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Chapter Twenty-Four
Lunar Lunacy

“ I want to commentate!”

“ Can I be referee?”

“ We can be Beaters.”

“ Lily and Harry will be the Seekers of course.”

“ I want to be a Chaser.”

“ What about Keepers?”

“ James will have to be a Chaser, of course.”

“ I've never been on a broom before…”

Everyone gave Lolide an incredulous look before shaking their heads and continuing with the plans.  The two elves had explained to James who and what they were, and the boy had taken it very well.  In fact, the idea that he was closely related to the mythical elves delighted him.  When the group, who had picked up Dumbledore on the way, turned up at the quidditch pitch, James had a huge grin on his face.  When Sirius asked him what was going on, he just got a happy shrug in reply.  As the others were arguing about who was going to play which position and on what team, James found Harry and pulled him off to one side.

“ Hey, James, what's up?”

“ You know what's up.  How could you speak to my Aunt Lolide in her own language?”

“ How do you know it was elvish?”

“ My mother told me.  She was near enough to overhear the pair of you, as I was.  I asked her on the way down, and she told me to speak to you.”

“ Well, it's sort of a long story.  I really don't want to go into it right now.  I tell you what, I'll tell you a bit now, and we'll finish this on September 1st.”

“ Why September 1st?  That's a long way off!”

“ Yes, but it would be the best time to tell you.  Trust me.”

“ If you insist.  What can you tell me now?”

“ Put it this way, I've met Gaerwyn and Lolide before.  A long time ago.  Didn't you think it was strange when I greeted them as warmly as you when they first got here?”

“ I thought it was because you knew them from the Order…”

“ No, I've known them a long time.  Two years ago, Lolide was my teacher.  She taught me a lot about elves, and their ways.  One of the things I learned was their language.  I've made several trips to the elven world, where I honed my skills.  That's why I speak elvish so fluently.  Not many people know this, but I'm part elf as well.”

“ Really?  So you know a lot about my family.”

“ You could say that.”

“ Do you think Aunt Lolide will teach me?”

“ I'm not sure.  You'll have to ask her.”

“ If she says no, will you teach me?”

“ No.”

“ Why not?!”

“ Because the secrets of the elves aren't mine to tell.”

“ But….”

“ No, James, that's my final answer.  If Lolide won't teach you, ask your mother.”

“ Alright,” James sighed in resignation, “ I guess we should break up the argument before they remember they have wands.”

Harry looked over to where the rest of the party guests were standing.  Most of them were engaged in a heated argument about the teams and the positions.  The adults and the ghosts were off to one side, watching in amusement and the youngsters battled it out.  Eventually, Dumbledore saw that they were getting nowhere and strode forward to settle the matter.

“ Everyone, if I could have your attention please.  I think there is a reasonable way to settle this.  James, I believe as the birthday boy, you should be captain of one of the teams.  You should also choose the captain of the other team.”

“ I want to play opposite Harry, so he can captain the other team.”

“ Very well.  Now, each of you choose a player and state their position on your team.  That should settle the argument don't you think.”

“ Yes, Professor.”

“ Now, James why don't you start.”

James and Harry looked at the assembled players, mentally making choices about who would be best in the different positions.  James then made the first choice.

“ I want Lily for my Seeker.”

“ I'll have Ron as my Keeper.”

“ Dad, you can be my Keeper.”

“ Ginny for Beater.”

“ Remus for a Chaser.”

“ Professor Dumbledore for my other Beater.”

“ Sirius for a Beater.”

“ `Mione, you can be a Chaser.”

“ So can you, Peter.”

“ That leaves Gaerwyn for one of my Chasers.”

“ Aunt Lolide, I want you as my other Beater.”

“ So, Minh, you're my last Chaser.”

The two teams decided, they all gathered brooms and spelled their clothes into different colours.  Dumbledore strode to the centre of the pitch with the box of quidditch balls and opened it up.

“ As Peeves is commentating, that leaves Lady Ravenclaw to be our referee.  As she can't actually touch the balls, I will set them loose.  I want us to have a nice, fair game, and I don't want to see any injuries.”

The two teams rose into the air, Harry's team made up of the time travellers, Minh, Gaerwyn and the headmaster.  James' team, at the other end of the pitch, had all of his Marauder friends, his father, and his aunt.  The game started well, and soon the teams were worked up into a frenzy.  The game was fast paced, and the old headmaster was surprisingly agile on a broom.  Lolide, who had never flown before, did surprisingly well, showing she had a natural talent for flying.

The game finally ended several hours later by Harry, who caught the snitch to bring an end to the game.  James' team won overall, as they had scored significantly more goals.  Harry saw that his side would never recover, and as they were starting to lose the light it was getting ever more difficult to see the snitch.  When he spotted a shimmering ball of gold, he ended the game and the players headed back down to the pitch.  As the group headed back up to the castle, the animagi hung back a bit to discuss the arrangements for the next full moon.  So far, they had stayed inside the forest, but a few of them were eager to venture further away.  As the group walked, Sirius turned and walked backwards so he could see the rest as he spoke to them.  

“ So, are we going to explore Hogwarts next month, then?” he asked.

“ I'm not so sure,” Harry argued, “ I mean, the risk of being caught is so much greater.  And if we lose control of Remus he could end up hurting any students that happen to be out of bed.  You know as well as I do that we're not the only ones who go wandering the school at night.  The Astronomy Tower is always full of people.  If Remus ran amok there, it could be really bad.”

“ We'll be fine,” James reassured, “ We've been at this for a while now.  I think we can deal with it.  And if push comes to shove, you can always pounce on him, Harry.”

“ James!”

“ Sorry Remy, but it's true.  Harry's got the best battle form, and he could easily subdue you if we lost control.”

Sirius turned forwards again to jump over the front steps before twisting back around and resuming his backwards gait.  As he turned, he caught sight of a shadowy form following them.  Looking more carefully, he realised it was an almost invisible Severus Snape.  A malicious smirk spread across his face as he realised the Slytherin had heard everything they said.


Two nights before the next full moon, Sev was storming through the dungeons in a rage.  It was almost four weeks since he had overheard the Marauders and Harry's friends talking about what they got up to on that very night every month.  Even after all of the investigating he had done, nothing had turned up.  He had several sound theories, but no hard evidence.  The trouble was, he had asked Harry and had been denied an answer.  If he was to follow his friend, we would soon be spotted.  Harry was extra vigilant since he had learned of Sev's spell on his room, and would notice if anyone was trying to sneak up on him.  Especially on that night.  He would be expecting Sev to tail him, and the young Slytherin knew this.  

Unfortunately for Sev, just as he rounded a sharp corner he bumped into the last person in the world he wanted to see.  Sirius Black.  The Gryffindor came hurtling around the bend and slammed into the unsuspecting Slytherin, knocking them both to the floor with a bang.

“ BLACK!  That hurt!  Get off me, you useless lump.”

Sirius scrambled to his feet and watched amused as Sev picked up his spilled books and piled them in his arms.  As the spy turned to leave, the sound of his enemy's voice stopped him in his tracks.

“ You'll never figure it out, you know.”

Sev froze, before turning slowly to face the smirking Gryffindor.

“ Figure what out?”

“ The secret of the full moon.  You can't tell me it hasn't been eating you up from the inside, knowing that your best friend in the whole world has a big secret and he doesn't trust you with it.  He trusts us, and he trusts his other friends.  But he doesn't trust you.”

Severus growled at the other boy and turned to walk away.

“ I bet you'd like to know what it is.  The big secret he can't tell you.  It has to be big if he doesn't tell you, after all.  I mean, I'm sure he tells you everything else.  All of his secrets.  I bet this is the only thing he keeps from you.”

Sev, enraged, whirled around and sent an angry glower at Sirius.  Padfoot merely grinned when he realised he had touched a nerve.

“ I see.  He has other secrets, is that it?  Does he keep a lot from you?  Has he even told you who he really is?  Or where he's from?  Did you ever ask him where he spent the first sixteen years of his life?  Has he confided any of this to you?”

“ Has he told you?” Sev spat.

“ Now that's the big question, now, isn't it.  Has he told me?  Has he told James and Remus?  Has he told Peter or Lily?  Is it just you he doesn't trust with the information?”

“ Has he told you any of that?”

“ That's for me to know and you to wonder about.  But I tell you what.  I'll throw you a bone, so to say.  Come to the Whomping Willow the night of the full moon.  There's a knot at its base.  Push it to freeze the branches and climb through the passage by its trunk.  There, you will find the answers to all of your questions.”

“ Why are you telling me this?” Severus snarled.

“ Am I not allowed to be friendly?” Sirius replied in a patronising tone.

“ Why should I believe you?”

“ I don't know.  I guess you'll just have to trust me.”


Trusting Sirius Black was one of the stupidest things he had ever done, Severus thought as he made his way out of the Slytherin common room two days later.  Since James' birthday party, the fifth year had perfected the invisibility spell Harry had been trying to teach him.  He could now become completely invisible, and not just transparent.  It made sneaking around much easier.  Tonight it was a godsend as he made his way through the dungeon corridors and out of the main doors into the cool air of the May evening.  He had made sure to leave in plenty of time, giving him the chance to hide at a point where he could easily see the Whomping Willow.  He knew Harry would be looking our for him, and Sev knew for a fact that the older boy had a way of seeing through the invisibility spell.  He didn't know how he did it, as he was never taught that, but he knew it would be impossible to hide from Harry in plain sight.  

Sev waited for what seemed like hours, but in reality was more like twenty minutes.  Just as he was about to give up and go back inside, thinking Black had set him up as usual, the main doors of the school opened.  Two figures made their way down the stone steps and across the grass towards the Whomping Willow.  Severus could see that one was tall and lean, obviously supporting the other one.  The Slytherin surmised this would be a teacher.  The person looked too old to be a student, even a seventh year.  The other figure was shorter, a fact made more obvious by their crouched position.  This second figure was clutching its stomach, and appeared to be in pain.  As the pair reached the tree, Sev saw the teacher pick up a long stick from behind a bush and push part of the trunk with it.  The Whomping Willow froze.  Seconds later, the duo disappeared into a hidden hole.  Sev held his breath and waited in silence for what seemed like an eternity before the older person emerged once more from the passage and made their way up to the castle alone.  Intrigued, the fifth year waited for a few minutes after the doors shut before scuttling forward, searching for the dropped branch.  A quick stab at the tree froze the branches, and Sev made his way to the hole in the ground, never seeing the shadowed shape quickly running across the grass towards him.


“ Come on, we'll be late,” Harry said as he led Ron, Hermione and Ginny up to the Astronomy Tower.

“ We're already late, Harry,” Ron told him, “ We'll get there when we get there.  They won't mind waiting.”

“ I'm sorry, Ron, I just have a bad feeling.”

Harry had been feeling uneasy for a few days now.  A week before, Ginny had told him she felt as if something serious was coming up.  Something that would shake up friendships and cause irreparable rifts.  When questioned, she explained that she couldn't tell him any more, because she didn't know herself.  Harry had taken her warning to heart, though.  He knew his friend was never wrong about things like that.  Ever since his conversation with Sev before the last full moon he had been on his guard.  He knew the younger boy had been snooping around, which was one of the reasons the group were meeting on the Astronomy Tower.  They usually assembled in Harry's secret room before they went to meet Remus, but Harry had a feeling Sev might know they were there and try to follow.  Suddenly, Harry's contemplation was interrupted as James came hurtling around the corner, nearly knocking Hermione over.

“ Hey, James, where are you going in such a hurry?” Ron called after him.

“ Ask Sirius,” was all the reply they received.

As James disappeared around the corner, Ron helped his girlfriend up off the floor.  When she had dusted herself down, she started to head up the stairs, stopping when she realised Harry wasn't following.  When she looked over at him, she saw an intense look of concentration on his face.

“ Harry, what's wrong?”

“ James.”

“ Yes, he went that way,” she said, pointing in the opposite direction.

“ It's his fifth year.  It's all of their fifth years.”

“ Have you only just realised that, mate?  We've been here for months!”

Ginny slapped her brother across the head and watched at comprehension dawned on Harry's face.

“ Sev!  The Whomping Willow incident!  He's been suspicious for ages, and now he's found enough out to follow Remus.  That's where James was going!”

Harry made to follow, but Hermione grabbed his arm and stopped him.

“ Harry, no!  You can't interfere!  James was the one who saved his life, something he never forgave him for.  You can't change that, it could change history.”

“ I have to help Sev…”

“ Harry, listen to me.  We're going to go upstairs and talk to Sirius.  We have to find out all of the facts.”

“ Then can we go and see if he's alright?”

“ Of course.   Now, come on.”

Harry nodded and reluctantly followed the other three up to the top of the Astronomy Tower, where they saw Peter pacing and Sirius hanging over the side, watching the ground in fascination.  Harry became angry as he saw the glee on his godfather's face.  Striding over to him, he grabbed the younger boy's arm and twisted him around, growling low in this throat and letting his incisors grow longer.  Sirius looked nervously into Harry's faintly glowing green eyes.

“ Wh-what's up, Harry?”

“ You are going to tell me where James was going in such a hurry.”

“ Wh-what did he tell you?”

“ To ask you.  Now spill.”

Sirius' eyes and voice hardened as he started to relax.  He knew Harry wouldn't do anything to him, even though he seemed really angry.

“ It was just a joke.  He was being nosey.  I thought I'd teach him a lesson.”

“ Who?” Harry said in a glacial tone.

“ Snape.  He was snooping around and I met him in a corridor.  Told him that if he wanted to find out where we go every month, he should take a look under the Whomping Willow.”


Sirius' fear returned full force as Harry's whole body began to give off an ethereal light.  The other three watched the proceedings in fascination.  They had only ever seen Harry glow a couple of times before, and then it was always in battle when he was especially angry.  Sirius looked fearfully at his friend and hung his head.

“ It was only meant as a joke.  It's not like Remus would hurt anybody.”

“ Sirius, in this state Remus is a WILD ANIMAL!  You know he isn't himself!  Without the presence of an animagus, he'll kill Severus.  And if Severus dies because of you, you won't live to regret it,” Harry said before throwing the shaking Gryffindor to the floor and taking a running jump off the top of the Tower.  Ron, Hermione and Ginny rant to the edge and watched as Harry transformed in mid air and glided towards the Whomping Willow, where two figures could be seen lying on the floor.

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