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Chapter 9: Strange Happenings

“My dear sweet innocent Hermione would you allow me to carry your books?” Sirius asked as he held the portrait open for Lily and Hermione as they stepped out. Lily shook her head and rolled her eyes, used to Sirius’s gentleman like behavior. Hermione stepped out and shook her head.

“It’s alright Sirius I can handle it.” She said as she stepped out, stepping in line with Lily, who stopped and stared at her. No one had ever refused Sirius’s offers, Lily looked to Sirius, who’s eyes widened for a brief second, then he raised and eyebrow.

“Well then I will just have to take them from you.” Sirius said and reached under Hermione’s arm and grabbed her books and she squeaked as he did so.

“Sirius! I said I could carry my own books!” Hermione called as Sirius began walking backwards down the hall grinning and waving her books in the air. “Sirius! Come back with my books!” She screeched and ran after him, she caught up with him, Lily trailing behind her. Hermione tried to grab them but Sirius held them over his head, he grinned as she stepped back and glared at him, crossing her arms. “Can I have my books back? I can carry them myself.” She said and gave him a look.

He pouted and handed them to her, she took them and brushed past Sirius, Lily following, and Sirius stepped next to Lily. “Miss Evans.” He said in a serious tone. Lily rolled her eyes at him.

“No Sirius I will not go out with James despite yours, or Remus’ attempts.” She said and started to walk faster.

“That isn’t what I was going to ask!” Sirius said laughing, as they descended the stairs leading to the dungeon. “Prongsie!” Sirius cried and flung himself at James wrapping his arms around his fellow marauder.

“Honestly Sirius, you act as if you haven’t seen him in years, when it has really only been minutes.” Remus said from behind them, Hermione shook her head and walked into the cold potions room, Lily and Peter following.

“Ah cheer up Moony!” Sirius said and ruffled Remus’ hair, he then walked into the class room sitting down at an empty seat in the back. Remus glared after him and James only laughed.

“Something has him in good Spirits.” James chuckled as they walked in sitting down next to Sirius.

“More like someone.” Remus muttered walking up and sitting next to Peter, glancing at Hermione who was sitting in the front of the room next to Lily chatting quietly. The slytherins began to file in, talking and laughing, some of the boys Remus noticed shooting glances at Hermione and wiggling their eyebrows. He felt himself growl low in his throat and stopped when a piece of paper was chucked at the back of his head. He turned to see Sirius pointing to James and vise versa. He glared at the two, who’s grins faded and they lowered their hands, he then turned around to face front.

The door at the front of the classroom opened revealing a young flustered looking witch with black hair and bright blue eyes. She looked to be only a few years older than all of them. She walked to the front of the room, all the boys eyes on her form.

“That’s Professor Cleaver, she was new last year, took over for Professor Schwartz, he was pretty brutal, always favoring slytherin. She doesn’t favor any house, even though her own was Ravenclaw. She’s fare, and nice, so and she was head girl.” Whispered Lily, because of the confused look on Hermione’s face.

Hermione had been expecting some old geezer who favored Slytherin and well someone just like Snape. She smiled and nodded and the professor turned around with a piece of parchment and a quill.

“Lets see, Everyone seems to be here and we have a new student, Miss. Grant.” She said and Hermione felt her cheeks redden. The professor smiled and walked back and forth.
“Now I will spare you the speech I gave last year, most of you already know that if you do not do your work in this class you will fail, and I believe I don’t need to explain what will happen when you fail.” She said her eyes clearly pinned on someone in the back, she looked, Hermione glanced over her shoulder to see Sirius staring right back while leaning back in his chair.

Hermione saw that Remus was scribbling on a piece of paper, she was amazed that the quill hadn’t snapped with the force he was holding it at as he wrote away. He glanced up once, chewing on the tip of the quill as he took the piece of paper and carefully he placed it in his hand and tossed it over his shoulder, it landed gracefully in Sirius’ hand and he unfolded it. Remus saw Hermione looking at him and blushed removing the tip of the quill from his mouth he blushed and Hermione turned around and smiled.

Lily nudged her as she took out a quill and parchment Hermione did the same. She glanced up at the professor as she smiled slightly at her and she turned around to face the board and waved her wand. “Now you will copy these down and we will begin a potion today, and tomorrow you will take a quiz to see if any of you studied over the summer.

A muffled cough could be heard from the back of the room. “CkhhhhEvanss.” Lily’s ears burned red and she turned around and glared at Sirius who was looking so innocent and James was glaring at him from his place next to him. Remus was staring off into space and Peter was trying to keep himself from laughing.

“That will be enough Mr. Black.” Professor Cleaver said looking directly at Sirius, who only sighed in frustration.

About two hours later the six students appeared from the staircase leading down to the dungeons, Sirius loosening his tie grinning madly, James taking off his glasses and shaking his head with a smile a he cleaned them with his shirt, Peter’s face flushing purple and Remus grumbling, Hermione trying hard to keep her giggling to herself and Lily giving all the boys the evil eye. The class had taken notes and then started on their potions, first getting a new seating chart and partners.

James and Lily where paired with each other, Hermione had expected a masked murder then and there, or at least James or Professor Cleaver to drop dead with the look Lily gave both of them. Sirius was paired with Hermione, much to her dismay, he had acted as if he knew everything about potions, which he did know some, but the whole class he was pulling pranks on Remus and Peter who where paired together.

Remus was currently cursing Sirius under his breath as he tried to get some of the yellow goop out of his hair and ear. Sirius had been placing things in Peter and Remus’ cauldron and eventually it had exploded on them, causing Remus and Peter and few others near by to covered in think yellow foul smelling slime. Hermione made a note to keep Sirius occupied next class so he wouldn’t bother anyone. She thought maybe a nice shiny object would do, that would keep him occupied for hours.

They soon came upon the Head Boy and Girl entrance, and James looked around and said the password, “Fiddlesticks.” And the portrait of the old man nodded and opened. They all stepped inside and Hermione looked around in awe. It was simply beautiful. Decorated in Gold and Red. The carpets a deep maroon, while the brick red couches looking soft and comfortable, the borders on the walls and door frames golden while the walls a pale gold. The fireplace made of stone, and in front of it a small throw with the Gryffindor Crest on it, and all the furniture made of cherry wood, the candles where even red, and the candle holders where even gold.

“Look up.” Sirius whispered in her ear, catching her looking around the room. Hermione gasped as she looked up, there was a Gigantic chandelier with many white candles in it, all lit to give the room light. Hermione’s eyes grew wide as she noticed it was a circular room and all around at the top where rows and rows of books. She noticed that it was a balcony all around the room, with a set or spiraling stairs leading up to it, she couldn’t believe she was going to miss out on this. She was in awe and Sirius waved a hand in front of her face. “I think she’s gone mates.” He said and she blinked and smiled.

“Wow.” She whispered, she was about to ask if she could go up there when Remus said something from behind her.

“I’m going to get this gunk out my hair, and then I’m going to lunch, you guys can do what you want.” He said and headed for a door off to the left.

After he closed it gently Peter spoke up. “What’s got his pants in a twist?” James shrugged plopping down on the couch, Hermione stared at the door he went through thoughtfully.
“It’s probably because of-” Sirius began but was cut off by being kicked in the shin by James. He danced around on foot holding his leg. “What did you do that for?” Sirius wailed as he fell upon the couch and rubbed his shin glaring at James from underneath his black bangs.

“Um Hermione lets go down to lunch.” Lily said and dragged Hermione out of the dorm room. Once they got out to the hallway Hermione could James start to scream once as the portrait closed.

“You bloody dolt! Are you stupid! That’s the second time in two days you have almost exposed Remus! How can you be so stupid Sirius? You’ve never been this stupid. Think before you open your mouth for Merlin’s sake!” James yelled standing and pacing around waving his arms in the air as he yelled at Sirius. Sirius was about to talk when James turned on him. “Don’t say a word, must I remind you what happened last time you did this! You almost got Snape killed.” James said through gritted teeth his eyes flaring dangerously.

Sirius only stood up, pushed James away who was mere inches from his face and walked out of the dorm his face showing no emotion. James sighed and plopped down on the couch taking off his glasses and rubbing his eyes.

Peter was sitting there being silent and James heard Remus open the bathroom door. “James?” Remus called weakly. James looked over the top of the couch to see Remus leaning against the bathroom doorframe he was as white as a ghost. James stood quickly.

“Moony, you alright?” James asked walking closer he carefully placed a hand on Remus’ forehead. “Remus you’re burning up.” Remus moved a hand to his mouth and wiped it, James saw blood on it as Remus moved it away from his mouth. “Remus…what is wrong?” James stuttered.

“I…I don’t know…” Remus whispered almost falling over but James caught him. James gently set him down on the floor, “James, you have to…get me …to… madam … Pomfrey.” Remus said between large gasps of air.

“Peter go look out the window!” James said from his place helping Remus up off the floor. Peter ran towards the window and flung open the curtains. James looked up and his eyes grew wide. The moon was full, it shouldn’t have been full for another two days, and it was a solar eclipse. “Close the curtains quick!” he yelled as he felt Remus start to shake in his arms. “Grab Floo powder, hurry!” He called and peter ran over to the fireplace and James walked over as fast as he could holding Remus up. He stepped into the fireplace and Peter threw down the Floo powder and James yelled out. “Hospital Wing!”

They where transported there in seconds, James stumbled out of the fireplace holding up a coughing and shaking Remus. “Mr. Potter! Was is the meaning of this?” Madam Pomfrey’s voice sounded from behind him.

“Madam Pomfrey…Remus…moon, eclipse…help.” He said panting from holding Remus up, He sank to his knees Remus going with him. Madam Pomfrey bustled over quickly and looked him over.

“Oh Merlin.” She whispered, She quickly went over to the fireplace and called Dumbledore, in moments he was there holding an object.

“James, this will take you to the Willow, bring Remus into the house and lock the door, get out of there as fast as you can for we are not sure if he will fully transform. You must hurry, you will not be seen by anyone, and touch this as soon as you are done and you will be transported back hear.” Dumbledore handed him the object and James took it.

He immediately felt a tug at his navel and soon found himself in the familiar entrance of the Whomping willow, He noticed his foot was on the knot that freezes the tree and he pushed Remus down into the secret door. He then slid himself down careful not to step on Remus, he took Remus and helped him up walking him to the door that lay some twenty feet ahead in the darkness, he opened the door revealing the Shrieking shack, dirty and dusty with dried blood and scratches and torn up furniture all around, James got Remus up the first flight of steps when Remus cried out in pain, telling James to leave.

James watched in horror from the door way as Remus assumed the fetal position clutching his sides and jerking. Remus threw his head back cried out in pain, his back bent at an odd angle, all the bones in his body breaking, every muscle in his body tearing and quickly repairing itself to that of the wolves. His clothes began to rip from his body, as he grew in size, his skin seemed to peel away and he ripped it away with his newly formed claws, underneath the skin was think light brown fur. James quickly saw that his friend’s transformation was almost over and panicked. He ran from the room, jumped down the stairs four and five at a time until he came to the door, he threw it open and closed it, shouted a locking spell he ran for the entrance, tripping over his own feet as he climbed out of the entrance.

He grabbed onto the small object and felt a tug at his navel, he then found himself on the cold ground of the hospital wing, breathing heavily. He looked up to see Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore. “Thank you James. You may go to lunch now, I award you 40 points to your House for doing that.” Dumbledore said and James stood wiping off his robes, he headed to lunch, rubbing his head. Why did the moon all of a sudden become full? That’s not right. he pondered this as he came upon the Great Hall. He entered seeing Sirius and Peter there eating quietly, and Lily and Hermione some people away chatting with a few other girls.

James sat down next to Sirius and Peter glanced up from his sandwich and Sirius swallowed his food and opened his mouth to speak. “One, I’m sorry, Two where is Moony?” Sirius asked, and James only nodded and took a small bite out of a sandwich.

James leaned forward and motioned for the two to lean forward. They did and no one around thought oddly of this. “He’s at the Shack, something is up with the moon, I don’t know, it’s odd, after he came out of the bathroom he just started his transformation.” James whispered and Peter’s beady little eyes grew wide and Sirius stood.

“We have to go to him!” Sirius whispered harshly, James grabbed Sirius’ robes and pulled him down.

“Sirius, calm down, it’s the middle of the day, just be calm and we’ll go tonight, I’d say it’s about time to get the old cloak out again.” James said and took another bite out of his sandwich.

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