"Hey!" Sirius called out in protest as a bean narrowly missed his face.
"Sorry Pads, wait actually I'm not sorry." James chuckled as he threw another bean, which this time hit Sirius's forehead. Sirius feigned shock as he slapped a hand dramatically to his heart and shrieking,
"Prongs! Must you wound me in this way?"
"Shut up!!" Remus whacked Sirius with a pillow as he tipped a whole packet of beans over James's head. "We need to come up with a good prank for Halloween. We've barely done anything this year and-"
Sirius cut him off by tackling him to the floor. Remus smacked his head on the floor and groaned quietly in pain. That's going to leave a bruise. Whilst James and Peter didn't catch it and carried on laughing and chucking beans at each other, Sirius looked guilty. The boy looked so scared for a second before launching himself on top of Remus and turning his head to the side checking for any signs of injury. Sirius was muttering something under his breath and Remus couldn't quite catch it, he focused very intently on the other's voice and was sure he could make out, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Please don't hate me Moony. I'm so stupid. Merlin, what's wrong with-"
At this, Remus interrupted Sirius by pressing a finger over his mouth, "Don't you ever say that. Don't you ever even think it. I'm fine Sirius, accidents happen. Stop blaming yourself." Sirius' eyes widened slightly in surprise but he just nodded, knowing better than to argue with the boy underneath him. Wait-
Sirius felt himself turn bright red as he realised that he was still on top of Remus. He quickly slid off and turned back towards James and Peter who didn't seem to have noticed the somewhat awkward interaction Remus and Sirius had just shared. He felt Remus push himself up and shuffle next to him, the boy was so close that Sirius could feel his body heat. Of course, only their arms were touching, but it felt like Remus was touching him everywhere. Everything was just Remus. And Sirius loved it. He hadn't been paying much attention to what James had been saying, he'd make up for it later, for now all he could think about was the boy next to him. In his mind, it was just Remus Remus Remus Remus Remus over and over until his name hadn't even sounded real. Sirius allowed his eyes to close for a second and breathed in deeply, he could smell chocolate and peppermint and it brought a smile to his face, Remus smelt like old people but in the best possible way. He hadn't noticed James trying to get his attention until he tapped his knee gently.
"Padfoot?" James was officially worried; he had tried to get Sirius's attention three times now but had received no response. His eyes were closed and he was smiling, but it was still worrying for some reason. Maybe it was that morning at the Astronomy Tower with Regulus or the panic attacks Sirius had been getting more and more often, but James was scared. He gently tapped Sirius's knee, his brother's eyes opened and met his. "Thank Merlin!" James may as well have screamed. "And what were you thinking so much about that you decided to ignore me?"
Sirius opened his mouth to reply but Remus beat him to it, "Please just give us the elaborate details of this prank and we'll be on our way. I'm going to be late for my study session with Lily."
At 5pm Sirius walked down the steps in front of the Great Hall, smirking widely, he made his way to the Marauder's usual spot and sat himself down opposite James.
"Is it ready?" James was trying to hide the huge grin on his face. Sirius just nodded as he didn't trust himself not to burst out laughing if he spoke. After Dumbledore's rather strange speech, everyone tucked into a delicious meal and was talking amongst themselves. That is until James gave the signal for Remus to slip out of the hall and come back with a cage of Nifflers hidden under the Invisibility Cloak in a broom closet opposite the Hall.
As soon as the puddings came out, Remus opened the latch of the cage and the little beast scurried out. There were six of them and soon enough, they were stealing anything shiny off people's shoes and then climbing onto the and stealing any jewellery they could get their hands on. It was utter chaos and the Marauders were loving it. Lily had picked up her Herbology textbook and had proceeded to whack James with it, as he was the closest to her, and cursed him for coming up with such an idea.
McGonagall had eventually intervened and conjured a cage for them to be kept in until a suitable place could be found to keep them, a lot of the students thought that was it for the big Halloween Prank. But the Marauders knew it was just the beginning.
For the rest of the evening statues and suits of armour would spring to life and sing-yell the chorus of "Killer Queen" at every fifth person who walked by. The Marauders, naturally, found this hilarious; people were screaming and jinxing statues or suits of armour and sometimes being hit by the re-bound of their own spells. After watching a Hufflepuff fourth year get thrown across the room by his own jelly-legs jinx, the laughing idiots stumbled up towards their Tower. Pausing outside of McGonagall's office because there was one more aspect of this prank they had yet to see.
The group huddled under the Invisibility Cloak and followed McGonagall down the corridor until she reached a painting, it started singing the first verse of Bohemian Rhapsody. She looked quite disappointed, shook her head and carried on walking, the next painting continued the song and it went on as she moved through the corridor. By the time she had reached Dumbledore's office, the song had been sung by various paintings two and a half times.
McGonagall looked like she could kill, James had to pull the Marauders into an empty classroom where they had rolled around on the floor laughing at the success of their pranks. There was a shared feeling between the boys that everything had gone the way it was supposed to, they were sure to get detentions but it didn't matter; the prank had simply been too amazing for ay of them to care about a week or so of detentions.
Em Vance walked arm in arm with Evie McGrath as they passed another singing statue, Benjy had been thrown into a wall, had his legs turned to jelly, had his hair turn yellow and been turned into a frog because of his curse's backfiring and other people's hitting him from across the room. Em thought it was genius, the way the Marauders pulled these things off. It was a known fact that they were the school idiots but she couldn't help bit admire how patient they had to be to pull off a prank like that. Also, they weren't directly harming anybody so they could probably worm their way out of a detention as well. She giggled quietly at the thought of those four talking their way out of a detention with McGonagall staring angrily and firmly at them.\
Evie tapped her shoulder gently and raised her eyebrows in questioning. Em only laughed louder which brought a smile to Evie's face. They hadn't seen Evie smile for what felt like ages, she always looked more tired and she was far jumpier. Em had even walked in on Evie using a concealment charm for some reason, all questions had been shut down and they had to respect Evie's boundaries. Benjy had also noticed the change in his friend and was clearly trying to pry what had happened out of her, it was no use but they both still tried.
By the time they had reached Ravenclaw Tower and settled down on one of the sofas to continue a puzzle that had been left there of the night sky, the trio had passed at least 30 singing statues and been jinxed at least 3 times each, Evie glanced at the ceiling and smiled slightly. Em and Benjy followed her gaze, the common room ceiling was always covered in writing and poetry, Evie had written something up there this morning and the group flicked their eyes back and forth over the whole ceiling to try and find it.
"Someone finished it." Evie whispered. "That line I couldn't get quite right. Somebody finished the poem."
"Someone always does Evie." Benjy chuckled at his friend's awe when it was a completely normal thing for a half-finished piece to be written on the ceiling and for somebody else to write a suggestion under it. The same would happen with music scripture or to paintings and drawings, if the was the writing Standstill over it. However, if Unfinished was on the artwork, it was off limits. The whole house had a very respectful and loving system when it came to the arts, it just worked.
"I kinda want to proof read a story for someone, I'm checking the box, you coming?" Em stood up and made her way to the Not Proof-Read box where authors put their writing to be checked for errors or inconsistencies by other Ravenclaws and then to be returned to the Proof-Read box for them and made into something later. Both Evie and Benjy shook their heads, "Care of Magical Creatures essay is due tomorrow and I've barely written a paragraph." Evie supplied.
"The fact that you've started is impressive." Benjy replied. The three burst into easy laughter and once Em had come back with a few chapters of the book being written that she was following ("Chris finally wrote some more! I have been waiting days to find out what happened between Nora and Steile! Everybody knows The Glass Court is mine to proof read Benjy, and I didn't break him in half on purpose! The Lip-Lock jinx went wrong, oh just shove it.") They sat in a comfortable silence and sipped teas and coffee whilst putting more pieces of the puzzles into place.
The Marauderettes had gone back to their dorm far earlier than they would have liked for many different reasons; Marlene and Dorcas just wanted some privacy to be more intimate with each other, Mary wanted to avoid the singing statues because "There are only so many times I can hear the chorus of 'Killer Queen' before I want to shoot myself" and Lily so that she could complain about James and his "gang of nitwits, except for Remus of course." Anyway, the girls had agreed to go up to the dorm, Marlene and Mary decided drink for a bit much to Lily's dismay. Dorcas had politely declined because she wanted to get a decent mark on her Divination paper the next day to which Marlene had scoffed and said, "Wait, there's a Divination paper tomorrow? Oops." and downed a shot of Fire Whiskey without so much as wincing.
Dorcas found Marlene's alcohol tolerance extremely impressive, whilst Lily was a lightweight and both herself and Mary could hold their alcohol to some extent, there was no beating Marlene in a contest involving any drink. The girl had a stomach made of iron, very similar to Remus and Sirius who also didn't even get tipsy until they had drank a lot. And that was a lot. Dorcas had once witnessed Sirius down half a bottle of Fire Whiskey and then do cartwheels around the room on a dare from a very drunk James. It had been funny to watch but even after he was done cartwheeling the length of the common room 3 times at James's request, Sirius had seemed fairly unbothered and just sat down to continue playing. Dorcas smiled fondly at the memory before tuning back into the conversation in the room.
"All I'm saying is they're not that bad Lils." Marlene was trying to reason with a flustered looking Lily, "Once you get past the whole annoying-thing," She waved her arms around in a flapping motion, "They're ok. James is actually quite funny, you already like Remus, Peter is so lovely and sweet and Sirius..." She paused for a second before her eyes lit up with a mischievous glint and she continued, "Sirius isn't half a bad kisser."
Mary snorted and Lily smacked Marlene with a pillow, "What? I mean we snogged like 3 or 4 times in the-" Marlene spied Lily's glare,"Okay, maybe it was more like 10 or 20 times in broom closets in like the fourth year at the beginning when neither of us had any idea about anything. Like I am so gay. And I mean so gay I don't even know why I ever thought that I wasn't. And that boy has been pining after Remus for as long as I can remember. God he's so stupid. What was I saying again?" Marlene looked up and was greeted by Lily's annoyed glare, Mary stifling a laugh and Dorcas's amused stare.
"You were supposed to be convincing Lily why the Marauders are okay but you got a bit side-tracked." Dorcas cleared her throat to cover her giggle at the end.
"Oh of course! Lily he's a great kisser, you should snog him and see for yourself." Lily rolled her eyes and got up.
"Right, I'm going to sleep because I don't want to be sleeping through all my classes tomorrow or have a raging hangover." She looked pointedly at Marlene who shrugged and walked to her bed and started changing her clothes. After they were all in their nighties and they had brushed their teeth, Mary and Lily got into their own beds and fell asleep fairly quickly, whilst Marlene had slid into Dorcas's bed and was staring at her girlfriend as she was sleeping. The blonde still couldn't quite comprehend just how beautiful her girlfriend was. Marlene grinned widely in the dark before snuggling into Dorcas's chest and falling to sleep.
What she didn't know was that Dorcas was still awake and was smiling into the dark as she felt Marlene become completely relaxed in her arms.