September went on quite quickly. Since they were first years, homework wasn't very much of a problem since they weren't assigned a lot of it. But they noticed how stressed the older students were when they plopped down their new pile of homework from that days classes and began working, obviously thinking of their exams like O.W.Ls or N.E.W.Ts. The only stress that James had was the upcoming Quidditch match against Ravenclaw at the first thing of October. He had had several private meetings with Davey Gudgeon to help have the game and position of Seeker explained better to him. But he didn't think he really needed it. He had seen every Quidditch world cup since he could remember. The game was like a second nature to him now. There had been several team practices and they all agreed that James was a brilliant Seeker. Even considering that he was a first year. He was able to catch the golden Snitch with ease when he managed to spot the small flicker of gold as the tiny ball sped through the air, its tiny wings buzzing faster than those of a hummingbirds.
The trees leaves were growing a beautiful shade of orange and began to slowly fall. Except the Whomping willows. Peter had spotted it one day out a window as it gave its branches a violent shake, like a dog ridding its fur of water as it shed all its dead leaves in a moment.
The Quidditch match seemed to take forever to arrive, delivering all the suspense it could, but it had passed so quickly. The game had maybe lasted twenty minutes. It seemed Ravenclaw didn't have a chance. Davey proved to be a brilliant Chaser along with other Gryffindor Chasers named Brittney Paziuk and Frank Longbottom. They had managed to score sixty points for Gryffindor before the Ravenclaw Seeker was hit with a bludger and James was able to grab the Snitch while he was too distracted trying to stay on his broom.
The celebration in the common room afterwards was amazing. James had never realized how seriously this school had took their Quidditch. Food and drink were everywhere as if it were a feast in the great hall. No one really bothered to wonder where all the food had came from, they were swept away by the party too quickly to care. James had a butterbeer thrust into his hand by Sirius. Through all the calls of other Gryffindor students saying things like: 'Brilliant job, Potter,' or 'You're an amazing seeker,' James managed to hear what Sirius was saying to him.
"Brilliant, mate!" He exclaimed as he wrapped an arm around his shoulders and moved him to the center of the common room. "You should see what Peter and Remus managed to do for you,"
Sirius managed to move the both of them through the crowd of Gryffindors. Sirius brought James into clear view of the fireplace, where above it was a giant picture of a lion. "Peter turned out to be an amazing drawer," Sirius said as they both admired the picture. James had to agree. The lion looked very real. So real that he even seen its vivid yellow eyes blink at them. "Yeah, and Remus manged to bewitch it to move. Its quite amazing. It roars and everything,"
And so it did. For the rest of the night, the only sound that drowned out the chants and songs of the celebrating Gryffindors was the occasional roar of the lion. Every time it roared, words would escape its jaws and float up above its head into a banner. It would read: Congrats Gryffindor, House Cup will be ours and, this made James laugh: Potter for President.
It was well past midnight and basically all Gryffindor students had left to their dormitories. Except James, Sirius, Peter and Remus. They sat at their usual spot, the table covered in empty butterbeer bottles. They sat slumped in their chairs, not able to speak to each other so they just sat in silence. The thought of going to bed had not crossed any of their minds. It was Saturday and had no classes tomorrow. James let out a groan as he struggled to lift his arm to ruffle his hair with his fingers, which only made it look more messy.
"Maybe it was a bad idea to have that fifth round of butterbeer," Peter suggested. There was a mumble of agreement. Sirius took the last swig from his bottle and began to blow at the top to make a whistling noise. He blew a little tune for several minutes until the annoyance on Remus's peaky face grew strong enough for him to finally snap and snatch the bottle out of his hand.
"I'm going to bed," He said, glancing at his watch. "It's already one thirty. Come on. We should all go," He suggested with a wide yawn as he stood and turned to stumble up the dormitory stairs. Peter was the first to follow. Sirius had gotten to his feet and turned to see if James was coming, but he sat, fast asleep in his chair.
It seemed that only a few dull lessons with History of Magic stood between them and Halloween. Every other subject was great fun for them, especially Potions. The team of James and Sirius always seemed to turn the classroom into a circus with their creations.
Astronomy was a little dull to them except for Remus who thankfully help them with their homework. As for transfiguration, the incantations past the match and the needle had grown a little more complicated. The lessons were rather serious and intense, and it went on for a little too long for them to hold their cool. James and Sirius would almost always get a detention after class. Peter sometimes joined them when he laughed too hard at their snobby jokes and spells. And once already, they had even dragged Remus down with them when he tried to discretely stop them from casting a tickling jinx on Severus when he walked by to hand his assignment to McGonagall. The jinx was cast anyway and Remus was given detention with his three friends for yelling at James over peters shrill laughter.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" Sirius cried at the feather on his desk in charms class.
"Swish and flick, Sirius," Remus leaned over and told him politely.
"What, did you think I didn't already know that?" Sirius almost barked at him. Remus eyed him with a sly smile
"Apparently not." He turned to his feather and as he made the movement with his wand he spoke: "Wingardium Leviosa," and his feather lifted off the desk, following the path that he drew with his wand in the air. Sirius's face flushed with jealousy.
"Apparently not," Sirius muttered, mimicking Remus. He turned back to his feather and repeatedly resumed speaking the incantation and jabbing his wand at the feather. Of course it didn't move. He became so frustrated after his twentieth attempt that he flicked his wand randomly with a moan of frustration, red sparks spurted out of his wand-tip, spraying Peter's head, making him scream and fall off his chair.
Another feather floated next to Remus's. Actually, it was trying to bump his feather out of the air. Surprised, Remus looked over to see that James was the one controlling the feather.
"There can only be one, Remus!" He called at him as the two feathers battled for higher ground in the air. The rest of the class had abandoned their attempts at incantations to watch. It was rather uneventful, the two feathers floating next to each other high up in the air, but the class found it amusing. Even professor Flitwick was watching in awe. But it came to an end when the two feathers suddenly burned up in the air. Everyone turned to see Lily pointing her wand up at the feathers with a hazy smile of amusement on her face as she watched the singed feathers float back down in front of the devastated faces of Remus and James.
"Oh, you foul s-" James began but was cut off.
"- Alright everyone, back to work!" Flitwick piped up from his little desk which he stood atop.
The classes for the day were over and they planned on stopping up at the common room and maybe getting a crack on their homework. They began with astronomy where they had to memorize all the moons of Jupiter.
"There are like, a million!" Sirius said as he threw down his quill. Remus turned his sallow looking face and glanced the page he was on in his Astronomy book.
"Sirius, you're on the page about Saturn's ring,"
"Oh," Sirius realized, flipping back a few pages.
Of course, Remus finished his work first. They all looked up at him from their paper as he stood, tucking his books back in his bag and headed off up the dormitory steps. When he descended back down, he didn't look at them but began to stride towards the portrait hole.
"Oy! Mate! Where do you think you're going?" Peter called over at him. Remus stopped and rounded to look at them.
"I've got some things to do,"
"Well, why didn't you tell us, mate?" James said, dropping his quill and looking at him with the same eager look on the Sirius and Peters face. "Maybe we wanna come with you,"
"No no, finish you're work. I'll meet you down at dinner in a little while." And before they could protest, he swept his robes and was crawling out of the portrait hole.
They did meet him down at dinner just a little more than an hour later. And he was already wolfing down his chocolate pudding for desert. As the other three sat down, they eyed him, thinking that he was just eating desert first, but before they knew it, he dropped his silver spoon down on his platter with a clank and was getting up to leave.
"Blimey, Remus. What in Merlins name is the rush?" Sirius said to him. Remus stopped and turned to face their expectant looks with his blood drained face.
"I- I just- I received word that my mother is very sick. So I'll be going to visit her,"
"Well jeez, Lupin. You could have told us!" James said
"When did you hear this?" Peter asked.
"Just today. Look I gotta go..."
"Well when will you be back?" Peter asked, gripping Remus's robes to stop him from rushing away.
"Soon, I promise- Peter let go-... I'll see you guys later." And just like that, he was gone.
He did keep his promise and returned a day later. They believed him when he said his mother was sick, but his fatigued looking face made them wonder if he was the one that was sick instead of his mother.
Halloween was nearing and the appearance of the school was changing. Outside on the grounds the leaves were changing and the air took an icy touch. Indoors, the school was warm and becoming more and more vibrant than the magnificent shades of the trees outside during the days leading up to Halloween.
When the 31st arrived, it was impossible to not notice the buzz among the students. Some students were even wearing masks that came in a wide range from a phoenix that had feathers that glowed and sparked, to goblins that had faces that were a little too realistic for comfort. Around the halls, students would be humming Halloween tunes and it spread like a wild fire. A popular song among the students was an old wizarding tune called: 'The Screech of the Screech.' It sang of a mysterious screech owl that could be heard hooting in the deepest depths of Gringotts wizards bank on Halloween nights.
It was lunch break and the four of them were roaming the halls, waiting for the bell to head to Potions. Peter had decided to sing a tune of his own. Sirius and James eyes him as he sang the lyrics to himself, thinking he had just made up the song. But they were wrong when Remus joined in and began to recite the lyrics along with him. It was called: 'The One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater.' James and Sirius had never heard this song before but eventually managed to get some of the words and mumbled along with Peter and Remus' duet.
Lily and Severus rounded a corner ahead of them, carrying their Potions books as well. Lily's vibrant green eyes flashed when she heard their song and sang along excitedly. Even Severus smiled and sang a few words.
"Are you going to potion?" Lily asked them when they finished the course.
"Yeah, you too I suppose?" James said.
"Oh, yes. Shall we head there together?" She asked them with a broad grin. They eyed Severus who gave a look of loathing as if the last thing he wanted to do was walk along side them. James gave a sly smile, but Lily didn't seem to notice.
"Of, course," James replied.
"What do you mean you don't know that song?!" Lily cried with laughter at James and Sirius. They were heading down a corridor to the stairs to the dungeons.
"They're pure-bloods, Lily," Severus spoke out of the side of his mouth, staring straight ahead without faltering in his determined steps.
"Oh, I forgot," Lily said. Sirius eyes Severus. He didn't like the tone he used when he stated that they were pure-bloods.
"Well you've obviously got some muggle in you then, Snape?" Sirius called over Lily's shoulder at him. Severus did not look at him as he nodded his head.
"His dads a muggle. They lived in a house near mine. That is how we met," Lily informed them.
"How long, exactly have you known each other?" James asked as they stepped down the first stairs.
"Since we were nine,"
They arrived at the Potions room a few moments later to find that the door was closed. James, Sirius and Peter following close behind threw their bags down on the floor and sat, waiting. The other three remained standing. Remus had his wand out and was practicing the swish and flick motion for the levitating charm.
"Whats with you and all those scars, Lupin?" Severus suddenly blurted out. Everyone looked to Remus to see that there was a fresh scar of his hand. "Looks like a bite,"
"That is none of your business," James spoke sharply from the ground where he sat.
"It was just a question," Severus replied.
"Well it wasn't the right question to ask," Sirius shot at him.
"Sirius, its no big deal-" Remus was cut off.
"What if I ask you why you're hanging out with Gryffindors when you should be with your own kind, the sulky Slytherins." Sirius got to his feet, James flanking him.
"Why don't I ask why you begged the sorting hat to be placed elsewhere from your family and their purity mania?" Severus spat at him. James pulled his wand out at the same second Sirius did. Their mouths opened to speak the first curse they could think of, but their breaths caught in their throats at the sound of Lily's voice.
"Stop!" She cried, stepping in front of their wands, grasping her own in the pocket of her robes. It was a stand still. Severus had pulled his own wand out as well as Peter, but Remus had no desire to back his friends up in this situation. It would be a three against two, but none of them had the desire to curse Lily. It was a moment of silence as they held their wands high, pointed at each other. "Put the wands down," She spoke firmly. At this moment, the bell rang and students flooded around the corner at the other end of the corridor.
"Alright, Evans," James finally said as he tucked his wand away. Sirius and Peter followed his lead, holding their heads high and giving Severus a dangerous look before they entered the classroom that professor Slughorn had opened.
Entering the great hall that evening was a great surprise. Below the stormy ceiling where the candles once floated were replaced by jack-o-lanterns with faces carved into them. Occasionally one would engage in a conversation with the other. Skeletons stood silently around the walls, watching students as they passed. Sometimes one would tap a student on the shoulder, giving them a great fright.
When they sat down, Dumbledore stood and quickly bid the great hall a happy Halloween, and with a wave of his arms that were draped in orange and black robes, the food appeared on platters before them. The food was somewhat different from a regular night. There were pumpkin seeds and candy corns and pumpkin juice that came by the cauldron. There were huge turkeys dressed in necklaces of sweets and a dozen roasted pigs, each with a candy apple in its mouth.
The students feasted on the variety of amazing foods as the pumpkins above began to quietly sing a tune. When the dessert of endless types of candies, sweets and chocolates were served, the pumpkins were singing a lament in beautifully pitched voices. They sang an eerie song about the creatures of the forbidden forest.
When the feast was over and the students began to trickle out, they avoided the skeletons who had come to life and were now dancing around the isles, grabbing a person at random as their dance partner. When most of the great hall was empty, Sirius could be found engaging in a salsa style dance with one of the skeletons. James, Peter and Remus watched idly, laughing at how serious and intense he was as he performed the fancy footwork with the skeleton. And he was actually kind of good. A few other students who were still left in the great hall caught on and came to watch along with the floating pumpkins who had began singing an upbeat song to match the dance. If one were to look up at the nearly abandoned staff table, they would see McGonagall, tapping her feet, attempting to hide a smile of her joy at the scene as she stood along side Albus Dumbledore who had a hop in his step, clapping along with the beat as they watched the dance battle below.