The Storage Cupboard
James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter
ran down the corridor tripping under the invisibility cloak, parts of their body
“Are-we-there-yet?!?” squeaked Peter, panting hard.
“I’ll get you ruffians!” bellowed Filch.
Professor McGonagall rounded the corner “What the heavens is going on here?”
“THROUGH THAT DOOR!!” yelled Lupin.
Sirius slammed the door shut. After they had caught their breath (in gasping gulps) that Remus said, “where are we?”
“Lumos” they all said, except for Peter, who was sprawled on the floor.
What they saw was what appeared to be a storage room. Boxes and boxes of stuff were on shelves along the walls. There were coat hangers with weird objects on them, and instruments everywhere.
“Oh, goodie,” James chortled as Sirius ran toward the nearest box and pulled out a fur trimmed royal cap and crown, draping the cape on Lupin and groveled at his feet, “My majesty.”
“On your knees servant,” Remus drawled.
“Excuse me? But could some one get me OUT OF THE DOOR?” said Peter, straining to get his cloak out of the door.
“Liberatio,” sighed Sirius.
Peter staggered forward rubbing his side, dashed toward a rather large box, dug inside it, then jumped away from it with a horned helmet with blonde pigtails hanging from it. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!” he belted. All four of them were rolling on the floor laughing Sirius was pounding the floor with his fist.
Lupin ran toward the shelf and said, “Close your eyes.”
He pulled off a blonde wig, a tiara, and a flowy pink dress. He tossed them to James, who, with his eyes still closed, caught them with his face. “Hey!”
“Put those on! They’re your color!”
“What? Me? These are girls clothes!”
“It’s for the part. You’re the damsel in dis–“
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I’m not in distress and I’m not getting in this dress. If you put me in distress by putting me in this dress, you will be the one who’s this dressed – I mean – wait . . .”
“Oh, just put it on, cutie pie.” This remark came from Sirius. “I want to open my eyes.”
James had no choice, Remus had already shoved the wig on his head.
“What, I’m supposed to put this on over my robes?”
“Oh, do you want to get completely changed?”
“No! Fine, fine. On with the manky pink dress.”
“Hey!” Remus shouted. “You weren’t supposed to open your eyes.”
“You had yours open.”
“I gave him the dress in the first place.”
“Say, where’d Peter get to?”
James squinted to look around for Peter – his glasses had fallen off when Remus shoved the wig on his head – and saw Peter’s legs sticking up over the edge of a rather large cardboard box. A muffled voice came from inside. “Oooh, have I got something good for you . . .”
All three of them looked at each other. Peter hadn’t specified who he was talking to, and each feared the worst.
“Ah . . . which one of us?” Remus ventured.
“Heehee . . . Siiiiriuuuuussss . . . . . .”
It wasn’t easy to tell in the dim light from their dropped wands, but Sirius had paled rather considerably.
Peter got out of the box by tipping it on its side so debris spilled everywhere. He turned around to reveal a singularly hideous green, yellow, and red kilt with a clashing tam o’shanter.
“Ohhh no,” Sirius groaned. “Please, not that . . .”
“Haha, yes, laddie, it’s the perfect disguise,” said Peter in a very bad Scottish accent.
“Disguise for what?”
“For sneaking into the castle to save the princess from the Viking queen Smeldegraf!” said Peter, showing more imagination than he had all week.
“Save me, save me!” James cried, then collapsed in a fake swoon with his hand to his forehead.
In minutes there was a castle made of cardboard boxes. James stood in the center with a very sour “I’m NOT doing this” expression. Sirius danced around him throwing flower petals on the ground singing. He looked very, er, dashing in his kilt with the robe sticking out under it.
“Hey, Sirius,” Remus called out from his post behind one of the towers, “You’re supposed to be saving him – er – her, you’re not getting married!”
“Eeeeeeew,” groaned Peter, looking less and less like the formidable Viking queen Smeldegraf.
“Oh, fine,” Sirius consented. “O Divine Princess, I have come to save you!” he called out in a dramatic voice.
James rolled his eyes. “Er, thanks.”
“The door is right there, Your Highness.”
“After you, valiant hero.”
“All right, then.”
“And where, exactly, is this door, did you say?”
“Well . . .”
Just then, Peter, who had been trying to stop the invader from saving the “princess,” tripped on one of his blonde pigtails and crashed through a wall.
James, who was closest to the rubble, picked his way through, followed by Sirius. Peter was picking himself up from the cardboard mess and had replaced the helmet on his head when they heard a wheezy-sounding click.
“Oh. come on, you weren’t looking!” Remus’s voice drifted out from behind the cloth of an antique camera.
“AAARGH!” screamed Peter, shocked at being photographed with his silly hat.
“Hey!” shouted James. “That’s not fair!”
“Yeah, you didn’t give us a chance to pose,” Sirius added. The other two glared at him. “What? He didn’t!”
“Second chance, then,” consented Remus. “Line up!”
James stubbornly stayed where he was, so the other two pulled up closer to him. Remus did some complex wand-waving around the camera, squeezed the shutter-trigger, then popped into place next to Sirius. “Smile, everyone!” he called. A second later, the camera clicked again.
“And exactly why do we want physical documentation of this?” James demanded.
“Er . . . because there’s a camera?”
James was fighting with the dress, which refused to come off. “Could someone help me with this? I can’t exactly play Quidditch in it tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Sirius asked, puzzled. “Tomorrow’s Friday, not Saturday.”
“Friday,” Remus echoed.
“Oh no!” James gave up on the dress and started pulling at his hair. “I’ve got that Transfiguration essay to do! I haven’t even started!”
“That’s due tomorrow?” Sirius panicked.
“We have to get back to the common room!” Peter squeaked.
“In these clothes?”
“We’ve got the invisibility cloak,” James reasoned, “we’ll put these clothes back here some other time.”
They swept up their dropped wands and scrambled under the cloak, then opened the door. In the process, the cloak snagged on the doorjamb and James was thrust into visibility. Before he could get back under the cloak, Professor McGonagall came striding around the corner with a hot mug of tea. At the sight of one of her students alone in a corridor late at night with a distasteful pink dress over his robes, her consciousness gave up and decided to go to bed early, leaving her sprawled on the floor alongside a steaming puddle of tea.
“Um, hello, Professor,” James ventured.
“I don’t think she liked your dress,” came Sirius’s voice from under the cloak.
“Oh no! I forgot the camera!” Remus cried.
“Maybe that’s a good thing,” James commented, pulling a corner of the cloak over him.
“No, I’ve got to go get it!”
“Really, Remus, it can wait.”
“No, hold on a sec, I’ll be right back.”
He ducked out from under the cloak and turned to face the door they had supposedly just come out from, but it wasn’t there.
”It’s not there anymore! The door disappeared!”
“Good for it,” James said sourly, “now let’s get back to the common room and do that essay.”
“Wait, how do we return these clothes, then?”
“I don’t know, stuff them under your bed or something, the house elves will take care of them.” James’s voice was urgent. “Leave the stupid camera.”
They shuffled off through the dark corridor to the common room.
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