summary: the marauders attempt to get out of the castle and end up getting caught & freeing an extra astronomy revision session for the rest of the year. but, they sneak off to stay up and watch the stars in a cave
word count: this is a little spin on what the writing was originally meant to be (which was the marauders just sneaking off to watch the stars), but i hope u like it nonetheless! notes - sirius is genderfluid, but in this writing piece, she is going by she/her pronouns ! - professor dara is an oc - i know u guys wanna see the james having a twin sister writing, but i'll post it soon !! i just liked writing this sm <3
word count: 2,355
marauders era writings
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Tonight was supposed to be different.
The Marauders were supposed to watch the stars and tease each other mercilessly if they said one wrong thing about the night sky, or if they said too much about it.
"You're too much of a swot Moony," Sirius was supposed to say, "I can't believe I'm in love with a swot."
But it wasn't just the Marauders, it was practically all of the fifth year students. They'd all invited themselves along, praising the Gryffindor mischief makers for "showing an interest in their lessons and participating in extra curricular activity."
They were supposed to be sneaking out, but after they'd been caught out by way too many people and the Astronomy teacher, they'd ruined their chances. They had to pass their tendency to sneak out of the castle in the dead of night for wanting to spend time with some of the classmates they hated so much.
Stargazing had turned into another one of their revision homeworks.
And they were doing it on the lawn outside of Hagrid's house.
"Nice one Pete," Sirius said furiously under his breath. It wasn't Peter's fault in particular, Sirius was just looking for someone to blame.
"You can't always blame me!" Peter shot back, "I wasn't the only one caught!"
James intervened, knowing their arguments could last all night, and frankly if they were going to go through with their quickly thought of plans, they didn't have very long to wait.
The four of them were walking slowly behind the others, James was slightly in the lead and Sirius was close behind, hand in hand with Remus. Peter was only at the back because he walked slowly.
For no reason at all.
Marlene, Dorcas, Mary and Lily were just ahead of them, silent so as to eavesdrop on their plans.
"Oi Evans," James grinned.
She turned around with a stern and less-than-impressed expression, "What?"
He chewed on gum in his mouth that wasn't there.
His inner cheek. He was chewing on his inner cheek.
"Stop eavesdropping, love. I know we lead colourful lives and you four just like to gossip in the corner of the common room-"
Marlene tutted and folded her arms, "We just want to know what you're planning on getting up to. You lot are the reason we had to get up in the middle of night to do bloody Astronomy. If I wanted to get frustrated looking at the stars, I'd just stare at Sirius until I wanted to punch her in the face!"
"Now now," Sirius let go of Remus' hand and pushed past James gently so she could seize the opportunity to walk up to Marlene and tease her face to face, "you know you love me, Marley boo."
"I may throw up," Dorcas commented, observing Sirius trying to keep up her facade with Marlene. It had been said from first year that Sirius and Marlene were the most likely to end up together.
How they were all wrong.
"Homophobia." Dorcas stuck their tongue out at Sirius, and then their middle finger.
"This is all well and good," James said in a low voice, "but the Professor is looking at us funny and wants us all to sit down."
Lily looked at James in a way that made James feel as though she knew what he was going to do.
But she sat down on the ground and then proceeded to lay on her back so that she was facing skywards.
And everyone else followed suit.
They were lying there for a while, observing all the stars in the night sky, naming them here and there.
When it got to a constellation they were familiar with, a classmate would shout it out and get rewarded house points from the teacher.
"So you see here," Professor Dara shouted above all of the murmuring noise, "that's the brightest star in the sky, Sirius!"
She was pointing up at it, but there were clusters of stars everywhere - the only way they could even distinguish that star from the others was the fact that in all of the white specs they could see, Sirius was the biggest and the brightest (obviously).
"Did you hear that, Sirius, mate?" James shouted with a cocky smirk on his face, "You're the brightest star in the sky!"
Professor Dara smiled and shook her head. She looked fond of the Marauders, and everyone knew she secretly was.
Had Professor McGonagall not claimed the title 'The Marauders' mother', she would've taken it for herself.
Dara was admirable, she was a good teacher and she was so patient. It took guts to be able to teach James and Sirius and she'd mastered it pretty well.
"No. I don't believe Miss Black is the brightest star in the sky, but her namesake certainly is!" she laughed, her eyes almost twinkling.
Sirius pretended to look downtrodden to gain sympathy kisses from Remus.
Instead, Remus shouted, "It's alright Sirius! You're the brightest star in MY sky!"
Everyone giggled. It didn't make much sense. His sky?
"In my world, I mean," they added on pretty quickly, reddening slightly but looking quite pleased with the fact that he'd managed to be a loud one, like James and Sirius, for once. It's strange, what that shy person would do love.
There was now raucous laughter from everyone as they were so sleep deprived and almost delirious from having to wake up in the middle of the night.
"Settle down!" Professor Dara called to the year, but she was giggling too.
It was interesting how clumsily flirting with your girlfriend was so funny, but Remus was laughing too.
There was only a few more minutes of laughter before everyone did, indeed, settle down.
The teacher named more constellations and galaxies, but the Marauders were no longer paying attention.
Marlene, Dorcas, Lily and Mary were also not paying attention. They were staring at the others trying to find the right moment to sneak off.
"No," they heard Peter whisper, "I don't want to let Professor Dara down."
"What's she gonna do? Laugh with us and tell us not to do it again? Merlin's nutsack, Pete. Come on!" Sirius replied in hushed tones, crouching besides her friends and looking over to the Astronomy professor every minute.
Remus and James had surprisingly already left, from what Marlene, Lily, Dorcas and Mary could just about see, they were darting towards Hogsmeade.
"What are we gonna do with them, eh?" Lily muttered to the others, unaware that Marlene had already gone over to Sirius and Peter, who were just about to leave.
"Whatcha doin'?" she asked in a less than casual voice.
"Minding my own business, what about you?" Sirius responded nonchalantly, as if she had nowhere to be.
Marlene cut to the chase, "Why are you four going over to Hogsmeade? You're the ones that got us stuck out here in the first place!"
"We're stargazing," Sirius shrugged and turned on her heel. She was only a metre away when Marlene registered what she'd said and yanked her jacket.
Sirius looked disgruntled and her usual 'devilish' charms were absent from her face. "What?" she grumbled.
"We're stargazing right now!" Marlene gestured to the others and then towards the sky, "I don't know if you've noticed..."
"Go join them, Pete," Sirius muttered out of the corner of her mouth, waiting for him to nod and bound off after them. When he'd left, Sirius crouched again, grabbing Marlene's arm to bring them down with her. "We're doing a different sort of stargazing."
"Is this a weird way of saying you're going to have an orgy?" Marlene joked before Sirius clamped her hand over Marlene's mouth.
"No," she responded, impatient and aggravated, "this is where we don't have to stargaze with them," she pointed to the other people in the class, the people who weren't really paying attention to their tiff, "also, keep your voice down!"
Sirius made to turn back and run towards Hogsmeade, but a look from Marlene's deadpanned face, a glance at their crossed arms and tapping right foot made her turn back around again.
She sighed. Usually she was the first to make a getaway, but Remus and James had moved too quickly. Lucky bastards.
“Can we come?” Marlene asked feverishly, hopefully gesturing with their head towards the others.
“Yes. Only if you make it quick, don’t be too obvious, and keep your mouth shut.”
Mary spoke for the first time that night, "Can I bring Emmeline?"
They sounded shy, and unlike herself. Could it be..?
Sirius smiled and softly responded with, "Yeah. Just make it quick. I'll take Marlene, Dorcas and Lily with me to Zonko's. Do you think you two can get there alright?"
"We're better experts at sneaking around than you lot are. You've got that damned Invisibility Cloak but you can't shut your mouth," Mary smirked and winked.
She flushed with embarrassment, "You don't know what you're talking about. We're going now."
The four of them stuck close together and tried to keep out of sight, ducking down and looking the other way just at the right moments.
As they entered Hogsmeade, they all let out a huge breath and began lapsing into conversation.
"This is so thrilling!" Dorcas looked around, although they were in the clear.
Meanwhile, Lily spiralled, "Where's Mary and Emmeline? Oh we could get into such trouble."
Sirius stood a little out of the way from the others; she brought out her wand and summoned her leather jacket, determined to take it wherever she went.
She'd banished it when they'd gotten caught by the teachers. There was no reason for it, but she did it anyway.
Mary and Emmeline came rushing towards them a few minutes later, red from the cold and holding hands. They fit so well together it was almost as if they'd had years of practice carving their hands into the perfect shape for each other.
"What kept you?" Marlene asked in a voice that was marginally louder than the one they all used when they were gathered together in their impromptu class.
"Never mind that," Sirius used their hands to gesture them to walk faster, and then she grabbed Lily and said, "we've gotta go!"
They started picking up speed as Mary shouted, "WHERE EXACTLY?"
"Do you see those caves?" Sirius pointed to the mountains in the near distance, albeit it was difficult to see in the dark. The mountains were jagged, darkly outlined and way too high.
“UP THERE?” Emmeline asked, still holding hands with Mary. They were all still running: they shouldn’t have wasted all their adrenaline and energy on the jog to, instead of the climb up the mountains.
Lily halted and almost doubled over and grabbed her knees as she tried to catch her breath, “We’re going to be going up bloody mountains. I am not running there and up. Let’s walk.”
And so they walked.
They walked for about fifteen minutes, stopping occasionally to put their hands on their forehead and bent elbows, observing the distance they still hadn’t covered and then starting again.
Conversations came and went. The one that stuck the most was talking about relationships.
“Relationships are tricky,” Lily deduced from the conversations, taking in every word Marlene, Dorcas and Sirius were saying. Mary and Emmeline were taking notes too, not saying much of anything because they weren’t exactly ‘experts’ on the arts of being in a relationship. Or fucking up. Or making up.
“But they’re beautiful,” Sirius added on, making sure she got that point down in her head.
They were at the base of the mountain, and they were building up their adrenaline yet again, getting enraptured at the prospect of stargazing and breaking the rules.
Lily and Emmeline, anyway.
“Is there no other way to get up?” Marlene grumbled, finding herself to be quite cold and crossing their arms and hugging Dorcas to huddle for warmth.
But Sirius shook her head now and they proceeded to climb up anyway, knowing that no amount of moaning and groaning would get them to the highest cave, where they were sure the others had been waiting for at least ten minutes already.
They started off walking at a steady pace, staying in silence and regretting their existences. They looked up at the stars and thought to themselves about how lucky they were to be loved by so many. It's not as though they couldn't relate, their minds had just wondered from pure boredom.
At the halfway point, they began to pick up the speed and ran up. They tore their way towards the top of the mountain.
It took about five minutes this way and even after they'd got to their cave, Lily was still running at top speed.
She collapsed into James and found herself laying neatly on top of him.
James smirked, and said seductively, "Hey Evans."
Lily hoisted herself up immediately from James and stumbled away.
And then she turned around and looked at the scene.
There were masses of blankets, pillows and picnic baskets in sight.
Remus was busy settling up the cave to be cosy and warmer than it normally would've been.
It was perfect.
After a while of the other eight gaping in awe, Remus stood back up and dusted himself off.
"Are we stargazing, or what?" they said, with a charm in their voice and a smile on his face.
It was a true smile.
Remus John Lupin looked truly happy to be amongst his friends.
They all laid down, cuddling with their significant other and quietly waxing poetic about love and life.
And about the stars.
And about everything.
Peter was okay to be alone, and he was okay to mooch in on other people's conversations, finding comfort in the things that were said about romantics - applying them only for himself.
They pointed out stars, constellations and planets and other galaxies you could only observe with the naked eye.
They murmured to each other in French, Welsh, Hindi, Spanish and Yoruba.
It was beautiful.
Their picnic was left abandoned and they cuddled and kissed until they fell asleep.
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