"Merlin's Knickers!" Said Peter, in absolute awe from his four poster bed as James wrapped the long cloak himself and disappeared from sight.
"Pretty cool, eh?" said James' voice. He popped his head out so that it appeared to be floating on air, grinning proudly.
"You'll certainly make Nearly Headless Nick envious." Remus said with a smirk. James was too excited to respond to Remus' teasing remarks, dancing around the room.
"Think of all the possibilities! All the pranks we can pull without a chance of being caught! Right, Sirius?" He looked over at the other raven haired boy. But Sirius wasn't paying attention. He was lying on his own bed, on his stomach, picking absently at a loose thread on his comforter.
James sighed. "Hello? Sirius! I'm a bloody floating head, here!"
"Yeah, brilliant." Sirius muttered without looking up. The other three boys exchanged looks and James tossed the cloak onto his bed before sitting on Sirius', followed by Remus and Peter.
"Look, mate," James started, seriously. "I know you're disappointed, but you said that you and Regulus were always close. Maybe this really won't change anything."
"It's already has." Said Sirius in a brooding tone. "He's right. I acted exactly the way my parents acted towards me." He sat up and folded his legs. "Maybe I really did just want him here so I wouldn't be alone."
"You aren't alone though." Said Peter. "You've got us!"
Sirius forced a smile. "Yeah, I know." But the smile faded quickly. "It's just that it really does mean that on some level, I really am different. I don't fit in with my own family." he sighed. "And to be completely honest, I don't want to. I just wish that someone fit in with me...They're still my family. I can't help it if I wish I wasn't so different."
"I understand." Remus said quietly. "I mean...What it's like to feel....to feel different. Especially from your family."
Sirius suddenly remembered the night last spring when he had seen the scars that marked the smaller boy's body and he shuddered inwardly.
"Well screw 'em." James spoke up after a moment. "We're a family, now. And you both fit in just fine." He slung his arms over both Sirius and Remus' shoulders.
"Yeah!" Peter agreed, doing the same so that they now formed a small circled on Sirius' bed.
"From now on, we're brothers." James declared, eyes sparkling from behind his glasses. "No matter what. Agreed?"
"Excellent!" James said, jumping up. "Can we please go back to focusing on how bloody wicked this cloak is!" He practically leaped onto his own bed and picked up the flowing cloth. "So what's then let's take her for a spin, eh? We could explore the whole castle with this thing! Where do we even begin!"
Ever so slowly, a smirk found it's way across Sirius' face. "I've got a plan."
They waited about an hour after their housemates had gone to bed. As quietly as the could, the four boys crept down the stairs to the common room where James threw the cloak over all of them.
"Remember, stay close and stay quiet." James instructed.
They sneaked through the portrait hole and out of Gryffindor tower, and none of them could help but grin with pride. James was right, the possibilities were endless with this cloak.
"Sirius, even if you do know how to get the the Slytherin's dorm, you realize you don't know how to get in, right?" Remus whispered.
"So we wait until someone comes along and sneak in after 'em!"
"We could be there all night..."
"So? D'you have a hot date or something, Lupin?"
"Yeah. With my pillow-Ow! Don't pinch me, you prat!"
"You'll sleep when your dead, you lazy wuss. You're young. Live a little."
"Would you two shut up before we're heard!" James hissed. Sirius opened his mouth to respond smartly, but instead they heard a soft "Meow!"
"Shite. It's Mrs. Norris!" Peter practically squeaked.
"Dont. Move. Don't even breathe." Remus barely whispered.
The four of them stood absolutely still, holding their breath as Mrs. Norris seemed to look right through them, sniffing the air and mewling softly.
Slowly, Remus reached into his pocket and pulled his wand out. "Lumos Apex" he breathed, and a small red dot of light appeared on the ground where his wand was pointing. Curiously, Mrs. Norris approached the dot and with slight uncertainty she swatted at it. Remus made the light move back and forth and the cat followed, determined to catch whatever creature she thought it must be. After a few moments of making sure the cat was fully invested in this mysterious dot, Remus flicked his wrist and sent it zooming down the opposite hall, with Mrs. Norris chasing close behind.
Sirius, James and Peter all stared at their friend blankly. Remus just shrugged. "I had a cat when I was little."
They continued their mission, narrowly dodging a Hufflepuff Prefect or a suit of armor from time to time.
"Wish we had a map or something..." James muttered. "You sure you know where you're going, Sirius?"
"Yeah...The Slytherins are down in the dungeons."
"Figures." Remus snorted.
They finally approached the dungeons and traveled down, down, down until they reached the entrance of the Slytherin Commons.
"We just have to wait for someone to come by. A prefect or something." Sirius whispered with confidence. The four boys, still covered by the cloak, slid behind a suit of armor to wait out their time. After a few moments of nothingness, Remus yawned hugely and leaned against the wall behind them.
Sirius rolled his eyes. "Really? You're going to fall asleep here? Now?"
"'m tired. It's been a long day."
"We'll sleep after we prank these slimy little-"
But Remus was already snoring softly.
James shook his head "That's actually impressive."
But Remus was awoken quite suddenly by a horrifyingly loud cackle followed by the sound of a raspberry being blown.
"ICKLE STUDENTS OUTS OF BEDSIES! BETTER RUN OR YOU'LL BE DEADSIES! AHAHAHAHA!" Cried Peeves the Poltergeist as he zoomed over their heads.
"Can he see us?" Peter whispered, panicked, the other three shrugged, too scared to speak.
"That is enough, Peeves! I am a prefect!" Boasted the haughty voice of Narcissa Black as she came around the corner, stopping right in front of their suit of armor. "Now leave, before I get the Bloody Barron!"
Peeves shrieked with laughter. "Ooooh miss perfect prefect! I must have forgot!" He hung upside down with his face so close to Narcissa's they were practically bumping noses. "Too bad good ol' peevesie thinks you're just a snot!" Sirius had to clap his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing as his cousin swatted angrily at the Poltergeist.
"Why you little- I WILL BE TELLING THE BARRON! AND DUMBLEDORE!" She cried out as Peeves vanished with a loud pop. Taking a deep, calming breath, Narcissa brushed off her robes and stepped up to the large stone wall. "Echis carinatus." She recited clearly, and the wall moved, allowing her to pass.
"Let's go!" Sirius whispered, and they quickly shuffled in just before the wall closed back up. The Slytherin common room was nothing like that of Gryffindor. Being so far underground, there was no light except from the torches that hung on the walls. The entire room seemed to be a dreary green, and when they looked to the windows they could see why. The common room was actually under the dark lake. It seemed that all of the Slytherins were in bed, aside from one. On the sofa by the fireplace sat a lanky boy with his face hidden in a book called Practical Black Magic: Hexing and Cursing Your Enemies.
Narcissa strode over to the boy and plucked the book right from his hands. "Now, Severus. It's far past bed time. No students out of bed."
Snape didn't seem amused as he reached up and snatched his book back. "Piss off, Black. I couldn't sleep." he
"Well go on up to your dorm and read there. If Slughorn comes through to check the common room I don't want it to look like I haven't been doing my job!" She flipped her silvery hair over her shoulder with an air of importance.
"Oh yes, wouldn't that be just dreadful." Snape drawled. He did stand, however, and headed off to his dorm. Narcissa lingered a while longer, walking around the common room and making sure things were in order. James, Sirius , Remus and Peter held their breath until at long last, Narcissa also left for her bed.
The four boys let out a relieved sigh, releasing the air they felt they had been holding all night.
They walked around the common room slowly, searching for the right way to go about Sirius' devious plot. Once they found the Slytherins' boys restroom, they entered silently. Sirius pulled out his wand and pointed it at the basket of shampoos that had been left by the House Elves. "Pigmentum Rubrum e aurum."
"What'll it do?" Peter asked.
Sirius just grinned. "C'mon. Let's get out of here." And without another word, they hurried out of the dungeons and back to Gryffindor Tower.