Thread: Choices
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Old March 18th, 2013, 5:23 pm
nevillesgal  Female.gif nevillesgal is offline
Second Year
 
Join Date: 29th July 2005
Location: USA
Age: 37
Posts: 220
Re: Choices

Hello and thank you for stopping by to read this story! Thank you so much to marauderfan for her sweet feedback on the prologue. Here is chapter one. The story will be chronological from now on, beginning with the start of term the Marauders 7th year.

Chapter One: Of Heads and Prefects

September 1, 1977

The beautiful steam engine in front of her beamed as students hustled and bustled to get aboard. Although there were enough compartments for every student, the compartments weren’t overly large so finding one to fit all your friends could be a bit difficult at times. It wasn’t allowed to magically alter their size either. The Marauders had done that last year and resulted in the witch with the snack trolley being catapulted from the train like a scene from a bad muggle movie. She luckily had her wand on her and wasn’t injured, although she did turn a fascinating shade of purple when angry. The boys had started their sixth year in detention for a fortnight and had to take turns pushing the trolley on the way home to the Christmas holidays.

Elise had already said goodbye to her parents. Although a witch and a wizard they chose to let her venture onto the platform alone. Only because it was always overly crowded and seeing as it was her last year, they knew she could handle it. So with a kiss, hug and a promise to write often, Elise took off through the barrier. She now stood, gaping really, at the scarlet train in front of her. This would be the last year she would board it on September first. For a moment she pondered where she would be this time next year but soon realized it didn’t really matter. For now, she was still a Hogwarts student and she planned make every single moment of this year count.

Pushing her trolley to the side, she gave a wave of her wand and levitated her trunk and owl cage through the crowd. She passed young children saying goodbye to their parents; some looked ecstatic to be on their way to Hogwarts, others looked terrified at the thought. She pushed through the crowd as politely as she could, and once on board only had to search for a few minutes to find an empty compartment. She was early by twenty minutes; the first of her friends to arrive.

She pulled a book from her trunk and began skimming the first few pages. It was her Ancient Runes book; last year she had taken seven classes. Herbology, Ancient Runes, Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Arthimancy, and Defense against the Dark Arts. She was considering dropping Ancient Runes this year, at the advice of her head of house, Professor Sprout. The course wasn’t required for her career path but she loved it dearly. It had been a struggle last term to keep up with all the work. She wasn’t sorted into Ravenclaw for a reason.

Elise’s thoughts were pulled from the inner debate of to drop or not to drop when the compartment door slid open and a tall boy entered with a huge grin on his face. Liam Hopkins quickly walked to her, pulled her to her feet and hugged her around the waist.

“Elise! Marvelous to see you dearie!” He said in a good imitation of Professor Sprout. They loved her but enjoyed having the occasional laugh at her expense.

“Spiffing to see you as well Liam!” Elise grinned as he stowed his trunk and settled in across from her. “Good summer?”

“Of course,” he nodded, “the best considering I spent a large portion of it snogging Lauren.”

Lauren Grimmings, a Gryffindor in their year, was his neighbor. From the sound of it, she was more than just a neighbor now.

“Really now?” She raised an eyebrow at him. While Elise knew he had been pining for her for ages, she had never shown the slightest interest in him as anything more than a friend.

“She finally came around,” the grin on his face said it all.

“Good for you,” Elise gave him a genuine smile. “Where is she then? Don’t you usually arrive together?”

“She’s just getting her sister situated in a compartment. She’s a first year you know.”

“I didn’t know she had a sister,” at that moment the door slid open again and the girl they were speaking of entered and looked at Elise a little shyly. She gave her a warm smile.

“Hello Lauren,” Elise greeted her as Liam rose and pulled her trunk in, stowing it next to his own. He gave her a chaste peck on the lips and smiled into her eyes. Elise was glad to be the only one here for that look. The others would have torn the mickey out of him.

“Hi Elise,” she spoke quietly, not what you usually expect from a Gryffindor. Elise was prevented from asking about her summer when the door slid open again, revealing one of her best friends. With a jittery sigh, Sarah plopped herself down next to Elise without even bothering to lift her trunk. She was still clutching its handle and she gave another hefty sigh.

“Alright Sarah?” Elise was concerned by her strange entrance.

“Hmm,” she was looking out the window cautiously, “what? Oh, yes, I’m fine Elise, how are you?” She was being incredibly formal and Elise gave her a look. With an almost imperceptible nod she made clear they would talk later.

“I’m fine, just chatting with Liam and Lauren.”

“Oh! Lauren! How are you both?” She was obviously surprised by the Gryffindor in the compartment. Elise tuned them out when the door opened again and Jeffery Macmillan stuck his head in. He pointed and crooked his finger at Elise.

“Let’s go Lise,” he pointed again down the hallway and only then she remembered the prefect meeting. Pulling on her school robe, she jerked it on over her jeans and jumper. She wouldn’t put on the entire uniform, but that way she’d look somewhat official if she had to patrol immediately.

The two of them chatted about their summers until a commotion from the Head’s Compartment shut them up. Even being still several compartments away, they could hear voices from within. A great number of sixth and seventh years were swarming the doors. It was then Elise noticed a familiar head among those taking in the show. Taking several big steps, she grinned and flicked her very best friend, Damocles Belby, on the back of his blonde head.

“Ow! Lisey, what was that for?” He rubbed the spot, which she doubted actually hurt, and gave her a fake pout.

“Dunno,” Elise grinned and shrugged, “just felt like it,” she put an arm around him and he laughed, hugging her back. “So, what’s the big deal here? Why all the onlookers?”

Dam grinned. “You’ll have to just go in and see. I wasn’t actually an onlooker. I was just on my way to the meeting is all and got caught in the crowd. I will say this though,” he grinned and wiggled his eyebrows up and down, “it’s going to be a very interesting year.”

Elise was about to respond when a voice from the compartment stopped her; said voice eliciting a loud laugh from Dam. Elise rolled her eyes at her friend and pulled out her wand. Using it to punch the non-prefects observing the scene out of the way, the pair of them finally got through. Jeff, who hadn’t stopped to chat with Dam, was already seated in the compartment, his arms folded over his chest and a cheeky grin on his face. Elise made to sit by him but Dam pulled her arm, leading the way to a spot on the front row.

Sitting down they tuned in to the voice that was heard from the hallway; a voice that belonged to the new Head Girl, Lily Evans. She was lecturing a boy almost a head taller than her, who had jet black hair that was perpetually messy and wore wire spectacles. He was grinning like an idiot.

“…I don’t believe you Potter. There is just no way Dumbledore would have made you Head Boy. Remus,” she turned to the boy on the other side of Dam, “give me your Prefect badge. I know the two of you must have made a switch.” Remus shrugged and pulled off his badge and placed it in her hand with a grin. “Now for that badge you’re claiming is yours Potter,” she held out her hand. James Potter, the messy-haired, bespeckled boy, handed over his badge as well. The two boys exchanged a glance that made clear both were trying not to laugh.

Lily took both badges in her hands and inspected them for a moment. She then turned and held the Head Boy Badge out to Remus, who shook his head of sandy colored hair.

“Not mine Lily,” he smiled apologetically, “sorry.”

“Remus John Lupin you take this badge!” She insisted.

“Whoa, you got middle-named Remus,” Dam laughed, “better take it.”
From the look on Potter’s face, Elise felt certain something was up. You had to be on your guard when anything strange or suspicious went on around the Marauders. Remus smiled tentatively and reached for the badge with HB emblazoned on it. As soon as his fingers touched the metal his hand shot back.

“It shocked me!” He exclaimed. “Bloody hell, the thing actually shocked me!”

“Potter! What did you do to his badge?” Lily rounded on James and those standing by tensed up, slightly scared of the fire in her eyes. James however, looked amused and calm. He reached for the badge, which was now on the floor at Remus’s feet. With a swift movement he picked it up and attached it to his robes.

“I didn’t do anything to his badge,” he indicated the Prefect badge in his hand, which he held out to his friend, who took it. “This one is his.” He now indicated the one fashioned to his chest. “This one is mine Lily. I’m Head Boy; you’re just going to have to deal with it.”

“Dumbledore must have placed a jinx on the badges so they would burn anyone else who tried to claim them,” Dam said. “Remember last year when Vance Gibbon tried saying his Head Boy badge had been stolen?” The others groaned and rolled their eyes. “As if Dumbledore would have appointed him. I bet he jinxed the badges to keep that from happening this year.”

Lily looked around wildly as if expecting someone to pop up laughing at the joke of James Potter, one of the biggest trouble makers in the school, being appointed Head Boy. Her eyes landed on Elise and lit up.

“Elise?” Her voice was a little too sweet and Elise saw her idea before she spoke it. “Would you trade badges with me for a second? When you don’t get burned we’ll know that Dumbledore didn’t jinx the badges, but Potter here did as a prank.”

Knowing she wasn’t going to shut up about it, Elise sighed and relented. From the look Remus gave her, she was about to get a shock so she braced herself. The moment Lily’s badge touched her fingers a shock shot through her arm, forcing the badge to drop whether she wanted it to or not. Gritting her teeth together and trying to shake it off, Elise let her eyes lock on Lily’ and saw a very real panic within those emerald irises.

“B—b—b---ut,” she stammered and for a second Elise saw genuine hurt flicker across James’ face. He shook his head and cleared his throat.

“Alright, show’s over,” he pointed his wand at the door of the Head’s compartment and it shut rather loudly. “Prefects, have a seat. We’ll keep this as quick as possible,” he pointed at Lily. “As has been proven by our antics up here,” he gave a sad little smile and ran his hand through his jet black hair, messing it up even more than normal, “I am James Potter, the Head Boy. This is Lily Evans, the Head Girl. We are both from Gryffindor House…”

He continued talking and Lily finally seemed to come out of her shock and joined with the induction of the new prefects. Seeing as the rules and regulations were exactly the same as the previous years, Elise tuned them out after about five minutes. Dam, also tuned out, kept fiddling with the clasp of his wizarding watch he’d received from his parents for his seventeenth birthday. She zoned back in and giggled when Remus smacked Dam on the back of the head and told him to stop.

Once the meeting was over, everyone began to clear out but Elise hung back with Dam, who was talking with James and Remus. Lily left immediately after the meeting, rolling her eyes as James reminded her they had a meeting with Dumbledore following the start of term feast.

“Thanks for shocking me, by the way,” Elise glared at James.

“Ouch McKinnon, that smarts,” he covered his eyes, pretending her glare was painful. “As for the shocking, you can blame Miss Evans for that one. She is so stubborn,” he frowned.

“You knew she wouldn’t believe you,” Remus shrugged.

“True,” he shook his head, “still not sure what I ever did to make her hate me so much.”

It looked like Dam and Remus both wanted to say something, but neither did because at that moment two other boys entered the cabin. The first was the best looking boy in their year, probably the entire school. Sirius Black was James’ best friend and part of the most popular crowd at school.

“Is Evans still alive?” Sirius asked with a grin.

The other boy who walked in with him, Peter Pettigrew, laughed as though what he’d said was the funniest thing ever. Elise rolled her eyes, wondering not for the first time, how Peter was friends with James and Sirius. He didn’t have the popular air the other two had, but was very close to them, as was Remus. While the latter also lacked the popular aura that oozed from James and Sirius, Remus was smart and good-looking, albeit a bit sickly from time to time. He was also one of the kindest boys in the school, and it was easy to understand Lily assuming he would have been Head Boy. He seemed the type more so than James.

“You were right Padfoot,” James shook his head and Sirius let out a laugh that sounded a lot like a bark. “She made us switch badges and Remus got shocked.”

“I’m such a good friend to you Prongs,” Remus feigned pain, “taking a shock like that!”

“It didn’t hurt that much,” Elise rolled her eyes for what felt like the hundredth time since arriving to the meeting. At her words Sirius, who had his back to her, whirled around, surprised.

“How would you know?” He asked suspiciously. Elise fought the urge to roll her eyes again.

“She made me switch badges with her and when I touched hers it shocked me,” she shrugged and then remembered what James had said earlier. “It was you that shocked me! You jinxed the badges didn’t you? Not Dumbledore?” All the boys but James laughed; he just shook his head.

“I still can’t believe she thought I would have stolen Remus’s badge.”

“Sounds like something you’d do to me,” Dam shrugged. Again all the boys but James laughed. James gave Dam a look and shoved him so he stumbled over one of the chairs. This only made them all laugh again, James included this time.

“Not to mention, it was you who jinxed them, not Dumbledore,” Elise added.

“You’re pretty smart and mouthy for a Hufflepuff,” Sirius gave Elise a once-over. “Who are you again?”

This time it was Dam’s turn to roll his eyes. He opened his mouth but Remus beat him to the punch.

“She’s Elise McKinnon Padfoot,” he spoke as if to a child, “you know, Dam’s best friend?”

Sirius looked at Elise again and seemed to just really notice who she was. “Ah yes,” he grinned, “I do think we’ve met before.”

“Yes,” Elise gave a patronizing sigh, “a fair few times.”

She looked at the five boys surrounding her. Ever since Dam made friends with the lot of them her life had changed. Dam, the most popular boy in school aside from James and Sirius, hadn’t liked this particular group of Gryffindors until after Christmas fifth year. He never really told her how they came to be friends, just said something vague about holiday bonding. He would never drop Elise as a friend, however, and even though until then she’d never actually spoken to any of them he pulled her along for the ride. She still tried to keep out of their way, really only talking to them occasionally in class. Dam had changed since befriending them; something the Ravenclaws he shared a dorm with liked to point out.

“I’m hungry,” Dam announced. “Lisey, want to find the trolley and get a snack?”

“Sure,” she made for the door and tuned out the final words Dam said to James and Company. She began to scan for the trolley. Once Dam came out they walked the train, finally finding the trolley at the very back. Dam treated Elise to a box of Bertie Botts and got himself more chocolate than should be consumed by three people, much less one. She just laughed as the train sped on.

*****
Thank you for reading! Just for clarification, I looked up how to pronouce Damocles and most sources say it's DAHM not DAMN at the beginning...just didn't want you to think they were practically swearing every time they called his name. I so appreciate you reading...if you've got a moment I'd love to read any feedback you have. The feedback link is in my siggy. Thanks again!


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