The dormitory was deserted when I woke up on a dreary Saturday. The feeling of loneliness I felt was uncanny. I was quite shocked by it really so I just lied there, eyes transfixed on the ceiling. Where was everyone anyway, I wondered to myself. Then I remembered; James was going to meet Lily. I sighed and was startled to hear rustling by the window. I sat up and looked over to see amber eyes staring back at me. They, of course, belonged to one of my good friends, Remus Lupin. I smiled quickly, trying to hide my shock of suddenly seeing my friend curled up on the window ledge. He smiled back.

"You woke up finally," he said teasingly. "Honestly Sirius, I was beginning to think you had died."

I chucked my pillow at Remus who ducked just in time, still grinning broadly. I then pulled myself from the comfortable bed, shed my pyjamas and threw on some clothes. When I looked back, Remus was staring out of the window, a thoughtful expression on his face.

"I'm guessing James left already?" I asked as I pulled a sweater over my head. Remus nodded, still looking away.

"Yes. James went to meet Lily. He said they were going to go out for a walk before it rained, but I'm sure you already knew that." He broke his gaze from the window at this moment to drill me with those eyes. I shuddered involuntarily. "I don't know where Peter is off to," he continued. I just shrugged before flopping back down on my bed. I could still feel his eyes on me.

"If there's a reason why you're looking at me like that Remus, let it out now," I said lazily. I looked back up to see a slight grin playing on his face.

"I guess you caught me," he said softly. "I was worried is all. You seem a bit . . . off since James started going out with Lily."

I sat up in bed again and this time it was my turn to stare at Remus. We were friends, but there was no doubt James Potter was my best friend. We told each other everything. I even went to stay with his family when I ran away from home. They were kind enough to let me stay and understood my problem. We spent all our free time together, but now since he'd been going out with Lily, there was less time for us to hang out. I knew I was being selfish, and I resented that. I looked at Remus, wondering if I could possibly tell him this. I usually told everything to James, but not this. I couldn't tell James about this one.

"You're feeling left behind," Remus said suddenly. I took in what he had just said, more shocked that he had said it than that he had guessed it. I already knew he was usually good at guessing people's feelings.

"Am I that obvious?" I asked in mock surprise. Remus just grinned.

"It wasn't that hard to figure out. You and James are hardly ever apart," he replied, his voice still soft. I felt at ease talking to him for some reason. I gave that credit to his tone of voice.

"Until now," I sighed. "I'm so bored right now. We usually make all our best plans on Saturdays together." Remus gave me a sympathetic smile that made me feel sick. I never felt much for pity.

"James isn't going to block you out entirely, you know? He and Lily just started going out. They need some time to spend together, figure out how things are. James will always make time for you though. You know that Sirius. There's no need to doubt anything."

I nodded. I knew Remus was right. He always had a way of being the voice of reason. It was he who often talked me out of my more stupid ideas in life.

"Besides," he continued. "What about all the times you had a girlfriend when James didn't? You know, if you wanted, you could have any girl in Hogwarts."

I smirked at the sandy-haired boy. "I can't just go out with any girl who comes my way to make up for my time lost from James. That'd lower my standards, they might think I'm easy." Truth be it told though, I was frowning inwardly. Why didn't I have a girlfriend? It would be untruthful for me to deny what Remus had said. How could I not notice the girls staring after me? For some reason, it didn't impress me though. Sure, I went out with a couple of them, but it always ended the same way. Usually about a week would go by and I'd dump her. There was just always something missing, something I wanted that none of them could give.

I looked back up to see Remus was smiling serenely at me. I suddenly appreciated all those times he'd ever been there for me, like right then. He'd been there as much for me as James. I kind of took it for granted though, I realized. He was so nice, he always listened and always cared.

"Thanks Remus," I said suddenly. I watched as his eyebrows rose on his pale face, the grin still plastered stupidly to his face. "You always listen," I elaborated. "It's nice to know you're there."

His face changed again. The warmest smile I had ever seen stretched across his face, his amber eyes twinkling brightly. "I'll always be here for you Padfoot," he promised. A slight tapping on the window behind him made him turn his head. "It's raining," he added merrily.

I couldn't figure out what could be so amusing about the fact it was now raining until ten minutes later when James came crashing into the dormitory absolutely dripping. I laughed heartily at the sight in my usual bark-like manner. Even Remus gave a chuckle before hopping down from the windowsill while pulling out his wand and muttering an incantation to dry James. James grumbled something inaudible before letting himself fall onto his bed. I jumped over from my bed to his while Remus sat down on the edge.

"So?" I prompted. "How did it go? Did you guys have fun?" I elbowed James who just grumbled again.

"Must have been devastating," Remus said in his usual serene manner. I grinned wickedly at Remus then peered back down at James. He'd obviously had a bad time, but I could cheer him up. I pulled myself up so I was standing beside James on the bed. Remus got up and moved quickly as I began jumping up and down. I didn't quite get the reaction I was expecting though.

"By Merlin, Sirius! Can you cut that out? We're in seventh year now, not first!" he snapped. He reached up one hand to pull off his glasses and the other pressed itself to his face. "I just had a bad morning, okay. I'd like it if you just left me alone for a moment."

"If you want to talk . . . "

"No Sirius, I don't."

I crawled off James's bed, feeling thoroughly disappointed. I scampered over to Remus where he was now seated on my bed which was beside James's. I crawled up next to him and grabbed his arm. "James is being meanish," I said in mock little boy tones. When I looked into Remus's face, I saw he wasn't smiling anymore though.

"Just let him go Padfoot," he said as soft as ever. I sighed. James was still lying in his bed, one hand over his face.

"All right Remy," I gave in as I leaned my head casually onto his lap. "You'll have to amuse me now though." His hand obediently began stroking my hair. I looked up into his face and saw he was smiling yet again back down at me. I felt an odd lurching in my stomach. Must be hungry, I reasoned as I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. I contemplated getting up to go get something, but I felt too content there. I figured it had to be the dog in me who loved to be petted so much. So we sat there like that for a while, myself with my head on Remus, Remus petting my head, and James looking like he wanted to die. It was interrupted at last when my stomach let out a low rumble. I heard Remus laugh above me and even James peered out of his fingers to look at me. I smiled sheepishly at both of them.

The hand that had been on my head left. "If you get off for a second Padfoot, I've got a few chocolate frogs we can munch on," the owner said to me. I whined, but got up just the same. I watched eagerly as Remus crawled across my bed to the other side where he got off and began rummaging through his things. He pulled up a short while later with a bag. From it he pulled a frog and threw it to James who was finally up now and caught it. He then tossed one to me that I obligingly caught in my mouth. Remus laughed before taking one for himself and dropping the bag.

"You're such a dog," James muttered from his bed. I grinned in my usual lopsided mischievous way.

"So now you're speaking?" I asked before tearing the wrapping off my frog and biting into it before it could hop away. "Wook, Ib gob Mogama," I said with frog in my mouth while displaying the card.

"Trade you," James said brandishing one of Circe.

"Tell me what's up and I will," I bargained, taking the time to swallow beforehand this time. "Besides, I've already got her." James scowled and I laughed. Remus was looking with interest at James as he came to sit next to me.

"I don't really want to talk about it, okay?" he said.

"I'm your best friend, now you're going to tell me or no Morgana for you."

He scowled yet again. "Lily and I had a little argument is all, you happy now?"

"You didn't break up, did you?" Remus asked, alarm and worry within the confines of his voice.

"No. She just . . . she said I'm not acting like a good enough role model being Head Boy and all. She wants me to be more mature, at least around the younger kids."

Remus laughed, but James cast him an angry look. The look softened though after a few moments. "You suppose she's right, don't you Moony?"

He continued to smile. "You'd do well to not show off other people's undergarments. Or try to get them killed." His face looked slightly gloomy as he finished this, but his smile still remained. It was an odd sight for anyone, but fitting somehow for Remus.

"I'm going to go talk to her," James said at once. He jumped from his bed and made for the door, stuffing the last bit of his chocolate frog into his mouth. He turned, one hand resting on the doorknob. "Thanks Moony. And don't worry Padfoot. I'll be back so we can make plans later."

I waved slightly as James left and it was just Remus and myself again. I sighed as I fell back onto Remus's lap, my long black hair falling across my face. I didn't feel like bothering with this and planned on just letting it there. It seemed Remus couldn't stand for this though and he pushed the strands away from my face. His fingertips felt icy.

"So what's up with you, Remus? I've unburdened myself on you, James has done the same, but you're always so quiet about your own worries." I watched as his eyes drifted back off to the window, rain hammering against it. "You keep looking out that window. Is there something out there?" I prodded.

Remus shook his head. "No. I just like to look out the window when I think. The scenery . . . it clears my mind."

"So what are you thinking about?"

I studied his face the whole time, watching for any sign of anything. He had a knack for staying composed under any circumstances though.

"Just things," he said vaguely. "Small things and big things. We're in our seventh year already and I can't believe it."

"Yeah," I agreed. His hand came down on my head again to stroke my hair some more and I'd never felt more contented in my life. I closed my eyes, just enjoying my friend's fingers in my hair.

"I'm scared," Remus said suddenly, causing my eyes to flutter open again. His eyes were diverted to the window still while his hand absent-mindedly stroked me. I continued to stare at him, waiting for some elaboration and I noticed his face no longer looked its mask of calm anymore. There was definite fear in those amber eyes, something I'd only glimpsed on a few occasions.

"You know I'll always be there for you Remus," I said, my voice sounding much softer than it ought. I saw a smile creep across his face and I smiled back encouragingly. He looked back at me, his eyes almost clear again, like they normally were. I fully realized then that his eyes never were entirely clear, a reflection of his mind.

"Thanks," he said, "but I'm being stupid. I've been letting my thoughts get carried away again. I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize to me," I said, anger surging in my voice. "You have every right to be scared; the world is a scary place! Don't you ever apologize to me again without reason now, you hear?" He nodded solemnly and I immediately felt better.

"Good. Now if you don't mind you seem to have stopped petting my head," I pointed out. He laughed before pulling at a lock of my hair. "Watch it there!" I warned.

"But when do I get my turn?" he asked in good humor. "I'm always the one petting you."

I smirked. "Dogs like to be petted. Now get to work." I felt his cool fingers bat at my face, but then they went back to work in my hair again. Had I been in my dog form right then, my tail would have been wagging. I felt another slight lurch in my stomach. Still, hungry? I didn't really feel hungry though. I looked up at Remus imploringly. My eyes locked with his and I was dazzled by how warm, yet tired they were. Already at 17, they looked so much older.

I wondered if the rest of his face looked so aged. My eyes wandered across it, but it looked a picture of his age except for one thin scar that slid along one cheek. I felt a strong urge to touch that scar, so I did. I saw his eyes open wide in surprise, but he didn't retract. Then something came over me, something I can't even explain. I lifted my head slightly, reaching up with my other hand, the first still on the scar, and I grabbed a hold of his shirt collar with this hand and pulled his head down closer to mine. When it was close enough, I pressed my lips against his, holding him there for several moments. My hand that was on his scar traced up his face and to that wonderfully brown hair where the fingers dug in as if to never let go. When I did let go of both collar and hair, he just stayed like that, eyes larger than galleons.

I gasped, realizing in a moment what I had done, but neither of us had any more time to react. At that moment, the dormitory door was creaking open. Remus straightened up at once, resting one hand on my forehead, pinning me to his lap.

"Oh, hi Peter," I heard Remus say with only the slightest trace in his voice to suggest we had just been up to anything out of the ordinary. I looked up and saw his face, to my disbelief, was already a mirror of calm except for those eyes that betrayed him. I wanted to hit him for being so calm and collected, but this urge I managed to resist.

"You guys look comfortable," Peter said as he walked over to his bed to deposit his school bag. I let out a nervous laugh, much too loud than it should have been, but nothing that Peter picked up on. I was right then a long way from being comfortable ever again.

"So, I'm going to head down to the Great Hall for lunch, do you want to join me?"

I jumped up at once, freeing my head from Remus's grip. "Sure, I haven't eaten yet. Besides, I have a feeling James is going to be busy with Lily for a while." In truth, I was no longer hungry at all, the idea of eating was making me sick, but I wanted to get out of that room right then so bad. I tried my best at my natural grin and it seemed Peter had bought it. I looked back at Remus, but his face was now devoid of any feeling, even his eyes were blank.