Author's Notes

Hello hello. This is my first attempt at Harry Potter/Marauders/etc. fanfiction, so if I'm amazingly horrible, uh… bear with me? Ehee.

This is my take on what happened when the Marauders found out Remus was a werewolf. Yes, I am quite original. Anyways. I hope you all enjoy it. Comments are greatly appreciated! Criticism is welcome but please don't crush my hopes and dreams. Or something.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, although that would be really hot if I did.

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"…and with the confessions of Pierre and Georges, the case came to a close. The majority of the Gandillion family was later executed, after a short time in prison…"

Remus Lupin folded the corner of his page, then shut the ancient book, coughing as dust flew off the yellowed pages. A History and Study of Werewolves by Emelia Bisclavret… it wasn't exactly what he was looking for, but it made for a good read anyway. The chapter on identifying a werewolf had been helpful, but it wasn't quite what he needed.

Not that Remus had any trouble identifying werewolves, being one himself.

It was his friends who were the problem, really. Nobody liked a werewolf, and thus far he had managed to keep them in the dark about the whole thing. That's why he had friends in the first place, after all. If they did know… if they found out…

He pushed the distressing thought to the back of his mind, hoisted himself out of the squashy armchair he had sunk down into, and wandered towards the boys' dormitory. He gazed down at the book in his hands, smiling in amusement at the bizarre illustration of what he guessed was supposed to be a werewolf. Its bright red eyes gleamed with an absolute hatred as it growled, drool forming at the corners of its mouth and dripping off of its comically long fangs. Remus was certain that he did not, in addition to his lycanthropy, have rabies, as the picture would have him believe.

Though his friends assumed his interest in books on werewolves was purely out of curiosity, Remus used them for something else entirely. He was particularly occupied by any book that showed how to identify one of his kind, because that was the key to keeping his secret just that… a secret. If the book told him that about a week before the full moon he would begin to lose his appetite, then Remus would force his dinner down his throat with a smile on his face. If it declared that he would become easily distracted, he did his homework even more thoroughly than usual. If he was supposed to be in pain, he would grin and bear it.

Nobody could know.

Despite his valiant efforts, Remus still could not prevent the sickly look that marred his otherwise graceful features once a month. He could hide so many of his symptoms when the moon began to wax, but he couldn't keep the dark shadows from appearing under his eyes, or the ghostly pallor from his face. No matter how much he tried, he wouldn't be able to stop the monthly disappearances. As much as he would have liked to deny it, everyone was suspicious. He just had to make it as hard as possible for them to confirm those suspicions.

"Hey, Remus!"

Remus jumped, a bit startled. He was quickly jolted from his thoughts and realized he had gone up into the dormitory without noticing. He grinned at the speaker. "Hey James."

James Potter grinned broadly at him. "What's up? You look a bit pale, feeling alright?" He was standing in front of a full-length mirror, dressed in red and gold Quidditch robes that were a bit too big for him.

Remus shrugged. "Yeah, I'm alright, didn't get much sleep last night. Probably just don't look so good from being tired." He paused for a moment, then quickly changed the subject. "So, Kali's getting you fitted up for Quidditch?"

"Yeah, I'm going to meet her down in the common room in a bit so she can take up a few seams," he replied, holding up his arms a bit to show that his hands were almost entirely covered by the sleeves. Just his fingertips poked out of the ends. "Now that that great git Weasley's off and graduated, I get to play. It's about time, don't you think? I think Simpson's going to be a much better captain. She knows talent when she sees it. Doesn't just go by that seniority crap like Weasley."

Remus laughed. "I don't think I would let a first year on the team either, if I was a seventh year," he said, in their former captain's defense.

"You would if the first year was as good as I am," boasted James, striking a rather ridiculous heroic pose. The shoulders of the robes, too broad for his own, sagged off of them, making the boy look even slimmer than he actually was.

"Of course," Remus replied, with the slightest hint of sarcasm. He stepped up next to James and imitated his pose in front of the mirror. "Hello, my name is James Potter, and I've got the biggest head in the world now that I'm on the Quidditch team. At this time, you may all bow down and worship… grovel at my feet, if you please…"

"You know I was kidding." James punched him lightly in the shoulder, grinning, and they both laughed. The two of them, standing there before the mirror, made for an amusing sight. James in his absurd robes, and Remus with his book, every bit as scrawny as his counterpart (though not quite as tall), both with their chests puffed out, feet apart, and hands on their hips defiantly.

"Look, Pete, we found them, and they're… er… playing superheroes, I think," came a voice from behind them. Remus turned and saw Sirius Black standing in the doorway, along with Peter Pettigrew. Sirius was holding James' invisibility cloak, and Peter had a bag of somesort. Judging from the bit of chocolate on his face, Remus guessed that it had the remains of dessert in it.

"Been down to the kitchens again?" he asked.

Peter nodded, grinning. "Yeah, we got a bunch of those little cakes they had at dinner. Want one?" He reached into the bag and tossed one each to Remus and James, who both dug in as if they had skipped dinner entirely.

"We had a bunch more, but Pete decided he was going to eat half of them on the way back up here," said Sirius, grabbing a cake of his own and taking a big bite.

"You helped," murmured Peter, walking over to his nightstand and setting the bag down on it. "We wanted you two to come along, but we couldn't find either of you. You disappeared after dinner."

"Well, I had to go meet Kali to get these," said James, pointing to his robes, "And I think Remus has been to the library."

"Go figure," snorted Sirius, holding his hands up. "Let me see, Rem. By the way, James, you look like an absolute idiot in those…"

Remus tossed him the book, then sat down on the edge of one of the beds. He had gotten used to his friends teasing him about his fondness for reading after only about a week of enduring it. It took just that week in the beginning of his first year for him to become fed up with their remarks, shout at the three of them for it, and then get laughed at even more for not realizing it was "only out of love".

"Werewolves again," remarked Sirius, flipping through the pages without much interest. "Last week it was vampires, giants the week before that."

"The one on vampires was better."

"Yes, of course," he said absently, handing the book back to Remus, who set it down on his nightstand and then rejoined the others.

How funny would it be if they realized that the answer had been sitting right under their noses the whole time? he wondered.

Not very funny, he reminded himself quickly. Not very funny at all.

"So what are you three up to tonight?" asked James, finishing off the remains of his cake. "Homework?" He grinned, knowing the answer to the question before he even asked it.

"Of course not!" exclaimed Sirius, an almost offended look on his face. "All we had to do was practice the stuff for Charms. Which we never do anyway…"

"And that Potions essay," Peter interjected.

Sirius frowned for a moment. "Oh. Well, that can wait til lunch hour tomorrow. Shouldn't be too hard." He shook his head and continued, "Anyway, I'll tell you what we're all going to do tonight," he grinned at the three of them, and Remus knew at once that he had something planned. "It's been a while since we've pissed Filch off, hasn't it?"

"And gotten away with it," Remus said quietly.

Sirius ignored him. "Yeah, well, I'm thinking we borrow a few of the rats we were using in Transfiguration, the cloak, cast a few flying spells and torment that god-awful cat of his for a while…"

James snorted. "It's amateur at best, but it'll work. Keep us entertained for a while, maybe," he stood up and brushed a few crumbs off his robes, then shot a strange look at Remus. "Of course, Remmy won't be going."

Remus merely raised an eyebrow and stared at him.

"What are you talking about?" demanded Peter, glancing between the two of them.

"He's tired," James simpered mockingly. "He's tired, he has homework to do, and naturally he wouldn't want to suffer through another detention."

Remus scoffed. "Stop being a git, of course I'm going." He was a bit surprised that James had picked up on the doubts that had been running through his mind, but with his last comment, he had erased them all completely. If he didn't go with them after that, they would know something was wrong.

James looked pleased, and the other two, relieved. "Excellent. We'll get to it once Kali's done making adjustments. I'm supposed to meet her in a few minutes," he said, then turned on his heel and walked toward the staircase.

Remus stood up and followed him. "What in the world was that about?" he asked, stopping James in the doorway.

"Couldn't have you copping out on us, could I?" James responded, grinning good-naturedly. "Nothing personal, Remus. I just know the only way to guarantee you'll help us out with this kind of thing is to wound your pride a bit."

"Naturally," Remus rolled his eyes and lightly shoved James out of the doorway. "Now shut up and go get your robes fitted," he laughed.

"Aye aye," James saluted, laughing, and ran down the steps into the common room.

Remus turned and went to get his Potions homework, sighing quietly. He really didn't feel like making rats fly around the halls… he didn't feel like doing much of anything. He had about three days until full moon, and was experiencing all the symptoms that all the books told him he would. No appetite, no energy, and sleepless nights…

But if he was going to keep his friends from worrying, he didn't have much choice but to go. While he was the 'sensible' one of the group, Remus still very rarely missed an opportunity to act up with the others. They probably wouldn't think anything of just one absence, but he didn't want to risk anything.

The three of them, after all, were all that he really had.

Flying rats for the sake of my friendships, he thought bitterly, as he scribbled out the beginnings of his Potions essay.

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Mkay, so first chapters are never that exciting. I will (hopefully) have this updated soon, but I make no guarantees because I write in weird little spurts. Aha.

Much love and many thanks to you for reading this! Once again, comments are very much appreciated.

- Anna