Fan Fic: The Shoebox Project
A long running Harry Potter fanfiction, featuring the Marauders—James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. Other characters such as Lily Evans, Severus Snape, Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, and the Prewett brothers also make appearances. Cowritten by Jaida Jones
(who also drew the illustrations.)
The Shoebox Project follows the Marauders from the summer before sixth year through the first year or so of life after Hogwarts. It's a (very realistic) Remus/Sirius and James/Lily ship story, but fans also love it for its wit, style, excellent dialogue, and thoughtful treatment of each character. Hilarious, touching, overall just beautifully done.
For a while it seemed as if the fic had been abandoned after the writers's Livejournal page
was hacked in 2008. However, both Rave and Jaida have now confirmed that the fic is indeed finished. You can read it in full PDF version here
.Was recently featured
on the CBS news, with co-author Jaida Jones available for comment.
This work provides examples of:
- Adorkable: Remus. So very, very much. James also tends to get like this around Lily.
- Academy of Adventure: the Wizarding School.
- Adaptation Expansion
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Remus says this of "the Wet Blankets And One Very Lonely Marauder" in Part 10.
- Allergic to Love: When Remus finally gets up the guts to confess to Sirius and kiss him, he becomes physically ill and has to run off to find a toilet to vomit in. Sirius finds this disgusting but kisses him anyway before leaving, and Remus ends up spending a good deal of time brushing his teeth and washing his mouth out before meeting up with him again.
- Ascended Extra: The Prewett brothers, who were mentioned maybe a couple of times in the canon. Here they become legendary Hogwarts pranksters turned glamorous Aurors, whom James and Sirius absolutely worship.
- Caradoc Dearborn gets this, too; most people don't even remember his name in the books. Not to mention Kingsley freaking Shacklebolt.
- Beach Episode: Part 21 has the Mauraders on holiday at the beach.
- Bi the Way: Sirius.
- Brilliant but Lazy: James and Sirius, all the time.
- Boys Love
- Buffy Speak: Everyone, but most notably Sirius. He even manages to pull it off in letters.
Sirius's Letter: He played that one I like though! The Glen Miller one. The dah-nah-nah dah! dah! dah! dah! da dunnah dunnah, doodle oodle doodley doo, doo doo doo! dah nahnuh doodle oodle doo doodle oodle doo, doot doodle oodle doo doodle oodle doo, and then the same three notes over and over.
- The Charmer: Sirius, oh so much. Bad boy image? Check. Charismatic and popular with the girls? Check. Is a good guy deep down and, beyond that, rarely ever actually expresses any interest in going beyond kissing with a girl? Definitely check.
- Christmas Episode: Parts 6 and 18.
- Continuity Nod: SBP stays mostly canon in terms of plot, which means that things like Sirius and Snape's rivalry and the creation of the Marauder's Map get interestingly fleshed out.
- Attentive readers may notice a few interesting bits and pieces hidden in casual conversation: Rosier is mentioned to have been expelled because of what the protagonists assume to be a simple tattoo. Readers will realize that it was the Dark Mark.
- Cute Bookworm: Remus.
- Deadpan Snarker: Nearly all the characters get this at some point, but Remus seems especially suited.
- Did I Say That Out Loud: Although he doesn't say the line itself, Sirius' little...slip while kissing Sophie in part 14 definitely evokes this.
- Drop-In Character: Sirius is definitely one of these in Part 26.
- Dogged Nice Guy: James to Lily. She gives in eventually when she realizes that he really is a nice guy underneath all the bravado.
- Double Don't Know/One-Liner, Name... One-Liner: Hilariously combined for the school paper article on Sirius and Snape being forced to kiss under the mistletoe:
"I don't know," said Ted Tonks, a young man who bore witness to the entire spectacle. "I just don't know."
Neither do we, Ted Tonks. Neither do we.
- Downer Ending: Sort of. The fic never got a proper ending, and by the end Remus and Sirius had gotten together and James and Lily were engaged, but the final chapter is among the most depressing of them all, focusing mostly on Peter's disconnection from his friends since they left Hogwarts. The very last scene depicts the formal beginning of Peter's Start of Darkness as he is manipulated by an anti-muggleborn extremist into transferring his dislike of Lily to muggleborns in general.
- Erudite Stoner: James, Sirius, and Peter when they smoke Gillyweed in chapter 11.
- Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Part of Sophie's appeal.
- False Start: Part 16:
“Oh my God,” Sirius says. “We’re going to die, aren’t we? This is your way of telling me. You don’t remember anything. Moony, listen, there’s something I’ve got to tell you before we kick it.”
“Disgusting,” Remus mutters. “There’s something wet — are you still dripping?”
“Remus, listen to me, this is very important—”
“Got it!” Remus grasps his wand triumphantly, holding it high above his head. “Lumos!” Weak light flutters from his fist which is, disturbingly, red and sticky. “Hallo, is that blood or cranberry juice?” He turns to face Sirius, wand wavering between them. “Well? What is it?”
Sirius falters, squinting. “I got chocolate on your sweater,” he says, averting his eyes. “Your favorite one. That light in front of your face makes your nose look enormous. Like a great big dolphin sticking out of your head.”
- Gayngst: Remus and Sirius, obviously, as the story is about them, but also Caradoc "Man Panther" Dearborn and Fabian Prewett
- However, all things considered, there really is relatively little Gayngst, especially between Remus and Sirius. The story goes to great lengths to keep the plot and the characters' interactions lighthearted and funny, even when more serious aspects of the story come into play. The authors even admitted that one of the main reasons they wrote the fic was to challenge themselves to write a Remus/Sirius story with relatively little angst. Many would say they succeeded.
- Genre Savvy: Remus to the horror movie being played out in part 16. Sirius has his moments, too.
Hunting down the missing persons is the best possible way to get them both devoured. Not to mention they’ll have to go through the corridors. If Dr. Frankenstein, for example, had just stayed in his common room and eaten crumpets, he would probably have kept a good deal of people out of a good deal of mess.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Remus tries to tempt Sirius into continuing to research with him by making up stories about Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff and a place where 'no man had beene'. Sirius is very interested.
- The Great Politics Mess-Up: Inverted. In the first chapter, Remus is vacationing in Latvia, which was part of the Soviet Union during the time period. The story treats it as already being an independent country. Possibly because The Great Politics Mess-Up had no counterpart in the wizarding world.
- Halloween Episode: Parts 4 and 16.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: James and Sirius.
- Except that Sirius isn't heterosexual. Doesn't mean he has a crush on James, though.
- Homoerotic Dream: After Sirius kisses Remus, the latter starts dreaming about them acting out various works of literature, sometimes causing something Perfectly Natural in his pyjama bottoms. Remus is suitably horrified by the entire thing. Fortunately for him, they stop once he and Sirius actually talk about the whole thing. The tension doesn't go away, however.
- Ho Yay: James and Sirius' hero-worship of the Prewett Brothers reeks of this, to the extent that Sirius seriously considered wearing a pink shirt reading 'Mrs. Fabian Prewett' in public.
- Also, the spells Dumbledore casts in part 16 to make the school act out a horror movie invokes this in the Slytherin girls.
- And Sirius and Remus are very touchy-feely before it becomes clear that they're an item.
- In Vino Veritas: In part 17 on Sirius' 18th birthday he gets drunk and starts complaining about asexual Remus is. To the audience, it's clear he's upset about the fact that he's fallen for someone who, from his perspective, doesn't appear to be into anyone. Remus, however, understands none of it.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Part 18:
“He makes the fleas flee,” Peter says, mostly to himself, and cackles.
- Jive Turkey: Sirius tries it in the start of Part 23.
Sirius: I am getting the distinct impression that you are not hip to my jive. Are you or are you not hip to my jive?
- Love Letter Lunacy: James memorizes Byron and Yeats in various attempts to woo Lily. He persuades Remus to Play Cyrano. Hilarity Ensues.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Benign, but still.
- Love Triangle: The fic normally stays within the realms of Remus/Sirius and Lily/James, but before Lily fell for James she occasionally expressed an interest in Remus. It didn't happen, not that James was interested in hearing that...
- Metaphorgotten: James in part 11:
“The ceiling,” James sighs. “I like the ceiling. It doesn’t twinkle. It’s not beautiful or far away. It’s not going to up and dump you one day because it thinks you pulled a prank on Severus Bloody Snape. Don’t you like the ceiling, Pete? The ceiling is so lovely.”
“Er,” Peter says. “Wait, you’re not talking about the sky anymore. Are you?”
- Noodle Incident: From Part 21:
James: "...And do you remember that time, with the toaster? It was like that only a hundred times worse and a hundred times longer and less burning and more squeezing."
- Not What It Looks Like: In part 16, Remus and Sirius fall down a flight of stairs and onto one another, getting stuck on the helmet of a suit of armour. Which wouldn't have been so bad, except a moment later, Kingsley and Snape happen upon them.
“Is that Lupin and Black?” Snape says, sounding delighted. “Are they on each other?”
- Oblivious to Love: Even after Sirius kissed him Remus still couldn't comprehend that he had a crush on him. It could have been a case of Selective Obliviousness, but it shows up later, too, when it takes him half of a date to realise that, well, he'd accidentally gone on a date with a girl.
- Opposites Attract: Both of the main couples, really.
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: Filch's files, due to his poor spelling.
- Real Dreams Are Weirder: After a series of Homoerotic Dreams involving Sirius, Remus is very relieved that, after talking to him about their kiss, his dreams revert back to the usual nonsense.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: This would drive Remus crazy. As does Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma, which he spends a long time trying to explain to Sirius.
- Scrapbook Story
- Secret Relationship: Remus and Sirius once they get together. In one chapter they discussed telling the others, but they were both too wary to go through with it, and unfortunately the fic died before they ever found out.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: A lot of them, usually combined with Mundane Made Awesome. And frequently started by Sirius. They're quite hilarious, too.
- Slash Fic: One of the best and most critically acclaimed.
- Sleep Cute: Sirius snuggles with Remus after the incident with Snape in chapter 9, and then Sirius falls asleep on Remus' lap while high in chapter 11.
- Sleeps with Everyone but You: And Remus finds it incredibly frustrating.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Remus, possibly. He never really seems to show sexual attraction to anyone in the fic other than Sirius. So much so that Sirius seems worried that he's asexual before they get together.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: In the beginning Lily was quite taken with Remus, and James only grew on her once she realised that he's actually a really nice guy underneath the arrogance.
- Situational Sexuality: Remus tries to convince Sirius (and himself) that Sirius kissing him was just a result of them being in close quarters all the time, plus maybe the pack mentality. He's obviously wrong, but by then, they're both desperate for any kind of excuse.
- Stalker with a Crush: James to Lily. And she knows it. There was that incident with the wrong bed...
- Start of Darkness: for Peter Pettigrew, who Used to Be a Sweet Kid. Slow, realistic, and heartbreaking.
- For Snape, too, although it's more subtle.
- Stuffy Brit: Mentioned by Sirius in part 17:
Sirius: Can you even say the word ‘sex’ without going all British?
- That Didn't Happen: Dramatic example when Sirius kisses Remus in part 12. When Remus just seems shocked more than anything else, Sirius freaks out and suggests this, which Remus agrees to without thinking. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Peter, naturally, but played much more subtly (and heartbreakingly) than most Marauders-era fic: Peter is a perfectly nice boy! He just never quite fits in with the brilliant Remus, Sirius, and James, and he never quite manages to have the same kind of strong relationship that James and Sirius, Sirius and Remus, or even Remus and James has. Unfortunately, it's precisely this disconnection that leaves him feeling weak and useless and so leaves him vulnerable to the Death Eaters.
- The Talk: In one hilarious chapter, all four boys are separately traumatized by The Talk.
- Their First Time: James and Lily in Part 21. It doesn't go well.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate for Remus.
Where does it come from, he pauses to wonder, this love of chocolate, this veritable obsession? Everyone has a favorite food, he supposes, something that tickles an untraceable fingerprint of personality somewhere deep inside their bellies. Chocolate is a comfort. Chocolate is the essence of luxury; silks and satins for the tongue. But why chocolate? he asks himself. The way you are about it — it’s lunatic, you know.
- Under The Mistletoe: Part 6 features some rather demanding mistletoe that leads to kisses between Remus and Lily, James and Peter, and Sirius and Snape.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With a healthy dose of Belligerent Sexual Tension as well.
- Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Remus accuses Sirius of doing this in his letters in Part 1.
Repeat after me, Mr. Black: I do believe in commas. I do, I do.
- Will They or Won't They?
- Wolf Man: Remus is a shy bookworm most of the time, except when he turns into a huge monster on the full moon.
- Word Salad Humour: When Remus realises he's accidentally gotten himself on a date, the only way he can manage to respond is by shouting random words and then asking for the cheque.
- Wrong Name Outburst: At one point, while kissing Sophie, Sirius accidentally says Remus' name. Needless to say, their relationship does not last long afterwards.