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I officially hate the Marauders. With a passion. With a passion so deep that Merlin's hair would curl at just the thought. That is if he doesn't already use hot curlers... Wait, what?

Oh yeah!

I am covered, absolutely bloody covered in honey and feathers! I look like a ridiculous girl covered in honey and feathers... that is because I, er, am. Dammit!

Here I am, finally having what I think is my first kind of friendly yet flirty conversation with Remus Lupin, the greatest thing since the toastie, and I am dosed in bloody honey and feathers! No word's can explain how I feel right now.

I lied. There are words. Many. Very angry ones. Some funny ones. But mostly angry.

I turned to yell my new found words at the Marauders only to find all of them on the ground in fits of hysterical laughter.

"Yo- you look like a- a giant bird!" James managed to choke out from his position on the floor.

"You should have se- seen your face!" Sirius managed, who was now clinging to Remus' shoulder for support.

Oh god. Remus.

If he says anything I will without a doubt die. Most likely spontaneously combust. Or perhaps from catching fire. It certainly felt like a possibility if how hot and red my embarrassed face feels is any indication. Though I rather hope not. Sounds painful.

Wait, what the hell am I thinking?! Get out of here you idiot!

The boy's were too busy laughing their selves silly, so I took the opportunity to very gracefully and in a dignified manner turn and storm off with a magnificent sweep of my robes.

Well, obviously that didn't happen! Honestly, shame on you for thinking that I could manage anything even remotely like that!

What really happened is I stood there for a few more seconds just blinking at the boy's laughing on the ground before I very awkwardly and in an extremely ungraceful manner, attempted to run away, which turned out to be more of a shuffle due to the honey that had dripped onto the floor, making it very sticky and difficult to make an escape.

I had managed to make it around the corner before I heard Peter say loudly over his friend’s laughter, "Hey, where did she go?"

The Marauders laughing abruptly stopped and I heard the shuffling of robes which I assumed was the other boy's finally getting up.

Oh bugger! Hurry Shaylee! Shuffle shuffle shuffle! Damn this honey! Damn it to hell! And damn the Marauders! And the Hufflepuffs! And th-

I was cut off from my thoughts of damnation by Remus saying, "She must have went this way."

Oh noooo! I need to hide!

Panicking at the thought of having to have to endure more laughing, I flung open the door to a random, hopefully empty classroom and hurried inside. Looking around wildly, I spotted a supply cupboard off to the left side of the room. For lack of a better plan, I shuffled as fast as my honey covered shoes would take me and climbed inside the cupboard.

Great. Just great. Not only am I covered in honey and feathers but I am now hiding in a cupboard. And to make matters worse, the honey is very uncomfortably sliding down my back and legs, creating a sticky mess at the bottom of the cupboard. Great.

Well at least the Marauders haven’t found me! I am very obviously fantastic at hiding! This is a good thing I suppose seeing as how I can never show my face again!

I just can’t believe they pranked me! I mean they said they were going too but I didn’t think they would do it!

Is this the reason they have been nice to me? Has it all been leading up to this prank?

I knew it! I knew it and I was all like ‘Nahhh they aren’t that mean as to just befriend people to make fools of them!’

I am a bloody idiot. I am so silly; they should just put me in Hufflepuff! I should not even be allowed to be at Hogwarts because if I had brains I would have wised up to their little scheme.

“Hey you guys! Here, look!” came James’ voice from what sounded like just outside the classroom, interrupting my self-demoralisation.

They have opened the door to the classroom!

I listened to their footsteps as they all entered the room and heard Sirius call, “Shaylee?”

Oh Godric! They have found me! I am done for! But how did they know?!

As if I had shouted the question, Sirius said from much closer to my hiding place, “Shaylee, we know you are in here. We saw your honey footprints” there was laughter in his voice.

Crap. Stupid honey!

Ohhh I wish I could see what was going on outside this stupid cupboard. All I can hear is them muttering to each other... No, wait. They have gone silent. This cannot be go-

“ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” I screamed in surprise as the cupboard doors were flung open by James and Sirius.

“ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” they shouted back at me in shock.

We all stopped screaming at the same time and just stared at each other for a few seconds before Remus’ and Peter’s uncontrollable laughter punctured our shocked states.

Oh great. Just bloody freaking great! James and Sirius have now both started up laughing again. Well that is it!

I pulled out my wand, which was hard as the honey had made my robe pockets stick together, before stepping out of the cupboard and pointing my wand at the four boys with a look on my face that said, ‘If-you-don’t-stop-bloody-laughing-you-twits-I-am-going-to-curse-you-into-next-year!’

Well, I at least hoped it looked like that.

Remus noticed me with my wand first and cleared his throat before he nudged James who then, noticing me, nudged both Peter and Sirius.

Sirius, who had stopped laughing but still had an arrogant grin on his face, said, “Aw come on Shaylee, don’t be like that! We were only having fun and we did warn you that we would prank you! That is more than we give our other victims!”

“Your other victims?!” I shouted in indignation. “I thought I was your friend! Not just another bloody victim!” as I was shouting I took a step closer to the boys, who’s faces no longer held signs of grins, but more of nervous smiles.

“Shaylee, we didn’t mean to upset you...” Remus said in a soft voice. I turned to look at him.

Oh Merlin, all is forgiven! How can I stay mad at that face!

Wait, no! He was in on this too! He was the one who distracted me so that the others could prank me.

That’s it, isn’t it? Why this hurts so much and why I’m so embarrassed, because Remus was part of it.

I looked from Remus to the others and then I did something that I had never thought I would do in a hundred million years. I narrowed my eyes angrily at Remus. He looked slightly taken aback and went to say something else before I cut in.

“It’s just all a big joke to you guys isn’t it? Befriend the shy quiet girl, make her think she finally has friends all just so you could humiliate her and get a good laugh. Well guess what! You did! You must be so proud of yourselves. Now I guess that it’s over, you can all go back to ignoring me. I liked it better that way!” I was shouting loudly and I was sure I had my crazy eyes going on. Not a very attractive look but what did I care? Barry the giant squid never worried what I looked like, so long as I brought him food. Barry really is my only friend.

“And to think I was going to introduce you lot to Barry!” I shrieked at the four shocked boys before I finally lost it.

Sockticulus!”

“Wha-“ Peter started before he keeled over laughing uncontrollably. Next to go was Sirius and then Remus before; finally James too was on the ground laughing with a pained look on his face.

“Since you guys like laughing so much, I thought I would give you all a hand.” I said before I stomped off back to the common room, leaving the Marauders and a trail of sticky footprints behind, completely forgetting about dinner.

                                                                        ***

Thank god and Merlin and all that is awesome that everyone has gone to dinner. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I had come back looking like a giant chicken to a common room full of people.

Actually I do know. I would probably go off my rocker at them and quite possibly scar a first year for life. Lucky it didn’t come to that I guess.

As I passed one of the tables by the fire, which happens to be the Marauders favourite spot to sit, I saw that someone had left their book on the table.

Shuffling over to it I hoped that it was one of the Marauders and was in luck when I opened to cover to find Property of Remus Lupin  scrawled in loopy handwriting on the inside page. I grabbed the book with a maniacal smile and hurried off to my dorm.

Once inside, I hid the book under my bed with a feeling of triumph.

AHA! That will show him! Let’s see him try and do his Charms homework now! HAHA! I am obviously an evil master mind.

Feeling slightly better and also a little bit evil, I went to the bathroom and nearly died of fright.

Holy biscuits! I really do look like a giant chicken! How am I ever going to get all of this off me?! I will have to go off and start my life as the giant chicken girl on some bloke’s chicken farm and will have to spend the rest of my life eating corn! I don’t even like corn! In fact, I hate it!

My worrying about being giant chicken girl and eating corn for the rest of forever carried on through me peeling off my sticky clothes and getting into the shower. I was reaching a state of panic when the honey was not coming off but soon began to calm down when slowly, but surely it started to wash off.

Once I was sure all of the honey and feathers were off I began the task that was my hair. It seemed this is where most of the honey had ended up.

Oh god, how am I going to get this out?!

The answer is I wasn’t.

It would just not come out. No matter how much shampoo I used or how hard I scrubbed, it would not come out.

After half an hour of being in the shower and trying to get the honey from my hair, all I had managed was to make it slide down from the crown of my head to ends of my waist length hair where it decided it would like to live permanently.

Awesome.

As I was again in panic mode I heard the dorm room bang shut and hoping to Merlin that it was Lily and not Demelza, called out, “Lily?! Is that you?! If it is you, please you have to come help me! If it is Demelza, then er, don’t come here, alright?” I shouted, hoping that whoever was out there could hear me.

“Shaylee? Is that you?” Lily called from the door.

Oh thank goodness! Finally something has gone my way!

I quickly turned off the shower and wrapped a towel around myself before letting Lily into the bathroom.

“What’s wrong?” Lily asked before spotting the ends of my hair which were now a lumpy mess. “What did you do to your hair?” she asked in surprised while poking the mess of hair and honey.

Swatting her hands away I said, “The Marauders happened!” I said, tears suddenly threatening to spill over.

Oh fabulous. Now I’m going to cry and in front of Lily and everything. Next I will do something really crazy like not finishing my potions essay.

“Oh Shaylee, please don’t cry! What happened? What did they do?” Lily asked frantically while I wiped my eyes feeling stupid and told her what had happened and how they had all just pretended to be my friend.

“THEY WHAT?!” Lily shouted angrily once I had finished the story and she began pacing the room angrily.

“And now I can’t get all of these feathers and honey out of my hair. I don’t want to be the chicken girl Lily!” I wailed.

“Calm down, it’s okay we will get it out. Just let me have a look,” Lily said in a reassuring voice. Then she had a close look at my hair before finally saying, “Well if you had just used magic to get it out it wouldn’t be so tangled...” Lily murmed more to herself than me.

“Yeah well I was a bit busy with freaking out to think rationally!” I muttered, knowing Lily had heard me but she chose not to say anything.

After a few more minutes of Lily pulling painfully at my hair she finally said, “Well I can try and use magic to get it out for you... though if I can’t I think the only other option is to cut off the ends...” Lily finished gently.

“What?! You will have to what?! I don’t want to be bald! I mean I know some people can pull off the look, but I’m pretty sure I have a weird shaped head and I do not want to be known as the weird head shaped chicken girl!” I shouted, having completely lost my head.

“You won’t be bald! I promise!” Lily had grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me while shouting “So just CALM DOWN!”

Oh yeah, really calming it is having someone shouting in your face. I know, trust me. NOT.

After what felt like ten years Lily finally gave up trying to charm the feathers and honey out of my hair. That only left one option.

Death.

Wait, no that’s not right. Ahhh yes, cutting my hair. May as well be death, I thought sulkily.

“Alright Shaylee, I think the only option is to cut it,” Lily said hesitantly, scared of my reaction.

Taking deep calming breathes I managed to say through clenched teeth, “Okay. Do it. Let’s get this over with so I can go curse those Marauders” I practically growled the last word. Wow, I even surprise myself sometimes!

“Actually, I really think I should go get Alice. She’s really good with hair spells and cutting it and what not,” Lily said before walking to the dormitory door. I could have sworn I heard her mutter to herself as she went down the stairs, “Plus if she screws it up you will hurt her and not me”

Once Lily had left I gave one last feeble attempt at trying to untangle my hair before I gave up and decided it would probably be a good idea to put some clothes on. Having changed into jeans and a shirt, a few minutes later Lily and Alice made their way into the room with a worried look on their faces.

“Oh my god Shaylee, I cannot believe what happened! Lily told me what happened, those jerks! Oh your poor hair!” Alice said while making her way over to me to examine my hair. “Mmm Unfortunately I think the only thing for it is to cut it,” as Alice saw my face she added hastily, “but don’t worry! It will look even more amazing! And then I will teach you some hairstyles and stuff, yeah?”

I just nodded and let Alice get to work trying not to think of my life as the bald chicken girl.

                                                                      ***

I think I love Alice. In a totally non weird way of course, but none the less, she is bloody amazing with hair!

The honey and feathers, along with the hair they were tangled in, were now gone and my once waist length dark brown hair was cut to fall just above the middle of my back. Alice hadn’t needed to cut off as much hair as I had feared and once she started I don’t think she wanted to stop.

 So, trusting her, I gave her free reign to do whatever she thought would look best and she bloody well pulled it off!

Not only had she cut out the tangled mess, but she had also used her wand to cut in layers giving my once limp hair texture and volume. She had also gone as far as putting what she told me were blond ‘foils’ and ‘highlights’... whatever they were.

Like I have stated many a times, I suck at hair. But I now know that foils and highlights are amazing!

The blond really stood out in my dark hair and to complete the look Alice trimmed my blunt fringe, which had been getting a bit long.

“Well, what do you think guys?” asked Alice with an anxious look on her face as I examined my new look in the mirror.

“Shaylee! You look amazing!” gasped Lily as she looked up from the book she had been reading while Alice had worked her magic. “Great job Alice” she added which made Alice smile in relief.

“Alice... I don’t even know what to say... YOU ARE AMAZING!” I squealed before jumping up and hugging Alice as tightly as I could. “Thank you so much!”

Alice laughed as I released her and said, “Well I’m just glad you like it. It really suits you, you know. The blond and brown, it brings out your eyes”

Blushing at the compliments I muttered a ‘thanks’ while still looking at my hair in the mirror.

“Right,” Lily said in an authoritative voice she used when she meant business. Alice and I turned to look at her, “now that we have fixed your hair problem, I think we need to discuss exactly what happened and then start on our plan for payback”

What? WHAT? Is this Lily talking? Had a slytherin taken control of her body?

“Lily, are you in there? Is that you? Because you do not make plans for revenge” I said with a laugh, though still eying her warily.

Lily just grinned a mysterious smile and said, “Don’t I? Now, tell us what happened, and don’t skip anything”

So I told them everything that had happened from the notes about pranking to the moment I left with Remus, I cringed slightly at saying his name. Just knowing that he was involved somehow made me twinge with embarrassment and sadness. Lily and Alice stood there ‘hmm-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ at appropriate times. I finished by telling them my conclusion of them just pretending to be friends and what not. At this they both frowned.

“You know Shaylee,” Lily said slowly, looking to Alice who nodded, “I think you have the last bit wrong. I mean, I know they can be stupid gits, but they are never intentionally mean to people who don’t actually deserve it. And you most certainly do not deserve it.”

“If anything, I think this has been a bit of a miscommunication” said Alice thoughtfully.

A miscommunication? Are they actually saying that the Marauders really are my friends? Well that is just ridiculous. I mean, they covered me in honey and feathers for Merlin’s sake!

Hmm... Though I guess I would have done the same to one of them if given the chance... and they had warned me that if I didn’t prank them they would get me.

“So you don’t think they were being intentionally mean?” I asked in a quiet voice, still thinking everything through.

Lily shook her head, “No I don’t. Look, why don’t you go and talk to them? Maybe they can explain themselves. But first, we have some planning to do!” The mysterious smile was back.

Oh god, what have I gotten myself into?

                                                                         ***

Alright Shaylee you can do this. It was all a misunderstanding. Just ask them and everything will be cleared up and then I can snog Remus senseless!

Er, well maybe not that last part, but not from lack of wanting to.

Pushing thoughts of snogging out of my head, I entered the quite full common room and looked around for the Marauders. After doing a quick search I concluded that they were not here.

“Well they aren’t here, what a shame. I guess we will have to this another time... like never” I said to Lily and Alice, who had followed me down into the common room. They just rolled their eyes and pushed me further into the room.

Just as we were nearing the portrait hole, it suddenly opened and Sirius climbed through, carrying his shoes and socks in one hand while holding the door open with his other free hand. Next through the door was James who also had his shoes and socks off, followed by Peter and Remus, who again both had their shoes off.

Huh. If this is some new thing they are trying to start, then I am all for it! I hate shoes! They make my feet feel trapped and sad... or something.

Just as I was thinking about taking my own shoes off the boys spotted us and their way over before trying to all speak at once.

“Shaylee we didn’t me-”

“We’re sorry we thou-”

“It was all Sirius’ fau-”

“Hey!" Sirius cut off Peter who grinned at his friend.

“Guys! It’s okay. Let’s go sit down and talk” I basically shouted over the boys who started to banter amongst themselves about whose fault it was.

We all made our way over to one of the larger tables by the window and sat down. I found myself sitting between Lily and Alice on one side of the table with the boys squashed at the other side.

“Shaylee we are really sorry, we didn’t mean to upset you. We thought it would be funny and we thought you knew it was coming and thought you would even find it a bit funny, which obviously you didn’t because you charmed our socks to tickle us an-”

Sirius’ ramblings were interrupted by Lily, Alice and I breaking out into laughter.

HAHA! I had almost forgotten that I had charmed their socks to tickle them. That’s why they have no shoes on!

“You charmed their socks?” Alice asked me with a grin. I just grinned and shrugged nonchalantly.

Sirius and James folded their arms sulkily. “I hate being tickled” Sirius muttered darkly and when everyone laughed, he grinned as well.

“I’m sorry guys,” I said once everyone had settled down. “I over-reacted... I’m just not used to having many friends and I thought you guys were just pretending to be my friend to embarrass me. I’m sorry I charmed your socks” I finished lamely.

The marauders just grinned at me before James said, “Of course we aren’t just pretending to be your friend! If we didn’t genuinely like you, do you think we would put up with your insane self?” he laughed as I shouted ‘hey!’ at him before I smiled myself. James continued, “We’re sorry as well. We want you to know you’re not another ‘victim’ of our pranks, but that’s not to say we won’t prank you again!” He said with a mischievous grin.

“I’ll remember that next time I’m covered in honey and feathers” I said while laughing and rolling my eyes.

“Oh Shaylee, we have much to teach you. We never repeat a joke twice. That’s just tacky” Sirius said laughing along with everyone else.

“Well now that’s all cleared up” Remus said with a kind smile at me that made me stomach swoop happily, “Anyone up for a game of exploding snap?”

                                                                           ***

After many games of exploding snap in which I lost horribly every time but still had a great time non e the less, we all decided to go up to bed. Everyone slowly drifted off to their dormitories slowly, Lily and Alice giving me subtle winks. I stayed behind to clean up the playing cards. Because I am just that nice and thoughtful.


Alright! I give up! You got me! I only stayed back because Remus was packing up the cards and I wanted to be around him now that I no longer hated him... as if I ever could really.

Before I knew it, it was just Remus and I left at our table and as I picked up a few of the cards I blurted out, “I’m sorry I glared and shouted at you!”

Oh real smooth Shaylee. Couldn’t think of a smoother way of saying sorry?

Who am I kidding? This is me we’re talking about.

Remus smiled and looked me right in the eyes and said, “It’s okay Shaylee,” ahhh I love the way he says my name! “You just surprised us. We never knew you had a feisty side!” he joked playfully. I tried to control my blush.  Remus continued, “I should be saying sorry for getting you into that mess in the first place”

“You know, now that I have had a chance to let the shock wear off and now no longer think you guys are just pretending, I actually think that the prank is actually kind of funny” I said with a smile.

“If you don’t mind me asking...” Remus began while looking down at the cards in his hands. “But why did you think that we were just pretending to be your friend?”

“I... It’s hard to explain,” I sighed as I shuffled the cards nervously.

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to,” I looked up to see Remus looking at me intently and with full sincerity.

Oh Remus, why must you be so understanding and amazing! It makes it near impossible to not tell you anything you ask. If you asked me what me what my dream on the train really was about I would tell you in a heartbeat! It’s not fair I tell you!

Taking a deep breath and trying not to blush I said quietly, “It’s just, I’ve never really had any friends before. I mean once I had an imaginary friend. But she said she didn’t want to be friends with me anymore because I was weird...” Oh dear god. I did not just say that! Quick! Recover! “What I’m trying to say is, I guess I was just a little bit worried that you were all just playing some joke on me so when you pulled that prank, I thought you guys had completed you plan or something... I mean, come on! You’re the Marauders for Merlins sake!” I said with more force than I intended. Great, now he probably thinks I’m mad at him again!

Before I could say anything else, Remus said, “Shaylee that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!”

“I’m sure it’s not the MOST ridiculous thing you have ever heard,” I muttered more to myself but Remus heard me and smiled.

“Well that’s true I guess. I have heard worse. I mean, you should hear what Sirius says in his sleep!” He chuckled at this and I smiled.

“But really, we would never do that to you or anyone for that matter. Sure we like pranking people but we wouldn’t do it to purposely hurt someone.”

“I think I knew that all along, it’s just that I’m new to all of this,” I said while looking Remus in the eyes, trying not to be distracted by them. “I still can’t believe that we’re friends!”

“Well believe it,” Remus said while smiling at me, “and don’t ever think otherwise! Or else we will have to prank you again for you to remember!” he said while chuckling.

Holy Godric! When did Remus and I get this close to each other? I could have sworn a few seconds ago he was on the other side of the table. I could almost look up his nose if I wanted to!

Not that I did or anything... well, maybe a little. Shut up!

Remus seemed to notice how close we had unconsciously gotten and cleared his throat before saying somewhat awkwardly, “So, we agree? We are friends and no one is pretending?” I nodded and he grinned.

“Good, glad we got that cleared up.”

And then Remus Lupin did something I never thought possible in this life time.

He. Hugged. Me.

Quite startled by the fact that Remus was hugging me, it took me a second to realise what was going on and just when I had hugged back, he let go and moved away to pick up his pile of cards.

Do not pass out!

I could barely think of what to do with myself so I told my brain to shut up and to save this to obsess over later. Just please don’t embarrass me now!

Giving up on trying to suppress my blush and hoping that the darkened common room hid the extent of it from Remus, I picked up my stack of cards and handed them to him as calmly as I could.

We both made our ways over to the bottom of the boys and girls staircase and said shy goodnights to each other.

I had just reacted the fourth step to go up to bed and was about to go into full on melt down mode over Remus hugging me when Remus called quietly, “I really like your hair like that by the way, just so you know,” I turned around just in time to see him smile shyly before he went the rest of the way up to bed.

Oh Merlin, you great man, you.

How am I ever going to sleep tonight?

The answer is I wasn’t. But I am A-okay with that. So long as I could replay the feeling of Remus’ strong arms around me in a hug over and over again.

Mushy and disgustingly girly?

Bugger it, I don’t care!

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