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“I think we should form our own group.” “What, like ‘Wizard and Wand’?” Sirius asked James. “No, not a band… like a—club.” “Yeah… that’d be wicked!” Sirius said, sitting on the edge of his bed with his wand raised; he was lifting random things in the room and sending them zooming away from him. “…And only induct certain people.” “Yeah, and have secret parties.” Sirius added, sending a chair across the room. “Who do we want joining though?” James asked, catching the chair and placing it on the floor along with several other objects. “I hope me.” Remus said, looking up from behind his History book. “Of course you… Wingardium Leviosa!” Sirius said, pointing his wand over towards Remus’s book and sending it flying into James’s outstretched hand. “Hey, c’mon, I got a History quiz Tuesday!” Remus cried. “Yeah, Tuesday.” James said, rolling his eyes, “Remus, lighten up, will you?” “Wait—we don’t have a History quiz Tuesday!” Sirius said, accidentally dropping the pitcher of water he was lifting on the floor where it smashed. “It’s tomorrow!” “Well, I do.” Remus told them, “Repairo!” He muttered, repairing the pitcher with his own wand. “How come?” James and Sirius asked in unison. “Uh… my mum’s sick.” Remus said, avoiding their eyes, “So I’m taking the quiz later.” “Oh… sorry mate.” James said, frowning. “What’s wrong with her?” Sirius asked. “She, uh, she just has a bit of a bug.” Remus said, “Nothing serious.” “Wow, you’re a good son…” Sirius said, raising his eyebrows slightly, “I’d do anything to have my mum shut up in her room sick.” “Yeah, well, I care about her a lot.” Remus said, smiling faintly. “Hey, you coming to watch our practice today?” James asked eagerly. “Yeah, of course! Wouldn’t miss it!” “You sure?” Sirius asked him, “You missed the first practice last week.” “—Because you were too busy studying for Defense Against the Dark Arts to go to our first ever practice…” James added, giving his best puppy dog eyes. “I will!” Remus said, chuckling. “—So… what about this club?” Sirius asked James, “What are we gonna do in it?” James stood still for a moment, thinking hard, and then suddenly a wide smile formed on his face. “Oh no… It’s that look.” Remus said, eyeing James with worry. “We can go corridor-hunting!” James exclaimed excitedly. “What?” Sirius asked, now beginning to lift the objects off of the floor and sending them back to their original spots. “Hidden passages!” James said, looking at Sirius like he was insane, “Under the cloak!” “Yeah!” Sirius said, excitement now pumping through his veins. “It’s not too soon, d’you think, to go back under it, Rem’?” James asked. “Uh… it should be safe, but—“ “—Great!” Sirius shouted, “Now who do we want joining?” “Uh… how about only first years?” James said, sitting down on his own bed, “And only Gryffindors too.” “Yeah… I don’t trust anyone else really.” Sirius muttered, catching Remus’s book and handing it back to him. “That’d mean you’d only have up to ten people.” Lupin said, taking his book back and placing it beside him. “There are only five boys and five girls for first year Gryffindors.” James shrugged, “S’Alright. It’s better with less really… it’s easier to form a trust with fewer people.” “What about a name?” Sirius asked, putting his wand down and lying on his stomach on his bed. “I dunno… We should think up a good one though… usually a good name would interest people into joining.” James said, eyeing a spider that was crawling on the floor towards his bed. “Wingardium Leviosa!” Sirius cried, lifting the spider up into the air just as the dormitory door opened. Peter and Fabian came in, looking hearty and happy. “What’d you three skip lunch?” Peter asked curiously. “Yep.” Sirius said, floating the spider over towards Peter. “—And we’d like to ask you two something.” James said, grinning to Sirius. “What?” Fabian asked, picking up his schoolbag. “To join their club.” Remus said, opening his History book once more. “Oh, cool—OH!” Peter squealed; Sirius had just dropped the spider right on his shoulder. Sirius let out a shriek of laughter. “What kind of things will we be doing in this club?” Fabian asked, putting his potions book inside his schoolbag while watching Peter flail around, trying to get the spider off. “Fun stuff.” James said casually, his smile turning into and evil grin. “He means sneaking around, raiding the school.” Lupin muttered, turning a page of his book. Peter finally brushed the spider off and sent it scuttling into a nearby hole in the wall. “I’ll join.” He said shrilly. “Excellent.” Sirius said, “Fabian?” “No way.” He said, “No way.” He shuddered. “Aw, how come?” James asked. “I’ll show you why.” Fabian said, tuning so that he had his back to them all. He lifted his shirt up, exposing his back… and several lashes upon it that were heavily bruised and scabbed hideously. They all cringed, and Peter let out a gasp. “What happened?” Sirius asked, horrorstruck, as Fabian lowered his shirt. “Pringle.” Fabian said simply. “I was sneaking around at night… at two in the morning to be exact… and he caught me as I was heading back to Gryffindor tower.” “I thought he couldn’t do that on first timers!” James cried exasperatedly. “Well, there’s an exception if you’re sneaking around that late… or early.” He said darkly, putting his schoolbag around his shoulder, gasping, and then taking it off again. He cringed painfully and then made his way towards the door, carrying his bag with his hand instead. “Wait—why were you sneaking around at two o’clock in the morning?” James asked, raising an eyebrow. “Uh… meeting—er—Gloria.” Fabian said, grabbing the doorknob and opening the door. “Um—I gotta go study for potions… you know, exam tomorrow.” He left the room, shutting the door behind him. “Wow.” Peter said, plopping down on top of his bed, “He really likes Gloria.” “Yeah, to risk getting expelled for her? That takes commitment.” James said, letting out a low whistle. “I’d do it for Lily.” Sirius blurted out suddenly. “I don’t think she’d ever be sneaking around that late.” Remus said, closing his book again. “—Well!” James shouted, cutting off any more conversation, “What’s our name gonna be?” “Dunno…” Sirius muttered, thinking, “It should be short though, don’t want members to get confused.” “’The Sneaks’?” Peter suggested. “Nah… too simple.” James said, “What about… the ‘Anti-Snape Association’?” Everyone laughed. “—‘The Raiders’?” Sirius called out. “Yeah, that’s a good one!” Peter cried. “No.” Remus said suddenly, “’The Marauders’.” He finished smoothly, placing his History book on the floor. There were murmurs of approval issuing from the boys. “Brilliant.” James said, smiling the widest he had smiled. “Yeah, Excellent.” Sirius said. “Well, I try.” Remus said, shrugging but grinning. “What does that name mean anyway?” Peter asked, staring confusedly at Remus. Sirius picked up his pillow and chucked it at Peter. It hit him in the head. “Hey!” Peter said, throwing it back where Sirius caught it. “It means ‘raider.’” James said, waving a hand impatiently. “We learned that in History.” Remus told him. “Oh…” Peter said, turning pink. “Okay, so, we’re the Marauder Four then.” Sirius said brightly, “Unless we can persuade some of the girls to join.” “I doubt it.” Remus said, “They’re all serious about school.” “So are you!” James said pointedly. “Yeah, but I’m no more serious than you think! I like having fun, you know.” “Well… we’ll at least ask Lily and Andromeda.” Sirius said, shrugging and rising up off of his bed. “Where would they be right now?” “Probably Common Room or out on the grounds.” Peter said, watching Sirius head towards the door. “Let’s go check—all of us.” James said, joining Sirius at the door. “No.” Lily said, “No way!” “Aw, c’mon!” James begged. “Have you seen Fabian’s back?” Andromeda exclaimed. “Well, fine.” James said glumly, turning to leave, “C’mon guys, let’s go.” “Bye Lily.” Sirius called, waving. She smiled and waved back. “Hey, where are you guys going?” Andromeda asked curiously. “Out to the grounds.” Remus said. “I wanna go too!” Andromeda cried, “Lily, wanna go?” She asked Lily. “Sure.” Lily said, getting up from the armchair she was sitting in. “We were just going there in a few anyway.” “Cool.” Sirius said, “The more the merrier.” “What’re we gonna do out there?” Peter asked as they all left the Common Room in a group. “Just hang out.” James said. “Well, me and Lily are going swimming.” Andromeda said matter-of-factly. “Sounds good to me.” Sirius said, beginning to descend the stairs. “But you haven’t got a bathing suit on.” Lily said, eyeing his outfit and frowning. “He’s going commando!” James yelled. The girls began to giggle. “No, I’m not!” Sirius said desperately, turning red, “I’ll just go in my shorts!” “Hey, what’s your ‘club’ called anyway?” Andromeda asked as they reached the Entrance Hall. “’The Marauders.’” James said proudly. “Oh cool.” Lily said, “Who thought of it.” “Remus.” Sirius said, opening the front doors and heading outside. “Yep, me.” Remus said proudly as they all began walking out onto the grounds. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. There were several students sitting around, buried in books or hanging out by the lake. The six of them walked across the grounds, James, Sirius, Andromeda, and Lily heading for the lake while Peter and Remus took a seat on the grass, under the shade of a large beech tree that was right by the lake. “You’re not coming, Remus?” James asked. “Nah, got to study.” Remus said, indicating his book. James shrugged and continued walking towards the lake. When they reached the edge of the lake, Lily and Andromeda immediately stopped and began removing their clothes to reveal bathing suits underneath them. Lily was wearing a pretty lavender-colored bikini with a floral design, and Andromeda, a black bikini with a skull design. Sirius thought Lily looked gorgeous. He pulled off his shirt and began taking off his shoes to the sound of giggles coming from behind him. He looked up to see a group of Ravenclaw girls watching him, and at the sight of him looking at them, all looked away and continued to giggle even harder. Sirius smiled and shook his head, continuing to take off his shoes. He stood back up after to see James looking over at the Ravenclaws himself, already in his shorts. James rumpled his hair and then turned to Sirius. “Man, you’re a regular stud!” He said, looking back over at the girls longingly. Sirius shook his head, “Naw, I’m not!” He said, turning towards the lake. He saw that Lily and Andromeda were giggling themselves, taking turns dipping their toes in the surface of the lake. “It’s so cold!” Lily cried, shivering slightly. James and Sirius walked over to them. Sirius dipped his foot into the lake. “It’s not cold!” He lied, taking backwards strides away from the lake. “Then why’re you backing away?” Andromeda teased. Sirius stopped and he was now several feet away from the lake. “I’m not.” He told her, grinning. Then he sprang forward, sprinting towards the lake. As soon as he reached the edge, he jumped up high, doing a front flip in midair and diving headfirst into the cool clear water. He loved the feel of the water engulfing his body as he went through the surface, going downward, heading towards the bottom. He hoped that Lily was impressed with him back up on the surface. When he reached the bottom, he turned his body so that he was upright and then pushed himself hard off of the bottom with his legs towards the surface again. He emerged from the surface, spitting out a jet of water, to cheers and more giggles from the Ravenclaws. He looked around at Lily. She was smiling at him. “Hey, how’s the water, Sirius?” James called over to him from the shore. “Great!” Sirius said, treading water on his back. “Hey Lily, jump in!” He yelled. Lily shook her head, giggling. “Yeah, Lily!” James said, turning to her so that he now had his back to Sirius. “It’s easy…” He said, beginning to back up to the edge where Sirius had just leapt off of. “All you have to do is just jump in.” He continued, “Cause then you don’t have to do it the hard wa-AAAAY!!!” He screamed, flailing his arms wildly as he fell backwards off of the edge, plopping right into the lake. Lily and Andromeda screamed, Sirius gasped. A second later James came up to the surface, laughing like mad. “Ha, tricked you!” He cried. Sirius let out a yelp of a laugh. “Good one James!” Lily and Andromeda now looked affronted. Sirius swam over to where Lily was, eventually reaching the ledge. He made puppy dog eyes at her. “C’mon Lily, please?” He asked, tilting his head to the side and succeeding to look cute. “No, it’s too cold!” She said, shaking her head and smiling down at him. “Are you sure?” Sirius asked, coming closer so that he was now gazing into her eyes. “Yeah.” She said, crouching down so that they were now eye-level. Sirius reached up and took her hands in his just as Andromeda jumped in too, swimming out to James who was in deeper water. “Are you really really sure?” He asked. He could now see her bright green eyes way up close. “Yes.” She said more assertively. “Well… I knew this wasn’t going to be easy.” Sirius sighed, looking away for a moment. Lily narrowed her eyes in confusion, and before she knew it, Sirius’s eyes darted back to her and he yanked her forward as she screamed. Sirius caught her in a hug and then quickly let go, as she was struggling to get out of his grip. She backed a little ways away from him and then splashed a bunch of water into his face. Sirius laughed. “You jerk!” She shrieked playfully. He continued to laugh, shrugging. “Oh!” She cried heatedly as he began laughing even harder. Suddenly, Lily sprang forward towards him, tackling him backwards into the lake and taking him by surprise. Sirius got up and then picked her up by the waist, throwing her behind him into deeper water. She began laughing and then they ended up having a major splash-fight, James and Andromeda joining in after a while too.

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