Behind Closed Curtains
"It's alright though, Weathers is a shit Keeper! I can get past him any time." James continued to talk about their upcoming quidditch match against Ravenclaw. "It's Pilkes I've gotta worry about. She's fast, that one."
Sirius nodded his agreement when Remus spoke up. "Well maybe Sirius needs to get his act together and start beating her off of her broom." He teased at Sirius, a smile on his face. Before Sirius could make a clever retort he was interrupted by the stout figure of Professor Plunkett sweeping past them.
"Apologies for the wait, children. Into the classroom then. In, in, in."
She was a short, round witch with kind eyes and greying hair that seemed to be constantly falling out of a bun at the top of her head. She held the door open as the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff students filed into the classroom.
"Right then. Quills away, wands out. This will be a practical lesson to follow up on what we've been doing on Boggarts." Professor Plunkett's voice carried loudly and clearly into the room which was humming quietly with talk of a practical lesson. "To recap, Mr. Jenson. What is a Boggart?"
"Uh- it turns into you worst fear."
Professor Plunkett smiled. "Good. Have five points. And Miss Evans, where do these creatures live?"
The mention of Lily Evans earned the attention of James. He smiled dazedly when she answered. "They usually inhabit darker areas, where they can manifest, like cupboards and dense forests."
"Excellent! Five points for Gryffindor too." Professor Plunkett stood from her position, sitting at the edge of her desk. "Right all of you stand and come to the front of the classroom."
The class all shifted out of the way of the desks before Professor Plunkett banished the desks to the edges of the classroom. She instructed them all to get into an orderly line. Standing at the front, by her desk, she then heaved a great trunk across the front of the classroom until it reached the small boy at the front of the queue.
Sirius half listened to the instructions Professor Plunkett was giving to the class and half listening to James go on about how silky Lily's hair looked that day.
Remus poked his head from behind James shoulder. "Surely you have to run about of things to say about her at this point?" Sirius, Remus and Peter laughed much to James' chagrin.
"I think it's kinda nice." said Peter. "At least he's set his sights on a girl, whether he's gonna get her is a different story of course." This sent them into a new round of laughter.
As the line thinned and moved them forward, they watched as the deepest fears of all their classmates were revealed. Brian Stokes from Hufflepuff stepped in front of the boggart to find a tinkling clown look back at him. It stepped closer and closer until the boy raised his wand.
The clown's trousers fell down around his ankles revealing a pair of women's bloomers. The class howled with laughter.
Marlene Mckinnon stepped up and Sirius watched as she turned a trunk of vipers into colourful pool noodles. Then Tracey Champkan shouted the incantation and the class watched as a zombie's eyes fell out and rolled onto the floor where he had to kneel down and grope around looking for them.
Then it was Peter's turn. Peter stepped forward and watched as the eyeless zombie shifted into the form of a Manticore. Peter hesitated for a few seconds before lifting his wand. "R- r- Riddikulus!"
Immediately the Manticore shrank until it was but a playful, orange kitten. Most of the class awed over the kitten that was now plodding around the floor in front of the trunk. Peter seemed satisfied and marched back to the group.
As soon as Sirius realised it was his turn, he also realised he had no idea what his worst fear was. He was scared of a few things of course. The house elf heads that lined his staircase came to mind. The wrath of his eldest cousin and mother also unsettled him but he didn't think he had a worst fear.
He took two paces forward until the kitten looked up at him. Large, curious eyes stared at him - stared into him - for a fraction of a second. And then it jumped into a the air, a swirling mass of black cloud.
It stopped shifting.
Two black boots landed on the floor. A bejewelled, polished black cane followed. Long black dress robes adorned a tall man with pale skin, a hard jaw, and bored grey eyes. Eyes that stared so piercingly into Sirius'.
A collective breath was held by the class as Orion Black stood before them.
The whole class watched as Sirius did nothing. Just stared wide-eyed at the man before him. Silence deafened them all for a few seconds until a wand dropped from the bottom of the man's sleeve, into his hand.
Sirius immediately started to back up, away from Orion. His grip on his own wand slackened, sending it clattering to the floor.
Orion looked at his son. "You've upset your mother."
Sirius was shaking with fear, his chin trembling. He didn't see the class of students back up against the tables that lined the wall save for his three friends. He didn't see Professor Plunkett take a pace forward. He didn't see his father's unarmed hand swing forward until it connected hard against his cheek, propelling his much smaller frame through the air. He landed on his back, wind knocked out of him.
Professor Plunkett raced forward in front of the man, despite the foot and half of height difference between them. No one watched as she sent the Boggart back into the trunk. Harsh whispers broke out amongst the class as Remus, Peter, and James rushed Sirius out of the room.
Professor Plunkett tried to settle the class down as rumours started to spread and as all of them became much more aware of what goes on when Grimmauld Place close their curtains.
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