The Sugar Quill
Author: Alkari (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Clean Living  Chapter: Chapter 1.
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“Be prepared

CLEAN LIVING

Disclaimer:   Naturally I do not own JK Rowling’s characters.  She invented them and the wonderful world of Hogwarts. I am just happily visiting her world for a while.

Author’s Note: With humble apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling (both of whom would have understood the Marauders!).

__________________

 

Chapter 1.

Professor Minerva McGonagall never knew that the Muggles were to blame. Well, Muggles studies to be precise. And the fact that Sirius Black could somehow associate Sherlock Holmes and the Scouts. But she would later recall those few weeks as some of the most nerve-wracking in her experience as a teacher.

* * *

"Be prepared." Sirius intoned. "Very sensible advice."

"What for?" James didn’t look up from the Quidditch book he was reading. It was a cold bleak Sunday afternoon in early November and the fourth years had retreated to their dormitory. Outside the rain streamed down.

"Muggle motto. Something called the Scouts." Sirius was sprawled comfortably on his bed with several large volumes spread out around him. A roll of parchment cascaded over the side, and two more were rolled up and tied neatly on his bedside table. He particularly enjoyed the research for Muggle Studies essays.

"Their motto is ‘Be Prepared’?"

"Yeah. So this says."

There was a snort of amusement from Peter’s bed. "More like what professors say when they see you two walking into class."

"Filch says a lot worse whenever he sees Sirius." Remus was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to his wardrobe, threading a new pair of laces into his shoes.

" I know. Heard him when he chased me the other night. My delicate ears were quite shocked. Foul language, most upsetting to a young and innocent student."

The other three howled with laughter. "Sirius," said James firmly, "You weren’t even born delicate or innocent."

"I’ll have you know that in my music lesson last week Professor Lieder said I have a very delicate and excellent artistic sensibilities." He ignored James’ derisive hoot. "I am most certainly innocent. Well, I mean Filch didn’t catch me and I haven’t had a detention for, oh … two weeks now. And I got those extra marks from Professor Heldin in Potions the other day."

Peter rolled his eyes. "No detention for two weeks. Extra marks in Potions. You’re sick. They’re probably worried about you. We’re worried about you. P’rhaps you should go see Madam Pomfrey for a tonic or something."

"Some friend you are! – detention or a tonic."

"Getting back to the subject, Sirius …" Remus put the shoes neatly in his wardrobe then flopped onto his bed. "What are these Scouts? And what do they have to be prepared for?"

"Sort of Muggle organisation for boys. Younger kids are called cubs, older ones are scouts. And they’re supposed to try and do a good deed every day."

More roars of laughter greeted this announcement.

"Just your sort, Sirius!"

"When do you join?"

"Please Mr Black, would you help me with my essay?"

"Sirius is SUCH a helpful boy!"

"Do let me carry your books for you Severus! Those potions ones are SO heavy."

"Oh Mr Filch, I saved this lovely piece of chicken for your cat – he’s looking a little hungry today."

Sirius gazed at his friends for a long moment, then shook his head sadly and sighed. "Anyone’d think I couldn’t ..." He stopped suddenly and sat staring at the bed hangings, a strange expression on his face. He frowned, scratched one ear, ran a hand though his hair. Finally a slow smile spread across his face.

Remus knew that look. "Sirius," he said softly "what have you come up with now?" James sat up.

Sirius looked from one to the other. "Well … I just thought … um, sort of what Peter said. Being worried about me not getting a detention for a week. Giving me a tonic and all that."

"And?" James began to look interested.

"Well - they sort of expect us to get into trouble all the time. Right? You and me any rate."

James nodded. "We have ‘a most unfortunate tendency for disruptive behaviour’ or whatever that last note to my parents said." His tone mimicked McGonagall’s with uncanny accuracy. "So – go on."

"Remember that weird Muggle book I was reading in the holidays – you know, that bloke called Sherlock Holmes – bit like our Aurors or something."

"Mmm."

"There was this story about a stolen horse where the clue to the problem was the dog barking. Well, not that the dog barked – it was actually that the dog DIDN’T bark in the night. And that led him to solve the case."

"So where does a barking dog get us? Apart from you getting cough mixture from Madam Pomfrey."

Sirius ignored the pun. "I was just thinking – what would happen if we DIDN’T do anything? You know - didn’t get into any sort of trouble. Really behaved ourselves and all that sort of stuff. Even do good deeds like the scouts."

There was dead silence. Peter looked mystified, Remus was frowning, and James’ eyes had a faraway look in them. Finally he looked over at Sirius.

"S’pose we do have a bit of a reputation."

"Exactly! Look at our record over the last three years! But what do you reckon the staff’d do if you and me were suddenly good all the time? I reckon they’d get more and more suspicious and nervous - about what they think we’re up to!"

Brown eyes met blue ones in sudden shared understanding. "You know," said James softly, "I think you may be onto something, Mr Black!"

"A pleasure, Mr Potter." Sirius had a really dangerous grin. He shut his books and carefully rolled up the parchment.

Remus and Peter looked at each other, then back at the plotters.

"Er – just what are you going to do? Or not do?" Remus experienced a familiar feeling of mingled apprehension and anticipation.

"NOT get into trouble!" James snapped his book shut, sprang to his feet and paced to and fro across the room. "You know - no smart remarks in class, no pranks, no marks lost, essays done on time, answer all the questions, be polite to everyone. No detentions."

"Perfect angels in other words!" Sirius was also on his feet, posing theatrically with hands clasped over heart, eyes raised heavenwards in a soulful expression of prayer.

Peter and Remus simply stared at them. Although his concept of angels was rather hazy, Peter was certain that neither Sirius nor James provided a suitable role model. Remus however had an immediate vision of James and Sirius each sitting on a fluffy white cloud, complete with feathered wings, halo and harp. He exploded into laughter, rolling over to bury his face in his pillows, shoulders heaving and muffled sounds escaping from the depths. After a minute or so he sat up, wiping away the tears running down his face.

"Just how long is this supposed to go on for?" he managed to gasp.

"How long for them to get worried about us?" The look on Sirius’ face was now anything but angelic.

"Depends. McGonagall’s always got her eye on you two, whatever you’re doing. So’s Heldin. The rest of the staff – well, probably a week or so before they notice anything. But as you’ve already gone so long without a detention ..." Sirius bowed majestically "... they’re probably already wondering."

"So we’d have to keep it up at least three weeks. Maybe longer."

Peter stared at them in growing amazement. "Do you honestly believe you two can go for three weeks without losing any marks at all or getting any detentions?"

"Mr Pettigrew, life is absolutely full of exciting new experiences," said James, slapping him on the back. "THIS is going to be one of them!"

"For you two as well as the professors," remarked Remus, still grinning broadly. He narrowly avoided Sirius’ playful swipe at his head. "Do either of you even know how to be good? You’d better start making a list of all the things you have to do. Like being on time for classes. Absolutely no exploding chalk or vanishing ink. Being nice to Slytherins." He ignored the Hmmph! from Peter. "And you have to be clean and neatly dressed every single day. James, you need to learn some hair tidying charms. And Sirius has to wear matching socks."

"Galloping griffins! He hasn’t got any. Have you Sirius?"

"Have so! Mum gave me some – got’em here somewhere." Sirius turned to the very large chest of drawers which he and James shared – four drawers each, though exactly who owned what contents was often open to some debate – and began rummaging through those on his side. Socks of many garish hues and patterns were showered onto the floor: Peter seized a handful and held them up to scrutiny.

"One bright orange sock – er, there’s a large hole in the toe, Sirius. One blue and white tartan sock, with red devils on the cuff. One plain black sock – now that’s what you need! – find the other one. Grey sock with black dots – well, that’s OK. But yuk! it needs a wash!" He tossed the offending article at Sirius, who in turn flung it at the laundry basket in the corner, then dived under his bed to emerge triumphant with three socks, a rumpled shirt, his old pair of slippers and a book on Quidditch.

"Behold! One pair of matching dark blue socks – see, they’re clean so I can wear those tomorrow Peter – and one grey sock. That should match." He handed it to Peter, who carefully folded it with its mate and placed it on Sirius’ bed. Sirius pushed his hair back out of his eyes, and surveyed the pile on the floor. "Look - there’s a pair of red ones too – oh, and here’s the other tartan one." He tossed them onto the bed as well. "There you are – four matching pairs!" The shirt he Banished to the laundry basket.

Remus dropped onto the floor beside them and started to inspect the multi-coloured pile. After a few moments he shook his head sadly. "Sirius – none of these match at all. Where are the others, or did you actually buy them that way?"

"Check James’ stuff." The three of them attacked the remaining drawers with great enthusiasm, despite James’ protests. But he soon joined them and the piles of socks and other clothing on the floor grew larger.

"Hey Potter! I’ve been looking for that!" Sirius lunged for the T-shirt which James was holding up. James whipped it out of reach and leapt across to Remus’ bed. Sirius launched after him, seizing a pillow as he went. James dodged the blow, grabbed another pillow but collided with Remus while aiming it at Sirius. Sirius tripped over Peter and they toppled into the clothing. Within seconds the air was full of noise and laughter and flying feathers.

There was a thunderous knocking at the door.

"Come in if you’re gorgeous!" yelled Sirius, trying to stuff a sock into Peter’s mouth.

"And female!" James added, wrestling with Remus over a bedraggled pillow.

The door was flung open and Professor McGonagall strode into the room. The four combatants froze. Her gaze took in the clothing scattered around the floor, the chaotic state of the beds, and the clouds of feathers now settling in white drifts over everything.

"Mr Potter, I am most definitely female. Mr Black, I presume I should be flattered that you would think to describe me as gorgeous." She paused and eyed each boy in turn with what James had once described as her "dragon killing look". "I believe I announced yesterday that I would be inspecting all the Gryffindor dormitories this afternoon. Which was intended to give everyone a chance to tidy up."

There was dead silence. "Sorry Professor. I’m afraid we forgot." James sounded suitably contrite.

"Clearly that is the case." McGonagall surveyed the feathers now clinging to each boy, then stepped forward and removed a particularly large one from Remus’ hair. "Mr Lupin, whilst the use of feathers is, I believe, an adornment much favoured by certain native American tribes, it is not a custom which is followed here at Hogwarts. And it is our practice to keep our clothing in the drawers and wardrobes provided for the purpose, not on the floor."

"Yes Professor." Remus spoke politely and humbly.

"I am aware that the dreadful weather these last few days has required students to remain indoors, so on this occasion I shall be lenient. I have yet to inspect the girls’ dormitories and I calculate that this gives you approximately half an hour to remedy the situation. I shall return." She turned on her heel and closed the door smartly behind her. It was indeed fortunate for her reputation that the boys did not see her face as she paused for a moment outside, or hear her murmur with some amusement as she descended the stairs " ‘Gorgeous’ indeed, Sirius Black!"

 

* * *

The four boys entered the Great Hall quietly next morning, each glancing quickly at the staff table. McGonagall was sitting next to Professor Sprout and her teacup paused briefly in mid air as she watched the quartet make their way to the Gryffindor table and take their seats. Her eyes lingered on them for a long moment before she resumed her breakfast.

The fright she had given them yesterday afternoon appeared to have had some effect she noticed with no small satisfaction. All were neatly attired and Black and Potter had apparently made an effort to comb and tidy their hair. Indeed, she noted with some astonishment as they sat down, Black even appeared to be wearing matching dark socks with clean shoes. They were certainly not one of the usual riotous colour combinations that he had favoured this year, most of which tended to be as headache-inducing as their wearer. She glanced at them occasionally as they ate: though somewhat quieter than usual, they appeared to be cheerful and their appetites were certainly unaffected.

Aware of her scrutiny and careful to keep their voices slightly lower than was usual, the boys consumed breakfast with appetites increased by an early start. Sirius had been a bit put out when Remus and Peter had insisted on setting the alarm for 6 am, to ensure that he and James had enough time to acquire a suitably immaculate appearance. The extra time had certainly been useful, though he wondered if it was going to take this much effort every morning.

As Sirius poured more pumpkin juice for each of them, careful not to spill any on his clean robes so early in the day, James ran through their timetables and strategy. "Double Potions first," he reminded them all.

Peter shuddered. "Great way to start a week. Whoever did this timetable should be turned into a toad."

"At least it’s with Hufflepuff." James responded. They could be thankful for small mercies - even Remus had wondered how long their good resolutions would last if immediately faced with Slytherins. "Peter, you and Sirius sit together this morning, and Remus and I’ll pair up."

Sirius nodded approval. "We’ll split up for everything except Transfiguration. Wait to see how long before McGonagall’s suspicious once you and I sit together and don’t even smile!"

James re-checked the list of assignments due that week. He and Sirius were up to date, so they could start their week in good conscience. He promised to help Peter with his Charms essay later – his good deed for the day he assured them – and they left the Hall feeling extremely virtuous.

The day proved to be an unqualified success. Peter, delighted at the prospect of incurring no detentions for the next three weeks merely through casual association with James and Sirius, was inspired to answer two difficult Potions questions correctly and was rewarded with five points for Gryffindor. The Soothing Potion produced by Sirius and Remus was pronounced excellent and they too were awarded five points each.

True, Snape and Rosier were in their Ancient Runes class, but Sirius was first into the classroom and seized the front desk right under Professor Halsbury’s watchful eye. As he enjoyed this subject he had no trouble in concentrating on the lesson and avoiding any Slytherin entanglements. James cheerfully ignored their enemies and sat two rows back next to Jenny Llewellyn, a popular brunette who was Hufflepuff’s new Chaser.

They walked quietly in the corridors between classes. They nodded politely to the professors who passed them. As they headed for Transfiguration after lunch they wore such innocent smiles that a couple of prefects, who knew them all too well, gave them very suspicious glances. James and Sirius earned more points from McGonagall for correctly answering several difficult questions. Sirius nudged James in the ribs as she turned back to the blackboard – if she only knew just how much they really knew about those species switches! But otherwise they kept their expressions studiously neutral, flawlessly transformed their pigeons into rabbits in very quick time and uttered not a single word that was not required. At the end of the lesson McGonagall nodded approvingly to them as they gathered their books and stood up to leave.

An early tea, then Quidditch practice for James and Sirius, after which they worked quietly in the common room for a while and eventually retired to bed without any of their usual skylarking. All in all, Remus considered as pulled the covers around him and snuggled down into their welcome warmth, a most satisfactory day. He closed his eyes.

His satisfaction may have been short lived had he been aware of later events in the dormitory. James waited till he was sure that Remus and Peter were both asleep, then slid quietly out of his bed. Seconds later he was perched on Sirius’ bed, the quilt pulled up around him, bed-hangings closed and secured with a silencing charm. Sirius lit his wand and grinned at his friend. "Now," he said softly, "just what are we going to do when all this ends? I’ve got one or two ideas."

James returned the grin and adjusted his glasses. "You know, I’ve found a couple of really interesting charms," he said. "And you’re the Potions expert. We have three weeks to work things out."

* * *

The rest of the week was just as good. Peter had initially suggested that Sirius’ good deed would be to start smiling politely at all the Slytherins. Remus promptly retorted that any smile from Sirius to Snape would most likely be construed as severe provocation.

Instead, they’d agreed that the best strategy was to ignore their enemies completely, adopting carefully neutral expressions whenever they saw Snape or his gang. It would require considerable self-control to ignore the insults regularly proffered, but – as James enthused on Thursday evening – they were getting better at it.

But they kept their wits about them. The fact that the Gryffindors might not be playing jokes on the Slytherins did not guarantee reciprocal treatment.

It was their Gryffindor classmates who first noticed the subtle change. In Divination on Thursday morning, Lily Evans quietly asked James if there was anything wrong. He blinked at her from behind his glasses (he’d recently noticed that Lily was actually quite pretty, and occasionally found himself a little tongue-tied when speaking to her) and replied that everything was fine. Later that afternoon, Sirius assured Amanda Fisher that no, he and James had not had a fight. Why did she think that? Amanda gave him a strange look but said nothing further.

Remus in turn professed total ignorance when Susan Pritchard asked him the same question: he was expert at feigning innocence under the most trying circumstances. Suspicions were temporarily allayed when it was seen that the four still sat together at meals, and that James and Sirius hogged their usual corner table in the common room at night.

Professor McGonagall was clearly not in a good mood when they entered her classroom on Friday morning. Unknown to the fourth years, she had a nagging headache, and her previous classes had not allowed her time to visit the hospital wing and obtain assistance from Madam Pomfrey.

With the most cursory greeting she commenced the lesson, outlining some difficulties encountered when transfiguring inanimate objects into certain classes of animal and the precautions which needed to be taken. After five minutes or so she became aware that James Potter was gazing over her head at the top of the blackboard, a slight frown on his face as he chewed at the end of his quill. She knew that sort of look. And as usual he was sitting next to Sirius Black.

"Mr Potter! I cannot see what is so immensely interesting about the blackboard, upon which I am yet to write. Or indeed the wall above it. "

"Sorry Professor, I was just concentrating. Thinking about why you have to do it that way. And what you would do if you were trying to transfigure a reptile."

McGonagall stared at him. He had apparently combed his hair again before coming to class, she noted inconsequentially. But an assertion that he was both ‘thinking’ and ‘concentrating’ could only spell trouble.

"Concentrating were you, Mr Potter?" she asked, eyeing him frostily. "Well then, you can enlighten all of us with your deliberations." And she launched a series of rapid-fire questions at him, of increasing complexity and, as far as the other students could see, ranging far beyond what they had been expected to read for this topic. To their increasing amazement James answered them all without batting an eyelid, and after a period during which no one else seemed to breathe, McGonagall ceased her inquisition and nodded slowly in grudging approval.

"It seems that you were indeed concentrating Mr Potter, and that you have done your homework most excellently." She paused. "Twenty points for Gryffindor." Peter, who had been frozen in place during her little quiz, let out a stifled choking sound and McGonagall’s gaze swung instantly in his direction. Remus thumped Peter on the back.

"Think he’s getting a cold, Professor," he said, bending over Peter solicitously. "He was coughing quite a bit this morning."

"Really." Her tone implied she did not believe him in the slightest. "Mr Pettigrew, go and get a drink of water. If you cannot stop coughing then go at once to the hospital wing and have Madam Pomfrey give you some medicine. No, Mr Lupin, you do not need to go with him. I am quite sure he can manage on his own." Peter beat a hasty and grateful retreat, and her gaze swung back to the Slytherins, several of whom had sniggered and muttered insults as she addressed Peter.

"Mr Nott. You have yet to answer a single question correctly this term. Mr Snape, it is a pity that the talents you demonstrate in Potions have not appeared so far this year in my subject. I suggest you might both follow Mr Potter’s example and indulge in a little more concentration as well as some quality homework." She glared at the Slytherins, then suddenly swung back to look in swift succession at the Gryffindors.

Nothing. Potter was cleaning his glasses and looked slightly vague without them. Black was absently chewing the end of his quill, eyes focused on the textbook in front of him. Lupin was watching her calmly, sitting absolutely still and composed, hands clasped on the desk in front of him. Not the hint of a smile from any of them. Not even a glint in an eye. More than three years of hard experience with these particular Gryffindors told her that something was definitely going on, but exactly what that might be she could not determine. She glared at Pettigrew as he resumed his seat, then turned to the blackboard. "Take down these notes," she commanded, and immediately the only sound was the scratching of quills.

Sirius felt James’ foot nudge his ankle as they wrote, sure that waves of hatred were emanating from the Slytherin side of the room. He bit his lip hard to hold in the mirth, returned the nudge, and made himself concentrate on writing very, very neatly. The lesson passed without further incident.

Once outside, the other Gryffindors greeted them with a babble of excitement. Aware of several Slytherins nearby, Sirius flung an arm round James’ shoulders and propelled him down the corridor towards Gryffindor tower and the common room.

Safely inside, the pair hurled their bags into a corner, flung themselves into armchairs and simply howled with laughter. "Oh James!" gasped Sirius when he could finally draw breath, "she told SNAPE to follow your example! Concentrate and do his homework! I don’t believe it!" He doubled over again and clutched his sides.

"That," said Lily with enthusiasm, "is going to go round the school! Fancy McGonagall telling Snape to be like you, James!"

"He’s probably being violently ill!" laughed Peter, leaning over the back of Sirius’ chair.

"And HOW did you know all that stuff to answer those questions?" asked Susan admiringly. "I didn’t even know the first one!" Peter nodded fervently to that.

The Gryffindor fourth years went down to lunch in a bubbling laughing group. The story soon spread up and down the Gryffindor table, and Sirius saw Fiona Martin from Ravenclaw leaning across to talk to Lily. He’d always liked Fiona, a fellow music student, and remembered happily that they had Herbology with the Ravenclaws after lunch. He’d sit with her if possible, there was a good joke he’d been meaning to tell her … Fiona caught his eye and winked, then turned back to her neighbours.

"They say virtue is its own reward," Remus murmured slyly as he helped himself to a second serve of chicken. "Should we call you Saint James now?"

"You know," said Sirius happily, "we haven’t even been going a week."

 

* * *

McGonagall’s headache had been cured by the time she entered the Friday afternoon staff meeting and she was looking forward to coffee and the usual excellent chocolate biscuits. Proceeding through the agenda, they reached the lists of house marks, detentions and student conduct.

"I see Gryffindor is still at the top of the table" remarked Ivy Sprout cheerfully. "Third week in a row. Must hope we give you a run for your money at Quidditch then, Minerva."

"What - no detentions from Black and Potter?" joked Professor Flitwick.

"No, not one." McGonagall frowned and checked the list again. "No marks lost either – in fact they’ve each gained – let’s see now, Potter has – good heavens! forty points this week for Gryffindor, Black has thirty-five. And Lupin has twenty. And – what’s this? – even Peter Pettigrew has five."

There was dead silence. As early as first year someone had suggested that "Black and Potter" should form a standing item of business on staff meeting agendas.

"Black didn’t get a detention last week either." Professor Heldin was examining the previous lists. "In fact, he hasn’t had a detention for three weeks now."

"Three weeks? That can’t be right - are you sure?" Professor Angle voiced everyone’s thoughts.

"Absolutely. Look here - nothing since 20th October. Black and Lupin – clean all toilets on the third floor. Filch supervised them.

"What about Potter?"

"Mmm - one on 25th October." Heldin looked round the room. "But nothing since then for either of them. I even gave Potter extra marks the other day – an excellent piece of work if I do say so. And young Black got extra marks last week from me too – he really knew his work." He raised an eyebrow at McGonagall.

McGonagall remembered the morning’s lesson. She’d felt a little guilty afterwards, wondering if she had perhaps been a little hard on the class, and especially on Potter, who’d been subjected to her furious questioning. Though he had certainly coped well enough. But they had looked a little too innocent for her liking. She frowned again.

"Do you think they’re all right?" Sprout sounded slightly puzzled. "They were very subdued in my lesson the other day - not a peep out of them. And they didn’t even work in the same group. Most unusual."

This remark was followed by a chorus of voices from the other staff members, from which it became clear that the pair had not been sitting together all week. And that they had done all their homework, been on time for every class and not uttered a single smart remark. And not a firework or other suspicious object in sight.

McGonagall set her cup down. "They sat together in my class though. And they’re all together at meals, all four of them. I assure you they are PERFECTLY all right!" she said firmly. "Potter definitely has his wits about him. I thought I was rather hard on him today as I asked him some most difficult questions. But he answered everything correctly. And yes, I gave him twenty points, as his knowledge amazed me." She poured another cup of coffee, and looked around at her colleagues. "Something is definitely going on!"

Flitwick chuckled. "Come now Minerva, you’re imagining things! We’ve all given that year a lot of work – maybe they just haven’t had time to get up to too much mischief lately. We’ve always said the best treatment for those two was to pile on the work so they are kept busy. Detentions are a waste of their talents I fear."

"Filius, I can assure you that those two will always find time to get into trouble. And Lupin too. He’s nearly as bad as Black and Potter."

Dumbledore settled his papers into order and smiled at her. "Well Minerva," he replied cheerfully, "Let’s just see how things go, shall we. And enjoy the peace while we can. But maybe, " and his eyes twinkled merrily, "maybe they have decided to mend their ways at last!"

McGonagall gave the Headmaster a look which indicated that a Black / Potter reformation was about as likely as her dancing naked in the Great Hall before the next Sorting Ceremony, and rose to file away the attendance sheets. She suddenly felt her headache returning.

* * *

"He’ll never miss it," whispered James as he lifted the huge tin under the Invisibility Cloak. "I took it from the back – the front rows are untouched."

"Good." Sirius shifted his weight slightly to make sure the cloak covered them both properly. "We should get one of those smaller containers – in case we have to make any more."

"We’ll nick one from that little store-cupboard on the fifth floor," said James. "Lots in there – he won’t miss one. Now – c’mon. Let’s get this back to the dorm. Think we need a bag for it - let’s see …" He produced his wand, and seconds later the tin was encased in a large canvas shopping bag.

"Nice one, Potter!" Sirius grinned, and seized one of the handles. Seconds later, only the very faintest sounds of footfalls indicated their stealthy passage down the corridor.

 

_______________________

To be continued ..

//
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