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Author's Note: Hello there, nice to have you back! I'm going to save all my witless rambling for the after note, okay? Sounds good...




I stalked up the hallway like a raving lunatic, recklessly shoving little imps out of my way as I went. With each step I screamed at myself, regretting my decision to listen to my friends and go find Kat in the first place. She’s a frickin’ unfeeling witch! Needless to say, my ego was in pretty bad shape. Well, no, I reminded myself, okay, so maybe she's unfeeling. But she’s also the most amazing, gorgeous witch I’ve ever met. Only trouble is, she just happens to hate me with a fiery passion… damn.

Even angry at my own thoughts I cursed repeatedly under my breath with each step. I didn’t even notice – let alone care –that everyone around me was looking at me as if I’d grown as many arms as the Great Squid. Giving them all the dirtiest glare I could muster, I burst into our compartment in the worst mood ever.

“How did it go?” Meygan asked, her teeth sparkling as she flashed me a smile she undoubtedly thought was pretty cute.

“Just great,” I replied, my voice oozing sarcasm.

“I take it that means it didn’t go so well.” Luke sounded way too bloody cheerful so I gave him a hard whack in the left ear. “Hey!” he exclaimed, putting his hand to it where it was rapidly turning red as a forgotten Remembrall.

“Deal.”

“So it didn’t work out, huh?” Steff’s voice was sympathetic but I was in no mood for pity.

“So what?” I asked sullenly.

“What’d she say?”

I shrugged, brushing her off.

“James!” she exclaimed reprimandingly, her blue eyes imploring me to elaborate.

“I don’t know; she just wasn’t interested in my help. And as far as I’m concerned, she’s not getting it anymore!” I yelled at my friend sounding more like a first year girl than I care to admit.

“Whoa, man,” Luke said, taken aback. “Relax.”

“Yeah, James, you sound a little stressed! Breathe, breathe!” Alex exclaimed, patting my arm fiercely.

“No, I’m not gonna relax! And I’m not gonna breathe either so leave me alone!” I yelled, my voice going from first-year-girlish to frenzied-Blast-Ended-Skrewtish. What? I just needed a minute to nurse my pride, was all.

The five of them knew me well enough to leave it at that. When I was angry, I was angry, and Merlin help the person who dares to cross my path then.

“Maybe we should go talk to her,” Meygan whispered to Steff. “James was just trying to help.”

Steff nodded and then laid a hand on Luke’s leg. Eww! “Be back in a sec.”

The two of them stood and stepped out, leaving us wallowing in silence like pigs in mud. I saw pigs once at this random county fair my Grandpa Weasley dragged us all to. I’ve never been the same since.

“So, did you blow up at her?” Luke asked me, a mischievous look taking over his blue eyes.

“Maybe.”

Incredulous silence.

“Okay, fine, I did! But she deserved it.”

“What’d she say?” Luke sounded like Rose when she hears about a new spell she can research. Way. Too. Bloody. Curious.

“I forgot my own feelings for a minute to try and see things her way and all she can do is criticize me.” I stopped speaking and took deep gulps of the compartment air, which tasted more stale than usual in my mouth.

“Aw, poor little Jamesie got hurt by the big bad Kat,” Eddie taunted me, all in good fun, of course, but I wasn’t in the mood.

“I’m not laughing Eddie,” I informed him helpfully.

“I am,” Alex choked out between bouts of giggling. No, normal boys don’t giggle. Yes, Alex does.

“Well bully for you.” I said a silent prayer to my best mate Merlin that Luke would read my mind and change the subject.

“So, who’s siked for Quidditch?” Thank you, Merlin, always there for a bloke.

I perked up immediately at the mention of my favorite subject. “Ooh, me!” I exclaimed, throwing my hand in the air.

“Fine, make me feel left out then,” Alex pouted. He’s not on the team but then again, we would probably win even less than we do if he was.

“Sorry, Alex,” I told him, patting his shoulder consolingly. “But at least you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays like us.”

“Crack of dawn?” Eddie repeated solemnly.

“You heard me.”

“Damn,” he whispered. “But Burnett used to always let us wander in on Saturdays!”

“Well Burnett’s not the Captain anymore, now is he, Eddie?”

“No.”

“There you go.”

“Shit, I was hoping we could slack off all the practice now that you’re in charge!” That was Luke, helpful as always.

“No chance,” I told him. “I’m interested in winning the House Cup this year and slacking won’t get the job done.”

“Ha! Hahaha! Gryffindor? Us? Win the House Cup? Mate, you are one funny bloke!”

Okay, so maybe I should mention that our Quidditch team sucks. No, really. We’re even worse than Hufflepuff and that’s saying quite a lot. It hurts more than eating food from my Uncle George to admit it, but I’ve got to speak the truth. “It’s not funny, mate! I’m in charge this year and things are gonna be different!”

More of that dreadful incredulous silence.

“So, when are you having tryouts?” Ah, how I love subject changes.

“First thing when we get back; that first Saturday, of course,” I replied, looking forward to the event, of which, for the first time, I would be in charge.

“Will we make the team?” Eddie asked me, his tone implying he already knew my answer.

“Duh, we will. Or else we’ll beat him up!” Luke said with joking menace in his voice.

Eddie ignored Luke’s comment. “Well, Jamesie, will we?”

“Well, gentleman, that depends on how well you fly.”




The train rumbled on leaving nothing behind it but a column of black smoke, spewing up from the conductor’s car like me after Uncle George slipped that test nougat into my Thanksgiving dinner.

“Anyone for Exploding Snap?” Eddie called out, whipping a pack of playing cards from his pocket.

Silence. Poor bloke. With a sigh, I helped him out. “Fine, Eddie, one game.” Eddie, you see, is quite literally obsessed with Exploding Snap. Only problem is, he makes us play so much we hate it… and won’t play for anything. I was feeling particularly charitable, that was all. Besides, it was something to get my mind of what had happened with Kat.

As we settled in and began to play, the door opened and Meygan slipped in, taking her seat once more. “Eddie, are you making James play Exploding Snap with you again?”

Eddie grinned up sheepishly at the pretty redhead. “Maybe?”

She rolled her eyes jokingly. “Whatevs. It’s his own fault for being such a sucker.”

I chose to ignore that comment for her personal well-being.

“Where’s Steff?”

“Still talking to Kat. I seriously don’t know what’s up with that girl! She was fine a minute ago.”

I think I know… “Erm, I think she’s mad at me,” I volunteered.

“But why? What did you ever do to her?”

“That’s where I’m stuck, too,” I lied, knowing full well what I had done. Well, what she thought I had done.

Meygan favored us all with a drawn-out sigh. “That girl! Well, I wouldn’t worry too much about it, James; she can just be like this.”

I gave an attractive snort. “Me, worried? Ha! No way I’m worried about this!” Nice, Jamesie, nice cover. Of course you’re worried!!!

Meygan looked slightly disgusted, probably because of my snort. “Well, okay, but Steff’s talking to her.”

“Don’t let her waste her time. I speak from experience.” My voice was as bitter as that damn wolfsbane potion which freaking Gregory Flint forced me to drink in my third year.

When the train finally chug-chugged to a halt in front of the Great Lake, I was more than jubilant to escape the compartment. Grabbing my bag and leaving my trunk to be levitated in by the conductor, I left the compartment and my friends behind without looking back and jumped from the train quickly.

Sprinting down the long dirt path to a small covered lot, I approached the horseless carriages and pulled myself up into one. Unfortunately, Luke wasn’t far behind, jogging up to the carriage and giving me a skeptical look. “Come on, mate, cat got your tongue?”

I narrowed my hazel eyes and glared at him. “You just had to say cat, didn’t you?”

Chuckling at his own, unintended pun, he settled into the seat beside me. “I thought you got over the thing with her an hour ago!”

“Well I didn’t.”

He gave me a playful punch on the arm. “You can’t let her ruin our first day back! We have our prank to look forward to and everything! We’re seventh years, mate, seventh years!”

I gave a hesitant smile. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“Of course I am! So, please, lighten up.”

“’Kay, mate. You got it.”

“And James, you know you never changed into your uniform, right?”

I gasped. “Damn, you’re right! Nott’s gonna have my skin for a cloak…”

“Just avoid him,” Luke advised as Eddie and Alex caught up with us, swinging into the carriage while laughing together.

“Where are the girls?” Luke asked.

“Meygan went to find Steff and Kat, said she’d meet us in the Great Hall,” Eddie offered. “You done pouting, Junior?”

I nodded, not bothering to deny it.

“Good, because tonight’s gonna be awesome!”

Making a promise to myself to forget about the Kat episode for at least a little while, I grinned. “I know! You guys ready for our prank?”

“Of course! When have I ever not been ready for a prank?” Luke asked incredulously.

“Good point, mate. Let’s go over the plan one last time, okay?”




Now, because some weird people enjoy reading the details of boring stuff like the Sorting and dinner, I had planned to have that in here. However, because I find it boring, I ate one of my Uncle George’s Day-Dreaming Chews and zoned until we had finished eating. I mean, obviously I ate. I shoveled the food down like a ravenous man. I just didn’t pay enough attention to describe what actually happened…

So I’ll just move on to the interesting part of our first night: our annual, opening year prank. Unfortunately, because my dad’s a flaming toss-pot, every year he refuses to let me take the Invisibility Cloak to school. This year, though, I decided it was time to pull the wool over his eyes and take it anyways. I can’t say honestly that I felt no guilt about it, but it was our last year and how were we supposed to make a huge lasting impact without it?

When dinner concluded, I decided I’d have to sneak out of the Great Hall because, like the irresponsible bloke I am, I never changed into my uniform and Professor Nott – our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher – had been eyeing me menacingly ever since I entered the room.

Tapping Luke on the arm, I leaned over to him and whispered, “Hey, mate, I’m gonna make a run for it. Nott’s glaring at me like I’m a Death Eater in disguise.”

He nodded. “Meet you upstairs.”

Trying my best to look inconspicuous, I slunk from the room behind a pack of giggling first year girls, realizing a little too late that they were at least two feet shorter than me. “Shit,” I muttered, ducking out of the room into a dark corridor that led to the stairs. As I sprinted my way to safety, though, I heard a familiar yet most unpleasant voice from behind me.

“Mr. Potter, I believe you and I have an appointment in the Headmistress’s office.”

“We do? Nope, don’t remember scheduling that. Sorry, gotta scram, Nott.” Whirling around hastily, I tried to escape but a vice-like grip on my shoulder successfully impeded movement.

“I set it up especially,” he drawled, his voice cold enough to freeze a fireplace. “And it’s Professor Nott, to you, Potter.”

“Right, mate, musta slipped my mind.” I followed him, wincing, up to Headmistress McGonagall’s office.

As we walked – well, he walked, I was dragged – we passed all the clumps of people being escorted to their Common Rooms by the Prefects. Ooh, I forgot to mention, Eddie got picked as Gryffindor Prefect this year, along with Kat. As Nott paraded me past the Gryffindor line, Eddie gave me a sympathetic look and a half-hearted shrug.

I gave him a wink, as if to say, ‘Sod off! The great James Potter has it all under control.’ I think he got the message.

Kat, however, like the prude she was, gave me a disgusted look. Some people, really!

When we reached the Headmistress’s office, I was thrown quite roughly into a chair opposite her desk. Needless to say, Professor Nott has never liked me very much.

“Ah, Mr. Potter. The annual first-day visit. Good to have you back.”

“Same to you, Minnie,” I replied with a charming wink.

The slightest blush worked its way onto McGonagall’s wrinkly cheeks. “Mr. Potter, please restrain yourself from foolish behavior. I’m in a fairly good mood and if you don’t disrupt that, I may be lenient.”

“Good news. Look, it’s not my fault Nott here is such a stickler,” I explained, pointing at the Defense Professor.

The Headmistress closed her eyes and took a deep breath. I think she was counting to ten. “Mr. Potter. James. Please. It is your last year here and I would very much like it to be the best, for both me and you.”

“Well since our ideas of good are quite contradictory, how is that going to work out?” I asked sincerely.

“Never mind.” Her thin lips were pressed tightly together, the way they always were when she was trying to keep her patience. “Mr. Potter, I am giving you a detention to be served with Professor Nott this Saturday. Now please, go.”

“Saturday?” I screamed in outrage. “But that’s when I’m having Quidditch tryouts!”

For a moment, McGonagall sat, obviously torn between the two goods. One, her love of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and two, her love of justice, namely punishing me. Finally, she shook her head. “I’m afraid you’ll have to push tryouts back a week.”

“But Minnie, our first match is vs. Slytherin three weeks from Saturday!” I exclaimed.

She closed her eyes again. “Mr. Potter, let me make something clear to you right now. This year, good behavior and school must come before your role as Captain. I love the team as much as you do, but I am establishing the fact right now that it will not come first for you this year. Understood?”

“If I say yes, does that mean I agree?” I grumbled.

“Just go, James.”

“’Kay, bye.” On a ranking scale, I’d say that was the best our opening day meeting has gone in three years. Giving Nott a dirty look as I went, I sprinted from the office and up to Gryffindor Tower.

When I arrived, the Fat Lady eyed me disapprovingly. “Back from your meeting with the Headmistress?” she asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “Wait, how did you know that’s where I was?”

She sighed. “James, you go to her office on the first day every year, for one thing or another.”

“Oh, right. Well, listen, could you tell me the password, because I missed it.”

“Nope, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

“What? Why not?” I blubbered.

“Because.” She could be so arbitrary sometimes!

I heard footsteps behind me. Thank Merlin, now I can get in! I thought. But the person who emerged from the shadows was the last person I wanted to see at the moment. Kat.

“Erm, hey, Kat,” I mustered.

“Potter.” She regarded me coldly. “Back from your meeting with the Headmistress?” She sounded oddly like the Fat Lady.

“Yup. I guess everyone sorta figured out the tradition.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, I guess so. Canned newts,” she told the portrait, and it swung open.

“Um, where did you come from?” I asked.

She looked slightly uncomfortable and I wondered if I had hit on a nerve. “None of your business, Potter.”

“Uh-huh,” I replied, unconvinced.

She pursed her lips and disappeared quickly through the Portrait Hole, leaving me staring after her, feeling like the residue on the bottom of a cup of pumpkin juice.

I trailed after her like a lost puppy, but once I was inside, I turned and sprinted up the stairs to the boys’ hallways. Because we were 7th years, our dorm was all the way at the end of the hallway, where we wouldn’t be bothered by snot-nosed children running amok.

Since 1st year, me and my mates have shared a room, and luckily we have escaped having a fifth boarder with us each year. I can’t even begin to explain the crazy stuff that goes on in that room… stuff you’ll become closely related with soon.

Anywho, as I walked in with my trunk and backpack in tow, my three mates were already unpacked and sprawled out across their beds. “Hey,” I greeted them.

“Jamesie!” Luke exclaimed from his bed. But it came out more like, “Jkmaismie,” because his face was stuffed underneath about four pillows and couldn’t seem to be able to get up.

“Okay, Eddie, what’d you do to Luke?”

“Me?” Ed raised his hands and widened his eyes, protesting innocence. “Why so fast to look at me?”

“Because it’s always you.” I paused. “Well, when it’s not me.”

He sighed. “True enough.” He gave a flick of his wand. “Reducto.”

The fluffy white pillows flew off in every direction, zooming around the dorm before coming to a neat landing in the corner.

“Thank you. Now, gentlemen, suppose I told you I had a surprise,” I continued, settling my trunk down at the foot of my bed.

“I’d ask what it was,” Alex answered, always ready to play along.

“And I would-” I stopped and hopped excitedly to my feet, tearing open my trunk and whipping out the Invisibility Cloak.

I glanced around at them all, waiting for a response. But none came because the three of them were simply staring back at me with their mouths hanging open. Ah, power. “Yes, that’s what I thought you’d say.”

“How’d you get it?”

I shrugged, not wanting to describe the deception in detail… bad for the conscience, you know. “I just took it.”

“Your dad doesn’t know?” Alex asked.

“Nope.” I did feel bad, yeah, but bad enough to confess? Definitely not. Besides, this prank would certainly be worth it. “Look, can we just leave it and review the plan?”

“Man, we must’ve reviewed the plan at least, oh, I don’t know. Seven hundred times!!!” Eddie screamed, sounding a little like the Giant Squid at molting time.

“Whoa, whoa, chillax, mate. It can’t hurt to review. Okay, so Alex, you’re gonna go in first and hex all the mirrors in their bathrooms so that they’ll distort the image of anyone who looks into it. And by distort, we’re talking major ugly!” I explained, detailing the first part of our mastermind prank.

“Then I, under the Invisibility Cloak, of course, will go in and hex their broom closet so the Quidditch team can’t get their brooms out,” Eddie continued.

“Right. Luke, you-”

“I know, I know,” he cut me off. “I hex the staircases to turn into slides when someone tries to walk up them.”

“And finally, I add the crowning touch.” I reached into my trunk and retrieved a small package wrapped in brown paper. “The Weasley Wizarding Wheeze,” I paused for full dramatic effect, “Fireworks.”




Author's Note: Yay, time for my ramble! Haha, well, I just thought I'd say that I'm having an elephant-sized lump of fun (as James would say) writing this so I hope you all like it. Also, I have a favor to ask - when you review, could you leave your favorite quote(s) from the chapter? Thanks a lot; I love you all for reading! Tune in soon for the next chapter *containing a mastermind plan and a certain someone getting extremely angry at a certain someone else*

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