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Author\'s notes: Please, for the love of all things good and holy, review our story! It onyl takes a second! And it\'s all we have to live for! Chapter 7 When Bad Things Happen to Good People Sure enough, the next morning Ande awoke to a freezing dorm room and her ears ringing from all the yelling. Samantha had opened the windows and Germaine was going ballistic. After five minutes, girls began popping up from the holes in the floor and ceiling to add their own piece to the chorus of screams, telling Germaine to cool it. All that they received was some rude gesturing from Germaine. But when Melissa climbed down the stairs, all ready fully dressed, she really let Germaine have it for waking the entire dormitory up. Ande, shivering slightly from the cool breezes that were still drifting in, climbed out of bed and hastily changed into her robes. Melissa and all of the seventh years had climbed down to the common room earlier and when Ande arrived, the room was crowded with sleepy students waiting for Mark to take them down to breakfast. When enough girls and boys had congregated, Mark led them all through the entrance hole and down the eagle. Ande desperately tried to pay attention to where they were going, but after the fifth door and the tenth time they turned a corner, she huffed and gave up the attempt. Clearly, a few more trips were needed before she would be able to do this by herself. The group was mostly first and second years who were looking around them and moving slowly, and before Ande knew it, she had passed most of them up and found herself at the front of the line behind Mark. Seeing her over his shoulder, Mark turned. “Hello, I’m Mark Jules.” “Oh, I know. Melissa introduced you last night. I’m Andrea Moon.” “I know. Dumbledore introduced you last night.” They both laughed lightly as he led them down another hallway. It looked slightly familiar with its rows of armor and the company was good; maybe she wasn’t so lost after all. Claire felt as if she had gotten to sleep when someone prodded her in the back of her head. She rolled over and groggily opened her eyes. Staring her straight in the face was a girl with blond hair and brown eyes. She smiled when Claire looked back at her and said, “Hello.” “Hey,” Claire mumbled sleepily, “Um, who are you?” “My name is Carrie Durand, and I’m one of your roommates. My little brother Joe just got sorted last night. I was just so excited when he became a Gryffindor-” “Yeah, I’m sure you were,” Claire said, a little annoyed that someone could be so perky in the morning. “What do you want?” “I was just waking you up, and if you don’t get up now, you wont have time to get breakfast before your first class,” Carrie said with a smile. She left the room and Claire slowly sat up. She blinked a few times before her brain finally processed the information. Then it finally hit her; she had to get up! Claire did not know if it was her sleepiness or if it was her speed, but the next thing she knew she hurtling down the steps, jumping them three at a time. Just as she burst into the common room, she collided with another late-riser. She was about to mumble a sorry and take off again when she realized she had hit into Remus. The guy was looking even more run down than usual, as if a bus had hit him and then he had been trampled by a hippogriff. Claire helped him up, but he still looked a bit shaken. Bags hung underneath his eyes and it looked like his skin hadn’t seen sunlight in years. “Are you going to be okay?” asked Claire, looking guilty for adding to his misery. Lupin’s eyes were glazed over and red. “Yeah,” he muttered, “I’ll be fine. You go on ahead and tell everyone that I’m on my way...” Claire was about to take his word for it but as she watched him barely make it across the room, she felt a pang of sympathy. If she found out later that he had fallen down the stairs on the way to the Great Hall and died, she would never forgive herself. “Here,” she said, “Let me give you a hand.” At first he seemed reluctant, but after a few more difficult steps, he took her arm and hobbled out of the common room. They had only traveled a few yards when they heard the thundering steps of people running toward them. Glancing up, Claire smiled as she saw Sirius and James come screeching to a halt in front of them. “We thought you were right behind us, Moony!” bellowed James, panting slightly from his run. “Are you hurt?! Is anything broken?! How many fingers am I holding up?!” questioned Sirius frantically. Claire stifled a laugh as she watched them make a fuss over their tired friend, but she could tell they were having a ball. Remus, on the other hand, was trying to walk away as quickly as possible, waving them away desperately as they advanced on him. “You shouldn’t be walking in your condition!” cried Sirius. “No really, I’m fine-” “No need to put on a brave face,” interrupted James, “What you really need if food stat! Ready, Padfoot?” “Ready, Prongs!” Sirius chanted back. Remus looked like a deer caught in the head lights and with one more desperate attempt tried to make it passed them but to no avail. Sirius grabbed Remus and swept him off his feet. For awhile, Remus struggled wildly but, in his condition, he was just no match for his friend (who he plotted to kill that night). Claire burst out laughing and chased after them as James ran ahead bellowing at the top of his lungs, “Out of the way! We’ve got a sick man here! Move! Move! Move!” Soon they caught up with the rest of the students heading in for breakfast and they were hastily shoved aside as James barreled forward, Sirius in hot pursuit with their embarrassed friend now flopping in his arms. James was just about to clear a path to the Gryffindor table when he ran into a very angry Professor McGonagall. “Abort mission! Abort mission!” yelled James. “Mr. Potter! Stop that this instant!” she hollered. And seeing Sirius suddenly burst into the Great Hall carrying a limp Remus only infuriated her more. “Mr. Black, what in the world are you doing?! Put him down immediately!” Sirius set Remus on his feet and his humiliated friend tried to regain what little bit of dignity he had left. “I apologize, Professor. It’s just that-” “You have two idiot friends that cost your house twenty points! Now sit down and eat, you look horrible...” She huffed and walked speedily back to the staff table. Remus took a seat, soon followed by Sirius, James, and Claire who was snorting with laughter. With all of the excitement seemingly over the other students decided to start their breakfasts. Ande said a few words to her Ravenclaw friends then went over to her sister. “And I thought I had an exciting morning,” she chuckled. Claire finally stopped laughing and rubbed the tears out of her eyes. But before she could get into explanations teachers started passing out schedules. The students accepted them reluctantly then scanned them to see which classes they would be taking that day. Ande and Claire nearly leapt for joy when they saw Care of Magical Creatures scheduled for nine o’clock that morning. The boys however groaned when they read “Potions” at the top of the list. That was the least of Remus’ worries. Though he wasn’t good at Potions, what really upset him was the last class of the day: Astronomy. Reaching his limit at last, Remus let his head fall to the table with a painful thud. The four boys made their way down to the dungeons with the rest of the sixth-year Gryffindors (except Claire) to get to Potions. This year they had a new Potions teacher, Professor Mahedeo, to replace their old one who had been maimed in a terrible potion accident after working at Hogwarts for nearly twenty years. With their old teacher now a permanent resident at St. Mungo’s, the students were anticipating meeting his replacement. Remus had insisted that he felt better but Sirius said they should still sit in the back so that he could rest if he wanted to- although, Sirius and James really just wanted to be able to goof off. They filed through the rows until they reached the seats in the very back. Everyone sat down and waited patiently for their teacher to arrive. Fifteen minutes later, however, people started to get restless. “Where is he?” Peter asked, swiveling his neck around to look for their absentee teacher. Many other teens voiced similar questions but no one seemed to have the slightest clue where their professor could be. “Maybe we should just skive off,” James suggested hopefully, but his hopes were crushed when the door opened. In stepped a man carrying an immense stack of parchment. The students looked on in horror wondering if he was giving them an exam on their first day of school. With a heave, Professor Mahedeo dropped the enormous pile on his desk. “Sorry I’m late but I had to make these up for you. I asked Professor McGonagall to do it for me but she said no. Now everybody pick up one of each parchment,” he commanded them. Groaning, the Gryffindors walked up to the front of the room to take one of the parchments. The task before them proved to be far more difficult than they had expected because there seemed to be a great many different parchments and they were in no particular order. Sirius quickly voiced his concern. “Professor, shouldn’t you have, er, sorted them out first?” “No, why should I? It’s all straight forward,” said Professor Mahadeo. Sirius cocked his eyebrow. “If it’s so straight forward then why do we need a teacher?” Everyone expected the professor to react badly to this but oddly enough, he had disappeared again. “Where’d he go now?” James asked in exasperation. Twenty minutes later Professor Mahedeo strolled into the dungeon, looking as if his behavior was entirely normal. Many of the students didn’t even notice his arrival. Girls were doing each other’s hair and the boys were throwing paper airplanes. Remus had accidentally dozed off again and had a rude awakening when Professor Mahedeo slammed his hand on his desk. “As I just told the class while you were sleeping, I am very laid back. But you must be professional like me,” he scolded the still drowsy Remus. “That will be one million points from Gryffindor!!” Every jaw in the class dropped. They couldn’t tell if he was insane or just extremely stupid. For the rest of the class he ramble on pointlessly about the various esteemed degrees he had earned for the art of potion making. No one said anything until they left class because they were still dumbfounded by his behavior. Just before the bell rang to release them from their little circle of hell he vanished again, without a word to anyone. “We don’t blame you for losing us a million points, Moony,” Sirius comforted. “I mean, you’ve never lost us any points before, and sure it will take a few centuries to earn back the points, and Gryffindor will definitely lose the House Cup, and you may be suspended...” Sirius cut himself short, realizing he was being anything but helpful. Lupin looked as if he was about to go into shock and he kept mouthing to himself, “One million points... I lost a million points...” “What was up with that guy?” James fumed. “What on earth possessed them to hire him?! Did you guys even look at the agenda he made us pick up? Some of those potions were first year stuff and one of the potions was only ever successfully made by Dumbledore himself!” “He seemed really smart to me,” Peter said. “Didn’t you guys hear what he was saying about all those degrees?” “Well, did he actually show us any of them? He was probably just lying,” Sirius said. The two boys started bickering until Remus stepped in. “We should get to Herbology,” he interrupted, “It’s a long way to the green houses and I’m in no shape to run.” Sirius grinned evilly. “All right then. Time to pick you up again.” Remus whipped out his wand and pointed it at his friend. “No.” “Just kidding, mate,” Sirius insisted, pushing Remus’ wand away from his face. With that, the four of them quickly crossed the grounds and joined the Hufflepuffs for Herbology. By dinner time, anyone who had had Potions was warning the ignorant about the abnormality of the new professor. Tales of the man’s incompetence were speedily reaching legendary levels. Apparently, he had poisoned a first-year and the regretfully mentioned that he hadn’t made an antidote as of yet. The thing that shocked people the most was the horrific amount that had been taken from Gryffindor. Slytherin was beside themselves with joy as they viewed the -1,000,020 points the rival house now possessed. The one to show the most glee at Gryffindor’s misfortunes was none other than Severus Snape. As James, Peter, and Sirius were rushing passed the Slytherin table to avoid the finger-pointing and hysterical laughter, Snape got their attention, “Please tell me that friend of yours finally kicked it, because it would sure save me the trouble.” Sirius’ temper flared as he turned. “Sod off, Snivellus,” he snarled, “Before I take a few inches off that nose of yours.” Snape made to rise and Sirius was all ready shoving up his sleeves but James and Peter seized their friend by the back of his robes. “Snivellus isn’t worth it, mate,” said James, “You’ll have to wash the grease off your hands after messing with him. And you’re just about to eat. I’m losing my appetite by just looking at him.” Sirius was gradually pulled away without another word and Snape resumed his meal. The three sat down at their own table and began to load their plates with everything within reach. James’ cousins then sat down to join them. Ande, despite the friends she had made, still missed familiar company and planned to become part-Gryffindor at meal times. It wasn’t long though before the girls noticed that their numbers were one short. “Where’s Remus?” asked Claire. “He had to go to the hospital wing because he wasn’t feeling well,” James replied. “But don’t you guys have Astronomy tonight? Is he going to make it?” Ande asked with concern apparent in her voice. “He’ll be okay,” James said. “Moony bounces right back.” “Are you sure he’ll be all right? He was the one that lost a million points,” Claire said. “That wasn’t his fault. That bloody Mahedeo kept leaving the class and Remus is sick so he fell asleep,” Sirius grumbled. “Potions class is wretched. I’d rather have the guy with three heads back. After all, wouldn’t that just make him three times better?” “Oh come on, it couldn’t be all that bad. Potions class is fun,” Ande said while sipping her soup. “And besides, Claire and I had a great day. Have you guys had Professor Gerencher yet? We learned loads of stuff and he was a lot of fun.” “At least that gives us something to look forward to. We don’t have Defense Against the Dark Arts until Friday,” James said. “Do you have it first? That’s when we’ve got Potions,” Claire commented. “I guess we’ll get to see if all the rumors about Professor Mahedeo are true.” “If you don’t come out of it with negative five billion points, I say you two had a good class,” Sirius laughed then turned back to the pork chops he had been gnawing on. “What other classes did you two have today?” James asked his cousins. “Oh, we had Care of Magical Creatures and... um...” Claire said then, with a red face, returned to eating an ear of corn. “Well? What else did you have?” James pressed. Neither girl seemed eager to respond to his question but Ande decided to bite the bullet and answer. “We had Transfiguration.” “What’s so bad about that?” Sirius asked. “What’s so bad? Professor McGonagall, that’s what!” Peter blurted out, giving a nervous glance to the staff table. He seemed embarrassed about his outburst and started eating his dinner again. “No, it’s not her... We had it with the fifth-years,” Ande mumbled. “We’re not very good.” “What?! But you’re Animagus. How could you not be good at Transfiguration?” James gasped. “The thing is,” Claire started, “We put so much effort into learning how to become Animagus that we sort of, um, fell behind in our studies. Now we have to take our O.W.L. test over in Transfiguration.” James suppressed a laugh. Instead, he took the opportunity to loudly show off since Lily was sitting only a few seats away. “I don’t need to worry about that ever happening to me. I got an ‘Outstanding’ in every subject,” he said smugly. He glanced over to Lily but was dismayed when he saw that she was taking absolutely no notice of him at all. “I don’t understand! Why does she always ignore me?” Claire looked up from her food and stared her cousin straight in the eyes. “I won’t hold it against you since you’re family but the simple truth is you’re an ass.” James gaped at her but she had turned back to her meal. He then turned to Sirius for support. Sirius shrugged his shoulders and poked awkwardly at his food. “Has all the world turned against me?” James moaned. Hours later in Astronomy, James was still stuck on the same subject. While Sirius and Peter stared through their telescopes, he continued ranting. “Has everyone felt this way about me long or did this just develop recently?” “It’s been for as long as I can remember,” Peter said, unaware that he was being a bit blunt. James threw a crumpled piece of parchment at him angrily. He turned his eyes to the full moon and held his arms above him. “That’s it, by the moon above me and all the stars in the sky I swear to never be thought of as an ass again,” he proclaimed to which Professor Mintly, who was standing nearby, gave a hearty “Here, here.” “Good luck,” Sirius laughed. “You better avoid Evans forever.” As the professor walked away, James lowered his voice, eager to change the subject. Sirius and Peter took a break from their star charts and huddled around him. “So, are you guys ready for tonight?” James whispered. “Do you have the cloak?” Sirius asked. “It’s in my bag,” James answered. “As soon as Astronomy is over we need to split off from the rest of the class and head for the Whomping Willow.” It seemed like an eternity before Professor Mintly finally excused them from class. The students gathered their things and began the long treck toward Gryffindor tower. While their fellow students were distracted getting their books, James hastily threw the invisibility cloak over the three of them. They hung back until everyone else had disappeared down the stairway then they followed silently after them. Once they had gotten out of the north tower, they made their way as directly as possible to the main doors. Soon they were outside again in the cool air, the dew on the grass making them slip in their haste. Under the pale gaze of the full moon, they suddenly halted before the lashing branches of the magical Whomping Willow. James turned to Peter and said quietly, “Off you go, Wormtail.” Peter instantly transformed and slipped out from under the cloak. The tiny rodent zipped through the assaulting vegetation and placed his tiny paw on the knot on the trunk to halt the tree’s attack. James now turned to Sirius. “Your turn, Padfoot. Go and get him.” A black dog also materialized and then disappeared through a hole at the base of the tree. Soon he was on his way to Remus in the Shrieking Shack. Authors\' notes: Did you see the notes at the beginning of the chapter? If not, you better go read them now. You read them? Good... PLEASE REVIEW!! We haven\'t gotten many and it makes us sad. :*( If you are enjoying this story, please tip us by leaving a review, and then by all means, go on and keep reading! There\'s more!

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