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NSW Friends: A Harry Potter Fan Fic (Fin)


Obi-quiet
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AN: So, this is a story that has been written for a few months, but I was finally able to submit it to the contest I entered. Figured since HP is so well know, you guys might like it here.

 

So, my inspiration for this story is the fact that while Sirius is many things up to and including a bully/jerk while he was a teenager, he never struck me as a murderer. It just seemed out of character to me. So this is my version of what happened way back when.

 

Oh, because this is Ficmas in July, please follow this link and please vote! There are a lot of good stories over there (and you don't have to just vote on one, so read the others too if you'd like), and I desperately need some support. ^^; Thanks guys.

 

http://www.ficmasinjuly.org/submissions.htm My story is there under "October 2011 (cycle 1)".

 

xXx

 

The old, stone hallways of Hogwarts stood quiet in the early evening as most of the students had returned to their houses to finish their mid-week homework. Few people lingered, and none witnessed the large, shabby-looking, black dog stumble weakly along. He couldn't be more thankful. He knew he had to get to James. But between the sickness and the more simplistic thoughts that came with his dog form, he couldn't really remember why. It had to do with Remus. Yes, something about Remus.

 

Even as a dog, his entire body ached. Not surprising seeing as he'd been fighting the dragon measles for the last three days. Wizards didn't get sick often, but when they did, it was always a serious case. Something about the illness overcoming a Wizard's natural magic. He couldn't really remember those specifics right now either.

 

Everything seemed to fade into and out of existence around him, and he found it difficult to keep track of much more than the single thought of pushing forward. He had to. For Remus...right? Why did he have to reach James? Why wasn't he trying to find Remus? There was a reason, wasn't there? He cursed his pathetic memory silently, only allowing a growl to escape aloud.

 

It had to do with a prank. They, the four of them, had discussed it several times, hadn't they? What was it? Whatever it was, they hadn't meant for it to actually happen. Yes, something bad...something serious enough to be life threatening? Yes. It was right there, right on the edge of his consciousness--

 

"Look, Frank, a dog!" A voice managed to break through the haze around him, causing him to lose the thoughts. He turned his glare at the voice. In front of him, two vague, human-shaped blurs moved towards him, but he couldn't focus enough on them to identify them.

 

Not good.

 

"Inside the wards?" Another, deeper voice answered. Sirius couldn't recognize them, but he knew they would somehow stop him from getting to...who again? Oh right, James. About the prank. Something was wrong...wasn't it?

 

"We'd better take it to the headmaster," the first voice said.

 

Sirius immediately fell back defensively and let out a warning growl.

 

"He doesn't look well, Alice," the second voice (Frank?) replied. "I don't think it's a good idea to touch him."

 

"He's just a dog."

 

"Inside Hogwarts? We both know better than that."

 

"Point. Than what do you suggest--"

 

"Padfoot?!"

 

Sirius nearly melted out of relief and managed to somehow look past two people in front of him to the third blur heading in their direction.

 

"Potter?" Frank asked, "Is he yours?"

 

"Oh, yeah," James said, undoubtedly flashing his signature cocky grin, although Sirius still couldn't focus enough to actually see it. "He's a family pet. I'll bet he followed me all the way from home, didn't you boy?"

 

James knelt in front of him, scratching his head and neck. He wouldn't admit how good it felt, even if it didn't do much for his aching body. He whined, knowing full well how pathetic he sounded, and not particularly caring as he leaned into the hands.

 

"I'll take care of him," James said after a few seconds, looking back up at the others.

 

"Yeah," Frank said unsurely.

 

"Let's go, Mr. Longbottom," Alice said, striking off down the hallway.

 

James watched them for a moment before he stood up. "'Mr. Lonbottom,'" he mimicked Alice's voice when they were out of ear shot, then he shook his head. "Who do those two think they're fooling?" Sirius brushed up against his friend's hand, drawing the other's attention back to him. "And you, have you decided to finally tell our lovely head healer about your condition?"

 

It wasn't easy to shake his head as a dog, but James understood the gesture and frowned. "Change back. Now."

 

It took all his concentration to concede, and it happened much more slowly than normal, but finally he sat in human form against the wall, breathing hard and ignoring the pain that accompanied the scale-like, multi-colored rash that dotted his skin. Fortunately, he had his winter robes on. No one else would be able to tell.

 

"Sirius," James said practically, "you need help." That was James for you. Never beg, never plead, and never show concern. Potters didn't do that. They convinced.

 

"Can't," Sirius managed to gasp, "they'll owl mother dearest."

 

James rolled his eyes at his friend's sarcasm. "With as much school as you've been missing, they probably already have."

 

"Yeah," Sirius couldn't help but grin, "but this way, they can't find me."

 

"You won't be able to graduate."

 

"Don't care," he bluffed. "My uncle's heir. Fixed for life."

 

James didn't respond as he silently conceded, but he still didn't look too happy about it. Finally, he answered with a sigh. "Look, it's a full moon. Mooney will be waiting for me. Is there a reason why you came back?"

 

Full moon. Sirius' eyes flew open wide.

 

"Remus," he whispered. That's what he hadn't been able to remember. The full moon, and Snape.... He looked desperately up at James. "I felt better a little while ago. Was thinking about going to see Mooney too and left the secret passage. Snape found me."

 

"Snivillius?" James frowned. Did he see your animagus form?"

 

Sirius shook his head.

 

James looked somewhat relieved. "Well, you have been gone for three days. You didn't even tell us where you were going. Not that we couldn't find you. The teachers have been frantic." He raised an eyebrow, still sensing that something was wrong. "What did he do?"

 

"Threatened me. Wanted to turn me in."

 

The dark-haired boy eyed his friend warily. "Why didn't he?" Good, James was catching on. It would mean Sirius would have to explain less.

 

"Told him 'bout the willow."

 

James froze and stood up looking at Sirius like he would at...well, at Snape. "You what?" He asked quietly. Sirius would have flinched if he'd had the presence of mind. Normally James was a very loud, brash person. When he got really angry, he got quiet.

 

"Prank."

 

Understanding lit up James' eyes. At least Sirius hoped it was understanding as he still couldn't seem to focus. "Sirius, you didn't..."

 

Sirius looked away. "Didn't think..."

 

"No. No you didn't. Do you have any idea what sort of ramifications this could have?" James asked, a little louder, but still far more quiet than normal. "Whether Snape lives or dies, it will ruin Remus! How could you?!"

 

"Sorry." He whispered, feeling horrible. And here was his Slytherin side coming out; the side he'd inherited through his supposedly 'pure' blood; the side that he refused to admit existed most of the time; the side that didn't care about repercussions as long as it didn't hurt him personally.

 

Oh how he hated it.

 

"You did that to save your own skin?!"

 

And that's what it boiled down to, wasn't it? When the situation came down to it, would he rather sell out a friend than get turned in? He would owe Remus big after this...if the Ministry didn't come after the poor kid with an execution in mind.

 

"I know it's wrong. That's why I came for you..."

 

"So I could get you out of it?" James asked, glaring.

 

"So sorry..."

 

"Yeah, well, sorry doesn't cut it this time, Black." This time Sirius did flinch. James only called him that when he was being a particularly large prat.

 

He couldn't look up, far too ashamed. "Please."

 

James let out an exasperated breath. "I'm doing this for Remus," he said. The 'not for you' went unspoken.

 

Sirius looked up as James dashed away and down the hall. "Thank you," he whispered and fell back against the cool, refreshing wall as the world blacked out around him.

 

xXx

 

James cursed under his breath as he raced across the school grounds and glanced up at the sliver circle of the moon hovering above the horizon, even in the fading evening light. How could Sirius do this? Sure, they'd discussed the idea of giving the nosy Slytherin grease ball the information he'd been so seemingly desperate to get, but even in their darkest moments it had only been with the assurance that they'd be there to stop Remus from doing anything. Being a werewolf wasn't a fate even he would wish on Snape.

 

Okay, maybe he had gone so far as to wish it every now and then, but he'd never have gone through with it. And it wasn't just because Lily would do far worse than kill him.

 

Lily. James fought down a groan. Well, there went his chance of ever getting out of the proverbial dog house with her.

 

"Focus," he told himself. This was no time to get distracted by the memory of a pretty face. He had to get to Snape. He was a fellow Hogwarts student, even if he was a back-stabbing Slytherin that had hated them from day one. And it wasn't like he wanted to live with a death on his conscience, even if it was Snivillius. He didn't want to be a killer, and he definitely didn't want Remus or Sirius to end up in Azkaban with a life sentence for murder either.

 

He had to get there on time. He had to stop Mooney.

 

He almost bit through his lip at that thought. If James didn't get there in time, whether Snape did or didn't survive, knowing he had even hurt anyone would kill Mooney. He'd never forgive himself, although the fault would lie with Sirius. Well, with all of them really, for even entertaining the idea. Why had they ever come up with it? He didn't hate Snape that much, did he? Of course not!

 

He pushed himself to run just a little faster, despite the uneven ground.

 

The Whomping Willow swayed back and forth menacingly as he approached. That was either a very good or very bad sign. Either Snape hadn't gotten there yet, or he'd been inside more than the three minute time limit that the tree would freeze after someone hit the knot.

 

"Arietem!" he yelled out, pointing his wand at the giant willow. An invisible force rammed into the base of the tree as James prayed that it would hit the right knot. It didn't. It took him three more tries before the monstrous plant froze and he dashed to the base. Within seconds he was inside, but it felt more like hours.

 

"Lumos!"

 

He raced through the passage way, trying not to stumble on the dirty ground. The tunnel had only been there a few years and already it seemed to have fallen into disrepair. Either that or he was just used to running through it as Prongs--

 

Prongs. He cursed himself. He'd been so focused on trying to get to Snape that he hadn't even considered changing into his animagus form, and he didn't dare stop and change now. It would take too much time. Oh if only his mother could see him now, how proud she would be of her pathetic son that was proving Snivillius of all people right. Gryffindor: more brawn than brains. He could just hear her rant on how he had a long line of great ancestors to live up to--

 

Following a turn in the tunnel, he almost paused to breathe a sigh of relief when he saw an erect, dark figure walking ahead of him, heading towards the dim light at the end. Funny, he never thought he'd feel relieved when he saw Snivillius.

 

Then a crash resounded through the tunnel--sounding far too close--followed by an animalistic howl.

 

"Remus..." James breathed, and then launched forward with his only thought being that he had to stop Snape from entering that house!

 

"Petrificus totalus!" he yelled.

 

Snape jumped and started to whirl around at this new, unexpected voice, but James' spell hit him before he could. Instantly he froze, standing rigidly as James ran up to him, calling him more than a few names, most of which he'd learned from Sirius and all of which would have him forcefully grounded for a decade if his mother ever heard.

 

"You stupid prat!" he finished his tirade. "Do you have any idea what you've done?! What could have happened?!"

 

Funny how the Slytherin could shoot him a condescending and utterly accusing glare when he couldn't move a muscle in his body. Typical Slytherin.

 

Another loud crash came from the room just ahead and above them. James looked up the bare set of stairs, straight into a werewolf's eyes. The only thing between them was a one-way barrier that had been set up from the beginning. It happened to be the only protection that the marauders hadn't carefully taken down so they could enter and leave as they wished. They figured they'd be there to stop their friend from doing anything serious after all.

 

Now James saw just how stupid that had been. Mooney couldn't see or pass through the barrier as a wolf--he'd get a nasty shock if he tried--but humans could come and go at will. Thing was, James had never seen anything that was completely werewolf proof. If their sheer strength didn't overpower the obstacle before them, then their resistance to magic did. And because they had a human beneath the animal, they tended to be far more smart and cunning when it came to solving problems than a normal wolf would be.

 

James did the first thing that came to his mind: he froze. If he made no movements and stopped breathing, Remus might figure he'd just heard something or that he'd missed his pray and leave to tear up the house more.

 

Of course, he wasn't that lucky.

 

He hadn't been the only one that had seen Remus. While James was above par for his spell casting, it wasn't infallible, especially when the subject's fear and desperation began to overcome said spell. Eyes open wide in horror, Snape began to struggle. A muffled exclamation came from the back of his throat; a sound a werewolf would have no problems picking up. Before James could do anything, Remus had thrown himself at the barrier. A bright light suddenly burst around them, accompanied by a buzzing sound and several yelps of a wolf in pain.

 

It didn't take long for James to realize what his friend was doing. Pushing through the barrier with sheer will was a horribly Gryffindor trait. If he hadn't been so panicked, he would have laughed out loud at the boy most people thought should be in Ravenclaw.

 

He turned to Snape, only to see the other boy's eyes fixed fearfully on the monster coming through the barrier despite the otherwise blinding light.

 

Taking a deep breath, James steeled and stepped between Snape and the monster facing the Slytherin. "I'm going to let you go, and we are going to run. You have to be as silent as possible or he will try harder to come after us. Do you understand?"

 

The black-haired boy couldn't move much, but he could nod his head and did so fervently.

 

"Good," James said, waving his wand over Snape, who immediately went limp and took a step back. He opened his mouth, staring past James at the wolf that was forcing its way after them for a moment before fixing his eyes back on James, who had already started off down the corridor. He hadn't taken his own eyes off of Snape even as he half-jogged away from the light, and when the Slytherin's dark irises met James', he shut his jaw with a snap and followed. Taking that as confirmation that Snape would continue to follow him, James turned and took off down the corridor, hearing the other boy fall into step directly behind.

 

It took them far too long to reach the other end of the long tunnel in James' opinion. He didn't waste a moment, grabbing the handle on the door that lead to the base of the Whomping Willow and throwing it open. Then he reached up and hit the knot on the tree trunk by the side of the opening just as the howling and yelping behind them stopped.

 

James and Snape both froze and exchanged glances.

 

"Did it give up?" the Slytherin asked in a shaky voice.

 

"Would you like to wait around and find out?" James retorted, hefting himself out and onto the Hogwarts grounds. Snape spilled clumsily out just after him, face-planting in the dirt at the base of the tree; another point in time where James would have laughed if the situation hadn't been so serious.

 

Turning, the young wizard shut the entrance and muttered a few spells that should at least slow his friend-turned-werewolf down. When he felt he couldn't waste any more time, he looked back at Snape only to find the area empty. Glancing back towards the castle, James found the silhouette of his fellow student dashing away.

 

"You're welcome," he muttered and took off after the other boy. Not minutes later, he made it inside just before Snape shut the enormous front door on him.

 

Breathing heavily, he collapsed against those doors. Snape just stood there, arms out in front of him pushing against the wood with a haunted expression.

 

"What...was that?" he asked quietly.

 

James managed to shoot a glare in the other's direction. The prat knew what that was. Who it was. Even Snivillius wasn't stupid enough to not put two and two together. He didn't feel that dignified an answer.

 

Just when the silence had gotten uncomfortable enough that James was about to break it, Snape just turned away from the front door, hurrying in the other direction.

 

"Hey," James frowned, "where are you going?"

 

"I don't suppose you've noticed that there might be a werewolf loose on the grounds, Potter." The condescending son of a...

 

"Despite what you think, Gryffindors can use their eyes, ears and brains," James replied dryly.

 

"You have yet to indicate such a miracle."

 

"I just saved your worthless life!" James shot back angrily.

 

Just the barest hint of smug triumph washed over the other boy's face. "An effort you would have been spared, oh high and mighty Potter, if you and your friends wouldn't have tried to keep such a dangerous secret, no?"

 

James blinked at him for just a few moments before bursting out laughing. "You honestly think that we could keep such a s-s-secret at Hogwarts?" He took a deep breath, but it did nothing to calm his laughter. "Y-you think more highly of us-s-s than we do!"

 

Snape's expression darkened. "Are you suggesting that the headmaster has known of this?"

 

"I can inform you that I most certainly did," a new voice had both boys spinning to look at the headmaster, Albus Dmbledore, as he descended the staircase towards them.

 

"Headmaster!" Both boys said, straightening.

 

"I appear to have run across a friend you seem to have misplaced, Mr. Potter," Prof. Dumbledore said calmly, although he had a cold edge to his voice that James had never heard before.

 

Well, that was most definitely not good.

 

"F-friend?" James asked, paling slightly.

 

"Yes. Mr. Black, actually. He is now in the healer's ward, being looked after by Healer Mumford."

 

James wasn't sure whether he should groan or cheer, so for once he said nothing. Prof. Dumbledore must have noticed his uncharacteristic silence.

 

"It seems we need to have a discussion. Something about a prank?"

 

This time James did groan. "Please, Professor," he started, but Dumbledore held up his hand, cutting him off.

 

"I believe this is something that we should discuss in private."

 

Nodding his head, James backed down, teeth clenched. He wasn't very happy with Sirius right now, but he would not let his best friend be expelled. He'd rather be expelled himself first.

 

He almost snorted. Maybe Peter was right; he was almost as much of a Hufflepuff as he was a Gryffindor.

 

xXx

 

A prank.

 

Just when Severus had thought those two blood-traitor miscreants could not possibly sink any lower.... But he had them. This time for sure. His tormentors and the bane of the school (although it seemed only the Slytherins and Lilly could really see that) would finally be revealed as the horrible people they were. If he were really lucky, they'd be expelled without a thought. He doubted that, but the thought was too entertaining to simply dismiss.

 

A werewolf. No wonder Bookworm Lupin disappeared every month. Snape almost kicked himself for not noticing the timing. Once a month, yes. During the full moon...it hadn't even occurred to him. What really galled him was that he should have.

 

That didn't bother him as much as his realization of the fact that Black had almost killed him over a pathetic prank. Even the lowest blows from the Slytherin couldn't compare to that depravity.

 

Only slightly less maddening than those was the fact that he owed Potter for saving him. If he had continued into that shack.... He would not shudder. Despite the fact that he was waiting out in the hall and no one would see him, he refused to show that kind of weakness. That didn't mean the thought hadn't made him sick to his stomach.

 

That's when the door opened and Potter stepped out, looking decidedly pale. If the headmaster hadn't been there, Snape would have smirked.

 

"Mr. Snape," the Professor said sternly. Nodding, Severus followed the older man into the office. The door closed behind them and the headmaster waved his wand at the entrance, making it sound proof.

 

"Now, Mr. Snape, I have heard Mr. Potter's side of the story. Would you now please explain what you were doing in the supposedly secret passage beneath the Whomping Willow."

 

And so he did. He explained that he'd come across Sirius Black while on the school grounds and had tried to 'persuade' him to come back. Then Mr. Black had told him of the knot in the tree and the passage to distract Severus. It wouldn't have worked if he hadn't remembered seeing Lupin and the new nurse, Madam Pompfry, making their way towards the tree earlier that evening. After seeing that Mr. Black hadn't wanted to come back he'd decided to approach the Gryffindor's friend and see if he could help him convince Mr. Black to come back to the school.

 

"It took me a while to figure out which knot Mr. Black had mentioned, but I eventually did. A--"

 

"Mr. Snape," the headmaster interrupted. "Why did you simply not return to the castle and ask for Mr. Potter or a teacher?"

 

To his credit, Severus didn't so much as flinch. "I was curious, professor. And for that, I was almost killed. I can assure you that I will not be so careless again."

 

Prof. Dumbledore didn't say anything for several seconds. After a while, he nodded for Severus to continue.

 

"I had almost reached the end of the tunnel when Mr. Potter," he mentally congratulated himself for the fact that he had not shown an ounce of anger or resentment when he said either name of his tormentors, "sneaked behind me and froze me."

 

"So you are saying that Mr. Potter saved your life."

 

Severus clenched his fists. "Something he would not have had to do if his friend had not decided to play a particularly dangerous prank to begin with."

 

"I already have his side of the story," the Professor said. "And what happened after that?"

 

"The werewolf tried to come through a barrier."

 

"Unsurprisingly," Prof. Dumbledore said with a shrug.

 

"Yes sir," Severus said, trying not to grit his teeth. Why did everyone look down on him? He knew the answer to that, but it still infuriated him.

 

"Did he get through?"

 

"I do not know," Severus responded, forcing himself to calm down. "We didn't stay to see."

 

The professor nodded thoughtfully, stroking his white beard. "A wise decision."

 

"Yes sir."

 

"Very well, I believe I have the whole story now." He waved his wand at the door and it opened, revealing James Potter so lost in his thoughts he didn't even seem to notice.

 

Prof. Dumbledore fixed that. "Mr. Potter?"

 

The boy's head snapped up, and for just a moment he looked both vulnerable and horrified that he'd been caught so off guard. Severus smirked, looking forward to the coming events.

 

Potter approached the desk, looking as confident and cocky as ever. "Headmaster?"

 

"I have decided your punishment. Both you and Mr. Black will serve detention for the coming month, and neither one of you will be allowed to attend the Quidditch finals." Potter opened his mouth to protest, but nothing came out. After a moment, he shut it. Severus, though, could not believe his ears. His life was worth a month's detention? That was it? He hadn't realized he'd underestimated the headmaster's favoritism that badly.

 

The old man continued. "You will lose a hundred points each, and I want a four scroll paper on the merits of realizing the consequences of your actions due to me directly in two weeks' time. If you do not turn it in on time, it will be another two months of detention. Yes," he held up his hand as Potter tried to say something. "I know that will take us into the summer break, but I will get special permission from your parents if I have to. Yes, that does mean contacting Mr. Black's parents. I will also be requiring a written apology from Mr. Black to Mr. Snape.

 

"As for you, Mr. Snape," he turned to the dumbstruck Slytherin, "I will also be requiring a two scroll paper from you due at the same time as Mr. Potter's and Mr. Black's. There comes a time for telling the truth, but a good deal of what happened tonight was your own doing because you were so desperate to try and expel Mr. Potter and his friends. I would like a list of reasons as to why you did so, and why you will not do so again.

 

"And for all of you, if you come near each other again for the rest of the year, I will be far more liberal with my punishments. That goes for everyone involved."

 

"Even Remus, sir?" Potter asked quietly.

 

"Even Mr. Lupin," the headmaster nodded. "If he would like to write an apology, I will pass it onto Mr. Snape."

 

Potter nodded. "I'll tell him, sir."

 

"Thank you, Mr. Potter. Now, Mr. Snape, I want you to know that I did indeed allow Mr. Lupin to enter the school. He has had his current condition since he turned five."

 

Just when Severus thought he couldn't be more shocked or appalled. "What?!" he asked, for once ignoring decorum and raising his voice.

 

"I know that it was a great risk, but I also don't believe it was fair that he should be shunned for something he had no control over. We have taken every precaution possible to keep the rest of the students safe. I dare say it has worked so far." He shot a pointed look at Severus.

 

For a moment, Severus didn't trust himself to speak. So he nodded.

 

"As such, I must ask for your complete silence in this. If I even suspect you will tell anyone else, I will ask for an unbreakable vow. Do I make myself clear?"

 

"Yes, sir," Severus managed.

 

"You may go," Prof. Dumbledore said with a nod, apparently satisfied. Severus practically flew out of there, grateful to get away.

 

He rubbed his left arm as if to feel for something. If he had had any doubts before, they were gone now. He hated Potter, Black, their stupid werewolf friend and most of all, Dumbledore. If nothing else, this day had proven that he'd chosen the right side.

 

xXx

 

Sirius would never admit that he really should have just gone to the hospital's wing to begin with to anyone...except maybe James or Remus. And Peter if he happened to be there with them. As he sat in his bed staring dully at the wall, he wondered if feeling this good physically was worth the utter boredom. Unfortunately, the only thing he had to look forward to was the idea that he'd probably have to deal with his mother sometime soon. He'd been planning on moving in with James this summer if his best friend's parents wouldn't mind. That's how bad it had gotten between him and his family. He hadn't seen eye to eye with his mother for over a decade and didn't plan on changing that any time soon. She'd find a way to make his already miserable life even worse.

 

And he'd be surprised if Remus would even talk to him at all. He wouldn't want to talk to himself in his friend's situation.

 

Yes, he could say his life sucked at the moment.

 

"You are one lucky dog," a voice from the doorway caused him to turn his head in surprise. He hadn't been expecting any visitors.

 

"James," he said, struggling to sit up. "What happened?!"

 

"I saved your sorry--"

 

"Ahem," the healer at the other end of the room cleared his throat loudly.

 

James glanced at him with a raised eyebrow before nodding and looking back at Sirius with a long-suffering expression. "Butt. I saved your sorry, furry butt."

 

Sirius looked away guiltily, unwilling to meet his friends eyes. "Seriously, James, what happened?"

 

James drew up a stool and sat down, lowering his voice. "I got there in time. Nothing happened."

 

Sirius let out a sigh of relief. "And Mooney?" he asked after a few seconds.

 

"He's pretty angry," James said with a shrug. "I'd stay away from him for a while. Peter's with him."

 

"And Snape?"

 

"Hates you."

 

Sirius snorted. That didn't change anything. He couldn't say he really blamed the greasy brat, but at the same time, the smallest part of him still believed the Slytherin deserved getting his magic almost scared out of him.

 

"How close was it?"

 

James shot a glare in his direction. "Too close."

 

"I'm not going to be able to make up for this one, am I?" Sirius asked.

 

"It'll take a while," James said after a moment. "But I think it's doable."

 

Sirius sighed, relaxing back onto his pillow. "So when do I leave?"

 

"Huh?" James asked, brow furrowing.

 

"There's no way I'm not expelled for that. I'd expel me." He shot a pointed look at his friend.

 

"Yeah, well he saw how sick you were, and I explained why you hadn't been in class and the problems you'd had with your mother...well, you got off pretty easy. He didn't even inform her at all. Like I said, a lucky dog."

 

Sirius grinned, relief showing plainly through the mock annoyance he directed at his friend. "Ha ha."

 

"Oh, that reminds me," James said, pulling out a bag of supplies. A sealed ink well, a few quills and several parchments, "you have to write a four scroll essay on thinking through the consequences of your actions, and you have to write an apology to Snivillius."

 

"What?" Sirius asked. He wasn't pouting. He wasn't! "But it's Snivillius!

 

"And you almost killed him," James pointed out. "I thought you felt bad about what happened."

 

"I do!" Sirius responded. "Only because I didn't want anything to happen to Mooney. Snivillius deserved it."

 

James didn't look up, the most serious expression Sirius had ever see from him on his face. "No one deserves Mooney's fate. You know that."

 

They sat in an uncomfortable silence for several moments before Sirius sighed and looked back at the wall in front of him. "Right," he muttered, too tired to argue right now.

 

"I'm off to class," James muttered, standing up to leave.

 

"Hey Prongs," Sirius said before he'd gotten too far away. "Thanks."

 

A smile ghosted across his friend's lips. "That's what friends are for," he replied.

You know the closer you get to something

The tougher it is to see it,

And I'll Never take it for granted,

Let's go!

 

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Aw, cute! You did a nice job with this. It's an interesting take on the story--some things the same, other things slightly different. Although I think the biggest difference is with James, not Sirius. In the real version of what happened, Sirius and James were both planning the prank and slipped the info to Severus, then James got cold feet at the last minute. And while I do like the connections you showed with Sirius and Slytherin, I think since at his core he's Gryffindor, his base instinct would be to save people.

 

*shrugs* I guess I've never really thought about it!

 

Anyway, great story. I really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing!

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SHE MEANS TO END US ALL!!! DOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!11eleventyone!
There goes Ami's reputation of being a peaceful, nice person.
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I really didn't like how it was depicted in canon. I realize that bullies tend to be cowards, but honestly they were put into Gryffindor for a reason, weren't they? It doesn't seem in character for a Gryffindor to "chicken out" or get cold feet, unless it was a means as standing up to his friend (which it didn't sound like it was IMO).

 

So the whole point of the story is what you said there at the end, that their base instincts are to save and protect people, not hurt them. Sirius was faced with two options once that conversation took place (and I'm chalking that up to nature vs nurture--he didn't grow up in the best of households, he was sick and he just wanted to distract Snape, so he kind of blurted it out and realized just what he'd said later): Option 1 -- forget about it and pretend nothing happened. Snape would probably die and his friend would get hurt if not killed, but it wouldn't be his problem (this seems to be rather Slytherin way of thinking to me) and Option 2 -- Risk getting caught and maybe sent home/expelled in an attempt to get to someone who might be able to salvage the situation and confess what he'd done. The second one seems far more brave to me.

 

But do you see why I think that them PLAYING the prank in the first place seemed so out of place? If their basic instincts are to save and protect, then why on Earth did they risk putting their friend in danger over Snape? That seemed far more evil to me than anything a school-based Slytherin (with maybe the exception of Voldemort himself) could/would ever do.

 

That's all putting aside the point that just because someone is a Slytherin it doesn't make them evil.

 

I guess this was more or less kind of a rant. ^^; Sorry about that.

 

Thanks for commenting, Amidala. *hug*

You know the closer you get to something

The tougher it is to see it,

And I'll Never take it for granted,

Let's go!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so finally got to this. It's a nice, short and sweet vig. Unfortunately I don't remember the exact details/intentions of this particular incident - at least not without brushing up on it.

 

I guess I had always interpreted it as one of the least shining moments of all three (James, Sirius, Snape) of the boys. It was harsher than I expected, true, mostly of James, but then we all have moments which we are ashamed of later. I always figure that was the case - they never wanted real lasting damage but were still overcome by some of the brash and almost cruel pranking that can mix with youth and pride before the consequences of reality sets in. It also keeps James and Sirius from being always too good and Snape as always bad - it gives Snapes's hatred a little validity instead of being entirely schoolboy pettyiness. Anywho, the resulting convo about the boys and houses were interesting!

 

Anywho, so as not to just analyze the books: this is a nicely written and believable vig, with excellent characterization and which could have fit well into cannon while showing your perspective of James/Sirius/Griffindors in a subtle way (as Ami said, there was still much that was th same). Nice job!

"It's always these little worlds that get you in trouble. Like Tatooine. I'm still living that one down." - Han Solo

Your barnacle has carnivorous salamanders the size of whales.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the faith we profess, for he who promised is faithful." -Heb. 10:23

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I really tried to bring out that this really was one of all of their "least shining moments" because I agree with that. It's just that, prank or not, I can't see Sirius not knowing the consequences of his actions. I realize that yes, he was a stupid teenager, but he grew up in the magical world, unlike Harry. Now if it had been a muggle-raised child, I could see that. They wouldn't know the biases and fear that surround the werewolf community in general. I think that's what struck me as so off about it. It just seemed very out of character for all the near-hatred we see towards werewolves. Even knowing one wouldn't take that away. If anything, I think it would drive it home more.

 

I also don't think that it gave Snape's hatred only a little validity (in canon, I mean). I think it gave him rights to hate every fiber of their being for the rest of their lives, and it turned Dumbledore from a manipulative but well-meaning old man into a cold-hearted, biased jerk who really didn't deserve any sort of good recognition. Which, again, made it seem horribly out of character.

 

Anyway, I really appreciate you reviewing this, and I'm glad you thought it believable. Thank you so much!

You know the closer you get to something

The tougher it is to see it,

And I'll Never take it for granted,

Let's go!

 

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