AN: Now the boys start to get into some trouble!
That evening the school is buzzing with life. All the students are happy to have their first day of classes over and to be settling into the Great Hall for dinner. Most of the teachers are there was as well, and everyone seems cheerful.
Severus sits with two of his classmates. Rodney Eston and Tatter Goyle. Both are first years like Severus. Severus can't help but notice they are a little dim. He tries to focus on what Eston and Goyle are saying and not to focus on the Gryffindor table; where Lily is sitting with a small group of girls and laughing happily.
James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter all sit chatting.
"The castle is so big," Peter says as he takes a bite of chicken pie.
"I can't wait for a free day so we can explore it!" James says.
"My cousins say there are secret passages all over the school," Sirius chimes in.
"Sweet! Did they tell you where any were?" James asks.
"They mentioned one," Sirius says, then he falls quiet and glances down at his hands. "It's down by the Slytherin common room though. A shortcut to the Potions classroom."
"Well who needs their stupid shortcut anyway," James says, clapping Sirius on the shoulder, "we'll find our own secret passages, and they'll be our secrets."
"We could draw them out on a map," Remus suggest, "and it'll be our secret map."
The four boys agree that if any of them find a secret passage they have to tell the others and draw the passage. That way they'll be able to find it later. But they also agree, to never, ever, tell anyone about the map of the secret passages they'll be drawing.
"Welcome to First Year Potions!" Professor Slughorn says to the class of Gryffindors and Slytherins. "I'm sorry to say you won't need your wands, so it's best to leave them in your bags upon arrival. In this class, you'll be learning about the preparation, the ingredients, and the uses of different potions."
Severus, who has always been interested in potion making from a young age, takes good notes, even scribbling in the margins of his schoolbook. Lily is impressed, because it's normally her that's been taking the most notes, she even agreed to let Severus borrow her History of Magic notes, considering he said he fell asleep during the class yesterday.
The rest of the day goes by quickly, James is happy to see they have two classes with Hufflepuff and no more with Slytherin. Sirius decides History of Magic is torture, because Professor Binns has a voice that can make anyone fall asleep within minutes. Remus enjoys the down times, like the hour of study period all the first years had in the Great Hall, because it gives him time to take in his surroundings, and to feel more and more comfortable at Hogwarts.
The rest of the week goes by quickly, the first years find their classes and learn their Professors names. Bulletins start going up in the common rooms for school activities, and James is disappointed first years are not allowed to try out for Quidditch. Peter, who starts to notice James and Sirius don't include him in much, turns his insecurities to Remus Saturday morning in the common room.
"I don't think they like me," Peter says.
"Sure they do," Remus says, "why wouldn't they?"
"They don't include me in stuff. I heard James tell Sirius he wanted to go watch the Gryffindor Quidditch tryouts Tuesday night."
"Don't feel too bad, he hadn't invited me either," Remus says.
"Sirius suggested they invite you," Peter says glumly. Remus doesn't say anything at first, thinking of something nice to say.
"I guarantee they'll invite you too, don't worry about it. You're our mate."
"No, I'm your mate," Peter says, "not James and Sirius's."
"I'm their mate and you're my mate, so that makes you their mate too," Remus says, wanting to reassure his friend. Just then James and Sirius come running down the stairs into the common room.
"Remus! Remus!" James is saying, rushing over to the couch he and Peter are sitting on. James drops his voice. "We were going to go exploring, you know, for passages. Wanna come?"
"Of course! Let us put our books up, then we'll meet you back here," Remus says.
Remus and Peter head upstairs, leaving James and Sirius to wait.
"Does he have to bring Peter along everywhere we go?" Sirius whines. "I mean, he's nice and all, but kinda-"
"Annoying," James finishes for him, "and extremely uncool."
"I guess, if Remus insist on bring him along, we could, you know, try to make him cooler," Sirius suggest. James shrugs, unsure. Remus and Peter are back downstairs quickly, and the four boys head out into the corridor. They instantly start looking for a passage by the Gryffindor tower.
"How neat would it be to have a passage way right outside our common room?" Peter asks as he pulls a tapestry away from the wall.
"How many secret passageways do you think there are?" James asks as he pulls and pries at a picture frame, the wizard inside hissing and growling at him for disturbing his nap.
"Probably hundreds," Remus says. He starts kicking at the molding around the bottom of the wall.
"Thousands!" Sirius suggest, practically climbing a wall to check behind a large portrait of a knight.
Once they agree there isn't a passageway in that corridor, they move onto the next, where they have to be more careful while they search, because many students pass through the hallway on their way to the Grand Staircase.
Remus and Peter keep lookout, while James and Sirius slip behind Suits of Arms and pushes around on the walls behind them while no one is looking. On the fifth Suit of Arms, Sirius shouts out.
"Guys! Over here!" The other three boys sprint over to Sirius, who is gleaming with pride. "Look!" He says, he has pulled on the back of the sword the Suit of Arms held. It opened up a large tile to the left of the Suit of Arms. The floor slopes downwards, with a small stone hand and foot holes to crawl down.
"It's dark down there," Peter says, clearly not as thrilled about the find as James, Sirius, and Remus are. Remus pulls out his notebook and quickly sketches out where the passage way is and writes down beside how Sirius found a way to open it.
"Who's first?" Remus asks.
"Sirius, since you found it, would you like to do the honors?" James asks, gesturing with his hands, guiding Sirius down into the passageway.
Sirius turns so he can climb down like he's on a ladder and slowly slips out of view. James, who is squatted down over the hole, calls down inside.
"What do you see?"
"I think there is a lantern up ahead, hang on." Sirius takes two steps toward the lantern, and it lights itself, casting a yellow glow down a long stone passageway with a low roof. "Wicked! You guys have to come down here!" He shouts.
The other three boys quickly climb down into the passage way, wide grins on their faces. All except Peter, who twists his hands nervously around each other. James steps back up and pulls the tile back into place, so no one else finds the secret passage.
James and Sirius take lead, every few feet there is a lantern that lights up as they step closer to it. Peter turns nervously as he notices it goes dark behind them, the old lanterns going out when they are no longer needed.
They walk slowly for five minutes, Remus thinks they are going slightly downhill as they walk. Finally, they come up to a wall, and the four boys start pushing and at the different stones on it. It's Peter who pulls the correct stone, making the whole wall shift just slightly to the left.
"Hang on," Remus says, "don't open it any more. We don't know where it comes out. There may be people on the other side."
"Then how do we get out?" James asks. Remus thinks a minute, then asks Peter to move aside. He pulls at the stone just a little, making the tiniest of cracks in the wall. He leans against it, trying to look out.
"Come off it, you can't see out of that!" Sirius says. He squishes in beside Remus and tries to look himself. "Open it just a little more." Sirius pulls at the stone, making the hairline crack a little wider. Now the two boys have a very small, very limited view.
"What do you see?" James asks, not able to join in.
"It looks like a classroom," Remus says, "I see a couple desk."
"Is there anyone in there?" Peter asks nervously, worried they'll be caught.
"No." Sirius grins, and before Remus can tell him to stop him he grabs at the stone and heaves the wall open.
The four boys step out into a classroom, it's not a classroom they've been in all week, and there are only five desk, and a chalkboard that doesn't look like it's been properly cleaned in years.
"I think it's an abandoned classroom," James says. He rushes over to the rounded window on the back wall. "We're facing the forest! We're on the other side of the school!"
Remus turns to the wall they came out of, and it slides back into place by itself, creaking and groaning as it does so. Once the wall is in place, there's nothing there that indicates there is a passageway. Remus pushes up against it with his shoulder, trying to slide it back open, but he can't.
"I think you can only take the passage one way," Remus says. Sirius has joined James at the window, to see if they really are on the other side of the castle. Peter goes over to the classroom door, and the color drains out of his face when he realizes the door won't open.
"Remus... James... Sirius... We're locked in," he says.