James Potter (prongs_jp) wrote in order_phoenix,
James Potter

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A Troubling Turn of Events

At school, James had tirelessly attempted to find a loophole in the 'no Apparation or Disapparation onto or off of Hogwarts grounds' bit, without success. The magic was both ancient and fool-proof which, while good for safety, was rotten for sneaking. It'd been a bother a few years ago, but then, there hadn't usually been anything so very grave to worry about, and there were tunnels and the like, which came very much in handy now. Breaking into Honeyduke's presented very little problem; that could be Apparated into. The store was closed and the light was on above it. Owners were home. They had no idea that a man had just popped into the basement of their store, lifted a carefully concealed and now seldom-used trap door, and vanished underground without a trace.

The students, luckily, were mostly still at dinner, and James knew how to avoid those who weren't, once he had them coming. The Marauder's Map would've been useful, or his cloak, but that was at home and the map had been confiscated a few years before, curse Filch for it--they had worked hard on that bit of magic. But even without it was easy enough; from the humped witch's statue, he'd only to go down a floor and around several corners and corridors before the gargoyle appeared. Quick glance cast over his shoulder, and a softly-spoken password, and he was in.

The office hadn't changed much since the last time James had been there, which should've been comforting. Should have. There was too much on his mind still: giants and secrets and spies and the most recent rash of Muggle killings and, certainly not least, his friends. Despite that everyone had (oddly) remained in disguise the entire meeting at the Hog's Head, James knew beyond a doubt that Lily hadn't been there. He knew. And he did understand, now, Dumbledore splitting the Order up. Logistically it was very clever. Brilliant. But it still worried him for his wife. He knew that she could take care of herself and didn't need a protector, but he would've felt much better if he'd known that she was safe right now. Then there were his three friends. Sirius, he knew, had been there, but he couldn't safely say either way about Peter or Remus, and that worried him as much as Lily's whereabouts did. And then the whole business of the specific questions that'd been asked...Sirius by name, and married couples...Merlin, if anything happened...

While so occupied with worrying, James removed the patchy cloak and folded it over the back of a chair, and waved his wand at himself. The charms disguising him vanished, and he looked like himself again. Hair untidy as ever, glasses slipped a little low on his nose tonight, and looking rather lost in thought with his hands shoved into his pockets and his shirtsleeves rolled back to his elbows.

"Mr. Potter, aren't you a tad past being sent to the Headmaster's office for misdemeanor offenses? I thought you'd left Hogwarts already."

It was the voice of a sharp-eyed witch, a former Headmistress whose name James didn't recall from history lessons.

"I have, several years ago. I'm here on business."

"Of what nature?"

Another painting, this one of Phineas Nigellus, who looked skeptical.

"Private," was all James said, shortly, as he picked up one of the odd silver instruments from a spindly table to the side, examining it absent-mindedly and wishing the others would hurry up.
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Sirius took the same route as James, though, having left the Hogshead after him, and waiting for sometime while someone inside Honeydukes spent sometime in the shop, he invariably ended up going through later than James had.

After apparating inside in the basement, he pulled at the trap door, noticing as he did that it had been disturbed recently. He hoped that it had been a friend and not a foe who had used the passage to the castle and he made up his mind to ask James, as he was the only other one at the meeting who had known about the passage while they were at school.

Sirius guessed that dinner would be over at the castle now, though it was only a estimation, as he hadnt gotten his watch fixed yet. Perhaps he should see to that after all. He made his way up, and the witches statue moved silently aside. Thank goodness the hallway was empty, though he could hear voices coming. He sliped silently into an empty classroom until they had passed, then made his way down the stairs towards the headmasters office.

He suddenly felt a whooshing past his ear, and heard a loud cackle just in front of him. Looking up, he groaned as he saw peeves floating just above his reach.

"Black's back, Black's back" cackled the poltergeist (sp?) zooming round in a circle. Sirius noticed that he had a large white bed pan in his hands, and motioned for the ghost to be quiet.

"Peeves, shut up," he hissed, glancing around himself worriedly. The last thing he needed was to be caught in Hogwarts, that would bring all sorts of unwanted attention. But the ghost just cackled louder.

"Not supposed to be here, are you? Going to get in trouble, arent you? You'll get detention. Better get the headmaster...HEADMASTER" he screeched, whizzing around in circles, continuing to screech 'headmaster' at the top of his voice. Then, to Sirius's horror, he swooped upwards, and dropped the bed pan. He watched as if in slow motion as it made its way to the floor and smashed with a great crashing noise. Deciding his best bet was to leave, he turned and ran as fast as he could, leving Peeves whizzing noisily behind him.

He made it to the Gargoyle, and, gasping for breath, he spat out the password, and stood as the staircase started to move upwards. Just in time too, as he heard footsteps as two teachers ran up to the gargoyle and one stuck their arm in to grab his foot as he continued upwards. He shook it off, and slumped against the wall. He didnt miss this place AT ALL.

Opening the door to the headmasters office, he was pleased to see James already there, and the only one so far. He nodded, still catching his breath, and slumped down on a chair at the headmasters desk. It was like being in school all over again, except this time the irate teachers were left at the bottom of the stairs.

James looked up at Sirius' sudden, breathless enterance, and he had to crack a smile when he took Dumbledore's chair. He loved him for that impertinance; honestly blood had not so much to do with brotherhood as choice did, at least in their case. The amusement, however brief, was still enough to shake James a little from the worry that'd taken to spinning uselessly through his thoughts. Barely.

Setting down the contraption he'd been toying with absently, hands shoved into pockets again, he crossed to the corner of the desk across from Sirius.

"He split us up. Why would he split us up? I mean, I know what Albus said, but...Lily? Or Remus?"

Something just didn't feel right, and it was no less unsettling for that James couldn't put his finger on it. Quite the contrary. He trusted Dumbledore, of course, and his judgement, but somethings still--and had for awhile, if he was honest--felt wrong.