Title: Purposeful Pranking - Part 1
It really wasn’t the sort of thing her brothers would normally do. Molly knew this. And yet, somehow, it suited them. There’d been a strange glint in their eyes for weeks, and she’d wondered what they were up to. She had no way of knowing that the mischievous look would one day be duplicated a million times over, in the eyes of her own sons.
The Prewett twins were known for two things: brains and Quidditch. Gideon was a fabulous Chaser, and looked like he was on the path for Quidditch captain next year. Fabian, prefect and Beater, had a bright future too, and in their shadow was Molly, good at Potions, Charms, and flirting.
Flirting was her pastime of choice that particular day, and it had driven all thoughts of her brothers’ secrecy and glinting eyes right out of her head, which was unfortunate. If she’d been paying better attention, she might have been able to warn the unfortunate target of the twins’ wrath.
Amos Diggory was a Hufflepuff boy only a year ahead of the twins at Hogwarts, but two years ahead of Molly. He was a bit stuffy and pretentious, but good at Defense Against the Dark Arts, which is the class with which she was currently struggling. She’d batted her eyes once or twice, and talked him into helping her with the latest essay. They’d whispered together in the library for an hour or so each night for two weeks, and tonight was no exception.
What WAS an exception was that the library was uncommonly noisy. The first year Gryffindor boys, two tables away, seemed to be giggling hysterically over a book. The four youngsters leaned over the table, practically hiding the book from view. The shortest, a sandy-haired, plump boy, was leaning so far over the table that his feet were off the floor. He was pointing at a picture of something and shuddering.
Molly refused to be distracted, however, and asked Amos what the difference was between Carpe Retractum and Accio, and why they’d learned the former in Defense and the latter in Charms. She tried hard to pay attention to his answer.
Fabian must have come into the library while they were still discussing it, because she heard his voice behind her. “Quietly, boys, or you’ll draw Madam Twiddle out of the Restricted Section, and I’ll be trying to make up our points again,” he warned. They quieted a bit, and he turned towards Molly, who was already watching. As soon as his back was turned, the boy with longish black hair snorted forcefully, making the other dark-haired boy laugh even louder. Molly withheld a giggle of her own at the look on her brother’s face. It was obviously an effort for him not to turn back around and expel the boys from the library for the night.
Instead, he stopped beside her and put a hand on her shoulder, shaking his head in exasperation. “Funny as anything, those four, but they’ve no idea when to give it up.” As he spoke that last, he glanced meaningfully at Amos. The Hufflepuff 7th year had the grace to blush, but Molly didn’t notice.
“What are they looking at, anyway,” she asked, watching them turning pages furtively. But Fabian claimed not to know. Shrugging off his hand, she turned her attention back to her essay, nearly complete. Rather than leave, he leaned over her shoulder to look at it. Amos frowned.
“Accio isn’t strong enough to summon a person, that’s why you learned Carpe Retractum in Defense. It’s supposed to be a way to pull someone away from danger.”
This, of course, had nothing to do with Amos’ long-winded, and now clearly incorrect, explanation. But it made sense. Molly looked up at Fabian again. He was smirking, and there was that odd glint in his eye. Suddenly nervous, she smiled. “Thanks, I’ll add that in,” she said, with a false brightness. He clapped her on the shoulder again, and headed out of the library. Moments later Madam Twiddle appeared and kicked out the Gryffindor first years, who went without complaint, except for a small red haired girl, who was protesting, “But I’m not with them!”
“Well, I suppose it’s time I walked you back to your tower,” Amos said, with all appearance of chivalry. They gathered their books, charmed the weight off their book bags, and left the library a few moments later. The incorrigible boys were nowhere to be seen, or heard. That seemed odd to Molly for a moment, and then Amos ventured to take her hand. She gave it no more thought, but threw him a dazzling smile, instead.
They walked in silence. Just as they were about to take the first set of stairs, and begin climbing up to the Gryffindor common room, a muffled giggle reached their ears, clearly coming from a corridor to the left. “Shhhhh!” they heard. They exchanged a glance, Amos looking annoyed, and Molly worried.
“Those boys are going to wreck our chances at the cup this year for certain!” she whispered. Amos glanced wistfully up the stairs. He’d been hoping to kiss her before leaving her for the night, but it seemed that would have to wait. She’d dropped his hand and was already moving towards the sounds of out-of-bounds youngsters, wand raised.
Amos followed, his mind still on that evening’s preferred activities. They walked passed several open doors, and an unlit corridor, still following the sounds of snickering and giggles. Two pairs of glinting eyes watched them silently from a dark doorway, then exchanged a glance and followed at a respectable distance.
Molly finally saw a sliver of golden light, glowing beneath a closed doorway. The giggles had stopped. She looked back at Amos, who nodded and stepped forward to put his hand on the doorknob. There was a brief pause, and the light under the door extinguished abruptly, just as Amos threw the door open hard, and jumped inside. Molly followed quickly.
The unexpected darkness took them unawares, and Molly stumbled into Amos, sending him further into the room, off-balance. Again, someone snickered, this time from behind them. Molly lit her wand just in time to see a pale hand pulling the door closed from the outside. There was the unmistakable ‘snick’ of a lock catching, and then they were alone in the dim room with the source of that incessant giggling, which had seemed to become far louder when the door closed.
It occurred to Molly as Amos lit his wand, and began shining it into the corners, that the giggling seemed more sinister, as well.
It had been an unlikely alliance from the first. Gideon and Fabian, worried about their little sister’s propensity to attract men seemingly without effort, had been traversing a little-used passage, on their way back to Gryffindor tower from the kitchens when they’d come across a remarkable thing: two first-year boys struggling to contain something in a simple cardboard box.
James Potter and Sirius Black, disheveled but triumphant, had each had a hand splayed on the lid of the box as they carried it between them. Neither had looked please to see the upperclassmen.
“What’ve you found?” Fabian had asked. He, after all, was the prefect, and he immediately noticed the shifty glance the boys exchanged. Gideon must have noticed, too, because he took a step toward them and rephrased, “What have you captured?” he asked pointedly.
The younger boys had put the box carefully on the ground, and Sirius immediately sat on it, looking haughty. “I caught it,” he said proudly, “and Potter here owes me five galleons.”
The Prewett twins had seen their share of Boggarts in their grandparent’s old barn, and they’d suddenly known exactly what must be in that box. An idea had formed in their minds simultaneously. They exchanged a sly grin. And within moments the unlikely alliance was cemented. Gideon had whistled all the way back to Gryffindor tower, the boxed Boggart under his arm, and the first years marching ahead of him and his twin, as though they were in trouble.
Molly figured it out first, and her survival instinct kicked in. In three short, backwards steps, she was behind Amos. She would have whispered to him what they were dealing with, but before she could, he lit the lamps that were hanging around the room, and illuminated something that made no sense whatsoever.
On an unused desk sat what looked like a Hedgehog. Out of the corner of her eye, Molly looked at Amos, wondering why his Boggart would be a Knarl. They weren’t exactly the most dangerous things on the planet. Before she could ask, he took a step forward, and the Boggart changed, this time, into a Diricawl. Molly laughed, stifling her mirth as quickly as she could. She couldn’t help it.
Amos, confused, but mortified that Molly thought he was actually AFRAID of such creatures, raised his wand to banish it. He could think of nothing else it could be, but a Boggart, and yet he was having trouble believing that’s what it was. He knew he wasn’t afraid of a ruddy Diricawl!
Before he could cast the necessary spell, the bird disappeared only to be replaced by a Flobberworm. At this, Molly’s barely contained laughter broke forth again. By now Amos had flushed red with embarrassment. As she doubled over, clutching her wand to her breast and giggling uncontrollably, he pushed past her and out the door. She heard him stomp away. And suddenly she wasn’t laughing alone.
Molly straightened up, trying to keep a straight face. “Alright, you lot, what was that all about?”
Four eleven-year-olds appeared from a closet at the far end of the room, looking sheepish, but pleased. She was about to begin scolding them when the Boggart shifted once more. Molly sucked in a quick breath, all mirth gone from her eyes. Before her hovered a Lethifold, which languidly began to drift toward her.
“Riddikulus,” said a voice to her left. At once, the Lethifold turned into a thin carpet of horrendous string, which quickly began to unravel. Behind her, Molly heard Gideon and Fabian laughing, and the younger boys, after a moment of shock, had joined in. Molly shook her head and laughed a little, too. It was good spellwork on Fabian’s part, at least.
She laughed even more as little Sirius Black rushed forward with a cardboard box and scooped up the weakened Boggart, looking thoroughly pleased with himself. The boys struggled with the box for a minute before Gideon conjured some string and tied it for them. “You’ve had your fun. Tomorrow, I want you to take that directly to Filch, understand?”
Molly saw the little sneaks exchange a defiant glance before they agreed wholeheartedly, and she suspected they’d be serving another detention very soon, but she wasn’t too awfully worried about it. The boys were out the door and running for the common room as Molly linked arms with her brothers, all of them still chuckling quietly.
“Not Amos, then,” she asked, as they climbed the stairs. Over her head, the twins exchanged a glance.
“Maybe there’s someone -,” Gideon began.
“-A little less stuffy, who could, erm, help you with your Defense essay,” Fabian finished, smirking.
Molly smiled at each of them fondly. Always looking out for her, they were. And this time, she couldn’t be too upset with them for it. It HAD been funny, in it’s own way.
When they reached the common room, Gideon stepped back to allow Molly through the portrait hole first. As Fabian entered behind her, he took stock of the room. As usual, the fifth years were sprawled everywhere, looking a little harried over their impending OWLS. Gideon spotted one of their favorite underclassmen, Arthur Weasley, sitting alone at a table near a window. “Oi, there, Arthur! What’s on your study schedule tonight?” he asked loudly, knowing what the answer would be.
Arthur looked up ruefully. The twins were a year ahead of him, but they’d been friends since his second year. “Defense Against the Dark Arts essay,” he replied, grimacing.
“Poor luck, mate,” Fabian said bracingly, thumping a hand on Arthur’s shoulder. With a glance at back at his sister, he bid the room, “Goodnight, all,” and headed up the stairs to the boys’ dormitory, followed by Gideon. They whispered together all the way up the first flight of stairs, then paused on the landing.
They watched as Molly’s gaze fell on Arthur. She hesitated just a few heartbeats, then, with a resigned sigh, she squared her shoulders and walked up to his table.
“I haven’t finished mine yet, either,” she said quietly. “Mind if I join you, then?”
Arthur looked up, startled. After five years of being classmates at Hogwarts, he barely knew Molly Prewett. “Sure,” said, gesturing at the chair opposite him.
The twins took the rest of the stairs to their room two at a time as Molly took a seat and dug out her unfinished essay. They knew the world wasn’t a very friendly place, but at least they could try and make it as stable as possible for their little sis. That night, they slept the sweet sleep of righteous older brothers, while Molly lay awake dreaming of a new future filled with love and laughter.
Title: Idiot Savant
“James, I’m not sure this is a good idea.”
“Be quite and hold still.” Peter stopped fidgeting.
“Hmm, Prongs, for once I agree with Wormtail.”
“Oh, don’t be such a bore, Sirius. You’re starting to sound like Remus.”
From the corner came an indignant snort, “That’s a good thing and don’t you forget it.” He had hated April Fool’s Day since Sirius had managed to convince him it was ‘that time of the month’ and he had believed him, despite his better judgement and the amount of Wolf’s Bane he still had in his case.
“I meant it in the nicest way possible, Moony.” James grinned, “Besides, who’s going to know?”
Sirius kicked his feet up onto the table, “Everyone, for starters. Since we started here every single practical joke has been pinned on us and you know it.”
“Not to mention how obvious your chosen target is.” Remus cast his eyes down the aisle, “And do hurry up, James, people are starting to notice.” He stared down an inquisitive Ravenclaw.
James pocketed his wand and eased Snape’s school bag back onto the table, “I’m done.” They all ducked behind the bookcase, making space to watch between the volumes.
Head down, Snape shuffled down the aisle, clutching several books to his chest. Just before he reached the desk, James poked his wand through the books and whispered reducto. A small group of Gryffindors watched wide-eyed as the bag hurtled towards them, and upon seeing Snape run after it, the Marauders ran to watch.
James couldn’t resist the opportunity to torment him further, “Go on, Snivellus, run!” And then even louder, “Can you open your mail with that nose?”
Ignoring him, Snape tried to find his bag. A red headed Gryffindor rose to help him, glaring at James who had risen from behind the shelves to marvel at his achievement. Snape ignored her too. It wasn’t until both Sirius and Remus shouted, “Lily! Don’t!” that James realised what was about to happen.
He had spent the best part of an hour making sure every object in Snape’s bag was hexed, but Lily got there first. Just as Snape reached for the bag, she picked up his spare parchment. What happened next was apparently hilarious to the group of Slytherins sat a few tables down, but not to James. Lily started to scream. Thick red hair began to sprout from her nose and ears and before she had fully registered what was happening, it had grown to reach her waist. Sneering at the Marauders, who were watching, horrified, as their housemates rushed Lily towards the hospital wing, Snape left his belongings on the library floor and sought out Argus Filch.
As the sounds of Lily’s squealing died down Remus, Sirius and Peter turned to look at James. His face had turned beetroot, “Don’t you dare say it. Any of you.”
“It’s alright,” Remus said rather patronisingly, putting an arm around his shoulders, “One day we’ll all look back on this and laugh.”
“Do you think she’ll ever talk to me again?”
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