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My name is Sirius Potter. And I’m in trouble. I should probably also go ahead and tell you, before you start making assumptions, that I’m a girl. I wasn’t supposed to be, mind you, and all the Mediwizards agreed that Mum would give birth to two healthy boys around Midsummer, and that would be that. And when you’ve got Harry Potter for a dad, well, of course his twin sons are going to be called James and Sirius. So, just a bit before midnight on 20 June, my older brother came shooting into the world. A few minutes later I followed, and it was immediately clear that everyone had been dead wrong about the boy bit. But Mum said that Sirius was just a star after all, and there was no reason it had to be just a boy’s name, (and since they hadn’t thought about girls' names at all) Sirius would do just fine.

But that doesn’t have anything to do with the situation at hand; the situation at hand is all about incompetence, arrogance, and having a good time. Oh, yeah, and the stupid ruddy Slytherins too. The clock on the wall beside me says its half two in the morning, which means I ought to be sleeping soundly in my bed in Gryffindor tower. Instead, I’m standing in our Head of House’s office, nursing a bruised arm and waiting. At least I’m not alone. James, my twin brother, is standing next to me, looking resigned and vaguely put out. Might have something to do with the fact that he got out–dueled with a giggling charm.

‘Mum’s going to kill us,’ he sighs morosely, his voice lacking all bitterness, just filled with a sort of resigned acceptance.

‘She’ll kill me first – then you can convince her that I talked you into it and you’re actually innocent,’ I say, attempting a bit of levity. Not surprisingly, it falls flat. That’s the thing about James – wonderful bloke, really, excellent man, just a bit prone to following rules. And really, this wouldn’t be a problem if I weren’t so prone to breaking them. For every good thing Jamie does, I do about three bad things. Somehow, this lands the both of us in detention. But he’s my brother, so he still loves me – most of the time.

Right now he’s shaking his head and sighing. ‘Are you ever going to change?’

‘Probably not.’

‘Right then, let’s just get this over with,’ he mutters as Professor Habersham, the head of Gryffindor, glares her way into the room. She’s wearing a frumpy looking mauve dressing gown and an old-fashioned bonnet. And she’s looking rather put out.

‘In here with the two of you,’ she snaps, shaking a finger outside the door. James and I exchange a confused glance - we’re already inside the office - and then realise she’s not talking to us at all. Trudging in, looking very guilty and sorrowful, are our two best friends: Ian Granger – Weasley and Kate Laramie. Kate is still moving a bit stiffly from the stunning spell she got hit with, and Ian is just looking morose.

‘Sorry,’ he mumbles to us. ‘They cornered us in the Charms corridor – no way they couldn’t see we’d all been in the same fight.’

‘Don’t worry about it mate,’ I say bracingly, trying to smile.

Habersham clears her throat, tapping one slippered foot on the floor. It would be more impressive if she were wearing shoes that actually made a tapping sound, but she’s working with what she’s got. I can respect that. ‘If you’re all quite finished,’ she says darkly, eyeing us in a most unfriendly manner. ‘Now. While I understand that the term is effectively over, that you are only waiting for you marks to come in, that it is summer and all you want to do is have a bit of fun, will someone kindly explain why you are all out of bed at this hour?’

She gets a bit shrill in the end, and we all wince. And, of course, its Jamie that speaks up. ‘We’re very sorry Professor –‘

‘Mr. Potter, you have not yet begun to feel nearly as sorry as you will. And I am not looking for apologies, I am looking for explanations. Provide one. Immediately.’

Her eyes rake over us like hot burning coals, and I take a deep breath. What I’m about to do is quite a gamble, especially if the Slytherins get caught and don’t lie, but it’s the best choice we’ve got. ‘We were just playing a game of hide and seek,’ I sigh, trying to sound ashamed. ‘It’s been a bit boring the last two days, and none of us could sleep, and we thought that if we were quiet we wouldn’t get caught – we honestly weren’t trying to harm anything.’

‘And yet you managed to start a duel with four students, also out of bed and wandering round the castle, no doubt for a completely unrelated reason?’ If her eyebrows arch any higher, they’re going to become part of her hairline.

I give her my best honest look, hoping it works. ‘I know it sounds ridiculous, especially given who its coming from, but really, we weren’t out looking for them, we just happened to meet up in the trophy room. We weren’t expecting them at all, and we, er, got into a bit of a row I’m afraid –‘ she snorts derisively, rolling her eyes, but she motions for me to continue. ‘We were being very irresponsible, and, given the high standard I usually hold myself to when sneaking out of bounds, I have to say that I’m ashamed of us,’ I finish off, sounding sincere because I actually mean it.

For a moment she doesn’t believe me. I can see the doubt playing out in her eyes. And then she nods once. ‘Disturbing as it is, that speech is sadly believable coming from you Miss Potter. But, it does not change the fact that you are still in a great deal of trouble. We are still looking into the matter – if we discover anything that does not match up exactly with your story, then you will be in detention for the rest of your natural lives. As it is, you will report to me at half eight tomorrow morning for your punishment.’ We all wince. ‘And fifty points will be deducted from Gryffindor.’ We all wince again. ‘Now, I believe it is time you were all in bed.’


‘That wasn’t right,’ Ian mutters as the portrait swings closed behind us. He’s shaking his head, barely visible in the low firelight coming from the hearth across the room. ‘She’s up to something.’

‘Course she is,’ Kate yawns. ‘She’s got us to deal with. Five sickles says we’re serving that detention tomorrow with the four gits we were fighting with – and that we’re cleaning the entire Trophy room, without magic. That’s her favourite.’ We should know, we’ve done it enough times.

‘I’m with Ian,’ Jamie shrugs, dropping into a chair. ‘That was too short, and too…nice.’

‘Who caught the two of you?’ I ask speculatively, looking from Kates to Ian.

‘Er…it was Norris and that new Arithmancy professor – whazzer name?’

‘Faulkner,’ I supply, nodding. ‘When did Habersham come find you?’

‘Uhh, ‘bout five minutes before we saw you,’ Kate estimates, shrugging. ‘It wasn’t that long – just from the Charms corridor to her office.’

Jamie and I exchange a look. ‘We were in her office for at least twenty minutes,’ he smiles tightly.

‘Was anyone with her?’

Its Ian and Kate’s turn to look at one another. ‘Just Renier,’ Ian says darkly. We all sneer: Renier is the disgusting git of a Runes professor who happens to be head of Slytherin house.

‘Something’s up,’ I say through a yawn. ‘We’re going to show for that detention tomorrow, and something’s going to happen – you mark my words.’

‘Consider them marked,’ Jamie grumbles sleepily. ‘I’m for bed.’




A/N - sorry the prologue and this chapter are so short - the rest will be longer, i promise. leave me a review and let me know what you think!

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