Thread: Fire Burns
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Old October 31st, 2009, 11:41 pm
Purple Banana  Female.gif Purple Banana is offline
First Year
 
Join Date: 29th March 2004
Location: Behind you
Age: 30
Posts: 48
Fire Burns

A/N: Ok, here's the first instalment of the newly rewritten version of Fire Burns. Quite a lot's been cut and certain plot points have changed, but overall I think it works much better this time around.

If you read the old version, I hope you like the changes, if you're a new reader, then

Finally, many, many thanks go to my beta Have Socks. Will Travel. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Enjoy!

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Chapter 1 - Going back

“Feels good to be going back doesn’t it, Prongs?” said Sirius with a yawn, stretching lethargically and shifting position to get more comfortable.

“Uh huh,” replied James absently, gazing out of the window, a preoccupied look in his hazel eyes. Sirius rolled his eyes at his friend and exchanged a knowing look with Remus, who had looked up from his Daily Prophet for long enough to catch his friends’ one sided conversation.

“You’re not still thinking about Evans, are you?” he asked, the exasperation in his voice indicating that he already knew the answer. Honestly, how long had it been? Prongs, known to many as James, didn’t answer and it was a few seconds before Sirius, grinding his teeth yelled: “James!”

“What?” asked James. He tore his gaze away from the window and looked to Sirius, a distracted look on his face. Remus grinned as Sirius threw up his arms in despair.

“Leave him alone, Padfoot. He’s in still in shock that Dumbledore chose him for head boy,” said Remus, casting a sly look at his scruffy haired friend. James scowled and threw a book at Remus, who ducked easily out of the way, still grinning at his expense. Sirius, stretched out across three of the seats in their compartment, laughed.

“Back with us, then?” he asked cheerily.

“Never left you,” replied James, sticking his tongue out. A knock on the compartment door made them all look up, but it didn’t open. Instead, there was the sound of hushed voices and a stifled laugh, and then the sound of rapidly departing footsteps.

“Wonder who that was,” frowned James, sitting up in his seat, his smile fading.

“Three guesses,” remarked Sirius sourly, face darkening as he spoke.

“Wormtail’s outside,” commented Remus casually, burying himself behind his copy of the Daily Prophet, which he had picked up again now that James had desisted from throwing things at him. Sirius and James looked at him, equally bemused expressions on their faces, and then Sirius got up and slid the door back. Peter fell into the compartment, both arms bound to his sides by the all too familiar body bind curse.

“That’s original,” said Sirius sarcastically, rolling Wormtail the rest of the way into the compartment.

“Well, that’s Snivellus for you,” said James, muttering the counter curse with a flick of his wand as Sirius bent down to help his friend up.

“Yeah, well, I suppose we’ll have to leave him alone this year won’t we, what with Jamsie being head boy and all,” sighed Sirius in mock sincerity. Peter looked up at him, clearly horrified.

“What? You can’t do that! Not after everything he’s done to you! You can’t! He’ll- he’ll-”

“Wormtail, calm down,” said Sirius, eyebrows raised, “before you hyperventilate.”

“He was only joking, Wormtail,” said James, a slight grin on his face. “There’s no need to get so worked up about it. Sirius would never go that saintly on us.”

Peter looked uncertainly from Sirius to James and back again.

“Really?”

“Really,” assured Sirius, “Come on, this is our last year! Do you really think we’d pass up our last chance to jinx Snivellus without getting arrested?”

“Sirius, I don’t think you get arrested just for jinxing someone,” said Remus, ever the voice of reason. His eyes were still on his paper, but his ears were on his friends’ conversation. It was how it had always been; heavens knew what would happen if he ever left them entirely to their own devices.

“You would the way I’d do it,” said Sirius darkly. “That slimeball has got it coming to him.”

“Do you have to be so violent?” asked Remus, sighing heavily. Sirius looked at him in fake surprise.

“Whatever do you mean?” he asked innocently.

“All I’m saying is that cursing Snape isn’t the only thing to life,” replied Remus, giving his tall, dark friend an appraising look.

“No,” agreed Sirius amicably. “There’s also taunting him and beating him in Quidditch and-”

Remus glowered at him; Sirius tried to look mortally offended at this but failed miserably. He sat down next to James again, who grinned and put his feet up on the opposite row of seats.

“Look Moony, you know he’d only curse us twice as much if we didn’t retaliate and besides, we have very good reasons for jinxing him.” James told Remus, defending his anti-Snape position as usual.

“So you said. It was the fact that he exists, wasn’t it?” asked Remus, treating him to an unimpressed stare. James bit his lip having the decency to look at least a little ashamed of himself; Sirius, however, took up the argument unabashed.

“He deserves what he gets, Remus. He goes round acting like he’s better than everyone else.”

“And, of course, no one else we know does that at all, do they?” asked a sarcastic voice from the doorway. “Nobody in the saintly house of Gryffindor would ever dream of doing such a thing, huh?”

Sirius spun around to face the intruder, glaring, as James leapt to his feet, fumbling for his wand. On the seat nearest the door, Peter cowered back, trying and failing to make himself invisible.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Sirius, indignantly, dark eyes fixed angrily on the girl before him. Remus sighed wearily and pointedly raised the newspaper in front of his face again; he could see where this was going and he was not getting involved.

“I would have thought it was obvious,” the girl retorted, giving him a small, sharp smile and looking absentmindedly at her nails.

“Leave it, Padfoot,” whined Peter quietly, small eyes flickering between his friends and the newcomer.

“Leave what? I’m not arguing,” said Sirius, trying to fight the rising frustration in his voice. “I’m just inquiring as to what was meant by that particular comment.”

Over in the corner, Remus lowered his paper, gave the girl in the doorway a warning look and then turned his attention to Sirius, who was still glowering.

“Sirius?”

“What?”

“Shut up.”

Sirius glanced over at him, a confused expression on his face and would have said something more had it not been for the all too familiar voice at the doorway.

“What’s going on here, then?” Severus Snape surveyed the occupants of the compartment with unrepentant dislike. “Consorting with Gryffindors, Katherine? I thought you had better taste.”

“Oh, they’re not all bad,” said the girl quietly, looking past James to where Remus was eyeing her dubiously. Snape appeared not to hear her.

“Planning on using that, Potter?” he asked, gesturing to the wand James was clutching in one hand. “I don’t think the headmaster would be very impressed, do you?”

“What? Is that your latest plan? Run to the headmaster every time you get into a fight?” asked Sirius disdainfully. “Well, enjoy this year, Snivellus. There’s no one to protect you once you’re out in the big bad world.”

Snape’s expression darkened and Katherine scowled.

“Big bad world? And exactly how much do you know about the real world, Black? That huge family fortune of yours must make things really difficult for you-” she said acidly, blue eyes narrowed with hostility.

“You leave his family out of this,” snapped James, stepping forward slightly so that he was between Sirius, who was standing, wand drawn, and the two Slytherins.

“Why? Touched a nerve?” asked Katherine sourly, gazing mockingly at him.

“I think you’d better go,” said Remus softly, pulling Sirius back with a gentle, but nevertheless firm, hand. He looked at Katherine and their eyes met. “Now.”

Snape frowned slightly and looked at Sirius suspiciously, but Sirius only glared back, hands balled into fists. Katherine arched an eyebrow, but turned towards the doorway all the same, muttering something Remus couldn’t quite catch under her breath.

“You heard him,” said James, hazel eyes hard. “Get lost.” Snape smiled sourly.

“With pleasure. We have better things to do than hanging around here all day with the blood traitors. Come on, Katherine.”

Katherine, however, didn’t hear him; in fact, she wasn’t paying any attention to him at all. The reason for this was that she was in deep conversation with someone standing just outside the door of the compartment, the previous moment’s scuffles forgotten, along with all of the people sitting in the compartment next to her.

“Katherine?” snapped Snape, irritated at being ignored.

“Huh?” asked Katherine turning her head to look at him. “What is it?”

Snape hesitated, shooting a quick look around at the Marauders.

“Let’s go. Rosier will be wondering where we are.”

“Rosier couldn’t care less whether we’re there or not,” she replied smoothly. “He’s probably far too busy with Fiona.”

“Fiona? Why would he be busy with Fiona?” asked Snape, frowning at her in bewilderment. Blue eyes fixed him with a look of deep exasperation; boys could be so slow sometimes.

“Because she’s his girlfriend, Severus,” she said, with exaggerated patience. Someone behind Katherine laughed, a gentle musical laugh. James froze – he knew that sound; he had a finely tuned radar when it came to that sound.

“Rosier’s going out with Parkinson?” The voice outside of the compartment asked.

“Yeah, I know,” said Katherine, glancing round at the pretty red head she’d been talking to before. “I didn’t think it was possible for her to sink any further-”

“Katherine!” A note of urgency was in Snape’s voice now.

“What are you so scared of, Severus?” asked Remus in a low voice. All heads, besides the one being addressed, swivelled to face the boy; it wasn’t often that Remus ever said anything to Snape. Snape himself still stood facing the compartment door. “There aren’t any monsters round here, you know, except-” Remus left the sentence hanging in mid air. Snape’s head whipped around.

“Except what?” he asked icily, not quite hiding the uneasiness in his voice.

“Except you.”

Snape narrowed his eyes then glanced at Katherine again. “Coming?”

“No, I’ll catch you up.” She paused, then grinned mischievously and added: “Say hi to Rosier for me - if he can tear himself away from Parkinson.”

Snape smiled sarcastically, then turned to go, but not before he heard Remus say in an off-hand voice:

“Lovely night outside, isn’t it? Beautiful full moon...”

“That was mean, Remus,” chided Katherine, as Snape hurried off down the carriage, but she was grinning despite her words. Sirius stood and slammed the door after him. He had shoved it so hard that it bounced back open. That, however, was the effect that he was looking for and he leaned against the compartment wall, as if awaiting Katherine’s exit so he could do the same thing to her.

Katherine just gave him an amused look, and focused her attention on Remus; it wasn’t exactly news to her that the rest of the Marauders couldn’t stand her and she’d long ago forgotten to care.

“He does it to me,” protested Remus, all innocence. “And it’s hardly my fault if he fails miserably at Astronomy.” Sirius looked at him quickly, dark eyes glinting with interest at news of possible dirt to tease Snivellus with.

“He failed Astronomy?”

“No, he didn’t,” said Katherine firmly. “Remus just meant that it’s a crescent moon tonight and Severus hasn’t noticed. He doesn’t even take Astronomy.”

Sirius scowled at her, but she only smiled and looked at Remus.

“How long is your Ancient Runes essay?”

“What? Oh, about three scrolls. Why?”

“Because I haven’t done it yet and I couldn’t remember how much we were meant to write,” shrugged Katherine, running a hand through her dark hair.

“And what are you going to do if we have it tomorrow?” asked Lily, coming into James’ line of sight at last. He smiled at her, even though she wasn’t paying him any attention, and ruffled his hair nervously.

“I shall stay up till 3am and fall asleep in the middle of one of Yelt’s lectures on mute mining dwarves,” Katherine said promptly, a slight smile on her face. Lily laughed, while Remus frowned disapprovingly.

“Wouldn’t it have been easier to do it over the summer?” he asked, arching an eyebrow. Katherine looked at him for a moment, face blank, then shrugged.

“I was busy.”

“For the whole summer?” he asked incredulously.

“Yes.” There was a pause while they looked at each other, then Katherine smiled brightly. “I’d better go. Rosier will actually go spare if he finds out I’m here.”

“Off you go then, run back to your little friends,” said Sirius, giving her a sarcastic wave. Katherine looked at him for a moment, an arch expression on her face.

“That mouth of yours is going to get you into trouble one of these days,” she said quietly, gazing placidly at him.

“You’ll be in trouble now if you don’t leave,” retorted Sirius, hand moving pointedly towards his wand. Katherine smirked, blue eyes glinting with amusement.

“Oh I think not, Black. How many hexes do you know, I wonder? As many as me?”

“At least none of ours are dark magic,” growled James, surveying her with a look of intense dislike.

“Who said anything about dark magic?” asked Katherine innocently.

“You hang around with Snape,” Sirius pointed out, vehemently. For some inexplicable reason, this made Katherine grin.

“And that means I know dark magic?” She laughed softly, gazing at Sirius in amusement. “I shall have to tell him that. He’ll be delighted, I’m sure.”

“You can tell him he’d better watch his back, too,” threatened Sirius, glaring at her. “Because one of these days-”

“One of these days what, exactly?” asked Katherine, eyebrows raised in a questioning arc. “You’re going to teach him a lesson? Do you really think that’s wise, what with all those dark curses he knows and everything?”

Sirius looked at her steadily. “You don’t think we’re a match for him?”

“Three of you? Oh no, you’re probably more than a match for him, I dare say. Hardly very gentlemanly though, is it? The odds are rather stacked in your favour. Still, if it’s the only way you can win a fight-”

“At least we don’t try and hex people when their backs are turned,” interrupted James, stepping forward angrily.

“No,” said Katherine evenly. “You don’t. I suppose you like to see the expression on their face-”

“Katherine, stop it,” said Remus sharply, pushing his friends back into their seats and glaring at her. “You’re asking for trouble.”

“Maybe that’s what I want,” said Katherine evenly, gazing serenely back at him. “What’s life without a little turmoil, huh?” Something in her expression made Remus hesitate for a second but then she smiled and it was gone. “See you at school. Bye Lily.”

“Bye,” said Lily uncertainly as the black haired girl headed back to her own compartment.

“She’s mental,” muttered Sirius, scowling after her. “What?” he asked at Remus’ odd look.

“Nothing,” said Remus, hoisting an unconvincingly mild expression onto his face.

“James, you do remember we’ve got to supervise the rest of the school when we get to Hogsmeade Station, don’t you?” asked Lily, as Sirius frowned suspiciously at Remus. James ran a nervous hand through his hair again and nodded.

“Yeah, sure, I remember.”

“Right, only you’re not dressed yet and we really ought to check the corridors every half hour or so and we can hardly do that with you looking like that, can we?”

James cast uncomfortable look down at his mismatched muggle clothes, as Sirius exchanged an amused look with Remus and whispered something that James was sure was about him. He shot a suspicious look at his mate who treated him to a supremely innocent look which was a sure sign of trouble, then turned back to Lily.

“Sure thing, Evans. Just give me a minute, right?”

Lily arched an eyebrow, casting an eye over his scuffed trainers and ever messy hair but sighed good-humouredly.

“I’ll give you two,” she said, and slid the compartment door shut.

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Last edited by Purple Banana; November 1st, 2009 at 3:32 pm.
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