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Chapter Three

The Hogwarts Super Slide





 

James supposed the greatest thing about having a best friend in every house was that it didn’t matter which class he was in, he would always have someone to sit next to, and to have a good time with. The only problem with this, was that he shared the most boring subjects, History of Magic, and Arithmancy, with Ravenclaws… and therefore sat next to Lysander.

Most of the time, Lysander was great, and despite his reputation for being a little odd, had an awesome sense of humour and was stupidly smart, but in classes; well, like a true Ravenclaw, he worked hard and didn’t like being interrupted for more than a request for more ink or a spare piece of parchment. However, it did make copying his notes a hell of a lot easier.

As he sat in his first History of Magic class, Professor Binns droning on like the background crackling of a dying wireless radio, James’s thoughts drifted from Goblin Rebellions to the essay that was currently nestled in his bag just behind his Defence book. He did feel bad about copying Lysander’s essays three times a year, but he tried to make up for it the rest of the time, only copying his Ravenclaw friend’s notes… which Lysander knew and was perfectly happy about.

The first time he and Lorcan had done it had been on a Sunday afternoon in the run up to the summer holidays in their second year. James had been hidden in the back of the library buried in books as he tried to catch up on the five essays he had due over the next two days. When Lorcan came around the corner to find the source of a loud thumping as James hit himself in the head with a large book, they’d decided to swap essays and copy from each other. James had already finished his Charms essay, and Lorcan had finished Potions, so if they swapped, they only had four more to worry about.

Trying to think of a way to get the other essays, it was then that Lorcan admitted Lysander had caught him trying to sneakily take a look at his essays to get some pointers. If only there was a way to distract Lysander, then they might be able to get their hands on the essays.

The only problem with the plan was that it’d take them a long time to write up their own versions of the essays. They needed a way to duplicate the essays instantly so Lysander would never realise they were gone.

That afternoon, time that should have been spent working on essays was spent scouring through Charms books, searching for any way that could replicate the essays. It was about three o’clock before James began almost jumping up and down in his seat.

“Why didn’t I remember before?” he cried, grinning guiltily before lowering his voice again. “Gemino! My aunt Hermione used it to get the Horcrux from Umbridge. My dad used to tell me about it!”

Looking down at the charms book, he also noticed that the charm details on the next page was ‘Glisseo’.

“Yeah,” Lorcan said enviously. “You get stories about the Department of Mysteries and the Battle of Hogwarts, where I get tales of bugs from Asia that let you see the spirits of old Magical Creatures.”

James chuckled and pushed the book towards Lorcan, also pointing out the Glisseo charm as a good way to make some trouble.

 

Trying to bite back his laughter, James covered his mouth with his hand as Lysander gave him an odd look. There wasn’t much funny about Goblin rebellions after all… well, not the way Professor Binns told them. It’d taken James and Lorcan the best part of the afternoon perfecting the Gemino charm, but James had just realised they’d never put their plan for the Glisseo charm into action. He’d have to bring it up again… and probably tell Roxanne as well; she’d love it.

Realising as he’d been daydreaming he’d fallen quite behind Lysander on notes; he began hastily copying to catch up, the bell ringing just as he got a sentence behind Lysander. He copied the sentence down before packing up his bag, slinging it over his shoulder and following Lysander out into the corridor.

“I’ll see you later,” James called as he turned in the opposite direction to Lysander and hurried with the crowd down towards Herbology, knowing that Lysander had Charms next.

James bumped into Roxanne just as he was making his way out of the Entrance Hall and out onto the grounds. Looping her hand cheerfully through his arm, she rested her head on James’s shoulder and sighed.

“Two days,” she said regretfully. “Two days and I’m already bored out of my brain!”

“You just had Transfiguration, right?” James asked, knocking his head against hers.

“Yeah,” she explained. “It was awful. Who tells Hufflepuffs to turn Badgers into hats?”

James hid a laugh behind his hand before unhooking his arm from Roxanne’s and slinging it over her shoulders.

“They’ll be telling the Slytherins to make scarves, Ravenclaws to make…” unfortunately, what Ravenclaws would make was lost on James, as well as what Gryffindors would make with their mascots.

“No!” Roxanne lamented, looking at James with wide eyes. “The Slytherins were making hats too! Katriona started going on about how all Hufflepuffs should be turned into hats, they’d be more useful that way.”

James scowled and pulled Roxanne a little tighter against him, knocking his head lightly against hers again. There was only one word to describe Katriona Flint, but James seemed to think it was an insult to female dogs. Plus, his mother usually yelled at him if he used that word.

What he could never understand was how Katriona managed to swindle so much power over the other Slytherin girls. She wasn’t intelligent, James believed she looked like a cross between a Pug and a Troll, and she wasn’t on the Quidditch team. However, her parents were apparently pretty big on the Slytherin scale of things in James’s dad’s day. James shrugged and pushed open the door to greenhouse number three.

“Just ignore her, Rox,” he said lowly. “She’s one Slytherin… sure her height and girth makes her probably count for one and a half, but you’re so much cooler than she is.”

Roxanne let out a reluctant giggle, looking up at James gratefully.

“Lorcan doesn’t like her, doesn’t he?” Roxanne asked suddenly as they took their places around the large workbench. James flashed a grin to Janie Green, another Gryffindor.

“I believe Lorcan’s exact words about Katriona the last time we talked about her were ‘the goblin orders me about one more time, and I will make it my mission to get her intimately acquainted with the Giant Squid’,” James explained, putting on his best Lorcan imitation. Roxanne smiled broadly and nodded before turning to listen to their instructions for the day, leaving James wondering why Roxanne cared so much who Lorcan did or didn’t like.

Half an hour later, James pelted to the large sink at the back of the greenhouse, turning the cold water on full and splashing it over his face as, behind him, Roxanne, Janie, and Henry Paulson, a Hufflepuff friend of Roxanne’s, all cried with laughter. He hadn’t meant to do it, and seeing as Professor Longbottom had told them the dangers of getting Bubotuber pus on their skin, James was frantic to get the stuff off before he broke out and looked like the Slytherin, Terrence Nott, on a good day.

“Alright, you three, that’s enough,” Professor Longbottom said with a shake of his head as he pushed past the three laughing classmates and approached James. Placing a hand on his shoulder, he turned James around to look at him before using his wand in a long sweeping motion.

“That should have gotten the last of it,” he said with a small smile, “but be more careful please, James.”

“Yes Professor,” James answered, his cheeks flushing red as he rejoined Roxanne, Janie and Henry at the workbench.

“Sorry, James,” Henry managed to mutter between chuckles. “But it was rather funny.

James nodded, and cautiously leant back towards his Bubotuber to continue collecting the pus.

“So, anyway, I was thinking,” James said quietly, shifting his Bubotuber a little closer to Roxanne’s so that he could talk to her privately. “Things have been far too quiet.”

Struggling to keep her Bubotuber still so that she could squeeze one of the swellings, Roxanne glanced at James with a raised eyebrow before turning her concentration back to her work.

“James, we’ve been here two days, let people get settled in,” she answered, finally managing to get the yellow pus to erupt from the swelling. She grimaced and held up the bottle to collect the pus.

“Nah,” James answered with a wicked grin. “Now is the perfect time, no one will be expecting it.”

“Expecting what, exactly?” she asked.

“Meet in the library after dinner. I’ll explain to everyone,” James explained ominously before ignoring all Roxanne’s pleas for him to tell her now.



It was half past six by the time Lorcan had peeled himself away from second helpings of crumble and custard and made his way into the library, cradling his arm across his stomach and groaning that he ate too much. Sitting around one of the small tables that was usually just enough for one person to work happily at, James and Roxanne perched haphazardly on the same chair as James pulled his charms book from his bag and opened it at the page he’d marked, laying it across the table.

Seeing the Gemino charm, Lorcan tried to look nonchalant, but couldn’t hide the shock in his eyes. To make sure they weren’t caught in their little essay scam, James leaned forward and pointed to the page showing the Glisseo charm. Lorcan visibly relaxed.

“You dragged me into the library to show me a charm that I have in my own charms book?” Roxanne asked with a raised eyebrow.

“This charm turns rough things smooth…” James explained excitedly. “Most notably; would turn stairs into a slide.”

“Like the girls dorms stairs,” Roxanne answered carelessly. The three boys stared at her with confused expressions. “Have you three never tried getting into the girls dorms?”

“No!” they all answered instantly.

“If a boy tries to get into the girls dorms, this big siren goes off and the stairs turn into a slide,” she explained with a grin. “And I thought you were meant to be trouble makers!”

Lorcan grinned smugly at Roxanne. “The girls in Slytherin aren’t worth getting into their dorms,” he explained with a happy shrug.

“We’re getting off the point!” James said in frustration. “The point is using this charm in the middle of the castle.”

Lorcan and Roxanne laughed and looked enthralled, Lysander looked worried.

Pulling out the Marauder’s map, he placed it on the table and tapped it with his wand, muttering ‘I solemnly swear I am up to no good’ as he did so. Ink appeared from nowhere and began spreading across the map. The first time Lorcan, Lysander, and Roxanne had seen this, they’d all been amazed, but now, it was quite normal.

As the map finished drawing itself, James leaned over and pointed at the South Tower. Lorcan, Lysander and Roxanne all leaned in a little and watched James curiously.

“Right here is the only set of staircases that doesn’t move and goes from the sixth floor all the way down to the ground floor,” James explained. ”Loads of people use it because it means they don’t have to cut back and forth along corridors. Between classes, that stairway is packed.”

“So what’s the plan?” Lorcan asked, a broad excited grin across his face.

“If you go up to the sixth floor, you can see all the way down to the ground floor. I say, we get all the stairs as everyone comes out of classes. Over a hundred people going down a slide.”

Roxanne laughed loudly before she covered her mouth to stop the Librarian from coming over and scolding them all for being noisy.

“I dunno, James,” Lysander answered carefully. “What happens when a hundred people go flying into that corridor, loads of people will get hurt.”

Lorcan waved his hand dismissively, Roxanne frowned and cocked her head to the side as she considered what Lysander had said, and James scratched his head as he thought about it.

“Ok! I’ve got it!” he answered finally. “There are six staircases, if two of us get three staircases each and the other two can cast constant cushioning charms to make sure no one gets hurt.”

Lysander looked like he wanted to argue, but couldn’t come up with anything. Defeated, he sat back in his chair. “Ok.”

“Right. We’re doing it tomorrow. Lor, we’ll do the Glisseo charms. Rox, Ly, you’re on cushioning. Lor and I have Defence first in the afternoon which puts us close to the South Tower. Where are you two?”

Roxanne smirked. “I’m in Divination. Right at the top of the South Tower.”

“Brilliant. You’ll be close. Ly, what about you?” James asked.

“I’m in Ancient Runes, it’s not far,” he explained, still a little uneasy.

James nodded and tapped the map again, wiping it blank before he folded it up and shoved it back into his bag along with his Charms book. Roxanne got to her feet and stretched languidly, looking away through the bookcases.

“Ok, be ready to run as soon as classes finish,” James said, slinging his bag over his shoulder and giving them all a mischievous grin. “See you tomorrow!”

James returned to his common room feeling more excited than he had done knowing he was coming back to Hogwarts. This was going to be amazing!

 

James couldn’t sit still all through his morning lessons the next day. He was told off twice by Professor Mordaunt twice in Transfiguration for not paying attention, and given extra homework in Charms because he failed to perform his summoning charm correctly. He wanted to tell the Professor that he was working on Charms, just not the one he’d asked for, but knew he couldn’t mention the Glisseo charm because it would let someone know who performed the prank in the afternoon.

All through Defence class, James and Lorcan shared mischievous looks as they tried to make notes about curses and hexes. Deciding that setting a classroom full of fourth years free with a lot of hexes was a terrible idea, Professor Abbott was making them learn all the theory and consequences of the charms they would be using.

Five minutes before the bell was set to ring, James and Lorcan began slyly packing their things away, sliding things carefully and quietly into their bags until, as the bell rang, all they had to do was stuff the quills and parchment into their bags and they were out the door.

Pelting along the corridor and up the staircase, they turned corners quickly, catching a few shoulders along the way as older student turned and swore loudly at them. It was only as Lorcan performed a magnificent gambol and jumped back to his feet, sending a seventh year with a large stack of books crumpling to the floor, that they decided it was best to slow down a little.

When James and Lorcan arrived at the top of the set of staircases in the South tower, it was to find Roxanne and Lysander already waiting. Looking over the banisters, James was thrilled to find that the staircases were packed.

“Ready?” he muttered to the others. When three nods came back, the four students leaning over the banisters with their wands at the ready, James grinned broadly.

“Remember Lor, you’re second, fourth and sixth. Start at the bottom and work up,” he reminded him. Lorcan grinned and nodded, his eyes alight with amusement.

“You two go!” James said to Roxanne and Lysander, who instantly began firing cushioning charms over and over again down the staircases.

“Lor…. Go!”

The excitement was everything as he began firing the charms at the staircases. It took a few attempts to hit the stairs through all the people, but he finally hit his mark as he heard screams and shouts, twenty people suddenly falling onto their bums and sliding down the first staircase. He saw that Lorcan had hit the second staircase, so he moved onto the third. Then, when he got that one, the fifth.

Soon, it was pandemonium as over a hundred students went flying down the staircases into the corridors below. Tears of laughter were pouring down Lorcan’s face, Roxanne could hardly breath from laughing, and even Lysander couldn’t hide the amused grin that was spread over his face as he tried not to laugh.

Some fell to their bums and slid down the six story slide, some had been walking up the stairs so fell onto their fronts, and James had to point out to the others as one boy managed to stay upright and almost surf his way down the stairs, falling flat on his face as soon as he got to the bottom.

“What in the world?”

James flung himself back from the banisters, immediately followed by Lorcan, Lysander and Roxanne, as the furious voice of Professor Pratt rang through the corridors. Flattening themselves against the wall furthest from the stairs with their hands covering their mouths, they edged along the wall and out of sight before sprinting off down the sixth floor corridor, falling over themselves with laughter as they finally came to a deserted space.

“That… was… priceless!” Roxanne managed to get out through her laughter, clapping James on the back as he doubled over, clutching his stomach as his laughter began searing into a stitch in his side.

“Absolutely… bloody… wonderful!” Lorcan cried.

Wiping tears of mirth away from his eyes, Lysander looked around in worry as the second bell rang.

“We’ve gotta go!” he said in anguish, hitching his bag further onto his shoulder and taking off down the corridor towards Transfiguration. Roxanne threw one last amused look at James and Lorcan before hurrying after Lysander.

James looked up and down the corridor before nudging Lorcan. “We’d better run,” he said, taking a deep breath.

“Yeah,” Lorcan answered before setting off at a run down the corridor.

James took off after him, and by the time they got down to the dungeons, James was once again clutching his side.

“Boys, you are ten minutes late!” Professor Henkle snapped angrily. “Ten points from Slytherin and Gryffindor.”

“Sorry Professor,” Lorcan and James apologised in unison, sneaking to the back of the class and taking their seats.

Despite losing points for both their houses, James and Lorcan could hardly keep the smiles off their faces. They didn’t even need the effects of the cheering potions they were creating. Today, nothing could bring James down. He was the unknown master of Hogwarts.

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