Sirius Black had always loved dogs. He was never allowed one growing up, but he really liked them, as lame and girly as that sounds. To maintain his manliness it should also be known that he thought bigger dogs were better. So it should come as no surprise that he had the ability to turn into a huge black dog at will.
Remus Lupin, on the other hand, never really liked animals. Unless they were the subject or the intriguing characters in a book. However, he was never really worried about his manliness or girly-ness. He could turn into an animal, of course, but he had always hated doing it. That was before there were Marauders.
"Alright, chaps," a black-haired, bespectacled boy said, clapping his hands together. "Here it is. The last –"
"Full moon of the year," the other black haired boy finished, his arms slung over a small, no longer mousey looking boy, and a thin, ragged looking boy, who was grinning. "And Moony's even happy!"
The ragged boy, Moony, or Remus, laughed. "Well," he said wisely, "it will be your last hurrah frolicking with a werewolf."
"Pah, Moony," the bespectacled boy said, waving the statement off like a fly.
"Won't we – do this – after we're graduated?" the small boy said, trying to shove the constricting arm off his shoulders. "Sirius? James?"
He looked to the two black-haired boys.
"James says we won't."
Remus and the small boy looked at the bespectacled boy, who threw up his hands.
"Lily said that –"
The other three groaned, and Remus pulled himself out from under the arm.
"What did I tell you, Pete?" the black haired boy asked the other under his arm.
"She would ruin the Marauders," Peter recited. "You knew it long ago."
"Sirius also said he would marry a hippogriff if Lily ever said yes,
Remus added from across the room.
Peter laughed, slipping away from Sirius.
"Mail order, I tell you," Sirius said. The other three laughed, but only Remus caught the wink thrown at him.
As their laughter died down Remus shivered. "Alright. It's fighting that pain potion."
Sirius whooped, slapping their bare back. "Ace! Let's go!"
And the naked form of Sirius black was replaced by a big, black dog.
Peter nodded, grinning, at Remus before becoming a rat.
"Our little Wormtail has come a long way," James said to Remus as he watched the dog chase the rat.
Remus only nodded, his jaw clamped shut. James set his glasses upon the shelf with their clothes. With a smile at Remus, he turned into a magnificent stag.
By this time, Remus was only half-human. It took only thirty seconds for the agonizing, bone-stretching transformation to leave a werewolf where Remus Lupin had been standing. With an excited bark, Padfoot led the way out of the Shrieking Shack and into another Full Moon Adventure.
Featuring: The Marauders.
"That was fun," Peter said quietly as they lay on the dusty floor of the Shrieking Shack, the sun on the horizon. "I mean –"
"Pete," Sirius interrupted. "Be quiet. Savour it."
"Don't do it, Moony," James said automatically. "Not today."
Remus remained hushed.
And they lay silent as the sun came up. They lay naked as the floorboards and wall joists creaked around them. It would be the last time the Marauders would lay sprawled on that floor. The last time James would draw little circles in the dust with his fingers. The last time Sirius would stare up at the ceiling panting like the dog he had spent the night as. The last time Remus would lie with his eyes closed, listening to the medley of their breathing. The last time Peter would inevitably ask, after feeling his stomach rumble longer than five minutes, "What's for breakfast?"
James grinned. "No idea, mate," he said softly.
"Who's bringing it?" Sirius asked.
"Lily," James sighed. Remus could almost hear the other two roll their eyes.
"Will we greet her like this?" Remus asked, immobile.
"We've done it before," Sirius said with an evil grin. "She seemed to like it."
"She told me she had nightmares for weeks," Remus remarked casually.
"That's what she said to you," Sirius cheeked. When James turned his head to glare at Sirius, the mercurial boy gave a roughish wink.
"Oh, God, Sirius," James complained loudly, sitting up. "That's my girlfriend you're talking about!"
Sirius and Peter laughed, sitting up as Remus merely smiled, still lying down. By the time the laughter eased off, James had thrown clothes to them all but Remus. To the recovering boy, James dutifully threw a blanket over him.
The comfortable silence fell around them again as they waited for the rap on the trap door.
It came after Remus had fallen asleep, and the others were quiet as James helped Lily up through the trap door.
"Had a good run?" Lily whispered amusedly as James and Peter immediately launched themselves at the food.
"Pretty good, yeah," Sirius grinned, catching the sandwich James threw at him. "Someone is pretty tired though," he added, smiling at Remus beside him.
Lily nodded knowingly, a grin at the corners of her lips. "Tired him out again, you animals," she laughed softly.
"It's what we're here for, Lils," James said through a bite of sandwich. "But if you ever need to have a good sleep," he added, winking.
"Oh, Merlin," Peter moaned, closing his eyes as he stuffed the rest of the sandwich in his mouth. "Don't say it!"
Sirius let out a bark like laugh around his own mouthful, spraying food across the room. Lily cringed. Remus moaned.
"Shut up, for bloody –"
"Sorry, Moony," James said, and Remus cracked open an eye to glare at him. "Want a sandwich?"
Remus nodded, smiling, pushing himself up onto his elbows. "I need clothes too," he added softly.
"I'll go get them," Peter said eagerly, jumping up and tripping over his feet as he rushed to the stairs.
Lily shot a pointed glance at James.
"Oh, fine," he mumbled, getting up and following Peter.
Lily shot a pointed look at Sirius.
"Thank you," he breathed to her, before he swooped down on Remus and hugged him tightly. "Are you okay? For sure?" he asked quickly and quietly.
"Yeah," Remus breathed, smiling as Sirius kissed his cheek, then his nose. "Thanks."
"Of course," Sirius breathed, kissing him hard on the lips as footsteps echoed on the stairs. He quickly busied himself with arranging the blanket around Remus.
"Honestly, Pete," James said briskly, "do you walk much?"
"I crawl more than anything, now that I think about it," Peter remarked cheekily, tripping over his feet again as he reached the bottom of the stairs behind James.
James rolled his eyes, tossing Remus' clothes to his friend. "You are an enormous prat," he shot at Peter, who was pulling on his shoes. "And I'm going to kill you now."
"Outside, boys," Lily said, motioning them down the trap door. "And make sure you see Madam Pomfrey sometime today."
"Sure thing!" James called, out of sight with Peter squealing.
Lily laughed, turning back to Sirius and Remus. "You two get organized," she said. "I'll meet you back at the castle."
"Yeah, see you," Sirius said distractedly, unfolding Remus' sweater. Lily left the two boys alone in peace.