Long Live (Marauders: Year One)

It's James Potter's first year at Hogwarts and he's got pretty high expectations! Good thing they're not disappointing. He's got wonderful friends, his classes are the literal bomb and Lily Evans is totally in love with him. Okay, so maybe the last one is a lie, but surely one day she'll at least pay attention to him! His friends think he's nuts. But then again, they would. That's why he loves them.
((Part one of a series depicting the life of the Marauders as they go through their lives at Hogwarts, all while the start of the first wizarding war looms nearer))


8. A Surprising Supporter

Hey guys. Sorry for the slightly late chapter, I actually have had a lot of free days recently- school was cancelled twice because of the horrible air quality in Malaysia, but on those days we were literally bombarded with work from all the classes I was missing, and I had to stay back to catch up on my Media Studies and Drama coursework, so I've had a bit of a busy week. I hardly had any time to plan this chapter out, I had to do that in Physics, to the horror of my teacher (whom I hate, he's literally a real life Professor Snape, no joke) and the detriment of my work, but whatever, I hate that class anyways.
I'm gonna try to get a couple chapters down next week, considering I'm not sure how much time I'll have to even work on this fic when November hits. Nonetheless, I'll have at least four chapters queued for the month so the updates won't suffer. The plot of the story, or at least the plot I have planned, starts to kick in next chapter ish- the whole thing with Andre becomes a big thing which the characters try to figure out, and a new event will lead to a bunch more characters being introduced. You'll see ~

James stood rooted to the spot, unable to create even a coherent sound as his vocal chords seemed to have tightened, almost as if he'd been petrified. Next to him, he could feel his friends do the same, out of the corner of his eye spotting Peter's panicked eyes darting back and forwards between the potions storage cupboard and the dark, furrowed brows of their Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.
"What are you doing?" Professor Andre repeated, lowering his wand slightly so that the boys could see his dark face. "Don't you know it's nearly curfew?"
"I- erm, that is to say… yes?" Sirius stammered lamely, his knuckles white as he gripped the edges of the large pewter cauldron that the Prewitt twins had told them to take.
Seeing that his friend was making the situation worse, Remus piped up quickly. "Professor Slughorn asked us if we could take these up to his study, I think he's teaching the fifth years something…"

Andre frowned slightly, as if examining their facial expressions to see if they were lying. It was only for a brief moment, but the James it felt like an eternity under his scrutinizing gaze. Then, he dropped his wand even lower, honestly it wasn't even a threat, he'd just used it to create light, and did something very, very unexpected.
He chuckled.
At that James whipped around, he couldn't help himself, and looked at Sirius, who was standing behind him, in confusion. What on earth was he doing, laughing like that? Any teacher in their right mind would be able to see that they were lying their teeth out, so why wasn't he doing anything? He's bonkers, Sirius' look seemed to say.

"And I suppose that Professor Slughorn would agree with you, even when I saw him in the staff room mere moments ago?" Andre's voice was a little mocking, not with a harsh edge, but more like a teacher sarcastically questioning his students, which was exactly what he was doing. James felt relieved, he wasn't going to do anything bad to them. Maybe a detention, but he wasn't going to hex them.
Remus looked mortified. "Maybe…." he stammered, unable to look at Andre in the eyes.
Then it happened again, he smiled. This time though, there was no edge to it at all, in fact just a genuine smile with perhaps a little mischief in it.

"The Halloween feast is tomorrow, if I'm not mistaken?" he asked, his eyes twinkling. "It would be a good opportunity for a prank of some sort, correct?"
James frowned. "Yes… sir?"
"And if I am not mistaken, there have been quite a few reports of Slytherin students treating the Gryffindor first years quite unfairly?"
"Yes?" James wasn't sure what he was getting at, but for some reason he didn't feel like Andre was going to punish them. In fact, it seemed as if he was on the same wavelength as the four boys.
Andre gave a small grin. "And none of these students have been punished, even though their behaviour has been absolutely atrocious?"
"No, sir."
There was a pause. "Very well then. I suppose that you just ran late and it was not intentional for you to break curfew. Please, head quickly to Professor Slughorn's room and proceed back to the dormitory immediately. I would not like you to be too tired to miss out on tomorrow's… festivities." James could have sworn that he saw Professor Andre wink.
"Y-yeah!" Peter spoke up this time, his voice slightly high and hopeful and James wanted to turn and frown at him. If his lying skills were that bad, there was no way that they would ever be able to play another prank again.
"Very well." Andre turned around. "Good night." He said, walking away with his cloak billowing behind him. As he passed James, he could have sworn he heard their professor murmur 'get them good'. Then, he was gone.

There was a few moments of silence before a loud guffaw burst through, coming from Sirius, who still look shocked, albeit pleasantly surprised. Remus quickly joined him, though he sound a bit more disbelieving. Soon James and Peter had joined them, and the four boys were practically hysterical by the time James had grabbed the cloak and pulled it over their heads.
"I thought we were going to get hexed!" Peter said as they made their way back up the stairs to their common room. "Who knew Andre was such a good sport?"
James shrugged. "What I want to know is why he had such a quick personality change. He was practically threatening us a week ago, and now he's almost an accessory in our crime."
There was a moment of silence until Remus spoke up. "Maybe…" he paused, as if deliberating what he had to say. "Maybe we've just been overthinking things. I mean, we were kind of shocked when we heard him and maybe we've been making the small things he does turn into much bigger things by looking guilty."
"Yeah, but that doesn't explain how he knows about the cloak." Sirius said.

James paused, thinking about it. Yes, apart from that one lesson, Andre hadn't been any different. He was picking on them more, but perhaps that was purely just his teaching methods. Plus, there was one thing about the cloak.
"My dad used to work at the ministry, so maybe they know one another." James began. "Maybe he told Professor Andre that I stole his cloak, then it would make sense that he was taunting me about it. If that's true, you might be right, Remus."
The boy looked triumphant, and Sirius nodded, accepting the explanation. Peter, however, had another thing on his mind.
"Your dad used to work at the ministry? What happened?"
James ducked his head. The truth wasn't a big deal, just a little ironic and he knew Sirius would have a field day if he found out the truth. "He invented something, no biggie, and he dropped out of his job."
"Oh. What did he invent?"

Fortunately for James, he didn't have a chance to reply, as they had made their way up to the portrait hole and the Fat Lady was scowling at them.
"Out and about at this time of night? I ought to tell a teacher, you know."
"Don't." James said, standing in front of the other three, even though they were still under the cloak. They were hiding with all the ingredients for their prank, while James would open the door for them.
"I just forgot the time, is all. Please let me in."
"Hmph." The Fat Lady looked him up and down. "Fine. Password?"
A grin erupted on James' face. "Nettle." He said, and with a reluctant sigh, the painted woman's portrait swung open a crack and James slowly made his way in, making sure to let the other three pass before him.

For a Friday evening, the common room was oddly quiet, only a few older students scattered around in plush armchairs by the fire, working on essays and playing games of wizard chess and exploding snap. Lily Evans, whose fiery head James had come to notice instinctively, was bent over in one of the chairs by the window with Mary MacDonald, both of them with steaming cups of tea sitting by them. Perhaps they were working on their Charms homework, it was due in the following Monday (actually that reminded James of the fact that he still needed to do his homework), or perhaps revising for their unit test in Transfiguration. However, James' gaze was quickly snapped away by the sight of the Prewitt twins who were making their way to James, and by default the other three, with knowing looks on their face. James had come to distinguish the two, Gideon had slightly shorter hair than Fabian's, which was a slightly browner shade then his brother's red. They had told them that they had done it on purpose, and that they had really no idea how Muggle hair dye worked so Fabian had to walk around with a full head of brown hair for the whole of third year. It was only just beginning to fade. Apart from that, however, the boys looked fully identical; tall and lanky with slightly pointed noses, wide hazel eyes and eyebrows that shot up so they looked perpetually excited.
"Oh, James, we'd like to show you something, if you don't mind coming with us." Gideon didn't speak loudly, but enough so that anyone who overheard would not be suspicious. Well, anything the Prewitt twins did was mildly suspicious, but James didn't think of it as anything atrocious. Arm in arm, they begun to march James up, not to their own dormitory, but James'. Judging from the creak behind him as they clambered up the stairs, James knew that his friends were following, still under the cloak.

"Did you get it?" Fabian asked when they were secure in the boy's dormitory, not bothering to drop his voice. To answer his question, Sirius tore off the cloak and flashed them a grin, all three of them with bundles of ingredients in their arms. "Great!"
James let out a huge sigh and flopped himself on Peter's bed, much to the protest of the boy, who had gone to sit on it as well. "Nearly got caught by Andre, though."
"Nearly?" Sirius frowned. "We did get caught by him!"
At that the twins looked up from where they were organizing the ingredients in shock. "Oh man." Fabian said, his forehead creasing into a frown. "How'd you get away?"
"We didn't."
"You didn't."
Sirius seemed to be very happy to relay the news. "He caught us, arms full of stuff coming out of the cupboard with all this stuff and we nearly had a heart attack, you should have seen Peter's face. Anyways, he asked us what we were doing and Remus came up with an awful lie-"
"Hey, you were too busy gawping at him to even try."
"-yeah but it still sucked- anyways and so he definitely knew we were up to something. I swore we were going to get detention but it turned out he was a good sport about it. He didn't say that he approved of our prank, but he definitely hinted at it and said he was going to turn a blind eye. Pretty cool, huh?"

Gideon gawped at him. "No way. He's so much cooler than we thought he was."
"Yeah, he's super serious in class- like we're gonna enter a war or something and he's training us. Maybe he had some sort of feud with the Slytherins when he was at school, or something."

James shrugged. "Dunno. Anyways, we have one person awaiting our mastery. Might as well get a head start."
Gideon grinned. "Sounds good to me."

It took a good forty minutes for the potion to brew, and according to the twins it needed to simmer overnight. "We'll come and collect it in the morning so that we can take it to the kitchens."Fabian had told them, before he and his brother headed upstairs to do whatever they wanted to do.
Now the four were sitting down in the mostly empty common room. It was only them and a dozing seventh year who was sitting on the other side of the room, so they didn't feel the need to keep their voices down. The air was cold, even though they were near the fire, and in their hands they each held a cup of steaming hot chocolate which had appeared on the table as they sat down. Autumn had arrived late that year, but the weather was steadily getting colder, and even though the castle was nowhere near freezing, at night James often wished that he could go and sleep in the chair he was sitting in, closer to the crackling fire.
"Wonder how long it'll last." Peter said, obviously still thinking about the effect of the potion they had just brewed.
"When my dad makes his potions he usually adds double the spearmint for two hours, so I'm guessing about an hour." James said, rather quickly and without thinking. He quickly realized his mistake from the confused gazes his friends were giving him.
"Your dad makes potions. But you're awful!" Sirius sniggered, causing James to roll his eyes at him, feeling rather stupid.
"Yeah, he made some hair potions a while ago. It's kind of dumb, he works in St Mungo's now where he does remedies and stuff, which is a bit cooler."
Sirius and Peter nodded, but Remus looked thoughtful. "Potter…" he murmured under his breath, before letting out a bark of laughter.
"What?" James said, frowning at his friend, but Remus was shaking his head in laughter.
"That's great. Oh my god."
"No, don't tell them. It's stupid."
"James' dad, Fleamont Potter- Fleamont, makes potions to keep hair neat and tidy. While his son," he waved his hand at James. "Has the most outrageously messy hair I've ever seen on anyone ever."

"Hey!" James cried indignantly as the other two began to laugh. "I'm sure some girls like messy hair."
Sirius rolled his eyes. "Sure. By the way, are you still pining over Little Miss Evans, because you know that's never going to happen, right?"
James threw a pillow at him. "It will happen, sooner or later. Just you wait, my charm works on nearly everyone, she'll be head over heels in no time. Anyways, you should speak for yourself Sirius. Any girls you fancy?"
Sirius flushed a deep red and shook his head. "I've told you, I don't like any girl."
"Sure." James shook his head. "How about you two? Tell me all your deepest darkest secrets."
Remus laughed and shook his head, but Peter went a bright pink.
"Hmm. Is Pete hiding a secret?" Sirius teased, happy the attention wasn't on him anymore. "Please tell."
"Fine." Peter's voice was low. "Dorcas Medowes."
James burst into laugher at that, much to the irritation of Peter. Dorcas was a 4th year Gryffindor who was very loud and very rowdy. She seemed to be close friends with the Prewitt twins and was fairly pretty, short brown hair and grey eyes. She was one of those people who was popular, smart and would never ever look at anyone younger than her.
"Looks like you're in the same boat as James, Peter. Hopeless." Remus teased, taking a sip from his cup. James rolled his eyes good naturedly.
"Oh yeah, like any girl would like someone like you."
Remus' face fell.
"Oh, shucks, no! I meant it as a joke. Sure you're a bit of a stick in the mud, but you're fine!"
"Sure." His voice was slightly strained but he seemed to recover quickly. "Well I'd rather be a stick in the mud than a pompous twat."
"Oi, that's my second insult tonight! Someone be cruel to Sirius, he hasn't been insulted yet!"
"Of course not, I'm perfect!"

It was a while before they finished talking and taunting one another, their laughs waking up the dozing seventh year boy, who gave them a cold stare before heading upstairs to his dormitory.
"Alrighty boys," James started, once he realized that the clock by the fireplace had struck 11pm. "Might as well head upstairs, we need to be all refreshed for the big day tomorrow."
In agreeance, they began to march up the creaky staircase, all of their minds wandering to the prospect of the next day. To James, it was an opportunity. Maybe Lily would find it funny, he hoped. Maybe she'd talk to them.
Then the others wouldn't say I'm hopeless, he thought to himself as he slipped into bed. She'll like me, I'm sure of it.

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