Title: The First War
Author: Violet Waller
Pairings: Sirius Black/Dorcas Meadowes
Spoilers: HBP spoilers since Marauders are in their 6th year.
Summary: With Death Eater attacks and the Wizarding World on the precipice of war, Hogwarts remains a sanctuary for many witches and wizards. The adventures of Wormtail, Moony, Padfoot and Prongs as it has never been told before. James/Lily and Sirius/Dorcas Meadowes.
Author's Note: I've written this story with the pairings of James/lily and in the next couple of chapters Sirius/Dorcas, one of the original members of the Order, as well. Please rr! Also, it's listed on fanfiction.net.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is a copyright of Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling. No attempt has been made to collect treasure on their behalf.
Chapter One- King's Cross Station
The quiet morning began with a slight drizzle that followed a whole night of torrential downpours. The sky was overcast, but the trains still pulled into the station at King’s Cross. It was the first day of September and there were quite a lot of strangely dressed people pushing oddly packed trolleys. That isn’t to say that there have never been awkwardly dressed people in London, but there was something entirely unusual about this lot. For the most part, they seemed to draw little attention to themselves. This was partly because when one turned for a second look, they almost seemed to vanish.
Between the platforms of nine and ten, it is said with certainty that they did vanish. But no one around seemed to care, for no one around had noticed. The truth about the existence of magic is that the eye sees what it is supposed to see. When one truly stumbles upon fairy dust after being endlessly told that it does not exist, it begins to resemble common dirt and the stuff of cobwebs.
Mr. and Mrs. Evans, a middle-aged couple, took turns in hugging their daughter, a young girl with a gleaming scarlet mane, and couldn’t seem to let her leave. Mrs. Evans was trying to smile through her tears, and was stroking her daughter’s hair while she spoke softly to her. Mr. Evans had his hand on his daughter’s shoulder and another on her trolley, eyeing the clock frequently and becoming quite worried.
"Darling, at the risk of losing my bed, will you get on with it? It’s getting late for Lily. She’ll miss her train." Mr. Evans said briskly.
"All right. Now, Lily dear, don’t lose your frog. Did you pack your quills? I pressed your robes last night and I haven’t seen your wand anywhere. It’s probably at the bottom of your cauldron. Do you think that I am being too loud, Darling?" Mrs. Evans was evidently concerned and quieted herself while looking suspiciously around at everyone.
"Of course not," Mr. Evans said, "Petunia, wish your sister well. You won’t be seeing each other until next summer."
A young girl with blonde hair peered out from behind her father, and smiled graciously with pursed lips. She allowed Lily to hug her, and brought her arms around her awkwardly. Then, sensing the time, Lily picked up her frog from the ground and wheeled her trolley around to face the barrier between platforms nine and ten.
"I’ll just… wait in the car," Petunia said to her parents, who by now were in tears and were waving warmly to Lily.
Lily ran towards the barrier, and then unbelievably, through it, where awaited her train, the Hogwarts Express, at platform nine and three-quarters. The train departed for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where Lily was now in her sixth year.
"Black! Over here!" bellowed a rather hoarse voice over the people at the station. A handsome young boy looked around and beamed. The thunderous voice had belonged to a thin faced boy with untidy black hair and spectacles. He was now waving madly to him, and seemed on the verge of deafening all present with another roar when the boy ran over.
"James! I’ve been looking all over for you! The train’s almost leaving soon. Oh...Hello, Mrs. Potter! Quite a lovely day, isn’t it?" he hunched his shoulders and put his hands in his pant pockets. He looked around at the sky and realized his grievous mistake, and his face betrayed him.
"Indeed! I know what you two have been up to this summer, nothing gets past me, you know! Both of you better be on your best behavior, or I’ll know it! I don’t want any letters from McGonagall about anything or else! And to think, Sirius Black, that you would join James in his antics is beyond me! Why, I can only imagine what your poor mother is…" she broke off, and waved at Sirius Black’s mother who was looking crossly in his direction. Her nostrils flared and she turned away quickly.
"Well, then," Mrs. Potter had turned to James, "You had better get on now since your father seems to have disappeared all of a sudden. Sirius, you know that you’re welcome in our home anytime, please come over for the holidays. Just...look after yourselves," she then gave them both a tight hug and wiped her eyes with her handkerchief.
"Bye, Mum," James said as he patted her sympathetically on the arm and turned to leave. Nearby, a group of girls were laughing and clambering on to the train. He started suddenly, and then ran his fingers through his hair, messing it up. He looked at Sirius and they both got on the train. They walked past compartments full of students, and walked to the last one. Minutes later, they reappeared and were waving to people they hardly knew. The train was beginning to leave, and there was billowing steam as it slowly left the station to the green pastures and rolling hills that lay before it. The rain now was beating heavily against the windowpanes as the students made their way to yet another magical and wondrous year at Hogwarts.
Chapter Two- The Sorting Hat's Song
The students filed into the Great Hall, all soaking wet, and sat down. The ceiling, enchanted to look like the sky, was overcast and dark. The Hall was dazzlingly lit and the golden plates on the tables glittered from the lights. The roaring of the children reverberated around the room, and life was once again breathed into the Great Hall. The doors opened, and Professor McGonagall led the first-years to the Sorting Hat.
Everyone quieted as a tear in a worn hat that was laid upon a three-legged stool opened and spoke, "Ah-hem! Welcome one and all to another great year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. But be warned, things are never as they seem."
The tip shook forebodingly from side to side. He then began to sing;
"Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Gryffindor,
Ye houses be warned,
Darkness lies ahead,
And thy fate hath been determined ages before.
Begins this year,
A cloud of dread,
Shrouded in secrecy,
With lies it is fed.
It conquers dark as well as fertile lands,
Touches one and all with its dark hands.
The students of these famed houses
Will determine its might.
But the children of these students
Will truly set it right.
The hall was very quiet after this and the Sorting Ceremony took place. The students at the Gryffindor table looked at each other with confusion.
"What did that song mean?" asked Dorcas Meadowes, a pretty girl who was quite impatiently waiting for the food.
"Perhaps it was about the war? Being in Dumbledore's office and all..." said Lily Evans, now in her black robes and intently watching the staff table.
"Yeah, maybe," said Alice Prewett, a stunning sixth year who was quite plump.
"Or it was talking about the weather. You heard it! Something to do with clouds growing...," said James as he leaned across the table to flash a dazzling smile at Lily. As amusing as she thought this was, Lily never showed it. She scowled at him and returned her gaze to the sorting.
"All right, Evans?" James said in his most confident and alluring voice. She turned back to meet his hazel eyes and tossed her flaming hair back with her hand.
"How was your summer, Potter? Hex anyone lately?" she said in a mockingly sweet voice as she pretended to be enraptured by their conversation, her emerald eyes dazzling.
"Who, me? I wouldn't hex a doxy!" James said innocently. Sirius rolled his eyes and hit James on the back of the head. Lily turned away to talk to Remus, who seemed to be a delight after James. James kept glancing at her from the corner of his eye while pretending to watch the sorting and listening to Sirius' comments about the first years.
"Hey! Looks like he might wet himself, that one..." Sirius said pointing to a nervous looking boy who was sorted into Ravenclaw. Dorcas glared at him before mumbling something that sounded strangely like "git" under her breath.
After a while, the ceremony finished with "Weasley, Bill" being sorted into Gryffindor and the Headmaster began to speak.
"It has been quite a year so far. The time has come for your most important test of all, the one of courage. Perseverance during dark times does not, as one would believe, depend upon your magical abilities, but upon your spirit.
"First Year Students will remember that the forests are out-of-bounds at all times," He looked at the Gryffindor table, "and our caretaker Mr. Filch will be checking packages for dark objects. The punishment will be dire, so I must ask you not to possess such dangerous items during troubled times." He said with a heavy sigh. A girl at the Slytherin table with ravenous black hair scoffed. Sirius looked ashen as he watched her.
"Now, without further ado, let’s tuck in!" He clapped his hands twice, and food appeared on the tables along with jugs of pumpkin juice. Everyone piled on heaps of food onto their plates, for there never was such a fantastic feast. There were heaps of boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, sausages, dumplings, roast chicken, pork chops, peas, carrots, gravy, chips, mashed potatoes and even ketchup.
The students ate to their hearts’ content, and the food was cleared and was replaced by assorted puddings, ice creams, trifle, jam doughnuts, chocolate cake, apple pies and treacle tarts.
Almost every girl in the Great Hall seemed to be glancing at the Gryffindor table. Particularly, at a quartet of boys who acted as if this attention was commonplace. They were known as the Marauders for their pranks were the stuff of legend. Even the teachers seemed to adore them. Professor Flitwick, the charms teacher, badly suppressed a giggle when they performed the bat bogey hex on the Slytherins in the middle of an examination.
Now, during the Start-of-Term Feast, some girls were sighing wistfully as the Marauders ate. Even Peter Pettigrew, who was picking peas from his lap, garnered attention. James Potter and Sirius Black were perhaps the most popular boys at Hogwarts and, as is always, had the pick of the lot. Sirius winked at a few girls now and then, who giggled in return. James, however, was munching away on treacle tart and glancing frequently at Lily.
The foursome then turned their minds to equally important matters, such as Quidditch. James was the Captain this year and was quite proud of it. He was planning on holding tryouts soon so he could start right away with Quidditch practice. Soon the talk turned to the strange events over the summer. They separated from the rest of the Gryffindors and began to discuss them in low voices.
"What do you think is going on?" asked the watery-eyed Peter, between mouthfuls of chocolate cake.
"I dunno, but Dumbledore seemed really worried. The Daily Prophet said that there were about fifty deaths and disappearances over the summer, and well, to be honest, I’m bloody worried," said a pale looking Remus Lupin as he pushed around the pie on his plate.
"Well, I know what’ll get our minds off it, a little bit of food," said Sirius, with a little knowing wink.
"Have you gone mad, Sirius? We’re eating right now!" said Remus.
Black looked a little exasperated and said in a low voice, "I’m sure someone in the kitchens is bound to know what’s going on, eh?"
They all looked at each other quickly and then got up with a start. They made their way out of the Great Hall hurriedly and up the marble staircase to the Gryffindor common room and were careful not to bump into anyone.
"Actually, I’m not feeling quite up to it. Being the Quidditch Captain and everything, I need some rest," said James suddenly.
"James is right. We can’t go sneaking around anymore. You heard what Professor Dumbledore said. We must be careful. It isn’t safe anymore. And what do the house-elves know that we don’t?" added Remus, with high hopes of persuasion in his tone.
"They would know who exactly is on our side. The Daily Prophet was very vague about the goblins and the giants," said Sirius, matter-of-factly.
"Oh? And where do the Elves get their news from, I wonder? The Elfin Times? Seriously, Black, if you wanted to stock up on chocolate éclairs, you should have said so," said James coolly.
"And I’m sure the reason why you wanted to stay in was to wait up for a certain redhead to return to the common room so you could ask her out for the hundredth time," said Sirius, his ego severely bruised by the last remark.
"If you should know, I wasn’t going to ask her out. Not anymore, now that I’ve matured," said James hotly.
"Oho? Matured, eh? I believe that, right after I believe the giant squid went sunbathing," laughed Sirius and narrowly avoided a hex from James.
"Ahem! Password please! Or perhaps I can miss out on my date with Sir Cadogan by listening to you lot discussing your boring lives," said the portrait of the Fat Lady.
"Sir Cadogan? But isn’t he a little...,"said Sirius, confused.
But Black’s insult was shelved as Remus pushed him aside and said "Amorentia" and the portrait swung forward by the hinges to reveal the Gryffindor common room.
"That was close. We would have been shut out of the common room and have had to sleep in the corridors if Sirius kept talking about Sir Cadogan," said Remus.
The fire was blazing, and the room was filled with sleepy warmth. They sat on cushy armchairs around the fireplace and were talking animatedly.
"What if they close down the school? My mum won't be too happy," said Peter, absentmindedly twisting his cushions with his nervous hands.
"They're not going to close down Hogwarts! Dumbledore is the best wizard of our time, and we're safe with him around," James said and wrenched the bruised cushion from Peter.
"Isn't Goyle's dad being investigated by the Ministry? They probably suspected that he was doing Dark Magic," Remus said suddenly.
"I bet you that the whole Slytherin lot are Death Eaters or are related to them. I wouldn't be surprised if Bellatrix turned up at one of their meetings, either," said James and tried not to look at Sirius. Sirius scoffed.
"She's probably Voldermort's Queen!" said Sirius and the others howled with laughter. The mood lightened considerably after that. Then they all became pensive for a while.
"Suppose the Death Beaters came here...," said Sirius suddenly, his voice unsteady for the first time.
"They can't! Not with Dumbledore around! And they're called Death Eaters," said James as he threw the Peter's dismembered cushion back onto the sofa. Remus, with a flick of his wand, mended it.
"What's that supposed to mean anyway, Death Eaters? I dunno, but Volde-" Sirius stopped as Peter hissed.
"Voldermort," he continued, "doesn't sound too bright for coming up with that. Now, the Marauders
...there's something," he said with a hint of mischief in his voice. Remus laughed.
"So, is that what you and James have been cooking up over the summer? I thought you were messing around with muggle stuff," said Remus, beaming.
"That too," said Sirius, with another knowing wink.
"What..," Remus began skeptically but quietened after he heard something. It was the thunderous herd of the first years coming up.
"This is going to be so much fun!" said Sirius, rubbing his hands together maliciously.
"You sound like Peeves, Sirius," James laughed.
The mousy haired boy was rolling amidst the cushions clutching his sides while Remus shook his head.
"Well then, I’m off to bed," said Remus for he feared an attack and made his way up to the boys’ dormitories.
"Oh, and Sirius," James said as he followed Remus, "Don’t try and climb up to the girls’ dormitory in your sleep. It has happened every year before and I’m sure your foul mind won’t deter in its life’s pursuit this time either," said James with a smile on his face.
"But you heard Dumbledore. These are dark times. What if we had to comfort them?" Sirius said as he followed them up as well and brushed his hair out of his face. The mousy haired boy howled with laughter and James was prepared to hex Sirius silly when he heard a voice and stopped dead in his tracks.
"…and this is the common room. The girls’ dormitories are that way and the boys…" Lily’s voice was heard in between the excited chattering of the first years. James had a faraway expression on his face and a dreamy smile on his lips. Sirius, Remus and the mousy haired boy all tried and dismally failed to wake him from his reverie. Remus and the mousy haired boy resorted to frog marching him up the spiral staircase to their dormitory with Sirius behind them conducting.
"Will you attempt to behave like a decent wizard?" asked Remus, his face filled with concern when they finally reached their dormitory which had five four poster beds with red velvet curtains.
"Yeah, and not a love-struck gargoyle?" added the mousy haired boy.
"Did you see him at the feast this evening? Will that one ever learn? He can snap his fingers and have any girl here, but not the one he wants. And why? Because he is an arrogant..."Sirius said as he rummaged through his trunk.
"...toe rag, I know," James hastily finished. He sighed quietly. Sirius looked at him for a second.
"You know something? The only way you could get Lily Evans to go out with you is if you switched her glass of pumpkin juice with Amorentia." He said with a smile. Remus and Peter laughed loudly. James was already in bed and glowered at each and every one of them before pulling on his velvety red curtains as if it was the end of a dramatic opera.
"That’s what you get, for helping that ingrate up the stairs. I ask you…" Sirius said thoughtfully as he pulled on his pajamas.
"I didn’t need any help, thanks!" came a muffled voice behind the curtains. James was either sleeping on his stomach or was trying to suffocate himself with his pillow for how he behaved in front of Lily. Hopefully, she didn’t see him looking like a...love-struck gargoyle, as Peter so poetically put it.
Sirius nimbly hopped into bed and stared out at the stars that blinked back at him. In a few minutes, he dozed off. The only sounds that eminated from their dormitory were Peter's incoherent mumbles in his sleep about "ticklish pears" that wouldn't allow him to take Potions and Sirius' heavy snores. They were all asleep by the time that Frank Longbottom, a fellow sixth year, yawned and climbed into his own four poster bed impatiently awaiting the following day.
Note: I will be obliged to continue writing if thou shalt review! Please, don't be cruel. I have a weak heart.
Here's a teaser to the next Chapter which is titled "The Potions Master"
"I'm going to kill him!" said James, his face contorted with fury. He broke into a run and Sirius could barely hold him back.
"This isn't one of your best ideas, mate!" said Sirius. In his attempt to stop him, he managed to grab James by the ankles and tripped him. James fell face forward. By the time he had pulled himself together, a black cloak billowed toward him.
"I believe this is yours," said a sneer. James looked up from the floor. In front of him was Severus, who eyes bore a dark hatred. "Accio!" Severus whispered and James' wand flew into Severus' outstretched hand.
"Oh God..." breathed Sirius as he looked from James to Severus. He was still holding onto one of James' ankles lightly, as he lay sprawled on the floor next to his best friend. They were helpless.
Severus' lips curled into a devious smile. His eyes suddenly blazened and then as his lips were about to move to speak a curse, when all of a sudden there were shuffling footsteps behind him.
"What is the meaning of this?" said Professor McGonagall tartly. Her lips were pressed so tightly together and all three of them were silenced before they could speak. She was particularly staring at Severus hardly and he dropped James' wand. Sirius promptly picked it up.
"In a deserted corridor, nonetheless. A Week's detention for all of you. Mr. Black, that is a grand total of three weeks that i will have to see you this month." she said to Sirius, who had now pulled James and himself off the floor.
"But Professor, Severus..." protested Sirius. James was busy giving dirty looks to Severus behind McGonagall's back.
"You can regale me with your excuses this Saturday," McGonagall cut him off and said, "I'm sure that i'll be needing the entertainment."
Sirius grabbed James' arm and they followed McGonagall down the seventh floor corridor. James turned to look at Severus, whose dark silhouette in the dark corridor gave him an eery appearance.
"I'll never forgive him," said James once they were back in their common room.
"Neither will I, Prongs." said Sirius, "But that's no reason for you to end up in Azkhaban for murdering that slimy git." James smiled.
"Which is what he deserves," James said. Sirius' faced brightened all of a sudden.
"Well, if you remember, Peeves happens to be in our debt. I'm sure a couple of dungbombs in Snape's underpants will sort him out," Sirius said and James laughed heartily.
"Did i hear right?" Remus said as he settled down on an arm chair. He looked worn out. He seemed more amused than indignant.
"That you did, Moony," said Sirius smiling.
"By the way, when's the next full moon? I have an idea," Sirius said again.
"What..." said Remus, but he looked peaky this time.
"You know better than to ask me, mate!" cut in Sirius.
"What's the worst that he could do, Remus? Feed you a first-year?" laughed James and Remus joined in.
Sirius said under his breath, undetectable to both James and Remus who were clutching their sides in laughter, "Not a first-year".