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Sirius Destroys the Aesop by TeachUsSomethingPlease

Format: Short story
Chapters: 2
Word Count: 7,779
Status: WIP

Rating: 12+
Warnings: Contains profanity, Mild violence, Sensitive topic/issue/theme, Spoilers

Genres: Drama, General, AU
Characters: Lupin, Snape, James, Lily, Sirius, Pettigrew
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 09/02/2020
Last Chapter: 09/11/2020
Last Updated: 09/11/2020


Sirius's favourite Uncle Alphard is worried about his nephew - if he continues down his road, he's going to get himself killed in an act of Gryffindor rebellion. On his seventh birthday, he gives him a diary and an important lesson - don't throw your skills away out of hate for what they're associated with. Rebel, sure, but don't be a fool. Because it's Uncle Alphard, Sirius listens. What happens when the Sirius who steps onto the train isn't quite as purely Gryffindor as in canon?

Chapter 1: Year 1
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"I hate my family," Sirius Black grouches, crossing his arms and pouting. He's only seven and he already looks at his parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins with malice. Well. Not Andromeda and Regulus. Andy is cool, and Regulus, while a bit of a boot-licker, is nevertheless Sirius's brother…

"I see." Alphard wheezes his laughter, takes a sip of his drink, spits it out again, and shoves a bezoar down his throat.

"Look!" Sirius cries in dismay. "They tried again!" As the words leave his mouth, the boy glances around nervously, once again double-checking there's no-one else in the room.

"Four more years to Hogwarts," Alphard says soothingly. "And don't worry about me. I'll just keep dodging 'em." He smirks and grabs a glass of untainted water.

"I'm going to be a Gryffindor," Sirius whispers determinedly. "Not a stinking Slytherin."

"Hey, Sirius. I'm a Slytherin, you know," Alphard chuckles, though he stops as Sirius's eyes widen slightly and he flinches backward. "Calm down, child, I'm not going to hurt you."

"I won't be a Slytherin," Sirius vows softly yet nervously. "I'll be a Gryffindor and have Gryffindor friends and – and I'll be free."

"There's nothing wrong with Slytherin," Alphard tells him, but Sirius has set his jaw. "I see. Rebellious, much?"

"No, Uncle Alphard," the boy replies, suddenly stiff.

Alphard sighs and makes himself more comfortable. "Alright, Sirius. You go be a Gryffindor. But do me a favour, won't you, son?"

"Yes, Uncle?" Sirius asks curiously.

"Don't let the rest of our family make you hate the house. Ah!" he holds up a hand as Sirius opens his mouth. "I will admit, the house is not in a good shape. But I implore you to remember the values Slytherin was built on. Ambition, resourcefulness, cunning. Like it or not, Sirius, you are a Black, and it wouldn't do for you to throw it away in rebellion. You can go to Gryffindor. But be a clever one, not a boorish idiot."

"How?" Sirius demands worriedly. "Slytherin and Gryffindor don't mix!"

Alphard laughs again. "How do you think I got through my life, lad? It takes bravery to live around this family." He leans forward, becoming more sober. "Promise me, my favourite nephew, that you will not toss everything away just to anger the others. The downfall of Gryffindor is recklessness and a lack of delicacy. Be the knight that kills his enemy before they ever face each other."

"O-okay," Sirius says.

"Swear it," Alphard insists, holding out a hand.

The boy holds out his own hand and grasps his uncle's tightly. "I swear, Uncle Alphard."

The weary man cracks a grin. "Good boy, Sirius. Now, I believe I have something for you…"

Sirius's eyes go bright, but he wilts as he sees what his uncle holds out. "It's a book."

"A diary." Alphard's eyes twinkle.

"But… I'm not a girl. I don't need a diary. What would I put in there?"

"Anything you like. Your worries. Your dreams. Your feelings, if you wish. Swear words you pick up. Types of poison. Cake recipies. Anything." Alphard wiggles the book. "Go on."

"Thanks," the boy says grudgingly, taking the book and turning it over. It's plain black with a leather cover and thin, white pages devoid of lines. A silk bookmark hangs from the spine. "I guess I could use it…"

"Is there a problem?" the old man asks mildly.

"What if mother finds it?"

Alphard taps his nose. "She won't see anything. I put a password on it. Audacia fortuna iuvat."

"Fortune favours the bold," Sirius murmurs.

His uncle nods. "Just don't throw the fortunes away."

1st September, 1971 – 11:00 AM

Mother and Father are insufferable. "Don't shame the family," they say. Everyone else says something normal, like "We'll miss you," or "Good luck," or even "We love you." But no, I get "Don't shame the family."

I don't care. I'm getting into Gryffindor if I have to jump off the tallest tower to do it. I can't go to Hufflepuff, I'm definitely no Ravenclaw, and wouldn't last in Slytherin without taking up the family businesses against the entire place. What are the family businesses again? Bribery, torture, and murder. Charming, aren't we?

Uncle Alphard gave me another reminder on my last birthday, when he gave me my owl, Frogmuncher. I am going to be the Chimaera – a lion at the business end, with a snake for a tail to catch the unwary. I like the sound of that, I really do. I can be brave and daring and ambitious and resourceful and cunning all at once without having to carry around my stupid family's – baggage. I just hope I can get into Gryffindor, because I'm only chivalrous on Wednesdays.

No, I don't hope. I will. I will be a lion. My family won't know what hit them.

1st September, 1981 – 3:00 PM

I've met a nice guy on the train. James F. Potter, pureblood son of the guy who invented Sleakeazy's hair potion, not that it seems to do anything for his own hair, scruffy black mop that it is. He's got a wide grin and big glasses in front of hazel eyes that gleam whenever I mention mischief. He was a bit wary of me at first – stupid last name! He seemed to warm up to me a little after I called Trixie dearest batshit crazy (I'm so glad we walked past that half-blood when I was nine, because it's the best phrase I've ever heard). He's still a little unsure, though, even after I confirmed I was only a snob on every second Saturday and explained how I planned to give Mummy Dearest an aneurysm. I don't know what aneurysms are, per se, but one of my aunts had one once and ended up in St Mungo's, so here's hoping. James is a prospective Gryffindor like me (and ribbing me horribly about writing here, by the way) – apparently his father was a lion too. Here's hoping – he's obviously one of the privileged end of the light and might take some training into the art of being subtle as a mist and a foghorn at the same time, but I like him already.

Two people came past our compartment on the way, too. One of them is a greasy-haired, hook-nosed, sallow-skinned guy with a perpetual scowl, while his friend was a seemingly sweet, green-eyed red-headed girl. The first is Severus Snape, Eileen Prince's half-blood son, a grouchy thing bound for Slytherin; the other is Lily Evans, a muggleborn from the same town who is apparently his best friend. James doesn't like Snape, thinks he has an air of dark wizard around him – I guess he does, but the Blacks have been introducing corruption to the upstanding politicians of the Ministry for hundreds of years, and I fully intend on using these inbuilt talents on my year-mates. Half-bloods have potential, as I explained to James. They're the freest to move between the light and dark factions. The sooner we grab onto them, the easier it is to keep them out of my family's grabbing, evil hands. At least, that's what Uncle said. Personally, I'm planning on turning the entire grade (and the lower ones, if I can) into a legion of hellspawn for the kicks of it. I told James so when he was being upset at me for stomping his feet to shut him up, that and my plan to paint an entire tower pink and get away with it by graduation. James likes pranks, so I think I had him there. We're going to start a gang.

1st September, 1971 – 11:PM

Living in a dormitory is different. There are curtains around all the bed, but everything is so communal, so… familial. The beds are close to each other, the walls covered in scarlet and gold. The ceiling's high and the windows are large and let in the light. Not like Grimmauld Place, where it's gloomy and dusty and the rooms are suffocating and covered in mucky green and grey (don't tell me it's silver, because it isn't.) Gryffindor tower is big and bright and free and I love it, I really do.

I'll be sharing with a whole five other people, and I figure that eventually I'll be sick of at least one of them, but at this point I couldn't care less. Look at me. Sirius Black, the Gryffindor, in the Gryffindor tower, about to make Gryffindor friends and attempt to corrupt an entire grade level – generation, if I can. Oh yes, this is going to be brilliant, even if James still isn't quite sure of me.

Speaking of James, he made everyone in the dormitory introduce themselves. He reckons he's the most awesome guy in the UK and he told us he likes Zonko's – no surprise there – and Quidditch. He barracks for the Tornadoes, though. Merlin.

Next to my bed is Frank Longbottom – poor kid, his ancestors pissed someone off, though he seems unbothered – who's going into the Auror force when he graduates. He likes watching duels and marmalade jam. Frank has dark brown hair and a round face and he mutters 'Merlin' every time James or I says something weird. I'm definitely getting him a gag gift for Christmas.

Next to Frank is Peter Pettigrew, who has mousy brown hair and rather large front teeth. He really is just like a little mouse – he told us he likes cheese, of all things, and he speaks with a lisp. It's actually sort of endearing. He also says he's trash at Quidditch and is interested in Charms. Sounds about right.

Next to Peter is Kingsley Shacklebolt, who has dark skin and a gold earring in one ear. It looks awesome, but Kingsley's all calm and serious; he likes blue and quiet mornings and Defence, so I suppose he's in for it living around me. Sorry, mate. At least none of us snore – at least, nobody owned up when he asked about it.

My last dorm-mate is Remus Lupin, a skinny guy with pale brown hair and light green eyes. Looks like he got into an accident before he got here, because he's got a pretty sick cut across his face. He told us he liked reading, and James attempted to ward him off with quills in the shape of a crucifix. He also likes chocolate, though, so we know he's not a demon – not like Mummy Dearest. He was so quiet – I wonder how he got in?

I told everyone I had the best face they'd see these seven years and copped a sock to the face for it from James. I told everyone I liked giving my family conniptions and corrupting younger people, and Frank looked a little like he had begun to die inside. I hope they remember the grin I have them. I misappropriated it off Bella. But I do it better.

October 20th, 1971 – History of Magic

James is weirdly happy about Evans being a Gryffindor. Still doesn't like Snape, though. He ended up in the snake pit, which is irritating. James doesn't get it yet, even though I explained he and Lily were a package deal, and the half-blood thing again, and that we needed a competent potions brewer if we were going to give Cissy a zit outbreak. James was a bit surprised I'd let him hex my cousins. I reminded him my family is a bunch of prats, and that the Dark families were so inbred it was a miracle I had such a wonderful face. Blacks have wonderful faces – shame about the fact we're all nutters. Still, could be Goyles or Crabbes – that lot bred out their brains – or Parkinsons – they bred out their FACES.

Oh, yeah and we managed to corrupt Peter. It wasn't that hard. He's been following us around for a good while now. Neither of us really knows what to do with him, but he's fairly cute and adores us, and being adored is quite a nice change. We're smuggling a Devil's Snare from the greenhouse through this secret passageway we found that leads to the Charms classroom.

There are three of us now! We're officially a gang. We don't have a name, though.

November 4th, 1971 – 9 PM

James tried to repeat the Tentacula stunt on Cassius Macmillan after he made a comment on James's glasses and Peter's teeth. We got away with the first one, but the Tentacula got him this time. James has the marks to prove it. Evans noticed and James tried to cover it up. Evans said he was a nightmare. James insists he's a dream. Evans assumed I helped him – I'm flattered, really. It was all Peter, though. I prefer my face intact.

December 1st, 1971

Remus Lupin always sits alone. He twitches when people get too close, speaks quietly or not at all, and is always buried in a book. He vanishes once a month – Kingsley says it's because his mother is ill. His face and hands are often marked by healing cuts that appear when he arrives back at school and disappear over time. He has scars. Where does he have scars from? Only really dark curses leave scars that can't be vanished. I should know (thanks so much, Daddy Dearest).

Whatever causes the scars, it makes Remus retreat from other people. He's really quiet, and when he does speak, it's either sensible or dry. He's a dork around people. But an interesting dork. I'll corrupt him next.

I went over to talk to him today. He was reading his book, Beginner's Transfiguration. Funny; around everyone else he's so very geeky and awkward, but he seemed fairly capable of being sarcastic to me – refused to blow up the toilet or help me dye Mrs Norris purple before I'd said anything. I had to explain to him that we don't repeat pranks, and that I wanted help graffitiing "Mary Fawley Loves Slughorn" on the walls. He refused that too. I told him we'd get to him eventually. His mouth twitched. He find me amusing. Good. He worries about us being caught – he's too cautious. I told him we had ways around it. His resolve is waning, I know it.

Christmas, 1971 – 9PM

I'm such a sap. I saw all my presents today – from real friends, not pure-blood books or robes, real, solid presents, and I couldn't stop staring at them until someone came over and snapped me out of it. It's so stupid – I'm not normally this saccharine, honestly, but it just felt so good. James reckons the madness is setting in. I threw a pillow at his head.

I got chocolate frogs and a bag of Bulbadox Powder from James, toffees from Peter, a notebook from Remus, Quidditch posters from Frank, socks from Kingsley. Kingsley gave everyone he knew socks, even the headmaster. The headmaster wore them, said people insist on giving him books. I know the feeling.

Frank told James and I we were idiots for giving him five jars of marmalade, but then he started eating one of the jars with a spoon, so I guess he liked it. His initial face was well worth it. He ate half the jar today and even put some on his Christmas turkey. He's crazy in his own way.

Kingsley was inordinately happy when Remus gave him quills. Everyone else gave him candy, but Kingsley was focussed on the quills, because his were dying. Talk about nuts.

James gave Peter a box of cheese-flavoured candy. Peter didn't know how to feel about it. He liked the taste, though.

Speaking of James Potter, he is apparently sensitive to jellybeans, because he ate half a box and was high for the entire day. Evans thought he had taken some muggle drug, but nope. Just the beans. It was brilliant, he was all starry-eyed and enthusiastic, even at the sprouts, and he pulled a cracker with Peter so hard they landed on the floor. Unfortunately, nobody took any pictures.

Remus was odd. His family isn't exactly well-to-do, I think, and he got so upset when we gave him, and I quote, "Half the sweet shop and the library!" He thought he couldn't accept it because he couldn't pay it back, the poor daft bugger. We tried to make him feel better – James reckons his Mom thinks the way to make a boy big and strong is sweets, which, according to Frank, explains a lot. Peter was all enthusiastic about the scarf Remus gave him – it's second hand, to Remus's immense shame, but Peter is in love with it. In the end, I threatened to have James and Peter hold him down while I enacted the Black method of persuasion – torture. By tickling, of course. I'm not a monster.

Remus didn't believe me.

I went through with it.

He's eating a chocolate frog now. Ha.

February 17th, 1972 – 1 AM

I'm so proud. We've finally done it, corrupted our first difficult mark.

Not Snape or Evans – shame, that, but Evans just rolls her eyes and Snape refused to brew us a Giggling Solution. Nah. We got Remus, poor sweet Remus who takes notes in History of Magic while everyone else is asleep, who answers McGonagall's hardest questions and bemoans rule-breaking, who shares his candy and reads his books and always looks tired, who's timid around other children and has little scars on his arms. Poor, sweet, innocent Remus.

I'm cackling like Bella. Oh, this is wonderful. I honestly like him better than Peter, because he doesn't give me doe eyes but acts like an equal, even if he is a massive nerd, but I despaired of how to go about this. But we've done it.

He only held onto the pot of glue, and I may have bribed him a little with chocolates, and he may have had a mini-panic attack, but he went along with us and let us put the glue on the teacher's bench and he won't spill, he swore it.

We've got a good track record, you know – one count of mucking up and getting attacked by a murderous plant, and one set of detentions after we blew up a toilet – and that was for reckless use of fireworks ("You foolish boys!" McGonagall said) because we managed to set things up to look like an accident. The empty hole was gushing water for two whole days, so the detention was worth it.

I'm proud of our little gang. A tentative four members, now. This is wonderful.

April 2nd, 1972 – 8PM

James petrified Dorian Bole Jr. today, ostensibly because he made Marlene McKinnon cry, though it's really because Snape is protected, and he needs to attack Slytherins. It was a good shot, and I said so. Peter clearly thought so, because he was doing the doe-eye thing again. Remus looked uncomfortable and appreciative at the same time, which was an interesting look. He's not quite up to scratch yet, but we're getting there.

Snape said he'd tell Slughorn, and James couldn't resist a "Go on, then." Lily was with Snape, too, and she didn't say anything to James, though she looked disapproving. When James and Peter had left, she started digging into poor Remus. She gets on best with him, because they're both weirdos who like studying, though not as much as Kingsley. To his credit, Remus stood up alright, citing Marlene from what I heard. Lily is friends with Marlene, and I think it might have started to get through. She "Doesn't know about us." Ha ha.

Snape didn't end up telling Slughorn, though. Why? Because I pointed out to him – quietly, while walking past – that Bole was the one continually pushing him around within Slytherin. He went all stiff when I mentioned it. Uncle Alphard was right, loud and boisterous and "Good one, James!" and sneaky can mesh together. We got away with it because nobody in the crowd would implicate us. I love it.

It wasn't a coincidence James hexed Bole. He's been going on about his hatred of the house for a while now. I pointed him in the right direction, so he'd get away with it. He appreciates it. He'd better – I paid off Dromeda three galleons afterwards for the information. Remus found out Dromeda calls me Siri – I had to explain that my girly nicknames is only there because the witch refuses to call me Mr Handsome. Remus reckons he can't think why. He's a sarcastic little shit. He calls me Siri now. I regret nothing.

June 15th – History of Magic

Oh, Merlin.

I just realized what I've done this year. Apparently it's visible, because James just asked me if I'm alright. He calls me mate – I'm his best mate, his Gryffindor mate. I'm going to lie and say I'm fine.

I'm not fine. My family sent me nothing for Christmas, hasn't written a single letter this whole year. They're really harsh on poor Andromeda just because she doesn't hate muggles – I thought there was something wrong with me as a child when I didn't think muggles were like dogs, Merlin!

Dromeda is a Slytherin – she's sneaky and figures out loopholes and the only reason they hate her is because she doesn't believe in blood purity. Everything else about her is fine! My family keeps trying to KILL my favourite uncle because he doesn't hate muggles. He's a Slytherin as well, married a pureblood, the whole hog!

What the hell are they going to do to me?

I don't want to go back home.

Chapter 2: Year 2
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August 29th, 1972 – 10 PM

2 more sleeps and I can get back to Hogwarts and out of this stinking house. Noble House of Black indeed. Kreacher spends longer kowtowing to Mother Dearest than he does dusting the entire house.

My brother Reggie dearest starts this year. Bet he gets sorted into Slytherin. Mother and Father have been moulding him while I've been gone. I mean, sure, he was an idiot before, but he is now – to steal the words of another black-haired 12-year-old – a complete dunderhead. I'm not sure I like him very much anymore. I might not go through with trying to corrupt him after all – Mummy Dearest needs her perfect son, after all.

Then again, corrupting Reg would be the best joke ever. Hmm. He's very much into tradition and still believes himself firmly above the populace – and I mean, we are a bunch of rich snobs – perhaps I can find a way to tempt him over to our side. He's a year younger than me, after all, and I am his big brother. I'll need to send a letter to Uncle Al, see what he thinks.

My parents were intolerable this summer, either ignoring me or shouting. I caught a few curses, but I've gotten good at running. It's a perk of pureblood households that you can get away with using magic during the holidays. I've gotten really good at locking charms. Thank Merlin I was only caught out at school a couple of times, or I would have been IN FOR IT like the time I pinched some candies from the kitchen (I swear, if magic wasn't so good at covering up the marks…) I guess I've made my bed now. I'll just have to be even more of a nightmare this year.

James keeps asking me to come over to his place. How do you explain to your best friend that your parents want his type wiped off the face of the earth? "Nah, sorry, mate, if I come over they're likely to sneak a timed expulso onto me and blow us all up."

Yeah, nah.

September 1st, 1972 – 9PM

I was right about Reg. Slytherin house. Mother and Father will be so PROUD. Merlin, I'm so embarrassed. Ugh.

It's great to see James again. We've got a bet going – I reckon we can talk Remus into helping us dungbomb Greenhouse 4; James reckons he will have gone stiff during the summer. That was his idea, by the way. Dunno how well it'll work with all the fertilizer lying around the place, but whatever. Peter's super excited about it. Frank thinks we're idiots. Kingsley's exact words were, "I don't want to know."

I never thought I'd say this, but the uniform is an amazing reprieve. Pureblood cloaks and robes and sometimes dress shirts and suits – I can even get away with wearing my tie sorta loose and neglecting my top button. It's BLISS. Reggie, of course, always wears his uniform perfectly, silly boot-licker. Like I said, I've got to get onto him. If I can't make him loosen up, there's always torture to make him fall in line. After all, Remus brought along a feather duster ("This room's full of dust, Sirius, and you always leave your socks lying around on the floor – don't laugh, James, I found a pair of your pants hanging from a lights once – SOMEONE has to disinfect this place –", all in a voice so quiet you could hear Peter and his bubblegum) so now, instead of normal torture, we have ADVANCED TOTURE. Mwa ha ha.

September 17th, 1972 – 11 AM

I'm short three galleons. I need to go torture Remus. Peter can help me.

September 25th, 1972 – 1 PM

I can't believe it. He won't help James and I dungbomb the greenhouses but he's happy to sneak down to the kitchens with us and nick food? Merlin, get your priorities straight.

Pouting aside, the kitchens are the best thing ever. The house elves are actually friendly and feed us decent food, not that posh stuff (what the hell is foie gras, anyway? Forget it, I don't want to know). Peter ate half his weight in cheese sandwiches, I swear, he's at least a quarter mouse. It sounds dumb, but Flitwick's a quarter goblin, so it's a distinct possibility.

Sneaking into the kitchens is explicitly against the rules, as Frank told us all sternly when we got back. A certain person blushed and looked regretful (dammit, Frank, stop undoing my hard work). James told him the whole point of school rules is for them to be broken, and Frank threatened to inform Minnie about it (y'know her name's Minerva? Smart cookie, that one) if we didn't stop. James was all for torture, but Remus told him if he even tried to touch it he'd get clocked with the handle. Housemates, apparently, are not allowed to be tortured. We had to resort to bribery. Frank looked very put out with his jar of marmalade. I wonder what we'll do when he matures and stops being so susceptible to orange-flavoured jam.

I suppose we'll just have to stop him from maturing!

Oh yeah, and James hexed Druella Gamp today. Lily got onto him about hexing a girl. I pointed out she was MY cousin, not hers. Lily started hitting her head against her textbooks, and then Snape got pissed at us for making her do so. Weirdly protective, that one, even if he's been around the Carrows a little too much. Although, he does seem a little put off by how close they are. And I thought my family was incestuous. Saves money on the dowry, I suppose. Doesn't save money on the tea I want to chuck up, though.

Kingsley, to his credit, doesn't question anything. He literally walked in on Frank angrily eating marmalade with a FORK (I hid his spoons under the bed), Peter moaning about crumbs in his bed, me sitting on James's shoulders to retrieve a tie from the ceiling, and Remus trying to smother himself with a pillow about five minutes ago. And he said, "Good afternoon."

In other news, Minnie was right behind him and now she thinks we're all insane. It's a distinct possibility.

October 31st, 1972 – 3PM

Remus is looking a little more dishevelled than usual. He ordinarily wears sort of worn out clothes but today when he came back from his parents' he was white as dear Cissa. He's got a lovely new scratch across his neck, too. Lovely. I wonder what's going on, really, but I don't want to ask. We haven't managed to corrupt him fully yet. Maybe when we manage it, I'll figure it out. Hmm.

Mother Dearest sent us a letter today, me and Reg. Andy's been disowned. Ran off with Edward Tonks a few days ago. Apparently, she got blasted off the tapestry last night. Personally, I think we look ridiculous on that tapestry. Still, I suppose it would hurt, being so completely rejected like that. It's been a while, coming, though, so she's probably alright. I'm going to write her a letter.

Regulus is in shock. I don't know if he's going to be excited or grumpy or what when he comes out of it. Andy was always a bit more – real – to him. Cissa always acted too grown up for him and Bella's nuts, even Father agrees, though Mother thinks she's a perfectly nice girl (I'm pretty sure Bella is actually Mother's illegitimate love child, though. Somehow. At least Aunt Druella is sane). Still, Reg's been around Mother Dearest alone for a whole year, so he might have contracted the brain rot.

We nearly got caught by Filch last week while we were sneaking out into the forest. We took a wrong turn coming back and spent a whole hour running away from that mad cat of his down some Merlin-awful part of the castle none of us knew existed. It was certainly empty enough not to have before. It was a right nightmare, especially carrying the Adders with us. Trying to fit all four of us under the cloak was near impossible, especially with running and Peter being a little tubbier than your usual person. Remus sort of makes up for Peter's extra size by being a skinny little shrimp, but James has been threatening to force-feed him until he grows. I've never seen Frank look more like he was going to jump out the window.

As for the snakes, they got turned into potions bits, because apparently mail-ordering nothing but Adder's tongues makes the guy at the apothecary suspicious of you (how does Father dearest do it?) and we needed a LOT to start brewing the Draught of Jaundice. Although now that I think of it, the Draught is the only reason anyone would need so many Adder's tongues, and it does, apparently, cause temporary liver failure. I found the recipe in the Black library, after all, but no-one's ever died of it. If they had, I would know. Really.

November 12th, 1972 – 8 PM

I never want to experience liver failure again. Merlin, it felt like SHIT. Pete nearly threw up and James had to go through on force-feeding Remus, Frank ate a grand total of three spoons of marmalade and Kingsley fell asleep in the porridge.

Still, it was funny seeing the whole Great Hall turn yellow. Slytherin (and quite a few girls) reacted in horror – and I suppose if I didn't know it was impermanent, I'd be horrified too, I looked like I'd been dipped in a curry – but most of the other people took the initial change fairly well. Ravenclaw started talking about how it had happened, Gryffindor started sniggering, and Hufflepuff took it as a sign the gods had blessed their house. Then the side-effects kicked in. A few people couldn't even walk straight. Itches, not eating, tiredness. Then a Ravenclaw muggleborn started saying things like "Filtration" and "Sir-o-sis" and "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" and "Yellow Eyeballs" and the rest of the table started nodding in agreement. At least be brewed the potion right, but I'm never dosing someone again without knowing the side-effects. Peter thought we were going to DIE.

I think Minnie's getting onto us. Peter's pretty trash at acting in any way, shape, or form, and James gets the giggles. I think I can fix James's giggles, though Peter's skills are a bit of a bigger problem. Anyway, our dear head of house looked mighty suspicious at us when we left the hall.

Kingsley didn't get the jaundice – at least, not that I noticed. It might have been because he was eating a ham sandwich.

There are no ham sandwiches at breakfast. Hmm.

On the bright side, I think I've figured out how to corrupt Lily's dear friend Severus. He's a little interested in dabbling in the dark arts, from what I hear. Sure, it's the dark arts, but I'm not dumb enough to give him a murder spell. Besides, I'm pretty sure that potion was dark.

Hey, maybe I should give it to Mother…

Christmas, 1972 – 11 PM

I don't know why I elected to come home for Christmas. Mother was a pain, Father was a pain, I couldn't say anything for fear of provoking them because they're STILL ANGRY OVER ANDY, and one of my teeth had to be fixed back into my mouth. Luckily, I got it to sit straight again.

Well, I do know why. I've been copying down pages and pages from the Black Library. It feels like schoolwork (oh, joy) but I've found enough bribe material – that is, things that aren't secret but aren't exactly freely available – for the next six years of my life. Oh, yeah, and I wanted to keep an eye on Reggie. Mother's so proud of him, because he can hob-nob with the other Dark Families. Personally, I think he's been a little stiff since the whole tapestry incident. I think he's trying to convince himself that Andy was in the wrong, but it's a bit hard when she's the only one who bandages you up when Bella pushes you down the stairs (character building, apparently. Merlin-be-damned harpy, how the hell did a family obsessed with propriety produce THAT thing?) or cleans you up when your brother tips a cup of water over your head?

My brother is an imbecile, a dark-loving fool, a snob, a racist, and a snake, but I'll give him that he's honourable. The sort of murderous idiot who politely tells the muggleborns he's going to murder them rather than jumping out of the closet or pretending to like them.

My friends sent me a heap of stuff – candy, mostly, though Kingsley sent a calendar of all things and Remus gave me a lumpy hat he may or may not have made himself. It's scratchy and kills my hair. I wonder if he'd mind if I used it as a tea-cosy? It's certainly warm enough. Oh yeah, and Reg gave me a pair of socks. They're dark green, but they're so nice and fluffy. I know it's subversive, he told me so in the card, which sort of kills the point. I hate that they're so nice. I gave him a tie. I hate ties. He loves ties. Win-win, he gets a tie, I don't have a tie, Mother can't curse me for giving him nothing or something substandard.

I also got a letter from Frank. Apparently, he didn't appreciate being sent 10 jars of raspberry jam ("Really, Sirius? Even James got me something normal. Ish. Plus, I don't even like raspberries!") though Peter cleared the situation up by swapping the raspberry jam for house-elf marmalade (in other news, there is no more marmalade at breakfast time).

I wonder if I can get away with kicking Kreacher? He's been more annoying than usual and keeps calling me numerous things too rude to write down, lest a teacher get a hold of this. I could probably punt him all the way down the stairs, but I think I'd get in trouble. Shame, since he'd just heal up and keep grumbling.

January 18th, 1973 – 2 PM

I've done it. Well, sort of. James is having a mini fit over it, and Frank has been in the shower for a whole three hours. I think this speaks of the magnitude of the situation.

Despite causing Graham Crabbe to break out in spots, making Elyan Mulciber grow antlers, causing Ophelia Bower's head to grow to thrice its normal size, covering Mrs Norris in glitter, and sending Professor Kettleburn a very early, Howler-based Valentine, we (read: I) have managed to bribe Snape into brewing us a potion. He got three spells – we got something that makes everything you eat taste awful. Poor old Lily had a slight breakdown in the common room and Marlene and Dorcas spent half an hour feeding her chocolate-covered popcorn, which is apparently a muggle thing that involves putting corn in a frying pan until it explodes, then covering it in chocolate. And she thinks I'm insane. Well, I am a bit, both in the head and in good looks, but she's not entirely all there either, and if James is anything to go by, she's quite pretty. Ew. It's bad enough that Cissa keeps making doe-eyes at Lucius Malfoy. And he makes eyes back. Oh, Merlin, they aren't meant to have emotions like that. I think I'm going to be sick.

Disgusting cousins aside, I'm wondering if the potion should be global or not… last time was nasty, but none of us wants to experience a potion again. I suggested Slytherin house, but Remus got all moral and asked me what if Andy was still there. I told him I'd pay her off and he walked off to share Lily's popcorn. And then they started STUDYING. Ugh.

Peter has a cold. He won't stop sneezing, even with Pepperup Potion. Well, he says it's a cold…

January 21st, 1973 – Midday

It wasn't a cold. Peter had the dragon pox. Apparently, he even managed to give it to Remus, who missed out on his parents' place in favour of a long stay in the hospital wing. Oh boy. Peter nearly cried over it. He's still a lot like a cute little first year.

February 2nd, 1973 – 8 PM

Well, Snape pulled through and didn't even blow anything up, which was nice of him. We dumped the potion in the butter, in the soup, and in the pumpkin juice. About a quarter of the school got hit. I think Snape warned Lily about it, because no-one in Gryffindor 2nd Year was effected – Lily must have told Dorcas and Marly and the other girls, and Remus warned Frank. Nobody warned Kingsley, but the bugger's psychic. Eating a ham sandwich without butter, with the untainted vegetables, and drinking nothing but water. Merlin almighty.

Minnie's suspicious – very, very suspicious – but she can't prove a thing. She came over and talked to us, and James thought it was hilarious. Near owned up to it before I mouthed "Feather Duster" at him. I got hit with a second-hand textbook afterwards. Geez, always the quiet ones, isn't it? It doesn't help that Peter and James cheered. Traitors.

March 14th, 1973 – 10 AM

Oh Merlin. I meant it as a joke, but Kingsley is actually omnipotent. He knows. He knew when he handed me a set of notes on levitation charms in first year, he knew about everything we've done, even if we don't discuss it in the dormitory, he knew about Louise McKay liking Sean Brady, and he knew when he SENT ME THE BLOODY CALENDAR.

I think this is the first time he's interfered in us, actually. He's very unbothered by everything. I bet he knew about sneaking down to the Forbidden Forest at night…

Anyway, back to Lupin.


Remus is a werewolf.

That's why he's always covered in scratches and tired, it's because werewolves attack themselves if they can't hunt humans! I should know, Mother thinks it's wonderful (nasty woman). And that's why he's so absent and quiet sometimes. I mean, sure, he's a quiet bloke, but after the moon he doesn't talk at all for near the whole day sometimes.

Ugh. Life is confusing. I'll deal with this later.

April 1st, 1973 – 11 PM

Still haven't dealt with it. Hexed 7 people, had to dodge 3 jinxes, covered a hallway in oil. Minnie has been whispering to Sprout that we're ALWAYS NEARBY. Gotta be a little more covert. Still, it's not proof. Certain people think we're idiots. I wonder what kind of bribery works on Dorcas? She's a smart cookie when she wants to be.

I'm going to tell James tomorrow. Threaten him with torture if I need to. Shouldn't be too hard to nick the feather duster.

April 3rd, 1973 – 9 PM

Remus has withdrawn since I told him we knew, even with James and Pete and I telling him it doesn't matter.

James found a secret passageway to Hogsmeade. We can sneak out this weekend. Peter's coming. Remus isn't.

Got lost again. Wasn't concentrating and ended up in a room full of friendship novels instead of Defence. Not that it matters. I think our Defence Teacher is a crack addict. Crazy woman thinks I sound like a puppy sometimes. When I asked her what James sounded like, she said, "Deer noises."

Like I said, crazy.

April 19th, 1973 – 3 AM

Snuck into the hospital wing. It was much easier with only 3 people under James's cloak. Still, had to move slowly because we were carrying too much candy. Peter stole some while we were going there. We got lost and nearly fell through a false wall. We'll explore it tomorrow.

Full moon was yesterday – well, the day before yesterday, actually, but the day really starts at 6 AM, everything before is night-time – and Moony McMoon (honestly, what were his parents thinking? Remus fricken Lupin. Why not go the whole hog and change his middle name to Werewolf Bait?) was snoozing.

We woke him up. He wasn't pleased at first, then he tried to hide from us. Peter sat on his feet (you're cutting off my circulation, please stop), James fed him candy (I'm fine, really, I – mmph – what the hell, Ja – MFFG!) and I lectured him on running away from his friends.

He's a little better, but not much, not even after Peter decided to cosy up and near break the scrawny bugger's ribs in a hug (a terrible idea. I did not copy him. James is a liar). We're back to the middle of last year. It's weird. Remus is kind of boring, but I feel much more upset than I thought I'd be. We got closer than I thought. School is weird. I think I'll take up drinking. Or whatever crazy Defence Teacher is on.

May 2nd, 1973 – 11 PM

Frank and Moony have forced us to study for exams. (Moony's Remus, by the way. James has a terrible sense of nicknames, but it's stuck now.) It's a disgrace, but at least we're earning House Points for it. Well, they are, anyway. The woman knows it was us that hexed Mulciber's feet backwards. She must. James thinks she's just happy we're acting like we're at school. James is a short-sighted sentimental stuffed lion.

June 9th, 1973 – 2 AM

We got bored studying for exams yesterday and decided to go explore the castle. Despite knowing of enough secret passageways to play hide-and-seek for days, we got lost again. Pete, who had his brain in that day, thought it would be a good idea to make a map, but not just any map, one that shows where the reader is. It's brilliant – and now we know how to make sure Pete passes his exams, feed him Fairy Sprinkles by the jar.

We spent the whole night drawing up the map – only stopped half an hour ago. There's a lot more of Hogwarts than I thought there was. There're entire swathes left unmarked and passageways everywhere. Moony has been yammering on about enchanting the different layers of the castle together so the map can show the entire place on a single sheet, but we're way too tired for that.

June 19th, 1973 – 4 PM

We really shouldn't be going out exploring so close to exams, but we did anyway. Anyway, news flash – James's cloak is impervious to magic.

In other news, we're starting a cult dedicated to James's cloak. The Marauders has a nice ring to it. James reckons it's a gang. He's wrong. It's definitely a cult.

July 12th, 1973 – 9 PM

Convinced Regulus to explore with us, and by explore, I mean sneak out of the castle to Hogsmeade. We bought butterbeer. Butterbeer is, apparently, not very alcoholic, which is why children are allowed to buy it, but most people still don't get to taste it 3rd year. Ha ha, suckers. In exchange for us sneaking him out of the castle next year, Reggie dear owes us information on the Slytherin common room.

Also, Marlene is easily bribed with butterbeer.

Will probably regret sneaking out at peak exam season tomorrow.

July 13th, 1973 – 1 PM

No regrets.

Professor Slughorn wants to know why all the first year Slytherins are ever so slightly tipsy. I told Reggie not to bring back so many bottles. Lucretia Nott smacked into a wall because she couldn't walk straight – I mean, imbibing five bottles has got to do something either than make you need the bathroom. Moony looks like he wants to jump out a window.

Ended up raiding the kitchens and bringing the cute little bigoted murder-spawn kebabs, because, according to Peter, drunk Muggles love kebabs. Please note Alphard Jugson can fit an entire kebab in his mouth when drunk. Slughorn and Minnie are both pissed (not drunk, angry) but we technically didn't do anything wrong, since they can't prove where we got the kebabs from and sharing food with the firsties is encouraged. Lily informs us (with her fingers at her temples, like she has a headache) that dear old Snapey thinks it's the funniest thing he's ever seen. Unfortunately, Snape seeing the funniest thing he's ever seen involves a nearly perfectly straight face.

I have to go back to my family soon. I think I've made enough progress on my brother to make Mummy dearest cringe, but I'm not sure. Not looking forward to it. If all else fails, I have a standing invitation to the space beneath James's bed, where I will hide and make monster noises in case anyone comes looking.