The Sugar Quill
Author: Sailoranime  Story: Dwelling on the Past  Chapter: Chapter 2: Adventures on the First Night
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Dwelling on the Past

Dwelling on the Past

By: Sailoranime

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Quote Of The Chapter:

" Are you that bad at kissing?" - Ron
" Dunno, maybe I am." - Harry
" Of course you're not." Hermione said absently.
" How would you know?" asked Ron in a sharp voice.

From: The Order of the Phoenix, Page 458.

Author's Note: Amazing what comes out of people's mouths sometimes, isn't it?

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The trip up to the common room was strangely quiet. James and Sirius kept exchanging meaningful looks. Remus walked quietly and alertly, as if he was expecting an attack. Pettigrew hung back a couple of feet, walking uncertainly as if he wasn't sure if he was a part of the group or not.

Harry was surprised at the change in his old professor. Lupin, who had always been very solemn and serious (especially after Sirius's death), was smiling almost eagerly. The only other time Harry could remember seeing him like that was when he had talked to him and Sirius about his father through the fire in Umbridge's office. It had never occurred to him that Lupin needed to see these memories as much as Harry did. Though, perhaps it wasn’t the best thing for Harry to be in there with him. Surely Lupin would have been more comfortable if he’d gone on his own. Any further thoughts on the matter where prevented as Lupin tapped him on the shoulder and signaled for him to follow everyone else up the stairs.

It didn't take long for them to arrive in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady in her frilly pink dress.

"Password?" she asked, eyeing all the first years a bit suspiciously.

"Sneakoscope," the prefect answered, and the portrait flung open, letting the first years in.

"First years, your dormitories will be on the right hand side. Just go up those stairs and to the door clearly marked 'First Years'. Girls, same thing, but your dormitories will be on the left hand side." Harry looked at the prefect and was strongly reminded of Percy.

As the prefect had been talking, Sirius had been mouthing the words with a comically stern expression on his face while James grinned at him and Peter gave a small squeal of laughter. Little Lupin looked like he had half a mind to say something to put them in their place, but he was obviously amused.

"Shall we go up to our dormitories?" Sirius asked in a very exaggerated, haughty voice.

James looked at him gravely and answered in the same tone of voice. "I suppose that is in order." They grinned at each other and began marching up the stairs. James stopped almost halfway up and turned around.

"Aren't you coming?" he asked, looking at Remus and Peter. Remus nodded and Peter stood there for a second, almost as if surprised that he had been addressed directly. The four boys walked upstairs with Harry and Lupin following. Once inside the dormitories, Harry sat down by the door, and Lupin joined him. Neither said anything, until Harry remembered what Lupin had said earlier.

"What did you mean, 'their night wasn't over'?" Harry asked as he saw the four boys quietly get ready for bed. "They're going to sleep already, aren't they?" Harry watched as another boy walk in and began taking off his robes. He almost burst out laughing as he saw the boy wearing his pyjamas under his robes. James stared at him too, as if amazed.

"Wow, you must have been comfortable... wish I had thought of that. I'm wearing Muggle clothes under my robes, and these trousers are getting very uncomfortable after all that food."

"We ate like pigs," Sirius put in bluntly. "So what's your name?"

"Davey Gudgeon," the boy answered. "I overslept this morning and had to put my robes on and leave the house five minutes after I woke up. I never got a chance to change." He sighed heavily. "I couldn't sleep last night, so I'm going to settle down now, I hope you don't mind."

Harry could tell he really didn't care if they minded, and apparently so could James and Sirius, because they exchanged a look once again.

"We won't bother you," Remus began, but James cut him off.

"Won't make a sound..."

"... Almost as if we weren't here!" Sirius added.

"Right, then, Good night," Davey answered, looking at them warily.

"That's the boy who nearly lost an eye because of the Whomping Willow... Not very friendly, but always up for a dare," Lupin told Harry quietly. Harry nodded, remembering his conversation with Lupin in his third year.

"Well, g'night, James," Sirius said as a yawn escaped him.

"Good night, Sirius. Good night, everyone," James answered, getting into his own bed. When everybody was settled down in their beds, the lights went off. Harry stood in the darkness until Peter's snores broke the silence.

"Professor Lupin?"

"Yes, Harry?"

"What are we waiting for?"

"Just wait," Lupin answered. There was silence for a few seconds before he began talking again. "Can you believe that, out of the five of us, I was the only one who didn't snore? That's Peter. Davey will start pretty soon." Harry waited a couple of minutes more, until Peter’s soft snores were drowned out by a very loud snore from Davey Gudgeon that almost gave Harry a heart attack.

"Sirius?"

Harry found it hard not to squirm every time he heard his father's young voice.

"James? You ready?"

"Yeah. Let's go. Lumos," his father whispered, and Harry could see the two boys getting up in the dim light. Sirius walked over to the other three boys, checking to make sure they were asleep.

"Remus and Peter are asleep already."

"Too bad. They probably would have wanted to come along. Come on, quickly, get under the cloak," James whispered, and a few seconds later, they had both disappeared. Harry was slightly disappointed at not being able to see them, but he could hear their footsteps heading towards the door.

"The teachers patrol the corridors until nine o’clock," Remus said from his bed. "I overheard some of the older kids... you’d better be careful. It's only a quarter to nine." The footsteps stopped.

"Remus! You're awake! You want to come with us?"

Harry could tell from the way James spoke that he truly was glad Remus was awake, and not just inviting him out of politeness.

Remus's answer was hesitant, though. "I don't know, I wouldn't want to get caught. We won't all fit under that cloak, and I wouldn't want to get expelled on my first day."

"This cloak's big enough to fit at least four of us," Sirius answered, obviously eager to get Remus to join them, "and we'll be back in an hour, tops."

"And you wouldn't get expelled for being out after curfew... We'd get a couple of points off, maybe a detention, but not expelled, surely," James added.

Remus looked doubtful.  "I suppose it wouldn't be that bad."

"Of course it wouldn't. Come on, or we might wake these guys up."

Remus still looked nervous, but joined the other two under the cloak. Harry and Lupin both got up from their spots against the wall and followed; it didn't occur to Harry until after they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady that it would be difficult to follow his father and the others if they were invisible. Harry was about to express his concerns to Lupin, but he realized Lupin had put his hand on his shoulder and was steering him in the right direction.

Of course he knows the way, Harry thought, it's his memory.

It wasn't until a few minutes later that the boys spoke again.

"Sorry, Lupin," his father began, "we would have invited you guys earlier, but we could tell that Davey fellow isn't very much up to doing stuff like this... and we wouldn't put it past him to tell on us."

"And Peter fell asleep before Davey. We thought you had, too. Anyway, it's a quarter after nine. Teachers are probably gone now... We can take this off," Sirius added as he appeared from under the cloak.

"Is that really a good idea?" Remus asked.

"I don't suppose it is," James began as he appeared under the cloak himself. "Sirius never has 'good' ideas, but what's the fun in causing mischief if no one suspects it's you? Feel free to stay under the cloak if you want."

"No, that's okay," Remus said as he took off the cloak hesitantly and handed it to James. James folded it and put it over his arm.

"Hey, James, did you ever finish learning that tripping hex from Kingsley?"

"Somewhat. I couldn't actually practice it, but I learned the theory. You were there, remember?"

"Yes, I remember, I thought he might have given you more instructions later or something. I was thinking we could cast the spell, and then tomorrow when everyone goes by here, they'll trip. Well just have to make sure not to go by here ourselves."

"I suppose we could try," James answered and motioned for the two other boys to step back a little. He took his wand and walked the five feet from one wall to the other. He did a swishing motion with his wand and whispered something Harry couldn't hear. A thin, glowing line showed where he had run his wand through. The glowing stopped after a few seconds and James looked at Sirius a bit nervously.

"Think that worked?" Sirius asked with an eager expression on his face.

"I don't know..." James answered uncertainly.

"Well, then test it," Sirius answered, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Why me?" James hissed back.

"Because you cast it."

"Oh, all right," James finally muttered, apparently seeing no other choice. He took a deep breath and walked towards the line with his hands in front of him, ready to break his fall if the spell worked. He took a step over the line, and it was almost like there was a short invisible wall in front of him, because his foot seemed to hit something and he fell.

"Bloody-"

"James!" Sirius shrieked in a mock-horrified voice. "Language, young man!"

"We'll see how you like testing yours..."

"I'll go to that end of the hall, James, you go to that end, and Remus, you do one in the middle or the corridor. Just do what James did," Sirius said, rushing off towards the other end of the hall.

Harry followed after him, getting only as close as he dared. He didn't want to stray too far and walk right out of the memory. Sirius had cast the spell and was trying to figure out a way to test it. His face suddenly lit up and he walked over to where he had cast the spell and he kicked the air a few inches off the ground. His foot met no resistance and he frowned. He walked over the area, and did not trip.

Harry left Sirius and walked back to his father, who was unsuccessfully trying to cast the spell again. He had not picked up Sirius's technique yet, and he just kept walking over the area where he had set the spell, always with a pained expression, and when he didn't trip, an odd expression came over his face - a mixture of relief and frustration.

Harry was taken out of his train of thought by a triumphant sound from Sirius. He kicked the air in front of him, and Harry could see his foot hit something invisible. Sirius winced, but the triumphant expression remained on his face. James glared at him, as he finally realized how Sirius was testing the hex. He managed to cast the spell correctly after a few more attempts. He kicked the wall hard a couple of times to make sure it worked and then went off to join Sirius, who was waiting for Remus to finish.

Remus had already cast the spell, but he seemed to be having trouble testing it. Apparently he wasn't very fond of hurting himself, so walking over the line or kicking the area above it was out. Instead, he did something neither Sirius not James had thought of doing. He leaned down and put his hand right above the line. He moved his hands a bit, as if feeling for some sort of trace of magical energy, and then stood up, a satisfied smile on his face.

"Done," he said, grinning at the other two.

"Good work. We should get back. We've been out a while," James said as a huge yawn escaped him.

"Right," Sirius began, "let's go." They put the Invisibility Cloak over themselves again and walked without making a sound. Harry and Lupin followed them, and were about to turn the corner when Harry heard James's voice.

"Sirius! How are we supposed to get through without tripping? What are we going to do, genius?"

"Well, just try to take really high steps or something. As if you were climbing the stairs... that thing can't reach more than a foot." Harry heard the footsteps start, and he and Lupin began walking again too. Harry heard the relieved sighs from the three boys as none of them tripped. He grinned at Lupin, who grinned back.

Harry and Lupin were about to start walking again, when he saw someone walking their way. His breath caught in his throat for a second as he thought he recognized the person. Snape. His hair wasn't really greasy yet; he had probably just taken a shower or something because his normally pale face was somewhat flushed and his hair looked a bit wet. He was really almost unrecognizable, except for the hooked nose. He wasn't sneering, he was just walking like a normal person. In fact, he seemed somewhat happy. He walked right through the spot where his father had cast the spell without tripping.

Harry could hear Sirius whispering to James. "James, yours wore off... That's why we didn't trip. We have to practice more..."

Snape fell and cursed loudly.

"Look! Remus! Yours hasn't! I hope yours lasts until tomorrow," Sirius's disembodied voice exclaimed happily.

Harry saw Mrs. Norris walk right by the three now-silent students. Snape, obviously not aware of what the cat meant, scowled at it and resumed walking. Mrs. Norris hissed and Filch came running towards them, going right through Harry.

"What is it, my sweet? Ah, yes, a student out of bed!" he said gleefully as he spotted Snape.  "You, there!" he barked. "You're out of bed after curfew. Come on, follow me to my office!"

"But-"

"I don't care. Come with me." Snape looked like he was going to protest, but he followed Filch anyway, glaring evilly at the cat.

"Stop that!" Filch barked without turning around. Snape looked shocked but kept his eyes on the floor from then on. After Snape and Filch were gone, the three boys began speaking again.

"Poor guy," James began, "he got caught because of us."

"He was Slytherin..." Sirius said somewhere under the cloak. "Come on, let's go."

They made it back into the common room without any incidents, and, once inside, they took off the cloak and James folded it up again. They were about to go up the stairs when Peter came running down. He seemed relieved to see them.

"What's wrong, Peter?" Remus asked him quickly. It took Peter a few seconds to answer because he was out of breath.

"Davey... Gudgeon... you... gone... tell McGonagall... get upstairs... into beds.... pretend you're asleep..." he managed to choke out. The three exchanged a look and they all dashed back upstairs to the dormitories. Peter managed to regain his composure, and they all climbed into bed. Two minutes later, there was a knock on the door, and the prefect that had led them up to Gryffindor tower earlier that night came in. He looked disgruntled at having been awakened, and much of the poise he’d flaunted earlier was gone.

“Professor McGonagall wants to see you. She’s down in the common room,” he mumbled.

“What for?” Sirius asked. The prefect frowned at him and left the room without answering.

The four slowly got out of bed, Sirius hopping from foot to foot as his bare foot touched the ground. Not eager to add to McGonagall’s anger, they hurried down the stairs. McGonagall was standing by the portrait, watching the stairs for their arrival. Once they had reached the bottom, the four boys sat down on the big couch, side by side. Harry sat by James, but Lupin remained by the foot of the stairs.

"Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, Mr. Lupin. I just caught Mr. Gudgeon out of bed after curfew. He said you gentlemen were out of your own beds. Is this true?" She gave them one of her signature looks and her lips were very thin.

Harry could feel the butterflies fluttering in his stomach at the possibility of getting in trouble. Of course, he wasn’t in trouble, but it almost felt like he was.

Harry had to admit, the guys were all very good actors. Even Peter looked appropriately puzzled. The Lupin beside him grinned, and Harry was pretty sure he didn't even remember Harry was in the memory with him.

"No, Professor. We've been in our beds. We saw Davey leave at least half an hour ago. We figured he was going to the restroom," James answered. McGonagall looked at Peter, who managed to keep his composure even under her gaze.

"Is that true, Mr. Pettigrew? I'm trusting you because you are the only one who hasn't been accused of anything."

"I've been asleep, Professor. I heard Davey go out, but I don't know what time it was," he answered in a slightly trembling voice, and faked a small yawn. McGonagall turned on Davey Gudgeon.

"Mr. Gudgeon! I caught you out in the corridors and you feed me some story about these young men to save yourself. How did you expect to get away with it? You now have two detentions. Come see me tomorrow after dinner. Now, go to sleep, all of you."

"But... two? Why..." Davey stuttered.

"For being out of bed, lying about it, and trying to get others in trouble. It's lucky Mr. Pettigrew testified for you three. Otherwise you'd all have detentions. I expect good behavior from everyone in my house, and I sincerely hope nothing like this ever happens again. Now, I want you all back up in your beds." McGonagall pointed towards the stairs and all five boys stumbled up the stairs. They heard the portrait shut, and ran the rest of the way. Sirius and James jumped into their own beds, but Remus and Peter stayed closer to the door. Harry and Lupin reached the top of the stairs in time to see Davey glare at the four boys and gather his blankets. He took his pillow and walked out, slamming the door behind him.

 

"Wow... thanks, Peter," James said as soon as Davey left, looking very grateful.

"Yeah, the Davey boy should have been in Slytherin...the rat. I can't believe a fellow Gryffindor told on us. I thought Gryffindors were supposed to be brave?" Sirius muttered.

"He is brave," James answered. "He told on us even though he knew we'd get revenge. We have to punish him somehow...we have to think something up."

"You don't think he's been punished enough?" Peter asked.

"No." This time it was little Lupin who spoke. " I don't like people who rat on others. He's already in trouble, so it shouldn't be anything too big, either."

James nodded. "You're right. We can plan that later though. We should go to sleep now."

"Thanks, Peter," Sirius muttered before going to sleep.

"Yeah, we owe you one," Remus added.

"Yeah, what they said," James mumbled, half asleep already.

Harry found the scene changing very suddenly, and barely had time to process that the memory was over.

//
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