Dirty Blood

Chapter 9

A/N: Oh man, so some weird shit went down with my day job. I mean, I've still got it, but they changed up a lot of things and I'm just very thrown off my game right now. You guys still get a chapter, though! No worries! Please leave me some reviews so I can focus on anything besides my future at this company.

LG14, Haha, great! I'm so glad that I've influenced a headcanon for you. I really like the idea of Remus reading comics between classes, too, and probably debating them with students as well.

ForeverACharmedOne, yes, you have an acceptable excuse indeed. I'm glad you enjoyed everything with McGonagall, I wasn't expecting to enjoy writing her in this story so much.

"Do you have any idea how much of a Ravenclaw stereotype you are, you giant nerd?"

Chapter Nine: Danger (But In A Sexy Way)

The Marauders walked through the corridor, which was hardly anything special as the corridor was full of students on their way to class. Sirius' brow was furrowed, his eyes dark as he went, an envelope in his hand that he'd received at breakfast.

"I don't think you should open it," Remus said.

"You know whatever it is will just piss you off," Peter agreed.

"Yeah, but you also know there's a sick, curious part of you that won't rest until you've opened it," James pointed out. His tone was not that of someone trying to temp Sirius, but rather, matter-of-fact, as though they had all been through these motions before.

They had.

Sirius sighed dramatically, hoisting himself atop a windowsill and taking a seat. The others stopped and watched him expectantly.

"Let's get this over-with," Sirius mumbled, peeling open the wax seal with his family crest and tugging out the letter. He cleared his throat and began to speak in a shrill voice, imitating his mother.

"Dear Sirius: The school has informed us that you have already received detention on three different occasions this year, twice from the same professor. Said professor has also relayed your newfound enjoyment for dressing as a woman—" Sirius's voice suddenly went back to normal, "Oh, MacPherson thinks that's dressing as a woman? I can show him dressing as a woman."

"You're going to add 'dressing in drag' to your list of ways to antagonize him?" Remus asked.

"Give him something worth writing home about," Sirius shrugged. He took on his shrill imitation of his mother's voice again. "Is there no end to your disgusting attempts to drag this family's name through the mud? Have you ever once stopped to consider that it is not only your reputation that you are destroying, but generations of reputations built up by our ancestors—Yeah, Mum, I'm quite aware, it helps me sleep at night, actually—At your age, Bellatrix was a prefect who used her position to fight for the greater good of her people and stand up for her beliefs—"

"Wait," Remus said. "Didn't you say that when Bellatrix was made prefect, she had muggleborns scrub the dungeon floors after framing them for things her friends did?"

"You don't understand," Sirius said sarcastically. "She was fighting for us poor oppressed purebloods!"

"Truly, where would purebloods be without her?" James said, setting a hand to his heart as though in admiration.

"Didn't you say she also had her badge taken away the next year?" said Peter.

"Clearly the work of those looking to undermine the pure! Nobody knows the trouble we've seen!" Sirius said. He glanced back down at the letter again with a frown before continuing. "At your age, Narcissa had already secured an engagement with a wealthy, pureblood man—"

"Sirius! What are you waiting for, why haven't you fathered any pureblood babies yet?" James demanded.

"That's not what she said, she said an engagement to a wealthy, pureblood man," Sirius said, pointing violently at the letter. "That's what I need to earn her love. Clearly!"

"Oh, well, tell her that you're engaged to me," James said with a shrug as though that solved everything.

"I dunno, mate, you're awfully… blood traitor-y," Sirius said, looking James up and down as though appraising him.

"But I've got so much money," James said. "And come on, I'd make a great husband."

Sirius seemed to consider this a moment. "Get me a ring, I'll think about it."

"Is she through comparing you to family yet?" Remus asked, gesturing to the letter.

"Probably not, she hasn't even gotten to Regulus yet. Let's see. At your age, your father was star beater on the Quidditch team. At your age, I was a prefect and a straight-O student—Now, mother, I think straight O's is a bit of a stretch."

"Your dad also has terrible technique, just saying," said James.

"I honestly don't know what's wrong with you, why you've strayed so far from what you know is right and allowed yourself to be brainwashed into rejecting what we've worked so hard to build. I had hoped you would be better than this, smarter than this, but it's all just more of the same, year after year. You can't even handle dressing in a manner that won't bring shame to the family. I fear it's only gotten worse since you've started listening to that wretched muggle music. It's hypnotized you, it's leading you away from your family and into the arms of filth and deviants."

"Excuse you, Mrs. Black," Peter said, crossing his arms before his chest. "We have names."

"So who among us is filth and who's a deviant?" Remus asked, shaking his head slightly at the notion of music being the reason Sirius managed to not be a pureblood supremacist.

"Hmm," James said. He pointed at Peter. "Filth—," he pointed at himself, "—deviant—," and at last he pointed at Remus, "—and some sort of filth and deviant hybrid."

"Sounds about right," Sirius said with a nod. "I urge you to stop listening to the muggles and their influence. I kept you away from it during the summer—"

"Oh, Walburga, if only you knew," James said, thinking back to Sirius' tales of sneaking out of the House of Black late at night all summer to attend punk shows.

"—and now it's up to you to recognize what's right for yourself and the family and keep yourself away. Merlin knows that school is doing nothing to keep you from being exposed to such filth, you must show self-control, you must remember that the propaganda shown to you by that—Er, the M-Word—lover, Dumbledore is nothing but lies set forth to undermine the wizard community as a whole. The fact that he is allowed to expose his anti-magic teachings to children turns my stomach. You must find the strength to resist, or at the rate you're going, you'll end up a scum-sucking whore living on the streets like Andromeda."

"A scum-sucking whore," James repeated, letting out a low whistle. "That's… a bit of a stretch."

"Didn't Andromedia just buy a house? She sent you pictures last week," Remus said.

"And doesn't she have a husband and a kid?" added Peter.

"Yes. But her life is awful, simple awful since she married Ted! A nice house with a deck where she drinks tea! A husband that loves her! A daughter who can change her hair color at will! A true cautionary tale!" Sirius said, rolling his eyes so hard it could almost be felt by the others. "Okay, let's see what else dear Mum has to say.

"Why can't you find it in yourself to be more like Regulus?—There we go, I was wondering when he'd come up—Regulus is at the top of his class and his professors, particularly is head of house, have nothing but glowing things to say about him. He's just made the Quidditch team and the captain boasts that he's the best seeker they've had in years."

"That's a low bar, Slytherin was always better at getting points through chasing rather than by the snitch," James said.

"Also, that doesn't sound like something Emma would do," Peter said, thinking of the Slytherin Quidditch Captain.

"No, she'd never praise him to his face, he'd start thinking he's important," Sirius nodded. "It's truly a blessing that we have Regulus around to try and combat all the shame you bring upon our name. He is the very model of what a good pureblood son should be. You can be too, Sirius. Try harder. Get new friends, better friends. You can still be everything we've worked for you to be. You can still be respected and adored. Just be more like Regulus. Regards, Mother."

"Well, she thinks there's still hope for you?" James said, trying to find a positive.

"Yes, she will love you eternally and accept you if you change everything about yourself," Remus said.

"Yes, you can still be saved!" James said.

"I bet if you ask Slughorn, he'll let you move in to the Slytherin Dorms right away," Peter said.

"I guess you won't need all your records anymore," James pointed out. "Time to listen to exclusively classical wizard composers."

"We're going to miss you," Remus said, clapping Sirius on the shoulder. "But you must fulfill your destiny as a Black."

"Maybe if things don't work out with Narcissa's husband, you can marry her and have lots of pureblood children. It's not incest if it's first cousins, right?" James said.

"It's for the greater good of wizardkind!" Peter said.

"It was nice being your friend while it lasted," Sirius said, pulling the three of them into a tight group hug. "But I simply cannot risk becoming a deviant! Adieu, old friends! I'm sure we will meet again when I force you to lick my boots and scrub my toilets."

He released them from his grasp before taking a few steps away.

"Really though," James called after him, "Your mum is awful."

Sirius turned on his heel and came back to the group, the game over. "Tell me something I don't know."

"I'll keep sharing mine with you," James said. Sirius smiled.

"You're a far superior brother-slash-fiance than Regulus," Sirius said, theatrically pulling James into his arms as the bell warning students that there were only two minutes before class began to echo through the halls.

Sirius released James and the boys shuffled off. They were in no hurry, like the panicked first years speeding past them. Charms wasn't far, and Flitwick was forgiving.

When they entered class, they found a small group of their classmates had huddled around a desk near the back of room. The boys joined this group to see what it was that was drawing interest, again, in no rush to start any notes.

Professor Flitwick was pointing his wand at the desk's surface, mumbling spells beneath his breath. The wand would flash and the students would sigh each time as the spell achieved nothing.

He seemed to be trying to remove a crude carving in the wood of a symbol: a triangle encasing a circle and a straight, vertical line.

"I mean, to be fair, Professor, it is also the symbol for the Deathly Hallows," Marlene said. "You could just pretend it's that and leave it?"

"What else is it? I've only seen it in my old Three Brothers storybook," Peter commented, having wiggled his way to the front of the crowd as he was on the shorter side of most of his peers.

"It's a symbol Grindelwald adopted," Sirius said. "It's obscure, not as well-known as like, the Dark Mark, but Grindelwald left a huge one carved into the wall at his old school before they kicked him out."

"Quite right," Professor Flitwick said, trying another spell.

"Well, I mean, its original meaning isn't so awful? I suppose?" Lily said hesitantly, her eyes never leaving the desk.

"It doesn't really matter what it used to mean. Grindelwald's followers, or now, You-Know-Who's followers see it, they don't think about a fairy tale," Dorcas said with a scowl. "They see a sign of their beliefs and feel pride and a sense of justification."

"Yeah, remember Xeno? That Ravenclaw that graduated a few years back? He always would wear one and argue with anyone that commented on it that it really means to identify other believers in the Deathly Hallows, but how are you to know that it's not Grindelwald they're identifying you with instead?" Remus said.

"The Deathly Hallows aren't real, it's just a story," James said with a roll of the eye.

"We're talking about Psycho Xeno here," Marlene pointed out.

"Mr. Lovegood certainly had his own way of thinking, and I do respect the argument some have for reclaiming the symbol's original meaning. However, I can't say that I necessarily agree, or want it carved into one of my desks," Professor Flitwick said, sighing after another failed spell.

"I don't think anyone carved it in there and made sure you couldn't get rid of it because they're very passionate about the Deathly Hallows," Dorcas said, her expression still dark. "It's a small message to everyone that isn't pureblood. You aren't welcome here. And to those that sympathize, it's a message of you aren't alone. It might as well be a swastika or something."

"Which is precisely why I want it gone. I value all of my students, and everyone willing to learn is welcome in my class and should feel safe here," Flitwick said, giving Dorcas' arm a gentle pat. The girl spared a smile.

"Can I give it a try, Professor?" James asked suddenly.

"I suppose so, Mr. Potter, I'm not getting anywhere with it," Flitwick said, hopping down from the seat to make room for James.

"If Flitwick can't get rid of it, how do you suppose you will?" Lily frowned. "I swear, Potter, your ego."

As James took a seat at the desk, he set a hand to his heart dramatically. "Your doubt in me wounds me deeply, Evans. Deeply."

"Now, now, I don't claim to be all-knowing, Miss Evans. Let's see what Mr. Potter tries," Flitwick said cheerfully.

James pulled out his wand and proceeded to hold it in his hand like a pencil, leaning close to the desk and setting the tip of his wand to the surface.

He extended the carving of the center line straight upward, past the boundaries of the triangle. He began carving more and more lines, some straight, some curved, both within the original symbol and outside of it.

This went on for a short while, the others curiously watching him work and James entirely focused. When at last he was through, he set his wand aside and leaned back to reveal a carving of a castle tower with a flag at the top, the original symbol camouflaged somewhere in the lines.

"Well, it's not gone. But it's less prejudice now," James said with a shrug.

"Nice," Sirius nodded.

"Excellent!" Flitwick said, delighted at the modifications. "Twenty points to Gryffindor for creative thinking, Mr. Potter."

"Thank you, Sir," James said with a grin. "Did you hear that, Evans?"

"Hard to hear much over the sound of you patting yourself on the back, Potter," Lily retorted, though she was smiling and James felt his heart swell at the sight.

"If only it even came close to making up for all the points you've lost us," Marlene said.

"Thanks to your need to heckle MacPherson, Hufflepuff might have a shot at the house cup this year," Dorcas snickered. Gryffindor and Ravenclaw had been the most vocal in Defense Against The Dark Arts this year, and were embarrassingly behind in the house points due to this.

"Oh, Potter and Black are handicaps to the house points that we've learned to deal with," Lily said.

"Pretty sure you two," Sirius said, gesturing to Lily and Marlene, "were heckling MacPherson with the rest of us."

Lily frowned. "He was making fun of Remus!"

"Why do you think we took part in the heckling?" James said, standing up and throwing an arm around Remus' shoulders. Remus cleared his throat and cast James a questioning look. "Okay, fine, it was about sixty percent because he was making fun of you and forty percent because he's fun to mess with."

Remus rolled his eyes.

"Oh, shut up, Lupin," James said. "You started it."

"I didn't mean to!" Remus said. "If he weren't wrong all the time…"

"Oh, the stories I've heard from that class," Flitwick tutted. "No matter! It's time to get this class started. Take your seats, take your seats!"

Professor Flitwick headed for the front of the classroom as his students shuffled about to settle into their usual spots. James took out a fresh piece of parchment with all intentions of actually taking notes on the lecture, but lightly began hatching in lines and curves instead.

Remus Lupin sat in the library at a large table meant for studying. There were several books lying open around him, as well as parchment with notes written in scrawl not of his own. He was flipping through pages, quill between his teeth whenever he wasn't scribbling notes madly.

"Well, there he is, Lils, all alone," Marlene whispered suggestively. She, Lily, Dorcas, and Emmeline stood on the other side of a bookcase, peeking through gaps between the books at the none-the-wiser Remus.

"Go talk to him," Dorcas urged. Lily was starting to regret letting Dorcas and Marlene in on her crush at breakfast after Remus dropped off some comics with her.

"And say what?" Lily hissed. Marlene began smoothing out Lily's hair and outfit in preparation. When she reached for the buttons on her blouse, Lily swatted her hand away.

Marlene pouted.

"Talk to him about the comics he lent you," Emmeline suggested.

"I haven't read them yet!" said Lily.

"Really?" Emmeline quirked a brow.

"He just gave them to me this morning!"

"Yeah, but comic books are super quick reads," said Emmeline. "It's not like he gave you a complete graphic novel."

"What is the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel? Is a graphic novel just longer?" Dorcas asked.

"Kind of. Comic books can go on for decades telling a lot of smaller, simpler stories, whereas graphic novels are a bit more in-depth and tell one main story and tend to finish up in a few years and stay pretty self-contained… it's like, comic books are like soap operas while graphic novels are like films," Emmeline attempted to explain. "Graphic novels, actually, I think are easier to get into because comic books like to go off in so many alternate universes and titles and it's hard to figure out where exactly to start sometimes. Graphic novels have a clear beginning and end."

"Do you have any idea," Marlene whispered, "How much of a Ravenclaw stereotype you are, you giant nerd?"

Emmeline smiled slightly. "Do you have any idea how much of a Gryffindor stereotype you are, you jock?"

"Anyway, Lily," Dorcas said. "Just go say hello. Say, 'Hi, Remus, how are you?'"

"I know how he is, he's busy," Lily said, peeking between the books again.

"Just go say 'hi,'" Dorcas said again.

"Yeah, come on, it's just Remus, he isn't intimidating or anything," Marlene said, leaning casually against the bookcase.

"I mean. I guess the scars could be," said Emmeline.

Marlene shrugged. "I think the scars are kinda sexy, honestly."

"Yeah?" Dorcas said. She and Emmeline glanced at the boy on the other side of the shelves again, appraising him based on Marlene's comment.

"I dunno, he's not awful to look at, but he doesn't do it for me," Dorcas shrugged.

"Nah, I see it," Emmeline said, stepping away from the shelf. "Kind of that, I dunno, dangerous vibe?"

"Dangerous, sexy vibe," Marlene nodded.

"Who're we talking about?" The girls jumped in surprise and turned to see Sirius standing near Marlene with that horribly frustrating smirk on his face.

"Merlin's beard, Sirius! What are you doing here?" Marlene hissed.

"Returning a book! I do read," Sirius said with a scoff. "Then I was going to harass Remus and give him bad tips for tutoring the first years but then I heard you lot mumbling about someone dangerous and sexy and that sounds way more interesting. Who are we talking about?"

Lily immediately turned red in embarrassment. The girls exchanged panicked glances.

"Tony Stark!" Emmeline squeaked suddenly.

"Right! Tony Stark is far out," Dorcas nodded.

"So hot! Tony Stark is just… very attractive," Lily nodded.

"Who the hell is Tony Stark?" Sirius asked.

"Muggle," Emmeline said, seemingly very interested in the worn spine of the book near her.

"Yeah he's a muggle. A famous one. Really dreamy," Marlene said.

Sirius eyed the girls suspiciously. "If it's just some muggle celebrity, why are you all hunched together whispering about it like it's some bit secret?"

"Uh, you're not supposed to be loud in the library, Sirius, duh," Dorcas said.

"Are you sure you weren't talking about someone else?" Sirius asked, running his fingers through his hair boastfully.

Lily sighed in relief and rolled her eyes. Sirius simply thought they were discussing him. He didn't suspect that they were talking about Remus at all.

"Go away Black, this has nothing to do with you," Lily said.

Sirius pouted. "Why can't I discuss dangerous, sexy muggles with you?"

"Go," Lily urged again.

"Fine," Sirius said with dramatic flourish. "I'll go discuss dangerous, sexy muggles with Remus."

Lily and Marlene exchanged wide-eyed expressions before Marlene grabbed Sirius by the arm. "Actually, Sirius, can I have your opinion on something?"

"On what?" he said.

"Not here," Marlene said, shaking her head. "Let's, um. Let's go somewhere private? It's kind of embarrassing."

"O…kay?" Sirius said suspiciously as Marlene walked off, dragging him with her.

"Thank Merlin for Marlene, it's hard enough to corner Remus alone," Lily said once they were gone.

"What do you suppose they're doing?" Emmeline said, glancing around the shelf in the direction they went.

"It doesn't matter right now," Dorcas said. "Lily, go talk to Remus before another 'Marauder' shows up."

Lily watched Remus again with a heavy sigh, nervously fiddling with her hair.

"Emmeline, you do it," she said.

"What about all that you told me about just talking to people?" Emmeline said.

"I know, I know, it's easier said than done when you really like them," Lily said.

"Come on, you've got this," said Dorcas.

"You said you'd talk to him for me," Lily said, prodding Emmeline with her finger.


"Please?" Lily gave Emmeline a winning smile. "And it'll be good practice for you just going up and talking to people."

Emmeline sighed. "I don't get it, you've talked to him before."

"Yeah, in a more casual setting, with more people around. Please? You thrive one-on-one," Lily pouted.

"You owe me," Emmeline said. Hesitantly, she stepped around the bookcase and approached the table where Remus sat. Emmeline silently settled herself into the empty seat across from the boy. She folded her arms atop the table and cleared her throat slightly.

"Hey Remus," she said. Remus jumped slightly, having apparently not realized she had taken a seat.

"Oh, hello, Em," he said pleasantly. "Sorry, didn't see you there."

"It's fine, I tend to sneak up on people," she said. "Big project?"

"I'm just trying to make sure I have everything ready for the first year study group later. I borrowed notes from a few of them and it seems like MacPherson is… slightly less terrible with the basics? A lot of this is still wrong, though," Remus said, piling together the notes he had borrowed.

"Oh, fun," Emmeline said sarcastically. "Do you know who all is going to the study session?"

"Yeah, they gave me a copy of the sign-up sheet." Remus handed her one of the many pieces of parchment scattered about.

She scanned the list and groaned, "You've got Lockhart, good luck."

"Was he the one you were telling me about that said he had been signed as the youngest spokesmodel ever for Sleekeazy?" Remus cringed.

"One and the same," Emmeline said, patting Remus' forearm sympathetically. "Oh, but you've got Kingsley Shacklebolt, too! He's my favorite first year."

"You've got a favorite first year?" Remus said.

"You don't have a favorite first year?" Emmeline smiled.

"Well, we probably shouldn't be playing favorites, right?"

"That's what Lily said, and then a few days later she said that she wanted to carry Christina Kay around in her pocket."

"Okay, fair enough, Christina is unusually polite," Remus nodded. "If you're going to pick a favorite, she's a fair pick."

"Well, Lily's always had good taste," Emmeline said.

"That's true, she does keep turning James down," Remus said. Emmeline snickered. "Don't tell him I joked about his lack of charm, he'll get dramatic about it. 'What if it gets back to Evans!?'"

Still slightly laughing, Emmeline pulled an imaginary zipper across her lips. "I'll try not to bring it up in our bi-weekly 'What the hell is up with Remus Lupin?' meetings."

Remus smiled. "Very exciting meetings, I imagine."

"Yes, last week's meeting focused on the topic, 'Is Remus eating enough vegetables?'"

"What did you conclude?"

"We didn't, we're carrying the discussion over to next week," Emmeline said with a nod.

"Well, do let me know," Remus said.

"Oh, of course." Emmeline glanced down at his notes. "So, do you know what you're doing for the fifth year study group?"

"I think so, that one was easier since I'm in that class and all," said Remus. "I just hope these sessions are actually, you know, helpful."

"I'm sure you'll do fine. We'll all be there to support you," Emmeline said.

"Who all is 'we'?"

"Oh, you know. Most of the other Ravenclaws in class said they were going. Dorcas is going. James is trying to make sure Quidditch practices won't interfere so Marlene will be there. Lily, too, though she might be a little late. She's tutoring charms and potions, you know. Sometimes they have her tutor Muggle Studies, too, and she doesn't even take that class, but I don't think she's got any of that scheduled today."

Remus nodded. "Understandable. Guess there's not enough of Lily's brain to go around."

"The burdens of intellect! My house knows it well," Emmeline sighed. "As, of course, does Lily."

"Such a heavy burden, I'm sure," Remus smiled.

"Well, you should know, Mr. I-Had-To-Start-A-Study-Group-Because-I-Had-A-Huge-Waiting-List-For-Tutoring," Emmeline pointed out.

"Well, Frank and Alice did, too," Remus said modestly. "I just hope you all learn something, at least, I'd hate to waste everyone's time."

"You'll do fine. We're all looking forward to it. Lily's really looking forward to it," Emmeline said.

"Well, I'm looking forward to seeing you all there," Remus said, cocking a brow.

"Good," she said. "Anyway, I'll let you get back to your lesson plan."

"That 'Professor Lupin' joke is never going to die, is it? Thanks a lot, Sirius," Remus sighed. "I'll see you later."

"See you," Emmeline said. Remus picked up his quill and went back to his work. Emmeline ducked behind the nearby shelf where Lily and Dorcas were still waiting. A grin was fixed on Lily's face as Emmeline rejoined the group.

"He thinks you're smart!" Emmeline whispered.

"And that I've got good taste! And he's glad I'm going to the session later," Lily said.

"Well he's glad we're all going," Emmeline said.

"And I mean, everyone knows you're smart," Dorcas smiled.

"Oh, speaking of which, when does your tutoring session start?" Emmeline asked.

Lily's eyes widened and she looked to her wrist, where her slightly large watch had turned about. After a bit of fumbling to get the face of the clock to face her, she said, "Shit! Thirty seconds ago! I'll see you at the study group, save me a seat!"

"We will!" Dorcas said as Lily dashed off, dark red hair fanning behind her as she went.

Dorcas turned to Emmeline. "You aren't tutoring today, are you?"

"No, I did some yesterday. Not a lot of Ancient Runes sign-ups yet," Emmeline said.

"Do you want to go to the kitchens and get a snack, then?"

"Sure, maybe we'll find Marlene and Sirius on the way."

"Hopefully not in any compromising position," Dorcas snorted. Emmeline cringed.


"By the way, who is Tony Stark?"

"You couldn't find something shiny to distract him with or anything?" Dorcas mumbled to Marlene. They were in an otherwise unused classroom, one of the first to arrive for the fifth year Defense Against the Dark Arts study group.

"He kept asking questions," Marlene shrugged.

"So you snogged him?" Emmeline said, eyes wide.

"I've kissed him before, I knew it would distract him," the blonde said casually.

"Did you just jump him, or?" Dorcas asked. "Like, was there build-up?"

"I told him that Jane said he was a bad kisser," Marlene said. "He asked if I 'defended his honor' when I heard that, and I said it had been a while since we kissed, I don't know if he started to be a lousy kisser, and that about did it. And now none of the 'Marauders' are any wiser of Lily's crush."

"They're wise about how good you are at kissing, looks like," Dorcas said, gesturing to the front of the classroom where James, Sirius, and Peter were talking to Remus. Emmeline and Marlene looked over to see James and Peter not-so-subtly watching Marlene as Sirius Spoke. Marlene rolled her eyes and sarcastically blew them a kiss. Peter blushed and looked down at his shoes. James smirked before returning his attention to Sirius, whose back was facing the girls.

"Are you sure that you didn't just want to snog him?" Emmeline said.

"He's a fun snog. He is a good kisser. But I mean. He's never given me butterflies, you know? I look at him, I see a big goof, a buddy… with weird benefits?" Marlene attempted to explain.

"Mmhm," Dorcas said, cocking a brow.

"Believe me. I wish I liked him that way. I wish he made my heart race, I wish I giggled like an idiot thinking about him, I wish that the idea of holding his hand excited me. I'm really comfortable around him, he's fun to talk to and kiss, but romantically, emotionally…? He doesn't do it for me and I really don't know why," Marlene said in hushed tones with a heavy sigh. "Lily reckons I should stop flirting with him."

"I mean, if you don't like him that way, yeah, probably," Dorcas nodded.

"He doesn't like me that way either, though. We're just fooling around. No one is leading anyone on or anything," Marlene said, shaking her head.

"You don't think he's cute?" Emmeline asked.

"I mean, he's good-looking but it's in an… I dunno, obvious kind of way?" Marlene said.

"Ah yes, I hate obvious beauty," Dorcas said sarcastically. "I want it to sneak up on me."

"I mean, like, he's just… that pretty boy that everyone has a crush on because he's got nice hair. I dunno, I want more grit, I guess. Plus, I'm really not into eyeliner," Marlene said.

"Into it enough to snog him," Dorcas teased. Marlene rolled her eyes.

"My eyes were closed, I didn't have to look at it," Marlene snorted. "Emmeline can have a go, she likes eyeliner."

Emmeline turned red. "W-What?"

"He is into that androgynous rock and roll thing you're always swooning over," Dorcas observed.

"But you can do much better than Sirius Black," Marlene giggled.

Emmeline nervously laughed along. "Yeah… sure…"

"Yeah, so can you, Marlene," Dorcas smiled.

Lisa from Ravenclaw walked over, pointing to the vacant chair beside Dorcas. "Are you using that?"

"Yeah, Lily's gonna be a little late, we said we'd save her a spot," Dorcas said.

"Damn, we're running out of room in here," Lisa said, walking off. The girls turned around to see how much of the classroom had filled in while they were talking. Most of their year was here, save for the Slytherins that seemed content to hang out in their common room to study with Severus.

"Evans can always sit on my lap!" James called over. He, Sirius, and Peter were still lingering near the front of the class. They were likely going to stay there and harass Remus throughout the designated time for this study group.

"Pretty sure she'd rather sit in syrup but we'll let her know you were thinking of her, James," Marlene said.

"Do you want to sit at an actual table?" Remus said to his friends, gesturing to where the others were all trying to find somewhere to sit.

"No, not at all, we're good here," Sirius said, hoisting himself atop the instructor's desk at the front. James settled into the chair at said desk.

"No one is going to learn anything with you here, are they?" Remus sighed.

"How will that be different from MacPherson's class?" Peter shrugged, pushing another chair near the desk and taking a seat.

"Fair, I guess. Let's just get through the homework assignment," Remus said, shuffling through notes on said desk. He unceremoniously shoved Sirius off of it when he realized the dark-haired boy was sitting on some of his notes. Sirius flailed his arms and somehow managed to land on his feet rather than tumble onto the floor, leaving other students snickering.

"Rude," Sirius said.

"It's my classroom, Mr. Black, if you don't like it you can get out," Remus said in an official tone of voice.

"Professor Lupin's kind of a berk, yeah?" Sirius said to James.

"Hey, don't talk about Professor Lupin that way!" James said, feigning outrage.

"Oi," Remus said, stepping back to where he would be able to better address the class, "Shut up for a minute."

"Better be quiet, Professor Lupin will give you detention," Peter said scandalously.

"I do have the power to put you in detention," Remus reminded them, pointing to his prefect badge. James and Sirius laughed. Remus sighed, pulling out his wand and pointing it at his friends. "Silencio."

James, Peter, and Sirius began miming outrage at Remus for doing such a thing. The class giggled as Remus ignored them entirely and Sirius began using lewd hand gestures at his back.

"Okay, so let's get started. I figured we would address what MacPherson was trying to go over in class and walk through how exactly we should be doing this assignment he gave us," Remus said.

"Yeah, can you explain what he was trying to say with the whole Louis XVI thing?" Gerald asked.

"I honestly have no idea, I think he might have had intentions of going over spells that were used by and against the resistance in the French Revolution but he went off on a tangent and suddenly we were discussing carriages?" Remus shrugged.

"He treats this shit like a history class, it's really annoying," Amy from Hufflepuff said.

"A really inaccurate history class," Lisa added.

"Yeah, basically. So, we'll review the spells used to dismantle guillotines, the spells used to protect guillotines from said dismantling spells, and the spells they used both to behead their opponents and protect themselves from attempts at beheading," Remus said, ticking these things off his fingers.

"There's a spell to keep you from being beheaded?" Dorcas said.

"Yeah, but it sounds almost exactly the same as the spell to behead someone so a lot of people beheaded themselves by accident," Remus said. Half the class cringed.

"See, this is interesting, which is probably why we didn't go over it in class," Marlene said.

Remus smiled. "Probably."

The door creaked open and Lily slipped inside, smiling sheepishly and giving Remus a nervous wave.

"So the magic and non-magic governments of France weren't all that different at the time, I mean, the wizards didn't have a king and queen but the people they did have in charge were sort of arse—Sirius cut it out," Remus said as Sirius had been mirroring all of Remus' motions while standing right behind him.

"What have I missed?" Lily whispered to her friends as she took her seat and began digging through her bag for a quill and parchment to take notes.

"Beheading," Emmeline whispered.

"Also Marlene and Sirius snogged earlier," Dorcas said.

"You need to quit it, Marlene, it's not gonna lead anywhere good," Lily said, seemingly less surprised than Dorcas and Emmeline had been to hear this news.

"Yeah, yeah, Remus is teaching us about beheading, shhh," Marlene said, surprisingly having already taken quite a few notes.

Lily rolled her eyes with a smile before returning her attention to Remus, pleased to have an excuse to be staring.