Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters and settings are the property of J.K. Rowling and copyrighted by her publishers worldwide, and Warner Brothers.
Four boys were seated around a table in a secluded portion of the Gryffindor common room, near the stairs to the girl’s dormitory. Across the table were scattered several books on transfiguration and animagi, and parchment covered with notes. Unfortunately, disturbed by loud noises coming from the girl’s dormitories, the boys were no longer getting much work accomplished. Staccato drums leading to a prolonged booming base was heard over and over. In between the cycles of noise they could hear the muffled sound of girls giggling and laughing.
“What is that?” grumped Peter. “How are we expected to study with that…that racket!”
“If only you studied this hard for our normal classes...” Remus quietly smiled.
Sirius stared at Remus for a moment, and answered in an equally quiet voice, “Our marks are more than adequate, Remus. This is for your benefit after all, it is far more important than any mere class.” He pasted an innocent looking smile on his face, turned and said, “Say, James! Why don’t you go up and tell them to turn down that racket.” He barked out a laugh while Peter snickered.
“Ha ha. How was I to know the stairs to the girls' dorms were bewitched with an alarm? It’s like we can’t be trusted, or something.”
Remus stared at him with one eyebrow raised while Peter and Sirius laughed again.
James sat there a moment, slowly turning red. “Well, be that as it may, where is a prefect when you actually need one?” he fussed.
They returned to the task at hand, trying to ignore the bangs and booms from the level above. After a while the loud noises ceased, although the laughing and giggling continued. The boys heard a door open and close, then four girls stepping lightly down the stairs to the common room. Lily Evans was singing, slightly off key, “Saturday, Saturday, Saturday night’s alright” repeatedly. She was bobbing her head, her red hair swaying in waves.
Sirius and Remus glanced at James, and then looked at each other.
“Not again,” whispered Sirius. “Are you sure she hasn’t come up with some ‘gobsmacked hex’ or something?”
Remus reached over and pushed up on James’ chin, closing his mouth. “Alright there, James? You with us now?”
James blinked then shook his head slightly. “What? Ah, the noise has stopped. Good!”
The girls halted at the foot of the steps, suddenly embarrassed seeing the boys sitting watching them.
Remus turned and asked, “Lily, what on earth was that cacophonous noise?”
“Don’t use big words around Peter, Remus. You’ll only confuse him!”
“Sirius, I know what cacophonous means!” spat Peter.
“My parents sent me a new record from one of my favorite musicians. Haven’t any of you heard of Elton John?” Lily asked. She was met by four blank faces. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road?” she prodded. No change from the boys. “Rock and roll?” she asked again to more uncomprehending stares. “Music? You have heard of music, haven’t you?” she said, slightly annoyed.
“That was music?” asked Sirius incredulously. “The WWN has certainly fallen on hard times!”
Lily looked over to her roommates, rolled her eyes, and sighed. “That wasn’t the WWN. Haven’t you ever heard of rock and roll?”
“Should we have?” replied Peter.
“You would if you were Muggle kids. This is the best music around. It’s no wonder no witch or wizard our age listens to the WWN. My grandmum would get bored with it! The whole Yellow Brick Road album is great, and this is the best song on it.” She smirked at James and said in an overly sweet voice “We would ask you to come up and listen, but Potter hardly needs more detention.”
His cheeks tinged pink, James unexpectedly asked, “C…could you bring your music box down here, so I, I mean, we could listen?”
Lily stared at him for a long moment, searching his face for the expected sign of mockery. What she saw reminded her of a puppy hoping for a treat. “Alright,” she said slowly, “I will get it. And it’s not a music box, it’s called a gramophone. That is a sort of an early Muggle record player, made before electricity.” Lily nodded to one of her roommates and they scampered up the steps to their dorm.
“You know,” said Remus thoughtfully, “I have some jazz records I really enjoy.”
Lily looked over her shoulder “Cool! Do you want to bring them down to listen to?”
Remus shook his head. “They’re at home, but I can have my parents sent them.”
“Do that! You know what they say ‘Music calms the savage beast’.” Looking at the other three boys she laughed and continued up the steps.
Remus smiled back slightly and muttered, “Perhaps…”
Sirius nudged Remus, nodded at the steps, then at James, and hissed, “Are you sure she isn’t… ?”
James was staring, mouth slightly agape, at the spot where Lily had just laughed.
“I am almost positive this is nothing deliberate on her part,” Remus sighed, as he again pushed James’ lower jaw closed.
Lily returned a few moments later carrying a wooden box with a handle on the side; her roommate carrying what appeared to be a large narrow metal tulip. She set the box down, attached the flower-shaped megaphone, and gave the handle several turns. She then set the tone arm on the record. The sharp opening beats of a snare drum sounded followed by electric guitar and bass.
“It's getting late here, have you seen my mates? Ma, tell me when the boys get here……
“Wow,” exclaimed James, as the song faded away, “that was…loud!”
“It was definitely cacophonous,” Peter said, missing the glance and wry smile Remus gave Sirius.
“So, Evans, what was that about?” asked Sirius, studiously ignoring Remus’ look.
Lily launched into a detailed exposition about the pent up frustrations of Muggle lower class teens, and the anger they felt at having to obey rules they didn’t make or understand. Remus, Sirius, and Peter looked at each, other shook their heads, and didn’t even bother to hide their eyes glazing over. James, however, listened attentively.
“Frustrated and angry with rules? And you sympathize?” asked an astonished James.
“Well,” Lily sniffed haughtily, “one is allowed to feel rebellious on occasion, is one not?”
“Rebellious? Oh yeah, Evans. That’s you to a tee. Little Miss Future-Head-Girl, the closet rebel,” laughed Sirius.
“What d‘ya say Lil…Evans,” interrupted James, “let’s have another go at the song. Please?”
“I don’t know,” she hesitated.
“Come on, Lily!” her roommates giggled.
She lowered the gramophone needle and the staccato drums started again…
After the second listening, Sirius looked a bit perplexed. “Evans, that chap, the one singing, he likes what, noises? What gives? I don’t understand what he says.”
“Ah…” she said, and began to sing the lyrics “A couple of the sounds that I really like, are the sounds of a switchblade and a motorbike… You mean those sounds?” she smiled.
“Yeah, those.” replied Sirius. “What are they, what sorts of sounds do they make?”
“A switchblade is a sort of knife with a blade on springs and it opens with the push of a button, or switch. Hence ‘switch’ and ‘blade’, I think. It would sound a bit like a latch softly opening, I guess. I really wouldn’t know, it is something used by thugs and those sort.” Lily wrinkled her nose in disgust.
”Uh huh,” nodded James, staring at her nose.
“And a motorbike is a two-wheeled vehicle with a motor between the wheels that the rider sits over. They are rather light and quite fast, like one of your Quidditch brooms, although they are loud and uncomfortable to ride. In proper circles a having motorbike is considered unruly and…and well, immodest!”
“Really?” Sirius sat up, suddenly very interested.
“Yes, really, Black. As though you need any help in being unruly and immodest,” Lily replied sternly.
“Quite right, M’Lady! Unruly and Immodest, at your service!” Sirius grinned.
Her roommates laughed, but Lily frowned and shook her head, her hair again moving in waves.
“Oh, for the love of …” muttered Remus, moving to close James’ mouth again. “James,” he hissed softly, “we really need to talk, mate.”
James blinked then shook his head slightly. “What? Talk? About motorbikes?”
Lily and her roommates were now chatting amongst themselves and picking up the gramophone. Without another glance at the boys, they went back up the steps and into their dorm. For a moment, the four boys looked around the common room then got back to their books and notes. The only sounds now coming from that part of the room were the turning of pages and the scratching of quill on parchment. After a bit, Sirius leaned back in his chair, and stretched his arms over his head. Turning to the other three he said softly, “You know, after we perfect our Animagi transformations, I imagine we can have anything, if we want it bad enough!”
“So?” Peter asked, not quite understanding.
"Unruly and immodest,” Sirius snickered. “So Peter,” he said with a determined glint in his eye, “I have decided that one day I will have a motorbike!”
A/N: I had the inspiration for this ficlet while watching my 13-year-old daughter bobbing her head to “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” on Elton John’s “Yellow Brick Road” album I had the mental image of a 13-year-old Lily Evans bobbing her head to “Saturday Night’s Alright” and playing it for her magical roommates at Hogwarts. James and his friends are then introduced to Muggle rock and roll, and Sirius hears about motorbikes.
“Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin, copyright 1973 This Record Company Ltd