Author: Christie // Ravenclaw
Characters/Pairing(s): Marauders, Bellatrix, Lily, Snape, Hagrid, McGonagall, Dumbledore and Arthur Weasley.
Warnings: Slight hints at pre Remus/Sirius slash and it’s a slightly fluffy story
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Feedback:Always, I’m a comment-whore
Summary: First day of school for an eleven-year-old Remus: the train ride, his Sorting, his first meeting with the other boys.
Summary: The Challenge basically covers it.
Author's Notes: I love my Beta readers silverkit, ladybiue, and bittybecky
A small, jittery tawny-haired little boy sat in an empty compartment on the Hogwarts Express. He was contemplating his internal balance of scared versus excited. He was thrilled; he knew he should never have been allowed to go to Hogwarts because of what he was. He was petrified that someone would find out. He took a deep breath and settled on an even balance and decided the best cure for his nerves would be rereading Hogwarts: A History for the umpteenth time that month. He’d read five words before the peace of his compartment was interrupted by a commotion just outside his door. He opened the door to see two extremely beautiful dark haired children, one male and one female, screaming at each other.
“You are a waist of skin Sirius. Your mother should have drowned you at birth.”
“Was anyone asking your opinion Bella? I was merely wondering if my dear cousin Andry wanted to be elsewhere.”
“You were trying to help Andromeda disgrace our family as much as you’ve disgraced yours. I hope you know that I will be watching you.”
“The Hell you will. I will own this school in a few days!”
“We’ll be in Slytherin together and we’ll have all the same classes and you won’t be able to do a thing about it.”
“If I’m sorted into Slytherin, I’m going to kill myself.”
“If you aren’t sorted into Slytherin your mother will pull you out of school and send you to Durmstrang and you bloody well know it!”
“Shows what you know. Durmstrang wouldn’t take me.”
Both of the dark haired battlers seemed to think they had won the argument at this last comment. Bellatrix turned back into her compartment and slammed the door. The audience that the fight had accumulated also began to return to their compartments now that the show was over. Remus just stared at the boy. After his cousin slammed the door he lost his smirk and looked as if he was on the verge of tears. Remus had been looking forward to a nice quiet ride to his new school, but he couldn’t leave this poor boy alone.
“Um…,” Remus cleared his throat as the dark-haired boy turned and locked eyes with him. “If you need a place to sit, my compartment is empty. Well, except for me.” Remus smiled sheepishly.
Sirius’ face remained emotionless. “Sure.” Sirius dragged his trunk into the compartment, hoisted it onto the overhead rack and plopped himself onto the seat opposite Remus.
Remus wasn’t very good at opening conversations and Sirius didn’t seem to be in a very talkative mood. He reached for his book and was about to start reading when he noticed that Sirius was staring at him.
“So,” Remus said. “What was that all about?” Remus saw Sirius’ face get stony and tried to get out of the question. “I mean if you want to talk about it. You don’t have to.”
Sirius’ smirk returned. “She’s my cousin,” Sirius laughed as though his comment explained everything.
“You were talking as if you already knew what house you’re going to be in. Did I miss something? I thought no one found out until dinner tonight.”
“You didn’t miss anything. It’s just that every single member of my family, for as long as history has been around, has been in Slytherin.”
“And you don’t want to be in Slytherin?”
“Only the idiots in my family want to be in Slytherin.”
“What house do you want to be in?”
“Gryffindor. That would piss my parents off most. How ‘bout you? By the very large book in your lap I’m guessing I’m sitting across from a future Ravenclaw.”
“I really haven’t put much thought into it. I do read a lot, but I don’t know where I belong.”
“Well, don’t worry about it. We’ll all find out soon enough.”
“Did your parents really try and send you to Durmstrang?”
“Mom wanted to, but Dad said that I needed to be at Hogwarts so they could keep an eye on me. The way they talk you’d think I was some kind of monster like a vampire or a werewolf”
“Parents!” Remus choked out. Suddenly the balance of fear versus excitement was tipping.
“Hey, we’re getting close; we should probably change into school robes.”
Remus turned his back on Sirius reaching for his trunk. For a moment there he actually suspected he might have made a friend. Remus no longer believed that he was destined to have any friends. Once they were both changed, Remus picked up his book hoping that his action would end the conversation.
Sirius stared at Remus for a few minutes. He was obviously bothered by something, but Sirius could only think of one thing that he may have said or done that upset his new friend. “Was it something I said?”
Remus’ head snapped up. “No!” He responded a bit too quickly.
“I’m not a vampire. I’m not a werewolf either. See, I’m wearing a silver chain. That proves I can’t be a werewolf. It’s a cross so that proves I’m not a vampire.”
“Mental note, I’m never going to be able to impress you with my knowledge. You’re too brilliant for me. I’ll just have to win you over with my charm and boyish good looks.”
“Does it really count as boyish good looks if you are in fact still a boy?”
“I plan on retaining them until I’m 90. Then you my dear friend… I don’t know your name.”
“What?” Remus was startled by the abrupt change of topic. He did a quick mental scan of the conversation and realized he had indeed skipped the integral ‘hi my name is Remus J. Lupin, what’s yours?’ “I’m Remus. I forgot the whole intro part because I caught your name during the earlier battle.” Sirius wasn’t going to let Remus ignore him for the rest of the train ride.
“So you pureblood or are you a mud- I mean muggle born? Merlin, I’ve got to fight back that shite. It’s just that I’m so used to hearing it from my family. I didn’t realize saying mudblood was rude until I was at Diagon Alley last week. I felt like such a bloody arse and I think I really hurt this girl’s feelings. Lucky for me she had a hell of a right hook. So, I said it, she hit me, I yelled at her and asked her to explain herself, she did, I felt bad and begged forgiveness pleading ignorance, and she laughed and walked away. It’s my fault for being born a Black.”
Remus was fighting back a smile. He still had to be careful around this boy. He was still a werewolf. “My dad’s a pure blood. Old blood. The Lupin’s. My mom was the muggle girl he fell in love with that caused him to be excommunicated from his family.” Sirius smiled. He no longer cared which house he ended up in, as long as it was the same as the one Remus Lupin ended up in.
Remus and Sirius talked and laughed for the rest of the train ride. When they got off the train they were herded off with the rest of the first years by a large man. They climbed into one of the little boats followed by a red haired girl, specifically the one who Sirius had accidentally called a mudblood at Diagon Alley. A boy with glasses and dark messy hair who was trailing a shorter, slightly chubby blonde boy tried to follow her onto the boat.
“Um, there is not enough room for two people in this boat. Sorry!”
“We can squeeze.”
“No! We’re full,” she snapped as she reached out and grabbed a boy who was walking alone hunched over and hiding his face behind a curtain of greasy hair and pulled him onto the boat.
Sirius smiled and threw an arm around the girl’s shoulders. “Don’t worry mate, I’ll keep an eye on her,” Sirius said with a wicked wink at the messy haired boy who was getting visibly irritated.
“So, Miss Evans, you’d rather share a boat with a couple of Slytherin blokes like Snape and Black. Just don’t be surprised when they call you a mudblood and throw you out of the boat.”
“Don’t worry pal. She can handle herself. She’s already hit me once for that and I don’t make the same mistake twice. Oh, and just so you know, the name is Sirius, I prefer to ignore the Black part. It makes people uncomfortable.” Remus was watching Sirius amazed. His smile never faltered and his tone was beautifully polite, but even the thickest person alive would hear the threat below it. Sirius was going to fight for a new image if it killed him.
“I, however, will not sit in a boat with a filthy mudblood,” Snape mumbled as he climbed out of the boat. It was hard to tell who actually succeeded in tripping him, but Sirius and the once again smiling boy both tried. The result was a small muddy Snape jogging away towards the other boats and an instant friendship between two dark haired boys.
“So, Evans is it? Can we let this nice boy into our boat?” Sirius asked the red head fixing her with a pair of puppy dog eyes that would make Snoopy jealous.
“My name is Lily, and I don’t want the boat to sink before I get to the school.” Lily looked around for any other excuse to keep the dark haired boy out of the boat. Her gaze locked on Remus as if she just realized he was in the boat. “You haven’t had much of an opinion. Do want to die before we get to Hogwarts?”
Sirius turned his puppy eyes from Lily to Remus, as if Remus wasn’t already planning on agreeing with him. “Well, no I don’t think I’d enjoy dying at the age of 11, but I doubt that a boat that can hold our guide and three other first years is going to sink with the weight of five eleven year old students.”
“Cheers mate!” Exclaimed the sloppy haired boy as he and his friend climbed aboard. “I’m James Potter. I’m a Gryffindor, or at least I will be shortly. This is my friend, wait, what’s your name again?”
“His name is Peter! Peter Pettigrew! He must have reminded you fifteen times on the train.”
“I’m Sirius Black. This here is my friend Remus Lupin.”
“So, Black, you going to be a Slytherin? You seem like a decent bloke.”
“I have no intention of being in Slytherin thanks.”
“How about you Remus?” Remus jumped a little at hearing Peter speak for the first time. Luckily he could blame his jump on the fact that the boat had just begun to move.
“I hadn’t really thought about it much. Sirius said he expected me to be in Ravenclaw because I read a lot. I’m not sure though. What about you Peter?”
“I think I want to be in Gryffindor…”
“Why is it that all boys want to be in Gryffindor so badly?” Lily cut in. “You know there are other things in life besides bravery. Brains for instance. According to Hogwarts a History all the houses are equally important. It’s just because Godric Gryffindor was such a show off. You’re all saying being a Slytherin is so terrible. Salazar Slytherin was a brilliant wizard and his reason for not wanting muggle-borns in the school had nothing to do with the pure-blood garbage that has been…”
“Yes, you’re right Miss Evans,” Remus interrupted. “The problem is, that’s hardly how it’s viewed anymore. The sorting hat may be looking for the original characteristics, but you can’t deny that those characteristics are connected to the people who cling to that ‘pure-blood garbage’ as you say.” Remus paused for a moment as Sirius and James laughed and clapped him on the back. The other boys seemed to think that Remus had won, but Lily didn’t look like she was ready to give in just yet. Remus was enjoying the attention of the three other boys and wasn’t about to lose this battle. “It seems that you’d like to be in Slytherin then?”
“Well of course I don’t. I’m a muggle-born I wouldn’t be able to get in even if I wanted to.”
“Then what house would you like to be in?” Remus asked feigning a look of sincere innocence.
“I will be happy no matter where I get placed.”
“That wasn’t the question,” Sirius smirked.
“I want to be in Gryffindor, all right?! You win. I think of all the houses, I am best suited for Gryffindor.”
The four boys exploded into laughter. Lily Evans spent the rest of the boat ride pretending they didn’t exist. The boys spent the rest of the short boat ride giggling.
It felt like a million years had passed since their large guide left them in the great hall. Finally, a severe looking witch came in and told all the first years to follow her. No one spoke as the hat that was sitting on the chair began to sing. Remus was trying to focus on the words of the song but his head was swimming. He had lied to his new friends when he said he didn’t know what house he wanted to be in. He had put a great deal of thought into it; he had wanted Ravenclaw. It seemed like a perfect fit for him. That changed the second Sirius had said that he wanted to be a Gryffindor. Now Remus was torn. He was ripped from his thoughts as the hat shouted ‘Slytherin’ after being placed on a girl’s head. When the hat was removed, Remus recognized Sirius’ cousin walking over to the Slytherin tables to a great round of cheering.
“Black, Sirius!” The severe witch shouted. Sirius approached the stool. He was obviously nervous. Remus knew he didn’t want to be a Slytherin, but perhaps the hat wouldn’t know that. There was quite a long silence before the hat shouted…
There was no applause for a moment. Instead there was shocked silence. Then the whispers…
A Black in Gryffindor?
Is this some sort of trick?
He’s a Slytherin.
I thought the hat didn’t make mistakes.
Then someone began to clap. Remus turned to his side and realized it was James. Remus joined in the clapping. Peter was right behind them. Sirius stood, bowed, winked at his cousin Bellatrix and swaggered over to the Gryffindor table. By the time he’d arrived, the whole school was cheering, except for the Slytherins.
Remus listened as a few more students were called to the stool. Each one seemed incredibly nervous before they sat. Everyone nearly skipped to whatever table they’d been assigned. Remus smiled at Lily when she made it into Gryffindor. She half smiled back, but then she caught James’ eye and scowled. Remus was trying to figure out how James could possibly have offended Lily so much in one train ride. He nearly jumped when he heard an L name get called. He knew it would be his turn soon and he was absolutely shaking. He had made a friend and he didn’t want to be pulled away from him now. He was no longer torn; he wanted Gryffindor, but he didn’t think he’d get it. He was a studious Ravenclaw.
“Lupin, Remus.” Remus swallowed hard and walked towards the stool.
“Well, aren’t you a conflicted little wolf!” The hat whispered into his ear. “You look fairly Gryffindorish to me.”
“But I read too much. I’m a Ravenclaw. I’m not brave I never have been,” Remus responded.
“But you don’t want to be a Ravenclaw. I can tell!” the hat said very matter-of-factly.
“Yes, but I’m a Ravenclaw not a Gryffindor.”
“Because you’re not brave?”
“But you are brave.”
“No, I’m really not.”
“Most children with problems like yours would never have had the courage to come to school. Very few people have enough true courage to tell me I’m wrong. Those that do, nearly always go into Gryffindor!”
“So, you think I’m a Gryffindor?”
“I think you’d fit in Ravenclaw, but I think you’d fit in Gryffindor more.”
“Really?” Remus was getting very excited.
“I think we’ve settled this!” The hat stopped whispering and shouted “GRYFFINDOR!”
Remus walked to the Gryffindor table to raucous applause. James whooped from the stage and Sirius hugged him and spun him around. Remus sat down next to Sirius.
“I’m glad we’re going to be together, mate,” Sirius whispered. “Now let’s hope we get that Potter bloke and we’re sure to have more fun at Hogwarts then any other kids could ever even dream of.”
They watched and waited as a few more students got sorted. Then their little companion from the boat got called up and placed in Gryffindor. Remus and Sirius each clapped him on the back, but any further congratulations had to be held off as James was next to be called. Luckily they didn’t have to wait long. The hat was hardly touching the tips of James’ messy hair when it seemed to sigh an ‘oh boy’ and shout ‘Gryffindor’ followed by a loud cheer from the Gryffindor table and a rather raunchy cat call from Sirius. The three newest Gryffindors nearly tackled James to floor as he made his way to the table.
The four boys sat together giggling every once in a while at a funny name or a funny hairdo. Sirius and James both knew a lot of the pureblood students and seemed to have an opinion on every single one. They were able to beat the hat in placing each and every one. When the boy they had accosted as they got into the boats took the stool, Sirius and James looked at each other and said ‘Slytherin’ in unison. The hat agreed.
When all the students were sorted, Professor Dumbledore made a speech. Remus thought he should be paying attention, but James and Sirius’ commentary was much more amusing until he mentioned the Whomping Willow. He told the students that it was an extremely rare tree that professor Sprout had brought to school with her. Remus knew the truth. Dumbledore had come to his home a week ago and explained the precautions that would be taken. The tree was to keep students from stumbling into his monthly prison.
Once the food appeared on the plates, Remus was back to joking and laughing with his new friends. He hoped he’d be able to hold onto the friendships as long as possible. He knew that if they ever found out his secret, they’d never speak to him again. He concentrated on enjoying every minute of his friends. Remus thought Sirius was right, no one could ever hope to have more fun than the four of them were destined to have.
Dinner ended all too soon and the four boys followed the Gryffindor Prefect up to their new home.
“My name is Arthur Weasley,” the red haired boy announced. “I’m a seventh year. If you new boys have any questions I’ll be glad to help you out. This will be your dorm. Have a good night boys. Sleep well. Classes begin tomorrow.” With that Arthur turned and walked farther up the stairs. The four boys clambered into their new room. They each found their own beds and flung themselves onto them. They jumped and threw pillows. They laughed as they began preparing for bed; changing into pajamas and brushing teeth.
“Well, that settles it,” Sirius announced as all four boys settled under the covers too excited to sleep. “We have the coolest dorm in the entirety of Hogwarts’ history. In fact I predict that when we leave this place they’ll have to write a second edition of that big book Remus was reading when we get through with this place. It will be called Hogwarts: A Modern History Special Thanks to Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew. Remus’ name goes first cause he’s probably going to have to help write it so they get their facts right.”
“Your title is too long, Black” James announced.
“Well what do you think it’s going to be called?” Sirius said pretending to take offense. The mischievous twinkle in has eye gave away his game.
“How about Hogwarts a History: After the Potter Gang?”
“You have got to be kidding me!”
“We can’t use your name. If we say The Black Gang, people will think we were evil. No offense or anything.”
“I understand not using my name, but what about The Lupin Gang, or the Pettigrew Gang.”
“Ok, I see your point. We need a name. We have a gang and all gangs need names.”
“The Troublemakers Club?” Peter offered.
“That sounds a little pathetic, Pete,” James said. “It’s on the right track though. We are going to be troublemakers, but we want a name that is more dignified.”
“We definitely need to lose the club part,” scoffed Sirius. “It makes it seem as if anyone could turn in an application and join up. We’re closed membership. If you’re not in this room right now, then you’re not in the gang.”
“Marauders,” Remus contributed as quietly as possible.
“What?” James and Sirius asked nearly in unison.
Remus cleared his throat and then spoke a little louder, “Marauders.”
“What’s a murader?” Peter asked.
“A Marauder is a trouble maker, more or less,” Remus answered. “It’s like a pirate or a highway man. Have any of you ever read the book Robinhood? He was a marauder.”
“The Marauders.” Sirius said the words like he was tasting them. “I love it!” He finally said.
“Brilliant!” James smirked wickedly.
All four boys fell asleep, dreaming about what it was going to mean to be The Marauders.