It was one of those things, that at the time, seemed like a brilliant plan. One of those ideas you have, that in the moment, filled you with an electrifying excitement. Something that had you patting yourself on the back for the pure genius that you possessed. When you thought, what could possibly go wrong? The answer was simple; everything.

Sirius Black and his partners in crime huddled together in the Charms corridor. The four young men, intoxicated by their own cleverness, happily discussed their plans for that evening. The full moon would make its monthly appearance, which meant a whole night of freely wandering the grounds, and also if they were feeling particularly adventurous, the village of Hogsmeade.

Sirius' blood danced through his veins; he was filled with adrenaline, caused by the reckless abandon that took over his entire being, as he thought of the night ahead. Their monthly appointments, as the group referred to their outings in mixed company, was something he eagerly looked forward to, ever since he, James and Peter had mastered becoming animagi. Something that used to be a source of pain and anguish for his close friend, Remus Lupin, had become a wonderful experience they could all share together. It was something that had bonded the boys more tightly than ever before. He felt it truly made them brothers.

James Potter reached and ruffled his messy black hair - a habit that clearly annoyed Sirius, who snorted softly each time he had done it - then glanced around making sure they were entirely alone.

"What do you reckon, Remus?" James asked with a mischievous gleam in his hazel eyes. "Fancy a trip to Hogsmeade tonight?"

Peter Pettigrew bobbed his blonde head, and wore a large smile on his chubby pink face. It was obvious he thought it a fantastic idea. Remus, on the other hand, casted his eyes to the ground and shook his head in a subdued way.

"I'm not sure," said Remus uncertainly. "It was a close call last time, and I just couldn't live with myself if…" he trailed off.

Peter's face seemed to lose a bit of color at what Remus had failed to finish saying. Sirius remembered it all too well.

***

James and Sirius had surveyed the village prior to venturing there. They always took every precaution they could to make sure Remus had not harmed any innocent bystanders. They thought everything had been clear, and Sirius barked the signal for Remus and Peter to come along.

For roughly a quarter of an hour everything went smoothly. The four boys, all in their animal forms - stag, dog, rat and werewolf - ran through the village. Sirius, as had become tradition, was ready to sneak into Honeydukes and come out carrying as many sweets as his mouth could hold. Peter was small enough to slide under the door, and from inside, he would unlock it and let Sirius in. The night's spoils were then kept in a satchel James would have attached to his antlers. It was the perfect plan.

However, on that particular evening, their plan went south… quickly.

The shopkeeper's wife had apparently worked late and was sat behind the counter. Her quill scratched across a bit of parchment as she did inventory in the dim candlelight. She was so absorbed with her work that she hadn't noticed the large black dog which made its way into her establishment. Sirius froze the moment he saw her, not out of fear of being caught, but rather out of terror that Remus would have caught her scent.

Sirius backed up slowly, his heart drummed faster than he had ever felt it before. He silently pleaded that he would have the door closed before anything happened, but his pleas were not answered. Just as he stood on his hind legs, and had the doorknob in his mouth, he heard a bloodcurdling growl erupt behind him.

Remus had caught the scent.

James quickly placed himself next to Sirius; both boys, stag and dog, blocked the door. Sirius chanced looking back into the store, and he saw as the woman froze upon hearing Remus' inhuman sound. Her face went pale and it looked ghost-like in the dim lighting. Remus clawed at the ground, leaned his head back, and let out the chilling howl a werewolf typically made before going in for the kill.

Not having time to think, Sirius turned his back on Remus, which admittedly was foolish, and barked at the woman. He prayed that she would understand the sentiment of his unspoken words - Get the fuck out of here, you bloody idiot! He'll kill you!

Looking back, he saw Remus crouched and ready to advance. James stomped his hooves and had his head down, ready to attack Remus if necessary. Sirius growled at his best friend and showed his teeth. He did not want to fight, but would not hesitate if it became essential.

As Remus slowly crawled forward, snarling and showing a frightening set of razor sharp fangs, Sirius took another look back and felt a wave of relief as he saw the top of the woman's head sink beneath the floor, and the lid to the trapped door closed above her.

Sirius and James roughly nudged Remus away - and earned a few scrapes and scratches in the process - and after a few terrifying moments, finally had Remus back at the entrance to the Shrieking Shack.

By the time morning had come, the boys had all but acted as if nothing more than a prank gone wrong happened. They shared Chocolate Frogs and biscuits as they laughed and recounted the night before. Although, Sirius had noticed the faraway look in Remus' eyes as he, James and Peter continued to joke about the close call.

***

James seemed to be thinking of the close incident as well. "Erm… Reckon you might be right, Remus."

The look of relief was evident on Remus' face.

"The forest?" Sirius suggested with a shrug. It seemed like a safe enough option.

Peter gulped audibly. "B-but, Sirius. There's… things in there. Like - like giant spiders and... werewolves," he whispered.

Remus shook his head as James rolled his eyes, and Sirius let out of bark-like laugh.

"You can't be serious-"

"Because you are," James interrupted. This time it was Remus' turn to roll his eyes.

"Cheers, Prongs," Sirius said then continued. "Peter. You can't possibly be that thick, can you?" he chastised with a pointed look towards their friend, who happened to be a werewolf.

Remus flashed his teeth in a wide smile while pointing at his chest. James almost doubled over with laughter. Peter's lip jutted out in a small pout and his blue eyes watered slightly.

"You know what I mean," he mumbled.

"Peter, listen-" James began, but stopped suddenly when someone sneezed around the corner from where they were standing.

Sirius froze upon hearing the noise, like a dog who had found its prey. In a flash, he took his wand from his pocket, pointed towards the source of the sneeze and whispered, "Petrificus Totalus."

His spell must have hit its target, because a loud thud followed the spell.

The four boys made their way around the corner, and white hot rage filled every inch of Sirius' body as he looked down at the pale, greasy haired boy who was sprawled out on the floor.

"Snivellus," Sirius growled.