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Part 8- Let the Trouble Begin!

“I’m here! Let’s start the party!” Gloria laughed as she burst into the dorm in her usual exuberant manner. The door swung forward in a crazy manner, and if anybody had been standing behind it, it was plain to see they would be immediately sent to the hospital wing.

“Gloria!” Lily giggled. “You nearly killed us with the door when you did that on the train!”

Raven chuckled. “We’d have rescued you, Lily.” She looked back down at the magazine she was reading. “Seekers should not…” she began reading to herself.

“Wow! Is it just me or are you two actually getting along for once?” Gloria asked with a large smile, her eyes darting back and forth between Raven and Lily.

“Are you going to keep tally?” Lily asked with a smirk.

“Perhaps.”

“Then I hereby dub you the official tally person for this room.”

Gloria bowed deeply and then came back up just as smiley as whey she had went down. She looked around the room. “Where’s Sarah? I thought she’d be here by now.” She said, pushing her eyebrows together in concern.

“I don’t know… I didn’t see her on the train. I thought she’d come sit with us.” Lily answered with equal concern in her voice.

“Raven? Have you seen her?” Gloria asked.

Raven looked up from where she sat on the edge of her bed reading a quidditch magazine. “Come to think of it, no, I haven’t. But don’t worry about it. Sarah will be here.”

Just then, the door to the dorm creaked open and Sarah’s back was facing them. She closed the door quietly and then, keeping her head down, she turned to the others and headed for her bed. She seemed to be hiding her face from everybody, and when Gloria approached her, her hands instantly shot up to her face to cover it.

“Sarah! There you are! We were looking for you!” Gloria exclaimed. Her smile faded when she noticed her friend seemed downcast. “Sarah? Are you alright?”

Sarah didn’t answer.

Raven got up from where she sat and left her magazine in favor of seeing what was wrong with Sarah. She quietly walked over to Sarah, Lily following shortly behind. Raven put her arm around Sarah’s shoulder and led Sarah to her trunk, where they sat down.

As Sarah sat down, a single tear came rushing down her cheek and fell onto the front of her robes. She sniffled and wiped her nose on her black robes, her hair still hanging over her face and obscuring it from view.

“Sarah? What’s wrong?” Lily asked, standing next to Gloria.

Sarah said nothing, but slowly looked up at Lily, revealing large, thickly framed black glasses shaped like sideways teardrops. They didn’t make her eyes look any bigger than they were, much unlike Gloria’s reading glasses. But nonetheless, the glasses earned gasps from Raven, Lily, and Gloria. That, of course, made Sarah cry.

“Oh Sarah, don’t cry!” Raven exclaimed, squeezing her shoulders. “It’s alright! You just caught us by surprise!”

“No I didn’t! I’m ugly!” Sarah wailed.

“No you’re not!” Lily argued, sitting on the other side of Sarah and putting her arm over Sarah’s shoulders as Raven did.

“Yes I am!” Sarah exclaimed.

“No, no, you’re not.” Gloria replied, kneeling in front of Sarah. “And if anybody tells you that tomorrow, you tell me and we’ll take care of them.” She said, motioning to Raven and Lily. “You’re still our friend no matter what.”

Sarah smiled weakly.

“Besides, having glasses is better than not being able to see. Right?” Raven asked.

“I guess so.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Later that Night~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Do you have them?” James asked, crawling out from under his bed, his wand in his hand and his glasses askew. He straightened them as he got up, and he dusted off the front of his robes.

“Of course I do! What, do you think I’m ill-prepared?” Sirius replied, his eyebrows cocked. He looked at James, his head leaning heavily on his right side.

“Sirius, you really don’t want us to answer that.” Remus stated, a small grin playing over his lips. Sirius rolled his eyes, and Remus stuck his tongue out.

“Thanks for the support.”

“Let’s go.” Peter muttered, clasping his cloak around his neck, the button slipping through his sweaty fingertips as he did.

James, Sirius, and Remus pulled their cloaks on. When Sirius had finished doing so, he went over to his trunk and pulled out a small cage, just a bit smaller than the one Remus kept his owl in. He hid the cage in his cloak and headed over to the others.

James put a silencing charm on the cage and Sirius smirked. Pushing their door open as quietly as they could despite its squeaky hinges, they checked to see if anybody was up aside from themselves. Seeing a seventh year girl with an armload of books stumbling up the stairs to the girls’ dorm, yawning, the boys darted back into their room.

They checked again a few minutes later, and seeing that the coast was clear, they began their way down the stairs. They crept down the stairs as quietly as they could, hoping they wouldn’t be caught by, well, anybody. They couldn’t have detention just yet- they had to see their work in action.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Raven opened one eye and looked over at Gloria, fighting off a yawn as she did. Gloria was gently breathing in and out, and she turned over quietly as she slept. Raven looked at Sarah. Sarah was snuggled in her warm bed covers and appeared to be having a bit of a bad dream. Raven looked over at Lily, and once she saw that Lily was fast asleep with her hair all over the place, Raven got up out of her own bed.

She crept to her chair and pulled her cloak on, checking to make sure that the wand she held was hers. She looked around the room, holding her breath and buckling her shoes. She began to walk backwards towards the door to make sure nobody woke up as she went. Raven opened the door.

She bit her lip angrily when the door creaked and Gloria stirred for a moment. Raven crouched down, hoping that if Gloria woke up she wouldn’t spot her. Gloria rolled over and Raven beat a hasty retreat, not even bothering to close the door behind her.

Minutes later, Lily shifted in her bed. She couldn’t sleep with lights on. She stirred and opened one eye- somebody had left the door open and the light from the flames of the fire in the common room was making a healthy glow on the wall just outside the door.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Raven?” James whispered. “Raven?”

“I’m here.” Raven answered, stepping out of the shadows behind a bookcase. “You have them, right?” she asked, looking around her and shaking her head as she saw Remus check his pulse (she’d scared him when she had stepped out of the shadows.)

“You people doubt my intelligence, don’t you?” Sirius asked, lifting one eyebrow.

“I do.” Peter chuckled to himself.

“I’m just double checking. I checked to make sure I had my own wand at least five times. I’m surprised I didn’t wake anybody up in the dorm when I was trying to get out the door.” Raven answered, looking around.

“Yes, I have them.” Sirius opened his cloak to reveal the cage he was carrying. It was glowing blue now, and Raven’s eyes widened. Sirius closed his cloak around the cage again, and the light faded into nothing. His cloak was very heavy and thick, therefore preventing any light from escaping from the cage.

“This had better work.” Remus put in.

“It’ll work, Shy. It’ll work.” Sirius answered, standing behind Peter, who was pushing the portrait entrance to the common room open so they could leave and wreak havoc.

“And where are you all going at four-thirty in the morning?” an Irish accent asked from the staircase behind them.

“Evans.” James groaned, closing his eyes, then opening them again, turning around with a cheesy smile on his face. “We, um, we’re going to the library. That’s all.”

“At four-thirty in the morning?”

“Good books are hard to come by.” Remus grinned sheepishly.

“Could I come too?” Lily asked, a small smirk forming on her lips. Even though she was almost considered a friend by them, she still relished in ruining their plans to cause trouble.

“NO! I mean, um, no. You wouldn’t want to.” James exclaimed.

“Oh? And why is that, Potter?”

“Because, um…”

“What are you doing up at four-thirty in the morning? That’s what I’d like to know.” Sirius pointed out, hoping to catch Lily off-guard.

He did.

“I, um… the light from the fire…” she began to explain why she had woken up, and hoped against hope that James wouldn’t inquire as to why she had come into the common room.

“Lily… we could get in major trouble for what we’re about to do.” Raven began. “You can’t come with us.”

James and Sirius both felt their jaws drop. Raven had practically told Lily to run and tell on them to some professor and get them sent to Dumbledore’s office before school had even started. Remus’s eyes were wide and Peter looked sick to his stomach.

“Raven!” James hissed.

“James, don’t worry about it. She won’t tell, will you Lily?” Raven asked, turning from James to Lily.

Lily was staring at the floor silently, her hands folded neatly in front of her. Either she had tuned them out, or she was seriously thinking of whether to tell or not. Everyone else present was hoping against the latter.

“Lily?” Raven asked, a hint of worry in her voice. “Come on, answer me.”

Lily looked back up at Raven. “Raven, I…”

“We’d do the same for you.”

“Alright, I won’t tell. You guys better get out of here before somebody else wakes up.” Lily smiled.

“Thanks!” and with that, they were gone.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“It would be really nice if we could see where we’re going.” Sirius hissed as he tripped over the edge of a rug and barely saved himself from falling.

“Evans better not tattle on us.” James muttered angrily to Raven.

“Calm down James.” Remus replied. “She said she won’t- so she won’t.”

“You’re far too trusting, Remus.” Peter said. “She’ll probably tell on us, and…” Peter trailed off there and shivered once after imagining Filch throwing them off a tower and into the lake to be eaten by the Giant Squid. “We’ll get eaten.”

“What?” Sirius asked Peter. “Did you hit your head this morning?”

“Oh give it up already.” Raven snapped.

“Shh! Somebody’s coming!” Peter whispered.

They all dove into the shadows. Indeed, there were footsteps fast- approaching towards them, and a lantern light that was steadily growing from a glow to a bright light. Sirius instinctively tightened his cloak around him and held his breath. James and Remus hid behind a curtain, while Peter had crawled under the rug and Raven hid behind a suit of armor.

When Filch had passed, muttering something about Peeves breaking something, James, Sirius, Remus, Raven, and Peter all hurried out of the hiding places and sped down the halls until they came to the Transfiguration classroom.

“Are you sure we’re picking the right professor to do this to?” Peter asked. “I’m sure Niles would be just as fun-“

“Come now Peter, not getting scared are you?” Raven asked as she peered through the keyhole into the classroom to see if anybody was in there.

“No!” Peter huffed, straightening himself up. “I’m not scared, you are!”

Raven got up and let Remus have a look just in case she had missed something. “Yeah Peter, that’s exactly it.” She said sarcastically, rolling her eyes when Peter got a smug look on his face. “That’s why your robes are wet?”

“I spilt water on my robes before we left!” Peter defended himself.

“I believe you.” James told Peter. When Peter turned away, he gave Raven a stern look that plainly said, ‘Don’t pick on him.’

“Get to it, Sirius.” Remus said, backing away from the lock.

Sirius gave the cage to James, who immediately shoved it into his cloak. Sirius knelt before the lock and pointed his wand at it. He muttered something, and a lot of green sparks began to issue into the lock. The door clicked open and Sirius stuffed his wand back into his belt.

“Come on, we only have a little while to work with- McGonagall is always up by five fifteen!” Sirius warned as they all rushed into the room.

Remus opened a drawer in McGonagall’s desk and watched intently as Sirius set the cage down into the drawer, careful not to wake the occupants of the cage from their slumber. He opened the tiny door of the cage and Remus shut the drawer again carefully.

“All set here.” James said as tossed a handful of chalk into the drawer with the cage and dusted his hands off. “Let’s get out of here before McGonagall comes.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Come on Sarah! You have to eat breakfast!” Lily exclaimed, pulling on Sarah’s arm. “You don’t want to starve, do you? You have to come!”

“No I don’t! Some house elf will bring something up when they come to check the fire!” Sarah retorted, holding onto her bedpost with her free arm.

“You’re not the only one with glasses! Nobody is going to know any different-“

“Yes they will!”

“Argh…” Raven went over to Sarah’s bed and began to pry Sarah’s fingers off of it. “Come on, we’re starving! Let’s just go to breakfast already!”

Raven had gotten the last of Sarah’s fingers off of the bedpost and now they dragging her down the stairs into the common room.

“Raven! Hurry up! I need to talk to you!” James exclaimed as he saw Raven coming down the stairs, backwards though it was.

“Just wait a bloody minute! Come on Sarah!” Gloria hollered at James. “What are you staring at? Haven’t you ever seen somebody trying to get their friend downstairs before?” she angrily told a seventh year girl who was descending the steps and staring at them.

“Alright, fine.” Sarah snapped and broke free of Raven, Lily, and Gloria, straightening her robes. When she spotted James, however, she immediately spun around and ran back into the dorm.

“What’s up with her?” James asked.

“She got glasses.” Raven mouthed to him.

“Oh.”

“SARAH!” Raven shouted outside of the locked dormitory door. “We know you’re embarrassed, but you’re just going to have to get on with life! Just because you got glasses doesn’t mean the world stopped turning!”

Sarah sighed and looked into the mirror. “Raven’s right…”

“Yes, dear, she is. Just because you have glasses doesn’t mean anything. You heard what Gloria said- if anybody makes fun of your glasses- they’ll be on them in a second. You’re their friend no matter what.” The mirror replied in a jolly old woman’s voice.

“Thank you.”

“Welcome dear.”

Sarah opened the door and went down the steps, right past Raven, Lily, and Gloria, who were speechless. Sirius, Remus, Peter, and James appeared to have been making their way up the stairs to help the girls, but they had stopped and gazed at Sarah.

She looked around nervously. “Let’s go get some breakfast. I’m starved.”

Because everybody was so hungry, they ran down the stairs until they got to the Great Hall. There was still plenty of food left (there always was), much to the relief of everyone. Sarah ignored the sniggers from the Slytherins, and sat down politely next to Sirius, who had a ring of jam around his lips and half a piece of toast stuffed into his mouth. He swallowed.

“What did you want to talk to me about, James?” Raven asked, buttering a biscuit and looking at her friend at the same time.

“Why are you being so friendly to Evans? She hates us! She’s always trying to get us in trouble-“ James ranted in a whisper so Lily, who sat two seats away, wouldn’t hear.

“We seem to do that fine by ourselves, don’t you think?” Raven answered calmly. “Isn’t that our main goal? To get in trouble?”

“Yes, but-“

“Look James, Lily and I aren’t exactly friends, but we’re not exactly enemies. Just… the slate’s clean, all right? Besides, she didn’t tell on us for last night!” Raven pointed out, eating her food.

“Only because she doesn’t know what we did yet!”

“Give it a rest already! Honest Potter, I don’t know what’s got you all upset over this!” Raven said angrily.

“I’m just trying to say that we can’t trust her. And since when do you call me ‘Potter’?”

“Since you started acting like an idiot!”

“I am not acting like an idiot, I’m trying to be sensible!”

“Sensible?? Sensible?? Yeah, right! That’s the last thing you’re trying to be! Just give her a chance! I did, and look what happened! She didn’t tattle. She could be a good friend.” Raven retorted at James, glaring at him all the while.

“Hey, what’s up with you two? You never fight.” Sirius asked as he leaned into the conversation, still chewing on a bit of apple pastry.

“Shut it, Sirius.” James snapped.

“Oy, that was un-called for!” Sirius replied angrily. “I was just asking! Geez James, you got a pixie in your shorts?”

James pursed his lips and leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms. He shook his head and looked up at the teacher’s table.

“What’s wrong with you, Potter?” Lily asked in the friendliest tone she could.

James whirled his head around and glared at her. “You.” He snapped, and then left the table in favor for some unknown part of the castle.

Raven looked down at her food. She hadn’t fought with anybody like that since Malfoy had teased Peter until he cried. But James was her best friend- somebody she had known since she was born. They had never fought before, and now here they were, arguing over some stupid thing. But then, Raven reasoned, why was he being so stubborn about not being Lily’s friend?

“Where’s James going?” Remus asked. “He can’t miss the show in Transfiguration!”

“He’ll be there.” Raven answered, still poking at her food with her fork. “He’d never miss it in a million years…” she lowered her voice so only she could hear. “I think.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Transfiguration was the first class of the year for the second year Gryffindors. After McGonagall had made seating arrangements and called roll (James had shown up, just as Raven had said he would,) she began to look for her chalk. Even Raven and James, who were still fighting, looked up to see the pending events of the first class of the year. Lily was curious about what they were looking for, and so she too began to watch the professor search for her writing utensils.

McGonagall sat down on her chair and began to search through her desk. She sifted through papers and dug through her bag. She looked through the drawers until she came to the last one. Sirius chuckled just as McGonagall was about to pull the drawer open, and she looked at him suspiciously.

“Mr. Black, have you seen my chalk?” she asked, not moving her hand from the handle of the drawer she was about to pull open.

“No, professor. I haven’t.” Sirius smiled.

“Mr. Potter?” she asked, her head swiveling to look at him when she heard him stifling a chuckle from the corner he sat in.

“No.” James answered quickly, trying to hide a grin.

McGonagall opened the last drawer and fell off her chair when a swarm of pixies came bursting out into the morning light. The pixies began to break things, pull students up into the air, tip inkbottles over, and scratch their nails along the chalkboard.

Anybody who wasn’t under attack was hiding under their desks. In the case of James, Remus, Sirius, and Raven, however, they were laughing. Sarah was giggling a little, but still dodging pixies as best she could. Gloria looked mortified, and clung to the leg of her desk. Lily, who was only a few desks away from the people who had started the chaos, cracked a smile.

Maybe they weren’t so bad after all.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

After McGonagall had rounded up the pixies, she looked as if a troll had just stepped on her foot and she was after the troll. Her glasses were askew and her hair had come undone. Her robes were disheveled, and she was searching the students with her angry eyes. Everyone was now in their rightful seats, and everybody looked nervous.

“Who is responsible for this?” she hollered. “I told you all I would not tolerate any nonsense in my classes, and I thought this was understood! If I find out who did this… they will not be coming back into this class ever again!”

Sirius nervously turned his eyes to Remus, who was two rows ahead of him. Out of the corner of his eye, Sirius could also see Raven and James, looking particularly frightened, yet trying to keep it secret. Peter, who sat next to Sirius, was sweating and gulping constantly.

“Well?? Who is responsible?” McGonagall bellowed, holding up the cage full of pixies. “Who is responsible for letting pixies loose in my classroom??”

She began to stalk around the room, looking students in the eyes to see if they were lying. She passed James, Raven, Sirius, and Remus- they were good at masking guilt. She didn’t even stop near Lily, who never did anything wrong and wasn’t friends with troublemakers anyway. No need in even pausing at her. But when she came to Peter…

“Mr. Pettigrew, do you know who is responsible for this?”

All eyes in the classroom were on him, waiting to see what he would say to the strict professor that stood before him, looking very cross indeed.

Peter shifted uneasily in his seat. His mother had told him never to lie, and if she found out he had lied, he’d be grounded until he was a little old man. His eyes were tearing and he began to bite his nails. What should he do? Tell a lie? Admit it? Tattle on them and say he’d tried to stop them?

Peter moved his eyes to see what James, Sirius, Remus, and Raven were doing. They all looked desperate and nervous at the same time. James was chewing on his bottom lip, and Remus was clicking his tongue in his cheek. Sirius looked like he’d kill Peter if he snitched, and Raven had a look in her eyes that begged Peter not to tell.

“Professor, I-“