Sirius Black and James Potter had always been able to prove themselves totally unpredictable. Not even the teachers could deny such.
It was almost like they could read one's mind - If you ever thought, even for a moment, that they would always be doing one thing the same way, before long had passed, they would have you eating your own words.
There were very few who could really put up with this trait of theirs. Though almost all of them loved them for it. And then there were ones who had no choice but to put up with it, simply by being in the same classroom.
And, technically, Remus Lupin had to say he was one of those. Never mind the fact he was one of their best friends - he didn't choose to be caught up in any of their little escapades. But he tended to be there, anyways.
But, then, both boys had made themselves perfectly predictable - by being unpredictable. You could always, always count on them to do exactly the opposite of what you expected.
And so it was on Monday morning during breakfast. And it all started with a game of Truth or Dare.
"Okay, Padfoot. Truth or dare?"
"Go and kiss the first girl you see over at the Hufflepuffs."
"Not bloody likely. I already have a girlfriend. I skip. Truth or dare?"
"You go and kiss the first girl you see over at the Hufflepuffs."
"Nuh - uh. I'm saving all my kisses for Evans."
"Who will not be kissing you anytime soon. Mate, she hates your guts."
"She'll cave eventually. She can't say no forever."
"We'll see about that."
"She'll say yes."
"I doubt it."
The subject in question, Lily Evans, had been listening in on the conversation as usual, and, like usual, she looked away looking even more disgusted then when she'd looked towards them. Remus gave her a sympathetic look. She replied by mouthing "Idiots", and giving a smile.
"Moony, what are you up to?"
James' eyes flicked down to the pile of books Remus had stacked on the table, and he gave a roll of his eyes. "You don't even have Arithmancy today. A typical bookworm, you. A moment without your nose in a textbook is a moment wasted."
"Ha ha," Remus said unenthusiastically. "Are you two almost finished your conversation? We've got ten minutes to get to Potions."
Sirius and James looked at each other. "No," Sirius admitted. "Where were we, again, Prongs?"
"We were arguing about whether Evans will give in or not."
And, they resumed the argument exactly where it had left off, slipping in a curse here and there to add some color. Peter Pettigrew began cheering each on in turn, clapping with each swear.
They were so deeply immersed, that they didn't resurface until Remus dragged them out the room five minutes before class. They settled for shooting each other dirty looks across the room during the lesson instead, switching to innocent smiles whenever Professor Slughorn looked their way.
James was busy making twisted faces at Sirius, who was responding equally, when Slughorn decided to pose his next question. "Mr. Potter! What are the properties of moonstone?"
The boy blinked rapidly as he always did when he was asked a question. "The...properties...of…"
"Moonstone," Slughorn repeated, patiently.
It was very obvious that James Potter did not know the properties of moonstone. Pausing only to adjust his glasses so that they tilted slightly, he responded. "Professor, I thank you dearly for thinking of me by asking this very intelligent question. But I am afraid that my physical health prevents me from scientifically molding and shaping an appropriate response."
Professor Slughorn raised an eyebrow. "Is that so?" He seemed to sense that James wasn't being truthful.
Sensing a storm on the horizon, Remus decided to dive in and save James, though he really thought he would prefer to sit and watch everything infold. Heaven knew he needed some entertainment.
After being called on and answering the question, Remus shot James a look that said plainly, "You owe me".
Remus turned his attention back towards the lesson, and tried to take in what Slughorn was saying about the properties of moonstone. Unfortunately, James seemed to have other ideas.
Slughorn caught sight of James' outstretched hand. "Yes, Mr. Potter?"
"Sir, what does 4x4 equal?"
Remus groaned inwardly. It was going to be one of those days...
"Mr. Potter…" Slughorn seemed to be thinking along the same lines as Remus. "That really is not on topic-"
"Is it 16?" James asked sweetly.
"Perfect!" to Remus' surprise, he saw James look down swiftly and scribble something down on a spare piece of parchment under his desk.
Slughorn did not notice the gesture, but plowed on about moonstone.
Peter was eyeing James curiously, not even bothering to pretend to be paying attention to the lesson.
Even Remus tired of listening, as, surprisingly, potions became as monotonous as your average History of Magic lesson. Even he had trouble staying awake for it.
"...Moonstone is especially useful in potions for…"
"...Chapter 5 states that one teaspoon of moonstone…"
"...Open your books to page 456, and read the end of the chapter…"
Remus was the only one to open his book, and at last Professor Slughorn seemed to notice the silence. His eyes searched out the room.
"Mr. Potter, what is that you've got under your desk?"
James turned an eye on him. "Nothing, sir!" he held up what looked like a surprisingly blank sheet of parchment.
"Put that away, my boy...no distractions…"
Later on, Remus was surprised to see, that, on leaving his Arithmancy lesson, that none of his friends were at the lunch table. But then, they were full of surprises.
"Psst!" A soft whisper hissed from under the table. "Moooony!"
Remus jumped and put his head closer to the floor. "What are you doing?"
"Come on under and I'll tell you!"
"Will it cause my untimely demise?"
"Kay then." Remus ducked down swiftly, placing his fork next to his plate as he did so.
Sirius and Peter shifted to make more room for him. "Well, then?"
James held out the parchment he had had out during Potions. "God, Sirius came up with such a great idea! You know how difficult it is to get around the castle these days. Around every corner you could find Filch and that cat of his."
He paused for effect, and then looked over at Sirius, who continued for him. "So what if we made a map that could tell you where people are? That would make it so much easier to explore the castle without getting caught!"
"And we would do that, how?"
"That would be your job to figure out."
Remus groaned. "So I do all the work?"
"No, you just figure out how to do the work. We'll all work on it!"
"Is this what you were planning in potions?"
"What was the 4x4 for?"
"Oh, that." James looked rather embarrassed. "Well, I actually got a whole load of math questions from Evans. She said if I could do them all she'd go out with me…"
"You honestly didn't know what 4x4 was?"
"I know, it's basic math and all. But never mind that. Are you in on the map or what?"
Remus twisted his lip. "I don't know if you should be getting yourselves more ways to bend and break the rules."
"You won't? Not even with this face?" James gave him a pleading look with a pout. It looked quite amusing.
"Urgh, give me the parchment and I'll go down to the library."
"Good old Moony!" James yelled, and Peter and Sirius winced and covered their ears painfully. "Knew you wouldn't let us down."
They all jumped as the face of Professor McGonagal appeared suddenly, and glowered on them all. "What on earth are you up to? Get out of there!"
There was a scramble as Peter and Remus crawled out from under the space. However, James and Sirius didn't move.
"Sorry, Minnie," Sirius said politely, lifting a finger. "But James and I have to stay here for a few months. We're under hibernation, see-"
"Out, or I will give you all detention!"
James and Sirius looked at each other, and Remus and Peter saw some hidden meaning in the look.
As McGonagal made to get them out, they both scrambled out of her grasp, and then they were racing down the room, out, and then proceeded up the stairs as quickly as they could.
"Mr. Lupin, Mr. Pettigrew, what on earth were you doing?"
Peter stayed silently and looked guilty.
"Sirius, James and Peter wanted to talk to me under there, Professor," Remus lied quickly. "About Charms."
"Why under the table, though?"
So as not to be overheard, of course. But Remus only gave a slight shrug. "I'm not sure. Probably James' idea of a good hideout or something."
McGonagal turned to Peter. "Was that the reason?"
"I-I'm not too sure either," Peter lied, not quite as skillfully. "It probably was."
The Professor sighed. "Hiding under tables...not acceptable. You may go, then. And make sure to be on time for Transfiguration this time, Mr. Pettigrew, or I will have to give you detention!"
As soon as she was out of sight, Peter and Remus made for the door to find their friends. But after checking most of their common hangouts, it was obvious that they were hiding themselves well. Remus even tried the library.
Once they'd both met outside the toilets, Remus suggested they looked one last place. "They might be out on the grounds. At Hagrid's, or down by the lake or something."
They didn't have to look far. No sooner had they stepped out into the fresh air, then inside the castle, there was chaos. In the great hall, a flood of water had broken loose, that had cascaded on everything and everyone there. To top it off, the Slytherins were covered in a red colored dye that looked like it would take hours to remove.
And, at the head of the staff table, stood James and Sirius, looking immensely guilty.