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))


3. And so it begins...

“How can he possibly still be asleep?” 
“Should we spray him with water?”
“Hold on, he’s getting up.”

James groaned and rolled over in bed, blocking the light by planting his face into his pillow. What sort of ungodly hour was this? Obviously the other three were already up and peering over him, James could tell that from their low whispering and mumbling.
“I can hear you, you know?” he moaned, digging his face deeper into the soft pillow, unwilling to open his bleary eyes and face the light.
“Oh, thank god!” that was Remus speaking, maybe. “Our timetables have been posted on the door, our first lesson begins in an hour.”
An hour? That’s plenty of time, just let me sleep…” James rolled over and snuggled deeper into his blankets. The air was cool for summer but the inside of his bed was toasty warm and he was NOT going to get up now.
“Up. We don’t even know where our first lesson is!”

Sighing deeply, James sat up reluctantly. “Yes, Mom.” 
Given Sirius’ sniggers, he could tell that his hair was an insane mess. That was typical though, it seemed to defy gravity all the time, especially in the mornings, where it was practically unmanageable. 
“How do you even manage to-“
“Shhhh…” James half whispered, putting one finger to his friend’s lips in an attempt to keep him quiet. “No talking for the next five minutes, I need to wake up.”

Giving a silent roll of his eyes to the other two, Sirius made his way to the front of the door to join Peter, who was looking at - sure enough- a white piece of parchment where their timetable was posted. James could only just make out that it was a piece of paper, everything was blurry and a mess at the same time. Right, his glasses.

It took a few minutes for James to shake off his grogginess, including putting his robes on backwards and forgetting both his bag and his shoes as he left the room. This was to the intense amusement of the other three, who were practically in hysterics by the time James was fully ready and making his way down the stairs to the Common Room.
“You were like a one man comedy show!” 
“That’s where you’re wrong, dear Peter. I always am a comedy show.”

“I have never met someone as full of themselves as you are.” an irritated voice broke through their conversation and James whirled around, only to find himself staring right into the green eyes of Lily Evans. 
“No, I’m just aware of my amazing talents.” he grinned at her, running his hands through his already messy hair.
“We’ll see about that in class…” she gave him a gaze that read as a competition, before turning around to join one of the girls that had been sorted the previous night, James couldn’t remember her name for the life of him.

James pulled a face at her as she left, climbing quickly out of the portrait hole as if she couldn’t get away from him faster. Peter laughed as if he thought that her irritation at James was funny, before following her out of the hole. 
“Come on, I’m starving!” he said, racing out at a speed that James thought would be impossible for someone of his stature. Shrugging at the other two, he climbed out after his friend and made his way down to the Great Hall.

“You three eat like pigs…” Remus grimaced a few minutes later, as they sat at the edge of the Gryffindor table, watching the others shovel ungodly amounts of scrambled eggs and bacon into their mouths.
“Wha’? It’s goop!” Sirius said, his mouth full of food, causing the brown haired boy to grimace and scoot slightly further away from him.
“Come on Loops! Put a little meat on your bones!” James said, swallowing what he was sure was an entire egg in one gulp.
“No thanks. If I wanted to look like a fool in front of the whole school then I would, but I’ve got a little more common sense.”
“Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. I may be a fool, but I’m a handsome fool!”
Sirius spluttered in outrage. “What? I thought was the handsome one in this friendship group.”

After a few minutes, in which James and Sirius had a full blown argument over which one of them was the most handsome, concluded by a disgusted Lily who was walking past- who’d assured them it was definitely neither- the boys were leaving the Great Hall and hunting for their first classroom.

“Defence against the Dark Arts…” Peter voiced, out of breath from walking up their fifth staircase. “That doesn’t sound like a very happy subject.”
Sirius shrugged. “I dunno, I feel like it’d be the sort of subject I’d quite like. My family’s nuts about the Dark Arts, it’d be hilarious to show them that my best subject is the one that defies it.”
It was the first time Sirius had mentioned his family willingly, James noticed- giving a quick glance of surprise to the others. However, Sirius had already started moving again, obviously not wanting to pursue the topic any further. James was about to question him, but a hand on his shoulder halted him.
“Don’t. Everybody has things that they’d probably prefer to keep to themselves.” Remus’ eyes were glued on Sirius, who was now waiting for them atop another staircase. There was some sort of edge in his voice that suggested that he had something of his own to keep a secret. However, James followed the boy’s example and didn’t ask any further questions. Soon enough they’d be close enough to tell one another everything, he was sure of it.

Eventually they made their way to the classroom, slightly out of breath and just before the bell rang. Exhausted, but very relieved, James flopped himself down into a desk next to Sirius and glanced towards the front of the classroom.
Hm, that was odd. Nobody was there.
He exchanged glances with Sirius, who shrugged back at him and peeked at the timetable again. “Are you sure we’ve got the right class?” he asked.

Sirius didn’t reply, instead the boy sitting in front of James did. He was a Hufflepuff with messy brown hair and glasses and had an easy-going air about him. 
“That’s what we thought when we came.” he said. “But it’s the right class, alright.”
Giving Sirius a look of confusion, James sighed and looked forwards. Sure, he wasn’t looking forwards to the workload, but he was dying for his first lesson to start, and this wasn’t exactly how he’d imagined it going.
“Do you think maybe he’s forgotten about us?” he asked a few minutes later, when still nobody had entered. 
Peter shrugged. “I guess it’s-“

Just at that moment, however, there was a very loud crack. Startled by the noise and smoke that filled the room, quite a few students leapt up. James was one of them, grabbing his wand from his robes as he did- even if he didn’t know any spells yet. Whoever the intruder was, he was willing to fight.

However, when the smoke cleared it was obvious that the perpetrator wasn’t some sort of monster at all, but a man. He was a tall man with raven black hair and extremely blue eyes that seemed to blaze out behind his glasses. He looked quite youthful for a professor, and he had on a determined yet friendly gaze.
Oh. Whoops.

“A wizard or witch…” the man began, taking long strides to the front of the classroom. “… Must always be prepared, not matter what comes their way. Be it a deadly creature, a dark foe or simply one of your professors giving you a fright.” he smiled.
“I see some of you have jumped up, very good! You think better on your feet. One of you,” he said, glancing at James. “Has already drawn their wand- good, very good, Mr…?”
“Potter.” James said, giving Sirius a thumbs up behind his back.
“Thank you. Mr Potter has already drawn his wand, a very smart move. Of course, it would not be very helpful now, given that you lack in the spells department. But you never know when you’ll need a defensive spell- oh, please sit!”

James slid into his seat, locking eyes with Lily as he did so. The girl gave him a cold, irritated gaze. She hadn’t stood up, James noted.
“I am Professor Andre, your Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher for this year.” he said, turning and charming a piece of chalk to write his name on the chalkboard behind him. “My lessons may be slightly different from your other classes and, I hope, very useful for later on in your wizarding careers. I will not be treating you as first years in this class, but as equals. In the real world, a Dark wizard will not go easy on you because you are younger. You must be prepared, no matter what comes your way.”
James exchanged glances with his friends. ‘I like him’ he mouthed.

“Please, take out your wands.” Professor Andre smiled when he saw the way the students’ eyes lit up at the prospect. “Today we are going practice simple wand movements for defensive spells- not any actual spells yet, mind you. However, all defensive spells have a similar wand pattern which will help you greatly later on in life. Now, can anyone tell me a defensive spell- yes, Miss Evans?”

And so the lesson continued in a blur of wand movements and dancing around the class. Professor Andre was a brilliant teacher, James realized. There was something about his purposeful actions and the way that he never seemed to doubt a student for a second that really make James like him a lot. Even when Peter failed miserably at the simplest of motions, Professor Andre did not act frustrated in the slightest, just adjusting the boy’s arm so that he was pointing in the right direction. James felt himself sigh as the bell rang, signalling the end of class.

“That was amazing!” he said breathlessly, catching up with his friends who were a few paces ahead. “I want to be an auror when I’m older!” he announced loudly, causing the others to smile at his enthusiasm.
“Hold on until we get to the other classes,” Remus sighed slightly at the boy’s immaturity. “Herbology next!”
“If it’s as fun as that was then I’m fine with it!”

Unfortunately, James was sorely mistaken. Professor Keating, a short, plump woman who wore bright yellow robes, for some reason, was not boring but in comparison to their previous class, they might as well have been. The Ravenclaws were hardly as fun as the Hufflepuffs as well, James noted as they stood around the Greenhouse, attempting to listen as Keating droned on about types of honeydew or something. Giving a mock yawn at Sirius, James pointed at Lily who was hanging onto every word the Professor said.
“Prank planning session tonight…” whispered Sirius, nodding at the girl. “Tell the others.”
James did and by the time lunch rolled around they were already in full discussion about when they were to do it. James had hardly realized how hungry he was and had finished his first plate in a matter of seconds, causing Remus to grimace once again.
“You’re gross.” He said. James noted that he’d hardly touched his food. He was about to comment when Sirius interrupted them.
“Double potions with Slytherins next…” he groaned. “I wonder how Snivellus is in class?”

Very good, James soon realized. Professor Slughorn, a dumpy old man who was the Head of Slytherin house, apparently, was practically fawning over him and Lily all lesson, causing a scowl to fix on James’ face almost permanently that lesson.
“Come off it, James.” Sirius sighed. “Do you think that this is enough bile?” he asked, grimacing as he held up a vile of sticky yellow liquid. They were partners, which James had quickly realized was a terrible idea on both of their parts. 
“Looks like it.” he shrugged, snatching the bile from a squeamish Sirius and pouring the thick substance into their bubbling pot. At that very moment there was a loud pop and their concoction turned grey and about the same consistency as cement. They could hear a sharp tsk from Slughorn’s desk and James knew that he hadn’t inherited his father’s potion skills.
A snort came from Lily and Snape’s desk a few places down and James was appalled to see a grin plastered onto the boy’s ugly face. Oh great, he is so going to pay.

James was still irritated by that evening, as they sat in their dormitory, lights dimmed low and voices in hushed whispers.
“We have to get him, soon!” he hissed, referring to Snape. “I can’t believe he thinks he’s better than us!”
James was surprised to hear a soft chuckle coming from Remus’ bed, and he whirled around to meet the boy’s greenish eyes. “What’s so funny?”
Remus sighed, as if it was obvious. “It’s just amusing to see you jealous.”
“Jealous! I’m not jealous!”
This time it was Sirius’ turn to laugh. “Yeah you are, mate. You’re jealous because he’s close to Lily.”

“Am not!” James pouted indignantly, turning around. “If this is your excuse to get out of the prank, I don’t care!”
“I never said that! I still want to get him, even if your jealously is blind sighting you it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a slimy idiot who deserves to be knocked up a little. Plus, it’ll be fun to see the look on his face when he gets what’s coming to him!”
James snorted. “You’ve got that right! You two in?”
Peter nodded furiously. “It sounds like a good idea, plus we have your cloak! I’m in.”
Remus looked unsure. “Are you sure it’s not too mean?”

James sighed. “No, he’ll be fine, it’s just a little fun! Plus, you do want to get back at him for tripping you in the corridor.” he said, referring to an earlier incident where Snape had “accidently” send Remus and his books flying down the stairs. James could tell the boy was still irritated about that.
“If you say so.” he paused. “It will be funny…”

“Exactly!” James beamed wickedly. “Snape won’t know what’s coming to him…”

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