"What are you thinking," Sirius enquired, after a minute of silence had passed. Lupin shook his head wearily.

"Something someone said; either you or Harry. Something you mentioned, after that fiasco at the Triwizard Championship… Something, I… No, I can't remember. I should probably write to him – Harry I mean. Maybe he can remember what it was." He stood up a little shakily but decisively and glanced at the blood-stained clothes he'd been wearing since last night.

"I'm going to change, and maybe try and get some sleep."

He left the kitchen, still wondering what it was that Harry had said. It was something about… about Peter. He ran the scene over in his mind as Sirius had reported it to him. All the details of Voldemort's re-empowerment in the graveyard. The death of Cedric, the gravestone, the cauldron, the knife, the Death Eaters. Every detail…

One by one.

One by-

When Sirius and Mrs Weasley heard the thud on the stairs they both ran into the hall, afraid that Lupin had passed out again. He had not. He had sat heavily on the stairs and was now holding the injured arm with the other, as if to protect it. As they drew nearer he spoke; softly and with forced slowness.

"I remember," he said. "It was Peter. It was about what Peter did that night, at the graveyard. He cut off his own hand, remember?" They shivered and nodded.

"And Voldemort made him a new one. I'd forgotten what you said, Sirius. Forgotten completely." He looked up as if this explained everything. Seeing their confusion he clarified it for them, shaking his head in disbelief.

"The hand, it was made of-"
"Silver!" croaked Sirius suddenly.

"Yes," Lupin said quietly. "Molten silver." He rested his head in his hands.

"You don't think-" Mrs Weasley began, shock entering her voice.

"Oh I do, Molly. Of all the things Voldemort could have chosen to give him; a silver hand. Coincidence? I think not."

"I won't let it happen," Sirius blurted determinedly. "I won't let it happen again."

"You may not have much choice, Sirius," Remus said, smiling sadly at his friend. "If it happens, it happens, and it may be that no one is there to stop it. I won't go easily, I promise you that."

"No! I'll die before I see him hurt you again! As he should have done for James and Lily all those years ago, I'll die first. I'm not losing anyone else!"

"I know," said Remus soothingly, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Calm down, Sirius. I know you will. But never over Harry. Harry has to come first now."

"Of course," said Sirius Black. "You know I'd die for him too."

"We both would," said Remus Lupin softly. "We both would."

Replies to reviews/comments

DeadBoysPoem: Thanks, I'm glad you like it! As to it being short, I like writing short-stories! LOL. And no it is not, nor will it become, a Remus/Sirius slash. I do not approve of slashes. I don't see why every single little affection has to be construed as sexual attraction. Guys can be friends, really GOOD friends, without constantly wanting to sleep with them. So no to that question.

Romulus901: Thanks for your comments. I love ending chapters on little cliffhangers! I don't know if I'll continue or not. I kinda like it how it is, but if I do, your reviews are more than welcome!

Fire-breathing ferret: Thank you so much! I do try really hard to make my stories true to the characters, so I'm really pleased someone noticed! And I hate Kreacher too!

Xtin2000: Thanks! Stories aren't just for fun you know! Well obviously they are for fun, LOL, but it's nice if you feel you've learnt something at the end, or it's touched a deeper topic, like friendship, as you said.