When I was a little younger, I wrote a lot of Harry Potter fan fiction. I never posted it anywhere though. Most of it is pretty hokey and makes little to no sense, since I sucked at writing, but I'm willing to face the ridicule and post it a chapter at a time. Truth is Beauty (NO idea why I named it this) Chapter one: Prongs “Prongs! Oy, Prongs!” James Potter turned around to see a handsome black-haired boy standing a few feet away, along with a small nervous-looking boy with mousy brown hair and a sandy-haired gaunt boy. “Hey, Padfoot! Save me a seat, I’ll be there in a second!” he yelled over the din of Platform 9 ¾ . He turned back to the arrivals gate. She should be arriving soon. But where was she? Finally he spotted a bushy crop of red hair and pushed his way through the nervous looking first years to get to her. “Hey, Evans! Fancy getting a compartment with me?” he asked the girl in question as he came closer. “Not even if you were the last boy on earth, Potter,” snapped Lily Evans as she heaved her trunk onto the train. James’ face fell. Lily was always so . . . so snappish with him. Just as he was about to say something else, he felt a nudge on his knee. He looked down to see a bear-like black dog standing there whining. “Oh, is this your dog, James?” asked a voice that was decidedly not Lily’s. He looked up with a start. Vanessa Clearwater had crept up behind him as Lily had slunk away. Vanessa was looking at him with her doe-like eyes, turning up her charm to full, but James was not swayed. The dog, however, seemed to like her. He lay down at her feet, panting in a self-satisfied way, and rolled over in an unspoken plea for a belly-rub. James, though smiling, said to the dog through gritted teeth, “Get on that bloody train, you stupid git!” The dog slunk away towards the train, looking back every so often with a pleading look on his face. James glared at him, and finally the dog disappeared. Vanessa, however, was still there. “I heard you were looking for a compartment, James. We can look for one together, if you like.” “Uh, no thanks,” said James, looking for an escape route, “because I’ve just remembered that Sirius, Remus and Peter are looking for me.” Quickly he dodged away from Vanessa and dashed onto the train. He quickly found the compartment the other Marauders were in and ducked inside. Panting, he turned to face Sirius, who was laughing uproariously. “You’re an absolute idiot, d’you know that, Black?” he asked, glaring at him. Sirius Black grinned back at him, his black hair falling into his eyes in a handsome way. “How many people could have seen you, eh?” “It was just for a laugh . . .” “Will you still be laughing when Professor Dumbledore expels you for being an illegal Animagus?” “Well, if he did, I’d tell him all about you two.” “You wouldn’t!” squealed Peter Pettigrew indignantly. “Oh yes I would!” said Sirius with a pompous air. “We Marauders die together!” “Well, I’d prefer it if you three didn’t get expelled,” said Remus Lupin quietly. At that, all three fell silent, remembering all of the full moons that had come and went. James sat staring out of the window. “By the way, how was your chat with Lily?” asked Peter, his nose poking out from behind the magazine he was reading. Before James could reply, Sirius cried, “Wait! I think I’m getting a precognitive wave! James was . . . was . . . rejected yet again!” James glared at the still grinning Sirius. “Well, if you must know, yes,” he said dejectedly. “I think that’s a new record,” said Peter, winking at Sirius. “I don’t think he’s ever been turned down by Lily that fast before.” Sirius roared with laughter. A couple of girls passing by the compartment door glanced inside and waved at Sirius. Winking, he waved back, and then closed the door. Remus leaned back in his seat and sighed. James noticed how tired he looked. “Full moon coming up, then?” he said off-handedly, though he had the lunar calendar for the next few months memorized. Silently, Remus nodded. “Day after tomorrow. Reckon you all can still come?” He tried to say it in a nonchalant way, but his friends knew what it meant to him that they came down with him. They sat in silence for a while, during which Remus dropped off to sleep, but he awoke a while later as the lunch trolley came around. They played a few games of Exploding Snap, and Sirius made the acute observation that if you added an “E” to the end of “Snap” it became “Snape” which made the game Exploding Snape. Peter drew a rather nice illustration of what this might look like, and they all had a laugh over this. Peter got down his chessboard and he and Remus played, although since Remus was so tired and not really thinking straight, Peter won. Finally, though, the Hogwarts Express pulled into Hogsmeade station. The Marauders got into an empty carriage and pulled out the Marauder’s Map. After tapping it and swearing that they were up to no good, they monitored the castle’s inhabitants. Everything seemed to be in place. When they got to the feast, they were greeted by a surprise. A large banner with the legend “HAPPY BIRTHDAY PROFESSOR ARCHIBALD!” on it seemed to take up a lot of ceiling space, and as James’ eyes traveled along the staff table, he saw a new face. Professor Archibald had a thin, wrinkled face, watery grey eyes and fluffy grey hair. As the Marauders took their seats, Nearly Headless Nick popped up beside Peter. Peter, unfazed, asked him about his summer. “Oh, it was all right, I suppose, but Peeves was simply unmanageable. Without the Bloody Baron I don’t think we’d have ever been able to subdue him. He was going on about the castle being too quiet without you four, so he wanted to make a little excitement. “Excellent!” crowed Sirius. “We’re officially troublemakers now! Even Peeves likes our stuff!” Before he could congratulate himself some more, Dumbledore stood up, and Sirius quieted down. “I only wish to say this before you all devour the feast: Remember our motto: Dracon Dormiens Nunquam Titallandus. Thank you.” He sat down and immediately food appeared on the tables. “What does that mean?” asked Peter through a mouthful of chicken. “I’ve looked it up,” said Remus, picking through his steak and kidney pie. “Apparently, it’s Latin. It means ‘Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon.’” There was a silence. “You’re joking,” said Sirius finally, looking at Remus as if to make sure that he was still not mad. “No, I’m not. That’s what it means.” “‘Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon?’ What do they think we are, idiots? Who in their right minds would want to go near a dragon, much less tickle a sleeping one?” asked Sirius, still slightly skeptical. “Dunno. Someone looking for a laugh?” suggested James, who was much more interested in his mashed potatoes then he was in sleeping dragons. After desert, in which were some very delicious ice creams, Dumbledore stood up. “No doubt you all would wish to retire to your dormitories and sleep, but first I must impress upon you certain points. Firstly, our caretaker, Mr. Omri, would like me to remind you that all of the forbidden items are listed on the piece of paper in front of his office. Also, any students caught using those items will be dealt with severely. In other matters, we have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. As our other one seems to have run off screaming about banshees in the North Tower, I have recruited Professor Archibald, an old colleague of mine to take the post. Incidentally, it is his birthday. You do not have to sing to him, though if you want to, you must do so later. Lastly, I would like to remind all of the students that the Forbidden Forest is still, true to its name, forbidden,” here his eyes flickered over the Marauders. “But now, you are all tired, and I know that you’ll want to be fresh for tomorrow, so for now, Good-night!” There was a great clattering and banging as the students rose from their tables and moved toward the doors to the entrance hall. Yawning, the Marauders gave the Fat Lady the password (“Goblin grudges!”) and set off to bed.