Things to know for this chapter- A characters name followed by a colon indicates a person singing. Example- Harry: A long, long time ago; I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.
In the aftermath of the Opening Feast prank, the Marauders continued to strike out, much to the Staffs amusement; with Slytherins as their primary target. Also among their targets was a select group of Ravenclaw second years. Since they were always targeted during random pranks, or pranks which appeared to strike in no particular pattern, one wouldn’t even realize that they were constantly being pranked unless you were paying close attention.
Professor Flitwick, however, did notice and if it wasn’t for the fact that said students had been responsible for Ravenclaw House being one member short this year, he may have actively pursued to find the culprits. This also led to Flitwick having a fairly accurate guess as to who Nightwing, Mimir, Leo, Koda, Huntress, Striker, Veritas, and Hopian were. He had to stop himself several times from asking Luna about the ‘House Mascot Prank’, as the students had come to call it, lest he give away the New Marauders identities.
His suspicions were confirmed when he saw the band of trouble makers in action one afternoon at lunch.
The Great Hall was packed with students as it reached the height of the lunch period. The New Marauders were constantly taking covert glances at the Slytherin table. As Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle entered the hall; Harry nodded to Fred, who nodded back and silently sent a spell at the Slytherin table that went unnoticed by the schools populace, with the exception of Flitwick who was observing the group closely.
After he had done that, Fred tapped the table lightly signalling Hermione and Luna. Hermione waited for the targets to ingest the jinxed food before casting a spell at the ceiling with Luna simultaneous casting another spell at the table. Luna then looked at Ron and gave him a hand gesture telling him it was his turn. Ron smirked, then cast one last spell at the Slytherin table. With the final piece in place, all the spells activated at once.
Music began playing around the great hall. The students looked around excitedly, waiting to see who the next target or targets were.
Malfoy suddenly jumped up onto the table with a bewildered look of his face as he began singing.
Malfoy: A used... pink bathrobe
Crabbe and Golye joined him on the table, equally confused.
Crabbe: A rare... mint snow-globe.
Goyle: A Smurf... TV tray.
Blaise joined his fellow Slytherins.
Blaise: I bought on eBay.
All of a suddenly, they began dancing to the music.
Malfoy: My house... is filled with this crap.
Crabbe: Shows up in bubble wrap.
Goyle: Most every day.
Blaise: What I bought on eBay.
Chorus: Tell me why: I need another pet rock. Tell me why; I got that Alf alarm clock. Tell me why; I bid on Shatner's old toupee. They had it on eBay.
Malfoy: I'll buy... your knick-knack.
Crabbe: Just check... my feedback.
Goyle: "A++!" they all say.
Blaise was really starting to get into the whole situation.
Blaise: They love me on eBay.
Chorus: Gonna buy, a slightly-damaged golf bag. Gonna buy some Beanie Babies, new with tag. From some guy I've never met in Norway. Found him on eBay.
Malfoy: I am the type who is liable to snipe you.
Crabbe: With two seconds left to go, whoa.
Goyle: Got Paypal or Visa, what ever will please.
Blaise: As long as I've got the dough.
Malfoy: I'll buy... your chotchkes.
Crabbe: Sell me... your watch, please.
Goyle: I'll buy I'll buy, I'll buy, I'll buy…
Jumping in the air, Blaise sang: I'm highest bidder!
Chorus: Junk keeps arriving in the mail, from that worldwide garage sale. Dukes of Hazzard ashtray. Hey! A Dukes of Hazzard ashtray. Oh yeah... I bought it on eBay.
Malfoy: Wanna buy; a Pac-Man Fever lunchbox.
Crabbe: Wanna buy; a case off vintage tube socks.
Goyle: Wanna buy; a Kleenex used by Dr. Dre.
Blaise: Found it on eBay.
Malfoy: Wanna buy; that Farrah Fawcett poster.
Crabbe: Pez dispensers and a toaster.
Goyle: Don't know why... the kind of stuff you'd throw away.
Blaise: I'll buy on eBay.
When the music ended, Blaise shrugged and calmly sat down to finish his lunch. In the ensuing applause and jeers; Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle bolted from the hall in shame, only increasing the laughter.
Harry was surprised that Blaise could just shrug it off so easily.
Harry shook his head and thought, ‘That kid truly is a Slytherin’.
Blaise Zabini was one of the best third year duellists in the school. In the other timeline, Blaise had been killed late May in sixth year during an attempted siege on Hogwarts.
Harry shuddered at the memory…
-- (Late May 1997) --
Harry had been on patrol that night. Nearing three in the morning, his shift was almost up and he was making one last sweep of the dungeons before turning his sector over to Kingsley so he could get some much needed sleep.
When he was about three corridors from the Slytherin Common Room, he heard shouts and bright flashes of light. Harry set off at a dead sprint and as he rounded the last corner, he was horrified at the site before him.
Several wounded students were crawling along the floor, trying to escape the battle. Scorch marks marred the walls and ceiling. Incoherent shouts filled the corridor; bodies littered the ground.
“Fall back!” Harry heard a voice shouting. “Fall back!”
It was Blaise Zabini; a tall, dark skinned Slytherin in Harry’s year. Harry knew little about Blaise. All he knew was that Blaise was the leader of an Anti-Voldemort group within Slytherin House.
“Michaels,” Blaise shouted to a seventh year “find a patrol and raise the alarm! Tell them that there are fifty plus D.E.’s and an unknown number of Dementors.”
“Don’t worry, I got the alarm,” said Harry, crouching low next to the Slytherins.
“Potter!” shouted Blaise.
“Good to see you too, Zabini,” joked Harry. “Communi Patronum!”
Prongs erupted from Harry’s wand and trotted over to him.
“This is Potter; we have fifty plus Death Suckers-”
“IT’S HIM!” shouted a fourth year as she scrambled along the corridor. “IT’S HIM! HE’S HERE! YOU-KNOW-WHO IS HERE!”
“Unconfirmed reports that Voldemort has entered the castle; converge all available units to sector four, corridor C. Also check the edge sector three. They may be sending units that way so we’ll need to flank-”
“We collapsed the roof at the corridor C entrance,” informed Blaise “the only way they can come is at us.”
“Scratch that last part. The corridor has been blocked at the C entrance. Over.”
Prongs took off through the ceiling. Harry turned back to Blaise to find him ordering the other Slytherins.
“Michaels! Start evacuating the wounded, now!”
“Yes sir!” replied Michaels before heading off.
“What about the younger kids?” questioned Harry while sending a slicing hex at a Death Eaters neck, killing her instantly.
“Until back up arrives, we need all the help we can get,” responded Blaise grimly. Harry hated to admit it, but Blaise was right.
“Everybody, shoot to kill,” ordered Harry,
The minutes dragged on with little progress for either side. Back up still hadn’t arrived and both sides were taking heavy casualties. It seemed the Death Eaters would win due to sheer numbers.
Finally, Harry saw an otter, Hermione’s Patronus, streaking towards him.
“Harry,” the otter said in Hermione’s voice “they’ve taken Hogsmeade and have broken through the gates. No help is on its way. Retreat.”
“Shit,” swore Harry. “Everyone; fall back!”
Harry stood up and let loose a barrage of curses to try and cover their retreat. It was nothing compared to what Blaise did.
In one of the most heroic moves Harry had ever seen, Blaise charged head long in to the ranks Death Eaters, his wand blazing. Death Eater after Death Eater fell in his wake. Harry used this diversion to retreat the forces to the end of the corridor.
Finally Harry saw Him. Voldemort walked through the rubble with ease, blocking every spell thrown at him. He quickly relieved Blaise of both his wand and hand with a well placed cutting curse. Blaise howled in agony as he clutched his bleeding arm.
“It’s a shame I have to kill you,” Voldemort smirked, evilly. “You are a valiant fighter, after all, and I could use such fierceness. Blood traitors, however, deserve to die a Mudblood’s death. Avada Kedavera!”
The sound of Blaise’s dead body hitting the floor seemed to reverberate around the corridor. The Slytherins were in a state of shock at seeing their leader struck down so easily. It was during this time that Harry and Voldemort locked eyes. Blood red met emerald green; perverse pleasure met righteous fury.
“Kill them all, but leave Potter for me!” ordered Voldemort.
As one, the Death Eaters surged forward. Harry and the Slytherins stood their ground. They were thirty feet away… twenty feet… ten feet…
“NOW!” shouted Harry.
Together, the thirty-seven survivors raised their wands towards the ceiling. The roar of an explosion followed by the sound of crashing rocks filled the corridor. When the dust cleared, a solid wall of rock blocked the corridor. Harry quickly set up a few minor wards that Bill had taught him which would keep the Death Eaters from simply blasting through before turning to his fellow fighters.
“We move out in three minutes. Do what you need to until that time,” Harry had told them.
Those words had sounded hollow, even to him, but there was nothing more he could say. It was war. People died. The sooner you understood that and could overcome it, the better off you were.
Harry sat down next to Michaels, a good friend of Blaise.
“What will this war accomplish even if we win?” Michaels asked.
“The first thing you must understand,” said Harry “is that no one is going to win this war. One day it will just… end. And all the lives that have been lost will be for nothing. Even if Voldemort was killed in that collapse and the war was over tomorrow, it wouldn’t end the Pureblood supremacy that exists in our society.”
“Then what’s the point in fighting?” asked Michaels.
“Obligation, revenge, pride, stubbornness; take you pick,” shrugged Harry as he stood up. “Someone has to fight otherwise Voldemort wins by default.”
“What’s your reason for fighting?” Michaels.
Harry just smiled and said, “Technically, I never really had a choice, but I’d have to say it’s a combination of the four. That’s just my reason. You need to figure it out on your own.” Harry stood up and looked around. Now was as good a time as any. “Alright, everybody, let’s move out.”
Harry was jerked from his memories as everyone began to stand up and leave for class.
“Wonder what we’re doing in Defence today?” Ron idly thought out loud.
If Harry remembered right, today was the day they’d be facing the Bogart. He was correct. Harry quietly snickered as all the students took a step back when the wardrobe began to shake.
“Can anyone tell what’s in the wardrobe?” asked Remus.
“That’s a Bogart, that is,” answered Seamus.
“Correct Seamus, five points to Gryffindor!”
“Now can anyone tell me what a Bogart looks like?”
“No one knows,” answered Hermione, who had suddenly appeared next to Harry.
Ron nudged Harry and asked quietly, “When’d she get here?”
“They take the form of whatever a person fears the most. That’s what makes them so…”
“Terrifying,” finished Remus.
“What are you talking about? She followed us from breakfast,” Harry lied. He had tried unsuccessfully to keep Hermione from enrolling in all the electives.
‘Some things never change, I guess,’ Harry thought with a slight smile.
“The one thing that can beat a Bogart is laughter. That’s why it’s always good to tackle them in groups if you can. Everyone please form a line.”
Like last time, the class jockeyed around; each trying to delay the inevitable. Somehow, Ron ended up first.
Remus opened the wardrobe to reveal a large spider.
“Ridikulus!” Ron shouted; the spider/Bogart struggled to stay up as skates appeared on its feet and the class erupted in laughter.
Seamus was up and the Bogart turned into a mad Leprechaun.
“Ridikulus!” Seamus shouted; the Leprechaun/Bogart turned into a fat, drunk, red haired man singing some sort of song. Again the class laughed at the display.
One by one, students faced their worst fears and turned them into hilarious antics. Finally, there was only one person before Harry. He steeled himself to face the Dementor when he realized who it was in front of him.
He moved to put himself in between her and the Bogart, knowing full well what her worse fear was, but he wasn’t fast enough.
Time seemed to slow as the Bogart took on the definite shape of sixteen-year-old Tom Riddle, smirking down at Ginny.
Ginny was paralyzed with fear as her wand limply slipped out of her grasp and clattered to the ground. The Riddle-Bogart began moving towards her, as was Remus. That’s when Harry intercepted the creature.
The Bogart quickly re-shaped to form a Dementor but Harry’s wand had already been in motion before it had even finished transforming. The classroom looked on in awe as a brilliant, silver light bathed the room with its splendour. The stag that erupted from Harry’s wand forced the Dementor-Bogart back into the wardrobe and with a flick of his wrist, Harry sealed it in.
Harry was barely aware of murmuring going on in the room as he dropped to one knee besides Ginny, who had been reduced to tears. Ginny threw her arms around Harry’s neck and hugged him tightly. She was trembling in his embrace. He was vaguely aware of Remus clearing the room out, but that didn’t matter to him. All he was concerned with was Ginny.
He looked up when he felt a hand on his shoulder, it was Remus.
“I’ve excused the both of you from the rest of your classes. Take her back to the common room,” said Remus.
Harry nodded and helped Ginny off of the ground. The trip back to the common room was uneventful. Once there, they were met by a shaggy black dog, which was excited at first, but sobered up after he saw the third year’s expression.
Harry sat on the couch with Ginny as she continued to cry. Occasionally Harry would mutter encouraging words and sweet nothings in her ear, but they had little effect. After about a half hour, Ginny had cried herself to sleep, her head in Harry’s lap. Harry fell asleep shortly afterwards.
That’s when Sirius transformed.
“Ditching class to sleep with a girl,” murmured Sirius with a slight smile “James would be proud. Lily probably wouldn’t, but James, definitely.”
Sirius conjured a quilt for the two before retransforming back into Padfoot. He stretched out in front of the couch and quickly fell asleep himself; therefore, he did not see a small, gray rat scurry by. Heading for the portrait hole…
-- (Four hours later) --
Harry had awoken about twenty minutes ago. He had just gotten back from bringing Ginny up to her dorm room. Harry chuckled to himself at how simple it was to beat the charmed staircase.
All a person had to do was levitate themselves up the stairs. Even a first year could do that, but like most humans; the male population of Hogwarts ignored the simplest solution and went straight for the most complicated answer.
Although, Harry did have two advantages that most students didn’t have. One; if the levitation charm failed, he could always transform into one of his Animagus forms and climb up. Two; since he was the heir of a Founder, he automatically was allowed to go up the staircase without having to worry about setting off the alarms.
The teachers didn’t know that, however.
He had just reached the couch and was about to banish the quilt when Fred, George, and a very confused Hermione entered the common room.
“Hey Harry,” said Fred.
“Mind if we have a chat?” asked George.
“Sure what’s up?” asked Harry.
“Not here,” said George, looking around at the students milling about; preparing for their next class.
“It’s not safe. We don’t want to be overheard,” explained Fred with a neutral expression.
Harry frowned but nodded, “Lead on, then.”
It took them fifteen minutes to reach the place Fred and George considered safe, a room on the third floor that Harry had never seen before.
“What is this place?” asked Hermione, looking around the room.
“We call it ‘The Weasley Sanctuary,’” said Fred with a smile. “Found the place back in first year whilst escaping from Filch, its one of the few places that does not show up on the Marauders Map.”
“Over the years, we began to spruce it up a bit. Transfigured a few things to make furniture, knocked down a wall so we could have a potions lab, built a tunnel system that leads in four different directions,”
“Gryffindor Tower, the dungeons, the Hospital Wing, and the Kitchens,” explained Fred.
“Just the necessities,” finished George as Harry and Hermione snorted.
“So, again I ask ‘what’s up’?” asked Harry.
“Well, how much do you remember about what happened directly after Hermione was attacked?” asked Fred.
Harry frowned, “Nothing until I woke up from watching you guys being attacked. Why?”
Fred and George looked at each other.
“We’d thought as much,” said George. “You see, you were really out of it at the time.”
“So much so that we had to question the Headmaster on something you mentioned to us,” said Fred.
“That being said,” started George.
“We would like to,” said Fred.
“Personally welcome,” said George.
“Hogwart’s newest,” continued Fred.
“Twins!” they chorused with neutral expressions.
Harry’s wand was in his hand so fast all anyone had seen was a blur.
“Whoa there, mate,” said George putting his hands up in surrender. “We ain’t going to tell anyone.”
“Besides, Dumbledore let us leave with our memories,” started Fred.
“Not that we gave him much of a choice,” murmured George.
“So he must trust us enough not to betray you,” continued Fred.
“I know neither of you would willingly betray us,” said Harry “but there are ways of extracting information without ones knowledge.”
“Oh, you mean Legilimency,” smiled George. “Well, no problem there. We are both Innate Occulmens.”
“Its how we’ve always managed to prank Snape without him being able to prove it was us,” smirked Fred.
“Well, that explains a lot,” murmured Hermione. “You realize you’ll have to keep this from your family. We haven’t told them yet.”
“Although, Remus knows now,” said Harry.
Hermione’s head jerked sideways. “What!” she yelped in surprise.
“Yeah, he recognized you immediately,” explained Harry.
“How’d you find this out?” asked Hermione.
“I talk to him a lot in private. You should too, he’d love it,” said Harry. Harry turned back to the twins “So… any other world shattering things you’d like to tell us?”
“Only that we transfigured Filch into a cat while he wasn’t looking,” smirked George.
“Now he can finally make ‘happy’ with Mrs. Norris,” snickered Fred.
Harry and Hermione shuddered at that disgusting visual.
“Well, Potter twins, we’ll see you later,” chuckled George.
“Yeah, we got places to go, people to see, and Slytherins to prank!” called Fred as they headed towards one of the tunnel entrances.
When the padding of their feet on the ground died away, Harry turned to Hermione.
‘So, what do you think about them knowing?’ he thought to his sister.
Hermione sighed, ‘I don’t know. Part of me is relieved that we have two less people to lie to. Part of me feels that the rest of the Marauders should know. Still another part of me wishes nobody knew. The biggest part of me wishes that mum and dad hadn’t died that night and that we didn’t have to lie at all.’
Harry moved over to hug her. ‘I know, sis. I wish they were still here, too. I wish we could openly be brother and sister instead of acting as if we are really close sibling-less friends.’
‘I look forward to the day I can proudly announce to the world that I am Hermione Jane Potter, daughter of Lily and James Potter, sister to Harry James Potter.’
‘Then you would have to deal with being The-Girl-Who-Lived. The media would feel the need to make up for not having reported your existence to begin with. Trust me, it’s much better to be a normal person. When you’re a celebrity, it’s adios reality!’
‘Well, look on the bright side of it. You can act like a fool, and people will still think you’re cool.’
‘Ah yes… there is that,’ smiled Harry. ‘Come, sis, let’s go back to the common room.’
“Yeah, I need to start on some homework,” yawned Hermione.
“What you need is to sleep,” commented Harry.
“Don’t have the time,” muttered Hermione causing Harry to snort.
“What’s so funny?” she asked, slightly irritated.
‘The girl who has a time-turner doesn’t have enough time,’ Harry thought to Hermione causing her to come to a screeching stop.
“HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT!” she shrieked.
“You can’t hide anything from me,” smirked Harry. Then he sighed, “Hermione, can I give some advice?”
“What?” asked Hermione, still miffed at him knowing her secret.
“Drop Muggle Studies and Divination,” said Harry. “You’re a muggleborn so you already know about muggles and from what Ron tells me, Divination is a load of bull. Without those two, you wouldn’t need a time-turner.”
“I can’t just quit now. It’d be like walking out in the middle of a class which would be disrespectful,” argued Hermione.
‘Oh the irony,’ Harry chuckled to himself.
“Just think about what I said,”
“Alright,” agreed Hermione “I need to go to the library.”
“Alright, see you at dinner,” said Harry, heading back to the tower.
Harry did indeed not see her until dinner time. When he did, she looked relieved and well rested.
“Bear nave o ven?” inquired Ron, through a mouthful of food.
“You’ll have to repeat, I don’t speak slob Ronald,” joked Hermione.
“He asked, ‘Where have you been,’” replied Neville, not looking up from his Herbology book. When the girls stared at him, he responded with a smile, “Slobic is a language that all males are fluent in.”
The girls giggled at his antics.
“I was talking to McGonagall” said Hermione. She turned to her brother “I took your advice, Harry. I’ve dropped Divination and Muggle Studies.”
“Good, you tried to take on too much,” said Luna, relieved. “We’ve only been back a month so far, and you’ve already exhausted yourself from doing all the homework.”
“I know, I was in over my head. I realize that now,” said Hermione. “I’m just glad I didn’t wait any longer otherwise I’d be in real bad shape. Besides, this gives me more time to help you lot develop pranks.”
For the rest of the meal, they talked in hushed voices about prank ideas. Later that night, Harry snuck out with Padfoot to the Shrieking Shack where Remus was waiting for them.
Sirius transformed back into human form.
“Thanks,” said Remus “both of you. You have no idea how much this means to me.”
A few minutes later, a panther, a large dog, and a werewolf could be seen running along the grounds. Racing each other and playing tag under the pale light of the full moon.