autumn stories: 1975 (year 5), flight

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile." (William Cullen Bryant)

“There's not much time left,” Remus said, annoyed.  “It might snow tomorrow, you know.”

Peter rolled over to shove Remus off the rug onto the scarred planks of the Common Room floor.  “Off you go then,” he said, “I'm sick of your whinging.”  Remus stood, kicking his Charms notes at Peter with more force than necessary, and banged out with no hat, or muffler, or gloves, or anything.

“Well done, Pete,” Sirius said from the window seat.  “Could've moved your lazy arse from the fireside for half an hour.”

“Don't see you chasing him,” Peter yawned, his text cracking sharply as he rested his forehead on the spine.

Sirius pressed his forehead against the glass.  He could just now make out a blur of long legs and elbows and badly-cut hair striding towards the sunlit brilliance of the aspen trees beyond the Quidditch pitch.

Moving before he could think, he was up the dormitory steps, grabbing James’ broom and throwing himself out the window.  James’ outraged shout was torn away by the howling wind that nearly dashed him against the tower; he forced the broom up and up, breaking into the cloudless sky at tremendous speed.

He hit his zenith and hung for a brilliant weightless moment, and then plummeted down, riding the wind out away from the castle.  He passed barely an arm’s-length over Remus’ head, whooping, and flattened himself along the broom handle as the broom shot through the golden leaves.  He banked up and dropped inelegantly to the ground, but it didn’t matter because Remus had tackled him and they rolled over and over all the way down the hill, their wild laughter rising in white clouds and their heads crowned with the last autumn glory.

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