THE PICNIC

By Larkin Rumphius 

Additions and subtractions, with her permission, by her sister Tealin


"Do you have the invisibility cloak?' asked Remus.

"Check," James answered.

"Basket?"

"Check."

"Food?"

"Check - unless Wormtail's already eaten it," he whispered.

"Scarfed you mean."

So the four went off under the invisibility cloak. Down the long corridor, they passed many portraits that gazed down at them, shaking their
heads. "There they go again," they whispered.

Then, they heard it.

"Footsteps," said Sirius under his breath.

"It's only Lily," Remus said, relived.

"Lily . . ." sighed James.

Sirius stomped on his foot. "Earth to James Potter!"

"We're going to get caught! We're going to get caught!" Peter squeaked.

"Don't worry so much. Even if we do get caught, she would just order five points from Gryffindor and tell us to go back to our dormitory,"
James informed Peter.

"The usual," sighed Sirius.

James pulled out the Marauder's Map, tapped it, and whispered, "I solemnly swear I am up to no good." The lines scrawled out from where
his wand was.

"Why do you even need to do that?" Remus groaned. "We wrote the map, we know where the passages are."

"I think it's great!" Peter piped up. "You guys are geniuses!"

"Yeah, that's why," James answered Remus. "Okay," he continued, "we're here, and the opening to the forest is there, so the portrait should be
that one."

"Up to the usual, I suppose," wheezed the wrinkled old warlock in the picture.

"That's us," Sirius affirmed casually as they made their way into the tunnel.

A long while later, they made their way up the slippery moss-covered steps and came to the top.

"I'm glad that's over with," Peter panted as they walked across the lawn to the Forbidden Forest. "There's werewolves in here, right?"

"There is now," Remus warned jokingly.

With a faint pop, Peter disappeared.

"Why'd you do that?" Sirius called out.

"Well ... um ... It's easier to get through the brush that way." he rushed.

As they walked, James tripped over a log and landed face first in a clump of plants. "Ouch! Hey ... what kind of flowers are these?"

"Why, thinking of giving them to Lily?" Sirius teased.

"No!" James started to protest, but Remus interrupted him. Picking a couple of the stalks, he put on a high, girlish voice and fluttered his
eyelashes. "Oooh, James, you're so sweet!" he crooned.

"Oh, stop," James objected. "I remember what they are now. They're lupins."

"Hahaha! You're a flower!" cried Sirius, pointing at Remus, who pulled a wry face.

"Peter?" James called. "Where are you?" He saw the basket move.

"Hey!" Sirius shouted. "Get out of there, you scab!"

"Wait, something's moving over there," Remus noticed.

"It's a werewolf! It's a werewolf! Hide!"

Remus raised his hands like claws, made a fearsome grimace, and snarled viciously at Peter, who had turned back into a human. He
squealed.

"No it's just a deer," James reassured him as the creature bounded away, scared by the noise. "And if you're going to be a rat, why don't you
just stay a rat?"

"Say, Prongs, you're a deer!" Peter laughed. "Haha! Oh, wait ... never mind."

"I'm not a deer!" James puffed out his chest and said in a deep impressive voice. "I'm a stag!"

They walked until they found a clearing.

"This should be a good spot," advised Remus.

While Sirius laid down the blanket, James took out his wand and tapped the picnic basket.

"Cibussaltus," he muttered, and the food started leaping out of the basket onto the blanket.

Sirius looked over the food once it had all left the basket. "Wait ... where's the cookies? You little rat, you ate them all!"

Peter put on an innocent expression. "Me? I'd never eat your cookies, honest!"

"You're the only one who eats them, Sirius," James commented as he opened a jar of sherbet balls. "Every Flavour Bean cookies ... ugh."

Sirius was still rooting around in the basket, which had been magically expanded so it could carry more. He pulled himself out, his fist full
of colourful beans and crumbs. "The beans are still here, someone ate the cookie part!"

"Don't look at me!" Peter insisted.

"Just you try and stop me!" Sirius joked, glaring at him with his eyes wide open. "Woooohoohoooohoooo! I'm looking at yoooooou!" he called in a fake scary voice.

"Forget it, Sirius," Remus tried to alleviate the tension.

Sirius grudgingly sat with the others at the blanket. No one had started yet, except Peter, who was halfway through his third pumpkin pastie.

"Hey, look what I brought!" James lifted an extremely colourful jar into the air.

"Oh, no!" Peter squeaked. "I'm not playing! I'm not! You guys go ahead!"

"Oh come on, Peter," Remus cajoled, "You'll live."

Peter whimpered.

"I'll go first, then," Sirius volunteered, taking a scarf from the basket and tying it over his eyes. "James - the jar, please." He took the jar in
his hands, opened it, and picked out a bean. Then, slowly, he placed it in his mouth and chewed.

There was a long silence ... then Sirius broke the tension with his verdict. "Orange juice, freshly squeezed," he stated, taking off the scarf.
"Your turn, Remus," he said, handing the jar and scarf to his friend, who blindfolded himself and took another bean.

After two bites, his mouth opened wide and he fanned it frantically. "Aaa!! Garlic!" He made as if to spit out the bean but James stopped him.

"No, you have to swallow it."

Remus gulped the pieces down and handed the supplies to James. He tied on the scarf, picked out a bean and tossed it confidently into his
mouth. As he chewed, his face worked into a nasty grimace, but he didn't say anything.

"What is it?" Remus asked.

James still didn't say anything.

"James?" Peter ventured nervously.

Suddenly James's face twisted up, he clutched at his throat, collapsed on the grass with a thud, and lay still.

"I told you! He's dead!" Peter squealed. "I hate this game!"

James sat up with a mischievous grin. "Strawberry," he assured them, taking off the scarf and tossing it, along with the jar, to Peter.

"Oh, no." Peter backed away.

"Oh yes," James insisted.

"No, no, no!"

"Yes, yes, yes!"

"You can't make me!"

"Oh, yes, we can."

The three piled upon him - Remus tied on the blindfold, James held him still, Sirius seized a bean and plunged it into his mouth. Peter
automatically started chewing, and James let him go. "Well?"

"Raspberry cheesecake," Peter admitted, pleased. "That wasn't so bad, let me try another!"

Sirius picked out an orange one with dark veins. Peter took it and chewed once, then spat it out.

"EEW! Rancid cheddar! That was intentional!" He ripped off the blindfold. "You!" he shouted, pointing at Sirius. "You chose that!"

"Me?" Sirius gave him the same innocent expression Peter had shown before and chuckled.

Disarmed by Sirius's jovial mood, Peter smiled too. "Yeah, you." Laughing, he lunged at Sirius to try to tackle him, but Sirius started off
back toward the school. Soon all four were chasing Sirius, tripping over logs and branches in their laughter.

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