Aislin was frozen in terror. The werewolf had come out of nowhere and beaten back at giant dog and a stag without any sign of weakness. Somehow, Peter Pettigrew had appeared in the tree behind her and had begun pulling her up. She had to get away from the beast, but it had come straight towards her, pulling her out of the tree by her robes.
How was she supposed to get away from something so large; from something so terrible? Then it had slowly stalked up to her, like she was something it wanted to play with rather than eat and maul and destroy. She'd squeezed her eyes shut as it's massive jaws had closed in on her neck. But it didn't bite her, it sniffed her, as though wondering if she was worthy enough for it to kill her.
She was shaking, how could she not? Then she'd felt it shudder beside her. She'd managed to peek open her eyes, she'd wished it would have killed her quickly, rather than giving her this small glimmer of hope. It's eyes were furious, monstrous yellow eyes, and a dripping snarl pulled it's jowls away from it's long, sharp teeth. But it wasn't focused on her anymore, the eyes seemed focused inwards.
It howled twice and she'd jumped, how was she going to get away? This couldn't happen to her. She still had a life to live. She still had to discover so many things. She couldn't die now, not tonight. This wasn't her time! Fate wouldn't allow it. She was supposed to die decades later, happily in her sleep with a whole following of friends and family to mourn after her.
She squeezed her eyes shut and began silently praying that she wouldn't die. Her thoughts drifted to Remus. Had it only been a couple weeks since he'd helped her with that essay? Had it only been a couple weeks since they'd sat, heads bowed together, discussing how they would fend off a werewolf with a silver wok.
Relax, I doubt I'm ever going to run into a werewolf. And if I did, I wouldn't ask you to save me from it with a silver wok. The words were ironic now. She had run into a werewolf and she would have done anything in the world for Remus to come and save her from it, with a wok or otherwise. "I wish Remus was here." She found she'd whispered the words out loud.
"No! I love her!" The yelled words seemed deafening in the silence. Her eyes flew open. Remus was bracing himself on top of her, pale, sweating and shaking. His clothes were in rags and tears were streaming down her face. "Aislin." He whispered, touching her cheek gently, before collapsing on top of her.
"Remus! Remus! Wake up!" She cried as she shook him. This doesn't make sense, her mind cried. He groaned and his cold body slid off her. He sprawled onto his back but didn't open his eyes.
"Aislin! Get up! Get away from him." Sirius yelled from somewhere behind her. He grabbed her and tried to pull her away from Remus but she resisted.
"No! Remus is hurt! Remus is hurt!" She cried, trying to hold onto his cold body. Why was he so cold? "Don't be dead, Remus!" Tears were filling her eyes.
Sirius managed to pull her away, his face was covered in scratches and blood. James limped up behind him looking no better. They all looked at Remus but he didn't move. She was crying now and collapsed into Sirius' chest. He couldn't be dead. He just couldn't be. He'd scared the werewolf away for her.
Sirius was holding her tight, his head resting on hers as he tried to sooth her. Then she heard it, a slow, painful moan. She whipped around, Remus' eyes were open in tiny slits, watching them. She pushed Sirius away and collapsed next to him before Sirius could grab her again.
"Oh, Remus! Oh, Remus." Was all she could manage to utter as she hugged him against her chest.
She felt him grab a fistful of her hair and watched him as he stared at it like some great treasure. "Liquid gold." He whispered before kissing her softly on the lips. She felt numb for a moment but before she could do anything, his eyes were focused on Sirius, James and Peter.
"I'm sorry. Go." He whispered before closing his eyes again.
Sirius pulled her up again and began dragging her away despite her protests. "No! You can't just leave him there like that! What if it comes back? You just can't! It's going to come back." She screamed as she fought to break his hold on her. "You coward, Sirius! You're leaving him for the werewolf!"
"Aislin!" He yelled as he shook her. "Remus is the werewolf!"
"What?" She whispered, her eyes suddenly too wide for their sockets.
"He managed, somehow, to stop it. To fight it. But he can't fight it long. We need to get as far away as we can." Sirius snapped as he continued to push them through the forest. "Can you change, James?"
"No such luck, Padfoot. I think he broke my leg." James replied from her other side. He'd taken her other arm and was assisting in dragging her through the forest with a pronounced limp.
"I can." Peter said determinedly.
James nodded, "Get back to the school as fast as you can. Tell Madam Pomfrey and Dumbledore what's happened."
Peter nodded and began running up the trail, but soon he was out of sight in the darkness.
They continued in silence, for what seemed like hours, straining their ears to hear if the werewolf would follow them. She didn't want to think of that thing as Remus. Eventually they heard it, an angry howl that seemed to permeate every inch of the forest. They quickened their pace. Despite the terror of the events, she'd managed to come out of it relatively unscathed. Sure, her body was sore from the fall and she was shaking in terror, but Sirius was bleeding profusely from the head and James was limping on a broken leg. She could have had worse.
They stumbled out of the woods a half an hour later, greeted by the sight of Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey hurrying across grounds. Dumbledore conjured stretchers and levitated them, with James, Sirius and Aislin on top, back to the school, followed by Madam Pomfrey. Dumbledore, on the other hand headed straight into the woods.
After being given an good sleeping draught and having their injuries mended, the three of them were released in the morning. Remus, however, was just being brought in when they were released. He was unconscious, covered in bruises and scratches, and paler than Aisel had ever seen anyone before.
Instead of returning to the Common Room they decided to stay with him, after persuading Madam Pomfrey that they wouldn't disturb any other patients. They each sat in a chair, James and Peter on one side of Remus' bed, Aisel and Sirius on the other. They sat in silence, heads bowed or watching Remus intently, but he didn't move.
She still couldn't get it through her head. How could Remus be a werewolf? He was so quiet and kind, she couldn't possibly think of him harming another. How could that kind of vicious beast reside inside of him? It didn't make sense.
She was jerked out of her thoughts. Sirius was talking to her.
"What?" She asked, looking at him for the first time in about an hour. What was he talking about? She hadn't been listening.
"I'm sorry about everything I did to you. I never meant to hurt you. I'm sorry for not bucking up and being a man when I wanted to move on. And I'm sorry for asking out Leanne before calling it off with you." He muttered quietly so the others couldn't hear.
She shook her head. He was worrying about this? Surely not. Not now; when Remus looked on the brink of death. "It's fine. I don't care. No girl will ever be able to hold your attention, and I was a fool to try. You're forgiven. And besides, we're supposed to be worrying about Remus now, not you."
He looked away from her, she saw a glint of annoyance in his eyes. What did he want? Did he want her to cry? Did he want her to beg him to take her back? She wasn't one of those bimbo'\s and she had more pride than to crawl back to any boy who could cheat on her behind her back, even if that boy was a god amongst men.
"He loves you, you know." He said after another minute. "He has for years."
She glanced back at him coolly. "Then you really are quite the friend."
He looked down at his feet, his arms rested on his knees. "No, but he is." He muttered. "He's always the one that we can count on, the best of all of us. Even with his furry little problem he manages to help us whenever he can. And he never complains even though he ought to the most, and how did I treat him? Like shit.
"I stole the only girl he ever wanted to date away from him. That's why he doesn't date, you know? He told me you'd asked him. He doesn't date because he only wants you, but he didn't want you to be turned away by . . . by his furry little problem. God, I feel like the worst person in the world, like I actually belong to my family. I'm the worst friend ever."
An arm suddenly flew out of nowhere, catching Sirius across the side of the head. "No, you're not." A weak voice crackled, "And I'd have forgiven you even if you'd married her, which I knew you wouldn't have. We're friends for life, Padfoot. And you're nothing like your family."
They all watched Remus as his eyes, half open, fell on Aislin. "But he's right, you know. You are the only person I've ever loved."
She smiled and took hold of his hand, "Remus?"
He smiled at her, "What?"
"I'm really, really sorry about the silver wok thing. I didn't know." She whispered.
He let out a sharp laugh, then winced. "Want to go to Hogsmeade weekend with me?" He asked.
"I'd love to."