Dirty Blood

Chapter 1

A/N: Hi friends! Wow, it's been literally over ten years since I've written Marauders-era fanfiction and now that I've started this up again, I realize I still love it just as much as I did then. A few things before we get started! If you're here wondering why I haven't updated Fly Me Away, I know, and I'm sorry. I also feel like I need to mention that in this fandom there seems to be a division between those that are on "Team James" and those that are on "Team Snape." I just want you to know that I am very firmly on "Team James," and so if you are very, very fond of and sympathetic toward Snape, this may not be the story for you. Next, I am American, I have never been to Europe, I'm doing my best with the dialogue and shit here. Lastly, it has been a hot minute since I've actually read the books, so book and movie canon will probably get blurred sometimes, just let it happen.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter series or any of the associated trademark characters or storylines. I am not and do not claim to be affiliated with JK Rowling.

Full Summary: Magic was supposed to be whimsical, enchanting, fun. But it's 1975 and the self-proclaimed Dark Lord has other plans. Dark Marks are graffiti'ed across the sky as a warning, a threat. Hogwarts students try to focus on their schooling, their friends, and being a child while they can. But some of their parents remember Grindelwald and they recognize the signs. With fellow students practicing dark magic and friendships being tested, it's hard to ignore that their parents' war will soon be theirs. And yet, they still try, forcing light in the darkness and daring to laugh when others want to cry. After all, they aren't dead yet, and there's few things that would irritate the Dark Lord more than a bunch of blood traitors and muggleborns thriving in the face of his power. This is the story of those blood traitors, those half-bloods, those muggleborns, growing up and up to no good.

"I like my coffee pure, just like my blood."

Chapter One: Storms Ahead

Thunder echoed throughout the platform on this fine September first, the scarlet engine waiting patiently for students to board before it would trudge out into the rain and begin its journey. Fifteen-year-old Lily Evans jumped slightly at the sound, never much caring for thunder.

She recalled crawling into her sister's bed when she was younger and a particularly bad storm would come by. Petunia would sigh and say that the angels were just bowling, that was all. But she would still scoot over and let Lily stay in bed with her for the remainder of the night anyway.

Lily frowned at the thought. Her sister had done nothing resembling comforting ever since it was revealed that Lily was a witch. Anymore, when a storm hit, Lily would lie awake and listen to the sound of the thunder, trying to picture angels by herself.

"You're sure you packed everything, Poppet? All your books?" Lily's father asked, nudging her out of her memories.

"I should have. I re-checked my list at least four times," Lily said, hoping suddenly that she hadn't forgotten to put something on her list.

"Got your pillow? I know you don't sleep well without it," her mother fussed.

"Yes, yes, I packed it this morning," Lily responded, now mentally going over her list of classes and the books required for each. She supposed if she forgot one, Marlene would let her borrow her copy, or perhaps Dorcas. Emmeline was awfully protective of her books, so Lily wasn't sure she would even ask.

Suddenly she was being pulled into her mother's arms (for perhaps the fifth time) and the girl warmly returned the embrace, knowing she wouldn't be able to experience the special sort of feeling that came with a mother's hug for at least a few months.

"Have fun, dear!" her mother said, starting to get teary as she did each year.

"Not too much fun," her father added with a smile, piling his own hug on top of the hug that was already ongoing. "You've got big exams this year right? Don't lose sight of that."

"I won't, Daddy," Lily said.

"Be sure you get enough sleep! I'm worried with those prefect duties—" her mother started.

"I'll be fine, I'll adapt," Lily said. Her parents finally released her from their grasp and each planted a kiss to her cheek.

"We hate to leave before you've even boarded the train, Poppet, but traffic is only going to get worse with the storm and we have to meet Petunia for lunch," her father said. Lily tried to keep herself from frowning. Petunia had come out to London a few months earlier to take a typing course. Her parents were meant to meet her new boyfriend today.

Lily had a strong suspicion that Petunia scheduled the lunch as she had, on the other side of town, as an excuse not to come see her off. Not to mention, it would get their parents to leave early.

The redhead forced a smile. "It's fine. Go. Give Tuney a hug for me?"

"Of course we will," her mother said, sneaking one more hug from her younger daughter. "Goodbye, Lily, have a good semester."

"Don't forget to write! Just don't send that old barn owl again, it crashed into my violets last time," said her father.

"I'll see if Dorcas will let me borrow her owl," Lily said. "Goodbye."

She waved to them and they waved in return before stepping through the portal to get off the platform. She felt a knot in her chest and swallowed. She had hoped that by the fifth September first she said goodbye to her family she might not immediately feel homesick the moment they were no longer in sight.

"Lily, there you are!" came a voice from her right. She turned to see a girl with carefully curled brown hair heading her way. There were two white rats in a small travel cage atop a guitar case, atop her trunk, slumbering soundly, seeming unbothered by the slight jostling of their cage or the sounds around them.

"Em!" Lily said, instantly feeling better as Emmeline practically tackled her with a hug.

"Thank Merlin you're here, Dad dropped me off ages ago and I was beginning to think you'd all abandoned me," Emmeline said.

"Oh, come now, that wouldn't be so bad. You'd still have Bruno and Boris here," Lily said, gesturing to the rat cage.

"It's true, but they never have any interesting input when I want to discuss politics with them," Emmeline said with a dramatic sigh. "So, I'll have to keep talking to you lot after all."

"What a shame," Lily smirked. "Do you know where the prefect compartment is?"

Emmeline, one of Lily's friends that actually had access to a phone, had called over the summer to say that she had been named prefect as well, for Ravenclaw.

"It's the first one in the front, I think. Any word on the other prefect in Gryffindor?"

"As long as it's not James Potter or Sirius Black, then I don't really care," Lily groaned, remembering that returning to school meant dealing with them again. It wasn't as though she hated them, but their sense of humor was not one she shared.

Unfortunately, she seemed to be in the minority.

"Oh, Dumbledore wouldn't do that… would he?"

"That old bloke's got a batshit sense of humor, I wouldn't put it past him," said Marlene McKinnon with her distinctly Scottish accent as she snuck up on the two of them.

"Marly!" Lily and Emmeline said at once, each taking turns hugging the girl. Lily had just recently visited with her over the holiday but somehow that still seemed too long.

"Goody two-shoes, the both of you. What am I gonna do with myself the whole ride to school while you're off... prefecting?" Marlene said dramatically. "We already lost Alice to the prefects last year!"

"I suppose you'll have to sit with Dorcas? Like every year?" Emmeline suggested.

"Oh, except this year we won't have to sit with Severus because Lily won't be in the compartment," Marlene said, her eyes lighting up at the notion.

"Come on, he's not that bad," Lily said with a slight pout. It bothered her a great deal that her friends didn't like Severus, nor did he particularly care for them.

Neither party bothered to hide these feelings.

"I don't think he would have sat with us anyway. He got here early and I saw him go off with his dark arts buddies, they're already on the train," Emmeline said.

"Oh, no!" Marlene said sarcastically. She turned her attention to Lily. "He didn't get the badge too, did he? I can only imagine."

"No, Mulciber got the badge, I overheard them," Emmeline answered for Lily.

"Did you spend the morning eavesdropping?" Lily teased, though she cringed at the idea of Anthony Mulciber with a prefect's badge.

"It's not my fault people talk loudly near me," Emmeline shrugged.

Marlene seemed to have similar feelings at the thought of Mulciber the prefect, though. "He might actually be worse. At least Severus would just spend most of his time trying to get James expelled."

"Severus' life does not revolve around James Potter, he has plenty more going on," Lily said defensively.

"Yes, don't forget, he's got to pencil in time to make up dark spells because Merlin knows if there's anything the world needs, it's more of those," Emmeline said dryly.

"He's also got to perfect his sneer and condescending tone for whenever he corrects someone in class. Super productive," Marlene nodded.

"I know he's fallen in with an… awful crowd, and I don't condone it one bit, and I've told him that. But it doesn't just cancel out my past with him, right? It doesn't just cancel out the fact that he's been my dear friend this whole time?" Lily said. She knew that Severus had wanted desperately to fit in with his housemates for ages, and now that he was, she saw less and less of her old friend.

Emmeline frowned. "I'm sorry, Lily, it's not right for us to just… pick on him like that in front of you. He just—"

"He's just such a git," Marlene groaned.

"I was going to say, he seems to almost be trying to be unlikeable," Emmeline said, cocking a brow at Marlene. "But that doesn't make Lily's experience any less valid, I suppose, so, perhaps we should change the subject?"

Marlene looked as though she was so ready to keep talking all about Severus Snape and his many, many faults, but instead exhaled, as though she had been holding these complaints in her lungs along with her breath, before nodding. "Fine, fine. He's still a git."

"Why don't we set our things on the train, find somewhere to change, and try to find Dorcas, hm?" Emmeline suggested. "And Alice."

"Alice will be wherever Frank is, no doubt," Lily snorted, beginning to walk with the other girls toward the train.

"She needs to just ask him out already. It's getting annoying," Marlene said, shaking her head.

"She keeps chickening out. I thought you lot were in the brave house," said Emmeline.

"Have you seen Peter Pettigrew when there's a cat around?" laughed Marlene. "The sorting hat's sense of humor might be stranger than Dumbledore's!"

"Okay, so hear me out," Sirius said from aboard the train. James and Remus were on the platform, watching Peter attempt to lift his trunk up to Sirius, so that he might hoist it onboard. "Moony being a prefect is going to be a great thing for us."

"Why, because one prefect won't give us detention?" James asked, stepping forward to help the clearly struggling Peter with his end of the trunk.

"You won't give us detention, right?" Peter asked Remus, who was examining the prefect badge in his hand.

Remus scoffed. "No promises."

"We wouldn't give you—well, no, Padfoot and I would definitely threaten to give you detention every five minutes," James said as he began hoisting his own trunk up to Sirius, Peter's now onboard.

"You all need to forget about detention for a minute," Sirius said, shoving James' trunk off to the side with his and Peter's before grabbing the cage that held James' grey owl (or really, their grey owl since all four boys made frequent use of her to send and receive mail). "What's the most important thing prefects do?"

"Do prefects do anything important?" James snickered.

"Help younger students adjust to Hogwarts?" Remus asked, pocketing his badge so that he could hand his trunk to Sirius next.

"You're both over-thinking," Sirius said.

"They give us the password to the common room?" Peter said.

"Yes! This is why we keep you around, Wormtail. Common room passwords! You're gonna learn them at your oh-so-important prefect's meeting, aren't you, Moony?" Sirius said. The other boys joined him on the train and began dragging their trunks along as they sought out an empty compartment.

Knowing exactly where this was going, Remus said, "I am not giving you the password to the Slytherin common room."

"But Moony," Sirius practically whined, following James into the nearby compartment. "Just imagine! We could put doxys in Snivellus' trunk!"

"I'm pretty sure that's animal abuse," James said, shoving his trunk above one of the seats, "But I like where you're going with this."

"What about semi-permanent itching potion from Zonko's?" Peter suggested, trying to get his trunk in the overhead storage as well. He was much shorter than the others, making this difficult. He struggled for no more than a few seconds before James grabbed the trunk and helped again. Once both trunks were in place, he set his owl there as well.

"I mean, it's simple but it would work," Sirius said thoughtfully.

"Provided Snivellus' hygiene isn't so poor he's not constantly itching already," James said. Sirius and Peter laughed. Remus rolled his eyes.

"I'm not giving you the Slytherin password," he said again, closing the compartment door so that he might change into his robes before heading to the prefects' compartment. He drew the privacy curtains closed.

He may have changed in front of the other Marauders hundreds of times in their dorm, but the rest of the student body didn't need to see the full extend of his scars.

"But we could shrink all of his shirts and make all his trousers twice the size," James said, taking a seat beside Peter.

"I'm not giving you the Slytherin password." Remus was beginning to sound bored.

"We could make his tie tighten a little every hour," Sirius said, leaning against the window.

"That's probably illegal—" Remus started.

"Not enough to kill him, just to startle him a bit," said Sirius with an exasperated sigh, as though Remus was ruining all their fun.

Which, he was, if you asked Sirius.

"Right, because you've never nearly killed him," Remus said.

"Oh my God, Moony, that was one time!"

"And you nearly got me expelled!"

"One time!"

"I'm still not giving you the Slytherin password. Look, I don't even know if they're gonna give me the Slytherin password. They might give every house their password separately. So that no one ends up with temperature-changing underpants," Remus said, tucking his shirt in.

"Oh, that's a good one, Moony!" Peter said. "Maybe the socks, too?"

"I'm not giving you the Slytherin password. At this rate, I might not give you the Gryffindor password. Then I can have the dorm room to myself."

"But how will you ever fall asleep without the soothing sound of Prongs snoring?" Sirius said.

"Oh, yeah, because you're a silent sleeper, Padfoot. Last year when we were still sorting out how to transform, you started howling in your sleep," James said.

"And then Moony would howl back in his," added Peter, laughing slightly.

"I did not!" Sirius and Remus both said at once.

Peter and James exchanged looks. "Yes, you did," they answered. Sirius and Remus each immediately looked embarrassed, cheeks burning red.

"It sounded like a siren! Peter and I thought it was the blitz! Awrooo-ooo-oooh!" James said, hardly able to finish his impression before giving in to snickers.

"How, uh, how often did that happen?" Remus asked, adjusting his tie.

"Once or twice a month. The moon didn't seem to have anything to do with it," James said.

"I think you guys were dreaming. You got all twitchy like you were dreaming," Peter said with a nod.

"Did you just watch us, you weirdos? Why didn't you wake us?" Sirius asked.

"You say that like it's easy to do. We tried," said James.

"Moony just rolled over like nothing happened. You growled at us," Peter said, pointing to Sirius. "So we gave up and tried to go back to sleep."

"If it makes you feel better, next time we'll dump cold water on you. Or bop you on the nose with a rolled up magazine," James said. "Provided Moony decides to give us the password so we can get into the dorm."

"I'll give you the Gryffindor password," Remus sighed. "But I'm not giving you the Slytherin password."

"You know, we could probably just guess it," James considered. "It's probably something stupid, like, 'Purebloods Rule.'"

"'Muggles Drool,'" Peter added.

"'I like my coffee pure, just like my blood,'" Sirius said.

"'Pure Bloody Hell,'" said Remus giving in and playing along.

"'Our blood is purer than water,'" said James.

"'With pure blood comes pure responsibility,'" Remus said.

"Um," Peter said, racking his brain as Remus fastened his prefect badge. "'I'd… rather kiss an ogre than a muggle?'"

"'Silver and green, purest blood you've ever seen,'" said Sirius.

"You know, I just realized we could probably just use the cloak, follow one of them, and listen when they say the password," James said.

"See, this is what I'm talking about, we're over-thinking things when there's an obvious, simple solution," said Sirius.

"Believe me when I say that thinking too much is not any of your problems," Remus said, setting the privacy curtains back in place now that he was changed and sliding open the compartment door.

"Are you heading to the prefect compartment already?" Peter asked.

"The train leaves really soon," Remus said, checking his watch.

"When are you going to ditch them and come back over here?" asked Sirius.

"I don't know, they might have us patrol the train."

"Why would you have to patrol the train?" said James, cocking a brow. "That seems kind of unnecessary."

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe because last year, someone with an invisibility cloak put a permanent sticking charm on Snape's trousers so that he would stick to his seat?" Remus said sarcastically.

"Come on," Sirius said, "That was funny."

"Its' not like his skin was stuck, just the fabric," James said. "Once he took them off, he could leave the train."

"They couldn't get them off the seat and had to replace it," Remus reminded them. This failed in getting the others to realize the error of their ways, however, and rather prompted them to cackle at the memory.

"What's so funny?" asked an attractive blonde girl that suddenly appeared in the doorway.

"Your face, McKinnon," Sirius quipped, though still smiling.

"Aw, Sirius," Marlene said, batting her eyelashes, "I knew you thought of me when I wasn't around."

"Do you lot have room for two more?" the dark-haired Dorcas asked, appearing beside Marlene. She was cradling a cage containing an annoyed-looking horned owl in one arm and dragging her trunk with the other.

"Just two? Don't you usually sit with Lily and Emmeline?" Remus asked.

"They're ditching us for the prefects. Looks like you are, too," Marlene said, gesturing to the pin on Remus' robes. She leaned back and called down the corridor, "Lily! Remus got the other prefect position!"

"Oh! Good!" Lily called back. As soon as he heard her voice, James' hand went straight to his hair, jostling it. Sirius messed his own hair up as well, in a mocking fashion.

Unamused, James shoved the grinning Sirius roughly in the shoulder.

Lily and Emmeline appeared with the other girls in the doorway, in uniform with prefect badges fashioned.

"Are you headed to the prefect's compartment, Remus?" Lily asked. James shifted his weight, hoping to fall into her line of vision.

It wasn't working.

"Yes," Remus said, slipping between Dorcas and Marlene to enter the corridor.

"So, can we sit here?" Marlene asked.

"You sure you don't want to sit with Michael and Audrey?" Lily said. "They said you could."

"And spend the whole trip watching them snog? My brother and the girl that tutored me in History of Magic last year? That's okay, I'll pass," Marlene said.

"Besides, some people enjoy our company, Evans," Sirius said, taking Marlene's trunk in his hands and shoving it above the seat with Remus' trunk. Taking that as a "yes, do join us," Marlene entered the compartment.

"I think you could, too," James added in a sing-song voice as he went to help with Dorcas' trunk.

"I've got it! Thank you though!" Dorcas insisted, handing Marlene her owl before easily lifting her trunk to set it with the others. Once it was secure, she set her owl there as well. The creature hooted softly and tried to get comfortable.

"You're awfully sure of yourself," Lily said, finally acknowledging James with a small smile and a roll of the eye. "But what else is new?"

"Your friends don't seem to hate me like you do—" James started.

"Well, we at least figured this was better than sitting with the Death Eaters-in-training or a bunch of first years," Marlene shrugged, taking a seat by the window.

"Hey, we out-rank the death cult and annoying eleven-year-olds," Sirius said triumphantly, high-fiving Peter.

"And watching siblings get to first base!" Peter added.

"Regardless, Evans, I know I could show you a great time if you'd go out with me," James said, offering her a charming smile.

And at that exact moment, the train let out a loud whistle and began to move.

"Well, we'd best be going, see you at the feast, Marlene, Dorcas!" Lily said, heading down the corridor. A giggling Emmeline followed, along with an exhausted-looking Remus.

Dorcas closed the compartment door and took a seat. James slumped down opposite the girls and once again beside Peter. Sirius made himself comfortable between the two girls.

"She didn't say, 'no,'" James said, forcing optimism.

"She didn't say, 'yes,'" said Marlene.

"It's progress, though, right?" asked James.

"I think so, she kinda made eye contact and everything," Peter said, nodding along enthusiastically.

Sirius, however, shook his head. "Nah, if it's not a 'yes,' it might as well be a 'no.'"

"What he said," Dorcas said, pointing to Sirius.

James groaned. He had first asked Lily out the previous school year, after a Quidditch match. He'd been confident. She'd been bewildered. After a stammering, "no," she had rushed off, effectively crushing the high he'd been on after winning.

He'd asked her out a few times more in the months remaining of fourth year. As he grew more persistent, she grew less awkward at the notion of shutting him down. Though she was never exceptionally cruel about it, it was fairly obvious that she didn't think highly of him.

James still couldn't quite grasp how someone that wasn't a Slytherin could feel that. James Potter was, quite simply, used to being adored. It didn't make any sense.

What on earth was there not to like? He was smart, wasn't he? He was funny, wasn't he? He was decently good-looking, if he did say so himself. He took after his father ("The Potter genes hardly give anything else a chance!" Fleamont would boast, comparing photographs of himself when he was young to James), who was often regarded as quite handsome.

What more did she want?

"You two are her friends," James said, addressing the girls seated across from him.

"Eh. Not really. We mostly keep her around because she lets us 'heavily reference' her charms homework," Marlene said, complete with air quotes.

"You know, that's exactly why we keep Moony around," Sirius said.

"Moony?" Marlene inquired.


"Why is he Moony?"

"Inside joke, don't worry about it."

"Anyway!" James said, hoping to draw attention back to himself and his issue at hand. "You're both friends with Evans."

"Yes, we are," Dorcas said.

"And you know her pretty well," said James.

"Nah, we spent the last four years just—" began Marlene.

"Yes, we do," Dorcas said, interrupting Marlene mid-snark.

"You're such a Hufflepuff," Marlene sighed.

"Thank you," Dorcas said pleasantly.

"Why doesn't she like me? What do I have to do?" James asked. Sirius rolled his eyes.

Dorcas gasped. "Is James Potter asking for our help?"

"Don't make me regret it," James said.

"All right, all right," Marlene said. "Well, you know that cute way you fuss with your hair?"

"Yes," said James with a smirk, ruffling his hair again for effect.

"And you know the way you walk, all confident and poised?" said Dorcas.

"As though you woke up and decided to just own the world? And everyone else can move the hell out of the way?" added Marlene.

"Yes," James nodded. He didn't even have to try with that!

"And you know the way you always talk about Quidditch and your position on the team with such… what's the word I'm looking for, Dorcas?" Marlene said, twisting her hand through the air as she tried to come up with the proper word.

"Pride and… passion," Dorcas said.

"That's it," Marlene nodded

"Right, of course," said James.

"Yeah, she doesn't care for any of that," Dorcas said simply.

"She thinks you need to get over yourself. A couple of times," said Marlene.

"I don't understand how any of that is unlikable," James groaned.

"She thinks you're annoying, James, just leave her alone," Marlene advised.

"I mean, I don't think she hates you or anything, Lily doesn't really hate anyone," Dorcas said. James lit up a bit at the notion.

"Saint Evans," Marlene snorted.

"Well, she keeps you around, Marley, so obviously…" Dorcas teased.

"I mean, she's pretty and all, but there are a ton of other girls at school," Sirius shrugged. "I mean, if Evans learns to take a joke and suddenly stops caring about the… handful of times we hexed Snivellus, then yeah, I'm sure you'd be a lovely couple."

"But also, she thinks you're annoying. Just leave her alone," Marlene said again.

"I don't think you're annoying," Peter said, trying to be helpful.

"There you go, you can date Peter and forget all about Evans," Sirius said with a nod.

"He's not my type," James said bitterly. "No offense, Pete."

"Oh, none taken. I don't seem to be much of anyone's type," Peter said awkwardly.

"Aw, don't say that," said Dorcas.

"Is he your type?" Sirius asked the girl, cocking a brow. Dorcas eyes widened in something resembling horror.

"Oh, no!" she paused, stammering, trying to collect herself and come across as less rude, "I mean—I'm just—just saying, Peter, you're a good person. You shouldn't say such things about yourself. That's all."

"Thanks," Peter said, awkward as ever.

"I keep telling him that some people don't peak in school," Sirius said.

"Well, that's easy for you to say, Cheekbones," Marlene said, gently poking at Sirius' face as though to emphasize his lovely bone structure.

"So, wait, if you're peaking now, does that mean it's all downhill from here?" James asked, cocking a brow. "Is your life gonna basically be over by the time you're twenty-one?"

"Oh that's so sad," Dorcas giggled.

"Maybe all your hair will fall out," Marlene said scandalously.

"First, don't even joke about that," Sirius said to Marlene. "Second, I am not peaking right now, okay? Some of us just keep getting better."

"Right," James snorted.

"What like you're not peaking now? In ten years you'll be going on poetic about the days you were Quidditch Captain," Sirius teased.

"No! You're the new captain?" Marlene said, eyes wide.

James grinned and fished his new captain's badge from his pocket to show her.

"Damn it," Marlene pouted. "Are you going to make me try out for my position again?"

"I don't know, McKinnon, are we going to have a repeat of last year?" James asked.

The previous year, after defeating Slytherin, one of the Slytherin Chasers, Murphy, had bitterly called Marlene a whore, claiming she should consider guarding her knickers as well as she did the rings.

While the rest of the Gryffindor team responded by shouting angrily (James immediately considering ways to prank Murphy later), Marlene had responded by attacking him. Not with her wand, not with her fists, but by beating him over the head with her Comet 240 and destroying the handle.

Marlene and Murphy were both suspended for their team's next respective matches. Once Marlene was permitted to play again, she had to borrow an old broom from the school. The broom's age was especially clear when compared to the other brooms on the field.

"If Murphy keeps his mouth shut I won't have to try and knock his teeth out again, no," Marlene said.

"I can appreciate the damage brute force on it's own can do but come on now, you're a witch, you could have set him on fire or something," Sirius said.

"I'd suggest a silencing charm? He'd shut up and you wouldn't end up having to explain to your parents, again, why you sent another student to the hospital wing," Dorcas said.

"Are you kidding? My mum was so proud when she found out why I did it," Marlene laughed.

"I just don't need to try and find a replacement Keeper if you get suspended again is my main issue," James said. "I don't care if you dress him in lady's lingerie in the middle of the feast if you don't get caught."

"Oh, I like that. Who's the whore now, Murphy?" Marlene smiled.

"Tricky transfiguration, though, we tried on Snivellus last year and only managed to put a brassiere on top of his robes. Then when he took it of and everyone saw him walking around with it, they thought he'd gotten shagged and we wound up making him more popular somehow," Sirius said, frustrated.

"Yeah but then Remus asked who the girl was," Peter said.

James smirked, "And he couldn't come up with a name."

"And then everyone laughed at him for getting a bra just to pretend a girl had sex with him," Peter said.

"So it did all work out in the end," Sirius nodded. "Just not the way we intended."

"Why did you decide lady's lingerie was the right way to go anyway?" Dorcas asked.

"We were doing him a favor, really, he should have one pair of underpants that isn't secondhand and stained," James shrugged.

"Part of me is glad it didn't work out as we planned, honestly. What if every time we saw a girl in lingerie after that all we could think about was Snivellus?" Sirius said, making a face.

"Black, you utter imbecile," Marlene said, deepening her voice and brushing her hair into her face as though to imitate Severus. She ran her hands down the side of Sirius' face seductively. "You probably don't even know the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane. Is it because you're so incredibly dim-witted or because you're too distracted by my lacey garter belt?"

"Stop, stop! Why was I cursed with a vivid imagination? Stoooop!" Sirius said, pushing her away, though he and the others were laughing.

"Anyway," Marlene said, combing her hair back into place with her fingers, "I promise I'll try not to get suspended this year. And I got a new Cleansweep for my birthday last month so I won't have to borrow from school anymore."

"Really, we just need a new seeker and another chaser," James said.

"Preferably one that's not pregnant," Peter said.

"I can't believe Jolene kept playing after she found out Nick got her pregnant," Dorcas said. "What if she'd been hit by a bludger?"

"Have you met Jolene? She could be in labor and she'd be like, 'No! Not now! There's a Quidditch match! The kid will have to wait!'" James said. The girl had insisted to everyone that she was merely a few weeks along and nothing was going to keep her from the championship match.

"The most dedicated, slightly deranged captain Gryffindor's seen yet," Sirius said. Jolene had just finished school, hence why James was now named captain.

"Promise me if you get pregnant you'll sit out," Marlene said, reaching over to set a hand on James' knee in mock-concern.

"I just can't do that, I love the game that much," James said with a dramatic sigh.

"Well, I mean, Nick's not gonna be around to seduce any more players this year so there's that," Sirius shrugged.

"I heard they got married over the summer," Marlene said matter-of-factly. "They're Mr. and Mrs. Wood now."

"Do they know what they're having?" Dorcas asked.

"I asked her at the end of term, she said 'a Quidditch player, hopefully,'" Marlene snorted.

"Merlin help that kid if he's into Gobstones," Sirius said.

"Gobstones is fun!" Peter said.

"See, this is why you're not gonna peak in school," Sirius said.

"Don't listen to him, Peter, Gobstones is fun," Dorcas said, shoving Sirius lightly.

"If the kid's into Gobstones you know Jolene will suddenly be a Gobstones fanatic," James said.

"True, she didn't care about Chocolate Frog cards for one minute but every time Nick found a rare one she was genuinely so excited for him, it was very cute," Dorcas mused. "Still, I can't imagine having a kid and getting married straight out of school, she handled it pretty well, I suppose."

"A lot of people are going that route with everything that's going on. No one knows how much time they've got," Sirius said.

"My parents got married straight out of school," Marlene said. "But that was right after Grindelwald. I think it was more of a celebratory, 'Holy shit, we didn't die! Let's have five kids and give them all names that start with the letter M' thing."

"We shouldn't even have to think about dying, we're fifteen!" Dorcas groaned.

"I agree, there's so many more important things to worry about. Like Quidditch," James said. At that moment, the cheerful witch with the treat trolley appeared outside their compartment. Before she could utter a word, James added, "And sweets."