Disclaimer: This story was written by two very obsessive girls who own absolutely none of it. We just love Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. Not to mention Lily and Snape. Here is the result of our madness.
We had known for a long time that Remus had a secret. Every few weeks he'd vanish from school. Often he said he was visiting his sick mother, or his sick grandmother. We found the latter a bit odd, because in the first year, he'd told us his was going to his grandmother's funeral. Now we were getting suspicious.
Sirius suggested using a mind-probe spell, but since that's illegal throughout most of the magical world, we decided it wasn't such a good idea. Peter mentioned something called a Vulcan mind-meld, and spent the next half-hour trying to explain what Vulcans were. And then an hour trying to explain television.
We then decided to simply ask Remus what his secret was, but he was very... well... secretive. He lied. And believe me, we can tell when he's lying:
"Er... I didn't forget to do my homework, I was meditating about the depth of Transfiguration and Karmic payback."
"Yes, well, my grandmother's a... um... zombie! Yes, zombie. She comes back to life on a regular basis, and then dies, but as family, we're required to turn up at every funeral. It's tradition."
"No, Sirius, I have not been having midnight rendezvouses with Snape in the Forbidden Forest. Or the Astronomy Tower. And no, you cannot come and watch."
Okay, so that wasn't Remus lying. *That* was Sirius being an idiot.
And then there's the fact that Professor McGonagall has occasionally been nice to Remus, which has to mean something.
Besides, he's cleverer than I am, so he must be doing *something* illegal.
Whoa. That sounded far too Sirius. And yes, Sirius is an adjective. According to him, anyway.
And! Remus likes calamari! There is something strange about him.
But the point is, he has a secret. And we intend to find out.
Transfiguration is very hard work. Even for someone as -- dare I say it? -- talented as me.
Sirius is a bad influence.
But it's ironic that I can't even turn a prism into a decent butterfly, but I can successfully transform myself into a fully-grown werewolf every month -- without even wanting to.
It was rather funny, I thought, when those Dungbombs went off in Potions. And all that glorious green smoke. They don't call 'em Dungbombs for nothing, you know. The whole of the Dungeons stank like, well, like a bucket-load of dung! Haha!
Anyway, the Remus situation is steadily getting worse. He was looking all pale and ill as usual, and when we asked him what was wrong... guess what he said? Go on, guess. A coconut if you get it right.
Yep. He said, "Oh, nothing."
Yeah, right. And Snape washes his hair every day with Herbal Essences.
And then, in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Professor Umbra was ranting on about vampires and how to kill 'em, and Remus was just sitting there, book open in front of him, ashen-faced and... appalled, almost.
Ooh. D'you reckon Remus is a vampire?
Nah. I once said to him for some reason or another (that's a whole different story), "So, bite me!" and he said, "Sirius, dear -- " (yeah, he loves me really) " -- I wouldn't bite you if you were the last life-form on Earth."
Aww, bless him. He called me a life-form.
So he's not a vampire. Right.
Guess what, though? We're doing werewolves next lesson! How wild is that? Get it? Wild? As in -- oh, forget it.
We will find out what's wrong with Remus, you know. He's our friend, and if there's something bothering him, then surely we should know?
The full moon is getting closer. I'd know, even if I didn't have a lunar calendar. There's a kind of pulse in my mind: the-wolf, the-wolf, the-wolf, the-wolf. It's getting stronger.
Oh, I can always tell. I start getting less... civilised. If someone annoys me, even if it's only Sirius, it's hard to stop myself from throwing them across the room. Or ripping their throat out. Or tearing them apart and eating their heart, still steaming hot, still beating as I gouge it out --
I'm trying to stay calm. But it's getting closer.
I am not in a good mood. In fact, I am very angry because I have had an absolutely awful day.
First, that Gryffindor idiot Black chucks a Dumgbomb into my cauldron during Potions this morning. Second, I fall off my broom during the flying lesson and get laughed at by the whole class. Third, I lose my essay on Animagi which was supposed to be handed in during today's Transfiguration lesson, and get yelled at and given detention by McGonagall.
I hate my life.
On a lighter note, Black and his cronies are also in detention today. Serves them right, the arrogant, immature little -- ergh, the only word I can think of to describe them is beyond unprintable.
Damn them all. Yes, that will have to suffice for now.
And that little one. Lupin. In my opinion, everyone underestimates him. Just because he's never at the centre of everything, they assume that he's harmless. Just because he's clever, he must be perfect in every other way as well.
He's hiding something. Don't ask how I know. Maybe it's a Slytherin thing -- we're masters of deception so we can sense when other people are trying to deceive us. Anyway, I'm completely certain there's something.
I think James and Sirius are plotting again. I don't like it. They never tell us what they're going to do because they say it'll spoil the surprise. I always say I don't like surprises. Then they say "You'll like this one!" But I never do.
I heard James talking to Sirius this morning about Remus, saying that they should confront him again, see what's wrong. I don't know why they bother, though -- we tried it once before and Remus avoided us like the plague for two days after. And anyway, I don't know what they're on about. He seems fine to me.
Besides, he's gone to visit his mum again, and he's always very sensitive when he comes back. It's said to let sleeping dragons lie...
Waking up the morning after a transformation is like coming out of hell. Not that it's exactly heavenly -- I'm always scratched, bruised, bleeding, sore in every muscle and often a bit flea-bitten, too.
Fleas. How can they possibly get to me within one night of every month? Do they have a little timetable? Do they put an entry in their little flea diaries saying 'Night out -- Remus Lupin. Eat all you want'? And if they do, what do they write with? Wouldn't paper that small be nearly single-celled? And what if...?
I digress. The point is, the morning after is only relatively pleasant. I'm always moody for a couple of days after. But it's better than longing to eat humans.
You'd think, wouldn't you, after all those lovely kiddies' horror stories you hear, that a lesson about werewolves would be *interesting*.
But no, Umbra has lived up to his reputation of being able to make bloody anything bloody boring. Or should it be 'her reputation'? I'm not sure, we've never quite been able to decide what gender Umbra actually is, although the topic makes for some interesting midnight conversations in the dorm. Maybe Umbra's a hag, or a banshee, or Medusa in disguise, or something. I'll stick with the 'something'.
Anyway, it was incredibly boring. James and I were playing Exploding Snap under the desk for a while, but I think the constant BANGS and puffs of smoke were starting to attract attention.
Then, for no apparent reason, James dropped his cards. There followed about ten minutes of Umbra yelling at us, which is, surprisingly, just about as boring as his usual rambling. The fuss died down eventually, though, and Umbra went back to droning about werewolves.
"What was that about?" I hissed at James. Not that I'm against causing a bit of a hubbub. Only I'd rather James warned me in advance so I could exploit the situation.
"Weren't you listening?" he demanded.
Only James and Remus can listen to lessons and muck about at the same time. It must be a strange future-prefect power.
"Um... no...?" I offered feebly. I bent down to pick up a few remaining cards from the floor and banged my head on the desk as I straightened. "Argh..."
Then I yelped as James prodded me sharply in the ribs. "What?!"
Glaring at me intensely through round-rimmed glasses, the way he does when he's just had a stroke of absolute genius, he grabbed me by the head and shoved me under the desk again, leaning over himself as well, so that the two of us were huddled out of sight of the teacher. Then he hissed at me,
"Remus! He's a werewolf!"
I stared blankly. After a moment or two of careful consideration of this statement, I said,
James rolled his eyes impatiently. Then he pulled his textbook onto his lap and pointed viciously at a small paragraph at the bottom of the page:
"Werewolves appear to be human for twenty-seven out of twenty-eight days of the lunar month; however, they usually possess significant characteristics that enable an onlooker to detect their true identity. For instance, werewolves in their human form appear sickly and old beyond their years, as the monthly transformations often prove highly taxing on their bodies. They also demonstrate a sharp sense of hearing and smell, excellent vision, superhuman strength (hidden behind a facade of fragility), and susceptibility to mood swings. Close to the full moon, they appear irritable and may show violent tendencies."
James slammed the book shut, a look of triumph on his face. "Who does that remind you of?" he enthused.
And suddenly it all clicked into place. The date on the calendar by Umbra's desk. The lesson on Boggarts about two weeks ago. The way Remus was always the first one to hear someone coming when we were sneaking around at night. The lies, the secrets, the...
I raised my head slowly, and my eyes met James's. "Sweet Merlin," I said.
After a day in the hospital wing, I was mostly recovered -- just exhausted. It was only nine o'clock, but the idea of going up to the dormitory and collapsing into bed seemed very appealing.
"Eye of newt," I muttered to the Fat Lady.
"Are you all right, dear?" she enquired, her voice concerned.
"Yeah," I said, not without some bitterness. "I'm fine and dandy."
I stepped through the portrait hole. My feet were dragging despite my best attempts to lift them; my head was drooping; I kept weaving about and banging into the wall like a house-elf drunk on Butterbeer.
With my sensitive werewolf ears, I could hear James and Sirius talking, but no one else; apparently, the common room was deserted but for them. I wasn't eavesdropping, you know, but I couldn't help hearing.
"Can't we just let it go?" James asked. "It's not as if it matters, really. He wants it to be a secret."
"James!" Sirius exploded. "This isn't like lying about whether or not you've done your homework! He's a *werewolf*!"
I stopped dead. Then, exhaustion forgotten, I turned and ran.
I was walking up the stairs to Gryffindor Tower when Remus nearly barged into me.
"Sorry," he muttered, trying to shove past, but I grabbed his arm.
"What is it?" I demanded. "What's wrong?"
He was nearly in tears. "Nothing, I have to... go."
"Go and see McGonagall," he said, with a kind of despair. Then he swallowed, and a look of resolve replaced the hopelessness. "And then I have to leave Hogwarts. For good."
I was so shocked that I released his arm, and he was gone. I just stood there like an idiot, trying to work out exactly what had just happened. Then my mind clicked.
James Potter and Sirius Black. Those two monsters. I had always told Remus that he'd do better to steer well clear of them. They were unreliable, they were troublemakers, they were just bad friends. They must have done something, said something.
Half-blind with fury, I raced up the stairs.
Black and Potter were sitting in the otherwise deserted common room, talking earnestly. I stormed over to them.
"*What did you do*?!" I screamed.
They looked up at me, startled, then disdainful.
"What are you talking about, Evans?" James asked contemptuously.
"Remus!" I yelled. "You said something to him! He's gone to see Professor McGonagall -- he says he's going to leave Hogwarts -- "
"*What*?!" Sirius roared.
"He must have heard us!" James said, his eyes wide behind those silly little glasses, his face horrified.
Then, as one, they leaped to their feet and raced from the dormitory. I was left standing there, for the second time in five minutes, staring after them.
McGonagall was very understanding. She said that if I wanted to continue my studies at home, she would organise a tutor for me. There was an angry glint in her eye.
"Those two will be punished for this," she said icily. "They've gone too far."
And then the banging started at the door.
We tore down the winding stairs, taking them two and three at a time. My heart was pounding in my throat, and my head was spinning so fast that if I'd stopped running, I'm sure I would have fallen over.
We knew the way to McGonagall's office, believe me. The number of times we'd been dragged there with her yelling at us...
We got there in record time, and before I could stop him, Sirius started hammering on the door.
"Let us in, you old hag!" he yelled, and he yelled a lot more, too, but most of it was very, very rude.
McGonagall flung the door open. Her face was white with rage, her lips pressed together so tightly that they were almost invisible. Behind her, Remus sat in a chair, looking very white and unhappy, but also defiant.
"I think," said McGonagall, "that you two have done enough damage -- "
"Professor, please," I said quickly, seeing Sirius open his mouth and hurrying to cut him off, "can we just talk to Remus?"
I could see she was going to refuse, and my heart sank, but then Remus spoke up.
"It's all right, Professor," he said, his voice soft but steady, sounding just like the calm, rational Remus we knew. "Let them say what they want. I don't care. I'll be gone tomorrow anyway, so it won't matter." His voice wobbled, but his face was expressionless.
McGonagall, still glaring at us, stepped aside to let us past. Sirius burst through first, and stood over Remus.
"You idiot!" he yelled. "You stupid -- you brainless -- "
I hurried forwards and put a hand on Sirius's shoulder. He fell silent, fuming, and I turned to Remus. He was looking at me with that cool, expectant stare that he usually reserved for Snape, and he said in a measured voice,
"Well? Are you going to insult me too? Be as crude as you like."
I shook my head involuntarily. I couldn't believe he thought we'd hate him over something like this.
"Remus," I said, battling futilely to match his calm, "what Sirius is trying to say is: we really don't care. We don't care that you're a werewolf, and we don't really care that you lied to us, either, although I'd have preferred you to be honest. It doesn't matter."
Remus blinked. "You... what?"
"Yeah," Sirius said, his temper cooled. "We don't give a damn about what you turn into once a month. We just care about who you are the rest of the time. You're our friend, and if you think we're going to let this turn us against you, you are sadly mistaken."
It was a good speech, even for Sirius, who is the master of speeches. I heard McGonagall blow her nose.
"And," Sirius went on, "James and I both know that if you leave, you will be the most idiotic werewolf in the history of the world."
"Yep," I agreed. "We're not going to let you leave. No way. We'll tie you to the gates if we have to."
Remus stared at us with incredulity, then said softly,
"*Yes*, really," I said firmly.
"Well," said McGonagall thickly, through her handkerchief, "I misjudged you both. You have some very good friends, Remus. And now, I think you all ought to go back to your common room. Go on."
I walked up the steps in a daze, Sirius and James on either side of me like bodyguards.
"You really don't care?" I asked. I was finding it hard to comprehend. For years, I'd had it drummed into me that I had to keep my condition a secret, or I'd be rejected again and again.
"Well, we care that you didn't trust us enough to be *honest*," Sirius said significantly, "but we don't care about the rest, no."
I could feel myself starting to smile.
"Hey, Remus?" James said suddenly, in the slightly dreamy tone of voice that said he was having an idea. "When you're a wolf, do you want to bite every animal, or just humans?"
"Just humans. Why?" I enquired.
"Oh," he said, still looking thoughtful, "just wondering."
"Shall we tell Peter?" Sirius asked me.
I nodded. "Yes. I don't feel like keeping secrets from my friends any more."
James grasped my shoulder briefly. "That's good," he said distantly. "You know, I have an idea..."
"What's that?" I asked cautiously. I'd learned to be wary of James's ideas.
"Well..." he said, "have you ever heard the word 'Animagus'?"
Olly speaking. :) This is the first story Lucky and I ever wrote together. *Blows nose* The fact that Olly is speaking does not mean that Lucky somehow had less part in it. It just means that Olly's the one who uploaded it. We take equal credit or blame, however you think of it.
About Lily's part in all this. We disagree on whether or not Lily knew that Remus was a werewolf (one of the few things we do disagree on). Olly thinks Lily knew way before the others. Lucky thinks Lily didn't know until James and Sirius told her. So we've deliberately left it ambiguous on that point.
As for Peter, we are well aware how hated Peter is around here. But we like him. (As a character, not as a person.) He's very interesting. So he's here.