A/N Ooh, what's this? A new fic? Sad enough as it is for me to disappoint you, poppetses, this is but a mere one-shot. Yeah, I know it's weird; I haven't done one of these in quite some time...Ah, yes: and though there may seem to be Sirius with James and/or Remus shipping, I tell you now, there most certainly is not. 'Nuff said.
It was such a happy time for the House of Gryffindor because James Potter had once again managed to save the day by spotting and catching the Golden Snitch within the last four minutes of the game, thus receiving a victory over the Slytherins.
The team clad in silver and green exited the field, all glaring daggers at James and the rest of the Gryffindors as they passed.
"Don't worry about them, mate," Remus reassured. "They're just jealous of that awesome move you made; and what a move it was."
Peter agreed, nodding nervously. Every time a Slytherin walked past, he would lucidly duck down or try to dodge the angry stares.
James shrugged unconcernedly. The recent cheers from the rest of the school had made his pride and confidence skyrocket into the world beyond. He was much too good to care about anything the Slytherins did or said.
But then, a new thought struck him.
"Where's Sirius?" he asked, looking around the mob of Gryffindors surrounding him.
Both Remus and Peter's faces fell slightly. It wasn't a face that said "Oh-Merlin-Something-Terrible-Has-Happened", but there was enough tension among the three friends that made James worried.
"Sirius left the match quite some time before the end. Said he was feeling a bit under the weather," Remus answered after a few moments.
"He also said not to worry," Peter added, seeing the concerned look on James's face.
"It could be nothing short of allergies, James. We all know how Sirius likes to overreact on things much less than serious," Remus reminded them in a kind of mocking tone.
"Either way, you two could have followed him to see if he was all right," James explained. "It wouldn't have mattered to me how much of the match you saw."
James forced his way out of the crowd, past the Great Hall, and up the stairs towards the common room. "C'mon, we're going to go check on him...Balding Radishes," he said to the fat lady. She looked down as him skeptically before swinging the portrait open to let them in.
The three Marauders anxiously looked around the room for one Sirius Black. Without too much of a search, he was spotted in one of the armchairs, staring monotonously into the fire.
He looked up only when Remus called out his name.
"Hey," he muttered, managing a slight smile.
The paleness of Sirius's face was enough of a competition against parchment as Professor Dumbledore was against the Dark Lord himself. His cheeks were terribly flushed, despite his pale face. His ice-blue eyes, normally bright and alert, were slack and bloodshot. He looked, as James noted, extremely miserable.
"Sorry I didn't get to see the rest of the match," Sirius said. His voice sounded scratched and slightly croaky. "It sounded like a helluva game." He jerked his head to the left, as an implication that he had heard through the window facing the Quidditch pitch.
"Padfoot, I don't care about that; how're you feeling?" James said, frowning.
"Not good," Sirius answered without hesitation.
Later that night, after Sirius had been practically drowned with potions, everyone had gone back down to the common room to celebrate their victory over Slytherin. Sirius, who had fussed over not wanting to be around people, was eventually persuaded to leave the comfort of the dormitory and join the fun downstairs.
Now, he was lying on the floor, atop the bed of maroon-colored pillows that he had made for himself. He had his face in his hands and was trying to drown out any and all sounds because he claimed it was not helping his pounding headache one bit.
"Hey, do you want something to drink?"
Sirius looked up to meet the lovely mahogany eyes of a seventh-year girl he thought went by the name of Victoria Haynes. She was knelt down, holding out a goblet just inches from Sirius's lips.
Sirius nodded, accepting the drink. Victoria smiled some, and then averted her eyes as her cheeks began turning slightly pink. Sirius took a long swig from the goblet, and almost instantly felt his troubles begin to ebb away. He sat up to take another drink, in fear that, if he didn't, the punch would spill down his front. After another drink, he asked, looking up at Victoria,
"D'you wanna have a dance with me?"
Victoria turned to look back down at him, her eyes widened in shock. Nervously, she looked around the room for support from one of her female friends, and Sirius noticed she had turned to Lily Evans, another seventh-year.
Evans shook her head and then shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly. Victoria turned back to Sirius, looking terrified, then nodding her head. Sirius could clearly see Lily breaking out into a fit of silent giggles behind her friend.
Sirius stood up, finally leaving the comfort of his makeshift bed, and reached out his hand to take Victoria's. She shied away, but eventually took the offered hand. The bewitched stereo James had set up suddenly turned to an easy, down-tempo jam.
Sirius and Victoria made for a pretty good dancing couple, despite Sirius's current condition. Occasionally, he would blink repeatedly to get the room into focus, and he started to sway near the end of the song.
Victoria, noting Sirius's strange behavior, called for a break, and then hurried over to Lily where the girls exchanged a worried look, before submitting to annoying giggles.
Sirius, meanwhile, found himself the nearest chair, plopping down in a sitting position. He looked over at Evans and Victoria, noticing a younger-looking fourth-year marching up to the girls. The fourth-year reached into his robe's pocket, dropping a small, white pill into Victoria's outstretched hand; it was exchanged for five Knuts.
Now feeling suspicious, Sirius watched the fourth-year grab a goblet of punch, but not before breaking open a spare tablet and dropping its contents inside the drink. Victoria and Evans both smiled their approval and handed over another five Knuts for another pill.
I was drugged! Sirius thought angrily.
He stood up quickly to tell off the boy, or at least notify Remus, who was now a prefect, but as he stood, his vision wavered and he became terribly dizzy. Shaking his head, he sat back down and tried to watch the fourth-year-- who he now remembered was called Antonio-- through all the tangles of legs from the dancers in the middle of the room.
Sirius looked at his watch and noticed it was well past House curfew. Luckily for him, the room had already begun to clear out, and by the end of the last song, everyone excluding the Marauders had gone up to bed; there were, after all, classes in the morning.
He thought about the night, and how he was even a little glad that his friends had persuaded him to come downstairs, but the fact that he had been drugged was still something that was troubling him.
"Hey, Sirius, do you plan on helping us take down these streamers?" James called, ruffling his hair some. "Or are you still feeling bad?"
"Yeah, are you feeling any better?" Remus inquired.
"Brilliant, Moony. Bloody brilliant."
"Don't you get sarcastic with me," Remus said lackadaisically.
"Whatever. I'm going up to bed."
"We'll be up soon," Peter squeaked.
Sirius sighed; he had been so comfortable sitting and unmoving in the armchair, that he was a little reluctant to go up to the dormitory. But the thought of his nice, warm bed awaiting him upstairs got him to drag himself up the spiral staircase and into the dorm.
He dressed into his baby-blue, dogface-spotted pajama pants and stripped himself of his gray Hogwarts sweater, only leaving on the white, short-sleeved undershirt that he had been wearing earlier. He then crawled into bed and practically smothered himself with the bed's comforter.
If it weren't for the three pairs of footsteps he heard coming up the stairs, Sirius would have been asleep in mere seconds. Instead, he shut his eyes and listened as the others entered the room.
"That was a great party, James," Remus whispered.
"I'm glad I could make it happen."
"You're so modest," Peter said.
"Isn't he?" Remus agreed.
"Yeah yeah; you guys are just jealous. What with everything I did tonight: the Quidditch match, the party, the pill..."
"Shh, you're going to wake him up."
It was true, Sirius had begun to doze off, but when James spoke, all traces of exhaustion vanished. He strained his ears to listen as his friend continued to babble.
"I mean really, wasn't that pill the coolest thing?"
"What exactly does it do?" Peter asked.
"It's more of a drug really. It's composed of a handful of love potions with a bunch of other stuff. If you're not careful, it can be pretty dangerous; I haven't quite worked out everything yet."
Sirius felt his face grow hot. It was James, his best friend, who had drugged him, and now he was hearing that it wasn't even good for you. He sat up, having wanting to give James a piece of his mind.
"Sorry mate, I didn't mean to wake you," James said apologetically.
"What did you—?"
Sirius knew that what he had felt in his gut wasn't just his temporary anger at James, but something else, a dull ache. And as he sat up, he knew that it would happen, but he opened his mouth anyway.
The other Marauders pulled away as their friend got sick all over the clean sheets around him. It made sickening splats as it fell from the bed to the wooden floors below.
In a sort of panic, Remus and James managed to heave Sirius from his bed and down the hall to a lavatory. There, he slumped over the toilet and continued to make horrid retching sounds that echoed quite clearly from the tiled walls.
After a few minutes, Sirius had finally stopped vomiting. He fell back and lied on the bathroom floor, trying to catch his breath. He looked up and noticed his three friends plus Madam Elouai, the school nurse, staring down at him; he obviously had not heard the nurse walk in.
"Mr. Black, can you sit up for me?" she asked.
Sirius groaned quietly, before allowing Peter to help him lean against the wall. He swore if anyone asked him how he felt, he would personally curse them for life. The weight of his whole day came crashing down on him and he suddenly felt more exhausted than he had ever felt in his entire life.
What normally woke Sirius in the morning was the arguing of his friends, or a pillow to the head, but this morning was nice and peaceful. Without opening his eyes, Sirius listened to the sounds of his room, but actually only heard the sounds of birds chirping outside his window. It was strange, because this was the first time Sirius had heard the early birds since he had first come to Hogwarts. It was then that he figured something was wrong.
He opened his eyes and expected to see Remus still asleep in the four-poster beside him or hurrying around trying to collect his belongings before class. Instead, he found the room to be completely deserted. Frantic, Sirius looked over at the clock on his bedside table; it read 12:35.
Sirius jumped out of bed, almost regretting doing so as his stomach did a back-flip. He combed his hair, washed up, got dressed, and rushed off to the Great Hall where he knew everyone was just about to finish lunch.
To his amazement, his friends looked disappointed to see him as he rushed in and grabbed a seat across from James.
"What gives?" Sirius panted. "Why didn't you wake me up?"
"Sirius, you shouldn't even be here. You're sick," Remus said apprehensively.
Sirius thought for a minute, before he snapped, "Neither should you. Tonight we're going to the Shrieking Shack!"
"Merlin, keep you voice down!" James said. "And anyway, Remus wasn't the one throwing up with 100° fever last night!"
The few people sitting around them noticeably scooted away and either began to stare or continue their lunch.
"Look, Madam Elouai suggested we let you sleep in and skip today's lessons," James said, lowering his voice. "We thought it was a good idea, because in case you felt up to coming with us tonight, we wanted you to at least be rested up a bit."
"When have I not come?"
"When have you ever been this sick?" Peter countered.
Defeated, Sirius bid his friends farewell and marched himself back up to his dormitory. This time, he didn't bother undressing himself and threw himself, fully-clothed onto Peter's bed; his was still dirty and a little smelly.
Sirius awoke with a start a few hours later. He felt more rested up than he had during the past few days, but his muscles screamed with pain as he rolled himself over on his back. The soreness from his late-night escapade had finally set in.
"Good morning, sunshine."
Sirius turned his head and saw Peter sitting at the end of his bed, an open Transfiguration book lying in his lap. Sirius sat up to see what his friend was studying, wincing as he rose. Puzzled, he lifted up his shirt and saw a red bump forming on the lower right-hand side of his ribs.
"Sorry, that was me," Peter said remorsefully.
It was Peter who had accidentally kicked Sirius, causing him to arouse.
"Wormtail, always the clumsy one."
Sirius looked for the source of the voice and saw both Remus and James sitting on the floor each doing their own thing: Remus was lying on his stomach, absorbing himself in a History of Magic book and copying down notes on parchment, while James watched a bewitched quill copy down the same notes Remus was writing on a floating half sheet of parchment.
"These are your notes," James said, pointing to the levitating paper.
"Thanks," Sirius answered hoarsely. "Are we still on for tonight?"
"That's a stupid question," Remus said platonically, looking up from his work.
"Yep, just as soon as these two finish up their homework. Then, we'll start making our way over there."
"What about your homework, James?" Peter asked, laying down his quill.
"Are you kidding me? That would go against everything I stand for!" James laughed.
Sirius chuckled too. He couldn't help but feel better whenever the four of them were discussing schoolwork. He got up off the bed to look at himself in the mirror. He looked horrible! It was a good thing he was leaving the castle as a dog, for he couldn't bear it if anyone other than his three best friends saw him looking anything but flawless.
About twenty minutes later and when Remus began looking very uncomfortable, the Marauders decided it was time to head on down to the Shrieking Shack. James grabbed his Invisibility Cloak and covered his three friends as they made their way through the grounds.
"There's the Willow; Peter go prod the root," James said from underneath the cloak. "Remus, how're you holding out?"
"I feel weak," he answered, quietly.
"We're almost there—"
A sneeze came from behind them, causing James and Remus to jump, and almost drop the Invisibility Cloak.
"Ugh... Ditto to what Moony said."
"Sirius, why don't you just go back up to the castle?"
"No way, no how. Prongs, we promised Remus that we'd always be here when he needed us, and I think tonight counts as one of those times."
Sirius crossed his legs and looked around the room. It was still as dusty as ever, and it was beginning to smell of sour milk. He noticed Remus, lying incapacitated on the couch, while Peter tried to soothe him, and James paced the length of the room.
James stopped pacing and looked back at Sirius. "Yeah?"
"Give me one of those miracle pills that you had at the party."
"Hmm, all right." James dug into his pocket and pulled out a small, white tablet. He threw it across the room for Sirius to catch. It didn't even occur to him how Sirius knew about the pills in the first place.
Ever since they put on the Invisibility Cloak and wandered out of the castle, Sirius had begun to feel sick again. And he remembered that at the party, when Victoria had given him the contaminated goblet of punch, he had instantly felt better, even if it was only temporary.
He popped the pill into his mouth, and suddenly heard the sound of a struggle across the room. It was Remus, and his transformation had begun. He was struggling with himself on the floor, while James and Peter where in different corners of the room, in the middle of their own transformations.
Sirius got up and ducked behind some old furniture, beginning his own change. By the time he was finished, he could hear a mêlée between a werewolf and a stag. Crawling out from behind the furniture, he realized that it wasn't really a fight; James was being besieged by Remus, who was furiously clawing to get past the stag's antlers.
Wanting to help both his friends, Sirius casually trotted up to them, placing himself between them. He knew this was probably the most dangerous thing he'd ever done, but he had to do something to prevent them from accidentally killing each other.
Remus, taking notice of Sirius, ignored James and turned to the dog, growling copiously. Sirius barked a warning to the werewolf, but it was in vain. Remus lowered his head, and for the first time, Sirius noted how long and sharp his teeth were.
Sirius backed off some to allow James a chance to control Remus; the sound of hooves pawing at the ground gave Sirius the implication that James wanted some action. They had Remus overwhelmed now. James was keeping him back with the force of his antlers, while Sirius egged him on by dancing around the two of them and barking whenever Remus got too close for comfort.
Irritated with the pair of them, Remus gave up on James and snapped at the black dog beside him. Sirius let out a yelp as he tripped over his hind legs and stumbled backwards. Remus stepped forward, his teeth bared and prepared to sink them into Sirius's flesh. Cornered, Sirius cowered before his friend.
Suddenly, Remus let out a howl.
Only it wasn't a howl of delight, but a howl of pain. Sirius looked down and saw the rat-form of Peter nibbling on the werewolf's leg and hanging on for dear life as Remus thrashed about.
Sirius then slunk away behind a tattered curtain and threw up.
At dawn, the human form of Sirius, had taken another one of James's pills, claiming that it did wonders on him the night before, but he was now suspended over a dusty trash bin, emptying the contents of his stomach once more.
His friends, on the other hand, were waiting for him and for the bells to signal the start of class. Remus was napping soundlessly on a loveseat by the door, while the droopy-eyed James and Peter listened to the disgusting sounds coming from Sirius in the corner.
"This is ridiculous," James said, standing up. "Wormtail, wake him up, will you?"
Peter walked over to Remus and began to gently shake him.
Meanwhile, James walked over and squatted down by Sirius. Sirius had currently stopped throwing up and was now sitting, trying to catch his breath. James put his hand on his friend's back and began rubbing it with his palm.
"Come on, we need to get you back to the castle," he said, wincing as Sirius tossed the last of the cookies into the bin.
Groggily, the four Marauders managed to get themselves back upstairs, where Remus and Sirius, who both planned on missing school that day, collapsed upon making contact with their beds. James and Peter grudgingly got themselves ready for breakfast.
About four hours later, Sirius awoke to the sound of his name being called by a somewhat familiar voice. He opened his eyes and realized it was Remus, who was still in bed, but now fully awake and reading a book.
"I bet you're tired of hearing this," Remus said, laying his book down, "but are you feeling all right?"
"I'll manage... Why?"
Remus turned to look at the four-poster across from him. Sirius followed his gaze and realized he was looking at James's bed, where the hangings shut all the way around.
"I'm afraid so," Remus said sadly. "Peter brought him up a little while ago."
"What happened?" Sirius asked, sounding alarmed.
"I'm not quite sure. Wormtail said that Lily Evans gave him a goblet of pumpkin juice for breakfast, and that he started throwing up later in Charms."
Sirius looked down, scratching his chin; James was now out of the picture, and so was Remus, if only temporarily.
"Have you talked to James at all?"
"A little. He said he wanted to tell you something, but I didn't want to wake you; you've had it worse than the rest of us."
"Balderdash! But it doesn't matter—I think I know what he wanted to say," Sirius said, rolling off his four-poster. "Now come on, the three of us are taking a trip to the nurse's."
Remus sent Sirius a concerned look. "But James—"
"Yeah, he's coming too. This is partly his fault after all."
Sirius walked over to James's bed, ripping open the hangings. He cringed slightly at the sight of his friend; James's complexion was pallid and he looked weak.
"Rise and shine Prongs, ole buddy." Sirius took the liberty of waking James with a gentle blow to the head.
James groaned loudly, but opened his eyes nevertheless. The moment he saw his friend's stern face, he knew something was up. When he asked what, Sirius told him to leave a note for Peter and tell him that the three of them would be seeing Madam Elouai.
When they reached the corridor that led to the hospital wing, they were panting so badly that Madam Elouai herself came out to see what the matter was. Seeing who it was and the state they were in, she immediately ushered the three Marauders into empty beds beside each other.
"Explain yourselves at once," Madam Elouai said, placing her hands on her hips. "I've seen two of you already, and now you bring me a third?"
"Yeah, just a second," Sirius said, scratching his arm. "Damnit, why is my arm itching?"
"Sirius, get on with it," James said, weakly.
"Fine. James, my good man, mind giving me another one of those pills?"
Sighing and rolling his eyes (he obviously could see no reason for this), James pulled his final tablet out of his jeans pocket. He handed it to Sirius, who held it up to Madam Elouai to see.
"This is a love potion condensed into a tiny little pill," Sirius said slyly. "But from what I've heard, it's not good for you because their creator hasn't worked out all the bugs yet."
"So, you're telling me that that's what's been making everyone sick?" Madam Elouai said skeptically.
"Everyone?" James said. He sounded worried and for good reason.
"Everyone who attended the Gryffindor Quidditch celebration," Sirius said.
"But that doesn't explain you, Sirius. You were sick before the party," Remus said, turning to his dog friend.
"Oh yes it does," Madam Elouai cut in. "Now that we know what made him sick that one night, I can now confirm my suspicions. Sirius Black you have an allergy."
Sirius, along with Remus and James, stared at the nurse, wide-eyed. Inwardly, Remus was slightly glad about it; he had told James from that start that Sirius had allergies. He just hadn't expected it to be true. Now, he just had to figure out what the allergen was.
"What—I can't have allergies. I've never had them before," Sirius said, his voice full of doubt.
"Though that may be true, being in contact with a new substance for a prolonged amount of time can cause you to have an allergic reaction." Madam Elouai looked from Sirius to Remus and then back again.
"Are you going to tell him?" James asked impatiently.
"All right. You're allergic to...werewolf fur."
Sirius was sure he had fainted, but that was girly, so he just continued to stare at the nurse, his mouth agape. After gaining back some of his composure, he shook his head disbelievingly, and then ran his fingers through his hair.
"All your symptoms explain it; every time you felt sick, you were with Remus Lupin, am I right? And you must have had some kind of physical contact, because that's an allergic rash on your arm."
Sirius nodded stupidly. "I helped him up the stairs."
"Now, if you just take one of these twice a day, you should eventually get over your allergen." Madam Elouai opened a drawer beside Remus's bed and pulled out a small bottle of white pills. She handed it over to Sirius.
"They look exactly like the other ones. These aren't going to make me sick again, are they?" Sirius asked, examining the contents inside the bottle.
"Merlin, no! I know what I'm doing," Madam Elouai said, smiling wryly at James.
"Exactly, how did you find out about James's pill?" Remus asked Sirius. "It surprised me how much you knew about it, yet you never even heard us talking about it."
"And that's where you're wrong. I happened to stumble upon it when I, myself, was drugged by Victoria Haynes." Sirius sighed, "Such a sweet girl. Who knew she had a thing for me?"
"That still doesn't explain how you knew that it was bad for you," James said. "I told Remus and Peter while you were—"
"—asleep, I know! Only I wasn't asleep," Sirius said, frowning. "C'mon James, use your head! Besides, don't you figure I knew something was up when I starting going on the Puking Diet?"
"So, you were allergic to Remus the whole time?" Peter asked, trying to quickly change the subject, before their petty conversation turned into a bug argument.
The Marauders, all four of them, were attending their Transfiguration class, and whiling sitting at the back table, had plenty of time to talk. The three were beginning to fill Peter in on the details of their adventure with Madam Elouai.
"Not to Remus, but to the evil side of him...the werewolf," Sirius said, making dramatic motions with his arms.
Remus frowned. "I am not evil, Padfoot."
"And what about you, James?" Peter asked, now turning to the bespectacled Marauder. "Did you get away with making that drug of yours?"
"No," James said, crossing his arms angrily.
Sirius made a bark-like laugh. "He was found-out and now has a month's worth of detention!"
"That's better than what he could have gotten," Remus said casually. "He made a lot of people sick."
"At least I don't have as much homework to make up," James said, turning to Sirius.
"I'm fine with that. I can just use all of your notes, right?"
Peter, Remus, and James smiled sardonically, pulling their papers away from their friend's reach.
"Riiiiiight...?" Sirius said, sounding more panicked than he had planned.
"I'll make a deal with you," James began, setting his paper down. "Hook me up with Evans, and my notes are all yours."
It was now Sirius's turn to laugh at James. "You drugged her too, right? And it didn't work."
"It just wasn't meant to be," Peter laughed.
"But she put that pill in James's pumpkin juice, remember? Doesn't take count for something?" Remus asked.
"Thanks Moony!" James said slapping his friend's back. "At least he's on my side."
"I'm not on anyone's side, James. I was just trying to prove a point."
James's face fell as laughter erupted from his three friends.
"Fine, I'll give it a shot," Sirius said smiling. "But you have to promise to let me borrow your notes and to never ever try and drug me again. Understood?"
"Yes, sir," James grinned.
"No more crazy love potions, right?" Remus asked, raising his eyebrow.
"Mischief managed?" Peter asked.
A/N Wow, that was long. 14 MS Word pages, to be exact. To the honest, that wasn't the way I had planned on ending it, but since I forgot my original idea, I decided to stick with this one. And I think I like this one better than the other one...whatever it was. I guess that what I get for watching all those medical shows on TV.
I hope there weren't any holes in the story where I might have forgotten to explain something—I tried hard to not do that. But please, tell me what you thought about it. As I was writing the ending, I was planning on doing a sequel, but I doubt I'll have the time or the inspiration to write it after all. You never know though; Half-Blood Prince is coming out in 20-something more days, so maybe once I get the book, I'll be inspired to write something!