calex (_calex_) wrote in artisticlicence,
calex
_calex_
artisticlicence


 
Title: The Saboteurs
Author: Calex
Rating: 15 – 18
Disclaimer: Not mine. Harry Potter in all its genius is owned by JK Rowling etc. No profit is being made from this story, it’s all in the name of fun. I only own the plot, the Saboteurs, and whatever original concepts within this fiction.


Chapter 2: Shocks and Confrontations


At the age of seventeen years, eleven months and however many days, Freddie Danvers actually contemplated suicide. Not seriously, of course, but it was the first time she could remember actually contemplating taking a running leap off of the still moving train when she was completely sober. It was a sign, perhaps, of how dire the revelation was. Freddie looked all kinds of ill, but then again, so did Prue and Oli, so that was alright. Because the three of them had found out something so monumentally FUBAR that they looked almost to be physically ill from it. The headmaster had signed their death warrants. He had as good as forced their hand at a surrender. When the three of them got into their compartment, Nate immediately jumped to his feet, worry in his eyes as he saw the pale faces, grim mouths and panic filled eyes.

“What’s going on?” he demanded, ushering them to the seats. Freddie found a chocolate frog being pressed into her hands and she automatically took a bite, letting the taste of chocolate slide thickly down her throat. “What happened? Is this about the prefect’s meeting?” Freddie took a deep breath. As the de facto leader of their motley group, it always fell to her to be the first to regain her composure, and to be the one to deliver the worse news. She did so then, taking a deep breath and meeting the eyes of every single one of her friends grimly.

“Not exactly about the meeting,” Freddie answered, tone as grim as the look she shot. She sighed, shaking her head. “Evans made Head Girl, which comes as no surprise.”

“No,” Charlie murmured softly, eyes faraway for just over a split second before they locked back onto Freddie. “What else?”

“Bad news, mates,” Freddie sighed, looking towards Prue and Oli. The two gave her sympathetic smiles, not-so-secretly glad that they wouldn’t have to deal with their lot after finding out the next bit of news. They knew it wouldn’t be pleasant. Freddie took a deep breath, actually appeared to steel herself…before locking her eyes on Nate. “Potter’s Head Boy.”

There was exactly six seconds of silence before pandemonium broke. Freddie withstood it for all of fifteen seconds before she put her fingers to her lips and let out a piercing whistle. The entire compartment grew silent as they stared at her. Clearing her throat delicately, Freddie carefully arranged the folds on her robes so that they fell neatly on her lap. It was a delay tactic to let them calm down, they knew, but it was also to give Freddie some time to think. It was not an ideal situation, they all knew this. Hell, one had to be completely blind, deaf and dumb not to know so. The Marauders were their biggest rivals and then suddenly one of the Marauder leaders had suddenly became head of the school. It was not something to be taken lightly, they all knew that.

The prank wars had started off as a bit of a laugh, really, right about their third year. It seemed a waste to let it go in their fourth year, fifth year, sixth year… now it had become legendary. The only group to ever have the balls to stand up to the Gryffindor Marauders. Freddie, in a moment of typical quicksilver change of thought to something completely innocuous, thought idly about whether they should get a name for themselves. It was a bit of a mouthful to say each and every name, after all. Much more catchy to have something like the Marauders to refer themselves as. Obviously not the Marauders, because one of those already existed. The bane of their lives, in fact. And yes, the topic that needed to be addressed. Freddie sighed again.

“Listen, chaps,” she said, carefully. “It needn’t be all bad. Potter’s been made Head Boy, yes, but that doesn’t completely ruin the fun, yeah?” she looked around at her friends, saw them listening to her, despite the looks varying from pouting to shock to incredulous to just plain brooding. “They’ve got an advantage over us in that they can get around school rules easier…but we’re not without weapons.”

“And what exactly do we have in our arsenal to beat theirs, Danvers?” Saz snapped. Freddie rolled her eyes and looked pointedly at Saz’s throat. Saz looked confused, in fact, all of them did. Freddie let out an impatient huff before leaning forward and grasping Saz’s tie in her fist, ignoring the other girl’s startled “hey!”.

This is what we have that they don’t,” Freddie retorted. “Slytherin cunning. Or have you lot forgotten that in your piss poor timed fear? For fuck’s sake, ladies and gents. We’re Slytherins. And a Ravenclaw,” she added as an aside to Oli, who was starting to look annoyed at being left out. “We’ve got brains, cunning. We’re just as sly as they are, mates. There’s not a blasted thing that they can do that we can’t either. So lets not be bogged down by the unfortunate fact of the headmaster’s lapse into the land of crazy in electing Potter as Head, which we can’t do anything about, and concentrate on what we can do.”

“And what exactly is that?” Chloe asked, the glimmer of interest in her dark eyes. Freddie felt a slow, wicked smile curve her lips as she surveyed the interested faces before her.

“We give them a hell of a welcome back prank.”

*


“They’re up to something,” James muttered, staring out of the window of their compartment, even though he couldn’t see a thing outside. “I know they are.”

It was the fifth time in the last twenty minutes that James had echoed the exact same words to his friends and Remus couldn’t quite take it anymore. With a sigh that didn’t quite manage to hide its impatience, his book lowered just enough so that he could look at his friend over the top of it.

“What,” Remus asked, succinctly. “Are you going on about?”

“The Slytherins,” James made a face. “They’re up to something. They’re all too quiet, shut up in their little compartment. They’re plotting, I know they are.”

“Which Slytherins?” Remus asked, despite the fact that he knew very well who his friend was speaking of. James’ exasperated look told him he hadn’t fooled James one bit. Peter was dozing off in the corner, his head leaned against the window, one rounded cheek pressed against cold glass. A sliver of drool had started to peek out of the corner of his mouth. Sirius was lounging indolently back in his seat, charming a feather to tickle Peter’s nose and snickering as the other boy slapped himself in the face to get rid of the sensation, all while he was very much dreaming.

“Freddie Davers and her lot!” James exploded, finally. Peter let out a loud snort as he woke up, Sirius’ feather dropped and his wand disappeared (magically, one might say) from sight and Remus rolled his eyes. “They’re out to get us before we get them. If we follow pattern, it’s their turn to hit us. And Valens, Hardy and Danvers did not look pleased when they found out I was Head Boy.”

“Prongs, stop being so bloody paranoid,” Sirius drawled lazily, buffing his nails against his shirt. He threw Remus a quick grin, unseen by James. Remus hid his smirk behind his book. It was such a game between the two of them. Sirius knew just how bait their other friend, had developed it into quite the art form. James was practically frothing at the mouth at Sirius’ seeming uncaring attitude about the whole thing, though he really should have known better.

Paranoid?!” James practically screeched. “Pads, Slytherins. Need I remind you who we’re dealing with? Danvers, Chase, Valens the identical, Hardy, Mansfield and Whitley? Ring any bells, mate? You remember what they did last year? In the Great Hall? Before Hogsmeade? Because if you don’t I can certainly remind you what they did to you in front of your date -

“Alright already,” Sirius snapped, all traces of pretence gone. To anyone who didn’t know them well, Sirius looked just a bit annoyed, but that was all. Otherwise unruffled. Remus caught the embarrassment in his tone, the very slight colouring of his cheeks. “No need to broadcast. Bloody hell, Prongs. But I meant what I said. I think you’re being far too paranoid about this.”

“Sirius,” James began, slowly, as though addressing a dim child. “Certain humiliation will befall us if they go through with it. Probably public humiliation. And I really don’t want that, especially since I’ve just impressed Evans by getting this dratted Head Boy post.”

Remus almost snorted at that. Impressed Lily Evans, his werewolf arse. James did no such thing. Remus had to bite the inside of his cheek to refrain from laughing at the memory of Lily’s look of utter disgust and despair when she had introduced James as the Head Boy in the prefects’ meeting. It was utterly comical, and utterly the usual for Lily. Even after all these years, it seemed that the usually smooth and suave James Potter had not been lucky enough to land his lady love. James was still feverishly talking about Freddie and pranks and humiliation and…constant vigilance? Remus snickered softly at that. Over the Summer, James’ dad had gotten him a job in the ministry, interning under the famous and famously kooky Auror, Alastor ‘Mad Eye’ Moody. He had been quoting the man since he got back, stars in his eyes. And he also had suspiciously yelped and pulled Peter’s wand out of his back pocket, muttering something about blown up buttocks. Remus’ quiet snickers weren’t as quiet as he thought because James trailed off, glaring at him for the interruption. Remus smiled weakly before hiding under his book again, unable to mask his chuckle as Sirius mimicked James perfectly in his favourite saying of “constant vigilance”.

He leaned back, listening with half an ear as Sirius and James ceased their friendly squabbling and started to discuss pranks in earnest. Over the soft snores from Peter, Sirius and James’ mutterings, Remus smiled. It was good to be back in Hogwarts with his friends… He winced. He just hoped that the pranks wouldn’t get too ugly. But he looked towards them with a certain sense of anticipation.

*


They all arrived to Hogwarts with no incidents. They didn’t see each other at all, really, but both groups were busy with their plans. Both wanted to outdo the other, and both wanted to be the ones who broke the pranking ice, that year. They both knew it was a race, none of them wanted to be the ones to get pranked first. Heads were already whirling with thoughts and plans, and it was all a matter of time, really. Freddie quickly went through the plan of the prank in the carriage towards Hogwarts, a brilliant piece of charm work. Simple, classic, brilliant. A great way of starting the year.

“You think it’ll work?” Oli asked, carefully. Freddie shrugged, leaning back easily.

“That’s what pranks are, Oli. It’s a gamble. It’s a game of intelligence, wit and cunning. And a whole lot of luck. But we have to get them quick, before we get us. And most importantly, we can’t get caught. It’s heavier penalty to be caught pranking the Head Boy than it is to just be pranking an annoying git.”

“Even if the Head Boy is an annoying git?” Saz asked with a grin. Freddie threw a piece of her Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Jelly Beans at her friend, causing Saz to laugh. A mock food fight erupted, their laughter clear even to the outside. Another carriage was pulled alongside theirs, and the Marauders listened grimly.

“That, boys, is the sound of the banshee, wailing an upcoming death,” James intoned soberly. Remus rolled his eyes at his friend.

“A bit dramatic, don’t you think?” he asked, sarcastically. James shot him a withering glare.

“A laughing Freddie is not a safe Freddie.”

“Oh come off it,” Remus sighed. “Freddie’s an okay sort. They all are.”

“Remus,” Sirius gasped in mock-outrage. “How dare you. H..have you been fraternising with the enemy?” Remus rolled his eyes as James laughed. Sirius had pressed the back of his hand to his forehead, pretending to swoon. He staggered almost believably in the cramped space, falling in a dramatic heap across James’ and Remus’ laps. James shoved Sirius off, but not before the other boy grabbed a handful of James’ robes. They both took a tumble, yelping loudly. Peter had let out a shout of alarm at seeing James go down, and pressed himself into his seat, as though willing himself to melt into the wood. Remus sighed once more, pinching the bridge of his nose.

*


“Marauder carriage next to ours,” Nate whispered. He shot Freddie an admiring grin. “Well deducted, Freddie-my-girl.” Freddie smiled modestly.

“Trial and Error, Nate,” she whispered back. She had her wand at the ready. So did Nate, Oli and Prue, who were the best in Charms of their group. As one, the four flicked and swished subtly towards the other carriage before hurriedly pretending nothing was going on. They shot victorious looks towards their friends, who had been keeping up the charade of a food fight. Phase one was done. The Marauders were in for a shock.

“You know, I’ve been thinking,” Nate said, after a while. At Freddie’s mischievous look, he sighed loudly. “None of your cheek, miss. I meant about what you mentioned over Summer.” At Freddie’s questioning look, he prompted. “You know, about the name thing.”

“I did?” Freddie looked surprised. “Merlin, I thought I’d only been thinking that. Though Salazar knows that if I ever told anybody it’d be you, Nate. Well, what do you think about it?”

“Smashing idea,” Nate said, promptly. “I bow down to your genius and insight. Should’ve thought of it myself.”

“Thank you,” Freddie nodded graciously, grinning as she accepted the due and over the top praise her best friend lavished on her. “Do you have any ideas?”

“You know,” Saz interrupted loudly, pointedly looking at all but Nate and Freddie. “I really hate it when they do that. They don’t seem to realize that the rest of us mere mortals only speak normal Queen’s English, and therefore, we’re not privileged enough to know the eternal mystery of Nate-Freddie language.”

“Alright, alright,” Freddie was laughing. “I get the point. Hold the sarcasm, Sazzy. I was just thinking that it might be due time for a name of our own.”

“Uh, Fredpet,” Charlie raised his eyebrow. “If it’s escaped your notice…we do have names. You’ve addressed us by them before. See, I’m Charlie. This is Saz. That person next to you is Nate – ”

“Stop it,” Freddie tried to look stern but failed as she laughed. “Lord, but you lot are exasperating. I meant a name for us. As a group. Like the Marauders do, you know. Something catchy that isn’t just Danvers, Chase, Whitley, Hardy etc ad nauseum.”

“Hey, why was everyone mentioned but us?” Chloe cried out indignantly. Freddie rolled her eyes.

“Not the point,” the other girl snapped. Chloe pouted, but as Freddie’s look darkened, the pout broke into an unrepentant grin. Freddie glared. Exasperating indeed. They were going to be the death of her. “Look, I know you all know it. I just thought… it’d be nice. To have something to call ourselves, to be remembered by. An ideal.”

“It is a good idea,” Prue said softly, ever the peacekeeper in the group of needlers and hotheads. She smiled gently at Freddie. “I’m all for it. Do you have any ideas?”

“Well,” Freddie let out a breath. “Well, no. But that’s were you lot come in.” Loud protests followed this, but Freddie brushed them off. “Come on now, chaps. Something that beats the Marauders. Something catchy, but us.”

“Something undeniably Slytherin, poncey, and yet us,” Charlie said, dryly. Then shot an apologetic look to Oli. “Sorry, mate.”

“Not at all,” Oli sighed. He was getting used to it. They’d adopted him into Slytherin. He didn’t really mind, couldn’t mind, not if he had this lot to call friends. Besides, the sorting hat had said either Ravenclaw or Slytherin. It had just been his luck to get to Ravenclaw and not the house of Snakes. Snakes…Slytherin…Cunning…Sly…Pranks…Subterfuge… Oli froze. He couldn’t believe it. He… Diversionist…

“Saboteur,” he blurted out before he could stop himself. Conversations ceased as all stared at him. Oli started blushing, but held his ground. It was Freddie who broke the uncomfortable silence.

“What?”

“Saboteur,” Oli repeated. At the blank looks all around, he hasted to add: “It’s French. For diversionist. Or wreaker, really, but I thought the diversionist bit might have more meaning.”

“Saboteur…” Freddie’s eyes grew faraway as her mind turned it over. Her tongue tested the word out. “Saboteur… the Saboteurs of Slytherin…” she grinned. “It has a nice alliteration-y ring to it. Well done, Oli.” Nate clapped him on his back, Charlie grinned at him and Saz gave him a quick squeeze on the shoulder. Oli felt his cheeks burn as each Valens twin kissed him on a cheek…simultaneously.

“Thanks,” he murmured, looking bashful. Then the bashfulness turned wicked. “One more thing though?” he said. They looked intrigued and leaned closer as he whispered.

*


When the Marauders got off the carriage at the foyer of Hogwarts, every stitch of clothing on their bodies fell to the ground. There was a split second of silence before someone snickered. The snicker spread. Soon everyone was guffawing and pointing at them. Peter was frantically trying to pull his robes back on, but they seemed charmed to stay off. His whole body (or what was visible) was quivering and red with his mortification. Remus was blushing a bit himself, uncomfortable with being on display in just his plain grey cotton boxers, white socks and school shoes. He held his robes and book in front of him. James and Sirius just looked annoyed as they searched out the group that they just knew had been behind this little trick. They were all smirking from ear to ear. Danvers and Whitley even had the audacity to wiggle their fingers at the Marauders in a mocking wave. On James and Sirius’ chests was written, as though in lipstick, Compliments of the Saboteurs. Enjoy your school year. And it didn’t seem to want to disappear either, despite the scourgifying charms James was muttering at himself.

The year had started.

The prank wars had begun.

The Saboteurs? Remus couldn’t help but grin at Freddie, who grinned back at him. He had to ask her why. At the next Duelling meeting, he’d ask her then. Looking back at his robes, he found himself admiring the charms work. He added another question that he had to put forward towards her.

tbc…

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