?!' Severus spat his voice dripping with venom, a look of loathing pasted all over his face.

James pushed himself off of the wall using his broad shoulders and walked over to where Severus stood. He put his hands in his pockets and raised his shoulders. He exhaled a long breath and relaxed his shoulders. 'I live here?!' he said sarcastically, raising his eyebrows and widening his eyes.

Severus glared at him through narrowed eyes before turning away from him and beginning to hammer on the empty portrait of the Fat Lady again, yelling 'LILY! OPEN UP! LILY! LILY! LILY!'

'Who you trying to find?' James said cheerfully with a little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He was now the other side of Severus.

Severus turned around and gave a grinning James a truly evil look. 'Sod off, Potter!' he drawled slowly and maliciously.

James face dropped in mock sadness, 'And I thought we were friends!' he wiped a fake tear from under his right eye and sniffed dramatically.

Severus tried to ignore him and continued his banging on the portrait of the Fat Lady. He kept calling for Lily even though he knew in his heart that she wouldn't hear him now. He kept trying though, and it wasn't until James gave an almighty yawn that he gave up unwillingly. He turned to face James and looked him up and down with hatred. He loathed James with every fibre of his body. He hated him. Hated him. He caused misery in Severus life and because of that, he blamed James for anything that went wrong. Just like now. He blamed James for ruining his friendship with Lily. For dissolving Lily's trust and faith in him. Severus didn't want to blame himself or Lily for the decay of their friendship. He wanted to blame James. He had to blame James for this as he did for everything else that had ever gone wrong for him.

Potter caused this! Severus thought. At this thought, he quickly drew his wand and pointed it at James heart. Fortunately, James had lightning fast reflexes and had done the same thing. They were standing so close that there wands were crossed.

James had a cocky grin on his face. 'Sword fight?' he suggested jollily, his face brightening up and his head nodding slightly.

'You shouldn't be trusted with a wand!' Severus spat at James in contempt, giving him an ice cold stare.

James wasn't fazed by this however. He looked up thoughtfully before nodding his head. 'Funny. That's what my Mum said when I first got my wand. I blew up the toilet.' James said seriously, not a hint of humour in his face.

'You disgust me!' Severus sneered at James looking him up and down in deep revulsion.

'Thank you!' James said chirpily smiling widely.

They stood staring at each other for over five minutes. Severus sneering with venom, James grinning like a mad man. He was waiting for Severus to make his move before he did anything. He didn't have to wait too long.

'Stupefy!' Severus yelled waving his wand in a large motion.

James quickly dodged the spell. 'Petrificus Totalus!' he said dully with a lazy flick of his wand. His spell hit Severus square in the chest clamping his arms and legs to the side of his body. He fell backwards landing with a thud of the hard, stone floor as if he was a statue, though his eyes were still moving. James tucked his wand back into his robes and crouched down next to Severus.

'Way too easy!' he laughed, flicking Severus' cheek, 'You know, you should really learn how to use that wand, Snivellus. It might come in handy one day!' He stood up fluently and looked around wondering where he should put him. Just then he spotted one of the many Suits of Armour dotted around the castle, and grinned lopsidedly to himself.

After dragging Severus over to where the suit of armour was located, James quickly detached the armours body from its legs, placing it on the floor. He then reached into his robes and took his wand out again. He used it to levitated Severus into the suit of armour carefully, making sure he didn't make a sound, because all students were meant to be in their common rooms by 9.30 and it was now an hour after. Once Severus was placed inside the legs of the suit of armour, James jammed the bodice on, then the head.

'Look at that! Perfect fit!' he said patting the shoulder of the suit of armour that now contained a statue-like Severus.

At that moment, Sirius and Remus strolled confidently round the corner, laughing quietly with each other. Peter was scurrying behind them chuckling nervously and looking around him as if he was scared he was going to be attacked. He soon spotted James and smiled a genuine smile, as if, now James was there, there was no possible way he would ever be in danger. In Peters mind, if James was there, he would be safe.

Realising he should tell the other two James was there, Peter began to tug Sirius' sleeve tentatively. 'Padfoot?' he said quietly, 'Padfoot?' Sirius snatched his sleeve from Peter's loose grip, looking at him as if he were dirt on his shoe. Peter tried again. ' Padfoot?' he said a little louder grabbing Sirius' sleeve again.

'What?!' Sirius snapped, annoyed with him for interrupting his conversation with Remus. Peter pointed towards where James was inspecting the suit of armour which still contained, unbeknown to Sirius, Remus and Peter, Severus Snape.

'PRONGS!' Sirius bellowed loudly across the corridor. James turned around sharply.

'Shhhh!' Remus whispered.

'Prongs!' Sirius shout-whispered.

They all met in the middle, next to the empty portrait of the Fat Lady.

'Prongs! Where you been mate?' Sirius asked jovially punching his friend gently on the shoulder.

James looked around confused. 'Err…here?' he replied raising his eyebrows.

'No! I mean, where'd you go earlier today? One minute we were all under the beech tree, next you'd disappeared. We spent hours looking for you.'

'We searched the kitchen twice.' Remus said, glancing at Sirius, 'Half an hour both times.'

'Good to know you truly care Padfoot!' James smirked, patting Sirius on the head like a dog.

'Had to make sure you weren't hiding in a cake or something.' Sirius said seriously as if this was a real concern of his and truth be told it was. Who would ruin a perfectly good cake by hiding inside of it?

'Sirius freaked out. Thought you'd been kidnapped.' Remus said, a smile tugging at his lips. 'By the giant squid' he added.

James raised his eyebrows at Sirius and began to laugh. 'You…thought…..kidnapped…..GIANT SQUID!' he managed to say between snorts of laughter.

'Remus!' Sirius whined, pushing Remus, who was also laughing gently. James had an infectious laugh.

'Well you did!' Remus said pushing Sirius back.

'Anyway,' Sirius muttered loudly, trying his hardest to change the subject, 'what were you doing with that crummy old suit of armour?' he asked nodding to where the armour in question stood.

'Oh!' James said mischievously, 'Just giving our favourite Slytherin a new place to sleep. Might be a bit uncomfortable, but I doubt he can feel it anyway!'

Sirius nodded in false understanding an impish grin spreading across his face. Remus looked up to the ceiling, pretending he hadn't heard anything and Peter was trying to copy Sirius' smile.

'Shall we, err, get inside the common room now. We are over curfew you know.' Remus reminded the other three.

'Well we can't.' James said as if that were obvious.

'Why?' Remus asked.

'The Fat Lady's gone!' James said pointing to the empty portrait frame.

'Oh' Remus sighed.

'Well! Let's make ourselves comfortable! She won't be back for a while!' James said sitting down in the middle of the hallway.

'You're gonna sit there?' Remus asked, 'Not against the wall?'

'Well it's not like I'm in the way of anyone!' James laughed.

The rest of the boys followed his example and they ended up sitting in a circle laughing and joking about what had happened that year.

'….and he woke up in the great hall!'

'…..with only a towel!'

'Now that was funny!'


'It was funny for us!'

'Yeah! Snivellus didn't know what hit him!'

'That would be you five minutes later.' Remus pointed out.

'I know! With my beaters bat!'

Sirius and James laughed continuously about the cruel tricks, pranks and random hexes they had performed at the expense of Severus Snape that year whilst Peter tittered along and Remus pretended not to hear.

Suddenly there came an almighty crash from the end of the hall. The suit of armour at the far end of the hall that contained said Slytherin had fallen over.

'Damn!' James whispered to himself, standing up, 'I forgot the suits of armour had personalities!' he said to his friends before taking out his wand, walking swiftly over to the suit of armour, stunning it, and standing it up again.

James walked back to his friends. 'Stupid thing was trying to reject Snivellus. Can't say I blame him. Who'd want to have that slime-ball inside them?'

The other three marauders were staring at him with their eyes wide open.

'What?' James asked confused.

Sirius was the first to break into peals of laughter, then Peter joined in, tittering nervously and, as usual when it came to these sorts of things, Remus ignored it.

'What?' James repeated, now annoyed he wasn't in on the joke.

'You put Snivellus in a suit of armour!' Sirius laughed.

'Well you already knew that!'

'We hadn't put it all together till now!' Sirius said laughing loudly, speaking for what he assumed was the whole group.

After five minutes of waiting, the laughter died down and James sat down again in the middle of the hall with his friends. However, he didn't get to stay sat down long because a few seconds later, the transfiguration teacher and the head of Gryffindor House, Professor McGonagall, rounded the corner. She was walking furiously fast towards the marauders, who had stood up quickly, her tartan dressing-gown swishing rapidly from side to side.

'What is the meaning of this? You were all meant to be in your common room two hours ago!' She said heatedly, her hands on her hips and her eyes darting back and forth between the faces of the four boys.

'Actually, it's not quite been two hours yet.' James said looking at his watch, 'More like an hour and fifty-seven minutes.'

'Don't push me Mr Potter!' McGonagall said sternly, her eyes flashing dangerously. 'Now, why are you boys sitting in the middle of a corridor laughing like nymphs instead of sleeping in your beds?'

Remus, Sirius and James looked sideways at each other before stepping sideways to let McGonagall see the empty portrait of the fat lady. Unfortunately, Peter didn't get the hint and was left standing in front of the portrait looking quite lost as to what was going on.

'Mr Pettigrew? Are you boys telling me that you're not in your common room, because of Mr Pettigrew?' McGonagall said sceptically.

James quickly pulled a cowering Peter out of the way to reveal the Fat Lady's portrait.

'Is there a reason I'm staring at this portrait?' McGonagall sighed.

The marauders looked at each other, confused, before turning towards the portrait hole to find that the Fat Lady was asleep in her frame.

'Oh…' they said collectively.

'I suggest you all get to bed now before you all earn yet another detention.' McGonagall said with a severe look at all the boys before turning around and walking away.

'Come on then.' Remus said dejectedly turning towards the portrait hole.

Sirius sighed, 'If we must!' He walked quickly after Remus, beating him to the Fat Lady.

'Yeah alright!' James said, following him and dragging Peter with him, who was still looking lost.

'Err…' Sirius muttered, looking towards Remus for advice.

Remus rolled his eyes and tapped the frame of the fat lady's portrait lightly, waking her up. 'Sorry to wake you,' he said politely. But before he could say the password, the Fat Lady started moaning.

'And what time do you boys call this?' she asked looking straight at Sirius who was directly in front of the portrait hole.

'Well, James is the one with the watch.' he said cheekily, a smile tugging at his lips, 'Prongs?'

'Well, this time is called eleven-forty, but, she asked what time we call it. So, I'm gonna say…nine-twenty. This way, we're 10 minutes early!' he said batting his eyelids at the Fat Lady.

'Yeah!' Sirius exclaimed, 'We're not late, we're early!' he said turning back to the fat lady nodding and smiling.

'Why are you being so cheeky?' she asked disapprovingly

'It's in my nature!' Sirius said with a shrug.

The Fat Lady sighed and rolled her eyes. Remus took this time to say the password causing the portrait hole to swing forwards and grant them entrance to the Gryffindor common room. The fat lady's portrait swung shut with her muttering wildly under her breath. Damn boys.

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