The Gryffindor Territory
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Oh, What Misery Lay Ahead?

 

 

James Potter was very bored. He was always bored whenever he went for Potions class. It was just so dull to him- just memorizing odd ingredients, the order you had to put them in, stirring the potion (called “Gross goopy stuff” by him) and waiting for the color to be proper.

 

Not his idea of an interesting class.

 

He was sitting in the middle of the Gryffindor’s side of the classroom, surrounded by Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, Remus Lupin and his not-so-secret love, Lily Evans. He distractedly poked his rather gruesome potions ingredients in the hopes of something interesting happening. Still horribly bored, he looked around himself. Sirius was just as bored as he was, staring off into space. Peter was nervously trying to get his potion to become light blue instead of a deep violet, and was failing miserably. Other than hoping he wouldn’t blow the room up, James didn’t care much and continued allowing his gaze to wander. His eyes fell on Remus, who had finished his Potion already and was making a bit of fuss saying “It’s one degree darker than it should be…” and stirring to prevent the potion from burning inside the still very hot cauldron despite the fact that the fire was off. James couldn’t see Lily as she was behind him, so he instead scanned the Slytherin side of the table.

 

 There, he saw most of the Slytherins (“Filthy, slimy disgusting gits” he liked to call them) stirring perfect potions. His attention was drawn to the greasy haired, hooked nosed and very unpopular kid called Severus Snape(“Snivellus” was his nickname according the Marauders, or Sirius, James, Peter and Remus) who had already finished his potion and had it stored safely in an examination flask and had it on his desk, ready for inspection. Severus was never boring to look at because of his very odd appearance, especially for an eleven year old. James hoped Sirius could come up with a decent plan to attack or humiliate Severus soon, as it was the Marauder’s hobby and James was running out of ideas.

 

The current Potions Master and head of Ravenclaw, Professor Atria, asked the class to hand in their Potions for grading. Nearly all the Slytherins were getting A grades and above. Severus, who was sitting in the back of class, happily collected his Potion and walked over to the teacher’s desk. He was almost there when he felt a rip in the skin on his left arm. Yelping and dropping his Potion so he could clutch the newly obtained gash on his forearm, Severus’ gaze shot in James’ direction immediately, as if knowing exactly what happened. The boy was grinning, wand in hand and smoking slightly, feet on his desk. The sight disgusted Severus. He was about to retaliate when the Professor stood up, announced “Fifty points from Gryffindor, James Potter, and detention! You are not to attack students in any way during the class. Understood? And, Mister Snape, ten points from Slytherin for thinking about hitting him back. Class dismissed, and, Mister Snape, do visit the hospital wing before that wound gets infected.” Severus gave James a very nasty and quite a cold stare which lingered long enough to send a chill down the Gryffindor’s spine as he walked out of the class, not stopping to collect his books. Well, he couldn’t of course. Not with one arm slashed and the other covered in blood.

 

 

 * * * * * * * * * * *

 

The next day, James woke up early. He had to plot some revenge on those Slytherins for his fifty point loss. He rubbed his eyes with the sleeves of his dark blue night shirt and slowly walked over to Sirius’ bed. “Sirius… Hey, Padfoot!” He shook him.

 

“What’s it, Prongs?” Sirius said as he rose from his bed. He pushed the scarlet bed covers down and turned to face James, hair askew in all directions.

“Want some revenge on ol’ Snivelly today?” winked James as he pulled out his oak wand, ruffling up his already messier-than-normal hair. “I say we get him good for losing us fifty points.”

 

“You’re the one who cursed him,” said Sirius, grinning broadly. “So, you’re the one who really lost the points.” He stretched his legs out on the bed after freeing them from the heavy blankets and rested his back against the Gryffindor-gold pillows.

 

“I know, but we still need revenge, and something to do.”

 

“Gotcha.”

 

“What’re we going to do?” Asked James quite suddenly before he ran off towards the dormitory door.

“Argh!” Sirius groaned. “I thought you planned it out already!”

 

“I thought you’d like to help,” James said in a pleading manner.

 

“Oh, fine, but we’ll have to be quiet.”

 

“You already figured something out?”

 

“Yup!”

 

“Darn have you got a brain!” James grinned and tiptoed towards the deep red door.

 

* * * * * * * * * * *

 

James wasn’t the only one to wake up at three in the morning. Deep in the dungeon common room of Slytherin shivered Severus, who was sitting on his green bed and reading his Defense Against the Dark Arts text-book. Actually, he was looking for a hex to use on James. He already used all the hexes he knew, and that was quite a lot. Next to him lay his Charms textbook and a library book he nipped which contained jinxes, both forgotten, as he angrily flipped through the pages of his reader.

 “Useless thing,” he muttered as he tossed that book, too, aside.

 

 He would never sink as low as James and use dungbombs or other magical mischief making items. Severus only used the spells he knew to bewitch his enemies, but his seemingly endless river of jinxes and hexes was dried up right now, even though he hadn’t lasted a year at Hogwarts yet. Chin in his hands, he figured it would be better to try to get back to sleep, but also knew that that was exactly what he had been doing for the last two hours. He scratched his very messy and greasy hair in an attempt to reach his scalp and yawned as he looked around the silent dormitory. It was too quiet for comfort, he thought, despite the fact he liked loneliness. He absent mindedly rubbed the fading scar where his gash was and looked back at the three books on his bed.

 “Nothing to do… Might as well sneak out.” Severus got up from the bed, avoiding the part that creaked, and walked noiselessly to the door in his grey pajamas.

 

* * * * * * * * * * *

 

“Wand out, Prongs, who knows who’ll be in the corridor at night,” grinned Sirius as he tiptoed down the dark and forgotten hallways of Hogwarts. James did just that. “Who do you think’ll be out here at this time of night?”

 

“I’ve got a hunch it’ll be someone from Slytherin,” Sirius said, straining his eyes to see if anyone was in the corridor. Without the aid of the lumos spell (James said that someone would see it and alert a teacher if it wasn’t a teacher who saw it already, and Sirius readily agreed with him) it was difficult to see anything.

 

“Should we double back? Snivellus isn’t going to be out at this time, he’d want his sleep so he’d be primed for classes and duels with us tomorrow,” James said. He was normally a mischievous kid and hardly feared Severus, but something about the thought of being found by a skilled master in the Dark Arts in the dead of the night irked him.

 

“Don’t be such a sucker, Prongs, he isn’t going to find us,” Sirius retaliated in a playful and joking manner. James grinned into the darkness. “Yeah, I guess you’re right, Padfoot.” They continued creeping down the hallway when Sirius’s dog-like sense of heading picked up a sound. “Sssh, wait a sec.” It was unmistakably the sound of cloth brushing against a wall. “Snivellus,” sneered James into the darkness, sure of who it was even though he didn’t hear the noise again.

 

Severus heard the muttering and abruptly stopped in his tracks. ‘They call me Snivellus even behind my back, huh?’ he thought to himself, angry yet still conscious of the more pressing matter ahead. ‘Trust those stupid Marauders to ruin anything and everything I do, including something as simple as this.’ He stared into the darkness, straining every bit of his eyesight to see them, and eventually picked up two vague outlines. He side stepped quietly to be out of their path. Should he curse them? No, that would wake everyone up. She he taunt them? No, that would do the same. Maybe he should run for it.

 ‘You’re a Slytherin, Severus, you’re tough, you don’t run away,’ he angrily thought to himself. He decided to at least let them know he was here.

 “Oi, James, I guess you’ve gone looking for your teddy-bear? Forgot it in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, I suppose?” Severus sneered at the messy haired out line of James. Severus taunted James with a made up teddy-bear which existed only when James was scared even in the slightest way, and it was known to Severus that he did not like being around him in Defense Against the Dark Arts for obvious reasons.

 

“We’ve been discovered,” muttered James. “Lumos!” James’ wand tip lit up, and he pointed it at Severus’ face. “So,” he said, “Snivellus. How nice of you to visit. Last curse wore off? Want another sample spell?” Severus fixed a hard, cold stare on him which sent another chill down his spine. “I’d expect you to be the one looking for a sample, considering there’s only one Dark Arts master in the First year and you don’t know half of what he does,” he sneered his copyright ‘Snape-Sneer’. James wondered how he managed to look so menacing when he wanted to.

 “I don’t suppose you’ve gone to sneak more food from the kitchen, Sniv, because you were afraid of having dinner again?” Sirius growled in return. It was very common knowledge that the evening the day before was disastrous for Severus. Somehow James has managed to sneak a Firecracker into his food and when he started eating, it exploded and covered the entire Slytherin table in mashed potatoes and beef. Severus, of course, didn’t get anything to eat that night and this night too he didn’t come down for his dinner.

 

James received Severus’ other copyright- his downright cold glare. Severus looked even more menacing at night than when he did that in the day.

 

“Well then, Snivellus, have a good night, because you’ll be getting a surprise tomorrow. From all four of us.” The two Marauders tried to move away, but they heard footsteps.

  “What’s going on here?” came the voice of Professor McGonagall. Before any of them could react, her wand tip was shining in their faces. “James Potter, Sirius Black and Severus Snape! What on earth are you doing out of your dormitories at this time of night!?” Severus directed his eyes at his bare feet, although the two Marauders did not move at all. “That will be sixty points from Gryffindor and thirty from Slytherin. Now get back to bed before I deduct more points!” She watched them like a hawk as they went their separate ways, muttering, before she turned around and strode off to her own chambers.

 

 

The next morning, Severus quickly got dressed and bolted down the stairs of his dormitory to get a bit of breakfast. He was obviously hungry after missing dinner the night before.

He crawled through the portrait hole which led to the Slytherin Dungeons and ran up the stairs to the Great Hall. When he entered, he found most of the students happily chatting away and eating their breakfasts.

 

Including the Marauders, it seemed.

 

Severus took a seat on the edge of the Slytherin table next to an empty place. He was a loner and normally did not sit next to anyone, and if he did, he was generally unpleasant. He ate a few bites of toast and egg before he felt slightly sick. He suddenly wasn’t hungry anymore. He wondered if the Marauders tampered with his meal again, and looked in their direction, but did not get any clue from simply looking at them. He walked out of the hall, attracting several pairs of eyes, and headed for his Common Room.

 He recalled feeling sick after the firecracker incident, but he thought it was just his shock. Now he felt the same as then. He muttered “Firedragon” to an elderly portrait, which swung open and let him into the Slytherin Common room. He huddled in a corner, hugging his stomach, waiting for his queasiness to pass, but it never happened. He felt cold sweat drip down his forehead. The sound of the portrait opening again attracted his attention, and he looked up to see Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Black and two other Slytherins he never quite caught the names of enter the common room, all chatting merrily- Lucius with Bellatrix and the other Slytherins with each other. Severus nervously fingered his Slytherin badge as he thought of visiting the hospital wing, but noticed he didn’t have the strength to do so. He felt paralyzed, like he couldn’t move, even though he knew perfectly well that he was just moving a moment ago. He directed his eyes towards Lucius and Bella with difficulty, and noticed that soon he was almost completely paralyzed. His eyes were refusing to move. Luckily, Lucius saw him.

 

“Oi, Severus, cat got your tongue? You’re quieter than usual.” When Severus did not move, he walked over. “Sev? What’s gotten into you?” Still no movement. Severus felt frozen in every sense of the word. He was cold and unable to move. “Sev?”

 

Lucius, although not Severus’ best friend, was well acquainted with him and, since he gave everyone nicknames, he gave Severus one too- Sev, or Sevvy. Although Severus did not quite like it, he didn’t mind it as much as ‘Snivellus’.

 ‘Stupid Marauders, I know they did this!’ thought Severus, anger boiling up inside him. A lock of greasy hair fell in his face, and as much as he wanted to move it, could not budge. This was utterly cruel, even for the Marauders. He felt his fingers numbing and his eyesight, too. Eventually, he couldn’t see anything, even though he had his eyes wide open.

 

 

 

“Ha, did you see him run out of the Great Hall today?” Sirius Black grinned at his friends. “I mean, he just bolted right out of there as if he was gonna be sick! I bet he’s in the hospital wing, poor git. Proving ourselves in Defense Against the Dark Arts will be a breeze without him hogging the teacher’s attention all the time.”

 

 The four Marauders were walking down the stairs from their dormitory to their first class of the day- Charms. While Sirius, James and Peter were busily chatting away, Remus was absorbed in his Charms text-book- or, at least he looked that way. His eyes were not moving and it was clear upon closer inspection that he was listening intently to the conversation of the other three, disapproval shown slightly on his face.

 “What should we do to him next time? Pepper Mouth potion on his plate? Or maybe we can somehow get whatever touches his plate to taste like soap with some sort of variation of the cleaning charm,” Peter was busy feeding Sirius and James plans to put into action on Snape. Remus was fed up of it now.

  “Why do you three hate him so much? What’s he done?” Remus was almost scary. He had let his book down and was looking at the other three with disgust.

 “Aw, Moony, what’s been getting into you lately?” James asked.

 “I…It’s just not right! Can’t we give him a break?” Moony glared at James.

“Don’t make us kick you out, Moony; this is part of what being a Marauder is. Remember our map? ‘I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.’ What happened to that?” Sirius had now joined the conversation.

Moony shook his head and buried himself in his book again (this time actually reading it) as the foursome walked into classroom 712 to be greeted by Professor Flitwick.

 

 

That morning, Severus woke up in the hospital wing. He could move his body again, thank god, but he had no idea what day it was. He sat up, only to be pushed down again by the school Nurse, Madam Pomfrey. “You stay exactly as you are, and I’ll fix you up,” she said as she rummaged around in her cabinets.

 Severus blinked. He felt perfectly fine. “I’m okay, I can go back to class-“

 “No you can’t, young man. You’ve never felt the aftermath of the Freezing Fever curse and it’s my job to make sure you never do,” Madam Pomfrey began mixing up a potion by combining other potions in a glass.

 ‘Freezing Fever?’ Severus had heard that before, but couldn’t quite remember where. He knew of its painful take on the victim it was cast upon and also knew that the curse could be made into a potion-in fact, he had brewed a Freezing Fever potion before while he was bored. He still had it in a flask, forgotten in his trunk. It could only be cast on a victim directly and would turn food to ice if it was cast on it. That meant the Marauders poured the potion form of it onto his food when he wasn’t looking. But how could they mix up a potion as complicated as that? All of them were idiots, he knew. But this was impressive.

  Soon, Madam Pomfrey held a glass of electric blue potion out to Severus, who reluctantly drank it and to his surprise found that it was flavored strongly of banana. “I’ll give you your Pepperup potion in a little while, you need to digest that first.” Severus put the glass on the table beside his bed and decided to practice his wand work when he noticed he didn’t have his wand with him. In fact, he didn’t even have pockets. He looked down and found that he was wearing a pin-striped shirt with white buttons down the front. Did Madam Pomfrey think he was going to stay here that long?

 “Madam Pomfrey, where are my robes?” he asked innocently.

“Oh, those,” Madam Pomfrey said as she continued to rummage around in the many cabinets that filled the Hospital Wing. “I gave them to the house-elves to wash, since they were covered in sweat.” Severus groaned.

 “But my wand was in there!”

“Your wand will be just fine. It’s up in your dormitory right now.”

Severus sighed and leaned back onto his pillow again. “Madam Pomfrey, do you know when I’ll be okay? I’ve been missing too many classes.”

“Oh, stop worrying. You’ll be fine, class-wise,” Madam Pomfrey continued searching cabinets and administering potions to other sick students. Severus did not bother to stifle a groan.

 

 

“Whoo! A plus!” James grinned as he walked down the corridor from Defense Against the Dark Arts. “No Snivellus for a day and look at the improvement!” Suddenly, he stopped walking. And the other three did too. James messed up his hair.

 

“Oh, hi boys,” said Lily from beside a friend. “We were just going to the library.” She paused a moment, and when the boys did not answer, said, “Wanna come?”

 

James blushed, then grinned, “Sure thing, Lily!” and he ran towards her, Sirius, Peter and Remus close behind.

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