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I was woken on September second by Teddy, who thought it would be hilarious to steal my blanket and then make it snow on my bed. 

"Teddy! Make it stop! It's really cold!" I chattered, sitting up in bed, looking over at my blue haired friend, his broad grin threatening to split his face. I scrambled from my bed, escaping the cold wet slush that inhabited my bed. "Tomorrow can you just tip me out of bed or something?" I whined, looking at my bed which was now groaning with fluffy white, slushy snow. "Make it stop, you'll wreck my bed!"

Teddy shook his head, laughing at my expression. "Sorry mate, I don't know how." He laughed again, before turning to Nicholas' bed, Nicholas however had been warned by my yells and moans, and was up and escaping into the bathroom. "Hey Nicky, that's cheating!" Teddy complained as he stumped over to his bed, And slumped on it dejectedly.

"You guys are really loud," said a voice hoarsely from one of the other beds. A tousled black haired boy sat up, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "Jonathan Stark, muggle born." He supplied helpfully, his blue eyes slightly bloodshot from the gouging he'd just subjected them to. "Who are you lot?" He asked, yawning and stretching. His thin bony arms pointed towards the ceiling.

"Teddy Lupin," Teddy grinned. "That's Sev Prince," He gestured at me, as I was incapable of answering, racked by an enormous yawn that made my jaws creak. Teddy's hair was horribly rumpled, I decided, taking in my companions appearance. "And the boy who just left, was Nick Hacker." Teddy was saying, his brown eyes sparkling happily, he was irrepressible I thought, forever grinning, only a crazy person could be so happy this early in the morning. I groaned and grabbed my towel and decided that I would ignore Teddy's good spirits in the morning and just focus on waking up. 


When I returned to the dorm, Teddy was gesticulating about something or other, and Nicholas was straightening his tie in the mirror, the red and gold bands clearly weren't sitting well enough for him. Teddy I noticed was dressed like he'd just woken up in his school things, haphazardly thrown on, the tie wonkily tied, the robes crinkled and sitting askew on his skinny frame. Jonathan was standing in the middle of the dorm, bare chested a towel draped over his shoulder, looking politely at Teddy and inching his way to the shower.

I sighed in amusement, "Teddy, let Jonathan go shower, we can all go down to the great hall together." I chuckled at Teddy apologetic face, and shoved Jonathan towards the showers. "Hey, who's in the other bed?" I asked, noticing a lump like shape inhabiting the other bed. My own bed was still covered in snow, and I grimaced as more kept appearing, clearly Teddy knew some magic, but most of it wasn't helpful. I dug through the pile of snow, searching for my trunk, and pulled out my cloak which had a rampant Gryffindor lion on it and my gloves and scarf. I looked over at Teddy and noticed that he'd woken the other boy gently, I glared at his turned back, but then shrugged. Teddy was clearly just very much a morning person, it would be interesting to try and keep up with him. Nicholas had seated himself upon his bed, his tie straightened to his satisfaction. He noticed I was standing in the middle of the dorm, kind of lost, and patted his bed for me to sit down. We then turned our attention to Teddy, who was hastily explaining to tall thickset boy why he'd women him. 

"I had to wake you, classes start soon!" Teddy explained, stepping backwards, hands held up in surrender. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to annoy you, I won't do it again." Teddy backed up again, his eyes wide at the large boys menacing stance.

I frowned, Teddy looked like he needed some help, "Hey, what's your name?" I asked suddenly, standing up and moving next to my friend, annoyed at him I might be, but I didn't want to see him get beaten up.

"Gordon Howl," The boy said gruffly, before stumping off to the showers. His shoulders knotted with anger. As he entered, Jonathan entered the dorm blinking at us in surprise. 

"What happened here?" He asked, staring after Gordon in astonishment. 

"Oh, Teddy woke Gordon up, and I don't think Old' Gordy liked that too much," I said flippantly, grinning at Jonathan. "Shall we go then Johnny boy?" I asked, still grinning.

"Uh, I guess," Jonathan said, he looked at me in bemusement, "Johnny boy?" He queried.

"Yeah, Sev, Nicky, Teddy, and Johnny." I said laughing, "The Gryffindor lords!" Nicholas howled with laughter, and Johnny joined in when he realized I wasn't serious.

"Yeah!" Teddy enthused, "That's a great idea, the new Marauders!" He grinned at us.

"Marauders?" Johnny asked, his face showing his confusion.

"Yeah, c'mon I'll explain it on the way to breakfast," Teddy said grinning. And with that we all tramped down the stairs.

Teddy was still talking about the Marauders as we walked into the great hall, Johnny was all for becoming the new Marauders, but Nicholas wasn't so certain. I yawned as we sat down at the table, personally I thought we should have a new name for our group. I piled my plate high with bacon and eggs and set about to eat as much cholesterol infused food as I could. 

"What do you think, Sev?" Teddy asked, I blinked, what did I think of what? My confusion must have shown on my face as Teddy explained, "About us becoming the new Marauders?" 

"I think it's a great idea," I smiled. "But I think we should have our own name, so we can see if we can beat your Dad at his own game." I said grinning. Johnny nodded in agreement.

"Yeah, that's a great idea, Sev!" Johnny said laughing. "What should we be called?" He asked "Teddy?"

"I have no idea. Sev?"

I shrugged, "Nicholas?" 

Nicholas frowned in thought, his blue eyes becoming distant as he pondered, "What about the Laughter People?" He suggested, Johnny looked at him incredulously, "I mean, um, I don't know." Nicholas squirmed in his seat, "Why were they called the Marauders?" 

"Because they marauded people. I guess." Teddy shrugged, "Um, what about the Quintessant Quatro?" Teddy grinned, "It's alliterative."

Johnny groaned, "Please no!" Teddy stuck his tongue out at Johnny childishly. "What about the Musketeers?"

"There were only three musketeers though, not four. And there are four of us." I objected.

Johnny rolled his eyes, "There were four, but d'Artagnan wasn't actually inducted, but he's the fourth. Didn't you ever read the book?" Johnny asked.

"No, but-" I said stung, as Johnny held up a hand silencing me again.

"No buts, there are four musketeers. And really, how can you go past the catch phrase "All for one, one for all"?" Johnny asked.

"Sounds awesome," Teddy enthused, before turning to me, "Are you okay with that?" 

"Yeah, it's fine," I said waving a hand airily. It was a good name, I thought, but did Teddy have to think Johnny was so great? I mean, I'd met Teddy first, I was his best friend, wasn't I? I stabbed at my bacon unenthusiastically, silently listening to Johnny talk about putting up a banner in our room. I guiltily thought of Gordon, the poor guy had come out into an empty room, and now would be greeted with a banner proclaiming his dorm to be the dorm of the musketeers. A group he wouldn't be apart of. I shook myself and ignored the feeling that I was as bad as Johnny when it came to other peoples feelings.

"Nice of you to wait," Growled a voice behind Teddy, I looked up and saw Gordon glaring down at us. "Nice and cosy here, you all seem best mates." I couldn't help but see the pain behind his eyes, I felt so low, so guilty, "No matter, have a good day. Talk to you later." He walked off.

"That is one weird guy," Johnny said. "As if we'd wait for him, he totally tried to knock off Teddy's head!" Johnny scowled after Gordon. I shrunk into my chair and looked at Nicholas who seemed to be mimicking me. He nodded slightly in agreement of the situation.

Emboldened, I broke into Johnny and Teddy's discussion, "We can't have a banner. It'd be rude to Gordon. It's his dorm too. He'd feel left out." I explained. Nicholas nodded in accordance to what I said.

Teddy groaned, "Damn, you're right, Sev." He slung an arm around my shoulders, "Good thing you reminded us," He grinned at me in approval. I felt my shoulders straighten and myself grin in response to his. Johnny glared at me behind Teddy, I shivered a bit in reaction to his animosity.

"Come on then," Johnny said, standing up quickly, "We should get to class."

                                                        ******

I barely remember that first week, or even our first years at Hogwarts, it was a jumble of rushing to class, avoiding detention when Johnny and Teddy thought it would be a great idea to prank Professor McGonagall, or anyone else for that matter. And the late night explorations with Nicholas. The musketeers as we dubbed ourselves had three factions, one was where Johnny and Teddy were best friends, the second was where Nicholas and I were best mates, and the third was where I stole Teddy's attention from Johnny long enough to remind him that we, not him and Johnny were best friends. We all agreed on many things though, we thought Charms was a blast, Herbology was a doozy, Transfiguration was ridiculously hard, Defense Against the Dark Arts or DADA was tremendously exciting, Astronomy was at a stupidly late hour, and History of Magic was lame. I disagreed with the others that Potions was boring, I happened to love the smell of the fumes and the amusement that came with finding the perfect mixture that could either save a persons life or take it. I excelled at potions, and I enjoyed it. I thought it was a bit like extreme cooking, and having loved cooking all my life and loving creativity, it was a relief to be able to turn my hand to a subject and feel that I instinctively knew what would go where, and what shouldn't. Teddy was marginally good at potions, but Johnny loathed it. He claimed it was a dark subject and shouldn't be taught. And we argued the subject extensively, enough that I refuse to help him on his homework. 

Nicholas was quiet and studied hard, he was our mediator, he was constantly on call to fix mine and Johnny's friendship, and to be there whenever I had a crisis of faith. Teddy didn't care much for mediation, and was at a lose to understand mine and Johnny's almost continuous fallings out. He never knew we saw him as our brother, he was just happy to be around us, he never saw Johnny's and my jockeying for position as his best friend, he never noticed the black eyes, the broken bones that occurred from our little spats. He simply took our word for it that it occurred from brush up with the Slytherins or from daring each other to go near the whomping willow, after all he reasoned, why would we lie to him? Nicholas despaired at this, he was always there for me though, and always there for Johnny. Teddy might have been our leader, not that he would have acknowledged that title, but Nicholas, he was our glue. Our brother. Our father. Our discipliner. Our mentor. And the one to make it all better.

We never got around to becoming Animagi, we didn't have a reason too, we had no werewolf to run with. Nicholas, it turned out, was simply an insomniac. Teddy had watched him constantly, keeping an eye on him, enquiring his health near the full moon. Eventually Nicholas asked what was up, Teddy confessed his suspicion, causing the first real fight between anyone and Teddy. Nicholas was horrified and ashamed that we would think that. I was the first to apologize. Because of that Nicholas almost always took me with him on his midnight jaunts, as a result we knew every nook and cranny of Hogwarts. Our knowledge rivaled Johnny's, who was in trouble so much that he spent much of his time avoiding or evading Filch and the teachers. Johnny's favourite hiding place was the bleachers in the Quidditch stands. Mine was the one eyed witch on the fourth floor. I never figured out where Nicholas' was. And Teddy's, well Teddy's was where his heart lay. The kitchens. 

Of all of us, only I noticed that Gordon was lonely. I saw his mask, saw through it as well. Nicholas was simply too busy mediating, studying and keeping up with a new prank each week. Teddy simply wasn't interested him, after that incident in first year, he avoided Gordon at all costs. And Johnny, Johnny did whatever Teddy did. I still think Johnny needs Teddy to function. In  my second year I started up a hesitant friendship with him, unable to take his sadness anymore, I reintroduced him to Nicholas. Nicholas accepted him, and together we'd go out and raid the kitchen at three in the morning, play exploding snap in random class rooms and prank Teddy and Johnny. I found him to be wickedly funny, amazingly smart and a good companion to hang out with. He accepted my bizzare love of potions, and in return I supported his decision to become a seer in third year, his talent in Divination undeniable. A talent that led to a lot of teasing from Johnny.  Teddy didn't always understand my relationship with him, but understood that I felt I should make an effort with him. He was remarkably hard to get along with, it might have been easier to ignore him. His moods were volatile, one minute he'd be happy go lucky, the next brooding and snapping. I learnt to read him, far better than Jonathan, who steadily became a stranger to me, and strangely closer to Nicholas and Gordon after fourth year. 

Johnny loathed Gordon, and Gordon happily loathed Johnny right back. After a while I was no longer best friends with either Johnny or Teddy, much to my disappointment, while we were still friends and regularly hung out, I spent most of my time with Gordon or Don and Nicholas or Nick. I found Johnny's constant following of Teddy creepy and avoided Johnny when I could. Don agreed with me that there was something wrong with Johnny. Nick often disagreed with us, he preferred to see the best in people, something that made cynical Don and realistic me, despair over his reaction, to what Don and I termed as the "real world". For our first four years we all coexisted happily enough, with a few ups and downs, until our sixth year where things got nasty.

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