Summary: Dumbledore told Sirius to "lie low at Lupin's for a while" at the end of Harry's fourth year. What happened to Sirius before the rising of a second Order of the Phoenix? No slash!

Disclaimer: All characters, magical places, and everything else out of the Harry Potter series was created and is owned by the wonderful J.K. Rowling. It's all hers! None of it is mine!

Hey guys, I'm back! I'm back and ready to go!

I've just finished up The Easter Holiday, but I still wanna give you guys something. I just added on my next story, The Burdens of a Lioness, and I'm adding this one, Before the Order. Hope you guys aren't getting sick of me!

Anyway, this story should give you a look at what I think happened at the end of Harry's fourth year. Hope you like this one!


Chapter 1: Dog on the Doorstep

Remus Lupin's eyes fluttered open to the dreary blackness spilling into his small flat. The hard downpour of rain splashed loudly against the roof and the windows, making everything shake slightly. Yawning loudly, the wizard stretched, sat up, and looked around the room.

In addition to being small, the flat was rather shabby. The rug in front of the heart was fraying, the wood floor was in need of a good waxing, and the once green wallpaper was fading. Despite the worn state of the room, it was kept extremely tidy: the floor was swept, all the furniture was dusted, and everything was neatly put in its own place. Remus bent over and picked up his old copy of Defensive Spells for Dark Times that he had been reading before he had fallen asleep. Setting it on the scratched coffee table, he stood up and walked into his kitchen.

Remus pulled out his wand and tapped an old kettle sitting on the stove, which proceeded to whistle loudly. He pulled a blue patterned teacup out from the cupboard and poured himself tea. He sighed happily as the warm liquid trickled down his insides.

Walking into his bedroom, he set down his teacup and began to change into his pajamas. He had just pulled on his nightshirt when he heard something knock against his door. I'm probably hearing things because the rain is so loud, he thought. Sitting on his bed, he heard a knock again. And again. And again. And then he heard it: a soft whimpering that sounded oddly like…

Slightly curious, Remus stood up and walked into the living room. The knocking, which was at first very rapid, was beginning to slow down. With his curiosity growing by the second, he turned the rusty brass knob and opened his front door.

A tall, thin figure was standing in front of him. Clad in black robes, the man had shoulder-length black hair. His arm had a long cut on it, and he was completely soaked in rainwater. Remus looked into the weary eyes of his best friend Sirius Black, whom he had not seen in nearly a year. "Sirius!"

"Moony, I – "

"Wait, come in first, Padfoot," he said, pulling the man out of the rain. Sirius was apparently very weak because his knees buckled under him, and he had to grab onto the front of Remus' shirt.

"What happened to you, Padfoot?" he asked, pulling Sirius back onto his feet.

"He's back," said the drenched wizard in an extremely hoarse voice.

"What?" asked Remus, who had begun to peel of Sirius' soaked robes.

"Voldemort's back," said Sirius as he began to shake.

Remus froze. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah. Harry saw him come back."

"He saw him come back?"

"Yeah. The Triwizard Cup was a Portkey. It took him and another kid to some graveyard, and Voldemort gained a new body."

"I see. You'll have to fill me in on the other details, but that can wait until tomorrow. Right now we have to get you out of these wet clothes. Here," he said, summoning dry clothing from his room, "I'll be right back. Change into this while I'm gone."

Remus stood up and strode into his bedroom. He searched through his dresser for a while, but did not find what he was looking for. Instead, he got up and walked into the bathroom. Opening the medicine cabinet, he shifted a few bottles around before he pulled out a healing salve.

He walked back into the living room and saw his friend sitting on the ground in a dark blue shirt and long black pants, his wet clothes left forgotten in a sopping heap by the door. The clothes sprang up and moved to dry in front of the fire with the flick of Remus' wand. Sitting in front of his friend, he gently brought Sirius' cut up arm towards him. He applied a thin layer of the healing salve before bandaging the arm with another flick of his wand.

"Would you like something to eat?" asked Remus, summoning a towel from the bathroom.

"No, thank you," he rasped, his eyelids beginning to droop.

Remus sighed disapprovingly, but said nothing more. He toweled down Sirius' dripping hair so that his shirt would not get wet. He then summoned a comb from the bathroom and ran it through his friend's hair, quickly getting rid of any tangles. Remus stood up and hung the towel over a chair. Banishing the comb back to the bathroom, he walked back to Sirius and pulled him to his feet.

Getting him to stand proved difficult. Remus could tell that he was trying to stay up, but Sirius' knees kept buckling under him. Rather than make his friend struggle, Remus scooped him up in his arms. If he noticed this act, Sirius, who was extremely light for a man his age, showed no sign of protest. Remus walked into his bedroom and sat his friend on the edge of the bed. Pulling back the sheets, he slipped the thin man under the covers. He brought the blankets up to Sirius' neck, and Remus heard his friend whisper softly. "Thanks, Moony."

"It's no problem, Padfoot. Just rest now. You can tell me everything when you wake up."

"Okay," mumbled Sirius, "good night." He snuggled into the pillow and quickly drifted off.

Smiling at his friend's sleeping figure, he strode across the room and opened the closet. Reaching up to the top shelf, he pulled down a pillow and a thick blanket. Remus walked into the living room and tossed the pillow and blanket onto the couch. He sat down and slipped under the blanket, sighing happily because of the extra warmth provided by the fire. Putting his head on the pillow, his eyelids drooped as the gentle crackling of the dying fire soothed him into a much-needed sleep.

Please Review! I really wanna know what you guys think about chapter one, and it fills me with great joy to hear from you! Oh, and for all of you that thought this chapter was too short, chapter two will be much longer!