Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Timeline: This story is meant to take place in MWPP's fifth year. I began writing it a very long time ago, before the fifth book even came out. I think I've changed everything so it's cannon friendly, but I'm sorry if I missed anything…
Summary: "They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally, they became heroes." MWPP get mixed up in a dangerous business...
They made it into the safety of the Shrieking Shack just moments before the full moon slipped away, gone to hide for another month.
With a final, pain-filled howl, Moony sank to the ground, his body changing, his bones adjusting and growing again to take the shape of a teenage wizard instead of a werewolf. The human was left naked and hurting on the floor.
Around him, his three companions- rat, dog, and stag- changed into their human forms with much greater ease and much less pain. The former dog and stag sank to the floor, exhausted after a long night of running around and keeping a very strong werewolf under control.
Peter, the rat, stretched enough that his back cracked, and then went to get some clothes for Remus, who was still naked except for a sheet he'd pulled over himself. Peter was always in charge of moving about first thing because he was carried around most of the night, and usually the least tired the morning after.
Remus pulled a blanket over himself, closed his eyes and laid back, groaning. He was tired and hurting, but couldn't help but to grin at the other two as they moved to sit closer to him.
"That was awesome," Sirius said, his voice cracking in the middle of his exclamation of pleasure.
James laughed, grateful that stags did not have any moon-howling urges like wolves and dogs, and so he wouldn't have a sore throat. His stomach would be upset- the greens had looked so good as a stag that he hadn't been able to resist, but other than that, there would be no ill effects of the night of fun.
Their second month of changing with Moony was a success.
Peter returned and sat down near them, giving Remus his clothing for the day.
"What time is it?" Peter asked, not wearing a watch.
"Time for us to get out of here," James answered with a glance at his wrist. "Pomfrey will be here soon."
"Wonderful," Remus croaked, and started dressing, wincing as he pulled his pants on beneath the sheet. The other boys had turned their heads, but nonetheless, the sheet at least gave him a bit more privacy. "You'd better get going then," he said.
"You're all right?" James asked, giving Remus a suspicious look.
"I'm fine," Remus said, not sounding any worse than normal. Even before they'd become Animagus, they'd snuck in to see him before Pomfrey got there in the morning, and so they all knew what a normal morning after was for him. "Get out of here."
Reluctantly, the other three gathered themselves together, gave Remus good-bye waves and grins and pulled James's invisibility cloak out and over them, then walked out the front door of the Shrieking Shack.
The foursome knew about two ways to Hogsmeade.
The first was through the Whomping Willow. The boys all took that tunnel to the Shrieking Shack on the nights before the full moon, but only Remus took it to get back the morning after.
James, Sirius, and Peter, afraid that Pomfrey would see them and wonder what was going on, used a second passageway that went from the floor of the shed behind the Three Broomsticks to a portrait of a door inside Hogwarts. Sneaking out of the Shack wasn't a problem as long as they were careful. A quick jog from behind the Shack to the woods, then from the woods to the Three Broomsticks.
They had discovered the passageway in their fourth year, when James had been in detention, scrubbing the hallway floor, and had seen the Head Boy and his girlfriend sneaking out. In return for his silence, the Head Boy told James how it worked and where it ended up.
The quartet now knew about three passageways in and about Hogwarts that no one else knew about. Well, almost no one.
The third passageway they had found only recently, and had been explored during the full moon the night before. It began in the dungeon, in a broom closet, and ran all the way out past Hogsmeade, to the hills where there were several caves.
The four had spent hours exploring them over the night.
Now that it was daylight, they were all exhausted and thought longingly of their beds in Gryffindor tower. But they had class in an hour and a half and James and Sirius felt it would be useless to go to bed. Peter wasn't so sure, but agreed for the sake of being one of the group.
So instead of heading for bed, they went to get breakfast in the Great Hall and then up to the hospital wing to see Remus.
Sirius began updating Remus on all of the gossip he'd missed at dinner and breakfast, Peter adding in the little details that Sirius forgot, and James skimmed the paper for news of interest.
"In four games by the Cannons, they scored 200 points," James said with a smirk. "I scored that by myself."
"It is the Cannons," Sirius reminded him. "That shouldn't be such a shock to you."
James ignored him. "It says that there will be pro-scouts at the Gryffindor Slytherin match at the end of the year too..."
"Stupid time to come," Sirius said. "OWLs and NEWTs will get everybody so preoccupied they can't even fly right."
"That'll be better for you though, right James?" Peter asked. "Because then you'll look even better and you don't even need to study."
James shrugged. "Yeah, but I hope it's not too bad- you can't tell how good I am unless it's a real match..."
Remus rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it'll break your little heart if they all stink," he said.
James grinned. "Yeah... I know. But still, I'd like to get recruited by the Magpies or Puddlemere or someone good... If it's only a mediocre match, I might get picked up by the Cannons, and really, why would I want to play for them?"
"You think when you're pro, Evans will like you better?" Sirius asked innocently.
James gave him an irritated look. "If she liked me any better, I'd have to throw her off me."
The other three found that very funny and laughed at him. "Throw her off," Sirius chuckled. "You're funny, Jim."
James gave them an irritated look. "What is so funny about that?"
Sirius snorted. "If she said two words to you this year that had nothing to do with telling you off, I'd eat my shoe."
"Eat up," Remus said. "They had that potions project together, remember?"
"Yeah. But Evans refused to talk to him outside of telling him to shut up and let her do the work so it was done properly."
"Oh yeah," Remus said with a slight grin.
"It's all an act," James assured them. "She'll give in eventually. What girl wouldn't?"
The other three snickered again, and James ignored them, returning to the paper.
Then, just as quickly he set it down, sliding to the edge of his seat and indicating his excitement just by the way his eyes lit up so wickedly. "I want to go back to the caves before the next full moon," he said. "I'd bet there's a pretty good place for us to hide in there, you know? I still want to try the Polyjuice Potion this year, and-"
"It's too far away for that," said Remus as Sirius took the paper and flipped to the front page, leaning back and ignoring the rest of them.
"I know it is, but it would be a good place to test it out once it's made. Getting caught making a potion in the girls' loo is one thing, getting caught when we actually look like someone else is something else entirely. And we need a better place to store our things- McGonagall almost found the Fireworks last week, and I've invested a lot of money into those things. They're not cheap. I still want to set them off at the end of the year."
"Caves do tend to be damp," said Remus. "They're wet start, aren't they?"
James rolled his eyes. "I'm not saying we keep them in a big pile in the corner- I've got an extra trunk we can store them in. A quick spell so it's air tight. What do you think, Sirius?"
Sirius was frowning at the paper though, his expression troubled. "There's another missing unicorn," he said. "About four kilometers outside Hogsmeade, there's a couple that takes care of one and it's gone. Unicorn blood all over, and signs of people having taken him. It's worse than that though." He hesitated, then continued. "And there's a possibility that a werewolf was killed last night too, but they didn't find out for sure in time to print."
That unsettling news caused them all to go quiet.
"Any word on why?" James asked.
"No," said Sirius. "Just that there was a lot of blood around and it looked messy." He looked up and leaned forward, dropping his voice. "Unicorn blood... You think it's Voldemort?"
Peter shivered. James and Remus frowned. "But why the werewolf?" James asked. "Aren't they supposed to be on his side-" He nodded slightly to Remus. "With exceptions, of course, but for the most part?"
Remus shook his head slightly. "A lot of them are like that, yeah... Maybe this one said no?"
"Or maybe it's unconnected," Sirius said.
Madam Pomfrey returned, and the boys changed the subject, but it was not forgotten.