A Hard Day's Night
Disclaimer: The characters
described in this work of pure, uncut brilliance are not the property
of Jack Ichijouji, although they should be,
since JK Rowling has the miraculous ability to write her own
characters out-of-character. What was once a logical impossibility
becomes absolute truth. It must be true, the Internet
told me so.
Also the title is not mine, as it
belongs to the Beatles, who are awesome.
Sirius and James were having a
non-verbal conversation as they walked together towards the Forbidden
Forest. It had to be non-verbal so that Filch, great pile of slime
that he was, didn't decide to use what little power he had to assign
The conversation mostly involved
elbows, as James was a skinny lad and had a fair amount of elbow to
go around. Eventually one of the thuds against Sirius' chest was loud
enough to cause Filch to turn around--he regarded them suspiciously,
but then, he always did.
"Ooh, yes," Filch was saying,
with his usual sadistic glee at the thought of punishment. "You
boys are in for a special treat today. Not often you go into the
Forbidden Forest for detention, no. Hear there's werewolves in there,
just waiting for a snack."
wasn't too far away, but Filch was none too happy to be letting them
get on with their detention, so he slowed his pace. This wasn't
unnoticed by Hagrid, who walked up to meet
them. "All right there, lads?"
"This is meant to be a punishment,
Hagrid," said Filch, in the voice one uses to speak to a child.
Or to terrify it, in Filch's case.
meant ter be leadin'
'em here, not torturin' 'em with yer
company," replied Hagrid. "Let's go then, Potter, Black."
As Filch walked back to the castle,
muttering, Hagrid picked up his lantern and surreptitiously (or as
surreptitiously as one can when one is larger than reason allows)
grabbed his umbrella, and led the way into the forest. "So
what'd yeh do this time?" he asked as
soon as Filch was out of earshot.
"That's hardly fair," Sirius
objected. "We were unjustly prosecuted because of our heritage."
"If we'd have been Muggle-born,
we could have got away with it. At least avoided detention. But no,
James 'Four-Generations-Back' Potter and Sirius of the House of Black
get punished." He didn't sound particular bitter, and spoke as
if he were pointing out an interesting fact.
"So what was it yeh did?"
James sighed. "Do you know Bertram
Aubrey? I think he's a Ravenclaw, about two
meters of ugly?"
"Well, we hexed him. Made his head
grow really big." James held his arms out to demonstrate how
big. "And our foul luck that McGonagall
saw us do it."
would've let us off once we told him why," added Sirius.
yeh hex him?"
Sirius, for the first time in the
conversation, expressed an emotion other than indifference. "He
called me... a name. You know. The m-word."
Sirius didn't say anything and shook
his head in a manner that indicated he wasn't about to. James, with a
look of disgust, said, "He called him a Mudblood."
He said the last word in a whisper.
Wait, but yeh're--"
"We don't think he knew what it
meant," explained James.
"Yes, yes," said Sirius
impatiently. "But it's a damn nasty word to call a person, and
he knew that much, at least."
Anyway, yeh're out here fer detention, so let's get to it." They
were rather deep into the forest by now, further than James and
Sirius had ever been--on two legs, anyway. "Flitwick's
doin' charms fer things that're
already magical, so he wants a few unicorn hairs. I got a couple in
me hut, but that's not enough fer all his classes."
"If you need a unicorn, what's the
point in bringing us?" asked James. "They only come up to
virgin girls, don't they?"
brought Lily then," whispered Sirius. James responded wittily
with a sharp elbow to the chest.
don' need unicorns," said Hagrid. "The hairs'll
do, yeh see. Yeh can find 'em tangled on
branches an' what have yeh. It's not hard work, but it'll take yeh a
while in the dark."
"'You?'" repeated James.
"You're not staying with us?"
"O' course I am! But it's yer
punishment, innit? I'll be 'round, so don'
be slackin' off." He added this last
part to Sirius, who had his wand in his nose.
"There's a perfectly good
explanation for this," Sirius said defensively.
"There always is," said James
as Hagrid left, presumably to find a place to make sure Sirius and
James weren't slacking off.
James and Sirius began their search,
running the light of their wands along branches and bushes where
unicorns might have gotten caught. "I don't see why you had to
bring up that thing about Lily," said James.
"Oh, come on, Prongs, it was a
joke. Lily doesn't even mind when I make them."
"Cotton or lace?" asked
"What about them?"
"Which do you think Lily
James goggled. Then he decided he
wasn't doing a good enough job of it and put his glasses on to goggle
again. "I am not answering that. You are not thinking about it.
This is not a thing to be spoken of."
"Because lace is sexy, of
course, but Lily has that good-girl charm that makes cotton all that
much better," continued Sirius, delighting in James' discomfort.
"Sirius, no. Bad Sirius. Stop
Lily! Come over here and tell us about your underwear!" called
Sirius. A few Gryffindors turned to look at
Sirius, but most were too used to him by now to bother.
"Maybe later!" she
"Yes, but she has a sense of humor
about her underwear, something that I lack. Got one!" James
added the last sentence hanging from a tree as he reached for a
tangled hair in a higher branch. "How'd
it get up here, I wonder."
"The wind probably blew it,"
Sirius said dismissively. He was having little luck with the stupid
detention. "Why didn't you just Summon it?"
"Because I'd have had to put my
light out, and then I would have fallen out of the tree, and then I
would have died. And all this before answering the lace-versus-cotton
"Whatever happened to 'I don't
have a sense of humor about Lily's underwear,' eh?" asked
"Who's joking? If I die before
making it past the Skirt Defenses of the Valley of Sex, I'm going to
be bloody pissed off."
They passed a few minutes in relative
silence, aside from the occasional grunt of effort in reaching for
what might have been a unicorn hair, and a groan of disappointment
when it turned out to be a trick of the light or a strange fungus or,
in one interesting case, a tuft of werewolf fur.
"I wonder why old Filch was trying
to scare us with werewolves," Sirius said. "It's not like
we haven't studied them. And also live with one."
"Maybe he doesn't know about
Remus," James suggested.
"How would he like that, knowing
the only werewolf in a hundred miles is probably up in the tower
right now trying to decide whether or not a coffee-flavored sugar
quill will keep him up all night?"
On the one hand, Remus thought,
it's the only one I have left. On the other hand, if I eat it, I
probably won't be able to sleep. But if I don't eat it and I know
it's there, I definitely won't be able to sleep.
Remus resisted the urge to pace and
continued staring into his trunk. If I give it to Peter, I'll be
able to sleep, but he won't. That wouldn't be fair.
Stupid sweets addiction, why do you
plague me so?
"How do you know?"
"I ate his last chocolate one
before we left." Sirius slipped another hair in his pocket with
a silent Yes!
"You're a monster."
"My blood sugar was low!"
"Your blood blood is low,
you chocolate fiend."
It was about half an hour, or five
hairs later when Sirius said, "I didn't steal it, you know."
"The quill. I didn't steal it, he
said I could have it."
"I didn't mean that monster
"I know. I just wanted to point
out the fact that I am not a thief." He paused. "Although I
would make a sexy one."
"I could be Robin Hood and you
could be Little John, and we'd steal from Snape.
It'd be brilliant."
"Nice. Who'd be Marion, then?"
Sirius thought for a moment as he ran
the light from his wand over a nearby rough rock. "Jessica
Lapin," he decided.
"I don't see the fuss you and
the others make about Jessica Lapin," said Remus as they walked
to Defense Against the Dark Arts. "I mean, she's cute and all,
but hardly what I'd call the ideal mate."
"Remus, my friend, have you
seen her... lips? They're gorgeous!" Peter answered. He then
fell into a daze as his mind redirected itself towards her.
"Lips or no, there's something
off about her. Perhaps her hair is too dark."
Sirius snorted. "She's a
redhead, Remus. If she got any lighter she'd be... pink. Would you
like a girlfriend with pink hair?"
"Lovely choice. Not that I'm to
have any opinion on the matter, mind you."
"Completely off the record. How
long have we been here?"
James looked at his wrist. "I
don't know, my watch got hit with a Bludger,
and hasn't worked since. What about you?"
"I had a Muggle watch to annoy my
parents at home, but it didn't work when I got here. I imagine it's
still up in my trunk reporting that the time is beer o'clock."
"That's a shame. I'm sure Hagrid
hasn't forgotten about us though."
Sirius wasn't listening, but thinking.
"Since when have you played Quidditch?"
James goggled some more. Knowing Sirius
had made him a world champion goggler, the likes of which people name
awards after. He could have swept the James Potter Goggling Awards
(Prongsies) with this look alone. "What
do you mean, since when have I played Quidditch? I've always played
Quidditch. Since second year or so. It's my one true love."
Sirius gave him a look as if to ask What about Lily? "You
"I have never seen you play a game
of Quidditch ever."
"You always have detention. I, on
the other hand, am a glorious angel for two weeks leading up to every
Gryffindor Quidditch game. I have a schedule of goodness over my
"Ah! I knew yeh'd
have summat like that," said a booming
voice, making Sirius and James jump. "Yeh wandered quite a bit
from where I left yeh, but yer all right." Hagrid emerged from
the darkness with a couple of hairs in his fist. "How many'd
Sirius held up six, James seven. Hagrid
counted them together and did a little arithmetic
in his head. "That'll be 'bout thirty, with the ones in me hut.
I guess yeh can go back to the castle now, but don' yeh be cursin'
people anymore." He waved the obligatory finger at James and
Sirius. "Foul-mouthed and deservin' as
they migh' be."
Almost to Gryffindor Tower, Sirius
started again. "Everyone has had the conversation at some point,
James. You just have to wonder, cotton or lace?"
"Not everyone has this
"Does James wear boxers or
briefs, do you think?"
"I'm not telling you what I
think or what I may or may not have seen, Hannah. Go away."
"Come on, Lily, it's just
something to wonder."
"Well, anyone worth talking to
Oh, they're wacky. Or possibly
zany, I can never decide which.
And since you asked for it! Well,
no, I suppose you didn't ask for it, but since you didn't beg me not
to (and therefore it is all your fault!)
"Harry, do you think Hermione
favors lace or cotton knickers?"
"Shut up, Ron."
"You're thinking lace too?"
"Yes, but I can't for the life
of me think of why. Now never speak of this again."
Yes, Harry and Ron are worth