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))


6. Lots of worries, and lots of cake.

The next morning, all four boys were in a state of slight concern. Once they were sure Andre had left the classroom they had crept through the cracked door and peered around, trying to gauge any type of information about who the Defence against the Dark Arts professor was talking to, but it was to no avail. After at least a good half hour of searching, they decided it was hopeless and had silently trudged back up to the common room, not failing to notice that Lily was back in her seat by the fire, as if she had never left. However, they were too preoccupied to say anything about- instead talking until the late hours of the night about what on earth could have been going- eventually going to bed par the request of Arthur Weasley (a seventh year boy, who complained of being able to hear them from the top floor of the dormitory). Still, even without the frantic chatter- James still had trouble falling asleep.

However, at breakfast there was a slight relief from his concern. Unlike Peter, who seemed rather freaked out, James was trying his best not to let it eat at him- as he'd told the others the night before, they'd work something out to find out what was going on- though it was still lingering at the back of his mind when the post came. It was to James' surprise when a storm of owls came flooding through the doors to the Great Hall, their brown, white and grey wings soaring over the cyan coloured roof so it almost looked as though they were flying in the sky.
A steel grey owl gracefully perched itself on James' shoulder, looking rather pleased with itself as it stuck out it's left leg to show a carefully folded white envelope.
"Thanks, Calliope." James stroked the owl under her beak, Calliope trilling slightly as he did. "Wait here."
As he carefully untied the letter, James glanced around quickly. The majority of students were busy opening letters from their own parents. Peter was already nose deep in a long letter, but James realized that both Remus and Sirius hadn't received letters. Truth being, he wasn't so surprised- Remus had told them that his family didn't own an owl and Sirius had already expressed that his family didn't think too much of him. Almost guiltily, James opened his letter and began to read.

James, it said.

How has your first week been? Hopefully you've adjusted well enough, not that I have many worries about you. You've always been awfully independent. Still, I hope you've made friends- remember to be nice, you can be a bit brash at times. I'm sure you have.
Tell us, what house did the hat place you in? It must have been daunting up there, I can remember my own sorting like it was just yesterday. Your father says that you're to be disowned if you're not in Gryffindor, but he's only joking. We'll accept you no matter what house you're in.

I hope your lessons and teachers have been treating you well, I know the homework seems like a lot but you'll get used to it soon enough. Though you must really do it, James! It would be ridiculous and very stupid of you if you didn't! Detentions may seem rather funny to you now, but I assure you that they come back to bite you later on.
Now, I don't like to reprimand you, but both your father and I have noticed the absence of his cloak. I know you often used it, but it doesn't belong to you just yet- remember that! Don't do anything stupid like sneaking out at night, I know you.

It must be so exciting for you, huh? I hope you're feeling the very best and to hear from you very soon!

Lots of love, Mom.

Despite his worries, James smiled warmly at the letter. In the excitement, he'd hardly missed his parents but now he felt a sudden jolt of homesickness. He needed to write back immediately, otherwise he would end up forgetting.

"Remus," he said, peering at the other boy who was engaged in conversation with Sirius. "Do you have a quill?"
He nodded and reached into his bag, pulling out a white feathered quill and a sheet or parchment. "Are you writing back now?"

James nodded, not looking back up at his friends- he still felt a little guilty, as much as it wasn't their fault.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Things are great! Guess what? I've been sorted into Gryffindor! Looks like you won't have to disown me after all.
I made some amazing friends on the train. One of them is called Peter Pettigrew, his mom works in the ministry, so you might know her dad. He's a little bit slow at times, but he tells really good stories and is super supportive. Another one is Remus Lupin, he's a bit odd- you'd like him mom, he's what you'd call a 'good influence'- but he's very sarcastic at times and very nice. And then there's Sirius Black, he's a real riot. You'd hate us together, I know it, but he's very funny and honestly I couldn't think of a better friend. I know, he's from the Black family, but he's so much different then the rest of them. He's got a bit of home troubles, so I mentioned to him that he could come over to ours this summer- if that's okay? Sorry if it's not.

I haven't gotten into too much trouble (yet!) but the homework is KILLING me! Did you have Professor McGonagall? She sets the most, and it's all super hard as well.
Well, I have to go because there's class soon, but I'll try to write soon!


"Go up to the owlery and take a rest." James said to Calliope as he tied the letter to her leg "Then you can send this home to mum and dad." he gave her another scratch and she rubbed her head warmly against his cheek before flying off.
"Didn't know you were such a sensitive soul." Sirius gave a snort, having viewed the little show a second ago.

Their good mood didn't last long, however, as their first lesson of the day was none other than Defence against the Dark Arts. The whole way up to their classroom, James and the others replayed the events of the previous night, all irrationally nervous to face Andre in class. Lily, having noticed the concern that must have registered on their faces, gave them an odd look before- surprisingly- leaning in to talk to James.
"Professor Andre seems to be going of topic a lot, don't you think?" she whispered as the other students filed in and took their seats. James gave her a look of confusion, both at what she had just said and also at the fact that she was talking to him at all. Perhaps their little run in yesterday had been worth it.
"I mean," she sighed, pulling her hair into a ponytail. "it sort of feels like he isn't covering what we're supposed to learning in class, basics and such. He seems to be jumping to the hard stuff rather quickly."
James nodded but didn't have much time to respond, for at the moment Andre breezed into the class. He had the same friendly, confident air about him, and it was strange to see him like that after hearing him so irritated the night before. James saw Peter stiffen up as Andre's eyes glossed over them and he could have sworn they lingered a little bit longer on the four boys. But that was stupid. There was no way the he could have known. Right?

"Today," Andre began, walking smartly to the front of class. "We will be talking about self defence techniques and the way to hide yourself when confronted with one dangerous situation. There are many ways you can do this-"his eyes scanned the class once more. "You can blend into a crowd, cast a disillusionment charm…" his eyes met James' and he gave him a cold glare. "You could use an invisibility cloak."

At that, James' heart dropped like a stone and he could hear Sirius' slight gasp. Luckily, Andre hadn't seemed to notice and had gone straight back to lecturing the class. He knows, James gasped to himself. He knows we were there last night, he must do! Otherwise he wouldn't have said- wouldn't have chosen today to teach us about this. Somehow he found out we were there last night and he's taunting us about it.

Andre's comment lingered at the back of James' mind all day and he found it very hard to focus. During the rest of the class he had harshly targeted the four that had been out that night, throwing nearly impossible questions at them and hardly praising them like he usually did when they tried. Eventually it had become obvious what he was doing and even other students were beginning to notice.
"What did you do to get his knickers in a twist?" Alice Loughlin, a fellow Gryffindor, had asked as they left the classroom later on. James had simply shrugged and exchanged a worried glance with his friends.
There was no way- no way on earth that he could have seen us. Obviously whoever he was talking to was still in the room when he-

"Mr Potter!" James was snapped out of his thoughts by a sharp call from Professor McGonagall, who was staring at him with a stern look on her face. "Honestly, what's gotten into you?"
"Sorry, Minnie." he said, peering up at her with a silver of mischief. Usually McGonagall would threaten him if he called her that, but it seemed she was obviously concerned- James looked unusually pale. "I'm just a little tired."
"Obviously so. Please go to bed sooner tonight. Now, I asked you- what is the third law of natural transfiguration, in your own words?"

It seemed that Sirius had had enough of their internal conflict, for the second they had left the classroom he had already began to march his way down the stairs with such purpose that James and the others had to jog to catch up.
"I've had enough of this soggy mood," he said, flying down the stairs two at a time. "We're going to have some fun and get that stupid professor out of our heads."
"I'm not complaining about that," Remus said, "but where are you taking us? The common rooms are the other way."
"I know that," Sirius sighed. "I'm taking us to the kitchens?"
"The kitchens? How'd you find out how to get there?"
"Gideon and Fabian Prewett, fourth year. Apparently they get the food for parties down there." Sirius said, still marching furiously down the corridor. Then, abruptly, he stopped at a portrait of a bowl of fruit. "Watch this."

Leaning in, he lifted one finger and ticked one of the fruits. Strangely enough, it let out a high giggle and the photo frame swung open, not unlike the fat lady, to show a giant room- the kitchens.

It was bustling with numerous house elves, all racing around the room in an attempt to prepare that night's dinner, piles and piles of plates all lined up- silver goblets filled to the brim with pumpkin juice and bowls overflowing with different types of jelly. Humming contently, Sirius stepped in, immediately greeted with a stream of tiny elves, all eagerly trying to offer him different bits of food, strawberry cheesecake, grilled sausages, roasted potatoes. Shooting a grin at them, Sirius graciously took a very large of cheesecake and sat down. Mirroring his friend's enthusiasm, James hopped down, Peter quickly following and Remus coming in last, muttering uncertainly.
"Now this is like it." Sirius leaned back as James accepted a plate of the same cake. "Just what we need to take our minds off that. Now who wants to talk about the prank?"

All of them, it seemed. It was a welcome change from the worries that had plagued them since last night and James was glad to just laugh mindlessly with his friends about trivial matters again and soon he had almost forgotten all about Professor Andre and the antics he was up to. Soon they were deep in conversation about the prank they were to pull on Snape and now- considering their run in with Malfoy the previous day- the rest of Slytherin house. Soon they had come up with a very detailed plan and now had a set date to pull it off, the day before Christmas break began.
"I was wondering," James said, crossing his legs. "What should I get you for Christmas?"
Sirius rolled his eyes. "Easy there, tiger. It's barely Halloween, don't you think it's a little early for that?"
"It's never too early for festivities!" James said, jazz handing dramatically and hopping to his feet. "I can't wait to see the castle all decorated!"
"Same!" Sirius said, sighing satisfyingly as he took the last bite of his third slice of cake. Remus, who was still on his first, wrinkled his nose.
"I'm surprised you're not obese, given how much you eat."
Sirius laughed. "Who are you, my mom?"

And so it continued, them laughing and messing around. A few minutes later they hopped up to the common room to complete some of their homework that was due in the next day and before they knew it, it was dinner- time seemed to fly by when they weren't concerned about anything, or at least when they were trying to forget. Unfortunately, it all seemed to flood back when James entered the Great Hall to see Andre staring right at him.

However, it soon became the least of his worries- as the time grew on it became evident that Remus wasn't just late as they had though when they entered the hall earlier, but not coming to dinner altogether.
"Perhaps he wasn't hungry." Sirius suggested, though it seemed he was the most worried out of all of them. "He doesn't eat much, he could have gone to the library or something." He didn't want to voice the fear the Andre had done something to their friend, as irrational as it was. Remus would have told them if he wasn't planning on going to dinner.

Their worries only grew when they checked both the library and the common room after dinner, to find their friend nowhere at all. They passed Andre, however, who gave them a sly, knowing smile which didn't do much to quench their imagination. In fact, James looked so irritated at the teacher- and tired- that Professor McGonagall commented on it as they passed one another in the halls later that night.
"Just tired, Professor." he said, not even bothering to keep up appearances. "Do you know where Remus is?"

A flicker of something passed through McGonagall's face when he asked the question, but it quickly was brushed away as if nothing had happened at all. She gave James one of her rare smiles, though she herself looked rather worried.
"Mr Lupin's mother found herself quite sick," she said. "and so he's gone to visit her for a night, just to make sure she's quite alright. He should be back tomorrow afternoon."
James stared in concern, though he found himself thinking that McGonagall wasn't telling them the whole truth.
"Is she alright?" he asked, rather worried. The professor smiled.
"She will be fine, I'm glad you're concerned for your friend. Now, please, go to bed. I won't accept any fatigue in tomorrow's lesson." With that she briskly turned around, presumably making her way to wherever teachers slept.

It didn't take long before James raced back to the common room and told Sirius and Peter what Professor McGonagall had said. The former's face fell at the words and he looked out the window in concern. "I hope they're okay."

"They will be." Peter said suddenly, standing up. "Don't worry."
Exchanging glances at their friend's sudden outburst, Sirius and James followed the shorter boy as he made his way up the stairs.
I hope so. He thought. Please, let everything be okay.

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