Cage | Chapter 9

A Harry Potter Fanfiction by Majokai Yukiko

Pairing: Remus + Sirius

Warning: Pre-slash

This is an amateur effort and does not intend to infringe on the rights of J K Rowling, Scholastic Books, and its associates.

A/N: Dedicated to Ally for her wonderful ideas and efforts at beta-reading this piece of junk.

By the way, this is the last chapter for this arc.  The next arc (or the sequel to this, whatever you want to call it) will begin with the Marauders' Fourth Year.  More slash is to be expected. 

Potterlvr123: And I'm writing more right now.  Does that mean I will expect more reviews from you?  *grins*

Son of twilight: *blinks* *rereads the last chapter* did Peter do anything that I don't know about?

Sherri: The Blacks are dark wizards, basically, and with all the books hanging around the house on the Dark Arts and all, is it really so surprising for Sirius to be terribly well-versed at it?

---

Chapter 9: Found Out

"Face it, Jamie-boy, if you can't keep it down, you can't keep it down."  Sirius looked up from his book and smirked, looking every bit like a snob except for the spot of dust clinging stubbornly on to the tip of his nose.

James ran his comb through his hair once more time and sighed when it sprang back to its previous messy state.

"Comb your hair properly," the mirror repeated for the nth time that day.

"I tried," James whined, slamming the lid heavily onto the almost-empty bottle of wizard hair wax that, his mother had promised him, was sure to work.

I'm not going to believe her anymore, James secretly thought to himself knowing that all would be forgiven and forgotten the next time she sent him another large tin of homemade toffees.

"Which girl caught your fancy, James?  Anyone I know?"  Sirius slammed the thick book shut, only to find him coughing from a lungful of dust.  He pushed the book further away from himself, wiping at his watering eyes with one hand and grabbing another book off the stack on his table top with another.

James dropped his comb in shock and began to cough loudly.  Sirius looked up from his book again; amused grin on his face and pushed his glasses higher up his nose.  (He would never admit to anyone outside of the Marauders that he actually needed glasses for reading purposes.  At least he did not need them for Quidditch, Sirius thought.  As long as he stayed far away from the role of the Seeker, he would be fine.)

"H-how do you know it's a girl?"  James spluttered, causing his best friend to chortle aloud.

"No I didn't.  I was just speculating.  But now I do."  The boy gave another nonchalant shrug.

The dormitory door swung open.  Remus walked in with his bag slung casually over one shoulder, Peter following close behind.

"Evening," Remus greeted cheerfully, and then frowned worriedly when Sirius simply ignored him and began to gather his books into his arms.  "Sirius—"

"I'm going to the library," Sirius announced and left the dorms.  Remus frowned even deeper when the door was kicked shut.  Didn't Sirius know the library was close by now?  That was the reason why Remus was back in the dormitories anyway.

***

Damn it, damn it, damn it!  How much stupider could he get?  Sirius thought, finding himself face to face with the big LOCKED doors of the Hogwarts library.  He should have known.  It had been Remus' habit to stay in the library until it closed every night.  How could he have forgotten that?  The only reason Remus would return to the dormitories at night was when the library closes.  The dark-haired boy plopped himself onto the cold stone floor, staring resignedly at the books he had dropped earlier and let out a sigh.

"So, James, are you going to stand there all night and stare at me?  Or are you going to remove your bloody cloak anytime soon?"  Sirius asked suddenly, looking at the big empty space in front of him with a smile.

Soon, just as he had expected, the air before him rippled and folded, revealing a rough outline of a young boy.  James removed his Invisibility Cloak and sat down on the floor next to his friend, picking up one of the books Sirius.

He frowned.  "You are reading up on werewolves?"

Sirius nodded.  He took another book from his stack and flipped through the pages.  Finally finding the one he wanted, he held it out to James.  "Do you remember seeing this mark on Remus' shoulder?"

James thought about it for a moment, his forehead wrinkled in concentration.  Thankfully, being in a boarding school did not leave much for privacy.  He managed to dredge up a memory where he saw the crescent shaped scar on Remus' left shoulder.

"Remus is a werewolf."  James jerked back in horror.

"Are you sure?"

"What else could it be?  Disappearing for a few days every month, the constant fatigue on his face, his allergy to anything silver?"  Sirius pushed.  "And the superhuman speed he had when he saved me from the willow?"  The boy dug into one of the many pockets in his robe and took out a piece of parchment.

"Have you realized?"  Sirius continued, spreading the parchment across the floor; it was an elaborated moon chart for the past six months, "that Remus' mother always 'fall sick' on a full moon?"

James leant his head back against the wall, feeling a major headache building up behind his eyes.  "Why didn't he tell us?"

I think he tried, Sirius wanted to say.  But he kept his counsel to himself and instead did some quick calculations mentally.  "The next full moon is tomorrow night."  He gathered his books and got up on his feet.  "Come on, James," Sirius said, holding his hand out to his friend.  "Let's go get Peter."

***

The next morning, just as Sirius had expected, Remus hid himself under the covers and feigned illness.  This gave the rest of the Marauders time to plan for that night.  When night falls, they were already ready and set for action, waiting in the shadows for Remus to go out of the dormitories.

Remus stuck his head out in the doorway and waited, his bare feet moving silently across the cold floor.  In the dark, Peter wanted to gasp, after catching sight of Remus' flashing demonic eyes, but was stopped by a well-timed palm smacked over his mouth.

"Shh!"  Sirius warned, biting anxiously on his lower lip.  He watched Remus tediously make his way down the stairs at the end of the corridor.  Then slowly, he released the smaller boy and turned to gesture at James.  "Hurry," he whispered.

It was like a dream.  In the semi-darkness, the boys followed their friend through the various secret corridors that they had never known of.  James mentally made a note of where the corridors were, just in case they might come into use some other time.  Remus seemed oblivious of being followed.  Every now and then he would brace himself against the wall, panting heavily.  Even though it was a cold night, his pajamas were drenched with sweat.

Soon, the boys stood in front of the hidden entrance to a dark tunnel, not knowing where it would lead.

"Can we just wait for him here?"  Peter asked timidly, only to be replied with a stern look from the other two.

"We'll wait for a while."  James suggested.  "We won't want him to hear us."    

After they thought they had waited long enough, they entered the tunnel, Sirius and James with a determined look on their face, Peter with a terrified one.

The tunnel led them into a desolate hut and a half naked Remus with wide fearful gold eyes.  Sirius brushed the dirt off his robes and smiled, in what he hoped to be a reassuring manner.

"What are you doing here?"  Remus growled, looking out nervously at the soon rising moon.

"We know what you are—" James tried to explain and then he stopped.  The last thing he recognized of Remus was the expression of utter fear and despair that shook his very core.

The young brunet screamed as his bones began to break and reform themselves into that of a wolf.  His hair grew at rapid speed while his face lengthened, contorted in pain at the transformation.

Peter backed himself against the wall, putting the other two boys between him and the monster that was his friend.  James quickly held open the entrance back to the tunnel, back to safety, for the rest.

"Sirius, we need to go!"

However, Sirius ignored him. The wolf growled in anger at having his territory invaded by humans.  It paced the wooden floor restlessly, threatening to pounce any moment.  Sirius only smiled.

The dark haired boy squatted down on the dusty floor and held out his hand.  "Come on, you have a name, don't you?"  He said.  Warily, the wolf moved closer.  "Of course you do."

Gently, Sirius placed his hand on the side of the wolf's snout, stroking the full fur.  The wolf snuggled closer.

"No matter how you look like, you are still my friend, Remus John Lupin."

+++

End of Cage

Coming Soon: Sequel: Apple of Thy Eye