The Sugar Quill
Author: Jo Wickaninnish  Story: The Marauders: Year Two  Chapter: Chapter Two: I Believe I Can Fly
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I Believe I Can Fly

 

I Believe I Can Fly

 

Peter’s house was an absolute train wreck, there was no other way to properly explain it.
"Peter Pettigrew, did I not tell you to pack yesterday or were my ears deceiving me?" his mother shrieked up the staircase.
"I was over Lily’s yesterday. I lost track of the time," Peter moaned as he searched fruitlessly for his socks and Bob. He found Bob in one of his socks and gave a huge sigh of relief, putting Bob safely in his cage and tossing his socks into his trunk.
He’d spent his last day of holiday with the Evans’, who, if one exempted Petunia, were a really nice bunch. He’d laughed when Lily had told him her parents were gardeners who owned a nursery and whispered to him that her mother was Rose and her father was Herb. It had been nice to have someone to discuss school with and he’d caught her up on several events in the magical world and told her about the Banishing Banshees concert he’d gone to the previous week. Both of them tended to be rather out of the loop as their parents were Muggles and neither subscribed to the Daily Prophet, which Lily said she intended to do next summer.
"Peter," his mother yelled up the stairs once again. "If that trunk isn’t down here in ten minutes, we’re going to be late and you know very well your father and I can’t just hop on a broomstick and haul you off to Hogwarts if you miss that train!"
Peter looked around his room in a panic and then gave up. He pushed his trunk next to his overflowing desk and just slid everything into it, which wound up taking most of the room up in his trunk. Well, if nothing else, my texts, parchments and quills are somewhere in that mess, he thought and then began digging under his bed for his robes.
"Peter!" his father bellowed. "This car is leaving in five minutes, with or without you!"
How ridiculous, Peter thought. What’s the point if they leave without me? Why go at- "YES! My shoes!" He chucked the shoes into his trunk and quickly followed them with a few robes. He then tried to shut the trunk, but the overflowing mess would not give. "Dad! Could you help me close my trunk, please?"
He heard his father make his way up the steps and climbed on top of his trunk, which forced it down just enough that the latches should be able to take. His father burst into his room and latched the trunk quickly. Then he began heaving it out of his room. "What’ve you got in here, Pete? A pile of rocks?"
Peter smiled. "No, just a few bricks and the kitchen sink."
His dad grinned at him. "You’re worse than both of your older sisters ever were, you know that? Get Bob and hurry up, we’re going to be late."
Peter chuckled at the thought of either of his older sisters, both already married and out of the house, packing in such a fashion to run off and catch a train to a place like Hogwarts. He grabbed Bob’s cage and was halfway down the steps before he spun around quickly and ran back into his room. His mother gave an indignant shriek when he spun around but he quickly made it back to his room, grabbed his wand off his nightstand and crammed it in his pocket. Something gold and red caught his eye and at the last moment, he bolted across his room, grabbed his school scarf and wrapped it around his neck. Then he ran out of the house and into the already running car.
Mrs. Pettigrew chided him the entire way to London. By the time the three had finally reached Platform 9 ľ the entire family was in a sour mood. He hugged his mom and dad, told them he’d see them around Christmas, grabbed the trolley holding his trunk and crossed the barrier, letting out a sigh of relief when he saw the Hogwarts Express still in place. However, that sigh of relief turned to sheer panic when it suddenly burst to life and began to slowly move out of the station. He rushed towards the train and almost cried in relief when he saw Remus and Sirius hop off the train, grab his trunk and yell at him to run.
He obliged and a moment later he was lying in a heap on the floor of the Hogwarts Express in a tangled mess with Sirius, Remus, Bob and his trunk. The three got up and took one look at the thoroughly disheveled Peter with a wand sticking out of his back pocket and a scarf on in ninety-degree weather and burst into laughter.
~~*~~
"Alice," a voice shrieked, followed by a bunch of other shrieks and giggles.
"I suspect we now know where the Gryffindor five have situated themselves for the ride," Sirius said, one hand firmly grasping the handle on Peter’s trunk.
"How about we wait a few hours to bother them?" Remus offered. "I’m sure Frank will loose his toad at some point and they’ll pop into our compartment."
He started shuffling towards the compartment the three Marauders had claimed earlier and stopped before the slightly ajar door.
"I hate to be the voice of reason, James, but you do realize that will never work, don’t you?" came the calm voice of Frank Longbottom.
"How do you figure?" a slightly indignant James Potter countered.
"Well, point one, have you ever actually seen the merpeople? They’re nothing like those stupid Muggle fairy tales, they’re quite scary really. Point two, they’ve got their own magic about them, if you really think you’re such an astounding second year that you can outdo them with one of your Confundus Charms, be my guest. I’m sure Peter or Remus will be there to pick up the pieces. Point three, I can’t imagine Dumbledore being overly enthused to look out his study window and see all the merpeople in the school lake chasing their tails. A bit ridiculous now, isn’t it?"
Remus and Peter exchanged a knowing glance outside the compartment. James had been hell bent on getting back at the merpeople for making fun of him when he’d fallen into the lake last year. Sirius, however, muttered, "Bloody brilliant idea" rather enthusiastically and clambered into the compartment already babbling about ways to distract the giant squid.
Remus smiled wryly and turned to Peter, "Can’t exactly let those two lunatics loose on their own, can we?"
Peter chuckled slightly and grinned back at him. "Guess that wouldn’t be wise." And the two boys shoved Peter’s trunk into the compartment, contemplating different ways to distract James and Sirius from their merpeople torture crusade.
~~*~~
"I cannot believe you two," Remus hissed at James and Sirius nearly two hours later. Frank had long ago shaken his head a last time and departed the compartment in search of the Robs.
"Don’t tell me you’re not curious. Look at this from an educational standpoint Remus, a study of the creature habits of twelve-year-old girls. Maybe we could submit what we learn for extra credit in Care of Magical Creatures or something," Sirius muttered quietly at him.
"Care of Magical Creatures? Bloody hell Sirius, it absolutely astounds me still that you were the first one to manage a girlfriend," James muttered back.
"If you call what occurred managing, that is," Peter chimed in.
"Come on Remus, you’re the only one who knows the charm. Just open it slightly, just a tad, come on now, be a mate," Sirius pleaded, pointing at the small window above them all.
"Lily will kill me," Remus replied, standing firm. "We’re not spying on them. Can’t we just be normal for once and knock on a bloody door? Is it so hard to just knock on a bloody door for a change?"
"He’s just worried Melissa will be going on about some boy she met this summer and fell madly in love with," James said, nudging Sirius and winking slyly.
"What?" Remus sputtered and then regained his composure. "What do I care if she did… I mean."
"You know though, I did mean it, it could be useful knowing how the mind of the elusive twelve year old girl works, Remus," Sirius said, glancing meaningfully up at the small window once more.
Remus gave a bit of a defeated sigh. "You gits, we’re going to get caught. One of them always catches us and none of them ever find it amusing when we’re spying! Mel and Becca might never tell when it’s a prank but when we’re eavesdropping… it took a week for my ears to return to their normal shape last time."
"I’ve actually taken the time to look up that counter curse for that nasty little hex Mel found. You know, I’ve often wondered where she finds those things," Sirius commented. "Come on, Remus," he whined impatiently.
"Fine, fine! I need a boost though, I need to actually be touching the blasted window, but when we get caught, I’m pleading Imperious Curse or something, really. Boost me, one of you prats and Pete you’d darn well better try and catch me if I fall," Remus hissed at them.
Sirius did a little victory dance and moved to right in front of the door, lacing together his hands as he did so. "Upsy daisy, Remus." He grinned maniacally.
"We’re going to die," Remus moaned quietly. "I swear, I’m more scared of those girls angry than all the Slytherins and Nackle combined."
"As it should be," James commented, standing in a position to help Remus up.
Remus shook his head one last time and stepped into Sirius’s linked hands. Sirius, who had become slightly sturdier over the summer, had no trouble raising the still thin as a pole Remus up to the window height.
"Not so high," Remus hissed. "I don’t want them to see me!"
"Right," Sirius mumbled and lowered himself a bit.
"Flic-"
"What are you doing?" came an indignant voice behind them.
"Trixie!" Peter gasped as Sirius jumped, knocking into James, causing Remus to smash headlong into the window and crumble to the ground.
"Oof, what the bloody hell, Sirius?!?" Remus groaned, rubbing his head.
"Trixie," Sirius muttered down to him and Remus’s eyes widened in horror. Just when he was sure it couldn’t get worse, the compartment door flew open and smashed right into his already bruised head.
"What are you doing?" a very pretty girl with black hair shouted into the hallway.
"Tessa," James muttered sheepishly. "Nice holiday, then?"
"Care of Magical Creatures extra credit," Peter piped up and the other three actually groaned out loud.
"What?" Trixie asked, looking very perplexed. "How on Earth did you get extra credit already?"
"We umm… the boy’s mad. You all know that. Where did you get an idea like that, Pete?" Sirius said quickly.
Peter looked down at the floor, trying to think quickly of a way to cover up his blunder. "We were dueling. For fun. For a bit. You see. That got… dull. So. Remus thought he knew how to fly. So. So. Well… clearly, you see, he can’t."
The entire group was looking at him as though he were mad.
"Right well. He couldn’t start from the ground, now could he?" Peter said his voice nearly high enough to be a whine, but not quite. "Sirius boosted him and James was going to try and catch him if he fell." Suddenly Peter’s face fell and he rooted in his pockets. He pulled out two galleons, giving one each to James and Sirius, then shrugging at the girls. "I bet them he could fly. Stupid, I suppose. They won."
The girls were still looking at all the boys now as though they were all mad, but the three boys were fighting the urge to kiss Peter. From the moment he thought to pull out those galleons, the girls faces all changed from one of anger to their normal look of ‘what have they been up to now’ that they all usually wore when dealing with the Marauders.
"Did you really need to test the laws of aerodynamics in front of our compartment?" Alice asked, leaning out into the corridor.
"Well, we didn’t know it was your compartment, now did we? Just wound up being a… pleasant surprise," James replied, taking the galleon from Peter and pocketing it.
"Right-o. So how was your holiday, ladies?" Sirius said, also taking the galleon from Peter’s outstretched hand.
Trixie just shook her head at the sight before her and turned around to head back from wherever she’d come from, muttering about "lunatic Gryffindors and their deranged ideas."
Tessa looked after her sadly. "She’s so thin. That can’t be healthy."
Mel slapped her lightly. "Let Trixie worry about her own weight, if you’d spent the summer dealing with the death of your family do you suppose you’d be doing cartwheels though the corridors in your free time?"
Tessa looked after Trixie one more time and then back at the boys. "Want to come in? It’ll be a bit of a squeeze but it’s just us three for now. Lily’s off visiting with some Ravenclaws and Becca went off in search of that bloody toad with Frank."
"It’s really not such a bad toad," Alice began in defense.
"That is not what you were saying when it was in your hair an hour ago," Melissa quipped and leaned back into her seat. "How did that go, exactly?"
"Oh, but that couldn’t have been Alice," Tessa teased. "Because ladies don’t say things like that." She shook her head briskly. "No, no, I’m sure we just imagined those interesting promises about what would happen to that toad if it wound up in your hair again… something involving pickled frog guts and lunar bears, right Mel?"
The Marauders chuckled and settled themselves into the compartment, Remus blushing madly when he squeezed in next to Melissa.
Sirius settled next to Tessa and tossed an arm over her shoulder. "So, how was your summer, Tessa?"
She made a face and Mel chuckled. "I baby sat. I lot. I hate little kids. I’m never having children, its official."
"Who’d you baby sit?" Peter asked from next to Remus.
"My neighbor’s kids, they’ve got four," she said.
"But I thought you lived nearby one another? Why didn’t you both baby sit them?" Sirius asked, gesturing at Melissa who was beginning to giggle.
"Because that prat," Tessa nearly spat out, causing Melissa to giggle even more, "set a bowl of popcorn on fire the second night of holiday when she was baby sitting them and the Willoughby’s asked her nicely not to baby sit again for a few more years."
Melissa was tearing up trying not to laugh.
"I highly doubt that that fire was an accident," Tessa concluded, glaring over at Melissa.
"So then what did you get up to all summer?" Sirius asked, directing his question at Mel.
"Oh, not much. I helped out my dad at work sometimes. He’d pay me a bit, so that was useful," she commented, wiping away the tears.
"What does your dad do?" Remus asked.
"He’s a carpenter," Melissa told them.
"What in the name of Merlin could you possibly do to help a carpenter?" James spat out.
"What are you implying, James Potter? Surely you wouldn’t think that I’m incapable of hammering a simple nail just because I’m a girl?" Melissa glared at him.
James sat farther back into his seat to put some distance between them. "Of course not, Melissa. Dunno what I was thinking for a moment, sorry," he mumbled, causing Tessa and Alice to laugh.
Melissa smiled sweetly. "That’s what I thought."
"Really though, Mel, it isn’t very ladylike," Alice began, but Melissa just stuck her fingers in her ears and started humming a random tune.
"It’s pointless Alice," Tessa said sadly. "Someday she’ll figure out she’s a girl. Hopefully the shock won’t kill her." Tessa looked at Remus. "Do pull her fingers out of her ears, will you? She can literally do that for hours."
The compartment chuckled as Remus grabbed her wrist lightly and pulled it away from her head.
"Are you done with that for the day then?" she asked irritably.
"Well, till dinner at least," Alice replied. Then she broke out into a large grin and shouted, "Arthur!"
Melissa and Tessa both groaned as Alice reached over and scooped the small toad off of Peter’s shoulder.
"I’m going to… um… return the toad, then. See you lot later," Alice said, blushing slightly, as she left the compartment.
"Well, I suppose we’ll see her again in the Great Hall," Mel muttered. "I really don’t know what gets into you idiots. Impossible really, they’re just boys." She sighed exasperatedly and looked at the four boys in the compartment with her. "Tell her, I’d swear you’re all human too. Exceedingly weird and all, well maybe not you." She patted Remus on the arm and the entire compartment was startled to hear him cry out in pain.
"What the bloody hell?" James asked as Remus literally jumped out of his seat.
"James, language!" Tessa chided. "Are you alright, Remus?"
"Fine, peachy, really," he sputtered. "I’ve got to go… robes, I should. You know, change and all. School soon." He made a very ungraceful exit from the compartment.
"What’d I do?" Melissa asked looked thoroughly bewildered. She glanced down at her hand, gasped and murmured, "Bloody hell…"
"Melissa!" Tessa said shaking her head. "If we can’t get you to act like a lady, you can at least try to speak like one for the sake of the rest of us."
"I’m going to go check on Remus," Sirius said, standing up. "When he tried to… er, fly, he bumped his head, too. Maybe it was some sort of delayed reaction of sorts or something." He waved goodbye and strolled out of the compartment, Peter following closely at his heels.
"What did you do to him, Mel?" James asked, looking at Melissa who was studying her left hand. Other than chipped blue nail polish and a thin silver ring on her ring finger, it could’ve been anyone’s hand in his eyes.
"I, uh, must’ve hit him a little too hard?" she offered weakly.
"Right," James said quietly. "I think I’ll go get changed too."
As he walked out of the compartment he heard Tessa comment, "When’d you get that ring? I don’t remember seeing it before." And Melissa replying, "It’s a dopey old thing. And what was that about my language?!? I’ve heard you curse everyone and everything from Malfoy to Dumbledore to flobberworms using a far more… creative vocabulary than I’ll ever possess."
James shook his head at the thought of the things Cortessa could’ve been saying to those flobberworms and headed back to his compartment to check on Remus and give Peter his galleon back.
~~*~~
"I knew you liked her Remus, but normal people don’t react that way to a regular old touch… well, not on the arm anyway." Sirius grinned wickedly.
"I don’t like her like that," Remus doggedly insisted, alternating between rubbing his arm and his head.
"Oh here," Peter sighed. "Ibuprofus." He touched his wand to Remus’s head.
The other three stopped to stare at him, he just gestured to the still visible scars on his neck and shrugged.
"Thanks, Pete," Remus said. "And bugger off, Sirius."
"Did we miss the snack witch?" Peter asked the others. "Do any of you know?"
James paused, sticking his arms through his robes and hitching them up onto his shoulders. "I suspect we might have, she’s usually come around by now."
"I’m going to try and catch up to her," Peter remarked, straightening his robes and walking from the compartment.
"So, back to Melissa," Sirius said with a mad look in his eye.
"Do I need to explain the definition of ‘bugger off’ to you, Sirius?" Remus asked testily.
"Really though, tell me you are planning on doing something besides staring blankly at her all year," the dark hair boy replied as he sat down next to James.
"Let’s just end this line of questioning right here, Sirius Black," Remus said. "I’m warning you."
"Oh no, Jamesy, he’s warning me." Sirius put on a look of fake panic and grasped James’s arm tightly.
"Get off me, you git," James said. "And leave me out of this."
"Right, well that’s to be expected from iguana boy over there, but coming from the only one of us who’s been in a relationship-" Sirius was cut off by Remus.
"You know, we never really did get the details as to who opted to put an end to that relationship, now did we James?" Remus asked his friend, who had been looking sour since the iguana boy remark.
"Minor details," Sirius said, waving his hand as though to dismiss them. "Now, with Mel I think you’ll need a different approach than Tessa and I used."
"Stop this instant, Sirius…"
"I doubt Mel will surprise attack you in the common room since I really don’t think that…
"This is your last warning, Sirius."
"So, I think we just might manage this if we can get our hands on six months of the Daily Prophet and eleven seeds from the tentacula..."
"James, I highly suggest you get out of the compartment, my friend."
Without a second’s hesitation, James bolted into the corridor.
"And then she’ll swoon, or…er… pass out, but anyway, you’ll catch her and…"
"Cumulous Maximus." Remus recited calmly and stepped out into the corridor with James and Peter. A second later there was a flash of light, followed immediately by a startled yelp from Sirius and the unmistakable sound of a rainstorm. "I’d suggest that now might be a good time to go pay a visit to Frank," Remus told James with a grin and turned to see Peter making his way toward them, arms laden with pumpkin pasties and other goodies.
"Remus Lupin," Sirius growled from in the compartment and the three boys ran down the length of the corridor.
"Oh Merlin, I really think he’s going to try and get all of us, was this necessary, Remus?" Peter squeaked as they bounded into a nearly deserted compartment and tried to slam the door as Sirius’s weight smashed against it.
Peter shoved his wand through the crack and muttered an incantation, the result left Sirius momentarily distracted, allowing them to close the door entirely.
"Bloody hell, Pete," Sirius roared through the door. "Was that necessary?"
"What makes you think it was me?" he called out.
"No one else turns people this odd shade of blue! Couldn’t you have used another charm?" Just then a light flashed through the window and the sound of thunder came through the door. "Fix this, Remus!" Sirius bellowed angrily.
"Stupid charm. I’m just fine with most of them, why can’t I change bloody colors?" Peter muttered and then turned to Remus. "What did you do to him?"
Remus pointed his wand at the door. "Transparencius." The door went clear and the three Marauders got a clear view of a sopping wet, blue Sirius Black standing in the middle of the corridor under a small rain cloud. "Well, I didn’t turn him blue. Thanks, Pete."
Sirius narrowed his eyes at the boys as he pointed at Remus. "This means war, you know."
"Sounds like fun," Remus replied cheekily and sat down.
"Ack, Remus gerroff me!" a squeal came from below him.
"Trixie! Geeze, why didn’t you say anything?" Remus asked as he jumped up. He noticed that Sirius had stormed away, literally.
A small smile played on her lips. "Because that whole scene was rather amusing. Still having that strange color problem, Peter?"
Peter sighed and nodded, sitting down across from Remus and Trixie. "So how was your summer?" He winced, that probably wasn’t the best question to ask her.
"Oh would you all stop handling me with kid gloves, it gets old very quickly…" She trailed off. The thin girl looked out the window. Normally she would have been a nearly insufferably chatterbox, but apparently recent events had taken their toll on her. She smiled wanly. "Anyway, how was all of your summers?"
The three boys regaled her with stories of their summers, each grinning victoriously every time they made her smile, however briefly, until the Hogwarts Express pulled into Hogsmeade.



Author's Note: There's a story about this weaver who weaves invisibility cloaks, it's absolutely fantastic, and I highly suggest you all go read it (if I ever remember the name or author I'll post it) but the reason I bring that up is because the fantastic spell (that I sorely, literally, wish existed at times) Ibuprofus is hers and hopefully she'll forgive me for using it. I think it might Katinka’s Abby Loomis stories. :0) Happy reading.
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