“Decided to come crawling back to us have you?” Sirius smirked at her when she joined them in the carriage pulled by the faint black horses.
“Oh most definitely,” Kristen slurred, rolling her eyes as she sat down with them.
“Come on Krissie, you’re not really mad at us, are you?” James asked, putting on his best sad eyes and quivering bottom lip. He motioned for the others to follow his lead, which left Kristen with four very pathetic looking friends.
“How could I not forgive dorks like you? With faces like that they’ll be no one else to love you.”
“Are you kidding me St. Clair? James and I already have girlfriends.” Sirius told her proudly.
“We haven’t even set foot inside the school yet!”
“We met the on the train. Duh!”
“I am already regretting forgiving you Black,” Kristen seethed at him, crossing her arms.
“Here comes the jealousy,” James whispered to Remus.
“I mean, honestly! You probably don’t even know her name!”
“It’s Rebekah, as a matter of fact. Rebekah Cross!” He shouted out her, glad to be opposite of her in the coach.
“That total dimwit from Charms last year?” Kristen laughed loudly. “Well no wonder you got her, she can’t even tell up from down!” She then turned serious. “Shame on you Sirius, taking advantage of a girl with no brains.”
“She has plenty brains.” Sirius snapped back.
“I have to side with Kristen on this one, she really doesn’t.” Remus told Sirius, trying to console him with a pat on the arm.
Sirius turned to release some anger on Remus. “You don’t have room to talk, you don’t even have one!”
“At least I don’t pick up the closest slut there is.” Remus shot back uncharacteristically.
“You just wish you had my kind of power!”
“Your power?” James laughed heartily. “What might that be.”
After Sirius’s extremely explicit answer the coach erupted in shouts: Sirius against James, Remus, Peter, and Kristen, James against Sirius, Kristen, and Remus, Peter against Sirius, Remus, and Kristen, Remus against Sirius, Peter, and James, and Kristen against Peter, James, and Sirius. The shouts of all of them was nearly deafening inside the carriage. Several low insults were thrown around as the group experienced their biggest fight.
The group turned to see the head boy standing at the door to their carriage, looking angry. “As you failed to notice, the carriage has come to a stop and you need to get out.”
The group huffed past him and instantly dispersed, none daring to look at the other. The Gryffindor table was filled with tension as they sat as far apart from each other as possible. The only thing that brought them together for a moment that night (apart from the bone chilling song of the hat) was Sirius’s brother being sorted. There was a hushed silence as the marauders watched the tiny boy approach the hat. Sirius had high hopes for him; he had told them that though he was annoying, he had a good heart. He was sure he would be in Gryffindor with him.
But the hat yelled “Slytherin” after nearly two minutes on his head. Sirius’s head lowered in defeat, feeling that he had ultimately failed his little brother. Even Kristen felt disheartened by Regulus’s placement, and for a moment her eyes locked with Sirius’s in silent understanding. She then turned away, talking to Lily for the remainder of the feast.
When it came time to return to the tower, still no one spoke to the other. Kristen couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like for the boys. At least she wasn’t sharing a room with the person she was fighting with.
* * *
“Here are your schedules,” McGonagall passed out the slips of paper efficiently. “Black, Potter, St.Clair, Pettigrew, Lupin, and Evans.” She then called out, normally able to talk to them as a bunch but as they were still situated far from each other having to gain their attention. “I need to have a meeting with you all promptly at six tonight in my office.”
They all looked at each other, confused as to what they might have done (especially Lily who looked ready to hyperventilate) but then they quickly remembered that they were angry at one another, and went back to their breakfast.
Classes were exceptionally difficult. They had a history of magic with Slytherins that after noon, and were hardly willing to integrate with them to avoid sitting by each other. Instead, they took their normal seats, not looking at the person next to them, not speaking to them, or even acknowledging their existence.
“Why are you guys not talking?” Lily asked her heatedly, feeling used. She knew that one of the only reasons Kristen was sticking so close to her was because she didn’t want to deal with the others.
“It’s nothing,” Kristen grumbled, noticing Sirius holding hands with Rebekah as they walked to McGonagall’s office. He gave her a quick kiss before entering the office right before Lily and Kristen.
“Thank you for coming,” Professor McGonagall told them briskly, totally unaware of the tension between the six children seated in front of her desk. “Don’t worry, none of you are in trouble. I simply brought you here to discuss an invitation you will soon be receiving. Professor Slughorn has a club for students he believes will succeed in life, and he often becomes a great mentor to them so they will supply him with goods once they are established. He has told me that he has selected all of you to join.”
“Even Pete?” Sirius asked rudely, his eyebrows raised in disbelief.
“Yes Mr. Black. Even if his grades are not what they could be, Mr. Pettigrew seems to have potential.” She informed him crisply.
Remus snorted loudly, rolling his eyes at the idea. “Right,” he drawled sarcastically.
“Shut up werewolf!” Peter suddenly shouted at him, standing up.
And then the fighting erupted once more. Kristen was on Remus’s side, disliking Peter for broadcasting his problem, while James was with Peter, and Sirius just kind of yelled. Lily hurriedly made her way to McGonagall, feeling like she was going to be dragged in at any moment.
“You’re a horrible person Peter!”
“He said I was stupid!”
“You are stupid!”
“Shut up Lupin!”
“Don’t talk to me like that Potter!”
“I’ll talk to you however I want werewolf!”
That’s when the hitting started, when Remus, for probably the first time in his life, actually showed some real aggression and punched James right in the face. James quickly fought back, with Peter on his side and Kristen and Sirius against.
They all froze, only their eyes were able to flick back and forth nervously. “As I was saying,” McGonagall continued as though nothing had happened at all. “Even though this invitation may seem prestigious, be wary of it. Professor Slughorn often…misuses his students’ talents. I’m not telling you to refuse his invitation by any means; it looks prestigious to future employers. When you join though, be careful to not become too enamored with him. You may go Miss Evans.”
Lily said a quick ‘thank you’, threw a disgruntled look at the five statuette ex-friends and then continued on her way to dinner.
“Now for you five. The famous Marauders, rumored to be the closest group of friends Hogwarts has seen since the founders themselves, though it was thought you wouldn’t have the same outcome. Are we to be proven wrong?” It was obviously a rhetorical question, as none of the group could move. She then pointed her wand at Lupin, causing his to be able to move again. “Tell me Mr. Lupin, when did this begin.”
“Well, it really started when Sirius became a right pain in the- ”
“Okay,” McGonagall said quickly, immobilizing him once more. “Strangely enough, you were the wrong pick to explain.” She then sighed, realizing that it really wasn’t fair for one to tell the story without the others to defend themselves. She irritably waved her wand and they were all able to move again. “If any of you speaks without being asked you will be in detention indefinitely.”
“Don’t we already have detention for fighting?” Sirius asked sarcastically.
“Especially because it was right in front of you?” Kristen added, huffily sitting in her chair.
“Ah look at that,” McGonagall mocked them unusually, “You’re already bonding over the many detentions you’re going to be sharing.”
“Like I would ever bond with a stuck up bitch like her.”
“You’re not too friendly yourself Black!”
“Be quiet!” McGonagall snapped at them, causing them to both go back to slumping in their chairs. “Honestly, you are all fourteen years old, stop acting like children.”
“Sirius started it,” Kristen grumbled.
McGonagall sighed and put her head in her hands as she tried to gain patience. “Tell me how he started it Miss St.Claire.”
“He flaunted that he had a girl friend, even though she has no brains, and then he threw it in Remus’s face that he didn’t have one.”
“Then how are you, Mr. Potter or Pettigrew involved?”
Kristen was silent, not having a good answer for that. She most certainly was not going to tell McGonagall that she had mostly just wanted a reason to yell at Sirius after he told her about his and James’s girlfriends. “So you’re telling me, that you five just got in a fist fight because of an exchange of meaningless words between misters Black and Lupin.”
They all shifted uncomfortably. When it was put like that, it seemed so stupid. “Oh Merlin,” she groaned when none bothered to contradict her. “I’m ashamed of you. You, possibly a few of the brightest students I’ve had in years, besides in common sense, resorted to violence to solve a minor dispute. Don’t plan anything for the next three weeks; you’ll be spending everyday after dinner in my office. Now, go.”
They were silent as they made their way to the great hall, though it wasn’t tension filled like it had been most of the day. They were not yet ready to speak to one another, and they were all afraid it would take ages to get back where they used to be.
* * *
It was a whole week before anything brought them close enough together so that they felt ready to speak.
“Look at that,” Sirius observed mildly, pointing to the board in the Common Room that announced tryouts for quidditch to take place in two weeks from that Sunday. “You all thinking of trying?”
“Course.” James answered, continuing to read his book. Kristen only nodded her head while Peter and Remus declined.
Sirius breathed loudly and flopped down beside them. Even though they weren’t speaking, they had already fallen back into the habit of traveling as a pack. He looked back and forth between them all, hoping that his dramatic noise would incite some kind of conversation. Only Kristen looked up, crinkled her eyebrows at him, and then looked back down to her charms homework.
He came really close to saying something, anything that might make them talk again. Hell, he even thought about kissing Kristen, just because that would be sure to at least get some kind of vocal reaction. But he didn’t, it wasn’t his job to mend things.
* * *
“I have to step out for a moment. No one talk,” Professor McGonagall then looked them over and sighed, “Though I doubt I have much to worry about.”
She left five teenagers sulking in their desks, ready to go back to their tower. One stood up though, and deftly made his way over to her filing cabinet.
“What are you doing?” Remus hissed at him, looking apprehensive.
“She has to have something good in here,” Sirius whispered back, opening the bottom file drawer.
James tiptoed his way to the door, looked out, and then quickly made his way to the file cabinet, helping Sirius in his search. “We’re going to get caught,” Kristen warned them, though much of her yearned to join their hunt.
“Peter, stand watch,” James told him, causing the plump blonde boy to jump up and rush to the door. “Happy?” He asked Kristen sarcastically before resuming his search.
Kristen rolled her eyes and got up to help them, starting on the second file cabinet. Remus watched nervously, part of him wanting to help, the other not wanting to ruin his already soiled record.
“Look at this,” Sirius said excitedly, pulling out a piece of parchment with a drawing of Hogwarts on it.
“Yippee, a map of Hogwarts,” James drawled, twirling his finger in the air.
“Look at all those secret passages,” Kristen squealed in delight. “I bet they all lead to Hogsmeade!”
“This is incredible,” James marveled, apparently having a change of heart on Sirius’s find.
Remus looked from the door to his friends and back again. Finally, curiosity won over and he went to join them.
“Imagine the possibilities,” Sirius spoke loud enough for their look out to hear. “We could go whenever we want!”
“This is awesome!” Kristen agreed. Suddenly, it clicked, they were talking. They were sharing a good laugh over the mayhem this map would surely cause.
“Are we going to pretend this never happened?” Sirius asked stoically, eyeing them all with interest.
“I hate not having you guys,” Kristen admitted, a little hesitantly. “I mean, I love Lily to death, but she’s not any of you.”
“I miss having help on homework,” Peter put in truthfully, though it made them all laugh a bit.
“You know Remus, that was one Hell of a blow. You ever considered being a beater with that strength.” James told him, as sort of way of apologizing for his words and forgiving Remus’s punch.
“No thanks. I’m tired all the time enough as it is.” Remus chuckled. He then turned to Sirius. “Sorry for calling her dumb.”
“Oh I know she is, I was just angry at the time,” Sirius told him with a grin.
“You mean to say, that this could have never happened if you had just agreed with me?” Kristen asked, her heart already fluttering in anger once more.
“Well of course I couldn’t just agree, she was newly my woman.”
“Newly your woman? What is she, some kind of possession?”
“Hey, hey, hey, stop! We’re having good feelings Krissie, good feelings!” James shut her up quickly, also cutting off Sirius’s retort. “Look, no fighting for at least a week guys, until we get back to our old standing, agreed?”
While Remus and Peter immediately agreed, Kristen and Sirius just mumbled, knowing that it would hardly last. “Quick, sit down!” Peter cautioned, running back to his seat as Kristen, James, and Sirius worked as quickly and quietly as they could the close the drawers and get back to their own desks.
Professor McGonagall reentered the room, fully noticing the wicked grins on her students’ faces. “What did you do?” She asked, her eyes narrowed dangerously.
“We highly resent the fact that you immediately assume we’ve done something wrong,” James informed her, his face trying hard to look serious but ultimately failing.
“After all, we’ve been nothing but angels since starting detention with our favorite teacher.” Sirius continued, grinning widely to show all his teeth.
There seemed to be a small smile on her lips, but none could be sure. “I see you are all a team once more and are back to terrorizing teachers.”
“What are you talking about? I absolutely detest each and every one of them.” Kristen said casually.
“Feelings mutual doll,” Sirius turned in his seat to tell her, raising his eyebrows in completion.
“Black and St. Claire, either stop flirting or get out of my room.”
Kristen blushed violently but Sirius perked up at the news. “If I keep flirting with her can I go? Kristen, if I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”
“It's not my fault I fell in love. You are the one that tripped me.” Peter serenaded her next.
“Do you have a map?” Remus asked her next. “I just keep on getting lost in your eyes.”
She was nearly close to bursting at that point but it was James’s that sent her over. He came over, held her hand gently and said, “You must be a magnet, because it looks like you are attracted to my buns of steel.”
That’s when she lost it and burst out laughing. Even the others couldn’t help but laugh at what must have the worst pick up line they’d ever heard. “Please, go! I don’t think I can stand any more of you,” McGonagall ordered them, pointing out the room. The group gleefully ran off, not about to give her a chance to change her mind.
Minerva sighed happily as she sat at her desk and pulled a stack of tests from her N.EW.T. class towards her to grade. Her plan had worked after all, though they really had deserved detention, and were still going to have to come. Maybe she wouldn’t make them for the rest of the week. Heaven knew she wanted at least a few decent players on her team that year.
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