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August 29th, 1972 – 10 PM

2 more sleeps and I can get back to Hogwarts and out of this stinking house. Noble House of Black indeed. Kreacher spends longer kowtowing to Mother Dearest than he does dusting the entire house.

My brother Reggie dearest starts this year. Bet he gets sorted into Slytherin. Mother and Father have been moulding him while I've been gone. I mean, sure, he was an idiot before, but he is now – to steal the words of another black-haired 12-year-old – a complete dunderhead. I'm not sure I like him very much anymore. I might not go through with trying to corrupt him after all – Mummy Dearest needs her perfect son, after all.

Then again, corrupting Reg would be the best joke ever. Hmm. He's very much into tradition and still believes himself firmly above the populace – and I mean, we are a bunch of rich snobs – perhaps I can find a way to tempt him over to our side. He's a year younger than me, after all, and I am his big brother. I'll need to send a letter to Uncle Al, see what he thinks.

My parents were intolerable this summer, either ignoring me or shouting. I caught a few curses, but I've gotten good at running. It's a perk of pureblood households that you can get away with using magic during the holidays. I've gotten really good at locking charms. Thank Merlin I was only caught out at school a couple of times, or I would have been IN FOR IT like the time I pinched some candies from the kitchen (I swear, if magic wasn't so good at covering up the marks…) I guess I've made my bed now. I'll just have to be even more of a nightmare this year.

James keeps asking me to come over to his place. How do you explain to your best friend that your parents want his type wiped off the face of the earth? "Nah, sorry, mate, if I come over they're likely to sneak a timed expulso onto me and blow us all up."

Yeah, nah.

September 1st, 1972 – 9PM

I was right about Reg. Slytherin house. Mother and Father will be so PROUD. Merlin, I'm so embarrassed. Ugh.

It's great to see James again. We've got a bet going – I reckon we can talk Remus into helping us dungbomb Greenhouse 4; James reckons he will have gone stiff during the summer. That was his idea, by the way. Dunno how well it'll work with all the fertilizer lying around the place, but whatever. Peter's super excited about it. Frank thinks we're idiots. Kingsley's exact words were, "I don't want to know."

I never thought I'd say this, but the uniform is an amazing reprieve. Pureblood cloaks and robes and sometimes dress shirts and suits – I can even get away with wearing my tie sorta loose and neglecting my top button. It's BLISS. Reggie, of course, always wears his uniform perfectly, silly boot-licker. Like I said, I've got to get onto him. If I can't make him loosen up, there's always torture to make him fall in line. After all, Remus brought along a feather duster ("This room's full of dust, Sirius, and you always leave your socks lying around on the floor – don't laugh, James, I found a pair of your pants hanging from a lights once – SOMEONE has to disinfect this place –", all in a voice so quiet you could hear Peter and his bubblegum) so now, instead of normal torture, we have ADVANCED TOTURE. Mwa ha ha.

September 17th, 1972 – 11 AM

I'm short three galleons. I need to go torture Remus. Peter can help me.

September 25th, 1972 – 1 PM

I can't believe it. He won't help James and I dungbomb the greenhouses but he's happy to sneak down to the kitchens with us and nick food? Merlin, get your priorities straight.

Pouting aside, the kitchens are the best thing ever. The house elves are actually friendly and feed us decent food, not that posh stuff (what the hell is foie gras, anyway? Forget it, I don't want to know). Peter ate half his weight in cheese sandwiches, I swear, he's at least a quarter mouse. It sounds dumb, but Flitwick's a quarter goblin, so it's a distinct possibility.

Sneaking into the kitchens is explicitly against the rules, as Frank told us all sternly when we got back. A certain person blushed and looked regretful (dammit, Frank, stop undoing my hard work). James told him the whole point of school rules is for them to be broken, and Frank threatened to inform Minnie about it (y'know her name's Minerva? Smart cookie, that one) if we didn't stop. James was all for torture, but Remus told him if he even tried to touch it he'd get clocked with the handle. Housemates, apparently, are not allowed to be tortured. We had to resort to bribery. Frank looked very put out with his jar of marmalade. I wonder what we'll do when he matures and stops being so susceptible to orange-flavoured jam.

I suppose we'll just have to stop him from maturing!

Oh yeah, and James hexed Druella Gamp today. Lily got onto him about hexing a girl. I pointed out she was MY cousin, not hers. Lily started hitting her head against her textbooks, and then Snape got pissed at us for making her do so. Weirdly protective, that one, even if he's been around the Carrows a little too much. Although, he does seem a little put off by how close they are. And I thought my family was incestuous. Saves money on the dowry, I suppose. Doesn't save money on the tea I want to chuck up, though.

Kingsley, to his credit, doesn't question anything. He literally walked in on Frank angrily eating marmalade with a FORK (I hid his spoons under the bed), Peter moaning about crumbs in his bed, me sitting on James's shoulders to retrieve a tie from the ceiling, and Remus trying to smother himself with a pillow about five minutes ago. And he said, "Good afternoon."

In other news, Minnie was right behind him and now she thinks we're all insane. It's a distinct possibility.

October 31st, 1972 – 3PM

Remus is looking a little more dishevelled than usual. He ordinarily wears sort of worn out clothes but today when he came back from his parents' he was white as dear Cissa. He's got a lovely new scratch across his neck, too. Lovely. I wonder what's going on, really, but I don't want to ask. We haven't managed to corrupt him fully yet. Maybe when we manage it, I'll figure it out. Hmm.

Mother Dearest sent us a letter today, me and Reg. Andy's been disowned. Ran off with Edward Tonks a few days ago. Apparently, she got blasted off the tapestry last night. Personally, I think we look ridiculous on that tapestry. Still, I suppose it would hurt, being so completely rejected like that. It's been a while, coming, though, so she's probably alright. I'm going to write her a letter.

Regulus is in shock. I don't know if he's going to be excited or grumpy or what when he comes out of it. Andy was always a bit more – real – to him. Cissa always acted too grown up for him and Bella's nuts, even Father agrees, though Mother thinks she's a perfectly nice girl (I'm pretty sure Bella is actually Mother's illegitimate love child, though. Somehow. At least Aunt Druella is sane). Still, Reg's been around Mother Dearest alone for a whole year, so he might have contracted the brain rot.

We nearly got caught by Filch last week while we were sneaking out into the forest. We took a wrong turn coming back and spent a whole hour running away from that mad cat of his down some Merlin-awful part of the castle none of us knew existed. It was certainly empty enough not to have before. It was a right nightmare, especially carrying the Adders with us. Trying to fit all four of us under the cloak was near impossible, especially with running and Peter being a little tubbier than your usual person. Remus sort of makes up for Peter's extra size by being a skinny little shrimp, but James has been threatening to force-feed him until he grows. I've never seen Frank look more like he was going to jump out the window.

As for the snakes, they got turned into potions bits, because apparently mail-ordering nothing but Adder's tongues makes the guy at the apothecary suspicious of you (how does Father dearest do it?) and we needed a LOT to start brewing the Draught of Jaundice. Although now that I think of it, the Draught is the only reason anyone would need so many Adder's tongues, and it does, apparently, cause temporary liver failure. I found the recipe in the Black library, after all, but no-one's ever died of it. If they had, I would know. Really.

November 12th, 1972 – 8 PM

I never want to experience liver failure again. Merlin, it felt like SHIT. Pete nearly threw up and James had to go through on force-feeding Remus, Frank ate a grand total of three spoons of marmalade and Kingsley fell asleep in the porridge.

Still, it was funny seeing the whole Great Hall turn yellow. Slytherin (and quite a few girls) reacted in horror – and I suppose if I didn't know it was impermanent, I'd be horrified too, I looked like I'd been dipped in a curry – but most of the other people took the initial change fairly well. Ravenclaw started talking about how it had happened, Gryffindor started sniggering, and Hufflepuff took it as a sign the gods had blessed their house. Then the side-effects kicked in. A few people couldn't even walk straight. Itches, not eating, tiredness. Then a Ravenclaw muggleborn started saying things like "Filtration" and "Sir-o-sis" and "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" and "Yellow Eyeballs" and the rest of the table started nodding in agreement. At least be brewed the potion right, but I'm never dosing someone again without knowing the side-effects. Peter thought we were going to DIE.

I think Minnie's getting onto us. Peter's pretty trash at acting in any way, shape, or form, and James gets the giggles. I think I can fix James's giggles, though Peter's skills are a bit of a bigger problem. Anyway, our dear head of house looked mighty suspicious at us when we left the hall.

Kingsley didn't get the jaundice – at least, not that I noticed. It might have been because he was eating a ham sandwich.

There are no ham sandwiches at breakfast. Hmm.

On the bright side, I think I've figured out how to corrupt Lily's dear friend Severus. He's a little interested in dabbling in the dark arts, from what I hear. Sure, it's the dark arts, but I'm not dumb enough to give him a murder spell. Besides, I'm pretty sure that potion was dark.

Hey, maybe I should give it to Mother…

Christmas, 1972 – 11 PM

I don't know why I elected to come home for Christmas. Mother was a pain, Father was a pain, I couldn't say anything for fear of provoking them because they're STILL ANGRY OVER ANDY, and one of my teeth had to be fixed back into my mouth. Luckily, I got it to sit straight again.

Well, I do know why. I've been copying down pages and pages from the Black Library. It feels like schoolwork (oh, joy) but I've found enough bribe material – that is, things that aren't secret but aren't exactly freely available – for the next six years of my life. Oh, yeah, and I wanted to keep an eye on Reggie. Mother's so proud of him, because he can hob-nob with the other Dark Families. Personally, I think he's been a little stiff since the whole tapestry incident. I think he's trying to convince himself that Andy was in the wrong, but it's a bit hard when she's the only one who bandages you up when Bella pushes you down the stairs (character building, apparently. Merlin-be-damned harpy, how the hell did a family obsessed with propriety produce THAT thing?) or cleans you up when your brother tips a cup of water over your head?

My brother is an imbecile, a dark-loving fool, a snob, a racist, and a snake, but I'll give him that he's honourable. The sort of murderous idiot who politely tells the muggleborns he's going to murder them rather than jumping out of the closet or pretending to like them.

My friends sent me a heap of stuff – candy, mostly, though Kingsley sent a calendar of all things and Remus gave me a lumpy hat he may or may not have made himself. It's scratchy and kills my hair. I wonder if he'd mind if I used it as a tea-cosy? It's certainly warm enough. Oh yeah, and Reg gave me a pair of socks. They're dark green, but they're so nice and fluffy. I know it's subversive, he told me so in the card, which sort of kills the point. I hate that they're so nice. I gave him a tie. I hate ties. He loves ties. Win-win, he gets a tie, I don't have a tie, Mother can't curse me for giving him nothing or something substandard.

I also got a letter from Frank. Apparently, he didn't appreciate being sent 10 jars of raspberry jam ("Really, Sirius? Even James got me something normal. Ish. Plus, I don't even like raspberries!") though Peter cleared the situation up by swapping the raspberry jam for house-elf marmalade (in other news, there is no more marmalade at breakfast time).

I wonder if I can get away with kicking Kreacher? He's been more annoying than usual and keeps calling me numerous things too rude to write down, lest a teacher get a hold of this. I could probably punt him all the way down the stairs, but I think I'd get in trouble. Shame, since he'd just heal up and keep grumbling.

January 18th, 1973 – 2 PM

I've done it. Well, sort of. James is having a mini fit over it, and Frank has been in the shower for a whole three hours. I think this speaks of the magnitude of the situation.

Despite causing Graham Crabbe to break out in spots, making Elyan Mulciber grow antlers, causing Ophelia Bower's head to grow to thrice its normal size, covering Mrs Norris in glitter, and sending Professor Kettleburn a very early, Howler-based Valentine, we (read: I) have managed to bribe Snape into brewing us a potion. He got three spells – we got something that makes everything you eat taste awful. Poor old Lily had a slight breakdown in the common room and Marlene and Dorcas spent half an hour feeding her chocolate-covered popcorn, which is apparently a muggle thing that involves putting corn in a frying pan until it explodes, then covering it in chocolate. And she thinks I'm insane. Well, I am a bit, both in the head and in good looks, but she's not entirely all there either, and if James is anything to go by, she's quite pretty. Ew. It's bad enough that Cissa keeps making doe-eyes at Lucius Malfoy. And he makes eyes back. Oh, Merlin, they aren't meant to have emotions like that. I think I'm going to be sick.

Disgusting cousins aside, I'm wondering if the potion should be global or not… last time was nasty, but none of us wants to experience a potion again. I suggested Slytherin house, but Remus got all moral and asked me what if Andy was still there. I told him I'd pay her off and he walked off to share Lily's popcorn. And then they started STUDYING. Ugh.

Peter has a cold. He won't stop sneezing, even with Pepperup Potion. Well, he says it's a cold…

January 21st, 1973 – Midday

It wasn't a cold. Peter had the dragon pox. Apparently, he even managed to give it to Remus, who missed out on his parents' place in favour of a long stay in the hospital wing. Oh boy. Peter nearly cried over it. He's still a lot like a cute little first year.

February 2nd, 1973 – 8 PM

Well, Snape pulled through and didn't even blow anything up, which was nice of him. We dumped the potion in the butter, in the soup, and in the pumpkin juice. About a quarter of the school got hit. I think Snape warned Lily about it, because no-one in Gryffindor 2nd Year was effected – Lily must have told Dorcas and Marly and the other girls, and Remus warned Frank. Nobody warned Kingsley, but the bugger's psychic. Eating a ham sandwich without butter, with the untainted vegetables, and drinking nothing but water. Merlin almighty.

Minnie's suspicious – very, very suspicious – but she can't prove a thing. She came over and talked to us, and James thought it was hilarious. Near owned up to it before I mouthed "Feather Duster" at him. I got hit with a second-hand textbook afterwards. Geez, always the quiet ones, isn't it? It doesn't help that Peter and James cheered. Traitors.

March 14th, 1973 – 10 AM

Oh Merlin. I meant it as a joke, but Kingsley is actually omnipotent. He knows. He knew when he handed me a set of notes on levitation charms in first year, he knew about everything we've done, even if we don't discuss it in the dormitory, he knew about Louise McKay liking Sean Brady, and he knew when he SENT ME THE BLOODY CALENDAR.

I think this is the first time he's interfered in us, actually. He's very unbothered by everything. I bet he knew about sneaking down to the Forbidden Forest at night…

Anyway, back to Lupin.


Remus is a werewolf.

That's why he's always covered in scratches and tired, it's because werewolves attack themselves if they can't hunt humans! I should know, Mother thinks it's wonderful (nasty woman). And that's why he's so absent and quiet sometimes. I mean, sure, he's a quiet bloke, but after the moon he doesn't talk at all for near the whole day sometimes.

Ugh. Life is confusing. I'll deal with this later.

April 1st, 1973 – 11 PM

Still haven't dealt with it. Hexed 7 people, had to dodge 3 jinxes, covered a hallway in oil. Minnie has been whispering to Sprout that we're ALWAYS NEARBY. Gotta be a little more covert. Still, it's not proof. Certain people think we're idiots. I wonder what kind of bribery works on Dorcas? She's a smart cookie when she wants to be.

I'm going to tell James tomorrow. Threaten him with torture if I need to. Shouldn't be too hard to nick the feather duster.

April 3rd, 1973 – 9 PM

Remus has withdrawn since I told him we knew, even with James and Pete and I telling him it doesn't matter.

James found a secret passageway to Hogsmeade. We can sneak out this weekend. Peter's coming. Remus isn't.

Got lost again. Wasn't concentrating and ended up in a room full of friendship novels instead of Defence. Not that it matters. I think our Defence Teacher is a crack addict. Crazy woman thinks I sound like a puppy sometimes. When I asked her what James sounded like, she said, "Deer noises."

Like I said, crazy.

April 19th, 1973 – 3 AM

Snuck into the hospital wing. It was much easier with only 3 people under James's cloak. Still, had to move slowly because we were carrying too much candy. Peter stole some while we were going there. We got lost and nearly fell through a false wall. We'll explore it tomorrow.

Full moon was yesterday – well, the day before yesterday, actually, but the day really starts at 6 AM, everything before is night-time – and Moony McMoon (honestly, what were his parents thinking? Remus fricken Lupin. Why not go the whole hog and change his middle name to Werewolf Bait?) was snoozing.

We woke him up. He wasn't pleased at first, then he tried to hide from us. Peter sat on his feet (you're cutting off my circulation, please stop), James fed him candy (I'm fine, really, I – mmph – what the hell, Ja – MFFG!) and I lectured him on running away from his friends.

He's a little better, but not much, not even after Peter decided to cosy up and near break the scrawny bugger's ribs in a hug (a terrible idea. I did not copy him. James is a liar). We're back to the middle of last year. It's weird. Remus is kind of boring, but I feel much more upset than I thought I'd be. We got closer than I thought. School is weird. I think I'll take up drinking. Or whatever crazy Defence Teacher is on.

May 2nd, 1973 – 11 PM

Frank and Moony have forced us to study for exams. (Moony's Remus, by the way. James has a terrible sense of nicknames, but it's stuck now.) It's a disgrace, but at least we're earning House Points for it. Well, they are, anyway. The woman knows it was us that hexed Mulciber's feet backwards. She must. James thinks she's just happy we're acting like we're at school. James is a short-sighted sentimental stuffed lion.

June 9th, 1973 – 2 AM

We got bored studying for exams yesterday and decided to go explore the castle. Despite knowing of enough secret passageways to play hide-and-seek for days, we got lost again. Pete, who had his brain in that day, thought it would be a good idea to make a map, but not just any map, one that shows where the reader is. It's brilliant – and now we know how to make sure Pete passes his exams, feed him Fairy Sprinkles by the jar.

We spent the whole night drawing up the map – only stopped half an hour ago. There's a lot more of Hogwarts than I thought there was. There're entire swathes left unmarked and passageways everywhere. Moony has been yammering on about enchanting the different layers of the castle together so the map can show the entire place on a single sheet, but we're way too tired for that.

June 19th, 1973 – 4 PM

We really shouldn't be going out exploring so close to exams, but we did anyway. Anyway, news flash – James's cloak is impervious to magic.

In other news, we're starting a cult dedicated to James's cloak. The Marauders has a nice ring to it. James reckons it's a gang. He's wrong. It's definitely a cult.

July 12th, 1973 – 9 PM

Convinced Regulus to explore with us, and by explore, I mean sneak out of the castle to Hogsmeade. We bought butterbeer. Butterbeer is, apparently, not very alcoholic, which is why children are allowed to buy it, but most people still don't get to taste it 3rd year. Ha ha, suckers. In exchange for us sneaking him out of the castle next year, Reggie dear owes us information on the Slytherin common room.

Also, Marlene is easily bribed with butterbeer.

Will probably regret sneaking out at peak exam season tomorrow.

July 13th, 1973 – 1 PM

No regrets.

Professor Slughorn wants to know why all the first year Slytherins are ever so slightly tipsy. I told Reggie not to bring back so many bottles. Lucretia Nott smacked into a wall because she couldn't walk straight – I mean, imbibing five bottles has got to do something either than make you need the bathroom. Moony looks like he wants to jump out a window.

Ended up raiding the kitchens and bringing the cute little bigoted murder-spawn kebabs, because, according to Peter, drunk Muggles love kebabs. Please note Alphard Jugson can fit an entire kebab in his mouth when drunk. Slughorn and Minnie are both pissed (not drunk, angry) but we technically didn't do anything wrong, since they can't prove where we got the kebabs from and sharing food with the firsties is encouraged. Lily informs us (with her fingers at her temples, like she has a headache) that dear old Snapey thinks it's the funniest thing he's ever seen. Unfortunately, Snape seeing the funniest thing he's ever seen involves a nearly perfectly straight face.

I have to go back to my family soon. I think I've made enough progress on my brother to make Mummy dearest cringe, but I'm not sure. Not looking forward to it. If all else fails, I have a standing invitation to the space beneath James's bed, where I will hide and make monster noises in case anyone comes looking.

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