It was night and all was quiet in the Gryffindor tower. In the common room the fire burned slowly, just on the verge of dying out. If you went further, up the stairs, taking a peak into the dorms you would find the Gryffindor students lying in their beds, deep in the world of dreams, tired after a long day of learning.

Unless of course the dorm you peaked into was the dorm of the current third year boys, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew. You would not find them sleeping and you’d most certainly would not find them quiet. Ever. They were wide awake thanks to one Sirius Black, who apparently had trouble sleeping.

To explain the strange conversation they were having at 3 a.m. I must begin with telling you a small, yet an important bit of their history. You see, roughly two years ago James, Sirius and Peter found out that Remus, the fourth member of their group was a werewolf. Of course, that didn’t bother them at all, well it bothered Peter a bit but everyone just ignored that, so they decided to do something to help their dear friend. Thus came the brilliant plan of becoming Animagi was born. While they had not yet transformed, and only one of them (James) had found out his form yet for that matter they, this time they being the ever optimistic Sirius, felt they were doing great.

Now onto the real story here. Sirius had woken his friends up because he couldn’t sleep. And he was bored. Or maybe he just felt like having a meaningful conversation in the middle of the night. Who knows what goes on in the very confusing and unpredictable mind of Sirius Orion Black. Anyway, he’d woken his friends up and been none to friendly about it. After throwing pillows, books and one nightstand (werewolves are strong. And grumpy when woken up.) the three sleepy boys decided to just lay in their beds and ignore their surroundings (mainly, Sirius.) while Sirius rambled on hoping he’d fall asleep some time. And that, my dear readers, is where this story begins, with three boys half asleep in their beds and one wide awake standing in the middle of the dorm surrounded by feathers and pieces of Remus’ nightstand.

“So, I was thinking” Sirius began, ignoring James’ mumbled comment of “that’s new”. “We need a thing.”

“What kind of a thing?” Peter asked confused, rubbing his eyes and sitting up, knowing he would get no more sleep. After all, it was quite hard falling asleep after a nightstand landed at the end of your bed and shattering in pieces.

“A new nightstand maybe?” James suggested, grinning when he saw Remus blush out of the corner of his eyes.

“No. A thing, like… a name!” Sirius said frustrated. Why couldn’t his friends read his mind?

“You have a name. It’s Sirius.” Remus wisely pointed out, sitting up and finally getting over the rude awakening.

Seeing the annoyed look on his best friend’s face James started laughing, making Sirius start glaring at him which only made James laugh harder which… well you get the picture. When Sirius finally realized James wouldn’t stop laughing he gave up and decided to ignore his best friend and answer Remus.

“I know that Remus, I meant a name for us, as a group.” He waved his hand around the room, glaring at James who had finally stopped laughing.

“Why?” James asked curious, trying to understand why on earth his friend deemed necessary to make a name for the four of them.

“Because the hippogriff said we needed a name!”

“Sirius… hippogriffs can’t talk.” Remus said carefully, hoping not to upset his apparently mentally unstable friend.

“Shut up wolfie, I’m not crazy.”

“Of course you’re not. Let’s find a name for ourselves. How about the Awesomers?” James suggested, trying to stop a fight from happening.

“The Awesomers? That’s the best you can come up with?” Sirius said insulted, “Are you an idiot? That’s lousy, find a better one!”

“You find a better one.” James mumbled and turned his back at his friends to sulk.

“The Gryffs?” Remus asked, not really trying.

“Too obvious, Pete you find one!” Sirius demanded.

“The… fantastic four?” Peter suggested hesitantly, knowing he’d get shot down.

“The pack?” James suggested, imagining all the fun they would have on full moons once they completed their Animagus training. “Or maybe the wolves?”

“No! It has to be absolutely brilliant, something related to all of us, not just Remus.” Sirius said.

“What about the Marauders?” Peter said suddenly.

“The Marauders? Where did you get that from?” Remus asked.

“Yeah, I didn’t realize you had such an extended vocabulary” James joked.

“McGonagall called us marauders last week when we stole that Slytherin’s shoe.” Peter shrugged, not really insulted by James’ comment.

“The marauders it is! You’re a genius Pete” Sirius declared, jumping on Peter and hugging him. “Now all we have to do is find a nickname for each of us!”

Sirius declaration was met with groans and pillow-throwing as his friends were quite tired. Since it did not look like Sirius was going to sleep anytime soon they made a mutual decision to silence him and tie him to his bed.
And thus, at 5 a.m. the newly named Marauders finally went back to sleep.

———- Two weeks later ———

“Why do you think he wants to see us?” Sirius asked his friends. The Marauders had been called to the Headmasters office and were currently riding the moving staircase that leads to the aforementioned office.

“Maybe he found out about James’ invisibility cloak.” Peter suggested.

“Or the potions ingredients we stole from Slughorn.” Remus said.

“Or about the tunnel to Hogsmeade.” James put in. The boys were not given any more time to think about it as they arrived at the top of the stairs.

“Hiya Dumbles, what’s up?” Sirius said cheerfully as he burst into the office without knocking, his friends trailing behind him, shaking their heads at him in amusement. When asked why Sirius always replied that surely they were familiar enough with Dumbledore to skip knocking as they were weekly guests at his office (or his personal chambers, depending on the time of the day)

“Whatever it is, we didn’t do it.” James aid as he sat in his favourite chair.

As always, Remus and the headmaster started talking about school, homework, the most recent gossip and knitting patterns while Peter feasted on the biscuits and lemon drops the headmaster always offered. Sirius and James however entertained themselves by playing with the various shiny objects in the office or talking to the portraits of former headmasters and mistresses of Hogwarts though they always made sure to ignore Phineas Nigellus Black. Sirius got enough of his great-great-grandfather at home.

After half an hour or so Dumbledore finally cleared his throat, getting the Marauders attention.

“Do you know why you were called here today?” Dumbledore asked as he always did, even though he already knew the answer. They never knew why they were called up; they broke far too many rules to know exactly which one had gotten them in trouble.

“Is this about the talking hippogriff?” Sirius asked “because I swear I didn’t think he’d go that far… Why are you all looking at me like that?”

“I’m sorry about him sir, recently he started seeing a talking hippogriff in the castle, we don’t know why or what happened.” Remus hurriedly explained.

“Ahh… No Sirius, this is not about the hippogriff.” Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling, not worried about his student’s mental health at all.” This is actually about something rather… shocking that one of the house elves told me.

“LIES! THEY’RE LYING!” Sirius said, pointing his finger at Peter which made no sense but no one cared enough (or they were too scared) to ask. While Sirius’ friends sat in their chairs, stumped at their friends behaviour Dumbledore calmly popped a lemon drop in his mouth, his eyes twinkling like… two twinkly things.

“I DIDN’T DO IT! THE ELVES ARE LYING!” Sirius continued his rant, now standing in his seat.

“I’m sure you didn’t my boy” Dumbledore said calm as ever, taking a sip of tea from a cup that hadn’t been there before.

“The reason I called you boys here was simply out of curiosity, you see I must ask… Why did Mr. Lupins nightstand need replacing?” The Marauders were stunned, after all their wondering that was it?

“They just realized it now? That happened like two weeks ago.” Peter said as Sirius and James nodded their heads in agreement.

“The house elves only come once a month after Sirius bit that one elves ear.” Remus informed them, blushing from the mention of his broken nightstand.

“It’s really quite simple my dear headmaster. You see, Moony here….” Sirius began but was interrupted by Remus.

“Moony? Who’s Moony?”

“You are. Now let me talk.”

“Since when?”

“Since now. I told you we needed nicknames!”

“That’s nice but perhaps you should get on with your story as it’s almost curfew and I’m sure you have homework to be done.” Dumbledore suggested.

“Anyway, Moony here got really angry one day and threw a nightstand at met.” Sirius explained, looking quite pleased with himself.

“It was one night not one day.” James muttered.

“That’s all?” Dumbledore asked shocked and rather disappointed. Normally their stories were more interesting and exaggerated. Not that you could see it on his face. All you could see was twinkles. “You’re free to go. The house elves will get you a new nightstand tomorrow Mr. Lupin.”

As the boys stood up to leave the headmaster pulled James to him.

“Perhaps you should take your friend Sirius to the hospital wing. Let Madam Pomfrey have a look at his head.” He whispered to James and sent them on their way. As Headmaster Albus Dumbledore listened to the four Gryffindors leave, Sirius singing “Twinkle, twinkle little star” He wondered why on earth he hadn’t retired yet. Surely, broken nightstands and talking hippogriffs were reason enough.
Better die standing than live on your knees.