And when he took me in his arms and whispered into my ear that I was beautiful, for the first time in my life...I believed him...
I had never awoken so blissfully happy as I did that morning, still naked, my fingers intertwined with Sirius’ and our legs tangled together. I gently pulled the duvet up and tucked it under his chin. He stirred and mumbled something in his sleep before nuzzling up to me. I smiled as he arched his back and stretched. He opened his eyes and smiled sleepily at me.
“Morning,” he murmured, squeezing my hand.
“Morning,” I whispered, kissing his forehead.
We lay there for a few moments in silence, enjoying one another’s company, until we heard James yawn, roll over in bed and reach for his clock.
“Shit!” he yelled, making us both jump.
I groaned and pulled open the curtains a crack. I watched James leap out of bed frantically. “What’s up?”
“We’re late!” he called as he hurried to Peter’s bed to shake him awake.
I reached over for my clock. “Shit!” I groaned.
I turned back to Sirius. “C’mon Si...we’re really late.”
He protested by trying to pull me back towards him but I shook him off.
“Oh no!” I heard Peter wail. “Double Transfiguration in five minutes!”
That woke Sirius up properly. He leapt out of bed, forgetting that he had no clothes on, and made a mad run to the bathroom, leaving James and Peter to stare at him like a mad man. Suddenly realising that Sirius had come from my bed and not his own, James glanced over at me with a questioning look on his face. I pretended to ignore it; I didn’t have time for teasing. I pulled a towel around me and hurried to the bathroom door, not realising until halfway that my ankle had finally healed.
“Sirius, open the door! We don’t have time for showers and I want to brush my teeth!”
Somehow, we managed to only be fifteen minutes late for Transfiguration, earning us a reproachful look from Professor McGonagall. James and Sirius had made me bring my crutches to get her sympathy and so I think that was probably how we avoided detention.
“This is the last time I’m using these,” I hissed to James as we all got our books and parchment out. “I’ve finally got the use of my ankle back and I don’t want to go around looking stupid any more.”
“All right, all right,” he muttered. “It’s just for today.”
Pete sighed, still looking downcast. He was still very upset about his mystery lady and we knew better than to bring it up. Sirius reached under the table and squeezed the top of my thigh. I blushed a deep red and jumped enough to knock all my books onto the floor. Professor McGonagall turned on her heel to glare at me.
“For goodness’ sake, Lupin! You’ve come into my NEWT class quarter of an hour late and now you’re disrupting the rest of the class. Black, pick up those books for him. I don’t want to hear another peep out of any of you for the rest of the class or I’ll put all four of you in detention! Is that understood?”
I nodded meekly. “Sorry, Professor. It won’t happen again.”
Sirius leapt out of his chair, collected my books for me and piled them up on the desk with a flourish, winking at me as he did so. I glared at him. A moment later, when the Professor’s back was to us, James flicked a note onto my desk. I opened it.
‘Moony 4 McGonagall.’ Then a cartoon of me grovelling at her feet, surrounded by hearts, with the words ‘Sorry Professor, it won’t happen again’ in a speech bubble. I screwed it up and threw it into my bag.
‘That the best you can do?’ I scrawled and flicked it back, watching James grin wickedly as he read it.
James loves a challenge.
For the first hour, the class was purely theoretical, as usual. However, the second hour - or ‘the fun part’, as James and Sirius had so wittily nicknamed it - was the practical hour. The aim of the class was human transfiguration; we were supposed to be transforming a partner into various objects from a list on the whiteboard, which consisted mainly of pieces of furniture.
For the first hour, James and I scoured our books and our minds thinking of the most obscure spells we could think of, then during the practical hour we were ready. I was partnered with Sirius and James was partnered with Lily. Peter ‘groaned’ as he was partnered with Severus. Sev tried not to smile as Peter muttered to him the plan James and I had come up with.
They managed to distract Professor McGonagall long enough for James and I to manage some crafty wandwork and alter the various spells chalked onto the board - from the transfiguration spells we had been researching to several of our favourites, including two to change the shape of the ‘victim’s’ face (one to the nose and one to speed up the growth of the eyebrows), one to turn clothes into lacy pyjamas, one to cover the ‘victim’ in a rather unattractive purple rash and one which resulted in a revolting burp sound to replace that of speech...amongst others.
Juvenile and not our best work, but with the lack of planning, limited time and resources, I think it went rather well. To put it another way; the classroom turned into total chaos, with some students walking around and clucking like chickens, overextended facial hair, people howling as their clothes disappeared...and hysterics on the part of myself, James, Sirius, Peter, Lily and Severus (who had performed a mild hiccuping charm on himself so as not to draw attention to himself).
“Lupin! Potter! Black! Wormtail! My office, NOW!” Professor McGonagall roared over the top of the chaos. “And don’t think I didn’t notice your involvements, Snape and Evans,” she hissed to them. “You can join them.”
We left the room, unable to stop laughing as Professor McGonagall pulled out her wand and attempted to reverse the spells.
“I am very disappointed in you,” the Professor glared across her desk. “Potter, Evans, you are Head Boy and Girl...Lupin and Snape, I thought you knew better, Pettigrew you should not allow yourself to be so easily led...and Black, I’m about ready to give up on you.”
We all at least had the sense to try and look ashamed. Sirius ruined it by sniggering.
“You do realise you’re adults now,” McGonagall snarled at Sirius. “In a few months you’ll have taken your exams and you’ll be out in the outside world. It’s dangerous out there. You of all people know that, Black.”
This sobered him up immediately. “Look, Professor -” he began, but -
“No, you look, Black,” she snapped. “You only have months before you all have to leave this castle and make your way in the world. There is a magnitude of power and evil outside these walls of which you cannot comprehend. There is a war building outside this castle - and you are about to be thrown in at the deep end. It’s time you started taking your studies a little more seriously.” She paused, her voice softening. “I’m really disappointed in all of you. I’m giving you each a week’s detention and I want you to think very carefully about what I’ve said.”
“Professor,” I began haltingly. “We didn’t mean any harm by it. Really.”
She nodded curtly.
“I know that, Lupin. But it’s time to grow up and start acting like adults. I can’t have my classes disrupted like this so close to your final exams. I’ll see you all back here at 8 o’clock.”