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Quarter Prince, All Wizard by MonkeyGirl

Format: Novella
Chapters: 8
Word Count: 24,764
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing), Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: General
Characters: Harry, Neville, Teddy, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Victoire, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing, Harry/Ginny, Remus/Tonks, Teddy/Victoire

First Published: 09/05/2011
Last Chapter: 06/29/2012
Last Updated: 06/29/2012

Summary:
What happens when two friends fight for the attention of a third? What happens if the third friend had no idea, what happens if your other two friends are sick of pulling you apart, and your friend finds out? What happens to a Gryffindor when they are ostracized from their group. How would they survive? What happened if you ran away, and caused the near death of the person who loves you? What would you do?

MATURE FOR A REASON!! If you don't like abuse, sexual scenes, slash or swearing. Don't read. This will be quite dark in the later chapters.


Chapter 1: You're a Wizard, Severus.
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Sitting at the dinner table on your eleventh birthday usually is a time of excitement. It's not really supposed to be a trial. But, I guess when you accidentally blow up your Dads TV for the fourth time, with no idea how, I suppose it wouldn't be usual. I personally, had no idea. But here I was trying to explain it to my parents. And again, I wasn't doing a very good job, I was a bit shy, and I wasn't very good with words, let alone explaining. I shrunk lower into my chair, poking at the meatloaf on my plate, meat loaf was my favorite meal, but for some reason I just wasn't able to enjoy it like I usually do. How could I explain it? It was even worse, because I actually enjoy setting things on fire, and playing with fire works. But this time I hadn't done anything. I was screwed, because there was no way my Mum or Dad would believe that I hadn't done anything. I scowled at my plate, my meat loaf an unrecognizable mushy mess on my plate. I flicked at a pea, it skated across the table, rolling slowly, and halting next to my Dads hand which was flat on the table. I blinked guiltily, my Mum hated food going to waste. I looked up met her eyes, bit my lip and ducked my head once again. I could hear my parents talking about the TV. It had been a lot of money. And we didn't have much.

“Sev, you know what you did to it, right?” My father asked, his face wrinkled in concern. He was desperately trying to work out what had happened. After I had gotten into so much trouble the last three times, I guess he thought I'd have stopped. But the thing is I hadn't actually touched it.

“Not really,” I mumbled, “I don’t know what happened. I didn’t mean too! I was just angry, the stupid channel had canceled my favorite show.” I looked from him to Mum, my eyes pleaded with them to believe me. 

Dad shook his head, he exchanged a glance with Mum, they both knew there WAS no logical reason WHY the television had blown up, particularly since I hadn’t let it over heat, or attached some kind of explosive to it. "Son, I know you think you didn't do anything, but how could it have blown up if you hadn't done anything to it?" He sighed, "It just doesn't make sense, Sev."

“I didn’t do anything to it!” I whined, I knew I sounded childish and pathetic, but what else was I supposed to do? I looked down at my plate, I stabbed at my food viciously. 

“Severus!” My mother said warningly, “Don't play with your food. It's rude. There are children out there starving from no food.” Mum then turned her attention to Dad, "Pete, I know this is hard, but perhaps we just go without for a few weeks? We can't afford to replace it just yet, and Sev doesn't lie to us. We both know that."

"Mary, there has to be and explanation for this," my Dad said, his face twisted in frustration. He slapped the table, "And if Severus didn't do anything, precisely who did?" Dad was getting more irate, Mum was sitting there looking unhappy as Dad started to rant. There was a loud dong that came from the door bell, Dad stopped ranting looking very confused. “Now who would be calling at this time of night?” He wondered out loud, staring at the door that led to the hallway.

“You’d better go check Peter.” Mum said, as the door bell dinged again. She glanced at me; she was worried about me, I could see that. Dad stood and exited the room, his footfalls heavy and thudding against carpeted flooring. I watched him go, his large boots leaving dints in the off white carpet.  Dad returned with a stranger in tow. The man was tall, he wore a blue suit and a purple shirt with a large orange tie. It all clashed magnificently. His dark brown hair was longish and fell into his wise brown eyes. He looked like a man who could be trusted. A man who would be fair to you if you did something wrong. And a man who would be stern if you dared to muck up around him.

“Good evening Mrs Connor,” The man bowed to her, his tie flopping forward to dangle above the floor, “My name is Neville Longbottom.” Neville looked at her, smiling gently. “I apologize for barging in on you all like this, but there is a very good reason for it.” Neville looked at my Dad expectantly, and was waved to sit down. I shoved my food sideways a bit, looking at the strange man. 

“Why are you here? Who are you?" Dad exclaimed, he was looking at Neville as though he expected him to grow an extra head. Apparently a luridly coloured man appearing in our midst was too much for my straight laced father to take in. Mum also looked a bit overwhelmed.

“Sir, if I can explain?” Neville waited until Dad had nodded jerkily in assent before continuing, "Perhaps a demonstration would be best before I do anything?"

“At what?” My Dad asked utterly flabbergasted. He stared at the stranger as if he were a loony.

"A demonstration, I fear you mightn't believe what I am about to say, so I shall show you first, then explain." Neville then proceeded to pull out a long, thin piece of wood, he pointed it at my Mums coffee mug, then with a dramatic wave the mug turned into a kitten. I gaped at it, Mum screamed and Dad yelled.

"What is going on here?" He yelled at the strange man seated next to me. Neville blinked at him, clearly not expecting such a violent reaction. "How did you do that?"

"Mr. Connor, please control yourself, I will explain myself presently." Neville waved his wand again and the kitten was changed back into a coffee mug. I laughed in delight and looked at Neville with awe. He winked at me. "Now, as I said, my name is Neville Longbottom, and I am a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." He paused, allowing my parent to absorb what he had just said.

"Preposterous!" Dad said scornfully, "There is no such thing as magic!" his eyes however were a bit wild, like he didn't quite know what to do, and was only protesting because he thought he must. That if he didn't his world would come crashing down. Neville simply looked at him, waved his wand again and the kitten appeared again. Dad deflated, his eyes looking anywhere at the kitten or at the strange man who sat opposite him. A man who looked like a harmless lunatic, a man who claimed to be a wizard, a teacher of magic. A man who had just turned my fathers complete understanding of the world on its head. "There can't b,." He said weakly.

Neville smiled gently, "There is magic, Mr. Connor, there are witches and wizards everywhere. We work, we play, we live everywhere. We hide, because if we showed ourselves we'd have no way to remain free. We would be enslaved, persecuted, or even hounded to make things easier for non-magical folk." Neville sighed, "I know it's a lot to take in, but believe me, it's true." I watched him, he was so gentle, he even looked like he regretted having to do this to them. I looked back down to my plate, the mashed meat loaf and peas seemed to personify what had just happened. Two peoples preconceived notions of how the world worked was just mashed up and flung about. Destroyed forever. 

"Why are you here telling us this? Surely there are rules if you are a hidden society?" Mum said softly. She was looking down at her hands, they were careworn, scuffed with use and chapped from working. She raised her eyes to briefly meet Neville's, before dropping them again to her hands.

"Yes, there are rules," Neville agreed, "But I need to tell you this, so I can give your son this." Neville then turned his kind gaze upon me, and drew out a letter from his pocket and handed it to me. The paper was heavy, and there was bottle green ink across the front that said:

Mr. Severus T. Prince.
The kitchen table
9 Brewers Lane
London, England

"What's this sir?" I ask him. My black eyes meet his brown ones, and for a moment there is a flicker of something across his face. It goes as quickly as it came. I wait for his answer.

"Why not open it and find out?" Neville says, smiling at me.

I nod seriously. I slide my finger under the seal, noting that there is a crest emblazoned on the back. It was a 'H' and around it was a snake, a badger, a hawk and a lion. I opened the letter, my breath was short with anticipation, somehow I knew that whatever this contained, I knew it would be important, I knew that it would change everything. I unfolded the heavy paper, and took a deep breath and read out haltingly,

HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY

Headmistress: Minerva McGonagall
(Order of Merlin, first class and second class)

Dear Mr Prince,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.

Yours Sincerely,

Filius Flitwick
Deputy Headmaster.

I gazed at the paper I held in disbelief. "I'm a wizard?" I breathed.

"Yes, you are." Neville said quietly. "And a very good one too, if you're anything like your father."

I looked at my Dad, "You're a wizard?"

Dad shook his head, "No, but it looks like your biological father was. Neville do you know him? We only ever met Severus' mother."

"Yes, I knew him, he was potions master while I was at school. I hated potions, so I wasn't the best student, he loathed anyone who he thought didn't take the best care or attention in his class. We never really saw eye to eye." Neville said this all heavily. He was watching me, I realized, I was overwhelmed. 

"How can I be a wizard?" I asked finally, "I can't be! There must be a mistake."

"Has nothing happened? When you were angry? Or scared?" Neville asked, as though he already knew the answer.

"Today," I said, it suddenly making sense, I looked at Mum, "I accidentally blew up the TV. I didnt mean too." I suddenly looked at Neville, "I really didn't mean to, I'll learn to control it, I promise!" Thinking that now he knew he might not want me at his school. 

"I know, that's what we teach you, control, and other things too." Neville looked at me encouragingly. "So, does this mean you will accept your place?" He asked me, I nodded excitedly.

I froze, "That is, if Mum and Dad let me." I looked at them pleadingly, hoping they would, hoping they would be okay with me being a wizard.

My parents exchanged a look, before my Dad nodded, "Where do we get his things? And do wizards use the same money as we do?"

Neville smiled, "No, we don't, but Severus was left in his fathers will, his biological father, and was left a fair amount of gold as a result. As for where you will get his school items, I will escort you myself to Diagon Alley, on August 18th, if that is okay?"

Mum nodded silently, her hand had at some stage been grasped by my Dads. They looked shell shocked. I sat there, thinking. Who was my father? Who was he to Neville? What had he been like?

Neville stood, "I apologize, but I must leave now, my wife is expecting me home now. Thank you for your hospitality, I'll show myself out." Neville then turned the kitten, which had unnoticed curled up into a ball and fallen asleep, amd then walked out of our tiny kitchen and out the front door, leaving us to sit in silence. Mum got up and served my cake, and cleared away my uneaten dinner. I ate my cake in silence and then bid my parents good night. Barely ten words had been said since Neville had left. 

                                                  *******

It was August 18th, four months after my eleventh birthday, I was standing in front of the mirror in my parents room. I looked at what I was wearing, hoping it would be okay. I had no idea what wizards wore, so I was wearing my favourite outfit. Black jeans, worn and torn around the hems, and a black t shirt. I wriggled into my red converse and tied the laces loosely. My hair was slightly too long, and occasionally fell into my eyes, which were black as a starless night. My nose was a bit too large for my face and hooked. I looked at my reflection and swept my hand through my hair, looking it look windswept. I heard Mum call for me, and I bounded downstairs to find Neville standing by the door. He wasn't as eccentrically dressed as last time I had seen him. He wore blue jeans, black leather shoes and a white button up shirt under a black leather jacket. Mum was looking at him as though she couldn't quite believe what she was seeing. Her brown hair was swept up into a ponytail and her black dress was edged in white. I thought she looked really beautiful. 

"Now," said Neville, "While we are out, Sev you are to call Professor Longbottom. Mrs Connor you too please." Then with that, he escorted us out the door. "Now, Mrs Connor, the best way to get to Diagon Alley is to apparate, however, I don't think you'd appreciate it, so if you don't mind, are you able to drive us there?" Professor Longbottom enquired

"We don't own a car," Mum said looking stressed, "We'll have to catch the tube." 

Professor Longbottom blinked, "I see. Come along then." An hour later we were standing on a bustling street, the people rushing about and pushing through the crowd. Professor Longbottom looked around a bit, then with a nod started to walk towards the corner of the street opposite, I craned my neck, trying to see where we were, but I couldn't find the street sign. Professor Longbottom then led the way into a dingy little pub that somehow want being seen by people. They seemed to look at the big bookshop on one side, and then to the record shop on the other. I stared in amazement at it, the sign above it read "The Leaky Cauldron", it looked really nasty. Professor Longbottom didn't stop to stare, but rather entered it immediately, holding the door open for my Mum and I.

“Do you honestly think it’s responsible to bring an eleven year old to a place like this?” Mum hissed at the Professor, clearly scandalized. She gazed about

“Mrs Connor, its fine. Tom would never allow any alcohol be served to a minor.” Professor Longbottom reassured her, and without further adieu led us through to the bar, nodding at the young barman, who had sandy blonde hair and sported a metallic green scaled coat. "His fathers son through and through," The Professor said with a confident air. Clearly he came here quite a bit. “World’s finest dragon leather, m’boy!” Whispered Professor Longbottom to me, he had noticed my admiring look at the green coat, and winked at my obvious awe.

 Weaving between the crowded areas, we slipped out the back into a sort of courtyard, and here, Professor Longbottom then pulled out his wand, and in a complicated order, tapped the bricks. MAGIC! I said gleefully to myself. I was grinning long before the bricks started moving, long before I saw my first glimpse of Diagon Alley. At the sight I was dumb struck, gaping; I numbly followed Neville into the thronging crowd. My mother clung to my hand, as Professor Longbottom led us through the streets to a gleaming white and gold building with GRINGOTTS emblazoned on its front. I silently followed the professor as he nodded to the bizarre creatures out the front.

“WHAT are they?!” I gasped hoarsely; they were unlike anything I’d ever seen, squat and ugly, nonetheless a keen intelligence shone from their black eyes. One of the creatures reached out a long fingered hand and swung open the door for us. Inclining their heads to the Professor, in what I suspected, was a measure of deepest respect.

“Those are Goblins, Severus, clever as they are, goblins,” Neville murmured, “But not always friendly, you’d best stay close!”I needed no further urging, and was practically under the Professors arm as we made our way to a little goblin at the front desk. “Mr Prince would like to make a withdrawal,” announced professor Longbottom calmly.

“Does Mr Prince have his Key?” Asked the Goblin greasily, leaning imposingly over the desk to peer at me. The Professor blinked, and then waved his wand, the goblin eyeing the wand angrily the whole time, and a tiny golden key flew out from under his jacket and landed with a tiny clatter upon the goblins counting book. Disgusted, the goblin swiped it up, “Be warned Professor Longbottom, we goblins do not like to be reminded of our failure to grasp wand lore.” Neville nodded soberly and followed the goblin to a back corridor. Beckoning us, we climbed into a very small carriage, not unlike a roller coaster cart, and were hurtled down a black shaft.

                                                       ******

Minutes later we found ourselves blinking in the late afternoon sunlight, my pockets laden down with gold Galleons, silver Sickles, and bronze Knuts. I didn’t know where to run first. I started to move, when a stern hand clapped down on my shoulder. Guiltily I jumped. I looked up at Professor Longbottom.

“This way please,” Neville said amused, “Wand first!” And with that announcement, he led the way to a dingy shop. It looked as though it was a sneeze from falling down, the windows were grimy, and faded velvet cushions sat in the window, long thin boxes sat upon them. 

Slipping inside, mum and Neville took up places on two spindly chairs by the shop window. Thin, long boxes lay haphazardly every which way. I looked around, curious and slightly nervous. What if I failed? Would I be shipped back home, and apologetic note in tow? No, I said firmly, I was a wizard. I would be the greatest wizard ever. A slight scuff on the floor caused me to spin around, there a thin willowy woman stood. Her luminous blue eyes regarded us almost in surprise.

“Welcome,” She whispered, her voice so soft I strained to hear it. “You are here to buy your first wand, Mr Prince?” She asked. And then, turned, clearly not wishing to hear the answer. Either that or she already knew. Eerie. I shivered. She returned with two boxes, looking bemusedly at them both, “Neither wand knows if you are its master, they have awaited one for so long.” She sighed. Unable to help myself, I inched away from her. She creeped me out, yet I was still unable to not obey her. She beckoned me over, and handed me an elegant, black wand. 

“Blackthorn, 15 inches, dragon heart-string.” She sighed, “Give it a wave child.” I did, and boxes in their dozens jumped off shelves and landed in undignified piles on the floor. “No, not that one.” She opened up the other box, and pulled out a stumpy white wand, “Snow gum, from Australia, 9 inches, unicorn tail.” She held it out to me. Disgusted, I waved it, a loud bang and the glass in the shop front shattered. “Unusual” She said softly. She moved to the right hand side of the store, and pulled out a faded box, “I doubt, but still...” She trailed off. And with surprising swiftness and apparent irritation; crossed over to me. Twelve tries later the woman came back, a very ratty box in her hands, she lovingly ran her thin fingers over it, holding it out, she murmured, “Ash, 12 inches, dragon heart string”

I waved the wand, and felt a happy glow spread through me, “It likes me!” I said in surprise, I could feel definite approval emanating from the wand. The mysterious woman smiled. 7 galleons later, I owned my new wand. Neville looked back at the woman sadly, before following us out of the shop.

Next we stopped at Madam Malkin’s and bought me, my school robes, it took close to an hour, being pinned and having adjustments made so they fit perfectly. The school robes were dull black, unadorned as we hadn’t been sorted yet. I liked them, even though my mother complained that black made me sallow skinned and greasy looking. I felt offended by that. Then we went to Flourish and Blotts, to buy my school books, despite it saying otherwise on the school list, I really wanted to buy “Hex you enemies, Charm your friends” By Wilfred Narks. But Professor Longbottom wouldn’t let me. 

After that, we bought my potions ingredients, all manner of slimy and disgusting creatures, bottled and pulped the essence claimed to further wizarding kind. I was particularly entranced when I watched a shop wizard add porcupine quills to a potion, turning it green from purple. “Slug killing potion,” murmured Neville to me, "Not particularly difficult." After that, we quickly dashed through the rest of the shopping, as the shops were closing, and bought me parchment, quills and ink and other such necessities, although, not the colour changing ink I’d really wanted. Finally shopping done, and completely exhausted we headed home. I collapsed on my bed, completely exhausted. If this was what the magical world was always like, I’m sure I’d love every minute of it.


Chapter 2: September 1st
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I snapped awake on the day of September the 1st. This was it, I thought excitedly, this was the day I became a wizard. I sprang up and put on my favourite clothes, my old black jeans, and my black AC/DC shirt my Dad had bought for me at a concert, he had had to pay an arm and a leg for it, it had been the last one, and it was four sizes too big. My red converse came next and I had trouble tying them up I was that excited. I bounced around my room, double checking that I had everything, books neatly packed, my robes (not a dress!) rammed in, my cauldron and ingredients, and last but, but not least my wand. I thought hard for a second, I didn’t want to put it in my trunk, it might get broken, and it had to be concealed from the non magic folk, where should I put it? I deliberated, and as I did so I moved about my room, twirling my wand in my fingers. My iPod Touch I put in my pocket, along with my non-magical and magical wallets. That was it! I thought, and with a hurried movement shoved my wand into the waistband of my jeans. Pulling my shirt over the top it didn’t show. Brilliant! I ginned to myself.

“Severus! Hurry up, or you’ll be late!” Called my Mum; as she hurried up the stairs toward my room. “Go downstairs and eat! Your Dad wants to have a word with you before you go to school, you know he can’t see you off, he has work today!” And looking extremely flustered, she hurried out again with my trunk. I followed her, bouncing and grinning happily, I took the stairs at my usual break-neck speed and almost knocked my father over.

“Morning Dad!” I said, looking up at him, his thin features looked even more tired than usual. My Dad was and investment broker and had to deal with a lot of stresses. Even worse now as apparently there weren't enough people buying stuff. 

“Morning Sev, a little bit excited are we?” He chuckled. “Look son, come here,” and with a quick beckon, he led me into the kitchen where on the table top sat a fat orange kitten, it looked like a very overweight lion. “Professor Neville said that it would be okay for you to bring a cat to school with you, and I don’t want you to get lonely. So I bought you Prince here. Is he okay? I know you wanted an owl, but maybe we can get you an owl next year?”

“Dad, he’s brilliant!” I exclaimed, and I ran to the table where Prince sat eating some cat crunchies, it was where,I suddenly thought, Neville's transformed cat h.ad sat. “Prince!” I yelled, and scooped the kitten up carefully, “We are going to Hogwarts, Prince. Where I'm going to become a wizard!” I told him excitedly looking into his golden eyes. “Thanks Dad!” I said, I was now grinning fit to burst as I cuddled my new kitten to my chest, he was also very happy as he purred loud enough for it to fill the whole room. I knew that this was Dads apology for not being able to see me off on my first day of school.

Dad smiles at us, “He’ll have to go into a cat carrier for the train journey, and you can’t have him running loose on the train.” Dad chuckled at my rebellious look, “You’ll learn why, if you let him run free. He might get lost.” He shakes his head in amusement. “Anyway Sev, I have to go now, take care of your Mum.” Dad says, as I nod solemnly. He then claps me on the shoulder, causing Prince to narrow his eyes at him, and then my Dad walked out the door to his boring and stressful job.

My Mum walked in to the kitchen, and smiled at me, “He’s a good man your father, I didn’t even know about Prince. Suits the little guy too, walks around, high and mighty, never mind us lesser mortals.” She laughs lightly, I can tell she is really nervous about everything. “Now, Sev, put the kitten down, and let’s have some breakfast, cereal?” She busies herself preparing the cereal, as I sneak Prince under my shirt; he sits there purring comfortably, as my Mum puts a bowl of cereal before me. 

I grin and start to eat; unable to breathe I’m shovelling in my cereal so fast. I can feel Prince shift slightly and then stand up under my shirt. My free hand quickly grabs him, but I’m not fast enough, as Prince sticks his head up and out of my shirt neckline. 

Mum looks at me, sighs but is unable to hide her smile, “Come on Sev, and eat up. Put Prince on the table, he clearly wants to be able to watch us.” She smiles again. I do as she says, and hurriedly finish my breakfast. I grab Prince and stuff him in my coat pocket, the Prince of cats will not go in a cat carrier, I tell my Mum. She laughs and grabs her house keys, and jog to the bus stop. We’re off! 

                                                      ********

We arrive at Kings Cross station at 10:30am, and hurry onto the platforms 9 and 10. Here we stop and consult my ticket, there wasn’t another train, according to the planner, arriving on platform nine, until 11:05. Looking at my ticket I feel a sudden chill, Platform 9 and 3/4, where would we find a platform 9 and ¾? We wander up and down the platform, passing a thin, black haired man and a blue haired boy who had stopped by a solid brick wall; I could hear him telling the boy to run at the wall. Astonished I turned my head to stare, the tall thin black haired man wore round glasses and had a scar shaped like a lightning bolt on his forehead. The boy was tall, thin and very handsome. He also had a trunk, and an OWL! I gasped and grabbed my mums hand, I was certain that these people were wizards. I started to tow her to the bespectacled man and the boy.

“Now Teddy, you have to run straight at the wall, I’ll be right behind you, be careful though, the station is packed with muggles of course.” The man flicked his longish hair out of his eyes. “Your Aunt Ginny will be here soon, she’s coming from Mungo’s with James and Al, the two of them had a bit of a fight again.” the man chuckled.

The boy nodded, “Yes Uncle Harry.” He stiffened his shoulders and with two long strides broke into a run, straight into the brick wall, and vanished!

“That’s it, mum,” I said loudly, she looks scared, “That’s how you get onto the platform!” I run with my trolley up to the barrier.

The tall man watches me as I walk up to the barrier and stick my hand through it. He looks dumbfounded, at that moment the tall boy comes back through the barrier and runs into me. A yowl of terror escapes my pocket and Prince sprints away. “Prince!” I cry and tear after him, "Come back!” Prince wasn’t very fast, as I found out; his big belly hindered his paws from being decent use. And as Prince ran, he was suddenly scooped up by the tall man. “Prince!” I gasp as I skid to a halt beside the tall man. “Thank you, sir,” I say to the man, and I then turn and rouse on Prince. “You’re a very naughty cat! Bad Prince!” I look at Prince, who stares back at me sadly and reaches up a paw and pats my cheek. “Promise not to run away again?” I ask, Prince mewed softly and apologetically, and then started to purr.

The tall man watches us in amusement. "Teddy, I think you ought to say sorry to this young man, he nearly lost his cat because you didn’t do as I asked.” The man said sternly. His green eyes focused, with laser intensity on the blue haired boy.

The boy walks up to me, and sticks out a hand, “’M very sorry.” He mumbles. He looks so sad that I hasten to assure him that it’s okay; I juggle Prince so his front paws are over my left arm and his hind legs, stick out, and splayed underneath my arm. 

I shake the boys hand, “It’s okay, and Prince is back now.” I say earnestly. “My names Severus Prince,” I say, not seeing the tall mans reaction to my name, “What’s yours?”

“Teddy Lupin,” The boy says, grinning a mischievous smile. I like him immediately. “This is my Uncle Harry Potter. And they,” He says pointing behind me, “Are my Aunt Ginny, and their kids James, who’s eldest, and Albus, who’s youngest” I nod to show I understand. James and Albus have split lips and are each looking very unhappy, while Ginny looks annoyed and is very pregnant. She holds their hands tightly, Albus has his face screwed up, trying not to cry I guess, he's walking on his tip toes. James looks mutinous, he's scowling at the floor. 

I turn around and point, “That’s my mum, her name's Mary Connor.” At her name, my Mum walks up nervously. 

“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Potter,” she whispers. “Sev, you need to get on the train, although..” She trails off, looking frightened at the barrier. 

“Although, you don’t know how,” Mr Potter said, he phrased it so it wasn’t a question. “That’s okay, we’ll go together.” He smiles reassuringly at my Mum, who smiles timidly back. She looks completely overwhelmed by everything. Together, we all walk towards the barrier, Teddy grabs my trolley from me and runs at the barrier, I chase after him, Prince bouncing in my arms. We crash through, and there, at a station full of smoke, is a red steam engine.

“Brilliant,” I breathe, Teddy grins at my appreciation. 

“Isn’t it just?” He says happily, “Come on, you can share a compartment with me and Moony”

“Moony?” I ask

“My owl,” He explains, “It’s a bit of a joke.” He grins again, “I’ll explain later.”

“My cat’s named Prince,” I say, “Coz he’s the Prince of cats.” I grin back at Teddy.

Teddy laughs, “He’s definitely fat enough!” Prince hisses at him. “I’m sorry Prince.” Teddy’s still grinning; it’s as infectious as his laugh. “Here we are," He pulls open the compartment door, and stashed my trunk and cat carrier on top of his own. Moony is sitting on the top of his cage, and is looking at Prince with an unreadable look. 

“Prince, I’m going to leave you here, don’t try to hurt Moony, he looks like he could eat you in one.” I tell Prince, it was true, Moony was a great barred owl, and was almost a meter tall, with sooty grey plumage and black barring on his wings. His yellow eyes followed Prince, as Prince waddles around the compartment, sniffing everything.

“Come on Sev,” Teddy says, “let’s go say good bye, and go to HOGWARTS!” He yells the last word in excitement. We clatter off the train give and return swift hugs and kisses, and Teddy ruffles James and Albus' hair as they cry about wanting to go to Hogwarts, and then with a great whoop, we dash onto the train and wave goodbye for the last time hanging out the window.

                                                       ******

Teddy sprawled himself across two seats, while I sat leaning against the wall with Prince curled up on the remaining seat beside me. I looked out side, the sky was steadily darkening, I was starving. I look at Teddy, and open my mouth to say something, when there is a knock on the compartment door. 

"Anything off the trolley, dears?" Asked a middle aged witch, her blonde hair was greying.

"Everything!" Teddy exclaims, pulling out a fistful of gold.

Minutes later we are stuffing our faces with Cauldron cakes, and pumpkin pasties. As I polished the last of the pasties off, Teddy yanked open a hexagonal box. I looked inquiringly at him.

"Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans!" Teddy said happily. "It's an adventure." he grins as he picks up a green bean and pops it into his mouth. "Ew!" he yelps suddenly, "Brussels Sprouts!"

I howl with laughter, the expression on his face was too much, Prince looks up and glares at me before curling up again. I grin at Teddy, who pulls out his want and waves it threateningly at me.

"Watch it, Sev, or I'll hex you!" He laughs.

I gaze at him unhappily, "Do you know a lot of magic already?" I sigh, "I bet I'm really behind. I mean, I don't know anything!" I look at Teddy, who was looking at me with understanding.

"You're not loads behind, but don't you know some things?" He asks

I shake my head, "Can you tell me?” I ask Teddy.

“What would you like to know?” He asks, I shrug helplessly, “How about I tell you about Hogwarts first, and we can go from there.” He smiles, looking happy at being able to show off his knowledge. “Lets see, do you know about the houses?”

“No.” I look miserable.

“Well, there is Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!” Teddy strikes what he thinks is a noble pose, I can't help but laugh at him. “Ravenclaw, where those of wit and learning, always find their kind!” Teddy assumes a stern commanding pose. “And Hufflepuff; where they are just and loyal!” Teddy is shouting now, and he jumps onto the seat, and tries to look like a kindly person bowing to a lesser being, I can't help but burst into laughter now, he looks so ridiculous. “Or in cunning Slytherin; where you’ll meet your real friends!” Teddy sneers and forms his hands into actual claws. I yell in surprise. Teddy laughs, “Sorry Sev, I forgot to tell you!” He looks at me apologetically, “I’m a Metamorphmagus” 

“A what?” I ask weakly, looking at his hands, remembering how they looked like claws, only looked like right? They hadn't been actual claws had they?

“A Metamorphmagus, I’m able to change myself at will!” Teddy grins. “I was born like this.” He changes his hair from blue to gold and back again.

“That’s so cool!” I grin at him, "Are you able to become different animals?"

Teddy shakes his head, "No, but there is magic that lets you transform into animals. People who can do that are called Animagi. My Dads friends were Animagi." Teddy grins at me.

"Wasn't your Dad one too?" I ask him curiously.

"Uh, no," Teddy said, "He was something else. So, what house do you think you'll be in?"

“Well,” I say, “I’m not brave, loyal, just, cunning or very smart” I must have looked worried. “What happens if we don’t get sorted?” I looked at Teddy in appeal. 

“I don’t know,” Now Teddy looks worried, “Probably get sent home.”

“What house do you want to be sorted in?” I ask curiously

“Well, my Dad was in Gryffindor, and my Mum was in Hufflepuff. I don’t really mind, as long as I’m not in Slytherin.” Teddy looks at me suddenly serious, “My Uncle Ron says there wasn’t a witch or wizard that went bad, that wasn't in Slytherin.” I feel queasy now.

“I don’t want to be in Slytherin!” I groan, “I’m not a bad person!” I feel panicky now; I stand up, scrubbing at my hair. I start to pace back and forth.

“Sev, you won’t be, I’m sure the Sorting Hat would dare put someone in a house they didn’t want to be in.” Teddy grabs my arm, he is really strong, and he stares at me trying to get me to believe him.

“Okay,” I nod, “But if I am, I’m leaving!” I said determinedly. Teddy looks shocked. “I am!” I say, daring him not to believe me. “I will be in Gryffindor like you!” I say quickly, “We're best mates, and mates stick together!”

Teddy looks at me delightedly, “Of course we will!” He cries happily.

We clasp hands and nod at each other, our pact made; we sit back in our seats relaxed. “I’m really hungry still,” I said. 

"Yeah same, we should have gotten more cauldron cakes," Teddy groans

“Uh, Teddy, they don’t really mean every flavour do they?” I ask, holding up the hexagonal box titled Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans he'd been eating from before.

“Yeah!” Teddy nods, “There’s your usual, chocolate, and peppermint, but there’s also, spinach, liver and tripe!” Teddy grins, “Uncle George swears he got a bogey flavoured on once! But Uncle Ron doesn’t believe him.” I look at the box warily, “Try one!” Teddy urges me. "You won't get sprouts like I just did, I don't think."

I pick out an innocuous pink bean, I hold it up to the light, and then pop it into my mouth, Teddy is watching me avidly, “Strawberry!” I exclaim, ginning, Teddy looks disappointed. “Your turn,” I challenged Teddy.

“Okay,” he says lazily, and he chooses a yellow bean, “Pineapple!” He spits, “Gross!” I laugh and say I love pineapple. We spend the next hour testing them; I got spinach, burger, vomit, and a pepper. And Teddy, who went through them with gusto, got liver, orange, peppermint, slate, lime, lemon, grass, dirt, metal, and paint. We were laughing and joking as we ate our way through the pile.

We were just about to try an orange one, when our compartment door opened. A girl stood there, a boy behind her, they were blonde haired and blue eyed and already in their school robes. The girl looked at us in disgust, our compartment was a mess, Prince was sprawled over a seat, Mooney was eating a pumpkin pasty, and Teddy was about to toss a bean into the air.

“Yes?” Teddy asked, looking at the girl.

“My name is Genevieve, I’m looking for my cat, have you seen her? She’s grey.” Genevieve looks at Teddy with disapproval. “Why is your hair blue?” She demanded

I blink at this barrage of questions, “We haven’t seen a cat, other than Prince.” I look at her brother curiously, he was peaky and looked ill. 

“Come on Genny, Cleo isn't here,” The boy said quietly as he tugged his sister away. Teddy frowned after the boy.

As the brother and sister left, I leaned over to Teddy, “Teddy mate, what’s wrong?”

“I’m not sure, the kid could just be sick, but that boy, I think he may be a werewolf! My dad was one, I’ve been told the signs. I know that kid isn’t just sick!” Teddy frowns "I think, but it'd be really bad to accuse him of being one."

“Werewolves are real?” I ask him stunned, “Are vampires? Will we get to see any?”

Teddy laughs, “Sev, you just found out I’m a half werewolf, and you’re more interested in whether you’ll get to see a vampire?” he laughs. “You’re a Gryffindor for sure!”

“Really?” I ask “Do you think that boy will be in Gryffindor? If he is, you could help him! The son of a werewolf, helping the new werewolf of Hogwarts!” I grin at Teddy, completely dismissive of werewolves and vampires in my excitement of being a Gryffindor.

Teddy grins at me, “Yeah, that would be good, that’d make my dad proud for sure!”

“You can write to him, and tell him!” I grin at Teddy.

Teddy’s animated face lost its grin, “My Dads dead, so’s my mum. They died in the war.” He looks so sad. I get up and sit next to him.

“The war?” I ask, “Who killed them Ted, we’ll get good as wizards, then we’ll hunt him down and kill the people who killed them!” I say fiercely 

Teddy smiled at me, “Uncle Harry took care of that! Here listen!”

The rest of the journey was spent with me listening avidly to Teddy’s tale about his parents. Of how Hogwarts was the battle ground, where the war ended, where Harry Potter defeated the evilest wizard ever.

I was awed by the story, “That’s amazing, your Dad and Mum are hero’s!” I exclaim. “Don’t worry Ted, we’ll make them proud!” I say confidently

Teddy grinned at me. “Thanks Sev! Come on, let’s get changed, I think the trains slowing!”

We grin at each other and quickly get changed, we were straightening ourselves up as we pulled into the station at Hogsmead Station. We were here.


Chapter 3: The Sorting Ceremony
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"So, where do we go now?" I ask Teddy, we were standing on the platform the Hogwarts Express had pulled up at. Teddy was tugging at his robes, his blue hair stuck out vividly in the darkness. 

"Um, I have no idea," Teddy said, he looked about, the older students were walking off to the side, but there was a girl who was standing to a side, she was yelling something. "What's she up to?" Teddy asked we walked closer to try and make out what she was saying.

"First years, first years, over here please!" She looked completely flustered, her chestnut hair was twisted up in a French braid, her robes were neat and upon her chest was a badge. "First years, over here!" She called out again. Slowly a group of first years gathered around here, "Okay, listen up, you all have to walk down that path there, keep going until you reach the harbor. Hagrid is waiting for you there, he's had a bit of an issue with the Grinylows." With that the girl walked off.

"Grindylows?" I asked Teddy. As we walked down the path. Somehow we'd ended up at the front, and Teddy was enjoying the attention of being the leader. 

"A grindylow is a water monster, kind of. They're nasty at any rate, they pull swimmers under water and drown them." Teddy said with a shrug. 

"Oh." I said. I looked down at my feet, I felt the weight of my ignorance like a shroud, it shadowed everything I said. Clearly I had a lot to learn.

Teddy grinned at me, and clapped me on the shoulder, "Don't worry, Sev, you'll learn, and I'm not so knowledgeable that I know it all yet either!" He laughed. 

I grin back at him and with a glance back behind me, we started downhill. As we rounded a corner we got our first look at Hogwarts, the magnificent castle was completely lit up and stood out starkly against the night sky. The lake below was an inky mass, shining stars and moon reflected in it's depths. I was amazed, this was where I would be living for the next seven years of my life. I was home. I looked at Teddy and he nodded in silent agreement. Suddenly there was a holler in the darkness, and many of the others let out gasps as a very large someone appeared out of the gloom. He was completely wild, his heavy moleskin jacket was weighted down with god knows what, and his hair was black, thick and snarled. He was fantastic.

"Hello, I'm Rubens Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts and Professor of Care of Magical Creatures." Hagrids voice was gruff, and rumbly. "Right you lot, this way please." He then turned and made his way down the path and onto a gravely shore. "No more than four to a boat, you lot. Carefully now, you don't want to capsize them." 

Teddy and I hurried and leapt into a boat, the girl and boy from the train behind us. We grinned at them and when everyone was settled Hagrid waved a dustbin lid sized hand and the boats lurched forward. The little fleet whooshed thought the water, heading straight for the cliff face. I grinned at Teddy, making a thumbs up. He nodded back and grinned as well, before tuning back to the spectacle before us. We floated beneath a curtain of lichen and bumped up against a stone harbor. We all clambered out and followed Hagrid through a door, and up marble steps. Hagrid waited to the side, watching the first years go past, before slipping through a side door and joining the feast. The first years kept climbing the stairs, Teddy and I at the forefront. And then, there was someone at the top. He was so small. He was only up to my chest. His beard was tucked into his belt, and in his hands was a roll of parchment. 

"Gather up please," The man squeaked, "I am Professor Flitwick, Head of Ravenclaw house and Professor of Charms." Flitwick gazed up his newest students, his eyes widening in recognition of Teddy and I. "You will soon be sorted into your houses, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin or Hufflepuff. While you are here, your house will be your family, do what you are supposed to do will earn you points, any rule breaking will lose points." Flitwick said squeakily, his hands waving to illustrate his point. Suddenly there was a whistling noise, as hundreds of ghosts swooped down through the ceiling, four slowed and came to a halt above the first years.

"Oh good, the first years!" One exclaimed happily, "I am the Fat Friar, Hufflepuffs Ghost, if you are sorted into Hufflepuff, and you need help, please don't hesitate to ask!" 

One of the ghosts was a beautiful if mournful woman, and she inclined her head at the Friars words, the others were a man in a ruff and britches, the other had ghastly silvery blood trailing down his doublet.

"Young Gryffindors, I am Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, and I am the Gryffindor ghost. The beautiful, but silent lady is Helenna Ravenclaw, and is Ravenclaws ghost. And my stern unyielding friend here, is the Bloody Baron, who is Slytherins Ghost." At this point Sir Nicholas bowed, and rather comically in Teddy's view, his head toppled forward and off his neck. "Oh not again," moaned Sir Nicholas, as he reached up and picked his head up and settled it upon his shoulders again.

Teddy roared with laughter, "I know who you are, you're Nearly Headless Nick!" 

"I prefer Sir Nicholas if you don't mind!" said Nearly Headless Nick huffily.

Flitwick could see things were getting out of hand very quickly, and shooed the ghosts away. "They will be ready for you now, follow me please." And with that Flitwick led them through the Entrance Hall and up to a pair of heavy doors. They were carved and reinforced with steel. With a wave of his hands the doors swung open majestically, the first years crowded up to each other nervously.

I looked over at Teddy, he looked so at ease, he was so confident. I nodded at him with a grin, not knowing that to him I also looked at ease and confident. We walked forward and when Flitwick gestured for us to stop, with stood off to the side. It was only then that I was able to take in my surroundings. There were four long tables at which hundreds of students sat, watching us. Although, some were busy talking amongst themselves. I looked up and saw the beautiful ceiling that looked like the night sky.

"It's not real you know," I heard a voice say, "It's bewitched, to look like the night sky." I smiled and thought that there was nothing more beautiful that I had seen. 

"It's amazing isn't it?" Teddy asked me, grinning.

"Yeah, it really is, this whole place is amazing," I said, also grinning. I looked back at Flitwick and with dismay realized he had been talking. Now he was holding up a scroll, and reading out a name.

"Alison Anderson," Flitwick called out. A small blonde haired girl walked out, and sat upon the stool up on the dais before us. I blinked at her, her wide green eyes looked at Flitwick with fear as he placed a raggedy old hat up her head. Teddy leaned forward and watched the hat, was it moving?

The hat twitched, "RAVENCLAW!!!" It shouted out suddenly. And the blue clad table started to clap and cheer as Alison jumped off the stool and joined them.

Teddy laughed in delight, "Try on a hat, that's all you have to do! I'm going to kill Uncle George, he kept going on about wrestling a Troll." He laughed again. And I couldn't help but join in.

We both tuned out, I looked up at the staff table, in a golden chair was a thin lipped witch, her emerald green cloak wrapped about her. Beside her was a tall wizard with sky blue eyes and a merry grin. On her other side was an empty chair, clearly belonging to Flitwick, next to Flitwicks chair was a plump with wild hair and a cheerful face. Hagrid sat on the end, he towered over everyone else. Beside him was a scary bespectacled woman who looked like an over grown beetle. I roved my eyes over the hall, feeling bored, no longer nervous, I knew my name wouldn't be called for a while. Teddy nudged me, and the girl, Genevieve from the train was seated on the stool. 

"Gryffindor!" the hat called out. And she hopped down and joined the red table.

"So what was her last name?" I asked Teddy

"It was Hacker," Teddy said cheerfully. "Her brothers up now."

Indeed he was, "Nicholas Hacker," Flitwick called out. The boy stumbled out, he was really pale, his blue eyes were terrified. 

"Poor bloke," Teddy commented, "It's gotta be tough on him." I nodded in agreement as Nicholas was sorted into Gryffindor.

"Ted Lupin," Flitwick called out, his voice still squeaky, his eyes shining with excitement. Teddy threw me a grin, and loped up to the stool, I watched him as he sat down, looking completely at ease. I looked at the other first years, they looked both annoyed and awed that he was so calm. Flitwick put the hat on Teddy's head, and it immediately yelled out Gryffindor. I grinned and applauded with the other Gryffindors. He gave me the thumbs up and mouthed "Good luck!"

I watched as Michele Lutz get sorted into Slutherin, and Simon and Grace  get sorted into Hufflepuff. And a few others. By the time my turn came up I was bouncing with impatience. When my name was called, there was a slight hush, but I ignored it, and leapt onto the chair. And quickly giving Teddy the thumbs up, the hat was placed onto my head.

"Hmm," Said a voice next to my ear, "Interesting, you are very different to your father. Brave, foolhardy, loyal, and hard working. Completely brilliant, and cunning. You'd do well in Slytherin, and Hufflepuff. But I don't think you'd be happy. No, it had better be," There was a slight pause and then, "Gryffindor!"

I yelled with delight, and when the hat was taken from my head, I dashed down to where Teddy was yelling in delight and tackled him. We fell into a laughing heap on the floor.

"Are you two okay?" it was the girl from the platform, her French braid was slightly mussed, we both nodded, still laughing. "Oh, good, well, welcome to Gryffindor." She watched as we picked ourselves from the floor and sat down. "I'm the head girl. My name is Ashley. You, what's your name?" she asked Teddy.

"Teddy Lupin," he grinned at her, "This is Severus Prince, my best mate."

"That's nice. And just so you know, you had better change your hair, blue isn't part of the schools dress code." She said prissily. She flicked her own regulation hair over her shoulder.

"Oh, right, sorry," Teddy grinned, and then with a slight screwing up of his nose, he changed it to mid brown. The girl blinked in surprise, then with a sneer turned her face away from us.

"How did you do that?" demanded a voice, Teddy looked at the girl across from us in surprise, it was the girl from the train. Genevieve.

"I'm a Metamorphmagus." Teddy explained, "I can change my appearance at will."

"Thats really cool," said her brother.

"Who are you guys again?" I asked, feeling a bit lost. 

"Oh, sorry, my name is Genevieve, and this is my brother, Nicholas. But you can call me Genny." Genny grinned at them, "You two are from that carriage right? The really messy one." I shrugged in agreement. "I found my cat by the way."

"I'm happy for you," I said helpfully. "What's her name?" 

"Cleo, it's short for Cleopatra. She was a muggle empress of Egypt. Pharaoh, they called them." Genny said.

"Thats pretty cool." Teddy said, "Where is she?"

Nicholas reached into his shirt front and pulled out a bedraggled grey kitten. "This is Cleo," He said quietly. Up close, I could see that he had a few scars across his face.

"How come you're so scarred?" I asked Nicholas, unable to stop myself. Teddy punched me, he shot me a look, I hung my head, "Sorry, I didn't mean.." I trailed off.

"It's okay, don't worry about it. I got into a fight with some razor wire when I rode my motorbike into it a few years back." Nicholas shrugged.

"Ouch, I'm sorry man," I looked at him apologetically. Nicholas shrugged.

"Hey, Nicholas," Teddy said, Nicholas looked up, "Have some chicken." Teddy laughed and threw a chicken leg at him. I blinked in surprise, where had..? And then saw the table, it was groaning with food, where had?

"Where did?" I looked at Teddy, "Of course, magic." I laughed, and filled my plate up. "Great timing Ted," I grinned at him, thinking that the pasties and cakes had been ages ago. Nicholas was wolfing down food like it was his last meal.

"Woah, slow down, Nicky," Teddy laughed, "Your sisters looking a bit disgusted." Teddy laughed again. I looked over a Genny, the look on her face was priceless. She then huffily turned away from us and started up a conversation with the girl beside her. I shrugged and continued eating. 

                                                         *****

I groaned in pleasure, I was completely full. I stretched thinking that I'd really like to go to be now. When suddenly food disappeared, and left behind gleaming golden plates. I looked around the Gryffindor table, Teddy was looking down at his shining plate, looking for all the world like it was the only thing he'd ever seen. I was so tired, I could feel myself listing to the side, about to topple. Nicholas was also exhausted, his blue eyes were glazed with tiredness. I looked up as I heard movement at the head table, Professor McGonagall Had stood up, and was waiting for the schools attention.

"If I may have your attention please," Her clear voice rang out across our ranks. "Now before you can go to your beds, I have a few school notices to give out." She surveyed the two middle tables severely, as two second years jostled each other. "I must tell you, that the Forbidden Forest is forbidden, and for a very good reason. Also, Mr Filch has asked me to remind you that all Weasley Wizarding Wheezers Products are completely forbidden, anyone using them will have points docked from their house, a full list of all forbidden items can be found on Mr. Filch's office door. I would also like to remind students that dueling is strictly forbidden from the school corridors. Quidditch will start next term, and anyone one who wishes to try out for this years teams must see their head of house." Professor McGonagall paused and regarded the student body before her, "Thank you for your attention, you may depart to your beds. Prefects please guide the first years of your houses. Can the Head boy and girl please stay behind?" 

There was a dull rumble as everyone stood up and started to exit the Great Hall. Teddy was tugging Nicholas' arm trying to make the exhausted boy stand. I wandered over to help him out. Nicholas glared at Teddy, his eyes tired with dark purple rings under them.

"What now?" Grumbled Nicholas, trying to escape Teddy's grip on his arm.

"You fell asleep, I thought I'd wake you up so you could sleep in the dormitory not in the Hall." Teddy grinned, waving a hand around at our surroundings. "But I guess, maybe you'd prefer to sleep on the table?" Teddy laughed, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Oh, yeah, right, thanks." Nicholas yawned, and stood. "Um, so where do we go?" He asked, looking around. The great hall was practically empty except for the teachers and the head boy and girl. 

I shrugged, unhelpfully, "I have no idea, mate." 

Nicholas smiled at me, "Thanks." He ducked his head bashfully, I blinked in confusion, but didn't ask him what he was on about. "Well, where do we go?" He asked again, this time directed at Teddy.

"Um.." Teddy trailed off, "I know it's in a tower, and you have to go to the seventh floor to get to it." He looked at us and shrugged, "Let's just try that. I think I know what portrait it is as well." He grinned suddenly, "C'mon, let's go!" He bounded off excitedly. Nicholas and I exchanged glances before running after him. Teddy led us up a massive marble staircase and along the first floor. 

"Uh, where is the next staircase?" Teddy asked, looking around violently, his robes flapping as he spun around in circles. He backed up, twirling about, his tie flung negligently over one shoulder, his robes askew from his confused twirling. "Arg!" He yelped, as he stepped backwards into a ghost.

"Oh hello, young Gryffindors," Said Nearly Headless Nick, "You look a bit lost. Do you need a hand finding the common room?" He asked kindly, he seemed able to overlook Teddy transgression with his name earlier. He peered at us over his ruff,his head threatening to topple from his shoulders.

"Yes please, Sir Nicholas," Said Nicholas gratefully. Teddy nodded in agreement grinning, looking up at Nick with a mischievous grin.

"Come along then," Sir Nick said, pleased to be helping people. He glided towards a doorway and proceeded to slide through it, calling over his shoulder, "Don't worry, it's not a real door, it's just pretending to be one." We grinned at each other, tiredness forgotten and ran after Sir Nick.

"Wow, the portraits, they're moving!" I exclaimed as I saw a bear pick up a branch of berries.

"Yes, magical paintings move," Nicholas explained, "They can be used to send messages too." He watched the paintings quietly, I wondered what he was thinking. Silence resumed, our footsteps echoing in the empty corridors, only Teddy seemed able to keep up with Sir Nick, but even he eventually slowed to walk beside me. Nicholas' steps were dragging with tiredness. The silence was deafening, the shadows flickering and jumping away from the candle light.

 "What are your names then?" Sir Nick asked politely, trying to break the silence, his head turned towards us with great curiosity.

"My name is Ted Remus Lupin, but you can call me Teddy," Teddy said as he bounced beside me, his ever present grin broad upon his face as he looked at Sir Nick. 

"You would be Remus Lupin and Nymphadora's son then?" Sir Nick enquired, interest high in his voice.

"Yeah, did you know my Dad? And my Mum?" Teddy asked excitedly.

"I knew your father certainly, he was a rare individual, such an inquisitive mind, but very reserved and loyal. He was a brilliant student." Sir Nick said reminiscing, "Your mother was in Hufflepuff, so I didn't know her well, but the Fat Friar did, you should talk to him, she was a special favourite of his." Sir Nick chuckled, before turning his attention to me, "Who are you then, my boy?"

"Severus Tobias Prince." I muttered, feeling distinctly out of place.

"I had heard Severus say he had a son, would you be him?" Sir Nick asked.

"I don't know, I don't know who my Dad was. I was raised by non magical folk." I said, flicking a look at Teddy who was listening avidly. 

"I see, well, no matter, you'll catch up." Sir Nick said bracingly, before turning his attention upon Nicholas, "And you?" 

"Nicholas Xavier Hacker," Nicholas said, his voice dull with tiredness. We were on the fifth floor now, the moving portraits peering down on us in curiosity. 

Sir Nick nodded and said nothing more on the subject of names, instead led us up another staircase, my legs ached and I couldn't help but think about the soft bed that waited for me. I zoned out, simply following the presence of Teddy who was once again ahead of me. Without warning, Teddy stopped, I yawned and peer around him. There before us was a fat matronly woman who was leaning sideways and snoring her head off. 

"I don't know the password, do you?" Teddy said worriedly.

"It's okay," Sir Nick soothed, "It's Puffskein, go ahead, wake her and then enter." With that he floated off, down the corridor, leaving us in front of a sleeping portrait.

"Uh, okay," I said, I yawned again, "Uh, excuse me? Excuse me, Miss?" I looked at the portrait as it started to stir. Teddy laughed, as she let out a series of snorts and mutters about rude students and that it was only the first day.

"Who are you?" She asked us curiously.

"Teddy Lupin, Nicholas Hacker and Severus Prince," I said, "We got lost, so we asked Sir Nick to bring us here, we're new Gryffindors." I explained helpfully. 

"Do you know the Password?" She asked me, eyeing my state of dress. 

I nodded. She leaned forward inquiringly, "Oh, um, Puffskin." I blushed.

She shook her head, "No." She blinked at us as Teddy butted in.

"Puffskein, it's puffskein," He said quickly.

 "Normally I wouldn't let you in, but it's late, and you have Gryffindor colours." She waved a hand, and swung forward, her voice echoing warningly, "A warning young Gryffindors, it is imperative you know the password, otherwise I will not let you in." 

Teddy grinned and chirped that we would remember that next time before climbing through the portrait hole. Nicholas and I followed him, and spilled out into a warm fire lit common room. Red carpet and chairs gave the room a warm friendly air. It was incredibly comfy looking the entire area.

I looked around the room and noticed two stair wells, "Which one is ours?" I asked, gesturing to what I meant. Teddy shrugged and moved to the stairs. He looked up the one on the right and put a foot on the stairs. A shrill siren rang out and sent him plummeting to the bottom.

"Clearly not that one," He groaned, "Quick, up the other one!" He said, "Someone will have heard that siren!" With a nod of agreement, we all raced up the boys stairs, and found the first years room. With hurried movements we stripped and threw ourselves into our beds. Pulling the covers up and acting like we'd been here all the time, as voices echoed down the stair wells asking about the noise. I fell asleep to the sound of Teddy chuckling at the unknowing people outside.

Chapter 4: Second Day and The First years
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I was woken on September second by Teddy, who thought it would be hilarious to steal my blanket and then make it snow on my bed. 

"Teddy! Make it stop! It's really cold!" I chattered, sitting up in bed, looking over at my blue haired friend, his broad grin threatening to split his face. I scrambled from my bed, escaping the cold wet slush that inhabited my bed. "Tomorrow can you just tip me out of bed or something?" I whined, looking at my bed which was now groaning with fluffy white, slushy snow. "Make it stop, you'll wreck my bed!"

Teddy shook his head, laughing at my expression. "Sorry mate, I don't know how." He laughed again, before turning to Nicholas' bed, Nicholas however had been warned by my yells and moans, and was up and escaping into the bathroom. "Hey Nicky, that's cheating!" Teddy complained as he stumped over to his bed, And slumped on it dejectedly.

"You guys are really loud," said a voice hoarsely from one of the other beds. A tousled black haired boy sat up, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "Jonathan Stark, muggle born." He supplied helpfully, his blue eyes slightly bloodshot from the gouging he'd just subjected them to. "Who are you lot?" He asked, yawning and stretching. His thin bony arms pointed towards the ceiling.

"Teddy Lupin," Teddy grinned. "That's Sev Prince," He gestured at me, as I was incapable of answering, racked by an enormous yawn that made my jaws creak. Teddy's hair was horribly rumpled, I decided, taking in my companions appearance. "And the boy who just left, was Nick Hacker." Teddy was saying, his brown eyes sparkling happily, he was irrepressible I thought, forever grinning, only a crazy person could be so happy this early in the morning. I groaned and grabbed my towel and decided that I would ignore Teddy's good spirits in the morning and just focus on waking up. 


When I returned to the dorm, Teddy was gesticulating about something or other, and Nicholas was straightening his tie in the mirror, the red and gold bands clearly weren't sitting well enough for him. Teddy I noticed was dressed like he'd just woken up in his school things, haphazardly thrown on, the tie wonkily tied, the robes crinkled and sitting askew on his skinny frame. Jonathan was standing in the middle of the dorm, bare chested a towel draped over his shoulder, looking politely at Teddy and inching his way to the shower.

I sighed in amusement, "Teddy, let Jonathan go shower, we can all go down to the great hall together." I chuckled at Teddy apologetic face, and shoved Jonathan towards the showers. "Hey, who's in the other bed?" I asked, noticing a lump like shape inhabiting the other bed. My own bed was still covered in snow, and I grimaced as more kept appearing, clearly Teddy knew some magic, but most of it wasn't helpful. I dug through the pile of snow, searching for my trunk, and pulled out my cloak which had a rampant Gryffindor lion on it and my gloves and scarf. I looked over at Teddy and noticed that he'd woken the other boy gently, I glared at his turned back, but then shrugged. Teddy was clearly just very much a morning person, it would be interesting to try and keep up with him. Nicholas had seated himself upon his bed, his tie straightened to his satisfaction. He noticed I was standing in the middle of the dorm, kind of lost, and patted his bed for me to sit down. We then turned our attention to Teddy, who was hastily explaining to tall thickset boy why he'd women him. 

"I had to wake you, classes start soon!" Teddy explained, stepping backwards, hands held up in surrender. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to annoy you, I won't do it again." Teddy backed up again, his eyes wide at the large boys menacing stance.

I frowned, Teddy looked like he needed some help, "Hey, what's your name?" I asked suddenly, standing up and moving next to my friend, annoyed at him I might be, but I didn't want to see him get beaten up.

"Gordon Howl," The boy said gruffly, before stumping off to the showers. His shoulders knotted with anger. As he entered, Jonathan entered the dorm blinking at us in surprise. 

"What happened here?" He asked, staring after Gordon in astonishment. 

"Oh, Teddy woke Gordon up, and I don't think Old' Gordy liked that too much," I said flippantly, grinning at Jonathan. "Shall we go then Johnny boy?" I asked, still grinning.

"Uh, I guess," Jonathan said, he looked at me in bemusement, "Johnny boy?" He queried.

"Yeah, Sev, Nicky, Teddy, and Johnny." I said laughing, "The Gryffindor lords!" Nicholas howled with laughter, and Johnny joined in when he realized I wasn't serious.

"Yeah!" Teddy enthused, "That's a great idea, the new Marauders!" He grinned at us.

"Marauders?" Johnny asked, his face showing his confusion.

"Yeah, c'mon I'll explain it on the way to breakfast," Teddy said grinning. And with that we all tramped down the stairs.

Teddy was still talking about the Marauders as we walked into the great hall, Johnny was all for becoming the new Marauders, but Nicholas wasn't so certain. I yawned as we sat down at the table, personally I thought we should have a new name for our group. I piled my plate high with bacon and eggs and set about to eat as much cholesterol infused food as I could. 

"What do you think, Sev?" Teddy asked, I blinked, what did I think of what? My confusion must have shown on my face as Teddy explained, "About us becoming the new Marauders?" 

"I think it's a great idea," I smiled. "But I think we should have our own name, so we can see if we can beat your Dad at his own game." I said grinning. Johnny nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, that's a great idea, Sev!" Johnny said laughing. "What should we be called?" He asked "Teddy?"

"I have no idea. Sev?"

I shrugged, "Nicholas?" 

Nicholas frowned in thought, his blue eyes becoming distant as he pondered, "What about the Laughter People?" He suggested, Johnny looked at him incredulously, "I mean, um, I don't know." Nicholas squirmed in his seat, "Why were they called the Marauders?" 

"Because they marauded people. I guess." Teddy shrugged, "Um, what about the Quintessant Quatro?" Teddy grinned, "It's alliterative."

Johnny groaned, "Please no!" Teddy stuck his tongue out at Johnny childishly. "What about the Musketeers?"

"There were only three musketeers though, not four. And there are four of us." I objected.

Johnny rolled his eyes, "There were four, but d'Artagnan wasn't actually inducted, but he's the fourth. Didn't you ever read the book?" Johnny asked.

"No, but-" I said stung, as Johnny held up a hand silencing me again.

"No buts, there are four musketeers. And really, how can you go past the catch phrase "All for one, one for all"?" Johnny asked.

"Sounds awesome," Teddy enthused, before turning to me, "Are you okay with that?" 

"Yeah, it's fine," I said waving a hand airily. It was a good name, I thought, but did Teddy have to think Johnny was so great? I mean, I'd met Teddy first, I was his best friend, wasn't I? I stabbed at my bacon unenthusiastically, silently listening to Johnny talk about putting up a banner in our room. I guiltily thought of Gordon, the poor guy had come out into an empty room, and now would be greeted with a banner proclaiming his dorm to be the dorm of the musketeers. A group he wouldn't be apart of. I shook myself and ignored the feeling that I was as bad as Johnny when it came to other peoples feelings.

"Nice of you to wait," Growled a voice behind Teddy, I looked up and saw Gordon glaring down at us. "Nice and cosy here, you all seem best mates." I couldn't help but see the pain behind his eyes, I felt so low, so guilty, "No matter, have a good day. Talk to you later." He walked off.

"That is one weird guy," Johnny said. "As if we'd wait for him, he totally tried to knock off Teddy's head!" Johnny scowled after Gordon. I shrunk into my chair and looked at Nicholas who seemed to be mimicking me. He nodded slightly in agreement of the situation.

Emboldened, I broke into Johnny and Teddy's discussion, "We can't have a banner. It'd be rude to Gordon. It's his dorm too. He'd feel left out." I explained. Nicholas nodded in accordance to what I said.

Teddy groaned, "Damn, you're right, Sev." He slung an arm around my shoulders, "Good thing you reminded us," He grinned at me in approval. I felt my shoulders straighten and myself grin in response to his. Johnny glared at me behind Teddy, I shivered a bit in reaction to his animosity.

"Come on then," Johnny said, standing up quickly, "We should get to class."

                                                        ******

I barely remember that first week, or even our first years at Hogwarts, it was a jumble of rushing to class, avoiding detention when Johnny and Teddy thought it would be a great idea to prank Professor McGonagall, or anyone else for that matter. And the late night explorations with Nicholas. The musketeers as we dubbed ourselves had three factions, one was where Johnny and Teddy were best friends, the second was where Nicholas and I were best mates, and the third was where I stole Teddy's attention from Johnny long enough to remind him that we, not him and Johnny were best friends. We all agreed on many things though, we thought Charms was a blast, Herbology was a doozy, Transfiguration was ridiculously hard, Defense Against the Dark Arts or DADA was tremendously exciting, Astronomy was at a stupidly late hour, and History of Magic was lame. I disagreed with the others that Potions was boring, I happened to love the smell of the fumes and the amusement that came with finding the perfect mixture that could either save a persons life or take it. I excelled at potions, and I enjoyed it. I thought it was a bit like extreme cooking, and having loved cooking all my life and loving creativity, it was a relief to be able to turn my hand to a subject and feel that I instinctively knew what would go where, and what shouldn't. Teddy was marginally good at potions, but Johnny loathed it. He claimed it was a dark subject and shouldn't be taught. And we argued the subject extensively, enough that I refuse to help him on his homework. 

Nicholas was quiet and studied hard, he was our mediator, he was constantly on call to fix mine and Johnny's friendship, and to be there whenever I had a crisis of faith. Teddy didn't care much for mediation, and was at a lose to understand mine and Johnny's almost continuous fallings out. He never knew we saw him as our brother, he was just happy to be around us, he never saw Johnny's and my jockeying for position as his best friend, he never noticed the black eyes, the broken bones that occurred from our little spats. He simply took our word for it that it occurred from brush up with the Slytherins or from daring each other to go near the whomping willow, after all he reasoned, why would we lie to him? Nicholas despaired at this, he was always there for me though, and always there for Johnny. Teddy might have been our leader, not that he would have acknowledged that title, but Nicholas, he was our glue. Our brother. Our father. Our discipliner. Our mentor. And the one to make it all better.

We never got around to becoming Animagi, we didn't have a reason too, we had no werewolf to run with. Nicholas, it turned out, was simply an insomniac. Teddy had watched him constantly, keeping an eye on him, enquiring his health near the full moon. Eventually Nicholas asked what was up, Teddy confessed his suspicion, causing the first real fight between anyone and Teddy. Nicholas was horrified and ashamed that we would think that. I was the first to apologize. Because of that Nicholas almost always took me with him on his midnight jaunts, as a result we knew every nook and cranny of Hogwarts. Our knowledge rivaled Johnny's, who was in trouble so much that he spent much of his time avoiding or evading Filch and the teachers. Johnny's favourite hiding place was the bleachers in the Quidditch stands. Mine was the one eyed witch on the fourth floor. I never figured out where Nicholas' was. And Teddy's, well Teddy's was where his heart lay. The kitchens. 

Of all of us, only I noticed that Gordon was lonely. I saw his mask, saw through it as well. Nicholas was simply too busy mediating, studying and keeping up with a new prank each week. Teddy simply wasn't interested him, after that incident in first year, he avoided Gordon at all costs. And Johnny, Johnny did whatever Teddy did. I still think Johnny needs Teddy to function. In  my second year I started up a hesitant friendship with him, unable to take his sadness anymore, I reintroduced him to Nicholas. Nicholas accepted him, and together we'd go out and raid the kitchen at three in the morning, play exploding snap in random class rooms and prank Teddy and Johnny. I found him to be wickedly funny, amazingly smart and a good companion to hang out with. He accepted my bizzare love of potions, and in return I supported his decision to become a seer in third year, his talent in Divination undeniable. A talent that led to a lot of teasing from Johnny.  Teddy didn't always understand my relationship with him, but understood that I felt I should make an effort with him. He was remarkably hard to get along with, it might have been easier to ignore him. His moods were volatile, one minute he'd be happy go lucky, the next brooding and snapping. I learnt to read him, far better than Jonathan, who steadily became a stranger to me, and strangely closer to Nicholas and Gordon after fourth year. 

Johnny loathed Gordon, and Gordon happily loathed Johnny right back. After a while I was no longer best friends with either Johnny or Teddy, much to my disappointment, while we were still friends and regularly hung out, I spent most of my time with Gordon or Don and Nicholas or Nick. I found Johnny's constant following of Teddy creepy and avoided Johnny when I could. Don agreed with me that there was something wrong with Johnny. Nick often disagreed with us, he preferred to see the best in people, something that made cynical Don and realistic me, despair over his reaction, to what Don and I termed as the "real world". For our first four years we all coexisted happily enough, with a few ups and downs, until our sixth year where things got nasty.

Chapter 5: Sixth Year
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"Man, summer sucked so bad," I groaned as I fell onto my bed in the Gryffindor dorms. "Mum decided it would be a great idea for me to get a muggle job. I worked all summer, I had barely anytime to myself!" I moaned dramatically, running a hand through my short black hair.

Teddy Lupin laughed, his brown eyes sparkling, "Oh, drama queen, poor you." He roared with laughter. Head thrown back, hands clutching his sides. I stood up and tackled him, "Ow you great lump, get off me!" Teddy laughed. He shoved at me hard, and I rolled off to the side, laughing my head off. 

The first night back was always like that, we would talk shit on the train, chat up the girls during the feast, then talk seriously and catch up in the dorm. It was how we were, it was an unspoken agreement that we didn't do anything serious until that night. Tonight was no different, Teddy and I started the catch up, mixed in with some rough and tumble. Teddy was a really strange guy who loved to have contact with us. It was like his way of making sure we were all okay. That we were still here.

"Get a room, you great buffoons," Said a loud, brash voice, I looked up into the face of Johnny Stark, a great grin on his face. I grinned back at him, I didn't like Johnny much, I found something about him off, whether it was the way his eyes seemed to follow Teddy, or the way he sneered at me or Don I didn't know. I just knew I didn't like him much. 

"You jealous, Johnny boy?" I grinned at Johnny, able to forget my dislike of the guy for one night of revelry. 

With a yell, Johnny launched himself into my and Teddy's pile, starting a tickle fight, Teddy receiving the brunt of it. Neither Johnny or I wanted to touch each other. We had a serious mutual hatred of each other. Mine based on his treatment of my friends. His on my apparent stealing of his best friend, Teddy from him. Eventually, and accidentally I was booted aside, breathing hard, cradling my bruised side. 

"Hey man, sorry, I didn't mean to kick you," Apologized Johnny, moving towards me so he could slap my shoulder. I nodded to show I accepted his words. "We good?" He asked, I was tempted to say no, but I didn't, I smiled and nodded. Prepared for another year of pretending to Teddy that Johnny and I were best mates. 

He mock sighed and shrugged before getting up, he was pretending to be a friend, that he cared what I thought. He stood above me rolling his shoulders, once again I noted the changes in his physique that had occurred over the summer. He was tall, taller than Nicholas for sure, but a little shorter than I. About 5"11, I guessed, he probably grown about four inches. Muscular from years of beater training, his broad shoulders were sculpted, as was the rest of him, his brown hair shaved except the forelock. I smirked at this clear indicator of his muggle heritage, wanna-be emo kid, or perhaps a rock star. I grinned to myself, amused by his choice. Johnny claimed he hated being a muggleborn, but it was the way he dressed that said otherwise most of the time. 

Teddy was the opposite, with his turquoise hair shaggy and too long, he was lean and slim, perfect seeker build. His face was merry and open, he was around 6"2, and the second tallest of us all. He tended to be the messiest too, he was all for having fun and was completely secure about everything. He could have had girls falling at his feet, but instead he was a one girl man, his future wife was Victoirè Weasley. Vic was tall, thin and incredibly gorgeous. They made a handsome couple. Much to Johnny's disappointment and resentment. After all, Vic just had to be in the same room for Teddy to forget Johnny was there. Something Johnny could never forgive Vic for.

The last of our official group was leaning one slim hip upon the door frame, his eye brow cocked at me as if to say, 'already?'. Nicholas Hacker had always been good looking, with blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, but this year he seemed more. Particularly since he was 6" now, and no longer scrawny looking. It seemed he had grown into himself. Slightly bookish, Nick had close cut hair, that was pulled forward in a kind of half mohawk point, it was a odd cut, a bit mugglish, but it looked really good on him. It accentuated his sharp features. Nicholas' build was also that of a seeker, save he preferred to keep his feet upon the ground, a fact Johnny ragged him about almost constantly.

As for myself, I was tall, and lean, my hair similar to Nicholas', to be perfectly honest, I stole it from him, save mine was a tiny bit longer, spikier and black. I kept myself immaculately clean, I was fairly fastidious about it actually, after spending five years around cauldrons and their contents, I had discovered it made me fairly greasy, to combat this I had two showers a day. I was also slightly muscular, like Johnny, but mine was more a lean fitness than anything. I was a chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, a position I fought for each and every year. I was diligent about keeping myself in peak fitness, and could take both Johnny and Teddy in a race easily.

I was picking myself up from the floor when Don walked in, the other beater, and ruggedly handsome with deep brown eyes, that according to half the female population of Hogwarts was the fourth hottest boy at Hogwarts, after Nicholas Hacker. Gordon Howl or Don, was 6"6 and towered over everyone else at Hogwarts. He still felt the need to rub this in and had a large Mohawk that he had seen in a muggle biker magazine two years ago, and he diligently died the tips blood red. His tanned limbs were covered in tribal tattoos. I always felt that he came from a fairly rough background, his voice was rough and rumbly, a deep bass. He could contain any rough housing we did, or split Johnny and I apart with two buffets from his iron strong fists. Don oozed strength. Despite this, his favourite subject was Divination, and he would often black out and have visions. Trelawny constantly fussed over him, making sure he ate and exercised, and generally took care of himself. After all, she couldn't have her favorite student dying on her. Unlike her favorite predictions for myself or Teddy three years back.

"Not fighting already, are we boys?" Asked Don calmly, his voice deep and penetrating. He usually ignored our rough housing in the dorm, as it wasn't serious. Probably because Teddy was there, and Johnny didn't want to loose Teddy's regard.

Johnny sneered at Don and shook his head, "What's it to you anyway?" I sighed, Johnny was always aggressive to Don, a left over from Don's treatment of Teddy in first year. Johnny was Teddy's unofficial protector, his official best friend and side kick in everything. And Don had once been "rude" to Teddy. 

Merlin forbid that Johnny forgive Don for something that had happened to Teddy six years ago, I scowled at Johnny, "Lay off him, Johnny!"

Don snorted at Johnny, his muscular chest swelling with threat, his prefect pin standing out on his black robes. Something else Johnny couldn't forgive him for, after all Teddy had been supposed to be both prefect and Captain of the Gryffindor team. "What's it to me, is that you guys bring Longbottom up here more than any other student. Plus, I don't want my gear wrecked." Don rolled his shoulders as he freed himself from his robes, muscles dancing along and down his sides. 

Johnny also stripped off, his pallid complexion looked weak compared to the dusky, tattooed tones that Don had. "Yeah, well, at least I can think properly, I'm not a meathead relying on Sev to do my work for me." Snapped Johnny cruelly. Teddy blinked at the venom in Johnny's voice. But he didn't do or say anything. After all, it wouldn't stop Johnny. Johnny was completely nasty a lot of the time.

"Hey," I objected deciding that Johnny needed to cool off "Leave me out of this, and besides, I help, aid but don't do his work for him. And I only help with Potions, not with anything else." I stood there, my robes clutched in my hands, clad in only pajama bottoms, unknown to me, the focus of Nicholas, his gaze burning into me. "Besides, Don is far smarter than you'll ever be." I said unkindly, regretting it almost at once. Johnny just sneered at me.

"Oh, cut it out, you lot," Said Teddy tiredly, as he walked out of the bathroom in his teddy bear pajama bottoms, a joke from us last Christmas. "It's way too late for this crap." He sighed, shaking his head, as he climbed into bed. "Besides, we still haven't finished moaning about our supposedly terrible holidays." Teddy smirked at me, and childishly I poked my tongue out at him in retaliation.

"Teddy's right," Nick said, "We can bicker later, we have class tomorrow. Does anyone know what classes they have?" Nick looked worried, classes never far from his thoughts.

I shook my head, "All I know is that I'll have DADA and Potions, and possibly Charms and Transfig. I can't be certain about Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures." I shrugged, stuffing my robes into the dirty laundry basket, and then climbing into bed. "I got O's and E's for all of them."

Nick was nodding in thought, as he mimicked my actions, "I have Arithmancy, DADA, Transfig, and Charms. But the others... I'm not sure." He gnawed on his lip as he thought. I rolled my eyes, the boy had gotten five outstanding's and one exceeds expectations, he'd have everything he wanted to become a healer.

"I have, I believe, everything I need to be an Auror," Teddy said quietly, "That's all I want." We all grinned at him, he had worked his arse off last year, and had succeeded with all O's in his OWL's. We had all been impressed, although, hardly surprised. Between Teddy, Nick, and Don we all looked like idiots.

"Well, I don't care, I just want to have fun," Said Johnny laughing, his carefree attitude sparking a series of eye rolls. "What about you, meathead, what did you get into?" Johnny I knew for a fact had only gotten three OWL's, and he'd barely be able to get a job after school. I didn't understand his attitude.

"Everything, I have straight O's," Don said calmly, his arms stretched above him in a pose of relaxation. Johnny's jaw dropped, and Teddy whistled impressed. I shrugged and exchanged a glance with Nick, why wouldn't people get over their preconceptions with Don? He was smarter than I was.

"Well, that's impressive, I must say," Johnny finally admitted. Rubbing the back of his neck in embarrassment. "Hey, look, man, I'm sorry for what I said. I guess, I guess I didn't think," Johnny said eventually. His brown eyes meeting Don's. 

"Yeah, whatever, don't sweat it," Don said cooly, he wasn't really one to hold a grudge. It just wasn't his thing.

Teddy rolled his eyes at Johnny, "Look, it's late, and we should crash," Teddy hinted, trying to avoid the awkwardness that had just occurred. Johnny didn't always apologize, but when he did, it was always insincere or awkward. Or both.

"Yeah sure," I said sleepily. "Your turn mate." Teddy chuckled and waved his wand and put out the light, whispering 'good night' to us all. It was a nightly ritual that Nick had started. Each night we nominated someone to turn out the lights and to whisper us all a good night, whenever we did that, we all slept well. Guaranteed.

                                                      ******

The next morning, I awoke to a klaxon sound, as Teddy, as per usual woke us all up at seven am.  Groggily, I looked up to see him with his wand pointed at the ceiling. 

"Teddy," I yawned, "Have I ever told you how much I hate you?" I was halfway hanging out of my bed, my short hair tousled.

"I second that motion," Moaned Nick. Don simply rolled out of bed, and walked into the showers. "I also second that motion." Nick agreed as he crawled out of bed, his slim frame moving at a snails pace to the running water. Nick hated mornings, he almost never had enough sleep to function on. I grunted and hoisted him up and together we shuffled to go cleanse ourselves. 

"I'm going to kill Teddy one of these days," Announced Nick, as he became marginally more human. Don grunted in agreement.

"We should totally get him back," I said as I stepped under the faucet. Sighing in pleasure, I hurriedly finished the rest of my shower. I got dressed in record time, as Nick and Don waited impatiently for me. "Yeah, yeah, okay, so I'm really slow," I muttered as we dashed downstairs to breakfast. A bunch of fourth years were giggling behind us. I scowled in irritation, why were some people able to be so chirpy in the morning? Surely there was a rule against it.

"You're always slow," Nick commented. "It's okay though, your ridiculously fast at eating." He said, watching me inhale my breakfast. "Don, you're just as bad!" Nick reprimanded, "Would it kill you two to have manners, or to eat with a semblance of decorum?" Nick w watching us with a mildly nauseous expression on his face. His sister was seated with her friends nearby, and I nearly choked at the similarity of their expressions.

Don just shrugged, "Why eat neat and take ten times longer, when I could eat quickly and go find a willing gal and snog her senseless?" He winked roguishly.

"You don't even like girls," Nick sniffed. 

"Oh, yeah, right." Don laughed his deep belly laugh. "Well laddie, fancy a dalliance in a broom closet?" He asked me, Don had announced his gayness in third year, startling both Teddy and Johnny with it, Nick and I had simply shrugged and say "Yeah, we guessed." And that had been that.

I laughed, "Oh Don," I fluttered my eyelashes at him. Causing several of Hogwarts gay guys to glare daggers in my direction. Laughing, "Nah mate, I think you're too man for me." I laughed again. "Besides, your fan club might kill me." I chuckled.

Don joined me, slapping me on my back, "Yeah, you need the soft sensitive type." He grinned at Nick, who ducked his head and blushed. Nick was also gay, and during our fourth year had been extremely weird around me, which had completely confused me. But his weirdness had cleared up after a few months, although he could sometimes be a bit jumpy.

"Leave Nick alone, he's perfect." I said, not seeing the effect of my words. Nick was looking at me wistfully, but my eyes were on a nearby Ravenclaw. Unlike my friends, I was very straight. "Alison!" I called out, Alison Cooper looked over, curious. I crooked a finger at her, my grin very much cat got the cream. She blushed and giggled. Her friends nudged her and she got up and danced over to where I was. Her blonde hair shone in the candle light, her blue-green eyes twinkling.

"Sev, how are you baby?" She cooed, trailing a finger down my face. I smirked at her. I loved the attention I got from chicks, I found it almost too easy to get a girl into a broom cupboard. I didn't always date them, but I could call them over and charm a quick snog out of any girl I knew. 

I hitched an easy grin onto my face, before whispering in her ear, "Wanna get out of here?" My dark eyes catching hers. She looked slightly breathless, I narrowed my eyes into a smoldering gaze, "I promise I'll be good." I actually intended no such thing as being good, Alison was cute, but she was a little too innocent for me. Unlike my previous fling, Heather McKinnon. Or the one before that Silvia Rosier.

She bit her lip adorably, "Sure." Together we rose and left the hall. Completely missing the look of envy from my best friend. And missing Don's disgusted look at me.

"Honestly, you'd think the girls around here would learn," Don muttered in disgust. 

Ten minutes later I slipped out of a broom cupboard, leaving a very mussed and expertly snogged girl behind. Feeling great about life, I caught up with Nick, who was just exiting the Hall.

"Your timetable," He said calmly. "Enjoy yourself?" He asked, his brown eyes boring holes into my ducked head. 

"Uh, yeah, she was alright," I said, frowning at my timetable. "She snogs brilliantly."

"So, girlfriend material?" Don asked as he walked over to us.

"Nah, she's alright, just, too tame I guess." I said indifferently. Looking over at Nick, I tugged his timetable out of his hands and matched them up. I grinned at him, "Awesome, three classes together, that's a win. How about you Donny?" I teased.

"Don't call me Donny. And here," Don said. He held out his timetable to me, as we walked to Transfiguration. "You know, you'd think the girls would learn that between you and Johnny the first snog you hand out, is just that, a snog."

"I certainly hope not," I said blithely. "I happen to enjoy a few screw arounds." I waggled my eye brows to give my statement double meaning. I laughed at Dons disgusted expression. Nicks face was unreadable.

"You're going to meet a girl one day, where you will fall completely for her, and then you won't know what to do." Don predicted. His stern expression fading into a scowl as Johnny walked up. Teddy was clearly still with Victoirè Weasley.

"How are we this morning, princesses?" Johnny asked. "Saw Prince get lucky already," He eyed me in amusement. "How do you do it, man?" Johnny asked. His own ability was legendary, but I was still a few girls up on him. To his annoyance.

I grinned at him, swaggering, "Trade secret." I winked and tapped my nose knowingly, before handing Don his timetable back.

Johnny laughed, although it was more a cackle than anything, wrapping his arm around my neck and kissed my forehead. "Man, you are amazing," Johnny laughed again, and threw a few punches at me before dashing off to whatever class he had.

I let out a mock yell, as I chased after him, "Johnny, I'm gonna get you for that." I launched myself at him, and we mock wrestled for a bit. 

When Teddy appeared he saw us and let out a mock outraged yell. Quickly jumping on us to join in. Don and Nick just watched at us in amusement, it wasn't like this was something out of the ordinary. Nick held that we were immature idiots. Don just thought we were idiots full stop. When Teddy finally stole our timetables, and ran off, all four of us gave chase. 

"Lupin!" Johnny and I yelled as we tore after him. Don and Nick exchanged glances, before tearing after us, more interested in keeping the peace than anything else. Not to mention, not wanting to arrive at class alone.

"Mr. Lupin, and how surprising, Mr. Prince and Mr. Stark, as it is the first day back to classes, can you please behave yourselves for once?" The Transfiguration master said irritably. His shabby clothing and eccentrically white hair gave him look of cheerful distraction, but he was wickedly quick, with both spells, punishment, and points. "Now, if we have finished horsing around, can we start the lesson?" With that the transfiguration master swept into the classroom, his robes billowing out behind him. 

I groaned as he mentioned that today would be theory, and settled myself in for a lesson I assuredly wouldn't understand. However I was delightedly surprised, we were to expound on the theory of human transfiguration, a subject I was surprisingly good at. Between the three of us, Don, Nick and I earned around fifty points for Gryffindor. After the lesson we dashed out for charms. Nick going off to Arithmancy, and Don going to Divination. Johnny, Teddy and I loosened our ties as we walked. We presented the easy going air that Gryffindors are well known for, casually chatting and walking to class. 

"So, when are Quidditch try outs again?" Johnny asked, his eyes searching the corridors for something, someone. Probably his next conquest. I smirked.

"Wednesday," I said calmly. Teddy was also looking for someone, but she was his girlfriend of ten months, not a conquest like Johnny's. He'd also just left her twenty minutes ago. "She's over there Teddy, she's looking for you too." I pointed to a fifth year group, a tallish girl with platinum blonde hair on the edge, her eyes gazing around the corridor. Teddy spotted her and snuck up behind her. Johnny and I watched as he wrapped his arms around her, leaning in and brushing a kiss along her jaw and murmuring in her ear. Johnny and I followed him, and waited for them to finish. Vic was looking at Teddy adoringly, it's was mildly nauseating. 

"Hi, Johnny," Greeted one of Vic's friends, Natasha I think. Johnny looked at her and smiled before returning his attention to Teddy, who was giving a final hug to Vic. "Hey, Johnny, do you have a date for Hogsmead yet?" Persisted Natasha-I-Think, her great brown eyes batting at him, twirling her long, brown hair through her fingers.

"Uh, no, I didn't even know there was a Hogsmead weekend coming up." Johnny muttered, he really hated it when girls came onto him, he preferred to do the asking, he liked his women submissive. 

"Well, there isn't one yet," She admitted, "But when there is, do you-"

"Look Natasha," Johnny said desperately, while I silently congratulated myself one recognizing her and for knowing her name. "I don't know what will be happening, and I really can't commit to something I'm not sure of, it wouldn't be right." He took a step back, I silently chuckled at his facial expression. He looked trapped.

"Oh, okay, I'll ask you again closer to the date then." She trilled, before turning back to her friends. Her face animated as they discussed something or other, probably Johnny's reactions, and what that could mean. 

"Sorry Vic, we have to go now," Johnny growled, grabbing Teddy's arms and dragging him to class. I followed not so silently anymore, laughing my head off. "Sev, shut the hell up!" 

Still chuckling to myself, I followed them to DADA.


Chapter 6: DADA
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"What's going on?" Teddy asked, as Johnny dragged him away from the fifth year girls at a fast pace. "Why was I dragged away from my girlfriend?"

"Johnny got asked by Natasha for a date on the next Hogsmead weekend, and he freaked!" I chortled. Ignoring Johnny's murderous glances my way. Teddy also started to laugh, and Johnny looked tragically put upon. "It's okay, Johnny, I doubt she's planning your first borns name like the last one did!" I howled with laughter.

At this, Teddy lost it. Johnny glared at me murderously. 

The girl mentioned had been apart of the Johnny Stark Appreciation Group, or JSAG, and had let slip during their date in fifth year that she thought that Antonio Stark would be a good name for their first born son, and did he agree. Naturally Johnny freaked out and bolted, yelling about doing Teddy or something, which had led to the rumors of Johnny being gay. Which had the repercussions of a group of young boys forming the Bi and Gay Men's Group For Johnny Stark or BGMFJS, which tag teamed with the Nicholas Hacker Appreciation Group (NHAG). It had taken us 6 months to clean up after that, and during that time Teddy and Victoirè had started dating. We all had our own appreciation group, but mine had changed their name around to the Appreciation Group for Severus Prince, AGSP; something about SPAG being unfortunate, or something. Dons was by far the largest, as it consisted of both straight boys, girls as well as the gay guys. Don's group hadn't been particularly smart when they named it the Gordon Howl Appreciation Group, or GHAG, something that Nick and I found hilarious. Teddy's was the smallest, naturally because no one expected him and Victoirè to break up. In fact there were running bets on whether they would get married before of after school. 

"Hey, earth to Sevvy," Teddy yelled into my ear, his hand wrapped around my neck. His deafening voice echoing in my ears.

"Yeow!" I yelped, and retaliated by punching him in the gut. "Was that necessary?" I asked plaintively. Johnny was howling with laughter, clutching his sides at Teddy's expression. We very rarely slugged him one, Johnny and I usually were the ones fighting.

"Yeah, I'd say so," Teddy said, still cradling his injured side."You pack quite a punch, Sev." He commented, lifting his shirt and checking out his side. A large red mark was clearly spreading up his side. 

"Aw, man, you busted Teddy, Vic's gonna chew you out." Johnny laughed at me, his blue eyes twinkling. I groaned, tipping my head back, it was an unspoken agreement between us and Victoirè that we didn't rough up Teddy too bad, or she'd scream bloody murder at us. I slapped my palm into my forehead.

"Johnny, why did you have to remind me of that?" I moaned, suddenly dreading lunchtime. Teddy was grinning at me, still clutching his side in exaggerated agony.

"Because, it wouldn't be funny if you walked into that unknowingly," He chuckled.

"I hate my life," I bemoaned my fate that awaited me in two hours. Johnny unhelpfully reminded me of the last time any of us had been yelled at by Vic, and Teddy started to play up his soreness, adding to my increasing hysteria. As charms progressed the two of them had a lot of fun at my expense. As class finished, I had only one possible outcome for lunch time.

"She's going to kill me," I mourned. "Give me a good burial, yeah?"

                                                         *******

"Come on, Sev, you're gonna miss lunch," Johnny cackled, I noticed, not for the first time, that he had a truly evil and sadistic side to him.

"I dunno, missing lunch sounds great to me," I muttered, dragging my feet behind me. Teddy and Johnny exchanged equally evil grins, as the bodily picked me up and hauled me to my doom.

"Nooooo!" I howled, "You can't make me, I won't do it. Put me down you great buffoons!" 

Teddy laughed in delight, his face split by a huge grin. Johnny helped him deposited me across the table from Vic. Vic looked a little surprised by our entrance, and raised a delicate eye brow at me.

"What have you done now?" She asked, her voice sweet and clear. I winced, and ducked my head and tried to make myself as small as possible. "Doing that won't help you, you're over six foot tall. Out with it, what have you done?" 

"He punched Teddy," Johnny said gleefully, grinning fit to burst.

Victoirè gazed at me calmly, "Is this true?" I nodded mournfully, flinching when she opened her mouth again. "Well I don't see what the problem is," She said completely unruffled. "Sev looks completely miserable there, did you really think I'd yell at such a wretched person, Teddy Lupin?" She turned her gaze upon her boyfriend, who had straddled the bench next to her.

"Uh, no?" He said, ducking his head in embarrassment. Teddy looked horrified at what he'd almost implied about his girl. I couldn't help a weak chuckle escape.

"Aw. Vic's gone soft," Johnny moaned. "I was looking forward to that." He sighed and snagged a sandwich from the pile, chewing it thoughtfully.

"As for you," Vic said suddenly. "Why are you encouraging Tash?" 

"What? I'm not encouraging her, she asked me!" Johnny protested. I perked up, looked like I wouldn't be yelled at, but it was always fun to watch Johnny get chewed out.

"Yes, I know, but you said you'd think about it," Vic snapped.

"I'm not going to do anything about it, I'll make some excuse come Hogsmead. She's too, you know." Johnny made a curving gesture towards his chest. "She's too small." Johnny shrugged dismissively, returning to his lunch, missing Vic's expression.

Vic stared at him in disgust, "You are foul!" She snarled. Teddy was staring at Johnny in amusement, shaking his head.

"What? What did I do?" Johnny asked in confusion, completely missing Teddy's gesturing to shut up.

Vic just shot him a look of pure disgust and stalked off, her silvery hair swinging behind her. Johnny stared after her in utter bemusement.

"What just happened?" Johnny asked in confusion, staring after Vic. 

Teddy stared at Johnny in dismay, "You're an idiot, that's what happened." He then dashed after Victoirè.

I simply shrugged and continued to eat my food. "I'm with Teddy on that one." I shrugged again. And snagged a few more sandwiches. Nick and Don had walked into the hall. They sat on either side of me when they reached the Gryffindor table. Their discussion was cut off by the mood that Johnny was projecting.

"What happened now?" Nick asked tiredly. Arithmancy was fairly mind boggling, and Nick always came back from it mentally exhausted.

"Johnny insulted Vic's friend Natasha. He pretty much said she's too small in the chest area, expecting Vic to understand as a guy would. But Vic didn't, and when he said he was basically planning on making excuses instead of telling her that he doesn't want to go with her next Hogsmead." I quickly started to explain. "Vic, naturally took offense to that." I shrugged eloquently.

"Oh shit," Johnny said, comprehension dawning on his face. And with that he took off, swearing comprehensively. "Gotta tell Vic I didn't mean it like that!"

"That boy is a moron." Don said, looking after Johnny with pursed lips.

"Agreed." Nick said, as he scooped up salad things. "So how was Charms?" 

The rest of lunch past pleasantly enough, and we discussed our lessons. We met up with the other boys at the DADA classroom. Johnny had clearly been forgiven for his indiscretion, and was back next to Teddy chatting away loudly about something or other. Nick and Don rolled their eyes at Johnny's antics.

Professor Shoenell, an ex-Auror, was standing in the doorway, chivvying people inside.

"Books away please, we will be learning to cast patronuses today. While a Patronus is a charm, it lies solely in defense against the dark arts, for the simple reason that it is protection against dark beings." Schoenell walked to the front or the room. "Now, I am going to call you up one by one, and you will attempt to cast the Patronus charm. Then once you have grasped the basics you are to move around the room where you will spend the rest of the lesson practicing it. Do not expect to get it in one lesson, this is really advance magic." The professor paused, "Mr. Stark, we will start with you."

Johnny stood up and swaggered to the front, his wand held out before him. He looked at the Professor expectantly.

"Now, think of something happy, focus on that memory, and let it fill you up. The spell is Expecto Patronum, you may begin." 

"Expecto Patronum!" Johnny said, his face fierce with concentration. A wisp of silver drifted from the tip of his wand, but other than that, nothing happened. Johnny deflated, his confidence waned. Johnny was one of the best at DADA in our year. And if he couldn't get it. I shuddered at the thought. 

"Excellent, Mr. Stark, you may begin practicing on your own now." Professor Schoenell ushered him away, "Next."

By the time my turn had come and gone, and everyone had been practicing for around an hour, we realized just how hard this lesson was, how advanced this magic was. I had my wand pointed into the air, And I thought hard, and I felt an emotion, it wasn't happiness, not exactly. I felt myself swell as I thought of my friends, the love I had for my family. I felt myself about to burst with it. "Expecto Patronum!" I shouted, and a large silvery thing burst into the air. It bounded the length of the classroom, fangs shining in the light. It turned its broad head my way, ears flattened in rage. I stared at the massive lion, it's tufted tail twitching ready to pounce. As I watched it, it faded away.

"Excellent, Mr. Prince, thirty points to Gryffindor!" Professor Schoenell applauded. "That was the perfect example of a corporeal Patronus." My friends grinned at me, I didn't even realize I was grinning, but as I cast the spell again I felt it split my face. This time the lion wasn't wrathful, but rather calm as it paced the room, before fading once more. "An excellent Patronus. You are clearly a true Gryffindor!"

Teddy was laughing in delight, for me. Before he too waved his wand, yelling "Expecto Patronum!" A giant silver wolf bounded from his wand, it raced around the room, completely hyper. 

Johnny laughed at Teddy's wolf's antic, before turning his attention to casting the spell, his Patronus was a dog or more specifically a coyote. Cheekily gleeful it jogged around, teasing Teddy's wolf's and narrowly avoiding the wolfs snapping jaws. 

Don and Nick, emboldened by our successes cast theirs next. Don cast a large Grizzly Bear, while Nick sent out an eagle. I watched them enraptured, before they slowly faded away.

"Excellent, excellent!" Proclaimed Professor Schoenell. "Thirty points each, for such good corporeal patronuses." He clapped his hands to get our attention. "I think, that a reward is in order, class dismissed!" He said smiling. The class cheered and quickly exited talking about the Patronuses they had just seen.

"Teddy, your wolf, that's your Dad, isn't it?" I asked him quietly. Thinking about mine, was mine my dads? Or something else?

"Yeah, I'd say so," Teddy grinned, happy for another connection to his Dad. I smiled back at him, my face solemn and thoughtful. "What about yours? Do you think that has anything to do with your dad? Or maybe something else?" Teddy gazed at me, his eyes suddenly serious.

"I don't think it was my dad, I think it was something else. I wish I'd bothered to find my dad before now." I screwed my eyes up, frowning fiercely. Did the lion mean anything but that I was in Gryffindor?

"You always said it didn't matter, that your adopted parents were your true mum and dad," Nick soothed, grabbing my shoulder to give me support.

Johnny nodded, for once not being an arse, "Yeah, you are a good guy, even if you don't know who your dad was." He shared a look with Teddy and Don, as they watched Nick wrap an arm around my shoulders and squeeze.

"Yeah, I know, but I wish I knew, you know?" I said. And then shrugged dismissively, and grinned at Nick in thanks. Don punched my shoulder and grinned at me.

"So, what have we got next?" Johnny asked as he pulled out his timetable. Clearly the heart to heart session was over. "Oh goody, I have muggle studies." He grinned.

"Why do you even do that subject, you're a muggle born." Don muttered, rolling his shoulders as he walked.

"It's a bludge, that's why." Johnny laughed, as he walked off. "See ya's!"

"C'mon, we have potions," I said, consulting my timetable. Nick and Teddy nodded in agreement, while Don grimaced in disgust.

"Great." He grunted. "Hey, do you think that our patronuses have any telling on what we'd be as animagi?" He asked suddenly as we made our way down to the dungeons.

"No idea, it's worth checking out though," Nick said thoughtfully. 

"I'd like to be an animagus." I said, "What about you Teddy?" I asked

"Yeah, that'd be cool, I guess, but didn't we say we didn't have a reason to?" he said, frowning slightly in thought. "I'd probably be a wolf." He muttered finally.

"Or a bear, you know, for Teddy?" I said cheekily, grinning.

"You didn't," Teddy said, glaring at me, "You are going down!"

I yelped and took off, wondering why I had made a Teddy bear joke, it wasn't exactly cohesive to a healthy lifestyle. I was panting heavily by the time I reached the potions lab, and a class was just exiting as I arrived.

"Hello Sev," Greeted Victoirè. "Why are you running?" Vic was staring at me, I was sure I was red faced and sweaty from running down five flights of stairs.

"Made a teddy bear joke at Teddy," I gasped. "Ran for my life."

"You're an idiot," She commented, her eyes laughing. "So how was DADA?"

"Good, we learnt to cast patronuses. Mine is a lion." I wheezed, still out of breath. Vic looked at me impressed.

"What was Teddy's?" She asked quietly, I think she had guessed what it was, but still she was polite to ask. That was Vic, polite, kind, compassionate and caring. With one hell of a temper. 

"What was my what?" Asked Teddy as he walked up to us. I straightened up, sidling up behind Vic, still scared for my life.

"Your Patronus, what is it?" Vic asked as she stood on tip toes to kiss Teddy sweetly, her eyes half closed. Teddy wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her close, and kissed her back. "So what is it?" She asked again breathlessly, her silvery blue eyes looking up at him like he was the only person in the world.

"A wolf," He murmured as her pressed kisses down her jawline. She smiled and ran a hand through his hair.

"For your dad?" She asked gently, stroking his face.

"Yeah," Teddy smiled

Chapter 7: Animagi
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The school term progressed well, we did our work, pranked as many people as we could a week, got a few detentions from said pranks and all in all had fun. Teddy spent as much time as he could with Vic. Causing Johnny to be jealous of anytime he had with him. It had gotten really weird and slightly creepy to see the big beater ensconced in an armchair near Teddy and Vic, watching them with a frightening intensity. 

I was mostly absorbed with messing around with Don and Nick, and doing my work. I had realized halfway through fifth year that I couldn't call Teddy my best friend, that Don and Nick had taken that role. Johnny still hadn't made the same connection though, and was still jealous of me if he saw me talking with Teddy. Despite this, the three of us, Nick, Don and I, often disappeared for hours on end, only to come back to the dorm late at night. Johnny scowled at us whenever we reappeared, and would distract Teddy - who would try to question us as to where we'd been - with whatever he had available. 

Teddy asked constantly where we'd been, what we were up to. We would simply shrug and say wandering. Nick was an insomniac and often needed a walk to wind him down. Don and I had gotten so used to this behavior that we often mimicked it. All three of us were able to function on little sleep, Teddy knew and accepted these answers, although he still didn't entirely believe us. 

Truthfully, it had been Nick's idea, sparked from the speculation that Patronus could possibly predict your Animagus shape. To put this to the test, we had all decided to become Animagi. It wasn't going well. It was a horrifically difficult spell. Thankfully we were able to use the resources that the Room of Requirement could and would supply us with. The Room of Requirement had somehow been repaired by Professor Longbottom in our third year. The purpose? So he could visit the hogs head and talk about times gone past with Aberforth. At least, that was the rumor. It was also possible that it was so there would always be a back door out of Hogwarts. 

Nick stood in the middle of the Room of Requirement. He was currently trying to transfigure himself, and he was having a hard time at it. He snapped the spell, irritation colouring his voice. A spark hit him in the chest burning a yet another hole in his clothes. Because of occasional burns, and hair loss, we had all learnt basic healing spells. Which were ironically, because of the reputation that the healing profession held, were easier to learn and memorize than the Animagus spell.

"Fuck!" Yelled Nick. "This is ridiculous!" He growled and threw the book and his wand across the room. "How long did Teddy say it took his Dads friends?"

"Three years," I supplied unhelpfully. "Can I have a try?" I asked, curious as to why Nick and Don were having so much trouble at this. They both had better grades than I did. I had only received one O in my OWLs and that was for potions.

"Go for it," Nick said sourly. His blue eyes watched me as I went and picked up the book and his wand. I walked back to him and handed over his wand, noting how thin and light it felt to me. I smiled encouragingly at him. And then walked to the centre if the room. 

"Okay, here goes nothing," I said smiling at my friends. I pointed my wand at myself and blanked my mind. I intoned the spell, allowing my magic to spread through me, I wanted really badly to renew Nicks faith in himself, and in me and Don. I wanted to show him I could do, and if I could do it, then he could too. There was an itch. It ran up from my legs, and then out to my hands. I dropped my wand and the book, gasping at the strangeness of it. I could hear Nick cheering, and Don laughing as if from a very long tunnel. I felt myself shrink. It was happening! I laughed, but instead of a human laugh a chuffing growl rolled out into the celebratory air. Nick froze, his blue eyes wide as he took in whatever animal I was. I swung my head to Don, who was grinning appreciatively at my form.

"Nice going, big guy," Don congratulated me. "You're a very large, very black lion." I bared my teeth in a grin and wished there was a mirror so I could see myself. I suddenly saw one off to the side. It took up an entire wall. I tried to walk and fell face forward into the floor. Don roared with laughter, "Hang on Sev, you're a bit caught up in your robes." He walked over and quickly disentangled me. He then walked backward quickly, giving me room to move.

I climbed to my feet, my paws making gentle scuffs against the stone floor. I padded over to the mirror and was amazed at what I saw. I was easily four to four and a half meters long, from the tip of my nose to the end of my tufted tail. I was about a meter and a half at the shoulder, with a luxuriant mane that flowed down from my crown to the bottom of my should blades. My body was covered in soft velvety fur, which was an unrelieved black. My paws were just under the size of dinner plates, and were easily too large for my body. I guessed that meant I would continue to grow as I got older. My eyes were a piercing gold, a slash of black for my pupils, and my broad nose wrinkled as I bared my teeth. My canines were easily as long as my hand, roughly seventeen centimeters. I was highly impressed with myself. I made one gorgeous lion. I looked over at my friends who were looking at me in awe. 

"Wow, you're huge." Nick said. "Stay like that, Don wants to try next." Nick turned to Don, "You ready?" 

Don nodded, he had taken my place in the middle of the room. And he repeated what I'd done. But unlike me, where I'd shrunk, he burst upwards. His arms and legs swelling and sprouting dark brown fur. The great beast stood. Don had become a massive grizzly bear, much like his Patronus. He roared, the room shook with its force. Nick looked terrified. Don lumbered over to where I was, and casually batted me out of the way. I went arse over tit. A bit miffed I sat up, and was stunned again by the sheer size of him.

He was easily four and a half meters tall when he stood upright, his paws were the size of dust bin lids; thick black claws adorned them. His teeth were close to thirty centimeters long. But his eyes were still a gentle brown. It was still Don for all the astonishing size and strength of him. I prowled around him, looking for an identifying mark, and found nothing. Perhaps it was because his eyes were the same, I reasoned.

I looked over at Nick, who was watching us wistfully. I walked over to the book and batted it over to him, he nodded and sighed. 

"Okay, here goes," He said. He tried to repeat what we'd done and again he zapped himself. I slapped the floor, again I gestured, again. He nodded and repeated his actions. 

This time however, he shrunk at an alarming rate. I padded over to him worriedly, and hooked his clothes with a claw. I removed them, revealing a large bird. It was brown tipped with darker brown banding. At nearly a meter in height, he was small compared to us, but he a very big bird. His predator eyes fixed me with their golden glow, he flapped his wings that tip to tip were as long as I was and flew over to the mirror. He preened his feathers, clearly pleased. He too had become his Patronus. A large brown snake eagle. 

                                                             ******

"Hey, Nick, you know how Teddy wakes us up each morning with that klaxon noise of his?" I said after breakfast on morning.

"How can I forget?" Nick asked sourly, "I hit my head from falling out of bed this morning." I winced in sympathy, remembering my own fall out of bed.

"What have you got in mind?" Don asked me, his demeanor calm, despite yelling at Teddy this morning and punching the wall. His anger had frightened Teddy so much, that Teddy had fled the scene, leave Johnny to get ready on his own. Johnny hadn't been happy.

"I was thinking that maybe a certain grizzly guy could wake him up tomorrow?" I suggested, "Or even that guy who's just lion around?" I grinned.

Don laughed and clapped me on the shoulder, "Brilliant idea, Sev." He chortled. "I call shots!" Don laughed happily, grinning at us. 

Nick nodded in agreement, "We just cast a charm upon ourselves to wake up at dawn, it shouldn't be too hard." We walked to potions discussing how we'd get back at Teddy.

                                                          ******

The next morning we all awoke at dawn, Nick and I sat on my bed and watched as Don changed. We waited for the first rays of sunlight lit the sky. As they did so, Don walked over to Teddy's bed. He swept the curtains back, and loomed over the sleeping sixteen year old. Don swelled with air, and let out a shattering bellow. Teddy leapt about sky high, his hair turning white with fear. Nick and I howled with laughter. Johnny screamed at the sight of Don, and scrambled for his wand. 

I hastily disarmed him, "Alright Don, fun's over, change back mate." I laughed at Teddy's face as the giant bear turned into Don. 

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Screamed Johnny, he too had woken up at the sound of Dons roar. He didn't look happy.

"Nothing," Nick laughed. "It's payback for being woken up by Teddy each and every year." Dom and I collapsed into gales of laughter again.

"You became an Animagus just to prank me?" Teddy asked incredulously, his hair gradually returning to its normal colour as he got control of himself.

"Nope, that was just a bonus," Nick replied. Eyeing Don and I as we rolled around on the floor. "We wanted to see what we'd become, and if our Patronuses are in anyway an indicator to an animaguses shape." Nick said calmly. 

"Can you two cut it out?" Johnny snapped finally, his mood was completely feral. "It wasn't that funny." 

"I beg to differ!" I gasped, still rolling on the bed, laughing.

"So, what are you then? I presume all three of you can change shapes?" Teddy asked. Johnny had gotten up and seemed like he was trying to drown himself in the shower. Talk about unable to take a joke, I thought.

"Well, I'm an eagle, brown with dark brown barring. I'm a snake eagle, apparently. We identified it using several books. It took a while." Nick said. Before turning to stare at me, regarding me with disgust, "That joker down there is-" 

He was cut of as Don yelled out, "Lion around!" Don broke out into gales of laughter again.

"Lying around?" Teddy questioned.

"Yeah, lion around," I agreed, and changed my shape. My great black paws were stuck up in the air. Teddy let out a yell, and leapt back a bit.

"A lion? You're a lion?" He said weakly, "How Gryffindor of you." He watched me enviously as I stretched and got up. I padded over to him and jumped up onto his bed, wrapping my paws around his shoulders and licked him from chin to forehead. 

"Get off me you overgrown kitten," Yelped Teddy. He shoved me back, sending me over the side of his bed and onto the floor with a thud. Insulted, I stalked over to my bed and flopped onto it. I started humming with pleasure when Nick started to pet me. "Overgrown Kitten," Teddy reiterated with amusement. "So where did you guys learn this?" 

Don shrugged, "ROR." 

Teddy nodded, "Cool, how long did it take you?" 

"About a month, pretty much since that DADA lesson. If Sev hadn't been so desperate to prove we could do it, we probably never would have." Nick said, running his hands through the mane of the lion next to him. I huffed with pleasure at the compliment. I nudged his hand away, and he stopped stroking my mane. With a single thought I changed back to human again.

Johnny walked out of the shower, "Have you stopped now?" he asked quietly, looking at Don nervously.

"Yes." Nick said, "We didn't mean to scare you so badly. It was just for a laugh." 

"It's okay," Johnny said, his eyes still a little wild. "Will you teach Teddy and I to be animagi too?" He asked finally.

"If you want," I agreed. He nodded. "Then sure, tonight?" Johnny nodded again, clearly not trusting himself to speak. 

Teddy was more enthusiastic, "Yeah, that'd be great." 

He was so excited by this, that he didn't notice the morning post, nor the owl that landed by his elbow. He was too busy having a hushed conversation with Don about the spell needed and where we would go, that I simply took the letter from the owl and told it, that I'd tell Teddy to send a reply later.

"Teddy, your letter, I sent the owl already." I said laughing at his chagrined expression.

He tore the letter open and read the contents. "It's from Uncle Harry, he's invited us all to stay with him this Christmas. There is going to be a big do on at the Burrow this year, and he wants as many people to come. Can you guys make it?" Teddy asked us. We all nodded, spending Christmas with the legendary Potters would be amazing. I couldn't wait.

Chapter 8: Christmas Break At The Potters
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The Christmas holidays arrived in a flurry of snow and rain. Teddy was bounding around the dorm in a fit of good spirits. We had all owled our parents and told them that we were staying with Teddy for the holidays. We were all packed the day before and were getting ready to floo to the Potters home. They had politely asked us to floo, rather than catch the Hogwarts express back, as Lily and Albus were currently grounded and Harry was rather busy at work. I had laughed at the description of Lily and Albus' antics, blowing up the cubby had been perhaps a bit dangerous, but it was certainly a funny tale. 

We met James Sirius Potter the Second (Poor kid has as bad a name as I did, I thought ruefully in amusement) outside McGonagalls office, James had just started his first year, and was looking relieved to be going home again. I remembered my own feeling of homesickness during my first year. And could empathize with the poor boy. I clapped him on the shoulder and winked at him. He smiled at me, and then bounded up the stairs into the office, clearly over excited to go home again.

"All ready then?" Asked McGonagall as we stepped into her office carrying our gear. She pursed her lips at our attire but said nothing more. 

Teddy flooed first shouting out, "The Potter Mansion!" 

Johnny and I followed shortly after. I was flooed into a large living room, and I carefully stepped out of the fireplace, and vacating the area in front quickly. As I presumed Nick flooed next and was catapulted out. Nick hated flooing and was pretty bad at it. Don was far more graceful and managed to daintily hop out. James shot out, skidding on his butt and slamming into a table. He didn't cry though, he just jumped up and looked around. His eyes drinking in the sight of home. 

"Aunt Ginny?" Called out Teddy, "We're here!" 

"Teddy? James? Is that you, boys? We're in the kitchen." Ginny called out. Followed by a sharp reprimand to Albus. We walked into the kitchen where we found the Potter family making a cake. Albus was dusted in flour, having clearly upended the bag into a bowl. Lily, the youngest and only girl was clinging to her Mum. I smiled at this picture perfect family. The boy was a carbon copy of his Dad, while the little girl took after her beautiful mother. 

"Hello, Mrs. Potter," I said politely. As I entered the kitchen first, Teddy was needed to help James control his sudden homesickness. He had started to cry. I saw him enter out of the corner of my eye, his eyes slightly red but otherwise cheerful.

"Severus, is that really you?" She asked. "Merlin you have shot up." She walked around the table to enfold Teddy and then each of us into a hug. 

"Johnny," She smiled hugging him, "Still handsome as ever." 

Johnny grinned charmingly at her, "Still beautiful, as ever, Mrs. Potter." Johnny returned winking roguishly. 

Ginny laughed delightedly, "Always the charmer." Ginny then moved to Nick, "Hello Nicholas, how are your parents and sister?" She asked gently.

"Very well, Mrs. Potter." Nick said smiling at her. "Glad to be rid of me for a few extra days while they have Genevieve and her friends over."

"Quite understandable," Ginny nodded agreeably. "And how are you Gordon?" Ginny smiled at the gentle giant of the group, his Mohawk and tattoos gave him a fierce aspect but he was so gentle with her children. And with Nick, for whom he nursed a soft spot. She looked forward to having a few late night conversations with him.

"Quite good, Mrs. P. How are you?" Don asked his deep voice rumbling in his chest.

"Oh you know, trying to keep up with Lily and Al," Ginny said, fixing her son and daughter with a piercing glare. They wilted a little under the force of her stare. Lily had been splashing milk and cake batter over the table top.

James wandered over to his mum and gave her a brief hug, before walking over to his brother and sister and started telling them all about his first term at Hogwarts.

"Did you want a hand?" Teddy asked, causing the Potter boys to grin at him, and nod at their mum. "It'd be no trouble, we'll just take them outside for a bit." Ginny looked at them uncertainly, weighing up free time versus leaving two unrestrainable boys and an excitable girl with five sixteen to seventeen year olds.

"I'll behave myself mum," James said earnestly while looking angelically at his mother. "I promise. And I'll make sure Al and Lily behave too!" James wheedled.

She pursed her lips, "Oh very well, at least I'll be able to finish this cake." She waved her hands in a shooing motion, "Out, out out!". Ginny smiled at the delighted faces of her children as she sighed and tried to salvage the cake they had been trying to make.

The three Potter children dragged Teddy outside, followed by my friends. I stood just inside the doorway for a while, while Ginny puttered around, trying to fix the damage that her son and daughter had made to the cake mix. It looked to a rather interesting task. I chuckled to myself, I wasn't really one for baby sitting, unless it was Lily, that girl had me wrapped around her little finger.

"There's an easier way to do that," I said finally, pulling out my wand. "I've been reading up on cooking by magic. As long as you don't dob me in to the ministry?" I grinned cheerfully.

Ginny rolled her eyes in amusement, "You're irrepressible. Oh go on then, try not to blow up my kitchen, I could use a cup of coffee." Ginny watched me as I worked, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. I wondered what was so amusing for her, before setting myself to my task.

Laughing, I started waving my wand and repairing the damage to what I assumed would be a chocolate cake. I was completely focused on my task, that I didn't notice Ginny exit the kitchen. Cooking, I thought, was like potions, you had to follow the instructions, certainly. But you also had to know what went where, and why. Listening to my 'sixth sense' as Nick called it, I doubled the choc chips and added more flour, a dash of cocoa and milk. There, I thought, now for the baking part. I tapped my wand on the oven, lighting and heating it instantly, placing the cake in carefully, I closed the door with a satisfied smile. I then turned my attention to the dishes. Dishes I thought, didn't need magic to clean themselves, there was something satisfying about scouring stains and dirt from metal objects, letting the water cleanse them clean again.

"All done," I said happily to myself when I put the last spatular into the holder.

"You know we have a house elf, right?" Said a childish voice. "Her name is Hippy."

I turned around to see Lily Potter standing at the kitchen counter. "I know, but I like to clean the dished by hand. I'm not sure why, it's just satisfying I guess." I smiled at her.

She regarded me seriously with her brown eyes. "Okay." She shrugged. Her little face was serious, and her hair a red mane of tangled knots that tumbled down her thin shoulders. Her eyes were amazingly expressive, a kind of browny green that shone with childish delight at the world. I hadn't know this girl long, but I loved her nonetheless.

"Why aren't you inside, Lils?" I asked her quietly. It was curious, a small child who refused to be outside? Particularly a child who was as willful and boisterous as she was. 

"James is being mean, and Albus is boring." Lily complained, I raised my eyebrows in understanding. "So I wanted to make the cake, but you've finished it." She said this last part accusingly.

"I'm sorry, Lily," I apologized. "But if you want, you can help ice it with me?" 

"That's would be nice," Lily agreed seriously, reaching up to twirl her finger through her hair. "What colour icing are we going to use?"

"I thought I'd make it from scratch. But I can always use a colour changing charm on it if you want?" I said helpfully. "Come here, let's start planning the decorations and colouring." Lily walked over to me, and I lifted her up onto the counter.

"I'm not supposed to be up here, Mummy said its dirty." Lily said worriedly.

"I won't tell her, if you don't. It'll be out secret," I whispered, winking conspiratorially to her. She giggled, and nodded. "Okay, what are we going to colour it?" I asked.

An hour later Lily and I were staring at a bright blue cake with pink icing and green, red and white decorations on it. There was a red man who was standing in front of a green house with a white cat next to him. There was blue writing on the bottom that said 'Decorated by Lily and Severus, for Daddy'. 

"It's a masterpiece!" I proclaimed, hilariously, Lily giggled her agreement. It had been a lot of work charming the cake to colours that Lily had wanted. But now, after all of this, I thought that my colour change charms were second to none. "What shall we do now, Miss Lily?" I asked the eight year old girl.

"We eat it!" Lily crowed. "But when Daddy gets home." Lily added frowning at me accusingly. "So keep your fingers away from Daddy's cake!" I grinned at her.

"Okay then," I said agreeably. Lily, I had quickly discovered was very bossy, and had a piercing voice when it was raised. "What shall we do now?" I asked after I had placed preserving and untouchable charms upon the cake. I had explained what I was doing to the headstrong child, and she agreed with me that we couldn't trust Johnny or her brothers with our cake. 

"Let's go have tea in my room, I can introduce you to Marvin." Lily decided. With that I was promptly towed from the kitchen upstairs to Lily's room which was tastefully decorated in greens and browns. Marvin, it turned out was a purple and orange spotted octopus.

"He's not dangerous, is he?" I asked warily as I took Marvin from Lily. Marvin was velvety soft with plastic eyes. Even though I knew the toy wasn't dangerous, there was something unnerving about its slightly lopsided expression, giving it a fierce countenance.

"Of course not, silly, he's a muggle toy!" Lily said rolling her eyes at me.

I regarded her silently, she has too much of a handle on sarcasm for an eight year old. "What are we going to do then?" I asked warily. 

"We're gonna play tea parties. Honestly don't you listen?" She asked me seriously. Looking at me severely.

"Yeah, Sev, don't you listen?" Laughed a voice from the doorway. Don was leaning against the frame, his brown eyes watching us laughter sparkling in their depths.

"Donny!" Squealed Lily, so far as I know, Lily is the only one allowed to call Don, Donny. He'd gut me if I tried. "I want a piggy back ride!" Lily demanded, she was very much the little princess. Demanding,and spoilt, but really she had all ousts blame for that, she'd had all five of us spoiling her since she was born, along with her father and uncles. 

I smirked at Don, "Yeah, Don, Princess Lils wants a piggy back ride." I grinned broadly at my best friend. Don rolled his eyes at me.

"What Princess Lily wants, Princess Lily gets." Don proclaimed, walking up to her and scooping her up. This was probably why Lily was such a princess. She was the baby girl, and we were like her big brothers. And what Don had said was quite realistic. What Lily wanted, she really did get.

"Why are you up here?" I asked Don, as he hoisted a squealing Lily onto his broad shoulders.

"Teddy and Johnny are playing two aside Quidditch with the boys. And Nick is talking school with Ginny. So I thought I'd come and save you from Lily. That and I couldn't let you have all the fun." Don explained. He dark face split with a broad grin. 

"Sounds fun. Shame we don't have enough people for four aside Quidditch. That would be awesome." I mused. Looking out the window to see Teddy and James battling it out for the Quaffle. Johnny was screaming at James to beat Teddy up, one of the few times he was against Teddy in anything. James and Johnny always played together, calling themselves the J-Team. While Teddy and Albus were more reserved in their naming, calling themselves the TeAl team. It was always fun to watch their games. They were fast and rough. 

"Hey, earth to Sev?" Don bellowed. I snapped out of my thoughts and looked at them. "Princess Lils wants you to carry her now. We are going outside to the tree house." Don told me, smiling happily.

"Okay." I grinned and collected Lily from Don. She immediately hauled herself onto my shoulders, sitting up there like she owned the world.

"To the treehouse!" Lily ordered. Don and I shared a grin as we did as we were told.

The afternoon was spent playing with Lily, James and Albus, although the fighting and piggy backing was fun, the kid were hard work. Ginny was constantly thanking us for giving her some much needed rest. It was nice, I reflected to be able to come here and be myself. A wizard. My parents didn't understand, nor did they truly wish too. But Harry and Ginny had taken us all in as Teddy's friends and had given us an extended home and family. The Potters were very generous. Dinner was the usual torrid affair of attempting to get Al to eat his beans, Lily to eat her sprouts and James to eat anything of the vegetable variety at all. When Harry got home the kids all went flying over to him, ignoring their mothers calls for them to return to eat their dinner. Eventually, after an hour and a half wrestling with the stubborn devils the Potters call their children, they were eventually tucked up in bed. Sighing the five of us all collapsed into our room.

"Merlin," Johnny groaned, "I never want any children!" 

We all laughed and agreed. Passing the rest of the night with jokes and laughter before we decided it was late enough to head out.


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