Oh, snap. It's been five years, but now I'm back and revising the old chapters plus adding at least one new chapter. Stay tuned! This chapter only has some minor revisions in grammar and to make the flow better.
Disclaimers: I do not own the Harry Potter universe or characters. Plot and Jay are mine. :p
Professor Minerva McGonagall, head of Gryffindor House, walked into the filled common room. It was a rare enough occurrence to see the strict thirty-year-old woman inside the Gryffindor quarters that the students became quiet instantly.
McGonagall cleared her throat. "We have a new 3rd year student transferring to Hogwarts this year. Come on in, Remus." A thin boy stepped through the portrait hole. He had light brown hair that framed a rather feminine and attractive face, but at a closer glance one could see he was slightly drawn, not simply slender as he appeared to be. His most salient feature, however, had to be his eyes. They were a warm hazel brown flecked with bits of vivid green and seemingly endless in depth. He shuffled his feet nervously as McGonagall said, "This is Remus Lupin, and he was originally home tutored before Professor Dumbledore accepted him into Hogwarts. He has just been sorted privately — the results are obvious. Please make him feel welcome."
She turned to address a small cluster of boys who were ignoring her and talking to each other in low tones. "Potter, Pettigrew, Black!" She barked. Two of the boys jumped while the tallest of the three swore in irritation, "No profanity, Mr. Black — five points from Gryffindor." All the students groaned, grumbling about how Sirius was always costing them points. McGonagall waited for the room to quiet down again before continuing, "Remus will be sharing a room with the three of you." She looked at each of the boys sternly, "I trust you will take good care of him." Turning and stepping out of the portrait hole, she left Remus Lupin amongst the denizens of Gryffindor House.
Remus continued to stand in the same place Professor McGonagall had left him as the older students returned to what they were doing, uninterested in the new student. The first years, on the other hand, giggled and nudged each other when they walked by Remus, making him blush uncomfortably. Distracted, he didn't notice the three boys walking up to him.
"Looks like you've got a rival, Sirius."
"I guess I do," there was an exaggerated sigh. Remus turned his attention to the trio, a confused expression on his face.
The middle one scratched his unruly black hair, "My name's James Potter."
"And mine's Sirius Black," the tallest said lazily. "The little one here is Peter Pettigrew," he continued, pointing at the slight boy to his right.
"I'm —" Remus began.
"Remus Lupin," Sirius cut in, stifling a yawn. "We heard."
"You'll have to forgive Sirius, Remus," James grinned apologetically. "He's not used to having competition."
"You catch almost as much attention as Sirius does with his 'rebellious' attitude — as the girls like to call it — with your pretty boy looks and new student status." James explained, still grinning.
Remus looked at James doubtfully, deciding to ignore the flippant comment. "What about you then, James? It doesn't seem that girls are adverse to you." He nodded at a group of 2nd years that were eyeing James intently and scribbling on a piece of paper.
"Oh, that? It's just because I'm Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Sirius tolerates me, if only because he considers me his 'friend'."
"Shut up," Sirius said, punching James lightly on the arm before asking Remus, "Do you want to see the room?"
"There are five beds to each room, and we've had a space open since the first year. If you're lucky, Jayson will be in there. He generally likes to keep moving around, but he likes his naps just as much," James explained, grinning wryly as they climbed the stairs toward the dormitories.
After passing various doors, they stopped at one three levels up. "Your things will have already been brought up, so you won't need to worry about that," Sirius said softly.
"Why are we whispering?" Remus asked, his voice equally quiet.
Sirius grinned wickedly. "It wouldn't be nice to wake Jay if he's in there." He opened the door silently and motioned towards a four-poster bed with a curtain pulled around it.
"You might want to stay back for this," James cautioned as Sirius began to pull back the curtains. "Jay doesn't mean to, but he's rather dangerous when he's asleep."
Sirius poked the curled sleeping figure tentatively. It muttered inarticulately and flung an arm at the offender halfheartedly before returning to sleep again. Satisfied with the response he got, Sirius proceeded to pull out his wand and point it at the napping lump.
"What is Sirius going to do?" Remus asked, giving James a sidelong glance.
James rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "He might try cursing Jayson."
"Don't worry. He won't cast anything that can't be remedied by Madam Pomfrey, our school's head nurse." When Remus continued to look uncertain James chuckled and said, "Just watch."
"S-Sirius does this all the time. Jayson's always beating him badly in d-duels." Peter fidgeted. Remus started; he had nearly forgotten Peter was standing behind them.
"Yeah, so Sirius will try to beat him in whatever way possible," James chuckled.
Remus frowned, "But what about you?"
"Me?" James sighed theatrically and winked, "I'll only attack Jay when he's in a coma — it's far safer. Sirius and I might be considered the cleverest of our year, but Jayson's the best at dueling out of all of us. When I duel with Sirius it usually comes out to a draw. The rest of the time we each win and lose enough to each other to keep us both humble."
Sirius cleared his throat pointedly.
"Keep alert, Remus," James advised.
Sirius muttered an incantation and an emerald needle shot out of his wand. It sped towards Jayson, but just before it reached him a fierce white fire flared, making the green light bounce in James' direction. The Quidditch player ducked almost lazily and pulled out his wand as the spell blasted a hole in the wall behind him.
Without even having to turn and look back, James pointed his wand at the hole and said, "Reparo," with well practiced ease. The wall restored itself, and Jayson continued to sleep.
Sirius began swearing loudly and yelled, "Jayson Riven! You and your accursed elven blood! Wake up, you cheater!"
Jayson made a small waving motion with his hand and answered blearily, "Not now, Sirius. I'm sleeping. Go 'way."
James cut in before Sirius had time to respond, "We've got a new roommate for you to meet, Jay."
In a flash, Jayson was up, and Remus found himself looking at a pair of clear blue eyes bright with unfettered excitement and curiosity.
"My name is Jayson Riven," he said, shaking Remus' hand jovially. "And let me guess. Your name is Remus Lupin."
"Yes, that's right. How'd you know?"
Jayson ran a gloved hand through his short, spiky blonde hair, "Your bags." He grinned and pointed at a bed with luggage piled unceremoniously on top of it.
"Don't be fooled by him, Remus. Riven here could beat you senseless and not break a sweat," Sirius glared at Jayson malevolently.
"Siriiiiuuuuuuus," Jayson whined, tugging on Sirius' arm insistently and pouting pitifully, "you make meeee look like the bad guy! Why are you so mean to me? Siriiiuuus!"
Sirius, looking thoroughly irritated, tried to pry Jayson from his arm to no avail. "James, get this thing off of me," he groaned.
"Aw, but Sirius, I reckon it's sweet," James smiled wickedly.
Remus was caught in between feeling deeply amused and utterly perplexed. Noticing this, Peter leaned sideways a bit and whispered, "I wouldn't worry too much, they're always like this... Fighting over one thing or another..."
James looked over his shoulder at Remus and commented in a louder tone, "It's like a cycle. Sirius complains about how Jayson wins duels because he's part elf. Then he sets out an elaborate plan to attack Jayson when he's asleep or when he's still groggy in the morning. In the end, Jayson wins every time... Well, except for that time when Jayson was drunk..." James chuckled at the memory.
Remus had heard Sirius say something before, but wasn't quite sure about it until James mentioned it again. "Did you say Jayson was an elf?"
"Part elf, to be exact," Jayson said matter-of-factly. "My grandmother's an elf—"
"—and one of the most gorgeous creatures in the world." Sirius added in solemnly.
Jayson laughed at the look of confusion on Remus' face. "Not house elves, mind," Jayson soothed, correctly interpreting Remus' expression. "She's of the northern breed. They're tall, proud creatures and very different from house elves."
"But what does that have to do with you winning duels?"
"The northern elves have lived in conjunction with nature for a long time. For so long, in fact, that the ability to manipulate raw magic without some kind of channel or medium runs through their blood."
"Like wands or spells," Sirius elaborated.
Jayson nodded and grinned, "Luckily, I inherited the ability from my grandmother. It makes life a great deal easier." He winked, "But all this is a secret. Dumbledore figures that it wouldn't be a good idea for the rest of the school to know. They'd probably all avoid me or think I was some odd magical creature. See?" He pulled something out of a nearby trunk to show to Remus, "I even carry around a wand for when I'm doing magic."
"Oh, I see. I'll keep it a secret, I promise," Remus said seriously.
Jayson burst out laughing at the solemnity on Remus' face, "I'm not asking you to take it to the grave or anything! You don't have to look so somber."
"I know what it feels like… to have a secret," Remus murmured, thinking his silent lament would be swallowed in the din created by Jayson and James' mirth filled voices. Wrapped in his reverie, he didn't notice Sirius glance at him quizzically before returning his attention to the persistent blonde hanging on his arm.
That night, as Remus lay in bed, he considered the new people he had met. He was still adjusting to being around so many people. Before, he had been kept in the house at all times; his parents feared the contaminating beast that resided within Remus. Remus wasn't naïve, not any more. He had heard about how Muggles and wizards treated creatures like giants, vampires, and lastly, werewolves. He had heard stories of how Muggles stoned, abused, and burned the unnatural. Wizards were no different. The same degree of fear and hate was still evident, just stifled by respect for the law.
When Remus was ten, he ran away from home, hoping against hope that not all people were truly as hateful as his parents said. The moment he reached a nearby town he told the first child he saw his secret. The child took the werewolf in hand, eager to show off his new playmate. He spoke bluntly and truthfully, as children are wont to do, and the child's parents pushed the confused Remus into the dirt of the street and slammed their wooden door shut. When Remus returned the next day, parents in the street took their children by the hand and whispered amongst themselves as they threw nervous glances at Remus. A few of the older children found rocks and drove Remus from the town. By the end of the day, Remus was found back at the front of his house, crying and bleeding profusely.
Since that time, Remus had been content to simply stay at home and remain immersed in his books and studies. Then Dumbledore came. Remus never wondered why Dumbledore had come to him specifically and supposed he wouldn't ever know. But the man called Albus Dumbledore insisted on having Remus enroll at a school called Hogwarts. Remus only had two reservations: being away from his overprotective parents and being around people again. Dumbledore allowed Remus to think about it, giving Remus the time to consider.
For various reasons, Remus eventually decided to go, and that was how he ended up sleeping in the dark room with four people he barely knew. They were nice people, to be sure, but strangers nonetheless. Remus rested the back of his palm on his forehead and sighed.
First there was James Potter with his messy black hair and chocolate brown eyes. With his ready smile and perceptive comments, Remus found James to be the easiest to talk to at first. Remus assumed James had snared the attentions of many girls with a kind smile and a helping hand. Though it also seemed that he could be quite unreasonable when too caught up by Sirius' fervent enthusiasm for life and excitement.
Then there was Peter Pettigrew, the nervous shadow. He was short and had waxy hair, beady eyes, and a nose that quivered constantly. Whenever anyone spoke to him he jumped. Even when simply standing, Peter would wring his hands and fidget uncomfortably. When joining a conversation he always stammered and looked for approval from his friends. Peter simply adored James and Sirius, always agreeing with or supporting them. Remus couldn't tell if Sirius and James were simply ignoring it or they had been with Peter for so long it was normal, but either way, Remus wasn't sure how he felt about Peter.
After Peter, there was also Jayson Riven, the boy that reminded Remus of a little puppy. Charismatic, care-free, and forever excited by some interesting thing or another were shining qualities in the blonde. Jayson had mentioned earlier that he spent time learning all sorts of martial arts and then proved it by flipping Sirius in one fluid movement. He beamed at Remus afterward, not because he was boasting, but because he seemed to genuinely enjoy making people laugh.
Lastly, there was Sirius, the tallest and undoubtedly the most handsome of the four. He kept his straight black hair at shoulder length, without any particular preference as to how to dress it. From stories, Remus learned of Sirius' infamous temper which was hard to bring out, but even harder to keep in check after being released. Sirius was also by far the most unpredictable. He constantly came up with new half-brained ideas and pranks, and always managed to get into some sort of trouble.
Remus pressed the heels of his hands to his eyes. Thinking he should probably get some sleep, he turned over and fell into a restless doze.
"What?" Jayson exclaimed. "But you just left last month… and the month before! Why are you leaving again already?"
Remus continued to pack his bags silently. When the four had woken up, they found Remus a shade paler than the night before and packing up a few of his belongings. Remus made a face, "Don't complain Jayson, it'll only be for about a week or so. I have to go visit my mother — she's ill." Remus left abruptly before Jayson could say anything else. He remembered leaving one of his books in the Common Room the other night and thought it would probably be better to put it back in his trunk if he wasn't going to be around for the next week.
Once in the Common Room, Remus promptly ran into a 3rd year Gryffindor girl he remembered vaguely from his Potions class. "Oh! Remus! Perfect. If you would just hold this…" She thrust a bag at Remus, who instinctively held it. "Do not look into that bag. But don't put it down either! Just…stay…right…there," she bolted out of the portrait hole. Remus held onto the bag dumbly, not sure what he ought to do.
Before he could decide anything, Sirius came down the dormitory stairs and dropped Remus' things onto the floor. "You almost forgot to bring your things. I don't know what you were doing coming down here —" Sirius stopped in mid-sentence to look curiously at the bag, "What've you got there?"
"Sirius, don't look into the bag!" But Sirius had already gotten a glimpse of the contents.
"Fine, if you're going to get so defensive about it, I'll go back upstairs," he turned abruptly and walked up the stairs.
As Sirius went out of sight, the 3rd year came rushing back into the Common Room. She took the bag from Remus. "Thanks!" Then she glared at him suspiciously, "You didn't look did you?"
"No, of course not!" Remus replied automatically, not daring to mention his encounter with Sirius.
"Good!" She grinned impishly than ran up into the girls' dormitories.
Sirius ran up the stairs and into their dorm room as soon as he was sure he was out of Remus' line of sight. There, he quickly gathered the other three boys. "Have you ever thought there was something odd about Remus?"
"Like he was keeping something from us?" James suggested.
"Yeah, that's exactly what I'm thinking about."
"You know something, don't you?" Jayson asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I just saw Remus carrying a bag… of well… female products…"
"Like make-up?" Jayson whispered.
"No, not make-up. You know…female products…" Sirius looked uncomfortable, "the kind they use monthly."
"What do you think it means?" Peter muttered.
Sirius sighed. "It can only mean one thing. It all adds up. Remus leaving once every month, the bag of…stuff…"
"Well?" Jayson urged, looking around at the other two for answers. Then he saw comprehension dawn on James' face and Sirius smiled smugly.
"Remus is a girl."